Garmin Venu 2 Plus: Hands-On Review Of Garmin’s New Flagship Smartwatch

I spent five days wearing the Garmin Venu 2 Plus smartwatch, before it was publicly announced on January 4, 2022 along with the Garmin Vivomove Sport. The Venu 2 Plus adds a microphone that you can use to access your smartphone’s voice assistant. There’s also, I suppose, an upgraded speakerphone, where a Bluetooth connection to a paired smartphone means you can start and make voice calls. These two additional features are what distinguishes the Venu 2 Plus from the Venu 2 smartwatch that was announced in April 2021.

The idea of ​​being able to use my watch to make phone calls didn’t initially appeal to me as a concept – I may be old, but I’m not so old that I’d still prefer calling with a message. However, to my surprise, on two occasions over the past few days, answering a quick call on my watch turned out to be a pleasant relief. On each occasion I was inside a private environment but I could hear the person on the other end clearly and they couldn’t tell I was using a watch instead of my phone by the sound quality.

It was also nice to have marginally easier access to Siri – just raise my wrist instead of taking my phone out of my pocket – and the integration works well with Siri to recognize what I’m saying and respond as quickly as possible.

It’s a bunch of developments worthy of a ‘Plus’, and if it works as well with Android phones as it does with the iPhone, it adds a coveted smart feature that could make the Venu 2 Plus the best fitness smartwatch. .

The Venu 2 already has a fitness segment, where the device takes cues from Garmin’s well-established expertise with multisport GPS watches and adds enhanced features for gym goers.

It’s also made a strong showing of its smart features, with the standout feature being the integration with major music streaming services – which is what sets it apart from Fitbit and Huawei smartwatches. Garmin also managed the trick of giving the Venu 2 Plus a vibrant AMOLED touchscreen and up to nine days of battery life. After five days of light Twixtmas use, the battery on my device is now 38% working.

Less impressively, but also less importantly, the Venu 2 Plus has lagged far behind in the pursuit of health. For example, Apple, Samsung, Withings, and Fitbit (through a third-party app) offer ECG readings and other trinkets like skin temperature. The Venu 2 Plus has SpO2 and breath readings, but like all health scales, including from other brands, I currently see little benefit in them.

Sadly, the Venu 2 Plus continues to overestimate my time asleep, just like any other Garmin device I’ve worn, thinking I’m asleep when I wake up watching TV before bed.

Before giving a final rating, I’ll need to spend more time with the device, checking the status of the Garmin App Store and other app features that weren’t available until the device was officially launched, yet one elephant in the room already revealed itself – the cost. At £399, it’s expensive even for a smartwatch. While it’s a solid smartwatch choice for most Android smartphone owners, it’s hard to see why iPhone or Samsung Galaxy owners wouldn’t pay less for the Apple Watch Series 7 (from £369) or Samsung Galaxy Watch4 (from £249). £) Sticking to the same brand will provide a smoother integration of smart features.

On the other hand, if you like the idea of ​​a superior fitness tracking experience, you might appreciate the more advanced features found in the Garmin Forerunner 745 (£399) instead.

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is shaping up to be a useful and elegant device, but I’d need a little more convincing that it’s worth the top dollar for another option.

Purchase from Garmin | £399

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