Garmin Forerunner 265/265S In-Depth Overview: AMOLED in Two Sizes!


The Forerunner 265 sequence watches have turn out to be Garmin’s lowest-priced AMOLED show endurance sports-focused watch, coming in at roughly half the value of the Garmin Epix sequence launched a 12 months in the past – however right here with full multiband GNSS help on all Forerunner 265 items, whereas additionally including in Coaching Readiness – a serious Garmin endurance sports activities centered characteristic. Be aware that Garmin additionally introduced the brand new Forerunner 965 unit concurrently, additionally sporting an AMOLED show.

Past the display and Coaching Readiness, it additionally positive aspects some new software program options such because the wrist-based Working Dynamics, becoming a member of the not too long ago added wrist-based Working Energy. Additional, all items now have offline music storage built-in – together with Spotify help. Like earlier than, there are two sizes of items, and some shade choices for every measurement.

As ordinary, I’ve been placing the Forerunner 265 by means of its paces – with swims, runs, rides – all indoors and open air, after which every day 24×7 utilization as nicely. Concurrently, my spouse has been placing the Forerunner 265S by means of the wringer whereas evaluating it to her Fenix 7S. All of this within the pursuit of seeing how nicely these watches really work for each every day endurance sports activities coaching and day-to-day utilization.

Garmin despatched over a media loaners to check out. As ordinary, this assessment shouldn’t be sponsored (nor does any firm get to preview something I assessment), and I don’t take any advertiser cash from any corporations I assessment. As soon as this unit goes again, I’ll exit and purchase my very own for any future testing wants. When you discovered this assessment helpful, you should utilize the hyperlinks on the backside, or think about turning into a DCR Supporter which makes the location ad-free, whereas additionally gaining access to a principally weekly video sequence behind the scenes of the DCR Cave. And naturally, it makes you superior.

What’s New:


At first look, the Forerunner 265 sequence may look like simply an AMOLED model of the Forerunner 255.  In reality, quite a lot of the brand new software program options on the Forerunner 265 are coming to the Forerunner 255 by way of software program replace. However there’s one essential part not coming to Forerunner 255 that’s been added to the Forerunner 265: Coaching Readiness.

This characteristic launched final summer time on the Forerunner 955, and given the Forerunner 265 value level is sort of the identical ($449 for the Forerunner 265 vs $499 for the Forerunner 955), it made sense to incorporate it. However, it received’t be displaying up on the less-expensive $349 Forerunner 255.

In fact, there’s nonetheless quite a lot of {hardware} variations between the Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 265/265S, so let’s dive into all of them:

– Modified to always-on AMOLED show (much more extra vibrant colours/brightness/and so on)
– Added touchscreen
– Nonetheless two sizes, a 42mm and 46mm measurement (beforehand the FR255 was a 41/46mm sized case)
– Show sizes are actually 1.1” for the 42mm, and 1.3” or the 46mm (similar as earlier than)
– Watch thickness decreases by 0.5mm (from 12.9mm to 12.4mm)
– Show decision for 41/42mm will increase from 218x218px to 360x360px
– Show decision for 46mm will increase from 260x260px to 416x416px
– Weight decreases from 49g to 47g for the 46mm, and stays at 39g for the 42mm
– Lens materials is Gorilla Glass 3 (similar as earlier)
– Switched to USB-C Garmin charging cable (similar watch port design as earlier)
– Added offline music storage as a baseline (no two separate variations)
– Added Coaching Readiness characteristic (big characteristic set!)
– Added built-in Working Dynamics (e.g. Vertical Ratio, Floor Contact time, and so on…) with none sensor
– Revamped consumer interface to sorta-match the Garmin Epix AMOLED items
– Absolutely helps Physio TrueUp 2.0 (Unified Coaching Standing, albeit now so does Forerunner 255)
– Value is $449 for Forerunner 265/265S, versus $399 for FR255 Music, and $349 for FR255 base
– Battery life adjustments per under
– No ECG {hardware} internally

Now, along with this Garmin additionally introduced the brand new Forerunner 965, which can be am AMOLED show model of the prevailing Forerunner 955. Within the case of that unit, there are some added {hardware} advantages (a bigger 1.4” display, titanium bezel), in addition to a couple of new software program options (Coaching Load Ratio and Persistent Load). However by and huge it’s the identical software program because the Forerunner 955. Each the Forerunner 255/265 and the Forerunner 955/965 are full multisport watches, full with energy meter sensor compatibility and extra.

Which then invariably brings up the query on how is the Forerunner 265 vs Forerunner 965 differ? Right here’s the high-level variations (understand that there’s a ton of minor variations, for instance programs/routing itself has an enormous variety of sub-features):

– Forerunner 955/965 has full maps, the Forerunner 255/265 doesn’t (each can observe programs nevertheless)
– Forerunner 965 has a 1.4” AMOLED show, whereas Forerunner 265 has a 1.3” AMOLED show with 1.1” for 265S
– Forerunner 955/965 helps recording Garmin Biking Dynamics energy meter metrics, the Forerunner 255/265 doesn’t (oddly Intuition 2 does file these…)
– Forerunner 955/965 has ‘Stamina’ information discipline throughout exercises for longer-duration pacing, FR255/265 doesn’t
– Forerunner 955/965 have ClimbPro options, the Forerunner 255/265 don’t
– Forerunner 955/965 have a slate of map-dependent navigation/routing options the Forerunner 255/265 don’t
– Forerunner 955/965 have navigation Subsequent Fork characteristic, the Forerunner 255/265 don’t
– Forerunner 965 has Coaching Load Ratio and Persistent Load, the Forerunner 255/265 doesn’t
– Forerunner 955/965 has FTP auto-detection, the FR255/265 doesn’t (each have Lactate Threshold & Max HR detection although)
– Each the Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 265 have built-in Working Dynamics (the FR955/FR255 will get by way of firmware replace)
– Each have multiband GPS, together with new ‘AutoSelect’ SatIQ mode
– Each have WiFi (assuming you get FR255 Music version)
– Each have downloadable music (together with Spotify/Deezer, and Amazon Music, plus MP3’s).
– Each have HRV standing, SpO2 sensor, and all the identical different every day exercise monitoring metrics
– Each have morning report, race widget, and every day recommended exercises
– Each have Garmin Pay, incident detection, LiveTrack (with telephone close by)
– Each use the identical commonplace Garmin charging port cable
– GPS mode battery lifetime of FR965 is acknowledged as as much as 31 hours, FR265 GPS mode life is acknowledged as up 20 hours and FR265S at 24 hours
– Smartwatch battery life is of FR965 is acknowledged as 23 days, FR265 smartwatch mode is 13 days and FR265S at 15 days
– Forerunner 965 is priced at $599, Forerunner 265 is priced at $449

Phew, bought all that? Let’s begin utilizing the watch.

The Fundamentals:


This primary part will give attention to all the day-to-day options of the watch, issues like exercise monitoring, sleep monitoring, morning report, and associated fundamental utilization ideas (touchscreen, show, battery life). I’ll additionally cowl smartphone integration bits together with notifications. The subsequent part covers the sports activities items by way of exercises and sport profiles, after which we’ll go deeper into the sports activities facet with the Coaching Readiness part in Coaching Load & Restoration Metrics. Lastly, I’ll wrap-up within the coronary heart fee and GPS accuracy sections.

