Garmin Venu | Full analysis and opinion


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The 2019 renewal of the Vivoactive range came with the added surprise of Garmin VenuThis is a model that was not expected, which does not mean that it is something strange in the Garmin range.

Garmin presented together with the Vivoactive 4 and 4SThis Venu as a "premium" option within its range. When it comes down to it the only difference between the Vivoactive 4 and the Venu is the latter's AMOLED screen (and the difference in sizes in which it is offered), but everything else is the same. 

The Venu therefore stands out for being the first Garmin watch to use a display of this type (and clearly will not be the last), and no longer for the other intelligent clock possibilities such as music playback or wireless payments, which are increasingly common in the American manufacturer's models.

I've been using the Garmin Venu on one wrist every day for a few weeks now, along with the Apple Watch Series 5 on the other, so I've been able to make a good comparison of what both models offer as a smart watch, but mainly as a GPS watch for sports (which is what you're interested in at the end if you're reading this page).

This test unit has been temporarily loaned by Garmin and, once the analysis has been completed, it will be sent back. I want this to be clear because there is no compensation of any kind from Garmin, the test is totally independent. The analyses I carry out are always performed with the utmost objectivity and as impartially as possible. 

If you like this review and find it useful in deciding to buy your next GPS watch, please use the links on this page (well, you can buy that GPS watch you want or anything else, anything goes). You won't pay more than it's worth, but the seller returns a small percentage which helps to cover the cost of hosting the site and, obviously, my work. Or you can become a VIP member..

Garmin Venu

Garmin Venu

Overall operation - 7
Training possibilities - 7.5
Platform and applications - 7
Battery life - 8
Finish and comfort - 8.5
Price/performance ratio - 7.5



The Garmin Venu is the first Garmin watch with an AMOLED screen, a major change for the manufacturer, who until now had only used transflective screens. By using this type of screen, they try to fight smart watches one-on-one, but without giving up on being made by and for sport, which is what sets them apart from the rest of the competition.

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The good

  • The AMOLED screen is a joy used to the typical transflective screen
  • Compared to other smart watches, it is much more complete in terms of sports performance
  • High autonomy despite full colour display
  • Music playback including syncing with Spotify

The bad


  • The user interface is quite far from what we would expect from a smart clock
  • For a "premium" proposal, having only silicone wristbands is somewhat limited.
  • It brings nothing that the Vivoactive 4 does not have, beyond the most eye-catching screen
  • There are still a few software bugs that Garmin has to work out that I didn't notice in the Vivoactive 4

Main features of the Garmin Venu

The new features of the Garmin Venu are practically the same as those of the Vivoactive 4Not for nothing is the clock based on these models with the change of technology used in the display.

  • AMOLED screen for the first time in Garmin, which until now had always relied on transflective technology. 390×390 pixel resolution
  • Display mode always on, despite being an AMOLED display. Displays basic information
  • Clock dials with movement and colours
  • Sony GNSS chipset (like all the rest of the Garmin and other manufacturers' range)
  • Optical heart rate sensor Garmin Elevate v3 with Pulse Ox (pulse oximetry to identify the different phases of sleep)
  • Size from 43mmTherefore, it is located between the Vivoactive 4 (45mm) and the Vivoactive 4S (40mm)
  • Two buttons I emphasize this because the Vivoactive 3 only had one button
  • 20mm wide silicone strap, with Quick Release system
  • The AMOLED screen is of course touch-sensitive (as it is a smart clock), but there are also two buttons control
  • Music playback, Both synchronized from your computer and from streaming platforms, highlighting Spotify and Amazon MusicThe memory capacity is 4GB
  • Wireless NFC payments with Garmin Pay
  • WiFi connection for synchronization and download
  • Two new sport profiles: yoga and pilates
  • Training sessions It is the main novelty of the Venu (as well as the Vivoactive 4), which brings a series of exercises directly in memory, but it will be possible to extend them by downloading from Garmin Connect. The exercises will be for cardio, strength, yoga and Pilates training
  • Function Body Battery showing the remaining energy and recharge with rest.
  • It adds the possibility of doing menstrual cycle monitoring It was previously available through the application, but now you will also see on the clock screen
  • 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

That is, they are the same new features that Garmin introduced with the Vivoactive 4, but in a theoretically more "premium" package due to its high-contrast AMOLED screen that has the ability to remain always on. But apart from that it does not present any other improvement (or "worsening") with respect to the model from which it departs.

The price difference (official price) between the Venu and the Vivoactive 4 varies quite a bit depending on the finish and size. 

The 40mm Vivoactive 4S costs between £279 and £299, depending on the colour of the bevel finish, while the Vivoactive 4 (45mm) costs between £299 and £329.

The Garmin Venu costs between £349 with a polished aluminium bezel or £379 for options with a black or gold bezel.

So we have a surcharge on the Vivoactive 4 of £50, which is the price that would allow us to enjoy the AMOLED screen in full colour.

That's the Garmin Venu

Unlike the Vivoactive 4 and 4s, the Venu is offered in one size only, which is exactly between the two sizes of the Vivoactive 4. This way Garmin gets none of the models to step on its brother and you can find the size that best fits what you are looking for or your wrist supports:

  • Garmin Vivoactive 4s40mm circumference, 1.1″ screen
  • Garmin Venu: 43mm circumference, 1.2″ screen
  • Garmin Vivoactive 4Circumference: 45mm, 1.3″

I think I've made that clear enough, but just in case I'm going to clarify again what the difference between Garmin Vivoactive 4 and Garmin VenuThe screen only, while the Vivoactive 4 use the transflective screen typical Garmin, the Venu has a AMOLED screenIn all other functions, both offer the same features.

Opting for one type of screen or another depends solely on you and your tastes (and secondarily, your wallet). AMOLED screen Everything displayed on the screen comes to life and is more in line with what you would expect from a smart watch. In addition, following the trend of 2019, on the Venu you can select to have the screen always on.

But as with other models (such as Fitbit Versa 2 or Apple Watch Series 5) there is a low power mode for the dial, which is what is displayed when we are not looking at the time.

Garmin Venu - Low power mode

By raising your hand and turning your wrist, the screen changes and the dial you have chosen will be displayed in full colour.

Garmin Venu - Screen on

This change of screen occurs only on the time dial, while we are training there is no low power mode and you can simply choose to have it always on, or to have it turn on with a twist of the wrist.

Of course the AMOLED screen has the toll of the price, but also in battery life. The data that Garimn announces I can corroborate it because it is what I have been able to appreciate in my tests. About two or three days if we use the always on screen mode, which can reach five or six if we let it turn off when we are not using it and we deactivate the pulse oximetry. All this taking into account the use of daily GPS recording some training.

