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Garmin's new Forerunner 35 watch has wrist-based heart rate sensors

Garmin's new Forerunner 35 watch has wrist-based heart rate sensors


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There are few known certainties in the world, but I'm starting to believe Garmin releasing a new wearable every month is one of them. In the past four months alone we have seen the introduction of the Forerunner 735XT, the Vivomove, the Vivosmart HR+, the Approach X40 golf tracker, and the Garmin Fenix Chronos.

Today is no exception: Garmin has just announced the Forerunner 35, an update to the popular Forerunner 25 watch. The biggest differences between the previous version and this new one are a sleeker build, a high-resolution display, longer battery life claims, and most notably, the addition of wrist-based heart rate sensors to the Forerunner 35 (you could pair the FR25 with a chest strap, but it didn't have heart rate sensors built in).

Garmin's Forerunner 35 has a battery life of nine days

Garmin says the watch comes with multiple different sport modes, like walking, running, cycling, treadmill running, and a variety of other cardio activities. It does not track swimming, though it is waterproof up to 50 meters. It tracks distances with built-in GPS, a staple of Garmin's Forerunner wristwatches. The new battery life claims are around nine days in "regular" watch mode, with basic activity tracking; and 13 hours in GPS mode.

As with most other wrist wearables these days the Forerunner 35 also performs some of the basic functions of a fitness-tracker-slash-smartwatch: counting steps and calories burned, showing notification alerts from the smartphone, and offering music controls from the wrist. It pairs with Garmin's Connect mobile app, which is available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and desktops.

The Forerunner 35 will ship sometime this fall for $200, which means it's much less expensive than the Forerunner 735XT ($450) and costs less than even the Vivoactive HR ($250), both of which track swimming. Sometimes simpler is better.