Garmin 935 – Future Changes – 935plus or 945 ?

We like the Garmin Forerunner 935 and, with its hefty price tag, ALL of us should like it.

Sure, it’s not perfect. Maybe it’s more perfect than most or less imperfect than most…depending on how you see it. Either way it would be foolish to deny that the Garmin 935 is a REALLY GOOD TRI Watch. I use mine most days.

Garmin 935 STRYDHowever, the world does not stand still. The competition will be catching up…slowly. And you can bet your bottom dollar that Garmin are working on a Fenix 6 and a Forerunner 945 right NOW. Probably they are even conceptually working on a Fenix 7 and a Forerunner 955 right now. But let’s not go there.

I want to explore what  you all want improving on your 935. Let’s leave the question open-ended as to whether or not your desired improvement could theoretically be made by firmware changes rather than a new hardware component. Let’s also leave out the correction of peripheral bugs; although please note that GPS inaccuracy is NOT a trivial bug IMHO.

Further note: I do NOT see a 935plus version coming up (I could be wrong) and I do NOT see most of these making their way into the 935 unfortunately.

Discussion Base: Firmware 7.6 (changelog here)

Edit: I will put in bracket either [935] or [945] or [No] to indicate if when I think these features will come.

These are areas for improvement as I see it. comment below or you can make a multi-option vote below to express your innermost tech desires. Let’s see what we all want

  • Screen – I want a beautiful high res, OLED colour screen. Something like the Apple Watch 3 would be a battery-eating, awesome improvement on the existing 240px diameter resolution. [NO]
  • Navigation – The 935 has navigational abilities with its onboard barometer and compass. Maybe you want some more improvements, maybe even a smaller-screen version of the 5X’s onboard maps? {NO]
  • GPS improvement – let’s talk about just making GPS a bit better. Currently Open Water GPS is actually pretty good compared to other devices but as a foundation for Garmin’s running power and instant running pace then the 935’s GPS is simply not good enough and not as good as other devices. Keep the same hardware but make it work better please. [NO]
  • GPS + GLONASS +  Galileo – the chip is already Galileo compatible and Garmin support Galileo on their Foretrex product. Potentially we are talking about 1m levels of accuracy with Galileo as well as increased likelihood of achieving stated accuracy levels. Theoretically this should make instant pace more accurate, more often. [945]
  • oHR/Elevate – I love my steady-state running optical heart rate monitor an the 935’s most recent iteration of Garmin’s Elevate sensor. BUT it’s just not good enough for anything else, for me, other than steady state running. Better algorithms please and/or better hardware eg build in data quality measures into the algorithm like Valencell (copyrighted). [945]
  • Improved sensor connectivity – I’ve not found anything to upset me with how the 935 loses connections, others have found connectivity an issue. [945]
  • Lighter – hey, it’s 49g already [945]
  • Size – larger than the existing 47x47x13.9 mm, 30.5 mm dia screen. [NO]
  • Shape – rectangular with ability to further minimise wasted space eg by increasing font size and removing units of measure displayed. [NO]
  • Onboard music – like the Forerunner 645 [935, maybe – doubt it]
  • Music STREAMING – like the Apple Watch [NO]
  • Onboard SIM – Really? Sure you don’t want a Fenix 6? The 935 is a tri watch, remember? Although a SIM could open up some new and cool features [NO]
  • Touchscreen – Please don’t vote for this. Please. [NO]
  • Garmin pay – NFC payments from your favourite bank [935, maybe – doubt it]
  • Firstbeat metrics – Hey you already have 12 Firstbeat features. don’t be greedy now :-). Although there are 20 in total. [945]
  • Adaptive Training – Garmin are already moving down this route by integrating Firstbeat metrics. If done properly your training program will be adapted day-to-day based on your readiness-to-train and dynamically within the workout itself. Theoretically ‘perfect’ stimuli could be recommended to you…the optical HRM you are using will likely make it ‘less perfect’. For an existing power-based solution like this see Xert (run or bike). [945]
  • Realtime coaching – In-workout instructions either on-screen or audibly [945, doubt it]
  • Running Power improvements – in addition to improving the algorithm, I would like Running Power to be treated like Bike power eg with all the same power-features, like Zones [935, eventually]
  • Better lapping functionality – I’d like laps within autolaps and laps within segments and laps based on GPS, all customisable [NO]
  • FE-C to control that pesky smart trainer [945, maybe]
  • Battery – Wanting a better battery life is NOT an admission that you are rubbish at Ironman. You want to be able to do an Ironman (HIM?) in a reasonable and average time AND be able to have all your device’s bells and whistles enabled eg oHRM, GLONASS and smartphone connectivity features like Group/Live track, whilst listening to ‘Keep on running‘ [945]
  • Pervading gym connectivity to non-ANT+ and non-BLE devices eg Polar Gymlink [NO]
  • Foot-based running gait metrics – to augment HRM-RUN and RD-POD. Kinda like RunScribe. [945, maybe, doubt it]

What features do you want to add to the existing 935?

