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Garmin Forerunner 265 – Sports watch with AMOLED display and on-board music

It hasn’t been a long time since Garmin released the Forerunner 255 in June ’22. Now, more and more information pops up, indicating that the new Forerunner 265 is imminent. Instead of a transflective MIP display, the Forerunner 265 will most likely feature a high-resolution AMOLED display. Thanks to some online listings, I can already provide a round-up.

The first clues about the Forerunner 265 were provided by the5krunner shortly after Forerunner 255‘s release. The website published two pictures apparently showing the front and back of the Forerunner 265. Additionally, a user on Reddit reported that a Garmin representative was already wearing the new model on his wrist at a running meet.

After that, it was pretty quiet for a long time. Garmin apparently made the retailers understand that NDAs are to be taken seriously.

Two weeks ago, the online retailers and suddenly listed the product on their web pages. As often, these listings are merely templates that at best mention the product name and product number. That’s exactly what happened there. Meanwhile, other online retailers have followed the example of pre-placing and taking product pages offline again. Some have left some information about the product itself.

Quick note: I’m refraining from publishing pictures here as they are low in resolution and don’t reveal anything that hasn’t been already known in advance.

Forerunner 265 with AMOLED display

The Forerunner 265 – as well as the Forerunner 965 – are getting a high-resolution AMOLED display. The rumor has been circulating since the first photos leaked online. It is now confirmed by the latest online listing, which also reveals information about the product itself.

The fact that the Forerunner 265 will be released in two sizes should come with no surprise:

 Forerunner 265sForerunner 265Forerunner 255Forerunner 965
Display Size1.1"1.3"1.3"1.4"
Dimensions41.7 x 41.7 x 12.9 mm46.1 x 46.1 x 12.9 mm45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 mm47.2 x 47.2 x 13.2 mm
Resolution360 x 360 / 327 PPI416 x 416 / 320 PPI260 x 260 / 200 PPI454 x 454 / 324 PPI
Weight39 g47 g49 g53 g

From the basic specs you can see that the AMOLED display is the major innovation to the Forerunner 265.

Comparison of display sizes

To give you a better idea on how the different display sizes relate to each other, you may use this image which is based on the official specs found on Garmin’s website.

Garmin Forerunner 265 – Features at a Glance

The Forerunner 265 is based on its sibling, the Forerunner 255, so both models pretty much sport the same features. The main features of the Forerunner 265 include:

  • AMOLED display

    The new, high-resolution display was already mentioned at the beginning. Regardless, it will be one of the main enhancements to the Forerunner 265.

  • Training Readiness

    The Forerunner 265 seems to inherit the “Training Readiness” feature from the larger Forerunner 955. If this proves to be true, you can also assume that the Forerunner 255 / 255 Music will get the feature via a firmware update.

  • Running Dynamics

    Those who own a Running Dynamics Pod or a compatible HR chest strap can record additional running metrics (including power, ground contact time, ground contact balance, stride length). According to the information given on the website, the Forerunner 265 will be able to get this information while being worn on your wrist. The use of the pod or a chest strap would further enhance the results.

  • Music playback

    Garmin doesn’t differentiate between music and non-music editions anymore. Admittedly, it would have been difficult to fit into the price structure. The new model has 8 GB of internal memory to store the user’s own music, but also offline playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer.

Battery life

 Forerunner 265sForerunner 265Forerunner 955Forerunner 965
Smartwatch mode15 days13 days15 days23 days
GPS only24 hours20 hours42 hours31 hours
GNSS + Multiband15 hours14 hours20 hours19 hours
GNSS + Multiband + Music6 hours6 hours8.5 hours8.5 hours

It should be noted that the smaller Forerunner 265s has a longer battery life in smartwatch mode than the Forerunner 265, which is not always the case when comparing models with different display and battery sizes. This time, the larger battery of the Forerunner 265 cannot compensate for the higher power consumption due to the larger display.

Nevertheless, the FR265’s battery life of 13 days in smartwatch mode is also a respectable performance.

Availability and prices

Both Forerunner 265 models will change hands for €499.99 (RRP). The surcharge is therefore $100 compared to the Forerunner 255, which is quite reasonable in view of the AMOLED display and the feature upgrade.

The official release date is 2 March, when not only the Forerunner 265 but also the Forerunner 965 will be presented. Some online retailers already allow pre-orders today.

When buying a Forerunner 265 you can choose from these colors:

Forerunner 265

  • Black / Power Gray
  • Whitestone / Tidal Blue
  • Aqua / Black

Forerunner 265s

  • Whitestone / Neo Tropic
  • Light Pink / Whitestone

Not convinced that the AMOLED display and the new features are worth the price? The Forerunner 255 still is an outstanding sports watch and is significantly cheaper.

Garmin Forerunner 255 Music
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The Running Dynamics metrics can also be recorded with the Forerunner 255, but it requires a Running Dynamics Pod or an HR chest strap (HRM-Pro or HRM-Pro Plus).

Garmin Running Dynamics Pod
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Garmin HRM-Pro Plus
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One more thing...

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