Garmin Venu 3 | Review and opinion. AMOLED and a lot of focus on sleep


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The Garmin Venu 3 The new watch is back in two sizes and reinforces the commitment to sleep measurement, with new functions to improve sleep and, as a novelty in this model, automatic detection of naps.

The Venu 3 is the most intelligent watch from Garmin, proof of this is that it has a microphone and speaker, which makes it stand out from the rest of the brand's models.

Those related to naps and sleep are the new features of the Venu 3, but it also has other functions inherited from the Forerunner/Fenix/Epix such as the open water swimming profile, a greater number of supported sensors, the morning report or the wheelchair impulse tracking with alerts of position change and specific functions for chair users.

After a few days of testing I can already tell you all the good things about the Garmin Venu 3 and 3S, but also mention some things that should be improved. Because this is a totally independent review and there is no compensation from the brand.

The Garmin Venu 3S you see in this review has been temporarily loaned by the brand, and once the review is completed it will be sent back.

So... if you like the work I do in these tests and you want to collaborate with the page web, you can do so by purchasing through the links below.. Y be sure to join the Telegram channel because I post a lot of bargains there on a regular basis.

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The good

  • At last a Garmin with nap detection
  • Strong focus on sleep metrics and sleep improvement
  • 1.4″ screen on the Venu 3
  • Mode and metrics for wheelchair activities

The bad

  • High price
  • No dual band satellite reception
  • Few application options for a smartwatch

Garmin Venu 3, news and specifications

The Garmin Venu 3 is a major leap in performance over the Garmin Venu 2, for one simple reason... remember that in between we had the Venu 2 Plus, an advanced version that included speaker and microphone and that is also an important part of the new model.


Before continuing there is one thing to clarify. The Garmin Venu 3 and 3S are totally identical in terms of use, functions and features. The only difference is the size of the watch, the screen size and the autonomy. So when I talk about the Garmin Venu 3 I will be referring to both Venu 3 and Venu 3S.

Buy Garmin Venu 3

  • Two versions available, Venu 3 and Venu 3S, with 45mm and 41mm in diameter
  • 1.4″ AMOLED touch screen for Venu 3 and 1.2″ for Venu 3S
  • New Garmin Elevate v5 optical pulse sensor, for the moment without ECG (expected to come in the future)
  • Multi-GNSS to receive signal from all constellations simultaneously (but without dual-banding)
  • Increased autonomy (more details later)
  • Sleep trainer, with recommendations for rest
  • Automatic detection of naps, which is added to the sleep trainer and to the overall sleep count
  • Morning report (but with different metrics to Forerunner/Fenix/Epix)
  • Daily summary (similar to the morning report but at the end of the day)
  • Overnight pulse variability monitoring
  • Training benefit, indicating how each workout affects you
  • Recovery time for sports
  • More sport profiles (e.g. open water swimming)
  • Wheelchair mode with daily impulse tracking, specific exercises, etc.
  • Support for eBike potentiometers, smart rollers and sensors
  • Microphone and speakerphone for making/receiving calls (with phone connected via Bluetooth)
  • Support for voice assistants (Siri, Google...) on your cell phone
  • Changes in the user interface: separate application sports, access to recent functions, direct access when swiping to the right, menu changes, possibility to change font size...
  • Flashlight function using the screen backlight
  • Jet lag control with recommendations for travel with time zone changes
  • The price increases to 499€.

These are the new features, but there is another series of functions that were already present in previous models and that logically remain in the new Garmin Venu 3, being important for a watch in this segment.

