The Garmin Venu and its successor the Garmin Venu 2 look similar at first glance, but there are a few key differences to consider when deciding which one is right for you.

These are 2 of the best free Garmin watches, and both offer a good mix of everyday smartwatch features and advanced fitness tracking, as well as a vivid AMOLED screen. However, while the original Venu is only available in one size, the Venu two offers 2 options, including a 40mm model that is a good option for small wrists.

When it comes to physical appearance, the new Garmin Venu 2 performs better of the 2, putting more information on your wrist. It lets you take a 2-minute health snapshot at any time, includes women's health tracking, and displays charts of "muscle maps" that show the major muscle sets you have trained and help you plan your next session. It also introduces multiple new dressage tracking modes, including dedicated options for backcountry, climbing, and bouldering. If you like outdoor activities, this should be your first choice.

However, there is a cost difference to estimate. The Venu 2 is more expensive than the original VenuYou'll often find the older watch at a discount from outside retailers, making it even better value for money.

Read on to know each and every one of the most essential differences, in order to so that you can choose the Venu that is right for you.

The best deals of the day on Garmin Venu and Garmin Venu 2

 

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Premio

  • Garmin Venu 2 somewhat more expensive at launch.
  • Garmin Venu is frequently offered to third-party resellers.

The Garmin Venu was launched in the month of September 2019 and was priced at $349.99 / €329.99 / AU$649. It is often available at a discount from third-party retailers like Amazon, and we're likely to see some great deals on Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday if you're willing to wait that long.

The Garmin Venu 2 was released in April 2021, priced at $399.99 / €349.99 / AU$629 for 40mm and 45mm case sizes.

Design

  • Very similar design.
  • Same materials.
  • Venu 2 is available in 2 sizes.

The original Garmin Venu is only available in a single case size (43,2mm), while the Venu 2 is available in 40mm and 45mm versions.. The smaller model is known as the Garmin Venu 2S and is a good option for smaller wrists.

The casings of both devices are made of fiber-reinforced polymer, with an elegant stainless steel bezel. Standard wristbands are silicone, but wristbands made from other materials can be purchased separately if you want a different look.

(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin Venu vs Garmin Venu 2: Find your perfect fitness smartwatch 1

Both devices are controlled via a touch screen, plus two physical buttons on the right edge. The lower of these is for navigating backwards through menus, while the upper one is context-sensitive depending on the app or widget you're using. Your current role will be indicated by a small icon on the screen.

The choice of box sizes implies a small variation in weight. The Garmin Venu weighs 46,3g, the Venu 2 49g, the Venu 2S 38,2g.

Monitor

  • Both watches have AMOLED screens.
  • All screens are in high resolution.
  • Only Venu 2 has always on mode.

Both the Garmin Venu and Garmin Venu 2 have AMOLED screens, which are bright and vivid in all lighting conditions, but only the Venu 2 has an always-on feature that makes it easy to see stats at a glance (at the cost of poor battery life).

Whichever watch you choose, the pixel density is roughly the same. The original Venu's screen measures 30,4mm and has a resolution of 390 x 390 pixels. The Venu 2's 45mm screen measures 33mm, with a resolution of 416 x 416 pixels, while the Venu 2S 40mm has a 27,9mm screen, with a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels.

Garmin Venus 2

Garmin Venu 2S (Image credit: Garmin)

The amount of data that can be displayed on the screen at the same time is limited by the size of the screen, but all three options are clear and sharp.

Battery duration

  • Venu 2 has a much longer battery life than the original Venu.
  • Venu 2 has an optional battery saving mode.
  • The Venu 2S has a slightly shorter battery life than the larger Venu 2.

The Garmin Venu 2 has a much more impressive range than the original Venu. It also has a new battery saving mode that allows you to go even longer between charges while sacrificing some of the watch's more advanced features.

The original Venu can run for up to five days in smartwatch mode and up to six hours in GPS mode with music.

Garmin Venu

Garmin Venu (Image credit: Garmin)

The Venu 2 lasts up to 11 days in smartwatch mode, which can be extended up to 12 days in battery saver mode. It can work up to eight hours in GPS mode with music and up to 22 hours in GPS mode without music.

The Venu 2S has a slightly smaller battery than the full-size version. It can work for up to 10 days in smartwatch mode or up to 11 days with battery saver enabled. You can train with GPS mode and music for up to seven hours, or up to 19 hours with GPS alone.

Smart watch functions

  • Both apps support Garmin Connect IQ.
  • Venu two has much more music storage space.

Garmin Venu and Venu 2 are compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and allow you to download additional apps and view faces through the Garmin Connect IQ store.

You can receive a smartphone app, call and text message notifications on any watch, and Android device owners can also send SMS responses or reject calls with an SMS response (especially handy during training).

Garmin Venu

Garmin Venu 2S (Image credit: Garmin)

The Garmin Venu and Venu 2 have internal storage for music, but the Venu 2 has a much higher capacity. The original Venu can store up to 500 songs and the Venu 2 can store up to 2000.. You can control your phone's music player from the watch or stream songs from Amazon Music or Deezer after installing the appropriate app through Garmin Connect IQ.

Both devices allow you to make contactless payments via NFC (as long as your bank is one of those supported).

Fitness tracking

  • Venu 2 offers additional outdoor training modes.
  • Venu 2 has "muscle maps" for training.
  • Venu 2 improved menstrual tracking.

Garmin Venu and Garmin Venu 2 offer a similar range of training tracking modes, but the Venu 2 also includes dedicated modes for hiking, climbing, and bouldering.

The Venu 2 also includes "muscle map" graphics, which show you the main muscle groups you've worked on and help you plan your next session. Both also support downloadable training plans as well as customizable workouts.

Both Venu and Venu 2 are ANT+ compatible, allowing you to sync data with additional sensors, such as chest strap heart rate monitors or cycling power meters. They are also compatible golf watches when the Garmin Golf app is installed on your phone.

Garmin Venu 2S

(Image credit: Garmin)

As for training safety, both watches offer Livetrack so a friend or family member can track your progress via GPS., as well as incident detection, which will send a message to an emergency contact with your GPS position if it detects a fall and you do not cancel the alert.

Owners of any Garmin device can track your menstrual cycle through the Garmin Connect app, but the Venu 2 allows you to enter symptoms on the device through a widget free option through the activities menu. This is even more detailed than the women-focused tool available on Garmin Lily.

Both watches have all-day stress tracking, but the Garmin Venu 2 also allows you to take a "health snapshot" anytime you want.. Simply select the option on the watch face, then sit still for 2 minutes, and the device will capture stats including your average heart rate, stress level, and breathing rate.

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