Garmin Venu 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Which should you buy?

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

Garmin Venu 2

Garmin Venu 2

The Garmin Venu 2 is a prime example of what successors should bring to the table. This model offers two size options, outstanding battery life, and several new health/fitness perks. If you can stomach the crazy price tag, the Venu 2 might be just what you're looking for.

Garmin Venu 2

Health and fitness king

Two size options
Many new health/fitness perks
Up to 11 days of battery life
New battery saver mode
Both sizes are same price
Too expensive for some
No LTE connectivity

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Angle

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is also a great successor. This smartwatch offers many features, including improved tracking accuracy, optional LTE connectivity, and new health/fitness features. It also offers military-grade durability and a stunning design.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Connectivity champ

Optional LTE connectivity
Improved health/fitness tracking
Two size options
Military-grade durability
Battery life could be better
Successor expected soon

Garmin Venu 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Somewhat similar

If you're in the market for a new smartwatch, you'll never have trouble finding suitable options. In fact, there might just be too many options out there. Two great examples are the Garmin Venu 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. If you're a wearable enthusiast, you know that Garmin and Samsung are two of the most trusted names in the industry.

The Garmin Venu 2 is a fresh release, so it's got a lot to offer existing customers who are craving new features and other improvements. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is almost a year old, but it's still one of the best Android smartwatches you can buy, especially if you want LTE connectivity. Both are solid options, but it'll all come down to what type of experience you prefer.

The Garmin Venu 2 is focused on health and fitness

The Garmin Venu 2 is one of the company's newest releases, so there's a lot of buzz surrounding this watch right now. One of the most noticeable differences is that it now comes in two sizes: 45mm and 40mm. These two models are known as the Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2S, respectively. Both cases are made of reinforced polymer, also known as plastic. This keeps the watch nice and lightweight, which is ideal for fitness enthusiasts.

Garmin isn't especially known for delivering fashionable wearables, but the Venu 2 proves that it's possible. You get a lovely AMOLED display and a sleek stainless steel bezel. The straps are interchangeable, so there are plenty of Garmin Venu 2 and 2S bands for you to choose from when you're ready for a change from the standard silicone option that comes with the watch.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Garmin Venu 2Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Display1.3" AMOLED
1.4 Super AMOLED
1.2" Super AMOLED
SensorsHRM, altimeter, accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, thermometer, ambient light sensorHRM, electrocardiogram (ECG), SpO2, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, ambient light sensor, blood pressure monitor
BatterySmartwatch mode: 11 days
Smartwatch mode: 10 days
2+ days (varies by model)
ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+, Wi-FiBluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n,
LTE (select models)
Water-resistant5ATM5ATM + IP68 / MIL-STD-810G
Onboard GPS✔️✔️
NFC payments✔️✔️
Music storage✔️✔️
Optional LTE✔️

The color options will vary depending on which variant you pick. For example, the larger Garmin Venu 2 is available in a Granite Blue case with a silver bezel and a black case with a slate bezel. If you buy the smaller Garmin Venu 2S, you'll have more color options, including a graphite case with a slate bezel, a Mist Gray case with a silver bezel, a white case with a rose gold bezel, and a Light Sand case with a light gold bezel.

If you're familiar with the original Garmin Venu, you know it offered up to 5 days of battery life when in smartwatch mode. You'll be pleased to know the Garmin Venu 2 offers double the battery life. The larger Venu 2 offers up to 11 days of battery life, while the smaller Venu 2S offers up to 10 days. There's also a battery saver mode that you can use to stretch the battery life even further. The rapid charging feature promises to deliver a full day of battery life after charging the watch for 10 minutes.

Garmin Venu 2 5

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

Another improvement that users will love is the addition of a sleep score from Firstbeat Analytics. Many other competitors offer a sleep score, so it's nice to see Garmin hop on that bandwagon. You'll now receive a sleep score based on the quality and quantity of the previous night's sleep. Previously, you had to open the Garmin Connect app to review your sleep stats. The Garmin Venu 2 allows you to see these stats directly on the watch.

