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I’ve been a user of Garmin Forerunner multisport watches for over 10 years now. Along the way I’ve also used Polar, Apple and Coros watches. Honestly though I am a Garmin die hard and love their watches. With the release of the latest Garmin Forerunner 965 we reached out to our friendly Garmin press team to put this article together. Garmin have broken their usual 2 year cycle for the release of their top of the range Forerunner smart watch. The previous 955 model less than a year old. So, with the 965 released early is it a worthy successor? We look at the Garmin Forerunner 965 v 955 v 945. Should you upgrade to the Garmin Forerunner 965 now or is it over-priced for not much extra? Or is it the epic masterpiece that matches up to the hype?

Garmin 965 v 955 v 945 smart watches

Garmin Forerunner 965 Multisport watch

The Garmin Forerunner 965 is a smart watch suited to triathletes, runners and a range of sports enthusiasts. The watch pairs with the Garmin Connect app to allow you to maintain a solid record of all your sporting activities. This is the flagship multisport GPS watch from Garmin and builds on earlier models. Functionality wise the list is vast on what the 965 can do and which sports it can support. It has seen limited internal changes in terms of the processor or memory with most of this release about the screen and casing that houses this. Moving to titanium and AMOLED mean an improved look and feel plus much improved visual experience.

Garmin Forerunner 965 GPS Smart Watch

Best Price for the Garmin Forerunner 965

With high demand stock is a challenge. So, where to buy the Garmin Forerunner 965? Based on availability at the time of writing below are the best availability stock for the 965.

UK Readers – Buy the Garmin Forerunner 965 for £599 from Wiggle

US Readers – Buy the Garmin Forerunner 965 for $599.99 from Garmin direct

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Garmin Forerunner 965 v Garmin Forerunner 955

The latest Garmin Forerunner 965 has evolved from the previous model, the 955. The following are the key differences between the Garmin Forerunner 965 and 955.

  • The screen has continued to grow following the trend of the earlier Garmin Forerunner 9xx series. This latest model is 1.4inches compared to 1.3 inches.
  • The display has also improved significantly in terms of accuracy with a 454 x 454 pixel screen compared to 260 x 260 pixels. It has also now been fitted with an AMOLED display replacing the inferior Memory in Pixel (MIP) unit)
  • The materials used have moved away from manufactured plastics to titanium that is great for strength but actually resulted in a minor increase in weight. This is only a single gram going from 52g to 53g.

Garmin Forerunner 965 v Garmin Forerunner 945

The latest Garmin Forerunner 965 has seen some major changes compared to the earlier Garmin Forerunner 945 from 2019. The following are the key differences between the Garmin Forerunner 965 and 945.

  • The screen has jumped from 1.2inches to 1.4inches. This has also improved quality upgrading from 240 x 240 pixels up to 454 x 454 pixels.
  • The Garmin Forerunner 965 includes a touchscreen unlike the Garmin Forerunner 945 that relied purely on the external side buttons.
  • The Garmin 945 introduced a decent internal memory for the first time with 16GB and this has increased between the 945 and 965 up to 32GB

Which Garmin Forerunner is best?

The Garmin Forerunner 965 is the best watch in the Garmin Forerunner line up. The Garmin Forerunner 965 watch released March 2023 is the latest flagship model from Garmin in their Forerunner range. Targetting multisport athletes with a fully functional AMOLED touchscreen and GPS it is the best smart watch for triathletes.

If you are planning on using your Garmin Forerunner 965 for an Ironman race read our article on how to set up your watch to last until the finish line. With a possible 15 hours of racing it is important to get the settings right on your 965.

Garmin 965 v 955 v 945 Specifications Compared

ModelGarmin Forerunner 965Garmin Forerunner 955Garmin Forerunner 945
Release DateMarch 2023June 2022April 2019
Dimensions47.2 x 47.2 x 13.2mm46.5 x 46.5 x 14.4mm47 x 47 x 13.7mm
CaseTitaniumFibre-reinforced polymerFibre-reinforced
Display454 x 454px AMOLED260 x 260px MIP240 x 240px MIP
Screen Size1.4 inch1.3 inch1.2 inch
ConnectionBluetooth, ANT+ Wi-FiBluetooth, ANT+ Wi-FiBluetooth, ANT+ Wi-Fi
Water ResistantYes, 5ATMYes, 5ATMYes, 5ATM
Garmin PayYesYesYes
Music StorageYes Up to 2000 songsYes Up to 2000 songsYes Up to 1000 songs

If you are considering the Garmin Edge 1040 GPS bike computer check our comparison of this with the 1030 Plus and 1030 model. Garmin 1040 v 1030 Plus v 1030. Before you spend your money read our analysis of these bike computers.

