The heart of the running range, the 200 series of Forerunner watches is renowned for providing most of the functions expected by runners at a relatively low price. Complete watches, with a simple design, which however do not have the seductive advantage of models like the Garmin Venu or other competing watches sporting beautiful Amoled screens (Polar Ignite 3, for example).
AMOLED to shine better
Faced with the growing popularity of such screens, which can now be found even on entry-level connected watches, Garmin had to offer an alternative to its users blocked by the unflattering aspect of the transflective LCD screens used until then. in Forerunner watches – which however have the big advantage of being very readable in direct sunlight while consuming a minimum of energy. The answer has just arrived with the release of the Forerunner 265 and 265S, equipped with AMOLED touch screens of 1.3 “(416 x 416 px) and 1.1” (360 x 360 px) respectively.
As often with Garmin, the “large” Forerunner 265 in 46 mm format (46.1 mm and 46 g) is available in a smaller version, the 265S in 42 mm format (41.7 mm and 40 g), for thinner cuffs.
Autonomy preserved, except in GPS
Despite their Amoled screen, the autonomy of these new watches is not at half mast, the 265 being able to operate for 13 days in connected mode, according to Garmin, just one day less than the 255. The S version, for its part , paradoxically offers more autonomy, reaching 15 days in connected mode. It is in GNSS mode, GPS only, that the 265 and 265S fall short, respectively losing 10 hours and 2 hours of battery life (20 hours versus 30 hours for the 265; 24 hours versus 26 hours for the 265S). Somewhat surprising drops.
Of course, these autonomy times are exclusive of use of the permanent display (always-on), known to be power hungry.
Power and metrics at the wrist, as on the higher range
Like the Forerunner 965, the Forerunner 265 and 265S gain Running Dynamics and power functions on the wrist, which therefore do not require an external sensor. We also benefit from a training preparation function in addition to the assistance already present on the Forerunner 255 (recovery, training load, morning report, calculation of heart rate variability, etc.)
In the end, all the Forerunner 265/265S lack is cartography with running route management, as well as the Stamina function, reserved for the Forerunner 965 and 955 as well as the Fēnix 7 and Epix Gen 2. On the geolocation side, you can also rely on a multi-band (dual-frequency) GNSS chip, like on the Forerunner 965.
Adjusted prices for an expanding catalog
With such characteristics, it is not surprising to see the prices of these Forerunner 265 and 265S climb to reduce the gap with the Forerunner 965. At € 499.99, these newcomers are significantly different from the much more reasonable price €349.99 from its elders, the Forerunner 255 and 255S. However, it should be noted that they include the basic musical functions of the 255/255S “Music” models, which are sold for €399.99. The price increase is therefore €100 for an equivalent range. The Forerunner 255 and 255S – as well as their Music versions – remaining in the Garmin catalog, everyone can judge the relevance of these new prices and choose the model that suits them best.
The Forerunner 265 and 265S are each available in three colors: black/light gray, white/blue and turquoise/black for the first; black/yellow, white/water green, pink/white for the second. Their availability is immediate on the Garmin site and other retailers should offer them shortly.