Garmin Forerunner 965 ❌ all the cr*p bits ❌ did I just waste my money? This review says…maybe but it remains my go to.

Garmin Forerunner 965 Review HeroGarmin Forerunner 965 review – did I just waste my money? [OPINION]

This is a Garmin Forerunner 965 review designed to help you understand the negatives and make an informed decision. There are 20-plus negatives listed below

 

Price: USA $599, UK £599, EU649

updated 8 Feb 2024

I’m happy with my purchase of the Forerunner 965. I paid for it myself, it wasn’t a freebie, and I have zero links to Garmin. I’m an athlete, like you.

I’ve now used it for a year of runs, rides, and swims, and I’m impressed with the improvements that have been made to the user interface. It’s more attractive and user-friendly than the Forerunners I’ve used in the past.

TL;DR – I’m happy with my purchase and I’m confident that it will be my main triathlon training watch for the next few years. It is a waste of money in the sense that I’ve paid a lot of money for many features I’ll never use. But it has every feature that I NEED and WANT to use – it WILL be the same for you.

Garmin Forerunner 965 hrm-pro plus

Garmin 965 Background & Predecessors

Despite Garmin’s earlier triathlon watches, it was the Forerunner 935 that was the first Garmin watch to offer comprehensive triathlon training features. If you already have one and it’s still working well, there’s no need to upgrade unless your battery is failing or the device is slowing down.

The Forerunner 945 took things a step further with in-depth physiological features that are now well-developed in the Forerunner 955. The 945LTE added a small degree of internet connectivity.

The Forerunner 965 edges ahead of the 955 with a beautiful vibrant colour screen and even larger display. However, it’s important to note that all the widgets, dials, backgrounds, and, well, pretty much everything visual has been significantly tweaked compared to the 955 and all that came before it.

As I see it, the Forerunner 965 is the best triathlon watch ever, or at least it is if you’re a sucker for a pretty screen like me!

 

Problems, Bugs & Things That Hack Me Off

Generally, it’s all good. But you came here for criticisms so that you can make an informed purchase, here goes

  • I couldn’t set up my Garmin watch from a backup again. I had to do it all from scratch. In March 2024 I had to reset it, and guess what…backup/restore doesn’t work.
  • Again! Not all of my favourite CIQ widgets were available at launch. Developers have to certify them for every new watch. This is a ridiculous situation and still not rectified in Dec 2024. [IMPROVING]
  • I know how to sideload apps and data fields from old copies of them, which has solved a few of my CIQ problems. For example, I can still use the discontinued Humon Hex SmO2 data field! Newer data fields are implemented in a more modern way that makes side-loading harder. [Kinda fixed but old ones still don’t work]
  • The 965 pairs reasonably quickly to sensors before each workout but for some reason it will not let me calibrate a Stages G3 power meter. [KINDA FIXED]
  • The Garmin standard watch faces seem to have been designed by 7-year-olds for 7-year-olds. I’m not 7 years old. I’m a grown-up. Please, Garmin, please give me some grown-up watch faces. There is no excuse now that the colours and resolution you have are so good. I’m also not especially keen on some of the simplistic and sometimes naive watch faces offered by Apple, but at least many of them are designed for grown-ups. The images, below, show what I consider to be grown-up watch faces or instead browse the Apple.com website to see more.
  • Some 3rd party watch faces do not support proper Always On Display and the AOD reverts to a standard, cut-back Garmin screen just showing date and time.
  • The following image shows the same watch face on a 935 (left) and 965. The screen is a bit brighter and it has a larger usable area. However, to get the benefit of the 965’s superior resolution we need watch faces that are designed for high resolutions, unlike this one. Even many/most of Garmin’s watch faces do not do that.
Garmin 935 vs Forerunner 965
Max backlight/brightness settings
  • The screen is beautiful. There are 3 or 4 brightness settings depending on which aspect you control, and I’ve used the brightest setting in these photos with max backlight. For my personal use, I’ve cranked the brightness down to the lowest and that’s perfectly fine for me. I cycled over the weekend on a sunny, March day with it on my wrist and I COULD read it when my wrist was angled, but it could have been easier had the brightness been cranked up to the max.
  • There is a delay in going from the ‘screen saver’ to fully restoring the watch face it was hiding. It’s a fraction of a second, it is noticeable, but again, it’s fine for me…just.
  • The start button is now bigger and more of an oval shape. It also sticks out less from the watch which is bad if you are wearing gloves. It has a slightly soft but positive pressing action. I’d like this to be different, to stick out more and to be more clicky. But, again, this is fine. I can certainly live with it, and there is none of the nonsense that we have with buttongate on the 945.
  • I thought the new titanium bezel would not blend in with the aesthetics of the rest of the watch, but it looks great. The bezel is very, very slightly lower than the glass and I would have hoped that would be the other way around to further add protection to the glass. Only time will tell if this matters. The Gorilla glass is supposed to be harder than the 955, so let’s hope that helps too. (1 year in and no scratches to the lens)
  • The charging/data transfer port is still as rubbish as it always was and is unchanged, but now there is at least USB-C on the other end of the cable…sadly I have just about nothing that will fit into it! I use a 3rd party charging puck that’s been great so far.
  • All Garmin’s music-enabled watches cannot connect to a PC as an enumerated drive, the FR965 is no different.
  • My VO2max has already risen by a few points in a few days. Once again, this highlights the nonsense that different eras of Garmin watches patently have different VO2max algorithms as of 2023. (935 >> 965)
  • My overnight HRV averages are notably different from other, non-Garmin devices, which, to be fair, are also notably different from each other. The Elevate HR sensor just isn’t sufficiently accurate for anything other than emergency use. More 965 accuracy insights here.
  • The Elevate sensor is Gen 4 and is superseded by a Gen 5 with ECG, so in that sense you are buying an old tech component with the FR965. If the same watch came out tomorrow with only the optical HR changed I would keep what I have, it’s fine, I use a chest strap for sports! and Elevate is fine for overnight usage.
  • Despite recording the same workouts with the same sensors my 965 has given me a 1% lower FTP than my Edge 540. Very strange.
  • My automatically calculated FTP was updated one day only to fall by 10watts 2 days later. That just isn’t correct. I’ve had FTP’s determined to be lower than an actual average for 60 minutes! Patently wrong.
  • For the first time, I got a blistering effect on my wrist from the new Garmin strap. Thoroughly washing it didn’t resolve the problem, though soaking in rubbing alcohol improved matters a lot. There was probably a bacterial infection somewhere on the production line for the strap. Yuk. I’m clean. I have MANY straps. It wasn’t me!

