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Garmin Venu Sq 2 Hands-On: This Watch Has Epic Battery Life

Garmin's entry-level smartwatch gets a bigger screen, but a higher price.

Lexy Savvides Principal Video Producer
Lexy is an on-air presenter and award-winning producer who covers consumer tech, including the latest smartphones, wearables and emerging trends like assistive robotics. She's won two Gold Telly Awards for her video series Beta Test. Prior to her career at CNET, she was a magazine editor, radio announcer and DJ. Lexy is based in San Francisco.
Expertise Wearables, smartwatches, mobile phones, photography, health tech, assistive robotics Credentials
  • Webby Award honoree, 2x Gold Telly Award winner
Lexy Savvides
3 min read
Garmin Venu Sq 2
Lexy Savvides/CNET

The new Garmin Venu Sq 2 stands out from most other Garmin watches thanks to its square face, but it has all the same fitness tracking features as its round-faced cousins. An update to the original Venu Sq, released in 2020, this new model gets even better battery life that can last almost two weeks. It's also got a bigger, brighter screen. But the Venu Sq 2 now starts at $249 (€269.99 or AU$399) -- that's $50 more than the original Venu Sq.

I've been wearing the Venu Sq 2 for several days to track workouts, sleep and get notifications from my phone. So far, it's a similar experience to the original Venu Sq, but I much prefer the new screen. This watch is compatible with Android and iOS, unlike the Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch, which are now iPhone and Android-compatible only, respectively.

Read more: Best smartwatches for 2022

Bigger screen, better graphics

The Venu Sq 2 gets an upgraded display that's not only larger, but has a higher resolution than last generation's model. The 1.41-inch AMOLED display looks great and there are a couple new watch faces that capitalize on the brighter screen. My favorite so far is the neon lights face.

The original Venu Sq only had a 1.3-inch LCD. Comparing the two side-by-side, I can definitely notice the difference in screen quality. Some of the interface graphics have also been revamped to look more like the graphics on the Venu 2 and Venu 2 Plus watches. The construction feels similar to the original Venu Sq, which was a little plasticky for my liking, but that doesn't affect overall performance. I appreciate the improvements to the vibration motor on the Venu Sq 2: It has stronger feedback than the original watch, so I'm no longer missing notifications.

Here's what else is new on the Venu Sq 2:

  • A sleep score
  • 28 sports tracking modes vs. 23 on the original Venu Sq
  • A new HIIT sports app with workouts
  • Improved heart rate sensor

More battery and a higher price

Battery life has also increased to 11 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, or 26 hours in GPS mode. That's a significant boost from the original Venu Sq's runtime that was rated up to six days, or 14 hours with GPS. I haven't been wearing the watch long enough to reach 11 days of continuous use yet, but after four days the battery life is sitting at a promising 65%.

All the other features you'd expect from a fitness watch are onboard, including blood oxygen tracking, sleep tracking and Garmin's Body Battery. This is a useful measurement of your overall readiness to take on a workout and how your body is recovering overall. GPS is built in too, so you don't have to take your phone with you to track route information on a walk, run or bike ride outdoors.

Unfortunately, Garmin still charges a $50 premium for the music version, which lets you store songs on your watch from services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer or songs you already own. At $299 (€299.99 or AU$499), the Venu Sq 2 Music Edition is in the same ballpark as the Apple Watch SE and Galaxy Watch 5, which both start at $279 -- but both of those watches have music storage onboard by default. You also don't get a speaker or microphone on the Garmin Venu Sq 2, which lets you take quick calls from your wrist, dictate messages into your watch or access your voice assistant.

I'll be doing more testing with the Garmin Venu Sq 2 in the coming days. Stay tuned for a full review soon.

Watch this: Garmin Venu 2 Plus is a solid fitness smartwatch