Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Garmin Venu 3

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Garmin Venu 3: smartwatch comparison

Two recent smartwatch offerings include the Google Pixel Watch 2 and Garmin Venu 3. Both of these are great devices, but which one is right for you?

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

Google has not been in the wearable game for very long, having acquired Fitbit a few years back in an attempt to boost its efforts. Its Pixel Watch 2 was launched in October 2023, while the Venu 3 series two months earlier. Garmin is a pioneer in the wearable tech field and has lots of experience in designing smartwatches. This comparison aims to dissect the nuances of these devices, offering a clear perspective on their features, functionalities, and overall value.

Key takeaways

The Google Pixel Watch 2 is a versatile, user-friendly wearOS option for those seeking a balance of smart features and health tracking at a moderate price. It is a good choice for Android phone users. In contrast, the Garmin Venu 3 series, though pricier, is ideal for those more serious about their athletic pursuits, offering extended battery life and specialised tracking features.

View on Garmin; View on Amazon (Google Pixel Watch 2; Garmin Venu 3). Read our full hands-on Google Pixel Watch 2 review.

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Technical specs
Bottom line

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Garmin Venu 3: Hardware

Design & display

Google Pixel Watch 2

The Google Pixel Watch 2, Garmin Venu 3, and Garmin Venu 3s each offer distinct aesthetic and functional qualities that cater to varied user preferences.

The Google Pixel Watch 2 stands out with its unique design, featuring a domed top glass that elegantly curves to meet its 100% recycled aluminum case. This design choice not only emphasizes sustainability but also imparts a sleek, modern look. The watch maintains a classic round shape, consistent with traditional watch aesthetics, and is navigated via a digital crown, as well as a small button situated into the side of the watch.. Its AMOLED display, measuring 1.2 inches with a resolution of 450 x 450 pixels, offers crisp visuals.

The Pixel Watch 2 is available in a variety of colors, including Polished Silver Aluminum, Matte Black Aluminum, Champagne Gold Aluminum, and more, providing users with multiple stylish options. Additionally, its 5 ATM water resistance rating ensures durability for activities like swimming or showering.

Garmin Venu 3 line

In contrast, the Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3s also feature a round shape but opt for a stainless steel build, giving them a more traditional and robust feel. Both models have three physical buttons, allowing for more tactile control compared to the Pixel Watch 2. The Venu 3 boasts a larger 1.4-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels, while the Venu 3s offers a more compact 1.2-inch display with a 390 x 390-pixel resolution. This difference in screen size and resolution between the two Garmin models accommodates user preferences for either a larger, more vivid display or a smaller, more subtle screen.

The color options for the Venu 3 include Whitestone and Black, and the Venu 3s offers a range of colors like French Grey, Pebble Grey, Sage Grey, and Dust Rose, catering to a variety of tastes. Both Garmin models also come with a 5 ATM water resistance rating, matching the Pixel Watch 2 in terms of durability for water-related activities.

Sensor technology

Delving into the sensor technology and connectivity features of these devices, we find a rich array of functionalities tailored to diverse user needs. The Google Pixel Watch 2 is equipped with Fitbit fitness and health smarts. This includes a comprehensive suite of sensors, including a compass, altimeter, red and infrared sensors for SpO2, multipurpose ECG sensors, and a multi-path optical heart rate sensor. These features are complemented by a 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, cEDA, skin temperature sensor, barometer, and magnetometer. This extensive sensor array enables detailed health and fitness tracking, making the Pixel Watch 2 a versatile choice for users who are keen on tracking a wide range of health metrics.

In comparison, the Venu 3 and Venu 3s also offer a robust set of sensors, though with a slight difference. The Garmin models lack the cEDA sensor found in the Google device. This makes the m slightly less comprehensive in terms of stress and environmental monitoring.

In terms of GPS connectivity, the Pixel Watch 2 supports GPS, Glonass, QZSS, and Beidou, ensuring accurate location tracking for outdoor activities. The Garmin Venu 3 and 3s also offer robust GPS connectivity with support for GPS, GLONASS, and GALILEO, catering to the needs of outdoor enthusiasts and athletes.

Both the Google Pixel Watch 2 and the Garmin models feature NFC capabilities, allowing for convenient contactless payments – a handy feature for users who prefer to leave their wallets at home during workouts or outdoor activities. Additionally, all three watches offer music storage.

Battery life

When examining the battery life of the Google Pixel Watch 2, Garmin Venu 3, and Garmin Venu 3s, we see a clear distinction in their endurance capabilities. In fact, this is one of the biggest differences between these watches.

The Google Pixel Watch 2 offers a modest battery life of about 24 hours due to the power-hungry wearOS system it runs on. After all, this device is positioned as a comprehensive smartwatch, The poor battery life can be a drawback for users who engage in extensive fitness tracking or who prefer not to be tethered to a charger.

