The Garmin Venu Sq 2 Music is an excellent wearable if you’re into sports and fitness activities, with great battery life and solid performance
Activity tracking wearables is a crowded space today. For people dedicated to performing endurance sports such as running, cycling, swimming, hikes and triathlons, Garmin’s GPS-powered smart watches are the clear leaders. However, when it comes to the larger numbers of people, Garmin faces stiff competition from many players, including Fitbit, and the Apple Watch. While Apple is attempting to court the endurance sports enthusiasts with its new products like the Apple Watch Ultra, Garmin is probably trying to win over some Apple Watch and Fitbit enthusiasts with its Venu Sq range of watches. The company recently launched the Venu Sq 2 Music, and I used it for a month for this review.
The basics: The Garmin Venu Sq 2 Music is a 1.4 inch smartwatch/GPS enabled activity tracker. It it comes with all-day health monitoring and fitness metrics and has more than 25 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps. It measures heart rate using a wrist sensor on the bottom of the case, providing detailed data during activity tracking. It is priced at ₹33,490.
Performance: Purely as a smart watch, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 Music falls some way short of its competition. The Garmin App store is rather limited at the moment and the watch itself cannot do much other than activity and health tracking. You can receive notifications from your phone when paired with it using bluetooth via the companion app Garmin Connect and read the text messages. That’s it.
When it comes to activity tracking and health monitoring, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 Music is as robust and proficient as you would expect a Garmin watch to be. On the health front, it keeps track of your heart rate, stress and energy levels, and also has a pulse oximeter function all tracked through the wrist-based monitor on the bottom of the unit. It’s pre-loaded sports apps are useful, but it still doesn’t have the option to track football (the most popular sport in the world) or India’s favourite game, cricket. For a long time, the Garmin watches couldn’t track HIIT, but with the software update last year you can now track both HIIT and strength training, which is extremely useful.
As for running and cycling, the GPS takes a bit of a time to kick in but once it does, it is pretty accurate. I tracked a 10km run with the Venu Sq 2 Music and was extremely satisfied with the results. With the Garmin Connect app you get all the metrics about your run including kilometre split times, step count, ground contact time, heart rate zones, elevation, map, and everything else that the pure sports tracking Garmin watches also track.
Now, the most important bit: the battery. This is a weak point in many of its competitors, which need charging at least once everyday. The Venu Sq 2 Music’s battery lasts a week even when I track, on average, a 30-minute activity every single day without the always on display. I am happy to not have to remember plugging in one more thing every single day.
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The Venu Sq 2 Music connects easily with headphones via bluetooth but setting up one of the two music services, Spotify and Amazon Music, that it supports is a tad bit cumbersome. You need to set them up after connecting your watch to the wi-fi via the Garmin Connect app after downloading the music app from the Garmin IQ store.
Verdict: The Venu Sq 2 Music looks just about decent, works as it should, has a touch screen interface, and boasts of an excellent battery life for a watch with AMOLED display. It also tracks activities and health metrics very well, but falls somewhat short as a smart watch. If you’re looking to track your sports activities and don’t want to worry about charging regularly, go for it. If you are a more casual user, then you should look for value elsewhere.
Shrenik Avlani is a writer and editor and the co-author of The Shivfit Way, a book on functional fitness.