garmin venu review

Garmin Venu Review

Garmin Venu
garmin venu gps running watch
£180-329 (can now be found for as low as £180)
Buy From Amazon

Garmin Venu Review

garmin venu running watch

The original Garmin Venu was released in September 2019 and the watch faces are either round (original design) or square.

Is It Wireless Charging?

garmin venu battery charging

The Garmin Venu watches do not have wireless charging, they have a wire charger that plugs into a usb plug. Easy to use and not too fiddly, my only criticism is that the lead for the charger is very short so can be annoying for that reason.

The battery life in these watches is great they last about five days on a single charge in smartwatch mode, or six hours with both GPS and music streaming active. In practice, longevity varies significantly depending on usage, but five days is easily achievable with a mix of activity tracking, everyday wear and sleep logging.

This is much better than the Apple watch (18 hours usage) and the Fossil Gen 5 (2-3 days).

What Size Is It? And How Much Does It Weigh?

garmin venu weight

The watch face of a Garmin Venu has a diameter of 1.2”, compared to the latest version of the Apple Watch (series 8) which is 1.8”.

The Garmin Venu is 50g, while the latest more expensive Venu 2s is even lighter weight at 38.2g. For comparison, the Apple Watch series 8 comes in the middle weighing in at 42.3g.

The Garmin Venu is extremely comfortable to wear, it does not protrude too much and get caught on clothing and it’s easy to forget you’re wearing it completely. It is very unobtrusive.

What Sort Of Strap Does It Come With? 

The watch comes with a silicone strap as standard, these are easily removed and swapped out for alternative colour silicone bands or real leather ones sold by Garmin.

The advantage of silicone bands is that they are easier to wash the sweat and dirt off compared to leather. I wear my Garmin everyday and don’t exactly take care of it! The silicone strap did begin to split after a year of heavy use, but it is very easy to replace them and inexpensive too.

The leather straps will be more breathable, so people with sensitive skin may prefer these, although not as easy to keep clean. The options are plentiful though to personalize your watch.

Can You Play Music With Without Your Phone?

garmin venu music

You can download songs to your watch, without the need to have your phone with you. This includes playlists from your Spotify, Deezer or Amazon Music accounts (subscription may be required), and connect with wireless headphones

What Colours Are Available?

The Garmin Venu colour options are as follows:

  • Black and slate grey
  • Granite blue and silver
  • Light sand and rose gold

What Faces Does It have?

You can choose from several preloaded watch faces direct from the watch or you can use a Connect IQ™ app on your phone to find more choices which can then be downloaded to your watch.

Some are more decorative and others are more data heavy, there is a lot of choice enabling users to choose the display that is most appropriate for them.

You can also edit an existing watch face or create a new one of your own design which is a nice feature.

Is It Waterproof?

The Garmin Venu has a waterproof rating of 5ATM. 
This means they can withstand water pressure equivalent to a depth of 50 metres. They are fine with splashes, rain or snow, showering, swimming, diving into water and snorkelling.

Can You Follow A Pre Planned Map?

There is a function already on the watch that enables you to save a up to 6 locations using the GPS capability and then set the watch to navigate back to the pre selected location.

This will show a compass to show the direction in which to head. By downloading navigation apps through the Garmin Connect IQ app on your phone to the watch, pre set routes and maps can be displayed on your watch for guided runs.

Is It Touchscreen?

garmin venu touchscreen

The Garmin Venu is touchscreen and very easy to navigate / use. There are also two buttons on the side that are used to start / stop and pause in exercise mode, navigate back to start screens and request main menu screen.

What Apps Can You Connect

Through the Garmin Connect IQ app you can connect to music streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, Podcasts, Playrun and Runcasts.  

Navigation tools such as Komoot, Maps4 Garmin, Find My Car and Compass.

There are also plenty of Cycling Data apps and specific workout guides and data to download too.

You can sync activity data with services such as Apple Health and Strava through the Garmin Connect app. Garmin Connect is also one of the most attractive partner apps on the market. It’s easy to use and neatly lays out all the numbers you could ever need.

Garmin Pay means you can pay for things using your watch.  However that is only if your bank is participating and supported – and there are quite a few that aren’t.  Its therefore not as useful as Apple pay or Google pay for example.


  1. Extensive health / exercise data analysis.
  2. Music can be downloaded direct to your watch.
  3. Great customizable smart watch functions such as calendar, socials, message and call notifications.
  4. Large list of exercise preset functions to monitor work output.
  5. Long battery life.


  1. Not all banks support Garmin Pay feature.
  2. Doesn’t have a built in Strava, Peloton or MyFitnessPal.
  3. You can’t send messages or take calls from your watch like an Apple Watch.

Garmin Venu 1 v Venu 2 Comparison

In April 2021, Garmin updated the Venu with a newer more up to date version 2. This is how the compare:

  • The Garmin Venu 2 will last almost twice as long on one charge as the original model. 
  • There are now 2 face size options from the Venu 2 – a slightly smaller one is now available which may appeal to ladies. 
  • There is a health snapshot function on the Venu 2 (the original doesn’t provide this)
  • HIIT sports profile (such as AMRAP) on Venu 2 and not on Venu 1
  • You can save 500 songs on Venu 1 and 650 on Venu 2
  • Screen is more rounded and modern looking on the Venu 2
  • The Venu 2 Plus allows you to make calls from your watch (the Venu 2 and Venu 1 don’t have that function).
  • The Venu 2 has a temperature sensor, the first version doesn’t.
  • The Garmin Venu 2 tracks calorie intake unlike the Venu 1
 Garmin Venu 1 Garmin Venu 2
garmin venu gps running watch
garmin venu 2 running watch
£180-329 £329
Buy From Amazon (Round Face) Buy From Amazon (Round Face)
Buy From Amazon (Square Face) Buy From Amazon (Square Face)
Buy From Amazon (Smaller Face)
Buy From Amazon (Plus)


If you have any questions you would like to ask about the Garmin Venu running watch, please ask below in the comments.


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