A few days ago, I was mostly unimpressed with the Fitbit Sense 2 announcement, with very little difference between the previous generation and some of the new features not even available at launch.
Yesterday, Garmin announced the new Venu Sq 2, and this launch is entirely different. Garmin has made massive improvements since the original Garmin Venu Sq.
What’s new on the Garmin Venu Sq 2 vs Venu Sq?
By all accounts, pretty much everything has changed but the basic square design.
- Garmin has changed the display from LCD to AMOLED, which is a welcome change but was likely what helped keep the price of the original Sq low.
- The display is now larger, going from 1.3” to 1.41” (14% increase) while retaining the physical dimensions. Presumably, the AMOLED display allows them to reduce the display bezel.
- The new AMOLED display has a 320 x 360 pixels resolution vs 240 x 240 pixels
- Likely, thanks to the new display, the battery has massively improved from 6 to 11 days. This also has improved the GPS performance from 14 hours to 16 hours.
- The GPS chipset has changed to the Airoha/MediaTek, which is the same as the Fenix 7 and other new Garmin watches. It has the All Systems’ GNSS mode but not multi-band/dual-frequency.
- Upgraded to the latest Garmin Elevate Gen4 optical HR sensor
- Improved the vibration alert power
- Added many of the new features from the Venu 2, including:
- Sleep Score
- HIIT sports profile
- UI Changes
- Battery saver
That’s a lot of changes.
Sadly, all this comes at a cost, literally.
The Venu SQ2 now costs £229.99 for the standard model or £259.99 for the Music Edition.
The original Venu Sq launched for £179.99, a £50 price hike. I’d say that’s worth it for so many changes, but that could likely price it above what people can afford (especially considering we are now all broke due to the cost of energy).
Garmin Venu Sq 2 vs Venu 2 Specifications Compared
With so many improvements with the Garmin Venu Sq 2, you might be wondering what the difference is between the more expensive Garmin Venu 2?
Garmin has even merged the product pages into one, making it a little bit confusing when selecting options.
- The one obvious difference is the overall design. I personally prefer the rounded style of the Venu 2. Garmin also states that the Venu 2 has more premium materials with a stainless steel bezel vs anodized aluminium. They both have a fibre-reinforced polymer case and Gorilla Glass 3.
- The overall dimensions of the Sq 2 are similar to the Venu 2S.
- The Sq 2 is 40.6 x 37.0 x 11.1 mm
- The Venu 2S is 40.40 x 40.40 x 12.10 mm
- The Venu 2 then has a 43mm and 45mm model
- The Venu 2 has a barometric altimeter, and this also means there is no stair tracking. There are also no indoor climbing modes.
- Venu 2 has an internal gyro.
- The Venu 2 Plus has audible alerts (not the standard model)
- Venu 2 has muscle maps and workout animations (partly due to the lack of gyro).
- The Venu 2 has live watch faces.
- The newer Venu 2 Plus has three buttons with voice functionality, allowing you to make calls and interact with your voice assistant.
- The Venu 2 Plus also has more storage with 7GB vs 3GB.
- Music storage is a bit different too. The SQ 2 Music can store 500 songs, but the normal Venu 2 and Venu 2 Plus can store 650.
The Venu Sq 2 is slightly better in a couple of areas, though:
- The Venu Sq 2 benefits from a slightly better battery than the equivalent-sized Venu 2S.
- The Venu Sq 2 has a slightly better GPS thanks to the new Airoha/MediaTek chipset.
I doubt the new GPS chipset will make a huge difference to your life, so the Venu 2 is still better overall. But the question is, is it worth the price difference?
Garmin Venu Sq 2 vs Venu 2 Pricing?
|Garmin Venu Sq Music Edition GPS Smartwatch with All-day...||7,963 Reviews||£178.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Garmin Venu 2S Smaller-sized GPS smartwatch with all-day...||£330.40||Buy on Amazon|
|Garmin Venu 2 Plus GPS Smartwatch with All-day Health...||£383.99||Buy on Amazon|
The cheapest Garmin Venu 2S is priced at £299.99 on Garmin.
Then the Garmin Venu Sq 2 Music is the closes in spec, and this costs £40 less at £259.99.
If you are not bothered about music, you can save £70 and pay £229.99 for the normal SQ 2.
It is also worth noting that the original Garmin Venu Sq now costs under £140 on Amazon, and the original Garmin Venu is also just £170.
Black Friday last year, I paid £239 for the Venu 2S. That price may not come back as it is the lowest price in the past year. If you are not in a rush for a new watch, I’d say it is worth waiting for a couple of months to see how things go.
The Venu 2 Plus has been as low as £299 back in July 2022.
Garmin Venu Sq 2 vs Fitbit Sense 2
I have mentioned Fitbit Sense 2 in my title, but they are not quite like-for-like devices. I just wanted to highlight how crap the Fitbit Sense 2 launch was.
The Fitbit Sense 2 is priced at £270 or the older Sense is £220 and therefore around the same price point, and they both have a square-ish display
The Fitbit Sense 2 is arguably more feature-rich, I’d say it is better for general health tracking as it has ECG, AFib notifications, a skin temperature sensor and the new cEDA sensor for advanced stress tracking.
The Fitbit Sense 2 will also have Google Maps and Google Wallet at some point.
Battery life is less, and Fitbit wall off a lot of features into a paid subscription.
For me, the Garmin Venu Sq 2, and basically all Garmin watches, are superior for sports tracking.
The Garmin Venu Sq 2 is a significant upgrade bringing it in line with many of the other recent watches.
The downside to this is the significant price rise, which has jumped 28% when looking at the none music model. This means if you want a fashionable-looking Garmin, you are now stuck with Vívoactive 4S at £200, which is a great watch, but some people seem opposed to the lower resolution transflective memory-in-pixel display.
Last update on 2023-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API