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Garmin Venu Sq 2 – Battery life squared

Tags: Review | Garmin | Smart

1.9.2022 | 6 MIN

Having released many sport watches, Garmin now releases the new model for the city, the Garmin Venu SQ 2, which should motivate us to exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. In today's review, we will go over it and see whether it is worth it.

When someone mentions Garmin, it is unlikely that people would imagine a pure smartwatch like Apple or Samsung watches for example. And despite this, Garmin still releases some models intended for the city life.

What's new:

  • AMOLED display, 320 x 360 pixels,
  • longer battery life of up to 11 days (12 days with the battery saver mode on!),
  • health scan,
  • sleep widget right on your wrist,
  • receiving all satellite signals at once.

What makes us happy

Firstly, it is definitely the battery life, which has increased by almost 100 % when compared to the previous model. And besides the novelties written above, there is also the option to use your watch to pay, and the sport background of the watch.

What makes us sad

The AMOLED display used in the watch seems a bit too cheap, and the production is not very ideal. The environment is too slow for a Garmin watch, and I hope that our testing watch (a beta version) is without updates which would solve the speed problem.

I do think that Garmin could have added (besides music and the payment option) also calling or muting the display when resting your hand on it.

But enough whining, let's get into it.

Singing the same square song

Right from the start, there are two versions: Garmin Venu Sq 2 and Garmin Venu Sq 2 Music. Both variants come in 3 colours for both men and women.

The square design stayed the same and you wouldn't be able to distinguish this generation from the previous one. That's because besides the height of the watch, the measurement also stayed the same. The exact numbers are 40.6 × 37.0 × 11.1 mm / 1.6" × 1.46" × 0.44", which seems quite reasonable. The watch is for men and women. Combined with its weight of 38 grams, the watch is suitable for everyday wearing and for everynight sleep.

Square, nicely done case is made of hardened polymer decorated by the anodized aluminium bezel going around the display. Beneath the display, there is no longer the Garmin logo, only the markers. On the sides, there are two buttons; on the bottom, there is as usual the heart rate sensor and charging connector. The strap is a silicone one that is 20 mm / 0.79" wide with the Quick Release system.

Now using AMOLED

The second biggest change is the display itself. The old LCD display was replaced by an AMOLED one, which means many beautiful, bright, colourful colours on your wrist with the Venu Sq 2. However, having a 1.41" display and 320 × 360 pixels resolution is... debatable. It might have gone a size up than its ancestor, but when the watch lights up, something isn't right. Compared with the Venu 2 or Venu 2 Plus the display is much darker even when maxing out the brightness.

It might be because it is an older generation of the display, it might be just the factors when testing the watch... Anyway, the AMOLED display is still beautifully legible, there are no problems reading it even in direct sunlight. The Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is in charge of protecting the display of the watch against breakage, but it still can be scratched, of course. And as the display is slightly domed, I would recommend a protective film.

Enough equipment

The sensor equipment is identical to that of the previous model. There is the accelerometer, pulse oximeter, heart rate sensor, compass, GPS... I hope I did not forget any. The heart rate sensor is the new Elevate 4, which acts controversial to say at least. It is a sensor covered by plastic, hence all the deviations even when you're relaxed.

The GPS is a big step forward as it now can receive all satellite systems at once, which heightened the accuracy.

Worthy battery life

This is the core of watches. The battery is immaculate and its capacity increased by almost 100 %! To make it more clear, I made this chart with all the data:

Garmin Venu SQ 2
Garmin Venu SQ 2 Music
Garmin Venu SQ
Garmin Vívoactive 4
Smartwatch mode
11 days
11 days
6 days
8 days
Battery saver
12 days
12 days
-
-
GPS 26 hrs
26 hrs
14 hrs 18 hrs
All navigation systems
20 hrs
20 hrs
-
-
All nav. systems + music
7 hrs
7 hrs
6 hrs (GPS only)
6 hrs (GPS only)

The chart shows the clear difference and improvement in comparison with the previous generation; the watch, doesn't matter if you exercise every day, can last 7 days with no problem. And if you decide to switch on the "GPS only" mode, you can run for 24 hours or two marathons if you'd like.

Sporty soul inside

The watch got the usual Garmin sports pack minus a few sports like trail run or turism. We can choose from the basics like running, cycling, walking, yoga, and other sports (there are 28 to choose from unlike the previous 23). What was added is the h(i)it of today – HIIT. And also tennis, pickleball, etc... When it comes to running, there are some pre-installed training sessions, and the watch can display up to 4 data area on one screen.

If you forget to turn on the activity you're doing, the watch recognises an activity and switches on monitoring on its own after a while, and that's something I like. Before, the Move IQ feature only showed you a graph in Garmin Connect, hey, you were doing something, but didn't switch on the exercise monitoring itself.

I wish there were more smart features

Again, not much has changed from the previous generation. So, we have to be satisfied that we get NFC, pre-set notification replies, and a music feature in the Music version (500 songs + streaming service option).

The only new feature of the watch is having Garmin Connect IQ on your watch, so you can download apps for your watch with no limit.

It's only a pity that Garmin didn't use more city-life features and didn't add calling in the range of Bluetooth as we know it from the Garmin Venu 2 Plus model, or open notification replies. Looks like we're gonna have to wait for that.

Health in the first place

Health snapshot is basically in every new review that we write, and it is only good that Garmin decided to add it to this watch. Featuring this feature, you can learn your average heart rate, SpO2, heart-rate variability and stress levels after mere two minutes of resting. It helps you recognise fatigue, or even starting illness if your values are off. Or you basically drank more than you should have last night.:)

Among the basic features, there is pedometer, calorie counting, all-day heart rate monitoring or monitoring of your breathing. For women, there is the period tracking, and men (who are known for short-term memory) can tick off how much they drank during the day.

Summary

This watch is like a big spoon mixing my thoughts because I simply cannot make up my mind about it. Basically nothing changed besides the battery and AMOLED display, and I wouldn't be surprised if the old Venu SQ got an upgrade of new features like the health snapshot. But it's more than great that the battery increased by so much, it won't run out of juice so much.

If you want to upgrade your first generation, it is worth it for people who need a better battery and more accurate GPS. I would expect a larger price difference between the models with and without music (it is around 30 EUR), but Garmin probably chose a difference pricing strategy.

As an alternative, I think the Amazfit GTS 3 model or the new, unrelease for now, Amazfit GTS 4, would be great. And if you don't mind round curves, you can check out the Huawei Watch GT 3GT 3 PRO, or Suunto 7.

And how do you like this watch?

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