  • PulseOx estimation
  • Two buttons to control the watch, as well as touchscreen
  • Music playback, Both synchronized from your computer and from streaming platforms, highlighting Spotify and Amazon Music.
  • Wireless NFC payments with Garmin Pay
  • WiFi connection for synchronization and download
  • Function Body Battery showing the remaining energy and recharge with rest.
  • Stress monitoring
  • Menstrual Cycle Tracking on the watch.
  • Hydration monitoring to keep track of the fluid you've been taking throughout the day
  • Estimated sweat loss after training
  • Breath tracking. In addition to being recorded in the Yoga profile workouts it is a function that will also be available 24 hours a day, helping to monitor the quality of sleep as well
  • Incident detectionThe watch will send a message asking for help to the contacts you have programmed in advance. The watch does not have a LTE connection, so you need to carry the phone with you as it will be in charge of the communication. It can be activated automatically (if it detects a fall or similar), or manually if you find yourself in a difficult situation

So there are a few more or less important new features that, as always, I prefer to expand in detail separately.

Garmin Venu 3 in detail

Undoubtedly, the most outstanding feature of the Garmin Venu 3 is its AMOLED screen, which offers excellent sharpness and contrast. However, it is important to note that this display quality leads to higher battery consumption when compared to classic MIP-type displays.

The display is touchscreen, but also has three control buttons on the right side. These buttons are useful during sports activity, as they allow you to pause and resume training, as well as to mark laps. Essential in a watch designed for sports activities, where this aspect is of great relevance.

Garmin Venu 3 - Buttons

The user interface is becoming more and more adapted to touch use, something that is appreciated because in daily use it is essential, since the missing buttons are the scroll buttons.

During training the only thing you will have to use the touch screen for is if you want to change the data display, because the important things (stopping, resuming, marking laps, etc.) are done through the buttons.

The screen behaves correctly while dry, but like any touchscreen it is a bit erratic if we are in the wet. In fact the touch screen is disabled during swimming.

Just so you understand, there is no problem in using the screen when we have a wet finger, for example from sweat, but what does not go well is when there are many drops on the screen as in the shower or if it is raining.

Among the new features of the user interface we have, for example, quick access by swiping to the right. We can select what the clock will show us by swiping from left to right on the screen. The list of options is long.

This is not the only shortcut that 1TP7We can configure, you can also choose what the clock will do when you press the center button and also when you press and hold it.

Garmin Venu 3 - Configuring Shortcuts

One of these options is the flashlight, a new feature of the new Garmin. But it has nothing to do with the flashlight with specific hardware of the Fenix/Epix/Instinct, but what it does is to use the illumination of the screen to give us light when we need it. It has three levels of intensity and also another with red illumination, somewhat less annoying at night.

It does not reach the amount of light that the physical flashlight of the Fenix and Epix can offer, but for occasional use it is enough. Here's an example of what the illumination it projects looks like.Garmin Venu 3 - Flashlight

Do not overdo it either, as there is a danger of burns on the screen.

With the Garmin Venu 3 comes back the option of two different sizes. It is available in 41mm (which is the Garmin Venu 3S you see in the images of this test) as well as in 45mm. Both offer the same features, only the size of the watch changes and obviously the size of the display (1.4″ and 1.2″). The autonomy also varies slightly.

We can activate the always-on display mode. By doing so the screen is displayed with normal brightness when we raise the wrist, and when we lower the arm it continues to show information on the screen but reducing the brightness.

Garmin Venu 3 - Always-on display

In watches with AMOLED screen is, without a doubt, the fastest way to consume the battery. So you will have to be smart and select when you want to have the screen always on and when not.

Because remember that you can change it to your liking, depending on your needs. Many times it happens that we configure it the first time and then we do not touch it again (myself included), but 1TP7We can change the configuration according to the time of the day. Maybe it would not be a bad idea to have a shortcut to change it. A little later I will talk about the autonomy of the Venu 3.

In the Venu 3 we have the morning report, something that debuted on the Forerunner 955 and has been rolled out to the rest of the Garmin models. However in the case of the Venu 3 there are fewer sports performance metrics and it is somewhat more focused on health data.

It is a screen that will appear every morning when we wake up and will show us the important data to start the day. Data that podemos configure and sort if there is any of them that we do not want to see.

