Home Reviews Garmin Forerunner 265 Smartwatch: A Comprehensive Review

Garmin Forerunner 265 Smartwatch: A Comprehensive Review

The Garmin Forerunner 265 has arrived, marking a noticeable evolution in the brand’s popular line of running watches. As a significant step up from its predecessor, the Forerunner 255, the new entrant boasts some compelling upgrades like an improved AMOLED display, impressive battery life, and precision GPS tracking, among other high-performance features.

Box Contents

A complete list of items you get inside the box:

  • Forerunner 265 GPS running watch
  • USB-C charging/data cable
  • Documentation

Design & Display

Garmin Forerunner 265 Review 8 scaledMaintaining a design language reminiscent of the Forerunner 255, the new Forerunner 265 by Garmin stands out with its lightweight build, proving to be a less bulky alternative to rivals such as Apple and Samsung. One striking design element is its digitally sophisticated appearance, which is particularly evident in the black variant we evaluated. This colorway gives the Forerunner 265 a modern, bold aesthetic that’s bound to catch your eye.

Garmin Forerunner 265 Review 2 scaledGarmin Forerunner 265 Review 4 scaledComplementing this sharp look is a silicone wristband that marries comfort with practicality. It has a snug fit that resists sweating, adding to the overall usability of the watch during intense activities. In terms of navigation, the watch features a well-thought-out layout of five buttons on its circular face. This includes a noticeably enlarged ‘RUN’ button on the right side, a design decision made with the users’ convenience in mind, allowing them to easily pause their run metrics.

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Garmin Forerunner 265 Review 6 scaledThe rear of the dial houses essential components including the magnetic charging pin and the biosensor. This arrangement ensures an unobstructed interface, promoting easy use and seamless user interaction. Thus, the Garmin Forerunner 265 not only excels in functional attributes but also sports a design that’s both stylish and user-friendly.

Garmin’s Forerunner 265 brings an exciting evolution in display technology compared to its predecessor, the Forerunner 255. While the latter employed a MIP (memory-in-pixel) display, which often resulted in dull color presentation, the Forerunner 265 features an upgraded, modern AMOLED screen. This new AMOLED panel dramatically enhances the user experience, offering deeper blacks and remarkably vibrant colors. It’s an eye-catching improvement that is sure to captivate users. Coupled with a sharp resolution of 416 x 416, this display ensures that every detail is clear and easily legible.

Garmin Forerunner 265 Review 10 scaledOutdoor visibility is often a concern when dealing with AMOLED screens due to their typically lower brightness levels. However, our experience with the Forerunner 265 has dispelled these concerns. The watch performed superbly under bright sunlight, ensuring clarity and readability at all times. A noteworthy addition is the touchscreen functionality, absent in the Forerunner 255. The introduction of this feature aligns the Forerunner 265 more closely with popular competitors such as the Apple Watch, Galaxy Watch, and Fitbit, making it a more comfortable and familiar interface for users transitioning from these platforms. This enhanced display experience makes the Forerunner 265 a significantly attractive option for both avid athletes and casual users.

Software & Performance

Garmin Forerunner 265 Review 13 scaledThe Garmin Forerunner 265 demonstrates a superior feature-rich design that caters to a wide array of workout types. While its primary tracking functions are designed for running, cycling, and swimming, the device offers an inclusive “other” category. This provides users with the flexibility to customize tracking parameters for unique workout routines, giving them freedom and control over their fitness journey.

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In terms of accuracy, Garmin’s heart rate monitor on the Forerunner 265 shines, especially when compared with some of its competitors. During our review, we noted the heart rate readings during various activities such as cycling were surprisingly accurate, eliminating the necessity for a chest heart rate monitor. The Forerunner 265 has expertly bridged the gap between extensive functionality for devoted athletes and a user-friendly interface for those who enjoy a more casual fitness regimen.

Garmin Forerunner 265 Review 12 scaledComplementing these excellent features, the Garmin Connect app provides a seamless user experience. It offers straightforward synchronization of workout data and presents a comprehensive analysis of your activities. While the Forerunner 265 lacks music storage and built-in maps, it compensates with valuable features such as sleep tracking and training readiness insights. These tools provide critical data for understanding your overall wellness and effectively avoiding overtraining, making the Forerunner 265 a strong contender in the fitness wearables market.


The Garmin Forerunner 265, priced at INR 50,490, emerges as an impressive upgrade from its predecessor, the Forerunner 255. Its design, display, feature-set, and performance harmoniously come together to create an appealing option for fitness enthusiasts of all levels, whether they’re competitive athletes or casual workout buffs.

While it lacks some features like built-in music storage and maps, the Forerunner 265 compensates with a stunning AMOLED touchscreen display, highly accurate GPS tracking, commendable battery longevity, and a comprehensive suite of sport tracking features. The watch’s comfortable, lightweight design and user-friendly interface add to its appeal, rendering it great value for its price.

However, if the absence of music storage or built-in maps is a significant concern for you, exploring other options might be a wise choice. But, if you’re willing to overlook these, the Forerunner 265 stands as an undisputedly excellent pick in the fitness watch market. It beautifully strikes a balance between functionality and usability, making it a product that truly aligns with the needs of its users. At the stated price point, it certainly presents an enticing option for anyone looking to enhance their fitness tracking experience.