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(Pocket-lint) – Garmin has significantly expanded its range of fitness-tracking smartwatches over the past few years to include a number of different styles and shapes.
One of the newer watches is the Venu Sq 2, it’s the second generation of its square Venu model with an AMOLED display, and it’s one of the few Garmin wrist gadget models that doesn’t have a round screen.
We got our hands on it during IFA 2022 to see what this affordable new rectangle watch has to offer.
With its relatively low starting price, its very practical square AMOLED screen and a list of functions including the great successes of Garmin, the new Venu Sq 2 has something to seduce.
It might not have the most exciting or premium build quality, but with support for things like Body Battery, Garmin Coach, and the full range of different workout types, it looks like could have excellent value for money.
First review of the Garmin Venu Sq 2: A compact, light and complete fitness tracker
- Affordable price
- bright, easy-to-read display
- Autonomy of 11 days
- 5 ATM water resistance.
- Build quality isn’t the best
- And if you want musical support
- It costs more.
- Square design – 5ATM waterproof
- Corning Gorilla Glass 3 lens
- 40.6 x 37.0 x 11.1mm – 38g
- Silicone Strap – Fiber Reinforced Polymer Case
Design-wise, the Venu Sq 2 is a fairly simple-looking watch built out of plastic or – what Garmin calls it – fiber-reinforced polymer. This is a similar material to what Garmin uses on some of its other non-metallic watches, and it’s generally a tough and durable case material.
It is available in six different colors. Three for the slightly more expensive Music Edition, and three for non-music. The unit we reviewed is the French gray case and silicone strap, but there are also black, white and mint green offerings.
The first thing we noticed when picking it up and wearing it was the simplicity of the design (not in a bad way) and the lightness of the device. You can practically ignore it’s on your wrist thanks to its 38 gram weight. It is much lighter than larger and more expensive models like the Fenix or the Epix.
The Venu Sq 2 also has two buttons on the side, which work in conjunction with the touchscreen on the front to control the interface.
As for durability, like most Garmin sports watches, it’s water resistant to 5ATM, so you can wear it in the rain, shower, take it to the pool, and more generally. to live with it, without worrying that it will be damaged by humidity.
The silicone strap is soft and flexible, with plenty of holes for adjustment, so it should fit many wrist sizes. Plus, it has a universal 20mm fitting, so you can swap it out for another strap whenever you feel like it.
Screen and battery
- 1.41 inch rectangular screen
- 320 x 360 resolution
- 11 days of autonomy – 26 hours of GPS tracking
With the exception of the standard Venu range, the Venu Sq has a square screen, which means content on that screen seems to have a bit more room to breathe, and makes text and menus a bit easier to read. read.
Like the round displays on the other Venus, this is a bright AMOLED display, which means the colors are really vibrant, especially when compared to the more muted pixel memory displays found on many other Garmin models.
The extra contrast and depth of the screen’s black and dark elements add to that feeling that it’s an easy-to-read screen too. On the face of it, it’s not the fastest or smoothest screen we’ve ever seen, but it’s very good. And we wouldn’t expect super-smooth frame rates on such an affordable watch, especially not with the battery life promised here.
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Garmin suggests that you can get around 11 days of battery from the new Venu Sq 2 when using it in smartwatch mode. This means that even if you use it to track your daily exercise with GPS, you probably won’t need to charge it more than once a week.
Plus, Garmin has endurance athletes in mind too, and claims you can get 26 hours of continuous GPS tracking activity with the second-gen Venu Sq before you have to plug it back in.
Fitness, features and health tracking
- All-day heart rate, sleep, stress and Spo2 tracking.
- Body Battery Measurement
- Garmin Coach support
- Music editing offers offline playlists
Now let’s move on to health and – of course – we cannot test the accuracy of this data in a short trial period. But, this Venu Sq 2’s feature list means it should match most of Garmin’s other offerings in terms of what it can track and how it presents that data to you.
The company has brought things like the Body Battery graph to the watch, which analyzes your activity and rest to determine how much you have left in your figurative tank. This also means, of course, that it can track your sleep each night if you wish, and track your heart rate throughout the day, using that data to determine stress levels.
There’s also a Pulse Ox sensor for blood oxygen saturation, a menstrual cycle or pregnancy tracking feature, as well as various breathing exercises and a “fitness age” measurement that assesses your performance to determine your body’s fitness level.
This is a very complete offer, which we have long enjoyed using on the Garmin product line.
As for activity tracking and training, you can jump into a number of sport modes, including the usual running, walking, cycling, strength, HIIT and cardio, as well as preload different workouts to track on your wrist or even launch a Garmin Coach plan to improve your running speed or simply train to reach a specific distance.
Another point to note: the musical edition. If you want to download music to your watch from services like Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon Music, you’ll have to shell out another $50 to get the Music Edition watch.
Garmin’s latest watch offers all the essentials and in-depth fitness features you’ve come to expect, but in a watch that doesn’t cost a lot.
Written by Cam Bunton.