The same great training that the Forerunner 165 review has to offer

The Forerunner 165: A Newcomer to the Athleisure-Forerunner Model and a Case Study for the Performance of the Instinct

The 165 series further complicates the already crowded Forerunner lineup. Lord knows Garmin has a Forerunner 55, 255, 265, 745, 955, 965, and a handful of others I’m missing. The Instinct is quite similar to the Forerunner. The entry level device for training is the Forerunner 165 and the Music 165. It’s great for newbies to the platform — as well as intermediate and advanced athletes who aren’t interested in bells and whistles.

Three hundred smackeroos may not seem budget-friendly if you look at the flagship watches. Those can go for a whopping $700 to well over $1,000. Even midrange watches, like the excellent Forerunner 265 series, retail for $450. The Forerunner 265 series was very good. The only thing I didn’t like was the price. And that’s what makes this particular watch so appealing. It’s a near clone of the smaller 265S but for $150 to $200 less. There are some things you don’t miss, such as dual-frequency gps and EKGs.

Why I am so glad to have a Garmin: What I’ve read and what I’m going to learn from the 165 Music and 265S

This is seriously. Side by side, it’s hard to tell my 165 Music and 265S apart. The buttons on the 265S are a bit fancier. Thankfully, my units are different colors. I don’t believe I’d be able to see otherwise.

As for performance, in 95 percent of my daily use, I didn’t notice a difference. You still get accurate activity tracking even without dual-frequency gps. The 165 Music was tested with my phone and Apple Watch Ultra 2 simultaneously, as well as with the 165 Music. All of the distances and maps were reported within a tenth of a mile. If I ran in the financial district of Manhattan, I might have noticed more of a difference. I have done a lot of running with multisport watches and without dual-frequency gps. People who train in dead zones are the ones who benefit from dual-frequency gps. You probably won’t notice if that’s not you.

The heart rate data was very similar to what I had. I missed the EKG feature because I was not someone with a high risk of AFib. Even if I were you still would have to see a doctor regardless of if you have an electrocardiogram or not. Unless it runs in your family or you know you’re at risk, EKGs just aren’t a feature everyone needs, especially since high / low heart rate notifications are still available.

Aside from these few things, you’re getting everything that makes a Garmin a Garmin: long battery life, durability, and a ton of training data. Even with a more power-hungry OLED display, the 165 Music lasted me almost a week on a single charge with the always-on display enabled and closer to 10 days with it off. The 165 Music is capable of handling a dunk in the pool, and it was not damaged by my cat. You can still access Garmin Coach, adaptive training plans, nap detection, sleep tracking, and features like Body Battery and Morning Report. And, blessedly, the redesigned Garmin Connect app has decluttered a lot of that information, making it easier to glance at.

The most advanced fitness trackers can’t catch everything. While testing the Garmin Forerunner 165 Music, I got a severe case of food poisoning and spent two days in bed. The fitness tracker notifying you that you have gotten tons of sleep is so annoying that it makes you feel like you should be throwing up water. It’s almost as offensive as the children asking if you’re stuck in the bathroom.

When I finally got back to working out, the watch counseled me to build up my base with long, slow runs. I live next to a college campus with long-legged teenagers, so this pace is incredibly slow. I continue. My legs feel great. I have been able to graduate to tempo runs and my heart rate has gone down. Amazing!

The Forerunner 165 looks like your standard technical 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. If you don’t want to get a wrist rash, you need to wash the strap at least twice a day. I had no problem seeing it in the bright, direct sunlight that it has a new, bright AMOLED display.

The Button System – Why You Need to Hold That Button Unless You’re In Trouble (The Case of Singularly Slowly Waiting for the Right Thumbs)

It’s also a touchscreen, so instances where I spectacularly fail at navigating the button system have decreased dramatically. Same with times where I accidentally call my emergency contacts from holding the wrong button down for too long. On the left side is the button that tells you to Up. Don’t hold that button unless you’re in trouble.)

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