Moreover, you’ll quickly discover a full Forerunner 265 Novices Information video printed, which walks by means of all of those options step-by-step. It’s a long-form video that sometimes finally ends up being about 30-45 minutes, however contains a lot of professional suggestions.

Be aware that other than measurement, battery life, and display measurement, the Forerunner 265/265S are equivalent. Thus once I say ‘Forerunner 265’, I’m referring to each except in any other case acknowledged. I’ve been testing the Forerunner 265 (massive), and my spouse has been testing the Forerunner 265S (small).

With that, let’s begin with the {hardware} fundamentals. The Forerunner 265S/265 each have 5 buttons, like most Garmin sport watches. The three buttons on the left facet are principally used for navigating menus. There are two extra buttons on the suitable facet, that are primarily used for affirmation and again/escape (plus beginning/stopping). It’s also possible to long-hold any of those buttons for additional capabilities, together with the power to assign quick-access buttons.

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Along with the buttons, a notable new characteristic on the Forerunner 265 is the touchscreen possibility – providing you with that possibility. The FR265 retains the Garmin sports activities watch mantra of “Use it if you would like, don’t in the event you don’t”. Which means, each single operate on the Forerunner 265 could be accomplished by way of buttons as a substitute of the touchscreen. You may actually disable the touchscreen if you would like – with no influence to options. Inversely, in the event you’re all about contact, you are able to do virtually every little thing by way of contact (besides beginning/stopping a exercise and hitting the lap button).


Whereas some watches have troubles with contact in moist circumstances, I don’t typically discover that to be the case with Garmin’s current implementations (together with the Forerunner 265). I’ve been in sizzling and sweaty Florida this previous week, drenched with sweat, and having no issues. About the one place you’ll discover legit points is making an attempt to make use of the touchscreen underneath the direct water strain of a bathe head.

By default, nearly all sport profiles have contact disabled (throughout a exercise). This implies you’ll be able to both allow it throughout the board throughout exercises, or you’ll be able to individually allow it on a selected sport profile. There’s a minor nuance in variations in that on the Fenix 7/Epix sequence it’s also possible to disable it inside simply sleep too, however that doesn’t seem like an possibility on both the Forerunner 265 or larger finish Forerunner 965. To be clear, there’s nonetheless nightly do-not-disturb mode and such, which reduces dramatically the possibility of the show turning on brightly except you bodily press buttons to allow it. Sleep mode will robotically allow based mostly on what you’ve outlined, however it’s also possible to manually allow it at any time by simply long-holding the higher left controls buttons. In reality, in sleep mode there are literally 4 brightness ranges, as in comparison with three brightness ranges in daytime mode.


Now, the subsequent bit is the AMOLED show. It’s an enormous enhance in brightness and show high quality. Try this facet by facet image with the Forerunner 255 (MIPS based mostly show) to see the distinction:


As famous above higher or worse, my testing this final week has been in a shiny/sunny/sizzling locale – and I can say there are completely zero points seeing the show utilizing the default settings in shiny solar circumstances (when you flip/increase your wrist). Simply as there have been no points with Epix both for the previous 12 months and that AMOLED show, in both shiny or darkish circumstances. The only exception to that is in case your wrist is off-axis (reminiscent of decrease on the handlebars), it may be trickier to see, although frankly, that’s additionally true of MIPS watches. And indoors, particularly in any type of dim circumstances, it’s far simpler to learn/see an AMOLED show.

Whereas some individuals have issues about brightness on AMOLED shows, that’s fairly controllable on Garmin watches with a number of brightness settings for various instances of day (sleep/exercise/remainder of day), and I’ve by no means discovered it being over-bright as a problem. In the identical method nearly no one says over-brightness is a matter on the Apple Watch.


Lengthy-story-short, AMOLED shows have modified a ton in the previous few years since they began showing, so I wouldn’t choose a ebook by a canopy from 3-5 years in the past.

In any case, subsequent up we’ve bought the watch face. As with all Garmin watches, that is totally customizable – in two tough classes. First is a bunch of inventory watch faces on the unit which you can select from, after which individually customise every part (e.g., information fields/problems, coloring, styling, and so on…). After which the second method is by way of Garmin’s Join IQ app retailer, which incorporates boatloads of watch faces. It’s also possible to create your personal watch face with footage/images if you wish to.


Right here’s the Garmin Join IQ app retailer, which has quite a lot of watch faces you’ll be able to select from. Sometimes talking on launch day, the variety of watch faces which might be marked as suitable with the brand new watch is low, after which over the approaching days and weeks it balloons, and builders mark their watch face as suitable/compliant. It’s also possible to create your personal watch faces utilizing images out of your telephone album.

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From there we’ll swipe all the way down to the widget glances space. Widget glances are primarily small tidbits of data that any variety of completely different classes or apps. You may customise which widgets are proven, the order they’re proven, and even obtain third get together widgets. It’s also possible to create folders for them too, of your personal naming accord. The concept is glanceable bits of data which you can then faucet into (or button into) to see extra information about that specific merchandise.


Take steps for instance, you’ll be able to faucet on that widget look to get extra detailed info together with your steps over the course of the day, steps by distance per day, and your complete distance for the final 7 days displayed every day:

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All of this information, be it steps or in any other case, is then concurrently synced to Garmin Join (by way of Bluetooth to your telephone, USB to your laptop, or WiFi). That is the place you’ll be able to dive into the information extra deeply relying on what you’re on the lookout for. Some will say that the Garmin Join app generally is a bit overwhelming with all the information. And, there’s undoubtedly a nugget of fact to that. However it’s also possible to ignore the deeper caverns of knowledge if you wish to, and simply give attention to the primary every day dashboards. In different phrases, it’s what you make of it. And finally, there’s no different firm on the market that gives wherever close to as a lot sports activities/health information as Garmin does.

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For actually each metric possible, Garmin enables you to dive into the small print of it. From coronary heart fee monitoring to respiration fee, to lactate threshold computerized detection. Notably although, the Forerunner 265 sequence doesn’t have biking energy FTP detection. A minor merchandise, however value mentioning.

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Many of those metrics are derived from information captured by the optical coronary heart fee sensor positioned on the underside of the Forerunner 265. This optical HR sensor is powered on 24×7, consistently logging information nicely past simply your coronary heart fee. This contains issues like calculating respiration fee, HRV, and even blood oxygenation ranges (if enabled). The Forerunner 265 makes use of Garmin’s Elevate V4 sensor (similar as on the Fenix 7/Epix/FR955/FR965/FR255/Venu 2 sequence).  The inexperienced gentle is for normal coronary heart fee recordings, whereas the crimson gentle is for blood oxygenation ranges (Garmin calls this Pulse Ox):


Sadly, regardless of Garmin introducing ECG on the Venu 2 Plus sequence a couple of weeks in the past, there isn’t a ECG {hardware} within the Forerunner 265. That is each confirmed by Garmin, in addition to merely apparent by trying on the backside of the unit. It lacks the isolating ring across the optical HR sensor, which is required for an ECG.

