Garmin has launched a new smartwatch, the Garmin Venu 2, which shows you a huge range of fitness data on your wrist, including a snapshot of your current stress levels and heart rate, your VO2 Max, and even an estimate of your 'fitness age'.
When we reviewed the original Garmin Venu back in 2019, we were particularly impressed by its vivid AMOLED display – a feature missing from the compact Garmin Venu Sq released in 2020. The Venu 2 brings back the AMOLED screen, with an always-on mode that makes it easy to check your workout stats on the move.
- We've tested and rated the best running watches available today
- Prefer the pool? Check out our guide to the best swimming watches
- We've also ranked the best running shoes for all distances
Previously, fitness age was only visible as a metric in the Garmin Connect app, but the Venu 2 puts it right on the watch – and has a new way of calculating it. Rather than simply using your estimated VO2 Max, the new method uses chronological age, activity, resting heart rate and either body fat percentage (if you own a smart scale like the Garmin Index S2) or BMI.
You'll also get advice on how to 'turn back time' and effectively reduce your fitness age by making lifestyle changes.
Meanwhile, the new Health Snapshot tool allows you to log important health stats any time by simply holding still for two minutes while the Venu 2 monitors your respiration rate, heart rate and stress levels.
Like the Garmin Lily, which arrived earlier this year, the Venu 2 has several women's health features pre-installed, including period and pregnancy tracking. These have been available in the Garmin Connect app for some time, but the company has only recently begun including them preinstalled on its devices.
When it comes to workouts, the Venu 2 offers on-board GPS so you can track runs, walks and bike rides without piggybacking on your phone's GPS (one of the biggest drawbacks of the Lily).
There are 25 preset workout modes for indoor and outdoor activities, including new profiles for various types of high-intensity interval training (complete with animated graphics), plus indoor climbing, bouldering and hiking.
In terms of smartwatch features, the Garmin Venu 2 has storage for up to 650 songs, including playlists downloaded from Deezer, Spotify and Amazon Music. That's a significant upgrade from the original Venu, which could hold up to 500 tracks.
There's also Garmin Pay for making contactless purchases (provided your bank is one of those supported), and as you'd expect from any smartwatch or fitness tracker, you can receive app, call and text notifications. Android users can also send text replies directly from their wrist.
Unlike the original Venu, which only came with a 42.3mm case, the Venu 2 comes in two sizes – 45mm and 40mm – to suit different users. Following the same naming convention as other Garmin smartwatches, the smaller option is known as the Venu 2S. Both versions have a stainless steel bezel, and come with a quick-release silicone band.
Garmin is promising impressive battery life, with the Venu 2 lasting up to 11 days in smartwatch mode, and up to eight hours in GPS mode with music. The Venu 2S, with its smaller battery, should keep going for 10 days in smartwatch mode, and up to seven hours when you're using GPS with music.
The Venu 2 is available now direct from Garmin for €399.99 (US, UK and Australian prices are coming soon). That's roughly the same as the original Venu at launch, which is impressive considering the upgraded specs.
We're currently testing the Venu 2S, and will publish a full review very soon, so stick with TechRadar to see how it performs.
- On a budget? We've tested and ranked the best cheap fitness trackers
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)