Garmin Forerunner 965 vs Venu 2 Plus

Forerunner 965 is a recent smartwatch release. It was released in March 2023. Venu 2 Plus was released in January 2022.

We look at both smartwatches below. Our aim is to highlight the feature differences and capabilities of both watches.

Main differences

  • Forerunner 965 comes at a list price of $599.99 and Venu 2 Plus has a list price of $449.99. There is a $150 cost difference between the two watches.
  • Forerunner 965 supports multi-band GPS. Venu 2 Plus does not have this ability.
  • Forerunner 965 is much broader than the Venu 2 Plus.
  • Forerunner 965 has a better quality display lens
  • Forerunner 965 has a longer battery life than the Venu 2 Plus.

Looking at the differences, the Forerunner 965 adds a lot of features for an additional $150 spent. We look at some of these feature differences below.

Garmin Forerunner 965

Display

Forerunner 965 and Venu 2 Plus smartwatches have an AMOLED display. However, it is the display lens that adds to the display experience of the Forerunner 965 smartwatch.

Forerunner 965 comes with a DX coated Corning Gorilla Glass 3 while the Venu 2 Plus has the Corning Gorilla Glass 3. DX coating is a special anti-reflective coating on the lens. It helps in improving the display readability of the watch screen, especially under the sun.

Besides improving display readability, DX coated Corning Gorilla Glass 3 also enhances the screen’s contrast ratio.

You can find more details about the DX coating on the Corning website.

Other display specifications of Forerunner 965 and Venu 2 Plus smartwatches are shared below.

SpecificationsForerunner 965Venu 2 Plus
Display lensCorning Gorilla Glass 3 DXCorning Gorilla Glass 3
Display typeAMOLEDAMOLED
Display size35.4 MM33 MM
Display resolution454 x 454 pixels416 x 416 pixels
Pixel density458 ppi452 ppi

The marginal difference in the display resolution is on account of the bigger size of the display screen of the Forerunner 965 smartwatch in comparison to the Venu 2 Plus smartwatch.

Physical specifications

In terms of physical specifications, you need to be aware of the higher device storage of Forerunner 965 and the in-built speaker and microphone on the Venu 2 Plus watch.

We look at the hardware specifications of the Forerunner 965 and Venu 2 Plus in a concise way below.

SpecificationsForerunner 965Venu 2 Plus
Watch size47.2 x 47.2 x 13.2 mm43.6 x 43.6 x 12.6 mm
Thickness13.2 mm12.6 mm
Band size22 mm20 mm
Band materialSiliconeSilicone
Watch weight53 g51 g
Watch bodyFiber-enforced polymerFiber-enforced polymer with metal rear
BezelTitaniumStainless steel
Device storage32 GB8 GB
Water rating5 ATM5 ATM
In-built speaker and micNoYes

Some people may prefer the look of the stainless steel bezel of the Venu 2 Plus as it lends a premium appearance.

Garmin Forerunner 965

GPS

Forerunner 965 has a significantly better GPS performance in comparison with the Venu 2 Plus watch.

Forerunner 965 comes with a multi-frequency positioning sensor. This sensor helps in providing multi-band GPS capability to the Forerunner 965 watch.

Multi-band GPS helps in getting GPS data from multiple satellites at the same time. The feature is extremely useful when the quality of GPS signals is poor or weak.

Additionally, Forerunner 965 also has the SatIQ technology. SatIQ helps to toggle multi-band GPS mode on or off. If the GPS signal is strong, simple GPS mode is used.

If the GPS signal is weak, SatIQ will automatically turn on the multi-mode GPS mode. SatIQ is very useful and practical in optimizing the battery life of the Forerunner 965 watch.

For triathletes and serious runners, we strongly suggest the Forerunner 965 smartwatch.

Battery

The Forerunner series is designed to offer an above average battery life to the smartwatch. The idea is to give an extended battery life for runners.

Forerunner 965 has a much battery life than the Venu 2 Plus. We capture the difference in battery backup between the Forerunner 965 and Venu 2 Plus in different watch modes below.

Watch modeForerunner 965Venu 2 Plus
Smartwatch modeup to 23 daysup to 9 days
GPS modeup to 31 hoursup to 24 hours
GPS mode with musicup to 10.5 hoursup to 8 hours
All Systems GNSS with Musicup to 10 hoursNot available
All + Multi-Band GNSS Mode with Musicup to 8.5 hoursMulti-band not available
All Systems GNSS Mode without Musicup to 24 hoursNot available
All + Multi-Band GNSS Mode without Musicup to 19 hoursMulti-band not available
SatIQ AutoSelect GNSS Mode without Musicup to 22 hoursSatIQ not available
SatIQ (AutoSelect) GNSS Mode with Musicup to 9.5 hoursSatIQ not available
Ultratrac modeup to 34 hoursNot available

The battery life of the Forerunner 965 does add incremental value over the Venu 2 Plus.

Miscellaneous features

There are a few other differences in features between the Forerunner 965 and Venu 2 Plus.

  • Forerunner 965 has additional safety features of Spectator messaging and Group Live Track.
  • Forerunner 965 comes with 43000 preloaded Golf courses.

Activity profiles

Forerunner 965 has a more comprehensive suite of activity profiles. It offers incremental profiles over Venu 2 Plus.

The following additional profiles are in the Forerunner 965.

  • Cycling – Forerunner 965 offers additional profiles for Road Biking, Mountain Biking, Gravel Biking, Bike Commuting, Bike Touring, eBiking, eMountain Biking, Indoor Biking, Cyclocross. Venu 2 Plus has an additional profile for Indoor Biking.
  • Swimming – Forerunner 965 has additional profiles for open water swimming and swimming/running.
  • Outdoor recreation – Forerunner 965 has additional profiles for Backcountry Skiing, Backcountry Snowboarding, XC Skate Skiing, Kayaking, Snowshoeing, Mapping, Navigating, Tennis, Pickleball, Padel, Track Me, Project Waypoint. Venu 2 offer does offer the profile for bouldering.

Final verdict

We have maintained that the Forerunner 965 is one of the best watches available for runners. Our money is still on the Forerunner 965 over the Venu 2 Plus for the following reasons:

  • Better battery life
  • Multi-band GPS
  • Titanium bezel
  • DX coated Corning Gorilla Glass 3

You may love to read more smartwatch comparison studies below:

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