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Showdown: Suunto Race vs Garmin Forerunner 965 Is this just for you?

對決:Suunto Race 和 Garmin Forerunner 965 邊隻適合你? - Cam2

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In the Suunto Race and Garmin Forerunner 965 sports watch categories, we can see two high-end sports watches designed for those who are serious about their sports pursuits. They were launched in October 2023 and March 2023 respectively, and are top products.

This comparison article delves into the nuances of these two advanced wearable devices, examining their capabilities, features, and overall value. These two watches target a similar audience, but have a slightly different focus. Read on to decide if one of these watches is the right choice for you.


Suunto Race is for those who prioritize professional fitness and health tracking, especially in rigorous training environments. This unit is cost-effective and is the cheaper option of the two. The Garmin Forerunner 965, on the other hand, is better suited for those who want comprehensive exercise tracking plus a few extra features like built-in music storage and NFC for contactless payments.

Garmin Forerunner 965 vs Suunto Race: Hardware

Design and display

Put them side by side and you'll see that the Suunto Race and Garmin Forerunner 965 have a lot of similarities in design. However, they also have some unique features in their look and feel that you should be aware of.

Both watches feature a rounded design, giving them a classic and versatile look suitable for both sports and leisure situations. Suunto Race features a durable construction with a titanium or stainless steel frame and a fiber-polymer shell. It is equipped with sapphire crystal glass material, which enhances its high-end feel and scratch resistance.

In contrast, the Garmin Forerunner 965 opts for lenses made of Corning Gorilla Glass DX to provide more durable performance. Its frame is made of carbon gray DLC titanium, giving it a stylish and modern look. The Forerunner 965's shell is made from fiber-reinforced polymer, balancing strength and lightness.

In terms of physical buttons, Suunto Race comes with a digital knob and two flat buttons, which provide a tactile and intuitive interface for navigation and control. The Garmin Forerunner 965 is simpler. It includes five buttons, which may be more appealing to users who prefer more direct physical controls.

Garmin Forerunner 965 vs Suunto Race
Display, color options, water resistance

The display is a standout feature of both watches. They both feature AMOLED screens, known for their rich colors and deep blacks. The Suunto Race has a slightly larger screen, measuring 1.43 inches with a resolution of 466 x 466 pixels, while the Forerunner 965 has a 1.4-inch screen with a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels. This subtle difference may be noticeable to those who value screen clarity and detail.

Color options on both watches offer some variety. Suunto Race is available in five options: All Black, Titanium Carbon Black, Crystal Purple, Ivory White and Moonlight Blue, giving it a colorful and professional look. The Garmin Forerunner 965 is available in three options: black, white/grey and yellow/black, offering different styles from classic to more sporty and energetic to cater to different personal preferences.

Water resistance is another important factor, especially for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. The Suunto Race is water-resistant to 10 atmospheres and is suitable for swimming and high-intensity water sports. Garmin Forerunner 965 is waterproof to 5 atmospheres. This is still powerful, but slightly less powerful than the Suunto Race and more suitable for moderate water activities.

sensor technology

As far as sensors go, both the Suunto Race and Garmin Forerunner 965 come with a range of features.

First up is the Suunto Race, which includes a heart rate sensor, optical pulse oximeter, barometric altimeter, accelerometer, gyroscope and compass. These combinations provide comprehensive exercise tracking and health metrics. In terms of GPS connectivity, Suunto Race is very flexible, supporting L1 and L5 dual-frequency GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BeiDou and QZSS. This series of satellite networks ensures accurate and reliable positioning and tracking in different environments.

However, the Suunto Race does not have NFC functionality to support contactless payments. It also doesn't have built-in music storage, which may be a drawback for users who prefer to have these features right on their wrist.

The Garmin Forerunner 965, on the other hand, comes with a similar sensor combination. This includes a barometric altimeter, compass, accelerometer, gyroscope, thermometer, heart rate monitor and Pulse OX. In terms of GPS connection, Forerunner 965 supports dual-frequency GPS, GLONASS and GALILEO to ensure accurate positioning tracking during outdoor activities.

An important added feature of Forerunner 965 is support for NFC, enabling contactless payment. In addition, Forerunner 965 also has music storage function. This allows users to store up to 2,000 songs directly on the watch, which is an important advantage for people who like to listen to music without having to carry a smartphone.

battery life

Both devices offer impressive battery life to meet the needs of athletes and active individuals. No matter which one you choose, you don’t have to worry about this issue.

Suunto Race stands out with its multi-frequency/dual-frequency GPS mode. It can run continuously for up to 40 hours, and in "Tour" mode, this time is significantly extended to 120 hours, suitable for long-term activities such as ultra-marathons or multi-day rides. For daily use, its battery life is up to 26 days in daily mode.

