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Garmin Venu 2 vs Venu Sq vs Venu (2022): How Are These Watches Different?

Garmin is best known for its active wristwear. From rugged adventure watches to premium running trackers, it’s the go-to brand for fitness and outdoor enthusiasts. However, the addition of the Venu lineup to its catalog has given Garmin a foothold over a broader demographic.

Released in 2019, the Garmin Venu was more smartwatch than a fitness tracker, sporting a casual aesthetic that veered from the hard-wearing look of the Fenix or Instinct. It was soon followed by the Garmin Venu Sq, a smaller model that distinguished itself with its square display and entry-level price.

Two years later, the original Venu finally has a proper successor. The Garmin Venu 2 is the latest iteration of the company’s mid-range wearable, one that ventures further into smartwatch territory. How different is it from its predecessors? Which Venu should you get?

Garmin Venu 2 vs Venu Sq vs Venu Comparison Chart

ModelGarmin Venu 2Garmin Venu SqGarmin Venu
 
Price
Dimensions45.4 x 45.4 x 12.2 mm40.6 x 37.0 x 11.5 mm43.2 x 43.2 x 12.4 mm
Weight49g37.6g56.3g
DisplayAMOLEDLCDAMOLED
Display Size1.3 in.1.3 in.1.2 in.
Resolution416 x 416 p240 x 240 p390 x 390 p
CaseFiber-reinforced polymerFiber-reinforced polymerFiber-reinforced polymer
BezelStainless steelAnodized aluminumStainless steel
GPSBuilt-inBuilt-inBuilt-in
ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+, WiFiBluetooth, ANT+Bluetooth, ANT+, WiFi
Water Rating5 ATM5 ATM5 ATM
Key SensorsHRM, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, SpO2HRM, compass, accelerometer, thermometer, SpO2HRM, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, SpO2
All-Day Heart Rate TrackingYesYesYes
Sleep TrackingYesYesYes
Sleep Score and InsightsYesNoNo
Women’s HeathYesYesYes
Pulse OxYesYesYes
Health SnapshotYesNoNo
Fitness AgeBuilt-inIn-appIn-app
Battery Life12 days on battery saver
11 days on smartwatch mode
22 hours on GPS mode
6 days on smartwatch mode
14 hours on GPS mode
5 days on smartwatch mode
20 hours on GPS mode
Release DateJanuary 2022September 2020September 2019

Design

All three Venu models sport a refined design, although the Venu 2 and Venu come with a round watch face while the Venu Sq adopts a sportier square display.

Garmin Venu 2 vs Venu Sq vs Venu Design
The Garmin Venu 2 in Granite Blue (left), the Venu Sq in Orchid (center), and the Venu in Black (right).

Unlike their chunkier adventure watch siblings, the Venu watches have a more discreet and lightweight form. However, they retain much of the Garmin design blueprint. The Garmin Venu and Venu 2, for instance, sport a more analog-esque round watch face, albeit with thinner bezels. Meanwhile, the Venu Sq, which comes with a square watch face, is still crafted from the usual fiber-reinforced polymer that’s defined Garmin’s rugged activewear.

Among the three devices, the Venu 2 is the largest at 45mm, which is about the same size as Samsung’s Galaxy Watch and Apple’s Watch Series 7. On the other hand, the Venu comes in at 43mm. If you want something smaller, then the Venu Sq is easier on the wrist at just 40mm. Both the Venu 2 and Venu use the 22mm quick release bands, while the Sq works with a narrower 20mm strap.

Now, the original Venu comes with a 1.2-inch AMOLED display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 lens. On the Venu 2, the display gets a slight upgrade to 1.3 inches with a higher resolution as well. The Venu Sq also has a 1.3-inch screen but uses a lower-resolution LCD type. All three devices are touchscreen-enabled and have optional always-on mode.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Garmin device without the physical buttons. The Venu 2, Venu Sq, and Venu are all equipped with an action button and a back button on their right sides.

Click here for our Garmin Venu vs Fenix 6 review.

Fitness and Activity Tracking

The standard Garmin Venu 2 and Venu have a couple more fitness tracking features than the Garmin Venu Sq.

Garmin Venu 2 vs Venu Sq vs Venu Fitness and Activity Tracking
Animated workouts on the Venu 2 (left), sports modes on the Venu Sq (center), and the Garmin Coach on the Venu (right).

There is no shortage of activity tracking features on these Venu devices. All three watches record calories burned, daily steps, and distance traveled. Garmin’s Venu and Venu 2 also measure floors climbed thanks to a built-in altimeter. If you need motivation, these watches support Garmin Connect Challenges, making activities engaging and fitness goals doable.

Like any Garmin device, there are dedicated profiles for several sports. The Venu 2, Venu, and Venu Sq models support activities like yoga, pilates, and strength training. You also get 3 running profiles (running, treadmill, and indoor track) plus cycling and swimming features. The Venu 2 and Venu also come with animated, on-screen workouts.