Past apparent metrics like coronary heart fee or respiration fee, there’s a slew of algorithmic metrics. These are issues which might be distinctive to Garmin (or, no less than Firstbeat, the corporate which Garmin acquired that develops algorithms however nonetheless licenses them to different corporations). For instance, one is Physique Battery. Physique Battery is mainly your power degree. You recharge it each night time, after which lower it through the day, or in periods of leisure (like sitting on the sofa watching TV).

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Nonetheless, with the Forerunner 265 they’ve added Coaching Readiness, which is aimed toward determining in the event you ought to practice (or, to what depth). That’s a giant bump up in comparison with the Forerunner 255, which lacked Coaching Readiness (it was launched final 12 months with the Forerunner 955 as a substitute).

Right here’s a greater method to think about it: Use Physique Battery on trip to see the impacts of your day while you don’t care about coaching. Whereas, use Coaching Readiness when you find yourself making an attempt to get exercises in. Coaching Readiness is way broader within the inputs it accounts for (sleep/exercises/stress), whereas Physique Battery actually solely cares about that single daytime slice. Once more, tons extra in a while this within the ‘Coaching Metrics’ part.

Talking of sleep, the Forerunner 265 will robotically observe your sleep metrics every night time. That is roughly grouped into three camps. First is how a lot time you sleep, the second is your sleep phases (e.g., REM/Deep/Mild/Awake), and the third is your Sleep Rating. That Sleep rating makes an attempt to take these first two camps and provide you with a graded rating on your night time (1-100).

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In my testing, the sleep instances are often fairly correct (inside a couple of minutes of once I fell asleep/awakened). Nonetheless, the sleep phases and sleep scores are kinda all around the map. For instance, when sporting the Forerunner 265 on one wrist, and the Forerunner 965 on the opposite wrist, I’ve gotten vastly completely different sleep scores and sleep phases. That’s as a result of the sleep phases are completely different, which throws off the sleep scores. And whereas this may sound like a Garmin-only downside, the fact is most wearables suck at sleep phases. Complicating issues is that there isn’t even a dependable technique to validate this information. If I take a look at the viable house choices to check sleep levels/phases by way of accuracy, these units aren’t that correct by themselves (solely about 80% correct). We’d by no means settle for evaluating different options like optical HR accuracy to an “80% correct chest strap”, so I received’t settle for doing so right here.

In the meantime, the Forerunner 265 contains HRV monitoring, just like the Forerunner 255 earlier than it. HRV is measured consistently by means of the night time. Garmin takes fixed readings, after which shows them in 5-minute increments inside the HRV timeline graph proven. That chart additionally reveals your max values for the night time. It’s 100% regular that there’s this a lot fluctuation in it, as your values are sometimes tied to completely different sleep phases.


Nonetheless, that is simply the primary snippet – and is the nightly HRV values. These are fascinating, however not as helpful as plotting it over time. In order that’s the place Garmin’s HRV Standing characteristic is available in. This requires 19 nights of knowledge earlier than it begins monitoring, because it’ll set up your baseline. That baseline is exclusive to you, and can shift slowly over time on a 90-day rolling window. The overall gist is that in the event you’re inside your inexperienced zone, it’ll present ‘Balanced’, however then you’ll be able to turn out to be unbalanced over time (both excessive or low).


Remember the fact that a single ‘dangerous night time of knowledge (reminiscent of after heavy consuming), received’t instantly influence your HRV Standing. It’s not purported to. Neither ought to a heavy coaching weekend. As an alternative, you’ll see the dip mirrored in your trending charts. However sick for every week with a low HRV worth? That’ll in all probability do the trick. However once more, that’s kinda the purpose. As for the accuracy of the underlying information, again in my Forerunner 955 assessment, I in contrast the HRV information to a Polar H10 chest strap, and located it very comparable. The Forerunner 265 makes use of the identical actual sensor/algorithms/and so on because the Forerunner 955 from this take a look at under. Perhaps I’ll re-do it shortly on the FR265/FR965 for enjoyable.

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(Above is a really tough visible comparability between a Polar H10 worn all through the night time and the Garmin FR955. I say ‘tough’ as a result of to start, the SDNN isn’t precisely the identical as what Garmin data as SDRR, as Garmin’s is error corrected. Second, the scales aren’t the identical right here. Additional, making an attempt to get a chest strap to have good connectivity your complete night time isn’t really tremendous straightforward. So in the identical method that sleeping in your facet/wrist can influence wrist values, so can motion the place the strap may not be completely positioned at some random level within the morning. Nonetheless, the averages recorded are inside 2ms. The Polar’s common for the night time was 52ms, whereas the Garmin’s was 54ms. If I can discover higher methods to get the information out of Garmin’s platform, I can look to do different comparisons.)

Shifting alongside, one favored characteristic launched final 12 months is Garmin’s Morning Report. This watch overlay seems while you get up every morning, and reveals a small assortment of related information for the day forward. It contains HRV Standing, Coaching Readiness, Sleep, deliberate exercises, the climate, and extra. You may customise this with which information you need, or disable it solely. Although, it’s in all probability one in all my favourite options:


You can begin to see little bits of the UI redesign right here within the Morning Report. Right here’s this morning, after a really lengthy night time of sleep final night time (I solely bought two hours of sleep the night time earlier than, getting ready the Forerunner 965 assessment) – therefore why the coaching readiness rating remains to be a bit low right here regardless of the great sleep.

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Even intelligent issues like on a foggy morning, really displaying fog on the again of the morning report ‘welcome’ display. Right here above is a photograph taken outdoors displaying the fog within the timber matching the fog on the watch (seen above the place it reveals ‘Good Morning!’).


It’ll additionally do issues like want you a cheerful birthday, good luck for a deliberate race, and quite a lot of different issues all year long. In reality, notably, in the event you do have a deliberate race, it’ll disguise Coaching Standing/Readiness elements from you that morning (within the morning report). The concept being that seeing that information (if dangerous) received’t change your race any – it’ll simply probably discourage you.

Now, we’re gonna begin to spherical house right here on a couple of options and return in the direction of extra of the smartphone-related options. First up is smartphone notifications. These present incoming notifications out of your telephone, as you’ve configured by your telephone. Garmin has gotten significantly better within the final 12 months or two with emoji, now displaying most of them. Be aware that with an iOS system, you’ll be able to’t reply to those notifications, as a consequence of limitations imposed by Apple. You may dismiss them although.

In the meantime, the watch helps each Garmin Pay & offline music. At this level each of those options are just about mainstream throughout a lot of Garmin’s watches. For the music facet, you’ll be able to add offline music from Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer – in addition to MP3s and podcasts (although frankly, it’s method simpler/sooner to do podcasts by way of Spotify offline on the Garmin watches).


Whereas for the Garmin Pay contactless funds, you’ll be able to load bank cards from any variety of completely different banks. There’s a big record of them right here. Briefly although, for the US you’re fairly nicely lined, whereas for the remainder of the world, it’ll differ fairly a bit. It’s kinda hit and miss. When you’ve bought it loaded although, you’ll be able to merely faucet the watch towards a NFC/contactless fee terminal to pay wirelessly.