The touch screen is the main way we have to operate it. As in the Vivoactive 4 we also have two side buttonsThe menu is a set of rules, which will be used for everyday actions such as marking laps while you are training or confirming or backing up within menus.

It sounds silly, but having that specific button to mark laps or intervals can make the difference between a watch that is designed for sport and one that is not, and clearly enhances the unique button design of the Vivoactive 3.

Garmin Venu - Lateral

Garmin's use of the AMOLED screen is not high, beyond being able to configure very showy clock faces that can even be dynamic, changing the lighting depending on the time of day. An example is the New York skyscraper, which will be done at night or during the day depending on what time you have on your clock.

Garmin Venu - New York Screen

There are only 4 dynamic displays that Garmin has included in the clock, a much smaller number than what other manufacturers, such as Apple, offer. However, thanks to Connect IQ we can install a lot of dials from external developers (something that Apple does not allow).

However, it should be noted that not all of them are compatible with the "always on" mode of the Venu, the developer must update them for this to be the case.

Speaking of the "always on" mode, it is possible to combine it with the do not disturb option, with which you can set the usual hours when you will be sleeping and do not want to receive smart notifications.

In the case of the Venu there is also the fact of turning off the screen (even if you select the screen mode always on), which is a good thing because it is not too pleasant to wake up by the brightness of the clock in the middle of the night, as if you had a lighthouse on your wrist.

Beyond the dynamic spheres, Garmin has not ventured into a specific interface. All the menus mirror what the rest of the range has to offer. In a sense this can be a relief, because if you're already a Garmin user you know you won't have to learn anything new - everything is in the same place as before.

From the main screen you can access the different widgets by sliding your finger up or down. You'll find the usual activity widgets, viewing steps, heart rate, calories, etc.

Garmin Venu - Widgets

Within the widgets we can see some of the things that have come to Garmin for the first time and that have been released on both the Vivoactive 4 and the Venu. Starting with the hydration monitoringof which I have prepared a specific section for you later.

Garmin Venu - Hydration Widget

There are other novelties that we can also see inside the widgets, such as the breathing rateGarmin had already incorporated this metric in other models, but to register it, they had always needed the sensor on the chest and did so only during training.

However, on the Venu we will also have it using just the optical pulse sensor on the wrist. But I will also talk about that later.

You can set up a shortcut to the feature that's most convenient for you or that you think you'll use most often. By sliding your finger from left to right you can quickly access music controls or Garmin Pay, among others.

So you can access wireless payments without having to go through any intermediate menu, but that's just one of many options.

Garmin Venu - Select Quick Access

In this quick access we only have the possibility to configure one function, but we also have a quick menu that can be accessed by pressing and holding the top button.

Garmin Venu - Quick Menu

As with the shortcut, we can also configure which items we want to appear in this menu.

As I say, we find that menu if we leave the top button pressed for two seconds. But if we keep pressing longer (about 5 seconds) what we access is the support functionIt can be useful if you want to send a warning message in case you have suffered a fall or if you think there is something wrong (for example, that you are in a compromising situation).

Garmin Venu - Assistance

This is completely with the incident detectionSimilar concept to the assistance function that I have indicated before, but in this case it starts automatically in case of detecting some incident while you are practicing some running or cycling activity (you must be training, it is not valid just to wear the watch).

That is, in the event of a rapid deceleration or a severe shock (which is detected by the clock's accelerometer), the event detection function will be activated to send a message to the contacts you have selected.

In case it was a false alarm (because you simply braked dry but without any accident, something that can happen especially in cycling) you will have a short time to cancel the warning and not scare anyone unnecessarily.

With regard to the message sent with the support function and incident detection, the contacts you have selected will receive the notice along with a link to LiveTrack, which will allow them to see where you are.

But you need to have your mobile phone with you to communicate, because it depends on the connection of the mobile phone. 

All this configuration will be done in Garmin Connect.

Incident Detection - Garmin Vivoactive 4

Garmin Venu as a smart watch

Of course, the Garmin Venu should also be referred to as a smart watch because even though it is a model in which the sports functions are the most important, it is the segment that the manufacturer has targeted, especially because of the inclusion of the AMOLED display (the first time that Garmin has used a display of this type).

But it is my biggest objection to the Venu. The AMOLED screen is not used and the interface does not make use of the advantages it offers beyond showing the same graphics with more contrast. It does not have a differential menu, it is still incompatible with many emoticons, there is no speaker that recognizes sounds and no microphone to answer messages, etc. It is, for better or worse, a Vivoactive 4 with AMOLED.

We can divide the intelligent functions into four different things:

  • Notifications
  • Applications and spheres
  • Wireless payments
  • Music playback

The problem with the Garmin Venu is what to compare it to. If we compare it to smart watches such as the Apple Watch, Wear OS watches or even Samsung or Huawei watches, we can see that Garmin is quite weak in this area. We can also read the reverse, because in terms of sports, Garmin is quite superior to all of them.

But I'm not the one who describes the Garmin Venu as a smart watch or smartwatch, that's already been taken care of by Garmin... so it will have to be those models I compare it to. 


First of all, I'll talk about the notifications. As in other Garmin models, we can see on the Venu's screen the smartphone notificationsThis notification will appear immediately, but we can also see the previous notifications from the widget itself.

Garmin Venu - Notifications

The clock allows us to view them, delete them (which will remove it from pending notifications on the phone) or, if you are an Android user, reply with pre-defined messages, but there is no way to reply to those notifications or send messages from WhatsApp or other instant messaging applications.

Without a doubt, this is the aspect that makes the Garmin Venu the smart watch that it is. It is not a question of Garmin being able to update it in the future to incorporate it, since the watch does not have a microphone. In short, with respect to notifications, there is no change with respect to other models of the brand other than being able to see colour emoticons. Because no, neither will it show us images that are sent to us or from applications such as Facebook or Twitter. 

Applications and spheres

The Venu is compatible with Connect IQ applications and areas But, if you expect to find an ecosystem even resembling the one the Apple Watch has, I'm sorry to bring you bad news. They don't look anything like it, and Garmin's chances are far more discreet than those of a full-fledged smart watch. Here's what Garmin Connect IQ is all about and what possibilities it offers.

At the moment there are not many dials in Connect IQ specifically for the Venu, in the sense of taking advantage of its fantastic AMOLED screen. But if you want an eye-catching dial, 1TP11You can configure one of the "live watch faces" offered directly in the watch menu. 

Among the possibilities offered by the Venu is that of leaving the screen always on. The Venu therefore joins the recent trend in the sector to adopt this possibility which, don't forget, will increase battery consumption.

Of course, the dial that is displayed when you are not looking at the watch will be a simpler one, which Garmin calls the low power mode. This is what it displays, keeping the time in the same place as it is displayed on the dial in the normal mode.

