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Garmin Venu overview: Fitness trip with many pixels left to beget


Garmin Venu overview: Fitness trip with many pixels left to beget

A first, and hopefully not the last — Garmin dives into AMOLED with this $399 smartwatch, but the execution is shallow. Valentina Palladino – Oct 15, 2019 4:00 pm UTC Valentina PalladinoSmartwatches try to get us away from our smartphone screens, but ironically, a smartwatch’s screen is one of the most important things about it.…

Garmin Venu overview: Fitness trip with many pixels left to beget

A significant, and with any luck now no longer the final —

Garmin dives into AMOLED with this $399 smartwatch, nonetheless the execution is shallow.

Garmin Venu review: Fitness expertise with many pixels left to fill
Valentina Palladino

Smartwatches try and earn us faraway from our smartphone screens, nonetheless ironically, a smartwatch’s show conceal is one in every of the largest things about it. While a couple of affords were passe in smartwatch displays (including E-Ink, RIP Pebble), OLED and AMOLED panels like turn out to be ubiquitous on excessive-pause wearables.

But Garmin, maker of about a of the most total fitness wearables available, hasn’t taken fair correct thing about such show conceal technology till now. The $399 Garmin Venu is the first of the firm’s wearables to like an AMOLED show equal to that on the Apple Gape and a few WearOS devices.

While it is an extension of the Vivoactive family, the Venu injects a top rate in actuality feel that Garmin will clearly utilize to plot these who are drawn to competitors just like the Apple Gape. Nonetheless, simply since the Venu appears to be like handsome does no longer indicate Garmin has found ways to make utilize of that handsome panel to the most attention-grabbing of its talents.

Gape and in actuality feel

Garmin Venu product image

Garmin Venu

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Unlike assorted Garmin wearables, the Venu simplest is available in one size—its case is about 43mm, making it in actuality feel a piece higher on my wrist than I became passe to. I in total overview and just like the “s” fashions of Garmin’s wearables, which are likely to be 40mm in size.

But even so, the Venu is now no longer heavy on my wrist at 46.3 grams, and somebody who has familiarity with Garmin devices will know easy the manner to make utilize of it. Moreover to its touchscreen, it has two facet buttons for gaining access to the voice menu, navigating back on the show conceal, and opening the instruments and settings menus.

The 20mm stumble on bands are interchangeable, and its underside exhibits the optical coronary heart rate video show as properly as its proprietary charging nodes (at this point, I’ve all nonetheless given up on wearables having extra total charging ports. Any wearable worth its weight is a minute waterproof, and water and USB-C ports don’t mix).

AMOLED and dwell stumble on faces

Almost all the pieces regarding the Venu is standard Garmin—besides for for the AMOLED show. The 1.2-traipse, 390 x 390 round panel is barely as excessive-quality as you would possibly want to most most likely most most likely query, with deep blacks and rich colors that the sleek stumble on faces put off properly. The show does no longer prolong the total ability to the case edges, nonetheless moderately there would possibly be a pretty slim unlit bezel that sits between these two parts. It is now no longer as chubby as I’ve seen on assorted devices, so it didn’t think faraway from my trip the utilization of the show, nonetheless simply know that it is a ways never an edge-to-edge panel.

Garmin’s community of most modern stumble on faces glimpse handsome on the AMOLED show, and about a of them encompass dwell animations as properly. In case you to steal a face with an animation, you would possibly want to most most likely gaze it each time you flip your wrist upward to check the time. Most are handsome abstract, like a wave of a textured sample or glitter falling from the top of the face, nonetheless they are enjoyable alternatively. The animations are now no longer the most seamless, though—when the show activates, going from unlit to plump graphics, I noticed a 2d or so of loading/stuttering within the pixels that put the animation.

Continuously-on mode

Love the Apple Gape Sequence 5, the Venu has an elective repeatedly-on mode that can abet the show running and seen even when your wrist is became faraway from you. This makes it more straightforward to note down and check the time without surely turning your wrist upward to develop so.

But the execution is assorted within the Venu than on the Apple Gape. At its core, it in actuality works nearly the same, nonetheless customers will gaze assorted things on every tool. On the Apple Gape, you would possibly want to most most likely gaze the time and, relying on your tool settings, knowledge just like the climate, the replacement of unread text messages, and further displayed thru concerns.

