Garmin Forerunner 265 vs Venu 3

Garmin Forerunner 265 was released in March 2023. Garmin Venu 3 has been released in August 2023. Both smartwatches are compelling alternatives.

We look at both smartwatches in detail.

Main differences

The main differences between Garmin Forerunner 265 and Venu 3 are shared below:

  • Garmin Venu 3 is compatible with the Garmin ECG app. Forerunner 265 does not support the use of the Garmin ECG app.
  • Garmin Forerunner 265 has a 1.3″ screen. Venu 3 has a 1.4″ inch screen. Forerunner 265 comes in 46 mm size, Venu 3 in 45 mm, and Venu 3S in 41 mm sizes.
  • Garmin Forerunner 265 supports multi-band GPS. Venu 3 is not compatible with multi-band GPS.
  • Venu 3 comes with a wheelchair mode to track the workouts of wheelchair users.
  • Forerunner 265 has more specialized profiles for runners.
  • Garmin Venu 3 has an in-built speaker and microphone. Forerunner 265 does not have an in-built speaker or microphone.
  • Garmin Venu 3 supports Golf. Forerunner 265 is not compatible with Garmin Golf.
  • Venu 3 has a gaming activity and is compatible with the Gameon app. Forerunner 265 does not have any gaming activity.
  • Forerunner 265 has an in-built sensor for taking temperature readings. Venu 3 requires a tempe sensor to take skin-based temperature readings.

We look at these differences in detail below.

Garmin Venu 3 boot screen

Display Specifications

Garmin Venu 3 and Forerunner 265 use the same 3rd generation Corning Gorilla Glass in the display lens.

Venu 3 and Forerunner 265 have an AMOLED display. Both watches support Always-on-display mode.

We look at the generic display specifications of Forerunner 265 and Venu 3 below.

Display specificationsGarmin Forerunner 265Garmin Venu 3
Display lensCorning Gorilla Glass 3Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Display size1.3″ or 33 mm 1.4″ or 36 mm
Color displayYesYes
Display resolution416 x 416 pixels454 x 454 pixels
Ambient light sensorYesYes
LED FlashlightNoNo

There is not much difference in the display specifications of Forerunner 265 and Venu 3. Both watches do offer AMOLED display for a brighter and more responsive screen experience.

Physical specifications

Venu 3 has a stainless steel bezel, lending it a premium look. Forerunner 265 has an all-round body made of polymer.

Both watches have identical water resistance ratings and device storage. The Garmin Pay app supports NFC or contactless payments on both smartwatches.

We look at the physical specifications of both watches below.

Physical specificationsGarmin Forerunner 265Garmin Venu 3
Watch size46 mm45 mm
Watch dimensions46.1 x 46.1 x 12.9 mm45 x 45 x 12 mm
Thickness12.9 mm12 mm
Watch weight47 g47 g
Band size22 mm22 mm
Recommended wrist circumference135-205 mm135-200 mm
Water rating5 ATM5 ATM
Device storage8 GB8 GB
NFC PaymentsGarmin PayGarmin Pay
Wireless connectivityANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Barometric altimeterYesYes
Garmin Pulse Ox SensorYesYes
Garmin Elevate Heart SensorYesYes
Thermometer YesYes (tempe sensor needed)
In-built speakerNoYes
In-built microphoneNoYes

An important difference between Forerunner 265 and Venu 3 is the availability of an in-built speaker and microphone in Venu 3. You can make calls or answer calls directly through the Garmin Venu 3.


One of the strongest features of Garmin Forerunner 265 is the presence of a multi-frequency positioning sensor in the watch.

The multi-frequency positioning sensor helps in providing the multi-band GPS capability in Forerunner 265. The multi-band GPS allows the smartwatch to pull GPS data from multiple satellites at any given point in time.

The multi-band GPS, therefore, improves GPS accuracy and reliability. The feature is very helpful when you are in a remote area or going uphill. In areas with poor GPS signals, the multi-band GPS improves GPS performance.

If you are a runner who needs accurate GPS data, Forerunner 265 must be preferred over the Venu 3 smartwatch for a more reliable GPS experience due to multi-band GPS.


Garmin Forerunner 265 and Venu 3 offer full music functionality. This implies that you can enjoy the following music features on both the smartwatches:

  • You can manage music on the paired smartphone using the smartwatch.
  • You can store music locally on the smartwatch.
  • You can use the smartwatch interface to manage music on the device.
  • You can download Spotify and Deezer apps for music streaming or offline listening. To download music from Spotify or Deezer, you will need the premium subscription of the apps.
Garmin Forerunner 265 boot screen


Forerunner 265 and Venu 3 have an almost identical battery backup experience. Both smartwatches support fast charging. You can go from an empty battery to a full battery in less than 2 hours of battery charging.

We share the battery backup in different watch modes for Forerunner 265 and Venu 3 below.

Watch modeGarmin Forerunner 265 BackupGarmin Venu 3 Backup
Smartwatch modeUp to 13 daysUp to 14 days
GPS ModeUp to 20 hoursUp to 26 hours
All-Systems GNSS modeUp to 14 hours (with multi-band)Up to 20 hours
All-Systems GNSS mode with musicUp to 7 hoursUp to 11 hours
Battery Saver modeUp to 26 days

Garmin Venu 3 features a battery saver mode with up to 26 days of battery backup. You can continue to use a Garmin Venu 3 for an extended period at low power settings.


Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3S support the Garmin ECG app. The Garmin ECG app was not supported on these watches at the time of launch of the watch. However, within 3 weeks of launch, Garmin has enabled the Garmin ECG app on Venu 3 and Venu 3S smartwatches.

Garmin Forerunner 265 does not feature the Garmin ECG app. It may be pertinent to mention that the Garmin ECG app has received the FDA approval.

The Garmin ECG app is already a part of the Garmin Venu 2 Plus smartwatch. Venu 3 became the second Garmin smartwatch series to support the Garmin ECG app.

The Garmin ECG can be used to take electrocardiogram readings. It helps in detecting conditions of irregular heart rhythms. The data collected can also be used in detecting conditions of Atrial Fibrillation.

Wheelchair mode

Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3S have added a wheelchair mode. The wheelchair mode helps in tracking pushes made by wheelchair users.

Garmin has also added wheelchair workouts for wheelchair users.

Activity profiles

There are specific differences in activity profiles between Garmin Forerunner 265 and Venu 3. We list the different activity profiles in the side-by-side comparison below.

Activity profilesGarmin Forerunner 265Garmin Venu 3
SwimmingPool swimming, Open water swimmingPool swimming
RunningRunning, Outdoor Track Running, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running, Trail Running, Virtual Running, Ultra RunningRunning, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running

Outdoor recreationHiking, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Classic Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, RowingHiking, Indoor Climbing, Bouldering, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Classic Skiing, Snowshoeing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Tennis, Padel, Pickleball, Disc Golf
CyclingBiking, Indoor Biking, Mountain Biking, eBiking, eMountain BikingBiking, Indoor Biking, eBiking, Handcycling, Indoor Handcycling


Garmin Forerunner 265 comes at a list price of $449.99. On a similar note, Garmin Venu 3 has been launched at a list price of $449.99.

Final verdict

Garmin Forerunner 265 is more suitable for runners or athletes. Especially, the multi-band GPS in Forerunner 265 is a game-changing experience for runners and trekkers.

Garmin Venu 3 is a newer smartwatch that can be considered a modern lifestyle smartwatch. It has useful features to keep you in good stead at all times.

If you are keen on using the ECG feature, then you must pick the Venu 3 smartwatch as it supports the ECG app now.

More Smartwatch Comparisons

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