Garmin Venu vs. Venu 2: What's the difference and should you upgrade?

When it comes to the world of wearables, upgrades can be hit or miss. Fortunately, the Garmin Venu 2 hits it out of the park. What makes a new edition a worthy upgrade? That all depends on your point of view. Generally speaking, most people want to see better battery life, an improved design, and new features.

If you don't mind the astronomical price tag, the Garmin Venu 2 is a worthy upgrade with plenty of new features to enjoy. But those who want to save some money might prefer to stick with the original Garmin Venu.

The Garmin Venu 2 is what upgrades are all about

Why you can trust Android Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Garmin Venu 2 on top of a flat blue table

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Let's start with the design. The Garmin Venu 2 models look pretty similar to the previous models, but there are a few changes. In addition to some new color options, you also get two size options: the smaller 2S model (40mm) and the larger standard model (45mm), both of which are compatible with quick-release Garmin Venu 2 and 2s band. It's not uncommon for smaller models to be slightly cheaper than the larger variants, but the Garmin Venu 2 and 2S are the same price.

Both Venu 2 models offer significantly longer battery life than the predecessor.

Both Venu 2 models offer significantly longer battery life than the predecessor. The Venu 2 offers up to 11 days, while the 2S offers up to 10 days. In addition, you also get a helpful battery saver mode that can prolong the battery life for an extra day. There's also a new rapid charging feature that can add extra battery life to the watch after only 10 minutes of charging.

There are several new health and fitness features as well. The Garmin Venu 2 introduces some new activity profiles, including HIIT (including AMRAP, EMOM, Tabata, and custom timers), indoor climbing, bouldering, and hiking. This is great for users who spend their time doing challenging workouts, whether indoors or outdoors.

You'll also appreciate that sleep tracking now includes a sleep score powered by Firstbeat Analytics. Each morning, you'll receive a sleep score that's based on the quantity and quality of the previous night's sleep. Another improvement is that users can now review their sleep stats directly on the watch rather than open the Garmin Connect app.

There's a fitness age feature, which estimates whether your body is younger or older than you actually are. This feature uses your chronological age, weekly vigorous activity, resting heart rate, and BMI or body fat percentage to come up with your fitness age. If you're interested, you can take advantage of tips on how to lower your fitness age.

The original Garmin Venu still gets the job done

Garmin Venu work on a wrist along with a few gold bangles

(Image credit: Garmin)

With all of this in mind, don't make the mistake of counting the original Garmin Venu out. It may not have all the new bells and whistles that its successor has, but it's still a highly capable smartwatch with a wide array of perks. It might not compare to the Venu 2 in terms of battery life, but 5 days is still an accomplishment for a smartwatch. It comes in one size (43mm) and is compatible with 20mm quick-release Garmin Venu bands.

You get some of Garmin's best features, including onboard GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity/sleep tracking, Pulse Ox, Body Battery, stress monitoring, and women's health-tracking. Not to mention that it also offers some extra smartwatch perks, like smartphone notifications, music storage, and Garmin Pay.

When it comes to the Garmin Venu vs. Venu 2, both are excellent smartwatches. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Garmin eventually roll out some of the new Venu 2 features to other wearables in the lineup. For now, if you're happy with what the original Venu offers, it will also save you some money. If you want to take your tracking experience to the next level, you should indulge and go for the Garmin Venu 2 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.