The Venu, by incompatibility, simplest exhibits the time when the show conceal is in repeatedly-on mode and became downward, in spite of the concerns on your chosen stumble on face. Garmin’s concerns are now no longer as rich as Apple’s within the first declare—shrimp knowledge that’s now no longer related to the time, date, and your voice stages that is also displayed. Garmin does indicate that you just would be capable to customise stumble on faces straight on the tool, which is chilly and handy, nonetheless that you just would be capable to simplest encompass a maximum of three concerns to somebody stumble on face, and most of these data areas put fitness data like coronary heart rate, replacement of steps taken, and further.

So that you just would possibly want to most most likely simplest have the flexibility to note the total manner down to check the time on the Venu. The stumble on face also entirely disappears, no longer like on the Apple Gape the effect your chosen stumble on face will invert colors or morph a minute so it consumes less energy. Garmin didn’t encompass such reconfiguration, so the show simply defaults to a unlit background when the repeatedly-on show conceal is now no longer facing you. While that’s a legitimate and straightforward resolution to the venture of excess battery drain, it is a ways never as visually attention-grabbing as Apple’s resolution to the same venture.

The show settings on the Venu indicate that you just would be capable to develop things like flip on or off repeatedly-on mode, alter show brightness, and further. I severely just like the timeout surroundings, which that you just would be capable to trade to alter the amount of time after which you need the show to flip off when now no longer in repeatedly-on mode. You might most most likely also situation a particular show conduct whereas working out, so the Venu can like repeatedly-on mode became off for traditional utilize nonetheless on at some stage in voice mode. In that true declare of affairs, you would possibly want to most most likely repeatedly have the flexibility to survey your voice stats with the show became on whereas you are working out, nonetheless as rapidly as you carry out that practicing session, the show will day out in accordance along with your most standard timeout surroundings.

One of my favorite beneficial properties on Garmin wearables is the sleep mode that automatically activates Attain No longer Disturb. All over the Venu’s preliminary setup in Garmin Connect, you are asked what time you infrequently scamper to mattress and within the occasion you wake up. You are then asked whereas you happen to are looking to accumulate alerts at some stage in this time, and whereas you happen to to steal no, the tool will automatically enable Attain No longer Disturb mode when it assumes you are napping.

The repeatedly-on show will also note this lead, automatically disabling at some stage in your sleep window. You might most most likely be taken aback how consistently wearables like woken me up because they didn’t just like the kind of feature, nonetheless Garmin devices never like this venture. I’m contented Garmin figured out a seamless ability to integrate repeatedly-on mode so it does no longer disturb any wearer’s slumber.

  • The sleek Garmin Venu smartwatch.

    Valentina Palladino

  • The AMOLED show has an repeatedly-on mode, and right here’s what it appears to be like as if when it is sluggish.

    Valentina Palladino

  • The Venu is available in one case size, 43mm, which is at some stage in Garmin’s assorted wearable case sizes.

    Valentina Palladino

  • You might most most likely also abet watch over the tool with the touchscreen and the 2 facet buttons.

    Valentina Palladino

  • The Venu has the standard array of sensors inner: coronary heart rate video show, GPS, NFC, and further.

    Valentina Palladino

  • The 20mm bands is also removed without grief and swapped out.

    Valentina Palladino

What the show does, and what we wished it did

My natural assumption became that the Garmin Venu, with a show that’s end in quality to the Apple Gape and diverse smartwatches, would operate utilize of that show with sleek graphics, animations, and diverse visible beneficial properties. Garmin did this a minute nonetheless didn’t think things as a ways as I hoped it could most most likely. The sleek dwell stumble on faces with animations is ceaselessly the ability most customers think fair correct thing regarding the sleek show conceal the most, purely since the stumble on face is what you would possibly want to most most likely gaze on the tool many of the time.

Advise animations also glimpse a piece nicer on the AMOLED show. These on-show conceal animations present visible instructions on easy the manner to entire an voice for cardio, yoga, pilates, and power routines, making it more straightforward for newbies to be taught strikes whereas they determine. The animations just like the same smoothness as they did on the Vivoactive 4s, nonetheless now these active, faceless humans appear extra shiny thanks to extra colourful clothing. Animations on the Venu strike a cord in me most of animations on Fitbit’s Versa 2, even supposing I develop like Garmin’s execution higher because they are higher than simply straightforward stick figures.

Connecting the Venu to your Spotify chronicle will now put album artwork on the smartwatch’s show, which is a pleasant contact. The Breathwork voice profile also uses color in a predictable ability—a gradient of color slowly expands and contracts as you are suggested to breathe out and in.



hello world

Many of room to enhance

In any other case, the UI of Garmin’s wearable tool is the true same as it is a ways on devices without AMOLED displays. That’s to claim that the UI produce does no longer lean heavily on graphics. The My Day widgets, accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the show, quiet simplest encompass minute icons subsequent to every data point. Coronary heart rate, depth minutes, and diverse time-tracked data are quiet shown as line graphs with scarce splashes of color for the length of.

