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Garmin Venu 2 review: A worthy sequel

The Garmin Venu marked an necessary milestone for Garmin wearables: it was the corporate’s first smartwatch that really appealed to the plenty. It took the tried-and-true formulation of the Vivoactive line and added an AMOLED show — a primary for Garmin — which was meant to catch the attention of these on the lookout for options to their Apple or Galaxy Watches.

The Garmin Venu 2 is all about refinement. It addresses a number of the issues we had with the first-gen mannequin whereas additionally making a lot better use of that crisp show. Be taught extra in our full Garmin Venu 2 overview.

Additionally learn: Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S purchaser’s information: All the things you might want to know

About this Garmin Venu 2 overview: I used the Garmin Venu 2 for 2 weeks working software program model 3.20. It was related to my Google Pixel 5 all through the testing interval. The Garmin Venu 2 overview unit was offered to Android Authority by Garmin.


What you might want to know in regards to the Garmin Venu 2

garmin venu 2 review watch face display on wrist 1

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

  • Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S: $399.99

The Garmin Venu 2 is Garmin’s most approachable smartwatch but. It takes what made the unique successful and provides much more fitness- and health-tracking instruments.

There at the moment are two Venu fashions: the 45mm Venu 2 and 40mm Venu 2S. Functionally, they’re the identical units. Each include all the brand new options, together with a sleep rating primarily based in your tracked sleep knowledge, further sport profiles together with mountaineering and indoor climbing, and a brand new Well being Snapshot characteristic that data important well being knowledge suddenly, which you’ll be able to then share together with your healthcare supplier. The Venu 2 guarantees vastly improved battery life, too, together with extra room to retailer your music.

Associated: The perfect Garmin watches: Fenix, Venu, and extra

Be able to pay for all of these options, although. The Garmin Venu 2 prices $399.99, simply as the unique did at launch. It’s obtainable now on Garmin.com, with different retailers promoting the gadget at a later date. You’ll be able to choose up the Venu 2 in Silver/Granite Blue or Slate/Black, whereas the Venu 2S is available in Slate/Graphite, Mild Gold/Mild Sand, Silver/Mist Gray, or Rose Gold/White colorways.

I in all probability don’t have to let you know that competitors within the mid-range health watch area is hard. Most iOS customers gravitate in direction of the Apple Watch, and Android customers have Put on OS, Fitbit, the Galaxy Watch, and extra to select from. With the Venu 2, Garmin must differentiate itself from the remaining.


Design: Now there are two of them

garmin venu 2 review watch face display 2

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Garmin Venu 2’s design is sort of unchanged from the unique, save for one main level: it now is available in two sizes. Garmin break up the distinction of the unique 43mm Venu and now provides a 45mm Venu 2 and a 40mm Venu 2S. Other than bodily dimension and battery capacities, the Venu 2 and 2S are primarily the identical factor.

I’ve average-sized wrists, and the Venu 2 matches me effectively. It’s on the larger aspect (I believed the Venu was an ideal dimension), however its light-weight construct makes up for that. When you’ve got smaller wrists, it is best to go for the Venu 2S.

The Venu 2’s case is made out of high-quality plastic, and the grooved bezel is chrome steel. It feels about as high-end as you’d need a health watch to really feel. I get bizarre about exercising with an costly Apple Watch, which nearly feels too good to exercise with. And take a look at to not fret in regards to the plastic construct — it retains the Venu 2 sturdy and lightweight.

Our Garmin Venu 2 overview unit has a 1.3-inch AMOLED show with a decision of 416 x 416. It’s a pixel-dense show with vibrant colours and good viewing angles. It will get a lot brilliant, so out of doors visibility isn’t a difficulty. There are nonetheless sizable bezels surrounding the show, however I’ve by no means heard of anybody complaining about that on a health watch.

The Venu line notably omits Garmin’s basic transflective MIP panels that seem on the Vivoactive, Fenix, and Forerunner traces. A brighter, prettier show means battery life takes a success. Nevertheless, Garmin greater than doubled the battery lifetime of the Venu 2 to make up for that distinction.

garmin venu 2 review charging cable battery life

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Garmin quotes the Venu 2’s battery to last as long as 11 days in smartwatch mode or as much as eight hours with GPS + music. I’m certain it’s attainable to get 11 days out of the battery, however provided that you actually take care to not activate too many options. I’ve had the always-on show turned on, raise-to-wake turned off, SpO2 monitoring on throughout sleep, and some runs thrown in every week, and I’ve been getting about 4.5 days of use. That’s a far cry from 11 days, however I’ve admittedly been working the gadget fairly laborious. Your mileage will most definitely fluctuate.

Battery life will be finicky if you wish to use all of the sensors.

Fortunately, there are two stop-gaps for the brief battery life: fast charging and a brand new battery saver mode. The Venu 2 now expenses up a lot faster than earlier fashions. ~10 minutes of charging provides a full day of use in smartwatch mode or one hour with GPS + music. Battery saver mode might help you eke out as a lot life as attainable. Enabling the mode units a low-power watch face, the show timeout to brief, the brightness to low, and disables Wi-Fi, music playback, computerized exercise begin, blood oxygen monitoring, and wake gestures.


Well being and health monitoring: A number of under-the-hood updates

garmin venu 2 review on wrist running stats

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Garmin Venu 2 is a full-fledged multisport watch. The Venu 2 will monitor your steps, energy, flooring, coronary heart price, stress, blood oxygen ranges, respiration price, and extra all through the day. As is normally the case, step monitoring and energy burned metrics have been spot on with what my different wearables have reported over the previous couple of weeks.

It will possibly monitor over 25 sport profiles, together with new additions like HIIT, indoor climbing, mountaineering, and even bouldering. I’ve heard a variety of first-gen Venu customers ask for HIIT and mountaineering profiles particularly, so these must be welcome additions for many individuals.

On-device animated exercises are again, too. Over 75 exercises can be found in all, together with workout routines for Pilates, yoga, cardio, HIIT, and extra. I actually just like the animated exercises. It’s not at all times simple to comply with together with a exercise in your wrist whilst you’re attempting to maneuver your physique, however they turn out to be useful in a pinch.

You’ve gotten a number of choices for HIIT exercises. There’s an all-encompassing Free mode in case you’d prefer to maintain tabs in your total knowledge. There are additionally 4 timed exercises: AMRAP, EMOM, Tabata, and customized. The primary three are fairly self-explanatory for HIIT veterans. Customized permits you to set a time restrict on your lively and relaxation instances, in addition to what number of strikes and rounds you’d like to perform. Additionally, there are three pre-loaded HIIT exercises in case you’d reasonably comply with alongside in your watch.

HIIT workout routines work effectively. The on-device timers are clear and straightforward to learn. You’ll really feel a buzz when every interval begins and in addition each second for the final 5 seconds earlier than the following interval.

garmin venu 2 review strength training total body muscle workouts

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Garmin has additionally up to date its energy coaching profile to incorporate info like your PRs proper on the gadget. Since PRs are an enormous a part of energy coaching, that is an apparent characteristic that may profit many customers. Additionally, when you choose a pre-loaded energy exercise on the Venu 2, it’ll now present an in depth graphic exhibiting the muscle teams you’re focusing on. As a energy coaching novice, this characteristic is very helpful for me.

Physique Battery stays one among my favourite Garmin options. On the Venu 2, it is higher than ever earlier than.

These aren’t the one under-the-hood adjustments with the Venu 2. Garmin has up to date its Physique Battery algorithm primarily based on suggestions from present Garmin customers. Now, Garmin claims it’s harder to attain a Physique Battery rating of 100. The improved algorithm will now take extra sleep monitoring knowledge into consideration. Possibly I’ve simply been on high of my sport, however I’ve woken up with a 100/100 Physique Battery rating quite a few instances all through the testing interval. That’s to not say the info is wrong; Physique Battery on the Venu 2 is normally reflective of how I really feel every day, and I’ve felt well-rested every time I hit 100.

garmin venu 2 review garmin connect fitness age

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Garmin units have been in a position to estimate your “health age” for a while, however the Venu 2 will get one other enchancment to make the info extra correct and complete. Older Garmin units like the unique Venu solely estimated your health age (how match you’re in comparison with your precise age) primarily based in your VO2 max knowledge. The Venu 2 is extra detailed with its knowledge, because it estimates your health age primarily based in your weekly vigorous exercise, resting coronary heart price, and BMI or physique fats proportion. This new and improved health age methodology is just not coming to the unique Venu.

Garmin Join will nonetheless show recommendations on find out how to attain your goal health age. Mine is at present sitting at 21.5 (I’m 29), so the app solely tells me, “Option to go! You’ve reached your achievable health age.”

garmin venu 2 review health snapshot

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

My favourite new characteristic on the Garmin Venu 2 is known as Well being Snapshot. As soon as you choose the app, the Venu 2 will take a two-minute recording of your important well being stats like coronary heart price, coronary heart price variability, blood oxygen ranges, respiration price, and stress. After that’s executed, you may view your leads to Garmin Join and generate a PDF of your stats to share together with your healthcare supplier. Sadly, the PDF characteristic wasn’t obtainable on our overview unit however can be prepared on April 29. Additionally, Garmin wouldn’t touch upon whether or not or not Well being Snapshot will come to older Garmin units.

Talking of important well being stats, the Garmin Venu 2 can maintain monitor of your blood oxygen saturation all day, at night time, or each. Because the Venu 2 is provided with the brand new fourth-generation Garmin Elevate coronary heart price sensor, accuracy must be improved over the unique Venu and Vivoactive 4. I checked my SpO2 readings towards a dependable fingertip pulse oximeter at numerous factors all through the testing interval, and the Venu 2 has lined up almost each time.

Extra: What’s SpO2, and why do you have to care?

garmin venu 2 review heart rate sensor monitor

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Let’s discuss coronary heart price accuracy. Along with enhancing SpO2 knowledge, Garmin says the aim with the Gen. 4 Elevate sensor is to enhance coronary heart price accuracy for the wide range of actions that its units supply. I’m assuming this implies we received’t see big enhancements in resting coronary heart price knowledge — not that it wanted a ton of enhancements, after all. Regardless, resting coronary heart price readings have lined up effectively with my Apple Watch Sequence 6 and Wahoo Tickr X chest strap. The Venu 2 has additionally been dependable in telling me when my resting coronary heart price is a bit too low.

Coronary heart price readings throughout exercises look like a combined bag. My first run with the Garmin Venu 2 and Wahoo Tickr X was a complete fail on Garmin’s half. The watch’s readings have been in all places and solely managed to maintain up with main traits within the knowledge. I obtained a software program replace after that, which appeared to have moved issues in the best course.

garmin venu 2 review vs apple watch series 6 heart rate data

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

However that didn’t utterly make things better. I took a ~four-mile run with the Venu 2 (purple) and Apple Watch Sequence 6 (gold), which you’ll be able to see above. Each watches lined up effectively as soon as issues received going previous the 18-minute mark. Earlier than that, it was a trainwreck, and I have to aspect with the Apple Look ahead to these stats. I additionally ran this with the Wahoo Tickr X, and the info lined up with the Apple Watch within the first 18 minutes. Nevertheless, the chest strap glitched out after that, therefore why I didn’t embody it on the graph above.

We are able to see some patterns right here. Each time the Apple Watch dipped down underneath 100bpm, the Venu 2 choked at round 120bpm. I used to be strolling throughout these dips, so my coronary heart price certainly wasn’t at 120bpm. This tells me there’s potential, however Garmin has some tweaking to do to its algorithm earlier than issues settle in.

The sort of factor is predicted with brand-new coronary heart price sensors. Fortunately, coronary heart price sensors will be up to date by way of software program updates, so we’ll regulate this going ahead to see if Garmin can enhance issues.

Garmin Venu 2 review vs Apple Watch Series 6 GPS data

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

I’ve discovered nice success with the Venu 2’s GPS monitoring. Above, you’ll see the identical ~four-mile run with the Venu 2 (purple) and Apple Watch (gold). It was a cloudy day with out a lot sunshine, and I made it a degree to run by means of areas with loads of timber. The Venu 2’s GPS knowledge got here again with just a few glitches. The general knowledge seemed to be in line — or dare I say, a step above — the Apple Watch’s GPS knowledge. Coloration me impressed.

Additionally learn: The perfect working watches you should purchase

garmin venu 2 review sleep tracking sleep score

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Sleep monitoring has at all times been one among Garmin’s sturdy fits. It’s made even higher on the Venu 2 now that it can provide you a sleep rating alongside your sleep evaluation. Most different sleep-tracking wearables supply sleep scores, so it’s good to see Garmin be part of the occasion.

The Venu 2 measures your sleep length, phases (gentle, deep, and REM), and complete time awake. I’ve in contrast the Venu 2’s sleep knowledge with my Fitbit Sense and Oura Ring 2 over the previous few weeks, and most of Garmin’s knowledge seems to line up with the others.

Extra: The perfect sleep tracker apps for Android

On multiple event, the Fitbit Sense was in a position to choose up on brief post-wakeup naps when the Venu 2 didn’t, however I doubt that can be a severe subject for a lot of customers. I’ve seen the Venu 2 can be worse at monitoring inconsistent sleep schedules. One night time, I fell asleep on the sofa, then grabbed a glass of water and brushed my enamel earlier than going as much as mattress. The Venu 2 solely tracked my time in mattress, although, so it appeared like I solely received about 4 hours of sleep that night time.

Blood oxygen ranges, respiration charges, and in a single day actions are additionally recorded at night time, which you’ll be able to evaluate towards your sleep stage evaluation to see if something is affecting your high quality. Respiration charges have lined up effectively in contrast with the Fitbit Sense and Google Nest Hub (2nd gen).

I’ve discovered Garmin’s sleep rating to be a bit of beneficiant on some nights. Different nights, it’s spot-on. The sleep rating card in Garmin Join reveals your rating on the high, evaluation and options under that, and a breakdown of how every sleep metric provides as much as your total rating. I’ve obtained some legitimately helpful info from Garmin Join, which I can’t say for a lot of different health merchandise I’ve used. One constructive remark informed me I exercised too late within the day, so my creativity and problem-solving could also be difficult on the next day. That’s precisely how I felt the following day. Kudos, Garmin.

If I had one grievance, Garmin’s sleep rating card is separate from the unique sleep rating card in Garmin Join. Thus, I’ve discovered myself digging round for the stats at instances, however I can’t say that’s the primary time I’ve had to do this in Garmin’s app.

Associated: The perfect health trackers available on the market

And eventually, listed here are a handful of different Garmin Venu 2 options which have returned and primarily gone unchanged from the unique Venu:

  • Incident detection and help: Like most up-to-date Garmin watches, the Venu 2 can notify your emergency contacts if one thing occurs to you throughout your exercise. The watch can ship your identify and placement to your emergency contacts if it senses an incident. You too can set off the characteristic manually in case you really feel such as you’re in hassle and have to contact somebody.
  • Girls’s well being options: I couldn’t check Garmin’s menstrual cycle monitoring or being pregnant monitoring options. There aren’t any new updates to report on the Venu 2.
  • Hydration monitoring: You’ll be able to monitor your hydration ranges on the watch and in Garmin Join. I have to say I don’t recurrently use this characteristic as a result of I do know I drink sufficient water all through the day, but it surely is useful for many who want to enhance their water consumption.
  • VO2 max: I’ve at all times had constant VO2 max numbers on Garmin units, and the Venu 2 is not any completely different.
  • All-day stress monitoring: Stress monitoring is one other excessive level for the Venu 2. Your stress all through the day is mirrored on the watch and in Garmin Join. The app supplies brief and candy summaries of every day’s stress ranges that will help you extra properly plan out your day. For the primary time ever, I obtained a “excessive stress degree” alert after I was in line to get my COVID-19 vaccine at Walgreens.

Smartwatch options: Up to date for 2021

garmin venu 2 review glances body battery pulse ox stress

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Our essential grievance with the unique Venu was that Garmin didn’t do sufficient to make the most of that lovely OLED display screen. That has been utterly fastened with the Venu 2.

The smartwatch has an all-new interface, full with enjoyable animations on the boot display screen and new animated watch faces. The checklist of widget glances is now way more colourful. Every one has a neon define to assist stand out on the darkish background. Nearly each perform of the watch now has a splash of shade. It’s refreshing.

Associated: The perfect smartwatches you should purchase

I want to notice that my Garmin Venu 2 overview unit was working pre-release software program, so animations have been janky at instances. Garmin assures me this can be fastened by the point units ship to early patrons. The watch’s total efficiency was effective. Utilizing the Venu 2 isn’t almost as clean as utilizing one thing like an Apple Watch. Efficiency is in keeping with what you’d expertise on a Fitbit smartwatch.

garmin venu 2 review body battery

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Garmin is using the touchscreen in a greater means. On the unique Venu, tapping on an information web page like coronary heart price or sleep would pull up a primary seven-day graph of your stats. It wasn’t all that simple to learn on the watch. On the Venu 2, there’s now a extra detailed graph that scrolls from left to proper, permitting you to see your each day stats way more clearly than earlier than. It’s a small change, however an necessary one for these of us who prefer to examine on our coronary heart price or stress graphs all through the day.

The Venu 2’s software program is a big enchancment over the past era.

The Venu 2 can present your incoming smartphone notifications for each Android and iOS customers. You’ll be able to reply to texts by way of canned responses on Android, however that performance isn’t obtainable for iOS units. Garmin Pay can be obtainable on all Venu 2 fashions.

There are a good quantity of third-party apps and watch faces obtainable for the Venu 2. The checklist is a bit of small proper now, although there are some. Fortunately, Garmin has a thriving developer group, so I count on the variety of third-party choices to skyrocket as soon as extra folks get their wrists on the watch.

garmin venu 2 review spotify music playing

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Garmin continues to be one of many leaders in on-device music choices. It helps offline Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, iHeartRadio, and native music recordsdata in case you don’t thoughts manually transferring them to your watch. Music storage on the Venu 2 has been elevated from 500 songs to 650 songs.

Headphone connectivity has been fairly spotty for me, though that is one other subject Garmin says can be fastened. I’m certain I don’t want to inform Garmin customers that my Jaybird Vistas have been appearing up currently, however I’ve had hassle maintaining them related all through the whole thing of my exercises. I’ve paired a number of different earbuds to the watch, and connectivity seems to be effective.


Garmin Venu 2 specs

  Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S
Show Venu 2:
1.3-inch AMOLED
416 x 416 decision

Venu 2S:
1.1-inch AMOLED
360 x 360 decision

Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Dimensions and weight Venu 2:
45.4 x 45.4 x 12.2mm
22mm band
49g

Venu 2S:
40.4 x 40.4 x 12.1mm
18mm band
38.2g

Construct supplies Chrome steel bezel and {hardware}
Silicone band
Battery Venu 2:
Fast charging
As much as 11 days in smartwatch mode
As much as 8 hours in GPS mode + music

Venu 2S:
Fast charging
As much as 10 days in smartwatch mode
As much as 7 hours in GPS mode + music

IP score 5ATM
Sensors Garmin Elevate coronary heart price sensor
GPS
GLONASS
Galileo
Barometric altimeter
Compass
Gyroscope
Accelerometer
Thermometer
Ambient gentle sensor
Pulse ox blood oxygen saturation monitor
Connectivity Bluetooth
ANT+
Wi-Fi
Storage Music: As much as 650 songs
Exercise knowledge: 200 hours
Compatibility Android, iOS
Garmin Pay Sure
Smartwatch options Join IQ-compatible
Smartphone notifications
Textual content response/reject cellphone name with textual content (Android solely)
Controls smartphone music
Performs and controls smartwatch music
Discover my cellphone/discover my watch
Incident Detection
LiveTrack
Colours Venu 2:
Silver bezel with Granite Blue case, Slate bezel with Black case

Venu 2S:
Slate bezel with Graphite case, Mild Gold bezel with Mild Sand case, Silver bezel with Mist Gray case, Rose Gold bezel with White case


Worth and competitors

Garmin Venu 2 Garmin’s new mid-range multisport watch

For those who appreciated the unique Garmin Venu, you are in for a deal with with the Venu 2. It is available in two sizes, has numerous new options, and refines lots of Garmin’s present well being monitoring modes to make an all-around extra complete wearable.

As talked about, the Venu 2 prices $400, simply because the Venu did at launch. I don’t assume it is a very aggressive value for the watch, however in Garmin’s protection, this is likely one of the most complete wearables the corporate has ever offered. Nevertheless, Garmin units often go on sale throughout main retail holidays. If the $400 price ticket is an excessive amount of for you, contemplate ready till Black Friday/Cyber Monday for the watch to drop in value.

The Apple Watch Sequence 6 is an apparent competitor to the Garmin Venu 2. Each are the same price, however the Apple Watch notably solely works with iPhones. Whereas the Apple Watch has the Venu 2 beat in smartwatch options, the Venu 2 tracks extra well being and health stats and is likely to be the higher choose for many who worth efficiency knowledge.

Extra: The perfect smartwatch offers we may discover

For those who’re on Android, the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 are additionally good, inexpensive Venu 2 opponents. They each include onboard voice assistants and monitor most of the similar metrics, though you may dig deeper into your knowledge on the Venu 2. The Sense and Versa 3 will be bought for $330 and $230, respectively.

For those who’re extra into Samsung’s ecosystem, the Galaxy Watch 3 also needs to be in your shortlist of Venu 2 options. It’s not the most effective for sports activities monitoring, however it would greater than suffice for the fundamentals. It’s additionally a reasonably good smartwatch. The Galaxy Watch 3 is offered for $430.

I’d even be remiss if I didn’t carry up older Garmin units. You will get a variety of these options on the unique Garmin Venu or Vivoactive 4. We’re additionally nonetheless ready for affirmation from Garmin as to which Venu 2 options can be coming to older units, so there’s an opportunity you’ll have the ability to choose up one other Garmin watch with a few of these options sooner or later.


Garmin Venu 2 overview: The decision

garmin venu 2 review glances steps calories

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Garmin Venu 2 is little question a worthy successor to the unique Venu. It improves almost each grievance we had, save for the excessive price ticket. However you recognize what? I feel lots of people will gravitate in direction of this watch.

On the high of this overview, I stated that is Garmin’s most approachable smartwatch. The AMOLED show is a well-known characteristic in fashionable smartwatches, and Garmin has lastly up to date its software program to actually shine on that display screen. Throw in distinctive options like Well being Snapshot and Physique Battery, and you’ve got your self a well-rounded wearable.

The Garmin Venu 2 is a well-rounded smartwatch that I do not need to take off my wrist.

In fact, some issues want enhancing. The center price sensor isn’t fairly there but, and I’d actually prefer to see Garmin give attention to much more smartwatch options sooner or later — particularly if it’s attempting to courtroom Put on OS/Apple Watch/Galaxy Watch customers on the lookout for an alternate.

What do you think?

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