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Garmin already has an extensive lineup of advanced running watches in its Forerunner series, but it just got even larger. The wearable tech company has announced two new smartwatches: the Forerunner 265 and 965. The highlight of the release is their vibrant AMOLED displays, a first for Garmin GPS running smartwatches. Each will offer an optional always-on, full-color touchscreen (though you can lock the display during activity and rely on Garmin’s classic five-button navigation system). We loved the Garmin Forerunner 955, and its fundamentals form the basis of the new models, so we have high expectations for these new additions to the Forerunner family.
Training features of the Garmin Forerunner 265 and 965
Garmin’s watches traditionally offer an impressive suite of sensors and performance tracking/analyzing features. As a result, they make great Apple Watch alternatives, especially for athletes. And this all holds even more true with the two new offerings. Like existing Forerunners (and other Garmin watches), they will calculate VO2 max, performance condition, training effect, and more. And all of that data is used to calculate a training readiness score to help you plan your rest better.
Sleep is a key component of performance, which Garmin clearly understands. Its watches can track your sleep, in part by evaluating heart rate variability, providing a more complete wellness and training picture. And, provided you sleep wearing the watch, a Morning Report summarizes your sleep, your day’s training outlook, and the environmental conditions you can expect.
These watches will also offer daily suggested workouts, which adapt after every run to help you improve your running performance and prevent overtraining. The race widget, along with Garmin Coach and PacePro, will provide training tips and predictions for race performance based on specific course details, weather, and performance. They can even measure running power and running dynamics without any additional accessories. Now, however, shall of these metrics will be more visible and vivid indoors and out, thanks to the upgrade from memory-in-pixel displays.
Garmin Forerunner 265 details
The Forerunner 265, priced at $449.99, sits right between the Forerunner 255 Music and 955. It gets the full set of sensors found in Garmin’s advanced fitness smartwatches, including the wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor. The 265 also offers Garmin’s safety features, such as incident detection and LiveTrack.
As a smartwatch, it easily connects to your phone for smart notifications and allows you to download music from Spotify, Deezer, or Amazon Music to the watch for phone-free Bluetooth listening. And you can use Garmin Pay for contactless payments.
The Forerunner 265 will be available in two sizes, each offering different battery life. The 42mm Forerunner 265S promises 24 hours of battery life in GPS mode and up to 15 days in smartwatch mode. The larger Forerunner 265, with a 46mm case, should provide up to 20 hours of battery life in GPS mode and up to 13 days in smartwatch mode.
Garmin Forerunner 965 details
Garmin designed the Forerunner 965 for seriously dedicated athletes. It’s at the top of the Forerunner lineup, priced at $599.99. As a result, it will feature all the same things mentioned above and more. Garmin says it adds “additional performance metrics, built-in mapping, and the ability to store more songs right on the watch” compared to the 265.
The 965 also offers a new feature, called load ratio, to “track short-term to mid-term load ratio” to stay healthy while training. Stamina insights will also help track exertion levels for a well-rounded picture of your training. And ClimbPro shows real-time information on climbs during a run, including gradient, distance, and elevation gain. There are also full-color built-in maps for route planning and navigation.
The 965 will feature a 47mm case with a lightweight titanium bezel. The AMOLED display is Garmin’s largest yet at 1.4 inches (the epix Gen. 2), Garmin’s first AMOLED-equipped watch, has a 1.3-inch screen). Garmin says it will provide up to 31 hours of battery life in GPS mode and up to 23 days in smartwatch mode.
Pricing & availability
The Garmin Forerunner 265 will cost you $449.99 for either the 42mm or 46mm versions. It is available for purchase now. The Garmin Forerunner 965 will run you $599.99 and won’t ship until late March/early April, but can be pre-ordered now.