Huge Forerunner 165 leak suggests it'll be Garmin's next affordable sports watch

Garmin Forerunner 965
(Image credit: Future)

A wealth of information has leaked for Garmin’s upcoming entry-level smartwatch, the Forerunner 165. Details include device specifications, hardware, and several features.

Everything listed was discovered on the official Garmin website by industry insider Fitness Tracker Test who then shared their findings on their personal web page. Nearly every aspect of the wearable is in the leak apart from what it looks like as there aren’t any images. But there are enough clues to paint a picture. 

Display upgrade

The Forerunner 165 will reportedly come equipped with a 1.2-inch AMOLED (390 x 390 pixel resolution) display. This is significantly bigger than Garmin’s current entry-level model, the Forerunner 55, which has a 1.04-inch screen. Despite the size difference between displays, the case for the Forerunner 165 won’t be that much bigger, measuring 43 x 43 x 11.6 mm. Fitness Tracker Test even claims the “increased weight is hardly noticeable.”

There is a downside. Using an AMOLED has resulted in a significantly worse battery life.

Instead of the Forerunner 55's two-week runtime, the Forerunner 165, at least according to the leak, only lasts up to 11 days – while in smartwatch mode. Certain features drain the battery even faster. Having the GPS setting turned on drops the battery life down to 19 hours. With the wearable’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) activated, it falls even further to 17 hours. And if you’re using music playback alongside GNSS, the runtime plummets to just 6.5 hours. Again, none of these details are confirmed by Garmin.


Moving down the list, Fitness Tracker Test states there will be two versions at launch: the standard model and the Forerunner 165 Music. The latter, as the name suggests, will have storage space for your favorite tracks that can be played on Bluetooth headphones. Do note the device won’t receive a lot of storage – only 4GB. Also, the Forerunner 165 Music will support Wi-Fi connectivity; something the regular model will lack.

The future smartwatch will sport interesting hardware capabilities too. It’ll have the Elevate V4 PPG Sensor for measuring heart rate variability as well as a barometric altimeter. This allows the device to determine altitude and record atmospheric elevation during athletic activities. It can even keep track of the number of floors you’ve climbed.

As for the rest of the features, Fitness Tracker Test claims it’s all stuff we’ve seen before on other Garmin products. You have an internal compass, Nap Detection, and SpO2 capabilities for measuring blood oxygen levels. It’s important to point out that these features may actually be stripped-down versions of what's seen on higher-end models. The report states Garmin has done this before in the past with the Forerunner 55. Whether or not this will come to pass “remains to be seen”.

Imminent launch

No word on how much the Forerunner 165 will cost or when it’ll launch. Considering all this information has recently come to light, an official release may just be around the corner. Fitness Tracker Test speculates the standard smartwatch will run €280 (about $225) while the Music model will cost €330 (around $355).

As always, take this leak with a grain of salt. Things can always change at the last minute, including the name. Tracker Tests claims they saw evidence that the wearable could actually be called the Forerunner 65, but due to all the upgrades, they lean more towards Forerunner 165 as the official name. Until we learn more, check out TechRadar's guide of the best Garmin watch for 2024.

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.