The new member of the Garmin Venu series, the Venu 2 smartwatch is not only another model in the line, but also offers new functionality. Let’s see what the developers have proposed this time in the updated Garmin Venu 2.
Let’s start, as usual, with the appearance, because «they are met by clothes.» Design, it should be noted, the Garmin Venu 2 is excellent. A sort of symbiosis of large sports watches of the classic Garmin type, but with a modernized urban conciseness bordering on asceticism.
At the same time, the watch cannot be called simple: although the design is calm, the Garmin Venu 2 looks quite solid. At least due to their neutral design, they will match both sportswear and a suit. Stylish accessory, in a word.
In the details, the design is not complicated: there are no pretentious or, on the contrary, rough elements, the watch is neither airy nor brutal. This is precisely the minimalist design that Apple has given way to by introducing widespread fashion for it.
And here everything is exactly the same: Garmin Venu 2 exactly repeats the design of the first Venu watch. True, this time the company offered two sizes of watches — for men and for women (Venu 2S). It is even strange that such a division was not provided for in the first Venu.
The watch is now available in two case sizes – 40 and 45 mm. In both modifications, the shape of the dial is round. In the case of the tested sample, this is a men’s version of a larger watch with a dial diameter of 33 mm.
The case is made of plastic, so the weight of the watch is small, it is only 49 grams. As a result, a massive-looking watch on the wrist is practically not felt. This is not even as relevant during the day as it is at night — after all, you can and should sleep in these hours, since they provide very advanced monitoring and sleep adjustment functions.
Matte plastic, absolutely not slippery and not easily soiled. It looks quite practical and durable, and there’s no reason not to trust the proven quality of a manufacturer like Garmin.
The case features silvery touches such as a fixed stainless steel knurled bezel, as well as two mechanical pushers on the right side of the case. The keys have an oblong shape with a matte surface and a fairly long travel with a distinct response. They can be called harsh, but this is justified in the case of sports watches.
The complete strap is made of silicone, has a matte texture and is painted in the same color as the case itself. The lower part of it is smooth, without a hollow for air, but when testing in the Moscow 35-degree heat, the wrist practically did not sweat.
The strap received a standard width of 22 mm and a Quick Release system. Thus, you can choose a suitable strap from the available accessories and change it yourself. And this is not a banality at all: for example, in the same Garmin Lily, the strap cannot be replaced without special tools.
On the bottom platform of the case there is a glass plate with sensors soldered into plastic, as well as a four-pin metal contact block.
Uses a familiar standard connection cable, the same as for the Forerunner and vivoactive models. It can be used to charge the watch from the USB port of a laptop or a 220V mains charger, as well as exchange data with a computer.
By the way, for a MacBook, the clock is determined by the Android File Transfer program in the same way as an ordinary smartphone on the Android OS. With its help, you can transfer, for example, a supply of melodies, as well as photographs, to the watch’s memory. Back, from the watch, you can take, for example, screenshots taken from the screen by simultaneously pressing both hardware buttons — a very convenient functionality.
The case of the new watch is characterized by a water resistance standard of 5 ATM, which allows you to wear the device in the shower, pool or spa.
Garmin Venu 2 is available in two colors — black and gray (blue granite). Moreover, only gray watches have a shiny bezel, while black watches have it blackened, which, perhaps, is more out of place. Women’s Venu 2S have more options for different colors, there are four of them.
Both modifications use the AMOLED display type. The Venu 2S has a 1.1-inch screen with a resolution of 360×360 pixels. The Venu 2’s 1.3-inch display has a resolution of 416 x 416 pixels. The screen is protected by flat glass Gorilla Glass 3. The display is characterized by high contrast, there are no problems with brightness, even in bright light. Naturally, it is possible to adjust the brightness level.
The design is also thought out: the fonts are thin, but tall, so they are perfectly readable in any light. In general, the information component of this watch is one of the best on the market. The interface is modern, clear, bright, and practical to manage. There is no need to remember a lot of different gestures and keyboard shortcuts.
The only possible remark is that sometimes too much information is overloaded on one screen. But you quickly get used to such an arrangement of elements on the screen, since a person uses the same patterns, sees the same screens all the time. But, there is an AOD mode (always on display).
As for the dials, everything here is “taste and color”. Someone pre-installed is not enough, by the way, there are 17 pieces to choose from. Then you can install additional watch faces from your own Connect IQ store, and there is even the opportunity to assemble your own — for lovers of independent creativity.
