Garmin has yet to launch its first new GPS watch of 2023, but if current rumors are correct, it might just be the Garmin Forerunner 265.
This is pretty surprising timing. After all, the Forerunner 255 only made its debut last summer, and Garmin usually leaves at least two years between releases. However, a flurry of prematurely uploaded store listings and even a collection of pre-production photos suggests the company is shaking things up already.
Details of the watch's exact specifications remain tightly under wraps, but it seems likely that it's going to be an entry-level triathlon watch like the Forerunner 255. That means dependable GPS, solid recovery tracking, a good range of sports tracking profiles, and a multi-sports mode that makes switching between swimming, cycling, and running a piece of cake.
Back in September 2022, we got our first glimpse of what might be the Garmin Forerunner 265S. Following Garmin's naming conventions, this would be a slightly smaller version of the standard 265, and would likely be released at the same time.
The anonymous author of the5krunner shared a series of photos from an equally anonymous source showing a watch that closely resembles the Forerunner 255, but with a new AMOLED display rather than a memory-in-pixel screen. We won't reproduce the images here for copyright reasons, but you can check them out in the5krunner's original article.
I was initially very skeptical about the pictures, but running them through error-level analysis software revealed no obvious signs of tampering or editing other than the black bars used to obscure the serial number and possibly protect the identity of the leaker.
In early February online store 5 Under Golf appeared to accidentally publish listing pages for both the Forerunner 965 and 265, including a handful of low-resolution preview images. The pages were taken down, but not before being cached.
We can't be certain the listing is genuine (not least because it includes a QR code pointing to a YouTube channel intended for retailers) but it appears to show watches with a two-color design that we've not seen before.
The color options are quite unusual as well, and include some bright hues we've only previously seen in the Garmin Instinct 2 series. According to a dropdown menu on the page, options are black and powder gray, whitestone and tidal blue, aqua and black, black and amp yellow, whitestone and neo tropic, and light pink and whitestone.
On February 8, Reddit user MuffinTopDeluxe spotted a listing for the Forerunner 265S on the website of running store Fleet Feet. The page includes an image of the watch in the light pink colorway, and user 1_2_3-4-5_6_7-8-9_0 found renders of the amp yellow and neo tropic versions as well.
Presumably the three other colorways mentioned by 5 Under Golf will be for the standard-sized Forerunner 265.
Price and other details
Things then went quiet until January 2023, when two European stores seemed to prematurely publish listing pages for both the Forerunner 265 and the Forerunner 965 (which is expected to launch on the same date).
Reliable leaker Flo of Fitness Tracker Test, who has been first to spot detail of many new GPS watches, noticed details of the two Forerunners posted by online retailers Runningxpert and RunningDirect. The listings have now been removed, but they suggested that the watches will be priced at €499.99 for the Forerunner 265S Music edition, and €649.99 for the standard Forerunner 965.
RunningDirect is the third online retailer to list the incoming Forerunner 265 and Forerunner 965 and the first to confirm projected prices of €499.99 and €649.99.#garmin #forerunner #running #sports #wearables pic.twitter.com/kDvGbhEOqVJanuary 26, 2023
That's €100 more than the Forerunner 255S Music and standard 955, which sounds about right if the big difference between the two is a new type of display.
According to the listing posted by 5 Under Golf, at least one of the models will cost $449.99, but it's not clear which one.
One feature I'm not expecting to see on the Forerunner 265 is an ECG sensor for use with the ECG app recently launched for the Garmin Venu 2 Plus. All images we've seen so far appear to show a watch with a fully plastic case and bezel. The ECG app requires a metal bezel to conduct an electrical current, and none of the prematurely published store pages mention ECG functionality,
I'm keeping a lookout for more information about both the Forerunner 265 and 965, and will bring you further details as soon as possible. In the meantime, take a look at Advnture's roundup of the best Garmin watches for ratings and reviews of all the latest models.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.