is Garmin 965 Accurate? full report

  • Garmin sleep stages are as wrong as ever even though sometimes they ‘feel’ right. Then again so are those on every other brand’s tech, although Oura and Eight Sleep seem to be the best of a bad bunch in this regard. Note that how Garmin sleep stages ‘feel’ to us is irrelevant to their accuracy. eg last night Garmin had half the deep sleep that Oura recorded.

Garmin Forerunner 965 map (2)

  • Map Render lag – it takes up to 7 seconds to fully render a new map tile as you pan from one to the next. This probably doesn’t affect you too much when running but it makes more of a difference when cycling quickly across the effective map area. But you also have a bike computer, right? Use that!! This screen render lag probably also indicates a big battery drawdown.
  • Map labels are tiny (unreadable) on zoomed-out levels. Why are they even shown?
  • High-detail maps seem pointless in rural areas when zoomed in…they often zoom in to nothing but a blank green screen. That’s probably a map problem rather than a watch problem. Perhaps that zoom setting will work better on other types of Garmin maps ie the paid-for ones like Outdoor+
  • Other lag – Garmin cleverly disguises the on-screen lag in other parts of the menus by the way the screens are drawn. So that’s OK. However, there are noticeable lags but only the same as found on other recent Garmin watches when it comes to, for example, saving/discarding workouts which can take 10 seconds or so.
  • All told the Forerunner 965 is probably UNDERPOWERED. But only slightly so when compared to Forerunners of the past. Forerunners of the past were often reasonably OK at launch but performance (speed) deteriorated over time with newer firmware. Will that happen again? (A: probably)
  • The 31-hour GPS recording time and 22-hour high-quality GPS recording time look great on paper. I still don’t have an opinion yet on the reality of the battery claims, all I can say is that I’ve NEVER run out of charge. However, I am CERTAIN that battery life will degrade over time so if you are planning two years’ worth of Ironman training and racing then you might have some nervousness about this watch for your future. [OPINION: I have no battery issues]
  • There’s nothing new on the training features front. Well, nothing of note other than running dynamics on the wrist and some peripheral Training Load stuff. You’re buying the 965 for the pretty hardware NOT any fancy new feature that might make you faster. There’s a new beta Auto-Transition feature which currently doesn’t work properly but when it does, this will be AWESOME.
  • The on-watch CIQ app store is bordering on unusable. My considered long-term take is that “It’s rubbish”. How do you quickly select what you want from a long list especially when that list is only loaded 4 or 5 at a time slowly over my (speedy) WiFi?
  • Why is my weather widget never showing today’s weather (A: I have to open and connect to the Connect app every day for the widget to update over Bluetooth) – Why isn’t this updated in the background over Wi-Fi?
  • Do you have thinner wrists? Tough. There’s no smaller version for you (yet).
  • Want ECG/EKG? Forget it, the forerunners can’t do that. We see ECG in May/June 2023 on Fenix 7 Pro/Epix 2 Pro but that uses a new optical heart rate sensor module
  • Want QI/Wireless charging? Nope, it hasn’t got that either. Maybe on the next model. The heat from QI charging could damage a battery.
  • Want a Solar option?…nope. That might come though for an AMOLED watch one day.
  • Want an LTE option for Internet connectivity without your phone? Nope. Again this might come on a 965LTE or 765LTE
  • Want speakers and a mic? You guessed it…nope. Never.
  • 965 Accuracy – it’s mostly good and the GPS is excellent but not quite the best available. (It’s more than good enough). But the oHR is not up to scratch during sports for me. Heart Rate accuracy is super important for **all** the physiology metrics to be correct, and those physiology metrics are perhaps one of the main reasons for buying this watch…just saying. Think about it.

