Garmin Forerunner 265 vs Fitbit Versa 4

Garmin Forerunner 265 is a relatively newer variant released in March 2023. Fitbit Versa 4 was released in August 2022.

We have received user interest to cover and compare Forerunner 265 and Fitbit Versa 4 smartwatches. Let us review both watches below.

Main differences

  • Garmin Forerunner 265 costs $250 more than the Fitbit Versa 4. The watches are in different categories in terms of features and functionality.
  • Forerunner 265 is compatible with Android 7 or higher versions of Android. It can work with all Apple devices running iOS 15 or higher iOS version. Fitbit Versa 4 is compatible with Android 9 and higher versions. It can work with iOS 15 and higher iOS version devices.
  • Forerunner 265 supports dual-frequency or multi-band GPS. The multi-band GPS feature is missing in Fitbit Versa 4.
  • Forerunner 265 has a significantly longer battery backup than Fitbit Versa 4. Forerunner 265’s battery backup is actually double the battery backup offered by Versa 4.
  • Forerunner 265 also has a comprehensive set of activities that have been pre-configured under Running, outdoor recreation, and cycling. Versa 4 does not come close to any of these fitness activity profiles in terms of accuracy and amount of data for tracking.
  • Versa 4 does not support Galileo GPS networks. It can only do GPS and GLONASS for now. This may be a sour point for folks in Europe. Galileo GPS network has high GPS accuracy for the European terrain.
  • Versa 4 has an in-built speaker and microphone. You can make calls and answer calls directly from the watch. Forerunner 265 does not have an in-built speaker or microphone.
  • One of the strong points of Forerunner 265 is the functionality offered through tactile buttons. Forerunner 265 has 5 tactile buttons. There are 3 tactile buttons on the left side of the watch and another 2 tactile buttons on the right side. Fitbit Versa 4 has a side button. Versa 4 is primarily a touch-oriented watch. Forerunner 265 is sturdy and offers a touch and tactile button experience.
  • Fitbit Versa 4 lacks the fall detection feature. Garmin Forerunner 265 has an incident detection feature that detects a hard fall and sends an emergency SOS to designated emergency contacts.
  • Forerunner 265 supports ANT+ wireless protocol. This wireless connectivity is useful in broadcasting your heart rate data. Versa 4 does not support ANT+.
  • Forerunner 265 also has Wi-Fi connectivity. Versa 4 cannot connect to Wi-Fi networks.

Essentially, Garmin Forerunner 265 packs a lot of features than the Fitbit Versa 4. A good Garmin watch easily lasts for anywhere between 4 to 6 years with average maintenance. Fitbit Versa 4 may not match the long periods of ownership associated with any Garmin watch.

A lot of health features for Fitbit Versa 4 are behind the paywall of Fitbit premium. So, after the initial 6 months of ownership, you will need to take up Fitbit Premium to enhance health tracking features in Versa 4

We look at some features and core differences in more detail below.


Garmin Forerunner 265 and Fitbit Versa 4 support AMOLED display. However, Forerunner does offer a better display resolution.

A side-by-side comparison of Forerunner 265 and Versa 4 is shared hereunder.

Display specificationsGarmin Forerunner 265Fitbit Versa 4
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 uses a third-generation Corning Gorilla Glass while the display lens information for Fitbit Versa 4 is not confirmed. Forerunner 265 also has a higher display resolution than Versa 4

Physical specifications

There are quite a few differences between the Forerunner 265 and Versa 4 when it comes to the hardware of the watches.

Physical specificationsGarmin Forerunner 265Fitbit Versa 4
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 g40 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 is made of fiber-enforced polymer while Fitbit Versa 4 is made of aluminum. Fitbit Versa 4 is a sleeker watch. But, Forerunner 265 looks sturdier of the two watches.


Forerunner 265 supports GPS, Galileo and GLONASS networks. Fitbit Versa 4 can do GPS and GLONASS GPS networks.

Forerunner 265 has a much better GPS performance than Fitbit Versa 4. The improved GPS performance of Forerunner 265 can be attributed to the multi-frequency positioning sensor in Forerunner 265.

The multi-frequency positioning sensor in Forerunner 265 enables dual-frequency of multi-band GPS support in the watch.

When the GPS connectivity is of poor quality, you can use multi-band GPS mode to get GPS data from alternate satellites.

