Garmin Venu 2 vs Venu: Which Garmin smartwatch is best for runners?
. Now i imagine there would have been a fair few people who probably own the garmin venue, the original or are looking at a garmin watch, particularly and to use for running and they’re wondering whether they need to go for the venue too, or actually they could save. Some money and go for the original venue, or maybe upgrade from the venue to the venue to wherever you need to um. So what i’ve done the last few weeks, i’ve kind of lived with both of these watches i’ve done plenty of running with them and really get a sense of what they’re like to live with whether there’s major improvements over its predecessor and the venue so yeah. This is my take on the gun venue 2 and how it compares to the original garmin venue. So let’s kick things off by talking about the design and the that’s. The matter is that these watches feel very similar to look at and actually to live with. I think anyway, um so you’re, getting um kind of similar size, strap uh same material and they’re removable. The kind of simple pin mechanisms around the back um for getting polymer cases and a kind of this textured stainless steel bezel around the screen, you’re getting two physical buttons so as opposed to the kind of four kind of physical buttons that you’ll get on traditional kind Of garmin, forerunner and kind of phoenix, watches and that’s, because there’s more emphasis on using the touchscreen display now on those displays, you are getting um a higher resolution display on the venue 2 compared to the original venue, it’s still an amoled screen so it’s that color And display – and you get that kind of more richer colors, a vibrant um screen and a kind of brighter display, as well um and with venue 2 there’s.
Also, a venue 2s, which is something that we’ve seen garmin, do with its 45 range and it’s kind of phoenix range and it’s vivo active range where it’s got the s is for a smaller um option and what that means in terms of comparison to the venue. 2 is you’re getting obviously a smaller case, a lower resolution screen and you’re getting a little bit less in terms of battery life um. Overall, these watches feel very similar. I think um. I think. Obviously, if you want a bigger screen – and you want that bigger case – go for the venue too, but i don’t think the the difference in terms of living with them and running with them is hugely different. I think the original venue has a good enough. Um quality amyloid screen, i think, it’s a good enough size they’re, both very comfortable watches, to live with, and i definitely think there’s going to be other areas that may sway you or may persuade you to go for one over the other. Now a note on the screens themselves, i think it’s it’s important to talk about the amoled screens and what that means in terms of visibility and being able to look at the screen um in all conditions. Now the reason that um garmin always use transfective displays is that it gives you the best viewing angles in kind of all conditions. Now, with ambulance screens, it can be a little bit of struggle, sometimes in a kind of brighter light, and that is something that i kind of found.
I think the the main thing for me is kind of when you’re using the rays to wake um gesture on these screens, and they can take a little bit long to kind of wake up or kind of kind of fully illuminate. Now you do have always on display modes um available on both of these watches that will ultimately impact on battery life, which i’ll get into later. So one air, which i think is going to have a big say on whether you go for the venue suit over the venue, is the interface now with a bigger emphasis on a touchscreen display. That means, ultimately, that garmin had to kind of rethink how you interact with these watches now in the original venue, it kind of had this kind of very strong widget based um interface um. I thought it was kind of a little bit messy um. It was quite hard to get to grip straight away where everything kind of lived, particularly if you’ve used a kind of standard, four rhino or a phoenix where that interface is quite consistent. Now, on the venue, 2 it’s kind of incorporated more of what you see in their other watches and put it into the venue too. And i think it makes for a better experience in terms of getting around and using it. And while you’re running um. And i think that’s a huge thing for the venue too, that it has over the venue now whether garmin is going to roll those changes out to the original venue.
I don’t know if they do great and i think that would make the venue still worth looking at, but i think the venue 2, i think, does better in terms of how you interact with the watch and how you use that software, where things live and that For me is going to be a big deal, um, whether you go for the new year venue or go for the original Music, so in terms of run tracking experience and the kind of performance it’s pretty similar, i would say, based on my experience and i’ve done, A bunch of different runs on these i’ve done. Some longer runs, i’ve done some interval, stuff i’ve done some track sessions with them and just go and kind of go out and do some kind of miles and tight runs as well. So what i found is the data largely kind of matched up for the kind of key stats um in terms of the features you’ve got to play with um, you can send workouts to the watch. So if you want set up interval sessions, you can kind of do that and you’re very limited in terms of navigation support, so you’ve only really got back to start um support there um in terms of that, in terms of you get lost, and you want to Get back somewhere, um you’ve got access to garmin coach. You can kind of fire workouts over from that your latest sessions and follow those from the watch so in terms of the features generally um very similar um.
One thing that is different that’s worth highlighting is that um garmin’s venue 2 has their latest um heart rate, sensor technology and now my experience while it promises kind of a more accurate data. I found it quite similar to what i got on the original venue. I think for kind of those steady runs um. It was fine. It kind of held up well against a garmin hrm pro chess strap. When i kind of did that interval and track stuff, the quicker stuff um it struggled to keep up and the data was very much off so while it has a newer sensor ultimately, for me, the performance kind of that high intensity wasn’t quite there yet. But if you’re kind of doing those kind of kind of steadier paced runs, i think the the sensor technology is fine, but outside of that, you’re probably going to need to pair up a chest strap and you can do that, which is a good thing and i’ve Managed to pair up um apollo h10, the garmin hrm pro and the polar verity uh sense armband as well, no problem so from the kind of running experience and that running uh data, i think very similar. There was only a couple of runs, i think, maybe the track session, where the original venue recorded a bit more um in terms of the distance, but the track is not always the best place for um assessing um, a gps accuracy, um, so yeah pretty similar across The board you’re not getting major advantages with that new heart rate mortar, in my experience so on that front and that department they’re pretty level pegs.
