Venu 2 Plus review: Garmin moves closer to a true smartwatch

For the earlier number of months, I have been putting on the new Garmin Venu 2 Plus as my primary GPS sports watch. While I’ve been bouncing concerning a Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE and a COROS Vertix 2, the new characteristics and excellent AMOLED exhibit of the Venu 2 In addition have me very seriously looking at this as my new everyday driver.

The 
Venu 2 In addition

 builds on all of the wonderful characteristics identified in the Venu 2 with the means to make and just take cell phone calls from the watch when paired to your smartphone, a lot like the non-cellular
Apple Observe versions

. You can also now use your smartphone’s assistant to mail text messages, ask concerns, and more suitable from your wrist. It is practical to keep your cell phone in a pocket or bag whilst having care of basic communication demands suitable from your wrist, specifically if you are strolling all over a city or have your fingers comprehensive.  

9.4


Garmin Venu 2 In addition



Superb

Like

  • Telephone phone and voice assistant assist
  • Magnificent, excellent AMOLED exhibit
  • Touchscreen and button navigation interface
  • Highly effective Garmin ecosystem and capability
  • Sound battery everyday living
  • Support for a large number of sports and pursuits

Will not Like

  • Costly
  • Button push expected for voice assistant

The lively colour exhibit is straightforward to study in numerous lights ailments and is responsive to taps and swipes. A 3rd button is also now present on the suitable facet of the Venu 2 In addition, so you can assign a one push motion to go along with activating your voice assistant with a push and keep of the button.

Hardware

The main attraction for the Garmin Venu series is the excellent AMOLED exhibit that has lively colours and stark blacks, so fonts, graphics, and animations pop on the screen. At initial glance, the Venu 2 In addition seems like the Venu 2 with the very same one.3-inch exhibit that smoothly flows to the edge of the watch. Having said that, there are now three components buttons on the suitable facet as a substitute of two. A speaker opening is positioned in the heart of the left facet.

The top rated suitable button is that motion button that is used to open up the activity launcher with a one push or to start the controls menu with a push and keep. You can also keep this button for a period of time of time right up until you really feel three vibrations, and then your information for support will be sent out via your linked cell phone. The base button, back again, returns to the previous exhibit, marks a lap, views gadget options, and more. From the watch deal with, you have to have to push and keep the back again button to get to the options menus.

The centre-suitable button is new for the Venu series, and within the options, you have one button push and button keep options. I at this time have a one button-tap to open up alarms and a button-keep to start the voice assistant (this is the default location for a keep).

A basic 20mm large silicone band is provided with the Venu 2 In addition. Speedy-launch slider pins are identified on the back again so you can swiftly and effortlessly change out the bands.

The heart level sensor is positioned on the back again with the regular 4-pin Garmin connector for charging up the watch.


See also: Greatest sports watch 2022: Garmin, Coros, Polar, and more


Observe application

A single of the new characteristics of the Venu 2 In addition is cell phone calling. You can established up a swift controls button for this, make a phone by using the voice assistant, or tap the decrease suitable button and choose the Telephone Contacting possibility. You can accessibility a cell phone keypad or accessibility the contacts you have established up in your program for the watch from this screen. You can also tap the decrease arrow to watch new calls.

For the duration of a phone, options seem to cling up the phone, mute your microphone, change phone quantity, or add other callers to the energetic phone. Faucets on the exhibit are used for this cell phone phone navigation and perform flawlessly on the Venu 2 In addition.

The other new characteristic is the voice assistant. The initial time I released this from the watch options appeared on my smartphone exhibit so I could choose from Google Assistant or Samsung Bixby as the default assistant. If you have an Iphone, then Siri is also an possibility for the voice assistant. There is no means to start the voice assistant from the watch with a command, so the default shortcut is the best way to initiate the voice assistant.

The default watch deal with is quite basic, focusing on demonstrating off some excellent colours on the AMOLED screen. Quite a few many others are loaded on the watch, some with customization options way too. You can also down load hundreds (possibly more) of watch faces from the Link IQ shop.

The Venu 2 In addition is created for the everyday, everyday athlete that mixes up functioning, biking, strolling, swimming, yoga, pilates, and other indoor/outdoor sports. Far more than twenty five sports apps are out there, and within every of these sports, you can customize the displays and details that is revealed on the watch as you take part in the activity. The genuine ability of the Venu 2 In addition is identified in the HITT and workouts that are supported via the Garmin Link app. Lots of of the distinct pursuits within workouts, this kind of as yoga, display you animated graphics of the numerous moves, and as someone who not often performs these physical exercises, this is an vital characteristic to have on the watch. You can get more applications and details fields from the Link IQ Retail outlet.

