Garmin is an American multinational technology company founded over three decades ago. Garmin started as a GPS technology firm, serving in the automation, marine, aviation, and sports industry. In the last decade or so, it has also forayed into the development of wearable technology. Today, it is also making top-of-the-line smartwatches and fitness trackers and considered a viable competitor of Apple and Fitbit.
Garmin smartwatches are top-quality but also expensive. Premium price tags have been an obstacle in the widespread growth of Garmin as a wearable brand. For instance, its Venu smartwatch is pricier than most Apple and Fitbit wearables. Despite the good quality, people opt for more well-established names (Fitbit and Apple) when they look at the hefty price tag of Garmin Venu.
Garmin has realized this high-price issue and subsequently introduced Venu Sq. It is essentially a toned-down version of Venu watches. Garmin has used a rectangular LCD instead of the round OLED screen and slashed some features in the Venu Sq smartwatch to keep it at almost half the price of Venu. The good combination of features and reasonable price make Garmin Venu Sq a good option to consider in place of high-end Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit smartwatches.
Whether this Garmin smartwatch is worth it or not, continue reading this Garmin Venu Sq review to find out.
- Good value for money
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Facilitates contactless payment
- The display could have been better
Things to Consider Before Buying a Smartwatch
Smartwatch is an interesting crossover of a wristwatch and a smartphone. Apart from telling you time, tracking your vitals and fitness goals, a smartwatch is a wearable device that supports instant phone notifications. Then, you can also use it to manage your music playlist right from the wrist. Buying such a personalized tech gadget that remains in use 24/7 needs some due diligence.
These are some factors you need to consider when you shop for a smartwatch.
A smartwatch has to be smartphone-compatible. The smartphone compatibility increases the functionality of a smartwatch and transforms it into a virtual assistant. All latest top-of-the-line smartwatches including Garmin Venu Sq are compatible with the two most popular cell phone operating systems, Android and iOS.
Always pick a brand on merit. For instance, a brand that offers wearable gadgets must have considerable experience working in the tech industry while developing relevant products and solutions. Garmin fulfills that standard.
Users should avoid both extremes while buying a smartwatch. They should not opt for cheap rip-offs as well as high-end options that can break your bank. Instead, go for smartwatches that lie somewhere in between. You can easily find good quality smartwatches at a mid-range price.
Besides receiving and displaying call, message, and SM notifications, a smartwatch features various health, fitness, and sports features. A good smartwatch comes with a balanced mix of all those features. However, you can also find purpose-built smartwatches loaded with features for athletes and sportspeople.
After all, a smartwatch is a wearable gadget. Therefore, it has to look good and complement your overall fashion statement. The dial/screen shape and size and straps are the prime determinants of the design of a smartwatch.
A smartwatch works 24/7 with its entire palette of features. On top of that, you can’t just plug it into the charger anytime like a cell phone. Therefore, battery life is a critical aspect to factor in while buying a smartwatch. We would recommend users to not take manufacturers’ battery life claims at face value.
Those impressive battery numbers marketed by manufacturers are obtained after testing the watch in optimal usage conditions. Nonetheless, any top-of-the-line smartwatch comes with a battery that lasts for multiple days in all sorts of operating conditions.
Different manufacturers offer different types of warranties on their different smartwatch models and series. However, a 1-year full-time warranty is something you will find on the most top-quality smartwatches by reputed brands.
Garmin Venu Sq: Specifications
Here’s a snapshot of all the features and details you need to know about Garmin Venu Sq.
|Display||LCD240 x 240 resolutionCorning Gorilla Glass 3Always-on mode (optional)|
|Strap||190mm long and 20mm wide strap made of a soft yet durable silicone substrate and adjustable to up to 125mm length|
|Modes||Over 20 sports modes|
|Sensor||GPSGLONASSGalileoHeart rate sensorCompassAccelerometerPulse ox Ambient light sensor|
|Dimension||40.6 x 37.0 x 11.5 mm|
|Battery||Smartwatch mode: Up to six daysGPS mode without music: Up to 14 hours|
|Features available||Dust and waterproof, sleep tracking, tress tracking, personal running trainer, calls/messages/social media notifications, multiple sports modes|
|Price in Ringgit Malaysia (RM)||RM930|
Garmin Venu Sq: Features and Benefits
This is the most important section of this Garmin Venu Sq review. Here, we will dissect the Garmin Venu smartwatch for all its features and benefits.
Design and Display
The battery life, performance, and features are not the first couple of things you notice in a smartwatch. It’s the design and display of a smartwatch that grabs your attention at the onset. On the design and display front, Garmin Venu Sq performs reasonably well. We won’t say it is the most aesthetically pleasing smartwatch on the block. Nonetheless, its metallic rectangular dial and silicone band make a good combo. On top of that, you can opt for nine different combinations for the dial and band.
We quite like the orchid/metallic orchid and white/light gold variants of Garmin Venu Sq. These two color combinations manage to showcase the look of a beautiful modern wearable.
