Garmin Venu Sq 2 Review: Function Over Form

Garmin Venu Sq 2 is priced at Rs. 27,990 in India for the standard model.

Garmin Venu Sq 2 Review: Function Over Form

Garmin Venu Sq 2 in its Mint Green colour.

Highlights
  • The Garmin Venu Sq 2 is available in two variants
  • Both promise up to 12 days of battery life
  • The Music Edition Venu Sq 2 is the pricier of the two variants in India

Garmin has launched the Venu Sq 2 as its new affordable smartwatch in India. The Garmin Venu Sq 2 comes as a successor to the original Venu Sq which launched in 2020. The Garmin Venu Sq 2 has a bunch of upgrades over its predecessor that are not only limited to hardware but also software, as the watch gets many new workout modes.

Garmin has also launched a Music Edition variant of the Venu Sq 2 in India. This lets users sync up to 500 songs on the smartwatch via Amazon Music or a Spotify playlist. The company sent us the standard Venu Sq 2, which, except for the offline music playback via headphones, has the same set of features as the Music Edition variant.

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 has a starting price of Rs. 27,990 in India. The price range is close to the Apple Watch SE (2nd generation), which can be bought for Rs. 29,900 in India. There is also the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series (Review), which has a starting price of Rs. 27,999 in India. With that in mind, should you consider buying the Garmin Venu Sq 2? We help you find out.

Garmin Venu Sq 2 price in India

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 comes in a single 40mm size and is priced at Rs. 27,990. It is available in Cool Mint, Shadow Grey, and White colours. There is also the Garmin Venu Sq 2 Music Edition, which is priced at Rs. 33,490. The Music Edition variant is available in Black, Ivory, and French Grey colours. Garmin sent us the Cool Mint colour of the Venu Sq 2.

Garmin Venu Sq 2 design and specifications

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 gets a few, yet key, design upgrades. The screen is bigger than the outgoing model and is now 1.4 inches in size. I wasn't too happy with the 40mm dial size, since it looks very small on my wrist. I have been an Apple Watch Series 7 (Review) user for a while and prefer the 45mm size. I wish Garmin offered more sizing options for the Venu Sq 2.

Garmin Venu Sq 2 WM Garmin Venu Sq 2 Garmin Venu Sq 2 gets a bigger and brighter AMOLED display

Compared to its predecessor, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 gets a brighter AMOLED display. The text on the screen is also larger, making it easier to read, even outdoors in daylight. There's a fairly thick aluminium bezel around all four sides of the square display. The rest of the case is mostly plastic. There is also no built-in speaker which means you cannot answer phone calls or listen to voice messages that you receive on instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Telegram, directly on the watch.

Garmin continues to offer two buttons on the right side of the Venu Sq 2. Both these buttons offer support for single and long-press menus. It might take some time to get used to the overall functionality of these buttons, especially if you are a first-time Garmin watch user. You can single-press the top button and set one of the multiple workout modes as your favourites.

Garmin Venu Sq 2 WM 5 Garmin Venu Sq 2 Garmin Venu Sq 2 features two buttons on the right side

The bottom button can be used to go back to the main or the previous screen. Long-pressing this button will open another menu for changing the watch faces, opening the clock app, etc. The Garmin Venu Sq 2's touchscreen also lets you go through some of the health and fitness data — which the company calls Glances — by swiping up or down on the main screen.

The watch also supports Always-On Display (AoD) but I preferred using it without the battery-consuming feature. The display is supposed to wake up as you raise your wrist but for some odd reason, my review unit failed to do this on multiple occasions and I had to rely on the buttons to activate the display. This also happened during workouts, which kind of got annoying.

The underside of the Venu Sq 2 has Garmin's new fourth-generation heart rate sensor, and above it are the charging pins. There is no inductive charging support here like you get on an Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch and a bunch of other smartwatches in this range.

Garmin Venu Sq 2 WM 8 Garmin Venu Sq 2 Garmin Venu Sq 2 gets a new heart rate sensor

The silicone strap is interchangeable. You can simply move the tiny pin to pull the strap from one side and swap it with any other 20mm alternative. Lastly, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 has a 5 ATM rating for water resistance.

Garmin Venu Sq 2 software and app

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 works with any Android smartphone or iPhone. Users need to download the Garmin Connect app, which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. While the watch itself offers some basic options for customisation, I found that the app offers a much better experience. For instance, your phone's larger screen will help you navigate through the list of workout apps much better, while adding them to your favourites. The Garmin Connect app also offers the option to customise the Glance screen or set up Garmin Pay.

Other than customising the smartwatch, the Connect app also gives a detailed overview of your health metrics. You can access the basic details on the watch but I found the app's interface a lot easier to understand and intuitive.

Garmin Venu Sq 2 3 The Garmin Connect app The Garmin Connect app is feature-rich and easy to use

I also preferred the app over the watch's UI as the latter is not as smooth or easy to explore. Apple's watchOS feels a lot smoother in comparison and the touch controls too offer more features. I feel Garmin really needs to work on improving this watch's UI. The Garmin Venu Sq 2 also supports some third-party apps, which can be installed via the Connect IQ Store app.

