Garmin Forerunner 965 vs Epix 2

Garmin Forerunner 965 is the latest in the series of Forerunner watches. It was released in March 2023. Epix 2 has been around since January 2022 but makes for a very compelling choice as a smartwatch.

We look at the main features, capabilities, and points of distinction between the Forerunner 965 and Epix 2 general edition smartwatches below.

Main differences between Forerunner 965 and Epix 2

  • One of the significant differences between Forerunner 965 and Epix 2 is cost. Epix 2 is costlier than Forerunner 965 by $300.
  • Forerunner 965 supports multi-band GPS while Epix 2 general edition does not support it. Epix 2 Sapphire edition does support multi-band GPS.
  • Forerunner 965 has a better battery backup than Epix 2.
  • Forerunner 965 has higher device storage than Epix 2 general edition watch. However, Forerunner 965 and Epix 2 Sapphire have equivalent device storage.
  • Forerunner 965 is broader and thinner than Epix 2.
  • Epix 2 supports Golf and is compatible with Garmin Golf. Forerunner 965 does not have Golf support.

We look at all these points in detail below.


Forerunner 965 has a newer display glass than Epix 2. Both watches come with AMOLED display and support Always-on-display or AOD feature.

We look at the most significant display features of Forerunner 965 and Epix general edition in a side by side comparison

Display specificationsForerunner 965Epix 2
Display lensCorning Gorilla Glass 3 DXCorning Gorilla Glass
Display size1.4″ or 36 mm1.3″ or 33 mm
Display resolution454 x 454 pixels416 x 416 pixels
Pixel density458 ppi350 ppi
Color displayYesYes
LED FlashlightNoNo

The difference in display lens is pretty significant and one that you may want to know more about.

Forerunner 965 has a DX coated Corning Gorilla Glass 3 which is equivalent to saying that it has 3rd generation Corning Gorilla Glass with DX coating.

The DX coating of the display screen is an anti-reflective coating. It helps in improving readability under the bright sun. Corning does share some interesting aspects about DX coating.

DX coated screens have:

  • up to 75% improvement in front surface reflection thereby leading to better display readability
  • up to 50% improvement in the display contrast ratio

You can read more about the DX coating of Corning on this page.

Forerunner 965 has a better and newer display lens than Epix 2 standard edition.

Forerunner 965 smartwatch

Physical specifications

Forerunner 965 is a broader and thinner watch. We look at other hardware specifications of both watches below.

SpecificationsForerunner 965Epix 2
Watch size47.2 x 47.2 x 13.2 mm47 x 47 x 14.5 mm
Thickness13.2 mm14.5 mm
Watch weight53 g53 g
Watch bodyFiber-enforced polymerFiber-enforced polymer with steel rear cover
BezelFiber-enforced polymerPassivated Stainless Steel
Band materialSiliconeSilicone
Band size22 mm22 mm
Band optionsSiliconeSilicone, Leather, Metal, Fabric
Recommended wrist circumference (silicone band)135-205 mm125-208 mm
Device memory32 GB16 GB
Water rating5 ATM10 ATM
Swimming profilePool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Swimming/RunningPool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Swimming/Running
Charging deviceGarmin wire chargerGarmin wire charger
NFC appGarmin PayGarmin Pay
GPSGPS, GLONASS and GalileoGPS, GLONASS and Galileo
Wireless ConnectivityANT+, Wi-Fi and BluetoothANT+, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
iOS compatibilityYesYes
Android compatibilityYesYes

Epix 2 has been designed to look fancier. It does have a steel bezel while the Forerunner 965 is entirely made of fiber-enforced polymer.

Epix 2 has a better water resistance of 100 meters while Forerunner 965 has double the storage of Epix 2. Forerunner 965 is broader, yet slimmer.


Forerunner 965 has a multi-frequency positioning sensor. This sensor enables multi-band GPS capability in Forerunner 965.

Multi-band GPS improves GPS data accuracy. At any point, you can get GPS data from multiple satellites. Multi-band GPS helps in salvaging poor GPS signal situations. Most runners will appreciate the multi-band GPS mode.

Multi-band GPS also causes significant battery drain.

To manage battery in a better way, Garmin has also added the SatIQ technology in Forerunner 965. SatIQ is an intelligent technology.

SatIQ can automatically toggle on or off the multi-band GPS. If the GPS signal is weak, SatIQ will turn on the multi-band GPS mode. As and when the GPS signal quality improves, SatIQ will turn off the multi-band GPS mode and use the simple GPS mode instead.

Combination of multi-band GPS and SatIQ technology in Forerunner 965 leads to better GPS experience than Epix 2 standard edition.

Epix 2 Sapphire, though, supports multi-band GPS and Sat IQ.

Epix 2 general edition in black


Forerunner 965 has an extended battery life. The smartwatch has been created to be a reliable watch for runners.

But on the GPS modes, it is the Epix 2 that offers longer battery backup.

We compare the battery backup provided by the Forerunner 965 and Epix 2 standard edition watches in different watch modes below.

Watch modesForerunner 965Epix 2
Smartwatch modeUp to 23 daysUp to 16 days (6 days always-on)
GPS mode without musicUp to 31 hoursUp to 42 hours (30 hours always-on )
All Satellite SystemsUp to 24 hoursUp to 32 hours (24 hours always-on)
All-Systems GNSS mode + Multi-BandUp to 19 hoursMulti-band not available
GPS-Only GNSS mode with musicUp to 10.5 hoursUp to 10 hours (9 hours always-on)
SatIQ AutoSelect GNSS Mode without MusicUp to 22 hoursSatIQ not available
SatIQ (AutoSelect) GNSS Mode with MusicUp to 9.5 hoursSatIQ not available

The backup offered by Forerunner 965 is closer to Epix 2 battery backup on the various GPS modes. There is not a clear winner between Forerunner 965 and Epix 2 for battery backup.

The difference in battery backup offered by Forerunner 965 and Epix 2 is insignificant. Both watches are designed to keep the battery in good health for an extended time duration.

Miscellaneous features

There are a few features that merit consideration between the Forerunner 965 and Epix 2 standard edition.

  • Forerunner 965 has the safety feature of spectator messaging. With spectator messaging, your followers can send you audio or text messages through the paired smartphone’s connection.
  • Epix 2 has additional profiles in outdoor recreation.
  • Epix 2 has additional profiles for cycling.
  • Epix 2 has a jet lag indicator feature.


Epix 2 standard edition costs $899.99 and Epix 2 Sapphire edition comes for $999.9. Forerunner 965 comes at a list price of $599.99.

Final verdict

There can be no better watch than Forerunner 965 for runners. And, there are reasons why we say this:

  • AMOLED display
  • DX coated Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Above-average battery backup
  • Multi-band GPS for reliable GPS data

Epix 2 is definitely fancier looking than Forerunner 965. It also does offer Golf support. Epix 2 is pitched as a premium smartwatch.

The shortcomings of the Epix 2 generation edition are adequately covered in the Epix 2 Sapphire edition watch.

Our recommendation would be to choose the Epix 2 Sapphire instead of the Epix 2 general edition watch. That is assuming you prefer an Epix 2 over the Forerunner 965 smartwatch.

Suggested reading

We believe that the following smartwatch comparison studies may be of value to you:

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