The bright LCD of Venu Sq is not as good as the intuitive AMOLED display of Venu. However, Venu Sq’s display is exceedingly better than the LCD screens of many other smartwatches. Also, its rectangular display is one-inch bigger than the circular dial display of Venu.
Like top-quality smartwatches and smartphones, Garmin Venu Sq also uses Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the display screen. This high-strength glass display enables users to use the smartwatch in rough outdoor conditions without worrying about ordinary falls and impacts.
Battery life often becomes a decisive factor when users have to pick between two smartwatches offering similar features at the same price point. Venu Sq offers a battery life that even outshines its premium counterpart Venu. You can use the Garmin Venu Sq on its smartwatch mode for up to six days in one charge. Garmin Venu comes with 5-day of battery life on smartwatch mode.
The battery time of Venu Sq on GPS mode is not as great as Venu but it is still in double digits. You can use your Venu Sq for real-time tracking with its GPS on for around 14 hours. If you are also using it for music with the GPS on, the battery life shrinks to six hours.
If you use Venu Sq for an hour or two of daily GPS tracking, you can spend the entire week (minus the weekend) on a single charge.
Performance & Software
A smartwatch is a virtual assistant with a specialization in fitness services. Therefore, its performance and software/application support should match that description. Garmin Venu Sq performs impressively in this department. With the help of multiple built-in sensors, it works round the clock to assist you in improving the quality of your life.
From hydration to respiration and menstrual cycle to sleep, it tracks different biological and physiological phenomena to guarantee your physical and mental wellbeing.
Moreover, it has more than 20 built-in sports modes that allow you to assess your performance for various indoor and outdoor activities in numbers. Whether it is cardio exercises, cycling, or swimming, Garmin Venu Sq will show your physical fitness progress in numeric figures.
The other remarkable bit about Garmin Venu Sq is Connect IQ Store. It is a propriety online store that you can download on your Android and Apple phones to expand the functionality of your smartwatch. You can configure your Venue Sq for a range of apps, workout modes, and music streaming platforms through Connect IQ Store.
Connectivity & Compatibility
Good connectivity makes a smartwatch stand apart from other similar watches. Most smartwatches primarily use Bluetooth to establish a connection with a smartphone. Some premium watches also feature a Wi-Fi connection. Garmin Venu Sq (music edition) doesn’t just feature Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It also boasts an ANT+ connection.
ANT+ is also wireless technology that relays the data from heart rate monitors, foot pods, and cadence sensors to the connected device. Unlike Bluetooth, ANT+ can send or receive the data from multiple nodes at the same time.
The compatibility of Venu Sq is also as good as any good smartwatch on the block. It is compatible with all Android and iOS devices. On top of that, it is compatible with a range of smart applications through its Connect IQ store. From Spotify to Starbucks, Garmin Venu Sq makes it possible for you to use many useful apps right through your wrist.
Fitness is one reason why the majority of users invest in a smartwatch. Garmin fully understands the fitness requirements people look for in a watch and integrates them into all its smartwatches irrespective of their price tags. Apart from the built-in sports modes, Venue Sq offers a range of other fitness features as well. For instance, you get various pilates, cardio, and yoga workouts preloaded on the watch. You can add more workouts to the watch through Connect IQ store.
This Garmin smartwatch also offers you a personal running coach. This feature helps you train for your next running assignment under expert guidance right from your wrist. You can also build and customize your workouts in the Garmin Connect and then export them on the watch.
Venu Sq’s general fitness tracking feature can offer great daily insight into your physical activity. It tracks your total steps, minutes with intense physical activity, and the calories you have burned.
Garmin Venue Sq boasts a full 1-year manufacturer warranty. You can get your watch replaced if it develops any material or workmanship defect for one year from the original date of purchase. Garmin watches remain top-notch way beyond their warranty periods. If your Venue Sq doesn’t undergo any extreme event (a nasty fall, hacking, etc), you can use it for years without noticing any material and performance deterioration.
It is hard to find a model with unique features in a market full of identical smartwatches. Apart from standard features, Garmin Venue Sq also boasts a couple of attributes that make it unique among other smartwatches lying at the same price point.
Through its heart rate, pulse ox sensor, and body battery energy monitoring, Garmin Venu Sq tracks your levels of stress throughout the day. This tracking lets you be mindful of how stressful is your day and how you can cancel out its negative effects. This tracker also notifies you to carry out a short breathing activity when you are feeling stressed.
Personal Running Coach
Garmin offers you to get expert guidance from running coaches while planning your mini and half-marathons. You get to choose between three credible coaches i.e. an Olympian, a physiologist, and a physical therapist. Once you configure your watch for this feature, your chosen couch would start guiding you through the watch on every step of your running journey.
Garmin Pay is a contactless payment solution. It is devised for people who like to do some quick shopping while moving around without their cell phones, wallets, and banking cards. Garmin Venu Sq is compatible with Garmin Pay. This means if you are wearing your Venu Sq and want to grab a cup of coffee, you can do that and make your payment right through your wrist. You won’t find many smartwatches in this price range offering such a hassle-free payment solution.
