There’s a new fitness watch in town, and it’s a Garmin. On Wednesday, the company known best for its Fenix line of multisport accessories revealed its newest wearable creation: The Forerunner 935. And unlike Garmin’s Fenix watches, it places fitness first.
Three key features round out the Forerunner 935’s training software. The first, Training Status, analyzes your previous workout sessions and fitness level to determine how well you’re performing. The second, Training Load, takes a longer view, tabulating a week’s worth of workouts and adjusting the next week’s sessions accordingly. The third, Training Effect, susses out the aerobic efficacy of a single activity — if you’re falling short of the app’s benchmarks, it will let you know.
The Forerunner tracks a bevy of specific activities, too. When you’re cycling, it records dynamics like your “power zones,” the time you spend seated and standing, and more. In the water, it tracks your distance, stroke, pace, and personal records. And when your hiking, trail running, skiing, participating in paddle sports, or golfing, it will automatically recognize and track metrics.
Sensors out the wazoo enable all that tracking. The Forerunner 935 incorporates GPS/GLONASS location tracking, and a built-in altimeter provides real-time elevation information. A barometer and compass, meanwhile, predict weather changes by showing short-term trends in air pressure. And a VO2 Max sensor estimates blood oxygen content.
Like the Garmin’s Fenix watches, the Forerunner is compatible with Garmin’s Connect IQ store, which packs apps like virtual trainer TrainingPeaks. And it can connect to the Strava app to calculate a “Suffer Score” — a real-time measure of exertion based on your heart rate.
The Forerunner 935’s shipping with a new accessory: The Running Dynamics Pod, a clip-on pod that tracks activity. It clips onto a pant waistband or bag strap, recording cadence, ground contact time, stride length, and more on the Forerunner 935.
Additionally, the 935 is compatible with Garmin’s Varia cycling-awareness sensors, the Vector pedal-based power system, the Index smart scale, and the Elevate wrist-based heart rate.
“As a top-of-the-line GPS smartwatch, the Forerunner 935 not only provides users with insight into how their body is responding to fitness, but also offers data for every activity”
The Forerunner 935 comes with swappable watch straps and a battery that lasts up to 24 hours when GPS is active (or two weeks when it isn’t). It starts at $500, and a package bundle with additional heart rate trackers for triathletes and swimmers will go for $650 later this year.