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Garmin Forerunner 165 vs Garmin Forerunner 265: What’s new?

Garmin has an impressive range of smartwatches, with cheap offerings and higher-end picks. But, what sits in the middle? The new Garmin Forerunner 165. Here’s how it compares with the Forerunner 265.

If you’re not satisfied with the basic features offered by many phone manufacturers and some entry-level smartwatch or Apple Watch picks, then a Garmin is the brand for all types of runner to consider.

Garmins typically offer boosted battery life compared to “smarter” rivals and continue to catch up on those latter features. The Forerunner 165 is aimed at those getting into running as well as intermediates. The 265 is intended for intermediates and, as such, comes with a higher point of entry. This is how they compare.

Forerunner 165 offers many of the same features for a much cheaper price

A key selling point of the Garmin Forerunner 165 is all the features you get for its reasonable £249.99 (£289.99 for the Music model) compared with pricier picks like the £429.99 Forerunner 265.

Garmin Forerunner 165 touching the bezel
Garmin Forerunner 165 – Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Despite the price difference, both watches offer an AMOLED display, Race Adaptive Training Plans, Wrist-Based Running Power and Dynamics, Training Effect, Courses, Morning Reports, Pulse Ox, Sleep Monitoring and Garmin Pay. It’s impressive for Garmin to pack all this in but for substantially less cash.

The Forerunner 265 has longer battery life

One area in which the higher-priced 265 has its cheaper version beat is in battery life. With the 165, you get up to 11 days of battery life in smartwatch mode and up to 19 hours in GPS mode. For the 265, it’s up to 15 days and up to 20 hours respectively.

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The Forerunner 165 has a slightly smaller display

Both of these watches come with an AMOLED display but if you care about getting as many pixels as possible then the 265 just has the upper hand.

Garmin Forerunner 165 angled on tree run
Garmin Forerunner 165 – Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

With the Forerunner 265, you get a 1.3-inch display, with the 165 coming with a smaller 1.2-inch.

Only the Garmin Forerunner 265 comes with music storage

If you care about music storage integrated with the likes of Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music on your Garmin, then you’re either going to have to opt for the Forerunner 265 or pay extra to get the Forerunner 165 Music version.

The standard Forerunner 165 comes with no music storage at all, but you will find it on the Music version and the more expensive Forerunner 265.

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