Garmin Venu 2 Reviews | Best fitness smartwatch
Garmin makes some of the best fitness trackers out there, but sometimes they drop serious styling points in the name of functionality. Fortunately, that’s not the case with Garmin’s Venu 2, released in April 2021. It’s a portable fitness and health tracker with GPS that not only shows the time, but also monitors a plethora of biometric data. , can plan workouts, play music, synchronize messaging and calendar functions and increase its functionality with downloadable applications. The Garmin Venu 2 features a beautiful AMOLED color touchscreen, metal bezel, and 22mm interchangeable straps. It’s a powerful and stylish upgrade to the original Venu that looks right at home in the gym, but also won’t stay like a sore thumb when the dress code calls for something. more refined than fitness equipment.
I wore the Garmin Venu 2 smartwatch for almost a month jogging, biking, packing, and moving to a new apartment (lots of heavy boxes). I’m also a professional cameraman and never knew how many calories I burned just dragging gear until this Garmin smartwatch gave me a glimpse into my daily activities. But I also wore it during less intense times, like meeting producers, talking to realtors, and just going about my business. Through it all, I have found the Venu 2 to strike a great balance between functional and fashionable.
Garmin Venu 2 design
I was impressed with the look of the Garmin Venu 2, with its polymer case and pretty ribbed metal bezel. It is clean and understated, with only two small buttons located on the side of the case. At 45mm, the watch follows the trend towards larger faces. While I didn’t find it uncomfortable to wear, it trapped sweat on the longer, hotter days. Anyone with smaller wrists or who just likes to wear smaller watches will want to check out the 40mm Venu 2S. Both have the same characteristics.
Garmin knows how to make watches, and despite their minimalist look, the Venu 2 and 2S watches are durable and designed for tough workouts. They have a water resistance rating of 5 ATM and can withstand pressure equivalent to a depth of 164 feet. Using the watch in the rain, snow or shower, while swimming or snorkeling will not cause any problem. The AMOLED screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, the same material used on many smartphone screen protectors.
The Venu 2’s beautifully expressive AMOLED touchscreen really caught my eye. Bright and colorful, it displays a wealth of data that I had no trouble reading during workouts. However, this style comes at a cost: keeping the screen active all the time will quickly drain the battery. Garmin promises that the Venu 2 will last 11 days in smartwatch mode, but will only have 22 hours of battery life in GPS mode and 8 hours in GPS mode with music. And the Venu 2S should last around 10 days in smartwatch mode, 19 hours of battery life in GPS mode, and 7 hours in GPS mode with music. Although I never took the watch to the backcountry, I used it constantly over a four day weekend, including some ongoing fitness activities, and never worried about its death. . If it is close to that point, the Venu 2 can be configured in battery saving mode, which turns off the “always on” screen so that it is able to last longer without reducing functionality or restricting power. surveillance; it simply puts the screen to sleep. (And 10 minutes of fast charging can give you a day in smart watch mode or an hour in GPS mode in a pinch.)
Also, while I liked all the bright colors, sometimes I felt like someone was throwing a rave on my wrist, so I decided to take advantage of some customizable screens that intentionally reduce the number of active pixels. . This preserves the battery life and makes the watch a bit more subtle. A convenient low power mode dims the screen when not in use. Some people might like this, but after testing it for a few hours, I decided it was a bit too much subtle.
Garmin put a lot of thought into the Venu 2’s user interface, and I was impressed with how easily I navigated through its features using an intuitive swipe motion. Nice bonus: use it on a rainy day or when sweat has not affected the sensitivity of the touchscreen.
The Venu 2 is available in Slate Blue or Granite, while the 2S is available in Graphite, Light Sand, Mist Gray and White. The 2 uses a 22mm strap and the 2S uses an 18mm strap; both are easily replaced by the many options (of various materials, colors, and prices, starting at $ 29.99) available through Garmin and third parties.
