The Garmin Venu 2 Plus comes packed with plenty of features, able to track just about anything, from activity to sleep, heart rate, SpO2, and more. Plus, you can use it to make and receive calls from a connected smartphone using a compatible voice assistant.
Make calls from your wrist
Decent battery life
Lots of health and wellness features
The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra also makes it easy to reply to text messages and answer calls right from your wrist with a built-in speaker and mic and has tons of enticing features that rank it higher when it comes to Android smartwatches.
A winning alternative
Make calls, send texts from your wrist
Amazing battery life in Essential Mode
Will work with WearOS 3.0 once available
Bulky for small wrists
Only comes in one color
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus and the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra share some similarities, including how they look. They are designed with both fitness in mind as well as to replace a standard wristwatch, with additional health and wellness features added for good measure. It's tough to decide between the two, especially since we rank both among the best Android smartwatches you can buy. But here's a rundown to help make things simpler.
When it comes to the core specs, these two smartwatches are similar. However, subtle differences might sway you in favor of one over another. Let's take a closer look.
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Sizing up both options, they share many similarities as far as features go. However, a few areas could sway you toward a definitive choice, depending on what you're looking for. Let's dive a little deeper into the details.
One of the essential features of a smartwatch, if not the most important, is how well it tracks various health and wellness stats. In the case of both the Garmin Venu 2 Plus and the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, it's quite a bit.
The TicWatch affords access to 100+ workout modes in its app so you can track your exercise and log progress. Meanwhile, the Venu 2 Plus comes with more than 25 pre-loaded sports and more than 1,600 exercises in the app, including popular ones like HIIT workouts, where you can use timers to track each round and rest time as you go. Garmin also has the Garmin Coach for personalized on-wrist coaching while you run.
In addition, the Venu 2 Plus features workout summaries that detail intensity minutes, what muscles you worked, Body Battery so you know the best time to work out for maximum results, and even Health Snapshot, which will use a two-minute session to log your heart rate, heart rate variability, PulseOX, respiration, and stress.
If you're looking to measure blood oxygen saturation, 24/7 heart rate, sleep, and stress, both options can oblige. The Mobvoi TicWatch adds a neat feature called fatigue assessment that will use your heart rate variability to determine your mental fatigue and energy level. It can also track Afib and alert you if an irregular heart rate pattern is detected.
Both come with built-in GPS so you can track a run, walk, cycle, hike, or other outdoor activity without bringing your phone with you. Plus, they are water-resistant, so you're safe to take a dip in the pool or run in the rain.
As far as looks go, the most significant difference between these two smartwatches is that the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra is much larger than the Garmin Venu 2 Plus. It's a less attractive option for those with petite wrists. For something that isn't too small but isn't too large either, the Venu 2 Plus is the better option. If you don't mind a bit of heft, opt for the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, and you won't be disappointed.
Both have round faces and look like traditional wristwatches. They are made of stainless steel, but the Venu 2 Plus comes in three color options: silver/gray, slate/black, or cream gold/ivory. The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra only comes in one: Shadow black. So, if you're looking for something that pops, the Mobvoi might be too traditional. However, they both feature interchangeable bands and adjustable home screens, so you can still personalize your look.
The Mobvoi TicWatch has a cool dual display with a customized backlight featuring 18 different colors that make it more visible in low-light situations, which is a bonus. Its screen is also a smidge larger, but this also contributes to the extra bulk. The screen has an FSTN layer that provides improved sharpness and contrast. Meanwhile, the bright AMOLED screen on the Venu 2 Plus is designed for ideal viewing in various lighting conditions, including direct sunlight. Both have an Always-On mode as well and are full color. You'll also enjoy durable Corning Gorilla Glass.
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus runs on the Garmin OS, while the Mobvoi TicWatch runs on Wear OS. The TicWatch is poised to get Wear OS 3 sometime this year. Depending on what features launch with the upgrade, the Mobvoi TicWatch may be even better in terms of UI and feature set.
When it comes to battery life, there are some major differences. The Venu 2 Plus technically offers better life at a rated nine days versus the TicWatch's three days. However, both timeframes are significantly reduced if you're using the built-in GPS. The TicWatch does have an option called Essential Mode that extends battery life to an impressive 45 days — that's over a month!
In Essential Mode, the TicWatch only uses the top display. You can still access things like step and sleep tracking as well as heart rate monitoring and time, but everything else is shut down. For example, if you use Essential Mode most of the time, only flipping to Smart Mode when doing a workout or going for a run, you could significantly extend the battery life well beyond the Venu's nine days.
Nowadays, smartwatches are about more than just tracking exercise, sleep, heart rate, and — oh yeah — the time. They also track and can do so much more, including sleep tracking with detailed analysis. The Garmin Venu 2 Plus specifically features Sleep Score, along with PulseOX, and stress tracking. Garmin also tracks menstrual cycles, offers hydration logs, and mindful breathing.
Both work with the respective mobile payment app, the Venu 2 Plus with Garmin Pay, and the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra with Google Pay. You can also, of course, view incoming messages, calendar notifications, and more from a connected smartphone. Both have a built-in speaker and mic so you can answer or make calls right from your wrist. You can also summon a compatible voice assistant — Google with the TicWatch and Google, Siri, and Bixby with the Venu — to answer or make a call or reply to a message.
You can use pre-written replies with both watches, but the TicWatch also has a neat, tiny on-screen keyboard for composing them, too. Neither, however, has built-in cellular connectivity, so these features only work when your phone is connected and nearby. Finally, the Venu 2 Plus has useful safety and tracking features to share your location with preselected contacts in an emergency. As far as features go, the Venu 2 Plus has a slight edge.
It's a tough choice between these two premium smartwatches. If you have a small wrist and want something that won't feel bulky, especially when you sleep, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus is better. But it's also significantly more expensive. If battery is your thing, the Mobvoi watch's Essential Mode could be a game-changer. Only having to charge a smartwatch once a month, or even every month-and-a-half, sounds like a dream.
Chris Wedel reviewed the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra and said it's the watch he continues to go back to, even after reviewing others. While he admits it's a bit bulky and the sleep alarm can be buggy, he loves the impressive battery life and design durability. Wedel even prefers the TicWatch over the market-leading Samsung Galaxy Watch.
Meanwhile, our own Michael Hick is a fan of the Garmin Venu 2 Plus. He adores the animated HIIT workouts and muscle map and the third button for customizable shortcuts and calls the AMOLED display "beautiful."
You can't go wrong with either of these smartwatches. If you're looking for something that will offer the ultimate experience for working out and exercising, Garmin is a leader in this respect. You might find the extra price justifiable for the company's prowess and features in this department.
However, if you want an affordable, all-encompassing smartwatch that can track some workouts, too, and you don't need additional data related to that, the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra might be all that you need. And with new features and a new look coming with Wear OS 3, there could be more to love about this one soon enough.
The best fitness companion
Start your fitness journey There's a lot to love about the Garmin Venu 2 Plus. While it's the pricier option, it also offers unbeatable fitness, health, and wellness features that serious athletes and those looking to start a strict workout regimen and health and wellness journey will appreciate.
A solid smartwatch
A worthy competitor When it comes to a solid, all-around smartwatch that tracks fitness, health, wellness, lets you answer/receive calls and texts, the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra is a solid option that should not be overlooked. It's named among the best Android watches, and the price is right, too.
Christine Persaud is a freelance writer for Android Central who has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's probably working on her latest fitness program, binging a new (or old) TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets, or spending time with her school-aged son. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.