Garmin Edge 1040 v 1030 Plus v 1030

Can Garmin Forerunner 965 receive calls?

No. Unlike the Apple watch the Garmin Forerunner watches cannot allow you to take phone calls. The Garmin Forerunner 965, 955 and 945 will display name or phone number of the caller only. You must use a connected phone to receive phone calls.

If you train listening to music running or cycling you face the constant worry about staying aware of your surroundings. We have reviewed the Oladance open ear headphones that don’t block out all the surrounding noise. Find out if Nick thought this was worthwhile as a runner and cyclist who never used headphones before for this reason.

When is release date for garmin forerunner 965 solar?

The Garmin Forerunner 955 watch range included a solar model. Garmin have not released a solar 965 model. Adding Solar allows the watch to recharge while in use extending the battery life. For normal watch use this pushed the days between charge from 15 days to 20 days with the 955. Under full GPS usage this extended the battery by 7 hours from 42 hours to 49 hours.

This extra functionality came at a premium but made it the most popular model. In my own triathlon club all those with the Garmin 955 have opted for the Solar model since release. It demonstrates people are prepared to pay.

This issue for Garmin is that the solar technology has traditionally been embedded into the glass which reduces image quality of the watch. The Garmin 965 watch has an AMOLED screen for high quality colour display. Hence Garmin don’t wish to use the solar glass and impact the screen.

At the moment Garmin has no planned release date for a Garmin Forerunner 965 Solar. They are developing embedded solar technology within the screen pixels itself. As yet this is not mature enough and means it is likely to mean will not feature until the next model release.

Can you read WhatsApp messages on a Garmin watch?

Yes. If you are a WhatsApp user, you can receive notifications on your Garmin Forerunner 965, 955 and 945. You need to have notifications on for WhatsApp that are enabled on your phone under notifications settings.

Garmin Connect App

Can you get emails on Garmin watch?

Yes. You can use your Garmin Forerunner 965, 955, 945 to receive emails. You can update your notifications preferences to permit email notifications to be received on your watch.

Do Garmin watches work with Apple and Android phones?

Yes. The Garmin Forerunner 965, 955 and 945 are compatible with an Apple or Android smartphone. The Garmin watches connect with your phone using Bluetooth providing a range of capabilities.

Can a Garmin watch connect to 2 phones?

No. The Garmin Forerunner 965, 955 and 945 connect to a smartphone using Bluetooth. Bluetooth functions rely on a one to one connection meaning you can only use one phone at a time.

Garmin Forerunner 965 v 955 v 945 Infographic

Garmin 965 v 955 v 945 Infographic

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Billy Ferguson

Having founded Trivelo in 2015 after many years competing in triathlon Billy continues to enjoy training and triathlon. Founder Billy is strongest in the water but continues to try and convince his body that he is an ultra runner.


Nathan · 07/12/2023 at 11:35 pm

Hi I am curious about accuracy of the watch for pool and open water swimming. Currently my Fenix is always out on metres by a long shot. Reviews say the Swim 2 is the best swim dedicated but the 945 is the best accuracy for multi sport. I am interested in multi sport. Does the 965 compare l, excceed or fall behind. Not sure if I buy a 945 or 965 as in Australia the prices are very similar. Thank you

    Billy Ferguson · 11/12/2023 at 3:30 pm

    Accuracy in a pool of the 965 is superb and I have compared to others including Apple watches and it does not drop laps that I have seen others such as Apple and the Polar watches do. Open water hard to be concrete being honest. When competing in events with fixes distances it gives a close result compared to official distances but this is always subject to my ability to hold the line of the course. It has never come in with a reduced value leading me to question the GPS accuracy which I assume aligns to the running GPS satellites that I know are very good. If pricing similar I would say get the 965 that will have a far longer tenure and hold value better.

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