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

Galaxy Watch
Galaxy Watch (Image credit: Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Those who appreciate the look and feel of a traditional timepiece will gravitate toward the Galaxy Watch. It even has a rotating bezel for seamless navigation. It has optional LTE connectivity, built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, music storage, and Samsung Pay.

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Stay connected

Built-in GPS
Optional LTE connectivity
Two size options
Rotating bezel
Samsung Pay
Somewhat bulky
Less stylish

Garmin Venu

Garmin Venu

If you're searching for a stunning lifestyle smartwatch, you might prefer the Garmin Venu. It's chock-full of essential features. You'll have built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, over 20 different sports apps, on-screen workouts, music storage, and Garmin Pay.

Garmin Venu

Stay stylish

Built-in GPS
Gorgeous display & design
Good battery life
Pulse Ox sensor
Garmin Pay
More expensive
One size option
No LTE connectivity

The best type of smartwatch is one that succeeds at being a solid piece of technology as well as an attractive accessory for your wrist. Both the Samsung Galaxy Watch and the Garmin Venu manage to pull this off. They share many similar features, so your ultimate decision might come down to your aesthetic preferences. However, if you want LTE connectivity, then the Galaxy Watch is the better choice.

Samsung Galaxy Watch: Functional tech

Galaxy Watch

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

While the Samsung Galaxy Watch sports a more traditional look, it has many advanced features beneath the surface that are designed to keep you connected. One of the main advantages is that you can opt for LTE connectivity on your watch, which allows you to stream music and take calls without your phone on hand. This also means that it has both a built-in microphone and speaker.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Samsung Galaxy WatchGarmin Venu
Dimensions46 x 49 x 13 mm, 63g43.2 x 43.2 x 12.4 mm, 46.3g
Display1.3" AMOLED1.2" AMOLED
SensorsHeart rate, accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, lightHeart rate, accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, compass, Pulse Ox, thermometer
ConnectivityOptional LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz,
Bluetooth v4.2
Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
Battery life3 to 4 daysSmartwatch mode: 5 days
GPS with music: 6 hours
Water resistance5 ATM5 ATM
Built-in GPS✔️✔️
Music storage✔️✔️
Mobile payments✔️✔️

Another benefit that many people will enjoy is is that the Galaxy Watch comes in two different size options. You can choose between a 42mm and a 46mm stainless steel case. Either way, you get a crisp AMOLED touchscreen along with a convenient rotating bezel for easy navigation. It's compatible with 22mm interchangeable bands so you're never stuck with one material or look.

You can expect the Galaxy Watch battery to last for about 3-4 days with typical usage.

As far as the charge goes, you can expect the Galaxy Watch battery to last for about 3-4 days with typical usage. It can be charged wirelessly, which is a nice bonus feature to have. A splash here and there is never an issue thanks to the 5 ATM waterproof rating. You can also store and listen to music, make mobile payments with Samsung Pay, and view/reply to notifications.

This wearable also doubles a fitness tracker with built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, and automatic activity tracking. It's worth mentioning that some users may find that this wearable feels heavy and bulky on the wrist, especially during more intense workouts. If you're accustomed to wearing large watches, this may not be an issue. Not to mention that you can always opt for the smaller 42 mm model to avoid the extra bulk.

Garmin Venu: Stunning design

Garmin Venu

Source: Garmin (Image credit: Source: Garmin)

Most people would agree that the Samsung Galaxy Watch isn't quite as stylish as the Garmin Venu. It's sleeker, less bulky on the wrist, and comes in different colors. The 43mm stainless steel case is available in slate gray, rose gold, silver, and gold. This watch comes with a 20 mm quick release bands, so you can switch as needed.

Until now, most Garmin wearables have always been built with fitness in mind. That's not to say that they're not great watches, but they usually aren't the most fashionable options out there. The Venu is one of the first from the company with a beautiful AMOLED touchscreen. You might expect less battery life, but you still get a solid five days in smartwatch mode. When you're listening to music and using GPS continuously, it'll last for six hours.

The Venu offers animated on-screen workouts that you can follow along with.

As stunning as the exterior might be, the Garmin Venu is still equipped with an impressive amount of features. You'll have more than 20 preloaded sports apps, built-in GPS, activity and tracking, heart-rate monitoring, and a Pulse Ox sensor. This feature lets you know how well your body is absorbing oxygen. Additionally, the Venu offers animated on-screen workouts that you can follow along with.

That's not all. The Garmin Venu also allows you to store up to 500 songs, which is perfect when you don't want to lug your phone around at the gym. You'll also be able to make mobile payments from your watch with Garmin Pay. You'll also have easy access to your smartphone notifications. With that said, optional LTE connectivity isn't present, so you won't be able to take calls or stream music without your phone.

Samsung Galaxy Watch vs. Garmin Venu: The verdict

It's a close call between the Samsung Galaxy Watch and the Garmin Venu, there's no doubt about that. The few subtle differences that exist should be enough to guide you in the right direction. If you're all about a stylish design, basic activity tracking, and good battery life, you should be content with the Venu. It also has music storage, mobile payments, and on-screen workouts. In comparison to its rival, the main thing that it's missing is optional LTE connectivity. No love lost? This could be the wearable for you, so long as you don't mind paying a bit more for it.

If you want all of the features we just mentioned in a bigger package or if you'd like LTE connectivity to go with it, then the Galaxy Watch might have your vote. Those who are on a tight budget will also be fans of the lower price tag. On the other hand, if you like having the newest watch on the market, you may want to wait for the Galaxy Watch 3 to arrive so you don't have buyer's remorse with an older model.

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.