Garmin Forerunner 35 vs 25 – Complete Review and Comparison

Whenever you come to think of a fitness smartwatch, there’s one brand that has made its spot on the top by making sure that its products will be as rugged and robust they can be, and that is Garmin.

Garmin has released several smartwatches which are the best when it comes to providing innovative features, which also includes one of its finest series; Forerunner. In 2014-15 it released two smartwatches Forerunner 25 and 35 respectively, which were loved by the audience at that time.

Today, we will be comparing these smartwatches and their features in detail to see, which one is the true candidate for your wrist and money. So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

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Garmin Forerunner 25 Review

Garmin came up with this smartwatch in 2015, one year after its predecessor Forerunner 15, with a lot of new and improved features. Firstly, Garmin made sure that this watch is wearable by everyone, so it was released in two packages; large and small. Everything is the same in these two packages except for a few parameters.

The small ones have a dimension of 35 x 44 x 13.9mm and are available in black/violet and white/pink. On the other hand, the same smartwatch in the large design has dimensions of 40 x 47 x 13.9mm and is available in black/blue and black/red. Other than this slight change in dimensions, display size, weight, and battery life, everything in them is the same.

This smartwatch has a square-shaped design and by its looks and appearance, it gives the same vibes as Forerunner 15, but the features are quite different than that watch.

The small design comes with a display of 0.73 x o.73 inches (18.5 x 18.5mm), while the large one has a display comprising 0.91 x 0-91 inches (23 x 23mm). The display type is sunlight-visible and transflective memory-in-pixels (MIP). The glass is made up of acrylic material, whereas the watch has 128 x 128 pixels.

The display is not really out of the world, but it still does it its job effectively. To make sure you can see the display in direct sunlight, it has an LED backlight. The brightness of this LED is pre-set and you cannot do anything about it. It also has 4 physical buttons, which are assigned a specific job, and they’ll do your required work quite easily.

The one I’m reviewing here is the larger one, which weighs approximately 39g which makes it a lightweight package per se, along with this, the straps are made up of silicone material and look good on one’s wrist.

Having a GPS tracker in your smartwatch is important, especially when you are a fitness enthusiast and you want your outdoor activities to be tracked precisely. For that, this forerunner comes with built-in GPS tracking, which keeps a tab on your location and activities pretty easily. The GPS let alone can track your pace, distance, calories, lap time, lap distance, average pace, etc.

Like most smartwatches, it offers all-day activity tracking too, where it keeps track of your number of burnt calories, step count, and distance traveled. You can set your records and see if your daily activities are going well with the defined barrier.

It’s just the sedentary reminder, where if you have been sitting in a still position for a long time, the inactivity bar will start filling and after an hour, it will give you the alert to move a little bit.

As this forerunner 25, was launched at the time when this feature wasn’t this popular, but nowadays it is considered important, as you can have insights about your heart rate on your wrist.

This particular smartwatch doesn’t have an optical heart rate sensor, which means there’s no wrist-based heart rate tracking, which is a bummer for sure. Although it still has all the functionality related to HR tracking, that requires a chest strap.

Once, you’ve set up the accessory with this watch, it will keep an eye on your heart rate very precisely. You can use this feature to compare your steady heart rate with the pumped-up one, after a heavy workout to see the actual difference. Along with this, it also alerts the user if the heart rate is considerably high or very low, and it will give you a beep alert according to the situation.

There are no specific sports modes in this smartwatch, which gives the user the opportunity of tracking their favorite games, but that’s understandable because this smartwatch is quite old. That being said, it still can track your indoor and outdoor running with the help of GPS and accelerometer.

If you are just going for a run without any specific parameter, you can just choose the “basic run” option, and it will keep track of your running session by giving all the details about the distance, time, and calories burnt during the very process.

There’s another feature of lap tracking, where it will continuously track down your running session and will give you an alert after completing a lap of defined kilometers or miles.

An auto-pause function is there to make sure the readings are as accurate as possible, as a lot of times, you take a break while running and if the timer doesn’t stop, it will disturb the whole scenario.