As someone who is shelling out more time on the golf course with the Garmin Solution CT10 club trackers I ordered, it’s wonderful to see the substantial golf assist on the Venu 2 In addition. The Venu 2 In addition is created to be a quite desirable GPS sports watch possibility for the masses whilst not mastering the course, as we see with the
Garmin MARQ Golfer

 that is optimized for golf.

Swipe up or down on the watch deal with to scroll via your widget glances. Tapping on any of these little glance options opens up the comprehensive widget so you can watch your gathered details in wonderful detail. Quite a few options are out there, together with System Battery, tension, rest, depth minutes, notifications, climate, and numerous more. The day and battery standing is revealed at the top rated of these glances way too.

Like most new Garmin gadgets, the Venu 2 In addition has an built-in Wi-Fi radio so you can have your activity details synced to your Garmin Link account when you return to a Wi-Fi zone formerly set up. It is wonderful to enter my dwelling soon after doing the job out and instantly sync my details to my Garmin account.

A further cause for the Wi-Fi connection is to down load tunes to shop right in the watch storage. Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon Music are all supported by the Garmin Venu 2S. Music playback from the watch functions quite very well with all of the headsets I analyzed out.

A single workout possibility is called Wellbeing Snapshot, and you can pick it to see numerous health details captured above a two-moment period of time that can then be logged and shared with your medical doctor. Breathwork is a different out there activity with many approaches (coherence, unwind and concentrate, tranquillity) that can be used to minimize tension and boost your health. For the duration of these annoying occasions, breathwork is a wonderful way to concentrate and re-energize on your own.


See also: Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE evaluate: Linked characteristics for safety and dwell tracking.


Smartphone application and web-site

Gathering the details is essential, but employing that details for tracking tendencies, improving upon efficiency, hard friends, and determining issue areas is also quite essential. Garmin presents the Garmin Link app for iOS and Android, and it is a highly effective and capable application that intently matches the Link web-site experience.

When you initial start the smartphone app, you will see a screen called My Working day. This is a dashboard and totally customizable for your choices. Simply just scroll to the base and choose to Edit My Working day. Listed here you can choose from the following playing cards: heart level, techniques, System Battery, depth minutes, floors, rest, tension rating, bodyweight, calories, Pulse OX, and many more. There are also toggles to see yesterday’s stats and the final seven times of stats. In addition, when you file an activity (run, bicycle journey, etcetera.) on that day, a box seems up top rated with that card. Tapping any card takes you into a lot more wonderful detail for that measurement.

Other tabs in the smartphone application involve problems, calendars, a news feed, and notifications. Tap on the tab icon to see more facts for every of these. In problems, you can generate badges for numerous problems, established up a challenge with your connection, and more. It is a wonderful way to get determined to get out and workout. The calendar views display you bars for your numerous standing amounts and is intriguing to watch above a extended period of time of time. The news feed offers summary information and facts from your connections, whilst the notifications website page demonstrates notifications, this kind of as likes, from your Garmin connections.

Tapping the upper-left three bar icon offers a checklist of other areas to stop by in the app, together with insights, activity stats, efficiency stats, health stats, training, gear, connections, teams, safety & tracking, Link IQ shop, Garmin gadgets, options, and aid. This menu and person interface matches what you see on the web-site as very well. You can watch details above various time frames, see your records, watch the badges you earned, see totals and averages, and a lot more.

A significant characteristic of the Venu 2 In addition is assist for HIIT (significant-depth interval training), with three workout options installed on the watch by default. Having said that, in the Garmin Link app on your smartphone, tap Training>Workouts>Find a Work out to see more than eighty out there workouts for you to pick and then sync suitable to the Venu 2 In addition. Some of these workouts are supported on other Garmin watches, but the HIIT ones are unique to the Venu 2 series of gadgets. This amazing assist for formulated workouts is a substantial cause to contemplate the Venu 2 In addition and why I’ve been employing it more than the 
Forerunner 945 LTE

 even though that gadget presents more comprehensive assist for functioning and biking.

These workouts are labeled beginner, intermediate, and sophisticated with the number of muscle teams to be worked, time to comprehensive the workout, and more. Workouts in TABATA, EMOMs (Each Moment On the Moment), AMRAPS (As Lots of Rounds as Attainable), and more formats are supported on the Venu 2 In addition. Tap on a distinct workout to watch the facts, together with animations and step-by-step facts of the distinct workout, so you can use the Venu 2 as an amazing mentor and trainer way too. You can also generate absolutely custom made workouts and have people synced to your Venu 2 In addition.

