Garmin Forerunner 265 Vs Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Garmin Forerunner 265 Vs Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Introducing the Garmin Forerunner 265 and the Garmin Venu 2 Plus—two excellent choices for a mid-range Fitness Focus smartwatch by Garmin. These models offer a wide range of health metrics and support various sports activities. Additionally, they feature vibrant AMOLED touchscreen displays for a bright and clear user experience. Check out the latest price of Garmin Forerunner 265 here or Venu 2 Plus Here.

In this Garmin Forerunner 265 vs Venu 2 Plus Comparison, we’ll explore the differences between these two watches despite their similar price range of around $400 to $450. While they share many common features and pricing, we’ll delve into the distinctions and help you understand which watch suits your preferences and needs.

Garmin has a well-established lineup of watches known as the Forerunner series, primarily targeting runners. However, these watches are versatile enough to track various activities and gather comprehensive health data, including steps, sleep, and heart rate. On the other hand, Garmin’s Venu series falls under the category of smartwatches, prioritizing smart features over sports-specific functionalities.

Design and Display:

The Garmin watches, including the Forerunner 265 and the Venu 2 Plus, feature bright and vibrant AMOLED displays, similar to those found in Apple and Samsung smartwatches. These touch screen displays cater to individuals seeking a more smartwatch-oriented experience rather than a purely sports-focused one.

However, the introduction of the Forerunner 265 blurs the lines between the two categories. Unlike previous Forerunner models, which relied on memory and transflective displays, the 265 now incorporates an AMOLED touchscreen display, akin to the Venu 2 Plus.

This is a significant departure from Garmin’s Forerunner lineup, known for its advantages in sports-specific scenarios, such as excellent readability outdoors, especially in bright conditions, and lower power consumption for extended battery life.

Garmin has made remarkable progress with its AMOLED display technology, ensuring optimal usability outdoors while still maintaining respectable battery life. As a result, choosing between the Forerunner 265 and the Venu 2 Plus may prove challenging, as both watches now offer similar display and touchscreen capabilities, despite being marketed differently.

While these watches still have many similarities, there are differences in terms of the sports tracking capabilities, health and training feedback they offer, and one distinct feature found only on the Venu 2 Plus. In this comparison, we will primarily focus on the Venu 2 Plus versus the Forerunner 265, as they share almost identical pricing.

However, it’s worth noting that there are also lower-priced options like the Venu 2 and Venu 2S, which provide nearly the same fitness functionality as the Venu 2 Plus. Therefore, the information in this review can be applied to compare these watches as well.

The reason these watches now have more in common is their adoption of bright and crisp AMOLED touchscreen displays. While Garmin’s Forerunner lineup traditionally used memory and transflective displays, AMOLED displays have been optimized by Garmin to provide excellent readability and visibility outdoors, even in bright conditions.

Furthermore, Garmin has achieved impressive battery life optimization for this type of display technology. While the memory and pixel or transflective displays still have their advantages for specific sports scenarios, the AMOLED displays offer a compelling balance of readability, outdoor performance, and battery life.

Check out the latest price of Garmin Forerunner 265 here or Venu 2 Plus Here.

When it comes to Display size, both the Venu 2 Plus and the larger Forerunner 265 feature a 1.3-inch display. However, there are additional options available. The smaller Forerunner 265s offers a 1.1-inch display, providing a more compact alternative.

Similarly, the regular Venu 2 comes in two different sizes, with the Venu 2 having the same display size as the Venu 2 Plus, and the Venu 2S matching the display size of the smaller Forerunner 265s.

In terms of interaction, all of these watches share a touchscreen capability, which was previously more prevalent in Garmin’s smartwatch-focused models. The touchscreen functionality has proven to be useful even in sports-focused watches, providing an additional way to interact with your device.

It’s worth noting that the Forerunner 265 retains the familiar five physical buttons, similar to previous Forerunner models. This gives you the flexibility to choose how you want to interact with the watch based on your activities.

Whether you’re navigating through menus or using smartwatch-related features, you can opt for the touch screen or utilize the up and down buttons on the left-hand side, which perform the same functions.

The choice is yours, and the great thing is that you can even disable the touchscreen entirely if desired. Additionally, you have the flexibility to enable or disable the touchscreen on a per-activity basis. For example, you can have it enabled for activities like hiking but disabled for running.

