Garmin Fenix 7 vs Forerunner 965

Garmin Fenix 7 range is the top-line smartwatch series. Forerunner 965 is the latest running watch in the Forerunner series.

We evaluate both watches to help you pick the right one for your goals.

Main differences between Fenix 7 and Forerunner 965

For the purpose of this comparison study, Fenix 7 standard edition and Forerunner 965 have been compared.

  • Forerunner 965 has an AMOLED display. Fenix 7 continues to use the MIP or memory-in-pixel screen. This is positive for Forerunner 965.
  • Forerunner 965 has a multi-band GPS. Fenix 7 does not use multi-band GPS mode.
  • Forerunner 965 has better device storage than Fenix 7
  • Forerunner 965 has a better display lens. It uses DX coated Corning Gorilla Glass 3 while Fenix 7 uses Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Fenix 7 has a stainless steel bezel while Forerunner 965 uses a titanium bezel.
  • Fenix 7 has a better water rating of 10 ATM. Forerunner 965 has a 5 ATM water rating.
  • Fenix 7 has additional profiles for cycling and outdoor recreation.

We will review all these features in detail below.

Garmin Fenix 7 standard edition


In terms of display, Forerunner 965 is much better than Fenix 7. This is on account of the AMOLED display on the Forerunner 965. Fenix 7 uses the MIP screen or memory-in-pixel screen.

The benefits of AMOLED display include the following:

  • Forerunner 965 has a display resolution of 454 x 454 pixels while the Fenix 7 has a display resolution of 260 x 260 pixels.
  • Forerunner 965 supports Always-on-display or AOD. Fenix 7 does not support AOD.

Apart from the better quality of the AMOLED display, the Forerunner 965 also has the following improvements in the display:

  • Forerunner 965 has an ambient light sensor. Fenix 7 lacks this sensor.
  • The DX coated Corning Gorilla Glass 3 of Forerunner 965 is an anti-reflective coating on the display lens. It improves screen readability, especially under bright sunlight.

On account of these reasons, we find the Forerunner 965 a better watch in terms of display specifications.

Both watches do have a touchscreen feature and color display on the screen.

Physical specifications

You will not find significant differences between the Fenix 7 and Forerunner 965 in the physical specifications. We list the main hardware specifications of both watches below.

SpecificationsFenix 7Forerunner 965
Watch dimensions47 x 47 x 14.5 mm47.2 x 47.2 x 13.2 (mm)
Display diameter1.3″ or 33 mm1.4″ or 35.4 mm
Thickness14.5 mm13.2 mm
Watch bodyFiber-enforced polymer, rear metal coverFiber-enforced polymer
BezelStainless SteelBezel
Weight79 g53 g
Watch bandSiliconeSilicone
Recommended wrist circumference125-208 mm135-205 mm
Water rating10 ATM5 ATM
Device storage16 GB32 GB


For GPS accuracy, you will need to pick Forerunner 965 over the Fenix 7. This is based on the multi-band GPS capability of the Forerunner 965 smartwatch.

Forerunner 965 has a multi-frequency positioning sensor. This sensor allows you to get GPS data from multiple satellites at the same time. Due to multi-band GPS, the accuracy of GPS data improves.

Forerunner 965 also supports SatIQ technology. SatIQ technology picks the multi-mode GPS or simple GPS mode automatically. It toggles on or off the multi-band GPS based on the quality of GPS signals available.

Multi-band GPS and SatIQ technology make Forerunner 965 more promising for runners.


Battery backup on both watches is almost identical or within range. We look at the battery backup offered by Fenix 7 and Forerunner 965 in different watch modes.

Watch modeFenix 7Forerunner 965
Smartwatch modeup to 18 daysup to 23 days
GPS modeup to 57 hoursup to 31 hours
GPS mode with musicup to 10 hoursup to 10.5 hours
All Systems Multi-band GPSmulti-band GPS not availableup to 19 hours
All Systems Multi-band GPS with musicmulti-band GPS not availableup to 8.5 hours

The difference in battery backup for Fenix 7 and Forerunner 965 is not very significant difference.

Miscellaneous features

  • Interestingly, Fenix 7 has additional profiles in cycling and outdoor recreation.
  • Forerunner 965 comes with preloaded topographical and trail maps.
  • Forerunner 965 can also send relaxation reminders, a feature missing on the Fenix 7 series smartwatches.
  • Forerunner 965 has an additional safety feature of spectator messaging. With spectator messaging, the Live Track followers can send you text or audio messages. These messages get delivered to you through the cellular network of the paired smartphone.
Garmin Forerunner 965 in white


Forerunner 965 comes at a list price of $599.99 and Fenix 7 comes at a list price of $699.99.

Final verdict

Although Fenix 7 is more expensive, Forerunner 965 impresses us because of the following two reasons:

  1. AMOLED display with a much better display resolution
  2. Multi-band GPS

For runners, Forerunner 965 is an apt watch.

Fenix 7 looks better with its steel bezel and rear cover. It is heavier too and offers more features for cycling, Golf and outdoor recreation.

However, we will still pick a Forerunner 965 over the Fenix 7 for improved display and GPS functionality.

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