Garmin Forerunner 965 map and hrm pro plus

Some Noteworthy, Good Points

I won’t highlight the vast list of triathlon awesomeness. I assume you already know roughly what Garmin watches can do ie everything that is triathlon-related. And I mean everything.

So these are a list of unusual, positive points which might help you in an upgrade decision from an older Garmin watch

  1. The watch dimensions have very slightly changed from the 955. They feel like they have changed back to the thinner proportions of old and that feels and looks right to me. ie the 955 didn’t.
  2. Whilst the watch diameter is essentially unchanged the display size is SIGNIFICANTLY increased. You have lots more screen real estate from the 1.3″ to 1.4″ increase. This massively improves the aesthetics and massively improves the readability of some of the now larger fonts. You can sensibly and easily display 6 training metrics per screen, before you couldn’t. I use the Stryd datafield which equates to 6 data fields.
  3. Display resolution is now 454x454px which is a very significant increase from 260x260px on the 955. Display quality is now like a good smartwatch such as the Apple Watch. Typically, Garmin hasn’t delivered the screen imagery to make the most of the new screen resolution.
  4. At the most zoomed-in level there is now more map detail and new terrain and weather overlays will soon be available. The standard maps are good enough, but less so at the most zoomed-in levels. Whilst I would always caution against the usefulness of a watch’s small map on your handlebars whilst cycling or on a moving wrist whilst running, this map could be improved with Garmin’s premium maps or those from TalkyToaster (not free). This screen is as big as it can get for a watch without becoming aesthetically too large for most people.
  5. Support Physio TrueUp 2.0 and primary training device designation which syncs your physiology metrics to/from other Garmin devices (if they support it) and allows you to give training from this device priority over others (duplicates). Handy if you have an Edge 540 and record both for your rides.

Here is a link to more detailed insights into lesser-known things about the FR965 aka tips, tricks and hacks.

Garmin Forerunner 965 – Tricks, Tips, Hacks, Hidden Features, Rarely Used Features and Well I never knew that stuff

Summary

This is the greatest sports watch, surpassing even the 955. It’s the best triathlon watch. Obviously.

Please note that I’ve done this blog for many years and I’ve been critical of Garmin for the VAST majority of those years so you can take that element of positivity that things have improved with the 955/965.

Other than cost, there are only three headline reasons I can think of NOT to buy this as your Garmin triathlon watch

  1. You need more durability (get a Fenix 7/Pro),
  2. You need more battery life for Ultra-like events (get an Enduro 2),
  3. You want something super simple (don’t buy a Garmin!). Wahoo Rival is an excellent call for £/$100 in the sale especially if you love ELEMNT Bike Computers

The child-like aesthetics of the default watch faces will hopefully be improved with time but some of the more naive screen backgrounds won’t be changed.

It’s worth highlighting again that this watch has a premium spec outer shell whose plastic appearance is identical to the bottom-of-the-range Forerunner watches.

The future models? We might get a smaller one but the next full replacement will have the next gen oHR sensor…but so what? That’s no biggie. I can’t see Garmin’s premiere triathlon watch, ie this one, getting better in any material sense. I can’t see me ever needing to upgrade this watch unless the battery dies or the screen gets burn-in damage.

The price might fall a bit but don’t hold your breath until a replacement is announced.

