Garmin Forerunner 35 vs 45 vs 235 – Which is the Best?

Garmin is a well-known company in the world of GPS units, but did you realize they also produce the finest GPS running models? Today, we’ll compare three of their better Garmin Forerunner 35, 235, and 45 models to see which is the best.

They all have distinct characteristics and pricing points, so keep your needs and expenditure in mind as you read our Forerunner review. You’ll see which one is better for aerobic by the end of this post.

Garmin Forerunner 35 vs 45 vs 235 Review

Garmin Forerunner 35

garmin forerunner 35 vs 45 vs 235

The Garmin Forerunner 35 is a great simple running watch that includes all of the characteristics you only need for the sport, such as a built-in GPS chip, heart rate tracking, and a customizable intervals workout choice.

It also tracks a variety of other sports and provides certain underlying smart features such as alerts.

It isn’t the most visually appealing gadget, which may deter some from wearing it for daily activity monitoring, but if you just want something to strap on and monitor your runs, this is a good choice at a low price.

Garmin Forerunner 45

garmin forerunner 35 vs 45 vs 235

If you’re looking for an entry-level GPS fitness tracker, the Garmin Forerunner 45 is one of the finest running watches in its price range.

Aside from built-in GPS, you get optical heart rate monitoring from the wrist, adaptive training plans, smart alerts, music controls, stress tracking, Body Battery energy level monitoring, activity and sleep tracking, VO2 max, and some really cool safety features like live tracking and event detection.

Garmin Forerunner 235

The Garmin Forerunner 235 has a 24-hour wrist-based heart rate monitor and pinpoint GPS for running monitoring.

It would monitor all-day tasks like steps and sleep, as well as show alerts from iPhone and Android smartphones. It’s water-resistant, so you can wear it in the shower or when swimming.

The disadvantages are that heart rate precision suffers during interval training, there are intermittent connection and sync problems, and the Garmin Connect app may be difficult to use.

Direct Comparison: Garmin Forerunner 35 vs 235 vs 45

1- Display

You’ll be checking your running GPS watch often, particularly for text messages or to see how long you ran.

Isn’t it important for the screen to look good? While all three are crisp, they both have various kinds of displays. Here’s a short rundown of what they’re all about:

  • Garmin Forerunner 35: monochrome, 1-inch, 128×128 pixels.
  • Garmin Forerunner 45: color, 1.04-inch, 208×208 pixels.
  • Garmin Forerunner 235: color, 1.23-inch, 215×180 pixels.

Because it is smaller, monochrome, and has the lowest resolution, our Garmin Forerunner 35 review ranks it as the lowest display of the three. However, this does not imply that it is a terrible thing.

It simply says that it isn’t as wonderful as the other two. The display is clear and effortlessly shows messages, numbers, and your current location. It’s a low-cost running GPS that looks nice but isn’t the finest.

This is essentially a competition between the Garmin Forerunner 235 and the Garmin Forerunner 45. According to our Garmin Forerunner 235 review, this display is bigger overall and has excellent color.

Despite the fact that the Forerunner 45 is a newer model, many consumers prefer the 235 display due to its larger size. Now, 0.20-inch may not seem like a great distinction, but it does when it comes to clocks.

However, according to our Garmin Forerunner 45 review, this model has one advantage. Overall, the resolution is somewhat higher. Colors are more vivid, messages are simpler, and everyone seems crisper.

If all you want is a strong screen at a low price, we recommend the Forerunner 35 GPS. If you want a bigger screen, the Forerunner 235 is the way to go.

If the resolution is important to you and you want the clearest screen, the Forerunner 45 is the right running GPS for you.

2- Design

Let’s take a look at the whole watch now that we’ve discussed the display.

You’ll see that the 235 and 45 seem to be more contemporary at first glance. It’s not just the rounded body against the square shape of the 35. Their profiles are still slimmer, and they seem to be newer as a result.

They’re two of the newest operating GPS models on the market, and they look the part. The 35 isn’t a poor unit, so it does seem to be older. Some folks, on the other hand, discover the square design appealing.

It’s a rematch between 235 and 45 this time. In contrast to the display section, where both devices win in distinct ways, the Garmin Forerunner 45 seems to be the better.

Although they have comparable rounded shapes and button setups, the 45 seems to be more elegant and attractive.

All three have silicone bands that are very easy to wear. Whether you’re sweating buckets or sitting quietly at home or at work, you’ll have no trouble wearing this all day.

If silicone isn’t your thing, you can replace the band with another Garmin or any other band compatible with these devices.

None of these are touchscreens, as previously noted. As a result, they all have physical buttons, which is a wonderful thing.

Keep in mind that these are designed to be worn whilst exercising. Do you ever want to use a touchscreen with wet hands? You don’t have to.

The layout of the buttons is pretty comparable. All of them have controls for turning on the device, inspecting your distance and steps, scrolling through notifications, and returning to the previous screen.

