As anticipation grows for the successor to the popular Forerunner 55, recent leaks on Garmin’s regional websites, spotted by FitnessTrackerTest, suggest a surprising turn in the series’ naming convention. Contrary to expectations of a Forerunner 65, it appears Garmin is gearing up to introduce the Forerunner 165 as the next entry in its esteemed lineup.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Garmin’s Forerunner series has long been a beacon for runners seeking reliable, feature-rich sports watches. The Forerunner 55, introduced in June 2021, is designed as a budget-friendly sports watch for runners. It features a 1.04-inch transreflective MIP display, offering clear visibility in various lighting conditions while conserving battery life. The device boasts an enhanced battery life of up to two weeks in smartwatch mode and up to 20 hours with GPS activated. It includes an accelerometer, heart rate monitor, and supports GPS, GLONASS, and GALILEO. This makes it a comprehensive tool for tracking running performance and other fitness activities.
Garmin Forerunner 165 sees a transition to an AMOLED display
The leap from the Forerunner 255 to the 265, last year, was marked by the introduction of an AMOLED display. This was a continuation of Garmin’s shift towards more vibrant, high-res screens. This trend continues with the Forerunner 165. The upcoming timepiece is expected to bring significant upgrades over the 55, mirroring the transition seen in the mid-range models.
The Forerunner 165 is rumored to come in two variants. This includes a standard model and a Forerunner 165 Music version. The later will be equipped with 4 GB of storage for music, a feature that caters to the needs of runners who prefer to leave their phones behind. The inclusion of Wi-Fi in the Music model is there to make music transfer easier.
As mentioned, one of the most notable upgrades is the display. The Forerunner 165 is expected to feature a 1.2-inch AMOLED screen, a significant improvement over the Forerunner 55’s transreflective display. This change not only offers a larger viewing area but also promises a more vivid and engaging user experience with a resolution of 390 x 390 pixels. Despite the enhanced display, the device maintains a compact form factor. It measures 43 x 43 x 11.6 mm, and only slightly increases in weight, ensuring it remains comfortable for all-day wear.
Elevate V4, barometric altimeter and more
The device will, reportedly pack the fourth-generation PPG sensor, “Elevate Gen 4.” So it is not the latest version, Elevate Gen 5 which made its debut with the Venu 3. As you’d expect, the Forerunner 165 dishes out heart rate and heart rate variability metrics, forming the basis for a variety of health insights. Additionally, there’s the introduction of a barometric altimeter. This allows users to track elevation changes during their activities and floor counts – enhancing the device’s utility for outdoor and indoor workouts alike.
The Forerunner 165 is also expected to inherit and expand upon the feature set introduced in Garmin’s recent models. This includes SpO2 capabilities, advanced HRV status, VO2max estimations for different types of runs, running dynamics, and running power metrics. Garmin’s focus on navigation and training aids is further demonstrated with breadcrumb navigation. Plus there will be new metrics for open water swimming, alongside lifestyle and wellness features like Nap Detection, a compass, the Morning Report, and the Race Widget.
Battery life remains a critical consideration for Garmin’s wearables. The Forerunner 165 is anticipated to deliver up to 11 days of battery life in smartwatch mode. With GPS usage this falls to 19 hours, or 17 hours when utilizing all GNSS options. For those opting for the Music model, using GPS and music playback simultaneously will see battery life decrease to around 6.5 to 7 hours.
Of course, none of this info has been confirmed by Garmin. So until the official launch of the device, take it all with a pinch of salt.
Having said this, we did find a reference to the Forerunner 165 – together with some tiny images. These confirm the colour combinations that we can expect, along with the design which (apart from the AMOLED display) doesn’t seem to be different from its predecessor.
Despite the excitement surrounding this information, the absence of retailer leaks suggests that the official launch may still be at least a few weeks away. Our money is on a release date in March or April.
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