Garmin Forerunner 165 vs Forerunner 265

Garmin Forerunner 165 was unveiled in February 2024. Forerunner 265 was released in March 2023, almost a year back.

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

  • Forerunner 165 basic edition does not have music capability. Forerunner 265 has full music functionality.
  • Forerunner 165 does not support multi-band GPS. Forerunner 265 supports multi-band or dual-frequency GPS.
  • Forerunner 165 has lower storage (4 GB) than Forerunner 265 (8 GB).
  • Forerunner 265 uses much better display glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 3) in comparison with Forerunner 165 (chemically strengthened glass).
  • Forerunner 165 is smaller in size than Forerunner 265.
  • Forerunner 165 lacks Wi-Fi connectivity. Forerunner 265 supports Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Forerunner 165 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 do not differ much in terms of battery backup.
  • Forerunner 165 comes for $249.99 and Forerunner 265 retails for $449.99.

Forerunner 165 is smaller in size than Forerunner 265.

Display specificationsForerunner 165Forerunner 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 and Forerunner 265 use AMOLED display. Both watches can support Always-on-display mode.

Garmin Forerunner 165 smartwatch

The Forerunner 265 is broader and heavier than the Forerunner 165.

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

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 lacks the multi-band GPS sensor and 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.

Forerunner 165 lacks music storage and music functionality. Forerunner 265 offers full music functionality. This means you can store personal audio content on Forerunner 265 device storage.

You can also download music streaming apps like Spotify and Deezer from the Connect IQ store. This would allow you to stream music directly from the music streaming providers.

Forerunner 165 supports Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless connectivity. However, it lacks Wi-Fi support. Therefore, all firmware updates would have to happen through a Bluetooth connection to the smartphone or through the Garmin Express application.

Forerunner 265 supports Bluetooth, ANT+, and Wi-Fi wireless technologies. Wi-Fi support also enables music streaming.

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

Watch modeForerunner 165Forerunner 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 $249.99 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
  • Full music functionality
  • Wi-Fi connectivity

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