Find out more about Garmin Pay here.
Before we move to discuss the Garmin Venu Sq alternatives you can consider for your fitness tracking and smart assistance, let’s quickly go through the upsides and shortcomings of this Garmin smartwatch.
Pros of Garmin Venu Sq
- A great bang for the buck— Almost all Venu features in half the price
- Garmin Pay-compatible— contactless payments on the go
- Connect IQ connectivity— Use a range of smart apps right from your wrist
- Easy on the eyes and easy to wear
Cons of Garmin Venu Sq
- The altimeter is missing from the watch
- The display is small and doesn’t produce a sharp resolution
Garmin Venu Sq: Alternatives
You can consider these three smartwatches if you want to explore options beyond Garmin Venu Sq.
If you don’t mind splurging, then you can opt for this Samsung smartwatch. Galaxy Watch Active 2 R820 boasts the design of classical leather strap wristwatches with the features of any latest wearable gadget. It features a 1.4-inch AMOLED display with the protection of Gorilla Glass DX+. The display is crystal-clear and you can complement it with a wrist band of different colors.
Unlike many other smartwatches, Galaxy Watch Active 2 R820 doesn’t start lagging after a while— courtesy of its 0.768GB RAM and 4GB storage. Apart from Bluetooth, you can also sync it with the app and smartphone through Wi-Fi. But like Venu Sq, it doesn’t feature an ANT+ connection.
Galaxy Watch Active 2 R820 does quite well with its fitness features. It has the auto-detection feature for seven popular workouts including cycling, swimming, and elliptical training. You can also configure it for 40 other activities. It also offers built-in meditation and breathing exercises to users and helps them relieve daily stress and stay fresh.
With all its features and stunning display, you can use Galaxy Watch Active 2 R820 for 60 hours on a single charge. Moreover, this Samsung watch features wireless charging, making it look like more of a futuristic gadget.
|Garmin Venu Sq||Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 R820|
|Display||1.3-inch LCD||1.4-inch AMOLED|
|Battery Life||6 Days||60 hours|
|Modes||20 sports modes||7 sports modes|
If you don’t have the budget to splurge and only need basic smartwatch features, you can opt for a DT78 smartwatch that boasts a price tag under RM100. This smartwatch has all the features that any beginner looks for. This smartwatch is marketed as a sports tracker and hence designed to withstand rough and tough outdoor conditions. It is dustproof and boasts IP68 waterproof rating.
It tracks the distance, monitors the heartbeat, and keeps tabs on how many calories the user has burnt. It also has three sports modes. This smartwatch can also measure blood pressure and oxygen. However, users are advised to not consider these readings as accurate as the results of purpose-built medical devices.
This DT78 model is also compatible with Android and Apple devices with its Bluetooth 4.0. We also like this smartwatch for its battery time. When running on power-saving mode, you can use it for over five days without charging. Like Samsung Galaxy Active, this smartwatch also has a conventional dial instead of a rectangular screen. It has an IPS display, which is quite decent and even better than other budget options.
|Garmin Venu Sq||DT78 Smartwatch Bluetooth with Sport Tracker|
|Display||1.3-inch LCD||1.3-inch IPS|
|Battery Life||6 Days||5 hours|
|Modes||20 sports modes||3 sports modes|
If you are willing to spend a good amount of money on a smartwatch, you can consider this Apple Watch Series 6. This Apple smartwatch is quality and class personified. You will find premium quality and innovation in abundance in this Apple Watch, including in its Retina display, sensors, and wristband. This is perhaps the only smartwatch from which you can take a near-accurate ECG.
Similarly, its pulse ox meter and other sensors offer accurate readings. You can also improve the functionality of the Apple Watch Series 6 by using the propriety Fitness+ application. Through this application, you can transform your fitness routine with the supervision of top-class trainers from all over the world. Fitness+ also enables you to connect your watch to iPhone, Apple TV, and iPad.
We also like its design because it is different from what we are used to seeing. Unlike other smartwatches, its wrist band doesn’t have any joint, buckle, or clasp. It is a seamless solo loop wrist strap that you can wear just like regular stretchable bands.
|Garmin Venu Sq||Apple Watch Series 6|
|Display||1.3-inch LCD||1.78-inch Retina LTPO OLED,|
|Battery Life||6 Days||18 hours (mixed usage)|
|Modes||20 sports modes||–|
Garmin Venu Sq has emerged as a top-quality smartwatch full of features but not heavy on the pocket either. Venu Sq has everything that you look for in any high-end smartwatch. Before we wrap up, we will outline some of the major reasons you should invest in Garmin Venu Sq.
- It has a stunning design, good UI, and a list of fitness feature
- It is compatible with Garmin Pay
- You can use a range of smart apps on it through its Connect IQ store.
Follow this official link of Garmin to find out more about Garmin Venu Sq.