If your running session is a mixture of walking and running, you can activate the relevant tracking, and it will take care of the rest by giving you the stats at the end.

Along with these running modes, it also offers indoor running, where you can run on the treadmill and it will be tracked simultaneously. But this indoor tracking is not really up to the mark per se, and Garmin does need to improve this in upcoming smartwatches, which they certainly have.

Live tracking is the feature, where your family members can see your activity stats of burnt calories, distance traveled and the step count. This feature is helpful when you are buying and want to keep it as an activity tracker for kids, where you’ll have the check and balance on their activities by motivating them too.

On the other hand, activity profiles help to create a proper portfolio of your activities and they just won’t disappear out in the open. You will know how much work has to be done to beat your personal best.

It works like a running buddy of yours and keeps on updating whether you’re going with the desired pace or not. You can set your required target which you have to achieve in the defined time, and when you start running, you’ll exactly know are you going to achieve this task by going on this pace or not.

After connecting to the Bluetooth of the required smartphone, it will be able to receive all the notifications of it without any trouble. Although it’s not a standalone smartwatch, since the two-way communication is not there, but being a fitness smartwatch, still can help you if you’re busy in a workout and don’t want distractions by picking up your phone. Just have a glance at it, and you’ll know who’s calling or what the message is.

This smartwatch comes with 5ATM water resistance, which means it withstands water intrusion up to 50m under the water. This makes it not only a water-proof smartwatch but there’s also a basic rest timer feature to track your swimming session. So, jump in the pool, go for light snorkeling, diving and take a bath while having it on, and it will not get damaged by that.

The large and small packaging of this smartwatch has also different battery life as well. The one in large size can last up to 10 weeks in a simple watch option and approximately 10 hours in GPS mode. On the other hand, the small package can last up to 8 weeks in the simple watch, while 8 hours in GPS mode.

Although it’s a known fact, that the GPS connectivity drains the battery the most, if it can last for 10 hours in constant GPS mode, it’s fine. It’s not the best, but it still will do the work for you.


  • Color: Black and Red
  • Weight: 39g
  • Lens material: Acrylic
  • Strap material: Silicone
  • Display size: 0.91-inch
  • Display Type: Sunlight visible, transflective MIP
  • Resolution: 128 x 128 pixels

Key features:

  • All-day activity tracking
  • heart rate tracking
  • Easy syncing with a smartphone
  • Running and walking modes
  • Virtual pacer
  • GPS tracking


  • Smart and stylish
  • Lightweight
  • Smart notifications


  • No wrist-based heart rate tracking
  • No sleep monitoring
  • No sport modes


Recommended For You: Garmin Forerunner 230 vs Garmin Forerunner 235


Garmin Forerunner 35 Review

This forerunner 35 comes in a bit square-edged shape and chemically strengthened glass, which makes it a durable watch per se. The design and shape are quite good and do look eye-catching at first. Although there’s nothing too fancier about it, it still rocks it.

The display of this comprises 0.93-inches (23.5 x 23.4mm), with a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels. The glass is made up of chemically strengthened material, which makes sure it’s durable. This sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display doesn’t offer the user an HD experience given the low pixels, but it is readable under direct sunlight.

As there is no touchscreen and to use its features, it has 4 different buttons, which are assigned for a specific purpose. The two buttons on right are used for scrolling through different features; step count, burnt calories, active minutes, etc., while the ones on the left side of the watch are used for the backlight LED and back button.

To make sure it is held on to your wrist properly, it comes with 4 different options for straps, which you can choose according to preferences. Unlike forerunner 25, it doesn’t come in two different designs of small and large packaging, but since the band is stretchy and has several holes in it, which makes it is suitable for almost every kind of wrist.

Whenever there’s a built-in GPS in any smartwatch, it means its tracking is going to be precise, which in the case of this smartwatch is also true because it comes with this feature, whose job is to keep track of your location and provide a clear sketch of your outdoor activities.