You also get some new sports apps on the Garmin Venu 2, including HIIT, indoor climbing, bouldering, and hiking. The fitness age feature is also a new addition, which has the ability to determine whether your body is older or younger or than you're actual age. Your fitness age is estimated using your chronological age, weekly vigorous activity, resting heart rate, and BMI or body fat percentage. There are also helpful tips on how to improve your fitness age.

One other new feature that you might find useful on the Garmin Venu 2 is Health Snapshot.

One other new feature that you might find useful on the Garmin Venu 2 is Health Snapshot. Perhaps you're a health enthusiast or have a medical condition that you need to monitor closely. Either way, this feature will surely come in handy. It allows you to record a 2-minute session that logs your key health stats. You can even generate a detailed report to send to your healthcare provider.

You also get some other smartwatch features that the original Garmin Venu had, including NFC for Garmin Pay, onboard music storage, and smartphone notifications. You'll be able to send quick replies from your smartwatch if you're an Android user. You can also choose to reject a call with a text reply.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 offers the full experience

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Both Sizes

Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

It's hard to look away after you lay your eyes on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. It offers a gorgeous design, somewhat similar to the original Galaxy Watch with some attractive upgrades. For starters, it comes in two sizes: 41 and 45mm. Both models are compatible with interchangeable Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 bands. The case is a tad slimmer than the previous model, which is another welcomed improvement.

The larger 45mm model is more expensive and available in a stainless steel or titanium case. The smaller 41mm model is only available in stainless steel. There are also three different color options: Mystic Black, Mystic Silver, and Mystic Bronze. The battery will only last for about two to three days, which varies between the two models. As a general rule of thumb, the smaller model has a smaller battery, which means it won't last quite as long as the 45mm model. If you opt for a model with LTE connectivity, it will be more expensive than the standard Bluetooth model.

While the original Galaxy Watch was more of a lifestyle watch with some helpful tracking features, the new Galaxy Watch 3 does things a bit differently. Not only does it offer a beautiful design, but it also comes with several new health and fitness features to improve your overall experience. When you compare the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy Watch Active 2, it's not quite as focused on health and fitness, but it comes close.

Galaxy Watch 3 45mm Black

Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

Some of the noteworthy improvements on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 include running analysis, VO2 max readings, SpO2 monitoring, and better sleep tracking. This smartwatch also has an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor, which can detect an irregular heartbeat that may indicate an underlying health condition. Let's not forget about the built-in run coaching and recovery tools.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 includes access to a video library with several home workouts.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 includes access to a video library with several home workouts that you can try. These workouts are also available on the Samsung Health app and can be easily cast to your television. This allows you to follow along while viewing your real-time stats on the Galaxy Watch 3.

One feature that's becoming more and more common on smartwatches is fall detection. When you're engaged in dynamic motion, your wearable can detect a potential fall. As long as you have an active network connection, your smartwatch will notify your chosen emergency contact of the incident and share your precise location with them.

With so many new features and improvements, it's easy to see why the Galaxy Watch 3 is one of the best Samsung smartwatches you can buy right now. You also get some of the same features that Samsung has been offering on its wearables for a while now, like NFC for Samsung Pay, onboard music storage, and smartphone notifications.

Garmin Venu 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)

If one thing's for certain, it's that neither of these smartwatches will disappoint you. The Garmin Venu 2 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 cater to similar crowds with a few key differences. By now, you probably realize the main difference has to do with connectivity. Some people value this more than others, and that may be what sways your final decision.

Those who aren't overly concerned about remaining connected at all times might be perfectly happy with Garmin Venu 2. It has a mic and speaker, so you can still take Bluetooth calls on the watch. However, your phone will need to be connected to do this. The Galaxy Watch 3, on the other hand, offers LTE connectivity. This means you won't need to rely on your phone to make calls, send texts, or stream music. If this sounds like a dream come true, then you'll probably prefer the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 instead.

Courtney Lynch

Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.