Garmin Forerunner 265 vs Epix 2

Garmin Forerunner 265 is one of the newer watches from Garmin. It was released in March 2023. Edge 2 has been around since January 2022.

The comparison between Forerunner 265 and Epix 2 standard edition is one of the interesting ones. Forerunner 265 costs almost half of Epix 2.

What do you get for $449.99 in Epix 2 that is not already there on the Forerunner 265? Let us take a look at this interesting question below.

For this comparison, we are looking at Epix Gen 2 standard edition and Forerunner 265. Epix 2 Sapphire edition has a different set of features and we will compare it in a separate study.

Main differences

  • Forerunner 265 has a better display lens as it uses the 3rd generation Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Epix 2 uses Corning Gorilla glass.
  • Epix 2 has a better water rating than Forerunner 265.
  • Epix 2 comes preloaded with Golf features, including 43000 golf course maps. Forerunner 265 does not support Golf.
  • Epix 2 has better device storage than Forerunner 265.
  • Forerunner 265 supports multi-band GPS while the Epix 2 smartwatch does not have multi-band GPS.
  • Epix 2 battery offers longer backup than the Forerunner 265, especially on the GPS modes.
  • Epix 2 has a higher number of profiles in outdoor recreation, cycling, and swimming than the Forerunner 265.

Forerunner 265 does justice to its position as one of the best watches for runners. Epix 2 is a complete package, that will appeal to runners and others alike.

We look at these differences in detail below.

Forerunner 265 watch

Display

Forerunner 265 and Epix 2 have an AMOLED display. With AMOLED display, both watches support the Always-on-display feature.

The display resolution and clarity of AMOLED watches are higher than the MIP or memory in pixel watches.

However, Forerunner 265 does have Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The display lens is better on Forerunner 265.

Corning Gorilla Glass 3 has better scratch resistance than the normal Corning Gorilla Glass.

We lay out all the display specifications below.

Display specificationsForerunner 265Epix 2
Display lensCorning Gorilla Glass 3Corning Gorilla Glass
Display typeAMOLEDAMOLED
Display size1.3″ or 33 mm1.3″ or 33 mm
Display resolution416 x 416 pixels416 x 416 pixels
Color displayYesYes
TouchscreenYesYes
LED FlashlightNoNo

The only significant difference in display specifications is the display lens. Forerunner 265 has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and it is better than the Corning Gorilla Glass. It has much better scratch resistance.

Physical specifications

In terms of physical specifications, it is clear that the Epix 2 has a premium feel. It is slightly broader than Forerunner 265.

We look at the hardware specifications of Forerunner 265 and Epix 2 below.

SpecificationsForerunner 265Epix 2
Watch size46.1 x 46.1 x 12.9 mm47 x 47 x 14.5 mm
Thickness12.9 mm14.5 mm
Watch bodyFiber-enforced polymerFiber-enforced polymer with steel rear cover
BezelFiber-enforced polymerStainless steel
Watch weight47 g53 g
Band size22 mm22 mm
Band materialSiliconeSilicone
Water rating5 ATM10 ATM
Device storage8 GB16 GB
Recommended wrist circumference135-205 mm 125-208 mm

Epix 2 has better physical specifications than Forerunner 265 as it has double device storage, 10 ATM water rating and bezel made out of stainless steel.

Epix 2 general edition

GPS

Forerunner 265 and Epix 2 support GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite systems for GPS data. However, Forerunner 265 does have more reliable GPS data coverage.

Forerunner 265 has a multi-frequency positioning sensor. The sensor allows Forerunner 265 to offer multi-band GPS.

Multi-band GPS allows the watch to get GPS data or signals from multiple satellites at the same time. Due to this, the accuracy of GPS data is assured on Forerunner 265.

There is a challenge with multi-band GPS. It poses a big drain on the watch battery. To ensure optimum battery usage, Forerunner 265 uses SatIQ to automatically manage the multi-band GPS.

SatIQ toggles on or off the multi-band GPS. If the quality of the GPS signal is bad, SatIQ will turn on the multi-band GPS mode. If the signal is of satisfactory quality, SatIQ will use the simple GPS mode and keep the multi-band GPS mode off.

We do suggest reading Garmin’s coverage of multi-band GPS and SatIQ for understanding how both technologies work to offer better GPS performance.

Forerunner 265 offers better GPS performance than Epix 2 (standard edition) as it supports the multi-band GPS mode. SatIQ technology ensures optimized battery performance while availing GPS network coverage.

Battery

The battery life of Epix 2 is better than Forerunner 265. Forerunner 265 has an extended battery life. It is just that the Epix 2 does better backup on the GPS modes.

Battery backup on different smartwatch modes is shared below.

Watch modeForerunner 265 backupEpix 2
Smartwatch modeup to 13 daysup to 16 days
GPS mode without musicup to 20 hoursup to 42 hours
GPS mode with musicup to 7 hoursup to 10 hours
All Systems + Multi-Band Mode without Musicup to 14 hoursMulti-band not available
All Systems + Multi-Band Mode with Musicup to 7 hoursMulti-band not available
SatIQ (AutoSelect) Mode without Musicup to 16 hoursSatIQ not available
SatIQ (AutoSelect) Mode with Musicup to 6 hoursSatIQ not available

The battery backup of Forerunner 265 is pretty decent and is designed to keep the runners engaged at all times. However, on a comparative scale, Epix 2 standard edition battery does outlast the Forerunner 265 battery.

Golf

One of the most significant differences between the Forerunner 265 and Epix 2 standard edition has to be the support for Golf.

Epix 2 does offer full-fledged coverage for Golf. This includes the Garmin golf app and preloaded data of 43000 golf course maps.

Forerunner 265 does not offer Golf.

If you are a Golf lover, Epix 2 is the watch you want. Forerunner 265 does not offer or support the game of Golf.

Miscellaneous features

There are a few small differences in miscellaneous features of the Forerunner 265 and Epix 2 standard edition.

We list these incremental features for each watch below.

  • Forerunner 265 offers the safety feature of spectator messaging. Epix 2 does not have it.
  • Epix 2 has additional profiles in outdoor recreation and cycling activity.
  • Epix 2 has a jet lag advisor too.

Cost

Epix 2 standard edition has a list price of $899.99 and Forerunner 265 is priced 50% lower at $449.99. The difference in cost between the two watches is $450.

Final verdict

Between Epix 2 and Forerunner 265, we like the Forerunner 265 a lot. It ticks most boxes needed for a smartwatch for athletes and hikers. The multi-band GPS mode is a game changer for GPS performance of the Forerunner 265 smartwatch.

For an additional spend of $450, the Epix 2 gives you a:

  • better looking watch
  • higher device storage
  • better water rating and additional swimming profile for swimming/running.
  • full support for Garmin Golf
  • better battery backup

I will reiterate that I keep coming back to Forerunner 265 because of the value proposition it has to offer.

Suggested reading

We believe that you may like to read the following content:

You may also like to read in detail about multi-band GPS and SatIQ technology on Garmin watches below:

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