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Garmin Venu Sq vs Apple Watch Series 6 (2020): Should You Save Or Splurge?

The new Apple Watch Series 6 has been the talk of the town lately, thanks to its exciting health and wellness features. Garmin, however, has recently launched a new smartwatch of its own in the hopes of stealing some of the spotlight. The Garmin Venu Sq seems to be a direct competitor of the Apple Watch Series 6 because not only do they look alike, but they both pack a powerful punch too. The former is, however, the more cost-effective option. To help you decide if you should save with the Garmin Venu Sq or splurge on the Apple Watch Series, here’s an in-depth comparison of the two new smartwatches.

Garmin Venu Sq vs Apple Watch Series 6 Comparison Chart

ModelGarmin Venu SqApple Watch Series 6
 Garmin Venu Sq, GPS Smartwatch with Bright Touchscreen Display, Up to 6 Days of Battery Life, Light...New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular, 40mm) - Blue Aluminum Case with Deep Navy Sport Band
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Sizes40mm only40mm and 44mm
MaterialsPolymer onlyAluminum, stainless steel, and titanium
Display and ResolutionLCD, 240 x 240 pixelsOLED, 448 x 368 pixels
Blood Oxygen SensorYesYes
ECG SensorNoYes
Heart Rate SensorYesYes
Sleep Tracking YesYes
Built-In GPSYesYes
Battery Life6 days18 hours

Design and Display

They may look alike but the Apple Watch Series 6 feels more premium, has a better screen display, and is available in more design options.

The Garmin Venu Sq (right) ditched the round face for a square one, making it look a lot like the Apple Watch Series 6 (left).

The Apple Watch Series 6, which sports a square body with rounded edges, is pretty much identical to its predecessors when it comes to design. Apple has kept the modern and sleek look all these years because it just works. The Apple Watch Series 6, however, has a much bigger and more impressive screen display than the older models. It comes in two sizes, namely 40mm and 44mm, and boasts of a clear and vibrant OLED display with 448 x 368 pixels. To boot, the Apple Watch Series 6 comes in a whole bunch of materials (either aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium), bands, and colors so you’re sure to find one that matches your taste perfectly.

Because Apple hit the nail on the head with the design of the Apple Watch, many brands have taken inspiration from it, including Garmin. For the new Garmin Venu Sq, the usual round face was ditched for a square one, similar to the one found on the Apple Watch Series 6. But because the Garmin Venu Sq is a budget smartwatch, its plastic body feels a lot less premium than the metal one of the Apple Watch Series 6. Also, the Garmin Venu Sq sticks to an LCD screen that has a much lower resolution of 240 x 20 pixels. It pales in comparison as well when it comes to design options as it’s only offered in one size (40mm) and only comes with silicone straps.

Features

The Apple Watch Series 6 and the Garmin Venu Sq are neck and neck when it comes health and fitness features but the former wins when it comes to smartwatch features.

Similar to the Apple Watch Series 6, the Garmin Venu Sq can track your blood oxygen level, heart rate, sleep, and workouts.

The most notable thing about the Apple Watch Series 6 is its ability to measure your blood oxygen level. This is an especially useful feature to have during the COVID-19 pandemic because blood oxygen level is an indicator of how much the virus is affecting your body. While Apple has been harping on this new feature, it’s not new at all to Garmin and many of its smartwatches already have it, including the Garmin Venu Sq. Like the Apple Watch Series 6, it’s able to take your blood oxygen level on demand as well as track it in the background.

Another thing that Apple has been making a big deal of is the Apple Watch Series 6’s ECG sensor which is able to check your heart rhythm and detect any signs of atrial fibrillation. This time, this feature is missing on the Garmin Venu Sq so if you’re big on heart health, the Apple Watch Series 6 might be the way to go. But ECG sensor aside, both devices are capable of pretty much the same things. They measure your heart rate, monitor your sleep, count your steps and calories, as well as track a wide variety of workouts.

