Garmin Venu 3 vs Apple Watch Series 9

Garmin Venu 3 vs Apple Watch Series 9: Breaking down the specs

Garmin Venu 3 and Apple Watch Series 9 are great options for those looking for an all purpose smartwatch. Launched in September 2023, the first continues the company’s tradition of integrating health and technology in a sleek package. Apple’s timepieces are designed to appeal to a broad audience that values connectivity and a seamless ecosystem. The Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3s, released in August 2023, target sports and outdoor lovers with their robust build and extensive activity tracking features.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

In this comparison piece, we dissect their features. By the end of this read, you will hopefully come to a decision whether one of these two devices is right for you.

Key takeaways

The Apple Watch Series 9 combines advanced health monitoring with seamless smartwatch features, including optional cellular connectivity. This makes it a versatile and integrated choice for everyday use. In contrast, the Garmin Venu 3 series excels in fitness tracking and outdoor functionality, with an extended battery life ideal for active users.

View on Garmin; View on Amazon (Apple Watch Series 9, Garmin Venu 3).

Jump to

Technical specs
Bottom line

Garmin Venu 3 vs Apple Watch Series 9: Hardware

Look & feel

Starting with the look and feel, and we come to an obvious difference. The Apple Watch Series 9 packs a distinct square shape. This offers a modern and sleek look that some users may prefer. In contrast, the Garmin Venu 3 series embraces a more traditional round shape, appealing to those who prefer the classic watch aesthetic.

The build quality of these watches reflects their respective brand philosophies. The Apple Watch Series 9 comes in a variety of materials including aluminium, stainless steel, and titanium. These offer a range of looks from sporty to elegant. The Garmin Venu 3 line, on the other hand, features a stainless steel build. It strikes a balance between durability and style.

For both the Garmin and Apple, you get a choice between two size options. Watch Series 9 comes in a 41 x 35 x 10.7 mm and 45 x 38 x 10.7 mm case. The Venu 3 measures 45 x 45 x 12 mm and the smaller Venu 3s at 41 x 41 x 12 mm.

Physical buttons are another area of differentiation. The Apple Watch Series 9 features its iconic digital crown and a single action button, maintaining its minimalist design ethos. In contrast, the Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3s sport three flat physical buttons. This might appeal to users who prefer a more traditional watch feel or require easier control during activities like running or cycling.

Display, colour options, water resistance

The screen technology and quality are pivotal in these devices. The Apple Watch Series 9 boasts an Always-On Retina display with Force Touch, offering vivid colors and high responsiveness. The LTPO OLED display is exceptionally bright, making it easy to read even in direct sunlight. Garmin’s Venu 3 series features an AMOLED display, known for its deep blacks and energy efficiency. This can be beneficial for extending battery life.

Water resistance is a key feature for any smartwatch, and both brands deliver on this count. The Apple Watch Series 9 comes with a WR50 rating. This means it can withstand water up to 50 meters deep. It also has an IP6X certification for dust resistance. The Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3s are rated at 5 ATM. This ensures they can handle pressures equivalent to a depth of 50 meters. So no big difference there.

Color options allow users to personalize their devices to their tastes. The Apple Watch Series 9 offers a variety of colors in its aluminium version, including Midnight, Starlight, Silver, Pink, and Product Red. Meanwhile, the stainless steel version comes in Graphite, Silver, and Gold. Garmin’s Venu 3 is available in Whitestone and Black, and the Venu 3s in French Grey, Pebble Grey, Sage Grey, Dust Rose, and Ivory.

Sensor technology

As far as sensor technology, the Apple Watch Series 9 is equipped with lots under the hood. It includes an optical heart rate sensor, an electrical heart sensor for ECG, a blood oxygen (SpO2) sensor, and a temperature sensor. Additionally, it features an accelerometer, gyroscope, barometric altimeter, and an ambient light sensor, making it a comprehensive package for health and fitness tracking.

The Garmin Venu 3 line also boasts an impressive sensor suite. In fact, there is almost no difference in the sensor suit as compared to the Apple Watch. Which means this is not a great area of distinction between these devices. Different brand of the sensors, of course, and manufacturing process. But other than that, not much of a difference.