There are options to regulate cell phone notifications all through your activity and at all other occasions when you are not recording details as aspect of the activity. If you are linked to an Android smartphone, you can go to Settings>Notifications in the Garmin cell phone app to customize accurately which apps supply notifications to the watch. You do not have this per-app regulate when linked to an Iphone.

With a paired Android cell phone, you can also pick to reply to messages with the text you have currently established up in advance on your cell phone. This consists of custom made text responses. With the Venu 2 In addition, you can reply to numerous messages with your voice assistant.

Once you pick the Garmin Venu 2 In addition in the gadgets checklist, you can then accessibility all of the distinct options that will seem on the watch. Through this utility, you can manage which pursuits, details fields, glances, and watch faces seem and in what get. You can even established up the control’s options in the app and have this synced above to your watch, which is a pretty new possibility for Garmin. You even now have to have to perform right on the watch to customize details fields and this kind of, but this aids you regulate the Link IQ aspect of the experience.

While there are a myriad of workout options on the watch, you can also down load preset workouts from Garmin Link. Even better, you can generate your have customizable workouts with above one,400 physical exercises to choose from. 75 preset animated workouts are provided for cardio, yoga, power, HIIT, and pilates so you truly have no justification not to be capable to establish workouts that enchantment to you and meet up with your health and wellness demands.

The Garmin Link web-site experience is quite equivalent to what you see in the smartphone application, with even more capability to make stories, import or export details, established up connections to other applications (this kind of as Strava, RunKeeper, and MyFitnessPal), and more. Very similar to the snapshots interface on the cell phone, you have a dashboard on Garmin Link that you can customize.

Every day usage experiences and conclusions

The Garmin Venu 2 In addition is an incremental improve to the superb
Garmin Venu 2

, but if you want a Garmin that edges closer to a correct smartwatch, then this model may possibly enchantment to you. It is helpful to have the means to just take calls when out on a run whilst leaving my cell phone in my coat pocket or hip bag. I also like the means to swiftly carry out Google Assistant inquiries suitable from my watch without having pulling out my cell phone.

Having said that, the Garmin Venu 2 In addition is not an affordable gadget with a selling price of
$449.99

. A single characteristic I do skip is the Teaching Standing that demonstrates you how your training is progressing. This Garmin characteristic is out there on
Fenix

,
Descent

, Edge,
MARQ

,
Tactix

, and
Forerunner

 devices created for athletes training for distinct races or plans. The Venu 2 In addition looks qualified at the more very well-rounded athlete that is having on numerous indoor workouts whilst also taking part in functioning, biking, swimming, and other pursuits on a more everyday basis. Specified that I am a gradual, large runner, honestly, the Venu 2 In addition is possibly better for me. I suspect we will see a Venu gadget in the long term with LTE functionality, but factors get a little bit more unclear with this new cell phone phone and assistant assist.

While Garmin, Polar, and COROS have displays on their GPS sports watches that perform quite very well outdoors and in excellent lights, I even now get bothered by them a little bit when I see an 
Apple Observe

 or
Samsung Galaxy Observe

 with a excellent AMOLED exhibit. The Venu 2 In addition exhibit is attractive, and to be truthful, it is more appealing to me to use this lively exhibit, and it has me perusing via the glances on a normal basis.

Garmin supports generally-on manner for the watch, but battery everyday living takes a quite excellent hit, and I observed about half the usual battery everyday living with it enabled. You can established the motion/gesture regulate sensitivity, and to prolong the battery everyday living, I switched back again to medium timeout with sensitivity established to significant, and it functions just wonderful. You also have to have to be a little bit mindful with some watch faces from the Link IQ shop as some are not optimized very well and tend to drain the battery way too.

While I shell out most of my time functioning, biking, strolling, and mountaineering, I appreciate that the Venu 2 In addition supports so numerous workout options and golf. Golfing is pretty very well supported with the
Garmin CT10

 club sensors doing the job with the Venu 2 In addition, whilst golf manner is also an activity possibility.

The Garmin Venu 2 In addition is a highly effective watch with assist for a breadth of pursuits and sports, not to mention health and wellness characteristics to aid you appreciate everyday living, realize your plans, and keep fit. It presents a number of essential smartwatch characteristics and was also a CES 2022 Innovation Awards honoree.