After a busy summer of launches, Garmin hasn't had any big releases for a few months. The Garmin Bounce was launched in January, and the Garmin Instinct Crossover in November. The Garmin MARQ Gen2 launched in October, it's based on the Garmin Epix, but due to the price, it is quite a niche product.
It now looks like Garmin will soon be launching the Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 265. It is an unusual time to launch it because the Garmin Forerunner 955 was launched back in June 2022.
There have been a few rumours about these watch in the past few months, but Florian (@fttest_en) has been eagle-eyed and found some early product listings from RunningXpert, which have now since been taken down.
Not a huge amount is known about the two watches. As always, there is speculation about what may or may not be included.
The main feature that seems highly likely is that both watches will use an AMOLED display. This is basically the reason why they can launch a follow-up to the Forerunner 955 so quickly.
Normally the Forerunner 9×5 is based on the Fenix platform, it's basically a lighter version of the flagship device geared towards serious athletes, in particular triathletes. There are normally some differences at launch, The Forerunner 955 launched with native running power, new HRV functionality and training readiness, but all these features rolled down (or up) to the Fenix 7 it is based on.
Garmin Forerunner 965 is a lightweight Garmin Epix 2
The shift to an AMOLED display means the new Garmin Forerunner 965 will essentially be the lightweight version of the superb Garmin Epix 2. The Garmin Epix 2 was literally just the Fenix 7, but with an AMOLED display.
Many people are suggesting this quick turnaround time is a move to try and counter the Apple Watch Ultra, which is the first watch from a proper smartwatch brand that really competes with multisport watches.
Garmin Forerunner 965 Price
An early retail listing has indicated that the Forerunner 965 will launch for €649.99, which is about £570 or over $700. It has been suggested that the actual GBP RRP will be £600, and the USD price will be $650.
The Garmin Forerunner 955 was launched for £480 and the Solar model, which also had multi-band GNSS launched for £550. I don't think that's too much of a price jump, and the Garmin Forerunner 945 launched for around £520.
Garmin Forerunner 965 with ECG
It has been rumoured that Garmin will launch an ECG function on one of their watches for a while now. It was a feature that was rumoured for the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, but there was little evidence to back up these rumours at the time.
More recently, Garmin has received FDA approval for its ECG app, meaning software updates for compatible devices could be coming. DC Rainmaker has even done a detailed first look at the ECG app, which is technically available on the Venu 2 Plus smartwatch, albeit not for public use.
While there is no guarantee that the Garmin Forerunner 965 will launch with the ECG functionality, it does seem to be the best candidate for it.
Garmin Forerunner 265 & FR 265s
Less is known about the Garmin Forerunner 265. It seems like this will be the Garmin Forerunner 255 with an AMOLED display. The main difference is that it now may not have a separate music model. Music will be included as standard.
Initial reports suggest this may launch for around $500, which is a big jump from the Forerunner 255 and doesn't make it much cheaper than the Garmin Forerunner 965.