The data that podemos select are as follows: Body battery, sleep score, calendar, intensity minutes, heart rate variability status, step target, floor target, pulse oximetry and recovery control.

And if you do not want to see the report, you can also deactivate it.

In the case of the Venu 3, another function similar to the morning report is released, but in this case it is the summary of the day. This is a notification that will show the clock hours before your set bedtime, giving you a brief summary of how the day went. We have not seen this feature in any other Garmin so far.

Garmin Venu 3 - Day Summary

The idea itself is not bad, but perhaps at the moment it is quite generic as it only shows tips and reminds you if it has been a soft day or if you have trained and need to rest. As if you didn't know that already....

Garmin Venu 3 and sport

Moving on to the sport functions, there is not much to highlight with respect to any other Garmin model. Obviously it does not have the level of detail of other models such as the Garmin Forerunner 265 nor the metric depth of the Garmin Forerunner 965The Garmin Venu has grown with respect to what the Garmin Venu had to offer.

For example, we have more sport profiles, including open water swimming, a profile that many of you have asked about and that the Venu did not have.

Garmin Venu 3 - Open Water Swimming

However, there are others that are not present, such as triathlon or track and field races. Those are reserved for other more specific models. And speaking of things we don't have in the Venu 3, there is also no running power estimation, running dynamics or training bias metrics.

But there are more things that have been added. For example, the cycling functions have been expanded as the Venu 3 is now compatible with ANT+/Bluetooth potentiometers, and also allows you to control a smart trainer directly from the watch (setting intensity or following a programmed workout).

In terms of power data it is somewhat more limited than more specific devices. For example it allows displaying and recording power data, as well as displaying average power or power zone. But no 3s average, 10s average, intensity factor or any other advanced metrics.

Garmin Venu 3 - Cycling stem

And speaking of limitations, like the previous models, it only allows you to configure three screens per sport profile (with up to 4 data per screen). This will be enough for the vast majority, but it is something to keep in mind.

Garmin Venu 3 - Data Display

On the Venu 3 we have full support for advanced workouts. You can set up interval workouts in the app, download them from TrainingPeaks and now also create them directly from the watch itself, in case you forgot to do so previously.

Garmin Venu 3 - Structured training sessions

Obviously doing it from your phone or computer is much more convenient, so as much as you can now do it from your watch... better on a bigger screen.

We also have the plans of the Garmin Coach adaptive training plansThis training platform (which is free of charge), will offer you a training guide based on the test you choose.

New is also the indication of the benefits of the training, a message in the final summary of the activity that tells you the benefits of the training session you have completed.

Garmin Venu 3 - Training advantages

One of the things that can be quite useful if you frequent the gym and use machines (or do Zwift at home...) is the option to transmit heart rate to other devices. The watch allows you to do this via ANT+ or Bluetooth, so 1TP7You can view and log that data on external devices.

Garmin Venu 3 - Zwift FC

As a curiosity in the Venu 3, having speaker 1TP7We can configure the training alerts and back to be spoken. So instead of emitting a simple beep the watch can tell you by a spoken message data pace, heart rate, power, etc..

Garmin Venu 3 - Return Alert

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Remember that all these settings can be made directly on the watch, but also through Garmin Connect on the cell phone, which in most cases will be much more convenient.

One of the things that raises the most doubts is the visibility of the watch display. It is clear that indoors it is perfectly visible, much better than any other Garmin watch. But outdoors the AMOLED screen is not much further behind.

It has more than enough brightness to allow us to see the data even in bright light.

Garmin Venu 3 - AMOLED Sun

Although it should be noted that the watch is not always at maximum brightness. When we are training and with the arm turned the screen is illuminated, so in broad daylight it will not be easily seen, but it is enough to turn the wrist to increase the brightness of the screen.

I've been rotating between different watches with AMOLED screens for several months now and I don't miss the advantages of transflective screens (which also have them), but it's something that will depend on your usage profile and how your workouts are going to be.

