Garmin Venu 2 Plus review: Packed with fitness and smart features, but is it enough?
Finding the right fitness watch can be a challenge for many users. There are several preferences to keep in mind. Do you prefer form to function? Is there a budget limitation? What are the essential smart features you wouldn’t compromise? What about fitness features?
My favorite smartwatch is the one with a sleek fit, precise steps and fitness tracking, and a few smart features. The Garmin Venu 2 Plus, which I’ve been using for two weeks, is one such device that does the trick. But is it the right fitness watch for you? Here is my opinion
Garmin Venu 2 Plus review: Yes, it’s expensive
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is not a watch for those looking to get a fitness device on a budget. This is for someone looking for a high end fitness watch and wants something that looks good. The version I got for review has a striking gold stainless steel bezel with an ivory case and silicone band. There is also a silver and slate version for those who find the gold overwhelming.
I liked the gold and ivory color tones, given that it’s a break from the monotonous black smartwatches I end up reviewing. It looks elegant enough to wear with evening wear, let’s even say when I’m wearing a saree etc. The only thing I don’t like about the Venu 2 Plus is that it feels a little big for my wrist size. The company says it fits those with 135mm to 200mm wrists, but it feels a bit larger on mine (139mm wrists, I measured).
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Still, the 1.3-inch-diameter screen (416 x 416 pixel resolution) is one of the best you’ll get, and there’s plenty of room to show notifications, messages, and more. It’s a color AMOLED display with an Always-On mode.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus review: The smart features
It also comes with smart features including the ability to take calls on the watch. I’ve taken quite a bit of this, and the audio quality can be a bit dodgy at times. However, people on the other side heard me clearly most of the time, although my colleague pointed out that my voice sounded different. The watch should stay connected to your phone. This one doesn’t have LTE. But as long as the phone is in range, the call audio should be fine. I used it with an iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus will also show notifications from your device, although you can only clear them from the device. There is no option for quick replies as such. I don’t mind that, considering I consider the Garmin device to be more fitness-focused. Also, I’ve never been entirely comfortable responding to notifications from a smartwatch.
It can connect to WiFi by itself. You can also control music from the watch and install Spotify on the device. I could control Spotify music playback on my iPhone from the watch, but you’ll need to link it through the Garmin Connect app. You will need a premium account on Spotify to access some features.
You can also store some Spotify songs on the device (650 in total). But it turned out to be quite a task no matter what I was doing. The app kept insisting that I had to set up WiFi to download music to the watch. No matter how many installs and uninstalls I did, nothing seemed to fix the problem. For the record, when connecting WiFi, the watch indicated that the connection was successful. Eventually, I just gave up on this piece of music download. I guess there’s a technical reason why it didn’t work for me, as it worked well with other Garmin devices, which I reviewed earlier.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus review: The fitness bit
There is no doubt that this is an excellent fitness watch. There are several modes here to satisfy the average user. From swimming to running to the treadmill, from strength training to golf workouts, the watch covers more than enough for users. Step tracking is largely accurate, and yes, the watch will remind you if you’ve been standing still for too long. It’s something I needed more in the past week as I recover from another virus. The watch can also track stress levels, and it’s generally accurate. He understood that I was getting stressed trying to sort out this WiFi problem. It can track menstrual cycles, hydration levels, and more. for those who like to go deep.
I’ve used the watch for swim sessions and found the data to be largely accurate. This sometimes added a jump to the distance count even when I was standing still, although the final number it reflected for the total distance I had swum was accurate. It was accurate with walk and hike data. The auto-detect feature is perfect, especially when you’re walking around. The only thing that confused the watch was the number of floors I climbed. While I was outside on a trip to the Himachal mountains, the watch convinced me that I was climbing a lot of floors. I wasn’t, I was just on a very slow, rocky climb.
Yes, the watch can also detect your blood oxygen level, which has become a must-have feature these days. You can access it through the watch’s Health Snapshot feature.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus review: Software, battery
I’ve reviewed several Garmin watches now, and I can safely say that the user interface didn’t grow on me. This can get confusing for me. You can swipe down on the home screen and access all of your stats for the day. You can press the top button once to start a new exercise session and keep your favorite exercise options at the top of the list. All of this is fine. But I would have appreciated an easier way to access all apps and settings. For example, I have to long press the bottom button to get to settings. Just give users the ability to access settings without having to jump so many hoops. With this watch, I still don’t know how to access certain things, which isn’t ideal.
The battery life will easily last a week for heavy users. Garmin promises 11 days of battery life. All of this assuming you don’t keep the GPS on for long periods of time. With the GPS on all day and without music, the promised autonomy is 22 hours.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus review: Should you get it?
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is a good high-end fitness smartwatch. It’s sleek, has useful smart features, will let you take calls when needed, and the battery life should suffice for most users. This is for someone who doesn’t want the same old Apple Watch or the Samsung Galaxy Watch series, which is now based on WearOS. If you take your fitness game seriously and don’t mind spending a premium on the device in question, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus is a stylish device to consider. There’s also the Garmin Venu 2S, which is slightly cheaper but doesn’t have the option to take/make calls.