Garmin has just announced the Venu 3 and Venu 3s, but how do the new sports watches compare to the outgoing Venu 2?
If you’re on the hunt for a new smartwatch, and are keen on the Venu’s nice mixture of sporty features and sleek design, then you’ll no doubt be wondering whether or not to plump for the cheaper Venu 2, or the newer Venu 3.
That is why we've created this head-to-head comparison guide, providing a rundown of all the key differences between the two Garmin devices.
At a glance
Addition of a new wheelchair mode
New hardware features include a speaker and microphone
Venu 3 aims to offer improved battery life
Garmin is upping the price for the Venu 3 when compared to the Venu 2. The new 2023 version of the smartwatch has a starting price of $449.99/£449.99 with a basic silicone band.
Upgrade to the leather band and you’ll be paying $499.99/£499.99.
The Venu 2 has a starting price of $349.99/£349.99, making it $100/£100 cheaper. There’s also the option to upgrade to a leather band on the Venu 2 for $399.99/£399.99.
Do you love taking a nap, and want to be rewarded for it? Well, the Garmin Venu 3 should instantly make its way above the Venu 2 on your shopping list. The updated sleep coach can now track those naps, and it’ll even give you advice on how long you should rest before getting back to your day.
You should get more detailed sleep tracking on the Venu 3 too, including statistics on how much oxygen is in your bloodstream, heart rate variability and more.
Once all the information is collected, the Venu 3 can offer personalised sleep coaching and tips on how to improve your general slumber.
One of the standout new features of the Garmin Venu 3 series is the addition of a dedicated wheelchair mode. This mode optimises data and advice for wheelchair users, recording pushes, rather than steps, and alerting to any weight shifts.
Garmin says that it has modified its algorithms to provide much more useful insights to wheelchair users, providing deeper explanations on how each workout undertaken affects the body and recovery time.
Garmin has tweaked other apps to make them more useful too, including specific changes made to a selection of sports apps and workouts like yoga, pilates, strength and cardio.
None of these features are found on the Garmin Venu 2 series and it’s a very welcome upgrade.
Upgraded Battery Life
Battery life is often a touchy subject, but Garmin has continually impressed us with its endurance skills.
With the Venu 3, Garmin is claiming an improvement in its endurance – upping the 11 claimed days on the Venu 2 to 14 days. This is in the smartwatch mode, so will likely vary heavily if you’re working out or running and taxing the GPS and other tracking features.
While that added battery life won’t likely be the sole reason to upgrade, it’s always welcome. Of course, we’ll properly test the endurance in all modes when we get our Venu 3 review units on our wrists.
Extra hardware features
Garmin has fixed a couple of the lingering issues we had with the Venu 2 in its successor. For instance, there’s now both a microphone and speaker onboard.
Thanks to the inclusion of both, you can now take and make calls from a connected iOS or Android device with the Venu 3. Handy if you’re on a run and don’t want to take your phone out. The microphone also enables conversations with your phone’s virtual assistant.
If you’re an Android user, you’ll now be able to reply to messages via the watch thanks to a new software keyboard. iOS users still need an Apple Watch for a similar feature.
Which should you choose?
While it’s not a huge upgrade on paper, the Venu 3 brings with it a number of notable tweaks to the Venu 2 formula.
The addition of a wheelchair mode is fantastic to see, while improved battery life and more detailed sleep tracking are both always welcome. What’s less welcome is the price rise – but that just seems to be the case with everything at the minute.
We’ll deliver our full verdict on the Garmin Venu 3 series soon.
How we test