If you want to support more critical reviews like this please support this blog (negative reviews like this very rarely sell watches, that’s why you don’t see them. I’m just trying to help)

Price: USA $599, UK £599, EU649 (links to tier 1 retailers in your country)

 

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73 thoughts on “Garmin Forerunner 965 ❌ all the cr*p bits ❌ did I just waste my money? This review says…maybe but it remains my go to.

  1. Just a little question? How do you use humon hex data field. With my epix I must use Garmin native datafield but it’s not as complete as humon one. I found another one similar to the official humon one but the official is not compatible with new devices. It’s not been updated.

    1. find Humon’s two .PRG files and copy them to the 965/Epix Garmin/Apps folder. restart for good measure
      that’s side loading. it can brick a device i suppose…so…

  2. Interesting to see what you regard as a grownup watch face. For me, a watch face with a gazillion things on it is designed for a 7 year old. I know some people love to have their heartrate visible 24/7. I try to convince them as long as they can look at the watch they still have a heartrate, and yes, your heartrate increases when you take the stairs. No need for a watch to confirm. Others even want to see their vo2max 24/7. as if that’s going to change during the day.

    I do value your reviews! They are more opinions than the sum up of the features the other guy does (which are very thoroughly and well made. Just less interesting)

    1. ty for your kind words

      i think “less interesting” pays more.

      yes my view on what looks nice is purely aimed at the aesthetics and visual appeal rather than the visual utility

    2. I couldn’t agree with your sentiment more. My current watch face is the time, date, and outdoor temp. Would love to have a few more faces that are very simple like this rather than jammed with data fields and graphics. As you noted, I to have been baffled by people who need to see their training status or v02 repeatedly.

      1. i like the simple screen too. But the ones provided seem to be carry-overs from earlier MIPS screens and don’t make good aesthetic use of the new, high resolutions. IMO

        I’ve got a photo of the dog on one of the watch faces…obviously, that comes out quite well in higher definition but it might shred any remaining personal credibility I have 😉

  3. Hi! What about heart rate measurment forswimmers inside the water? Is it accurate now?

  4. Thanks for the quick feedback.

    I ordered/cancelled twice the day it came out, and feeling good about holding out for whatever comes next.

  5. That title but I suppose it was designed to “attract some attention” (I won’t use the generic description for such a title !) but all in all no big surprise. Good to know that the proportions are back to “standard” FR style, FR935 was the best, large but thin. The 955 was pushing that a bit and getting close to Fenix/Epix territory.
    I’m a runner and cyclist not a triathlete so after selling my FR955 due to its poor screen, silly metrics (HRV, TR, etc…) I gladly went back to my sparkling Venu 2 (Body Battery, VO2Max, Recovery on Runalyze) and Edge 530 (Training Load, Recovery) combo and don’t see a reason to try the FR965. I will likely get the Edge 840 though !

      1. Wait what ?! It’s obvious to anyone with a brain that the “Garmin Forerunner 965 – all the cr*p bits, did I just waste my money?” title does NOT reflect your opinion of the watch as it should.

      2. @webvan.

        I now own a forerunner 935 and are very tempted to buy a 965 (when it will ever be available in the Netherlands) but I’m sure I will have the ‘did I just waste my money feeling”

        Sure, the bigger screen is nice and the bluetooth connection would probably be better due to a newer bluetooth version, but otherwise?

        Yes, it has maps, but the breadcrumb navigation of my 935 always let to the desired end point.
        Yes, it has a gazillion extra data, like body battery and training readiness, which are very close to how you already feel accoording to dcrainmaker. I know my body, I don’t need a watch to confirm.
        But it still has the same wobble charge connector.
        It still has the buggy garmin firmware. And the very very very stupid situation that the development team for the foreunner series is separate from the development team of other series. So features differ in function, differ in way they look, differ if or when you get them.

        My forerunner 935 does all I need, but the battery is aging. Have to charge every 4 or 5 days and cannot go on a long run when battery is below 30% (or below 40% for a decent bike ride)

        I plan to do as long as possible with my watch, so I buy a watch with the largest battery so I still have okayish battery life after a few years.

        But 650 euro is f***ing much money and the 965 isn’t perfect. Most probably the best there is at the moment but there are many easy fixes that garmin isn’t interested in fixing. So I keep the ‘I waste my money’ feeling.
        And I’m glad there are reviewers who speak out there opinions. Others claim independence, but are not really because their income depends on people who buy new watches every year, because those read reviews more often. Telling them their old watch is still fine is telling them not to come to their website for news and watching adds.

