Garmin Forerunner 165 vs Forerunner 965

Garmin Forerunner 165 is a newer variant. It was released on 20 February 2024. Garmin Forerunner 965 was released in March 2023. We compare the features of Forerunner 165 and Forerunner 965 below.

  • Garmin Forerunner 965 supports multi-band GPS or dual-frequency GPS. Forerunner 165 does not have multi-band GPS capability.
  • Forerunner 965 uses a better quality display lens (Corning Gorilla Glass 3 DX coated) than Forerunner 165 (Chemically-strengthened glass).
  • Forerunner 965 has full-fledged music functionality. Forerunner 165 does not have a music feature.
  • Forerunner 165 lacks Wi-Fi wireless connectivity. Forerunner 965 has Wi-Fi wireless connectivity in addition to ANT+ and Bluetooth.
  • Forerunner 965 has a longer battery backup than Forerunner 165.
  • Forerunner 965 has higher memory (32 GB) or storage than Forerunner 165 (4 GB)
  • Forerunner 965 has more activity profiles than Forerunner 165.
  • Forerunner 965 is relatively bigger and broader than Forerunner 165.

We look at these differences in detail below.

Garmin Forerunner 165 watch

Forerunner 165 and Forerunner 965 use the same display technology. Both watches support the AMOLED display.

Due to the AMOLED display, both watches offer better screen brightness and clarity.

Display specificationsForerunner 165Forerunner 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
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.
  • Forerunner 965 offers higher display resolution (454 x 454 pixels) than Forerunner 165 (390 x 390 pixels)
  • Forerunner 965 has a 1.4″ or 36 mm display glass. Forerunner 165 has a 1.2″ or 30 mm display glass.
  • The bigger size of Garmin Forerunner 965 translates into better display resolution than the Forerunner 165.

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

Physical specificationsForerunner 165Forerunner 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+, BluetoothANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

The important points to note are:

  • Foerunner 165 and Forerunner 965 have 5 ATM water rating. The water resistance of both watches implies that these watches can sustain for up to 20-30 minutes at depth of 50 meters or 165 feet below the water surface.
  • NFC or contactless payments are made possible on Forerunner 165 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 and Forerunner 965 support GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite networks.

However, the GPS accuracy and reliability is higher in 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 triathelets, 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 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 165 does not come with in-built music support. You could, however, use a Garmin Forerunner 165 to control or play music on the paired smartphone.

Garmin Forerunner 965 has full music functionality. This implies that you could:

  • Play music on the paired smartphone
  • Control or play music on the smartwatch
  • Store personal audio content on the smartwatch storage
  • Download apps like Spotify and Deezer from the Connect IQ store to play music

If you like the Forerunner 165 and want music functionality, we suggest picking the Forerunner 165 Music edition. It costs $50 over the Forerunner 165 standard edition.

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

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

Watch modeForerunner 165 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

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

Garmin Forerunner 165 comes at a cost of $249.99. Garmin Forerunner 965 is a complete watch for runners and comes for a cost of $599.99.

Garmin Forerunner 965 is meant for serious runners. It offers the following benefits over the Garmin Forerunner 165:

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

You may also like to read more smartwatch comparisons below:

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