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Garmin Venu 2, 2S, and Venu 2 Plus buyer's guide: Everything you need to know

Garmin jumps further into the mainstream smartwatch world with the Venu 2 series.
By

Published onMarch 16, 2023

garmin venu 2 review watch face display on wrist 1
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Garmin is one of the biggest names in the fitness tracking game, but ithe company has also made the jump into smartwatch territory with classic watch designs and useful “smart” features. Released in 2019, the Venu brought mainstream appeal with its AMOLED display — a first for Garmin. Launched in 2021, the Garmin Venu 2 series refines the original formula and takes things to the next level. Available in three models, the Venu 2 series adds enhanced activity-tracking features and makes better use of the OLED display. Find out everything you need to know about the Garmin Venu 2 series!


Garmin Venu 2 series at a glance

Garmin Venu 2Garmin Venu 2
AA Editors Choice
Garmin Venu 2
Now comes in two sizes • Crisp AMOLED display • Accurate fitness, sleep, and health tracking
MSRP: $399.99
The Garmin Venu 2 takes what made the original a success and adds even more fitness- and health.
If you liked the original Garmin Venu, you're in for a treat with the Venu 2. It comes in two sizes, has lots of new features, and refines many of Garmin's existing health tracking modes to make an all-around more comprehensive wearable.
Garmin Venu 2 PlusGarmin Venu 2 Plus
AA Editors Choice
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Excellent display • Fast charging battery • Phone calls
MSRP: $449.99
Phone calls and a voice assistant on your wrist.
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus takes all of the fitness- and health-tracking features of the original Venu 2 and adds the ability to receive phone calls and access your phone's voice assistant.

Taking a page from its Vivoactive 4 playbook, Garmin originally launched two models in the Venu 2 series in April 2021. The Venu 2 and Venu 2S are functionally the same, with identical specs and all the new, exciting features available with both. Then, in January 2022, the company added a third product to the lineup: the Venu 2 Plus. As its name suggests, the Plus model is functionally similar to the Venu 2 but packs a few more features.

At first glance, the biggest difference between the Venu 2, Venu 2 Plus, and Venu 2S is each device’s size. The 45mm Venu 2 is ideal for larger wrists, while the 40mm Venu 2S will be at home on smaller hands. The Venu 2 Plus strikes the perfect compromise with its 43mm face.

The Venu 2S is available in Light Gold/Light Sand, Silver/Mist Grey, or Rose Gold/White colorways. The Venu 2 sticks to relatively standard Silver/Granite Blue and Slate/Black offerings. The Venu 2 Plus includes a Cream Gold option in addition to Silver or Slate.


Is the Garmin Venu 2 series device worth buying?

garmin venu 2 review watch face display 2
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Absolutely, especially the Venu 2 Plus! As long as you’re willing to splurge and know what you’re getting. The Venu 2 Plus is a somewhat expensive smartwatch, but it’s a health and fitness tracking powerhouse. Garmin also often has excellent offers and discounts available throughout the year.

The Garmin Venu 2 series is ideal for:

  • Those looking for robust health and activity-tracking features
  • Anyone who wants a worthy alternative to the Apple Watch, Fitbit watches, and Wear OS devices
  • Anyone already invested in the Garmin ecosystem

The Garmin Venu 2 series may not be for you if:

  • You’re looking for full-fledged smartwatch features
  • You want extensive third-party app support
  • You want an inexpensive smartwatch

Garmin Venu 2 vs. Garmin Venu: What’s new?

garmin venu 2 review strength training total body muscle workouts
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

There isn’t a whole lot that’s aesthetically different between the two generations but we’ll cover the basics. To find out what sets the Venu 2 Plus apart, scroll on to the next section below.

More sizes

The biggest change in terms of design is that the Venu 2 comes in two sizes. The Venu 2 and Venu 2S come with 1.3-inch and 1.1-inch displays, respectively, with the older Venu splitting the difference with its 1.2-inch screen. The Venu 2 Plus also includes a 1.3-inch screen.

