Garmin Forerunner 965 vs. Garmin Epix Pro: An In-depth Comparison
In the world of fitness wearables, Garmin is a name synonymous with innovation and quality. They offer a wide range of high-performance watches tailored to meet the specific needs of athletes and outdoor enthusiasts.
In this comprehensive comparison, we will dissect two of Garmin’s top-tier offerings: the Garmin Forerunner 265 and the Garmin Epix Pro. Both of these watches are packed with impressive features, making it a challenging task to choose between them. To help you make an informed decision, we will explore ten key deciding factors in detail.
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Size Options And Build Quality:
The Garmin Forerunner 265 comes in a single size, measuring 47 millimeters in diameter. This singular sizing may suit many users, but those seeking more flexibility will appreciate the Garmin Epix Pro’s variety of size options. It offers 47-millimeter and 42-millimeter versions, allowing users with different wrist sizes to find their optimal fit.
The build quality of a fitness watch is paramount, especially for users who lead an active lifestyle. The Garmin Forerunner 265 predominantly features a plastic build, although it incorporates metal buttons for added durability.
On the other hand, the Garmin Epix Pro boasts a robust build, with a titanium bezel surrounding the display, offering enhanced protection against impacts and rough usage. Additionally, the Epix Pro’s sapphire display is more scratch-resistant compared to the Gorilla Glass used in the Forerunner 965.
Weight can be a crucial consideration for some users, particularly those who are sensitive to the feel of a watch on their wrist. The Garmin Forerunner 965 impresses in this department, weighing in at just 53 grams with the included band. This remarkable lightweight design ensures that the watch remains unobtrusive during everyday wear.
In contrast, the Garmin Epix Pro, especially in its larger versions, is slightly heavier. While still manageable, this weight difference may be a factor for those who prioritize minimalism and comfort in their wearables.
Screen Size/Body Ratio:
Display size and how it integrates with the watch’s body can significantly impact user experience. The Garmin Forerunner 265 boasts a larger 1.4-inch display, providing a more immersive viewing experience.
What sets it apart is that it achieves this larger display within a smaller case, resulting in a better screen-to-body ratio. This gives the Forerunner 965 a more modern and futuristic look, which can be visually appealing.
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Battery life is a critical factor, especially for endurance athletes who rely on their watches during extended activities. Both the Garmin Forerunner 265 and the Garmin Epix Pro offer commendable battery life, but the specifics vary. The Forerunner 965 can last up to 23 days in smartwatch mode, making it an excellent choice for everyday use without tracking activities.
In GPS activity mode with GPS-only usage, it can go for up to 31 hours. The Epix Pro, particularly in its larger version, excels in this department, offering even longer battery life. For users engaged in ultra-endurance activities or long excursions, the Epix Pro’s extended battery life may tip the scales in its favor.
Heart Rate Sensor:
Heart rate monitoring is a crucial feature for fitness enthusiasts, and both watches excel in this regard. The Garmin Forerunner 965 comes equipped with Garmin’s older heart rate sensor, which has proven to be reliable over time.
However, the Garmin Epix Pro features Garmin’s latest heart rate sensor, characterized by additional LEDs on the back for improved accuracy. While both watches offer dependable heart rate tracking, the Epix Pro’s updated sensor may provide slightly more accurate readings, especially in challenging conditions.
The Garmin Epix Pro introduces two new metrics: Hill Score and Endurance Score. These exclusive features provide users with valuable insights into their running efficiency and endurance levels. Hill Score evaluates your performance when running uphill, while Endurance Score assesses your overall endurance.
These metrics, while not available on the Forerunner 965 at the time of this comparison, may become accessible through future firmware updates. If these metrics are integral to your training regimen, the Epix Pro’s early access to them could be a deciding factor.
User Interface Quirks/Mapping:
User interface and navigation capabilities can significantly impact the overall user experience. The Garmin Forerunner 965 boasts an aesthetically pleasing user interface with animations, graphics, and gradients, which add a touch of elegance to the user experience. In contrast, the Garmin Epix Pro opts for a more utilitarian design, focusing on displaying data efficiently without the added frills.
However, it excels in navigation and mapping, offering intuitive gestures like scrolling and zooming. This makes it easier for users to interact with maps and explore their surroundings. In contrast, the Forerunner 965 lacks some of these intuitive gestures, potentially making navigation a bit less seamless.
An unexpected but valuable feature present in the Garmin Epix Pro is the built-in flashlight. This practical addition allows users to illuminate their surroundings in various scenarios, from finding lost items in the dark to providing emergency light.
While this feature may initially appear as a gimmick, many users have found it to be remarkably useful in their day-to-day lives. The Garmin Forerunner 965 does not include this feature, which could be a significant consideration for users who value this functionality.
Let’s start with the financial aspect. The Garmin Forerunner 965 comes in at a relatively more budget-friendly price point, retailing for $599 in the USA. In contrast, the Garmin Epix Pro, being Garmin’s flagship line of watches, commands a premium price starting at $899 and can go up to $1000. If you have a strict budget of $600 or less, the Forerunner 965 is the more economical choice.
In conclusion, both the Garmin Forerunner 265 and the Garmin Epix Pro are exceptional watches, each with its own set of strengths and considerations. The choice between them ultimately depends on individual preferences, priorities, and specific use cases.
Whether you prioritize battery life, build quality, advanced metrics, or unique features like the flashlight, this detailed comparison aims to equip you with the information needed to make an informed decision. Whichever watch you choose, rest assured that Garmin’s reputation for quality and innovation stands behind both these remarkable wearables.