With the loss of the ability to sync with macOS High Sierra and long GPS acquisition times, I figured it was finally time to replace my Garmin Forerunner 305. Since Fitbit is shutting down most Pebble services, I figured I might as well replace my Pebble Time as well. I settled on the Garmin Forerunner 35 as an inexpensive smartwatch and exercise GPS with heart rate monitoring.
After two weeks with the Forerunner 35, I’m satisfied but not thrilled. It’s convenient going to a single device; however, it isn’t as good of a smartwatch or running GPS as the dedicated devices it replaces.
- Great Battery Life – After 10 days and 3×30 minute runs using GPS, the battery is still reading 25%
- Fast GPS acquisition – When I step outside it’s usually less than 10 seconds to acquire GPS
- Easy synchronization – synchronizing activities with a phone over Bluetooth is much more convenient than a USB connection
- Limited (almost no) customization:
- Watch Face – The watch face only shows the battery, time and date. It cannot be customized (other than converting it from digital to analog)
- Widgets – information screens (notifications, steps, weather, etc.) cannot be reordered
- Notifications – There is no way to filter notifications. Selecting specific apps to show up on my Pebble was one of my favorite features
- Exercise information – There are 4 screens of 3 fields for each. Fortunately these can be configured; however, they are not labeled. If you don’t have all screens configured, you still have to scroll through blank screens
- Controls – Everything is controlled through the 4 physical buttons. There is only a down button for scrolling, so you have to scroll through everything if you hit down an extra time
- Vibrator – I hear the vibration more than I feel it. I think it sounds cheap