update: added latest news and pictures in new post: Garmin – Forerunner 935 update
Round, Not square, Just another Fenix or “The end of an era” & “Le roi est mort, vive le roi!” as i called the announcement earlier. In this post we assume the FR635 is based on the same hardware as the FR935 we describe here, names and colors have been released but not a side by side or differences overview.
The first thing you will think about when seeing the Forerunner 935 is a Fenix.
Size, shape, buttons and text all very similar with a Fenix 3 or Fenix 5.
On the front the main differences are the start/stop button and the round bezel. No screws on the front like the most Fenix series, just an almost flat bezel with the texts engraved in it.
From the side the you notice the round buttons with icons on it and the flatness of the watch when compared to the Fenix 5 series.
Between the watch body and the front bezel is a ring in the same color as the strap, the ring is similar to the one found on the Fenix Chronos only thinner.
On the back there is only the oHR sensor and the charging connector.
The 5 buttons have names in text on top of the watch bezel like the Fenix3, they don’t have the small icons like the previous FR735XT or FR920XT.
On the side of the round buttons there is a icon, except the Start-Stop button which has a flat surface and has a different look than the other buttons.
The button placement is the same as the current Fenix series, meaning the Up and Down button are moved apart and not placed together as in the previous Forerunner series.
- Start – Stop
- Forerunner 935 Black/Black
- Forerunner 935 Yellow/Black
- Forerunner 635 Black/Gray
- Forerunner 635 Marsala/White
- Forerunner 635 Purple/White
Bundles with HR straps will be available at launch.
The FR935 comes with optical HR, this time not the old Fenix3 HR sensor but the latest version which is also included in the Fenix 5 series. Meaning a very small smooth optical bump on the back of the watch.
The new Forerunner doesn’t come with the QuickFit bands introduced with the Fenix 5 series. These watched just comes with same style silicon bands the Fenix 3 series used.
Charging is done through the same new USB cable that Garmin has been delivering with the Fenix 5 series. This new charging cable should have been introduced in some 2016 products but due a small delay was first added in the 2017 products.
The main reason for introducing this new cable was avoiding new charging clamps needed for almost every new product in the past. The new USB cable uses the thickness of the always needed battery in every watch to create a insert in the watch itself in which the cable fits.
The “insert” is located on the left / three button side of the watch just like the Fenix 5X
- Barometric altimeter is nowhere found, not in the very limited description, not in any of the screens and not in any visual inspection of the watch.
- The different colored start/stop button is unlike the Fenix not surrounded by the protection bumps the Fenix models had. This way the button seems more susceptible to damage.
- We have a price of 499.99 but we have NO currency. This means it could be $499.99/€549.99 or $449.99/€499.99 or ? (watch only/no bundle). We had the same issue with the Fenix 5 watches but then decided to remove the prices.
- We got one announcement week: Feb 20-Feb 24. But not a good source to confirm.
extra information will be available begin march if this turn out wrong.
- As noted earlier it is to be believed the FR935 and FR635 have the same base. In all information both pop up together. This is however not confirmed.
Forerunner 230/235/630 replacements.
First a little background.
When these 3 watches where introduced in the second half of 2015 they looked like a FR230 / FR235 pair and a 630.
This was not how they where designed, the combination Fr230/FR630 was designed together. And the FR235 was rushed in with Garmins own optical HR replacing the FR225 only introduced a few months earlier.
The FR230/FR630 internally use the same main PCB on which some components are left out for the cheaper FR230. These components are the Wifi chip and the ones needed for the touchscreen. The rest of the differences are made by blocking them in firmware.
If the FR635 is based on the same hardware as the FR935 they will disable multi-sport and other high-end functions and leave the rest untouched. Personally i think the FR230 will disappear, every new watch has oHR even the cheaper ones (FR35/ Vívoactive HR)
The FR235 was the first Forerunner with Garmins own oHR sensor. It was a great success from start. However it was a running watch, a few months later (the replacement for the 920XT would still take months) Garmin decided that it would be smart to launch a “mini” multi-sport watch. They took the FR235 and mounted a slightly higher clocked processor (*1), replaced the oHR with their latest version and enabled the multi-sports firmware options. 99% FR235 + 1% new would make a FR735XT.
(*1, some say the processor was not even changed, only the frequency was increased)
This means that at no cost Garmin could tomorrow release a FR240.
Take the FR735XT disable the multisport options and you have a “new” watch with the latest oHR and CIQ2.x.
Personally i think there will be a new developed FR240 with the combo FR240/FR740 in mind.
As from the hardware side, take a look at the what can be bought for $200
The Vivoactive HR was sold the last month for $199.99 (now back to $249.99)
For this price we got all the hardware available:
- Color display with touchscreen
- Wrist-based Heart rate monitor
- GPS & GLONASS
- Barometric altimeter
- Electronic compass
- Vibration alert