As Garmin has moved through their development cycle of product over the last few years we have seen a recurring theme of the merging of two or more platforms into one – a phenomenon I will coin “Tech Mating.”
The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is the latest of this new tech mating ritual, which is the offspring of the Garmin Forerunner 920XT and the Fenix3 HR. Make no mistake about it, the Forerunner 735XT is a multisport/triathlon powerhouse of a watch that is packed with some incredible features and can be used for triathlons or other events lasting in the 12-14 hour range.
New add-ons to the Garmin Forerunner 735XT (over the Forerunner 920XT) include:
- Strapless Optical Heart Rate Sensor (does not work in the swim)
- The first Garmin wearable to support the new Garmin Varia Vision heads-up display
- Strava Suffer Score (requires the HR functionality to be turned on)
- Stress Score
- Shimano Di2 shifting integration
- Structured swimming workouts
- Cycling FTP
- Running Lactate Threshold Test
- Intensity minutes
- Phone-based audio prompts
If you are considering a multisport watch or already own the Garmin FR920XT, then there are a couple of key things you need to know about the FR735XT. Below is a list of these key points:
- Battery Life: The battery life is 14 hours compared with the 920’s 24 hour life; this is very important information based on how long you think you might be racing.
- Quick Release Kit: The 735XT does not have a quick release option due to the Optical HR Sensor. The quick release is used to remove the head of the watch from your wrist to place on your bike and vice versa.
- Barometric Altimeter: The 735XT purely uses GPS data to derive elevation. This can degrade some accuracy, but is not a game stopper.
- WiFi: The 735XT does not have WiFi, but it does transfer data from the head unit to your compatible device (e.g. iPhone, Android) via Bluetooth.