Health and sports
The watch has built-in GPS and GLONASS navigation modules, there is a barometric altimeter, compass, accelerometer, gyroscope and even a thermometer. Garmin Pay contactless payment system allows you to pay for purchases. The watch can also store music in its own memory: there should be enough space for about 650 songs.
The watch successfully identifies messengers by pointing to them with the corresponding icons in messages. Message texts are scrolled completely, everything is readable, and in conjunction with an Android smartphone, you can also answer with prepared phrases. You cannot make a voice call using the watch, but you can “pick up” or “reject” the incoming call to the phone.
But all the most important functions of the watch are based on data received from the heart rate monitor and pulse oximeter sensors located at the bottom of the watch. The sensors measure blood flow velocity and thus calculate heart rate data in real time.
Heart rate monitoring calculated on the basis of data from the built-in heart rate sensor makes it possible to further use the functions of monitoring sleep, stress level, breathing rate, hemoglobin percentage (SpO2), and much more. This is the basis of almost all “smart” watches, and it makes no sense to describe these technologies in detail from review to review. It suffices to point out that all this is also here, and it works. Garmin uses a patented technology called Elevate.
For example, the function of using a pulse oximeter to read blood oxygen saturation has already become familiar (over 95% is considered normal).
However, the novelty has learned to carry out more complex calculations. For example, the new Venu 2 has learned to track the stages of deep and REM sleep.
Monitoring of body indicators based on heart rate is carried out around the clock, so you need to go to bed in hours. In the morning, the user wakes up with detailed statistics on the screen. To assess the quality of sleep, there is an indicator Sleep Score. You can look at the time of each phase in detail, get suggestions on how to improve your sleep.
If it seems to the program that the pulse is increased and there is not enough oxygen, then the system will offer to carry out breathing exercises with relaxation.
Another interesting simple yet comprehensive feature is the comprehensive Health Snapshot. This is a two-minute test during which Venu 2 measures heart rate, breathing rate, stress level and other indicators. After two minutes, a brief report with indicators in numbers and an approximate assessment of the state of health is displayed on the screen.
An interesting indicator — Body Battery — evaluates the total energy of the body in points. Again, based on comprehensive data on the quality of both sleep and active wakefulness, adding data on stress here. The clock clearly shows on the screen how the body is “recharged” and how it spends this energy.
Mentioned stress is also calculated and issued in points, moreover, constantly. This data is displayed in a general list with daily activity data, swiped up from the bottom. Here are the steps taken, and the pulse, and the time of intense activity, and the percentage of water in the body, as well as the level of stress, the intensity of breathing, and the rest. That is, it is not necessary to be a professional, or even just an athlete, in order to monitor the state of your own body in detail 24/7 with the help of such watches.
When it comes to workouts, there are a lot of them (over 1400 exercises), but you can also design your own in the Garmin Connect app on your phone, and then upload to your watch and use it. There are additions here too.
For example, HIIT workouts and strength training have added the ability to set the Every Minute for a Minute (EMOM) timer and As Many Reps as Possible (AMRAP) sessions right from the watch. The program displays graphic images on the screen, showing which muscle groups have been worked out.
Naturally, all health and fitness information is collected in one place using the Garmin Connect mobile app, available for Android and iOS. Heart rate trends, women’s health tracking, sleep statistics, stress levels — all statistics are processed and displayed visually, right down to the graphs.
But beyond that, Garmin has turned its app into an active online community where people can connect, compete, and share data. There is a whole system of awards and incentives that push you to further advance in your development.
Various apps and software for other types of training are also available for download in the Connect IQ online store.
There are no complaints about autonomy: it’s not one or two days of Apple Watch, it’s almost two weeks in the normal smartwatch mode. If you turn on GPS, the watch will function up to 22 hours, and if you also listen to music at the same time, then the time will be reduced to 8 hours (by the way, the usual time for wireless headphones to work, they won’t last anyway). In general, everything is fine with autonomy, but you can also turn on the battery saver mode.
At the same time, the watch charges very quickly: it takes exactly 1.5 hours to fully charge (1.2W — 5V, 0.23A).
As a result, I would like to praise Garmin for the updated development vector. With the sports and training component of its products, everything has always been at a high level, now it is becoming even easier to use it all.
Garmin smartwatches are becoming more versatile with each new generation. The ecosystem does not lag behind: it expands work with external sensors, improves its mobile applications. And in this system, Garmin Venu 2 is a modern, up-to-date smartwatch for tracking sports exercises and body health indicators.