On the other hand, the Garmin Forerunner 965 also demonstrated strong battery life, up to 23 days in smartwatch mode. When using GPS, the battery life is approximately 31 hours, which is suitable for long-term outdoor activities.

Garmin Forerunner 965 vs Suunto Race : Technical specifications

Here is a technical specs comparison table between Suunto Race and Garmin Forerunner 965:

Function Suunto Race Garmin Forerunner 965
release date 10-2023 03-2023
Case material Titanium or stainless steel bezel, fiber polymer case, sapphire crystal Lens: Corning Gorilla Glass DX, Bezel: Carbon Gray DLC Titanium, Case: Fiber Reinforced Polymer
Number of physical buttons Digital knob + 2 flat buttons 5 flat buttons
shape round round
size 49 x 49 x 13.3mm 47.1 x 47.1 x 13.2mm
Display type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution 466 x 466 pixels 454 x 454 pixels
screen size 1.43 inches 1.4 inches
Weight (excluding strap) 69 g (titanium), 83 g (stainless steel) 53 grams
sensor Heart rate sensor, optical pulse oximeter, barometric altimeter, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass Barometric altimeter, compass, accelerometer, gyroscope, thermometer, heart rate monitor, pulse oximeter monitor
Waterproof performance 10 atmosphere pressure waterproof 5 atmosphere waterproof
position Dual frequency GLONASS, GALILEO, BeiDou, QZSS Dual frequency GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO
Built-in speakers none none
microphone none none
NFC none have
music storage none Yes (up to 2000 songs)
connect Bluetooth Bluetooth, ANT+, WiFi
Cellular connection none none
Battery Type lithium polymer battery lithium polymer battery
Battery life Up to 26 days (daily mode), 40 hours (multi-frequency mode), 120 hours (travel mode) Up to 23 days (smartwatch mode), 31 hours (GPS mode)
operating system Suunto OS proprietary
color All black, titanium charcoal gray, crystal purple, ivory white, moonlight blue black, white/grey, yellow/black
Typical suggested retail price Starting at $3,999 Price $4,999

Garmin Forerunner 965 vs Suunto Race: Features

Suunto Race does an excellent job of providing detailed health monitoring and fitness tracking. It's particularly good at providing insight to athletes who need to understand their training and recovery status. The watch focuses on heart rate variability (HRV) tracking, providing athletes with an in-depth understanding of recovery status, which is crucial for optimizing training plans and preventing overtraining.

The Garmin Forerunner 965, on the other hand, packs a punch in terms of fitness tracking versatility. Not only is it designed for runners, but it's suitable for a wide range of activities. The strength of this watch is comprehensive tracking of activity, providing granular insights into every aspect of physical performance. This makes it an ideal companion for users engaged in various sports and physical activities.

smart watch features

When it comes to smartwatch functionality, the Garmin Forerunner 965 takes a more connected and versatile approach. Its features like contactless payments and music storage appeal to users who value fitness tracking as well as the convenience of an everyday smartwatch. These features make the Forerunner 965 a versatile device suitable for fitness activities and everyday wear.

Although Suunto Race is not as rich in smartwatch functions as NFC and music storage, it focuses on improving the sports experience. Its user interface has been specially designed to provide ease of use during sports activities, emphasizing efficient and direct interaction, which is very beneficial during strenuous training or sports activities.

Garmin Forerunner 965 vs Suunto Race: Price

In terms of price, Suunto Race and Garmin Forerunner 965 are positioned differently. First of all, Suunto Race is characterized by its emphasis on powerful health and fitness tracking functions, and its price is competitive, starting at about $3,999 HKD for the steel model and about $4,799 HKD for the titanium model.

The Garmin Forerunner 965 offers a wider range of features, including advanced fitness tracking and smartwatch features such as NFC and music storage, at a higher price, starting at about $4,999 HKD. This price point signals its positioning as a high-end multi-sport watch.

Garmin Forerunner 965 vs Suunto Race: Summary

The Suunto Race and Garmin Forerunner 965 each stand out in different segments of the sports watch market. Suunto Race offers durable construction and professional health and fitness tracking features at a competitive price (starting at $3,999 HKD), making it an excellent choice for athletes focused on performance and recovery. Its rugged design and extended battery life in various modes are ideal for endurance sports and outdoor activities.

Priced at approximately $4,799 HKD, the Garmin Forerunner 965 is a more versatile device that offers advanced fitness tracking and smartwatch features such as NFC and music storage. Its comprehensive range of features makes it an ideal choice for those who want a device that excels at fitness and activity tracking, while also serving their everyday smartwatch needs.

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Original website: Garmin Forerunner 965 vs Suunto Race: who wins? I Marko Maslakovic

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