The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is a great all-rounder if you’re a fitness fan, with in-depth workout tracking plus analysis across multiple sports, custom multi-week workout schedules and excellent performance from the HR monitor and GPS. However, fitness aside, it’s not the smartest watch around, lacking the breadth associated with apps of competing WearOS and watchOS alternatives.
Best Prices Today: Garmin Venu two Plus
When it comes to the health and fitness tracking market, Garmin is a household name, offering some of the best quality wearables geared towards health and exercise tracking no matter your budget – and it looks like that’s set to continue with the particular latest wearable from your company, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus.
Sold alongside the standard Venu 2 released last year, the Venu 2 Plus offers one big upgrade; a microphone. While it might not sound like much, you’re able in order to not only access your digital assistant – including Google Assistant, Siri and Bixby – but make and receive calls directly through the watch.
Pair that along with in-depth health and fitness tracking, a premium design and a great display and you’ve got an excellent – though not perfect – running-focused smartwatch.
Design & build
Similar design to standard Venu 2
43mm case only
New customisable button
Quickly, you might be hard-pressed in order to notice a difference between the particular Garmin Venu 2 Plus and the standard Venu two. They both sport the same general look plus feel with similar colour options available for each – yet look closer and there are a few subtle differences.
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The most immediately obvious, if you can call it that, is the particular case size. While the regular Venu 2 comes in 41- and 45mm variants, the new In addition model has a single 43mm case – big enough to do the particular job, but not so much that it overpowers smaller wrists.
In fact , the 1 . 3in AMOLED screen at its heart will be the ideal size for a wrist-worn wearable, along with plenty associated with space to showcase custom watchfaces and display live exercise metrics. It’s detailed with a decent 414 x 414 resolution plus it’s bright enough in order to be used in direct sunlight.
There’s even an always-on display mode, although that comes at the sacrifice to overall battery life.
Smaller changes can be found on the particular case itself. One of the big new features is microphone and speaker support, enabling extra functionality – that will I’ll detail a little later – and the ability to easily entry your virtual assistant with a new dedicated virtual assistant button.
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That new button is usually nestled alongside the two standard stainless steel buttons that sit to the right of the screen, and can end up being reassigned in order to another function if a person don’t use your virtual assistant all that often.
With regards to color options, you’ve got a few to choose from; silver stainless steel with a grey strap (as photographed), cream-gold stainless-steel with an ivory strap or slate stainless steel with the black band.
The stainless steel is really a nice touch, adding reduced look to the control keys and outer bezel of the display, but the plastic body from the watch might put some off at such a premium price.
As with alternatives, the standard straps are made from sweat-resistant silicone, but you can also opt with regard to something made from suede, leather or even metal if you pay a little extra on the particular Garmin website.
Can access virtual assistant or make phone calls from your wrist
Basic smartwatch functionality
Most apps tailored towards health and physical fitness
As alluded in order to earlier, 1 of the big differentiating features between the Venu 2 plus Venu 2 Plus is the inclusion of a microphone and speaker, allowing you not just to access your va via your hand but make and receive calls too. It might not seem like a lot, but it’s a move that brings it to new heights in the smartwatch world, along with it being one associated with few non-Apple wearables in order to offer the particular functionality.
Lewis Painter and Foundry
Of course , with no LTE support, you’ll have to be in Bluetooth range of your smartphone, but it is a start. The call quality is impressive too, along with no real complaints from recipients about my mic quality, as well as the speaker embedded into the left associated with the case is loud enough regarding quick chats.
There’s furthermore the safety aspect to appreciate, allowing a person to occurs smartwatch in areas where you might not feel comfortable getting your phone out of your pocket or even bag.
You’ve also got the ability to set an emergency contact that you can call quickly if needed, and when running and cycling, you have a good Apple-style automatic incident detection that’ll detect when you have fallen. It helps bring peace of mind, not just when exercising but inside daily life.