Both the Venu 2 Plus and the Forerunner 265 have touchscreens, along with physical buttons. However, there are some differences in their button configurations. The Venu 2 Plus features three physical buttons, offering a cleaner design compared to the five-button setup on the Forerunner 265.

While the streamlined design of the Venu 2 Plus is visually appealing, it does have some implications for usability, especially during sports and fitness activities. On the Venu 2 Plus, certain functions, such as swiping through widgets, switching data pages during an activity, and saving your activity, require the use of the touchscreen.

However, you can still start and pause your activity using the upper right-hand button, similar to the Forerunner 265. But to save your activity on the Venu 2 Plus, you’ll need to utilize the touchscreen.

Battery Life:

Unlike many smartwatches with AMOLED displays, such as the Apple Watch or Samsung Watch, which typically offer only one to three days of battery life, Garmin has achieved impressive results with the Venu 2 Plus and Forerunner 265. Depending on your settings, these watches can provide anywhere from around four days up to a week or even more of battery life.

The primary factor affecting battery life is the use of the always-on display setting. When enabled, the display dims to a super-low brightness when not in use and brightens when you interact with it. On the other hand, disabling the always-on display causes the screen to turn off when not in use, requiring a wrist movement, tap, or button press to wake it up.

With the always-on display mode active, the battery life is quite similar between the Venu 2 Plus and the Forerunner 265. You can expect approximately four to five days of usage before needing to recharge.

However, if you disable the always-on display, battery life significantly improves. The Venu 2 Plus can last up to nine days, while the Forerunner 265 offers a remarkable duration of nearly two weeks before requiring a recharge.

These are general guidelines, and it’s important to note that battery life will vary based on factors such as the number of outdoor activities tracked, display brightness settings, and other features like enabling the SpO2 sensor for sleep tracking.

Garmin Forerunner 265 Vs Garmin Venu 2 Plus Features And Usability :

In terms of usability, the Forerunner 265 holds a slight advantage due to its five physical buttons. These include the power and light buttons, up and down buttons, start and pause buttons, and back button, in addition to the touchscreen.

On the other hand, the Venu 2 Plus features the start and pause buttons at the top and the back button at the bottom, which are similar to the 265.

However, it lacks the additional buttons on the left side. Nonetheless, the Venu 2 Plus does have an advantage with a third middle button on the right side, which the 265 does not have. This button serves a unique purpose as the Venu 2 Plus includes a built-in microphone and speaker.

Voice Assistant:

With the Venu 2 Plus, you have the option to enable a voice assistant feature using your smartphone. Beyond simply asking Siri to turn on the lights or check the weather, there are additional benefits to this functionality. Firstly, you can access the voice assistant associated with your phone, providing convenient voice control.

If you’re using an iPhone, you can access Siri or Google Assistant with the Venu 2 Plus. With an Android phone, you have the option to access Google Assistant or Bixby, and enabling a voice assistant brings added convenience.

However, there’s a neat trick when it comes to accessing Siri on an iPhone. When paired with any watch other than an Apple Watch, you can receive text messages via iMessage, but you won’t be able to reply. Apple limits this feature to their own watches.

However, with the Venu 2 Plus, since you can access Siri, you can utilize the voice assistant to send text messages. While you can’t type out a message manually, this feature allows you to send a quick reply. The same functionality applies when using an Android phone with the Venu 2 Plus.

You can use the voice assistant to send and reply to text messages. Additionally, both the Venu 2 Plus and the Forerunner 265, when paired with an Android phone, allow you to reply to text messages using predefined responses that you can set up in Garmin Connect.

Phone Calls:

With the Venu 2 Plus, you have the capability to take calls and speak directly through the watch itself, whether you have an Android phone or an iPhone. It’s important to note that your phone needs to be within range for this feature to work, as the Venu 2 Plus does not have cellular capabilities. Similarly, the Forerunner 265 also lacks cellular capabilities.

When using the Venu 2 Plus, you can answer and decline calls directly from the watch. However, to have the actual conversation, you’ll need to speak through your phone. The Venu 2 Plus is equipped with a microphone and speaker, allowing for a full-blown calling experience.

On the other hand, the Forerunner 265 has more limited functionality in this regard. It features more of a beep or chirp notification system, primarily used for alerts rather than making or receiving calls. but with the Venu 2 Plus since it has an actual speaker, and you get very nice tones and Chimes throughout the interface.

