Home Tech The Garmin Forerunner 165 Has Better Sensors and the Same Great Training

The Garmin Forerunner 165 Has Better Sensors and the Same Great Training

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Digital wristwatch screen showing the time, date and distance

Even the most Advanced fitness trackers can’t record everything. While testing the Garmin Forerunner 165 Music, I got a severe case of food poisoning and spent two days in bed. There’s nothing more annoying than your cheerful fitness tracker letting you know that you got a ton of sleep and your body battery is at 100 while you’re struggling not to throw up water. It’s almost as annoying as your kids screaming to ask if you’re still stuck in the bathroom.

When I finally got back into training, the watch advised me to build my base with long, slow runs. This pace is insanely slow, especially since I live next to a college campus full of leggy teenagers, who humble me with their powerful strides, youthfulness, and hope. Yet I continue to persevere. My legs feel great. Thanks to the Forerunner, I switched to tempo running, and my heart rate is lower than ever. Astonishing!

The Forerunner 165 is the latest addition to Garmin’s Forerunner series, but there are no duds in the Forerunner series. If you are a novice runner who can find the barebones Forerunner 55 for less than $200 it’s great! However, the Forerunner 165 has enough extra features that, to me, justify the extra money.

A few more features

The Forerunner 165 looks like your standard tech Garmin. It has the familiar five-button layout – three on the left and two on the right – with a chemically reinforced screen, a polymer bezel and a silicone strap. Note: You should wash the band every two to three days if you don’t want to get a wrist rash. It also now has a new, bright AMOLED display that I had no problem seeing in bright, direct sunlight.

Photo: Adrienne So

It’s also a touchscreen, so the number of instances where I’m spectacularly unable to navigate the button system has been dramatically reduced. The same goes for the times when I accidentally call my emergency contacts because I pressed the wrong button for too long. (It’s the Up button on the left. Don’t hold that button unless you’re in trouble.)

The more expensive Forerunner models are aimed at multi-sport athletes, but the Forerunner 165 is quite explicitly aimed at runners. In addition to personalized, adaptive training plans, you can now also see stats like running power and cadence on the screen on your wrist, as well as some of Garmin’s more esoteric proprietary stats like Training effectallowing you to determine how impactful each workout has been on your overall performance.

The reason you get a Forerunner 165 over a Forerunner 55 is that in addition to a nicer display, you also get more sensors. In addition to the now standard multiband GPS positioning systems – GPS, Glonass, and Galileo, which allow you to precisely position yourself for accurate training data – the Forerunner 165 has the pulse oximetry blood oxygen sensor, as well as a barometric altimeter, compass, and ambient light sensor.

Digital wristwatch screen with running power statistics

Photo: Adrienne So

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