It’s not just a glorified speakerphone though; there are plenty of smart functions on offer through the Venu 2 As well as.
Expect the particular standard features, like basic notification support, customisable watchfaces and the capability to find your phone remotely together with Garmin-designed fitness tracking applications.
Lewis Artist / Foundry
However, it’s certainly focused more on wellness than common smart functions with a lack of support intended for popular third-party apps and other smart features you’d associate with a traditional smartwatch.
There isn’t an app store on the view itself, but you can download the particular Garmin Connect IQ app (a separate app in the Connect application used to set up the watch) in order to download a range associated with apps. Although there are a few surprises like Spotify, Deezer plus Amazon Music for streaming, don’t expect to see the particular same popular apps you’d see upon the App Store or Search engines Play – the vast majority of apps available are fitness-based.
If you aren’t a fan of loading music, the Venu two Plus arrives with sufficient built-in storage to store up to 350 associated with your favourite tunes, allowing you to stream directly to a pair of connected Bluetooth headphones without the particular need for a smartphone.
Lewis Painter / Foundry
Another benefit is support for Garmin Pay, Garmin’s contactless payment method built into the Venu 2 Plus. It is great to see, allowing you to leave your cell phone at home and be able to pay for transport and other goods, but support among banks is a far cry through what we see with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
There are a handful of supported banks in the particular UK, of which I’m not an user, but there is better support amongst banks in the US.
Health and fitness monitoring
Impressive HR keep track of & GPS NAVIGATION performance
Tailored multi-week exercise plans
New visual guides for pilates and yoga
Workout UI can become confusing in order to newbies
Being a Garmin smartwatch, it should come as no surprise that the Venu two Plus truly excels when it comes to physical fitness tracking – it’s the particular company’s bread and butter, after all.
You can start the workout from the watch by itself, tracking working, cycling, yoga, yoga and more, but the more advanced features comes through the Garmin Connect friend app to get iOS plus Android.
From the app, you can set up training plans for 5K, 10K and half-marathon runs and long-distance cycling along with a tailored multi-week workout plan designed around your own capabilities.
It’s much a lot more in-depth plus personalised than the regular couch to 5K apps, with voiceovers from top trainers around the world that provide genuine insight and motivation on runs. You can tweak the plan as you go if you need to miss a day, and crucially, it’s completely free in order to use.
Lewis Painter or Foundry
In fact, that’s a theme across the Garmin Venu 2 and its Connect partner app. In a world exactly where more plus more companies – like Fitbit – are putting advanced functions and metrics behind the monthly paywall, it’s refreshing to end up being able to access all your data whenever a person like without reaching pertaining to the credit card.
When this comes in order to tracking workouts, the Venu 2 Plus is an extremely reliable bit of kit. The optical heart rate sensor embedded on the bottom of the particular case is usually impressively responsive during exercises, a particular benefit for HIIT along with other HR zone-based workout routines.
You do have the option to hook up a chest strap (sold separately) but I never felt the need to during my time with the watch.
Lewis Painter and Foundry
The built-in GPS is definitely accurate, even when running in built-up city streets such as I do, with a map-based GPS heat map obtainable post-run to not only show your route and overall distance, but when you were pushing yourself most.
Though there is not turn-based navigation like with the high-end Garmin Fenix 5S Plus , the watch makes use of GPS to provide a return-to-start feature that’ll guide you back to your starting point when exploring unfamiliar areas.
The only pain point can be that it isn’t really always clear how to activate features like HUMAN RESOURCES Zone-based works from your view ahead of workouts, using the exercise UI seemingly relying on prior knowledge of how Garmin tech works – and that’s not always going to be the case.
After a bit of swiping and tapping, you’ll get utilized to it as I did, but We do wish it had an easier onboarding process for those new in order to the Garmin family.
