Garmin Venu 2 Plus Review

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The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is a Venu 2 with a slightly trimmer frame and some new smartwatch-fashion features. None of which are essential, but may be plenty to sway you over to team Garmin if you’re deciding between a smartwatch and a fitness watch. The latter is even so the key appeal here, thanks to the Venu 2 Plus’s not bad spread of tracking modes, long battery life and largely reliable metrics.


  • Tidier, slicker design than the original Venu 2
  • Excellent fitness tracking depth and versatility
  • Can take/make calls


  • Speaker is quiet and thin
  • No pregnant improvements to actual fitness tracking skills
  • Digital assistant back up is limited and clunky


  • U.k.
    RRP: £399.99

Key Features

  • Elevate 4.0
    The Venu ii Plus has the same heart rate assortment every bit the top Garmin watches, as introduced in the Venu ii

  • Digital assistant support
    Garmin adds a microphone and speaker to the Venu 2 Plus, enabling support for digital assistants including Siri, Google Assistant and Samsung Bixby.

  • Offline music
    Like the Venu 2 and other top Garmin watches, you tin save music to the spotter, including from Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music


The Garmin Venu ii Plus is a refreshed version of 2022’s Venu ii. Information technology’due south a feature-packed fitness picket that feels far closer to a smartwatch than most other Garmin bands.

It arrived around eight months after the original, a clear sign that this isn’t intended to be a full generation refresh. An integrated speaker and microphone, forth with a slight simply important change to the outer hardware make the Venu 2 Plus trimmer and better-looking over the original.

Functional additions aren’t exactly world-changing. You can take calls from the wrist: squeamish simply niche. You can play music direct on the watch, which isn’t that appealing when the speaker is thin and tranquillity. A Garmin Venu two Plus lets you interact with your phone’s digital assistant, just the experience is clumsier than it is through Wear OS or Apple watch. No surprise at that place, then.

The Garmin Venu two Plus speaker can play alerts when notifications make it to your telephone, adding some other chemical element of smartwatch flavour. While I wouldn’t recommend many Venu 2 owners upgrade to the Venu 2 Plus, you still go all the splendid benefits of the original. And this watch seems to cement the Venu series as the testing bed for new Garmin features. While some are a little limited at present, the new additions still take some value once you get to grips with their limitations.

The front of the Garmin Venu 2 Plus turned on

Design and Screen

  • Excellent overall await and experience
  • Higher screen-to-surface ratio than the Venu 2
  • A very comfy sentry to wear

It probably sounds like I’thou not too enthused past the Garmin Venu 2 Plus then far, but Garmin has actually done a peachy job with the design changes here. Almost every time Garmin makes a more mainstream fitness tracker, it looks a little clunkier or more than awkward than models from brands such as Fitbit, Apple and Samsung.

The Venu 2 Plus removes those traces from the Venu ii blueprint. A knurled steel rim is replaced past a significantly thinner, smoother 1. The Plus has the aforementioned 1.3-inch OLED screen as the larger 45mm Venu 2, but this new shape delivers a higher screen-to-surface ratio and looks more like a style-led smartwatch.

You could argue that it also looks more bearding as a outcome – but, to me, those audio similar the words of a reviewer who has simply worn likewise many dissimilar smartwatches over the past 12 months. For a Garmin, the Venu ii Plus looks slick.

Garmin Venu 2 Plus on its side

The steel ring around the screen has a PVD, or Physical Vapour Deposition, coating. This involves layering an ultra-thin film of vaporised metal onto the surface of the bezel. Information technology apparently improves hardness and scratch-resistance, but my main have abroad is that it looks skilful. The steel ring has a glossy but smoky finish, tempering the dazzle of polish metal well.

This entire Venu series isn’t as rugged as other Garmins, because there’due south no protective lip around the screen to protect the brandish glass. Information technology’s Gorilla Glass three here, just like the Venu 2.

The Plus’due south back plate is stainless steel, with the wall of the watch trunk fibre-reinforced plastic. These are Garmin staples – but depression bulk and weight are not.

I notice the Venu 2 Plus a more than comfortable watch to clothing all day, and at night, than the Fenix 7 as a result. This may sound relatively unimportant, but information technology brings benefits in a number of ways. A lighter scout is less liable to move around on your wrist when you head out on a run, which would likely impact your center rate readings. Plus, you’re more probable to want to vesture the Venu for sleep tracking, too.

Garmin Venu 2 Plus being worn

The screen style is the obvious outward draw, though. Information technology’s a 1.iii-inch 416 ten 416 pixel OLED screen, which looks far brighter and more colourful than the memory-in-pixel LCDs of Garmin’s classic watches. The Venu 2 Plus brandish image as well appears closer to the surface and, in most lighting, blends seamlessly with the black of the screen surroundings.