If you have doubts about what is going to be the best for you, I leave you this video where I explain the differences that you will find in the use of both technologies.

And to finish, remember that from Venu 2 we have different guided workouts with images for strength training or yoga.

Garmin Venu 3 - Yoga

The video instructions show how to perform the exercise and in the case of strength training also the muscle groups to be worked.

It's not just the workouts that appear on the watch, but also 1TP7We can set up or download other different workouts from Garmin Connect.

New sleep functions

In the Venu 3, Garmin has put the main focus on innovations related to rest and sleep monitoring with automatic nap detection and sleep coach.

I will start with the detection of naps, possibly one of the most demanded functions to Garmin in recent years. I have to say that it is the best added feature to make the analysis because to test it... I simply have to take a nap.

Although podemos manually initiate sleep tracking, the interesting thing is that the clock does it automatically. You simply lie down to sleep for a while and when you wake up you check if the watch has recorded the nap. Indeed it does.

Garmin Venu 3 - Nap Detection

About the start and end time, it is not always going to register the times well. For example in this other example, the clock indicates that I woke up at 16:33.

Garmin Venu 3 - Nap Detection

The truth is that I had already been awake for a while, and it was at that moment when I wanted to check what the clock had registered.

In addition, he also gives some advice on this napping period.

Garmin Venu 3 - Nap Detection

It's not just that the watch tells you how long the nap lasted, but it uses this information in other metrics and functions such as Body Battery or the sleep trainer.

And now that I'm talking about the sleep coach, it's about the other new feature of the Garmin Venu 3 concerning rest. Basically it is a new metric that, based on data recorded in other aspects (past sleep history, activity, pulse variability status and naps) offers recommendations on whether to increase or decrease sleep time.

The metric is based on a "personal" basis. And I put it in quotes because I don't think it is personalized in any way. As indicated, my base would be 7 hours and 50 minutes.

Garmin Venu 3 - Sleep Trainer

On this basis, and depending on the factors indicated above, it will recommend increasing or decreasing the time.

So if you have been sleeping little and have had a lot of physical activity the recommendation will be to increase the number of hours of sleep, or to reduce it if you have had naps, etc.

Which is all well and good, but I think most of us dictate sleep hours based on daily life, rather than structuring it by what an algorithm might tell us.

If I check my sleep history I can see that, if I'm lucky, I get to that 7 hours and 50 minutes that you recommend as a baseline. That will happen if it's the weekend and I don't have any long workouts that day. During the week... those numbers are not going to show up.

Although it may serve as a reminder to get more sleep and therefore try to go to bed earlier. At least if we scroll down 1TP7We can see what factors change the recommendation.

Garmin Venu 3 - Sleep Trainer

Depending on what you indicate here, we should act accordingly to improve our rest. In my case it is always the past sleep history.

Autonomy Garmin Venu 3

In a watch with an AMOLED screen it is always important to talk about autonomy, because in exchange for offering a much brighter and sharper image it also has a higher battery consumption.

But things have been improving over the years and we can now achieve much more than reasonable autonomies for the use of this technology. However, here it is necessary to differentiate in how you have configured the watch during the day to day, because if you activate the always on screen mode, the consumption will be higher.

By default it is disabled. That means that when we are not looking at the screen will be off. It detects this through the turn of the wrist, something that podemos also disable from the same menu.

Garmin Venu 3 - Display on off

With this configuration the Garmin Venu 3 offers up to 14 days of autonomy, while the Venu 3S has up to 10 days. These figures are significantly higher than those advertised for the Venu 2.

If you prefer the screen to be dimmed when you're not looking at it so you don't have to wait for the wrist twist or there are situations where you don't have to move your hand to see the screen (driving, sitting at a desk...), you can activate the screen always on, but in exchange the battery will last a maximum of 5 days on both Venu 3 and Venu 3S. But it is still very reasonable.

