Garmin releases Forerunner 165 – an entry-level running watch with a vivid AMOLED screen

Garmin Forerunner 165 watch in four colors
(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin has launched its first entry-level running watch with an AMOLED display: the Garmin Forerunner 165. The new watch sits in between the existing Forerunner 55 and 265, offering new runners a device that will help them track their training and prepare for races with reliable GPS, all-day activity and recovery tracking, together with a crisp display, all for a reasonable price.

The Garmin Forerunner 55 has all the features that a new runner would need, but its memory-in-pixel (MiP) display lacks the wow-factor of AMOLED. The Forerunner 265, on the other hand, looks great but might be overkill for anyone who doesn't need its triathlon tracking features.

To help you prepare for your next race, whether it's a 5k or a half marathon, there are adaptive training plans that adjust on the fly to help you meet your goals, plus daily workout suggestions so you don't get stuck in a training rut. The Forerunner 165 doesn't have the new optical heart rate sensor found in the recently released Garmin Fenix 7 Pro and Epix Pro (Gen 2), but that won't be an issue for new runners who are just starting out with heart rate training.

If you want to explore somewhere new, you can create courses within the Garmin Connect app or a third-party tool and follow them on your watch, which is a feature you won't find on the Forerunner 55, or devices like the Garmin Venu 3 and Lily 2.

More than running

You're not limited to road running, either; other workout modes include track, treadmill and trail running, plus pool and open water swimming, cycling, strength workouts, pilates, yoga, HIIT, and more. The key difference from the Forerunner 265 here is the absence of a triathlon activity or other multi-sport modes,

Recovery is an essential part of training, and the Forerunner 165 will not only give you estimated recovery times, but also has key features like Garmin's new Sleep Coaching and nap detection tools

You can make contactless purchases through Garmin Pay, and If you opt for the Forerunner 165 Music edition, you'll also be able to download songs from Amazon Music, Spotify or Deezer to stream straight to your running headphones for phone-free listening. 

The Garmin Forerunner 165 is available to buy now direct from Garmin for £249.99, while the Forerunner 165 Music is £289.99.

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.