Garmin Venu 3 vs Forerunner 265: Smartwatch Comparison

Garmin Venu 3 vs Forerunner 265

Garmin Venu 3 vs Forerunner 265: The Garmin Venu 3 and Forerunner 265 are both excellent choices for those looking for fitness-focused smartwatches. They share many similarities, such as their AMOLED touchscreens, health and recovery feedback, and the same asking price. However, they also have several key differences that set them apart.

Pros and Cons

Garmin Venu 3Forerunner 265
Sleek and modern designDurable, typical Garmin sports watch design
Stunning AMOLED displayBright, crisp AMOLED visuals
Gorilla Glass 3 and stainless steel bezelReinforced polymer case
HFV/HIV status, sleep coachComprehensive metrics for runners
Accurate single-band GPSPrecise, highly configurable GPS
Consistent and smooth readingsRun button easier to use with gloves
Uses single-band GPSNo wireless charging
Same price as Forerunner 265Same price as Venu 3


VENU 3Forerunner 265
ReleasedAug 30, 2023May 2, 2023
Display1.34 inches 1.3 inches
Resolution454 x 454 pixels416 x 416 pixels
Dimensions45 x 45x 12mm41.7 x 41.7 x 12.9mm
Build:Stainless steel, polymer, siliconeFibre-reinforced polymer
Battery Life:14 days (smartwatch),
26 days (saver),
11 hrs (GNSS+music)
13 days (20 hours GPS)
IP Rating:5ATM5ATM
Device storage8 GB8GB
NFC PaymentsGarmin PayGarmin Pay
Sensors:Elevate, GPS, GLONASS,
Galileo, etc.
Connectivity:Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-FiBluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
Compatibility:Android, iOSAndroid, iOS
Garmin Pay:YesYes
Features:Calls, Assistant, Notifications, etc.Calls, Assistant, Notifications, etc.

Design & Build

The Venu 3 leans more towards the smartwatch side with a classic look and a stainless steel bezel. In contrast, the Forerunner 265 is more sports-focused, evident in its sportier look and plastic bezel.

RELATED:  Amazfit T-Rex Ultra VS Amazfit T-Rex 2: OutDoor Smartwatch Comparison
Garmin Venu 3 vs Forerunner 265

The Venu 3 comes with a sleek design, boasting a 45 mm classic black model. The watch is lightweight, weighing around 46 grams, strap included.

The Venu 3’s display is made of Gorilla Glass 3, ensuring durability. The bezel is crafted from stainless steel, and the back features the Elevate Generation 5 sensor.

The Forerunner 265 has a typical Garmin sports watch design, emphasizing durability and functionality.

This model is made of a reinforced polymer case. The back houses the evolved Elevate sensor. Unlike the Venu 3, the Forerunner 265 has five buttons for navigation.

Display: Garmin Venu 3 vs Forerunner 265 

While both watches have similar displays, the Venu 3 boasts a slightly larger screen, offering a better viewing experience.

The Venu 3 boasts a stunning AMOLED display, which is clear and easy to read, even under bright sunlight.

The Forerunner 265 features a 1.3-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 416 by 416 pixels. It’s bright and backlit, ensuring clarity during outdoor activities.

Buttons & Navigation

The Forerunner 265 offers more flexibility with its five-button configuration, allowing users to navigate the watch without relying solely on the touchscreen. This can be particularly useful during workouts when hands might be sweaty. On the other hand, the Venu 3 has three buttons, with one dedicated to accessing the voice assistant on your smartphone.

Garmin Venu 3 vs Forerunner 265  Design and color difference

Voice Assistant & Calls: A significant advantage of the Venu 3 is its ability to access the voice assistant on your smartphone and take calls directly from the watch, thanks to its built-in microphone and speaker.

Text Messages: Both watches allow users to receive text notifications. However, the Venu 3 takes it a step further by allowing Android users to type out custom message replies using an on-screen keyboard.

RELATED:  Differences Between: Polar Vantage M vs Garmin Forerunner 245

Sleep Tracking: Both watches offer sleep tracking, but the Venu 3 has the added benefit of tracking naps and providing a sleep coach feature, giving users more insights into their sleep patterns.

Training Feedback: For those serious about their training, the Forerunner 265 offers more advanced feedback, including training load, training effect, and a unique training readiness feature.

