clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Circuit Breaker

Garmin's new Forerunner 735XT is an impressive multisport watch

New, 8 comments

Garmin's sport watches are getting more powerful, less clunky


Garmin hasn't been short on wearable announcements lately, but this one is likely to make fitness freaks happy: its newest smart sport watch, the Forerunner 735XT, is a lightweight multisport watch with built-in heart rate tracking, Strava integration, and an 11-day battery life in non-active watch mode.

The Forerunner 735XT natively tracks running, cycling, swimming, hiking, cross-country skiing, strength training, paddle sports, and other cardio activities. It has built-in GPS and optical sensors for heart rate tracking through the wrist, but for people who still prefer the accuracy and immediacy of a chest strap, the watch will pair with one of those, too. And it's the first Garmin watch — possibly the first sport watch — to show Strava app fans their "Suffer Score," a real-time reading on exertion based on heart rate analysis.

The Forerunner 735XT could be the new multisport watch to beat

Like many newer Garmin watches, it wirelessly shares all activity data — including daily steps and sleep data — to Garmin's Connect mobile app. And the watch itself will show smartphone notifications like calls, texts, calendar appointments, and social media updates, though it's unclear whether you can respond in any meaningful way through the watch. Expected battery life in training mode is around 14 hours.

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT isn't cheap — it starts at $450 for just the watch and goes up to as much as $600 for the watch bundled with different heart rate monitors — but that's pretty much in line with the price of Garmin's earlier Forerunner 920XT, a 2014 release that was the most feature-packed multisport watch on the market at the time. The 920XT was much bulkier, though, and didn't have optical heart rate sensors.