Garmin Forerunner 265 vs Apple Watch SE 2

Garmin Forerunner 265 is a watch designed for runners. It is a relatively new smartwatch released in March 2023. Apple Watch SE 2nd generation smartwatch has been around since September 2022.

We compare the Garmin Forerunner 265 and Apple Watch SE 2 below.

  • Garmin Forerunner 265 has an AMOLED display and Apple Watch SE 2 has a retina display.
  • Forerunner 265 uses multi-band GPS technology. Apple Watch SE 2 can support single frequency GPS.
  • Forerunner 265 can pair with Android and iOS phones. Apple Watch SE 2 can only work with iOS devices i.e. iPhones and iPads.
  • Forerunner 265 has a fiber-enforced polymer body. Apple Watch SE 2 is made of aluminum.
  • Apple Watch SE 2 has a rated battery backup of up to 18 hours. Forerunner 265 can last for up to 13 days in the smartwatch mode.
  • Forerunner 265 has a Pulse Ox sensor. It helps in tracking blood oxygenation levels in the Forerunner smartwatch. Apple Watch SE 2 cannot track blood oxygen saturation levels.
  • Forerunner 265 supports ANT+ wireless connectivity in addition to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Apple Watch SE 2 is not compatible with ANT+ wireless connectivity.
  • Apple Watch SE 2 has an inbuilt speaker and microphone. It can used to answer calls directly from the smartwatch. Forerunner 265 lacks an in-built mic and speaker.
  • Apple Watch SE 2 has a box or square shape. Garmin Forerunner 265 is round.
  • Forerunner 265 is priced at $449.99. Apple Watch SE is available for $249.99.
  • Apple Watch SE 2 comes with a cellular variant. You can use an eSim to call directly from the cellular version of the Apple Watch SE 2. Garmin Forerunner 265 lacks a cellular variant.
  • Apple Watch SE 2 comes in 2 sizes. It has a 40 mm and 44 mm screen. Forerunner 265 is available as the standard Forerunner 265 and a smaller variant Forerunner 265S.

We elaborate on the main points of difference between the Garmin Forerunner 265 and Apple Watch SE 2 below.

Garmin Forerunner 265 in black color

Forerunner 265 is better than the Apple Watch SE 2 in terms of display technology and performance.

  • Apple Watch SE 2 has screen sizes of 1.6″ (40 mm) and 1.78″ (44 mm). Forerunner 265 has a size of 33 mm or 1.3″
  • Apple Watch SE 2 uses a Retina display. Garmin Forerunner 265 has an AMOLED screen.
  • Forerunner 265 uses the 3rd generation Corning Gorilla Glass in the display lens.
  • Garmin Forerunner 265 has a high display resolution of 416 x 416 pixels.
  • Apple Watch SE 2 40 mm variant has a display resolution of 324 by 394 pixels.
  • Apple Watch SE 2 44 mm variant has a display resolution of 368 by 448 pixels.
  • Forerunner 265 has a higher pixel density of 452 ppi and Apple Watch SE has a pixel density of 326 ppi.
  • Apple Watch SE 2 has a peak brightness of up to 1000 nits. Forerunner 265 has a peak brightness of up to 2000 nits.
  • Garmin Forerunner 265 can support the Always-on-display mode or the AOD mode.

The display performance of Garmin Forerunner 265 is better than Apple Watch SE 2. The AMOLED screen ensures better display performance and improved used experience.

Forerunner 265 comes with a multi-frequency positioning sensor. It allows the Forerunner 265 to offer dual-frequency or multi-band GPS services.

With multi-band GPS, you can get GPS satellite data from multiple satellites at any given point in time. The multi-band GPS mode improves GPS accuracy and reliability.

  • Garmin Forerunner 265 supports GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite networks.
  • Apple Watch SE 2 supports QZSS in addition to the GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite networks.

Forerunner 265 has a better GPS performance than Apple Watch SE 2 on account of the multi-band GPS mode.

The main physical specifications of Garmin Forerunner 265 and Apple Watch SE 2 differ in the following aspects:

  • Size – Apple Watch SE 2 has 40 mm and 44 mm sizes. Garmin Forerunner 265 has a size of 46 mm and Forerunner 265S has a size of 42 mm.
  • Weight – Garmin Forerunner 265 weighs 47 g and Forerunner 265S weighs 39 g.

Apple Watch SE 2 has the following weight metrics:

  • 40 mm: GPS: 26.4 grams, GPS + Cellular: 27.8 grams
  • 44 mm: GPS: 32.9 grams, GPS + Cellular: 33.0 grams

Forerunner 265 supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ANT+ wireless connectivity. Apple Watch SE 2 does not support the ANT+ wireless connectivity. It does support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

ANT+ connectivity may not be useful for everyone. For runners and triathletes, the ANT+ connectivity helps in tracking performance metrics using the connectivity and ANT+ receiving devices.

Garmin Forerunner 265 can work with an Android and iOS device. Forerunner 265 uses the Garmin Connect app to pair and work with the smartphone.

Apple Watch SE 2 can work with iOS 17 and later iOS devices. It is not compatible with Android smartphones and Android devices.

Garmin Forerunner 265 offers robust battery backup.

  • In the smartwatch mode, a Garmin Forerunner 265 can last for up to 13 days.
  • Apple Watch SE 2 can last for only up to 18 hours.

You will need to charge the Apple Watch SE 2 every day.

Apple Watch SE 2 and Forerunner 265 support fast charging. You can go from an empty to a full battery charge in less than 2 hours.

Apple Watch SE 2 also supports wireless charging. For this, you will need a charging dock station. Garmin Forerunner 265 only supports wired charging.

Apple Watch SE 2 released in 2022

  • Apple Watch SE 2 has an internal storage of up to 32 GB.
  • Forerunner 265 has an internal storage of up to 8 GB.

The internal storage of the smartwatch is used for downloading personal audio content, maps etc.

  • Garmin Forerunner 265 makes contactless payments or NFC payments using the Garmin Pay app.
  • Apple Watch SE 2 uses the Apple Pay app to make NFC or contactless payments.

A Forerunner 265 is better than the Apple Watch SE 2 for the following reasons:

  • AMOLED display
  • Multi-band GPS or dual-frequency GPS
  • Android and iOS compatibility

An Apple Watch SE 2 works well for:

  • iOS devices
  • Better fall detection feature

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