The only distinction between the 35 and the 235 and 45 is that the 35 has just one directional button, while the 235 and 45 have two: one for up and one for down.

All three are extremely practical and comfortable. The Forerunner 35 is an older build, so it has a decent button layout and a comfortable band.

Both the Forerunner 235 and the Forerunner 45 have rounded styles and five buttons, so the 45 is somewhat better due to its narrower touchscreen and improved buttons. Both are excellent, but the 45 just edges out the 235 by a hair.

3- Features

So, now that we’ve discussed how these exercise watches appear, how do they perform? Distance, steps, calories consumed, sleep quality, and heart rate are all tracked using identical sensors on all three devices.

We’ll just say it right now: the 45 is the most dependable of the bunch. It’s the most recent of the three models, and it captures the most accurate statistics.

The 235 comes close, but it suffers through tough workouts with a greater than usual heart rate. It seems to be having trouble keeping up with the statistics. We recommend the 45 if you need the most precise statistics.

If you don’t mind using comparable (but less precise) data, the 35 and 235 are still viable options.

When wired to your phone, they all have auto pause, auto lap, app alerts, and certain app controls, such as music controls.

Their general characteristics are comparable, so when you contemplate the other Garmin services they would connect to, things get a little more complicated.

The Garmin Connect IQ shop can be accessed by Forerunner 235. This allows you access to a number of proprietary apps as well as a variety of watch faces and widgets to personalize your watch.

Garmin Coach, a program that helps you prepare for 5Ks and other main fitness objectives, will be connected to the Forerunner 45. It’s optimal for those looking to significantly increase their performance and abilities.

How do they compare? The Forerunner 35 has the fewest features, so it does a good job of covering the essentials.

Garmin Connect IQ offers you access to more designs and apps on the Forerunner 235, and Garmin Coach helps you increase your fitness on the Forerunner 45.

4- Battery Life

You’ll need a GPS that will keep up with you when you’re running. Don’t worry, they both have excellent battery life. But which is the most effective? Let’s see how they compare.

  • Garmin Forerunner 35: 9 days regular, 13 hours GPS
  • Garmin Forerunner 45: 7 days regular, 14 hours GPS
  • Garmin Forerunner 235: 9 days regular, 11 hours GPS

Let me simplify for those of you who have never bought a runner’s GPS or exercise tracker. You could manually switch the GPS on and off on any unit with its own GPS. What is the reason for this? Because it necessitates a large amount of battery power.

The Forerunner 35 lasts over a week while the GPS is turned off, but just half a day when it is turned on, as you can see here.

Unless you’re doing a lot of cardio, all three are fairly equal. The 35 and 235 are significantly better if you’re largely going to use this in normal mode for monitoring steps and app alerts.

If you’re going to use it predominantly for running, the 45 is the better option, followed by the 35.

There is no evident victory in this game. They’re all about the same price that can last a long time.

Even though you have a regular fitness regimen, you’ll just have to charge your watch for a few days.

Why is Garmin Forerunner 235 Better Than the 35 and 45 Models?

  • It has an average battery life of 9.7 days, superior to the 9 days and 7 days of duration that have the Garmin Forerunner 35 and 45 models.
  • Automatic synchronizations.
  • Weight tracking available.
  • It has call control.
  • The display is always on.
  • Tracks water intake.

Why is Garmin Forerunner 45 Better Than the 35 and 235 Models?

  • Resolution: 208 x 208px vs 215 x 180,128 x 128px.
  • Multi-sport mode available.
  • Weight: 36g vs 42,37.3g.
  • It has a touch screen.
  • Supports Galileo.

Why is Garmin Forerunner 35 Better Than the 235 and 45 Models?

The only difference between the Garmin Forerunner 35 and the 235 and 45 models is the screen size, which is 1.3″ compared to 1.23″ and 1.04″ for the 235 and 45, respectively.

Popular User Questions

Is The Garmin Forerunner 35, 45, And 235 Waterproof?

Yes, it’s water-resistant to a depth of 50 meters. This is something that all of the Forerunners have in common. Whether you ask if the Garmin Forerunner 235 or the Garmin Forerunner 45 are waterproof, you’ll get the same thing. They’re all decent up to a distance of 50 meters.


All three of these running GPS devices are excellent, but which is the best? It all boils down to your requirements and preferences.

The Garmin Forerunner 35 is optimal if you want the most inexpensive running GPS but you want thorough data about your running, heart rate, and sleeping patterns.

The Garmin Forerunner 45 is a premium running GPS with all the bells and whistles, a contemporary color screen, and chic styling.

This now communicates to Garmin Coach to assist you in creating comprehensive fitness plans, and it provides the most precise statistics.

The Garmin Forerunner 235 sits between these two. It is slightly less expensive than the 45 and has more characteristics than the 35.

It’s an excellent choice for those who want a lot of features while still saving money.

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