So i will briefly kind of cover the kind of smartwatch elements on these watches and generally they’re pretty similar. In terms of what you get here, you’ve got that notification support, you’ve, got garmin pay and you’ve got a music player and you’ve got kind of offline support for services like spotify on the venue, two you’re getting more storage, so that’s, something that you care about, and You’Re getting more on the venue too, but ultimately the experience is very similar. You still got access to garmin connect iq if you want to kind of download some additional kind of apps and fields and stuff like that, and the smartwatch experience for me has been very similar. I can’t really separate them that much the bigger screen may be a little bit nicer to look at notifications, but ultimately uh from a smartwatch point of view, you’re getting very similar experience um across these two watches. Okay, so let’s go up battery life and essentially garmin is saying. You’Re gon na get a lot more battery on the newer venue, um you’re, looking at double the battery life in terms of smartwatch mode, so kind of up to 10 to 11 days. In that mode, um gps battery life is longer gps. Battery with music streaming is longer there’s, a battery saver mode here as well and there’s a charging mode which i’ll get into a little bit later um. Now, essentially, in my experience, i think maybe those numbers have been a little bit generous from garmin.
I still find that you probably get about five to six days, uh on the venue two, and i think it was about five days on the original venue, and that was without the always on display. Now, with the always on display on, i found you got about four days on the venue, two and probably three days on the um original venue, so definitely more probably a day but it’s, not a huge amount and it’s still short of a week. If you have that screen on always on um in some kind of gps battery life performance as well, i found the drop off quite similar. Actually so an hour run, for instance, would see the battery drop by eight or nine percent on both these watches. So a bit dubious about whether those gps battery numbers kind of add up what is a nice feature that you get on the venue 2 that you don’t get on the venue is the rapid charging support. So basically, what that says is you can put this on the charger and it’s the same charge that you use on both of these watches, so the one on the venue works on the venue, two um, so ten minutes of charge will get you a day’s worth Of tracking or an hour of gps tracking as well and it’s, a really useful feature to have. I wish it was a feature that they had on apple watches and on samsung watches and some of the other kind of fuller, smart watches.
But that is a really nice feature. That kind of feels like a short term solution for not getting you a week’s worth of a battery 10 minutes on the charger will get you um and maybe, and even just a little bit longer will get you back up to 100 um in no time. So i think kind of day to day battery life, i think they’re very similar. I think you’re getting a little bit more on the venue too, but not a huge amount um. But you do have that quick charging uh that kind of rapid charge support. It does kind of come in handy if you get a little bit short and you’ve only got a bit of time to kind of charge before you get out of the house or you’ve forgotten to charge it overnight. So on the battery front, you’re getting a bit more on the venue too, but i don’t think it’s huge in terms of that day to day use it’s. But you have got that rapid charging feature that will come in handy Music. Okay, so should you go for the garmin venue 2 or the original garmin venue, or do you if you own a garmin venue? Do you really need to upgrade um to the venue too? So i’ll start with the first question and i think it really boils down to whether you want that high resolution screen whether you want that little bit extra battery life, which i think is a little bit extra and you’ve, got that charging feature as well um.
I think the big deal here really is the user interface, which i think makes the garmin venue 2 a much nicer watch to live with. In my experience, ultimately same design same look so that’s, not something that’s really going to sway. You, i think, of the venue. I think it’s got all the same things really in terms of that core running experience. I think the screen is good enough. I think the battery life, i think, is good enough as well, not too far off um what you get on the venue too. So i think if you uh, if i had to pick between two, i would probably go for the venue too, but actually, if i got the venue i i could, i could live with it. I could live with the kind of difference in terms of the uh. The interface because i think the running experience and tracking experience is very similar um. I guess, if you own the original garmin venue and you’re wondering what are the kind of key things to upgrade or may persuade you to upgrade to the venue too. I think, in my experience um the first thing would be the screen, obviously you’re getting a high resolution screen and a slightly bigger screen if you’re happy with what you get on the venue and i think it’s pretty good in what you get on the venue already. Then that won’t be an issue, but if you want the best that’s, where you’re going to get the venue too um, i also think um.
The battery life is a big deal here, slightly better battery life. I think, but it’s really the charging support, which i think is a key difference here for me and maybe in that extra day, in always on display mode as well and then there’s the interface. Now, whether garmin rolled that new interface out onto the original venue – i don’t know if they do then that’ll be a reason to kind of stay put on that one. But at the moment i think it makes the venue 2 a nicer watch to kind of live with and interact with, and that would be a reason for me to choose the venue to over the original venue. So there you have it. That is my running. Take on the garmin venue 2 and how it compares to the original garmin venue. Now, if you’ve got any questions about the testing or there’s other features that you want to get a sense of how they compare the two watches. Let me know in the comments, as always like and subscribe hit that little bell to find out about latest videos and yeah see you for next run.