The Garmin Venu 2 crosses the line between smartwatch and running watch remarkably well, balancing essential daily wellness features with advanced workout tracking tools. We've only been testing it for a short time so far and will update this review with our full verdict and score soon, but our first impressions are positive.

Like many modern portable devices, the Venu 2 has a strong emphasis on wellness with tools including breathing exercises and all-day stress monitoring that reminds you to take care of your mental and physical health. It's not just a simple fitness tracker though, and it's packed with serious tools for monitoring a wide range of sports.

(Image credit: future)

Hands-on: Garmin Venu 2 review 1

Runners are particularly well looked after with built-in GPS with GLONASS compatibility for accurate speed and distance tracking, downloadable training plans (via Garmin Connect), auto pause, and split recording among the watch's many features. It's not as advanced as the Fenix ​​6 or Forerunner 945, which offer more advanced tools for managing training and live navigation, but it's a solid offering.

Gym enthusiasts are also well catered for; It is the first Garmin device to feature muscle map charts that help you plan workouts based on the training load of each major muscle group. Swimmers will benefit from underwater heart rate monitoring, stroke type detection, and pool measurements, and golfers will find the Venu 2 to perform as well as many specialty golf watches.

All of these fitness tools come on a super-sharp, high-resolution AMOLED screen that lets you view a large amount of data at once, without the need to visit the Garmin Connect app on your phone.

Garmin Venus 2

(Image credit: future)

We look forward to testing other Venu 2 tools in the coming days and giving you a full verdict and score once we have done so.

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Price and release date

The Garmin Venu 2 launched in April 2021 priced at €399.99 / €349.99 / €629 for 40mm and 45mm case sizes. That's a bit higher than the launch price of the original Garmin Venu when it debuted in 2020.

Garmin Venu 2 design

  • Similar to the original Venu
  • Choice of 44mm and 40mm case sizes
  • Bracelet, case and bezel color range

The Garmin Venu 2 looks a lot like its predecessor, with a classic design smart enough for daytime wear, yet practical enough for workouts. It's not revolutionary, but the new watch addresses one of our biggest complaints about the original Venu: its lack of different size options.

Garmin Venus 2

(Image credit: future)

The standard Venu 2 has a 44mm body and a 33mm screen, while the smaller Venu 2S (the version we're testing here) has a 40mm body and a 27,9mm screen. Both sizes feature a polymer case with a stainless steel bezel and silicone strap, and accept Garmin's standard 18mm straps, so you can swap out the standard strap for another leather or silicone option.

The 44 mm version is available in two colors: slate with a black case and granite blue with a matching case. They both have a silver-colored stainless steel bezel. The 2mm Venu 40S is available in four colors: graphite with a slate bezel, light sand with a light gold bezel, mist gray with a silver bezel, and white with a rose gold bezel.

Garmin Venus 2

(Image credit: future)

If you are in the United States, you can also choose to create a "custom" design, choosing and mixing straps and cases to create a combination that suits you.

The watch is controlled via a touch screen and two physical buttons on the right edge. The bottom of these serves as a back button, while the top right corner is context sensitive, with icons appearing on the screen to show what action you're about to take at any given time, in a similar way to the Garmin Dual Screen. instinct.

There are several good-looking watch faces to choose from, including a selection of options that animate when the watch wakes up (though there's also an always-on option if you don't mind the extra battery drain).

Garmin Venu 2 display

  • Vivid AMOLED display
  • High resolution for more details.
  • Static and animated dials

Like the original Garmin Venu, one of the Venu 2's most striking features is its vivid AMOLED touchscreen. This received a resolution update for 2021 and now contains 416 x 416 pixels for the 2mm Venu 44 and 360 x 360 pixels for the 2mm Venu 40S.

For comparison, the original 43,2mm Garmin Venu has a resolution of 390 x 390 pixels, and the display on the flagship Fenix ​​6 is just 240 x 240 pixels.

This pixel density means that graphics and text are crisp and clear, and it is possible to view graphics and graphics in great detail right on your wrist without consulting the smartphone app. The amount of data visible at a glance is very; If you want to see a graph of your heart rate or stress level throughout the day, or even the week, that's fine.

Smart watch functions

  • Detailed view of the app's calendar and notifications
  • Playing music from various sources
  • Third-party apps are a mixed bag

The Garmin Venu 2 is a well-designed smartwatch and its high-resolution display means you can view detailed information about the time of day, weather, app notifications, and more right on your wrist.

Garmin Venus 2

(Image credit: future)

The watch also includes an optional women's health tracker, which you can set as one of the shortcuts on your activity list. Surprisingly, it is more comprehensive than the tool included in Garmin Lily, with a wider selection of symptoms and moods to help you better understand your cycle.

We haven't thoroughly tested the media tools yet, but it is capable of playing music from your phone, a third-party app like Amazon Music or Spotify (available through Garmin Connect IQ), or from its own internal storage. While the original Venu could hold up to 500 songs, the Venu 2 has room for 650, which should give you plenty of options during long workouts.

The Garmin Connect IQ store is definitely not as feature-rich as Google Play or the App Store, and its content is a perfect mix. The best deals tend to focus on fitness and navigation (Google Maps, Komoot, and Stryd are great tools that really add to your watch's functionality), but the many basic timer apps and boring games aren't too impressive. .

Fitness tracking

  • Extremely accurate GPS
  • Detailed training metrics at a glance
  • Wide range of supported activities

The Garmin Venu 2 can track dozens of indoor and outdoor workouts, and during setup, you'll be prompted to choose a few of your favorites - a useful feature that eliminates the need to scroll through a long list every time you want. to train.

The GPS accuracy turned out to be very impressive in our tests, matching our pre-measured 5km route to less than 10 meters (a margin of error that is easily explained by the width of the roads and trails). That's what we expect from a company built on its satellite positioning technology, and it's good to see that it hasn't changed.

Garmin Venus 2

(Image credit: future)

Once you have completed a workout, you will be presented with a small map (if tracked by GPS), along with distance, time, steps, pace, calories, and heart rate data. If your watch is connected to an ANT + compatible sensor, such as a power meter, the statistics will be available at a glance.

You can scroll through your previous workouts at any time, and if you plan to update from another Garmin device, you'll be happy to know that you can scroll through all of your recent workouts synced with Garmin Connect, not just those logged by Venu. 2 himself.

Most smartwatches only have a physical button or dial, while dedicated racing watches are often controlled by multiple buttons. This prevents you from accidentally canceling a workout with the wrong touch of the screen and allows you to wear your sports watch with gloves in cold weather.

Garmin Venus 2

(Image credit: future)

With two physical buttons, the Venu 2 strikes a good balance. You will need to deliberately press any of the buttons to pause or resume your workout, and more precise controls can be used via the touch screen.

As we mentioned earlier, the top button is multi-functional and performs different tasks depending on the training widget you are using. It's never confusing thanks to the use of Garmin pop-up icons, letting you know exactly what you'll be doing at all times, a feature carried over from the Garmin Instinct, which used a small secondary display to perform the same function.

We will soon be testing the Venu 2 in the gym for indoor workouts and will update this review with our results.


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