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It has been rumoured for quite a while that Garmin will launch an AMOLED based device. Some people thought the Fenix 6 or Vivoactive 4 may get it, but Garmin did something more sensible, and create a new range.

For all intents and purposes, the new Garmin watch is the same as the just announced Vivoactive 4, but with a new vibrant AMOLED display making it a bit more appealing for your general consumer.

As far as the display goes, the AMOLED one of the Venu has a resolution of 390 x 390 pixels compared to the 218 x 218 pixels of the Vivoactive 4. The AMOLED display will also be much brighter and superior colour accuracy. However, by default, it will switch off when not in use, you can then optionally switch it to always-on mode.

The Vivoactive 4, and therefore the Venu is perhaps Garmins best all-round device appealing to the masses. This is designed for people that are into fitness but perhaps don’t need the extensive features the more sports-orientated Forerunner and Fenix series offer.

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The Venu and Vivoactive 4 basic features

  • GPS tracking of activities using built-in GPS
  • Workout tracking of range of sports including running, cycling, pool swimming, skiing, golf, gym and many more (full list down below)
  • Structured workout support via downloadable workouts
  • Quick on the fly intervals
  • Training calendar support
  • Optical heart rate sensor in watch
  • 24×7 tracking of steps, stairs, calories, and distance
  • Smartphone notifications from iOS/Android
  • Garmin Pay for contactless payments
  • Music streaming

How does the AMOLED affect battery life

From the press release, the Venu is rated for up to 6 days in smartwatch mode and up to 6 hours in GPS + music mode.

The vívoactive 4 (45mm) has a battery life of up to 8 days in smartwatch mode, and up to 6 hours in GPS + music mode. The vívoactive 4S (40mm) has a battery life of up to 7 days in smartwatch mode, and up to 5 hours in GPS + music mode.

Though there is no word on how well the battery life performs with the screen in always on mode. DC Rainmaker has reported that he only charges the watch once or twice a week though.

What the Venu and Vivoactive can’t do

The Venu and Vivoactive are aimed at the more casual fitness enthusiast. While they will happily track all your exercises they are designed to be quite as in depth as the athlete focussed Forerunner and Fenix brands.

Specifically, this comes in two forms, paired accessories are limited. You can use things like Stryd with it, but getting bike power isn’t possible natively (from what I am aware).

There are also considerably fewer FirstBeat features, with the Venu and Vivoactive being limited to just 5 features vs 18 for the flagship devices such as the FR945 and Fenix 6.

What does the Venu have that that the older Vivoactive 3 doesn’t?

  • Music now standard: Including Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, and iHeartRadio
  • Venu features 1.2” AMOLED display: Super vibrant, lots of colours
  • Venu also adds ‘always-on’ mode despite AMOLED display
  • Added ambient light sensor tied to the new display
  • Added new ‘Live’ Watch faces with small animations
  • Added secondary button to side: Used for lap, back, menu access
  • Added hydration tracking to manually track liquid intake with widget and app
  • Added Estimated Sweat Loss post-workout
  • Added Respiration Rate for all-day and sleep metrics (and certain workout types)
  • Added Breathwork Exercises (way different than simple breathing stress features)
  • Added Workout Animation functionality: For Strength, Cardio, Yoga, Pilates
  • Added new Yoga and Pilates Built-in workouts: Includes a step by step animations
  • Added ability to design Yoga workouts in Garmin Connect: Complete with step by step pose animations
  • Added ability to design Pilates workouts in Garmin Connect: Complete with step by step animations
  • Added PulseOx for 24×7 blood oxygen tracking
  • Revamped health stat widget akin to latest Fenix/Forerunner models
  • Switched to Sony GPS chipset
  • Switched to Garmin Elevate V3 optical HR sensor
  • Connect IQ Developers will have access to create live watch faces
  • Battery life at 5 days standby, and 6 hours of GPS+Music


  • Suggested RRP in the UK and Ireland is between £299 and £329.99 (€349.99 and €379.99) depending on the model.

