Garmin recently launched its first-ever smartwatch with AMOLED display at IFA 2019, the Venu. This stylish wearable shares all smarts and functionality with the Vivoactive 4, another new release launched at the same event.
However, a quick look at the two reveals the brighter, more colourful display of the Venu, a feature that will probably make some waves among tech-savvy fitness enthusiasts.
Despite the more battery-demanding display, Garmin decided to make a statement with an always-on mode and various customisation options.
Like all Garmin smartwatches, the Venu certainly offers an impressive range of sports and fitness tracking features, including sleep and continuous heart rate monitoring. It comes with built-in GPS and a wealth of preloaded sports profiles. Furthermore, the Venu even features the acclaimed Body Battery energy monitoring alongside other interesting functions.
This model will be released sometime this autumn, but perhaps you’d like to know if it’s worth the hype. Let’s find it out.
Garmin presented its latest wearables at IFA 2019, the Venu and the Vivoactive 4. Both are a progression of the Vivoactive lineup, and the only differentiating aspects between the two are display-driven.
The two smartwatches bring the various features of the separate editions of the Vivoactive line under the same umbrella.
Compared with the Vivoactive 3, the Venu comes with new offerings including music as standard, an always-on mode, live watch faces, new built-in workouts, and – obviously – the acclaimed AMOLED display.
Firstly, it packs all the features you could expect from a Garmin wearable and some more. This new release delivers smart notifications on the wrist and pairs with both iOS and Android devices.
A few improvements compared to the previous Garmin line is the music feature as standard. You can stream music from Spotify, iHeartRadio, Deezer, or Amazon Music, so you can listen to your favourite tunes even if you don’t have the smartphone around.
The AMOLED display certainly brings in the wow factor, delivering punchy colours and superb visibility in sunlight. The always-on mode is a surprising addition considering the energy-thirsty display involved, but you’ll still get satisfactory battery life.
Indeed, the always-on mode on the Venu boasts different settings, including a low-power mode, as well as night time settings that turn off the face during the ‘do not disturb’ hours you’ve configured.
In this mode, you can get up to 3 days of juice; however if you opt for a classic display mode, you can extend the runtime to about 5 days in smart mode.
Like the newest Garmin smartwatches, the Venu also incorporates the Garmin Pay app for seamless contactless payments.
A nice addition is the Safety and Tracking, this feature enables you to send your location to your contacts either manually or automatically as long as your wearable and smartphone are connected.
This wearable is not the brand’s sleekest smartwatch, but it’s not the ugliest either. It’s more stylish and smaller than many Garmin GPS watches, and its design combines a utilitarian nature with softer lines that make it look at home both at the gym and at the office.
An upgrade compared to the Vivoactive 3 is the presence of two navigation buttons instead of one. The touchscreen is also incredibly responsive and easy to use.
Designed to fit into any lifestyle, it comes with interchangeable silicone bands in various neutral colours. You can’t pick from fashionable metal or woven bands yet, but the future could surprise us considering that the model is not released yet.
Like most Garmin watches, the Venu is made to be worn 24/7. It features durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and is water-resistant to 5 ATM.
The Venu is hard to beat when it comes to fitness tracking. It incorporates all features you’d expect from a capable wearable, such as multi-sports profiles, constant heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring, and steps and calories count, however, the Venu has much more than the basics.
Likewise with other Garmin models, including the Vivosmart 4, the Venu impresses with the useful Body Battery that lets you monitor your energy levels. You can also keep your stress level under control and monitor your liquid intake to make sure you’re always hydrated – or that you didn’t drink too much on a Friday night out, that is.
Ladies deciding to wear this smartwatch benefit from a full menstrual cycle tracking feature where you can log your physical and emotional symptoms or learn about training and nutrition during this delicate period.
Yoga and breathing techniques dedicated to those who practice mindfulness meditation or oriental sports come as a fresh addition compared to previous Garmins.
Those who are not really into fitness but want to make a change for the better may also appreciate the preloaded animated workouts for Pilates, cardio, yoga, and strength training. Undeniably, a more versatile alternative compared to the Moov Now fitness tracker.
- All-round smart and sportswatch
- Always-on AMOLED display
- Easily visible in direct sunlight
- A wealth of preloaded sports profiles and workout demonstrations
- More features and apps available via Garmin Connect
- Integrated GPS
- Waterproof to 5 ATM
- Pricy compared to similar Garmin wearables
- Lame workout completion screen
|Garmin Venu||Garmin Vivoactive 4||Garmin Vivoactive 3||Apple Watch 4|
|Display||Corning Gorilla Glass 3||Corning Gorilla Glass 3||Corning Gorilla Glass 3||Sapphire crystal glass|
|Display type||AMOLED||Transreflective MIP||Transreflective MIP||LTPS OLED|
|Resolution||390 x 390 pixels||260 x 260 pixels||240 x 240 pixels||448 x 368 pixels|
|Size||43.2 x 43.2 x 12.4 mm||45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm||43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7 mm||44 x 38 x 10.7 mm|
|Weight||46.3 g||50.5 g||43 g||48 g|
|Water resistance||5 ATM||5 ATM||5 ATM||5 ATM|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi||Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi|
|Heart rate monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Battery life||Up to 5 days||Up to 8 days||Up to 7 days||Up to 18 hours|
In conclusion, the Garmin Venu presents itself as a versatile device. It promises a lot, and even though we couldn’t actually test it yet, we can easily imagine the functionality it packs. Finally, if you don’t care too much about aesthetics and a fancy display, you’ll get the same functionality at a lower price with the Vivoactive 4. But if you want a capable last generation sports smartwatch that looks good when paired with formal wear too, then the Venu is undeniably a more than inspired choice.