Built-in Music Speaker:

Another cool feature of the Venu 2 Plus is its speaker, which allows you to play music directly from the watch. Considering the small size of the device, the speaker’s audio quality is as expected, but it works surprisingly well and isn’t horrendous for what it offers.

Furthermore, both the Venu 2 Plus and the Forerunner 265 have the capability to store music on the watch itself for offline listening. You can use popular music streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon Music to enjoy your favorite tunes without needing a constant internet connection. Additionally, both watches can easily pair with Bluetooth earbuds for a wireless listening experience.


Both the Venu 2 Plus and the Forerunner 265 share several hardware similarities. They both utilize industry-standard bands, and they both have a water resistance rating of 5 ATM, allowing you to confidently wear them while showering or swimming. However, the Venu 2 Plus has a more fashion-forward appeal, thanks to its stainless steel elements, giving it a touch of elegance.

In terms of design, the Forerunner 265 leans more towards functionality, while still maintaining a pleasing appearance. On the other hand, the metal bezel on the Venu 2 Plus serves a practical purpose beyond aesthetics. It enables the Venu 2 Plus to record an electrocardiogram (ECG), a feature that wasn’t initially available when the device was launched.

The addition of ECG functionality came later through an update after the watch received FDA approval. This stands out as one of the significant feature differences between the two watches. Importantly, the necessary hardware for ECG recording is not present in the Forerunner 265, meaning it cannot be added to that particular model.

Heart rate Sensor:

Both the Venu 2 Plus and the Forerunner 265 utilize the same generation of Garmin’s elevated heart rate sensor, ensuring comparable accuracy in heart rate monitoring for various activities.

However, one notable distinction is that the Venu 2 Plus features a metal ring around the sensor, which is essential for enabling ECG readings. Apart from this ECG functionality, the health tracking capabilities are nearly identical between the two watches.

Both watches provide 24-hour heart rate tracking, monitor blood oxygen saturation levels, track stress levels, measure respiration rate, and calculate calorie expenditure. Additionally, they both offer comprehensive sleep-tracking features to help you monitor and analyze your sleep patterns.

Overall, when it comes to health tracking, these watches offer similar capabilities, ensuring you can effectively monitor and manage various aspects of your well-being.


Tracking Activities:

On the activity tracking front, both the Venu 2 Plus and the Forerunner 265 offer similar features. They can track your daily step count and monitor the number of floors climbed, thanks to their built-in altimeters.

Additionally, both watches incorporate Garmin’s Body Battery metric, which provides insights into your energy levels throughout the day. Furthermore, they both track intensity minutes, representing the time spent engaging in vigorous activities.

However, there are differences in the training feedback provided by these watches. The Venu 2 Plus offers metrics such as VO2 max for running and Fitness Age, which gives you a relatable measure of your fitness level.

On the other hand, the Forerunner 265 goes a step further by providing VO2 max not only for running but also for cycling, utilizing data from cycling power meters. Moreover, the Forerunner 265 includes a race predictor feature that estimates your potential race times based on your running history, offering valuable insights for competitive runners.

Training Status Widgets:

Both the Forerunner 265 and the Venu 2 Plus offer insightful training features. One of these is the Training Status widget, which provides an overview of how your recent training is influencing your performance and its progression.

It takes into account various factors, including trends in your VO2 max, HRV status, exercise load, focus, and recovery time, giving you a comprehensive understanding of your training’s impact.

Additionally, the Forerunner 265 introduces Garmin’s Training Readiness feature, which is not available on the Venu 2 Plus. Unlike Training Status, Training Readiness focuses on assessing your preparedness for the next training session.

It considers factors such as sleep quality, recovery time, HRV status, exercise load, sleep history, and stress history. By analyzing these variables, it provides recommendations on whether or when you should proceed with your next training session, helping you optimize your training routine.


In addition to the Training Status and Training Readiness features, the Forerunner 265 offers another valuable feature called HRV Status. This feature tracks your Heart Rate Variability (HRV) trends over time.

HRV measures the variation in time between each heartbeat, which provides valuable insights into an athlete’s recovery and readiness for training. While the Venu 2 Plus does not include the HRV Status feature, it compensates with the Health Snapshot feature.

