Garmin’s updated AMOLED smartwatch is still extremely sports-focused, with dedicated modes for running (indoor, outdoor, treadmill), cycling (indoor/outdoor), swimming (pool only thanks to 5ATM water resistance), golf, strength, cardio, elliptical, indoor rowing, yoga and more. HIIT has been boosted specifically, with special modes for EMOM and AMRAP sessions, and it will track reps in guided strength workouts, too.
The glossy 416 x 416 resolution screen (the Venu 2S has a 360 x 360) will attract for those tempted by the Apple Watch, but the Venu 2 offers over a week of battery life, and a bunch of advanced health metrics, including pulse ox, top notch health tracking and stress monitoring.
It’s a nice bit of kit and that screen is really punchy, making stats during runs in the dark easier to read, and notifications look crisp and sharp, too.
We also really liked the health features – and Garmin has made big strides in accuracy with the Venu 2. The stress tracking felt immediate and useful, and we could see stressful feelings spiking the real time tracking. Likewise, the sleep tracking has improved massively, which also feeds into Body Battery measurement of energy. It will also record blood oxygen levels at night or 24/7 if you desire.
It’s not all rosy, though. The wrist raise is a bit clunky, and the supplied watch faces and apps on Connect IQ feel very basic.
In short, the Garmin Venu 2 isn’t as slick as an Apple Watch – but tears strips off it for battery life, while being a top fitness smartwatch. It comes recommended.