Garmin Venu - Energy-saving display

As soon as we turn our wrist to look at the time, the screen will go into normal mode, showing the dial we have set with all its colours.

In addition to all this, at the time you have configured the "do not disturb mode", the clock will turn off the screen completely. This is quite logical since it is understood that at that time you will be sleeping and you do not want the brightness of the screen to wake you up.

Wireless Payments with Garmin Pay

Garmin PayIt has a derived problem, and it is that the list of supported banks and cards is much shorter than the list of supported cards. what Garmin has to offer right now.

However, if our bank is compatible with Garmin Pay the operation is what we can expect from a watch of this type. Adding cards is very simple, and making payment is even more so.

Garmin Venu - Garmin Pay

Music playback

As for the music playback Here, the Garmin Venu does stand out from its competition because beyond being able to sync music to the clock and play it back (which in 2019 is no longer a big deal), the Garmin Venu is compatible with streaming music services such as Spotify, Amazon Music or Deezer.

Garmin Venu - Spotify

We have 4GB of memory to store musicThis is the case both for music synchronized from the computer and for music downloaded from streaming platforms (download to be done directly via WiFi once all the details have been set up).

After having the music inside the watch you simply have to pair a Bluetooth headset and you can listen to music completely independently.

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Otherwise, it offers the same functions that were already present in the Vivoactive 3 MusicIn that respect nothing has changed. 

Setting up and sports

If I said earlier that as an intelligent watch the Garmin Venu is not up to the competition, now it is time to talk about the possibilities it offers for sports practice. It is in this section that the competition has absolutely nothing to do with Garmin's proposal, as it is a watch that is much more prepared for sports practice.

Both in terms of configuration and training options, what the Venu offers is superior to what we see in other watches such as the Apple Watch. 

The data screen configuration is inherited from the Forerunner range, with a maximum of 4 data per screen to choose from. 12 data in total are available to choose from as there are three screens available to configure.

Garmin Venu - Data screen

The rest of the options in each of the sport profiles are the usual ones: fins, activate automatic lap and the distance at which you mark it, automatic pause, automatic screen scrolling and the type of GPS to use (GPS, GPS+GLONASS or GPS+Galileo).

Then there are the advanced trainings, which in this case we do enjoy the same benefits as in any other Forerunner model, being able to select not only the intervals but also the target for each of them (for example, running between 160 and 168 beats)

The trainings are programmed from the application or from the web, not being possible to do it in the own clock. It has some predetermined trainings that already come loaded, but there is no possibility of creating them although it is of simple form. 

On the plus side, it's easy to schedule your workouts through Garmin Connect, where you can set the different phases you want to go through, including the target beats or pulses for each one.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Advanced Training

And if you use TrainingPeaks and you have the workouts created there, they will also be downloaded to the clock and you will have the daily notice with your session on the calendar.

Once you have established which exercise session you want to do, the clock screen will show you where you are and what your objective is.

Using the example of the previous training, we will have 15 minutes of warm-up without any kind of goal, beyond the jogging pace you want to do. After a minute and a half break, a series of 5 1 kilometer intervals will start, for which there is a set running pace: between 3:35 and 3:45 min/km. If you go over that pace (both above and below) the clock will warn you by means of vibrations.

After completing the kilometer, there is automatically a two-minute recovery period, after which we return to the interval (and there are "only" four minutes left).

In addition to creating your workouts or importing them from the Training Peaks calendar, there are other options. The Garmin Venu is compatible with Garmin Coach adaptive training plansThis training platform (which is free of charge), will offer you a training guide based on the test you choose.

You will be able to mark which are your usual training days and which one you prefer to be the one of the long run. The advantage of this platform, moreover, is that it is an open plan. If one day you don't train because you had some unavoidable commitment don't worry, the plan will adapt automatically. These are the different options that you can find in Garmin Coach.

As with the other models in the Vivoactive range, another thing that stands out about the Venu is the number of sports available. I'm not just talking about running, swimming or cycling, but also sports such as weight training, rowing, skiing, elliptical... 

And two new profiles have been added to that list: yoga and pilatesBut I'll leave that to your specific section, as it is one of the main new features of the Vivoactive 4 and Venu (not because of the profile itself, but because of the exercise videos it offers).

What you don't have are too many Firstbeat metrics (which is what the advanced metrics of all Garmin watches are based on).

Garmin Venu - Firstbeat

That is, of "special" metrics we have only things like VO2Max or body battery.

Garmin Venu - Body battery

And finally, in terms of sensor compatibility, the Venu is exactly the same as any of the latest Garmin models. It is compatible with both ANT+ and Bluetooth sensors, and the only thing it does not support is cycling potentiometers. But you can connect an external pulse sensor, bike speed and/or cadence sensors, radar Garmin Varia or even Stryd.

The new features of the Garmin Venu

The new features of the Venu are exactly the same as the ones that were present in the Vivoactive 4, so this is a repeat section of the test that was already published of the other models, so as I did at that time, I will talk to you about the lighter or less important new features, leaving a specific section for the video-guided trainings that in the Venu benefit from the AMOLED screen.

Breathing and exercise rate

The Garmin Venu is capable of recording our breathing rate, and does so with the watch's own optical pulse sensor, without the use of an external sensor. This breathing rate will become part of our daily activity statistics.

Garmin Venu - Breathing rate

Therefore, that breathing data will not only be displayed on the clock but also synchronized to Garmin Connect, where you can see graphs and different details that you can see in daily evolution or comparing different days.

Breathing exercises are also found on the Venu. BreathworkIt's not just a simple relaxation exercise, but Garmin wants it to go beyond that. In fact, it's a specific application within the activity menu.

Garmin Venu - Breathwork

We have different breathing techniques to choose from, each with different exercises to perform.

Garmin Venu - Breathwork

They can be exercises to relax and concentrate, de-stress before bed, etc.

When you do the exercise, it is structured as if it were a training series. The clock display shows what you should do in each exercise, number of repetitions, etc. As I said, Breathwork is not the typical breathing exercise, it is quite long and methodical.

When you perform the exercise, the clock display will show the instructions you must follow, telling you when to breathe in, breathe out or hold your breath.

Garmin Venu - Breathing Exercise

As far as recording the breathing rate is concerned, the truth is that it is surprisingly accurate. During an exercise I tried counting the breaths I took and the watch makes the correct measurement. When it comes to rounding off an average per minute, I may dance one up or down, but the overall result is correct.

Monitoring of hydration and sweating

Another new feature that came with the Venu and Vivoactive 4 and that will soon be available to the rest of the Garmin range of watches is hydration monitoring, for which the watch has a new widget that can be activated or deactivated from the watch's options.

