• Wed. Jul 17th, 2024


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Forerunner 165 evaluation: Garmin’s funds OLED operating watch | Garmin

Garmin’s newest good sports activities watch condenses all the nice options from its higher-end Forerunner fashions into a less expensive, less complicated operating tracker with a vivid OLED display screen and lengthy battery life.

The Forerunner 165 is the brand new base mannequin in Garmin’s new lineup, priced from £250 (€280/$250/A$429) in contrast with the £430 Forerunner 265.

The watch is available in a alternative of colors however just one measurement, with a 1.2in display screen and 43mm case – bang in the course of the small and huge sizes of the costlier 265.

It’s a good measurement, with a crisp OLED show that’s massive sufficient to make it simply readable at a look, whereas feeling slim, mild and compact on the wrist.

It has the identical nice mixture of touchscreen and 5 buttons as latest Garmin watches. It syncs information to an Android or iPhone by the Join app, by way of USB cable to your pc or direct to the web by wifi in the event you purchase the costlier model with offline music playback.

There are many pre-loaded watch faces, every customisable in color and information, plus many extra obtainable within the Garmin retailer. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The battery lasts about 5 days between costs with the display screen on on a regular basis, monitoring sleep in a single day and a single 40-minute run. That’s shorter than the 265 by a couple of days however greater than double mainstream smartwatch rivals. Setting the display screen to activate solely once you rotate your wrist extends the battery life to greater than 11 days. Runs devour about 6% battery for every hour or 14% with offline music from Spotify, which makes it final greater than lengthy sufficient for most individuals. A full cost by way of the USB-C cable takes about an hour.


Display: 1.2in AMOLED

Case measurement: 43mm

Case thickness: 11.6mm

Band measurement: customary 20mm

Weight: 39g

Storage: 4GB

Water resistance: 50 metres (5ATM)

Sensors: GNSS (GPS, Glonass, Galileo), compass, thermometer, coronary heart charge, pulse Ox

Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+ (wifi with music)

Sport monitoring prowess

The center charge sensor on the again sits comfortably in your wrist however lacks the power to take an ECG. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The massive distinction between the 165 and higher-end Garmin fashions is the dearth of multisport monitoring, corresponding to computerized transitions between runs, cycles and swimming for a triathlon. In any other case it tracks a complete of 24 particular person sports activities together with numerous types of biking, operating and swimming, strolling and mountaineering, health club actions and racket sports activities. The notable absences are snowboarding and snowboarding.

For operating it tracks all the standard metrics corresponding to time, distance, tempo, cadence, laps, but in addition operating dynamics and energy, that are each rarer however welcome options for extra enthusiastic runner. Throughout a exercise you possibly can have as much as 4 metrics on display screen at anyone, with a transparent and simple to learn at a look show. For many makes use of on a run the 165 behaves virtually precisely the identical as a 265 or the top-of-the-line Forerunner 965, which is great.

It lacks dual-band or “multiband” GPS, which implies on paper its location monitoring isn’t as correct as higher-end Garmin fashions when operating in trickier environments corresponding to cities with plenty of tall buildings or dense forests. However in a check side-by-side with a 965 with the function, the 2 watches obtained a GPS lock in a short time and barely deviated from the proper monitor and tempo, which was very spectacular.

The watch can let you know once you veer off a deliberate route however lacks full offline maps to see the place you’re, which is a function nonetheless reserved for Garmin’s prime watches.

The Join app reveals the mountains of knowledge that the watch connects, so you possibly can dig proper down into your efficiency. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The ultimate factor lacking from Garmin’s best-in-class sport monitoring on the 165 is coaching readiness, standing and cargo, that are three measures on the agency’s high-end watches helpful for measuring the effectiveness of coaching for objectives, corresponding to elevated health or marathon prep.

Garmin’s full suite of normal well being monitoring measures are on the 165, together with sleep and nap detection, every day energy, steps, stress and all the opposite issues you need to count on from a smartwatch, together with notifications out of your telephone and contactless funds. The one factor lacking is the power to take an ECG of your coronary heart, which in all probability doesn’t matter for a sports activities watch.


The Forerunner 165 is mostly repairable, and out-of-warranty trade and refurbishment can be found. The battery is rated to final at the very least a couple of years of frequent cost cycles whereas sustaining at the very least 80% capability. The watch doesn’t comprise any recycled supplies. Garmin ensures at the very least two years of safety updates from launch however usually helps its gadgets far longer. It affords trade-in schemes for some strains and complies with WEEE and different native electronics recycling legal guidelines.


The Garmin Forerunner 165 is priced at £249.99 (€279.99/$249.99/A$429) or £289.99 (€329.99/$299.99/A$499) with offline music assist.

For comparability, the Forerunner 265 is £429.99, the Apple Watch Sequence 9 is £399, the Google Pixel Watch 2 is £349, the Coros Tempo 3 is £219 and the Polar Pacer Professional is £289.


The Forerunner 165 is a superb operating watch that condenses one of the best bits from its top-class siblings into an easier, cheaper mannequin.

It has an important, clear and vivid OLED display screen that’s simple to learn mid-run. It has all of the metrics to maintain monitor of your tempo and efficiency and has a protracted sufficient battery to go the space for many customers. Its compact and light-weight physique retains it comfy even for lengthy coaching periods and the combo of contact and buttons is finest at school.

The one issues actually lacking are offline maps and extra superior coaching metrics. The shortage of the extra superior, multiband GPS monitoring doesn’t seem to considerably affect monitoring accuracy, for which Garmin remains to be the chief.

The most important downside is the value. At £250 or £290 with offline music, it’s costlier than most newbies’ operating watches, although in step with OLED-equipped smartwatches from tech rivals and a £180 saving over the Forerunner 265. Except you wish to monitor triathlons or want offline maps, the Forerunner 165 is the brand new Garmin operating watch to go for.

Professionals: slim, mild, actual buttons, and crisp OLED touchscreen, correct GPS and coronary heart charge, in depth stats, good well being monitoring, five-day battery life, offline music choice, primary smartwatch options.

Cons: a bit costly, no offline maps, no voice assistant, no multiband GPS, no multisport transitions, restricted Garmin Pay compatibility with UK banks.

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