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Garmin Venu 2 vs Venu 3: What's the difference and should you upgrade?

Garmin's smartwatches keep getting smarter.
By

Published onFebruary 27, 2024

Garmin Venu 2
MSRP: $399.99
Check price
Positives
Now comes in two sizes
Crisp AMOLED display
Accurate fitness, sleep, and health tracking
Negatives
Battery life can be finicky
Uneven heart rate sensor data
High price tag
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
MSRP: $449.99
Check price
Positives
Excellent design and build quality
Features rapid charging technology
Accurate fitness and health tracking
Excellent phone call support
Negatives
High price tag
Battery life is a bit below average
Inconsistent heart rate sensor
The Bottom Line.
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus makes a good fitness watch even better, thanks to its on-device calling and voice assistant features. It's not perfect, and it certainly isn't cheap, but the Venu 2 Plus is one of the most well-rounded wearables we've ever used.Read full review...
Garmin Venu 3
MSRP: $449.99
Check price
Positives
Highly accurate GPS and heart rate sensors
Automatic nap detection and sleep coaching
On-device phone call and voice assistant support
Up to 14-day battery life
Larger display
Negatives
No ECG app
Pricey compared to competitors
No LTE model

The highly-anticipated Garmin Venu 3 (and the smaller but otherwise identical Venu 3S) has officially made its way to wrists, and the series packs a lot of impressive features. In particular, for active shoppers looking for a smartwatch experience, the Venu 3 delivers all the basics, plus in-depth, accurate health and fitness tracking. It incorporates all the best tools of the Venu 2 (and Venu 2 Plus!) and sprinkles in a few extras. To learn more about what the newer watch offers compared to its older sibling, we’ve compiled a Garmin Venu 2 vs Venu 3 comparison.

Garmin Venu 2 vs Garmin Venu 3: Specs

Garmin Venu 3 and 3SGarmin Venu 2 and 2S
Display
Garmin Venu 3 and 3S
Venu 3:
1.4-inch AMOLED, optional always-on
454 x 454 resolution

Venu 3S:
1.2-inch AMOLED, optional always-on
390 x 390 resolution

Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Garmin Venu 2 and 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 3 and 3S
Venu 3:
45 x 45 x 12mm
22mm band
47g

Venu 3S:
41 x 41 x 12mm
22mm band
40g


Garmin Venu 2 and 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 3 and 3S
Stainless steel bezel
Fiber-reinforced polymer case
Silicone band
Garmin Venu 2 and 2S
Stainless steel bezel
Fiber-reinforced polymer case
Silicone band
Battery
Garmin Venu 3 and 3S
Venu 3:
Up to 14 days in smartwatch mode (5 days with always-on display enabled)
Up to 11 hours in all-Systems GNSS mode + music

Venu 3S:
Up to 10 days in smartwatch mode (5 days with always-on display enabled)
Up to 8 hours in all-Systems GNSS mode + music
Garmin Venu 2 and 2S
Venu 2:
Up to 11 days in smartwatch mode
Up to 8 hours in GPS mode + music

Venu 2S:
Up to 10 days in smartwatch mode
Up to 7 hours in GPS mode + music
IP rating
Garmin Venu 3 and 3S
5ATM
Garmin Venu 2 and 2S
5ATM
Sensors
Garmin Venu 3 and 3S
Garmin Gen 5 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 2S
Garmin Gen 4 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 3 and 3S
Bluetooth
ANT+
Wi-Fi
Garmin Venu 2 and 2S
Bluetooth
ANT+
Wi-Fi
Compatibility
Garmin Venu 3 and 3S
Android, iOS
Garmin Venu 2 and 2S
Android, iOS
Garmin Pay
Garmin Venu 3 and 3S
Yes
Garmin Venu 2 and 2S
Yes
Smartwatch features
Garmin Venu 3 and 3S
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 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 3 and 3S
Venu 3:
Silver bezel with Whitestone case
Slate bezel with Black case

Venu 3S:
Soft Gold bezel with French Gray, Dust Rose, or Ivory case
Silver bezel with Sage Gray case
Slate bezel with Pebble Gray case
Garmin Venu 2 and 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

Garmin Venu 2 vs Garmin Venu 3: Design

Compared to Garmin’s fitness-focused wearables, the Venu moniker represents the company’s more approachable, everyday smartwatch. This is reflected in the device’s clean, minimalist aesthetics and beautiful AMOLED displays. When comparing the Garmin Venu 2 vs Venu 3, the two generations share nearly identical overall designs and dimensions.

Both series offer a full-size model as well as a second option for smaller wrists. The Venu 2 is less than 1mm larger than the Venu 3 and the Venu 2S is just a fraction of a mm smaller than the 3S. All four devices feature stainless steel bezels, fiber-reinforced polymer cases, and Gorilla Glass protection over their displays. Yet, thanks to minimized bezels, the Venu 3 and 3S offer slightly larger displays than their respective predecessors. Measuring 1.4 inches and 1.3 inches, the Venu 3 and 3S displays offer more room for on-device stats and sleeker overall appearances.

The newest model feature three buttons compared to the previous generation which only featured two.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

With a peek at the watches from the side, shoppers will also notice the addition of a third button on the newest lineup. Originally intended to activate the device’s speaker, this extra middle button first made an appearance on the Venu 2 Plus. Since the Venu 2 doesn’t offer a speaker or microphone, the older model only features two buttons.