In the time I've been using it, doing workouts both with and without GPS use and with the screen always on, charging those 4 or 5 days was normal, so pretty much in line with what is advertised by the brand.

And what is the autonomy when we do sport? You can see the following chart below.

Autonomy Garmin Venu 3

And if these figures are not enough for you, a power saving mode is available.

Garmin Venu 3 - Energy savings

By activating it we will have up to 26 days of autonomy in the Venu 3 and 20 days in the Venu 3S, but disabling functions such as heart rate, lowering the lighting and cutting functions in general.

It is not the default configuration, but if for example you go out for a week and do not want to be dependent on the charger under any circumstances, it is a valid option.

Garmin Venu 3 smart features

In any watch focused on sport, smart functions are secondary. What matters to us is that the performance is good when doing sport and everything else is a welcome addition.

But the Venu 3 has to be different, especially because it is Garmin's answer to the Apple Watch. Logically it is not up to par with the Apple Watch in many aspects, but it tries to cover those shortcomings with sports features.

The Venu 3 is the evolution of the Venu 2 Plus, so it still maintains the integrated microphone and speaker, which completely separates it from any other Garmin watch. They are the only ones to feature this hardware.

This microphone and speaker can be used, for example, to hold phone conversations directly from the watch. Remember, however, that the Venu 3 does not have LTE or mobile connectivity, so for practical purposes the watch acts as a Bluetooth handsfree that has to be connected to the cell phone.

Garmin Venu 3 - Phone

Not only does it serve to answer calls, but it is also possible to initiate them from the watch. We can dial the number directly on a numeric keypad, or call any contact directly. To access the phone function 1TP7We can activate a shortcut or from the applications menu.

Garmin Venu 3 - Phone

However, we do not access all the phone's contacts, but only the contacts created in Garmin Connect, so we must first create a list of "favorite contacts". At least the application allows us to access the phone's address book and add these contacts by simply clicking on them, it is not necessary to enter them one by one.

You can also add an emergency contact and, if you press and hold the top button for 8 seconds, podrst initiate a call directly to the selected contact.

Garmin Venu 3 - Emergency contact

The microphone has a correct behavior, in the calls I have made I have heard me well and the other side of the line have not complained about the sound. The loudspeaker is a little more fair, valid to talk in a place where there is not too much noise but something more complicated if it is for example a street with bustle.

The watch speaker can also be used for music playback. Don't expect brilliant quality because it obviously goes as far as it goes, but depending on the situation it can be useful. Apart from the speakerphone use, the rest of the music functions are similar to what Garmin has been offering for a few years now.

Garmin Venu 3 - Spotify

In the Venu 3 you can load your own MP3 music, but something that stands out from other brands is that you can synchronize playlists from streaming platforms like Spotify or Amazon Music. The download can be done directly thanks to the watch's WiFi connection, and the playlists will be updated automatically every time you put the watch on charge. It is much more convenient than uploading files manually.

The microphone and speaker also gives us access to another unique feature in Garmin: access to the voice assistant of the phone you have paired. That is, you can "talk" to Siri, Bixby, Google or whoever is on the other end of the line. And make use of exactly the same commands you would normally use with any of these assistants.

You may not find too many reasons to talk to the voice assistant... and it all depends on your usual use. In my case I have used it quite a lot for home automation control at home, for example to open the garage door.

Otherwise there are not too many changes. We have support for wireless payments with Garmin Pay, for which your bank must be listed among the accepted ones (or get a card from a third-party service that supports it). And obviously it also displays phone notifications on the watch screen.

Here there is a change and that is that, if your phone is Android, now the Venu 3 can display the images and photos you receive on your phone, something that was not possible until now in any Garmin watch.

Garmin Venu 3 - Android Photo Notifications

If what you have is an iPhone bad luck, it is something that Apple does not allow for other manufacturers (yes for your Apple Watch, of course).

