Garmin Forerunner 165 Music vs Forerunner 265

Garmin Forerunner 165 Music was unveiled on 20 February 2024. Forerunner 265 has been around since March 2023. We look at the core differences between the two smartwatches below.

We look at some primary differences between the Forerunner 165 Music and Forerunner 265 smartwatches below.

  • Forerunner 265 supports multi-band or dual-frequency GPS. Forerunner 165 does not support multi-band GPS or dual-frequency mode for GPS.
  • Forerunner 165 Music edition has lower storage (4 GB) than Forerunner 265 (8 GB).
  • Forerunner 265 uses much better display glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 3) in comparison with the Forerunner 165 Music edition smartwatch (chemically strengthened glass).
  • Forerunner 165 Music is smaller in size than Forerunner 265.
  • Forerunner 165 Music lacks a sensor for the Gyroscope. Forerunner 265 comes with a Gyroscope sensor.
  • Forerunner 265 has a higher number of activity profiles than Forerunner 165.
  • Forerunner 265 and Forerunner 165 Music do not differ much in terms of battery backup.
  • Forerunner 165 comes for $299.99 and Forerunner 265 retails for $449.99.

Forerunner 165 Music edition is smaller in size than Forerunner 265.

Display specificationsForerunner 165 MusicForerunner 265
Display size30 mm33 mm
Display resolution390 x 390 pixels416 x 416 pixels
Display lensChemically strengthened glassCorning Gorilla Glass 3
Display technologyAMOLED (optional always-on mode)AMOLED (optional always-on mode)
Color displayYesYes

Both, Forerunner 165 Music edition and Forerunner 265 use AMOLED display. Both watches can support Always-on-display mode.

Garmin Forerunner 165 Music

The Forerunner 265 is broader and heavier than the Forerunner 165 Music edition smartwatch. This translates into a wider band and broader display.

Physical specificationsForerunner 165 MusicForerunner 265
Watch size43 x 43 x 11.6 mm46.1 x 46.1 x 12.9 mm
Thickness11.6 mm12.9 mm
Band size20 mm22 mm
Band materialSiliconeSilicone
Recommended wrist circumference126-203 mm135-205 mm
Weight39 g47 g
BezelFiber-reinforced polymerFiber-reinforced polymer
Water rating5 ATM5 ATM
NFC PaymentsGarmin PayGarmin Pay

The important points to note in terms of physical specifications:

  • Garmin Pay app is used for making NFC or contactless payments.
  • Both watches use a 5 ATM water resistance rating. This implies both watches are resistant to 50 meters of depth under the water’s surface.

Forerunner 165 Music and Forerunner 265 support GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite networks. Forerunner 265 supports multi-band GPS or dual-frequency GPS.

The multi-band GPS in Forerunner 265 has been made possible with the introduction of a multi-frequency positioning sensor.

The multi-band GPS allows the smartwatch to fetch GPS data from multiple satellites at any given point in time. This helps in improving GPS accuracy and reliability.

Forerunner 165 Music edition does not have a multi-frequency positioning sensor. Therefore, it cannot support dual-frequency GPS.

Forerunner 265, additionally, uses SatIQ technology to manage multi-band GPS automatically. SatIQ allows Forerunner 265 to toggle on or off the multi-band GPS mode.

SatIQ sensor allows Forerunner 265 to conserver battery backup with optimum usage of the multi-band GPS mode.

Forerunner 265 and Forerunner 165 Music have almost identical battery backups. Both watches support fast charging through the Garmin proprietary charger.

Watch modeForerunner 165 MusicForerunner 265
Smartwatch modeUp to 11 daysUp to 13 days
GPS-Only GNSS modeUp to 19 hoursUp to 20 hours
All-Systems GNSS modeUp to 17 hours
All-Systems GNSS mode in multi-band GPSUp to 14 hours

Forerunner 165 has a cost price of $299.99 and Forerunner 265 comes at a list price of $449.99.

For the additional $200 spent on Forerunner 265, you get the following additions:

  • Multi-band GPS
  • Gyroscope
  • Additional activity profiles
  • Better display lens
  • Broader display size

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