Image source: Garmin

Garmin Venu 3 vs Venu 2 Pro: what’s new & different?

The Garmin Venu 3 series has arrived, and it brings a host of new features that set it apart from the Venu 2 Plus. Leading up to today’s official release, the rumor mill was in overdrive. Speculations ranged from enhanced battery life to new health monitoring features.

Now that the Venu 3 is finally here, it’s time to separate fact from fiction. Priced at $449.99 on Garmin’s website (check price on Amazon), the same as its predecessor, the Venu 2 Plus, the new smartwatch aims to offer more bang for your buck with a host of additions. This article will delve into these enhancements, providing a comprehensive analysis of what makes the Venu 3 different from its predecessor.


Garmin Venu 3 vs Venu 2 Pro: Hardware

Design and display: More choices, better flexibility

Unlike the Venu 2 Plus, which came in a single size, the Venu 3 offers more flexibility with two size options: the standard Venu 3 and the smaller Venu 3S. This is a significant advantage for consumers as it allows for a more personalized fit.

Garmin Venu 3 vs 2 Pro

The Venu 3 comes encased in a fiber-reinforced polymer, a departure from the Venu 2 Plus, which featured a stainless-steel rear cover. This change contributes to the Venu 3’s lighter weight, making it more comfortable for extended wear.

In terms of display, the Venu 3 takes the lead with a 1.4″ display size and a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels. This is a noticeable improvement over the 1.3″ display and 416 x 416-pixel resolution of the Venu 2 Plus. The Venu 3S offers a 1.2″ display, catering to those who prefer a smaller watch face.

Battery life

The Venu 3 offers up to 14 days of battery life in smartwatch mode with the display always-on. This is a nice improvement over the Venu 2 Plus, which offers up to 9 days in the same mode. The Venu 3S is not far behind, providing up to 10 days with the display always-on.


Garmin Venu 3 vs Venu 2 Pro: New features

Both models offer comprehensive health monitoring features, including wrist-based heart rate, pulse ox blood oxygen saturation, and advanced sleep tracking. However, the Venu 3 and Venu 3S introduce new features like Sleep Coach, Nap Detection, and Jet Lag Adviser, absent in the Venu 2 Plus. They also support more activity profiles and have the latest generation heart rate sensor.

An important omission on the Venu 3 series is the Garmin ECG App, a feature present in the Venu 2 Plus. Also, one feature that was widely expected – skin temperature tracking is not here. However, we believe it will be enabled via a firmware update for Venu 3 in the coming months.

Sleep coaching

One of the standout features of the Venu 3 is its Sleep Coaching function. Unlike the Venu 2 Plus, which offers advanced sleep tracking, the Venu 3 goes a step further by providing actionable insights. It not only monitors your sleep patterns but also offers personalized advice to improve your sleep quality. This could be a game-changer for those who struggle with sleep issues.

Sleep Need

Those series about training will be happy to know the watch on their wrist will let them know exactly how much sleep they need in order to recover. Let’s hope this feature trickles down to earlier generation devices.

Nap detection

The Venu 3 also introduces Nap Detection, a feature absent in the Venu 2 Plus. This function automatically recognizes when you take a short nap and logs it into your daily sleep data.

It’s a small but significant addition for those who rely on power naps to recharge during the day. This addresses a common complaint from Garmin users – for years they have been vocal about needing this feature.

Morning Report

Another new feature exclusive to the Venu 3 series is the Morning Report. This provides a summary of your previous day’s activities, sleep quality, and overall wellness when you wake up. It’s a convenient way to get a quick overview of your health metrics without diving deep into the app.

HRV status

The Venu 3 comes equipped with HRV (Heart Rate Variability) status, providing more in-depth cardiovascular data. However, it’s worth noting that the watch does not offer a Training Readiness metric, which could be a drawback for serious athletes who rely on such data for optimized training. The new watches also support power meter compatibility for cyclists, another feature absent in the Venu 2 Plus.

Gaming and activity tracking

The Venu 3 and Venu 3S venture into new territory with gaming features, compatible with the GameOn App. They also offer more comprehensive activity tracking features, including workouts for wheelchair users and weight shift alerts.

Built in speaker and microphone

All these watches have a built-in speaker and microphone. When connected to a compatible smartphone, they alow you to both make and receive phone calls directly from the watch. Additionally, you can utilize your smartphone’s voice assistant to reply to text messages and perform other tasks. For Android users, the Venu 3 offers the capability to view images directly from notifications on the watch.

Garmin Venu 3 vs 2 Pro

Garmin Venu 3 vs Venu 2 Pro: Comparison Table

Here is a detailed overview of the differences between Venu 3, Venu 3s and Venu 2 Pro.

