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Should You Buy the Garmin Venu 2/2S Smartwatch? | Review

A Review of the Garmin Venu 2/2S and Why We Recommend This Smartwatch

Should you buy the Venu 2 or 2S fitness smartwatch? We let Chase the Summit borrow 2 of these awesome Garmin watches in order to get a trail and ultra runner's point of view on them (check it out in the video on this page!). In this article, we hit on the talking points of this review that focuses on what's new in this next-gen Venu watch and then elaborate about this Garmin watch that closes the gap between durable sport watch and sleek smartwatch.

If striking a balance between a gorgeous smartwatch and a dedicated sport wearable sounds like you, bounce over to the PlayBetter store and check out our Venu 2/2S options. We can have one on your wrist in 2 days with free shipping. We also have free 60-day returns if it's not the wearable for you. You don't have to explain—it's none of our business!

Garmin Venu 2/2S Multisport Watch Features

Smartwatch Features

Both the Venu 2 and Venu 2S keep you connected, offering smart notification, safety and tracking, Garmin Pay™, and features music.

Fitness Tracking Features

The Venu 2/2S sport watches include fitness tracking, preloaded workouts, built-in sports apps, Garmin Coach, and more for a smarter way to keep track of your fitness level and get a better time on that post-work run!

Health Tracking Features

The Venu 2 Garmin fitness watches have premium health monitoring features like Body Battery™, Pulse Ox, women's health, wrist-based heart monitoring, sleep tracking, and more!

Display Size Options

Choose a larger screen size if you want it with the Venu 2 sport smartwatch that has a vibrant 1.3" AMOLED touchscreen!

New Features, Updated Technology

Venu 2/2S is loaded with updates and new features like Garmin's new Elevate 4.0 sensor to keep track of your heart rate, several new sports modes and 2 new widgets: Fitness Age and Health Snapshot!

More Music Storage!

Garmin's next-generation in the Venu lineup features music galore, giving you 150 more songs. Have a subscription to Spotify, Amazon, or Deezer? Download your playlists and go phone free!

More Battery Life!

Get twice as much battery (in smartwatch mode) with the Venu 2 and Venu 2S models.

Venu 2/2S Chase the Summit Review Summary

The Garmin Venu 2 review with our partner at Chase the Summit gets right down into the upgrades so you can see how this newest lineup differs from the original Venu smartwatch. Here are the main talking points:

If you're the active type who runs, cycles, or hikes but doesn't do anything too extreme like marathons or triathlons, then Garmin created the Venu lineup for your wrist.

Starting with hardware, the Venu 2 is slightly larger than the original Venu fitness smartwatch—1.3" (33.0 mm) diameter and the Venu 2S is smaller than its predecessor—1.1" (27.9 mm) diameter; both are about the same thickness.

Both watches are very lightweight (Venu 2S: 38g and Venu 2: 48g) and won't weigh down your wrist whether you're on a run on running the kids to practice. So, you have a larger and smaller option in this multisport watch lineup. Display size is really the main difference between them, along with battery life (coming up!).

Chase the Summit observed that both watches are premium looking, like the original Venu, with stainless steel bezels, plastic cases, and tactile buttons.

Both come with a Gorilla Glass display—not completely scratch proof but definitely scratch resistant.

Both watches are water rated at 50 meters, which means you can go swimming with them.

The Venu 2/2S fitness watches feature the brand new Garmin heart rate sensor called the Elevate 4.0. Chase the Summit found the Venu 2 heart rate monitor to be very accurate after taking it out on several runs along with the Garmin fenix 6S and the Polar H9 chest strap. Notably, the Venu 2 kept up with the chest strap better than the fenix!

The review also found the Venu 2 Pulse Ox blood oxygen saturation sensor to be more accurate as well due to the new Elevate 4.0 sensor.

The Venu 2 and 2S feature the bright and colorful AMOLED display. According the Chase the Summit:

"The display is very fluid, the colors are amazing; it's very vibrant and punchy; the blacks are black and the whites are very white."

They're easy to read in sunlight, although in very bright sunlight, they can be a little tricky to read unless you set the backlight to high, which can drain the battery quicker. You can choose from 3 brightness setting on the Venu 2/2S.

The user interface on the Garmin Venu 2 and 2S is almost entirely touch-based. It's super-responsive with really no delay.

Improved workout animations and live watch faces are cool, fun upgrades.

Garmin is now calling "widgets" "glances", which you can access by swiping up or down.

The review looks at the Garmin's new sleep widget on the Venu 2/2S. It's a whole new way of calculating the sleep you get with an entirely new algorithm that's based inside the watch instead of being up in the cloud. Chase the Summit noticed that this new sleep feature (also available in the fenix 6) is more accurate than other devices.

