By Adeesh Sharma
If you are a regular walker or a runner, chances are that you are most likely in the prime of health and maintaining a shapely and physically strong body. So when you are able to maintain your fitness regime nicely, why would you need a fitness tracker at all? If you are asking this question to yourself, chances are that you’ve not been introduced to the world of fitness trackers. And this is precisely the segment of population that companies such as Garmin are targeting through this entry-level fitness tracker. For starters, fitness tracker watches go beyond step and distance measurement and provide more details such as heart rate monitoring, calories burnt, average speed, etc.
Did you ever question yourself as to how much heart rate should a person maintain while exercising? What’s the upper limit that a person should not breach? These are but critical questions as there have been instances of people suffering from cardiac conditions due to overexercise. So, there’s something called a target heart rate that varies with age. For instance, a 40 year old should achieve no more than 180 beats per minute during exercise and ideally should remain within the safe zone or the target heart rate of 50%-85% of this value, ie 90-150 beats per minute. Such a heart rate would ensure adequate exercise to heart muscles and also prevent you from any damage due to overexercise.
Light-weight and comfortable to wear
The Garmin Forerunner 35, as the name suggests is an entry-level GPS running watch with an built-in heart-rate monitor. It also has some of the functionality of the smartwatch with wrist-based notifications and call alerts. We strapped the Forerunner 35 on and tested it for a good 15 days to check if it’s actually worth the penny or falls short of expectations.
At 37.3 gms, the device does not feel at bit while being strapped on. Also, it does not pinch you at all even after an hour of jogging in the park. The watch is all plastic with a comfy rubber strap that fits in tightly on to your wrist. It is waterproof too and is claimed to withstand being submerged in upto 50 metres of water. The watch has 1.3-inch square black and white screen with 128 x 128 pixel resolution. No, this is not a touch screen display so you have to keep pressing the buttons on the sides to access the relevant fitness parameters. However, the display fonts are large and can be clearly read even during a run. The watch features four physical buttons—the top left control triggers the watch’s backlight while the bottom left button will take you back through the menus. On the right side, the upper button lets you make selections while the bottom control scrolls down through menus and options. We were able to change the screen conveniently while running and glance through the various important parameters. What’s more, you can even place the parameters that are important for you on top of others for quick access.
Heart rate monitoring and fitness tracking
The integrated heart-rate sensor will monitor how your body reacts to exercise and the built-in GPS will map your route. The GPS works perfectly and the watch is quite accurate in its distance tracking. However, getting the watch to secure a signal after turning it on is time-consuming and actually frustrating. But once the signal has been secured there were no glitches found during our runs. Like other smart watches, Garmin brings call and message notifications directly to your wrist. But scrolling down text is inconvenient and font is a little obsolete for eyes used to smartphones.
The device also keeps a tab on the number of calories you’ve burnt over a period of time and how much distance you’ve actually covered. Using the Garmin Connect app, you can track your progress on a series of graphs and graphics, with continual heart-rate tracking mapped out alongside your cadence and pace. We were impressed by the battery life offered as even after ten days of continuous use the Garmin Forerunner 35 did not require a recharge. And like most smartwatches, the Forerunner 35 comes with its own proprietary charging dock which clings to one side of the watch while charge and is rather weird looking.
Buy this if you are looking for an entry-level fitness tracker. It isn’t pretty looking nor does it offer the complete functionality of a smartwatch. But fitness tracking is what it is meant to do and it does that pretty effectively.