Garmin Forerunner 265 vs Forerunner 965: What is the distinction?

For 2023, Garmin up to date its in style operating watches with AMOLED shows; ditching the muted transflective LCD panels and changing them with brighter, extra vibrant shows with excessive distinction ranges. Each the Forerunner 265 and Forerunner 965 have been given the brand new show, however how do these two fashions evaluate, and will you save somewhat cash and nonetheless get a high-quality expertise on the cheaper mannequin? We evaluate all of the specs under.


  • garmin forerunner 965 square-1


    Garmin Forerunner 965

    Garmin’s top-tier Forerunner affords all the corporate’s greatest health and life-style options. You may get numerous storage for music, plus preloaded maps, navigation and pro-level monitoring for mountain biking and gold as customary. It is the most costly Forerunner for a motive.

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    Garmin Forerunner 265

    The Forerunner 265 has an ideal characteristic set, together with multi-band GPS help for correct monitoring, a shiny AMOLED show and two weeks battery life on a full cost. Garmin Pay, notifications and offline music spherical off a full well being and life-style characteristic checklist.

One of many benefits of selecting the cheaper Forerunner 265 over the Forerunner 965 is the completely different sizes. The place the 965 solely is available in one comparatively massive 47mm case dimension, the 265 has an ‘S’ mannequin and – as is typical for Garmin – the ‘S’ stands for ‘Small’. It is obtained a 42mm case (or 41.7mm), making it the smallest on this comparability, and far more suited to smaller wrists. It is also the lightest.

There’s a 46mm Forerunner 265 as nicely, so that you get two sizes to select from whenever you go for the cheaper mannequin, and there is no enhance in value between the smaller and regular-sized fashions. They’re the identical watch internally/spec-wise, and they also value the identical quantity.

The Forerunner 965 is the biggest of the watches and can also be the heaviest. Not one of the watches are burdensome although, all are made out of a light-weight fibre-reinforced polymer case and ship with a light-weight silicone strap. The 965 does have a little bit of a premium contact within the design although; it has a titanium bezel surrounding the show space and incorporates a more durable Corning Gorilla Glass DX lens over the show. Each sizes of Forerunner 265 characteristic Gorilla Glass 3, which is not fairly as sturdy or scratch resistant. All fashions are waterproof to 5ATM, making them completely outfitted for out of doors actions in inclement climate or water-based sports activities.

As for colors, you basically get a selection of three with every mannequin. For those who go for the smallest Forerunner 265S you’ll be able to select the Black and Amp Yellow model – which is predominantly black with a shiny yellow accent on the strap – or a white mannequin which incorporates a white and Tropic (comfortable teal accent) strap and a black bezel, or mild pink mannequin with a black bezel and white-accented strap.

The bigger 265 has three completely different colors: White with a white and Tidal (nearly royal) blue-accented strap and a black bezel, black with a black and Powder gray strap or Aqua mannequin with a black-accented strap.

Lastly, the Forerunner 965, which has a black and gray mannequin, a white and gray mannequin or a shiny Amp yellow mannequin with black accents.


  • 265: 1.1-inch (S) or 1.3-inch AMOLED show – 360 x 360 (S) or 416 x 416 decision – Touchscreen
  • 965: 1.4-inch AMOLED show – 454 x 454 decision – Touchscreen

As you’d anticipate from three different-sized watches, all three characteristic different-sized shows as nicely. The smallest – the Forerunner 265S – has a 1.1-inch AMOLED show, whereas the bigger 265 has a 1.3-inch panel and the Forerunner 965 incorporates a 1.4-inch display screen.

All three are spherical shows, and all three are AMOLED, so ought to supply a just about equivalent visible expertise by way of brightness, distinction and color saturation. Even the sharpness needs to be close to sufficient the identical. The resolutions regularly enhance with the sizes of show to make sure that the pixel density stays close to sufficient the identical no matter which mannequin you purchase.

All three are touch-sensitive too, so you’ll be able to scroll and faucet on the glass to work together with the consumer interface, in addition to use the same old five-button bodily system when the touchscreen is not handy (like throughout an exercise).

The very last thing value noting on the shows is that every one three fashions have an always-on possibility you’ll be able to toggle on within the settings. Its default setting – being AMOLED – is for the show to show off when it is not been used for a 30-seconds or so. This helps save battery and offers it the 2 to three-week battery life on supply. With always-on enabled, you’ll see the time all through the day, however the battery life can be considerably decreased, often slashed in half.