Garmin Venu 2 vs Garmin Venu 3: Features

A user's Recents menu includes Sleep Coach, Recovery, and Voice Assistant widgets.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

In terms of features, the Venu 3 offers everything found on the Venu 2, plus almost all the added tools of the Venu 2 Plus. This means a built-in microphone and speaker for on-wrist phone calls and voice assistant support, as well as music playback. The Venu 3 also adds a quick-access flashlight, a handful of new watch faces, and the ability to text photos (Android only). However, these crucial smartwatch features are far from the only improvements shoppers will find on the newest model.

The Garmin Venu 3 offers nearly all the best tools of the Venu 2 and Venu 3 including on-wrist phone call and voice assistant support.

On the wellness front, the Venu 3 epitomizes a dedicated focus on recovery and sleep tracking, offering and upgraded experience we loved during our Garmin Venu 3 review. One of the biggest highlights of the new device is its automatic nap detection, a first for the Garmin stable. The Venu 3 also records overnight HRV status as well as offers personalized sleep coaching with sleep recommendation factors. We found these tools helpful for diagnosing our sleep needs.

For training purposes, Garmin upgraded the device’s Body Battery feature and added a broad list of additional tools, including Recovery Time, Workout Benefit, Perceived Exertion, Morning Report, and a new Daily Summary (similar to Morning Report but in the evening). Users will also find a few added activity profiles, as well as wheelchair push detection and wheelchair-specific activities. We were particularly excited to see Open Water Swim make its way to the Venu 3 as well as a new Meditation activity. Users can even create custom interval workouts and pair the Venu 3 with additional sensors and power meters.

Most importantly, we found GPS and heart rate sensor accuracy significantly improved on the Venu 3. Garmin’s Gen 5 Elevate heart rate sensor is the current top-of-the-line. It provided reliable data throughout our workouts. It has also since been approved by the FDA for Garmin’s ECG app. Now both the Venu 3 and Venu 2 Plus offer users this advanced health tool.

The Venu 3 boasts improved GPS and heart rate sensor accuracy, and now features the same FDA-approved ECG app found on the Venu 2 Plus.

To poke around all its new features and tools, the Venu 3 also offers an updated user interface. The redesign streamlines navigation primarily by optimally organizing menus. We found the user experience greatly improved by the device’s recent widgets menu. Likewise, we also appreciated the new separation of sport profiles from other apps. The extra, customizable button (compared to the Venu 2) also positively impacts the usability of the watch.

Last but not least, the Venu 3 still offers fantastic battery life, especially compared to other leading smartwatches. The Venu 2 puts up impressive stats as well. However, the Venu 3 offers noticeable improvement despite its larger display and added features.

Garmin Venu 2 vs Garmin Venu 3: Price and colors

  • Garmin Venu 2: $399.99
  • Garmin Venu 2S: $399.99
  • Garmin Venu 2 Plus: $449.99
  • Garmin Venu 3: $449.99
  • Garmin Venu 3S: $449.99

The Garmin Venu 2 launched in April 2021 at $399.99. The 45mm model is available in Silver with Granite Blue or Slate with Black. Shoppers can grab a 40mm model in Light Gold with Light Sand, Slate with Graphite, Silver with Mist Gray, or Rose Gold with White. In January 2022, Garmin introduced the half-step Garmin Venu 2 Plus priced at $449.99. The Venu 2 Plus is available in just one 43mm case size. It comes in Cream Gold with Ivory, Silver with Powder Gray, or Slate with Black.

In light of its added features, the Garmin Venu 3 also launched with a $449.99 price tag. The 45mm Venu 3 is available in Silver with Whitestone or Slate with Black. The 41mm 3S is available in a few more options. These include Soft Gold with Ivory, Slate with Pebble Gray, Silver with Sage Gray, or Soft Gold with Dust Rose.

See price at Amazon
Garmin Venu 2
11%off
Garmin Venu 2
Now comes in two sizes
Crisp AMOLED display
Accurate fitness, sleep, and health tracking
See price at Amazon
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
1%off
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Excellent display
Fast charging battery
Phone calls
See price at Amazon
Garmin Venu 3
Garmin Venu 3
Highly accurate GPS and heart rate sensors
Automatic nap detection and sleep coaching
Up to 14-day battery life

Garmin Venu 2 vs Garmin Venu 3: Should you upgrade?

A Venu 3 rests on a gold stand, displaying a watch face.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The newest Garmin smartwatch is well worth the upgrade for anyone holding onto a Venu 2 or older. It adopts all the useful smartwatch features introduced on the Venu 2 Plus. It also debuts a few new Garmin tools, including automatic nap detection. Meanwhile, the device’s top-notch sensor accuracy, detailed recovery tools, and added fitness-tracking features make it a powerful workout companion. Given how much the Venu 3 has to offer, we don’t recommend anyone buy older Venu models at this point. The only exception might be the Venu 2 Plus if you can get in on a great deal, but even then, the Venu 3 is a clear step up.

The Venu 3 offers shoppers plenty of improvements and new features worthy of an upgrade.

On the other hand, the smartwatch market is consistently heating up, with new tools, features, and devices landing constantly. Though a well-rounded fitness watch, the Venu 3 can’t really compete with wearables like the Apple Watch Series 9 ($392.67 at Amazon) when it comes to smartwatch features. Anyone after a true smartwatch experience should take a careful look at an Apple vs Garmin comparison before committing to Garmin’s stable, but if you want an amazing fitness tracker with some smartwatch features and attractive looks, plus killer battery life, the Venu 3 is a clear hit.


Are you upgrading from the Venu 2 to the Venu 3? Let us know in the poll below.