Every time you drink some liquid you can write down what you have ingested. By default the quantities are 250ml, 500ml and 750ml, but you can change it and select other quantities.

Garmin Venu - Hydration Widget

Just as with the daily steps we have a goal to meet, we can also have a goal for hydration. And just as with the steps, it is possible to set the goal manually or automatically.

With the automatic target, the watch will vary your target on the days you are most active, to compensate for the fluid loss produced by training.

In addition to recording hydration throughout the day, another novelty is that the watch includes an estimate of fluid loss through sweating during training. When the activity is over, there is a new field with this estimate.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 - Sweat Loss

And that data... where is it obtained? Well, it is an algorithm that takes into account different physiological data of the user and the environment. Data such as weight, temperature, pace and distance, training intensity, etc. 

Is it accurate? Well, it is just a mathematical estimate made at a general level, so the answer is that "it depends". We do not all sweat the same, so for some it will be more accurate than for others. 

The best way to know if this is true is to weigh yourself before and after training, thus being able to see what the real weight loss is and, therefore, fluid loss through sweating.

Training sessions at Garmin Venu

But if there is one feature that I must highlight in the Garmin Venu and Vivoactive 4, it is the new animated training sessions. 

This is where the Venu's AMOLED screen comes into its own as it allows the animations to be shown slightly more fluidly.

The guided training can be found in the following sport profiles: strength training, cardio, yoga and pilates. Although as I said in the test of the Vivoactive 4, here I would love to see running or swimming technique exercises, two sports that could have many benefits from this new feature.

The concept of this type of guided training is the same as the interval training that can be done in other sports, but here it comes with pre-defined exercises and includes videos that show you how to perform the exercise correctly.

Imagine you are going to do a yoga workout, you must go to that profile and access the screen before the activity starts.

Garmin Venu - Yoga and Pilates profiles

Slide your finger from the bottom to the top to open the options menu, and here you will find the training sessions option.

Garmin Venu - Select Training

Here you will find all the exercises that come by default on the clock.

Garmin Venu - Activity settings menu

Each sport profile has 3 different workouts. And don't think they are simple or basic exercises, at all. There is even a yoga exercise that has a whopping 77 steps to perform.

Garmin Venu - Yoga activity

Additionally, from Garmin Connect we can download a number of additional exercises.

There is a lot to choose from, with a total of 57 exercises to select from (for the total of 4 sport profiles in which it is available). There are different filters to find the exercise we are looking for, including the type of activity, the muscle groups, difficulty of the exercises, total duration or the objective.

So it's not just limited to what's in the clock, you can download anything from the catalog, and it's an open platform that Garmin can continue to add to over time.

Can't you find one that fits? Well, don't worry, create your own exercise.

The downside is that the workouts we create manually do not include videos, at least not at this time. Only those that are already predefined on the Garmin platform have animations, which is what makes this a special feature.

As for the exercises themselves, once you have selected the workout you are going to do, when you start the activity the first thing that will come up is the information about the exercise you have to do: name and number of repetitions.

Garmin Venu - Exercise to be done

And after that you'll have the video with the exercise we have to do.

Garmin Venu - Exercises

In the strength exercises and as it is already possible in previous models, there is recognition of repetitions and exercises, so if we have to perform a series of certain exercises, the clock will discount them showing how many are left to finish.

Garmin Venu - Repetition Counter

If they are yoga or pilates exercises, what will appear on the screen will be the time you must maintain the indicated posture.

Of course, in these modes you can also see the rest of the data fields and not just the animations. Just slide the screen to see what you have set up in each profile. In the yoga and pilates profiles you can also set up two new pieces of information: breathing rate and stress.

Optical pulse sensor and Pulse Ox

As with all recent Garmin models, the Venu is equipped with the brand's latest optical pulse sensor, the Garmin Elevate v3.

Garmin Venu - Pulse Sensor

This is the same sensor that is also present in other more expensive Garmin models, such as the Fenix 6, Forerunner 945 or the MARQ This sensor includes pulse oximetry estimation which, unlike models such as the Forerunner 245If we can use it throughout the day to make regular blood oxygen estimation measurements.

Garmin Venu - Pulse Oximetry

However, using this option will significantly shorten the battery life, and in this case, which is already burdened by the consumption of the AMOLED screen itself, perhaps this is something you should consider, although you can choose to use it exclusively at night, helping the watch to identify the different phases of sleep.

Let's talk directly about the optical pulse sensor while playing sports, which is ultimately what someone buys a watch like this Garmin Venu for. But before I show you comparisons of different sensors, I'd like to remind you of some basic aspects of optical sensors.

Keep in mind that a wrist heart rate monitor does not work the same way on all bodies. We're all different, and if we put things in the equation like skin tone, tattoos, body hair... the difference from person to person can be quite big.

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.

During the several weeks that I have been testing the Venu I have had the opportunity to record many training sessions, from which I have selected the following. 

As I always do, I like to start with some easy training for the optical sensor, because if it is not able to cover the most basic aspects, that sensor and I will have a bad future...

So here you have a progressive training in which the idea is to start softly to increase the intensity little by little, but without sudden changes of pace.

In addition to the Garmin Venu, I am accompanied for the test by the Suunto 5 (using its optical pulse sensor) and the FR945 paired with a HRM-Tri brand new.

Garmin Venu - Optical Pulse Sensor

We have the classic difficult start that occurs in winter. Until you warm up and start sweating so that the pulse sensor in the chest registers correctly (and the capillaries for the optical sensors dilate), the measurement is not correct.

In these circumstances, it is the chest sensor that takes the longest time to be fully operational, and except for occasional errors, the optical sensors coincide from the start.

Garmin Venu - Optical Pulse Sensor

In general the logging performed by the three sensors is very similar. In the final part you can see much more coarse peaks than at the beginning, because the sensors are continuously changing one pulse up and one pulse down every second, which multiplied by three makes it look like a comb.

Therefore, even if it seems that the measurement is not well done, it has no major problem beyond the representation that can mean 152.7 pulses for some and others (that's why so much leap in a continuous way).

Garmin Venu - Optical Pulse Sensor

I did point out three points in reference to the Suunto 5 graph. Honestly, I have no idea why it comes out like this (it goes forward in time and then backward). I guess they are platform errors when creating the exported FIT file.

I'll raise the bar one more point, and now I'll move on to intensity change training, which is where the optical pulse sensors are really tested.

For this training I wore the Apple Watch Series 5 and the APEX Pro Chorus, paired with the H10 Polar sensor. It is a simple fartlek in which I perform 3x(2km soft + 1km harder).

