Garmin has expanded its fitness-tracking smartwatch range considerably over the past few years to include a number of different styles and shapes.
One of the newer watches is the Venu Sq 2, it’s the second generation of its square Venu model with an AMOLED display, and is one of the few models of Garmin wrist gadget that doesn’t have a round display.
We got our hands on during IFA 2022 to see what this new, affordable rectangle watch has to offer.
- Square design – 5ATM waterproof
- Corning Gorilla Glass 3 lens
- 40.6 x 37.0 x 11.1 mm – 38g
- Silicone band – Fibre-reinforced polymer case
As design goes, the Venu Sq 2 is quite a simple looking watch built from plastic or – what Garmin calls – fibre-reinforced polymer. It’s a similar material that it uses on some of its other non-metal watches, and is generally a durable and long-lasting case material.
It’s being offered in six different colours. Three for the slightly more expensive Music Edition, and three for the non-music. The unit we had a look at is the French Gray Case and silicone band, but there are black, white and mint green offerings as well.
The thing we noticed first when picking it up and wearing it was how simple the design is (not in a bad way), and how lightweight it is. You can practically ignore that it’s on your wrist thanks to its 38g weight. It’s far lighter than the bigger, more expensive models like the Fenix or Epix.
The Venu Sq 2 also features two buttons on the side, which work together with the touchscreen on the front to control the interface.
As for durability, like most of Garmin’s sports watches, it’s waterproof to 5ATM, so you can wear it in the rain, the shower, take it swimming and just generally live with it, without worrying about it being damaged by any moisture.
The silicone band is soft and flexible, with plenty of clasp holes for adjustment, so it should fit many different wrist sizes. What’s more, it has a universal 20mm fitting, so you can swap it out for another strap whenever it takes your fancy.
Display and battery
- 1.41-inch rectangle display
- 320 x 360 resolution
- 11 days battery life – 26 hours GPS tracking
Unless the standard Venu range, the Venu Sq has a square display, and that means that the content on that screen seems to be given a little more space to breath, and makes text and menus a bit easier to read.
Like the round displays on the other Venus though, it’s a bright AMOLED display, and that means the colours are really vibrant, especially when compared with the more muted Memory-in-Pixel displays you find on a lot of Garmin’s other models.
The added contrast and depth of the black and dark elements of the screen add to that feel that it’s an easy screen to read too. On first impressions, it’s not the fastest or smoothest display we’ve ever seen, but it’s fine. And we wouldn’t expect super smooth frame rates on a watch that’s this affordable, especially not one with the battery life being promised here.
Garmin suggests you can get about 11 days of battery from the new Venu Sq 2 when using it in smartwatch mode. That means, even if you use it for daily exercise tracking with GPS, you’ll still likely not need to charge more than once a week.
What’s more, Garmin has endurance athletes in mind too, and says you can do 26 hours of continuous GPS tracking activity with the second gen Venu Sq before you need to plug it in again.
Fitness, features and health tracking
- All day heart rate, sleep, stress and Spo2 tracking
- Body battery metric
- Garmin Coach support
- Music edition offers offline playlists
Moving on the to the all important health and – of course – we can’t test the accuracy of that in a short hands-on period. But, the feature list on this Venu Sq 2 means it should match most of Garmin’s other offerings in terms of what it can track and how it presents that data to you.
The company has brought elements like the Body Battery graphic to the watch which analyses your activity and rest to determine how much you have left in your figurative tank. That – of course – also means it can track your sleep every night if you’d like, and tracks your heart rate through the day, using that data to determine stress levels too.
There’s a Pulse Ox sensor too for blood oxygen saturation, a menstrual cycle or pregnancy tracking feature, plus various breathing exercises and a ‘fitness age’ metric that assesses your performance to determine how fit your body is.
It’s a very comprehensive offering, and one we’ve long enjoyed using on Garmin’s range of products.
As for activity tracking and training, you can launch into any number of sports modes including the usual running, walking, cycling, strength, HIIT and cardio, as well as pre-load different workouts to follow on your wrist or even start a running Garmin Coach plan to improve your running speed or just train to reach a specific distance.
The one other thing worth noting: the Music Edition. If you want to have music loaded on to your watch from services like Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music, you’re going to need to fork out an extra $50 to get the Music Edition watch.