There’s a lot to like, about the Garmin Venu 2, if you’re looking for a fitness focused smartwatch, so let’s dive in and see what it can do.
Hi, I’m Lexi and I’ve been wearing the Garmin Venu 2 for close to two weeks, to really put it through its paces.
Now I’ve done a range of different workouts.
To see how it performs not only as a fitness watch, but also as a smartwatch as well.
Now, as the name suggests, this is Darwin’s second generation venue.
And it now comes in two different sizes.
There is the 45 millimeter The dominant venue to and the 40 millimeter garment venue to S which is the one I’ve been wearing.
They’re pretty much identical apart from the difference in size and of course the strap sizes But they both cost the same amount, $400 which does put it squarely in the same boat as other smart watches such as the Apple watch series 6.
And even the Samsung galaxy watch 3. Now I think this is a great looking smart watch.
The Amelie touch screen is nice and bright And it really excels when you are doing a workout because of the black levels, which are really deep and the contrast is great so you can really see all your stats and metrics as you’re working out.
Now, I also think the screen itself is pretty easy to see in bright daylight when you have the maximum brightness turned on.
There is also an ambient light sensor as well and overall the responsiveness of the touchscreen Is Good.
It’s not as strong as something like the Apple Watch or the galaxy watch but it is an improvement over the original venue.
I also really like this design, I love a circular watch face.
And the design itself is super comfortable to wear all day and all night.
You’ll definitely be wearing it at night because it does do sleep tracking as well and the battery lasts a very long time which we will talk about in a little bit.
Now there are two side buttons that you can use to not only start and stop your workouts but also access some of the main menus and features and to see your daily workout metrics and overall health metrics, say like your steps and your resting heart rate, for example, plus your notifications, you can swipe up and down from the screen.
Now I don’t think the layout of the menus and particularly the health metrics.
Are as clean as I would like.
And just by that, I mean that previous Garmin watches have just been a little more simple on the iconography and text.
This watch seems like there is just a lot going on the screen.
And I think maybe it’s a little redundant to have both the symbol and the description of what the category is.
It would just be a little cleaner I think overall if it was just a symbol but that’s just my personal preference.
Now, one of the big reasons you are looking at buying a Garmin is for the health and fitness features.
And you will not be disappointed with the offerings here now.
There’s what has over 25 different activity types to choose from to track your workouts on top of your standard running, walking.
Cycling and so on.
There are now a few new additions that the original venue did not have.
Those include profiles like hiking, indoor climbing bouldering and there are also some hit profiles with specific timers around things like amrap or as many rounds as possible.
The strength workouts also now show you what muscle groups.
Should be being worked during a particular exercise as well as animations to show you how to perform a move.
I think those are great for strength training noobs like me, just because I then know what muscles I should be targeting and also, potentially what should be thought the next day to indicate that I did it properly.
But one of the biggest strength of the Garmin watches for me during a workout is just how easy it is.
To customise those screens so you can really put the stats in the metrics that you want, front and centre.
So you don’t need to be scrolling through different pages.
If you know you only just want to see your heart rate, for example, And something else like your pace or distance on the screen, you can customize it.
I had no trouble with the GPS accuracy, I found that it locked on to a signal within five to ten seconds of being outside.
And when I checked it after the fact, I had no issues and it was recording as expected.
As for heart rate accuracy, I did test against a chest strap, which is the gold standard, and for both resting heart rate and for a low cardio workout, such as a walk, it was recording pretty accurately and I did find that the average heart rate at the end of my workout was pretty much the same.
Like other Garmin smartwatches, you get the body battery, which gives you an indication of whether or not perhaps you should push yourself a little harder today and go on that run.
Or you should take a rest day and just take it easy and I found that that was a really nice way to visually give me an idea of if I should push myself or not.
And I felt that it did correlate pretty well with how I was feeling in my body as well.
There is also now a health snapshot feature that takes a two minute reading from your wrist.
And that takes into account things like stress and your resting heart rate.
And then you can generate a report and perhaps share it with your doctor as well.
Now in terms of other features in terms of heart rate, you get high and low heart rate alerts.
But if you are looking for things like an ECG or an electrocardiogram, this is not your watch because there is no ECG on board.
And it is important to mention that this is not a medical device.
This is only to give you an idea of what might be going on inside your body.
There is also blood oxygen or Pulse ox readings on this watch.
And you can do it in a couple of different ways, either a spot reading during the day, as you want on demand during night as you sleep and also constantly monitoring throughout the day although you do those last two options.
You will expect a drop in battery life.
Garmin has always had a really good sleep tracking algorithm and the venue to is now adding to that with a sleep score.
This is something similar to what Fitbit offers.
It essentially gives you a score out of 100 in the morning after you wake up to show you how well you slept.
I personally just prefer having the you know, the stages of my sleep well documented, which this does well, but the sleep score might be valuable for you.
The venue too can also calculate your fitness age so it takes into account things like your vigorous activity levels, your body mass index, or body fat percentage if you’ve weighed against the scale as well as your resting heart rate.
And it lets you know how you compare to your actual age.
And it gives you some actionable items to take if you want to help reduce that.
It’s said that I could take off three and a half years from my fitness age.
So I will report back if I take those steps and somehow managed to reverse time, there’s also menstrual cycle tracking and pregnancy tracking.
And I really like the way overall that Garmin displays all of your health and wellness metrics within the Garmin Connect app.
It’s nicely laid out.
And it’s also really easy to interpret and see what all of these data points mean because There is a lot of data from this watch.
Let’s talk about some of the smart features on board.
First out, it has domande pay for NFC based contact was payments.
It also has music storage on board and you have support of apps like Spotify.
These are an also amazon music you can store up to 650 songs.
The one thing I would say is be aware of how much battery this consumes when you are transferring music over Wi Fi.
I did find when I was downloading playlists from Spotify It was about a playlist of about 40 songs it sucked away about 10% of my overall battery.
So just be aware of that, the venue too does not have a speaker so this means that it doesn’t have things like you might be interested in, in terms of smart features like a voice assistant or the ability to take quick calls from your wrist.
Also when you are paired to an iPhone, because This watch works across Android and iOS, you will only be able to see notifications come through from your phone, you will not be able to respond to text messages or notifications.
That is only something that you can do on Android.
And again, that’s a limitation of iOS with any wearable paired to it.
That’s not the Apple Watch, but on Android you to get more functionality.
Now there is also no LTE option, which is a little bit disappointing because it still means you do have to take your phone with you.
If you do want to be in contact with the outside world specifically, if you want to use garments live track feature, this is a nice safety feature that can essentially send a beacon to your safety context.
To let them know where you are during an outdoor workout if you want to do that and use that, you will have to take your phone.
Battery life is impressive.
Now the venue too does have a larger capacity battery than the venue to s But even so I still managed to get five full days out of the two s before I had to charge it.
And that took into account during two workouts every day one GPS base and one indoor base workout, as well as sleep tracking SPO two tracking at night and of course getting notifications from my phone.
If you want to use the always on display, then expect battery life to drop Significantly you’ll get around two to two and a half days of battery for you need to recharge.
Now Garmin does also claim that the smart much standby mode that you can put this in will net you up to 10 days of use on the two s and 11 days on the venue to
So all in all, I was really impressed with the venue to I think it has excellent health and fitness tracking features with just enough smart features to keep you interested.
But if you are looking for a true second screen, feel free, You know even a phone replacement when you are out on a workout, this probably won’t be the right fit for you.
Thanks for watching.
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You can also check out my full text review linked in the description below.
And if you have any more questions for me on the watch, feel free to leave me a comment.
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