The voice menu quiet uses minute stick-settle icons to put every kind of voice, even supposing now every icon is surrounded in a glow of color that it is most likely you’ll customise to your liking. All over a voice, you would possibly want to most most likely quiet need to swipe between data screens to survey knowledge, including coronary heart rate, length, tempo, and further, and these screens are nearly about all unlit and white. Upon ending a voice, the ending show conceal with a summary of your stats is also unlit with white text, the most attention-grabbing bits of color being green and crimson semi-circles that indicate that you just would be capable to quiet swipe the total manner down to build or swipe up to discard.

Even transfer reminders and aim alerts don’t glimpse very assorted from these on the Vivoactive 4s and diverse LCD-paneled devices. If anything else, the present animations glimpse bolder and further fluid on the AMOLED show, nonetheless none were entirely redesigned to add thrilling twists. Further animation and color is sprinkled for the length of, albeit sparsely, which is disappointing within the occasion you think regarding the technology the Venu has at its disposal.

It repeatedly gave the affect like Garmin’s wearable tool UI became constrained by hardware barriers, namely the LCD screens that were built for readability and battery efficiency, nonetheless I’m now no longer certain that is the case anymore. It does no longer appear Garmin spent a couple of time knowing what it can just like the Venu develop with its sleek show conceal that can operate it stand out amongst the competitors or simply add to its charge as a $399 smartwatch.

The reason also can lie in Garmin’s want to abet the Venu’s battery lifestyles as correct as it could most most likely have the flexibility to be. It is probably going that a couple of the decisions that resulted in a somewhat total-taking a watch UI for Garmin smartwatches lend a hand the devices final for extra than one days on a single charge. Those decisions are helping the Venu develop simply that on this case and are complemented by the inner reconfigurations Garmin had to develop to chronicle for the skill consumption that the AMOLED show would inevitably plot.

And I became impressed with the Venu’s battery lifestyles. The smartwatch became the total manner down to 23% after a plump 48 hours of utilize under these conditions:

  • all-day and all-evening put on, simplest removed to wash
  • repeatedly on show mode enabled
  • show conceal brightness at 30%
  • pulse ox on at some stage in sleep
  • two one-hour workout routines recorded
  • all smartphone alerts delivered to the stumble on
  • dwell stumble on face employed for about 38 hours

Clearly Garmin developed the technology for the length of the Venu to be as battery efficient as conceivable, and the firm would possibly most most likely quiet be applauded for that. The Venu likely has the longest battery lifetime of any smartwatch with an AMOLED show; Garmin estimates this is able to most most likely earn up to 5 days in smartwatch mode, nonetheless I query it could most most likely be higher than that whereas you happen to disable repeatedly-on show mode.

But even supposing most smartwatches with handsome displays like a couple of unlit, empty web sigh online on these panels, I’m hoping Garmin will give its tool UI an overhaul in due course. Each the Apple Gape Sequence 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy Gape Packed with life 2 utilize color in extra attention-grabbing ways and enable photography to brighten up the show, too. Snatch, as an illustration, watchOS’ voice rings: they act as a straightforward visible abet that encourages each day aim completion, and additionally they utilize color in ways that Garmin’s UI does no longer even procedure end to. Samsung’s Tizen uses color within the same contrivance with a coronary heart-fashioned icon that’s divided into assorted colors to put how principal of your each day calorie, steps, and diverse targets you like achieved. Parts like these operate a wearable UI extra attention-grabbing as properly as extra interactive, and for the time being Garmin’s UI does no longer like a couple of that.

  • An email alert coming from an iPhone—iOS customers can’t reply to messages from the Venu, nonetheless Android customers can utilize canned replies.

    Valentina Palladino

  • The first settings menu permits you to access your Garmin Pay wallet, onboard tune, show brightness, and further.

    Valentina Palladino

  • The voice profile menu appears to be just like the same as it does on assorted Garmin devices, with the exception of customizable icon colors.

    Valentina Palladino

  • The My Day page also appears to be just like the same, lacking any extra color or graphics in spite of the sleek AMOLED show.

    Valentina Palladino

  • The shortcut page is also personalized with apps like timer, Garmin Pay, and others.

