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!