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Garmin Venu vs. Apple Watch Series 6: Which should you buy?

Apple Watch Series 6 Apple Watch Se
Apple Watch Series 6 Apple Watch Se (Image credit: Android Central)

Garmin Venu

Garmin Venu

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The Garmin Venu comes with 20+ preloaded sports apps, built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, on-screen workouts, sleep tracking, and much more. Anyone can enjoy all the perks this smartwatch has to offer.

Garmin Venu

A solid choice for all

AMOLED display
20+ preloaded sports apps
Music storage for 500 songs
SpO2 monitoring
Body Battery
Lacks LTE connectivity
Smaller storage capacity
Limited app selection
Only one size option

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6

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If you own an iPhone, you simply can't go wrong with the Apple Watch Series 6. You'll enjoy great app support, ample storage, Apply Pay, and optional LTE connectivity. You get some neat new health/fitness perks, too.

Apple Watch Series 6

Ideal for Apple users

Optional LTE
Two size options
Sleep tracking
Electrocardiogram sensor
SpO2 monitoring
More expensive
Short battery life
Not a major upgrade from predecessor

Garmin Venu vs. Apple Watch Series 6 How do they compare?

When looking at the Garmin Venu and the Apple Watch Series 6, you'll notice there are many similarities. They're not identical by any means, but they're definitely rivals. If you want a fitness-focused smartwatch with superior battery life and extra features, like Body Battery energy monitoring, stress monitoring, respiration/hydration tracking, and mindful breathing exercises, you'll be a fan of the Garmin Venu. It's one of the best Garmin smartwatches for a reason, after all!

Maybe you'd prefer a wearable that's more focused on true smartwatch features. The Apple Watch Series 6 offers optional LTE connectivity, excellent app support, 32GB of storage, and an electrocardiogram sensor. It's a tough call, but iPhone users may understandably learn toward the Apple Watch Series 6 for multiple reasons. The Garmin Venu is still a worthy competitor and will likely speak to those who prioritize advanced health and fitness features.

Garmin Venu vs. Apple Watch Series 6 A lot of similarities

Garmin Venu

Source: Garmin (Image credit: Source: Garmin)

While there are some important distinctions to be made between these two, you'll also find a whole lot of overlap. Both of these smartwatches provide you with solid fitness tracking, heart-rate monitoring, built-in GPS, an altimeter for tracking floors climbed, and blood oxygen (SpO2) monitoring.

Other features you'll find on both the Garmin Venu and the Apple Watch Series 6 include 5 ATM water resistance, smartphone notifications, Wi-Fi connectivity, and mobile payments. Both watches also provide music storage but the Venu can only hold 500 songs, which is roughly 4GB. The Apple Watch Series 6, on the other hand, has 32GB of internal storage.

Garmin VenuApple Watch Series 6
Dimensions43.2 x 43.2 x 12.4 mm44 x 38 x 10.74 mm
Display1.2" AMOLED always-on display, 390 x 3901.78" always-on retina display, 368 x 448
ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+, Wi-FiBluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, optional LTE
SensorsGarmin Elevate™ wrist heart rate monitor, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, accelerometer, thermometerGPS + GLONASS, compass, ECG, always-on altimeter, optical heart sensor, SpO2, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor
Battery lifeSmartwatch mode: 5 days
GPS with music: 6 hours
Up to 18 hours
Water resistanceUp to 50 metersUp to 50 meters
Notifications✔️✔️
Mobile payments✔️✔️
Sleep monitoring✔️✔️
Blood oxygen monitoring✔️✔️
Electrocardiogram✔️
Optional LTE✔️

Other than the shape of the watch case, the Garmin Venu and the Apple Watch Series 6 share similar designs. Make no mistake, both of these wearables are geared toward the fashionable crowd. Both watches offer a bright, always-on display that's easy to read and navigate. You'll also enjoy the convenience of interchangeable bands on both models, so you can switch up your aesthetic whenever you feel like it.

Garmin Venu vs. Apple Watch Series 6 Important differences

Apple Watch Series 6

Source: Apple (Image credit: Source: Apple)

Unlike the Garmin Venu, which is only available in one size and finish, the Apple Watch Series 6 offers more options. It comes in 40 and 44mm sizes with your choice of a stainless steel, aluminum, or titanium case. You'll also have some new colors to pick from, including red, blue, graphite, and gold. While performance wasn't particularly problematic before, the new edition has the latest S6 processor, which makes the device run faster and for longer. To be precise, Apple states that this watch will run 20% faster than its predecessor.

As usual, you have the option of LTE connectivity with the Apple Watch Series 6 but it will cost more. If you want to be able to use your watch at its full potential without your phone present, this feature will come in handy. It also an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor, which can detect an irregular heartbeat that may indicate a more serious health condition. This new model finally has built-in sleep tracking, which has been missing until now. Unfortunately, we're still stuck with the underwhelming 18-hour battery life.

Garmin Venu

Source: Garmin (Image credit: Source: Garmin)

Garmin does what it can to keep up. One unique feature is Body Battery, which shows you your body's energy levels throughout the day. This allows you to schedule your activity and rest at optimal times. It offers animated on-screen workouts that are easy to follow. You'll find that cardio, strength, yoga, and Pilates workouts come preloaded and there are more options on the Garmin Connect app. You can even build your own workouts and download them to the Venu. Let's not forget about Garmin Coach, which provides you with a personal running coach to help you train for your next race.

Another new addition to the Apple Watch Series 6 is Apple Fitness+. In short, this new subscription service gives you to access a library of video-led workouts while using real-time-data from your Apple Watch. You can select your preferred workout and the video will display on your chosen Apple device. As you exercise, your Apple Watch data will be conveniently displayed on the screen so that you don't have to keep glancing at your wrist.

Garmin Venu vs. Apple Watch Series 6 Which should you buy?

Apple Watch Series 6

Source: Apple (Image credit: Source: Apple)

If you own an iPhone, either of these wearables will treat you right but the Apple Watch Series 6 will be a more organic experience with fewer hiccups. Android users, however, will be much better off with a Garmin Venu. It can cover all of your health/fitness needs and then some. Apple users who don't mind missing out on LTE connectivity, better app support, and more internal storage may actually find themselves preferring the Venu.

However, if you're determined to have a wearable with LTE connectivity and tons of storage space, then you'll likely prefer the Apple Watch Series 6. Be prepared to pay more for it, though. If you choose the larger model and add LTE, you'll be paying a pretty penny for it. Don't forget that you'll also need to charge it daily.

That being said, it's a robust smartwatch with unmatched app support, fitness tracking, GPS, heart-rate monitoring, Apple Pay, SpO2 monitoring, and ECG. It's available for pre-order now with orders shipping out on Sept. 18. As a bonus, you'll receive three months of Apple Fitness+ for free when you buy an Apple Watch.

If you're not worried about LTE connectivity and 500 songs is plenty of storage space, then you may be a fan of the Garmin Venu. Not to mention that it comes at a lower price point and offers 5 days of battery life. You also get 20+ preloaded sports apps, GPS, heart-rate monitoring, mobile payments, and tons of health/fitness insights that will help you track your progress.

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.