Garmin Venu 2 vs. Apple Watch 6: Which is best for you?

Garmin Venu 2 4
Garmin Venu 2 4 (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Garmin Venu 2

Garmin Venu 2

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If you're worried about whether the Garmin Venu 2 will measure up to the original, you'll be pleasantly surprised. It now comes in two sizes, offers double the battery life, and gets a handful of new features. As long as you're willing to pay for it, there are plenty of goodies to go around with this new smartwatch.

Garmin Venu 2

Impressive Android watch

GPS, HRM, NFC
Pulse Ox & Body Battery
New sleep score & fitness age
Unstoppable battery life
Two size options
No LTE connectivity
Insanely expensive

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6

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Those who are already committed to using Apple devices will benefit from the Apple Watch Series 6. It's got some new features, including native sleep tracking. You'll also have the option to use the always-on display feature now. It comes in two sizes and also offers optional LTE connectivity.

Apple Watch Series 6

Ideal for iOS users

GPS, HRM, NFC
Optional LTE connectivity
Blood oxygen monitoring
Always-on altimeter
Two size options
Poor battery life
Not for Android

Garmin Venu 2 vs. Apple Watch 6: Playing for different teams

Searching for the best Android smartwatch will bring up many different results, including the new Garmin Venu 2. This wearable is bringing some serious heat in terms of creating competition for the existing market. While the Apple Watch Series 6 isn't an Android smartwatch, it is definitely a top competitor if you're an iOS user that's torn between choosing an Apple Watch or an Android wearable.

At the end of the day, Android users aren't going to be able to opt for an Apple Watch. This means the Garmin Venu 2 is the clear winner by default. However, most users will be more than satisfied with this new watch. If you're an iOS user seeking the most seamless experience possible, you'll be better off with an Apple Watch Series 6.

The Garmin Venu 2 zeroes in on important details

Two of the most recent releases to hit the market are the Garmin Venu 2 and 2S. The features are exactly the same, so the only difference between these two models is size. The standard Venu 2 comes in a 45mm plastic case, while the smaller 2S comes in a 40mm plastic case. Depending on the model you buy, there are a variety of color options to choose from. Both watches offer a quick-release band system, so finding replacement Garmin Venu 2 and 2S bands will be a breeze.

The previous Venu model was only available in one size, so opting for two sizes is an automatic improvement. You still get a lovely AMOLED display and an attractive stainless steel bezel. Another major upgrade is that the Garmin Venu 2 models offer double the battery life. The smaller model can last for up to 10 days, while the larger one can go for 11 days. You'll also have a rapid charging feature and a battery saver mode for good measure.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Garmin Venu 2Apple Watch Series 6
Dimensions45.4 x 45.4 x 12.2mm
40.4 x 40.4 x 12.1mm
40 x 34 x 10.7mm
44 x 38 x 10.74mm
Display1.3" AMOLED, 416x416
1.1" AMOLED, 360x360
1.78" Retina display, 368x448
1.57" Retina display, 324x394
SensorsHRM, accelerometer, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, thermometer, ambient light sensorHRM, accelerometer, always-on altimeter, compass, gyroscope, SpO2, ECG, ambient light sensor
ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+, Wi-FiBluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, optional LTE
Battery life10 to 11 days18 hours
Water resistance5ATM5ATM
Optional LTE✔️
Electrocardiogram✔️
Sleep tracking✔️✔️
Mobile payments✔️✔️
Android & iOS compatibility✔️❌ (iOS only)

Garmin has always been good about offering a robust health/fitness tracking suite, but the Venu 2 is raising the bar. Sleep tracking has been improved with the addition of a sleep score feature. Every morning, you'll receive a numeric sleep score from 1 to 100, which is based on the quality and quantity of your sleep from the night before. You can also review these stats directly on the watch rather than having to launch the Garmin Connect app on your phone.

The Venu 2 introduces some new sports apps to the mix.

The original Venu already has a wide range of built-in sports apps, but you get even more with the successor. The Venu 2 introduces some new sports apps to the mix, including HIIT, indoor climbing, hiking, and bouldering.