Garmin Venu, Apple Watch Series 5, COROS APEX Pro - Optical Pulse Sensor

To analyze the training, I separate it into the three different blocks of the exercise. 

In this first block we have a good start by the optical sensor of the Apple Watch and the Polar H10, while the Garmin Venu needs a few seconds to start recording correctly. However, halfway through the warm-up there is a very strange peak for which I have no explanation.

The optical sensor of the Apple Watch and the Polar H10 chest sensor paired with the CHOIR also coincide at this peak. The Garmin Venu remains stable, which is what it has to do, and no matter how much I check the activity I can't find any reason at this point to explain this sudden increase, which certainly doesn't correspond to the reality of the exercise.

A mystery because there are also two graphs that match. As for the first interval of one kilometer there is not much to stand out, the three sensors perform the reading correctly.

Garmin Venu, Apple Watch Series 5, COROS APEX Pro - Optical Pulse Sensor

Moving on to the second interval, everything is fairly stable on the soft section, except for slight peaks from the Garmin Venu measurement (which sometimes marks one more pulse than the other two), but generally without much trouble.

However, the Venu shows irregularities in the kilometer with the highest intensity, with a sudden drop in heart rate. Not that I measure it wrong, but for a few moments it loses the sense of what I'm doing. And in the recovery after the interval it takes several seconds compared to the real situation, something that doesn't happen with the optical sensor of the Apple Watch.

However, the rise in pulses as the interval rate increases is instantaneous, which was one of the problems typically faced by Garmin's optical sensors.

Garmin Venu, Apple Watch Series 5, COROS APEX Pro - Optical Pulse Sensor

The third interval is similar to the second one, although again we have a small punctual error in the smooth section. The increase in intensity is again totally instantaneous by the Garmin Venu, and much better than before in the arrival of the moment to reduce the rhythm to make the recovery, which takes place almost at the same moment.

Garmin Venu, Apple Watch Series 5, COROS APEX Pro - Optical Pulse Sensor

The one that's very accurate at all times is the Apple Watch Series 5, which virtually traces the graph of the Polar sensor at all times.

Let's change things up, we go with an interval training but now riding on the bike. The other optical sensor I carry for testing is the COROS APEX Pro watch, while the Garmin Edge 1030 is using Garmin's HRM-Tri data.

Garmin Venu, COROS APEX Pro - Optical Pulse Sensor

There are three clearly differentiated parts: the first one where I go to the area where I do the series, the series itself (a climb of about 14km) and the return to origin at a very slow pace.

It is quite clear that the COROS APEX Pro's graphics are quite bad, so I eliminate them because they only create confusion. I proceed to dissect the training in two parts, leaving aside the final stretch which is much smoother.

In this first half of the training (where there is more intensity) the result is fairly reasonable. I would give it a 7 out of 10, which in principle is not a bad score. But the heart rate is either recorded perfectly or is data that do not contribute anything, here no half measures are useful. So although it has improved over what the Garmin sensors measured in the past (which was something similar to what you've seen before with the COROS APEX Pro), it's still not "perfect" or "almost perfect". 

Garmin Venu, COROS APEX Pro - Optical Pulse Sensor

The return leg is somewhat similar. It's not bad, it more or less matches the chest sensor, but I say the same thing again. The "more or less" is no good.

Garmin Venu, COROS APEX Pro - Optical Pulse Sensor

The result is much better than that offered by the CHOIR, but still requires the use of an external pulse sensor.

These are some of the examples that I can show you, but it is the behavior that I have been able to observe in the rest of the trainings in which I have been comparing with other devices.

Garmin's sensors have undoubtedly improved over time. We're now in the third version of the sensor and in addition to hardware changes there have been countless software changes. It's getting closer and closer to being an option for the vast majority of people in regular training. Of course there will always be mistakes, but as you've seen those will also exist with the chest sensors.

In my particular case I have no problem using the optical sensors in my daily training, but I do opt for the chest sensor as soon as I intend to ride the bike.

GPS Performance

I think it is already becoming repetitive, and I suppose I will continue to remember it in all the races ahead in this year 2019, but I have to add it once more. Garmin Venu incorporates the Latest GNSS chipset by Sony.

It's not something special, since it's the same chipset that mounts almost all (or even all) of the devices that have come to market since late 2018. The reason for this domination by Sony is simple: its very low battery consumption is key to being able to offer the hours of autonomy that all watches offer right now, at least when we talk about use with GPS on.

This chipset includes the possibility of using the combination of satellites that we choose: GPS only, GPS + GLONASS or GPS + GalileoAt the moment the recommendation is to use the GPS + GLONASS option, it's the option that Garmin has worked hardest on and the one that should offer the best results. In fact it's what's predefined in the clock (although it still keeps the intelligent recording option, something that doesn't make sense anymore).

However, soon the GPS + Galileo option should be equally or more satisfactory. Like the optical sensor tests you saw earlier, the GPS comparisons are done in the same way: with the watches accompanying me in my regular workouts, wearing both the Venu and other models, and checking where problems appear.

I don't have a 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. 

I will start with this good comparison between four devices of four different brands, where I have combined areas where I go and return by the same way, and others where I make a circular route. 

In addition to the Venu on her left wrist (the purple graph), she wore the Apple Watch Series 5 on the right wrist, Suunto 9 in the left hand and Polar Vantage M in the right hand.

Before applying the zoom, we can already see that there are points where some of them clearly stand out from the others, which is not usually the case.

Garmin Venu GPS Comparison - Apple Watch

I'll start from the beginning of the route. This is always complicated because I'm only running a little bit more than a minute, so the clocks haven't triangulated their position with all the satellites that could do it yet. Besides, I'm running north-south (from top to bottom in the image) stuck to a building of enough height which makes difficult the reception.

There is a point where you reach the roundabout in the image, a large open space. At this point the Garmin Venu is the worst, as it is the one that takes the longest time to identify the turn. The Vantage M is the best, as it practically follows the route followed. The Apple Watch is not completely bad, but it is already showing signs of tending to round any curve that is found (which we will see later ...). 

Garmin Venu GPS Comparison - Apple Watch

Further on we have a return route in which the 8 tracks behave perfectly in the clear areas. 

However I have marked a turning point where I enter the promenade, making two quick 90º turns. At that point the Venu behaves perfectly, as does the Suunto 9. The Vantage drifts slightly out of the correct zone, but I want to emphasize again how filtered the Apple Watch GPS signal is. It doesn't make two quick turns, it simply creates a "chicane".

Garmin Venu GPS Comparison - Apple Watch

Another point that I usually pay a lot of attention to is this one below. It is a slight change of direction in a very short space of time that normally costs a lot of work for the different watches to do correctly.

