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Garmin Finally Made a Running Watch That Doesn't Look Like One

Garmin is updating its mid-tier GPS running watch lineup with the Forerunner 35, a $199 device that now includes a wrist-based heart rate monitor, smartphone notifications and music controls.

The Forerunner 35 uses Garmin Elevate, the company's optical heart rate monitoring technology that's also in its lower-priced Garmin Vivosmart HR, as well as higher-end GPS watches.

Photo Credit: Garmin

(Image credit: Photo Credit: Garmin)

The Forerunner 35 has a more rounded and refined design than its predecessor, the Forerunner 25, and will come in black, limelight, frost blue and white when it's available for sale in the third quarter of this year.

In addition to tracking running data, steps and estimated calorie burn, users can set up phone, text, email and calendar notifications and control music when paired with a smartphone, according to Garmin. The Forerunner 35 can also track cycling and other cardiovascular activities, the company says.

Garmin says the new Forerunner's screen, with high resolution and contrast, makes it ideal for both indoors and outdoor use.

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The Forerunner 35’s battery can last up to nine days in watch and activity tracking mode, in which steps, distance, calories burned and smart notifications can be enabled, according to Garmin. The battery can last 13 hours when it's in training mode with GPS enabled, the company says.

While it’s similar in price and features to the Samsung Gear Fit and Garmin Vivosmart HR+, the Forerunner 35’s larger screen, longer battery life and physical buttons make it better suited to more active runners.

We’re interested to see how well the Forerunner 35 performs out on the track, so stay tuned.

Althea Chang is Associate Director of Content Development for Consumer Reports and was previously a Senior Writer for Tom's Guide, covering mobile devices, health and fitness gadgets and car tech.