Lastly, we get to the charging/battery components. On this case, you’ll cost by way of the brand new USB-C Garmin charging cable included within the field. This is identical Garmin charging connector as earlier than, besides the opposite finish of the cable is USB-C. There isn’t a wi-fi charging right here.

Charging instances are the identical because the Forerunner 965/955, that are a contact over an hour for charging the Forerunner 265 watch. Whereas that’s not fairly as quick as the most recent gen Apple Watch items, it’s on the sooner facet of issues for Garmin (examine that to a Garmin Fenix/Epix unit that takes practically two hours).

On the subject of real-world battery life, we’ll begin with the battery specs from Garmin, after which go from there to what I’m seeing within the real-world. Right here’s these specs first:

Forerunner 265S

Smartwatch mode: As much as 15 days
Smartwatch mode (always-on show): As much as 5 days
GPS-Solely GNSS mode: As much as 24 hours
SatIQ (AutoSelect) GNSS mode: As much as 18 hours
All-Programs GNSS mode + Multi-Band: As much as 15 hours
GPS-Solely GNSS mode with music: As much as 7.5 hours
SatIQ (AutoSelect) GNSS mode with music: As much as 7 hours
All-Programs GNSS mode + Multi-Band with music: As much as 6 hours


Forerunner 265

Smartwatch mode: As much as 13 days
Smartwatch mode (always-on show): As much as 5 days
GPS-Solely GNSS mode: As much as 20 hours
SatIQ (AutoSelect) GNSS mode: As much as 16 hours
All-Programs GNSS mode + Multi-Band: As much as 14 hours
GPS-Solely GNSS mode with music: As much as 7 hours
SatIQ (AutoSelect) GNSS mode with music: As much as 6.5 hours
All-Programs GNSS mode + Multi-Band with music: As much as 6 hours

In my testing, I’m utilizing the always-on show possibility at default brightness (2/3rds – the identical as all images on this assessment). I take advantage of sleep-mode (additionally default) at night time. For my exercises I’m utilizing SatIQ (default) which robotically leverages multiband GNSS when it wants it, and makes use of much less power-intensive GPS when it doesn’t. Throughout this time interval I’ve been averaging 1-3 hours of GPS exercise utilization per day, and when biking that features a biking energy meter related. A few of the exercises have structured exercises enabled, some working ones have had a course enabled.

For daily utilization, I’m on pattern for about 1%/hour common, which places me at a contact over 4 days always-on smartwatch mode contains of all that GPS exercise time. On the subject of GPS exercise battery burn, I’m positively getting higher outcomes than their spec (which is eighteen hours for SatIQ). Take for instance this 2hr biking exercise (with an influence meter), my battery burn fee places me heading in the right direction for about 24 hours of battery life, thus 6 hours greater than anticipated:


(Be aware for each of those charts that the FR965 battery information is from the unit I used to be having battery issues with, I’ll refresh these charts shortly with some longer exercises on the alternative unit to see if it adjustments, which it hopefully does. Talking of which, these charts are created robotically utilizing the DCR Analyzer software, permitting you to pull in any Garmin/Wahoo/Hammerhead information file and it’ll plot the precise battery burn instances based mostly on what’s written to the .FIT recordsdata. Be aware that longer recordsdata are higher for predictive estimations, as a result of there are extra battery % adjustments proven).

After which right here’s a 75-minute run, together with some parts within the jungle, with course/route following enabled, displaying on par for hours:


I haven’t fairly had an opportunity to gather all of my spouse’s battery information from the Forerunner 265S and her exercises, however I’ll accomplish that shortly and add it in right here.

Sports activities Utilization:


On the subject of Garmin watches, there’s a robust probability you’ll by no means use 95% of the sports activities options in them. The quantity of options is staggering, and thus, so is the mix potential between these options. With every little thing from coaching load to restoration, or customized exercises, or routing/course options, race pacing options, and many extra outdoors of that and with subcategories of it.

The purpose being which 1-5% of the options you’ll use will differ wildly from individual to individual. I take advantage of sports activities options each day that others by no means use, and vice versa. It’s essentially why they lead this class. And maybe extra importantly, over the previous few years, the software program high quality has elevated considerably, largely by means of open firmware beta applications that go on for months. Definitely, Garmin nonetheless has bugs (like every other firm), however unquestionably issues have gotten higher in the previous few years.

In any case, to start out a exercise, you’ll go forward and faucet the higher proper button, which brings up an inventory of sports activities. You may pin your favourite sports activities to the highest of the record, making it simpler to get to:


Right here’s an entire record of the game modes at present listed on the Forerunner 265 (some are technically not sports activities, however fall underneath sports activities modes within the Garmin world, like Join IQ App Retailer):

Run, Observe Run, Extremely Run, Digital Run, Treadmill, Indoor Observe, Path Run, Treadmill, Bike, Bike Indoor, eBike, MTB, eMTB, Pool Swim, Open Water, Hike, Ski, Snowboard, XC Basic Ski, SUP, Row, Row Indoors, Stroll, Power, Cardio, HIIT, Yoga, Pilates, Breathwork, Elliptical, Stair Stepper, Clocks, Ground Climb, Different, Triathlon, Well being Snapshot, Join IQ App Retailer

Every of those sport profiles are customizable, be it issues like the information pages and information fields, or the facets like auto-lap or auto-pause, zone alert settings, and even ancillary settings like whether or not or not you have got working energy enabled and which sources it comes. Each sport has a slate of those that may be tweaked, and also you’ve bought two primary methods you’ll be able to tweak them. First, is on the watch itself, and second is in your smartphone.

The Forerunner 265 permits you to customise every of those from each the watch itself, in addition to from the Garmin Join Cellular smartphone app. About the one characteristic you’ll be able to’t customise from the Garmin Join Cellular app is the downloaded maps, or sensors. It’s important to do this both from the watch itself (maps & sensors), or from a pc (maps). However every little thing else is roofed. You are able to do this by way of the system settings after which the exercise sort:

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The depth which you can go into right here is rather like on the watch, and the menu system loosely follows that too. Once more, that is sorta Garmin’s factor in life – one million choices. 99% of them you’ll by no means contact, but when that 1% characteristic is your favourite characteristic, then it’s crucial factor to you. That’s essentially why Garmin has executed so nicely over time – even when it’s generally on the expense of ease of use.

The Forerunner 265 helps 6 customized information fields per web page, and has no significant restrict on the variety of customized pages you’ll be able to create per sport profile. There are moreover varied inventory graphical pages and gauge pages, like coronary heart fee gauges, working dynamics information pages, or a run energy information gauge.

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Right here’s one other set on the FR265S, additionally supporting six fields:

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When you’ve personalized every little thing until your coronary heart’s content material, you’ll be prepared to truly do the exercise you’ve been dreading. Upon selecting the game mode you’ll see the brand new and revamped sport prepared web page. This reveals the GPS satellite tv for pc standing, coronary heart fee sensor readiness, related sensors (like a biking energy meter), in addition to LiveTrack standing (if a telephone is close by).


At this level it might have provided you a Day by day Advised Exercise (for Working/Biking), or, in the event you had a structured exercise pushed to it from platforms like Coaching Peaks, TrainerRoad, Garmin Join Calendar, and so on… it’ll present you these. The built-in every day recommended exercises are pushed by the purpose of constructing you quicker by way of determining your present coaching load baseline. Alternatively, in the event you had loaded a race onto your calendar (working/biking), it’ll provide you with a coaching schedule aimed in the direction of that purpose.