This is a smoother, glossier kind of Garmin sentinel. Even so, in that location are several adept reasons Garmin continues to use the duller MIP displays in the Fenix, Instinct and Forerunner watches.

Those screens thrive off ambience lite, but condign clearer on sunny days outdoors. The Garmin Venu 2 Plus’s OLED screen has to compete with ambience light, making it utilise a relatively large amount of charge outdoors.

Ever-on displays, where the watch face remains on the screen face all the time, is a “free” feature of Garmin’s MIP display watches. While information technology is available in the Garmin Venu 2 Plus, there’s a huge cost in terms of battery life, so y’all need to turn information technology on manually.

Garmin says the watch can last up to nine days in “smartwatch” mode, meaning you lot don’t use it for active GPS activities. Based on my testing, this drops to four days with the screen always-on and doing little else with the Garmin Venu 2 Plus. Track a conditioning or two and use it to regularly bank check incoming notifications, and you might see this driblet to iii days.

It’s still far better than an Apple Watch, but you lose the ultra-long bombardment life that consistently makes Garmin devices and so appealing. As e’er, Garmin offers several ways to tweak the Venu ii Plus’s behaviour. There are separate “e’er on” modes for in and out of exercise tracking. And if yous discover the battery life reduction besides extensive, then there are three levels for the screen fourth dimension-out, and ii levels for the sensitivity with which it reacts to the wrist flicks that tell the Venu to light up the screen. The default is “loftier”. I don’t recommend switching to “low”.

Garmin does seem to have fabricated some battery life optimisations in the Venu 2 Plus. While its “smartwatch” battery life is slightly lower than the Venu 2’south, at nine days compared to 11, GPS employ actually increases from 22 hours to 24 hours. A little over an hour of GPS-tracked running consumed v% of the charge level, which is close enough to the Garmin claim considering drain volition exist affected by how often you lot check the on-screen stats.

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus has a big screen

Features and Tracking

  • Telephone calls stand out every bit a new feature
  • In that location’south also now virtual assistant support
  • All the usualy excellent Garmin tracking skills

Let’due south at present motion onto the Venu 2 Plus’s new features, in case yous’re reading this with good knowledge of what the original Venu 2 can do. It gains a speaker and microphone, laid on each side of the watch.

Phone calls are perhaps the about eye-catching new feature here. You can take calls right from your wrist, and even make them on the Venu 2 Plus itself using either a tiny dial pad or a contacts book your setup in the Garmin Connect app on your telephone.

This lookout doesn’t have its SIM menu, so it functions a little like an enhanced Bluetooth headset; your phone needs to be nearby. Personally, I’d much rather employ such a headset than try to have a call using a speaker that’s much quieter than the unit of any telephone. I also couldn’t get it to work with a WhatsApp call, which I use far more than traditional phone calls these days.

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus’south mic/speaker combo is also used to interact with your phone’s virtual assistant. All the same, it’s clunky in use. Long-press the centre button and your telephone “wakes up”, acting as if y’all pressed a physical banana button on the telephone itself. The watch mic then takes on the job of the phone’s mic, and the same for the watch speaker.

This creates an issue: the assistant isn’t aware that it’s running (sort of) on a sentinel. Ask it anything remotely complicated and you’ll hear the usual “I constitute these results” through the Venu speaker, with no visual feedback on the screen.

This doesn’t hateful the Venu 2 Plus’south assistant support is useless, but information technology will likely announced so until yous work out which commands do piece of work just fine. Y’all tin set alarms and reminders, or inquire if it volition rain tomorrow – merely that presses at the limits.

Linking up with the assistant takes upwardly to two seconds each time, and the banana screen will pop up in your pocket, which may result in unwanted screen presses. Don’t expect as well much from the Venu 2 Plus’southward assistant support, although it did connect with Alexa and Google Assistant during testing, and also supports Siri and Samsung Bixby.

The tracking and fitness features on the Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Music support is another fundamental job for the speaker. The software behind music support is the same as ever. You can store tracks on the Venu 2 Plus itself, dragging and dropping them onto the internal storage. There are also apps for Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music, which let you download playlists, podcasts and albums for offline playback. Spotify works fairly well and trims down library navigation to avoid headaches.

The alter in the Venu 2 Plus is that you don’t have to connect wireless headphones to play tracks; you can use the watch speaker. But would y’all want to? It’southward adequately quiet and thin-sounding – I don’t plan on using this characteristic much mail service-review.