Configuring the Garmin Venu 2
I had no trouble getting started with the Venu 2. First and foremost, I used the supplied USB cable (with a proprietary port, so don’t lose it) to charge the watch, which is partially charged. It does not include a wall adapter, so you will need to provide your own or plug it into a computer. After the watch finished, I downloaded the free Garmin Connect app to my phone (there are versions for iOS or Android) and created an account.
The app automatically synced to my watch via Bluetooth and walked me through the setup process step by step. If this is your first time using the app, it establishes basic biometric data such as height, weight, stride length (which I had to verify for accuracy) and heart rate so to better monitor your physical condition later. I was testing another Garmin running watch and once my account was set up I was able to switch between the two, syncing data with each, with just the push of a button. By logging into my phone, I also took control of my music, messages, calendar notifications, and news apps. The Garmin Connect app also gives access to an entire online community and opens up additional layers of personalization.
Move to a Better Coming
Like the original Garmin Venu, the latest version monitors heart rate, Pulse Ox (to check blood oxygen saturation on the spot), breathing, stress, step count, and sleep patterns. Unsurprisingly from a company known for its navigation systems, the Venu 2 has excellent GPS with GLONASS and Galileo options. When synced with your iOS or Android smartphone, it sends messages and notifications, controls your music, and interfaces with the powerful Garmin Connect app for better health measurement and feedback.
The watch now uses Garmin’s Elevate V4 optical heart rate sensor and has two sensors to increase the accuracy of the pulse oximeter. These sophisticated AMOLED graphics benefit from a more robust processor and GPU. The Garmin Venu 2 has a larger display area than the original, as well as more storage for downloaded music (dropping from around 3GB to 7GB). Widget Glances provides biometric snapshots, improved sleep tracking, and there’s also a new bodybuilding profile that includes a muscle map for planning workouts, along with additional activity profiles.
Monitor more than just your battery power levels
I often have the impression of running on vapors. It’s part of an unhealthy pattern of staying awake late, getting up early, and pushing myself during the work day. The past month hasn’t been helped by a move to a new home and a return to film production now that I’m vaccinated. So I was particularly intrigued by what is called a “Body Battery” energy score. The Garmin Venu 2 combines a variety of measurements, including heart rate, stress levels, activity levels, and sleep quality, to estimate my energy reserve throughout the day. If the number is low, like mine, it suggests that some lifestyle changes may be in order. In my case, the sleep tracker suggested I needed more time in the bag. Seeing it graphically represented in glorious colors and looking at some of the correlated health metrics hammered the point and helped motivate me to do something about it. (Less caffeine in the evening, for starters, combined with better time management.)
Workouts are always easier when you have a support team by your side, and the Garmin Connect app helps provide that by allowing users to access an online community. I met some friends who also wear Garmin watches and we were able to participate in challenges and track each other’s progress. We decided to keep it easy and compete for as many stages as possible, and it was a great motivation to get off the couch and engage in a little friendly rivalry.
A feature called Garmin Coach downloads workout plans for people of all experience levels, and it’s the first Garmin watch to provide muscle map graphics to help illustrate and strengthen the groups you work with in. a gym. Swimming enthusiasts will love that the watch offers underwater heart rate monitoring and stroke detection.
So who should buy it?
The Garmin Venu 2 smartwatch is the best Garmin GPS watch for people who are looking for a complete fitness tracker and sports watch both in the evening and on the playground. Its intuitive interface is easy to use and it comes with a comprehensive set of features that rivals any other fitness tracker. With an MSRP of $ 399, the Venu 2 costs the same as an Apple Watch 6, but can sync with Android phones, which means it won’t limit you to the Apple ecosystem. For some people, that alone makes the Venu 2 a must have over any portable device made by Apple. However, even some Apple devotees can be swayed by the Garmin’s crisp appearance and large, colorful display. In fact, as an Apple fan myself, I’ve found the Venu 2 to be a stylish and versatile smartwatch that I love to wear on my wrist.
Brian S. Hawkins is a journalist and documentary filmmaker who focuses on technology and pop culture. He has contributed product reviews and recommendations to Popular science since early 2020.