Both the Suunto and the Venu do the turn more or less well, with some centimeters of displacement from the real zone, but overall giving a good result. The Vantage M continues to be displaced from the real route by several meters, something that I hadn't seen since the last firmware update, but that seems not to have been completely solved.

Meanwhile, the Apple Watch does its thing, filtering everything in excess to get nice graphics (when we look at them from a distance).

Garmin Venu GPS Comparison - Apple Watch

In this turn around Puerto Banús there are many things to highlight. The direction of the march is the one I mark with the arrow, I highlight it because the Vantage M had managed to return to the royal route, but as it wanders through the narrowest streets of the port it deviates again quite a few meters. It was definitely not its day.

Both Suunto and Garmin are performing well again, as is the Apple Watch which, in its excess filtering of the route, as long as there are no sharp turns, is the best seen.

Garmin Venu GPS Comparison - Apple Watch

However, when measuring total distance and contrary to what it seems, the Apple Watch is always the clock that records more distance, despite eating meters in every turn we do, proof of how aggressive the algorithm they use in Apple to make the recorded graph aesthetically beautiful.

Garmin Venu GPS Comparison - Apple Watch

By the way, the FR945 does not appear in the graphs because it was removed, it was simply supporting the new Stryd, but stored in the pocket so neither heart rate nor GPS data were usable.

A similar route follows, but changing some of the streets. I put into the equation in this case the APEX Pro Chorus replacing the Polar and Suunto of before.

Even before we start zooming in we see two areas that stand out: one where there is a small disagreement between the clocks and another where many, many things have happened, because after coming from making totally straight lines we have real saw teeth.

Garmin Venu GPS Comparison - Apple Watch - APEX Pro Chorus

This is the first point where a discrepancy was noted. The one that makes the mistake is the APEX CHORUS Pro, which I have had to point out in many points. It is not a glaring error, but it is possible to see that it has had a bad start in training.

The Venu has a start in which it has a little difficulty (the first roundabout is in the middle), but then it starts to triangulate correctly and the rest of this area is done perfectly. The one that keeps playing the same game is the Apple Watch, 

Garmin Venu GPS Comparison - Apple Watch - APEX Pro Chorus

The descent down that street towards the beach is correct on all three clocks, but on the turn to cross the river again the CHOIR moves quite a bit from the real route (as it does a bit further on).

I did want to highlight a point where the Venu does really well, as it is a point where you have to cross an area of stairs and turn right and then left a metre later. The Garmin does it perfectly, while both the CHOIR and the Apple Watch filter it completely. Of course, a little further on it is the Venu that is off course.

Garmin Venu GPS Comparison - Apple Watch - APEX Pro Chorus

The same fast turn as before, this time only the COROS has got one of its passes right. The Venu can't hit the corner either on the way there or on the way back. In the meantime the Apple Watch is already a hopeless case as it makes the corner as straight as possible.

Garmin Venu GPS Comparison - Apple Watch - APEX Pro Chorus

But let's go with that area that was already regular from a distance... and that the zoom confirms the real disaster.

This area is complicated because it runs under quite leafy trees and with buildings on both sides. It is not easy for the watches to receive GPS signals, but this day has been a real disaster. To remember, the Venu's graphic is in blue, the CHORUS in red and the Apple Watch in purple.

In this first section you can see how on the way back the Venu has moved many, many meters from the real route, totally lost (not that the result was good in the first leg, it has also had its many meters above the buildings). 

The only one that has a good performance is the Apple Watch because here its excessive filtering makes it the one that moves the least from the real route (which does not mean that the measurement is correct, as we have seen before).

Garmin Venu GPS Comparison - Apple Watch - APEX Pro Chorus

The whole area of the avenue has been just as bad in all cases. Even later the Apple Watch also moves several metres off course.
Garmin Venu GPS Comparison - Apple Watch - APEX Pro Chorus

However, the pivot point, which I do in a totally open area (where the start and finish of the Marbella Ironman), is not so much a problem for any of them, although the Apple Watch is eating those meters again.

Garmin Venu GPS Comparison - Apple Watch - APEX Pro Chorus

This is as far as running is concerned, in cycling as usual there is no problem of any kind, both because of the amplitude that usually receives the GPS signal and because of the speed itself, as we move faster there are fewer problems of correct triangulation.

Garmin Venu GPS Comparison - APEX Pro Chorus

In general the result I see in the Garmin Venu is reasonably good. In the open areas there is usually no problem, but perhaps it suffers a little more than the competition where it is more difficult.

This doesn't mean that I have problems or that I'm not useful in training. Not at all, this is a watch that will satisfy the vast majority of users, but you can tell that there are still aspects to be polished with respect to the new Sony chipset, and that Garmin still has to work on it.

Buy Garmin Venu

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Above all you will be helping to support the site, but you will also enjoy unique benefitsIf you have any questions, remember that you have the comments section at the bottom. I will answer all your questions as soon as I pass by.

Opinion Garmin Venu

After several weeks of use with the Garmin Venu, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I have no doubt that the Venu is the first in a long line of Garmin models that will come with an AMOLED screen.

If you know a little about the history of recent Garmin models, you'll know it's how they test a solution that they then incorporate into the rest of the range. It happened with Forerunner 225, which lasted just a few months in the market until Garmin validated the general public's interest in optical sensors and launched Forerunner 235 using its own sensor.

The same thing happened again with the Garmin Epix, a model that passed through the market without any shame or glory but that marked the way as the first watch with integrated maps of the brand. The result of that model was the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus (and successive).

Or the pulse oximetry estimation, premiered by the Fenix 5X Plus and now has been invading the entire range, including the Vivoactive 4 and this Venu. All these are clear examples of what is the usual behavior of Garmin and how they are incorporating new features to their different ranges, having right now three clear open fronts to be adapted to their models in the short / medium term: AMOLED screens, LTE connectivity and solar charging.

In this case, Garmin has done a good job on the technical side. It has adapted to the current trend of manufacturers that use a screen of this type in their "wearables" and that can also remain always on. It is the novelty of 2019 and both Fitbit and Apple had already added it to their most recent models. The autonomy of the watch varies between "decent" and "sufficient".

With the screen in the always on mode is possible to reach up to three days of battery life with GPS use (when in the Apple Watch is complicated to reach a day and a half), while if we deactivate this mode we can reach up to 5-6 days, a very similar to the Vivoactive 4.

So why do I say I have mixed feelings? Because despite having done a good technical job, Garmin brings nothing but "beauty" with the AMOLED display. The user interface is exactly the same as the Vivoactive 4 and almost the same as the other models in the range. The screen dials have not been overworked either (there are still the same 4 options since its launch).

