Garmin Forerunner 265 vs Fitbit Sense 2

Forerunner 265 was released in March 2023 while Fitbit Sense 2 was unveiled in September 2022. We look at a detailed comparison between Forerunner 265 and Sense 2 in this post.

Main differences

The main differences between Forerunner 265 and Fitbit Sense 2 are shared below:

  • Forerunner 265 is pricier than Fitbit Sense 2 by $150.
  • Forerunner 265 can work with Android 7 or higher Android devices. It can work with iOS 15 or higher devices. Fitbit Sense 2 can work with Android 9 or higher devices. Sense 2 is compatible with iOS 15 or higher devices.
  • Forerunner 265 supports multi-band GPS. It has a multi-frequency positioning sensor to offer dual-frequency GPS. Sense 2 does not support multi-band GPS.
  • Forerunner 265 supports GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite networks. Sense 2 supports GPS and GLONASS satellite networks. The Galileo network is not supported by Sense 2.
  • Forerunner 265 supports wireless connectivity of ANT+, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. Fitbit Sense 2 can work with Bluetooth only.
  • Forerunner 265 supports incident detection features. Sense 2 does not have any fall detection feature.
  • Forerunner 265 has a longer battery backup than the Sense 2. The battery backup of Forerunner 265 is almost double the battery backup of Sense 2.
  • Garmin Forerunner 265 is designed for runners. It has exclusive programs for running, outdoor recreation, and cycling.
  • Forerunner 265 has 5 tactile buttons. 3 tactile buttons on the left side and 2 tactile buttons on the right side. Sense 2 has a side key on the left side of the watch.
  • Sense 2 has an in-built speaker and microphone. You can make or answer calls from a Sense 2 directly from your wrist.
  • Sense 2 does not have any music functionality while the Forerunner 265 provides full music coverage.
  • Sense 2 is compatible with the ECG app. You can take on-demand cardiograms with a Sense 2. Forerunner 265 does not have ECG functionality.
  • Forerunner 265 comes in two sizes 42 mm and 46 mm. Sense 2 has a single-size variant of 40 mm only.

We look at these features and differences in detail below.

Garmin Forerunner 265

Display specifications

Forerunner 265 and Sense 2 support AMOLED display. Both watches are capable of supporting the Always-on-display (AOD) mode.

Forerunner 265 also uses a 3rd generation Corning Gorilla Glass. The details about the Sense 2 display lens are unavailable.

A side-by-side comparison of Forerunner 265 and Sense 2 is shared below in the table.

Display specificationsGarmin Forerunner 265Fitbit Sense 2
Display lensCorning Gorilla Glass 3No information
Display shapeRoundBox or Square
Display size1.3″ or 33 mm1.58″ or 40 mm
Display resolution416 x 416 pixels336 x 336 pixels
Color displayYesYes
Ambient light sensorYesYes

Forerunner 265 has a better display resolution than the Fitbit Sense 2. The quality of the display lens is also good in Forerunner 265.

Physical specifications

In our experience, the Garmin Forerunner 265 is a robust watch and looks more premium than Fitbit Sense 2.

A complete list of physical specifications of Forerunner 265 and Sense 2 is shared below.

Physical specificationsGarmin Forerunner 265Fitbit Sense 2
iOS compatibleiOS 15 and higher versionsiOS 15 and higher versions
Android compatibleAndroid 7 and higher versionsAndroid 9 and higher versions
Watch size46.1 x 46.1 x 12.9 mm40 x 41 x 11mm
Watch weight47 g46 g
Thickness12.9 mm11 mm
Band size22 mmSmall and Large bands
Band materialSiliconeSilicone
Watch bodyFiber-enforced polymerAluminum
NFC or Contactless PaymentsGarmin PayFitbit Pay and Google Wallet
Water resistance5 ATM or 50 Meters5 ATM or 50 Meters
Device storage8 GB7 days of activity data

Forerunner 265 has better device storage than Fitbit Sense 2. The body of the Forerunner 265 is sturdier than Fitbit Sense 2. Forerunner 265 is broader than Sense 2 while the Sense 2 is sleeker.


Forerunner 265 offers more reliable and accurate GPS connectivity than Fitbit Sense 2.

Forerunner 265 comes with a multi-frequency positioning sensor. The sensor allows Forerunner 265 to offer multi-band GPS or dual-frequency GPS capability.

With multi-band GPS, Forerunner 265 can get GPS data from multiple satellites at any given point in time. The overall reliability of GPS connection improves due to multi-band GPS.

Fitbit Sense 2 does not offer multi-band GPS support.

Apart from the dual-frequency GPS support, Forerunner 265 supports GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite networks. Fitbit Sense 2 can only support GPS and GLONASS satellite networks.

The Galileo satellite network is owned and managed by the European Space Agency. Galileo GPS connectivity improves GPS accuracy and reliability in Europe.

Forerunner 265’s multi-band GPS support and Galileo GPS network compatibility make it a much more preferable smartwatch than Fitbit Sense 2.

