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  • Stick or Twist on Firmware/GPS...

    I've had a 935 since June 2018 and for the first couple of weeks it was fine, for example my first open water swim the day after I received the watch on firmware 7.70 was great, but the next OW swim on firmware 9.70 was where I noticed things were amiss... Since then firmware after firmware update has introduced more issues to the point where the watch became unreliable for running and cycling too. I gathered all the evidence and sent this over to Garmin Support and they just said the watch needed replacing. Fair enough. I could paste all the evidence here if it would be of any use, but its not really the point. I know lots of other people have had issues with this watch's firmware but in truth I have no way of knowing of my issues were indeed a faulty watch, and just unlucky, or it was/is firmware/GPS related. I gather a lot of people are happy with their watch, so can't be all bad.

    Now that I have my new 935, which I bought because Garmin wanted to give me a refurb (no thanks), I'm slightly afraid to update it. I turned auto update off straight away and it's running on version 6.10 with GPS 4.30. For the record I considered another watch, even another brand, but I really like the watch for it's looks, weight and features (when they work...)

    I went for a 15 mile run today using both my old and new watch with identical settings (one on each wrist) and the old watch failed to record anything useful apart from distance, but it was interesting to see just how bad it was. It's running v11.0 firmware and GPS 2.30. The elevation was off by around 2200ft for example.

    Part of me says if it ain't broke, don't fix it, which is a little foolish as I'm probably going to miss out on some features, but my lack of trust is stopping me updating the device. What would you do if in the same situation? Stick or twist??


  • #2
    Two 935s in this house. Both fully updated. Both not having any issues - particularly since they fixed the OW swim just in time for us to get in the sea up here in the Southern Hemisphere :-)

    Our experience with Garmin devices over the years (back to the FR305) has been overwhelmingly positive; we've always had two of the same model. Sure, we've had some issues eg 310XT not seeing time when turned off (swapped out two devices) but neither of us have been as unlucky as some. We pool swim and OW swim. mountain and road bike, road and trail run, on average 10hrs per week. So they have a reasonable amount of use.

    However, others appear to have an unrelenting stream of issues, irrespective of the model and firmware level.

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    • #3
      I too haven't had any issues with my 935. Currently on FW 11.00 and GPS 2.30. I think it's safe to update. It sounds as if your first watch has a barometer or temperature sensor issue. Did you happen to have the barometer and temperature set as data fields on the watches and notice a difference? Maybe it's something as simple as a obstructed sensor port. Have you tried a soak in warm water and mild dish soap? I read on the VA3 forum that someone had the same problem. After they soaked it, they used to coffee straw to gently blow into the port. They said they had either calcium or lime deposits in the port from tap water. Another used a water pik flosser to clean their port, but that seems a little risky to me. I would be afraid the pressure would damage the sensor.
      Last edited by TMK17; 12-09-2018, 08:50 PM.

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      • #4
        I’m another one who has had very few issues with my 935. I’ve had it since December 2017, and always update to the latest firmware (usually including beta releases).

        I dealt with some of the open water issues when they updated the GPS from 4.x to 2.x (nice numbering sequence, Garmin!) and a couple of annoying bugs here and there, but to be honest 11.0 has been the best in terms of features and being bug free. I’ve skipped the latest betas because of this and for what it’s worth, if I were in your position I would not hesitate to update to 11.0.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TMK17 View Post
          I too haven't had any issues with my 935. Currently on FW 11.00 and GPS 2.30. I think it's safe to update. It sounds as if your first watch has a barometer or temperature sensor issue. Did you happen to have the barometer and temperature set as data fields on the watches and notice a difference? Maybe it's something as simple as a obstructed sensor port. Have you tried a soak in warm water and mild dish soap? I read on the VA3 forum that someone had the same problem. After they soaked it, they used to coffee straw to gently blow into the port. They said they had either calcium or lime deposits in the port from tap water. Another used a water pik flosser to clean their port, but that seems a little risky to me. I would be afraid the pressure would damage the sensor.
          I haven't tried any of these so-called fixes like soaking the device etc because (in my opinion) the watch shouldn't have this inherent weakness and unless I'm swimming in mud I shouldn't really need to perform this kind of "fix". Like you, it's too risky and I would be afraid of doing further damage and possibly voiding my warranty. For a high end device it should just work, simple as that.

          I think you're right in that there is an issue with the barometer and/or temp sensor, but it's not great that I've now had issues on the 935 and the 920xt before it. I think this time around though the firmware issues have complicated matters. Waiting months for a fix for open water swimming and elevation in peak season (northern hemisphere) has not been very good. However, I'm happy that others are reporting they have fully working devices now so may go ahead and update it...*gulp*

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ericgottlieb View Post
            I’m another one who has had very few issues with my 935. I’ve had it since December 2017, and always update to the latest firmware (usually including beta releases).

            I dealt with some of the open water issues when they updated the GPS from 4.x to 2.x (nice numbering sequence, Garmin!) and a couple of annoying bugs here and there, but to be honest 11.0 has been the best in terms of features and being bug free. I’ve skipped the latest betas because of this and for what it’s worth, if I were in your position I would not hesitate to update to 11.0.
            That's reassuring, thanks.

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            • #7
              I will give you my 2 cents. a while back i got a 935 and the current firmware was 9.6 i think. the floors were wrong, elevation on my bike was wrong. it drove me nut. the battery life was stellar though and the watch looked super great. i just returned it. not sure if it was hardware related but did not want to bother. I kept following threads on forum and found out that 9.10 with 4.40 gps was a stable release so i decided to give it another shot. at that time 11.x was out but a few usrs were complaining about a few issues. i got my watch and it came with 8. i upgraded to 9.10 and have stuck with it since then. Floors count right, gps is fine but i live at the beach Have not have any issues with the watch and i am very happy with it. Do i need to upgrade to the latest firmware ? not sure really. I will keep watching the forum until i see a release that makes everybody happy. I swim and laps are fine. I ride my bike and everything looks good.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Pierrotsc View Post
                ????Do i need to upgrade to the latest firmware ? not sure really. I will keep watching the forum until i see a release that makes everybody happy.
                You'll have a better chance at winning the lottery then waiting for a release that doesn't have someone with issues.

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                • #9
                  Well I upgraded after having zero problems using the watch this week on it's original firmware and GPS. Now on 11.00 and GPS 2.30. Trail run tomorrow morning so will see if I have any issues...

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                  • #10
                    @Rob.75 Let us know.I really do not see the reason for me to upgrade from 9.1. Everything looks great with this firmware for me. I only pair it with a HRM-tri and everything is good.

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                    • #11
                      First run today seemed ok. Elevation was ok, maybe out by up to 100ft but that's well within an acceptable range for me. I may try a bike ride tomorrow and see how that goes.

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                      • #12
                        Did a 40 mile bike ride as I mentioned and tracked it using my Edge 1030 as well as the 935. The 935 was again around 100ft lower in elevation. To me this is acceptable. So, for me at least, firmware v11.00 (and GPS 2.30) has not caused any issues. I won't be able to test open water swimming for a few months of course, but for now I am happy enough.

                        It has made me wonder if a firmware version between 6 and 11 has broken something for many people (including my old 935) which was not resolvable by upgrading further, or whether it is just an unlucky hardware failure. Perhaps I am over-thinking things here though

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                        • #13
                          My wife's OW swim track this morning with her 935 - https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3232785021
                          and mine with an F5+ for comparison - https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3233078119

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                          • #14
                            That looks like it tracked ok. Better than the F5+ which is a bit odd. Aren't they basically the same watch?

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                            • #15
                              Same same but different. Antenna placement and construction.

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