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At current, these working exercise recommendations are based mostly on both coronary heart fee or tempo. They don’t seem to be at present based mostly on energy, although Garmin does report working energy. And for biking exercises they’re based mostly on biking energy.

When you both choose a type of (or not, or create a handbook interval exercise, PacePro race plan, and so on…), you’ll be off to the races. You may iterate by means of the information pages you’ve configured, reminiscent of these seen under with the Working Dynamics natively by way of the wrist:


Sidestepping matters barely there’s built-in working energy. I’m not going to rehash working energy right here, or Garmin’s implementation of it. I’ve executed that many instances. All you actually need to know is there isn’t a commonplace in working energy (throughout the trade), particularly in what’s or isn’t included, and thus, completely different watch corporations do it in a different way and arrive at completely different ranges. Likewise, there’s no physiological motive for biking energy and working energy to ‘match’. In reality, there’s a whole lot of good causes for them to not match. However all that’s neither right here nor there. What’s right here although is that the Forerunner 265 contains native wrist-based working energy, which implies no further sensor is required. You simply run, and it shows it in real-time through the run, and data it afterwards:


If you wish to flip this off, you’ll be able to. Alternatively, if you wish to use an exterior Garmin sensor, you’ll be able to. Each of those are choices within the settings. At the moment it nonetheless doesn’t help exterior non-Garmin working energy sources (reminiscent of Stryd), although Garmin has beforehand stated they aren’t against it (as they accomplish that for biking energy simply fantastic). You may nonetheless, after all, add the Stryd information discipline/app to it as you see match, identical to with previous Garmin units. Hopefully some day down the highway Garmin will help third get together working energy sensors in the identical method they help third get together biking energy sensors.

The primary enchantment to the Garmin native implementation is that it’s totally supported throughout issues like structured exercises, information fields, and varied different charts. That features the next information fields you’ll be able to add:

– Energy
– Energy Gauge
– Avg. Energy
– Lap Energy
– Final Lap Energy
– Max. Energy
– Energy Zone

Nonetheless, new to the Forerunner 265 and FR965 (and all Garmin watches) is wrist-based Working Dynamics. To be clear, Working Dynamics will not be new, however them now not requiring an exterior sensor is new. Working Dynamics are issues like Floor Contact Time and Vertical Oscillation. This beforehand required a Garmin exterior sensor just like the HRM-PRO, HRM-RUN, HRM-TRI, or RD-POD. None of these are required anymore (although, you’ll be able to nonetheless proceed to make use of them as an information supply). As an alternative, you’ll see the Working Dynamics information on the watch, in addition to on Garmin Join, with none such sensors – like under (and chart above):


Be aware that I dive into the Working Dynamics wrist-based accuracy later within the assessment, for these which might be (in the direction of the top of HR accuracy part, a unusual place to place it, however hey, that’s the place it ended up).

Frankly, all these years later and I’m nonetheless not tremendous clear what I’m purported to do with this information by way of coaching or racing. However hey, no less than it’s right here now without having to purchase any exterior sensors. Undoubtedly Apple including this natively to their watches final summer time/fall performed a (large) hand in Garmin doing the identical. There are nonetheless causes to purchase an HRM-PRO Plus HR strap, reminiscent of higher swim coronary heart fee monitoring, or different metrics with no watch in your wrist. However for most individuals, these might be edge instances.

Talking of sensors, the Forerunner 265 maintains the identical record of sensors because the Forerunner 255, which is mainly each ANT+ or Bluetooth Good sensor sort you’d ever need to pair to it. And even those who aren’t supported natively are supported by way of Join IQ apps on the watch. For instance, you’ll be able to add Core physique temperature sensor information discipline apps, or NIX hydration sensing apps, or aerodynamic biking sensor apps, and so forth. It’s once more, an enormous energy of the Garmin platform as of late. However as for the native sensor record, right here ya go:

eBike (ANT+), Prolonged Show (ANT+), Exterior HR (ANT+ & Bluetooth Good), Footpod (ANT+ & Bluetooth Good), Headphones (Bluetooth), Biking Lights (ANT+), Energy (ANT+ & Bluetooth Good), Biking Radar (ANT+), RD Pod (ANT+), Good Coach (ANT+), Pace/Cadence (ANT+ & Bluetooth Good), Tempe (ANT+), VIRB (ANT+),

For enjoyable, right here’s the added sensors varieties additionally seen on the Forerunner 965, which are lacking on the Forerunner 265:

inReach (ANT+), Muscle O2 (ANT+), Shifting (ANT+), Shimano Di2 (Propriety ANT), Golf Membership Sensors (Garmin)

Moreover, there’s some refined quirks between the FR265 and FR965, particularly within the realm of Garmin biking energy meters (Rally/Vector), whereby the Forerunner 265 sequence does NOT file the Biking Dynamics information, however the Forerunner 965 sequence does. To be clear, it nonetheless studies all the common biking energy/cadence info, however simply not the Biking Dynamics particular information stream together with Platform Middle Offset and associated. I don’t know why, for the reason that equally priced Intuition 2 lineup does this simply fantastic. And for that matter, the Intuition 2 additionally connects to the inReach simply fantastic, although I can kinda (barely) see why Garmin would focus it on the Intuition sequence, however realistically, because the Forerunner 265 is a much more succesful watch than the Intuition 2, I’d have anticipated Garmin to enchantment to also-Garmin-purchasing inReach homeowners.

As with earlier than it can save you a number of sensors of the identical sort, and provides them customized names if you would like. For instance, I’ll identify one bike’s energy one factor, and one other bike’s one other factor, and so forth.

Inversely, it’s also possible to broadcast your coronary heart fee from the Forerunner 265 to third get together apps/units, utilizing commonplace ANT+ & Bluetooth Good. For instance, if you wish to broadcast it to Zwift or Peloton, you are able to do that with the contact of a button. Likewise, you’ll be able to broadcast it to your Garmin Edge system (or any bike laptop). I’ve arrange sure profiles (indoor biking), for instance, to robotically broadcast my HR, so I can choose it up on Zwift if I need to. And within the case of working, it’s also possible to broadcast your working tempo for indoor treadmill working (once more, with Zwift).


Now, with all that understanding executed, it can save you your exercise. You’ll get a abstract of the exercise on the watch as a place to begin, in a bunch of graphical pages:

Moreover, you’ll be able to see much more information afterward on Garmin Join (app or web site), like so:

Additional, in the event you’ve bought third get together apps like Strava or TrainingPeaks, you’ll be able to configure your account to robotically ahead the exercise recordsdata to these apps, which reveals about 1-2 seconds later (for actual). It’s tremendous straightforward, and is how I configure my accounts (in my case although, I additionally set my Strava to be ‘Personal’ by default for all new actions, so I can replace them later as I see match).

Now, I do need to point out briefly that the Forerunner 265 can observe a course/route. Nonetheless, it doesn’t have mapping built-in. As an alternative, you’ll be able to import programs from Garmin Join, GPX recordsdata, or any third get together related website (Strava/Komoot/and so on…). Moreover, it’s also possible to route previous actions, on to a saved location (because the crow flies), or to a GPS coordinate (because the crow flies).


