Garmin Forerunner 235 vs Garmin Forerunner 735XT Comparison

Most sport watches nowadays can perform a wide range of functions, such as smartphone interaction and physical activity assistance. Yet, they become a vital role in your daily life.  What’s on your mind right now may be the consideration between Garmin Forerunner 235 vs Garmin Forerunner 735XT. Which one is better? Which one should you buy, Garmin Forerunner 235 or Garmin Forerunner 735XT?

Don’t worry. We got your back. In this article, we will layout 6 of the essential criteria for when it comes to choosing a sport watch. Also, we will compare head-to-head Garmin Forerunner 235 vs Garmin Forerunner 735XT and help you refine your buying decision. Stay tuned and read on!

6 Considerations When Choosing Garmin Forerunner 235 vs Garmin Forerunner 735XT


Criteria           Garmin Forerunner 235Garmin Forerunner 735XT
Dust-proof and water-resistantYesYes
Branded damage-resistant glassNoNo
Replaceable watch bandYesYes
Screen resolution215 x 180px150 x 215px
Always-On DisplayYesYes
Water-proof depth rating50m50m
Sapphire Glass DisplayNoNo
Pixel density227ppi227.97ppi
Force touch/3d touchNoNo

As you can see on the table, both Garmin Forerunner 235 and Garmin Forerunner 735XT can endure dust and humid conditions, turn them into perfect companions for outdoor activities. They can even withstand the water depth up to 50m according to the manufacturer’s instruction.

Sad news for who is interested in heavy sports, there is no branded damage-resistant glass and sapphire glass display on these two models, which is hard to remain intact after a time. Regards to the indicator, there are always-on displays on the models, but sadly touchscreen function is devoid. The similarity is also found in the sound coverage, which is around 23,6 cm³.

In terms of the parameters, the screen resolution of Garmin Forerunner 235 is slightly higher than that of Garmin Forerunner 735XT, which is 215x180px and 150x215px respectively. Their pixel density is also unnotably differently, which is approximately 227ppi.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT is optimized better than its predecessor when it is 1,8g lighter and a little bit smaller than Garmin Forerunner 235, which is 44,5×44,5mm and 45x45mm respectively. Yet Garmin Forerunner 735XT’s thickness is slightly higher than Garmin Forerunner 235.


Criteria           Garmin Forerunner 235Garmin Forerunner 735XT
Heart rate monitorYesYes
Blood oxygenation level monitoringNoNo
Cadence sensorNoYes
Temperature sensorNoNo
3D compassNoNo
Perspiration monitoringNoNo
Wind speed sensorNoNo

Either product is equipped with essential sensors like a heart rate monitor, GPS, and accelerometer to provide the most basic features. Just a few upgrades are made in Garmin Forerunner 735XT compared to Garmin Forerunner 235, which is a new compass for those who like trekking and a cadence sensor for those who are interested in cycling, a slight specification for the new model.

You are definitely not very impressed by this section as other modern sensors are missing on Garmin Forerunner 235 and Garmin Forerunner 735XT, namely blood oxygenation level monitoring, barometer, temperature sensor, 3d compass, gyroscope, perspiration monitoring, and wind speed sensor.

Activity tracking

Criteria           Garmin Forerunner 235Garmin Forerunner 735XT
Distance trackingYesYes
Walking step taken trackingYesYes
Sleep trackingYesYes
Sleep reportingYesYes
Calories burnt trackingYesYes
Pace trackingYesYes
Activity reportsYesYes
Elevation trackingYesYes
Route trackingYesYes
Goal setting modeYesYes
Exercise taggingYesNo
Stroke recognitionNoYes
Stroke counter for swimmingNoYes
Weight trackingYesNo
Water intake trackingYesNo
Golf compatibleNoNo
Dive compatibleNoNo
Calorie intakeNoNo
Fat consumption measurementNoNo
Automatic activity detectionNoYes
Trackback modeNoYes
Multi-sport modeNoYes

Conversely, despite all the blemishes in the previous section, the activity tracking feature of Garmin Forerunner 235 and Garmin Forerunner 735XT will frustrate you.

These two models will keep both eyes on all of your activities daily, which are distance tracking, walking step taken tracking,  sleep tracking, calorie burnt tracking, pace tracking, elevation tracking, and route tracking. They also have goal setting mode and exercise tagging to keep track of your process, which generates your discipline and motivation.

These two models only have a few flaws, which is not specified in particular activities like gold and dive. Also, they are not specific about fat and calorie intake, which provide less accurate weight data for users.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT does not have an exercise tagging feature like its predecessor, but the manufacturer compensates it by automatic activity detection and multi-sport mode, which is more convenient for users.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT is also specified in the swimming field with additional stroke recognition and stroke counter for swimming features. Moreover, in case you are lost in nowhere, you could use Garmin Forerunner 735XT to go back home by an extra trackback mode.

