Garmin Venu 2 Plus Running Review: Garmin's new smartwatch run tested
Now, essentially, this uh joins the garmin venue 2, the garmin venue sq. So the sq is the square version. Theyve all got color amoled displays its the same with the venue 2 plus. This is definitely much closer to what youre getting experience wise from the venue two. So youre getting a round uh design, youre getting um a polymer case, youre getting an interchangeable, strap youre, getting the same screen size as the um venue two here as well. The key differences here really in terms of design and what youre getting in terms of experience, is um youre, getting this physical button middle physical button before you or on the venue. Two. You only have two buttons, that is to enable the new features, the voice features, which means you do get a microphone and a speaker on here as well. That does mean, even though this is smaller. This is a 43 millimeter case compared to the 45 and the 40 you get in the sq, so it sits in between those that extra hardware does mean it gets a little bit thicker and a little bit heavier, but its not in a way that i think You can really notice um, i put the kind of venue 2 and the um venue 2 plus alongside each other, and to be honest, i dont think theres a major difference in terms of what you get here. Um were getting a few different bezel options. Um, as garmin always seems to kind of offer.
Now these days, ive got the kind of all kind of black. You can get kind of a cream bezel, a silver bezel. You can get a leather strap which pushes the price up a little bit as well, but ultimately, the design of this watch is near identical to what you got on. What we got on the venue too, in terms of the look, if you like a sporty looking um kind of running, watch or smart watch, then thats what you get here, its not going to be for everyone. I dont think. But if you kind of look at some of the other bezel options and the fact you can change the strap, then you can get something maybe a little bit kind of stylish, more stylish looking and less sporty. I guess, but if you dont mind the sporty look thats, what youre going to get with the venue – 2 plus, as i said, very similar to what youre getting specs wise um compared to the venue 2. So if you like the idea of that and wanted maybe a slightly smaller case, but not that small square in case youre, getting the venue sq, then thats kind of what youre going to get on the going venue, 2 plus Music. In terms of the run test. I have to say, with the menu 2 plus is very similar to the venue. 2. – almost identical, i would say in terms of what its like to live with on your wrist when youre running um in terms of the performance in terms of the data youre.
Getting from it, everything like i saw from this uh watching my running time, felt near identical to what i experienced on the garmin venue. 2. um ill start with what its like to live with, and what to have in your you know to have on your wrist. Now ultimately, um youre getting a smaller case size than the uh gone venue, two but bigger than the venue sq. But i think you know you dont really notice a difference in terms of size or i didnt anyway. In terms of absorbing that information. The kind of information how its displayed and how you know easy is to glance at and kind of, take in how youre how youre performing in terms of your running um. So in terms of the screen. Now you do have an always on mode like you. Do have on the venue too, but i used a mixture of that uh when i was testing now when you dont have that on. You have to use the raise to wake gesture to wake the screen up now, its not instant but its, not really slow, but ultimately i would like it. You know, i think, thats the benefit of having a an always on display um with most gun and watches that you dont have to think about that. So its not instant, it kind of takes a couple of seconds to kind of wake up, but you can see your data ultimately um and you can customize those kind of data fields as well and get all of the same features that youve got on the venue.
Too, in terms of training and workouts and things like garmin coach, so that is all here in terms of uh. From that perspective, now, in terms of the data accuracy and reliability, i would say the gps was pretty good for me: performance, wise um. I got a quite you know very quick kind of lock on in terms of signal um. I was using it against another garmin and they were pretty kind of spot on in terms of picking up that signal. Um and yeah from the kind of shorter and longer runs i did. It worked really nicely. I think, from that point of view, and things like average pace, were pretty much spot on uh when i compared it to kind of tracking from strava and also from another garmin. So, in terms of heart rate monitoring performance, i think it was pretty much identical to what i got on the venue 2. From my experience um, i would definitely pair it up with an external chest. Strap monitor, because i found that maximum heart rate readings were definitely notably higher compared to a wahoo ticker um, chest drop. Chest strap, monitor um, and you can do that. Thankfully youve got amp plus and bluetooth connectivity here, so you do have the option to do that, and i would do that and from continuous heart rate um once if thats something you care about, i think its pretty reliable but for kind of during exercise and during Running, i would definitely pair it up.
Even in kind of steadier runs. I found it a little bit higher on the maximum kind of heart rate really, but the average readings are okay, but if you care about those intensities and high intensity runs and training thats um, what i would personally do in terms of those extra features youre getting And, like i said, youre getting things like garmin coach, which i think is really solid um, i think things like fitness, age, um, the body uh battery, monitor things are all really nice things stress tracking as well. I think um, the sensors have become more reliable for that kind of everyday uh monitoring, but in terms of the running kind of side of things, youre not getting those kind of more advanced, uh training, analytics youre gon na get from kind of pricier um for runners Compared to the uh venue, two plus uh, if thats something you want, you are gon na – have to look elsewhere, but ultimately, if youre looking for a core solid run tracking experience. This is pretty much identical for me to the venue too. So for me, in terms of the run tracking performance overall and the run testing um its pretty solid, very similar to the venue 2 for me, uh has the same kind of highlight same kind of you know bad points that i think ive kind of highlighted, or We highlighted on the venue too um, so its good for running, not perfect uh, but definitely the good outweighs the bad here, Music and in terms of those voice features now i think theyre pretty well integrated.
