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Garmin Forerunner 265: Beautiful AMOLED screen, premium training metrics and long battery life

With up to 15 days of battery life, this GPS smartwatch offers the ultimate in performance and health metrics for triathletes

Photo by: Garmin

There have been many developments in display technology over the last decade. AMOLED (the same screens you’re used to seeing on your cel phone) is one of the newest breakthroughs, and Garmin was the first major GPS wearables brand to hop on board when it introduced the Garmin Epix last year. Now the Forerunner series will follow in the footsteps of the Epix watch with the new 265 and 965 models. These new models combine responsive touchscreens with the traditional five-button design, which provides fast access to health features, smart notifications and more.

Photo: Garmin

The Forerunner 265, which starts at CAD$620/ US$450, is available in two sizes – 46 mm and the smaller “S” size, which measures 42 mm.

The bright AMOLED display, combined with with premium training metrics and recovery insights, means triathletes can view their performance statistics knowing they have the tools to perform their best without sacrificing battery life; the Forerunner 265 gets up to 15 days of in smartwatch mode.

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Training insights and morning report

It goes without saying that like all the high-end Garmin watches, the Forerunner 265 can keep track of all the basic data for your workouts. There’s an optical, wrist-based heart rate monitor to go along with the accurate multiband GPS measurement for speed, pace and distance, and the 265 will also provide wrist-based running power measurement. There’s both open-water and pool apps for your swim workouts, and you can connect a power meter to dial in extensive bike data measurement, too. There’s even a Pulse Ox sensor to track your blood oxygen levels while you’re awake or asleep.

Thanks to the up-to-date software updates from Garmin Connect you can get lots of health and fitness insights including sleep tracking, HRV status and training readiness. The watch provides a morning report with an overview of how you slept, will provide workout suggestions based on that data, too. Once you’re training you can use the pace predictor function to dial in a running goal time based on conditions like grade, while the track running feature provides accurate lap and distance counting.

Triathletes will also enjoy the triathlon and multisport profiles that allow you to switch between sports with the press of a button. There’s lots of other cross training apps, too, for those who are looking for more than just a triathlon-specific watch.

Smartwatch functions

The watch continues to support push notifications, Garmin Pay, and offline playlists from Spotify, Deezer or Amazon Music. Livetrack allows your family to follow you in real time, and the Safety and Tracking features will sense if an incident has occurred and send a message with your live location.

When it comes to high-performance tracking of your workouts, Garmin remains the industry leader on the watch front, and the Forerunner 265 is another great example of why. The new AMOLED display means you’re not going to get the insane battery life seen in some of the company’s other watches (the Fenix 7 or Forerunner 955 Solar, for example), but with the potential for a couple of weeks between charges, you aren’t sacrificing much for the benefit of a super-bright screen.

This story originally appeared in the May issue of Triathlon Magazine.