With Health Snapshot, you can manually capture on-demand measurements of your heart rate, breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation level, and stress level. Although it is not an automatically tracked metric like the Forerunner 265’s HRV Status, you still have the ability to capture this data in a manual manner.

Garmin Forerunner 265 Vs Garmin Venu 2 Plus Sports Profiles:

When it comes to sports profiles, it can be a bit complicated to compare the Forerunner 265 and the Venu 2 Plus. While the Forerunner 265 is generally considered a more sports-focused watch, it doesn’t necessarily have more sports profiles compared to the Venu 2 Plus, at least at the current moment.

Both watches have a wide range of common sports profiles, including running (both indoors and outdoors), cycling (both indoors and outdoors), pool swimming, gym workouts, and outdoor recreation profiles.

The Forerunner 265 offers some additional profiles such as ultra run, trail run, various cycling profiles, open water swimming, and triathlon. However, the Venu 2 Plus has a unique set of sports profiles that the Forerunner 265 doesn’t have, including indoor climbing, bouldering, snowshoeing, tennis, and others. Additionally, the Venu 2 Plus also features a golf profile.

It’s worth noting that activity profiles may change over time with software updates. Another difference between the two watches is that the Forerunner 265 is equipped with a more advanced satellite chipset for recording outdoor activities, providing enhanced accuracy in GPS tracking.

Both the Forerunner 265 and the Venu 2 Plus come with built-in GPS capabilities, allowing you to track your speed, distance, and location during your activities without the need to carry your phone. However, there is a difference in their GPS technology.

The Forerunner 265 is equipped with a dual-band or multi-band sunlight chipset. This innovative technology enables the watch to access two different satellite frequencies simultaneously.

The advantage of this feature becomes apparent in challenging environments where satellite signals may be compromised. For instance, when you’re surrounded by tall buildings, steep canyon walls, or dense tree cover, the satellite signals can bounce off these objects, resulting in less accurate data.

The dual-band technology aims to mitigate such signal interference and enhance the accuracy of your GPS tracking, particularly in these difficult scenarios.

While the Venu 2 Plus is highly accurate in tracking your activities, especially for everyday use, the Forerunner 265 offers additional features that may be beneficial in more challenging environments.

For instance, the 265 can collect risk-based running power and advanced running dynamics, which provide insights into your running form. These metrics, including vertical oscillation, ground contact time, and running power, help you assess your effort and running technique more comprehensively.

Additionally, the 265 can measure these metrics directly on the watch or through accessories like the HRM Pro Plus heart rate strap. Furthermore, the Forerunner 265 supports a wider range of external sensors compared to the Venu 2 Plus.

In addition to connecting to heart rate sensors, speed and cadence sensors for cycling, foot pods for running, temperature sensors, and Garmin Varia radar and lights, the 265 can also pair with power meters for cycling, Garmin’s RD pod for more advanced running dynamics, smart bike trainers, e-bikes, and it offers extended display support.

This feature allows you to mirror the data being collected on your watch with a compatible Garmin bike computer, enhancing your data visualization options during your activities.

Lastly, I would like to mention that the Forerunner 265 offers the ability to load routes for breadcrumb navigation, whereas the Venu 2 Plus lacks this feature. With the 265, you can load a route in Garmin Connect and transfer it to your watch, allowing you to navigate along the planned route.

While the Venu 2 Plus doesn’t have this capability, it does have a navigate profile where you can save locations and use breadcrumb-style navigation to reach those locations. However, this navigation feature on the Venu 2 Plus is limited to a standalone activity profile and doesn’t offer the same integration with outdoor profiles like hiking, as found on the 265. Furthermore, the Venu 2 Plus lacks the ability to load pre-planned routes.

In summary, both the Venu 2 Plus and the Forerunner 265 share an AMOLED touchscreen display and a similar price range. They are both capable watches, catering to health and fitness needs. However, there are notable differences between them.

The Venu 2 Plus stands out with its built-in speaker, microphone, and ECG support, while the Forerunner 265 offers more extensive training feedback and sports features, along with enhanced usability. Consider these distinctions when deciding which watch aligns better with your preferences and requirements. Check out the latest price of Garmin Forerunner 265 here or Venu 2 Plus Here.


Daven Klarsen is a technology writer and researcher. He's also an avid sports fan, especially when it comes to the LAL. When not working, you can usually find him tweaking his Android devices or watching soccer news.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here