Garmin Forerunner 265 Review | Digitally robust

The Garmin Forerunner 265 is, straight away, a winner. Its display outshines its predecessor by a mile

Updated - May 02, 2023 11:22 am IST

Published - April 30, 2023 07:00 am IST

Garmin Forerunner 265 Review | Digitally robust

Garmin Forerunner 265 Review | Digitally robust | Photo Credit: Haider Ali Khan

Garmin has extended its Forerunner smartwatch series with the launch of its latest model, the Forerunner 265. Succeeding the Forerunner 255, the new 265 comes with advanced features and considerable upgrades. We take a look at how it stacks up against its competition.


The Forerunner 265 has a similar appearance to its predecessor, the Forerunner 255, when it’s turned off. The watch is extremely light on the wrist, especially compared to other watches from brands like Apple and Samsung within the same range. The black colour variant, which we got to review, offers an eye-catching and digitally robust look. The watch’s silicone wristband further adds comfort and keeps the wrist sweat-free. The watch has a circular display with five buttons for navigation, three on the left and two on the right. However, there’s a small change to the buttons from the previous model - the top button on the right side is larger and labelled ‘RUN’, making it easier to locate while pausing during a run. At the back of the dial, you can spot the magnetic charging pin and the biosensor. 


To connect the watch to your phone, you need to download the Garmin Connect app from your respective OS app store and then enable the Bluetooth connectivity mode on the watch. The app then takes you through the sync process, allowing you to engage all the features of the watch.


The storage capacity of the watch is 8GB, which is something we liked. You can download up to 500 songs easily on the watch and enjoy them while running or at the gym.

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The new Garmin Forerunner 265 comes with a screen size of 1.3 inches. The difference between the 265 and 255 displays is apparent the moment the watch is switched on. The Forerunner 265 boasts a bright and attractive AMOLED display. It has a much higher resolution than the Forerunner 255, with 416x416 pixels on the standard version, compared to the 255’s resolution of 260x260. Viewing activity or reading messages on the screen is very easy due to the bright screen

Garmin Forerunner 265 Review | Digitally robust

Garmin Forerunner 265 Review | Digitally robust | Photo Credit: Haider Ali Khan

Health features

The Forerunner 265 carries forward the health features seen in the 255. The Forerunner 265 is equipped with Garmin’s latest Elevate V4 sensor, which uses a green light to record heart rate and a red light to record blood oxygen levels (indicated as Pulse Ox on the watch). This sensor calculates breathing rate, HRV, and stress and features Garmin’s Morning Report, which provides a snapshot of your sleep quality, training intensity, and weather forecast for the day.

Unlike previous versions, the Forerunner 265 now includes Garmin’s Training Readiness score, formerly available only in higher-end Garmin watches, which helps you determine how hard you should train on a given day, while the Body Battery score provides a general overview of your health. Like other Garmin watches, the Forerunner 265 can also track menstrual cycles and pregnancy. However, to view these insights on the watch, you must first download the Women’s Health Tracking app.

Running features

The Forerunner 265 is a versatile watch that can track various sports activities, and you can customise its data screen either from your phone or the watch (which now comes with a touchscreen). As mentioned above, the Training Readiness score provides you with a quick overview of how ready you are for a challenging day of training based on factors such as sleep, recovery time, HRV status, acute load, and stress, each with a different weight. You can even monitor metrics like cadence, stride length, and ground contact time directly from your wrist without requiring extra equipment or app downloads. Additionally, you can download a Garmin Coach plan or receive daily workout recommendations.

Smart Features

The 265 lets you view notifications from your smartphone on the dial, though responding to messages is impossible as there is only a pre-defined set of responses. The watch can initiate a call through your mobile phone, although it cannot receive calls. Additionally, the watch comes with Garmin Pay’s contactless payments, allowing you to commute without carrying your phone. Although there is no designated music edition of this watch, you can still download tracks from music services like Spotify and Amazon Music, letting you leave your phone in your gym locker, or at home while out for a run.


Although the Forerunner 265 has a brighter display, its battery life remains relatively unchanged. The device has a battery life of 13 days in smartwatch mode and 20 hours in GPS mode. Typically, larger watches have longer battery life, but due to a larger and brighter screen, the 265 needs to be charged slightly sooner. It’s worth noting that the charging cable for this model has been modified by Garmin, and the 265 now uses a USB-C cable rather than a USB cable. It, however, still charges with the same four-pronged charger as the 255.


In our opinion, the Garmin Forerunner 265 is, straight away, a winner. Its display outshines its predecessor by a mile. One can consider it the best training and health-tracking partner at its rate; it is available starting from ₹50,490.

The Garmin Forerunner 265 serves as both a sports watch and a fancy digital watch with smart features. We think it is a very good alternative for the base variant of the latest Samsung and Apple watches. 

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