A speaker also enables the lookout man to “ding” when notifications come in via your phone, which gives the Venu 2 Plus more than of a smartwatch feel. However, I imagine many will turn these off, since a subtle vibrate alert will be less distracting.

While these added features may exist the supposed highlights of the Plus’s changes, I call up the blueprint tweaks are actually stronger. It makes me glad the Venu 2 Plus is more of a half-generational upgrade than a full-series refresh. However, these smartwatch features were e’er going to exist a struggle for Garmin. Its watches run on proprietary software, whose roots aren’t specially smart.

Core fitness features are much the same as they are in the Venu 2. This means you don’t get on-watch maps, or some of the metrics seen in acme-end Garmins; but there’s more than enough to provide fantabulous, versatile fettle tracking for near people.

The tracking and fitness features on the Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Want to know the missing bits? VO2 Max isn’t a core part of the sentry’s stats. Y’all tin can find the figure if yous go to the Performance role of the Garmin Connect app on your telephone, but it’s probably deemed likewise “hardcore” for this range. At that place’s no Performance Condition or Preparation Status, which are useful tools for appraising your conditioning-to-conditioning operation and whether your routine is besides hard, or non tough enough.

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus’s stats are trimmed dorsum to suit people who don’t live via their practise routine. To judge whether you might be run down, you could use Body Battery instead. This is a slightly softer health metric that pits your stress and exercise against how well y’all slumber, maintaining a score out of 100 – potentially handy, if you lot wear the watch all the fourth dimension. Intensity Minutes is a handy stat for those who piece of work out regularly, too. It collates how long you spend in elevated center rate zones, offering a less intensely analysed alternative to the metrics of the tiptop Fenix and Forerunner bands.

The sensor hardware is very like to the top-end Garmins, however. Nosotros get an Elevate 4.0 middle rate array, which was introduced in the Venu two and has been brought over to the new Fenix 7 series. There’s full GPS, of course, and a barometric altimeter.

Despite leaning a little closer to watches such as the Apple Watch 7 in some respects, there’s no ECG sensor here. I don’t recall this would add together all that much to the Garmin Venu 2 Plus, though, it existence primarily a fitness sentinel rather than a “health” scout.

Like concluding time around, the depth of the activity modes is a real stand-out. It has go trendy for fettle trackers to offer 100+ modes, almost of which are extremely thin copy-and-paste jobs of a totally vanilla mode that does little more than tape time spent and heart rate. The Venu 2 Plus has a smaller (but still large) range of modes, many of which are excellent.

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus has a Golf mode that hooks up to a massive library of courses to display your distance from the hole. Its Indoor Cycling mode tin can connect to cadency and speed sensors for proper stat tracking. This includes smart turbo trainers – although, dissimilar the Fenix serial, information technology won’t control a trainer’southward resistance/incline, which a Fenix 7 tin do.

The tracking and fitness features on the Garmin Venu 2 Plus

There are likewise lots of semi-guided workouts, some consummate with on-screen animated guides. Y’all’ll discover these for HIIT, Strength, Yoga and more than, and in that location are segmented running workouts too. Garmin offers pre-defined workouts, but y’all can create your own in Garmin Connect as well. This is the kind of depth y’all don’t get with any old fettle tracker, and is typical of the Garmin outcome – where the deeper you dig, the more y’all find. I’thou not sure whatever Venu 2 Plus owner volition make use of everything it can exercise.

The Venu series put a friendlier face on the potentially intimidating encyclopaedia that is the Garmin fettle platform, and I recollect it does a great job. Picture show upwards from the spotter face and you lot’ll merely run into a bunch of glance widgets that show the typical stats of an everyday fettle tracker. Plus a few Garmin extras, of course. Hither’s the list:

  • Steps
  • Floors Climbed
  • Intensity Minutes
  • Calories
  • Hydration
  • Center Rate
  • Body Battery
  • Stress
  • Respiration
  • Pulse Ox (SpO2)
  • Sleep
  • Schedule
  • Notifications
  • Weather condition
  • Health Snapshot

You lot can order these as you desire, remove those you don’t want, and add a stack of others. Unusual highlights include Garmin Coach, which offers running and cycling preparation plans spanning many weeks, presented by a professional trainer. It’s no Apple Fitness Plus, but there’southward no subscription fee. And there’southward the Lights widget, which controls Garmin Varia bike lights remotely.

There’due south just so much stuff to find if y’all go looking for information technology.

