We are reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Garmin Venu 2 vs Fitbit Sense (2022): Which Smartwatch Suits You?

Garmin and Fitbit are two of the top names when it comes to wearables. Garmin’s smartwatches are known for their traditional round display, robust craftsmanship, and multi-sport focus. Fitbit, on the other hand, has built its reputation with sleek but affordable fitness bands and watches.

On the Garmin Venu 2, the same outdoorsy design typical of the brand’s adventure watches is present. However, under the hood, the mid-range device gets several all-day health monitoring features, too. It’s a move that brings it within the territory of the Fitbit Sense, a smartwatch marketed mainly for its advanced health features. So which one should you buy?

Garmin Venu 2 vs Fitbit Sense Comparison Chart

ModelGarmin Venu 2Fitbit Sense
 
PriceCheck at AmazonCheck at Amazon
Dimensions45.4 x 45.4 x 12.2 mm40.3 x 40.3 x 12.4 mm
Weight49.0 g45.9 g
Display Size1.3 in.1.58 in.
Display TypeAMOLEDAMOLED
CaseFiber-reinforced polymerAluminum
StrapSiliconePolyester, silicone
Fit135-200 mm140-180mm (small strap)
180-220mm (big strap)
BezelStainless steelStainless steel
Water Rating50m50m
ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+, WiFiBluetooth, WiFi
Key SensorsHRM, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, SpO2HRM, altimeter, gyroscope, accelerometer, skin temperature sensor, ECG, SpO2
GPSBuilt-inBuilt-in
ECG AppNoYes
Blood Oxygen MonitoringYesYes
All-Day Heart Rate TrackingYesYes
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Incident DetectionYesNo
Smart NotificationsYesYes
Contactless PaymentYesYes
Battery LifeUp to 12 days (battery saver mode)Up to 6 days
Release DateJanuary 2022September 2020

Design

Garmin’s Venu 2 follows the round form of traditional watches, while the Fitbit Sense sports the squircle display typical of many flagship wearables.

Garmin Venu 2 vs Fitbit Sense design comparison
Both the Garmin Venu 2 and Fitbit Sense feature sleek, stainless steel bezels.

The Venu 2 is the type of watch we’ve come to expect from Garmin. Although not as rugged as the Garmin Fenix and Enduro lineups, you still get the same round watch made from durable materials. However, its bezel is more polished than the chunky aesthetic of its outdoor watch siblings. On its side, you’ll only find two buttons โ€” an action button and a back button โ€” to aid navigation.

In contrast, the Fitbit Sense brandishes the squircle form typical of many flagship wearables, including the Apple Watch. Design-wise, the Sense is a dead-ringer for Fitbit’s popular Versa lineup. Its stainless steel bezel is also noticeably thinner and features only one button.

Thanks to this refined casing, the Sense โ€” despite being smaller โ€” delivers a larger 1.58-inch display than the Venu 2’s 1.38-inch. Nonetheless, both displays are AMOLED touchscreen, protected using Corning Gorillas Glass 3.

Now Fitbit includes two sizes of straps in the box. On the Garmin Venu 2, you’re stuck with one option. Thankfully, both brands offer several accessories for their wearables. The Venu 2 is compatible with different colors of Quick Release bands. Fitbit, on the other hand, boasts an extensive catalog of straps, including leather bands and sporty straps.

Fitness and Activity Tracking

Both the Garmin Venu 2 and Fitbit Sense are packed with fitness and training features.

fitness and activity tracking
Here’s a look at the interface of the fitness features on the Venu 2 (left) and Sense (right).

The Garmin Venu 2 and Fitbit Sense have the basics covered in activity tracking. Calories burned and daily steps are both tracked. Thanks to their built-in GPS, these watches can review distance covered and pace during walks and runs, while also recording the route taken. The Venu 2, which comes with an altimeter, can also measure floors climbed.

Fitbit’s Sense has over 20 goal-based exercise modes built in. A handful of these workouts can be automatically detected, too. Unique to the Sense are Tennis, Martial Arts, and Kickboxing. On the other hand, the Garmin Venu 2 has more than 25 preloaded sports modes. Its Running, Swiming, and Outdoor Recreation modes incorporate several workout profiles and varieties, too.

Garmin’s Venu 2 anchors itself on comprehensive training and analysis features that allow for more advanced workouts. But the Fitbit Sense isn’t too far behind with its Cardio Fitness score. These watches also monitor HR zones, intensity levels, and respiration rate.