      3. Having watched your site over the years, it’s pretty interesting to see your ebbs and flows of you try to position yourself. Initially in DCRainmaker style (for a while literally posting your own version of anything he did), then trying to “one up” him, then switching to being a Suunto/Polar “insider”, consolidating all rumors and being sly about what site you got them from, and now your going the hyper sensationalism/negativity route. Also, the editing of previous articles to better reflect things as you get updates has always been confusing.

        Overall, I still find myself coming back to check out your site because you do have some interesting info, but I’m really getting tired of the forced “edgy”-ness. Sigh. Cheers.

      4. hi
        I don’t especially like being called sly. I mean, if I came into your house without knowing you and started making negative assertions about your personality, I don’t think you’d be happy.

        anyway.

        1. yes i try various different positioning angles. I understand some of the ones that kinda workin with the constraints i place on the site. I also understand some of the things that i should do but don’t.
        2. yes i did once try the detailed review approach that dcr does (well, like he used to). it didn’t work. i have to find some way to recoup the cost of my time.
        3. ‘hyper sensationalism’ – hmm, no I’m not trying to do that on this article. i don’t see what’s wrong with any of this article or its title. I’ll stick by it 100%.
        4. editing of previously posted articles. – yes, it’s a problem. what’s the alternative? I can’t make millions of posts pointing out every new bit of info and highlighting every edit would make articles unreadable. dcr does it too fwiw.
        5. the essential problem i have to deal with is domain authority. google ranks content too highly from well-known sites (not referring to dcr here) when the content per se doesn’t warrant its position on google search. it just gets ranked higher as the domain has a wider level of overall trust based on its massive traffic levels eg cnet or the verge.

        as of yesterday dcr’s site ranked one above mine for some 965 related stuff. fair enough maybe his review is better than this short opinion piece. ultimately his opinions and mine are very similar about the tech in a broad sense (mainly because i think the opinions are broadly right, i don’t ever especially try to agree with him). don’t you think it would help an intelligent person if they could read two different perspectives on a £600 purchase they were about to make? ie the negative points in this article. As an intelligent person, they could make up their own mind and come to an informed decision.

      5. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but sly to me isn’t quite as pejorative as it sounds like you interpreted it. Perhaps “coy” would have been a better word. I think my critiques were fair and not particularly personal – I don’t think your writing style or iterations of the site are a reflection of how you are as a person (I frankly don’t know you at all, really) and despite all of my feedback, appreciate that you dedicate the time and energy to doing this site.

        There have been multiple times over the years where you didn’t reveal your public source (until it was pointed out what website/retailer it came from) or you partially misled on where you got your info. Maybe this is a thing of the past, but it has happened.

        Regarding the hyper sensationalism, maybe “clickbait style” is more accurate? The title of this article is a prime example. I mean, it gets traffic and clicks so it works. Just don’t enjoy that angle personally, but to each their own.

        The updating old articles conundrum. There are sort of two different things going on. 1) I think the bigger annoyance I have is that you’ve used old articles about leaks to then change to review or other leaks that are completely different. I’m sure it’s for SEO/google domain reasons, but it’s weird from a reader perspective. 2) Overall, it would be awesome if at the bottom of reviews/articles you updated with new info, you added like dates and notes of what was added. I actually wish Ray would do that as well, as it’s hard when you go back to a review 6 months later to know what is new and what isn’t. (Note: it’s reallyyyy easy for me to wish things happened that uses other peoples time, and I recognize that. I just wanted to share it’s hard to follow sometimes).

        Overall, this is tough space and my critiques are from someone who hasn’t managed to make a successful gadget blog website. They are just a reader’s perspective and take that for what you will. Cheers.

      6. Matt
        thank you for your comments. I appreciate your comments and visits to the site over the past weeks and months as well

        that said,

        You should think carefully before commenting about people, especially those you have never met. I try to apply that principle whenever i comment elsewhere. it’s up to you what you do i guess.

        If you want to slate my content…fill your boots. I’m happy with that as long as the language is reasonable (I delete sweary stuff or edit it out)

        sources:

        1. as i have pointed out several times on this site, ‘investigative journalists’ (ahem!) never reveal their sources. Do you really want to get someone sacked? and/or to stop other information from that source type in the future? just think about it for a minute.
        2. I DO tend to link back to other web sources eg i link back to dcr many multiples of time, Q: why would i link back to one of my bigger competitors? A: because he was the source. Sometimes i forget and i am happy to add in such backlinks. I’m just a human writing a blog and not trying to be the next New York Times. Your comment also assumes that I only got the information from the sites you saw and that is a false assumption on many occasions; I often wait before publishing material that i have been passed until it appears at least in part elsewhere (less so in recent months). so, the sources you think are the sources may well not be.
        3. clickbait and hyper-sensationalism. really? no i don’t accept it. the article is entitled “all the cr@p bits” and that’s precisely what I’ve written about. as i said somewhere else, nobody else has given so many negative views on the 965 or developed a post with a slant toward that viewpoint. at least not that I’m aware of.
        4. updating old articles –
        -point 1, yes for SEO reasons i have done that. yes i appreciate it may look odd. that’s my call.
        -point 2, that just isn’t going to happen. what i already do takes a vast amount of time, that would add way too much time to it. plsu, in any case, it would make the article unreadable. jeez, even the BBC changes content in its time sensitive content. It’s just mostly me here, i don’t have the resources.

        “from someone who hasn’t managed to make a successful gadget blog website” – i presume you are self-referring there?? this month is one of my best ever both in terms of revenue and traffic. Yay! 🙂

  6. Thanks for the initial review, it’s the bigger screen that attracts me over my 945 due to eyes that don’t work with me as well as they used.

  7. Hi – thanks for the review! How did you go about trading in your 955 for the 965? I’m considering doing the same but bought it from a different retailer (sportsshoes)

    1. the screen was scratched so it was refunded.
      but a scratch is not a normal warranty item.
      wiggle were nice to me
      Wiggle dealt with me as ‘a random Platinum customer’ rather than as the writer of a blog. ie they didn’t know i ran this site

  8. If the screen is like on Venu 2, don’t believe that clarity in sun bullshit. If you don’t make silly gestures and have polarized sunglasses on, in case of Fenix/previous Forerunners you could actually see better. Here you can’t see shit. These watches are great for everyday use indoors but do require gestures during activity and I hate waving my arm all the time on a bike or during a run/hike.

  9. Wrist based power on 955 and 965 are at odds with the best running power device on the market, the stryd footpod. You can disable wrist based power completely, and lose out on post activity power graphs, and possibly also get worse training load/training readiness calculation (speculation). Or you leave it enabled and it will overwrite the data from stryd.

    Garmin and stryd need to get their act together and make it so that garmin has a option to take the power from a external source, similar to how a polar h10 heart-rate strap can also give the HR data (superior to wrist HR), and this data is integrated into the activity HR plots and the training load & readiness calculations.

    1. Actually the power is not overwritten, it is just the various platforms (strava/trainingpeaks etc.) show the garmin power and the stryd power seems gone.

      Checking the fitfile, there exists a “power” and a “Power” column, the lower case power is garmin wrist based power (or cycling power-meter power in rides with a power-meter), the upper-case Power is Stryd running power.

      You can even see both powers in Garmin Connect when looking at the full detail plots.

    2. Garmin Running Power is proprietary just like every other watch brand. There is no Running Power ANT+ profile. There is no running power standard.
      The nuance is that Stryd writes a CIQ power field (developer field) and then various other sports data platforms may or may not accept that as the primary source of running power. I think from memory that garmin writes a developer power field too.

      Sadly Garmin and Stryd seem unlikely to get their mutual acts together. Actually, I think it is Garmin that doesn’t want to do this. Try this for some more ideas why: https://the5krunner.com/2022/10/27/garmin-running-power-footpod/
      it IS similar to the polar environment eg if your stryd battery dies mid-run then polar starts to record its wrist based power instead which corrupts all your power stats.

      1. I thought Running Power did go on ANT+ now (even though the actual calculations aren’t agreed upon by vendors)? When pairing the HRM-Pro Plus with the Single binded connection on the 955 it connects over ANT+.

        Also to Lars comment, do we actually know if Garmin uses their wrist dynamics/power in calculations for Load/Recovery? I would venture to guess that is still all Heart Rate driven.

      2. hi ryan
        its confusing i know
        stryd can and does transmit its data over ant+ and Bluetooth
        the running power metric calculations are (probably) kinda agreed in the sense that there are two proven ways of calculating power (both give wholly different results tho). so agreed in the sense that its one of those two!
        it’s the ant+ profile that isn’t agreed. When it’s agreed it will appear here with the rest of them: https://www.thisisant.com/developer/ant-plus/device-profiles

  10. How does the readability in bright sunlight compare with the Suunto 7? I can read my S7 but it’s pretty washed out even on max brightness. I much prefer the MIP screen on my 255

  11. I am not a runner. I do indoor spin bike and weekend hiking. I am considering this watch to replace my fenix 6pro. It’s more about the screen and aesthetic look. My 6pro has been a trooper so far. I appreciate your feedback good, bad, and all.

