Garmin Forerunner 265 vs 265S running watches

Forerunner 265 and 265S are the latest in the series of Forerunner running watches. The watches were unveiled in March 2023. We look at the main features and differences between the Forerunner 265 and 265S watches below.

Essentially, both watches differ in respect of size of the watch. Core functionality remains unchanged across both the Forerunner 265 variants.

In this comparison guide between the Forerunner 265 and 265S, we cover the following criteria:

Size and Physical attributes

  • Forerunner 265 is a slightly broader watch than the Forerunner 265S. Forerunner 265S is a smaller variant and is ideally suitable for smaller wrists.
  • Forerunner 265 has a physical size of 46.1 mm while the 265S has a size of 41.7 mm.
  • The thickness of Forerunner 265 and 265S remains unchanged at 12.9 mm.
  • Forerunner 265 comes with a silicone band size of 22 mm and 265S comes with a band size of 18 mm.
  • Forerunner 265 weighs 47 g and 265S weighs 39 g.
  • Forerunner 265 is recommended for wrist circumference size between 135-205 mm. Forerunner 265S is recommended for a wrist circumference between 115-178 mm.
  • Forerunner 265 and 265S have a device storage of 8 GB. The device storage can be used to store music files locally on the watch itself. This makes for a compelling offline music experience.
Forerunner 265

Display Specifications

  • Forerunner 265 and 265S use Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the display screen.
  • Forerunner 265 has a display size of 32.5 mm and 265S has a display size of 28.1 mm.
  • The incremental size of Forerunner 265 affords a better display resolution of 416 x 416 pixels. Forerunner 265S has a display resolution of 360 x 360 pixels.
  • Both, Forerunner 265 and 265 come with an AMOLED display. Always on Display or AOD is supported by Forerunner 265 and 265S.
  • Forerunner 265 and 265 support color display and do have touchscreen functionality as well.

Battery life

  • The battery life of the Forerunner 265S is slightly better than the Forerunner 265S.
  • On the smartwatch mode – Forerunner 265S offers 15 days of battery life and 265 offers 13 days of battery life.
  • On the GPS mode, Forerunner 265S can last for up to 24 hours and 265 can last for up to 20 hours.
  • All Systems GNSS mode – Forerunner 265S affords a battery life of 15 hours and 265 is closer at 14 hours.
  • All Systems GNSS with music mode – Forerunner 265S can offer up to 7 hours of battery life and 265 can go up to 6.5 hours.

In our opinion, the difference in battery life between the Forerunner 265 and 265S is marginal.

Forerunner 265 app screen

Health tracking

There is no difference between Forerunner 265 and 265S’s health tracking features and capabilities. We list the main features that cover health monitoring below.

  • Continuous heart rate monitoring using the Garmin Elevate sensor
  • SpO2 or blood oxygenation tracking
  • Continuous Respiration rate tracking
  • Sleep tracking
  • Stress tracking
  • Body battery levels for judging fatigue and activity readiness
  • Hydration tracking
  • Women health tracking
  • Comprehensive health snapshot


Sensors on the Forerunner 265 and 265S are used to monitor health parameters and provide GPS coverage. The main sensors on the Forerunner 265 and 265S are listed below:

  • Sensors for the GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo networks provide GPS coverage on the Forerunner 265 and 265S.
  • Heart rate tracking is made possible by the Garmin Elevate sensor.
  • Blood oxygenation levels are offered by the PulseOx sensor on the Forerunner 265 and 265S.
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Multi-frequency positioning sensor allows GPS signals from multiple networks
  • There are separate sensors for the Barometric Altimeter, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, and Thermometer.
HR zones on Garmin Forerunner 265


  • Forerunner 265 and 265S support offline music storage. You can copy music files on the watch storage. Both watches have a device memory of 8 GB.
  • You can also stream music through apps like Spotify
  • Forerunner 265 and 265S can also be used to control music on the paired smartphone

In other words, Forerunner 265 and 265S offer full-fledged music functionality on the smartwatch.


  • Forerunner 265 and 265 have a water rating of 5 ATM. A 5 ATM rating means that the smartwatch can sustain a depth pressure of 50 meters under the surface level.
  • 5 ATM rating also means that the watch can sustain a pressure of 5 atmospheres.
  • 5 ATM water rating implies that both watches can be used while swimming. However, the 5 ATM rating also means that you must not use the Forerunner 265 or 265S for deep water sports, diving, or snorkeling.
  • Forerunner 265 and 265S come with in-built swimming profiles for pool swimming and open water swimming.
  • We do not suggest using the Forerunner 265 or 265S for swimming in seawater with salt content.

Table of comparison

The table of comparison below captures the main features of the Forerunner 265 and 265S running watches.

FeatureForerunner 265Forerunner 265S
Operating systemAndroid and iOSAndroid and iOS
Physical size46.1 mm41.7 mm
Display size32.5 mm28.1 mm
Weight47 g39 g
Color resolutionYesYes
Device storage8 GB8 GB
Water rating5 ATM5 ATM
GPS, GLONASS, GalileoYesYes
Wireless ConnectivityANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Swimming profilesYesYes
Running profilesYesYes
Outdoor recreation profilesYesYes
GolfNot availableNot available
Cycling profilesYesYes
Gym profilesYesYes
Incident detectionYesYes
Spectator messagingYesYes
Heart monitoringYesYes
Health dashboardYesYes


Forerunner 265 and 265S have a similar set of features. We recommend that you could pick either of these smartwatches. The only deciding criterion must be the wrist circumference. Forerunner 265S should be preferred for small-sized wrists.

You may like to read more content about the Forerunner watches 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].