Garmin Venu 3 vs. Garmin Vivoactive 5

Taking advantage of the fact that Garmin has just introduced the new Garmin Vivoactive 5 and given that the new model also uses AMOLED display, I think it is important to specify what are the differences between them.

To sum it up quickly, the Garmin Vivoactive 5 is practically a more basic Garmin Venu 3. The difference between the Vivoactive and Venu range was in the display: MIPs for the former, AMOLED for the latter. That difference has dissipated, so it's time to see what the other differences are.

  • The Vivoactive 5 is only offered in one size (42mm), with a 1.2″ display.
  • The Venu 3 has the new Garmin Elevate v5 sensor, the Vivoactive 5 has the v4.
  • The Venu 3 has hardware for poder to provide ECG readings (Garmin has to be enabled), the Vivoactive 5 sensor does not support this.
  • The Venu 3 has a microphone and speakerphone for calls, the Vivoactive 5 does not.
  • The Vivoactive 5 has lost the barometric altimeter, the previous ones had it.
  • With the loss of the barometric altimeter, the Vivoactive 5 also has no associated functions such as count of floors climbed, altimeter-dependent profiles such as skiing or actual altitude during training.
  • The Venu 3 has a number of additional features that are not on the Vivoactive 5: jet lag control or animations in strength training, yoga, etc.
  • Very similar autonomy between the two (in this case Venu 3S vs Vivoactive 5, both with 1.2″ screen).
  • The bezel of the Venu 3 is steel while the bezel of the Vivoactive 5 is aluminum.
  • Big price difference: 499€ for the Venu 3 while the Vivoactive 5 costs 299€.

Yes, the Vivoactive 5 has changed a lot with respect to the model it replaces, but mainly because the Vivoactive 4 was a model with a little more than four years on the market, and that is noticeable.

Satellite reception and pulse sensor

There is a new optical pulse sensor in the Garmin Venu 3. It incorporates the new Garmin Elevate v5, introduced a few months ago with the Garmin Venu 3. Fenix 7 Pro and Epix Pro.

Garmin Venu 3 - Optical sensor

It is a slight departure from the previous version of the sensor, which was actually already performing well.

What we still do not have in the Venu 3 is ECG (electrocardiogram). It is something that was present in the Venu 2 Plus and it is not that the new version has eliminated it, but because it is a "medical function" Garmin must perform the entire certification procedure for poder to activate it, and that may take a few months.

At the moment they have not confirmed whether it will arrive or not, but most likely it will. It would be logical.

With respect to satellite reception Garmin has chosen to use a multi-GNSS system, but not dual band. That is, we receive data from all satellite constellations, but there is no dual band to improve tracking in complicated areas such as city centers.

I think it is a missed opportunity on the part of Garmin, as it would be an important differentiation with respect to the Apple Watch. The Series 8 or 9 do not have dual band, which is present on the Ultra and Ultra 2. It would have been a good way to stand out from the rival.

But let's go with the comparisons. Before that, the usual "disclaimer" of this section in all reviews (I proceed to copy and paste).

As with the optical sensor tests, the GPS comparisons are done in the same way: with the watches accompanying me in my regular workouts. Wearing both the Garmin Venu 3 and other models, and checking where the problems appear.

I do not have any defined path to establish a score for the simple reason that there are other external factors that we should never forget. Things like clouds, leaves on the trees or simply the position of the satellite can alter the GPS results from one day to the next.

This is why I prefer to make this type of comparison instead of having a predefined route and assess it from this one.

As for the optical sensor, you should keep in mind that a wrist heart rate monitor does not work the same way on every body. We are all different, and if we add into the equation things like skin tone, tattoos, body hair... the difference from person to person can be quite large.

In my tests it is not that the spectrum of users is very broad: it is me, myself and I. So what works well for me might not do it for someone else, or it might be better.