While the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Garmin Venu Sq are neck and neck when it comes to health and fitness features, the former widens the gap when it comes to smartwatch features. Because the App Store offers an extensive range of apps, the amount of things you can do with Apple Watch Series 6 is endless. It can help you out in practically all aspects of life, whether it be entertainment, education, or travel. As for the apps on the Connect IQ Store, they’re mostly sports-related so the functionality of the Garmin Venu Sq as a smartwatch is quite limited.

Battery Life

The Garmin Venu Sq wins by a mile when it comes to battery life.

The Garmin Venu Sq has an impressive 6-day battery life.

The biggest advantage that the Garmin Venu Sq has over the Apple Watch Series 6 would have to be battery life. Apple hasn’t put much effort into improving the battery life of its smartwatches and so the Apple Watch Series 6 is still stuck with 18 hours worth of juice. This further goes down to around 3 hours if you have the GPS on or if you’re listening to music. So if you want to be able to track your activities on a daily basis, you’d have to charge it every single day.

As for the Garmin Venu Sq, it’s able to last for up to 6 days if you’re using it as a smartwatch. That’s 6 times as much juice as what the Apple Watch Series 6 offers, meaning you probably only need to charge it once a week. If you’re using its built-in GPS to track your running or cycling workouts, however, its battery life goes down to 14 hours. Still, that’s pretty impressive compared to what you can get out of the Apple Watch Series 6.

Verdict

The Garmin Venu Sq is the more practical choice but if you want a better smartwatch experience, go for the Apple Watch Series 6.

If you’re into the design of the Apple Watch Series but don’t want to completely devastate your wallet, the Garmin Venu Sq is a great budget-friendly alternative. Not only is it comparable in terms of looks, but its health and fitness features are on par as well. To boot, its battery life is so much more long-lasting and dependable. You do have to note, however, that there are some drawbacks to its affordable price tag. Its screen isn’t as impressive and it also feels a whole lot cheaper. Also, it’s missing an ECG sensor although this probably isn’t a deal breaker for most people.

As for the Apple Watch Series 6, it’s worth splurging on if you’re already part of the Apple ecosystem and would like your experience to be a seamless one. Also, it’s the better smartwatch of the two, thanks to the extensive range of apps that are available on the App Store. Another justification for its $400+ price tag is the use of more premium materials which give it a more high-end, luxurious feel. You can expect its screen to be sharper and more vibrant as well. It’s disappointing though that despite its price, you can’t count on its battery life to last you more than a day.

FAQs

📌 Which one has better health and fitness tracking, the Apple Watch Series 6 or the Garmin Venu Sq?

Both the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Garmin Venu Sq are able to read your blood oxygen level. They also measure your heart rate, monitor your sleep, count your steps and calories, as well as track a wide variety of workouts. The Apple Watch Series 6, however, has an ECG sensor which is missing on the Garmin Venu Sq.

📌 Which one has a better design and display, the Apple Watch Series 6 or the Garmin Venu Sq?

Taking inspiration from the Apple Watch Series, Garmin did away with the usual round face and designed the Garmin Venu Sq with a square one instead. This gives it a very similar look to the Apple Watch Series 6. However, the Apple Watch Series 6 is made with more premium materials and has a better screen display.

📌 Which one has better battery life, the Apple Watch Series 6 or the Garmin Venu Sq?

The Apple Watch Series can only last up to 18 hours on a single charge, meaning you’d have to charge it on a daily basis. As for the Garmin Venu Sq, it has an impressive 6-day battery life so you probably only need to charge once a week.

📌 Which one should you choose, the Apple Watch Series 6 or the Garmin Venu Sq?

If you’re into the design of the Apple Watch Series but don’t want to completely devastate your wallet, the Garmin Venu Sq is a great budget-friendly alternative. But if you want a better smartwatch experience, go for the Apple Watch Series 6.

Last update on 2020-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Denise Jose
Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.