You can only vote once a week BUT can make many selections. Please make a selection before trying to see the results. Click wisely young padawan:


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20 thoughts on “Garmin 935 – Future Changes – 935plus or 945 ?

  1. Interesting results so far… I like the idea of an eSIM for real time position updates without a phone – but I think that’s just too complex to arrange and agree with the carriers. Its been hard enough launching the Apple Watch with the SIM in it, and thats got HUGE appeal compared to garmin trying it.
    I’d like to be able to load music from streaming services – kinda like what Mighty does. But I dont want to take a big hit on battery (Mighty battery is shockingly bad), and dont want to have to charge bluetooth headphones so would want a 3.5mm jack. Aint gonna happen!
    The Galileo update seems to be the obvious step – but I doubt they will just enable open it on the 935 as there is money to be made in marketing the upgrade. Shame, but I cant see it happening any other way.

    • early days, I know.
      not surprised about the GPS.
      good point about the CARRIERS
      I haven’t done these polls for years and, even back then, still eventualy got >500 replies.
      hopefully this might become statistically significant. …and interesting

    • Seeing a serious improvement with Galileo would need an antenna that can handle the E5 band signals as well as L1, and I doubt the 935 antenna does so. The frequency is about 25% lower. I doubt it’ll happen with a 935 firmware release, and if it does I doubt it’ll support dual frequency, so it may make no more difference than enabling Glonass does.

  2. I am quite surprised that improvements to running power isn’t ranking higher.
    In all fairness most of these points are either incremental improvements or “gimmicks” (ie music) while running power based work out is a totally new feature

  3. Adaptive Training piqued my interest. Linked to HRV it would be good to know that every day you’ve maximised your training potential, even if that meant taking a rest day.

    • eg Suunto 3, eg firstbeat athlete, BioforceHRV recently did a study based on it and,unsurprisingly, found better results from those who followed an adaptive plan. with specific ref to HRV tho – rubbish in, rubbish out.

      • I tried ithlete HRV for 1yr – never really bought in to the results it was telling me – increasing stress levels. The repeated bad news every morning seldom left me motivated for the day. I’m better at listening to my own body now, but I’m very capable at lying to myself just to complete a pre-set running plan.

  4. I chose 7 items and they all made to the top 10 requests. But I think you forgot to add Garmin Pay / NFC to the list. I use my 935 everyday and I’d love to use Garmin Pay.

  5. Excellent poll, having given up triathlon (please keep reading) the 935 was my goto watch, transitioned to ultra running and thought I needed a Fenix 5x, so I sold my 935 and embarked on the 5x. I knew it was going to be big on my wrists, but never got on with it, just too big!

    So, selfishly, I’d love a 945 with maps I could use for ultras, 24 hours GPS and improved accuracy in that department too. Whilst retaining a small form factor.

    Absolutely no chance I know, but one can wish 🙂

    Currently, I’m without a watch for the first time in a decade of using them, uncharted (excuse the pun) territory!

    Any ultra runners out there with small wrists and clue what watch to buy… Count me in that camp.

    Sunny

  6. OK, what am I missing here? How do I take the survey and vote? I don’t see any links.

    But the single biggest item for me that would get me to update in heart beat, is onboard SIM. It’s almost enough to make me consider an AW. Almost. Galileo and F5x maps would be close seconds.

    • A simple plausibility check needs to be implemented. It should be based on HRrest, HRmax, LTHR, and FTP – all these informations are stored on Garmin Connect (and the connected device).

      From all the collected user data a broad range of ‘pulse to watt ratios’ can be calculated; and if you want to do it right, take temperature (e.g. tempe) into account too.

      If the measurement via oHR suddenly outputs values which do not fit into the “usual grid” (with adjustable tolerance) of the respective user, the device and Garmin Connect should take this session out of the equation automatically. Optionally a query should come up, whether/how this session has to be handled. There’s a quite broad range of ‘typical errors’ (e.g. sudden pulse increase’ by 30-150bpm within 1-2 seconds), which could be filtered easily.

      With the current state of implementation the whole Firstbeat calculations can be completely messed up – with a single session. And that’s crap.

  7. They need to increase the screen size in the footprint by reducing the wasted bezel space. This has improved over time, but still needs improved greatly.

    • that’s a good point.
      a related point i have also repeatedly made elsewhere is that the title line of data fields eg ‘heart rate’ or ‘pace’ should be optional. if the title line is removed the number should be saled bigger and/or additional data fields allowed.

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