Since this is a proper running smartwatch, its main job is to track your running sessions, whether they are indoor or outdoor running. For that, the accelerometer comes in handy along with GPS tracking, which keeps tabs on several physical traits.

Although this smartwatch was released in 2015 and at that time this feature wasn’t this popular among people, nowadays it has gained such massive popularity, that every smartwatch company tries to include it in the gadget. Garmin did a pretty clever job to introduce the heart rate tracking sensor in this smartwatch, which of course was a breakthrough, as it wasn’t present in this watch’s predecessor.

Although the heart rate tracking ability of this smartwatch is not something to be highlighted, because of the accuracy issues. That being said, it still can measure your heart rate while holding on to your wrist. Use this feature after a heavy workout to see the difference between a steady heart rate and a pumped-up one.

Although it has a wide range of compatibility with smartphones in general, once you connect it to its Bluetooth feature, it makes sure you get ahold of all the notifications which are coming to your phone. Yes, with smart notifications, it can receive all types of notifications on it, whether it’s a text message or an incoming call. Just have a glance at your wrist, if you don’t want to bother using your phone to see who’s been texting you lately.

You can also see the weather updates on this smartwatch as it has a built-in feature to keep you updated with it so that you can postpone your outing plans if the weather is not perfect that day.

If your phone is connected to the smartwatch, you can find your phone from it as well. Not only this but control your phone’s music through this smartwatch, if you’re busy in a workout and don’t want to use the phone. But, this feature is only compatible with Android smartphones and not iPhones.

You can also pair it with the Garmin Connect Mobile app, through which you can sync your stats on it, and don’t have to manually keep tabs on it.

Your all-day activity tracking is done easily with this smartwatch, which makes sure to keep an eye on your step count, distance traveled, and the number of burnt calories. You can always customize your goals and set a defined activity level, which you want to achieve by daily activities.

Just wear this smartwatch while sleeping and it will do the tracking itself. Most people use this feature to see how much sleep they got, as it tracks your sleeping cycles which include; light, deep, and REM cycles.

With the help of the Live track, your relatives and friends can see your fitness activities as well. This feature comes in handy when you are buying this smartwatch for kids because in this way you’ll be able to keep track of their all-day activities.

As a running smartwatch, it does have a lot of features that can be heaven for runners. First off, GPS connectivity provides an accurate outdoor running, along with cadence which provides a real-time number of steps per minute. Along with this, it is also compatible with a foot pod which makes sure to track your running measurements as precisely as it can be.

VO2max feature is also present to give a detailed analysis of your body. As it tells you the amount of time in which your body will be ready for your next workout.

This smartwatch can be a really good companion for cyclists, as it can track their session quite easily. It does support the speed and cadence sensor in this regard, so the cyclists will be getting an alert in the form of a trigger when they reach several goals or predefined goals.

Running and cycling profiles are there to make sure your stats never go unnoticed. Just make your activity profile and your daily or weekly fitness stats will be listed there.

It comes with a water resistance of 5ATM, which means you can take this watch into the depth of 50m, and it won’t get damaged. Although there are no dedicated features for tracking your swimming session, you still can wear it while taking showering, swimming, or light snorkeling.

Garmin claims that this smartwatch can last up to 9 days in basic smartwatch mode and for 13 hours in GPS mode. Considering the GPS, a high draining battery feature, it still is good enough to last for a day in it. although, if you are going to use this feature frequently, you’ll have to charge it every day, otherwise it’s good to go for more than a week.


  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 37.3g
  • Glass material: Chemically strengthened
  • Display size: 0.93-inches
  • Display Type: Sunlight-visible, Transflective MIP
  • Resolution: 128 x 128 pixels
  • Strap material: Silicone

Key features:

  • All-day activity tracking
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Heart rate tracking
  • Sport modes
  • Smart notifications
  • GPS tracking


  • Stylish
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Water-resistant


  • Doesn’t have a lot to offer than running and cycling features in sports modes
  • Battery life can always be better


Forerunner 25 vs Forerunner 35 (Comparison)

Design and display

Forerunner 35 has a comparatively good overall look as compared to forerunner 25, and that is because of its shape and size. Although the size doesn’t matter here, because they have almost the same size, that being said, forerunner 35 still wins the battle here.