Multi-band GPS vastly improves the accuracy of GPS data in Forerunner 265.

Fitbit Versa 4 does not support dual-frequency or multi-band GPS.

For serious runners and athletes, GPS accuracy and reliability are of prime importance. The multi-band GPS mode of Forerunner 265 makes it a preferred watch over Fitbit Versa 4 for its reliable GPS data.

Wireless connectivity

Garmin Forerunner 265 supports ANT+, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity. Fitbit Versa 4 can only support a Bluetooth wireless connection.

ANT+ has not been added to Fitbit Versa 4. Wi-FI connectivity cannot be enabled on the Versa 4.

ANT+ and Wi-Fi wireless connectivity options are available in Forerunner 265; Fitbit Versa 4 lacks Wi-Fi and ANT+.


Garmin packs more sensors in Forerunner 265 than Google’s Fitbit Versa 4. A simple side-by-side list of sensors on both watches is shared below.

SensorsGarmin Forerunner 265Fitbit Versa 4
Barometric altimeterYesYes
Heart rate sensorYesYes
Blood Oxygenation sensorYesYes

A gyroscope, compass, and thermometer (for wrist-based temperature readings ) are missing on Fitbit Versa 4. All these sensors are available in Garmin Forerunner 265.

Health monitoring

The primary health metrics tracked on Garmin Forerunner 265 and Fitbit Versa 4 are identical. Let us review this in a quick comparison table.

Health monitoringGarmin Forerunner 265Fitbit Versa 4
Heart rate monitoringYesYes
Resting Heart rateYesYes
Heart rate variability (HRV)YesYes
Breathing rate monitoringYesYes
Blood Oxygenation monitoringYesYes
Stress monitoringYesYes
Sleep trackingYesYes
Stress scoreYesYes (in Fitbit Premium)
Health DashboardYesYes (in Fitbit Premium)
Temperature readingsYesNo
Blood Glucose TrackingNoYes (in Fitbit Premium)
Women HealthYesYes
Body stress scoresBody BatteryDaily Readiness Score (in Fitbit Premium)

A few advanced health tracking metrics and features are only available in the Fitbit Premium app. Fitbit Premium app is a premium subscription service that entails an additional charge of $9.99 a month of $79.99 a year.

Garmin Forerunner 265 packs a lot of health tracking features and metrics as a standard offering.


Forerunner 265 is designed for runners. It provides ample battery backup to keep the runners in good stead at all times.

Forerunner 265 comes with a battery backup of up to 13 days in the smartwatch mode. On the GPS mode, it offers 20 hours of battery backup. With multi-band GPS, the battery backup of Forerunenr 265 goes down to 14 hours.

Fitbit Versa 4 offers 6 days of battery life. The battery drains faster when you are using GPS on the watch.

The good thing about Fitbit Versa 4 is the fast charging. With 12 minutes of charging, you add a day’s worth of battery backup to Fitbit Versa 4.

Forerunner 265 offers longer battery backup than Versa 4. If the battery is your primary concern, go for the Forerunner 265 smartwatch.


Forerunner 265 offers full music coverage and functionality. On a Forerunner 265 you can,

  • Store music on the watch
  • Play music directly from the watch storage using the Forerunner 265 interface
  • Control and play music from the paired smartphone
  • Stream music using Spotify and Deezer. You need to get the Spotify and Deezer apps from the Connect IQ store. You must also have a valid subscription to Spotify and Deezer.

Fitbit Versa 4 has no music functionality. There is no mention of controlling music on the paired smartphone using Versa 4. On a similar basis, there is mention of streaming music using Spotify or Pandora apps.

Forerunner 265 should be given preference if you want any sort of music functionality. Fitbit Versa 4 lacks music feature.

Final verdict

Fitbit Versa 4 is a good lifestyle smartwatch. It offers a good set of basic smartwatch features. The additional spending of $250 on Forerunner 265 gets you some important capabilities.

Some of these additional features are:

  1. Multi-band or Dual-frequency GPS
  2. Longer battery life
  3. Full music functionality
  4. ANT+ and Wi-Fi connectivity
  5. Better display lens glass
  6. Better display resolution
  7. Compass, gyroscope and thermometer functionality.
  8. Sturdy smartwatch for longer periods of ownership

Forerunner 265 works well for runners and triathletes. So, if you are all about measuring training metrics or performance data, go for a Forerunner 265.

Suggested comparisons

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