Running aside, another new addition is animated workouts meant for Pilates plus Yoga that will you may follow within real-time upon your watch. It may sound awkward, but the large display of the Venu 2 Plus is perfect, though presently there are only three sessions in each to at the time of writing so it’s more tailored to beginners compared to dedicated yogis.
Lewis Painter / Foundry
Aside from dedicated workout tracking, the particular Venu 2 Plus will monitor your own vitals throughout the day and night, with all-day heart rate tracking, (optional) blood oxygen tracking, steps taken, energy used, sleep tracking and even the ability to track your water intake – even though the latter will require some manual input.
This data is certainly available by swiping upward or down from the watch face on the app, giving the great snapshot of your own activity level on any given day, and you can use the Garmin Link app in order to drill down into the specifics.
Lewis Artist / Foundry
All the data collected, from devoted workouts to general health and fitness tracking, can be shared along with third-party applications including Apple Health, Strava, MyFitnessPal plus more, with automatic syncing whenever a person open the particular Garmin Connect app – a huge plus in case you rely on multiple apps to track your health.
Battery life & charging
Up to a week of charge
Expect less if you enable features want spO2 monitoring and always-on display
Awkward proprietary charging port on the rear
As with any smartwatch, the battery life of the Garmin Venu 2 In addition varies depending on what you’re doing and the particular functions you have enabled. With the default setting – i. e., along with the always-on display disabled – Garmin claims you will get up to a week of use, and that’s regarding right in my experience.
I’ve found it drops down to close to the five-day mark whenever enabling extra functionality like the always-on screen and blood oxygen checking, and it’ll also drain faster the more you use the advanced fitness tracking functionality mentioned above.
For context, Garmin claims that this can last 24 hours using GPS to exercise, which should be enough for most, though it falls right down to just 8 hours if you decide to play music through the built-in storage space. Maybe keep the music playing in order to your smartphone…
Lewis Painter / Foundry
When it comes to charging, the Venu two Plus utilises the same proprietary port on its rear as the rest of the Garmin collection. It snaps into place just fine with no worry about it falling out before this has finished charging, yet it’s nowhere as slick as the particular contact getting employed by the majority of smartwatch rivals – especially at a premium price point.
The good news is that it’ll proceed from flat to full in a little over 90 minutes, so at least a person won’t need to do it all that often.
The good news is definitely that Garmin is keeping both models of Venu 2 on sale side-by-side. That way, if you like the idea of the Venu 2 Plus but don’t want functions like the built-in mic, you can save your self $50/£50.
If you’re tempted, you can buy the Garmin Venu 2 In addition directly from Garmin because well since third-party retailers like Amazon at a discounted $415 / £298 in the time of writing.
The particular Garmin Venu 2 Plus is a great all-rounder if you are on the market designed for a smartwatch that focuses on health and fitness. It is ideal just for runners plus cyclists, with custom multi-week workout programs available, accurate HR readings and amazing GPS performance – even in built-up city streets.
It’s not really just for runners though, also capable of monitoring everything from rowing to golfing and skiing, and the brand new animated yoga exercise and pilates exercises are a nice touch.
New additions including a mic and loudspeaker improve the particular smarts upon offer, along with on-demand virtual assistant requests as well as the ability to take calls mid-run without having reaching for the purpose of your telephone. The just downside is that, without LTE, you’ll need a Bluetooth-connected smartphone nearby.
However, if you’re not much of a fitness fanatic and you’re after something that’ll run your favourite apps, provide smart home shortcuts and much more, you would be better away looking elsewhere.
While there is the Garmin Link IQ application store, the vast majority of apps are usually fitness-focused, and at this price, you could buy a more capable Samsung Galaxy Watch or Apple Watch.
Lewis Painter will be a Senior Staff Writer at Tech Advisor. Our resident Apple expert, Lewis covers everything through iPhone in order to AirPods, plus a range of smartphones, tablets, laptops and gaming hardware. You’ll also discover him around the Tech Advisor YouTube channel.