Now, both devices also offer unique insights. On the Garmin watch, you have a Body Battery Energy Monitor that tells you about your energy reserves throughout the day. Meanwhile, Fitbit offers a Daily Readiness Score that looks at Fitbit’s data to let you know if you’re ready to work out or if you should rest.

Health Features

The Fitbit Sense has more health monitoring tools but lacks the safety features available on the Garmin Venu 2.

Garmin Venu 2 vs Fitbit Sense health features
Garmin’s Venu 2 can see how much energy reserves you have (left) while the Fitbit Sense can take ECG readings (right).

Garmin’s Venu 2 and Fitbit’s Sense are known primarily for their portfolio of health features. On paper, both devices have robust heart rate monitors that track your resting heart rate. It can detect abnormal heart rates and notify the wearer, too. Garmin and Fitbit’s wearables are also capable of monitoring respiration rates. Both devices have menstrual health tracking as well.

As expected, the watches come with a SpO2 monitor and stress tracker โ€” staple features in smartwatches today. Although the Venu 2 and Sense are equipped with sleep tracking, Fitbit has the lead in this area based on user reviews. The Fitbit Sense is also equipped with ECG and EDA sensors. The latter is particularly useful at monitoring your stress level.

There are a couple of practical features available on the wearables. For instance, the Fitbit Sense will alert users when they’ve been idle for a period. It can also detect if you’re snoring or if there’s ambient noise impacting your sleep. Meanwhile, the Garmin Venu 2 offers safety features like incident detection and emergency notifications.

Smart Features and Battery Life

While smart features are on the same level, the Garmin Venu 2 has the edge over the Fitbit Sense when it comes to battery life.

Garmin Venu 2 vs Fitbit Sense smart features
Get onboard storage for up to 650 songs on the Garmin Venu 2 (left); enjoy advanced features courtesy of Fitbit Premium (right)

What’s a smartwatch without smart features, right? On the Garmin Venu 2 and Fitbit Sense, you have your usual smart notifications. Calendar apps and weather forecasts are similarly present. If paired with an Android phone, both the Garmin Venu 2 and Fitbit Sense allow users to reply to text messages and reject phone calls, too. Contactless payments are also supported by both the Garmin and Fitbit devices.

For those who like to exercise with music, you’ll be happy to know you can control your phone’s playlist from the Venu 2 and Sense. However, the Venu 2 does come with onboard music storage, while the Sense can only download playlists to the watch through the Deezer or Pandora app.

If battery life is a priority, then the Garmin Venu 2 technically has the advantage. On smartwatch mode, the Venu 2 can last up to 11 days. If you’re on battery saver mode, battery life extends to 12 days. However, turning on GPS mode brings the Venu 2’s runtime down to just 22 hours. Play music as you track a workout, and you’re left with 8 hours.

Fitbit’s Sense may not have a battery saver mode, but you get about 6 days of battery life. Of course, performance will depend on actual usage. If GPS is turned on continuously, you should get about 12 hours of operating time from the Sense. Fortunately, you can get a full day’s charge in just 12 minutes, thanks to fast charging.

Verdict

If you’re serious about fitness, get the Garmin Venu 2. If you want more health features and are on a budget, opt for the Fitbit Sense.

Garmin Venu 2

Best for deeper performance insights

Fitbit Sense

Best for its advanced health features

With its long battery life and extensive suite of sports modes, the Garmin Venu 2 is easier to recommend to most fitness enthusiasts. The watch offers more comprehensive information that provides deeper insights into your workout performance. If you’re someone who prefers a discreet traditional watch design, the Venu 2 is a better option, too, albeit one that costs $100 more.

The Fitbit Sense, on the other hand, is a compelling budget alternative that doesn’t necessarily mean budget features. It has an attractive design, a beginner-friendly interface, and above-average battery life, too. Its main draw, however, is the advanced health features. If you need ECG, EDA, and accurate sleep monitoring, then the Fitbit Sense should be great for you.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Does Garmin Venu 2 have ECG?

The Garmin Venu 2 does not have ECG. However, it does come with an SpO2 sensor, all-day heart rate tracking, and respiration rate monitor.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Garmin Venu 2 better for runners than the Fitbit Sense?

The Garmin Venu 2 is better for running than the Fitbit Sense. Like other Garmin watches, the Venu 2’s bread-and-butter is its support for different running profiles.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does Fitbit Sense have fall detection?

No, Fitbit’s Sense does not have a fall detection or incident detection feature.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can I get the Fitbit Sense in pink?

The Fitbit Sense is not available in pink. The closest colorway, however, is the muted Lunar White with Soft Gold bezels.

RELATED  Fitbit Versa 2 Special Edition vs Versa 3 (2021): What's The Difference?
Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.