Details of new Garmin watches rarely leak ahead of their official launch dates, but it seems the company accidentally revealed details of an unreleased device on its own support site. The Garmin Venu 2 Plus seems to be an upgraded version of this year's Venu 2, with one particularly interesting addition.
The info was quickly taken down, but according to Fitness Tracker Test (opens in new tab) and tech writer Dave Zatz (opens in new tab), it included the name of the device and a small press image showing it in three colorways: pale cream, black, and gray. All appear to have silicone bands and co-ordinating stainless steel cases.
Garmin Venu 2 *Plus* incoming. Adds a 3rd physical button to support microphone capabilities. But will it be paired with a voice assistant?? Hm! pic.twitter.com/E9LO6yK7VKNovember 2, 2021
The overall look is quite familiar, but while the Garmin Venu 2 has just two physical buttons on the left edge of the case, the Venu 2 Plus appears to have a third, which Zatz suggests may be used to control a voice assistant.
This seems to be borne out by a graphic on one watch face showing a microphone icon within a triangle (not something we saw on the Venu 2).
We've contacted Garmin for comment, and will update this article as soon as we receive a response.
Possible release date
Swedish sports store RunningShop.se briefly published a placeholder page referencing the Venu 2 Plus in 19 August. It was soon removed, but not before Google cached the bare bones, which include the watch's name, plus blank spaces for its description, specifications, and a list of related products.
Further details are scarce though, and it's likely to be several months before we learn any more. Garmin typically announces its new sports watches between January and September, so we're not expecting any more launches before Christmas. We suspect, however, that the new watch is likely to appear in early 2022.
Garmin launched the original Garmin Venu in 2020, with the Venu 2 following in 2021. If the company sticks to the same release cadence, we can expect a Venu 3 to arrive at some point in 2022.
The company is likely to want some breathing room between the two launches, so it seems plausible that the Venu 2 Plus will appear early in the year (possibly around CES 2022 in January), followed by the Venu 3 a few months later.
We'll be watching out for further details, and will keep you updated as soon as we learn more about the new watch.
Analysis: Why voice controls make sense
Voice commands would be a logical addition to Garmin's watches. Although none of its wearables have offered the feature before, its sat-navs have impressive speech recognition (opens in new tab), which could be transferred from your dashboard to your wrist.
Implemented well, it could be extremely useful (particularly when you're swimming or wearing gloves), allowing you to set timers, start tracking an activity, adjust settings, and access apps without using the watch's touchscreen.
The Garmin Venu 2 is one of our top-rated sports watches of 2021. When we reviewed it, we were particularly impressed by its high-res AMOLED display, advanced wellness tools, and excellent array of sports tracking options. The addition of voice commands as well would make it even easier to recommend, and could make it one of the best smartwatches around.