The same applies to GPS connectivity – all three watches offer robust location tracking features. The Apple Watch Series 9 supports multiple global navigation satellite systems. This includes GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS, ensuring accurate tracking across various regions. The Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3s offer GPS, GLONASS, and GALILEO support.

NFC capabilities are present in all three models, facilitating contactless payments and seamless connectivity with compatible devices. This feature is particularly useful for users who prefer the convenience of making transactions directly from their wrist. Having said that, Apple has gone much further than Garmin in bank compatibility.

Music storage is another area where these devices shine, albeit with different user experiences. The Apple Watch Series 9 allows users to store music, podcasts, and audiobooks, integrating seamlessly with Apple’s ecosystem, including Apple Music and other services. The Garmin Venu 3 series also offers music storage. It supports downloads from streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer.

Battery life

The difference in battery life between these models highlights the distinct design philosophies and target audiences. But you could say this is a stumbling block for Apple. And has been for years.

Its Watch Series 9 offers up to 18 hours of battery life, which can be extended to 36 hours in low power mode. This is a slight improvement over the predecessor generation, but still nothing to boast about. Far from it. The main culprit here are the advanced features, fully featured operating system. Plus there’s the high-resolution, Retina display that the watch boasts.

Conversely, the Venu 3 and Venu 3s stand out with their remarkable battery longevity. Garmin devices are known for this.

The Venu 3 delivers an impressive 14 days of usage in smartwatch mode with the display constantly active. Meanwhile, the Venu 3s offers a substantial 10 days of battery life under similar conditions. This extended battery performance underscores Garmin’s commitment to providing durable devices that suit the needs of users with active lifestyles. The efficient and lightweight operating system of Garmin plays a crucial role in achieving this exceptional battery endurance.

Garmin Venu 3 vs Apple Watch Series 9: Technical specs

Here’s a comprehensive tech specs comparison table for the Apple Watch Series 9, Garmin Venu 3, and Garmin Venu 3s:

Apple Watch Series 9
Garmin Venu 3
Garmin Venu 3s
Release Date
Case Material
Aluminium, stainless steel, titanium options. Ion-X glass (aluminium), Sapphire crystal (Stainless Steel)
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Physical Buttons
1 + digital crown
41 x 35 x 10.7 mm and 45 x 38 x 10.7 mm
45 x 45 x 12 mm
41 x 41 x 12 mm
Display Type
Always-On Retina, LTPO OLED (2000 nits active, 500 nits wrist down)
41mm (352 x 430 pixels); 45mm (396 x 484 pixels)
454 × 454 pixels
390 x 390 pixels
Screen Size
41mm (1.69 inches), 45mm (1.9 inches)
1.4 inch
1.2 inch
Weight (w/o strap)
41mm – 32.90g (Al), 42.3g (SS), 37.0g (Ti); 45mm – 38.8g (Al), 51.5g (SS), 45.1g (Ti)
47 grams
40 grams
Optical heart rate, SpO2, ECG, accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, compass, temperature, ambient light
Gen 5 Elevate heart rate, accelerometer, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, thermometer, ambient light sensor, ECG, temperature sensor
Gen 5 Elevate heart rate, accelerometer, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, thermometer, ambient light sensor, ECG, temperature sensor
WR50 (50 metres), IP6X dust certification
Built-in Speaker
Music Storage
Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz & 5GHz), UMTS, LTE (optional)
WLAN 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.3 & BLE, ANT+
WLAN 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.3 & BLE, ANT+
Cellular Connectivity
Battery Type
41mm (282 mAh), 45mm (308mAh) – Li-po
Battery Life
18 hours (36 hours low power mode)
Up to 14 days (Smartwatch mode), 26 days (Battery Saver), 26 hours (GPS), 20 hours (All-Systems GNSS), 11 hours (All-Systems GNSS with music)
Up to 10 days (Smartwatch mode), 20 days (Battery Saver), 21 hours (GPS), 15 hours (All-Systems GNSS), 8 hours (All-Systems GNSS with music)
Operating System
WatchOS 10
Garmin OS
Garmin OS
Aluminium (Midnight, Starlight, Silver, Pink, Product Red); Stainless steel (Graphite, Silver, Gold)
Whitestone, Black
French Grey, Pebble Grey, Sage Grey, Dust Rose, Ivory
Typical RRP
$400 and up

Garmin Venu 3 vs Apple Watch Series 9: Features

The Apple Watch Series 9 excels in providing a holistic health monitoring experience. It’s renowned for its precision in tracking heart health, including ECG readings, making it a go-to choice for users who prioritize comprehensive health metrics. The inclusion of a temperature sensor adds a new dimension, potentially enhancing sleep and fertility monitoring. Apple’s focus extends to everyday wellness too. For example, it has features like noise level monitoring and fall detection, ensuring a well-rounded health-centric approach.