In my case, I are inclined to create my programs on both Strava, Komoot, or Garmin Join instantly. From there, they only automagically sync to the watch and present up within the programs menu:


As soon as loaded, you’ll observe a breadcrumb path and a little bit compass heading. It’ll notify you ways far until the subsequent flip, and often how a lot distance is remaining on the course. I hadn’t observed once I took this photograph that the full distance remaining was lacking right here. Unsure if that was a split-second blip or what:


However you’ll be able to see the route I made by means of the jungle, and me following it alongside simply fantastic. I didn’t get attacked by any panthers at the present time, although the subsequent day was extra questionable with a Bobcat. Beneath, displaying me 95.2 meters until the subsequent flip.


So with our exercise full, let’s dive into the coaching load and restoration metrics – as that’s a completely completely different ball of wax to cope with.

Coaching Load/Restoration Metrics:


Whereas the earlier Forerunner 255 has Garmin’s so-called ‘Coaching Standing’ characteristic set, the brand new Forerunner 265 will get a considerably higher suite of characteristic set in ‘Coaching Readiness’. To be clear, each options are within the Forerunner 265 and complement one another, however Coaching Readiness makes it simpler to determine whether or not or how onerous to coach every day.

In fact, there’s loads to soak up right here, however in a nutshell, final 12 months Garmin considerably revamped how Coaching Standing, Coaching Load, and a slew of metrics associated work. At first look, you’d doubtless simply see the brand new Coaching Readiness & HRV Standing metrics and assume every little thing else was the identical. However there have been elementary shifts to these metrics that attempt to reduce the possibility you’re going to get an Unproductive message while you’re merely in a tough coaching block. And if we take a look at the success of that some 8 months or so later, most individuals would agree Coaching Readiness is an enormous step ahead, and arguably leads the trade in how one can current endurance sports activities load/restoration information.

As with all coaching load/restoration algorithms or ideas, there are nonetheless edge instances and quirks. There at all times might be. That is no completely different than a training philosophy, there’s completely different opinions on how one can practice.

First, although, we’ve bought a few core ideas to clarify briefly, after which in additional depth in the remainder of this part:

Coaching Readiness: This metric goals to be your one-stop store to resolve whether or not or to not practice that day. It blends Sleep (vs each quick and long-term historical past), Restoration Time, HRV Standing, Acute Load, and Stress. Briefly, you’ll be able to spike one class (badly) with out essentially killing your subsequent coaching day. However all classes aren’t created equal.
Coaching Standing: That is taking a look at your acute load, HRV standing, load focus, and VO2Max developments. This one is much less about must you practice, and extra about the way you’re coaching. Which means, are you doing an excessive amount of excessive depth, or an excessive amount of low depth? That’s what’ll provide you with an unproductive standing. In different phrases, how would a coach take a look at your coaching log, ignoring most different life/feeling sort metrics.
HRV Standing: That is measuring your HRV values consistently when you sleep, after which evaluating it towards your 3-week baseline, as much as a 90-day rolling window baseline. A single night time of consuming doesn’t tank this rating, however three nights of partying received’t maintain you within the inexperienced.
Acute Load: That is taking a look at your final 7 days of load, besides the load now burns off dynamically. Which means, a tough coaching day 7 days in the past is much much less impactful to the rating than a tough coaching day yesterday. Beforehand this was referred to as 7-Day Load, now it’s Acute Load.
Load Focus: This reveals which classes your coaching efforts have fallen into, during the last 4 weeks. These embrace Anaerobic, Excessive Cardio, and Low Cardio. Mainly, you might want to have an excellent coaching weight-reduction plan to get sooner. Merely working onerous/all-out each day received’t make you quicker. It’ll simply get you injured and slower.
Restoration Time: This calculates how a lot time you want until your subsequent onerous depth exercise. As is commonly misconstrued, this isn’t until your subsequent exercise, simply your subsequent onerous one. That is largely the identical as earlier than. Exceptionally good sleep can pace this up, and inversely, a high-stress day can gradual this down.

There are numerous metrics right here, arguably, too many. However setting apart the amount of them, most of them do even have a function, even when complicated. If I have been stepping again and taking a look at which of them to give attention to, it’d primarily simply be the brand new Coaching Readiness standing. Earlier than dive into that although, I’ve beforehand lined HRV Standing elements in my Forerunner 255 assessment right here, in order that’s place to dive into that part.

The concept with Coaching Readiness is to take a bunch of elements underneath one umbrella, and determine how ‘prepared’ you’re to ‘practice’ at that very second within the day. The worth will shift all through the day (larger in the event you do nothing, decrease in the event you do a exercise). The rating is comprised of all of the fellows you’ve seen earlier than: Sleep, Restoration Time, HRV Standing, Acute Load, Sleep Historical past, Stress Historical past:

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Every of the elements are weighted in various methods, and towards various timeframes. Right here’s the run-down:

Sleep: This one is particularly taking a look at final night time’s sleep
– Restoration time: This appears at your Restoration time in hours (based mostly on exercises, however could be sped-up with good restoration)
– HRV Standing: That is evaluating your 7-day pattern versus historic pattern
– Acute Load: That is taking a look at your 7-day pattern, weighted in the direction of newness
– Sleep Historical past: That is taking a look at final night time versus your prior 2 nights of sleep historical past
– Stress Historical past: That is trying on the current daytime information (excluding in a single day readings)

Once more, the premise right here is which you can determine what’s impacting your coaching readiness, and whether or not it’s anticipated. When you’re at a coaching camp, you’ll count on excessive Acute Load and certain excessive restoration time too. However hopefully, the opposite stats are regular/good. Thus, you’ll be able to attempt to determine whether or not to proceed or not. Whereas if every little thing is trying like a crimson dumpster fireplace, then it’s best to in all probability practice on the sofa.

Now outdoors of sleep, the one I have a tendency to have a look at essentially the most is Acute Load. At first look, you may assume that is simply 7-day Load renamed, however that doesn’t actually cowl what it really does. Sure, it reveals your 7-day load, however load burns off dynamically. In years previous, in the event you had a giant journey 6 days in the past, that load can be factored into your complete 7-day load length as if it simply occurred yesterday. Versus with Acute Load, it’s weighted to burn-off inside a couple of days, as logical. That’s as a result of every week later it’s unlikely that massive journey remains to be impacting you. The purpose of that is to scale back the large swings that used to happen within the Coaching Standing panel when a giant exercise from every week in the past disappears, making you go immediately from Productive to Unproductive in a matter of seconds.

Right here’s my acute load, and you may see how final week was a simple week, and this week is already larger as my exercises are longer/more durable. The inexperienced portion is my ‘tunnel’, which is mainly my secure coaching load zone (excessive and low). Garmin’s UI rendering is a bit onerous to see right here, as a result of my tunnel is so broad.

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Along with that there’s the 4-Week Load Focus web page, which categorizes the coaching sort. That is notable as a result of whereas the also-new Forerunner 965 provides a Coaching Load Ratio and Persistent Load web page, the Forerunner 265 doesn’t get that. Although frankly, in the event you simply observe the inexperienced tunnel in Acute Load, you kinda get the identical factor anyway.

