How long has it been since the latest Garmin watch release? Maybe two weeks? It might have actually been three weeks, come to think of it; the Garmin Enduro 2 was announced on 9 August 2022. Now, Garmin is back with another new watch, the updated version of its affordable GPS smartwatch/fitness tracker, the ever-so-popular Venu Sq 2 and Venu Sq 2 Music.
It's the updated version of the Garmin Venu Sq that featured a 'liquid crystal' touchscreen display and gave access to Garmin's ecosystem for much less money than you have to pay for the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar, and especially the Garmin Fenix 7X. For this reason, it's one of the best Garmin watches for people who prefer their wearables to be less gigantic.
The new Garmin Venu Sq 2 updates one of the main pain points of its predecessor, namely the display, which is now AMOLED – a brighter, prettier user interface overall. The new fitness tracker is more than just a pretty screen, though; here are all the new features you should be interested in.
1. Let's talk AMOLED
I'm a huge fan of AMOLED smartwatches – the Garmin Epix Gen 2 is one of the favourite multisport watches from this year – and based on battery life (more on this below), Garmin is starting to find out how to optimise energy-intense but brighter displays to its watches without sacrificing battery life in the process.
The Garmin Venu Sq 2 has a 1.4-inch rectangular, AMOLED touchscreen display with a lightweight aluminium bezel – compare this with the Venu Sq's 1.3-inch liquid crystal screen. At the time of writing, the resolution of the screen is not known, although I'd assume it's more than 240 x 240 pixels (Venu Sq).
2. Longer battery life
Despite the bigger screen, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 has longer battery life than its predecessor – at least in smartwatch mode. The Venu Sq lasted six days on a full battery in smartwatch mode (up to 14 hours in GPS mode); this went up to 11 days in the Venu Sq 2. That's nearly twice as long!
Now, this is pretty good, but there are other GPS smartwatches on the market with huge AMOLED screens and long battery life – the Huawei Watch GT Runner comes to mind – so I'm not going to pretend it's a massive innovation, but it's good to know that the watch won't have to live tethered to the mains charger all the time.
3. Health Snapshot added
The Garmin Health Snapshot feature capture, save and even share a collection of health-related insights recorded during a two-minute session. These include heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV), Pulse Ox (blood oxygen levels), respiration, and stress. The metrics are included on the Health Snapshot report, which 'collectively provide you with a glimpse of your overall cardiovascular status', according to Garmin.
This is a new feature on the Venu Sq 2, although we have seen it on other Garmin watches. Personally, I don't use this feature often, but especially in the case of the Garmin Venu Sq 2, I can see the appeal. After all, the Venu Sq 2 is what's called a health smartwatch, similar to the Fitbit Sense – and the upcoming Sense 2 – and it makes sense to include this feature on the watch.
4. More sport modes added
The Venu Sq already has more than 20 sports modes preloaded on the watch, but the Venu Sq 2 added a few more: it now has 25+ preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, including walking, running, cycling, tennis and more. The Venu Sq 2 series even includes preloaded cardio, strength, yoga, HIIT and Pilates workouts. Better still, the preloaded HIIT activity profile features different timers to track key metrics and allows users to set the number of rounds, work/rest intervals and more.
+1. More features!
The Garmin Venu Sq 2 has all the features you'd expect from any self respecting wearable in 2022, including wrist-based heart rate, sleep monitoring (with sleep score), stress tracking and women's health tracking (menstrual cycle or pregnancy). You also Body Battery energy monitoring, smart notifications, Garmin Pay, and, in the case of the Venu Sq 2 Music, built-in memory to store music.
Garmin Venu Sq 2 – Price and release date
Available from 1 Sept 2022, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 comes in shadow grey/slate, white/cream gold and cool mint/metallic mint and has a suggested retail price of $249.99/£229.99/AU$399. The Venu Sq 2 – Music Edition comes in black/slate, ivory/peach gold and French grey/cream gold and has a suggested retail price of $299.99/£269.99/AU$499. For more info, visit Garmin US (opens in new tab), Garmin UK (opens in new tab) and Garmin AU (opens in new tab) today.