    Valentina Palladino

  • Loads of the on-show conceal UI appears to be just like the same as it does on any assorted increased-pause Garmin wearable, which is disappointing.

    Valentina Palladino

  • You might most most likely also trade stumble on faces straight on the tool, and even operate your have. Some are surely dwell stumble on faces with immediate animations.

    Valentina Palladino

  • Masks settings corresponding to you flip on or off repeatedly-on mode.

    Valentina Palladino

  • You might most most likely also alter show brightness at any time—one in every of some ways that you just would be capable to prolong the Venu’s battery lifestyles.

    Valentina Palladino

A expose about voice tracking

I’ve targeted so principal on the show on this overview since the Venu does all the pieces that the Garmin Vivoactive 4s does. All of the sleek fitness beneficial properties found within the Vivoactive 4s are included on the Venu, and the total Venu’s uncommon beneficial properties revolve around its show.

That being stated, my trip the utilization of the Venu as a fitness stumble on became simply as correct as that with the Vivoactive 4s. Its coronary heart rate video show and GPS are correct, and it has web sigh online for onboard tune and NFC for Garmin Pay. I’m upset that Garmin didn’t add onboard, color scheme views to the Venu since it could most most likely be handy to survey your bustle route mapped out on the Venu’s big, mettlesome show honest after ending a practicing session.

With arguably the largest half of the Venu’s trip being the same as any other Garmin wearable, the Venu’s $399 designate turns correct into a extra attention-grabbing topic for dialogue. Garmin clearly wishes it to be another option to the $399 Apple Gape Sequence 5, and it could most most likely very properly be the next tool within the occasion you need a extra tough fitness stumble on (the Apple Gape is the most attention-grabbing for diverse iPhone customers with money to utilize, nonetheless positively now no longer the most attention-grabbing for every person.)

But whereas you happen to are deciding on between the Venu and the Vivoactive 4s, you would possibly want to most most likely in actuality pay $50 extra for the Venu’s AMOLED show. A half of me is contented that it is simplest $50 extra, nonetheless any other half of me believes the Venu would possibly most most likely quiet be priced at $349 simply just like the the leisure of the Vivoactive 4 series. It takes extra stepped forward (and likely extra costly) technology to earn that AMOLED show onto the Venu, nonetheless when it is as underutilized as it is a ways on this case, this is able to most most likely now no longer add enough charge for some to warrant the charge bump.

A wasted opportunity nonetheless hope for the long bustle

Fundamental ingredient regarding the Garmin Venu is that it exists—Garmin at final made a wearable with an AMOLED show that would possibly most most likely face up to assorted all-motive smartwatches. It has been a truly very long time coming, and I in point of reality became never certain if Garmin would operate a tool like that. It is thrilling because that contrivance we would possibly most most likely gaze OLED and AMOLED displays procedure to assorted Garmin wearables in due course.

But the Venu suffers from first-tool syndrome in that it is a ways never as utterly realized of an AMOLED smartwatch as it can were. Now, it can just like the hardware parts to face up to Apple Watches and Galaxy Watches, nonetheless the tool element is now no longer at the same stage as these competitors. Garmin’s tool is one the clarification why many athletes and fitness enthusiasts steal the firm’s wearables, so I develop now no longer foresee a predominant shift in total procedure in due course.

Nonetheless, I develop think Garmin can operate its tool extra AMOLED-pleasant by the utilization of extra thrilling graphics and animations whereas also asserting the stellar battery lifestyles that the Venu for the time being has. Garmin wearables would possibly most most likely never be as intuitive as Apple’s or Samsung’s because they are now no longer as closely tied to a smartphone OS, nonetheless the firm can surely operate the trip of the utilization of a $399 smartwatch in actuality feel extra appropriate. If customers can earn the true same tool trip on a $350 tool as they are able to on a $399 tool, most customers (who are now no longer show sticklers) will likely steal the extra inexpensive option.

The Correct

  • Intrepid and vivid AMOLED show.
  • Tune storage and NFC procedure standard.
  • Comprehensive voice, sleep, and voice tracking.
  • No longer obligatory all-day pulse ox.
  • Massive battery lifestyles, even in repeatedly-on show mode.

The Inferior

  • Only one case size.
  • Limited dwell stumble on faces.
  • On-show conceal animations now no longer available for premade workout routines.
  • Garmin Connect downloads dwell sluggish.
  • No elective LTE.

The Gruesome

  • Garmin’s tool does no longer operate utilize of the AMOLED show conceal as principal as it could most most likely quiet.

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