Garmin Venu: AMOLED screen plus Always-On mode and battery life measured in days (hands-on)

Garmin Venu: AMOLED screen plus Always-On mode and battery life measured in days (hands-on)
The Garmin Venu is the company's new smartwatch for everyone, but instead of the frugal screens Garmin uses on most of its smartwatches, this one has a gorgeous AMOLED display similar to what you see on watches by Apple and Samsung. Unlike those watches, though, battery life on the Garmin Venu is much longer: the timepiece lasts up to 5 days and you can even set the screen to be always on (this option shortens battery life, but you can still get around 3 days between charges).

And unlike most other Garmins where you have lots of physical buttons on the sides of the watch, the navigation here happens primarily via the touchscreen. We got used to this rather quickly, but we couldn't help but notice there was a very noticeable stutter when moving between menus. This is probably because we saw an early version of the watch and we hope it will be fixed when the final version ships later this year, but right now, the experience is definitely not as fast or as refined as what you get in an Apple Watch or a Samsung timepiece.

You also do have two buttons: the top one is used to start/confirm/enter activities, while the bottom one is a back button that is also used for laps and to access the menu.

Garmin Venu specs:

  • 43.2 x 43.2 x 12.4 mm, weight 46.3g
  • 1.2" AMOLED display with a 390 x 390 pixel resolution
  • Battery life: up to 5 days, in GPS mode with music up to 6 hours
  • Water rating: 5 ATM
  • 20mm quick release bands

The Garmin Venu also supports music as a standard now (previous Garmin watches shipped in two editions, with a separate Music version). You can download music from Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, and iHeartRadio, and then beam it from the watch to wireless headphones.

In terms of sensors, you get a GPS on board as well as a PulseOx sensor for 24/7 blood oxygen tracking. You have two new workout types: Pilates and Yoga, as well as estimated sweat loss and hydration tracking. Garmin also introduces animated workouts to help you stay fit. Overall, the features of this watch are more tailored to everyday folk rather than the runner/swimmer/triathlete that is targeted by the Garmin Forerunner and Garmin Fenix series.

Another cool feature here is Garmin Pay that allows you to pay even when you don't have your phone on oyu.

Price and Release Date

The Garmin Venu costs $400 in the United States and while the company has not announced a release date, the estimate is that it will be available in 5 to 8 weeks.



2. surethom

Posts: 1694; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Nice but too thick still. Closer to 11mm or smaller please.

4. Cat97

Posts: 1893; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Garmin is on a roll lately. You have incredibly many choices from them. I for one much prefer the trans-reflective always-on screens from the Vivoactive and Fenix smartwatches, battery life is double (8-14 days) with the same battery size solely due to those screens. Also, the Venu screen is black 99% of the time, just like other lame smartwatches. Not to mention that thick ugly bezel.

5. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

Agreed, the battery life on the other watches is a big plus. It's still nice that Garmin offers this color display, but I personally would rather get one of their other watches. Check out the Vivomove 3 by the way, looks dope.

6. cheetah2k

Posts: 2256; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Bring the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2. None of these compare even to the current GW

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