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Garmin Forerunner 265 review: OLED the difference

Garmin Forerunner 265 review: OLED the difference

Garmin Forerunner 265

The Garmin Forerunner 265 is one of the first running smartwatches from the company with an AMOLED screen. Unlike the flagship Forerunner 965, which also gets the OLED makeover, the Forerunner 265 falls into the mid-range category (S$689). But it still has the essential training metrics and smarts that Garmin users know all too well.

Quick specs

  • 1.3-inch AMOLED screen (416 x 416 pixels)
  • Two sizes: 46.1 x 46.1 x 12.9mm, 47g or 41.7 x 41.7 x 12.9mm, 39g
  • Up to 13 days battery life
  • Available in three colours

The Forerunner 265 is basically last year's Forerunner 255, but with an AMOLED screen. There are some other minor differences, but the new display is the big one, and it's a potential gamechanger for Garmin. This 1.3-inch AMOLED screen is bright, vibrant, and usable outdoors. More importantly, it supports touch. This makes the Forerunner 265 much more palatable for new users who may only be familiar with smartwatches from Apple and Samsung. Garmin veterans will be pleased to know that the physical buttons are still present. You can mix it up — use a combination of touchscreen and buttons to navigate the watch interface. Everything just seems more intuitive with a touchscreen, especially one that responds promptly to taps and swipes.

Garmin Forerunner 265
Credit: Garmin

The Forerunner 265 is light, and very comfortable. It comes in two sizes — the 265 is 46mm while the 265S is 42mm. The watch strap has more holes than the usual smartwatch, which means you can really find the best fit for your wrist. As a first-time Garmin user, I could pick up the Forerunner 265's physical buttons and user interface fairly quickly — the touchscreen certainly helps. The data and metrics tracked by the watch are presented clearly, and easy to read at a glance. Garmin's training readiness feature is great. Based on your recent sleep, exercise, recovery period, and other health metrics, the watch can predict if your body is ready to up the intensity, or whether you should take it easy. It's part of the Morning Report, which expands on this training readiness concept with more detailed stats and weather info.

Garmin Forerunner 265
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

You can find all the info collected by the watch in the Garmin Connect app. Here, you can configure settings like crafting a custom message (instead of using the canned replies) for notifications. Or linking the watch to a streaming music provider such as Spotify or Deezer. You can also set up Garmin Pay for contactless payment, though it's not as widely supported as others. While Garmin has its own app store, it doesn't come close to matching the Apple Watch in scale and scope. But that's probably one of the reasons why the Forerunner 265 lasts much longer in terms of battery stamina.

Battery life is rated at up to 13 days, though this will depend on your usage (and whether you have enabled the Always-on display). A 30-min jog typically runs the battery down by 3% in my testing. I usually get over a week of use before having to recharge the watch. At S$689, the Garmin Forerunner 265 is more expensive than the usual smartwatches. But as someone who uses my smartwatch more for health and fitness tracking than other features like maps or contactless payment, the Forerunner 265 and its training insights are more valuable. Especially with that attractive display, and great battery life. If you want even longer battery, the Forerunner 255 is a cheaper alternative. The Forerunner 265 is available now from Lazada, Shopee, and Amazon SG.

See Also
Sony A6700

Review unit provided by Garmin.

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OLED touchscreen is a great upgrade

Available at Lazada
Buy it at Shopee
Available at Amazon SG

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