Garmin Forerunner 165 vs Forerunner 955

Garmin Forerunner 165 was released on 20 February 2024. Forerunner 955 has been around since June 2022. We compare Forerunner 165 and Forerunner 955 below.

The focus remains on core differences between Forerunner 165 and Forerunner 955

Forerunner 955 uses 3rd generation Corning Gorilla DX coated glass. Forerunner 165 uses a chemically strengthened glass. Forerunner 165 has an AMOLED display. Forerunner 955 uses a memory-in-pixel or MIP screen.

Forerunner 165 does not support multi-band GPS. Forerunner 955 supports multi-band or dual-frequency GPS. This feature could make a huge difference for pros and serious athletes.

Forerunner 955 supports full music functionality. Forerunner 165 standard edition lacks music functionality. However, the Forerunner 165 Music edition variant does not have music.

Having said that, we can assure you that the Forerunner 165 allows you to manage music on the paired smartphone. It is just that the device does not offer capability to download or store music on the device itself.

Forerunner 955 has a higher device storage (32 GB) than Forerunner 165 (4 GB). This difference helps in adding new topographical maps. You could add new regional maps due to the additional device storage.

Personally speaking, a feature that I reckon is going to be felt most is the lack of Wi-Fi connectivity in a Forerunner 165. Forerunner 165 does not support Wi-Fi. Forerunner 955 supports Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi connections are useful in pulling firmware updates and in streaming music through apps like Spotify and Deezer.

Forerunner 955 also has a higher number of activity profiles than Forerunner 165.

Both watches differ in cost. Forerunner 165 is half the cost of Forerunner 955.

We look at these differences in detail below.

Forerunner 165 uses contemporary display technology.

Display specificationsForerunner 165Forerunner 955
Display size30 mm33 mm
Display resolution390 x 390 pixels260 x 260 pixels
Display lensChemically strengthened glassCorning Gorilla Glass 3 DX
Display technologyAMOLED (optional always-on mode)MIP (Memory-in-pixel)
Color displayYesYes
Ambient light sensorYesNo

The important points to note are:

  • The AMOLED display in Forerunner 165 is better and offers the watch user a brighter and more vibrant display experience.
  • Forerunner 955 has a broader display. But, it lacks the ambient light sensor.
Garmin Forerunner 165 in white

Forerunner 165 and Forerunner 955 do have some differences in the physical specifications of both watches.

Physical specificationsForerunner 165Forerunner 955
Watch size43 x 43 x 11.6 mm46.5 x 46.5 x 14.4 mm
Thickness11.6 mm14.4 mm
Band size20 mm22 mm
Band materialSiliconeSilicone
Recommended wrist circumference126-203 mm130-200 mm
Weight39 g52 g
BezelFiber-reinforced polymerFiber-reinforced polymer
Water rating5 ATM5 ATM
NFC PaymentsGarmin PayGarmin Pay

The important points to note are:

  • Forerunner 165 and Forerunner 955 have 5 ATM water resistance. Both watches can sustain a depth pressure of up to 50 meters or 165 feet below the water surface.
  • Forerunner 165 and the Forerunner 955 support NFC or contactless payments through the Garmin Pay app.

Forerunner 165 and the Forerunner 955 support the GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite systems for GPS connectivity. But, you will get significantly better GPS reliability and performance in Forerunner 955.

Forerunner 955 has a multi-frequency positioning sensor. This sensor allows Forerunner 955 to support multi-band GPS mode.

In multi-band GPS mode, you can fetch GPS data from multiple satellites at any given point in time. The feature is very useful in remote terrains or dense areas.

The multi-band GPS or dual-frequency GPS improves GPS accuracy in Forerunner 955.

Apart from the multi-band GPS, the Forerunner 955 also comes with a SatIQ sensor. The SatIQ technology helps to toggle on or off the multi-band GPS automatically.

When the GPS signal is poor, the SatIQ sensor will toggle on the multi-band GPS mode. When the GPS signal degrades, the SatIQ sensor will toggle off the multi-band GPS mode.

SatIQ helps in prolonging battery backup.

Forerunner 955 has better battery backup than Forerunner 165. Both watches support fast charging. Both watches are shipped with Garmin proprietary charger to charge the device.

We compare the battery life of Forerunner 165 and Forerunner 955 in a side-by-side comparison below.

Watch modeForerunner 165 backupForerunner 955 backup
Smartwatch modeUp to 11 daysUp to 15 days
GPS-Only GNSS modeUp to 19 hoursUp to 42 hours
All-Systems GNSS modeUp to 17 hoursUp to 31 hours
All + Multi-Band GPS Mode without Music Battery LifeNot availableUp to 20 hours
All + Multi-Band GPS Mode with Music Battery LifeNot availableUp to 8.5 hours

Forerunner 165 does not support music functionality. However, if you prefer music on a Forerunner 165 edition, you may choose to get a Forerunner 165 Music edition. It is costlier than the Forerunner 165 by $50.

Forerunner 955 has full music functionality.

This implies, that on a Forerunner 955 you could get the following benefits:

  • You can control and play music on the paired smartphone
  • You can store music locally on the device for offline listening
  • You could download apps for Spotify and Deezer from the Connect IQ store. With a premium subscription, you can stream music through the Forerunner 955 or the paired smartphone.

Although the Forerunner 165 is cheaper, the Forerunner 955 has specialized features that could help serious athletes and triathletes. For the money spent on a Forerunner 955, you gain the following:

  • Multi-band GPS mode
  • SatIQ technology
  • Better battery life
  • Gyroscope
  • Broader and thicker watch
  • Higher number of training and activity profiles

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