Garmin’s latest running watches combine vivid graphics with your vitals

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Garmin already has an extensive line of advanced running watches in the Forerunner line, but it just got even bigger. The wearable technology company has announced two new smartwatches: the Forerunner 265 and 965. The highlight of the release are vibrant AMOLED displays, a first for Garmin GPS smartwatches. Each will offer an optional always-on color touchscreen (though you can lock the screen during activity and rely on Garmin’s classic five-button navigation system). We loved the Garmin Forerunner 955 and its core elements form the basis of the new models, so we have high expectations for these new additions to the Forerunner family.

Training features of the Garmin Forerunner 265 and 965

Garmin watches traditionally offer an impressive suite of sensors and performance tracking/analysis functions. As a result, they make great Apple Watch alternatives, especially for athletes. And this is even more true with the two new offers. Like existing Forerunners (and other Garmin watches), they will calculate your VO2 max, performance status, training effect and more. And all of this data is used to calculate your training readiness score to help you better plan your rest.

Sleep is a key component of performance, which Garmin clearly understands. Its watches can track your sleep, in part by assessing heart rate variability, providing a more complete picture of wellness and training. And, provided you sleep with the watch on, a Morning Report summarizes your sleep, training day outlook and environmental conditions you can expect.

These watches also offer daily recommended workouts, which are adjusted after each run to help you improve your running performance and prevent overtraining. The race widget, along with Garmin Coach and PacePro, will provide training tips and race performance predictions based on specific course details, weather and performance. They can even measure power and operating dynamics without additional accessories. Now, however, those metrics will be more visible and vivid indoors and outdoors, thanks to the upgrade from memory displays to pixels.

The Forerunner’s flashy new AMOLED display is a beacon of metrics and motivation. Garmin

Garmin Forerunner 265 Details

The Forerunner 265, priced at $449.99, sits right between the Forerunner 255 Music and the 955. It has the full set of sensors found in Garmin’s advanced fitness smartwatches, including the wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor. The 265 also offers Garmin’s safety features like incident detection and LiveTrack.

As a smartwatch, it easily connects to your phone for smart notifications and lets you download music from Spotify, Deezer or Amazon Music to the watch for phone-free Bluetooth listening. And you can use Garmin Pay for contactless payments.

The Forerunner 265 will be available in two sizes, each offering different battery life. The 42mm Forerunner 265S promises 24 hours of battery life in GPS mode and up to 15 days in smartwatch mode. The larger Forerunner 265, with a 46mm case, should provide up to 20 hours of battery life in GPS mode and up to 13 days in smartwatch mode.

Garmin Forerunner 965 Details

Garmin designed the Forerunner 965 for seriously dedicated athletes. It sits at the top of the Forerunner lineup, priced at $599.99. As a result, it will feature all the same things listed above and more. Garmin says it adds “additional performance metrics, built-in mapping and the ability to store more songs directly on the watch” compared to the 265.

The 965 also offers a new feature, called load ratio, to “monitor short-term to medium-term load ratio” to keep you healthy while training. Stamina insights will also help track exercise levels for a complete picture of your training. And ClimbPro displays real-time information on climbs during a run, including gradient, distance and elevation gain. There are also color built-in maps for route planning and navigation.

The 965 will feature a 47mm case with a lightweight titanium bezel. The AMOLED display is Garmin’s largest yet at 1.4 inches (the epix Gen. 2, Garmin’s first AMOLED-equipped watch, has a 1.3-inch display). Garmin says it will provide up to 31 hours of battery life in GPS mode and up to 23 days in smartwatch mode.

Prices & availability

The Garmin Forerunner 265 will set you back $449.99 for the 42mm or 46mm versions. It is available for purchase now. The Garmin Forerunner 965 will set you back $599.99 and won’t ship until late March/early April, but you can pre-order it now.

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