Running Data: The Forerunner 265 stands out with its ability to provide more advanced running data, such as ground contact time, vertical oscillation, and running power.

External Sensors: The Forerunner 265 can pair with more external sensors, offering users more data and insights into their workouts.

Navigation: When it comes to navigation, the Forerunner 265 offers breadcrumb style routing and the ability to load in routes, providing users with more detailed navigation options.

Similar Features:

The Venu 3 is packed with features like the HFV or HIV status, previously exclusive to other Garmin series. It also offers a sleep coach feature, providing sleep recommendations. The touchscreen, while modern, can be tricky to use during activities.

The Forerunner 265 is tailored for both amateur and serious runners. It measures VO2 Max, training load, heart rate variability status, and more. It also supports a range of sports and activities, from running and cycling to yoga and pilates.

Garmin Venu 3 vs Forerunner 265 Similar Features
  • Fitness Focus: Both are fitness-focused smartwatches.
  • Display: Both have AMOLED touchscreens.
  • Price: Both have the same asking price.
  • Health & Recovery Feedback: Both provide extensive health and recovery feedback.
  • Size Options: Both come in two different sizes.
  • Durability: Both have a 5 ATM water resistance rating and use Gorilla Glass 3 for the displays.
  • Smartwatch Features: Both can store offline music, have Garmin pay for contactless payments, sync weather information, and display events from your calendar.
  • Battery Life: Both offer similar battery life ranging from 10-14 days without always-on display and 3.5-5 days with it.
  • Health Tracking: Both can track heart rate, blood oxygen saturation levels, stress levels, respiration rate, steps, floors climbed, calories burned, intensity minutes, and body battery.
RELATED:  Huawei Watch GT4 vs Watch 4 Pro: Whats the Difference

Differences: Garmin Venu 3 vs Forerunner 265 

  • Design & Build: Venu 3 has a more classic look with a stainless steel bezel, while Forerunner 265 has a sportier look with a plastic bezel.
  • Display Size & Resolution: Venu 3 has a slightly larger display than the Forerunner 265.
  • Buttons: Forerunner 265 has a five-button configuration, while Venu 3 has three.
  • Voice Assistant: Only Venu 3 can access the voice assistant on your smartphone.
  • Calls: Venu 3 can take calls using its built-in microphone and speaker.
  • Text Messages: Venu 3 allows for custom message replies using an on-screen keyboard.
  • Advanced Sleep Tracking: Venu 3 can track naps and offers a sleep coach feature.
  • Training Feedback: Forerunner 265 provides more advanced training feedback.
  • Running Data: Forerunner 265 offers more advanced running data.
  • External Sensors: Forerunner 265 can pair with more external sensors.
  • Navigation: Forerunner 265 offers breadcrumb style routing and can load in routes for navigation.

Battery Life

  • Smartwatch Mode: Both watches offer up to 14 days, but the Venu 3 drops to 5 days with the display always on.
  • Battery Saver Mode: The Venu 3 has a longer battery life in this mode (26 days vs. no equivalent mode in the Forerunner 255).
  • GPS-Only GNSS Mode: The Forerunner 255 has a slightly longer battery life (30 hours vs. 26 hours for the Venu 3).
  • All-Systems GNSS Mode: The Forerunner 255 again has a slightly longer battery life (25 hours vs. 20 hours for the Venu 3).
  • Music Playback: Only the Venu 3 has a specified battery life for GNSS mode with music, which is up to 11 hours.
  • For General Smartwatch Use: Both are similar, but the Venu 3 has a shorter battery life if the display is always on.
  • For Extended GPS Use: The Forerunner 255 generally offers longer battery life in GPS modes.

Overall, the Garmin Forerunner 255 seems to have a slight edge in battery life, especially in GPS-related modes. However, the Venu 3 offers a specific mode for music playback and a longer battery life in its battery saver mode. Your choice should depend on which features are more important for your usage.


Garmin Venu 3/3S Price: $399.99

Garmin Forerunner 265/265S: $409.99


Choosing between the Garmin Venu 3 and the Forerunner 265 boils down to personal preference. If you’re looking for a sleek design with a modern touchscreen, the Venu 3 might be for you. However, if you’re an athlete or runner seeking a watch with a plethora of metrics and features, the Forerunner 265 is a fantastic choice. Both watches are top-notch, ensuring that whichever you choose, you’re getting a quality product.