Sleep tracking is decent, too, but mostly for how the data is presented rather than its forensic accuracy. Following each night you get a slumber score out of 100, a trivial graph showing sleep stages, a 1-sentence written summary, plus your time spent sleeping. It’south dead easy to take on-lath, and the master points take upwardly a single screen. I notice the Venu ii Plus tends to underestimate how long it takes you to get dorsum to sleep after waking up at 3am – so information technology may overestimate the time spent sleeping on bad nights. But I still detect sleep tracking unusually enjoyable to use, and it gives a off-white reading on sleep quality as long equally you are an okay sleeper.

The quality or accurateness of the Garmin Venu 2 Plus’s other recorded stats seems similar to that of the Fenix 7. Its heart charge per unit readings are largely authentic, whether nosotros’re talking about passive all-day tracking or results during practice.

The tracking and fitness features on the Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Centre rate readings aren’t as well high at the start of an activity, an issue I had with some older Forerunner watches. The Garmin Venu 2 Plus reacts to changes in exertion fairly quickly, and the figures tracked fairly closely with my Hour chest strap.

The mode in which Garmin presents run routes in Garmin Connect – as a adequately thick line – hides about minor GPS accuracy wobbles (as in well-nigh trackers). Nonetheless, its connection was rock-solid throughout testing, and it was very quick to triangulate position at the start of workouts.

I wouldn’t suggest that y’all rely on its Pulse Ox readings, which measure out blood oxygenation. I’ve found initial readings to exist as well low, with the Venu 2 Plus typically showing a higher reading on a second effort, or when using the longer Health Snapshot feature. This is a two-minute session that looks at multiple metrics including stress and eye rate variability.

I also notice the altimeter to be way off the mark. Each twenty-four hours the Garmin Venu 2 Plus seems to tape far too high a number of floors climbed. This isn’t something I’ve encountered in previous Garmin watches; I think information technology may be a software bug.

There are a few piddling bugs in the Garmin Venu two Plus at the fourth dimension of review. This watch makes decent utilize of achievements and personal records, which show up with colourful animations when you lot complete a workout that represents a new benchmark in, say, distance or speed. Following 1 of these, the screen went completely blackness and refused to head back to the watch confront, requiring a hard reset. New software, new problems; but these aren’t a reason to avert the watch. They may well be fixed by the time y’all get hold of a Venu two Plus, and accept honestly barely tarnished a highly enjoyable few weeks using the lookout.

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Should y’all buy it?

Neat design and excellent skills:
The Venu 2 Plus blends the appearance and feel of a smartwatch with the fitness tracking depth of a archetype Garmin runner’s sentinel – it’southward a compelling combo.

Modest upgrade:
Despite fresh new smart features, such equally digital assistant back up, this isn’t a directly rival to an Apple tree Watch, and those who already own a Venu 2 probably shouldn’t upgrade.

Final Thoughts

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is just as good a sports sentry as the Venu 2, and includes a handful of new smart features cheers to its built-in speaker and microphone. These features don’t make it a amend fettle watch, and some of them are a little rudimentary compared to those of, for example, an Apple Lookout SE.

Nevertheless, this is to be expected when Garmin has to hook into elements of platforms it doesn’t own or control, such as digital assistants.

If you see the original Venu selling for significantly less, information technology may be the meliorate buy. But the Venu 2 Plus is a better-looking, slightly smaller watch, and the tidier frame doesn’t have a dramatic outcome on battery life in existent-world use.

How we examination

We thoroughly examination every smartwatch nosotros review. We use industry standard testing to compare features properly and we utilise the watch every bit our main device over the review period. Nosotros’ll e’er tell you what nosotros detect and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Worn as our main wearabpe during the testing period

Eye rate information compared confronting dedicated centre rate devices

Side-by-side comparison with our best scoring smartwatches

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Is the Garmin Venu two Plus water-resistant?

It comes with 5ATM h2o-resistance just similar the original Venu 2, despite the complicating factors of an external speaker and microphone.

Does the Venu two Plus offer wireless charging?

At that place’s no wireless charging here, just a classic sturdy 4-pivot port on the dorsum of the watch, used to connect to a cable bundled with numerous Garmin watches.

Does the Venu 2 Plus have maps?

The sentinel doesn’t accept on-watch maps, but the navigation manner does let you salve rudimentary routes to the Venu 2 Plus.

Trusted Reviews test data

Battery depletion following a 5km GPS run

Time to establish GPS

Garmin Venu 2 Plus

5 %

i Min

Total specs

Britain RRP


Screen Size

IP rating


Size (Dimensions)


Release Date

Outset Reviewed Engagement

Model Number



Garmin Venu 2 Plus



1.three inches



43.6 10 12.6 x 43.6 MM

51 G



Garmin Venu 2 Plus




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