full feature leak Garmin 965 & 265 – definitely real !

Garmin 965 & 265 full feature comparison

More: Garmin Forerunner 965 Review

I’ve had a degree of reticence about the recent leaks of the 965 and 265/265s as some aspects didn’t always sound quite right to me. Anyway, that’s all in the past now. With thanks to @Ryan, we now have the confirmation that both the 965 and 265 are real and, most likely, coming next week.


Here’s a good high-level comparison table from Garmin’s website. I’ll cover the detailed differences in a minute but this is also a nice overview of how each model is positioned within the entire range. There are pictures as well but I’m not showing them here.

Click to enlarge


Garmin Forerunner 965 – What’s Different?

We get the clear confirmation, as expected that there is only one size of the 965 and that it comes with a superior AMOLED display. The touchscreen is a bonus and can easily be disabled.

We saw the metal bezel on some images leaked elsewhere earlier this week. The speculation elsewhere and REPEATED sources state that this is a titanium bezel however I expect a cheaper stainless steel bezel which, handily, will also give the potential to make ECG work. I wasn’t expecting a metal bezel at all and still don’t expect the 965 to ever have ECG. Perhaps the metal is just there to protect the glass.

So there you have it, it’s a cheaper version of the Epix 2 with no sapphire option. Which is a shame as you will eventually scratch it.

However, there’s more…keep reading

Garmin Forerunner 265 – What’s Different?

If confirmation were needed we now have it that the 265 will also come in a small format, the 265s

Intriguingly the 265/265s are positioned as triathlon watches rather than multisport watches. I’m not sure what that means in practical terms. I’ve only done one multisport event that involved canoeing…they’re rare.

The 265 only really lacks the headline mapping feature. don’t forget that it will still support navigation over breadcrumb routes and that’s more than enough for most people.


Forerunner 55 – Is it worth it

If you just want a running or fitness watch that you only wear for sport then this is the one to get. It omits the physiological features and contactless payments. Don’t forget it’s not a triathlon watch but if you only plan to do one triathlon in your life then this watch will let you start 2 individual swim/bike/run profiles which will be all you need.


What the pictures show

As said earlier, I’m not showing the pictures here. However, they are essentially identical to the low-quality ones leaked elsewhere earlier this week. See here and here.

The image I now have shown all Garmin’s watches together and the 965 looks bigger than the 955 Solar…a bigger case and a display that’s bigger than the 955 Solar even when you include the solar ring around the side of the display. It could be a perspective artefact of the image but I don’t think so. Thus we may well see a huge 1.4″ screen with the 965 ie the same size as the Fenix 7X. If that’s the case then I still won’t have my perfect watch as this will be too big! grrr.

The pictures also clearly show a much larger oval start button on the 965

What can now be sensibly Speculated

Garmin tends to always release a new software featurette on a new high-end model. Sometimes they’re exciting, sometimes not. This time it will be… sometimes NOT!

So we know that the 965 and 265 will get many of the top-end features that the hardware allows. I’m thinking SatIQ.

We can also assume that the wrist-based running dynamics that I talked about earlier this week will also be on both models

new Garmin WRIST Running Dynamics – Which models will get it?

Almost certain to be seen will be the newly updated on-device CIQ store plus some fancy, new touchable complications (these WILL come this year perhaps not at launch).

Common Features

the following should come as no surprise



Information Source

the information is publically sourced from one of Garmin’s major geographic websites. This means that the release is imminent. Most likely Tue 14 Feb although it could be Wednesday 15th (or even Thu 9th!)



This is disturbing…in a first-world sense.

I had planned on making the 965 my go-to watch and wearing it 24×7. But it looks to be too big. Most likely I will go for the 265 and just only wear it for sports. I’ll give up on the Garmin physiology stuff and rely on my Apple Watch for 24×7 usage (I’m back on the Watch 7 Stainless Steel that I retrieved from my partner.)



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52 thoughts on “full feature leak Garmin 965 & 265 – definitely real !

  1. Oh no, I thought that 965 will be same size as 955. But this only confirmed, what a local seller in official Garmin store told me month ago. He said, that they are internally testing something like Fenix 7X with AMOLED display…

      1. If I look at the 965 picture on the Vietnamese site, then I see a ratio of 0.76% for the bezel. Meaning it would be around 46.7mm if that picture is real. But I’ll say the contents of the screen do not look real so not sure.

    1. As much as I want an AMOLED display on my 955, I really don’t want the watch to be any larger. The 955 pushes the limit for me.

      That being said, a 965 with a 1.4″ screen seems preferable to an Epix with a 1.3″ screen…even without the sapphire option.

  2. Fore the hopes of ECG function beside the metal bezel/button on the watch case
    the metal ring around the PPG HR sensor is the key feature.
    Currently only Venu 2 Plus has it.