Basically, garmin has taken approach of what weve seen with uh kind of sports headphones that kind of integrate or give you access your um to your voice assistant on your phone. So essentially, when you press that uh new physical uh middle button that you have on the watch um, initially you will um it will push you into your phone as long as theyre paired and connected. And then, if you, depending on what um smart assistance you have on your phone, so i had a samsung phone, which meant i had access to bixby and google assistant. It will let you pick if youve got from one. If youve got multiple assistants, you pick one and after that, every time you hit that um middle button. You can ask the same things. You would ask google assistant on your phone so whats. The weather is today at tomorrow, 30 pm when they will be playing wolverhampton. Wanderers, you can respond to techs using voice as well with general stuff, and i think the speaker and the mic works pretty well. For me it was nice and loud, i used it indoors and outdoors and it was pretty reliable, responsive from that point of view. So it was well its a well integrated feature. You can use it when youre running. So when you, when youre tracking, you can just hit that middle button and it will open up that um. That screen again to let you um interact with your voice assistant and also it takes.
You know its about five seconds for that voice assistant to connect so its not instant um. So if thats, something that you care about them its yeah its, not an instant kind of connection from that point of view, but for me you know not groundbreaking voice features here we have seen them on other watches. You do have bluetooth calling here as well, which work fine. If you want to use those features, you have a keypad and you can pull in your contacts. I think up to 50 contacts um, which you can access from the watch. The crucial thing here is: you dont, have extra connectivity or cellular connectivity, its all done when you pair to your phone with bluetooth. That also lets you make calls with the kind of safety and incidents uh detection features as well, which previously you know you still have to use on your phone. Now you can access that from the watch as well or make calls from what so thats quite nice to have there as well. So while the you know the the voice features arent groundbreaking, i think theyre nice to have and if those are features that you look for in a running, focused uh, smartwatch or sports watch, then these do um work pretty well on here so far and also room For improvement, um, now that you have that mic and uh that speaker on there, you might be able to you, know therell, be you know, developers that may be looking to add extra features there and going may open that up as well.
So voice feature is not groundbreaking, but i think nice addition here in terms of garmis overall kind of smartwatch platform Music. So my voice on the garmin venue, 2 plus, is as an option for runners its pretty solid, again um, but i think its very similar to what youre getting from the uh. What youve got on the venue too now ultimately whats separating that from this is those voice features, are, is that case size as well, which kind of sits in between the two uh venue models and also theres a slight drop off in battery life? But ultimately, my smith youre still going to get a weeks worth of training out of it thats without the always on display and its obviously going to be less for that um, but kind of core performance from running perspective feels very similar to me in terms of Distance tracking, the heart rate monitor performance, which i still think you need um a chest, strap to get the best results for um and then those extra features that you have got there. The voice support which does work during runs. So it does work and i think its well integrated in terms of the experience you get on the watch um. I thought the software works a little bit nicer than it did in the original venues as well, and that kind of shown improvements to the venue too. You get that here as well and then yeah battery performance, i think, is pretty good um as well here now, if youre looking at how this kind of compares to what else is out there, um youre, looking at things like the the apple watch, you uh series.
Seven, you are looking at things like the samsung galaxy watch for the huawei watch, gt3 um, i think as well in terms of how i think this compares or where that sits. I would say if you have got an android phone. This is a really strong option. I think if you care about run tracking and you want a kind of smart watch experience, i also put the huawei watch gt3 there around there as well, but i think in terms of that, that track that core familiar carmen experience thats what youre going to get Here um, if youre an apple user, i would still say probably go for the apple watch. But if you care about having the battery life as well as the solid kind of run tracking, then i would probably say: go for the venue. 2, not the venue 2 plus, unless you want those um extra voice, features um well to me its a its been a really kind of solid experience for me. Overall, you know garmin are getting better in terms of offering that kind of run tracking, but also that smartwatch experience – and this is another example of it – kind of growing and evolving. Its venue range to offer more in terms of smartwatch features. But if i had to pick out of the garmin venue range, i would still probably go for the venue too and thats just me personally in terms of what the voice features and that case difference kind of brings in terms of value in terms of running um.
If you are looking for a smartwatch that works for android and iphone and you dont want the apple watch, i think this is a really good option. But again i would probably go for the venue too um, just because i think the price is just about right. In terms of um comparison with the apple watch, so they have it – that is our take on the garmin venue, 2 plus now we do also have a video comparing this with the gun. Venue too, so definitely go and check that out as well um if youve got any questions about our testing. Let us know in the comments, as always like and subscribe hit that little bell to find out about our latest videos and yeah well, see the next run.