Garmin has been making waves in the Smartwatch market for a couple of years now and the more mainstream star of their 2019 lineup has recently launched in South Africa. The Garmin Venu is a direct competitor to Samsung’s Galaxy Watch and the ever popular Apple Watch. It’s the first Garmin smartwatch to pack an OLED screen and it sure does look like a stylish product.
Is the Venu the right choice for you though? The answer will depend entirely on what you expect to get out of the device.
First up, before we get into the nitty gritty of the Garmin Venu, below is a summary of the major technical details as seen on Garmin’s product page:
30.4 mm diameter AMOLED display
390 x 390 pixels display resolution
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
432 x 43.2 x 12.4 mm Fits wrists with a circumference of 125-190 mm
20mm quick release straps
Fiber-reinforced polymer case
Stainless steel bezel
5ATM water and dust resistance
Smartwatch mode: Up to 5 days
GPS mode with music: Up to 6 hours
7 timed activities, 14 days of activity tracking data
The Garmin Venu looks great. It’s sleek and looks far less intimidating than Garmin’s more pricey Fenix 6 range. It looks quite similar to the Garmin Vivoactive 3, in fact, but with a touch more elegance added to the bezel. The Garmin Venu is available in a range of colours and the one we got to try out was the light sand with rose-gold version.
The Venu features two side buttons which perform various functions such as bringing up menu shortcuts or just simply activating the touchscreen. They are in easily accessible spots on the watch’s side and are fairly straightforward. Upon switching the device on, the Venu will automatically guide you through a full setup process. This is incredibly useful and Garmin need to be given a lot of credit for making the process as quick and simple as possible. The Venu will require you to download the Garmin Connect App onto your cellphone to get things going but thankfully, the initial setup is a breeze.
In my daily life, I use the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music paired with my Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact. Swapping over to the Venu was quite a seamless transition and the app surprisingly recognises both devices at the same time and syncs up perfectly. I did have to go to the Garmin Connect IQ store though to download new watch faces onto the Venu but once again, this was a simple task made easy by the on-screen tutorials.
One thing I immediately noticed with the Garmin Venu is that it is a couple of grams heavier than the Vivoactive 3 Music. Coming in at 46.3 grams in total, its additional weight was quite noticeable to me when alternating between the two watches in the time I had the device for testing. While this isn’t exactly a problem, it’s just something to bear in mind if you currently use a lighter wearable device and want to change over to the Venu.
The 30.4mm diameter touchscreen is noticeably brighter and way more visible in dark environments.
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Gamer, writer, self-proclaimed chemistry hobo. Always looking to make use of a good pun in the name of fun.
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