Garmin Venu 2 Plus Watch Review

Garmin Venu 2 Plus Smartwatch Review: Improve Your Fitness With Style

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus offers a smartwatch experience that could change the way you go about your day should you go all in on its offerings.

I never saw myself as a smartwatch junkie, but here we are. To me, the reality of wearable technology felt intrusive but inescapable. I’m less the tech-obsessed type and more the type to wander off into the wilderness and avoid cell service at all costs.

So, it’s wild that I find myself so obsessed with Garmin’s slick Venu 2 smartwatch. I actually drifted through the Garmin ecosystem test his Instinct 2 Solar, but I deplored the utilitarian and masculine vibe of the thing. I wanted to wear something that could go to a dinner party or on a jog. For me the Venu 2 Plus does the trick.

In short: The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is user-friendly, stylish enough for almost any scenario, and provides the kind of daily stats and information that can really improve your life – if you so choose.

Garmin Venu 2 Smartwatch Review

garmin came 2s1

About the Venu 2

The Garmin Venu 2 comes in four models.

The 2S is the smallest of the Venu series, with a 40mm face ($399). Should you want a more substantial round face, the 2 more came ($449) offers a 43mm option, while the Venu 2 ($399) maxes out at 45mm. In addition, the Come Sq ($249) offers a more affordable square face, and with this shape one could think of it as an Apple Watch dupe.

At the higher price point, the Plus offers the premium experience of the range. And this is the particular watch I have in hand. It offers features including stainless steel hardware, animated on-screen workouts, and voice functionality for texting, calling, and access to Voice Assistant technology.

While not specifically gendered, options across the Venu 2 range certainly cater for surface preferences that lean either male or female. The watch I’m wearing is cream with muted gold accents, but darker neutrals including granite blue, powder gray and black are available.

Beyond that, it’s the watch’s ability to stack physical data from your wrist to your smartphone that takes the cake. Personally, I like the Garmin Connect app, its options to improve your health and the large amount of data it provides in the process. Now more about that.

Day-to-day with the Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Garmin Venu 2 Plus - Review
(Photo/Nicole Qualtieri)

As someone who wasn’t completely committed to the idea of ​​wearing a smartwatch every day, I’m surprised to find myself a little lost when I take it off.

Why? Instead of relying on my iPhone for timing, I simply turn my wrist, and the Venu 2 Plus springs to life. On the face I chose, I can see the date, time, my heart rate, the battery charge and the steps I took for the day.

I found that knowing how much I walked every time I checked the time encouraged me to keep moving, something my iPhone or internal clock never did.

Over the past few months, I’ve consistently hit my goal of at least 7,500 steps for the day, and often more than that. The watch celebrates with a little confetti buzz every time you hit a goal, which is a nice little dopamine boost in small moments. Gamification for the win, Garmin.

But the feature of the watch that really keeps me accountable is the data I’ve grown accustomed to checking in the Garmin Connect app every day—especially my sleep habits.

I noticed a direct correlation between the days I slept well (according to the clock) and how energetic I felt. And in turn, the days it tells me I had a bad night. Perhaps, dear friends, this is a placebo effect. However, the data seems to be adding up.

On those worse days I can see that maybe I didn’t walk much the day before. I may not have raised my heart rate, or I know that I have had one glass of wine too many.

And current-me started thinking about how future-me might function, thanks to these little pieces of information.

Venu 2 Plus: Fitness Coaching

garmin connect app on smartphone
(Photo/Garmin)

Since worn the clock, I lost 12 pounds. I partially attribute this to the simple interactions of seeing how much I’m moving or not. And as I felt better and became more active, I decided to see how the Garmin Coaching side of the app might help me stay on track.

I’m on my way to run a 5K the Garmin Connect app via Jeff Galloway’s plan. There are several trainers to choose from; I chose Galloway more on a whim.

A startup survey lets you choose how much and what kind of running you want to do, then the app builds a program to get you going.

So far it’s simple. The run plan is laid out, easy to access via the Activities section of the watch, and I haven’t encountered any major errors yet.

And running is not the only training option. Built-in workouts from HIIT to strength to yoga and Pilates are available right on my wrist.

The Venu 2 Plus also offers voice activation and the ability to make phone calls via the watch itself, though that’s not much of a sell for me personally. If you’re into that kind of thing, know that it’s there and it works.

Where the clock falls short

I don’t have much to complain about with the Venu 2 Plus. The battery is phenomenal, but if it was infinite I would be happiest. Still, I’ll take what I can get.

I have not personally experienced errors in the training sections or the data collection. Although I will say that it took me a while to figure out how to get to my coaching sessions within the watch itself. (“Idiot, go to the Run activity,” I now tell myself.)

The one problem I’ve had that drives me half-crazy is that sometimes it takes a second for my clock to tick. If I’m in a hurry, or busy with something else, and I have to tap the watch a few times, it’s not exactly a meltdown, but it was close.

I’ll also add that while the price isn’t rock bottom, it’s not astronomical either. It’s definitely a mid-range watch from Garmin, and at well under half the price of an Apple Watch for most options, I’d say it’s a pretty good win.

Conclusion: The Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Did a watch really encourage me to get back on the health bandwagon after several years of knee surgery and recovery, the induced antisocial malaise of the pandemic, and my steady advance toward the sloppy nature of American middle age? I think it did.

At the very least, it incentivized behavior by making data readily available at all times. Maybe I’m just a cog in the hamster wheel of Garmin’s sophisticated data machine. If I can run a 5K for the first time since 2017, I will be one very happy customer.

Listen, if getting a smartwatch on your radar is one to seriously consider. Personally, I’m happy to have it on my wrist and at my beck and call. This is technology that can literally improve your life by encouraging small behavioral changes via data; it certainly did it for me.

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