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Garmin Forerunner 965: Review, Features, Performance

The Garmin Forerunner 965 represents the pinnacle of multisport watches, showcasing the company’s expertise in this domain. With its cutting-edge AMOLED display, extended battery life, compact design, and luxurious titanium enhancements, it’s truly a remarkable timepiece.

Pros:

  • Boasts a stunning AMOLED display.
  • Remarkable battery life.
  • Features a premium titanium bezel.
  • Offers new training metrics tailored for runners.

Cons:

  • Comes with a high price tag.
  • Lacks a solar power option.
Garmin Forerunner 965: Review, Features, Performance

GARMIN FORERUNNER 965: QUICK REVIEW

Garmin incorporates Apple’s impressive AMOLED display into the Forerunner 965, providing a sleek edge. Remarkably, it outlasts competitors with a similar screen by at least five days in battery life.

While it’s a screen upgrade from the Forerunner 955, released just nine months earlier, the overall enhancements make it a notable step forward. Additionally, Garmin introduced the Forerunner 265, a budget-friendly option with an AMOLED screen.

For the ultimate multisport watch, the Forerunner 965 shines, despite the steep price tag. It justifies the cost with exceptional battery life, stunning display, precise location, and heart rate tracking, along with various intelligent metrics, including new running dynamics—no extra sensors needed. Is this the ultimate sports watch?

ProsCons
Stunning AMOLED displayHigh price
Exceptional battery life
Accurate location and heart rate tracking
Intelligent metrics, new running dynamics
GARMIN FORERUNNER 965: SPECIFICATIONS

GARMIN FORERUNNER 965: SPECIFICATIONS

ComponentSports GPS smartwatch
Price$600 / £600 / AU$999
Dimensions47.1 x 47.1 x 13.2 (mm)
Weight52g
Case/bezelTitanium bezel, plastic case
Display454 x 454 1.4-inch AMOLED touch
GPSGPS, GLONASS, GALILEO
Battery lifeWatch mode 23 days, GPS only 31 hours, GPS + Music 10 hours
ConnectionBluetooth, ANT+, WiFi
Water resistant?Yes, 5ATM
GARMIN FORERUNNER 965: PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

GARMIN FORERUNNER 965: PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

In the UK, it’s £600, in the US, it’s $600, and in Australia, it’s AU$999. While it’s one of Garmin’s pricier options, it’s a comprehensive device.

Prices tend to drop with new model releases and during sales, even for top Garmin models. The Forerunner 955, almost identical but lacking the screen upgrade, might be a more budget-friendly option. Opting for the 955 Solar could enhance your battery life.

Value score: 4/5

GARMIN FORERUNNER 965: DESIGN AND SCREEN

The 1.4-inch AMOLED display is a visual delight with vibrant colors, sharp contrast, and a bright 454 x 454-pixel resolution. It’s easy to read in all conditions, even underwater, thanks to the energy-efficient always-on display.

Gorilla Glass DX adds scratch resistance, keeping it pristine. The upgraded titanium bezel ensures durability and moisture resistance. The comfortable silicone strap comes in three stylish options and is easily replaceable using the Garmin 22mm QuickFit system.

Being waterproof to 50 meters, cleaning is a breeze.

Design score: 5/5

GARMIN FORERUNNER 965: FEATURES

This sports watch is a feature-packed powerhouse, suitable for over 30 sports, including triathlon, and offers multisport-specific tracking with seamless transitions. It excels in providing a wealth of data.

The watch combines precise multi-GNSS GPS with heart rate monitoring, including Heart Rate Variability, VO2 Max, stress tracking, sleep tracking, and all-day HR monitoring. Training Readiness scores, recovery times, workload insights, and race predictions are at your fingertips.

Beyond sports, it offers contactless payments, onboard Spotify, offline maps, find my phone, flashlight, sleep, and step tracking, and more via the IQ App Store. You can customize data screens and watch faces to match your needs and preferences.

Features score: 5/5

GARMIN FORERUNNER 965: PERFORMANCE

GARMIN FORERUNNER 965: PERFORMANCE

The Garmin Forerunner 965, with its impressive specs, delivers on its promises in real-world use. GPS accuracy and acquisition are remarkable, with near-instant satellite connection.

In rare instances, minor discrepancies in data were observed, like at the start of the Great North Run, potentially due to older watches nearby.

Heart rate tracking proved accurate, comparing well with a dedicated chest strap, with slight wrist-based lag in rapid heart rate changes. Even while swimming, it offered reliable heart rate tracking.

Accurate GPS and heart rate monitoring provide a wealth of data used by Garmin’s algorithms to offer insights, including Heart Rate Variability, VO2 Max, and muscle load measurement.

The exceptional battery life includes 23 days in standby, 31 hours in GPS mode, and 10.5 hours with GPS and music. Rapid charging further enhances convenience.

Notably, this model introduces running dynamics without requiring an additional sensor, offering insights into vertical oscillation, cadence, stride length, and more for improved running efficiency.

Sleep tracking, while generally effective, may not always be pinpoint accurate. The watch also provides select smartphone notifications to maintain its focus as a training tool.

Performance score: 5/5

GARMIN FORERUNNER 965: SHOULD I BUY?

GARMIN FORERUNNER 965: SHOULD I BUY?

CategoryCommentScore
PriceHigher priced but justifiable4/5
Design and screenStunning all round, AMOLED leading5/5
FeaturesMore than most people will use5/5
PerformanceOutstanding all round5/5
TotalA powerful, stunning screen-toting multi sport super watch4.5/5

Buy it if:

  1. You want a stunning screen: Opt for this premium model for Garmin’s finest display, enhancing both visuals and battery life.
  2. You want recovery feedback: Utilize the array of metrics to gauge training readiness and avoid overexertion, promoting long-term progress.

Don’t buy it if:

  1. You don’t need everything: If you’re new to training, consider a more basic, budget-friendly model.
  2. You’re on a budget: The Forerunner 965 comes at a premium price, and simpler options may save you money.

GARMIN FORERUNNER 965: ALSO CONSIDER

ComponentGarmin Forerunner 265Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Price$449 / £429 / AU$770£269 / $279.99 / AU$499
Dimensions46.1 x 46.1 x 12.9 (mm)44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8 (mm)
Weight47 g33.5g
Case/bezelWater-resistant?Armor aluminum frame
Display416 x 416 px AMOLED, Corning Gorilla Glass450 x 450 px super AMOLED, Sapphire crystal
GPSGPS, Beidou, Glonass, Galileo, SatIQGPS, Glonass, Galileo
Battery life13 days (20 hours GPS)24 hours
ConnectionBluetooth 5.2, ANT+, Wi-FiBluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi
Water resistant?Yes, 5ATMYes, IP68

Consider the Garmin Forerunner 265 for its balanced features or the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 for its longer battery life.

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