Now, all of this rolls again up into the Coaching Standing web page. This web page goals to point out whether or not or not the kind of coaching I’m doing is helpful to me getting sooner. It’ll have messages like Productive, Unproductive, Sustaining, and so on… Proper now, I’m ‘Sustaining’, as a result of apparently my VO2Max worth is ‘Regular’ (that means, neither going up nor down). So though my HRV Standing is sweet, my Load Focus is sweet, and all the opposite issues are fantastic, because it thinks my VO2Max worth isn’t going someplace, I’m not ‘Productive’.

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And that is the place issues can crumble a bit. In my case, I’m positively getting sooner during the last two months. Each FTP assessments and Garmin’s personal race predictor present that fairly simply. My coaching load the previous two months has been substantial, but measured. However my VO2Max values have been ‘caught’ in response to Garmin Join since November (4 months in the past). I’m not the one one. And as such, the Coaching Standing is kinda damaged. That’s largely why I’ve ignored it and as a substitute give attention to Acute Load and Coaching Readiness, that are extra tangible. And all of this units apart the truth that the precise VO2max values it has for me proper now are reasonably low, in comparison with my working paces and FTP values (or simply low in comparison with what it beforehand had until November, which was on low coaching fall coaching quantity).

One final space to say is Restoration Time. This largely hasn’t modified from earlier than, however I must briefly spotlight it, as a result of it’s now much more essential within the Coaching Readiness rating. Restoration time is displaying your restoration time based mostly on exercises. That is mainly displaying your restoration time until your subsequent onerous exercise, in hours. This could pace up with night time’s sleep, or decelerate with crappy sleep or a really irritating day:


Now, all that stated, setting apart from my present VO2Max bugs, Coaching Readiness and Acute Load is pretty precious for me daily. I take a look at Coaching Readiness every morning as a tough intestine test of the place I’m by way of restoration and preparation for the subsequent massive exercise. Nonetheless, I’m additionally not utilizing it because the singular supply to resolve whether or not or to not practice. It’s only one information enter – I then use my very own 15+ years of coaching/racing data to layer atop that.

However I do discover that it’s typically good at reminding me when my physique actually is shot, or inversely, once I’m really recovered (principally after taking a couple of days off). The one draw back? In some way on the Forerunner 265, neither Coaching Readiness, nor Acute Load, nor Coaching Load Ratio, or every other Coaching Standing metric is offered as a watch-face information part. It’s beforehand been on the Forerunner 955 and different watches, however not right here. Hopefully they alter that.

GPS Accuracy:


There’s doubtless no subject that stirs as a lot dialogue and fervour as GPS or coronary heart fee accuracy.  A watch may crumble and provide you with dire electrical shocks whereas doing so, but when it reveals you on the incorrect facet of the highway?  Oh hell no, deliver on the fury of the web!

GPS accuracy could be checked out in quite a lot of other ways, however I favor to have a look at it utilizing quite a lot of units in real-world situations throughout an unlimited variety of actions.  I take advantage of 2-6 different units without delay, making an attempt to get a transparent image of how a given set of units handles circumstances on a sure day.  Situations embrace every little thing from tree/constructing cowl to climate.

Over time, I’ve continued to tweak my GPS testing methodology.  For instance, I don’t place two items subsequent to one another on my wrists, as that may influence sign. As an alternative, I’ll typically carry different items by the straps, or connect them to the shoulder straps of my hydration pack or backpack.  Plus, sporting a number of watches on the identical wrist is well-known to influence optical HR accuracy.

Usually, I’d spend a whole lot of time displaying you chart after chart of completely good runs/rides/hikes. However this time, I’m going to avoid wasting you (and me) a boatload of time. As a result of frankly, they’re all excellent. Nonetheless, if you wish to take a look at information units, you’ll be able to. Within the case of the Forerunner 965, I used Garmin’s newish SatIQ characteristic. Which means that it’ll use multiband/dual-frequency GNSS when it must, however then save energy with much less power-draining GPS when it doesn’t. In all my testing since final summer time of that characteristic, it’s mainly spot-on in scaling up/down. There’s merely no must pressure multiband GPS on Garmin units. I’ve executed mountain treks and deep metropolis testing, and it nails each precisely by way of scaling up/down.

Once more, every little thing right here is utilizing SatIQ (which confusingly reveals as ‘AutoSelect’ within the Garmin GPS menus), and as such, it’ll use multiband when it must, and save battery when it doesn’t. I’ve bought a whole lot of units, from a whole lot of exercises – however to avoid wasting you a bunch of time (and me), there are not any points right here. Identical to with the FR255, it’s all spot-on. Nonetheless, I’ll shortly present a couple of units and hyperlink to extra if you wish to dive into it.

First, we’ve bought a tempo run I did, beginning off in forest/jungle for the primary couple kilometers, earlier than attending to extra suburban settings. Right here’s the jungle:


After which, you’ll be able to see the high-level GPS observe:


Then, within the jungle the items are solely a pair meters aside, however all very very shut – actually nothing to complain about right here:


As I transition to suburbia, you’ll be able to see they largely even stick inside the bounds of the sidewalk:


Once more, I don’t have any complaints right here. Nor on this different information set on comparatively comparable/close by roads/trails – all precisely the place I’d count on.

Subsequent, right here’s a journey I did. Virtually talking, it is a boring GPS observe – because it’s out and again and out and again and out and again on a slim highway alongside the coast for a couple of hours. In idea, this needs to be straightforward. However hey – loads of GPS items have screwed up simpler issues. The concept right here although is to see simply how excellent these 6 sweeps have been (highway biking):


And if we glance in on some random tidbits on the highway – the reply is obvious: Actually darn excellent. It actually retains all of the tracks on the right facet of the small seashore highway in each instructions:


Even the tiny little turnaround on the finish is ideal. Once more, take a look at the dimensions of the automobiles/parking spots for context on how small an area that is:


These outcomes have been additionally mirrored on one other journey I did a week in the past in the identical location. Oh, and for enjoyable, try the battery graph right here – displaying about 20 hours of estimated battery life (this contains LiveTracking enabled, in addition to energy meter sensors). This 20 hours is on-spec. Additionally, notice once I turned up the brightness on the Edge 1040 to full blast, it blows by means of the battery. I used to be taking footage for a unique assessment and needed them simpler to see on the digicam:


Lastly, I set out for an openwater swim after my journey and run yesterday. In idea this might be a couple of 1,500m to 2,000m swim. In follow, it ended after a mere 90 meters:


This was on account of a tiger shark being noticed lower than 100 meters from me by some close by beachgoers, who caught my consideration to return ashore. I made a decision to postpone that swim. I’ll re-attempt this in a couple of days elsewhere with out wildlife that desires to kill me, and replace right here accordingly.

I’ll additionally add some extra metropolis units once I get an opportunity right here within the coming weeks.

(Be aware: All the charts in these accuracy parts have been created utilizing the DCR Analyzer software.  It permits you to examine energy meters/trainers, coronary heart fee, cadence, pace/tempo, working energy, GPS tracks and many extra. You should utilize it as nicely on your personal gadget comparisons, extra particulars right here.)

