Garmin Venu 3 Vs Garmin Venu 2: Choose The Right Smartwatch For You

Garmin Venu 3 Vs Garmin Venu 2: Choose The Right Smartwatch For You

If you're looking for a new GPS watch, the Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 2 are two great options that deserve to be on your short list, but what's the difference between the two and which should you choose? It's not as easy as it sounds, so we've put together this handy guide to explain it.

The Venu 2 was launched in April 2021 and was followed by the Venu 2 Plus in January 2022. The two watches were very similar, but the Plus version had an additional microphone for accessing the phone's voice assistant, answering calls and the EKG app. Detection of abnormal heart rhythms.

The Venu 3 launched in September 2023 at a higher price than any older watch, with a higher resolution display and new sleep tracking features including the ability to track hours of sleep. It has a microphone like the Venu 2 Plus, but no downloadable EKG software. This could be unlocked later if the watch has the necessary hardware, but we don't know yet.

If you've already made up your mind, we've rounded up today's best Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 2 deals here. Alternatively, read the full details of both watches to help you make the right decision.

the price

The Garmin Venu 2 went on sale in April 2021 for $399.99 / £349.99, but is now available at a deep discount. At the time of writing, you can get it for $349.99/£299, but during sales events like Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day, it's as low as $250/£220.

The Garmin Venu 3 goes on sale in August 2023 for $449.99 / £449.99, and it's likely to be a while before you see significant discounts.


Venu 2 and Venu 3 look very similar at first glance. Both have a distinctive circular chassis, come in two sizes, have a pair of buttons on the right side, and a bright OLED display. But if you look closely, you'll notice some important differences.

First, the dimensions are not exactly the same. The Venu 2 is available in 40mm and 45mm versions, while the Venu 3 is available in 41mm and 45mm versions. The Venu 3 is slightly thinner, but the difference (0.1 mm for the smaller version and 0.2 mm for the larger model) is so small that you won't notice. The Venu 3 3g is lighter, but still not enough to make a noticeable difference.

The Venu 3 has a higher screen resolution than the Venu 2 for sharper graphics, text and tiles. The Venu 2's display is still great, but the newer Watch is a bit sharper.

Flip the two watches sideways and you'll see that the Venu 3 has an extra button on the right and a small dial on the left. This is for a microphone that you can use to take calls and use your phone's voice assistant while in Bluetooth range. This is a feature carried over from the Venu 2 Plus which was launched in January 2022 but was not available on the original Venu 2.

Fitness features

The Garmin Venu series are serious sports watches in smart, simple boxes, and offer the most exercise tracking tools of the company's mid-range wearables. However, there are some important differences.

Flip over two watches and you'll see that the Venu 3 has an improved heart rate monitor, with more LEDs and photoreceptors spread over a larger area, which Garmin says should provide more accurate results. This is the same sensor used in the Fenix​​​​ 7 Pro and Epix (Gen 2) Pro released a few months ago.

Whichever watch you choose, it will track your sleep stages, insomnia and blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) throughout the night, but the Venu 3 also includes a new feature called Sleep Coaches to help you develop healthier sleep habits with personalized guidance. The Venu 3 is also the first Garmin watch to track sleep, and sleeping during the day will reduce the "need to sleep" at night.

Sleep training may be rolled out to other Garmin watches in the future via a firmware update, but I suspect it will only include watches with the new heart rate monitor.

At the time of writing, the Venu 2 Plus has something the Venu 3 lacks: a powerful ECG app. It allows you to detect irregular heart rhythms, which you may want to discuss with your doctor (it is not intended to diagnose or treat your doctor). It's thought that other Garmin watches may have the necessary hardware for the app, but at the time of writing, the Venu 2 is the only unlocked watch, and only in select countries.

We don't know if the Garmin Venu 3 has an EKG sensor, but if it does, it's not working yet and should be available via a software update.

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