Garmin Forerunner 935 vs. Garmin Instinct

Forerunner 935
 GarminForerunner 935Buy NowGarminInstinctBuy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$500$300

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


DurationUp to 2 weeks14 days


Windows Phone




Resolution240 x 240128 x 128
Size1.2 inches0.9 inches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM10 ATM




Operating System

Comparing Instinct and Forerunner 935

When considering two of the most popular smartwatches on the market, the Garmin Forerunner 935 and Garmin Instinct, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each device. Smartwatches serve as an invaluable tool for tracking various aspects of physical activity, staying connected, and enhancing daily life. With a rich history in producing high-quality and reliable wearable technology, Garmin has earned a solid reputation in the industry. This guide will explore the specifics of both the Garmin Forerunner 935 and Garmin Instinct, offering comprehensive information to make the most informed decision.

Choosing the right watch is not only essential for your fitness journey, but also for your overall satisfaction with the product. One must examine the smartwatch’s design, build, functionality, user experience, price, and value, enabling you to find the perfect fit for your individual needs. By delving deep into these factors, this article aims to help make that choice clear and straightforward.

Design and Build

Garmin Forerunner 935

The Garmin Forerunner 935 is built with a fiber-reinforced polymer casing and a silicone strap, contributing to its light weight and durability. It features a 1.2-inch (30.4mm) color LCD screen, with a resolution of 240x240 pixels, ensuring crisp and clear display. The slim design and comfortable fit make it ideal for daily wear and rigorous activities.

Garmin Instinct

The Garmin Instinct, on the other hand, has a more rugged design, built with similar fiber-reinforced polymer materials and silicone straps. It features a smaller screen at 0.9 inches (22.9mm) and lower resolution of 128x128 pixels. The focus here is on strength and durability, providing a robust yet functional smartwatch.

Comparison of design and build quality

Comparing the design and build quality, both devices share similarities in their material composition, ensuring durability and reliability. The Forerunner 935 offers a sleeker design, larger, higher-resolution screen, while the Instinct focuses on ruggedness and strength. Choosing between the two will depend on what you prioritize: aesthetics and screen size, or robustness and ruggedness.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Forerunner 935

The Forerunner 935 does not have a specific operating system, but it is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. It features various sensors, including an accelerometer and barometer, and can track multiple fitness activities such as cycling, swimming, and sleep tracking. The device also boasts a two-week battery life, making it suitable for extended use.

Garmin Instinct

Like the Forerunner 935, the Garmin Instinct also lacks a specific operating system but is compatible with Android and iOS devices. It has essential sensors such as an accelerometer and barometer, and can track some fitness activities like steps, sleep, and heart rate. Its battery life is also two weeks, providing lasting power for users.

Comparison of features and performance

While both devices offer similar compatibility, features, and battery life, the Forerunner 935 outshines the Instinct in terms of fitness tracking capabilities. With support for cycling and additional fitness activities, the Forerunner 935 provides a more comprehensive fitness experience. However, the Instinct still delivers essential features, proving to be a reliable and affordable option.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Forerunner 935

The display on the Forerunner 935 allows for easy navigation and seamless access to various apps and features. With device customization and compatibility with smartphones, the Forerunner 935's user experience is refined and intuitive.

Garmin Instinct

With its smaller screen size and lower resolution, navigating the user interface of the Garmin Instinct may be slightly more challenging than the Forerunner 935. However, it still offers apps, customization, and compatibility with Android and iOS devices for a satisfactory user experience.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

Comparing the user interface and experience, the Forerunner 935's larger screen and higher resolution provide a more enjoyable and seamless experience. However, if screen size and resolution aren’t critical factors for you, the Instinct still offers adequate functionality and compatibility.

Price and Value

Garmin Forerunner 935

With a price tag of $500, the Garmin Forerunner 935 offers a comprehensive range of features and functionality that justify its higher cost. Its sleek design, advanced fitness tracking capabilities, and seamless user interface make it an attractive option for those willing to invest in their fitness journey.

Garmin Instinct

The Garmin Instinct is priced at $300, making it a more accessible option for those looking for a durable and reliable smartwatch. While it may not match the Forerunner 935 in terms of advanced fitness tracking, it still delivers solid performance and value for money.

Comparison of price and value

The primary differences between the Garmin Forerunner 935 and Garmin Instinct come down to design aesthetics, fitness tracking capabilities, and price. If you desire a comprehensive fitness tracking experience with a sleek design, the Forerunner 935 is worth the investment. However, if you seek a durable and reliable device with essential features at a more affordable price, the Garmin Instinct is the better choice.


Ultimately, the choice between the Garmin Forerunner 935 and Garmin Instinct depends on your personal preferences and needs. Both devices offer durability, compatibility, and a variety of features, with each catering to different user priorities. By considering design, build, functionality, user experience, and price, you can confidently select the most suitable device for your fitness journey and daily life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Garmin Forerunner 935 better than the Garmin Instinct for fitness tracking?

Yes, the Garmin Forerunner 935 offers more comprehensive fitness tracking capabilities, making it a better choice for those focused on tracking a wide range of activities.

Which device offers better value for money, the Forerunner 935 or the Instinct?

The Garmin Instinct offers better value for money due to its lower price and essential features, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable and affordable smartwatch.

Do both the Garmin Forerunner 935 and Garmin Instinct have GPS functionality?

Only the Garmin Instinct comes with built-in GPS functionality, while the Garmin Forerunner 935 does not.

Are both the Garmin Forerunner 935 and Garmin Instinct compatible with Android and iOS devices?

Yes, both devices are compatible with Android and iOS devices, though only the Forerunner 935 is compatible with Windows Phone.

Which device has a better screen, the Garmin Forerunner 935 or the Garmin Instinct?

The Garmin Forerunner 935 has a larger and higher-resolution screen compared to the Garmin Instinct, providing a superior viewing experience.

All Wearables