Garmin Forerunner 265 vs 965 Which smartwatch to buy?

Garmin Forerunner 265 vs 965 Which smartwatch to buy?

Garmin Forerunner 265 vs Forerunner 965: Choosing the Perfect GPS Sports Watch

Garmin is a renowned brand that offers a wide range of GPS sports watches, constantly refining their products to meet the needs of their customers. One of their popular product lines is the Forerunner series, which caters specifically to runners, offering models for entry-level, advanced, and elite-level needs. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at two of their latest offerings – the Garmin Forerunner 265 and Forerunner 965 – and compare their features to help you make an informed decision on which model is right for you.


Let’s begin by examining the key specifications of these two watches:

Garmin Forerunner 265 Garmin Forerunner 965
Display 1.3-inch, 416×416-pixel resolution, AMOLED 1.4-inch, 454×454-pixel resolution, AMOLED
Materials Fiber-reinforced polymer case material Fiber-reinforced polymer case material with titanium bezel
Storage 8GB 32GB
Water resistance 5 ATM 5 ATM
Connectivity WiFi, Bluetooth, ANT+, multi-band and dual frequency GNSS WiFi, Bluetooth, ANT+, multi-band and dual frequency GNSS
Sensors Optical HR, barometer, compass, altimeter, Pulse Ox Optical HR, barometer, compass, altimeter, Pulse Ox
Battery Smartwatch: 13 days, SatIQ with music: 6.5 hours Smartwatch: 23 days, SatIQ with music: 9.5 hours
Price $449 $599

Garmin Forerunner 265: When Size and Comfort Matter

If you’re looking for a smaller watch that fits comfortably on your wrist, the Garmin Forerunner 265 is the ideal choice. With a 46mm diameter, it is available in a smaller 42mm diameter size (265S model) for those who prefer a more compact option. Compared to its counterpart, the Forerunner 965, the Forerunner 265 feels much lighter and more comfortable to wear, while still featuring a vibrant AMOLED display.

Additionally, if running is your primary activity and you don’t consider yourself an elite athlete, the Forerunner 265 is perfect for you. It excels in heart rate tracking, with its lighter fit making it easier to maintain contact with your wrist. This results in a lower level of light pollution, contributing to accurate heart rate readings. The watch is also great for sleep tracking and features Garmin’s Training Readiness functionality. While the Forerunner 265 supports other activities like climbing and biking, its focus remains on providing an exceptional running experience.

Furthermore, if you’re on a budget, the Forerunner 265 offers excellent value at a price of $449. Despite being priced competitively, it includes a wide range of health and fitness features that have been lauded in previous iterations of the Forerunner series.

Garmin Forerunner 265

Buy the Garmin Forerunner 265: Amazon

Garmin Forerunner 965: Unleash Advanced Features and Navigation

If you heavily rely on maps during your activities, the Garmin Forerunner 965 is the watch for you. Equipped with a larger AMOLED screen, it offers turn-by-turn navigation, displaying streets, trails, and other map features with clarity. Hikers and skiers can benefit from available maps that include point-to-point navigation, points of interest, and Nextfork trail navigation. Compared to the Forerunner 265, the Forerunner 965 offers more advanced navigation features.

For those seeking advanced training features, the Forerunner 965 is the clear winner. While both watches have Training Readiness functionality, the 965 excels with additional features such as Load Ratio, Chronic Load, Acute Load, real-time Stamina, ClimbPro, heat and altitude acclimation, and much more. Triathletes, in particular, will appreciate the advanced training capabilities of the Forerunner 965.

Moreover, if you require a watch that supports both running and golfing, the Forerunner 965 is an excellent choice. While Garmin does sell sports watches specifically for golfers, the Forerunner 965 offers golf support that is comparable to dedicated golf watches. This makes it a versatile option for those who enjoy multiple activities and want a watch that can cover a wide range of pursuits.

Garmin Forerunner 965

Buy the Garmin Forerunner 965: Amazon

Alternatives to Consider

If neither the Garmin Forerunner 265 nor the Forerunner 965 fit your specific requirements, there are other options available in the market worth considering. Bose, Apple, and Fitbit offer their own GPS sports watches, each with their own unique set of features and advantages. It’s essential to explore these alternatives and determine which one aligns best with your needs and preferences.

In conclusion, the Garmin Forerunner 265 and Forerunner 965 are exceptional GPS sports watches that cater to different needs. The Forerunner 265 is a versatile and comfortable watch suitable for runners on a budget, while the Forerunner 965 offers advanced features and navigation capabilities for those who seek a more comprehensive experience. Whichever model you choose, you can rely on Garmin’s reputation for delivering high-quality and reliable smartwatches for your active lifestyle.