Forerunner 965 vs Forerunner 955 Garmin running watches

Forerunner 965 was released in March 2023. Forerunner 955 has been around since June 2022. We compare Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 smartwatches below.

Forerunner 965 start screen
  • The main improvements on Forerunner 965 running watches have happened on the display of the watch. The core features remain unchanged between the Forerunner 955 and Forerunner 965 running watches.
  • Forerunner 955 comes for a list price of $499.99 and the Forerunner 965 is priced to sell at $599.99. So, there is a $100 difference between the two Forerunner watches.
  • Forerunner 965 has a titanium bezel while the Forerunner 955 has a fiber-enforced polymer bezel. The appearance of the titanium bezel lends a more premium look to the Forerunner 965.
  • The display size of the Forerunner 965 has marginally increased by almost 10% over the Forerunner 955 smartwatch.
  • Forerunner 955 has a display size of 33 mm (1.3″) and Forerunner 965 has a display size of around 36 mm (1.4″).
  • The biggest improvement on the Forerunner 965 is the introduction of an AMOLED display. Forerunner 955 has a memory-in-pixel or MIP screen. There is a marked difference in the display appearance of both watches.
  • Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 do support multi-band GPS. Both watches come with a multi-frequency positioning sensor. Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955, therefore, offer dual frequency capabilities.
  • Forerunner 965 has a display resolution of 454 x 454 pixels and the Forerunner 955 has a display resolution of 260 x 260 pixels. Forerunner 965 display resolution is better by almost 80% over the Forerunner 955 smartwatches.
Forerunner 965 watches with improved battery life and AMOLED display.

We can summarize the main display features of the Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 smartwatches below:

FeatureForerunner 965Forerunner 955
Display size36 mm 33 mm
Display typeAMOLED displayMIP or memory-in-pixel screen
Display resolution454 x 454 pixels260 x 260 pixels
Display glassCorning Gorilla DXCorning Gorilla DX
Always on DisplayYesNot available
Thickness13.2 mm14.4 mm
Weight53 g52 g
Ambient light sensorYesNot available

The battery backup offered by a Forerunner 965 is marginally better than the battery backup offered by Forerunner 955. However, both watches support fast charging. You can go from an empty battery to a full battery in less than 2 hours of charging time.

A summary comparison of battery backup on different watch modes of Garmin Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 is listed below.

Battery modesForerunner 965Forerunner 955
Smartwatch mode23 days15 days
GPS-only mode31 hours42 hours
SatIQ GNSS22 hoursNot available
GNSS mode with multi-band GPS19 hours20 hours
Ultratrac mode without music34 hours80 hours
Forerunner 965 display glass

The core features of Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 are identical. The Forerunner 965 has changed in terms of display performance, display features, and display technology.

The other core features for both Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 remain unchanged. Some of the main features of Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 are:

  • Water rating – Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 have a water rating of 5 ATM. It means that the watch is resistant to water depth pressure equivalent to 5 atmospheres or up to a depth of 50 meters under the water’s surface.
  • Contactless payments – Both, Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 support NFC or contactless payments through the Garmin Pay app.
  • Device memory – Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 have an internal storage of 32 GB each.
  • GPS – Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 support multi-band GPS. Both smartwatches can support the GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite networks.
  • iOS and Android compatibility – Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 are compatible with iOS and Android mobile operating systems.

A summary comparison of the core features is presented side-by-side below.

FeaturesForerunner 965Forerunner 955
Android compatibilityYesYes
iOS compatibilityYesYes
Water rating5 ATM5 ATM
Device storage32 GB32 GB
Multi-frequency GPSYesYes
NFC or Contactless paymentsGarmin PayGarmin Pay
Music storageYesYes
Wireless connectivityBluetooth, Wi-Fi, ANT+Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ANT+
Incident detectionYesYes
Spectator messagingYesYes
Wireless chargingNot availableNot available

Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 have almost an equal number of sensors on the watch. We look at some sensors that are available for the Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955.

SensorsForerunner 965Forerunner 955
Garmin Elevate wrist-based heart monitoringYesYes
Barometric altimeterYesYes
Blood oxygen saturation sensorYesYes
GPS, GLONASS and GalileoYesYes
Heart rate monitoring on Forerunner 965 running watches

Both Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 offer an exhaustive collection of health tracking features. We list the main health and heart monitoring features below.

Health monitoring featureForerunner 965Forerunner 955
Wrist-based heart rate monitoringYesYes
Abnormal heart rate alertsYesYes
Respiration rateYesYes
Pulse Ox blood oxygen saturationYesYes
Body Battery stress scoreYesYes
Sleep scoreYesYes
Women’s HealthYesYes
Health snapshotYesYes
Fitness ageYesYes

Both the Forerunner watches come with in-built profiles for cycling, outdoor sports and recreation, Golf, running, swimming, and Gym. There are hardly any differences between the Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 955 running watches for these profiles and activity tracking features.

In our opinion, the Forerunner 965 makes for a compelling upgrade over the Forerunner 955 for the following reasons:

  • AMOLED display on a running watch improves the display experience
  • Better display resolution
  • Better battery life

For people who would love to watch a video review of the Forerunner 965, DC Rainmaker’s in-depth review of the Forerunner 965 smartwatch has everything you could ask for. Have a look at the video below to go through every feature of the Forerunner 965 running watch from Garmin.

You may also like to read more Forerunner content below:

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Helen Kurt - Contributor on TECHEPAGES.COM. Reach me on email.

Helen Kurt is a geeky nerd who loves to cover the wearables space. She has over 5 years of experience in the smartwatch domain. You can reach her on email at [email protected].