If you have ambitions that go far beyond the entry-level trackers, then this multi-sport watch will match you every step of the way. Even better, it will bring its full smarts to bear on helping you cross off some seriously lofty goals on a a bike, in the pool or any of a dozen or so other kinds of workouts.
This is Garmin’s top watch just below its professional fēnix range, and it sports almost identical features – but costs far less. For the data junkies it tracks dozens of metrics, such as ground contact time for runners, stroke count for swimmers and detailed elevations for hikers and bikers all thanks to the altimeter. It even monitors the frequency and intensity of your training against your recovery time to make sure you’re not overdoing it.
The 935 looks quite a bit chunkier than its lightweight 49 g. This makes it a pleasure to wear all day, which is a no-brainer if you’re going to get your money’s worth by using it like a basic activity and sleep tracker too.
It has built-in WiFi, which means it can upload data directly into the Garmin Connect cloud service online, without first connecting to your phone via Bluetooth for uploading.
Almost all the latest Garmin gear on shelves includes stress tracking (elevated heart rate without physical activity) which also affects your overall health and well-being. However, while it will recognise you taking a walk or even a light jog, it won’t activate the GPS unless you select the appropriate sport mode. It displays notifications from all your favourite phone apps, including email, and you can get into its smart features and funky faces easily by adding apps from Garmin’s Connect IQ app store.
The battery life is fantastic. The new, updated heart-rate sensor measures 24/7, and not just during workouts like some basic trackers, but the battery still lasted us a full week with the smartwatch features turned on, and with a few short runs in between. Remember, a typical smartwatch – an Apple Watch, for example – needs to be charged almost daily.
Multisport (12 sports + gym), GPS, step/sleep/heart rate, phone notifications, Bluetooth/WiFi, altimeter, 49g, R8900
You need to be committed to some serious fitness goals before this kind of cash outlay, but you are getting a decent smartwatch and a practical daily tracker in the deal.