  12. Hago triatlon y tengo un fénix 5 ,busco buena pantalla ya que de cerca veo mal
    estoy pensando entre este y el epix , cual compro para reloj para todo ?

  13. Hi
    I Was wondering if someone could help after reading the review i see the comment of it being one of the best watches out there, nothing is perfect right. Anyway I am looking to buy my husband a new watch it will be replacing a forerunner 920XT that is still going well so why change something that’s not broke ?! Help is this the watch for him or should I being looking at something different thanks

    1. 920xt was a great tri watch in its day. it was perhaps the best in its day
      this is the best now and getting a garmin will mean his learning curve will be shallow and his training history data will continue with the new watch,.
      this is the one to get if yo can afford it

      only downside might be the circular face rather than the rectangular one he has now,

  14. Coming from the original 945 I can get the 955 solar for 180 euros less than the 965. Not many of the negative points you describe concern me, but is the 965 that much better than the 955?

    1. I think the only and main advantage for the 965 is the screen, larger and sharper mainly and OLED which can be a positive or negative depending on the user… It’s not always on, uses more battery and will be harder to read in sunny/outside circumstances. Inside it will be better though but yeah, that’s all more personal preference.

      The 955 (solar) on the opposite side mainly has the better battery life as a big plus. This combined with the always on screen that is… I often glance at my watch to see the time, or while running to see pace/heartrate, so no special arm movement needed.

      I am most likely going to give the 965 a try (currently own the 955 solar) but mainly for the sharper/bigger display and only if I can get it through a very good deal. But to be honest, I have large doubts if I’ll like the oled display.

      1. Oh, I also really dislike the menus/watchfaces on the 965… Makes it look very cheap and tacky but that’s also personal preference of course.

  15. As for someone who has a 935 and is thinking about replacing for a 955 Solar or wait for 965 stabilize after solving initial bugs, what is your opinion on Garmin Firmware? Hearing lots of criticizm about the 955 never being bug-free (at least the major problems, since Garmin watches always have some kind of a FW problem).

    My 935 is still running, but without the barometer/altimeter, who is definetly broken. Fear to change and have to deal with all those FWs issues, while my actual watch is bug free.

  16. I am very jealous of your point that the VO2max has increased a few times.. My 955 is suffering, like many on the forums’ with an inability mark any changes to VO2max or LTHR. My last LTHR autodetection was in June 22, and now race predictor is miles off for things like a 5k (prediction is 21:50, I’m running within a few secs of 20flat at the moment, and did 2x5k with 90sec recovery recently, both at sub 21:00. The watch just rudely shrugs at me!)
    If they cant fix the 955 firmware, I could be tempted by the 965.. but battery life for long events (24hr) worries me. I would likely need to carry a charger anyway on these events, so not a major issue, but I dont want to be charging twice, or every other day in training.
    How much battery %/hour does the 965 chew through when navigating a course? and when listening to music, and when doing both (all with basic GPS to save battery)? Some real world battery tests would be great. The headline numbers from Garmin generally dont include nav.

    1. i might have a look at that.

      LTHR: i have had a problem with my lthr setting on garmin for over 2 years. 1) it doesn’t autodetect correctly 2) if i set an approximate mnaul value its ok 3) if i delete the manual value and/or wait for it to be exceeded nothing happens! ie at point 3 it breaks
      vo2 – yep mine definitely changes. whether or not its right as of now I’ve no idea

  17. The 965 appeared in one of the local sports shops yesterday so given they give me a 5% discount & I had a few vouchers from last year I picked one up. The screen is really nice although I’m going to have to get used to that wrist turn gesture to wake it up when not in an activity. Haven’t used it for a run yet, that will happen this evening.

    I did notice its predicted race times have changed vs the 945 to something more reasonable for me, in fact to times I think I could just sneak under on a good day.

  18. Was considering changing out my Elemnt Rival to the 965 but after reading this will hold off for the time being. Great write up. Thanks ????

  19. Thanks for review, still no answer from Garmin on 955 FTP auto detection as well plus 1040 doesn’t FTP auto detect ????. Do I need the 965 ????

  20. Hi! How did you sideload CIQ fields to the 965? I tried transfering some from my 955, but I can’t find the apps in the GARMIN\apps folder of the 955 when connecting to a PC.

