Garmin Venu 2 Plus hands-on: Garmin's best smartwatch yet
It does a pretty darn good job. This is the venue 2 plus lets, take it for a spin Music if youre familiar with some of garmins earlier watches, specifically the venue 2 and 2s released in 2021 theres, not too much of a surprise when it comes to the functionality and look and feel of The venue 2 plus its all in the name that plus means that there are a couple of extra features, specifically a speaker and microphone on board. That means youll be able to talk to your voice assistant. Take quick calls on your wrist and even respond to text messages using your voice and dictation looks wise. This watch is very similar to the venue 2 series. Its got a round amoled display its bright, its really easy to see in broad daylight, and there is an auto brightness sensor on board. This watch comes in only one size: 43 millimeters. That is different from the venue 2 series, which did have two different sizes and it kind of splits the difference between the two. If you have a smaller wrist, you might find that some watches can overwhelm you, but this one i actually found was pretty happy medium. I didnt find that it was too big at all and i definitely enjoyed the extra real estate on the screen elsewhere on the exterior. There is one extra button on the side and a speaker on the opposite side. Now, when you long press that button in the middle, it brings up your voice assistant either siri on ios, it is google assistant or bixby when youre on android and good news.
Yes, it is compatible with android and ios. That button can also be programmed to have a shortcut when you press it just once i like to set it to be my music app. The good news about this speaker is that it can actually get fairly loud. You can listen to prompts from your voice assistant. Obviously, as well as callers when you are in a phone call and moral crucially for me its kind of an odd thing, but it does actually play music without wireless events attached. You might be thinking lexi like why on earth would i want to listen to music on my tiny watch speaker, let me tell you if youre like me and youre forgetful and you dont take earbuds, sometimes when you go out on a run or an outdoor workout, Its pretty nice to be able to have this as a backup to listen to some songs to keep you motivated. The downside is youre not going to be able to control any watch functionality using your voice, say, for example, you want to just press the assistant button and start a workout with your voice. You cant do that yet on this watch, its really just acting as a go between to get you to the assistant on your phone, but i didnt find it to be that much of a downside at all and when it came to calls and call quality. I actually found a lot of people that i was talking to on the phone said that my voice sounded pretty clear when i was talking into my watch and it was fairly good at isolating and the speaker.
Quality from my end was actually pretty good as well. For just quick short calls, i wouldnt be sitting there and having a full on conversation for an hour, but i guess i could, if i really wanted to the fitness and health features, are lifted from the venue 2 series. And if you want to see a full deep dive into everything, as well as testing of all of those features, ive linked. My full review of that watch in the description below. But the short story is youre, getting things like blood oxygen tracking, both on demand and through the day and night. If you want it, there is a built in gps. There are some animation workouts to help you target certain muscle groups when you are say doing weights, for example, theres, sleep, tracking and theres, also the garmin body battery, which is giving you an idea of how much you have left in the tank based on variables. Like your overall activity levels and your heart rate, variability theres also high and low heart rate alerts like the venue 2. This watch also has music storage on board, including third party apps, like amazon, music and spotify. There is also a range of third party apps. You can download through the connect iq store, and you can also see notifications coming through on your wrist from android and ios, but only quick replies are going to be able to be sent from this watch when you are paired with an android.
But most importantly is battery life, and this is a big one. You might be familiar with some watches. Like you know, the apple watch galaxy watch, youre really struggling to get to multiple days on them. This watch can get you nine days. Thats garmins claim real world testing is a little bit different, of course, because everybodys usage patterns will vary. I found that i was actually getting a week and then change so almost eight days out of this watch on a full charge that was getting notifications, one gps workout a day im not gon na lie. I wasnt super active over the christmas break when i was doing most of this testing, but still, i think it was fairly real world usage notifications coming through from your wrist and an occasional use of the voice assistant. Obviously, when youre doing things like pulling music across to your watch, i found that the battery drains quicker and also if your screen brightness, is on really high. All of the time, of course, its going to eat into your battery life. But honestly, a weeks worth of battery life, a really nice change, but now for the big one, the price the venue 2 plus is 450 us dollars. Thats, really. The only significant knock that i have against this watch is that it is more expensive than the venue. 2 and 2s for having the extra speaker and mic functionality on board. I wish the garmin didnt hike the price, especially because the venue, 2 and 2s have a price reduction now to 350.
So it is more of a gap between the watches, but the good news is, if say, you dont want a speaker in microphone. You can look at the venue 2 series. I gave them an editors choice award because theyre really good watches and you can save a little bit of cash that way too, but theres something about this watch. I really feel like it is becoming a true equal to the apple watchers and the galaxy watches of this world, especially if you want extra fitness features and a lot of extra battery life, because to me thats a huge draw card of the watch stay tuned. For my full review, which i will link in text form in the description below, you can also find latest pricing and availability of this watch and the other two watches that i mentioned as well.