While the watch's user interface might not be the best one out there, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 did impress me with some of its features. Health Snapshot is one such feature where the watch creates a log of your key stats, which can be accessed in one place. The log includes key data of your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, stress levels, heart rate variability, and breathing. The log can be accessed via the Garmin Connect app or by simply swiping up or down on the main screen of the watch.

Garmin Venu Sq 2 performance and battery life

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 has more than 25 built-in indoor and GPS workout modes. It offers the basics, such as cycling, running, walking, to more intense workout modes such as High-interval intense training (HIIT), pilates, etc.

The step count of the watch is very close to being accurate. I manually counted 1,000 steps to test the accuracy of the Garmin Venu Sq 2 and the Watch counted 12 extra steps over the 1,000 actual steps that I counted. In comparison, the Apple Watch Series 7 counted 16 extra steps. The Garmin Venu Sq 2 does a decent job of differentiating between slow movements in a vehicle and actual walking. That being said, it is not fool-proof and I did notice that the watch added about 300 steps when on an 11km drive. The Apple Watch, on the other hand, mistakenly recorded the moving car as walking and added about 550 steps.

Garmin claims that the new fourth-generation heart rate sensor is improved to offer accurate results and to my surprise, it is almost as good as a pulse oximeter device. The same goes for SpO2 readings. That being said, I would only recommend relying on the Garmin Venu Sq 2 for reference purposes when it comes to heart rate monitoring or measuring your blood oxygen levels. It is always best to trust a medically-approved device for accurate readings.

Garmin Venu Sq 2 WM 3 Garmin Venu Sq 2 The readings on the Garmin Venu Sq 2 were almost similar to a pulse oximeter

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 also supports sleep tracking and gives you a score once you wake up. The watch did not mistakenly assume my lying on the bed as sleeping when I was mindlessly scrolling on social media. Instead, the sleep and wake-up time was fairly accurate (yes, I was trying my best to record the time and cross-check).

If your sleep score is too low, the watch offers suggestions to improve your routine like going early to bed. The sleep score is not limited to the number of hours you sleep but also the time you go to bed. For instance, this one time when I slept for eight hours but went to sleep at 2am, the watch suggested that I go to bed earlier the following day.

Coming to the battery life, I will rate the Venu Sq 2 very highly. The company claims that users can get up to 11 days of runtime on a single charge and with the battery saver mode on, it can be extended up to 12 days.

Garmin Venu Sq 2 WM 2 Garmin Venu Sq 2 Garmin Venu Sq 2 claims to offer up to 11 days of battery life

The excellent battery life also allowed me to go to bed and test the sleep-tracking feature without having to worry about the battery dying soon. I also recorded multiple logs of the Health Snapshot and recorded about an hour of some form of workout. Combined, the battery life, with the display brightness set to maximum, lasted for about nine days. While this might not be the best out there, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 certainly offers more backup time compared to the Apple Watch Series 7 or even the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.

Verdict

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 is among the most affordable smartwatches launched by the company in 2022. It does not compromise on the quality of features being offered, especially the accuracy of the new heart rate monitoring sensor and the blood oxygen measuring system. Features like Health Snapshot give you a good idea about your key health metrics without having to measure each of them individually. There are a bunch of preset workout modes and to make it more intuitive, users can sign up for coaching sessions on the app for free. The battery life is also very solid as the Garmin Venu Sq 2 lasted fairly long on a single charge, considering the number of activities that I performed wearing it on a day-to-day basis.

With what's on offer, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 feels more of a smart fitness tracker than a smartwatch. While the watch scores high points for its battery, health and fitness activities, it loses out on the overall software experience. The UI needs an overhaul and Garmin should maybe take a page out of Apple or Samsung's playbook. The Venu Sq 2 also does not look very premium for the price you pay. The minimalist look might attract some but I have a feeling many would be a little underwhelmed. Also, the one-size-fits-all approach of the single dial size restricts someone like me from purchasing the Garmin Venu Sq 2, despite liking its features so much.

Overall, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 is a good option for those considering buying a smartwatch that focuses on accurate health and fitness metrics along with good battery life. Others might want to look at the Apple Watch SE (2nd generation) or the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series. *

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  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design and comfort
  • Tracking accuracy
  • Companion app
  • Software and ecosystem
  • Battery life
  • Good
  • Accurate fitness tracking
  • Good battery life
  • Bright AMOLED display
  • 5 ATM water resistance, good build quality
  • Useful smart health features
  • Companion app is user-friendly
  • Bad
  • Only one size option
  • Average software experience
  • Underwhelming design for the price
  • No built-in speaker
Strap Colour Cool Mint
Strap Material Silicone
Dial Shape Square
Ideal For Unisex
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Pranav Hegde
Pranav Hegde writes about everything tech. He is a part of the Reviews team at Gadgets 360 and writes majorly about smartphones. Pranav has been a part of the industry for four years now. Other than writing about consumer tech, Pranav is also passionate about photography and enjoys bike rides to picturesque locations. He is available on Twitter as @PranavHegdeHere and on email at pranavh@ndtv.com. More
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