Heart rate monitoring

Forerunner 25 does offer heart rate tracking, but for that, you’ll be needing the chest strap as an accessory, which can be a liability for many people. As you cannot wear the chest strap all the time, whenever you want to measure your heart rate, you’ll be needing that.

On the other hand, forerunner 35 comes with wrist-based heart rate tracking, which uses the optical heart rate sensor for the tracking of heart rate. Now, this is where the two smartwatches part their ways, as forerunner 25 doesn’t have this feature of wrist-based heart rate tracking.

For a fitness enthusiastic person or in general, if you want to keep track of your heart rate all the time, forerunner 35 has a clear edge here.

Sleep monitoring

Forerunner 25 doesn’t have a sleep monitoring feature, while forerunner 35 does have it. You can track your sleeping schedule with it quite easily and can get detailed insights about light, deep, and REM cycles during the night.

Cycling feature

Forerunner 35 tracks your cycling session with the help of sensors and accessories, but forerunner 25 cannot do that. So, if you are into cycling and want your sessions tracked, you should choose forerunner 35 over 25.

Battery life

Forerunner 25 comes in two versions; small and large. The large one can last for 10 weeks in smartwatch mode and 10 hours in GPS mode, while the smaller version can last for 8 weeks in smartwatch mode and 8 hours in GPS mode.
As compared to these two, forerunner 35 can last for 9 days in watch mode and 13 hours in GPS mode. However, the forerunner 35 has an edge of a couple of hours in GPS mode, but still, it cannot beat the enormous days of battery life in watch mode, which forerunner 25 has. So, keeping this factor in account, forerunner 25 wins the battle here.


Garmin forerunner 35 will cost you 30 more bucks as compared to forerunner 25, with all the perks and features. If pricing is not an issue, you should go for forerunner 35, but if you’re low on budget, forerunner 25 should be a priority.


Editor’s Verdict

I personally like Forerunner 35 more than forerunner 25, because of many things. Firstly, I love its design, overall look, and appearance over anything. That being said, I’m not against the design and look of forerunner 25, but I feel like it’s quite outdated.

Secondly, its features which include wrist-based heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring, and sport modes are top-notch. As the people nowadays are moving towards smart life and they want to keep track of their every physical activity, I’d prefer forerunner 35 over 25 any day.

However, as far as battery life is concerned, forerunner 25 does beat its successor over here with a large margin in watch mode, so if your usage is not GPS related at all, you should go for forerunner 25, otherwise, Forerunner 35 should be your ultimate pick.



What are the best Garmin forerunner smartwatches?

Ans: Given below are some of the best forerunner smartwatches from Garmin.

  • Garmin Forerunner 35
  • Garmin Forerunner 230
  • Garmin Forerunner 235
  • Garmin Forerunner 45
  • Garmin Forerunner 245
  • Garmin Forerunner 945

Does Garmin forerunner 35 have a touch screen?

Ans: No, forerunner 35 doesn’t have the perks of a touch screen, but it comes with 4 buttons to ease your work of using its features. Each button has been assigned a specific task.

Does Forerunner 35 have a swimming mode?

Ans: No, you cannot track your swimming session with it, however, you can wear it under the water, as it comes with a water resistance of 50m, which makes it immune to water intrusion under such depth.

Can you listen to songs on Forerunner 35?

Ans: You can control your smartphone’s music through this smartwatch, but you cannot listen to music solely on it.

Does forerunner 25 has sleep tracking?

Ans: No, Garmin forerunner 25 does not have the feature of sleep monitoring, but its successor forerunner 35 has that feature, where your sleep will be automatically monitored with detailed insights about it.

For what age group forerunner 25 is recommended?

Ans: There’s no specific age group for what this smartwatch is recommended for, as all the kids, teenagers, and adults can use it.