Garmin Forerunner 165 vs Forerunner 55

Garmin Forerunner 165 was released on 20 February 2024. Forerunner 55 was released on 2 June 2021. We look at the two watches and the core differences between each of these smartwatches.

  • Garmin Forerunner 165 uses an AMOLED display. Forerunner 55 has a Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP).
  • Forerunner 165 has a much better display resolution than Forerunner 55.
  • Forerunner 165 has a higher device storage (4 GB) than Forerunner 55 (32 MB).
  • Forerunner 165 includes sensors for altimeter, compass, thermometer, ambient light sensor, and pulse ox blood oxygen saturation monitoring. Forerunner 55 lacks all these.
  • Forerunner 165 supports NFC payments through the Garmin Pay app. Forerunner 55 is not compatible with NFC payments.
  • Forerunner 165 is slightly broader than Forerunner 55.
  • Forerunner 165 has a touchscreen feature. Forerunner 55 lacks it.
  • Forerunner 165 costs $249.99 and Forerunner 55 comes at a list price of $199.99.

We look at these differences in detail below.

Garmin Forerunner 165 in slate grey

We compare the display specifications of the Garmin Forerunner 165 and Forerunner 55 below.

Display specificationsForerunner 165Forerunner 55
Display size30 mm27 mm
Display resolution390 x 390 pixels208 x 208 pixels
Display lensChemically strengthened glassChemically strengthened glass
Display technologyAMOLED (optional always-on mode)MIP (Memory-in-pixel)
Color displayYesYes
Ambient light sensorYesNo

The important points to note are:

  • The display resolution of Forerunner 165 is 390 x 390 pixels. This is almost twice the display resolution of Forerunner 55’s display resolution of 208 x 208 pixels.
  • Forerunner 55 lacks the touchscreen feature and ambient light sensor.

We compare the physical specifications of Garmin Forerunner 165 and Forerunner 55 below.

Physical specificationsForerunner 165Forerunner 55
Watch size43 x 43 x 11.6 mm42 x 42 x 11.6 mm
Thickness11.6 mm11.6 mm
Band size20 mm20 mm
Band materialSiliconeSilicone
Recommended wrist circumference126-203 mm126-203 mm
Weight39 g37 g
BezelFiber-reinforced polymerFiber-reinforced polymer
Water rating5 ATM5 ATM

The important points to note are:

  • Forerunner 165 and Forerunner 55 have similar water resistance ratings of 5 ATM.
  • Both watches have a similar thickness.

NFC Payments are contactless payments. You can use the NFC sensor in the smartwatch to complete contactless payments through the wallet account.

To complete NFC payments, Garmin uses the Garmin Pay app. Forerunner 165 is compatible with the Garmin Pay app. Forerunner 55 does not support the Garmin Pay app and NFC payments.

Forerunner 165 is a contemporary smartwatch. It includes the following sensors:

  • Blood Oxygen saturation monitor
  • Barometric Altimeter
  • Compass
  • Thermometer
  • Ambient light sensor

Garmin Forerunner 55 lacks all these sensors.

For the $50 additional spent on Garmin Forerunner 165, we believe it does offer credible feature and capability additions:

  • Better display technology
  • Better display resolution
  • Comparable battery backup
  • NFC or contactless payments
  • Sensors for various functions
  • Contemporary apps for sleep score and nap detection functionality.

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