Coronary heart Fee Accuracy:


Earlier than we transfer on to the take a look at outcomes, notice that optical HR sensor accuracy is reasonably diversified from particular person to particular person.  Features reminiscent of pores and skin shade, hair density, and place can influence accuracy.  Place and the way the band is worn, are *crucial* items.  A unit with an optical HR sensor needs to be cosy.  It doesn’t want to depart marks, however you shouldn’t be capable to slide a finger underneath the band (no less than throughout exercises).  You may put on it a tiny bit looser the remainder of the day.

One of many issues that’ll assist with the Forerunner 265 in comparison with one thing like an Epix sequence watch is that the Forerunner 265 is lighter. Normally, heavier watches will bounce round extra, and thus are tougher to get optical HR accuracy. That stated, in my Fenix 7/Epix testing, I noticed just about equal outcomes throughout the completely different sizes.

In the meantime, for HR accuracy testing I’m sometimes sporting a chest strap (both the Polar H10 or the Garmin HRM-PRO Plus), in addition to one other optical HR sensor watch on the bicep (typically the Whoop 4.0 band). Be aware that the numbers you see within the higher proper nook of the charts under are *not* the averages, however reasonably simply the precise level my mouse is sitting over.  Be aware all this information is analyzed utilizing the DCR Analyzer, particulars right here.

We’ll begin off with one thing comparatively fundamental to get warmed up, on this case a 14KM comparatively steady-state run (you’ll be able to click on on any of those information units to dig in deeper if you would like). Each the FR265 and FR965 are precisely the identical because the chest strap:


The one sensor that wobbled a little bit bit was the Whoop 4.0 strap in the direction of the top as I went into one of many intervals (I did quick dash intervals each few kilometers).

Subsequent, we’ve bought a tempo run. On this case I built-up pace earlier than lowering it on the cool-down. As you’ll be able to see, the center fee plot is flawless right here from each the Forerunner 265 & Forerunner 965:


Now, we’ve bought one run that reveals some strong optical HR failures (out of many runs which might be completely fantastic). On this case, I used to be doing 6x400m lengthy intervals at a reasonably excessive depth (on pavement), adopted by 4x200m intervals at a balls-to-wall pace. And you’ll see that the FR965 reveals some latency on among the 400m intervals, however then actually struggled on among the 200m intervals. Whereas the FR265 confirmed solely very minor latency on a couple of intervals, however in any other case got here out unscathed. My guess right here is that if I have been to repeat this exercise on a unique day and flip which watch was on which wrist, I’d see reverse outcomes.


Do not forget that with optical HR sensors, when it fails it’s sometimes locking onto your run cadence, and thus on this case my run cadence can be reasonably onerous/excessive, and the distinction between my left leg and proper leg may simply be sufficient to journey it up. Different barely much less painful intervals I did didn’t present any variations. However I’ll strive some extra of those within the coming days…only for you.

Then there’s this VO2Max coach interval journey. As you’ll be able to see, it’s additionally boringly excellent for each the FR265 and FR965:


Subsequent, we’ve bought a highway biking journey. That is surprisingly good. I suppose in some methods I gotta cease being shocked by Garmin’s optical HR sensor in highway biking. It’s been fairly good most often for the final 12 months, and that is no exception. I additionally threw in some onerous sprints each 20 minutes for enjoyable (on an in any other case principally steady-state journey):


There’s a handful of tiny bobbles for a couple of seconds right here and there, however frankly, that is actually good for each the FR265 and FR965. You additionally see a pair seconds of latency on the dash, however once more, most of their rivals would fail to place up something like this for wrist-based optical HR.

Oh, lastly, for lack of wherever else to stay it, right here’s a fast comparability between the wrist-based Working Dynamics, and the HRM-PRO Plus chest strap working dynamics on the identical run. First, right here’s GCT. You may see it’s fairly shut – excluding strolling. Throughout these two sections it fell aside for wrist-based:


And the identical is true for vertical oscillation. Not precisely the identical, however within the ballpark:


And at last, vertical ratio – once more, very comparable on the strolling being difficult:


Once more, I’m nonetheless undecided who precisely is definitely utilizing Working Dynamics – but when that’s you, you’ll be able to doubtless use wrist-based with out a lot distinction in most situations.

As for the center fee accuracy, we proceed to see Garmin enhance right here, to the purpose the place for many of my exercises the place I’m not really testing/evaluating one thing, I’m utilizing the optical HR sensor – even for many robust interval exercises. Exempting this particular 400m set above for the FR965, however hey, the FR265 did simply fantastic. Although I are inclined to do extra 800m or longer intervals often, I used to be simply feeling spicy at the present time. Once more, typically it’s simply ok for my pores and skin sort/wrist that I’m seeing virtually negligible variations between that and a chest strap. However clearly, it’s not at all times excellent (identical to chest straps aren’t at all times excellent – particularly in cooler climate).



The Forerunner 265 might be among the best recent-memory examples of Garmin giving individuals precisely what they requested for, in essentially the most literal method potential. When the Forerunner 255 got here out final summer time, lots of people requested for an AMOLED model. And concurrently, they wished Coaching Readiness which had simply launched on the Forerunner 955 was on the FR255. All of the whereas, individuals with the AMOLED-laden Venu 2 sequence wished that they had extra sports activities options. Thus, welcome to the Forerunner 265: An AMOLED light-weight Garmin watch with Coaching Readiness.

In fact, Garmin’s gonna cost you for it, a $50 upsell from the prevailing Forerunner 255 Music (for the reason that FR265 now contains music). However in a world the place costs for every little thing are spiking, Garmin’s pricing has really remained principally affordable.

What you don’t see right here although are the non-sports Venu 2 Plus options displaying up. No ECG, nor music-emitting speaker, nor microphone for voice calls, and even wi-fi charging like seen on the current Vivomove Pattern. And definitely not LTE like on the $149 youngsters Bounce exercise tracker (which additionally has an excellent show!). It’s clear Garmin is nicely underway of their transition in the direction of AMOLED, however I stay skeptical that they perceive how badly individuals simply need a Venu 2 Plus {hardware} set with all of the options of a Forerunner 265 or Forerunner 965 (with maps!). I’m certain finally all these will arrive on a single unit, perhaps with that nifty Fenix flashlight and emergency solely satellite tv for pc connectivity. However I assume it’d arrive first on a Fenix, after which finally down at this value level.

That every one apart, I’m fairly pleased with the Forerunner 265 as a every day exercise watch. I may simply use it as my major watch, if not for the occasional want to have maps. Again a couple of years in the past I used the Forerunner 745 as my every day driver, as I didn’t want maps a lot in a no-travel-pandemic world. However as journey has ramped up (together with this week), I discover myself again with the will to have maps extra. Exempting that although, it has actually every little thing I take advantage of daily for swim/bike/run exercises.

In reality, my spouse has been utilizing the smaller Forerunner 265S every day now facet by facet (or reverse wrists) to her smaller Fenix 7S Photo voltaic Sapphire. I’ll give her one other week or so, after which we’ll write-up one thing on her ideas. She doesn’t typically use maps on her watch (she does on her bike laptop). Extra on that quickly.

With that – thanks for studying!

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