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:
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:
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)
HIIT workouts (animated workouts) includes Tabata, AMRAP, eMOM and custom timers
New Profiles for Hiking, HIIT, Indoor Climbing and Bouldering
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Venu 2 has several different sports profiles; you have the main shapes and some new ones, including:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Venu 2 supports a Pool Swimming profile but not much beyond that.
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)|
|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|
|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|
|GPS Time Sync||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic daylight saving time||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|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|
|Relaxation breathing timer||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sleep||Yes (Advanced)||Yes (Advanced)||Yes (Advanced)||Yes (Advanced)|
|Sleep score and insights||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Garmin Elevate™ wrist heart rate monitor||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|
|Text response/reject phone call with text (Android™ only)||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|
|Safety and Tracking Features|
|Incident Detection during select activities||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Activity Tracking Features|
|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|
|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|
|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 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|
|Downloadable training plans||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|VO2 Max (Run)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Touch and/or button lock||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Activity history on watch||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|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|
|Foot pod capable||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|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|
|Stat tracking (strokes, putts per round, greens and fairways hit)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Green View with manual pin position||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hazards and course targets||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic club tracking compatible (requires accessory)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|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|
|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™)|
|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|
|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)|
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?