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Fully-unlocked cellular potential

Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Garmin Venu 2 Plus Render

Cutting costs, adding sizes, and colors

Garmin Venu 2 and 2S

Garmin Venu 2 Render

If you want to be able to answer calls or ask your favorite voice assistant a question without pulling out your phone, the new Venu 2 Plus justifies the slightly higher cost. Otherwise, it has the same software and sensors as the other Venu 2 watches, but only ships in one 43mm configuration.

$450 at Amazon

Pros

  • Supports Google Assistant, Siri, and Bixby commands
  • Can take phone calls on watch
  • Has a third button for two shortcuts
  • Best battery life in GPS mode

Cons

  • Slightly shorter daily battery life
  • More expensive

Considering the Venu 2 watches' high cost of entry, you can forego cellular options and receive the same display (plus even better longevity) for a lower price. The Venu 2 offers a similar design, while the 2S gives you a smaller configuration that some will prefer.

$350 at Amazon

Pros

  • Lower price, often on sale
  • 2S offers lighter, more colorful design
  • 2 extra days of daily battery life

Cons

  • No mic for calls or voice assistant
  • Only two nav buttons
  • Fewer GPS-tracking hours

If you're weighing which Venu 2 lineup to buy, rest assured that they share more similarities than differences. Each model has a pixel-rich AMOLED display, a plastic case with a steel bezel, water resistance, the same sensors, and other similar features. Of course, you're paying a substantial bill no matter which you choose, but is the new Venu 2 Plus worth spending a bit more? It depends on whether you want a lifestyle watch or a phone-independent one.

Garmin Venu 2 vs. Venu 2 Plus: A few key differences

The listening Assistant icon on the Garmin Venu 2 Plus The Venu 2 Plus summoning a voice assistant. Source: Michael Hicks / Android Central

The newer Garmin Venu 2 Plus makes three specific upgrades on the Garmin Venu 2 and 2S: it adds a microphone, speaker, and a third navigation button on the side of the watch.

Courtesy of the mic and speaker, the Venu 2 Plus can take phone calls relayed through your nearby smartphone. Or, you can summon your favorite voice assistant to ask questions or start a workout.

These additions give your watch more utility and slightly dip the overall battery life. For example, the Venu 2 lasts 11 days in smartwatch mode or 8 hours of GPS time, while the Venu 2 Plus lasts just nine days — but also survives 24 hours of GPS tracking, several hours longer than the other Venu 2 watches.

Garmin Venu 2 Source: Garmin

All three watches have touchscreen navigation, but the Venu 2 and Venu 2S have just two buttons, while the Venu 2 Plus added a third. Each can start a workout or go back to the previous screen with a quick press, but only the Plus gives you two shortcuts with a short or long-press of the middle button. You can configure them to summon Garmin Pay, your voice assistant, a smartwatch, or whatever other functionality you need to access frequently and quickly.

Otherwise, you essentially get the same specs across the board. The 2 and 2 Plus are fairly heavy compared to most fitness trackers, while the Garmin Venu 2S offers a lighter experience if you can stomach the smaller display. You can rest assured that you'll get identical software, metrics, sports modes, and longer battery life than any other lifestyle watch.

Garmin Venu 2 Garmin Venu 2S Garmin Venu 2 Plus Operating system Garmin OS works with Android and iOS Garmin OS works with Android and iOS Garmin OS works with Android and iOS Display 1.3-inch / 33mm Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Color AMOLED touchscreen 1.1-inch / 29mm Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Color AMOLED touchscreen 1.3-inch / 33mm Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Color AMOLED touchscreen Resolution 416x416 360x360 416x416 Case bezel Fiber-reinforced polymer (plastic) Stainless steel Fiber-reinforced polymer (plastic) Stainless steel Fiber-reinforced polymer (plastic) Stainless steel Bands 22mm 18mm 20mm Sensors GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO HRM barometric altimeter compass gyroscope accelerometer thermometer amient light sensor SpO2 GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO HRM barometric altimeter compass gyroscope accelerometer thermometer amient light sensor SpO2 GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO HRM barometric altimeter compass gyroscope accelerometer thermometer amient light sensor SpO2 Music storage up to 650 songs works with Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music up to 650 songs works with Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music up to 650 songs works with Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music NFC payments Garmin Pay Garmin Pay Garmin Pay Phone calls 🚫 🚫 ✔️ Voice assistants 🚫 🚫 Bixby, Google Assistant, Siri LTE 🚫 🚫 🚫 Connectivity Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi Battery 11 days (12 w/ battery saver) 8 hours GPS mode w/ music 22 hours GPS mode w/out music proprietary charger 10 days (11 w/ battery saver) 7 hours GPS mode w/ music 19 hours GPS mode w/out music proprietary charger 9 days (10 w/ battery saver) 8 hours GPS mode w/ music 24 hours GPS mode w/out music proprietary charger Wireless charging 🚫 🚫 🚫 Water-resistance 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM Dimensions 45.4 x 45.4 x 12.2mm 40.4 x 40.4 x 12.1mm 43.6 x 43.6 x 12.6mm Weight 49g 38g 51g Colors Slate, Silver Slate, Silver, Light Gold, Rose Gold Slate, Silver, Light Gold

The Garmin Venu 2 and 2S offer a fair compromise

Garmin Venu 2 Hero Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

When we first reviewed the Garmin Venu 2, we praised it as a fantastic device that costs too much for what it offers; if it could cost $100 less, it would probably number among the best Android smartwatches by far. But in the ensuing months, we've frequently seen it cost much less than its $400 list price.

With the new Venu 2 Plus likely to cost the full $450 for some time, if you can spot a sale on the Venu 2 or 2S, you may want to grab it on sale instead. The Venu 2 has built-in GPS and music storage, so you can easily work out without a smartphone. If you like leaving your phone behind for workouts, you might not need the Plus's cellular upgrades.

Also, for anyone with slimmer wrists, you may prefer the Venu 2S for its lighter weight and smaller display size. Plus, it has an exclusive, stylish Rose Gold variation you may love.

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus justifies the extra cost

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus Quick Settings menu Source: Michael Hicks / Android Central

If you can afford the extra cost, the Venu 2 Plus is the future-proofed option we'd recommend. Assuming you'll be getting in some constant workouts, it lasts hours longer than the others for actual workout-tracking, which may aid the reduced battery life from the mic and speakers.

Its smart assistant connectivity helps make the Venu 2 Plus a proper "lifestyle" watch and a fitness one. And we love the third button for accessing your favorite tools like NFC payments without having to scroll through menus. If you're planning to spend a hefty amount on a smartwatch, go Plus-sized; it's one of the best fitness smartwatches we've tested.

Fully-unlocked cellular potential

Garmin Venu 2 Plus Render

Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Tracks your workouts the longest

The Venu 2 Plus is the true final form of this watch lineup, offering everything you need for fitness and daily use. You won't regret springing for the option to answer phone calls on your wrist.

Cutting costs, adding sizes, and colors

Garmin Venu 2 Render

Garmin Venu 2 and 2S

Go (rose) gold, save money

If you don't mind missing out on a mic and speaker, the Garmin Venu 2 and 2S offers a gorgeous AMOLED display and thorough fitness metrics to help you hit your fitness goals.

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Michael L Hicks

Michael L Hicks

Michael is a former ebook dev turned tech writer whose career arc took him from VR to wearables, emerging tech to gaming guides, before arriving at AC to cover Android, Oculus, Stadia, and smart homes, among other things. A Bay Area native, he loves underperforming sports teams, running, and tormenting his friends as the DM for DD and Star Wars RPG campaigns.