The new Garmin Venu has a brilliant display and long battery life. Offering a host of fitness tracking features, this is one of the best all-rounders we’ve seen for a while. Similarly, if you’re a sporty person, you won’t be disappointed by the sports apps in the library, either.
In September 2020 Garmin launched the Venu Sq which new and updated square version of this watch. This is a bright 1.3″ display with 20 different sports mode to track and lots of health monitoring features. Battery life is 6 days and the quality is what you would expect from Garmin. A music version is also available for slightly more.
Recent;y, in April 2021, Garmin have also introduced the Venu 2. See our full review of the Garmin Venu 2 here.
Garmin Venu price and release date
The Garmin Venu was launched in September 2019, so you’re able to buy it now. The Garmin Venu Sq was launched in September 2020 and is available online.
The original Venu comes in different color choices for those in the US. Firstly, black with slate hardware, and then blue with silver, black with gold or light sand and rose gold. The new Sq comes in 7 different colors depending on the model.
Garmin Venu Design
The round case is 43.2mm by 12.4mm. The Venu Sq has a 1.3″ screen.
It has a water-resistance of 5ATM. Therefore it’ll work fine, even in heavy rain and also perfect for swimming.
It’s lightweight at 46.3g
The Garmin Venue is a subtle device considering it’s a fitness tracker and a good-looking timepiece at the same time. Its grooved stainless steel band sits around the bezel. There’s a circular polymer body which is reminiscent of the popular Vivoactive 3. If you like a sporty-looking watch with smart features, you’ll certainly love this. Women who fancy Garmin could look at some of these alternatives as well.
Some feel it makes more of a statement of style than the Apple Watch. Additionally, it’s bolder than the Suunto 7, too. For example, you could easily slip into the office from the gym with the Venu and no one would think your watch was out of place in either setting. The slim 12.44mm depth means it’ll happily sit under your sleeve. Furthermore, the band has a quick-release catch which means you can swap your 20mm strap to suit the occasion, should you choose.
The metal ring surrounding the case certainly adds a premium feel. The polymer is what makes the Venu a featherweight. Therefore, all day wear is unlikely to cause you any wrist ache.
However, differing from the Vivoactive 4, the Venu comes in one size only. Some think that’s restrictive. However, with a 43mm face it’s a great balance of case dimension and screen size. If you’ve got a smaller wrist, it won’t take up too much real estate.
Screen, interface and controls
1.2 inch display with 390 x 390 AMOLED touchscreen. 1.3 inch on the square version (Sq)
The Venu offers customisable watch faces, a widget list and home screen shortcuts. The screen is something of beauty. Vibrant and bold, it has a wonderful user experience compared to other Garmin devices. Your colours are deep and vivid, which means it’s easy to read in all lighting conditions.
The watch faces are just as crisp, thanks to the 390 x 390 pixel resolution. This puts the Venu up against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, Fossil Gen 5 and Apple Watch Series 5. The display has a minimalist vibe and boasts the popular always-on feature.
The software on board is intuitive to use. Widgets are displayed vertically in a list and you access them by swiping up or down on your home screen. The experience is pretty seamless.
Control your music with the Garmin Venu. Simply swipe across and up.
If you press and hold the top button you’ll be presented with an array of icons, which you can customise. Things like Garmin Pay, music and brightness. Conversely, if you hold the bottom button you’ll dive deeper into the settings for more customisable options.
Garmin Venu performance and fitness tracking
Smart features aside, the Venu is a comprehensive sports watch. As you’ve come to love about Garmin, there are multi-sport options. You can load these onto your device. Aside from the usual running, cardio, strength training, swimming and golf you can pick a host of other sports including rowing.
Keen runners can benefit from Garmin’s Coach, a guided program to help you reach your goals. Gym bunnies can tell the Venu to count reps.
The Venu has a decent set of sensors on board. GPS, GALILEO and GLONASS, for starters. Signal is picked up quickly with little lag. Routes are reliably presented, even in areas of dense woodland. Complimented by an on-board barometric altimeter, it’s great at recording elevation across terrains.
When it comes to more everyday tasks, the Venu will monitor this, too. There’s a pulse oximeter for blood oxygen level monitoring during exercise, sleep and rest. It’ll make note of your body’s responses to intense moments of stress or exertion.
Naturally, there’s a heart rate tracker. The HRM on the Venu is one of the best on the market.
Health and fitness features
What will the Venu do with that heart rate information? Other than tracking your exercise intensity, it’ll monitor your wellness. Based on your heart rate variability, it can estimate how many breaths you take per minute. This respiration rate can be seen in your Health Stats widget, alongside a 7 day average.
If needed, you can use this data to be guided through a breathing exercise. There’s a widget for it if needed.
Furthermore, the sleep tracking offers plenty of data for things like blood oxygen, respirator and heart rate during the night.
It’ll tell you how much water you lost during exercise. You can also manually tell the app how much water you’re drinking and with every sensor combined, it’ll tell you via Garmin’s Body Battery how much energy you have. Useful for knowing if you need to step it up or down with your exercise.
Beyond being a great fitness tracker, the Garmin Venu offers smart features too. Notifications and safety alerts, to start. You’ll also get offline music control, Garmin pay and an app library to choose from including watch faces.
It’s best if you pair your Venu with your smartphone, using the Garmin Connect app.
You don’t get a voice assistant with the Venu, but that might not be a dealbreaker for you.
Garmin has boasted strong battery life for some time. Whilst the Venu won’t offer you weeks at a time, it’ll happily last five days. This is monster compared to the 18 hours Apple has to offer. Be warned, though, if you put it into GPS mode and listen to music at the same time, the battery will last only 6 hours. As with any smart or sports watch, it all depends on how you’re using it and for how long.
The Garmin Venu is primarily a sports watch with some smart features second. It’s definitely one of the best you can buy if your priority is health and fitness.
The addition of the AMOLED display is a welcome change as it offers a host of sports modes which will benefit from better readability.
If you have the Garmin Venu, let us know in the comments what you like best about it
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