It still doesn't have support for many emojis (only the most basic ones will be shown, the rest appear as a box), it doesn't show images of messages or mails, nothing has been advanced in terms of application notifications... That is, Garmin has worked the basis, but to try to fight with other smart watch models such as those from Apple, Samsung or Huawei; they still have to give an important review to the user experience.

Garmin Venu - Apple Watch

The fact that it's mainly sports-oriented doesn't make it perfect in that respect. There are still software bugs around the use of the Varia radar (it keeps looking for it even after you've finished training and only stops after you've turned off the clock), the optical pulse sensor stays on even when you remove the clock from your wrist (when other Garmin models turn it off after a few seconds to save battery power), not all Connect IQ data screens are displayed correctly (I couldn't use Stryd's, although he did record the data) and I've even had to force the clock to be reset 3 or 4 times. And of course, the GPS tracks could be improved.

And yet despite all the criticism I've made, I consider it to be a more than worthy rival to the Apple Watch. It has a presence thanks to its AMOLED screen (something that perhaps transflective screens don't have), in the sports section it's far superior thanks to its advanced training and multiple sports profiles with their different options and although as a smart watch it's several steps behind the Apple model (and even Samsung or Huawei), it still has more than interesting options such as synchronization with Spotify and Amazon Music or wireless payments.

It's a very valid competitor for the segment, at least if sports performance is one of the things you place most value on. 

You know, if you have any questions regarding Garmin Venu or any other issue not addressed in the article, please use the comments below and leave your question. I will answer it as soon as possible.

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. I love reading the reviews on this website! A question about the "dials" of the clock. In the FR645M I can put the clock display you want. In the Venu you can put the same "dials" or they have to be one exclusively for the Venu? Greetings.

    1. Thank you, Andres.

      Yes, any sphere is compatible, but what the developer has to do is a small adaptation to make it work also in the always on screen mode, otherwise it wouldn't have low power mode, and even if the always on screen is activated it would stay black (because the sphere is not updated).

  2. It's good to read you!!!
    Impressive as always

    After using the Venu, would you return to the Viv4?
    In normal use as a smart watch you have reached 5 days? , impressive

    1. Thank you, Juan.

      Yes, I personally prefer the transflective screen, but because the AMOLED screen has not given me anything special these days beyond a nicer look, Garmin must put more emphasis on the user interface.

      As for the automobile, if the display is deactivated in the always on mode and the SpO2 sensor is deactivated, the 5 days (or 4 and a lot) can be reached.

      1. And the size?
        Which one have you been most comfortable with, I haven't been able to see either one of them physically yet and one of my fears is to err on the side of size, the venu may seem small and the viva 4 I think is big!

        Thank you once again

        1. I don't think the Venu is small, it's the right size, and I don't think the Vivoactive 4 is big either, especially since it's not very thick, despite its larger diameter.

          In this case I do not consider size to be the decisive factor, there is not much difference between the two.

      2. And you can hardly see up close without glasses (presbyopia), with the Venu's screen it is easier than with the Vivoactive 4?

  3. Thanks for your analysis as always. I would appreciate your advice as I want to change watch.I wear the Forerunner 235 of its output and I am in doubt between the 245 music or vivoactive 4, being almost decided by the second, as my chances of practicing sport have changed due to work and son and practically no longer go running, and what I do most is gym with weights and cardio sessions on elliptical and treadmill. Will I lose a lot by switching from the Forerunner range to the vivoactive? Considering my bank doesn't support garmin Pay and the barometric altimeter isn't something I think I'll use a lot.... I'm interested in a good record of elliptical and treadmill activity (and that I think is the same on both, and even if I swim in a pool one day); and I see all the new options are present on both. If I see a plus point the weight training workouts, even with video animation. All the "Training Effect" etc.. measurements I don't understand very well... Taking into account my use and practice would you stay in the forerunner 245 music range or would you move to the vivoactive 4?

    1. For the use you say you're going to give it, I think you'll be pretty much the same with both, so it depends more on whether you prefer a larger, touch-screen clock (Vivoactive 4) or a smaller, button-based one (Forerunner 245). That's what should determine your buying choice.

      Forerunner 245 also has a weight profile, which does not have videos, but will tell you the replays.

  4. I have the 4, the one that came out for 219 euros a few weeks ago, and it's not big at all, in grey it's very nice!


  5. Hello.
    Thanks for your exhaustive analysis. I had the venu for a few days and after doing a sport activity (any) the leds of the optical pulse sensor would stay on permanently even if you took off your watch. It only happened after doing an activity. In normal mode if you took off your watch the leds would go off. It only happened by turning the watch off/on. I thought it was a failure of my unit but I see you commenting something similar or the same, I don't know if it is so... I think it is a very serious failure since it is continuously blinking even with the watch removed which will result in a higher battery consumption.
    Thank you.

    1. Yes, the same thing happened with the one I was using. It's a firmware bug that will have to be fixed (just like staying looking for the Varia radar after cycling).

  6. Hello, and for swimming in the pool how does it go? How do the buttons work, can they be used to give you star and stop in each exercise or do you have to spend the screen? and if you have to spend the screen, does the touch screen work well in wet or underwater? does it record technique exercises?

    Thank you and greetings

    1. As soon as you activate the swimming mode the screen locks and you can only use the buttons to start or pause the training. As for technical exercises, there is no such possibility (for that you would have to go to a model of the Forerunner range)

  7. Hello, Eduardo. Thank you very much for your very interesting and comprehensive analysis
    I currently have a Fitbit Charge 2 and this decided to make the jump to a Garmin Vivoactive 4 or a Venu, which I will buy through your link.
    Since I find it difficult to see up close without my glasses, I suppose it will be easier to read the data on the Venu's screen?
    I also usually do Spinning or Indoor Cycling, and the Fitbit has a modality for this exercise.
    I've been looking, though I haven't found the Vivoactive 4 to have it.
    Could you please confirm that for me?

    1. Both Garmin Venu and Vivoactive 4 have profiles for indoor cycling and elliptical. Additionally you have the possibility to install an application to have other elliptical data through Connect IQ.

      As for presbyopia I can't tell you, because fortunately I don't have that problem. I guess your problem will be with smaller data fields, in that sense in both cases it's the same and you can set up screens with two or three larger data than if you have 4 on screen. If what you need is higher screen brightness to see it more clearly (more contrast), then the Venu will suit you better.

  8. I think that until now the Garmin Venu is one of the few intelligent watches that deserves a good position in the market. Previously you could observe it in person and it seemed very complete, it's a pity that I couldn't try it but your experience confirms my intuition that it is a good device for the daily use with its functions and practical design.

