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Garmin Venu vs Fenix 6 (2021): Which Garmin Smartwatch Should You Buy?

The Venu and Fenix 6 are among Garmin’s most popular GPS smartwatches. Simply put, the Garmin Venu is more affordable and designed for life and style, while the Garmin Fenix 6 is more expensive and made for outdoorsy types—think hikers and mountain climbers. In choosing between the two, the most important factors to take into account are durability, activity tracking, and battery life. We’re here to make their differences clear and help you decide which one will suit your needs best.

Garmin Venu vs Fenix 6 Comparison Chart

ModelGarmin VenuGarmin Fenix 6
 Garmin Venu GPS SmartwatchGarmin fēnix 6 Premium Multisport GPS Watch
PriceCheck Price

at Garmin.com

Check Price

at Garmin.com

Screen Size1.2″, 390 x 3901.3″, 260 x 260
Display TypeAMOLED touchscreen, Always-on mode (optional)Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel
Lens MaterialCorning Gorilla Glass 3Corning Gorilla Glass DX
Bezel MaterialStainless steelStainless steel
Strap MaterialSiliconeSilicone
Battery LifeUp to 5 days, Up to 6 hours with GPS and musicUp to 14 days, Up to 36 hours with GPS
Water Rating5 ATM10 ATM
Heart Rate TrackerYesYes
Hydration TrackerYesYes
Respiration TrackerYesYes
Stress TrackerYesYes
Sleep MonitoringYesYes
GPSYesYes
Sports AppYesYes
Music AppYesNo
Safety and Tracking FeaturesYesYes
Smart NotificationsYesYes
Garmin PayYesYes
Weight0.10 lbs0.17 lbs (steel), 0.12 lbs (case only)
Year of Release20192019
ColorsSlate, Gold, Rose Gold, SilverSilver

Design

The Garmin Venu looks more like a lifestyle watch for everyday use, while the Fenix 6 is more rugged and built for the outdoors.

Garmin Venu vs Fenix 6 Design
Garmin fitted the Venu (left) with a vibrant AMOLED display, a departure from the usual transflective memory-in-pixel screen it uses, such as on the Fenix 6 (right).

Taking a look at the two, the first thing that’ll jump out at you is that the Garmin Venu has a stylish design, while the Fenix 6 has a more rugged look.

The Garmin Venu’s display is more attractive and vibrant than the Fenix 6’s because of its AMOLED touchscreen, but that comes at a cost. For starters, its battery life isn’t on par with other Garmin models. It’s also not that visible under the sun.

On the other hand, the Garmin Fenix 6 is equipped with a transflective memory-in-pixel display that offers better visibility outdoors. However, it’s not that visible indoors. Considering that it’s made to be used outside, that isn’t much of an issue. One thing that could be a problem is its weight. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but that comes with a worthwhile payoff: It’s tough as a tank.

Activity Tracking and Other Features

The Garmin Fenix 6 has more training features than the Venu.

Garmin Venu vs Fenix 6 Activity Tracking and Other Features
Garmin crammed a lot of features in the Fenix 6 (in photo), such as PacePro and ClimbPro.

When it comes to activity trackers, you’d be pressed to find anything lacking in the Garmin Venu and Fenix 6. They have all the basics, including a step counter, stress tracker, and sleep monitor, to name a few. They’re also packing plenty of sensors to monitor your body and workouts and keep track of your stats.

Both of them have Body Battery Energy Monitor that gives you an estimation of how much energy you have based on heart rate variability, activity, and stress. Things like Pulse Ox and TrueUp are also in the mix.

One notable feature the Garmin Venu has that the Fenix 6 doesn’t is animated workouts. You use these as a guide to make sure you know how to properly execute workouts.

Meanwhile, the Garmin Fenix 6 has ClimbPro and PacePro, the latter of which is a welcome addition for runners who want to improve their runs by a mile (or miles, if you’re taking it literally). On top of that, it has UltraTrac for hikers and provides open-water swimming metrics for, well, swimmers. It also doesn’t hurt that it has mapping and navigation features. In short, it can track a lot of activities and give you a ton of info to develop future training plans.

Smart Features

Thanks to its music capabilities, the Garmin Venu is a bit “smarter” than the Fenix 6.

Garmin Venu vs Fenix 6 Smart Features
The Garmin Venu (in photo) can store up to 500 songs.

Both the Garmin Venu and Fenix 6 come with the usual smart features, such as notifications, Garmin Pay, safety and tracking functions, weather, and calendar.

That said, the Garmin Venu has one clear advantage over the Fenix 6: You can download songs from services like Spotify and Amazon Music on it—up to 500 songs, in fact. Pair that with Bluetooth earphones and you’ve got phone-free listening, so you can just leave your smartphone at home when you’re, say, going out for a run.

For the record, you can control music that’s playing on your phone via the Garmin Fenix 6, but that’s just about it.

Battery Life

The Garmin Fenix 6 can stay on for up to two weeks, while the Venu can barely make it through one week.

Garmin Venu vs Fenix 6 Battery Life
You’ll have to charge the Garmin Venu (left) more often than the Fenix 6 (right).

One of the most important things to consider when getting a smartwatch is how long you’re willing to go between charges. At that, the Garmin Venu is expected to last up to five days on smartwatch mode or six hours with GPS and music on.

Meanwhile, the Garmin Fenix 6 has a battery life of up to 14 days or 36 hours with GPS on. If that’s not enough for you, you can turn on the Battery Saver mode and go up to 48 days on a single charge.

Verdict

The Garmin Venu has a more attractive AMOLED display and is “smarter” in a sense, but the Fenix 6 is the better and more reliable workout companion.

Comparing the two wasn’t easy since they’re really apples and oranges, but if we had to choose, we’d pick the Garmin Fenix 6 any day over the Garmin Venu. Sure, it’s pricier, but considering its durability, activity tracking, and battery life, it’s a sound investment. Not to mention that features like PacePro and ClimbPro are just too hard to pass up.

FAQs

📌 Is the Fenix 6 worth it?

Yes, the Garmin fenix 6 is highly durable smartwatch with plenty of advanced smart features for fitness tracking, outdoor recreation, and more.

📌 Does Garmin Venu have maps?

No, the Garmin Venu does not have routable or visual maps that you can use to navigate.

📌 Can you answer calls on Garmin Fenix 6?

Yes, you can answer phone calls that the Garmin Fenix 6 is notifying you of and it displays the caller’s name (if saved as a contact) or phone number. However, to actually proceed with the conversation, you’ll need to use your connected smartphone.

📌 Can I shower with Garmin Venu?

Yes, the Garmin Venu is fully waterproof so you can wear it in the shower.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.