But the most important thing to keep in mind is that you have to follow some guidelines to wear the sensor. It should be tight (but not cut off your circulation), enough to keep the watch from moving freely on your wrist, leaving a separation of approximately one finger from the wrist bone. By following these details you will ensure that you get the best results that your conditions can offer.

Yes, it's the usual, but it is necessary to clarify it for those who are not regulars of the web. Now yes, let's go with the comparisons, and you know that I will try to be very brief.

I will start with an extremely demanding training in Toledo. Not for me, but for the watches. First of all because it was raining and that complicates the reception. But also because the central streets of Toledo are very narrow, with moderately tall buildings and very difficult to receive satellite signal.

In other words, conditions that I knew beforehand were going to be bad, but I wanted to see how bad they were for each of the watches.

Additionally I decided that the Venu 3S was going to be configured as it comes from the factory, with "Data recording: intelligent". A configuration that today is absurd and makes no sense (there are no more memory problems) but that Garmin still insists on having by default. I always tell you, this is the first thing you have to change as soon as you take a Garmin out of the box.

Garmin Venu 3 - GPS Comparison

I started first by going around Toledo on the ring road along the Tajo. Here there is no reception problem in any of the three cases, which was to be expected even in spite of the rain.

Garmin Venu 3 - GPS Comparison

Advancing a little further in the training I start to enter urban areas next to some buildings. Here you start to see the difference between the watches that do have dual band reception (Garmin Forerunner 965 and Suunto Vertical) and the Venu 3S.

Garmin Venu 3 - GPS Comparison

But where it becomes a real locuar is when I am already inside the center of Toledo.

Garmin Venu 3 - GPS Comparison

Here finding a coincidence of the graphs with the real plot is purely coincidental, and it is normal. These are impossible conditions for a small wristwatch, no matter how much technology is used if the space to visualize satellites is 2 meters wide at 12 meters high, we will have very few satellites to triangulate with.

It makes exactly the same difference to have double band or not to have it.

Garmin Venu 3 - GPS Comparison

Regarding the heart rate, everything is perfect.

Garmin Venu 3S - Heart rate comparison

But hey, that's pretty simple so let's look at a set workout with 2-minute blocks.

Garmin Venu 3S - Heart rate comparison

On this occasion he wore the PACE 3 CHORUS and the Polar Verity Sense paired to the Garmin Forerunner 965. And despite being a somewhat more complex training, there was no problem of any kind beyond the onset of chafing from the Nike Alphafly that made me cut three sets....

As far as satellite reception is concerned, there is little to note.

Garmin Venu 3 - GPS Comparison

Even on the straight where I did the out-and-back series and repeated continuously, there was only one of the laps where the Venu 3S stood out slightly from the other tracks, and only for a brief moment.

Garmin Venu 3 - GPS Comparison

The truth is that there are less and less things to highlight in satellite reception comparisons. And it is not something exclusive to the Garmin Venu 3S, it is something that can be seen in general with any watch. Except in very complicated situations (like the previous one in Toledo), the usual is to have very good performance at all times.

Garmin Venu 3 - GPS Comparison

Running in areas with good visibility of the sky is a guarantee of a good track.

Garmin Venu 3 - GPS Comparison

And in a way, the same can almost be said of the optical pulse sensor.

Garmin Venu 3S - Heart rate comparison

Here is another example of another series training, which is always the most complicated.

Garmin Venu 3S - Heart rate comparison

There is a slight error at the end of the first interval, but it quickly returns to the general tone and all three sensors register perfectly.

Even when cycling, I have had almost perfect graphics, something I had not seen in other models.

Garmin Venu 3S - Heart rate comparison

But let me remove the graph of the Garmin Forerunner 965, which is more inaccurate than the Venu 3S and blurs a bit what I want to show you.

Garmin Venu 3S - Heart rate comparison

As you can see, in a training session of almost 2 hours with very variable intensities, the record was almost completely similar to that of the Polar H10 sensor.

