Garmin Forerunner 965 vs Coros Apex 2

Garmin Forerunner 965 was launched in March 2023 and Coros Apex 2 has been around since late 2022. We compare both watches from the runners’ perspective below in a detailed comparison below.

  • Forerunner 965 supports multi-band or dual-frequency GPS. Coros Apex 2 has a single-band frequency mode. The GPS performance of the Forerunner 965 is better than Coros Apex 2.
  • Forerunner 965 has an AMOLED display. Coros Apex 2 uses an LCD display.
  • Forerunner 965 supports GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite networks. Coros Apex 2 can support GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou satellite networks. You will find improved GPS connectivity for China and Japan on a Coros Apex 2.
  • Forerunner 965 has 32 GB internal storage. Coros Apex 2 has 8 GB internal storage.
  • Forerunner 965 uses 3rd generation DX-coated Corning Gorilla Glass in the display lens. Coros Apex 2 uses a Sapphire display lens.
  • You can make contactless payments through Forerunner 965. The Garmin Pay app provides NFC support on the Forerunner 965. Coros Apex 2 lacks NFC support.
  • Forerunner 965 offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ANT+ wireless connectivity. Coros Apex 2 can only do Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and lacks ANT+ wireless connectivity.
  • Forerunner 965 supports incident detection or fall detection in special situations. Coros Apex 2 is missing the incident detection or fall detection feature.
  • Garmin Forerunner 965 lacks support for the Garmin ECG app. Coros Apex 2 has an electrocardiogram sensor. It can help in taking HRV or heart-rate variability readings. However, you cannot use the ECG sensor of Coros Apex 2 for detecting heart rhythm issues.
  • Garmin Forerunner 965 is priced at $599.99. Coros Apex 2 is priced at $349.99.

We look at these features in detail below.

Garmin Forerunner 965 in yellow

Forerunner 965 uses an AMOLED display screen. Coros Apex 2 has an LCD screen made of Sapphire glass.

The AMOLED display lens of Forerunner 965 provides brighter and better display performance. Due to the AMOLED display, you get the following benefits on a Forerunner 965.

  • Forerunner 965 has a much better display resolution of 454 x 454 pixels than Coros Apex 2’s resolution of 240 x 240 pixels.
  • Forerunner 965 can support the Always-on-display mode.

Bear in mind though, that the Always-on-display mode does consume more battery.

The screen size of Forerunner 965 is 36 mm. Coros Apex 2 has a 30 mm screen.

The display specifications of the Forerunner 955 and Coros Apex 2 are compared below.

Display specificationsGarmin Forerunner 965Coros Apex 2
Display typeAMOLEDLCD
Display resolution454 X 454 pixels240 x 240 pixels
Display size1.4″ or 36 mm1.2″ or 30 mm
Color displayYesYes
Display glassCorning Gorilla Glass 3 DXSapphire Glass

The DX-coated Corning Gorilla Glass 3 in Forerunner 965 offers improved readability under bright light and sunlight. The DX coating is an anti-reflective coating that helps to improve the display experience.

At the same time, the Sapphire glass in Coros Apex 2 in terms of providing a scratch-proof experience. Sapphire is the second hardest mineral available in the world. Sapphire glass watches assure a long period of ownership. And, the Sapphire watches can handle normal wear and tear effortlessly.

We will pick a Forerunner 965 for its AMOLED display and much brighter and vibrant display performance than that of Coros Apex 2. The display resolution of Forerunner 965 is almost twice the resolution of a Coros Apex 2.

Forerunner 965 offers a higher device storage (32 GB) than Coros Apex 2 (8 GB). The additional device storage is handy for downloading regional or topographical maps onto the smartwatch storage.

You could use the additional storage in Forerunner 965 for storing personal audio content.

Forerunner 965 is also wider than the Coros Apex 2. The screen size of 6 mm bigger than the screen size of a Coros Apex 2.

We look at the device specifications of the Garmin Forerunner 965 and Coros Apex 2 in brief below.

Physical specificationsGarmin Forerunner 965Coros Apex 2
Physical size47.2 x 47.2 x 13.2 mm43.0 x 42.8 x 12.8mm
Thickness13.2 mm12.8 mm
Weight53 g53 g (Silicone)/42 g (Nylon)
Band size22 mm20 mm
Band materialSiliconeSilicone and Nylon
Water rating5 ATM or 50 meters5 ATM or 50 meters
Wireless connectivityANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiBluetooth, Wi-Fi
Bezel materialTitaniumTitanium
Watch bodyFiber-enforced polymerTitanium alloy
Device storage32 GB8 GB

The bezel of Forerunner 965 is made of titanium alloy. But, the body is still made of the fiber-enforced polymer. Coros Apex 2 is fully made of titanium alloy.

Coros Apex 2, therefore, is a much more robust looking watch than the Forerunner 965.

Forerunner 965 comes with a multi-frequency positioning sensor. The sensor allows Forerunner 955 to fetch GPS data from multiple satellites at any given point in time.

The multi-frequency positioning sensor of the Forerunner 965 can provide multi-band GPS support or dual-frequency GPS support.

The multi-band GPS helps in improving GPS accuracy and reliability, especially in dense cities, skyscraper cities, hills, and remote terrains.