Where the Venu 2 edges out its counterparts is in the addition of a few more activities. The watch now includes HIIT, hiking, and indoor climbing, among others. Fitness age is also built-in, unlike the Venu and Venu Sq which can only access the feature through the Garmin app.

When it comes to training and performance monitoring, the Venu 2 and Venu have the edge over their budget counterpart. Nonetheless, all three watches measure the same metrics: heart rate zones, respiration rate, and VO2 Max, just to name a few. To know if you’re equipped to train for the day, Garmin includes the Body Battery Energy Monitor, too.

Health Monitoring

The Garmin Venu watches have no shortage of health tools and data to provide.

Garmin Venu 2 vs Venu Sq vs Venu Health Monitoring
Health snapshot on the Venu 2 (left), hydration tracking on the Venu Sq (center), and stress tracking on the Venu (right).

Aside from fitness features, the Garmin Venu watches also have an arsenal of health and wellness tools. Their wrist-based HRM, for instance, is used to measure resting heart rate and alert users of abnormal heart rates. All three watches also calculate your respiration rate and monitor your blood oxygen saturation levels. For the latter, you can choose to have it turned on for spot checks, the whole day, or during sleep.

Speaking of sleep, your nocturnal habits are also monitored by these wearables. However, the Venu 2 offers more courtesy of sleep score and insights. Standard features like breathing reminders are also present and work well together with stress tracking.

If you want to know how much water you lost during a workout, there is hydration tracking as well. For women, menstrual health tracking is available, too. Where the Venu 2 leads, however, is the addition of Health Snapshot. It’s basically a feature that collects all health-related metrics in 2 minutes to provide users a glimpse of their cardiovascular health.

Smart Features and Battery Life

All three Venu watches enjoy a suite of smart features. However, the Garmin Venu 2 wins in the battery life department.

Garmin Venu 2 vs Venu Sq vs Venu Smart Features
Spotify on the Garmin Venu 2 (left), Garmin Pay on the Venu Sq (center), and smart notifications on the Venu (right).

Garmin’s Venu watches pair with both iPhone and Android phones. Once connected, you can stream call, text, and app notifications to the wearables. However, if you pair the Venu 2, Venu, and Venu Sq to an Android smartphone, you can also send quick replies or reject a phone call using text. You can customize the response messages via the Garmin Connect Mobile app as well.

Although all three watches allow you to control your smartphone music, only the Venu 2 and Venu have music storage. If you get the Venu 2, you can store up to 650 songs, while the Venu has room for up to 500. Other smart features on the Venu wearables include a calendar app and weather widgets, along with downloadable watch faces and support for contactless payment.

Battery life is the strong suit of the Garmin Venu 2. On smartwatch mode, you get up to 12 days of battery life from the device. With GPS turned on, it’s reduced to about 22 hours, which is still better than any Apple Watch. Unlike its fellow Venu devices, however, the Venu 2 comes with a battery saver mode that can prolong battery life by an extra day.

Interestingly, the Venu Sq lasts longer than the original Venu. If you’re getting the Sq, you have about 6 days of battery life compared to the Venu’s 5 days. Nonetheless, the Venu performs better when GPS is turned on, with a battery life of 20 hours compared to the Venu Sq’s 14.

Verdict

The Garmin Venu 2 is the best Venu to get and a compelling upgrade from the original Venu. However, the Venu Sq is also a great option for those on a budget.

Garmin’s Venu lineup is designed for people who want to track multiple sports, workouts, and activities without taking things too seriously. If you’re particular about performance and insight, then you’re better off with Garmin’s premium Fenix devices. However, those who want a balance of fitness tracker and smartwatch will find plenty to enjoy with the Garmin Venu devices.

That being said, it’s clear the Garmin Venu 2 is the best model to get. While it’s hardly a massive design overhaul of the original Garmin Venu, you’re getting plenty of upgrades under the hood. It certainly refines what the Venu was made for.

However, the price range might turn off some on a budget. If that’s the case, the Garmin Venu Sq is a compelling alternative. The Sq boasts most features available on the Venu 2 and Venu, but at an entry-level price. But if you really want the Venu, you just have to be patient. While the original model is about $150 more than the Sq, it’s occasionally on sale at 50% off, making it even cheaper than the Sq.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ What’s the difference between the Garmin Venu 2 and Venu Sq?

The Garmin Venu 2 sports a traditional round face compared with the Venu Sq’s square display. The Venu 2 also tracks more sports, is equipped with more fitness and health tools, and enjoys a longer battery life.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Garmin Venu have an always-on display?

Yes, the Garmin Venu supports an optional always-on mode.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Garmin Venu Sq worth buying?

The Garmin Venu Sq is a budget-friendly entry into the Garmin ecosystem. A well-rounded sportswatch, it offers a suite of features, including advanced health sensors like respiration rate and SpO2 monitoring.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does Garmin Venu Sq have Garmin Pay?

Yes, it does. The Garmin Venu Sq supports contactless payments via Garmin Pay.

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Mari Bassig

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