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Full Press Release

The Venu is a new GPS smartwatch with a vibrant AMOLED screen and the broadest available range of 24/7 health monitoring features in the market. With a battery life of up to 6 days in smartwatch mode and rapid charging in between, Venu users don’t miss out on valuable health insights. The Venu is one of many new wearables launched by Garmin at IFA in Berlin, Germany, September 6-11, and will be on display at the Garmin stand in Hall 4.2, Booth 232.

“We’re thrilled to announce Garmin’s first smartwatch with an AMOLED display,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “Venu breathes life and color into live watch faces and animated workouts. In keeping with Garmin standards, all of this is achieved without sacrificing battery life.”

Health and Wellness

The Venu boasts the broadest range of 24/7 health monitoring features available in the market, including advanced sleep with pulse ox1, new respiration tracking, abnormal heartrate alerts, menstrual cycle tracking, stress tracking with relax reminders, new hydration tracking, new breathwork activities and more. Innovative Body BatteryTM energy monitoring lets users check energy levels at any given moment, which can help with scheduling workouts, rest times and sleep.

Animated and Customized Workouts

Venu’s AMOLED screen brings workouts to life with 40+ on-device animated workouts for strength training, cardio, yoga and Pilates. These easy-to-follow workouts demonstrate proper form and technique right on the user’s wrist. The Venu’s robust suite of workout options includes preloaded workouts on the watch, preset workouts available to download from Garmin ConnectTM, and “create your own” customizable workouts. Whether training for a 5K or something longer, the Venu is compatible with Garmin Coach, free training plans adapted to a runner’s goals and performance, complete with a virtual personal trainer for added motivation. 

Fitness Features

With GPS, ElevateTM wrist-based heart rate2, and over 20 built-in indoor and outdoor sports apps including Pilates, yoga, running, pool swimming, golf and more, the Venu is packed with features to keep up with a varied and active lifestyle. Need to take a breather or boost mindfulness? The Venu offers new structured breathwork activities designed to promote focus and relaxation.

Advanced Sleep with Respiration and Pulse Ox

When it’s time to wind down, advanced sleep monitoring estimates light, deep and REM stages of sleep. New respiration tracking measures the number of breaths per minute, and Pulse Ox gauges blood oxygen saturation levels. Together, this data can demonstrate sleep quality. Upon awakening, users can review their sleep stats in Garmin Connect to see whether they are getting the quality sleep they need to feel rested and recharged the next day.   

Smart Features for Life on the Go

The Venu provides all-day connection and convenience with a host of smart features including:

  • Notifications: Receive smart notifications3 for incoming calls, text messages, social media updates, calendar reminders and more. Android users can reply to text messages from the device.
  • Music: Download songs or playlists4, including those from third-party music services like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer, right to the wrist.
  • Safety and tracking: Incident detection (during select activities3) and assistance3 send real-time location to emergency contacts.
  • Garmin PayTM with Transit: Contactless payment solution5 lets users leave their cash and cards at home. Garmin Pay can now be used at major transit systems around the world. Users simply tap and pay-per-ride with their watch – no transit card, phone or wallet needed.
  • Personalization: Choose from a variety of gorgeous live watch faces, apps and widgets from the Garmin Connect IQTM store app. Users can even upload their own photos and turn them into watch faces.
  • Compatibility: Use Venu with almost any smartphone (compatible with AndroidTM and Apple® devices).

Design, Pricing and Availability

  • The Venu features a 1.2” screen and is available in black with gold hardware, light sand with rose gold hardware, granite blue with silver hardware, and black with slate hardware.
  • Battery life of up to 6 days in smartwatch mode, and up to 6 hours in GPS + music mode.
  • Suggested RRP in the UK and Ireland is between £299 and £329.99 (€349.99 and €379.99) depending on the model.

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