Garmin Vivoactive HR vs. Garmin Forerunner 235

Vivoactive HR
Forerunner 235
 GarminVivoactive HRBuy NowGarminForerunner 235Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$250$299.99

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration13 hours to 8 days9 days


Windows Phone




Resolution148 x 205215 x 180
Size1.38 inches1.23 inches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating Systemn/a

Comparing Forerunner 235 and Vivoactive HR

When it comes to choosing a fitness tracker or smartwatch, the Garmin Forerunner 235 and the Garmin Vivoactive HR are popular choices for many people. Both devices are well-designed and offer a range of features to help you stay healthy, active, and connected. In this article, we will discuss the design, build, features, functionality, user interface, user experience, price, and value of these two leading Garmin products.

To make an informed decision, it’s important to consider the reputation and history of the brands behind these products. Garmin is a well-known brand that specializes in GPS technology and designs innovative smartwatches and fitness trackers for sports enthusiasts and casual users alike. With a history of quality products and customer satisfaction, Garmin is a reliable choice for buying a fitness tracker or smartwatch.

Design and Build

Garmin Forerunner 235

The Garmin Forerunner 235 features a sleek design in a lightweight and comfortable package. With a 1.23-inch color display, the watch boasts a resolution of 215 x 180 pixels, delivering clear and easy-to-read data. The watch is made of durable materials like stainless steel and glass fiber reinforced polymer, ensuring a long-lasting, sturdy feel. It also has a water resistance of 5 ATM, making it suitable for various weather conditions and activities.

Garmin Vivoactive HR

Similarly, the Garmin Vivoactive HR is designed with comfort and style in mind. The watch has a slightly larger 1.38-inch color display and a higher resolution of 148 x 205 pixels. Like the Forerunner 235, the Vivoactive HR also has a 5 ATM water resistance, allowing users to confidently participate in outdoor activities. The watch is made of glass fiber reinforced polymer, offering durability and resistance to wear and tear.

Comparison of design and build quality

Both Garmin watches are made from durable and robust materials, ensuring longevity and resistance to damage. They also offer impressive water resistance and are suitable for use in various conditions. While the Forerunner 235 has a slightly smaller screen, its higher resolution provides clarity and ease of use. Each watch offers distinct design elements, making it essential to consider personal preferences when choosing between the two.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Forerunner 235

The Forerunner 235 operates without a specific operating system but seamlessly integrates with Android and iOS devices to provide a wide range of features. Some notable features include sleep tracking, calorie counting, GPS navigation, and heart rate monitoring. The watch offers a lengthy battery life of up to 9 days, making it perfect for extended use.

Garmin Vivoactive HR

Similar to the Forerunner 235, the Vivoactive HR offers an array of features without a designated operating system. With compatibility on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone devices, this watch covers several tracking features like calorie counting, GPS navigation, and sleep tracking. The Vivoactive HR also has a barometer and altimeter, providing helpful information for outdoor enthusiasts. Its battery life ranges from 13 hours to 8 days, depending on usage.

Comparison of features and performance

Both Garmin watches come equipped with a variety of features and compatibility options, making them excellent options for fitness enthusiasts. The Forerunner 235's longer battery life and higher screen resolution may appeal to some, while the Vivoactive HR’s additional barometer and altimeter features may be favored by others. Ultimately, selecting the best watch will depend on individual preferences and requirements.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Forerunner 235

The Forerunner 235 boasts a customizable interface, allowing users to personalize watch faces and data fields. With a responsive touch screen and accessible navigation, the watch is easy to operate. Compatible with Android and iOS devices, the Forerunner 235 provides a seamless experience for users looking to monitor and control features like email, phone calls, and text messages.

Garmin Vivoactive HR

The Vivoactive HR offers a similar user experience, with a customizable interface and easy navigation. In addition, compatibility with Android, iOS, and Windows Phone devices means users can integrate various features like email, phone calls, and text messages. The watch also features an audio speaker, allowing for increased accessibility and convenience.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

Both Garmin watches offer a user-friendly interface with customizable options for personalization. However, the Vivoactive HR has the added benefit of an audio speaker, providing an easier way for users to interact with the watch. Additionally, the Vivoactive HR is compatible with Windows Phone devices, expanding its range of user compatibility.

Price and Value

Garmin Forerunner 235

With a price of $299.99, the Forerunner 235 provides a wide range of features and capabilities for users looking to invest in a quality fitness tracker or smartwatch.

Garmin Vivoactive HR

At a slightly lower price of $250, the Vivoactive HR presents an excellent value option for those looking to purchase a versatile and functional smartwatch.

Comparison of price and value

When comparing the price and value of the Garmin Forerunner 235 and Vivoactive HR, both watches offer competitive prices in relation to their features and capabilities. The personal preferences and requirements of potential buyers will ultimately dictate the best choice between these two high-quality, reliable options.


In conclusion, both the Garmin Forerunner 235 and the Garmin Vivoactive HR are excellent choices for fitness enthusiasts or casual users alike. With their robust builds, unique features, and user-friendly interfaces, deciding between the two depends on individual preferences, specific requirements, and budget considerations.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the main difference between the Garmin Forerunner 235 and the Garmin Vivoactive HR?

The main difference lies in the additional features offered by the Vivoactive HR, such as the barometer and altimeter, as well as compatibility with Windows Phone devices. The Forerunner 235, on the other hand, has a higher screen resolution and longer battery life.

2. Are both watches suitable for swimming?

Yes, both the Forerunner 235 and the Vivoactive HR have a water resistance of 5 ATM, making them suitable for swimming and various other water activities.

3. Can I connect these watches to my smartphone?

Both watches can be connected to Android and iOS devices, with the Vivoactive HR also offering compatibility with Windows Phone devices.

4. Can I customize the watch faces and data fields on both watches?

Yes, both the Garmin Forerunner 235 and the Garmin Vivoactive HR offer customizable watch faces and data fields, allowing users to personalize their devices according to preference.

5. Which watch has the longer battery life?

The Garmin Forerunner 235 has a longer battery life of up to 9 days, compared to the Garmin Vivoactive HR, which ranges from 13 hours to 8 days depending on usage.

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