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Garmin’s newest smartwatches steal one of the Apple Watch’s best features

Garmin has just unveiled the two latest models in its popular Forerunner series of running watches, boasting advanced training metrics and the most vibrant and visible displays the company has ever put on its smartwatches.

The midrange Forerunner 265 series is joined by the premium Forerunner 965 in adopting AMOLED displays, which now adorn the entire lineup. The brighter display doesn’t just look great; it also ensures that runners can more easily check their stats even on the sunniest days. It also puts Garmin’s display quality on par with the OLED screens we see on the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra.

Train smarter

Two people running on a city street wearing Garmin Forerunner 965 and 265 smartwatches.

Garmin’s latest models include a race widget that offers training tips, personalized daily suggested workouts, and predictions on run completion times based on your course, weather, and performance. Sensors in the watches are designed to measure cadence, stride length, ground contact time, and more without the need for additional accessories.

You can also kick each day off with a morning report and a training readiness score that factors in sleep quality, heart rate variability (HRV), status, and even weather to determine whether it’s more appropriate to go hard or take it easy during your daily workouts.

Personalized daily suggested workouts adapt to your performance and recovery metrics while considering any upcoming races you have scheduled in your Garmin Connect calendar to ensure you’re steadily moving toward your goals.

Forerunner 965

Garmin Forerunner 965 smartwatch family in three colors.

As a direct successor to the Forerunner 955, Garmin’s new Forerunner 965 remains the flagship of GPS running smartwatches. While Garmin’s entire lineup of smartwatches is arguably designed for serious runners, this one is for those athletes who want to pull out all the stops to get the best-looking and most full-featured running smartwatch available.

The bold and beautiful 1.4-inch AMOLED display on the Forerunner 965 is encircled by a lightweight titanium bezel that makes an elegant design statement. However, this smartwatch has much more going for it than just its good looks; Garmin has packed in advanced premium training metrics and recovery insights to help you perform at your peak and prepare for your next big race.

In addition to the other advanced training metrics, the Forerunner 965 also offers built-in profiles for triathlons, duathlons, brick workouts, and swim runs that can be selected and switched up with the press of a button. You can also customize your own multi-sport profiles. An exclusive new load ratio feature helps athletes stay on top of their training while staying healthy and avoiding setbacks.

This is rounded out with full-color mapping features that help keep you on track whether you’re running through the city streets or on mountain trails. Multiband GNSS with SatIQ technology provides highly accurate positioning, and Garmin’s ClimbPro feature provides real-time information on gradient, distance, and elevation gain for those mountain hikes.

Perhaps best of all, Garmin’s smartwatches still measure battery life in days rather than hours. In smartwatch mode, you can get a staggering 23 days on a single charge, while running in GPS mode will still last you for 31 hours.

Forerunner 265 Series

Person tapping on Garmin Forerunner 265 screen.

Garmin’s Forerunner 265 offers most of the same performance-monitoring tools at a more reasonable price. While you won’t get full-color mapping or the expansive titanium-ringed display, you’ll still get the same vibrant AMOLED touchscreen, advanced fitness metrics, and coaching features.

This includes tools from Garmin Firstbeat Analytics such as VO2 max, performance condition, and training effect. Adaptive training plan options help you to prepare for your next race, with Garmin Coach plans from expert coaches and daily suggested workouts based on your race calendar in Garmin Connect.

Battery life isn’t quite as impressive as the more powerful Forerunner 965, but it’s still nothing to scoff at. The smaller 265S model promises 24 hours of GPS-based runs and 15 days in normal smartwatch mode, while the larger Forerunner 265 comes in at 20 hours in GPS mode and up to 13 days in smartwatch mode.

The Forerunner 265 Series and Forerunner 965 also include all the features you’d expect from a typical smartwatch, including notifications and support for Spotify, Deezer, or Amazon Music for phone-free listening on your runs. You also get safety features like incident detection, LiveTrack, and Garmin Pay contactless payments support.

Price and availability

The Garmin Forerunner 965 will be available in late March for a suggested retail price of $600. The Forerunner 265 Series comes in two models, a 42mm Forerunner 265S and a 46mm Forerunner 265. Both are available now at the same price of $450.

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