  9. Hello:
    I've loved reading your analyses; I've been doing it for a week and a half because I want to buy a watch and I don't know - certainly - which one to buy. The more I read, the more doubts I have; when I think I've found one, your analyses turn me around... That's why, although I didn't want to bother you, I feel obliged to tell you my case so that you can advise me.
    I have an Iphone; I bought the Iwatch 5 (LTE) and finally had to sell it because the battery didn't reach my dinner (of course I couldn't use the sleep function because it wasn't enough...).

    - On a sporting level, I would use it to go on (sporadic) outings to walk, run, or practice capoeira (let's say once a week: one hour a week in total, at best).

    - I'm interested in a watch with an elegant appearance mainly; I like those with a gold, pink gold or even copper border (not the black, grey or silver ones). My favourite is the combination of a white strap with a pink gold dial (or white with a pink gold crown).

    basic functions or benefits you would like to have
    - I would be interested in having my heart rate measured throughout the day; that you could let me know if my heart rate goes up or down (which could be a concern for my health).
    - I'm interested in the battery lasting at least two or three days
    - Also that I could answer the calls from the phone (LTE); in case I can't, that at least I can accept or reject the call and vibrate when one comes in (and when answering it is diverted to the AirPods).
    - To have the best possible compatibility with Iphone

    - To be able to record music (to go running without the mobile phone) (provided that you have GPS and/or record the training on the clock to turn it over later).
    - Notifications (unless they can be read: Whatssap, SMS, calendar appointments...)

    -I can't say here

    See if you can recommend several.
    Thank you very much and congratulations for your work (if you bought it, you would buy it from your links).

    1. For that use and requirements, I would opt for the Garmin VenuOn the Venu you have a white/gold option, the only thing that at the moment there are no LTE options.

  10. Hey, I could use some help.

    I've been using the Polar M400 for years and wanted to make the leap to something more complete, and I had the Polar IGNITE in mind, but reading your review and seeing the problems with the touch screen, I thought about other options, like the Forerunner 245, the Vivoactive 4 or this Venu. Which one would you take out of the 4?

    I use an Iphone, so I need it to be free of compatibility issues.

    On a usage level, besides being a watch (sometimes we forget that they are watches), I am interested in the sleep measurement part (I have children and they sleep quite badly, so I am interested in knowing if I reach a minimum acceptable level of rest), recovery after exercise, and varied sport profiles.

    I am not a runner but I practice several sports (mainly racket sports, more later strength, endurance and compensation training in the gym, and field trips to walk, ski, recreational cycling...)

    I also worry about the size issue, because I have a pretty thin wrist and big watches are annoying (I tried the Vantage M and can't wear it, it's too big for me).

    Thank you so much for the help!

    1. The truth is that with your sports profile and the importance you give to sleep measurement, the Ignite would be your thing... The "slowness" when it comes to turning on the screen is there, it all depends on whether you want to have the patience or not... Otherwise the other option would be the Vivoactive 4S for size (because of what you say about the Vantage M). The Venu is almost as big as the Vivoactive 4.

      I think you should try the IgniteIf you do not have patience for the operation of the screen then change it to the Vivoactive 4S.

      1. Thank you very much for your help! I will try the Ignite (it is also a little cheaper, so it also helps in the decision), and if not, I will switch to the Vivoactive 4S

        1. You can see the links to find the offers in the Ignite article (and remember that by using the links, you will be helping the page).

      1. Can you load gpx tracks for trail routes on this Venu, if it has a compass and track back mode?

  11. Hello, I don't like the Venu that it is not possible to import courses for races, neither does it allow in swimming to incorporate the information of swimming with technique.

  12. Good review! Apparently in the beginning it didn't incorporate multisport activity, but now it does? I see that Garmin Venu is now listed on the official website under Multisport/Triathlon, could you confirm this?

  13. Can you load gpx tracks for trail routes on this Venu, if it has a compass and track back mode?

  14. Very good analysis, thank you.
    One thing, can I listen to Spotify music while doing sports without carrying my phone on me? Which wireless headphones do you recommend? Thank you very much

  15. Hi, I am undecided between buying the Garmin Venu or the Garmin Vivomove Style. Have you tried the latter?
    I really appreciate the Venu's animations for training, for the extra motivation it can give me, and the gps, which I won't have in the Vivomove, but for poder to take it to the office (colleagues in suits) I don't know if the Venu is going to be suitable.
    As activities I do sporadically: hiking, swimming and indoor cycling, as well as some strength training at home.
    What features will I lose if I go for the Vivomove style?
    Thank you!

    1. I have not tested the Vivomove Style, but I have tested the Vivomove Style. Vivomove HR which is very similar.

      The main difference is in the readability of the display. The Vivomove's display is sufficient for day-to-day data (steps, etc.) but will be insufficient for sports if we want to monitor more than one piece of data at a glance.

      In a work environment with the Venu you have no problem, especially now that the use of smart watches is fully standardized. The quality of the watch is more than sufficient for a formal environment.

  16. Very good review and one of the most complete I've seen!!!! However I'm left wondering if the garmin venu incorporates maps and can you do mapped tours (e.g. if I go hiking in the mountains, does the GPS map show on the watch?). Thanks and once again, awesome review.

  17. Hello

    I did not know where to put this question, I was taking a look at your analysis (very complete) to decide on which model to buy, I explain, I am a crossfitter and I wanted to recommend me a watch that would do me the best possible service. I didn't want to spend more than 400e.

    1. For CrossFit any watch will cover you perfectly, it depends on what other options you want to have or the aesthetics of it.

      But if you like the Venu, it works perfectly well.

  18. Hello, good morning:
    As always your analysis is super complete. I have been wearing a Garmin 735 for some time and I am very happy with it but now it is too big for my small wrist. I do weights, cycling and mountain biking, some hiking. I am looking at the Garmin Vivo and the 245. Which one would you advise me?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Thank you Alicia.

      I think the Vivoactive 4S, if you have a small wrist, is the one you will be most comfortable and happy with. As long as when hiking you don't need too much route navigation.

      1. Sorry Eduardo,
        And the Garmin Venu how do you see it? Maybe the Vivoactive 4S is a little small when viewing the screen.

        1. The 4S I was telling you because of the small wrist issue. The Venu, without being a big watch, may already be "too bulky". It is another perfectly valid option, the only thing is to consider whether you want a more or less large watch.

  19. Hello,
    I wanted to know how many real steps? I have another Polar sports watch that counts steps even when I am sitting down and at the end of the day I get many more steps than I have actually taken.
    Thank you very much.

  20. Hi, I also wanted to ask about the swimming pool sport, what metrics does it give (strokes, lengths, distance; swolf? and if it has automatic rests or you have to dial it automatically?
    Thank you very much.

    1. It does not have automatic rests, you have to press the button to mark laps. It measures strokes, distance, pace, calories and in Garmin Connect it will indicate Swolf afterwards.

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