Options and storage

  • Each: Garmin Pay contactless funds and offline music playlists, telephone notifications, calendar and climate
  • 265: 8GB storage
  • 965: 32GB storage

There’s not a lot to separate the Forerunner 265 and Forerunner 965 on the approach to life options facet. Each will supply your smartphone notifications up on the display screen, and provide you with fast replies to messages. You may additionally get calendar occasions served up, together with climate in your location, so long as you allow and provides permission for these options.

You may get Garmin Pay no matter which watch you choose too, in addition to offline music playback from Amazon Music, Deezer and Spotify. Nevertheless, for those who think about your self loading numerous music to your wrist gadget, the Forerunner 965 gives you extra of it. The costlier watch comes with 32GB of storage versus simply 8GB on the Forerunner 265.

Health monitoring and well being

  • Each: Multi-band GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and SatIQ
  • Each: Elevate heart-rate, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, ambient mild sensor and SpO2
  • Each: All day motion, heart-rate,
  • 965: Pre-loaded maps, stay segments, superior golf options, navigation, superior mountain biking options, real-time stamina, hear/altitude acclimation

In the case of health, progress and all-day well being monitoring, each the Forerunner 965 and 265 supply all the important thing {hardware} and capabilities you’d anticipate. You may get multi-frequency location monitoring on each fashions, and help for various completely different location monitoring techniques; GPS, Galileo and GLONASS are all catered for. Which means it should not matter which watch you purchase if what you are after is accuracy whenever you’re monitoring out of doors actions like operating and climbing.

You may additionally get lots of the identical coaching and exercise knowledge factors, plus helpful options like Coaching Readiness, Restoration and Physique Battery that assist you to to find out for those who’ve rested sufficient since your final session to tackle one other. VO2 Max and SpO2 are measured and calculated, as are all-day heart-rate, step counting, respiration, sleep and motion.

There are benefits to selecting the Forerunner 965 over the cheaper one, nevertheless. Its greater storage means extra room for added options and knowledge. It has been loaded with maps, together with highway and path maps and navigation that can assist you discover your manner round path routes. It is obtained a full suite of {golfing} options, together with 42,000 golf programs preloaded, detailed mountain biking knowledge like Grit and Stream measuring and extra actions to trace together with kayaking, tennis, indoor climbing and bouldering amongst others. It is a extra fully-featured exercise tracker. Runners get real-time stamina through the run and get perception into warmth and altitude acclimation.

Battery life

  • 265: As much as 15 days (S) or 13 days smartwatch mode – As much as 24 hours (S) or 20 hours GPS monitoring use
  • 965: As much as 23 days smartwatch mode – As much as 31 hours GPS monitoring

How a lot battery life you get from a Garmin watch very a lot depends upon how you employ the watch and whether or not you have got the always-on show enabled. In its default mode, with the display screen switching off when not in use, you’ll be able to stand up to 23 days of normal smartwatch utilization from the Forerunner 965. The smaller Forerunner 265S gives you as much as 15 days, whereas the bigger 265 with the larger display screen offers you 13 days.

This identical tiered efficiency is seen in health and exercise monitoring too. The Forerunner 965 can observe a GPS exercise for as much as 31 hours on a full battery. The smaller Forerunner 265S can do 24 hours and the bigger 265 can handle 20 hours. It is secure to say then that – of the three – the common Forerunner 265 is the worst performing, however even that offers you a stable period of time on a full battery.

It’s value noting that these GPS exercise stats are based mostly on the fundamental GPS setting, with the multi-band characteristic disabled, and with no music taking part in. For those who change on the multi-band monitoring for improved accuracy and in addition hearken to music in your watch whereas out in your run/hike/bike experience, the battery life can be decreased.


One of many good issues in regards to the Forerunner 265 collection is that it does not matter in order for you the smaller ‘S’ or the common mannequin, it’s going to value you a similar quantity. It is £429.99 within the UK for each sizes, and for all color choices. At that value, it is also a superb deal cheaper than the extra fully-featured, longer-lasting Forerunner 965. That is priced at close to sufficient £600 within the UK, making it the flagship of the 2023 Forerunner vary.


For most individuals, the Forerunner 265 (in both dimension) ought to give you all of the health, well being and good options you require and does so at a less expensive value than the Forerunner 965. It is lacking out on a number of issues and does not have as large a battery, however its vibrant, sporty designs can be interesting to some as nicely the truth that it is available in a small or common dimension.

The Forerunner 965 is a extra fully-featured watch, providing numerous extra options and exercise knowledge that some fans would miss out on on the smaller watch. If you need navigation and maps, or correct {golfing} or mountain-biking help, the 965 is the one to go for. It is obtained a extra premium design and is costlier, but it surely affords an enormous characteristic set.