    If on the leaked pictures of FR265/FR965 it’s visible that those whatches have this metal ring
    around their PPG HR sensor then most likely ECG will be available on them
    (depending of the scope of current/new FDA approval).

    I would really appreciate if FR255 also got the “Training Readiness”…
    Is there any leak that reflects this hope (via a FW upgrade) ?

    1. i dont recall that one.
      it’s an important one so i could see how they might delay its arrival on the 255 to make sure more people get the 265

      265 does not have the metal ring.
      I’m still not convinced that is a sensor ring. i would have thought it more likely to be an isolation ring in which case the important component is a metal rear case which the 965/265 wont have.
      i doubt 965 will have ecg

      1. ECG measurment requires a closed electric circuit.
        Since it’s based on electro signals (and not on optical signals from PPG sensor).

        That’s why all the ECG capable smartwatches (Apple, Samsung, Withings etc.) have
        metal ring or metal backplate on the bottom
        a metal bezel/button on the top of the watch.

      2. yes
        can titanium be in that circuit?
        i guess steel is mostly iron so would conduct, not sure so much about titanium
        then again i imagine a titanium allow is used in any case, so still maybe sufficiently conductive

  3. Interesting, 1.4″ sounds good even if it means a slightly larger watch. Maybe it will have better proportions actually, like the old 935, the 955 is quite a bit thicker.

    Also is it an omission in the table or the 255 family already gone ?!

    1. 1.4″ amoled screen is perfectly possible with the same 46mm watch size and smaller bezel. It’s the case with other brands like Amazfit GTR4 and Huawei GT3. They both also have around 14 days battery in smartwatch mode and screen in gesture only.

  4. No touchscreen on the 265 and 265S? That seems weird. Would be the first AMOLED without touch screen.

  5. I really hope the 255 doesn’t become the new 645. Relatively high entry price then forgotten about very quickly by Garmin and their updates department.

    1. point taken
      i dont think it will tho. it should be a great seller for garmin
      maybe you hint that the fr55 actually becomes a pretty decent watch and, in reality, all most people need for just running every other day or so

  6. f965 sounds exactly like a slightly less premium materials version of the Epix 2 in the same way that a f955 was a “plastic” fenix 7. I mean I assume the hardware is likely to be essentially identical and only the case and lens material is different. Maybe it is 1.4” but that would be a surprise that is out of whack with their current hardware re-use strategy.

    1. yes
      as we’ve said before the amoled models eventually will become the main sellers and main focus.
      perhaps the 265/965/epix 2 signal the start of that in earnest?

  7. i’m not sure how the 965 is going to have “long battery life” since the 955 doesn’t and this has a higher drain screen. i’m typically getting 4 days smartwatch only life from my 955, many others noting similar high drain

    1. With how much training hours? I’m actually at 12 to 15 hours a week training (with gps), and I dont charge it twice a week.
      I hope the metal bezel wont interfere with the gps signal.

      1. I´m also afraid of metal bezel and GPS. Because if I compared my F7 all satellites vs 255s all satellites (NO multiband), the 255s was absolutely spot on in valley. Run about 5 loops and F7 was wobling around the path, but with 255s all loops was shown like it was one, absolutely spot on GPS tracking. And that´s the reason why I´m still wondering about switching to FR955. I´m convinced, that the metal bezels are reducing GPS signal strength.

  8. Any idea if LTE or other cellular functionality will be added to these Forerunners or other models in the near future?

  9. I’ve thought for a long time Garmin should drop the numbers from the forerunner series this seems the idea time as the numbers and features are just confusing.

    You have you Forerunner RUN & TRI with and without AMOLED.

  10. Do you think we will ever see a successor of the FR 645 or will the FR 2xx line be the top running watch going forward?

  11. I just got the new 14.15 update for my 955 and noticed a new feature which also was added to the F7 and Epix 2.

    Added support for Primary Wearable and Primary Training Device (Unified Training Status).

    Is this finally the feature that will let you wear a vivosmart as your wearable and the 955 or 965 as your training device.

    I hope so. Anyone know anything more about this?

      1. Thanks for the link, I got the option to choose between my Venu 2 and my FR955 but I sold it recently so I guess I won’t be able to see how that works.

        TBH, unless you’re a triathlete (or a trail runner) and don’t own an Edge 530 or above I’m not sure you need more than a Venu 2 to meet all of your running needs. One of its limitations, the 4 info fields per page, can be easily overcome with CIQ DFs.

      2. fair point.
        i still can’t believe that Garmin’s high-end watches still only support two CIQ DFs.
        i think it was changed recently to let you put one DF on multiple pages but that still is WAY short of what even an aging Edge 820 can do.
        c’mon Garmin let me support: supersapiens, core, nix and stryd when i run. everyone else must want to do that surely. err… ok… it’s just me.

