Garmin Forerunner 265 and 965 are finally here – and they look fantastic

Garmin Forerunner 965 watch in three colorways on black background
The Garmin Forerunner 965 will be available later this month (Image credit: Garmin)

After a long wait and many, many leaks, Garmin has unveiled its two latest GPS watches: the Forerunner 265 and 265S, and the Forerunner 965. The Forerunner 256 series is available to buy today direct from Garmin, and the Forerunner 965 will be on sale from late March.

As expected the standout feature of both watches is a new AMOLED display that's brighter and crisper than the memory-in-pixel (MiP) screens of their predecessors, the Forerunner 255 and 955, which launched last year. That's particularly good news for runners, hikers and cyclists who use their watch for navigation, as it offers a much clearer view of the surrounding area and the route ahead.

In all other respects, the new Forerunners are extremely similar to their predecessors, with the same training tools and everyday fitness tracking chops.

Both offer the extremely handy morning report, which helps prepare you for the day head, a race widget that helps you get ready for upcoming events, daily suggested workouts, and a training readiness score that lets you know what to expect from your body before you hit the pavement or trails.

Garmin Forerunner 265 watch in two colorways on black background

The Garmin Forerunner 265 and 265S come with music playback as standard (Image credit: Garmin)

Both the watches can also track heart rate variability, which lets you know how your body is responding to the stresses of daily life and can even give you an advance warning if you're becoming ill.

You also getting running dynamics and running power directly from your wrist without the need to connect your watch to a heart rate monitor or footpod.

One interesting point to note is that the Forerunner 265 offers music playback as standard, so unlike the Forerunner 255, there's no separate music edition. There's also no solar edition of the Forerunner 965 due to the complexity of integrating photovoltaic material into an AMOLED screen (though Garmin has patented tech for that).

Battery life and price

Of course, different screen tech means different battery life, but the difference isn't huge, and in some cases the new watches even last slightly longer. Bear in mind, however, that using always-on mode will reduce battery life significantly.

The 42mm sized Forerunner 265S features up to 24 hours of battery life in GPS mode and up to 15 days in smartwatch mode. For comparison the Forerunner 255S (non-music edition) can run for 26 hours in GPS mode, and 12 days in smartwatch mode

The 46mm sized Forerunner 265 offers up to 20 hours of battery life in GPS mode and up to 13 days in smartwatch mode. The standard sized Forerunner 255 runs for up to 30 days in GPS mode and 14 days in smartwatch mode.

The Forerunner 965 will run for up to 31 hours of battery life in GPS mode and up to 23 days in smartwatch mode. Its predecessor, the Forerunner 955, can run for 42 hours in GPS mode and 15 days in smartwatch mode.

The Forerunner 265 is available now for $429.99, up from $349.99 for the non-music version of the Forerunner 255. When it goes on sale later this month, the Forerunner 965 will cost $599.99, up from $499.99 for the Forerunner 955.

Cat Ellis

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.