Garmin is doubling down on the fitness wearable market with yet another smartwatch announcement: behold the Garmin Venu 2! The second iteration of the Garmin Venu offers 'enhanced' battery life (compared to its predecessor) with rapid charging and battery saver mode, as well as dedicated activity profiles for HIIT workouts, indoor climbing and even bouldering. Returning features include on-screen animations plus – and this is an interesting – upgraded strength training profile with muscle map graphics and 'expanded' workout capabilities.
Physical design-wise, the new Garmin Venu 2 comes in two different sizes: the larger Venu 2 has a 45mm watch case with 22mm band and the smaller Venu 2S a 40mm watch case with 18mm band. Both versions feature stainless steel bezel, quick-release silicone band and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 lens protecting the touchscreen AMOLED display that also has an optional, always-on mode. Of course, having the always-on mode will drain the battery in no time.
Garmin Venu 2/2S: price and release date
Garmin Venu 2/2S: features
The Garmin Venu 2/2S health and fitness features include 24/7 heart rate tracking (with user-configurable alerts for high or low readings), fitness age estimation, advanced sleep with sleep score and insights, respiration rate tracking (during resting, not when working out), Pulse Ox (blood oxygen monitoring), all-day stress tracking, hydration suggestions and women’s health (menstrual cycle tracking and pregnancy tracking).
Quite a lot of features, nothing we haven't seen in previous Garmin watches though. Also included is the Body Battery 'energy monitoring' feature, which shows how “charged” your body is. Garmin claims that Body Battery can help you schedule workouts, rest times and sleep more efficiently but as always when a company make such statements, take this comment with a pinch of salt. Not only you need to wear the Venu 2 continuously for the Body Battery to have enough info on you, the algorithm, as precise as it is, might not be able to tailor the recommendations specifically for your needs. Nevertheless, some people might find this feature useful.
The Venu 2/2S also includes the new 'Health Snapshot' feature that lets you log a 2-minute session to "record key health stats and generate a report you can share with a healthcare provider". What gets recorded and how would a healthcare professional react to Garmin Venu 2 data presented to them is yet to be determined. That said, the Withings ScanWatch does a similar thing and can make ECG readings exportable.
The Venu 2/2S has 25+ built-in sports apps with new activity profiles for HIIT (including AMRAP, EMOM, Tabata and custom timers), indoor climbing, bouldering and hiking. In all honesty, most sport modes measure the same thing (at least use the same sensors), so it doesn't really matter how many sport modes are there on any watch, as long as there is a custom mode. Granted, people like the option to track their chosen sport and it's easier to choose the bouldering from a list than it's to set the data fields up from scratch.
GPS sport modes include walking, running, cycling and golf, among others – given that this is a Garmin, we're sure these all track activities just fine.
The new advanced strength training profile and workouts put weight scaling and strength PRs right on the device and includes graphics showing which muscle groups were worked. These is limited information available about this new feature, we're looking forward to testing it in the near future to see how it actually works.
The Venu 2 also offers a range of workout options that include preloaded workouts on the watch, preset workouts available to download from Garmin Connect, and “create your own” customisable workouts with over 1,400 exercises to choose from.
If you really can't be bothered to watch tutorial videos on Youtube, you'll be glad to know that the Venu 2 has over 75 preset animated workouts for cardio, yoga, strength, HIIT and Pilates to demonstrate proper form and technique right in on the wrist. The Venu 2/2S is compatible with Garmin Coach, a free adaptive training companion.
Needless to say, the Garmin Venu 2/2S is not shy on smart features either, which includes built-in music storage (download up to 650 songs including playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer), Garmin Pay (contactless payments) and smart notifications for text messages (Android users can even reply from device if they want to), calendar reminders, incoming calls and more. Pretty standard but it's nice to see these included.
There are options to personalise the Venu 2 with apps, watch faces and more available to download from the Connect IQ store.
For the best Garmin watch deals, please check out the linked deals roundup. We've reviewed tons of Garmin watches before, read them all about here: Garmin Venu Sq review (hasn't got much to do with the Garmin Venu apart from not being aimed at athletes), Garmin Enduro review (crazy long battery life), Garmin Fenix 6 Pro review (still one of the best Garmins) and Garmin Forerunner 945 review (top of the line running watch).