When you get into the $500 range, you have pretty high expectations unboxing a watch. The first thing you notice about the Garmin 935 is how staggeringly light it is for its size, thanks to the plastic construction. This is Garmin’s most premium running and multisport watch before you get to the Fenix series, while offering most of the same features. And it’s packed with features, from telling you the weather and how many steps you’ve taken that day to tracking all the relevant metrics throughout a triathlon, including your transition times, and controlling music on your phone.
Beyond the individual features of the watch, one big advantage of a Garmin is that the company has been in the running data biz for so long and with such zealousness that there are advantages to joining the club. For example, Garmin is compatible with lots of third-party products and apps, from Final Surge and TrainingPeaks to external sensors and power meters (it’s own and others) that connect via Bluetooth or ANT+ protocols. Garmin also partners with Firstbeat to deliver insights into your workouts that other watches offer but not with as much detail — so you’ll get your VO2 max and lactate threshold, but also insight into how hard you’re training and whether you need to lay off or push harder.
The phone app and Connect IQ web app are also robust, with a really granular look at all your activities, plus the ability to plan workouts that you can export to your phone. Want to run a marathon? No problem. There’s a 16-week plan that tells you exactly what to do.