Garmin Forerunner 165 Music vs Forerunner 965

Garmin Forerunner 165 Music was released on 20 February 2024. Garmin Forerunner 965 was unveiled in March 2023. We compare the capabilities and features of Forerunner 165 Music Edition and Forerunner 965 below.

  • Garmin Forerunner 965 is compatible with multi-band GPS or dual-frequency GPS. Forerunner 165 Music edition lacks the multi-band GPS capability.
  • Forerunner 965 uses 3rd-gen DX-coated Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Forerunner 165 Music edition uses a chemically strengthened display glass.
  • Forerunner 965 has a longer battery backup than Forerunner 165 Music edition.
  • Forerunner 965 has higher device storage (32 GB) than Forerunner 165 Music Edition (4 GB)
  • Forerunner 965 has more activity profiles than Forerunner 165 Music edition.
  • Forerunner 965 is relatively bigger and broader than Forerunner 165 Music edition.

We look at these differences in detail below.

Garmin Forerunner 165 Music Edition in blue band

Forerunner 165 Music Edition and Forerunner 965 use the AMOLED display technology.

The AMOLED display allows Always-on-display mode to be used in both watches.

Display specificationsForerunner 165 MusicForerunner 965
Display size30 mm36 mm
Display resolution390 x 390 pixels454 x 454 pixels
Display lensChemically strengthened glassCorning Gorilla Glass 3 DX
Display technologyAMOLED (optional always-on mode)AMOLED (optional always-on mode)
Color displayYesYes
TouchscreenYesYes
Ambient light sensorYesYes

The important points to note are:

  • Forerunner 965 uses DX-coated 3rd-gen Corning Gorilla Glass. The quality of this glass is much better than the chemically strengthened glass in Forerunner 165 Music Edition.
  • Forerunner 965 offers higher display resolution (454 x 454 pixels) than Forerunner 165 Music Edition (390 x 390 pixels)
  • Forerunner 965 has a 1.4″ or 36 mm display glass. Forerunner 165 Music has a 1.2″ or 30 mm display glass.
  • The bigger size of Garmin Forerunner 965 translates into marginally better display resolution than the Forerunner 165 Music Edition.

Garmin Forerunner 965 is broader than Forerunner 165 Music. We have compared the physical specifications of Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 165 Music Edition below.

Physical specificationsForerunner 165 MusicForerunner 965
Watch size43 x 43 x 11.6 mm47.2 x 47.2 x 13.2 mm
Thickness11.6 mm13.2 mm
Band size20 mm22 mm
Band materialSiliconeSilicone
Recommended wrist circumference126-203 mm135-205 mm
Weight39 g53 g
BezelFiber-reinforced polymerTitanium
Water rating5 ATM5 ATM
NFC PaymentsGarmin PayGarmin Pay
Wireless connectivityANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

The important points to note are:

  • Forerunner 165 Music and Forerunner 965 have a 5 ATM water rating. These watches can sustain for up to 20-30 minutes at a depth of 50 meters or 165 feet below the water surface.
  • NFC or contactless payments are made possible on Forerunner 165 Music and Forerunner 965 using the Garmin Pay app.
  • Forerunner 965 has a bezel made of titanium. It lends a premium look to the watch.

Garmin Forerunner 165 Music Edition and Forerunner 965 support GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite networks.

However, the GPS accuracy and reliability are higher in the Garmin Forerunner 965. This is because of the multi-frequency positioning sensor in Garmin Forerunner 965.

The multi-frequency positioning sensor in Forerunner 965 allows multi-band GPS feature. With multi-band GPS or the dual-frequency GPS, the smartwatch could fetch GPS details from multiple satellites at any given point in time.

This improves the GPS performance and accuracy in Forerunner 965. For athletes, trainers, and triathletes, the improved GPS accuracy could make a substantial difference in accurate performance tracking.

Garmin Forerunner 965 has an internal storage of 32 GB while the Forerunner 165 Music Edition has only 4 GB internal storage.

The additional storage in Garmin Forerunner 965 can be used for:

  • storing topo maps
  • storing personal audio content

Garmin Forerunner 965 is built to offer long battery backup. Forerunner 165 Music Edition and Forerunner 965 come with the Garmin proprietary wired charger.

We compare the battery backup of Garmin Forerunner 165 Music and Forerunner 965 in the table below.

Watch modeForerunner 165 Music backupForerunner 965 backup
Smartwatch modeUp to 11 daysUp to 23 days
GPS-Only GNSS modeUp to 19 hoursUp to 31 hours
All + Multi-Band GPS Mode without Music Battery LifeNot availableUp to 19 hours
All + Multi-Band GPS Mode with Music Battery LifeNot availableUp to 8.5 hours
All-Systems GNSS mode Up to 17 hours
All-Systems GNSS mode with music Up to 6.5 hours

Both watches support fast charging. You can go from empty to full battery levels in less than 2 hours on a Forerunner 165 Music Edition and Forerunner 965 smartwatches.

Garmin Forerunner 165 Music Edition comes at a cost of $299.99. Garmin Forerunner 965 is a complete watch for runners and comes for a cost of $599.99.

Garmin Forerunner 965 is rightly designed for serious runners. It offers the following benefits over the Garmin Forerunner 165 Music edition:

  • 3rd gen DX coated Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Bigger display of 36 mm
  • Titanium bezel
  • Multi-band GPS
  • SatIQ sensor to manage the multi-band GPS mode automatically

You may also like to read more smartwatch comparisons below:

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