Garmin’s Venu 3 series, on the other hand, shines in the realm of fitness and sports tracking. Known for its accuracy in fitness metrics, the Venu 3 series offers a wide array of activity profiles. The watch caters to everything from running and cycling to swimming and golf. The advanced sleep tracking with Sleep Coach also stands out. It provides users with actionable insights to improve sleep quality, a crucial aspect of overall fitness. Garmin’s addition of features like Nap Detection and Jet Lag Adviser further emphasizes its commitment to comprehensive fitness and wellness tracking.

It’s fair to say, both series offer robust activity tracking. But Garmin edges ahead in terms of the variety and depth of sports-related metrics. This makes it a preferred choice for athletes and outdoor adventurers. The Apple Watch, with its user-friendly interface offers a more seamless experience for those looking for an all-in-one health monitoring device.

Smartwatch-type features

When it comes to smartwatch-type features, there is quite a big difference. Both the Apple Watch Series 9 and Garmin Venu 3 series offer a range of functionalities that enhance everyday convenience. But the Apple Watch goes much further. It integrates seamlessly with the broader Apple ecosystem, offering features like Apple Pay, Siri integration, and the ability to respond to texts and calls. Its app store provides a wide range of apps, extending its utility beyond health and fitness.

The Garmin Venu 3 series is not as integrated into a broader ecosystem like Apple. However, it still offers smart features like contactless payments, smart notifications, and music storage with streaming service support. Garmin’s focus is more on providing a standalone experience that enhances the user’s fitness and outdoor activities.

Cellular connectivity stands out as another key differentiator. Unlike Venu 3, the Apple Watch Series 9 offers an optional cellular version. This allows users to stay connected even without their phone. Such functionality is ideal for those who value constant connectivity and the convenience of making calls or sending messages directly from their wrist.

Apple Watch gesture control

Garmin Venu 3 vs Apple Watch Series 9: Price

In terms of pricing, the Apple Watch Series 9 starts at $400, offering a premium experience with a focus on health, connectivity, and integration with Apple’s ecosystem. The price goes up for more premium built models and those with cellular connectivity.

The Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3s are priced at $450. The price points of these devices align with their target audiences and the unique features they offer, making them valuable investments for users seeking either a comprehensive health-focused smartwatch or a robust fitness and sports companion.

Garmin Venu 3 vs Apple Watch Series 9: Final thoughts

The Apple Watch Series 9, with its square design and comprehensive health monitoring features, is tailored for users who seek a seamless integration of health, fitness, and connectivity in their daily lives. Its advanced sensors for heart rate, ECG, and blood oxygen levels, combined with the new temperature sensor, make it a powerhouse for the health conscious. Additionally, the option for cellular connectivity enhances its appeal for those who prioritize staying connected.

The Garmin Venu 3 series, with its classic round design, caters to a different audience, primarily targeting fitness lovers and outdoor adventurers. Its robust build, extended battery life, and detailed activity tracking capabilities make it a reliable companion for rigorous physical activities. The series excels in offering a wide range of sports profiles, advanced sleep tracking, and unique features like Nap Detection and Jet Lag Adviser, which are particularly beneficial for athletes and those engaged in outdoor pursuits. While it lacks cellular connectivity, this focus on fitness and outdoor functionality resonates well with its target user base.

View on Garmin; View on Amazon (Apple Watch Series 9, Garmin Venu 3).

You may also be interested in:

Garmin Vivoactive 5 vs Venu 3
Fitbit Sense 2 vs Versa 4 vs Garmin Venu 3
Polar Vantage V3 vs Garmin Venu 3
Garmin Lily 2 vs Venu 3
Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Garmin Venu 3

Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.