The Forerunner 165 Series is the affordable training watch Garmin needs

If you’re training for a race, few multi-sport watch brands do it like Garmin. But there are two things I don’t like about them. They are expensive, and the platform can be intimidating to newbies. Have you seen it? Online store? For newbies, it can be difficult to parse which of Garmin’s dozens of watches will let you master the basics without breaking your wallet. Not anymore. After purchasing the $299.99 Forerunner 165 Music over the past few weeks, I’m convinced that this — or the $249.99 standard version of the watch — is the best choice of Garmin watches.

Unless you look at Garmin’s flagship watch, three hundred smackeroo doesn’t seem like a good deal. The watches sell for anywhere from $700 to more than $1,000. Even mid-range watches like excellent ones Forerunner 265 Seriesretail price $450. loved Forerunner 265 Series. The only thing I don’t like is the price.This is its advantage this Special watches are so attractive.this is a close A clone of the smaller 265S, but $150 to $200 cheaper. The only thing you’re really missing is a dual-frequency GPS and EKG for atrial fibrillation detection.

Forerunner 265S (left) and Forerunner 165 Music.
Photography: Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Photography: Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

honestly. It’s hard to tell my 165 Music and 265S apart when placed side by side. The buttons on the 265S are prettier. Thank goodness my device is a different color. I don’t think I could tell otherwise at first glance.

As for performance, in 95% of my daily use, I didn’t notice any difference. Even without dual-frequency GPS, you can still get accurate outdoor activity tracking. I tested 165 Music using my phone and 165 Music at the same time Apple Watch Ultra 2 — Both have dual-frequency GPS. Both mapped and reported distances are within a tenth of a mile.I might see more differences if I run In a challenging environment, such as Manhattan’s Financial District.That is, I’ve made a a lot of Differences in running with a multi-sport watch with dual-frequency GPS and without dual-frequency GPS. yes To be more precise, it mainly benefits those who train in the GPS dead zone. If that’s not you, you probably won’t notice.

The heart rate data is also on par with my Ultra 2 and Polar H10 chest straps. Since I’m not at high risk for AFib, I never even missed the EKG function. (Even if I missed it, the EKG-driven AFib feature is not a diagnostic tool and still requires you to see a doctor.) Unless the condition runs in your family or you know you’re at risk, an EKG isn’t necessary for everyone functionality, especially since high/low heart rate notifications are still available.

For activity profiles and fitness tracking metrics, you get the basics of a training watch. Garmin is generous with its definition of basics. Are you planning to take up snowboarding or boxing? Won’t. More niche activities like triathlon, golf, mountain biking or team sports require a more expensive Forerunner or Garmin. But what if you usually stick to going to the gym, biking, running, swimming, hiking, playing tennis (or pickleball!), and the occasional yoga or Pilates class? That’s fine.Of course, it’s better to spend more money so you get more – but that leaves most people with everything they want need.


The Garmin Forerunner 165 Music gives you in-depth training metrics but leaves out some of the more advanced features in exchange for a more affordable price.

In addition to these few things, you get all the things that make a Garmin a Garmin: long battery life, durability, and lots of training data. Even with the more power-hungry OLED display, the 165 Music lasted nearly a week on a charge with the always-on display enabled, and nearly 10 days with it turned off. The 165 Music survived my cat biting it and it’s more than capable of dunking in the pool.You can still access Coach Jiamingadaptive training plans, nap detection, sleep tracking, and more Body battery and morning paperAnd, fortunately, Redesigned Garmin Connect app A lot of information has been organized to make it easier to browse.

You still get all the essential metrics – and more.

Normally, I’d be giving a TED talk discussing why Garmin’s confusing product line needs less That said, the Forerunner 165 stands out because its price, feature set, and product design are all very consistent. Garmin has been lacking a quality training watch in the sub-$300 category, with most of its options looking something like Venu Plaza 2 or VivomoveTrends — They are either aimed at casual users or people looking for a more fashionable vibe.this is real train Watches, both in design and functionality.

The only downside to the 165 series is that it clutters the already crowded Forerunner lineup. God knows Garmin has the Forerunner 55, 255, 265, 745, 955, 965 and a few others that I missed. There are even other lines to watch, like “Basic Instinct,” which are very similar to “Forerunner.” messy, The Forerunner 165 and 165 Music are my entry-level Garmin training devices of choice. It’s perfect for those new to the platform as well as intermediate and advanced athletes who aren’t interested in fancy features.

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