Garmin Forerunner 30 vs 35 Comparison

garmin-forerunner-30-vs-35

The Garmin Forerunner 30 and the 35 are some of the best running watches and budget smart watches that you can buy on the market today.

But which is the best, the Garmin Forerunner 30 or Forerunner 35?

They are both very similar, and currently priced around £129.99 ($170). However, the key difference is that the Forerunner 30 is primarily for running activities, wheras the Forerunner 35 can be used for a multitude of different activities such as interval training.

You can also control music on the Forerunner 35 which you cannot do on the Forerunner 30, as well as broadcasting your heart rate data to another Garmin device and the ability to link up with Garmin Footpods.

Before we get started on the full comparison, here are a few quick manuals from Garmin that are worth checking out.

  1. Garmin Forerunner 30 Manual

  2. Garmin Forerunner 35 Manual

Garmin forerunner 30 or 35?


garmin-forerunner-30-or-35-comparison

Before we start looking at the key differences with the garmin forerunner 30 vs 35, lets check out the technical specs behind both smart watches. As you’ll see, they borderline identical, apart from the Forerunner 35 Battery offering Up to 9 days in watch mode & up to 13 hours in training mode.

This is from their website, in practice the battery life is very similar, with both watches providing 12 hours battery life in GPS activity mode.

Lens MaterialChemically strengthened glass
Strap MaterialSilicone
Physical Size35.5 x 40.7 x 13.4 mm, fits wrists with a circumference of 140-200 mm
Display Size23.5 x 23.4 mm (0.93" x 0.93")
Display Resolution128 x 128 pixels
Display TypeSunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Weight37.3 g
Battery LifeForerunner 30:Smart mode: Up to 5 days; GPS mode: Up to 8 hours
Forerunner 35: Up to 9 days, watch mode; up to 13 hours in training mode
Water Rating5 ATM
Memory/History7 activities

What is the difference between garmin forerunner 30 and 35?

So as you can see from the above basic technical specs, you can’t initially see much difference between the two models, as well as actually looking rather similar. So it begs the question: What are the actual differences between the Garmin Forerunner 30 and the 35?

Lets break down the core differences:

Different Colour Choices Available

Essentially on the Forerunner 35 you get 4 different colour choices: Black, Frost Blue, White & Limelight, as can be seen below:

4-colours

However, on the Forerunner 30, you only get access to 3 distinct colours, which are: Black, Turquoise, and Amethyst as seen below also:

garmin-forerunner-30-colours

ANT+ connectivity & Foot Pods

Another difference between the FR30 and the FR35 is that on the FR35 you can connect to Garmin’s Footpods, which are used to estimate cadence when connectivity is bad on indoor tracks for example.

The FR30 lacks the ability to connect to Garmin’s Footpods, which is another reason to get the Forerunner 35.

Their ANT+ Connectivity features allow you to connect all sorts of Garmin Devices, see this example below where they broadcast Vivosmart HR Data onto a GPS Smart Watch:

Forerunner 35 Interval Training Features

If you’re a fan of interval training then you’ll be interested to know that you can track this type of training on the Garmin Forerunner 35, a feature which is not available on the Forerunner 30.

There are some huge benefits to interval training including fat loss and increased cardiovascular benefits, and being able to track your interval training is a really useful feature which is not on the predecessor.

Playing Music on the Forerunner 35

garmin-forerunner-music-android

Another handy feature, when looking at the differences between the garmin foreunner 30 v 35 is the ability to play music on the FR35. Basically you need to connect with your android smartphone, which is not to everyone’s taste as some people wont want to take their phones with them on a run, but it does allow you to control and play music from your watch while connected to your phone.

This is a very useful feature, for example:

  1. Where you’re super inspired, and want to turn the music up mid-run for an extra boost.

  2. if you’re navigating your way through a busy city centre run, and you need to stop for traffic or cyclists for example.

  3. Bypassing a song that doesnt inspire you much and skipping to the next track.

Measuring Heart Rate – Key Differences

Both of these GPS Watches utilise Garmin’s Elevate Technology to monitor heart rate.

This is a key feature on most Garmin Smartwatches and of course, like many other Garmin devices, performs very well.

So what’s the main difference? Well the Garmin Forerunner 35 allows you to set different Heart Rate Alerts, so for example, just say you don’t want your heart rate to go over 175 Beats Per Minute (to be specific!), you can set this up and you will be alerted when you go past this particular metric.

Broadcasting Heart Rate Data

One key thing to note about the Forerunner 35 is that you can broadcast to another Garmin device, such as the Garmin Edge 530.

This is incredibly useful if for example you are using the Garmin Edge 530 while Cycling, you can then see heart rate data on your Garmin Edge, instead of flicking to your watch, you can see all the information you need on the edge directly infront of you.

If you’re using a Garmin Virb camera, you can actually overlay heart rate data ontop of the video.

This is brilliant, as if you’re recording a particularly adrenaline-inducing activity, you’ll see that heart rate data in real time, and it can make for some really interesting videos. See the video below to see an example:

Displaying Weather on the Garmin Forerunner

Another Key Difference between the FR30 and FR35 is that you can display the current weather/temperature and weather forecast on the 35 but not the 30. This is a super handy feature if you’re a bit of an impulse Runner and tend to just jump straight out onto the road before checking the weather forecast!

Pricing

The usual non-sale price of both smart watches is typically £129.99 here in the UK, however, stay alert for deals and especially around Christmas, Garmin tend to run a lot of special deals and discounts on their products.

Conclusion – Forerunner 30 or 35?

Based on what we’ve covered in this review, when considering between the garmin forerunner 30 vs 35, you’d have to be nuts to choose the Forerunner 30 considering the extra features that the 35 has, plus they are almost always the exact same price excluding various deals that Garmin run.

The extra connectivity features on the 35, coupled with the ability to broadcast heart rate data, link up to android smartphones to play and control music, connect to Garmin Footpods etc, the choice is really very simple:

Purchase the Garmin Forerunner 35 over the 30.

FAQ

Does the Garmin Forerunner 35 have a Warranty?

According to their Warranty Policy, Garmin offer a warranty period of 2 years on all non-aviation products, such as the Forerunner, Garmin Edge 530 etc.

This is not a special warranty, it is a normal manufacturers warranty, which is covered additionally by rights you have in the UK by basic consumer law. Essentially, if anything happens to your product within 2 years, which isn’t your own fault, then you can get Garmin to take a look at it and hopefully repair it for you.

Garmin forerunner 30 and strava

Using the Garmin Connect App, you will be able to connect your Forerunner 30 to Strava and log all your vital running information in the app itself. Simply go to Settings > Partner Apps > Strava and you will be able to connect Strava to your Garmin Smartwatch.

Garmin Forerunner 35 v 45

This is another review entirely, which we will get into very soon. Essentially, the Garmin Forerunner 45 is superior to the 35, but there are many similarities also, so it’s really a question of whether you want to spend the extra money on the FR45.