In contrast, the Garmin Venu 3 series showcases a more robust battery performance. The standard Venu 3 offers up to 14 days of battery life in smartwatch mode with the display always-on, a significant improvement over the Pixel Watch 2. The Venu 3s, slightly smaller in size, provides up to 10 days with the display always-on. This extended battery life in the Garmin models is a substantial advantage for users who prioritize longevity and less frequent charging, especially for those who are often on the move or engage in prolonged outdoor activities.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Garmin Venu 3: Technical specs

Here’s a tech specs comparison table that shows the details of the devices.

Google Pixel Watch 2
Garmin Venu 3
Garmin Venu 3s
Release Date
Case Material
Domed top glass, 100% recycled aluminum
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Physical Buttons
Digital Crown + 1 button
41 x 41 x 12.3mm
45 x 45 x 12 mm
41 x 41 x 12 mm
Display Type
450 x 450 pixels
454×454 pixels
390 x 390 pixels
Screen Size
1.2 inches
1.4 inch
1.2 inch
Weight (w/o strap)
31.9 grams
47 grams
40 grams
Compass, Altimeter, Red and infrared sensors for SpO2, Multipurpose ECG sensors, Multi-path optical heart rate sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, Gyroscope Ambient light sensor, cEDA, Skin temperature sensor, Barometer, Magnetometer, Ambient light sensor
HRM, accelerometer, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, thermometer, ambient light sensor, ECG, temperature sensor
HRM, accelerometer, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, thermometer, ambient light sensor, ECG, temperature sensor
GPS, Glonass, QZSS, Beidou
Built-in Speaker
Music Storage
Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 2.4GHz
WLAN 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.3 & BLE, ANT+
WLAN 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.3 & BLE, ANT+
Cellular Connectivity
Battery Type
306 mAh Li-po
Battery Life
24 hours
Up to 14 days (various modes)
Up to 10 days (various modes)
Operating System
Wear OS 4.0
Garmin OS
Garmin OS
Multiple options
Whitestone, Black
French Grey, Pebble Grey, etc.
Typical RRP

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Garmin Venu 3: Features

The Google Pixel Watch 2, Garmin Venu 3 line each offer a unique set of functionalities, catering to a broad spectrum of users with varying priorities.

The Google Pixel Watch 2 is a versatile device that integrates seamlessly into the Google ecosystem, making it an ideal choice for Android users. It stands out with its comprehensive health and fitness tracking capabilities, including a wide range of sensors for monitoring heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and even skin temperature. The inclusion of an altimeter and compass enhances its appeal for outdoor enthusiasts. The Pixel Watch 2 also supports GPS, NFC, and optional cellular connectivity, making it a well-rounded smartwatch for those who seek a connected, tech-savvy lifestyle.

The Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3s are more fitness-focused, appealing to users who prioritize health monitoring and outdoor activities. Both models feature robust fitness tracking capabilities, including heart rate monitoring, GPS support, and a range of sensors similar to the Pixel Watch 2. This is complemented by a richness in performance-type statistics, something that will be important to those that run, swim or cycle often.

As far as smartwatch-type features, the Pixel Watch 2, powered by Wear OS, offers a broader range of applications and customization options, enhancing its functionality beyond fitness tracking. The Garmin models, while offering essential smartwatch features, focus more on fitness and health tracking, with a user interface tailored to these functionalities. You could probably consider the Venu to be a sports watch or fitness watch rather than a smartwatch.

An important distinction arises depending on the phone that you own. You’ll need an Android phone running on Android OS 9.0 or later to pair a Pixel Watch 2. Garmin devices have no such limitations and will also run on iPhones.

Google Pixel Watch 2
Google Pixel Watch 2

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Garmin Venu 3: Price

The Google Pixel Watch 2 is priced at around $350, making it a moderately priced option for those seeking a smartwatch with a strong emphasis on health tracking and integration with the Google ecosystem.

The Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3s, both priced at approximately $450, represent a higher investment but justify their price with superior battery life and a focus on advanced fitness tracking features.

These price points reflect the differing focuses of the watches: the Pixel Watch 2 as a versatile smartwatch with comprehensive health tracking, and the Garmin models as dedicated fitness watches with extended battery life and robust outdoor functionality.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Garmin Venu 3: Final thoughts

The Google Pixel Watch 2 and the Garmin Venu 3 series each cater to distinct segments of the smartwatch market. The Pixel Watch 2, priced at around $350, is an excellent choice for those deeply integrated into the Google ecosystem, offering a harmonious blend of smartwatch functionality and health tracking features. Its sleek design, comprehensive sensor suite, and Wear OS platform make it a versatile device for everyday use.

On the other hand, the Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3s, with a higher price tag of about $450, are tailored for those serious about their sports and athletic pursuits. They stand out with their superior battery life, robust fitness tracking capabilities, and durable design, making them ideal for users who prioritize long-term wear and detailed activity monitoring.

If you own an iPhone it is a no brainer. Garmin watches work on any platform while the Pixel Watch 2 will only run on compatible Android phones.

View on Garmin; View on Amazon (Google Pixel Watch 2; Garmin Venu 3). Read our full hands-on Google Pixel Watch 2 review.

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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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