Music storage has been improved on the Venu 2 series. Now you can have up to 750 offline songs on the watch itself (150 more than the original Venu) without needing your phone with you.

There are 25 activities to track with the new Venu 2/2S Garmin fitness trackers, some basic, like running and cycling, and some more niche, like skiing and snowboarding.

One new feature exclusive to the Venu 2 is Health Snapshot. It will give you a snapshot of your health and fitness at a given point, on a given day. Tracks stress level, heart rate, respiration rate, and blood oxygen saturation while you sit still for 2 minutes. The snapshots are stored so that you can compare your health snapshot with different days and activities.

A huge upgrade on the Garmin 2 and 2S is the battery life. The original Venu could get up to 5 days in smartwatch mode only, around 20 hours in GPS mode, and about 5 hours with GPS and music combined. The Garmin Venu 2 can get up to 11 days in smartwatch mode, 22 hours in GPS, and 8 hours in GPS + music. And there's only a slight difference in the Venu 2S with up to 10 days in smartwatch mode, 20 hours in GPS, and 7 hours in GPS + music.

Chase the Summit found the Venu 2/2S GPS accuracy to be similar to other Garmin watches. On several runs with with various other devices, the Venu 2/2S GPS tracking held its own.

As for price, the Garmin Venu 2/2S both cost $399.99 compared to the original Venu price of $349.99. What does that extra $50 get you? In a nutshell, you get much longer battery life, the new and improved Elevate 4.0 heart rate sensor, a few more software features like Health Snapshot and the new sleep-tracking widget, and more music storage on the watch itself.

According to Chase the Summit, when you lay it out like that—the Garmin Venu 2 and 2S make a lot of sense for the price!

Why We Love This Garmin Watch

We love all our Garmin Watches, but the Venu 2 is a favorite in our collection for many reasons, several of which were cited in the Chase the Summit review. They are great day-to-day watches that cover a wide variety of activities.
If you are more adventurous and are looking to plan, plot, and track your training and performance, you might want to look into a Garmin fenix 6, the more compact fenix 6S, or the larger fenix 6X multisport watches. Or if you're a runner, take a jog through this article on the Forerunner running watch lineup!
Here's why we love the Venu 2/2S smartwatches:

Features That Make the Venu 2/2S Stand Out:

  • Display Size Options — Want a larger, bright AMOLED display on your wrist? Opt for the 1.3" Venu 2. For a more classic look or for smaller wrists, the Venu 2S offers a 1.1" display. AMOLED displays allow for more control over each pixel, resulting in richer blacks and power economy in darker watch faces. Viewing angles are better too, which is just one of the reasons this next-generation Garmin fitness tracker is marketed for active lifestyles.

  • Advanced Health Monitoring Features — The new Health Snapshot widget allows you to log a 2-minute session to record key stats, including heart rate, heart rate variability, Pulse Ox, respiration, and stress. Generate a report with those stats via the Garmin Connect app to share with your doctor, trainer, or friends. You also get the latest update of the Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor, which has improved the sleep tracking function. While both the Venu 2 and Versa 3 offer women's health tracking features, the Garmin Venu 2 series allows you to track and log for pregnancy as well as your menstrual cycle.

  • Advanced Training/Workout Features — Easy-to-follow, animated cardio, strength, yoga, Pilates, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts come preloaded on the Venu 2/2S, and you can download more from the Garmin Connect app. This multisport GPS watch also has added sport modes and advanced strength training and workout profiles. Additionally, Garmin has included the new Fitness Age widget in the Venu 2 series, which reinterprets your VO2 Max score in terms of age to make it more relatable to how you are training.

  • Battery Life — The Venu 2 gets up to 11 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, up to 12 days in battery saver smartwatch mode, up to 8 hours in GPS mode with music, and up to 22 hours GPS mode without music. The Venu 2S has up to 10 days in smartwatch mode, up to 11 days in battery saver smartwatch mode, up to 7 hours in GPS mode with music, and up to 19 hours GPS mode without music.

  • Safety Features — Get LiveTrack and built-in incident detection (with select outdoor activities), so your live location can be sent to your contacts manually or automatically for assistance.

Other Garmin Venu 2/2S Features:

  • Body Battery™ energy monitoring
  • Pulse Ox Sensor
  • Stress Tracking
  • Hydration Tracking
  • Wrist-Based Heart Rate
  • Respiration Tracking
  • Sleep Score and Advanced Sleep Monitoring
  • Mindful Breathing
  • Built-in Sports Apps
  • Create Workouts
  • Garmin Coach
  • Intensity Minutes
  • Smart Notifications
  • Music (store up to 650 songs)
  • Garmin Pay
  • Connect IQ™
  • Sync with Garmin Connect

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Pre-Order Today!

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