Improved battery life

Another important change is that Garmin promises nearly double the battery life of the original model, with a lofty goal of 10-11 days of usage. The other improvement comes in the form of fast charging. The Venu 2 series charges up much quicker than the older watch, and just a 10-minute charge will give you a full day of use.

More music storage

You also get more storage for your music, with the Venu 2 series able to store up to 650 songs. This is significant compared to the 500 possible with its predecessor.

More advanced fitness tracking

There are also plenty of upgrades in the Venu 2 series’ fitness and health tracking capabilities. The watches  track up to 25 sports modes, including the highly requested HIIT mode, as well as hiking, indoor climbing, and bouldering. You can also take advantage of more than 75 on-device animated workouts, with exercises for Pilates, yoga, cardio, HIIT, and more.

garmin venu 2 review hiit workouts1
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Upgraded and new Garmin favorites

Garmin has updated its Body Battery algorithm based on feedback from existing Garmin users. It’s now far more challenging to achieve a Body Battery score of 100. The algorithm takes sleep-tracking data into account, so you’ll definitely need to be well-rested to hit that score. The “fitness age” feature has also been updated to include your weekly vigorous activity level, resting heart rate, and body fat percentage.

A fantastic new feature Garmin introduced with the Venu 2 is Health Snapshot. The Venu 2 takes a two-minute recording of your essential stats like heart rate, heart rate variability, blood oxygen levels, respiration rate, and stress. You can then view the results in Garmin Connect and even create a PDF to share with your healthcare provider. The Venu 2 comes with a new heart rate sensor that should provide more accurate readings than the former. You can also set it up to keep track of your blood oxygen saturation levels all day, all night, or both.


Garmin Venu 2 vs. Garmin Venu 2 Plus: What’s the difference?

An image of the Garmin Venu 2 Plus in hand showing the voice assistant animation
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

As we mentioned above, there’s little to separate the Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2 Plus on the aesthetic or fitness-tracking fronts. However, the Plus does add one significant health feature. Post-launch, Garmin released an FDA-approved ECG app to provide on demand readings  and notify Venu 2 Plus users of signs of AFib. This is a powerful tool for anyone interested in their heart health.

After our Garmin Venu 2 Plus review we can also verify the device is head and shoulders the better smartwatch. It brings on-wrist call support to the Venu 2 series, as well as voice assistant support. Both features make the Garmin Venu 2 Plus a better standalone smartwatch. Faster charging is also included, but this is necessary to make up for its weaker battery life. While the original Venu 2 offers up to 11 days per charge, the Venu 2 Plus settles for nine.


What about the Garmin vivoactive 5?

The Garmin vivoactive 4 was released at the same time as the Venu two years ago and the device is an excellent alternative to the original Venu. It missed out on the OLED display but is also more affordable because of it. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet seen an vivoactive 5 join the lineup. A Garmin spokesperson mentioned that the company’s focus is on the Venu family and offered no information about the next-generation vivoactive device.


Garmin Venu 2 specs

Garmin Venu 2 PlusGarmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S
Display
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
1.3-inch AMOLED
416 x 416 resolution

Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S
Venu 2:
1.3-inch AMOLED
416 x 416 resolution

Venu 2S:
1.1-inch AMOLED
360 x 360 resolution

Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Dimensions and weight
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
43.6 x 43.6 x 12.6mm
20mm band
51g
Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S
Venu 2:
45.4 x 45.4 x 12.2mm
22mm band
49g

Venu 2S:
40.4 x 40.4 x 12.1mm
18mm band
38.2g
Build materials
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Stainless steel bezel and hardware
Silicone band
Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S
Stainless steel bezel and hardware
Silicone band
Battery
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Rapid charging
Up to 9 days in smartwatch mode
Up to 8 hours in GPS mode + music
Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S
Venu 2:
Rapid charging
Up to 11 days in smartwatch mode
Up to 8 hours in GPS mode + music

