Garmin Forerunner 965 assessment: the final word working watch will get display improve | Garmin

The Garmin Forerunner 955 next to the Forerunner 965.

The Forerunner 965 is Garmin’s new top quality working and triathlon watch that comes with a crisp and vibrant OLED display for the primary time – however at a hefty value.

The brand new watch tops the scales at £600 ($600/A$999) – £120 greater than the LCD-equipped Forerunner 955 on which it’s based mostly. It joins the £430 Forerunner 265 and the £710 luxurious Epix in Garmin’s new line of OLED sports activities watches.

The Garmin Forerunner 955 next to the Forerunner 965.
The distinction is night time and day between the low-power LCD of the Forerunner 955 (left) and the brilliant and crisp OLED of the brand new 965 (proper). {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Aside from the show, the 965 is sort of functionally an identical to the 955, which is an effective factor. It has the identical nice combo of touchscreen and buttons in the identical light-weight 52g body, with a snug match and water resistance to 50 metres.

It’s loaded with the identical complete sport and well being monitoring instruments, capturing nearly each metric throughout and after runs. The twin-band GPS is essentially the most correct accessible and the watch ships with onboard street, path and topographic maps. Plus it has offline music choices from Spotify, Amazon and Deezer.

The 965 is ever so barely wider and thicker than its predecessor, accommodating the bigger OLED 1.4in display, which is its killer characteristic.

A route map displayed on the Garmin Forerunner 965.
Maps and different information-dense options resembling post-workout graphs are so much clearer and extra detailed on the 965’s display in comparison with the 955. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The display is vibrant sufficient to see clearly in all gentle ranges, mechanically adjusting brightness to ambient situations. It makes an enormous distinction for each day carrying. Watch faces are extra detailed and enticing. The textual content of notifications, widgets and different information is simpler to learn. The clearer show can be large enough to suit extra metrics on-screen throughout actions whereas conserving them intelligible at a look, even in vibrant sunshine.


  • Display screen: 1.4in AMOLED

  • Case measurement: 47mm

  • Case thickness: 13.2mm

  • Band measurement: commonplace 22mm

  • Weight: 52g

  • Storage: 32GB

  • Water resistance: 50 metres (5ATM)

  • Sensors: GNSS (Multiband GPS, Glonass, Galileo), compass, thermometer, coronary heart fee, pulse Ox

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, wifi

10-plus days of battery life

A selection of watch faces on the Garmin Forerunner 965.
There are many pre-loaded and customisable watch faces to select from, with extra accessible in Garmin’s IQ app retailer. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The display improve comes at the price of battery life. The 965 lasts about 10.5 days of 24-hour carrying with the display on on a regular basis, together with sleep monitoring in a single day. That’s far, far longer than OLED rivals and even three days longer than the Forerunner 265. However it’s about 5 days shorter than the 955.

For exercise monitoring, the 965 lasts about the identical as its predecessor for its computerized or highest-precision GPS modes. In testing, an hour’s run in computerized consumed about 5.5% of the battery or 7% with music. That’s definitely lengthy sufficient for many runs, however it might not final lengthy sufficient for ultramarathon runners. The 965 lasts up to 34 hours of monitoring in its most energy-efficient mode, which falls far in need of the as much as 80 hours the 955 can stretch to.


The body of the Forerunner 965.
The usual 22mm-wide straps might be simply swapped for replacements from Garmin or third-parties. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Forerunner 265 is generally repairable. The battery is rated to final at the least just a few years of frequent cost cycles while maintaining at least 80% capacity. The watch doesn’t include any recycled supplies. Garmin ensures at the least two years of safety updates from launch however sometimes helps its gadgets far longer. It gives trade-in schemes for some traces and complies with WEEE and different native electronics recycling legal guidelines.


The Garmin Forerunner 965 prices £599.99 ($599.99/A$999).

For comparability, the Forerunner 955 prices £479.99, the Forerunner 265 prices £429.99 and the Garmin Epix prices £710, the Polar Vantage V2 prices £429 and the Coros Apex Professional prices £350.


The Forerunner 965 is greatest regarded as a fancier model of the wonderful Forerunner 955. It doesn’t do something considerably higher, it simply appears to be like so much nicer.

The sharper, brighter and bigger OLED show can match extra data on-screen and positively improves the show of maps and different detailed screens. However as a purpose-built coaching instrument for lovers I’d say the 955 nonetheless has the sting. It’s cheaper and lasts longer between expenses, with all the identical coaching instruments accessible.

So the most important improve for the 965 is its attractiveness as a each day watch. It nonetheless appears to be like like a sports activities watch, after all, and its lack of a voice assistant and superior telephone notifications holds it again in contrast with full smartwatches resembling an Apple, Google or Samsung watch.

At £600, it’s some huge cash for a sports activities watch however you possibly can simply spend that on an Apple Watch or related. So, as with the Forerunner 265, the 965 demonstrates that OLED screens are clearly the way forward for sports activities watches. They simply command a hefty premium in the intervening time.

Professionals: slim, gentle, actual buttons, massive and crisp OLED touchscreen, multiband GPS and full maps, in depth multisport stats, nice well being monitoring, extremely customisable, 10-day battery life, offline music, primary smartwatch options.

Cons: very costly, no voice assistant, shorter battery life than LCD siblings, restricted Garmin Pay compatibility with UK banks, no voice management and restricted smartwatch options in contrast with Apple/Google/Samsung watch.

A screen showing tracking metrics of a run.
Becoming additional data on-screen whereas nonetheless being legible at a look mid-run may be very helpful. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian