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Garmin Venu 2 vs Venu – What’s Changed?

Garmin has recently released the Garmin Venu 2, which supersedes the original Venu. The new series comes in two different sizes 27.90mm diameter for the smaller Venu 2s and 33.0mm diameter for the Venu. They also come in new colours and are packaged with beefier processors alongside a range of new features. These models are available in Australia now:

https://www.ja-gps.com.au/Garmin/venu-2s-light-gold/ – Venu 2s

Venu 2s Models
Venu 2s Models

 

https://www.ja-gps.com.au/Garmin/venu-2-slate-black/ – Venu 2

Venu 2 Models

 

Who is this watch most suited to?

Garmin has designed this watch to be more of a style choice; it’s less of an athlete watch than the vivoactive or forerunner watches but is more powerful than the Garmin Lily range, for example.

Give me the highlights

As a super quick breakdown, all the significant changes are listed below:

Venu

Venu 2

 

Higher display resolution

Smartwatch Mode: Up to 5 days

GPS mode with Music: Up to 6 Hours

GPS mode without Music: Up to 20 hours

 

Smartwatch Mode: Up to 11 days

GPS mode with Music: Up to 8 hours

GPS mode without Music: Up to 22 hours

Battery Saver Smartwatch Mode: Up to 12 days

Up to 500 songs

Larger memory capacity for music (Up to 2000 songs)

Elevate V3 Optical Heart Rate

New Elevate V4 Optical Heart Rate

N/A (unless using the Garmin Connect app)

Fitness Age Estimate (24×7 Metrics + Garmin Index or BMI data)

N/A

HIIT workouts (animated workouts) includes Tabata, AMRAP, eMOM and custom timers

N/A

New Profiles for Hiking, HIIT, Indoor Climbing and Bouldering

N/A

 Rapid Charging Mode (10 minutes of charge = up to 1 day of smartwatch mode battery life)

 

The Venu 2 is not only a better smartwatch in every category to the previous generation. Its RRP is lower than the original Venu*. That said, you would likely be able to snag the older model on sale, and if the improved features aren’t significantly necessary to you, that might be the best fit.

*Correct as of 12/05/21

What’s different between the Venu 2 and the Venu 2s

The Venu 2s, like all of Garmin’s smartwatches, is the smaller version of the watch. The watch face is 40mm as opposed to the Venu 2 with a 45mm watch face.

 The most significant is the decrease in the battery life in the Venu 2s.

Venu 2s

Venu 2

Smartwatch mode: Up to 10 days

Smartwatch mode: Up to 11 days

GPS mode with music: Up to 7 hours

GPS mode with music: Up to 8 hours

GPS mode without music: Up to 19 hours

GPS mode without music: Up to 22 hours

Battery Saver Smartwatch Mode: Up to 11 days

Battery Saver Smartwatch Mode: Up to 12 days

The only other difference is that the Venu 2s can store up to 650 songs while the larger Venu stores up to 2000 songs.

Hardware Design

The Venu 2 and 2s come with an AMOLED display that allows the watch to be brighter and more vibrant alongside a much broader range of colours that the screen can display. As a direct comparison, most Garmin fitness watches only display a couple of colours as they don’t have the AMOLED capacity.

Venu 2s VS Vivoactive 4
Vivoactive 4 (Left) VS Venu 2s (Right)

The watch is a touchscreen hybrid allowing you to use the touchscreen or the two buttons on the side of the watch to navigate the interface. The touchscreen allows you to control most of the watch’s functions. The top button opens the activity menu enabling you to select the sport/activity your want to start quickly. The bottom will take you back to the previous menu/page you were on. You can also make a handy shortcut to a preferred widget by swiping to the right.

Both the Venu 2/2s watches are lightweight, coming in at 49g and 38.2g, respectively. This weight is only possible through the silicone bands used and the fibre-reinforced polymer case. The bezel itself is stainless steel, and the watch lens is Gorilla Glass 3, which is highly resistant to breaks. This style felt normal to me, but I can understand other users wanting a more substantial feeling watch with a metal case.

The rapid charging mode, a new feature for Garmin watches, is a pleasant addition as it can quickly get enough battery life for an activity. Ten minutes of charging is roughly equivalent to 1 day of battery life (smartwatch mode only) or an hour using the GPS functionality. I love this feature, as it almost removes the need to train without my watch if it’s dead.

The way music works on the Venu 2 is the same as every other Garmin watch, but if you’re not familiar, you can store offline playlists from Amazon, Deezer and Spotify (need premium accounts).

Smartwatch and Fitness features

The Venu might not be as fleshed out on fitness features as a Forerunner or Fenix model. However, it’s still got a substantial number of fitness activity features that will help you improve and monitor your performance.

Sleep Tracking

Garmin has stepped up their sleep tracking; the previous Venu didn’t benefit from Garmin’s acquisition of firsbeat, which improved the accuracy of sleep tracking and a more recent algorithm update that improves its classification of your sleep. It is better able to define when you’re in REM, Deep Sleep or Light Sleep. You can monitor your sleep performance breakdown on the watch or via Garmin Connect. Garmin also uses this information to baseline how much energy may have the following day to help you plan your exercise accordingly.

Sleep Tracking
Sleep Tracking Bar Graph
Sleep Tracking
Sleep Tracking Bar Graph

This is a breakdown of how I sleep. It will give you a score of your sleep performance and how long you were in each stage. Ideally, you want around 7-8 hours of sleep and 20%-25% of that to be within a REM cycle. Garmin takes all of this information and gives you a score and brief explanation of how you slept and what factors may have positively or negatively impacted it.

Body Battery

Another of my favourite features from Garmin watches the Body Battery. This gives you an idea of how much exercise/activities/stress has drained your battery (lousy sleep can also drain your battery) and much you gain back from periods of rest.

For many people, myself included, this widget is really a guide and might help inform you about factors that might have been stacking up that by themselves weren’t overly noticeable but are now causing you to feel consistently tired.

Fitness Age

A new feature for the Venu 2 is your ‘fitness age’ estimate. This widget uses information from all the 24/7 metrics running on the watch alongside your VO2 Max and activity performance to give you an idea of your fitness level. It tends to be pretty wild initially but becomes more accurate after a couple of weeks as it adjusts and sees more of your historical performance.

Sports Tracking

The Venu 2 has several different sports profiles; you have the main shapes and some new ones, including:

  • Running
    • Like most of the fitness features on the Venu 2, it has most of Garmin’s usual running features. Still, it is missing compatibility with advanced running sensors and advanced running metrics like PacePro. That said, the Venu is designed for a health-conscious user, not a serious athlete.
  • Golfing
    • The Venu 2 has all the main golfing features and can display golf course, but those need to be manually loaded onto the watch via Garmin Connect.
  • Gym Profiles
    • You have access to various training profiles and different workouts, including strength, yoga, cardio and more. The Venu 2 also now supports HIIT workouts (Tabata, AMRAP, eMOM and custom timers). It will also display your workout muscle maps to guide better what muscles you’re strengthening based on the chosen exercise.
  • Outdoor Profiles
    • The Venu 2 does many basic outdoor recreation profiles, but it’s not capable of a full navigation experience like the fenix 6.
  • Cycling
    • The cycling features for the Venu 2 are very similar to the running features. It has all the basic settings but is not compatible with advanced cycling metrics and sensors.
  • Swimming
    • The Venu 2 supports a Pool Swimming profile but not much beyond that.

Summary

Overall the Venu 2 is a solid addition to the Garmin fitness watch lineup. The Venu 2 is designed as a blend for smartwatch daily use and fitness functionality. It works best for users who are may or may not have a regular fitness regime but are health conscious. If you’re a serious athlete, though, this might not have enough of the advanced training functions, and you would be better off looking at a Forerunner series or even a fenix 6 if you want the best of both worlds.

Venu VS Venu SQ VS Venu 2s VS Venu 2

Maps & Memory Venu Venu Sq Music Venu 2S Venu 2
Lens Material Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
Bezel Material stainless steel Anodised aluminium Stainless steel Stainless steel
Case material fiber-reinforced polymer with polymer rear cover Fibre-reinforced polymer Fibre-reinforced polymer Fibre-reinforced polymer
Quick Release bands yes (20 mm, Industry standard) yes (20 mm, Industry standard) yes (18 mm, Industry standard) yes (22 mm, Industry standard)
Strap material silicone Silicone Silicone Silicone
Physical size 43.2 x 43.2 x 12.4 mm 40.6 x 37.0 x 11.5 mm 40.40 x 40.40 x 12.10 mm 45.40 x 45.40 x 12.20 mm
Fits wrists with a circumference of 125-190 mm Fits wrists with a circumference of 125-190 mm Fits wrists with a circumference of 110-175 mm Fits wrists with a circumference of 135-200 mm
Touchscreen Yes Yes Yes Yes
Color display Yes Yes Yes Yes
Display size 1.2″ (30.4mm) diameter 1.3″ (33.1 mm) diagonal 1.10″ (27.90 mm) diameter 1.30″ (33.0 mm) diameter
Display resolution 390 x 390 pixels 240 x 240 pixels 360 x 360 pixels 416 x 416 pixels
Display type AMOLED Liquid crystal AMOLED; optional always-on mode AMOLED; optional always-on mode
Optional always-on mode Optional always-on mode
Weight 46.3 g 37.6 g 38.20 g 49.0 g
Battery life Smartwatch mode: Up to 5 days Smartwatch mode: Up to 6 days Smartwatch mode: Up to 10 days Smartwatch mode: Up to 11 days
GPS mode with music: Up to 6 hours GPS mode with music: Up to 6 hours GPS mode with music: Up to 7 hours GPS mode with music: Up to 8 hours
GPS mode without music: Up to 20 hours GPS mode without music: Up to 14 hours GPS mode without music: Up to 19 hours GPS mode without music: Up to 22 hours
Battery Saver Smartwatch Mode: Up to 11 days Battery Saver Smartwatch Mode: Up to 12 days
Water rating 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM
Memory/History 200 hours of activity data 200 hours of activity data 200 hours of activity data 200 hours of activity data
Clock Features
Time/date Yes Yes Yes Yes
GPS Time Sync Yes Yes Yes Yes
Automatic daylight saving time Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alarm clock Yes Yes Yes Yes
Timer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stopwatch Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sunrise/sunset times Yes Yes Yes Yes
Health Monitoring
Wrist-based Heart Rate (constant, every second)
Daily Resting Heart Rate
Abnormal Heart Rate Alerts yes (high and low) yes (high and low) yes (high and low) yes (high and low)
Respiration rate (24×7)
Pulse Ox Blood Oxygen Saturation yes (spot-check, and optionally all-day and in sleep) yes (spot-check, and optionally all-day and in sleep) yes (spot-check, and optionally all-day and in sleep) yes (spot-check, and optionally all-day and in sleep)
Fitness Age App Only App Only Yes Yes
Body Battery™ Energy Monitor Yes Yes Yes Yes
All-day Stress Yes Yes Yes Yes
Relaxation reminders Yes Yes Yes Yes
Relaxation breathing timer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sleep Yes (Advanced) Yes (Advanced) Yes (Advanced) Yes (Advanced)
Sleep score and insights No No Yes Yes
Hydration Yes Yes Yes Yes
Woman’s Health Yes Yes Yes Yes
Health snapshot No No Yes Yes
Sensors
GPS Yes Yes Yes Yes
GLONASS Yes Yes Yes Yes
Galileo Yes Yes Yes Yes
Garmin Elevate™ wrist heart rate monitor Yes Yes Yes Yes
Barometric altimeter Yes No Yes Yes
Compass Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes No Yes Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Thermometer Yes Yes (with an optional accessory; sold separately) Yes Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pulse Ox Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor Yes Yes Yes Yes
Daily Smart Features
Connectivity Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi® Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi® Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi® Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
Connect IQ™ (downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Smart Notifications Yes Yes Yes Yes
Text response/reject phone call with text (Android™ only) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Calendar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weather Yes Yes Yes Yes
Controls smartphone music Yes Yes Yes Yes
Plays and controls watch music Yes Yes Yes Yes
Music storage up to 500 songs Up to 500 songs Up to 650 songs Up to 2,000 songs
Find My Phone Yes Yes Yes Yes
Find My Watch Yes Yes Yes Yes
Smartphone compatibility iPhone®, Android™ iPhone®, Android™ iPhone®, Android™ iPhone®, Android™
Pairs with Garmin Connect™ Mobile Yes Yes Yes Yes
Garmin Pay™ Yes Yes Yes Yes
Safety and Tracking Features
LiveTrack Yes Yes Yes Yes
Incident Detection during select activities Yes Yes Yes Yes
Assistance Yes Yes Yes Yes
Activity Tracking Features
Step counter Yes Yes Yes Yes
Move bar (displays on device after a period of inactivity; walk for a couple of minutes to reset it) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Calories burned Yes Yes Yes Yes
Floors climbed Yes No Yes Yes
Distance traveled Yes Yes Yes Yes
Intensity minutes Yes Yes Yes Yes
TrueUp™ Yes Yes Yes Yes
Move IQ™ Yes Yes Yes Yes
Garmin Connect™ Challenges app Yes (optional Connect IQ app) Yes (optional Connect IQ app) Yes Yes
Gym & Fitness Equipment
Available gym activity profiles Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing, Yoga, Pilates and Breathwork Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Indoor Rowing, Yoga, Pilates and Breathwork Strength, Cardio, HIIT and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing, Yoga, Pilates and Breathwork Strength, Cardio, HIIT and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing, Yoga, Pilates and Breathwork
Cardio workouts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Strength workouts Yes Yes Yes Yes
HIIT workouts No No Yes Yes
Yoga workouts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pilates workouts Yes Yes Yes Yes
On-screen workout animations Yes No Yes Yes
On-screen workout muscle maps No No Yes Yes
Automatic rep counting Yes Yes Yes Yes
Training, Planning and Analysis Features
HR zones Yes Yes Yes Yes
HR alerts Yes Yes Yes Yes
HR calories Yes Yes Yes Yes
% HR max Yes Yes Yes Yes
HR Broadcast (broadcasts HR data over ANT+™ to paired devices) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Respiration rate (during exercise) Yoga and Breathwork only Yoga and Breathwork only Yoga and Breathwork only Yoga and Breathwork only
GPS speed and distance Yes Yes Yes Yes
Customizable data pages Yes Yes Yes Yes
Customizable activity profiles Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto Pause® Yes Yes Yes Yes
Advanced workouts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Downloadable training plans Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto Lap® Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manual lap Yes Yes Yes Yes
VO2 Max (Run) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Touch and/or button lock Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto scroll Yes Yes Yes Yes
Activity history on watch Yes Yes Yes Yes
Physio TrueUp Yes Yes Yes Yes
Running Features
Available run profiles Running, Indoor Track Running, Treadmill Running Running, Indoor Track Running, Treadmill Running Running, Indoor Track Running, Treadmill Running Running, Indoor Track Running, Treadmill Running
GPS-based distance, time and pace Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cadence (provides real-time number of steps per minute) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Run workouts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Foot pod capable Yes Yes Yes Yes
Radar Features
Yardage to F/M/B (distance to front, middle and back of green) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yardage to layups/doglegs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Measures shot distance (calculates exact yardage for shots from anywhere on course) Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic
Digital scorecard Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stat tracking (strokes, putts per round, greens and fairways hit) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Garmin AutoShot™ Yes Yes Yes Yes
Green View with manual pin position Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hazards and course targets Yes Yes Yes Yes
PinPointer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Round timer/odometer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Automatic club tracking compatible (requires accessory) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Outdoor Recreation
Available outdoor recreation profiles Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing Hiking, Indoor Climbing, Bouldering, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing Hiking, Indoor Climbing, Bouldering, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing
Back to start Yes Yes Yes Yes
Total ascent/descent Yes No Yes Yes
Area calculation yes (via Connect IQ™) yes (via Connect IQ™) yes (via Connect IQ™) yes (via Connect IQ™)
Hunt/fish calendar yes (via Connect IQ™) yes (via Connect IQ™) yes (via Connect IQ™) yes (via Connect IQ™)
Sun and moon information yes (via Connect IQ™) yes (via Connect IQ™) yes (via Connect IQ™) yes (via Connect IQ™)
Cycling Features
Alerts (triggers alarm when you reach goals including time, distance, heart rate or calories) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Available cycling profiles Biking, Indoor Biking Biking, Indoor Biking Biking, Indoor Biking Biking, Indoor Biking
Compatible with Varia™ radar (rear-facing radar) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Compatible with Varia™ lights Yes Yes Yes Yes
Speed and cadence sensor support (w/sensor) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Swimming Features
Available swim profiles Pool Swimming Pool swimming Pool Swimming Pool Swimming
Pool swim metrics (lengths, distance, pace, stroke count, swim efficiency (SWOLF), calories) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stroke type detection (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly) (pool swim only) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Basic rest timer (up from 0) (pool swim only) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Time and distance alerts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Underwater wrist-based heart rate Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kid Activity Tracking Features
Toe-to-Toe™ Challenges app Yes (optional Connect IQ app) Yes (optional Connect IQ app) Yes (optional Connect IQ app) Yes (optional Connect IQ app)

