By Courtney Sonni Hughes Review Source
With GPS, cool health features—and an awesome display—the Garmin Venu is a good fitness-focused smartwatch for most people.
The Garmin Venu bucks the trend in which smartwatches in general, tend to go for style points, while fitness trackers and sports watches aim for utility. In fact, the Venu straddles both successfully; this watch has a beautiful AMOLED display, but also packs a ton of fitness features like any best Garmin watch.
During my time testing the Garmin Venu, I was fortunate enough to be able to take morning walks with my family in our neighborhood, keeping a good distance from everyone else. But, the fact that I didn’t have to leave home to experience many of the best features of the Venu — such as animated workouts, sleep tracking and onboard music storage — was a win-win.
While it’s expensive, my Garmin Venu review will explain why it’s one of the best smartwatches, as well as one of the best fitness trackers.
The first thing I noticed was the display. If I’m being completely honest, I like the square displays of the Fitbit Versa 2 and Apple Watch. Still, the Venu’s circular display was stunning. Indoors and out, the beautiful AMOLED display brought the watch to life, even under bright sunlight.
I’m on the fence about the serrated stainless steel bezel. It never caught any clothing but I noticed it more when I touched the watch. My daughter on the other hand thought it was cool because she would rub it with her fingernails all the time.
I was also pleasantly surprised at how light the Garmin Venu was. However, at 46.3 grams, it outweighs the Apple Watch 5 (36.5 grams for the 44mm) and the Versa 2 (39.97 grams). To preserve its good looks, the Venu’s display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and a stainless steel bezel.
There are two buttons on the right side: the top is the action button and the bottom is the back button. Unlike many of Garmin’s other sports watches, the Venu has a touchscreen, which was extremely easy to navigate, but there was sometimes a delay in its responding to my touch.
The Venu is absolutely packed with health stats. Body Battery Energy Monitoring takes a look at your body’s energy levels throughout the day, and helps you find the best times for rest and activity. It was pretty accurate. Any time I would feel sleepy, I would look and see what the number was, and it was low. After a nap or taking a few minutes to just relax, I saw the energy level go up.
I never thought I would need a Pulse Oxygen sensor, but it turned out to be extremely helpful, especially when I had online appointments with my doctor. The Garmin Venu Pulse Ox sensor gauges your blood oxygen saturation during the day and as you sleep. While the Venu is not an FDA-approved device, anything lower than 95 percent indicates that you may have a medical condition, and should see a doctor.
The respiration tracking goes hand in hand with the Pulse Ox meter. The Garmin Venu tells you how you’re breathing throughout the entire day and while you sleep.
I had a love/hate relationship with the stress tracking feature. The Garmin Venu constantly samples your heart rate and will alert you if it is too high or too low. Not only has my life been turned upside-down by the pandemic, but I’m a single parent to a special needs toddler. Not surprisingly, I got reminders all the time that prompted me to relax and do a short breathing activity.
Menstrual cycle tracking is more a function of the Garmin Connect app, rather than the Venu, but it’s still useful for women who want to track their cycle, log physical and emotional symptoms and learn about training and nutrition during each phase. I plugged in my numbers and it was right on when my “friend” came back in town.
You can log your daily fluid intake with hydration tracking, and use that section as a reminder to stay hydrated and goal that changes based on how much you sweat.
The Garmin Venu can guide you through multiple-step workouts that include goals for each workout step, such as distance, time, reps, or other metrics. It includes several preloaded workouts for multiple activities, including strength, cardio, running, biking, and golf. You can create and find more workouts and training plans using Garmin Connect and transfer them to your device.
Being stuck at home, I found the Venu's indoor workouts great. Its animations were extremely helpful when I was unfamiliar with how to perform certain exercises. When I did go for a jog outside, the GPS signal picked up seamlessly and was accurate too. The first time I used the watch, it took the GPS 10 minutes to connect, but after that it connected in less than a minute.
If I miss a morning walk/jog, I will hop on my Peloton to stay active and work out some stress. While I used the Garmin Venu for tracking my Peloton workouts, it didn’t show the distance or recognize that I was pedaling. It still calculated my heart rate but it was weird riding for 45 minutes and seeing 0.00 for the distance. If you’re an avid Peloton rider like myself, the bikes do not transmit a signal that can be received by any Garmin watches. Additionally, files generated by Peloton cannot be uploaded to Garmin Connect.
When you’re out and about, the Garmin Venu tracks steps, floors climbed, intensity minutes, calories burned and more. You can even sync this data across multiple Garmin smartwatches. Another cool feature is that when your watch and phone are paired, your live location can be sent to your contacts manually or — during outdoor activities — automatically with built-in incident detection.
I knew my sleep was trash,