In contrast, Garmin Forerunner 235 perform better at weight tracking, and water intake tracking feature as Garmin Forerunner 735XT does not have.


Criteria           Garmin Forerunner 235Garmin Forerunner 735XT
Android compatibleYesYes
iOS compatibleYesYes
Windows Phone compatibleYesNo
Syncs wirelesslyYesYes
Automatically syncsYesYes
NFC connectivityNoNo
ANT+ connectivityNoYes
Supports Wi-FiNoNo
Mac Os X compatibleNoNo
Cellular moduleNoNo
Window compatibleNoNo

According to the connection ability, Garmin’s products are quite harmonious with devices as they can communicate with Android and iOS platform devices. The ability to sync wirelessly and automatically are also found on both models. Cheerlessly for the Microsoft’s fans and Mac Os X’s supporters, the compatibility with window and Mac Os X  is restricted on Garmin Forerunner 235 and Garmin Forerunner 735XT.

It even occurs in Window phone compatibility except for the Garmin Forerunner 235. The disadvantages appear in the ability to connect with external sources through an NFC connectivity, cellular module, and Wi-Fi. The manufacturer notices that and makes an upgrade on Garmin Forerunner 735XT, adds an extra ANT+ connection ability.


Criteria           Garmin Forerunner 235Garmin Forerunner 735XT
Battery life9 days11 days
Battery life with GPS on11h14h
Battery level indicatorYesYes
Rechargeable batteryYesYes
Solar power batteryNoNo
Removable batteryNoYes
Wireless chargingNoNo

The battery life performances of Garmin Forerunner 235 and Garmin Forerunner 735XT are at an average level, which lasts 9 days and 11 days of normal mode and 11h and 14h with GPS on respectively.

All of the basic features like battery level indicator and rechargeable battery are facilitated, but sadly for those who are seeking convenience, solar power battery and wireless charging are not provided on either model. The upgrade is made on Garmin Forerunner 735XT, which its battery is removable, make them easier to replace when the breakdown occurs.


Criteria           Garmin Forerunner 235Garmin Forerunner 735XT
Phone locatingYesYes
Call controlYesNo
Silent alarmYesYes
Vibrating alertsYesYes
Integrates with social networksYesYes
Inactivity alertsYesYes
Achievement trackingYesNo
Access to online servicesYesYes
Social featuresYesNo
Map uploadingNoNo
Acquires GPS fasterNoNo
Informs about the risk of thunderstormsNoNo
Sunrise/sunset timeNoYes
World timerNoYes
Smart alarmNoNo
Can be used to answer callsNoNo
Voice commandsNoNo
Barcode scanner on appNoNo
Built-in camera remoteNoNo
Shake to dismiss notificationsNoNo
Geocaching friendlyNoNo
External memory slotNoNo
3.5mm audio jack socketNoNo

Initially, they both have fundamental features of a smartwatch like notification, stopwatch, inactivity alerts, and access to online services, integrating with social networks.  The Phone locating feature is also an upturn in both models as many their peers do not have it.

Silent alarm and vibrating alert are integrated as well, which ease the annoyance of sound notification. Other features like map uploading, fast GPS acquirement, thunderstorm information, smart alarm, call answering, voice commands, barcode scanner, built-in camera remote, geocaching, external memory slot, and 3.5mm audio jack socket are missing on both models, which is understandable among their segment.

Paradoxically, in this section, Garmin Forerunner 735XT’s predecessor performs better. Despite the upgrades have been made on Garmin Forerunner 735XT, which is the addition of sunrise/sunset time and world timer, Garmin Forerunner 235 has achievement tracking and also the social feature to exchange experiences with users’ community. Especially Garmin Forerunner 235 acquires call control function, which just a few of its peers have it.

Conclusion: Garmin Forerunner 235 vs Garmin Forerunner 735XT – Which One Should You Buy?

In conclusion, the are not many differences between Garmin Forerunner 235 and Garmin Forerunner 735XT, except for more specifications of the Forerunner 735XT. For those who are interested in swimming and looking for a device to support such exercise, Garmin Forerunner 735XT is a better choice for you. And for those who merely want a smartwatch that has all the convenient features in general, Garmin Forerunner 235 would suit your need.

Choosing Garmin Forerunner 235 if:

  • You are quite grumpy in terms of specific data.
  • You want better synchronization between your phone and your smartwatch.
  • You own a Windows phone.

Choosing Garmin Forerunner 735XT if:

  • You are an extreme swimmer.
  • You want to create a link between fitness devices through ANT+ connection.