FAQ

Which bands are compatible with the Venu 2/2s?

The Venu 2 is compatible with Garmin’s Quick Release 22m Bands – Click on the accessories tab on this page to see some band options.

The Venu 2s is compatible with Garmin’s Quick Release 18mm Bands – Click on the accessories tab on this page to see some band options.

Compatible Bluetooth earbuds for the Venu 2/2s?

The Garmin watch works with most Bluetooth earbuds though not all earbud functions may work like volume control, pause, skip. If you’re having issues pairing your earbuds to your watch, make sure your phone isn’t grabbing the connection first. Check that the headphones are updated to the latest software. Also, check that your Garmin watch is updated.

Can you answer calls with the Venu 2/2s?

You can accept a call on your watch if the watch is paired with an Android phone. You can also respond with basic text messages via the watch, also Android only.  The Venu 2/2s is not a cellular watch, so you cannot make phone calls just with the watch alone*

How to change the watch face on the Venu 2/2s?

Press the lower button to bring up the menu, and the watch face should be at the top.

How to change to Celsius on the Venu 2/2s?

Press the lower button on the Venu to bring up the menu, click the cog icon and then scroll to the units section. Once you click the units option, scroll down to the temperature options and select celsius.

What is the waterproof rating for the Venu 2/2s?

The Venu 2 has a waterproof rating of 5ATM which means it can withstand pressures equivalent to a depth of 50m.

My Barometric Altimeter Sensor is wrong?

If you’re having issues with your barometric altimeter accuracy, take a read of this blog tutorial to show you how to get the most out of your fitness watch.

What colours are available for the Venu 2/2s?

The Venu 2 currently has two available colour options, take a look at the 360-degree product video available here.

The Venu 2s currently has four available colour options, take a look at the 360-degree product video available here.

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