And to add it somewhere I also leave here a comparison of the barometric altimeter, practically copying the graphs of both the Edge 840 and the FR965.

Garmin Venu 3S - Barometric altimeter comparison

The difference occurs because the Venu 3S has no maps, so it does not auto-calibrate at the start of the activity and I do not do manual calibrations. But the elevation increases and decreases are exactly identical on all three devices.

In summary, and starting with satellite registration, the Venu 3S performs very well. In complicated situations it is noticeable that it lacks that extra feature that dual band reception offers and that is not available in the Venu 3, but it does it with a very good note.

As for the performance of the optical sensor, it is practically perfect. The Garmin Elevate 5 is proving to be the most reliable sensor to date, helped in this case by the low weight of the Venu 3S (only 40g in the 41mm version).


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Buy Garmin Venu 3


Opinion Garmin Venu 3

Garmin has done a good job with this Venu 3, everything it promises to do it does well. However I think that with a price of 499€ it is in no man's land.

On the one hand, those looking for a smartwatch have the Apple Watch from €449 (€50 less than the Venu 3, although only €20 less if we opt for the 45mm version). Undoubtedly the Apple Watch is much more powerful if what you want is a pure smartwatch, and the truth is that with WatchOS 10 Apple gives more and more importance to sport. Although it is still not at the height of the Garmin.

But if what you want are sport features then the Venu 3 falls short of what is offered by both Garmin and other manufacturers in the same price range. Those €499 allow us to access the Forerunner 265, with the same screen and more sport features, although it lacks speaker/microphone and sleep functions presented with the Venu 3 (maybe they will arrive, maybe not). And more AMOLED display watches loaded with sports features are coming very soon.

Perhaps if the Forerunner 265 had the features of the Venu 3 the decision would be clearer, but Garmin insists on having many product ranges in the same price range.

I suppose it gives more choice to the buyer, but it also creates more doubt and insecurity when it comes to making the purchase.

And with that... thanks for reading!

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. Hi, Eduardo!

    Great analysis as always 🙂

    I have a venu 1 and the truth is that it has held its own... now the battery runs out quickly (3 or 4 days at most).
    What do you recommend, move up to a fenix 7 for a little more than the venu 3, get the venu 3 or look at the forerruner 255/265.
    If this model had had esim I wouldn't think about it, but being like this I'm in doubt....

    I don't need big metrics, just a little bit of swimming, mountain biking, running, paddle tennis and some mountain trails.
    Thanks for your help and as always I will buy with your link!

    1. Being used to the Venu screen, I think the transition to the Fenix would be complicated.

      Considering you don't want sports metrics, I think the best choice will be the Venu 3 because it brings everything you need and is an improvement over everything you have in the original Venu.

  2. Buenas tardes. Ante todo, gracias por tus estudios.
    Estoy buscando un nuevo reloj deportivo. Ahora tengo un Suunto 5, del que he comprobado que sus mediciones de salud no son muy fiables. He visto la gama Venu 2, 2 Plus y 3. Me interesa el tema del ECG porque así me lo ha recomendado el médico. Por control. Hago bici, natación, gimnasio, tenis. Carrera no. Tengo 54.
    El caso es que he estado leyendo y unos dicen que el 2 Plus lleva ECG, otros que no, otros que lo lleva el 3…
    En fin, si me lo puedes aclarar, te lo agradecería.
    Thank you.

    1. El Venu 2 Plus es capaz, al igual que el Venu 3. Sin embargo de momento sólo tiene certificaciones legales para poder activarlo en Estados Unidos. En Europa aún no está disponible, lo estará cuando Garmin consiga la certificación correspondiente.

  3. Hola. No consigo que se vean las imágenes de WhatsApp en venu 3. Tampoco que se lean los correos electrónicos, solo aparece el asunto.
    Alguna sugerencia, hay que hacer alguna configuración especial?
    Thank you

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