  21. Thanks for the short concise feedback. I much preferred this to the alternative multi page and video review.

    I am struggling between the sapphire crystal of the Epix 2 and the Gorilla of the 965, given they are so very similar, but cant find any negative feedback on Gorilla

    1. my gorilla scratched on the 955
      but the 965 is tougher gorilla iirc.

      there’s your negative feedback 😉

      if you can afford it always get the tougher glass *OR* insurance. these kinds of watches are not cheap

  22. Just returned my 965. It started flaking out. It powered off twice in 24 hours for no reason. I did have a MTB session prior and it got rained on. I wouldnt think that would cause any issues. However it seemd to have affected it. I had it for almost a month. I am now going to try the 955. Hope its more durable.

  23. Just got a 965 and, like yourself, not a fan of the watch faces or UI in general tbh, someone summed it perfectly saying just because you’ve got thousands of colours on an OLED screen, doesn’t mean you need to use ALL the colours. All at once.
    Would you be able to suggest some links to hack this device, I’d even be happy just with changing the system font at this point.
    Thanks

    1. if you explore the file structure on the device you should find various background images that can be changed. i cant recall the locations without looking
      the next getn epix seems to have better watchfaces. wait til those become more widely available

  24. Give me one good reason to upgrade from the 945.

    I said good. So not the screen, nothing to do with data crap I wont use. Just actual watch performance that will make any difference at all for long runs, tris etc. I dont see it being worth upgrading.

  25. hi, best honest review of this watch I have found, most other reviewers get lost in the nitty gritty or don’t understand the basics of what real world runners and cyclists need etc. Im a trail runner, I don’t care if you can zoom in to recordings and can show a micro deviation around a corner with trees on it lol. sheesh. We don’t all run in the flatlands of Holland lol. I care more about the fact the charger is still useless, that the Garmin pace display algorithm is borderline useless on every model I’ve ever had, at least for trail runs where it fluctuates constantly and is wildly inaccurate. (Compare this to even the Suunto 7 that nails pace through fused track, making it a useful metric to display) I care that the Garmin optical HR still cadence locks after every update, seems to take several runs to relearn how to ignore cadence after updates?. Garmin and Apple get a free ride too often because reviewers are scared about being frozen out, causing self censorship. How could anyone ever possibly recumbent an Apple Watch for running when you cannot even display metrics you want in decent size fonts? It’s a fatal flaw totally overlooked by the the nitty gritty crowd. Who cares if it’s the most accurate if you cannot even read the numbers you run by lol? Anyway keep up this style of review, refreshing cheers Ralph

  26. Hello.

    I was wondering which watchface is it that you’re using on the picture where you put the 935 next to the 965 and is it available on the connect Iq

  27. Oh no, it sounds like the Garmin Forerunner 965 may not have lived up to your expectations, it’s always disappointing when you feel like you’ve wasted your hard-earned money on something.

  28. After 20 months of using my 955 I got extreme blistering and reddish skin at my wrist with the original Garmin silicone strap. Also the backside of the watch was affected. I cleaned my 955 regularly with soapy water.

    It took 3-4 weeks for my skin to recover.

    Garmin offered me 2 new straps for free or a full refund, which used.

    How bad was the blistering for you? When was it gone? Came it back?

    I’m still thinking what to get next? Really wanting to have ECG.
    FR 965, waiting for 975 ?

  29. I am on the verge of pursuing an exchange of my 965, bought at lunch last April.

    With the most recent FW change, my battery usage has elevated to a level never before seen and I’m barely getting 2 days of charge, 3 at the most depending on the type of usage. I have AOD on, but at a lower dim level. I do receive notifications on the watch, which I’m sure impacts battery life, but that doesn’t explain why battery average previously was fine/okay and now it’s not acceptable.

    I’ve even turned off Wifi to see if it would help (didn’t).

    Before latest FW – about .4-.5% per hour on average.
    Since latest FW – about 1.25-1.5% per hour on average.

    Last night, in sleep mode (screen OFF) I averaged .95% per hour.

    Wish I knew something I could do but I guess I need to exchange and hope I just got a lemon that didn’t become a lemon until recently.

    1. try crystal tesla watch face. thats a custom one that doesnt support AOD. so it will default to the garmin screen saver mode. see what that does. you drain must be due to non sports usage and screen is biggest culprit.
      turn of spo2 which is a waste of space at the best of times

      1. Thanks yeah spo2 has always been off. I used to use Crystal on my 945 and switched away because it seemed like non-Garmin CIQ watch faces tended to be bad battery hogs. I’m using a standard 965 one now for that reason but will give Crystal a try on the new watch.

  30. FYI – I wish I could get to the bottom of this, the watch went from 21% to 4% overnight while sleeping (with screen off in sleep mode). This was after a soft reboot of the watch yesterday hoping that would reset things. Frustrating to think I am probably going to need to exchange when it was fine in earlier FW versions.

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