Another fitness tracking improvement that deserves recognition is the new fitness age feature, which can estimate whether your body is younger or older than you are. Your fitness age is determined using your chronological age, weekly vigorous activity, resting heart rate, and BMI or body fat percentage.

Garmin Venu 2 6

Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

You still get all the core features that Garmin is known for, including onboard GPS, heart-rate monitoring, female health-tracking, stress monitoring, Pulse Ox (blood oxygen monitoring), Body Battery, and so much more. You can record workouts at the gym or when you head outside for a run. You can access Garmin Coach for customized training plans. You can also take advantage of on-screen workouts that are easy to follow along with on your watch.

The Venu 2 doesn't leave out any of the key smartwatch features that users love. You'll still have NFC for Garmin Pay, smartphone notification support, and onboard music storage for hundreds of songs. Android users will have the option to send quick replies from their watch. As an iOS user, I would miss out on a feature like this, but I still think the Venu 2 is one of the best Garmin smartwatches available right now.

The Apple Watch Series 6 delivers a seamless experience

Apple Watch Series 6 review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

At this point in the game, we're conditioned to expect a fairly similar watch design from Apple. It hasn't changed too much over the years, and most users aren't complaining. The most recent addition offers subtle improvements that some people have been patiently waiting for. The question you'll have to ask yourself is whether a few upgrades are worth the price tag.

The Series 6 comes in two sizes: 40 and 44mm. There's a rainbow of colors to pick from, including blue, red, gold, and graphite. The case materials have been narrowed down to aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium. You'll be happy to know that both of these models are compatible with interchangeable bands. You'll appreciate the new S6 processor, which claims to make the device run smoother and for longer. For reference, this processor is said to run 20% faster than the Series 5.

The Apple Watch Series 6 battery life is nothing short of disappointing.

As always, the Apple Watch Series 6 battery life is nothing short of disappointing. Model after model, we're left with a sorry 18 hours of battery life for the Apple Watch. Having to charge your smartwatch every single day can be irritating, especially if you want to wear it to bed for sleep tracking. There's no denying that the Garmin Venu 2 beats the Apple Watch 6 in this department.

With that said, some features on the Apple Watch Series 6 will make it more appealing to health enthusiasts. You'll now have built-in sleep tracking on the watch. Previously, you had to download third-party apps for this. You'll also have tracking for blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) levels. The Apple Watch Series 6 is certainly one of the best smartwatches for measuring blood oxygen saturation levels. It can also take electrocardiogram (ECG) readings, which will detect irregular heartbeats that could indicate a more serious underlying condition.

Apple Watch Se 2020 Lifestyle

Source: Luke Filipowicz / iMore (Image credit: Source: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Another way that the Apple Watch Series 6 competes with Android wearables such as the Venu 2 is with its new subscription service, which is called Apple Fitness+. Users will have access to a library of workouts that can be accessed from most Apple devices. While you're working out, you'll be able to view your real-time metrics during the session and see how you're performing.

Finally, the Apple Watch is known for offering an array of smartwatch features that create a seamless experience for iOS users. One of the most popular features is the optional LTE connectivity, which allows you to utilize all of the features on your wearable without your phone's connection. You can use apps, make calls, send texts, and stream music. You'll also appreciate having NFC for mobile payments with Apple Pay. If you have a question, want to check the weather, or need to set a reminder, Siri can get it done.

Garmin Venu 2 vs. Apple Watch 6: Which is best for you?

Garmin Venu 2 Hero

Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

If you're already an Android user, we recommend the Garmin Venu 2 as the best option between these two. Keep in mind that this smartwatch is compatible with Android and iOS, so it's open to pretty much everyone. That's not the case with the Apple Watch, which is specifically designed for iOS users.

Sure, it might mean a more seamless experience than notifications and such, but the Garmin Venu 2 is much better for folks who want in-depth health and fitness tracking. The Apple Watch Series 6 has its share of these features, and introducing Apple Fitness+ might make it even more appealing to workout enthusiasts. With that in mind, the Garmin Venu 2 is still a worthy competitor in this arena. It's slightly more expensive, but it just might be worth the money if you're a fan of its features and design.