Garmin Forerunner 735XT; Garmin’s Semi Smartwatch with Great Triathon Support

It’s been a while since the Garmin Forerunner 735XT being released to the market. But, this Garmin’s half fitness tracker half smartwatch is still showing its claw until now by placing itself on one of the 2018 worth-buying smartwatches.

What makes it so popular among smartwatch users? Is this Garmin Forerunner 235’s successor really that smart or does it track your fitness that good? We’ll see it in the review below.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT: Semi Smartwatch Product that Tracks in Multiple Sport Profiles.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT; Garmin’s Semi Smartwatch

The addition of “XT” on the back of the model name means a lot for this Garmin Forerunner 735XT. “XT” means that this smartwatch is more than just for runner, but it’s specifically designed for multi-sport enthusiasts or serious triathletes.

It proves by the capability of this watch to track almost everything. It monitors your heart rate sensor, it does all day activity tracking, it has interval training, and most importantly, it does show your phone notification.

Therefore, Garmin Forerunner 735XT is always best to be used for whatever activities you are doing; cycling, swimming, and whatever sports you’re in.

Triathon Support of Garmin Forerunner 735XT

Heart Rate Moitor
Garmin Forerunner 735XT Heart Rate Monitor

Having triathlon support is really one of Garmin Forerunner 735XT attractions. Along with auto-multisport profiles, this feature lets users moving from one sport profile to another just by a touch of a button.

This is the same feature found in its brother Garmin Forerunner 920XT, or other fitness tracker such as Garmin Fenix 3/HR, Polar V800, and Suunto Ambit3.

While for the available sport profiles in Forerunner 735XT, they are swimming, biking, and running, cross-country skiing, strength training, hiking, paddle sports, and trail running. Yes, the device can track your swimming too.

That’s why Forerunner 735XT also has water resistance rating in 5 ATM, means that you can bring the watch to dive until 50 meters of depth.

However, the heart rate monitor doesn’t work when you’re bringing the watch for swim. But, as an option you can go with chest-strap HRM, which available for bundle package, to collect heart rate data when swimming.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT Design

Compact and slim are the first impression come to mind when seeing the design of Garmin Forerunner 735XT. The watch itself is offered in two optional colors; the black one with gray strap for more dark and elegant look, and the blue one with turquoise strap for sportier look.

For the watch face, it has 44.5mm of diameter. If it’s difficult to imagine how big this diameter is, it’s just as big as an Oreo. However, this diameter is not that chunky even though it may look a bit bigger for those who has small wrist.


As for the weight, Garmin Forerunner 735XT weights around 40.2 grams. Surely, it’s lightweight and felt comfortable on hand. Compared to the previous 235, the dimension and weight of Garmin Forerunner 735XT is relatively the same, just slightly smaller and lighter.

However, the company has been succeeded to squeeze all the components inside because the 735XT has everything 235 offers plus many more additional features while maintaining lighter weight and smaller dimension.

Moving to the display, the display of this watch is quite big, which has around 215 x 180 pixels of resolution. This display is not touchscreen, but it’s clear enough and bright.

It’s even still viewable under the direct sunlight. Buttons are placed on the side of watch face. All buttons are clearly labeled (backlight, up, down, forward, and back), so you can easily understand which button to do a specific function.

These buttons can be locked to avoid accidental push during workout, which is very functional to be used.

Notification System

As stated before, Garmin Forerunner 735XT is basically a semi-smartwatch and semi-fitness tracker. It does track your fitness activity, and it does show the notifications directly from your smartphone.

It receives various notifications such as texts, events, and even notifications from your social Medias. This notification is easy to set up too.

Charging Clip
Garmin Forerunner 735XT Charging Clip

However, you can see this notification only, without being able to open it real time in your smartwatch.

So, to know the content of the text for example, or to know what your social media notices you about, you still need to open it in your smartphone, which is a little bit disturbing for some reasons.

Besides, in order to be synced to the Forerunner 735XT, your smartphone needs to turn the location on all the times, which can drain your phone battery very quickly.


Battery life is one big plus of Garmin Forerunner 735XT, which probable can be a big threat for other competitors. With GPS signal on and heart rate monitor working, the watch can last for about 14 hours. This is a big jump from the previous 235, which can only last for about 11 hours.

Moreover, Garmin also provides what’s called UltraTrac mode to extend the battery life to be 24 hours. However, when the UltraTrac mode is enabled, the heart rate sensor will be disabled and the intensity of GPS to ping the satellite is reduced.

While when you’re using the watch as regular watch only and basic activity tracker, the battery life will last up to 11 days.

For more information about the specification of this watch, you can visit Garmin site in this link.

Watch Face

Moving to the charging system, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT has a unique charging clip port as found in FR235, FR630, and FR230. This charging clip acts as both charging units and data synchronizer.

I mean, sure…you must go with the Bluetooth to sync the data. But if BT is not available for some reasons, syncing data using the charging clip could be a better option.

Conclusion and Garmin Forerunner 735XT Price

Using Garmin Forerunner 735XT in everyday use or when doing sport activity is comfortable. The watch felt lightweight on hand, even if it’ not that lightweight. But it’s still comfortable though.

Moreover, it also can track your swimming, which not many smartwatches or fitness trackers can do nowadays. It has accurate GPS, and the triathlon support is really helpful especially when you having multiple sport behavior.

However, based on CNET Review on this watch, it’s said that the watch could be more impressive if it has altimeter to measure ascent and descent.

It’s also told that barometric altimeter should make the watch more functional to measure altitude, so it doesn’t have to employ the GPS in measuring altitude, which can a little bit not accurate and battery-draining as well.

Not only that, some people also thinks that Garmin Forerunner 735XT is a bit overprice, especially when we can find other devices with nearly same features offered in much lower cost. As for the price, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT is offered in £360, $450, or AU$700.

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