General Features

Feature
Venu 2 Plus
Venu 3
Venu 3S
Case Material
Fiber-reinforced polymer with stainless-steel rear cover
Fiber-reinforced polymer
Fiber-reinforced polymer
Quick Release Bands
Yes (20 mm, Industry standard)
Yes (22 mm, Industry standard)
Yes (18 mm, Industry standard)
Physical Size
43.6 x 43.6 x 12.6 mm (Fits wrists with a circumference of 125-190 mm)
45 x 45 x 12 mm (Fits wrists with a circumference of 135-200 mm)
41 x 41 x 12 mm (Fits wrists with a circumference of 110-175 mm)
Weight
51.0 g
47 g
40 g
Display Type
AMOLED optional always-on mode
AMOLED Optional Always-On Mode
AMOLED Optional Always-On Mode
Display Size
1.3″ (33.0 mm) diameter
1.4″ (35.4 mm) diameter
1.2″ (30.4 mm) diameter
Display Resolution
416 x 416 pixels
454 x 454 pixels
390 x 390 pixels
Large Font Option
No
Yes
Yes
Wheelchair Mode
No
Yes
Yes
Battery Life
Up to 9 days (Smartwatch mode), Up to 10 days (Battery saver mode), Up to 8 hours (GPS with music), Up to 24 hours (GPS without music)
Up to 14 days (Smartwatch mode with display always-on), Up to 26 days (Battery Saver mode), Up to 26 hours (GPS-Only GNSS mode), Up to 20 hours (All-Systems GNSS mode), Up to 11 hours (All-Systems GNSS mode with music)
Up to 10 days (Smartwatch mode with display always-on), Up to 20 days (Battery Saver mode), Up to 21 hours (GPS-Only GNSS mode), Up to 15 hours (All-Systems GNSS mode), Up to 8 hours (All-Systems GNSS mode with music)

Health & Wellness Monitoring

Feature
Venu 2 Plus
Venu 3 series
Garmin ECG App
Yes
No
Meditation
No
Yes
Sleep Coach
No
Yes
Nap Detection
No
Yes
Jet Lag Adviser
No
Yes

Daily Smart Features

Feature
Venu 2 Plus
Venu 3 series
On-Device Connect IQ™ Store
No
Yes
View Images from Notifications on Watch (Android™ Only)
No
Yes
Morning Report
No
Yes
Realtime Settings Sync with Garmin Connect™ Mobile
No
Yes
Smart Trainer Control
No
Yes

Gaming Features

Feature
Venu 2 Plus
Venu 3 series
Gaming Activity
No
Yes
GameOn™ App Compatible
No
Yes

Training, Planning and Analysis Features

Feature
Venu 2 Plus
Venu 3
Recovery Time
No
Yes
HRV Status
No
Yes
Respiration Rate (During Exercise)
Yoga and Breathwork only
Yoga, breathwork and meditation only
Interval Training
No
Yes
Improved Interval
No
Yes
Improved Recovery Time
No
Yes (limited)
Audio Prompts
No
Yes

Recreation

Feature
Venu 2 Plus
Venu 3
Available Outdoor Recreation Profiles
Hiking, Indoor Climbing, Bouldering, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Classic Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Disc Golf
Hiking, Indoor Climbing, Bouldering, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Classic Skiing, Snowshoeing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Tennis, Padel, Pickleball, Disc Golf
Workouts for wheelchair users
No
Yes

Cycling Features

Feature
Venu 2 Plus
Venu 3 series
Available Cycling Profiles
Biking, Indoor Biking
Biking, Indoor Biking, eBiking, Handcycling, Indoor Handcycling
Power Meter Compatible
No
Yes

Swimming Features

Feature
Venu 2 Plus
Venu 3 series
Open-Water Swim Metrics
No
Yes
Auto Rest (Pool Swim Only)
No
Yes

Kid Activity Tracking Features

Feature
Venu 2 Plus
Venu 3 series
Toe-to-Toe™ Challenges App
Yes (optional Connect IQ Toe-to-Toe™ Challenges app)
No

Garmin Venu 3 vs Venu 2 Pro: The bottom line

The Garmin Venu 3 series offers some notable improvements over the Venu 2 Plus. The introduction of new sizes caters to a broader audience, and the Sleep Coach, Nap Detection, Jet Lag Adviser and enhanced battery life is a nice step up.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

On the flip side, the absence of the Venu 2 Pro’s ECG App might be a sticking point for users who prioritise advanced health metrics. Additionally, the lack of a Training Readiness metric could be a drawback for serious athletes who rely on such data for optimized training.

In conclusion, the Venu 3 series offers a well-rounded package that makes it a compelling option for a wide range of users. Whether or not to upgrade hinges on your specific needs and how much you value the new features and improvements. But if you are a first time buyer or have an old Garmin watch, it is a great option.

Both watches sell for $499 on Garmin’s website (check price on Amazon).

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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