Coros Apex 2 can only offer single-band GPS support.

However, Coros Apex 2 supports QZSS and BeiDou satellite networks in addition to the GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite networks. This bolsters GPS performance for users in China and Japan.

Forerunner 965 does support GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite networks. It lacks support for the QZSS and BeiDou networks at this point of time.

NFC sensors help in enabling contactless payments on a smartwatch. You could swipe the smartwatch wallet over any NFC reader at any merchant location.

Forerunner 965 uses the Garmin Pay app to facilitate NFC or contactless payments at merchant establishments.

Coros Apex 2 lacks the NFC support as we write this. So, you cannot make any contactless payments through the Coros Apex 2 smartwatch.

Garmin has a Garmin ECG app. It was approved by the FDA in January 2023. The Garmin ECG app can be used to detect irregular heart rhythm conditions. It can help uncover Atrial Fibrillation cases.

As of writing this, the Garmin Forerunner 965 is not compatible with the Garmin ECG app.

Coros Apex 2 has an ECG sensor or an electrocardiogram sensor. But, this ECG sensor cannot take electrocardiogram readings. However, it can be used to detect HRV readings or heart rate variability data.

Coros Apex 2 has an ECG sensor with limited applicability.

Coros Apex 2 offers extended battery backup. Forerunner 965 also offers longer battery backup than the Coros Apex 2.

We compare the battery performance of Coros Apex 2 and Forerunner 965 in the comparison below.

Watch modeForerunner 965 battery backup
Smartwatch modeUp to 23 days
GPS ModeUp to 31 hours
GPS Mode with musicUp to 10.5 hours
All-Systems GNSS mode + Multi-BandUp to 19 hours
All-Systems GNSS mode + Multi-Band and music:Up to 8.5 hours

The battery life of Coros Apex 2 in different modes is as under:

Watch modeCoros Apex 2 battery backup
Daily useUp to 17 days
GPS ModeUp to 45 hours
GPS Mode with musicUp to 8 hours
All Systems GPSUp to 30 hours
All Systems GPS with musicUp to 7 hours

Both, Forerunner 965 and Coros Apex 2 offer decent battery backups.

Both watches also support fast charging. So, you can go from a drained-out battery to a full battery in less than 2 hours.

Garmin Forerunner 965 has a SatIQ sensor in-built into the smartwatch. The SatIQ sensor helps in automating the management of the multi-band GPS mode.

The multi-band GPS mode consumes more battery than the normal mode. It should be only used when the GPS connectivity is poor or GPS signals are weak. Otherwise, multi-band GPS will finish the battery backup in a haste.

SatIQ technology helps in automating the management of multi-band GPS mode. The SatIQ technology will automatically toggle on-off the multi-band GPS mode.

When the GPS connectivity is poor, SatIQ will automatically turn-on the multi-band GPS mode. As and when the GPS signals improve, SatIQ will automatically turn off the multi-band GPS mode and restore the single-band GPS mode on the smartwatch.

SatIQ helps in preserving battery life and takes away the hassle of managing the multi-band GPS mode in the Forerunner 965.

Coros Apex 2 lacks multi-band GPS mode and the SatIQ technology.

Coros Apex 2 Pro in Gobi variant

The incident detection feature in Forerunner 965 is similar to the fall detection feature of Apple smartwatches.

Upon detecting a hard fall and non-response from the watch owner, the incident detection feature in Forerunner 965 will notify up to 3 designated emergency contacts. The smartwatch sends geo-location data to the designated emergency contacts in a bid to seek help.

Coros Apex 2 does not have fall detection or incident detection features.

Garmin Forerunner 965 also comes with the spectator messaging feature.

Spectator messaging is a feature that allows your LiveTrack followers to send you audio and text messages during your run activity. You can set up this feature in the LiveTrack settings of the Garmin Connect app. To receive audio messages, you must have Bluetooth headphones connected to your watch.

You can read more about the spectator messaging feature on the Garmin website.

Garmin Forerunner 965 is priced at $599.99 and Coros Apex 2 has a cost price of $349. So, the Apex 2 is cheaper than the Forerunner 955 by $250.

So, the Forerunner 965 is costlier than the Coros Apex 2 by almost $250. For the additional money spent, you get the following additional capabilities:

  • AMOLED display in Forerunner 965
  • Multi-band GPS in Forerunner 965
  • NFC or contactless payments in Forerunner 965 through Garmin Pay
  • Higher device storage of 32 GB in Forerunner 965
  • ANT+ support for wireless connectivity
  • Bigger display screen of 36 mm
  • Incident detection feature
  • Spectator messaging for safety of the watch owner

There is a marked difference in the display performance of the Forerunner 965 and Coros Apex 2. The screen brightness and resolution of a Forerunner 965 make for a fulfilling experience.

In our personal experience, the Forerunner 965 gets GPS signals faster and offers better GPS performance.

If you are concerned about GPS accuracy, availability, and reliability pick a Forerunner 965 over the Coros Apex 2 smartwatch. And, if you are overtly concerned about reaching out to someone for your safety, the incident detection and spectator messaging features in Forerunner 965 must be considered.

You may like to read more content about smartwatch comparisons below:

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