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WATCH REVIEW: Garmin Forerunner 265

Illuminate your summer training and crush that upcoming road race with the new Forerunner 265

Garmin Forerunner 265 Photo by: Garmin

Enhance your running performance this summer and train brighter with the new Garmin Forerunner 265. This running smartwatch is designed to help you train smarter and achieve your fitness goals. With the new, vibrant AMOLED touchscreen display and enhanced traditional button controls, the Forerunner 265 stands out in style and functionality, and is a great choice for runners of all levels.

Specs

Screen size: 42 or 46 mm
Band size: 18 or 22 mm
Weight: 39 or 47 grams
Storage: 8 GB
Water resistance: 50 metres (5ATM)
Sensors: GNSS (Multi-band GPS, GLONASS, Galileo), compass, thermometer, heart rate, pulse oximeter.
Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, WiFi
Price: CAD $600
Available: Now

Train and race efficiently

One of the standout features of the Forerunner 265 is its training readiness score. The watch analyzes sleep quality, recovery, training load and HRV status, providing insights into your readiness before your next intense workout. This feature ensures that you can get the most out of your training sessions to optimize performance.

The watch also offers a race widget feature, which enables you to plan your race strategy and workouts effectively. The race widget provides personalized daily suggested workouts that adapt to your fitness, performance, recovery and the specific race you’re preparing for. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a beginner, this feature can help you stay on track and reach your race-day goals.

 
Forerunner 265 review
Photo: Garmin

Make it brighter

The coolest new feature, in my opinion, on the Forerunner 265 is the new AMOLED touchscreen display, which offers several advantages over traditional LCD screens. The AMOLED display delivers vibrant and punchy colours, resulting in a visually stunning user experience. The colours are rich, vivid and saturated, with the data easy to read, regardless of the weather or workout.

The vibrant display not only enhances the overall aesthetics of the watch but also makes it easy to navigate through menus, even in bright conditions.

Fast charge

The battery life on the Forerunner 265 lives up to expectations. In smartwatch mode (no-GPS), the watch can last up to 15 days, providing long-lasting usage without frequent charging. And if you’re using GPS, you can enjoy up to 20 hours of continuous usage before needing to plug it in. Are you planning a day hike and concerned about your low battery? With the Forerunner 265, you’ll be relieved that it only takes approximately 30 minutes to fully charge from a low-battery state, ensuring you can get back to your activities quickly.

Forerunner 265 review
Photo: Garmin

In addition to its impressive battery performance, the Forerunner 265 offers eight gigabytes of internal memory. This allows you to conveniently download your favourite music playlists from popular platforms such as Spotify, Amazon Music, or Deezer (a subscription may be required). By pairing the watch with wireless headphones, you can enjoy a seamless and immersive running experience with phone-free listening, allowing you to focus on your run without distractions.

Another notable feature of the Forerunner 265 is its multi-band GNSS with SatIQâ„¢ technology. This advanced technology enhances GPS accuracy and navigation during outdoor activities, ensuring precise tracking and positioning. Furthermore, it optimizes the watch’s battery life, allowing you to enjoy longer adventures without worrying about running out of power.

Verdict

If you’re seeking to elevate your summer training, the Forerunner 265 showcases the effectiveness of an AMOLED screen, positioning it as an enhanced iteration of the already remarkable Forerunner 255. With its combination of touchscreen and four traditional buttons, offline music capability, and multi-sport tracking, the Forerunner 265 offers a comprehensive running experience that surpasses competitors.

One notable aspect I discovered with the Forerunner 265 is the user-friendliness of its touchscreen. With a simple swipe of your finger, you can effortlessly navigate through data screens and menus, making it accessible for runners of all levels. The training readiness feature is another standout addition that I have grown accustomed to. Thanks to its extended battery life and quick charging, runners can wear the Forerunner 265 nearly 24/7 to analyze their daily habits, such as sleep patterns, downtime, heart rate variability, training load and stress levels. This data provides valuable insights into their readiness before the next training session. One thing I did notice was that the recommended recovery time feature after intense workouts often overestimated needed recovery (e.g., 60 to 80 hours), which was impractical given my training load.

Despite the higher price point, the Forerunner 265 unquestionably delivers everything you need, and more. I would recommend this watch for intermediate runners seeking to take their training to a more serious level or those training for their first half-marathon or marathon.

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