    1. merci beaucoup

      readers should note that this is a Vietnamese site and there have been some good links form that country that I’ve not especially reported on here.
      However, this link is particularly interesting as it gives a release date of 16 mar. it also goes on to talk about an upcoming release for the vivomove trend. clearly, the latter has already happened in the West so this date of 16 March could well be correct for deliveryhttps://the5krunner.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php#comments-form in the Vietnamese market but I don’t think it is correct for USA/Europe. I’m still going with next Wednesday (no intel)

  12. I started with the 245, I am 6’4″ with 18cm wrists and I thought it was too small. Moved to the 945 and thought it was perfect size. Got the 745, thought okay this is perfect. Got the 945LTE thought still 745 was perfect.

    The I got the 255s as 955 is too big. For the first day I thought it looks tiny like a ladies watch. Wore it for 1 week, tried my 945LTe back on and it felt enormous.

    Can’t go back to a watch bigger than 43mm now.

    I gave up maps for 255s 41mm because I only look at maps once a month whilst I look at my wrist everyday and the 255s is so comfortable it’s more important to me.

  13. Although Garmin has a very large family of watches, there is no such experimental line in the style of Suunto 7. In a few seasons it will be too late, Apple will have no mercy. Garmin will irretrievably lose most of the customers of the Apple ecosystem. 14-16 hours of GPS operation is sufficient for 99% of users. Samsung and the competition are also ahead. So what if the watch works for a week on the battery as you can’t contact anyone without a phone, or reply to an SMS or WhatsApp message. I remind you that we are in 2023.

    1. Unconvinced about that as I’m in the 70%+ of worldwide smartphone users who use an Android phone. The Apple watch looks nice and all but I’m not changing platform just for that.

    2. The ability to call from your watch sounds cool but how often do we use it? I mean, I’m tired of phones, so why would I want one on a wrist? Honestly, I’m more than happy to run for an hour WITHOUT being connected. Garmin will eventually bring some models with LTE, but most of their customers don’t need them. Also, people tend to use their phones for more than 3 years and when it comes to watches, it would probably be longer. So battery life ain’t really about 15 hours of GPS but being able to charge once a week instead of everyday so the battery won’t die after 2 years.

      1. i have just re-enabled my apple watch LTE to do calling and it is a handy (but annoyingly expensive) feature.
        i agree for running, for me, i don’t really need it
        however for cycling it can save the need to carry a phone which i always worry about breaking if i sit on it or fall off the bike. but then the problem with an Apple LTE watch is that it doesn’t pass all the connected services to either a Garmin/Wahoo bike computer

  14. Sapphire = Too much reflection, darker display and faded colours in day light comparing to non-sapphire, which ruins the readability. I always prefer non-sapphire screen + screen protector which is made of tempered glass.

    The only advantage of the sapphire option is the non-blueish, deeper blacks when the screen lighting is on. Yes, it’s almost scratch proof but almost, not 100%. But also sapphire means more brittle than glass. I’ve used around 10 different Garmin watches since 2016, all of them was non-sapphire and i haven’t had any single scratch on none of them thanks to 3rd party screen protectors. Sapphire is exaggerated too much.

    1. NOTE:

      I think this comment is worth reading. Garmin Gorilla glass (and that of other manufacturers) does have an annoyingly expensive propensity to scratch.
      sapphire is usually way too expensive so the protector makes sense

  15. Hi,
    Okay, I mainly just run and have been very happy with my Coros Pace 2. However I’m keen to get something that is good for sleep tracking (I currently use an old Fitbit) and HRV… essentially a bit more physiology stuff.

    The question is whether I should come back to Garmin and get the 255 (or new 265), or maybe 955 (or 965)..? My last Garmin was the 610 Music which became erratic in tracking and then the updates stopped.


    1) Come back to Garmin?
    2) 255?

    Thanks for any thoughts.

    1. neither
      keep your coros and buy an oura ring and only wear it at night.

      most/all sleep product will not accurately track sleep stages and that kind of clever detail. anything will probably track the number of hours in bed

      a cheaper and scientifically better option is Polar H10 plus HRV4training with a once-only manual reading in the morning. that won’t give you much retrospective sleep analysis BUT it will tell you the impact of your sleep on readiness and maybe it’s readiness that you really need.?

      i do similar things to those recommendations and I’m pretty sure its the correct and best advice (for someone like me)

    1. yep.
      i think the definitive list of all the images is out there now
      images don’t seem to show any new software features: except i think i mentioned elsewhere about the clickable complications. the map screen is probably also interesting but i cant think why.

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