Editors’ word, Nov. 17: Garmin has all the time made glorious fitness-focused watches, however with the addition of a speaker and microphone it may well lastly compete with the Apple Watch, Galaxy Watch and Pixel Watch. It earns a CNET Editors’ Alternative award as a result of it is appropriate with Android and iOS, with glorious battery life that outshines the competitors. My unique impressions, printed in January, follows.
You may assume Garmin watches are for health lovers solely, however the Venu 2 Plus is the primary actual hybrid smartwatch I can wholeheartedly suggest for individuals who aren’t essentially athletes. Though it shares a lot of the identical options as the sooner, it provides a speaker and microphone so you possibly can take calls and use your telephone’s voice assistant in your wrist. I have been utilizing the Venu 2 Plus since its launch in January 2022, and I have been impressed with how a lot having a speaker and microphone add to the expertise.
- Speaker and mic help
- Similar nice health monitoring as Venu 2
- Battery lasts 8 days
Do not Like
- Just one 43mm measurement possibility
- No LTE model
The sooner Venu 2 was already a wonderful wearable with complete health monitoring options, additionally successful a CNET Editors’ Alternative Award in 2021. However the principle draw back preserving it from going head-to-head with different wearables just like theand was the dearth of a speaker and mic. As a result of this watch shares the vast majority of its function set with the Venu 2 that I’ve already reviewed in full, relatively than protecting the identical floor right here, I am going to spotlight the principle variations. Be at liberty to learn the for full perception into efficiency, health monitoring and well being options.
Venu 2 Plus is a spherical watch that is simple to make use of
The Venu 2 Plus echoes the look of the Venu 2 and has a brilliant, round AMOLED show that is simple to see in broad daylight. Nevertheless it now has an additional button that allows you to work together along with your voice assistant by way of a protracted press. It’s also possible to allocate a shortcut or favourite to a single press.
One different exterior distinction between final yr’s Venu 2 collection and the Venu 2 Plus is that the newer watch solely is available in a single 43mm measurement, whereas the Venu 2 and 2S had been 45mm and 40mm respectively. Like Fitbit’s watches, the Venu 2 Plus is appropriate with each iOS and Android, not like the Apple Watch that is iPhone-only and the Galaxy Watch that is now Android-only.
A speaker and mic on the Venu 2 Plus is extra useful than I believed
I can rapidly name up Siri on iOS, or the Google Assistant or Bixby on Android to ship a fast textual content message simply by urgent the button. I actually do not like pulling out my telephone throughout an out of doors exercise, so having the watch reliably be capable to textual content or make a fast name is de facto useful. The speaker high quality is evident, and to date I’ve discovered it simple to listen to callers when exterior. I additionally just like the audible cues each time I cease and begin a exercise, or hit a aim like steps or elevation for the day. You are even in a position to make use of the speaker to play again music from third-party apps like Spotify if in case you have a premium subscription.
In contrast to some wearables just like the Apple Watch, you will not be capable to begin a exercise along with your voice on the Venu 2 Plus. It actually simply acts as a go-between to get to your voice assistant and listen to responses in your wrist. However Garmin’s navigation system is simple sufficient to study, and beginning a exercise simply takes two presses anyway, so I do not thoughts in any respect.
Battery life lasts as much as 9 days, manner longer than the Apple Watch Sequence 8 and Galaxy Watch 5 that may barely make it to 2 full days. In my testing, the watch lasted eight full days earlier than needing a cost. That features getting notifications from a telephone, a GPS exercise every day and sleep monitoring. Most different options are the identical because the Venu 2 and 2S, so which means built-in GPS, sleep monitoring, blood-oxygen monitoring and an in depth vary of health and exercise monitoring modes.
The largest draw back to the Venu 2 Plus is worth. At $450, it is dearer than all its fundamental opponents, just like the$280 and $350 . However its cross-compatibility with Android and iOS could also be value the additional value, in addition to its intensive battery life. If you happen to do not want a speaker and mic in your wrist, the Venu 2 and 2S are staying within the Garmin lineup and could be discovered for as little as $300.