Venu 2S:
Rapid charging
Up to 10 days in smartwatch mode
Up to 7 hours in GPS mode + music
IP rating
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
5ATM
Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S
5ATM
Sensors
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor
GPS
GLONASS
Galileo
Barometric altimeter
Compass
Gyroscope
Accelerometer
Thermometer
Ambient light sensor
Pulse ox blood oxygen saturation monitor
Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S
Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor
GPS
GLONASS
Galileo
Barometric altimeter
Compass
Gyroscope
Accelerometer
Thermometer
Ambient light sensor
Pulse ox blood oxygen saturation monitor
Connectivity
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Bluetooth
ANT+
Wi-Fi
Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S
Bluetooth
ANT+
Wi-Fi
Storage
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Music: Up to 650 songs
Activity data: 200 hours
Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S
Music: Up to 650 songs
Activity data: 200 hours
Compatibility
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Android, iOS
Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S
Android, iOS
Garmin Pay
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Yes
Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S
Yes
Smartwatch features
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Make and receive phone calls
Google Assistant, Samsung Bixby, and Siri support
Connect IQ-compatible
Smartphone notifications
Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only)
Controls smartphone music
Plays and controls smartwatch music
Find my phone/find my watch
Incident Detection
LiveTrack
Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S
Connect IQ-compatible
Smartphone notifications
Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only)
Controls smartphone music
Plays and controls smartwatch music
Find my phone/find my watch
Incident Detection
LiveTrack
Colors
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Silver bezel with Powder Gray case, Slate bezel with Black case, Cream Gold bezel with Ivory case
Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S
Venu 2:
Silver bezel with Granite Blue case, Slate bezel with Black case

Venu 2S:
Slate bezel with Graphite case, Light Gold bezel with Light Sand case, Silver bezel with Mist Grey case, Rose Gold bezel with White case

What are some good Garmin Venu 2 alternatives?

garmin venu 2 vs fitbit sense
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
Garmin Venu 2 vs Fitbit Sense

The Garmin Venu 2 series, and specifically the Venu 2 Plus is undoubtedly one of the best picks for health and fitness tracking. However, if you’re looking for a more well-rounded smartwatch, there are plenty of alternatives to consider.


Where to buy the Garmin Venu 2

garmin venu 2 review glances steps calories
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
Garmin Venu 2Garmin Venu 2
AA Editors Choice
Garmin Venu 2
Now comes in two sizes • Crisp AMOLED display • Accurate fitness, sleep, and health tracking
MSRP: $399.99
The Garmin Venu 2 takes what made the original a success and adds even more fitness- and health.
If you liked the original Garmin Venu, you're in for a treat with the Venu 2. It comes in two sizes, has lots of new features, and refines many of Garmin's existing health tracking modes to make an all-around more comprehensive wearable.
Garmin Venu 2 PlusGarmin Venu 2 Plus
AA Editors Choice
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Excellent display • Fast charging battery • Phone calls
MSRP: $449.99
Phone calls and a voice assistant on your wrist.
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus takes all of the fitness- and health-tracking features of the original Venu 2 and adds the ability to receive phone calls and access your phone's voice assistant.

The Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S both launched at $399.99. You don’t get a discount for the smaller Venu 2S, but that makes sense since you get all the same features with both. In terms of multisport watches, $400 is on the higher end, but it’s worth the price for its comprehensive health and fitness tracking. Both are available directly from Garmin or from third-party retailers and can often be found on sale. The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is priced at $449.99. The additional smartwatch features fetch a $50 premium over the base Venu 2 and Venu 2S.


Top Garmin Venu 2 questions and answers

garmin venu 2 review spotify music playing
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Yes, you can use Garmin Pay with all three smartwatches.

Yes, you can use the three devices to track swimming. They come with a 5ATM rating for water resistance.

The larger Venu 2 is compatible with industry-standard 22mm straps, while you’ll have to opt for 18mm straps for the Venu 2S, and the Venu 2 Plus uses 20mm straps.

Garmin Connect is available for both iOS and Android. You’ll need an Android device if you want to send text responses directly from the watch.


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Are the Garmin Venu 2 series watches worth the price?

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