Garmin has continued their trend of ‘plus’ versions of their devices with the recent release of the Venu 2 Plus range. The ‘plus’ models are always an incremental upgrade on the device so expect some new features on the Venu 2 plus but not a complete hardware redesign.
There are three new models available the links below include all the new accessories that are compatible with these watches:
|Venu 2 Plus||Venu 2||Venu SQ||vivoactive 4|
|Fitness Age||Yes||Yes||yes (in app)||yes (in app)|
|Sleep score and insights||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Ambient light sensor||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Daily Smart Features|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®||Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®||Bluetooth®, ANT+®||Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®|
|Battery saver (customizable low power watch)||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Plays and controls watch music||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Music storage||Up to 650 songs||Up to 650 songs||No||up to 500 songs|
|Smartphone compatibility||iPhone®, Android™||iPhone®, Android™||iPhone®, Android™||iPhone®, Android™|
|Pairs with Garmin Golf app||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|BLUETOOTH phone calling and voice assistant support||Yes|
|Activity Tracking Features|
|Garmin Connect™ Challenges app||Yes||Yes||Yes (optional Connect IQ app)||Yes (optional Connect IQ app)|
|Gym & Fitness Equipment|
|Available gym activity profiles||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||Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Indoor Rowing, Yoga, Pilates and Breathwork||Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing, Yoga, Pilates and Breathwork|
|On-screen workout animations||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|On-screen workout muscle maps||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|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|
|Automatic club tracking compatible (requires accessory)||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Available outdoor recreation profiles||Hiking, Indoor Climbing, Bouldering, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing||Hiking, Indoor Climbing, Bouldering, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing||Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing||Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing|
|Available cycling profiles||Biking, Indoor Biking||Biking, Indoor Biking||Biking, Indoor Biking||Biking, Indoor Biking|
|Available swim profiles||Pool Swimming||Pool Swimming||Pool Swimming||Pool Swimming|
Breakdown of new features
The major new additions for the Venu 2 Plus are primarily centred around the new built-in mic and speaker, plus the 3rd customisable button on the bezel. The new mic and speaker allow you to do the following:
- Take and receive calls (with a compatible and paired smartphone) on the watch itself
- Use your phone’s voice assistant (Siri, Google or Bixby) to respond to messages, ask questions or control compatible smart home devices.
- Playback music on the watch speaker
- Incident detection can now make a call to your registered emergency contact.
This is a typical incremental update to our fitness watch from Garmin. They rarely add any significant new features on these models, instead updating and improving old features. The ‘smart’ features like interactivity with smart home assistants are very welcome, bringing the Garmin watches into the realm of modern smartwatches like Apple and Samsung. The speaker and microphone are realistically the only considerations to make with this new edition over the previous edition.
Health Monitoring Features for Venu 2 Plus
The Venu 2 Plus comes with the following sensors used to extrapolate that data into meaningful data you can interpret.
- Built-in optical Heart Rate Monitor
- Always-on tracking
- Pulse Ox (Blood Oxygen Saturation)
- Spot check, All-day or Sleep Tracking
- GPS/GLONASS/Galileo – GNSS position tracking
- Barometric Altimeter
- Elevation data – tracking inclines and declines for your activity
- Incident detection is used for some activity profiles like Golf
These sensors form the basis of all the data sent to your watch and your Garmin Connect App, which is then transformed into graphs/trends and gauges to let you know your current health status in varying aspects.
The Venu 2 will give you a health breakdown for the following:
- Heart Rate Tracking
- All-day Stress Tracking
- This comes with reminders to calm your breathing if your heart rate elevates significantly while sedentary. It won’t activate, for example, while you’re on a run where the varying heart rate is expected.
- Abnormal Heart rate alerts (high and low)
- Respiration Rate (24×7)
- Daily resting heart rate
- All-day Stress Tracking
- Hydration Tracking
- This is done manually
- Sleep Tracking
- Sleep breakdown of different stages of sleep – light, deep and REM. Based on how long you slept, it also explains your prior activities your sleep score. This will let you know if you’ve rested enough to recover or if you had a bad nights sleep and may need to ease off that day to recover.
Training and Activity features
The venu 2 plus has the usual step counter for your daily step goals. This goal increases or decreases with your performance to encourage you to keep pushing yourself within a reasonable expectation of your current health.
- Move bar reminds you to move every so often, great to remind you to get up and get blood pumping during a long day at the office. It honestly seems like a pretty basic feature now but I still always find it helpful.
The Heart Rate analysis on the Venu 2 Plus includes HR Zones, HR alerts, HR Calories and % HR Max. During running activities you can also check V02 Max performance.
It also has a built-in calories burned tracker based on your fitness activity. The barometric altimeter also allows you to track floors climbed.
Hardware, Design and Accessories
The Venu 2 Plus has Garmin’s standard range of fitness profiles for running, swimming, cycling, outdoor recreation and golfing. Check the‘ specs’ tab on this page for a full breakdown of what is included within those profiles.
As mentioned above, the Venu 2 plus watches also come with a design change with the third button that is fully customisable and the new built-in mic and speaker. This model also sits between the previous 2 sizes of the Venu 2 models at 43.6mm.
These watches come with a huge range of smart features including the ability to respond to incoming calls on your phone either via voice or preset text messages. You also have full control of your music either synced to your phone or downloaded directly onto the watch. You can talk to your chosen smart assistant through the watch as well to perform voice commands.