Garmin Forerunner 265 vs Vivoactive 4

Garmin Forerunner 265 is the latest Forerunner watch released in March 2023. Vivoactive 4 is a year-old smartwatch. We look at the main features and differences between the Forerunner 265 and Vivoactive 4 smartwatches below.


The biggest difference between the Forerunner 265 and Vivoactive 4 is the display technology used in both watches. Forerunner 265 uses an AMOLED display. Vivoactive 4, however, continues to use the MIP or memory-in-pixel watch screen.

AMOLED display has improved display clarity, contrast, and resolution.

  • Forerunner 265 has a display resolution of 416 x 416 pixels; Vivoactive 4 has a display resolution of 260 x 260 pixels. The difference in display resolution is substantial. Before buying either of these two watches, it would be a good idea to have a look at each of these side by side.
  • Forerunner 265 supports Always-on-display or AOD. This has been made possible because of the AMOLED display.
Forerunner 265 app screen

Physical specifications

There are some very generic differences between the Forerunner 265 and the Vivoactive 4 smartwatches. We list these small, yet important, differences in the physical specifications below.

  • Forerunner 265 has a size of 46.1 mm and a thickness of 12.9 mm. Vivoactive 4 has a size of 45.1 mm and a thickness of 12.8 mm.
  • The display size for both watches is almost 33 mm. Forerunner 265 has a display diameter of 32.5 and Vivoactive 4 has a display diameter of 33 mm.
  • Forerunner 265 is made entirely of fiber-enforced polymer. The body of Vivoactive 4 is made of fiber-enforced polymer. But, the bezel of Vivoactive 4 is made of stainless steel.
  • Forerunner 265 weighs 47 g and Vivoactive 4 weighs 50.5 g.


Forerunners are designed to provide a longer battery life. The idea is to provide the runners with a reliable battery backup. Forerunners are known to keep the good company of runners amid outdoor activities.

  • On the smartwatch mode, Forerunner 265 can last up to 13 days and Vivoactive 4 can go up to 8 days.
  • On the GPS mode, Forerunner 265 can last for up to 20 hours and Vivoactive 4 can last for up to 18 hours.

The difference in battery backup between the Forerunner 265 and Vivoactive 4 is marginal.

Activity profiles and features

Forerunner 265 has a rich set of features for runners and fitness enthusiasts. Some of the biggest improvements in the Forerunner 265 over the Vivoactive 4 include the availability of the multi-band GPS on the Forerunner 265.

  • Forerunner 265 has a multi-band GPS because the watch comes with a multi-frequency positioning sensor. This allows you to get GPS data from multiple satellite systems on different bands at the same time. The improvement in GPS accuracy is noticeable on multi-band GPS devices.
  • Forerunner 265 also has in-built profiles for running, outdoor recreation activities, swimming, and cycling. None of these profiles are available on the Vivoactive 4 smartwatches.
  • Vivoactive 4 has Golf support and includes all the standard features of the Garmin Golf app. Golf support is missing on the Forerunner 265 watch.
  • To help runners’ safety, Forerunner 265 also supports ‘Spectator messaging‘ and ‘Live Event Sharing’ on Android phones. Vivoactive 4 misses the spectator messaging and live event sharing features.

Primarily, Forerunner 265 is designed for runners. All the additional activities profiles, safety features, and multi-band GPS features and abilities are included to provide the runners with a more comprehensive dataset to track performance.

In the image below, you can also see that the Forerunner 265 has a separate ‘Run’ tactile button on the watch body.

Run button on the Forerunner 265

Other features – Table of comparison

Apart from the differences shared above, other features of the Forerunner 265 and Vivoactive 4 are common. We list the core features of both watches below in the table of comparison for ready reference.

FeaturesForerunner 265Vivoactive 4
iOS compatibilityYesYes
Android compatibilityYesYes
Display glassCorning Gorilla Glass 3Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Display technologyAMOLEDMIP (Memory-in-pixel)
Display resolution416 x 416 pixels260 x 260 pixels
Color displayYesYes
Recommended wrist circumference135-205 mm135-205 mm
Device storage8 GB200 hours of activity data
Water rating5 ATM5 ATM
Weight47 g50.5 g
Heart rate sensorGarmin Elevate sensorGarmin Elevate sensor
Multi-frequency sensorYesNo
Ambient light sensorYesNo
ThermometerYesYes (requires tempe sensor)
Pulse Ox blood oxygenation sensorYesYes
Barometric altimeterYesYes
GPS NetworksGPS, GLONASS, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Galileo
Wireless connectivityANT+, Wi-Fi, BluetoothANT+, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Daily resting Heart rateYesYes
Abnormal heart rate alertsYesYes
Sleep monitoringYesYes
Body batteryYesYes
Sleep scoreYesYes
Incident detectionYesYes
Music storageYesNo
Control smartphone musicYesYes
Control watch musicYesYes
NFC AppGarmin PayGarmin Pay
Women’s HealthYesYes
Health DashboardYesYes


As of writing this, the Forerunner 265 smartwatch is available at a list price of $449.99 and Vivoactive 4 is marketed at a list price of $349.99. The Vivoactive 4 is cheaper than the Forerunner 265 by $100.

Closing thoughts

For an incremental expense of $100, a Forerunner 265 watch provides additional features or functions over the Vivoactive 4. Some of these features are:

  • AMOLED display with a better display resolution
  • Multi-band GPS through multi-frequency positioning sensor
  • Better battery backup
  • Ability to store music files on the smartwatch storage
  • Better safety features like spectator messaging and live event sharing on Android phones

Apart from these features, the Forerunner 265 is a relatively newer model and has been released in March 2023. Vivoactive 4 is a relatively dated smartwatch model that was released for the first time in 2019.

You may also like to read more content related to Forerunner smartwatches 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].