Wireless Connectivity

Garmin Forerunner 265 can support Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ANT+ wireless connectivity. Fitbit Sense 2 can only support Bluetooth connectivity.

Wi-Fi is not enabled on Fitbit Sense 2.


Fitbit Sense 2 does not support any music functionality.

Garmin Forerunner 265 can provide complete music coverage. In Forerunner 265, you can avail of the following music features:

  • You can store music content on the Forerunner 265 device storage. Forerunner 265 has an internal memory of 8 GB.
  • You can manage music on Forerunner 265 directly from the smartwatch interface.
  • You can download the Spotify music streaming app from the Connect IQ store and use it through paired smartphone connectivity. A premium subscription of Spotify is needed to avail the music streaming ability.
  • You can use Forerunner 265 to control and manage music on the paired smartphone.

Forerunner 265 is compatible with full music functionality. Sense 2 lacks music functionality. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of the Fitbit Sense 2 smartwatch.

Fitbit Sense 2

ECG app

Fitbit Sense 2 offers an ECG app to take on-demand electrocardiogram readings. You can share these ECG readings with your medical practitioner.

Fitbit Sense 2 uses an optical heart sensor to take ECG readings.

Forerunner 265 does not have the ECG app or ability.


Forerunner 265 and Fitbit Sense 2 offer an identical set of sensor, with a few exceptions.

SensorsGarmin Forerunner 265Fitbit Sense 2
Barometric altimeterYesYes
Heart rate sensorYesYes
Blood Oxygenation sensorYesYes
NFC ReceiverYesYes
cEDA Sensor for Stress trackingNoYes

Forerunner 265 includes a compass while the Sense 2 does not have a sensor for the compass. Fitbit Sense 2 has a cEDA sensor to measure skin conductance (cEDA) for stress detection.

Health tracking

Forerunner 265 has a rich suite of health-tracking features. Sense 2 also has a diverse range of health-tracking features.

Some health monitoring and tracking features in Sense 2 are part of the Fitbit Premium subscription. Fitbit Premium is an additional cost of $79.99 a year or $9.99 a month.

Health monitoringGarmin Forerunner 265Fitbit Sense 2
Heart rate monitoringYesYes
Resting Heart rateYesYes
Heart rate variability (HRV)YesYes
ECG appNoYes
cEDA Sensor for Stress trackingNoYes
Breathing rate monitoringYesYes
Blood Oxygenation monitoringYesYes
Stress monitoringYesYes
Sleep trackingYesYes
Stress scoreYesYes (in Fitbit Premium)
Health DashboardYesYes (in Fitbit Premium)
Temperature readingsYesYes
Blood Glucose TrackingNoYes (in Fitbit Premium)
Women HealthYesYes
Body stress scoresBody BatteryDaily Readiness Score (in Fitbit Premium)

Fitbit Sense 2 has an ECG app for on-demand electrocardiogram readings. These ECG readings can be shared with a medical practitioner. Apart from this, Sense 2 also has a cEDA sensor that measures stress through electrical conductance.

A few health parameters and a consolidated Health Dashboard in Fitbit Sense 2 are behind the paywall of Fitbit Premium.


The battery life of Fitbit Sense 2 is 6 days. With GPS usage, the battery drains at a faster rate.

Sense 2 does support fast charging. You can add a day’s worth of charge by charging the device for 12 minutes.

Forerunner 265 offers longer battery backup. It is designed to keep the steady company of athletes and runners.

The watch operates in different smartwatch modes. The battery charge rating for each watch mode in Forerunner 265 is shared below:

Watch modeForerunner 265 backup
Smartwatch modeUp to 13 days
GPS-Only GNSS modeUp to 20 hours
GPS-Only GNSS mode with music Up to 7 hours
All-Systems GNSS mode + Multi-BandUp to 14 hours
All-Systems GNSS mode + Multi-Band with music Up to 6 hours
SatIQ (AutoSelect) GNSS modeUp to 16 hours
SatIQ (AutoSelect) GNSS mode with musicUp to 6.5 hours

The battery backup of Forerunner 265 is double the battery backup offered by a Fitbit Sense 2 smartwatch.


Garmin Forerunner 265 comes at a list price of $449.99 while the Fitbit Sense 2 costs $299.99.

Final verdict

Forerunner 265 is my personal favorite and I am heavily biased in favor of the Forerunner series. In particular, the reasons I like Forerunner 265 over the Fitbit Sense 2 are:

  • Multi-band GPS in Forerunner 265
  • Support for Galileo satellite networks. Trust me, it helps in improving GPS reliability across the European terrain.
  • Support for ANT+, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Full music functionality
  • Longer battery life
  • Sturdier build of the watch.
  • 3rd generation Corning Gorilla Glass in the display lens of the watch.

The only reason I can think of Fitbit Sense 2 is the availability of the ECG app. I find the build quality of Fitbit Sense 2 lacking. It could have been built more sturdily to last longer.

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