Garmin launches the Forerunner 165 and Forerunner 165 Music running watches, and they're already looking good

The Garmin Forerunner 165 on a wrist
The brand new Garmin Forerunner 165 (Image credit: Garmin)

The affordable Garmin Forerunner 55 smartwatch that launched back in 2019 has finally been updated, with the launch of the Garmin Forerunner 165 and the Forerunner 165 Music wearables as the latest mid-range models in Garmin's catalog.

It's the relatively low prices of these watches that really make them stand out in the Garmin range: you can pick up the Forerunner 165 for $249.99 / £249.99 / AU$429, and the Forerunner 165 Music (with the added ability to download tunes to play offline) coming in at $299.99 / £289.99 / AU$499.

As you'll see from our early Garmin Forerunner 165 hands-on review, the wearables both boast a 1.2-inch AMOLED display, which is one of the biggest upgrades from the Forerunner 55. Six different band designs are available across the two models.

Another upgrade worth mentioning is battery life: Garmin says you'll get an impressive 11 days between charges with these smartwatches, or 19 hours in GPS mode when you're constantly getting a location lock.

Plenty of features

Garmin Forerunner 165 series

The watches are available in a variety of styles (Image credit: Garmin)

These are smartwatches particularly aimed at runners, and to that end, you'll find familiar Garmin features here like support for adaptive training plans, and running-related metrics including cadence, stride length, and ground contact time.

On top of that, you've got all the standard health and fitness tracking features, covering sleep, heart rate, steps, blood oxygen, stress, and more. There are dozens of activity profiles to pick from as well, such as swimming, yoga, and tennis.

When it comes to the Music model, the apps supported by the track download feature are Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon Music. It means you'll be able to leave your phone at home and still enjoy your tunes, though you do need to have signed up for a premium account with your streaming service of choice.

We'll be putting together a full review of the Garmin Forerunner 165 as soon as we can, but in the meantime, our early impressions are good ones. At this lower price point, it might have enough to attract a new swathe of users into the Garmin club.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.