Garmin Venu Sq

Garmin Venu Sq

The Garmin Venu Sq is a full featured smartwatch released in September 2020. This is one of the more affordable Garmin smartwatches, a less expensive version of the popular Garmin Venu. Note there is also a Venu Sq Music version that comes with 4GB of internal storage and supports your own MP3s, Spotify and Deezer. It offers Spotify offline support, one of the few watches in this price range with this feature.

The Venu Sq is using a NXP Semiconductor MK28F processor (see internal photos below). Garmin smartwatches typically use NXP chipsets and they generally perform adequately with no noticeable lag.

This watch is using a proprietary Garmin operating system. While there are some available apps, the number is minimal and you do not have access to a large 3rd party app store such as Google Play. This is a significant disadvantage and is common drawback for any smartwatch using a proprietary operating system.

Design

The Venu Sq has a rectangular, nearly squarish watch face design with a plastic case.  The watch is available in quite a few colors including orchid, white, gray, black, sand, blue and green (note some colors only available on the Sq Music model). While the color varieties are nice, the plastic case design is average, particularly at this price range.

Garmin Venu Sq Colors
Venu Sq Colors

This smartwatch is not too big at 40.6 x 37.0 x 11.5 mm and weighs 37.6g. The watch is slim with a thickness of 11.5 mm. It is comfortable and can be worn while sleeping.

The Venu Sq comes with a 20mm silicone interchangeable strap in a variety of colors. The strap is comfortable and quality is good.

You can interact with the watch using the touchscreen and 2 physical buttons. The touchscreen works very well with no lag. The user interface is simple to use but overall looks a bit clunky and rudimentary. Definitely Garmin is a emphasizing function over style on this watch.

The Venu Sq has a 5ATM water resistance rating which allows for swimming and showers. The watch performs well in pools and comes with a water lock mode that disables the touchscreen.

Screen

The screen of the Venu Sq while not as good as the AMOLED screen on the original Venu, does an ok job. The 1.3″ LCD Touchscreen comes with 240 x 240 pixels. Indoors the display is good while outdoors in sunlight is acceptable.

The bigger problem with the screen is actual usable screen area. While this is not noticeable in marketing photos, the photo below shows the usable screen is very small relative to the full watch face. Also the GARMIN logo on the bottom of the screen looks tacky, like a cheap $50 Amazfit Bip watch. Not the most elegant design.

Garmin Venu Sq Screen

The Venu Sq uses Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to protect the screen. While it is somewhat resistant to scratches, care should be taken to avoid scratches.

The watch has an always on screen option but this has a significant impact on battery life. The watch allows for custom watchfaces which is a nice feature.

Battery

The Venu Sq comes with a 195 mAh battery. Garmin claims that typical usage battery life is 6 days and GPS mode battery life is 0.6 days. Real world battery life matches this claim and is OK when compared to other full featured smartwatches but much less than best in class battery life.

Connectivity Features

From a connectivity perspective, the Venu Sq has good functionality and can receive and respond to notifications from the watch. The watch comes with WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth v4.0 and Ant+. Ant+ allows you to pair optional Garmin devices (foot pod, club speed, bike speed, etc) to your Venu Sq.

The Venu Sq does not have a speaker or microphone and does not have the ability to answer or place calls via Bluetooth. The Venu Sq does not have a camera and does not have cellular connectivity. On the positive side, it does come with built-in GPS. GPS connectivity is fast and accuracy while not perfect is fairly good.

Finally, Near Field Communication (NFC) is supported and you can use this smartwatch to make payments using Garmin Pay. While this is a nice feature it only works with certain banks and cards. While coverage is good in the US, it is not that good in other countries. Check the list of banks on the Garmin site to confirm your bank is covered.

Health and Fitness Features

The Venu Sq comes with 7 sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient light, Compass, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2), Thermometer. These cover numerous fitness and health areas. These sensors allow you to track the following 11 metrics: Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Menstrual Cycle, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming, VO2 Max.

Heart rate accuracy, is good but not perfect albeit fairly accurate for a smartwatch. Sleep tracking is also quite good. While tracking and data capture is good for this watch, the on watch metrics are displayed poorly or in the case of sleep tracking not at all. You will need to use the app to view and utilize the data. Also included are 20 different sports modes.

Garmin Connect App

The Garmin Venu Sq uses the Garmin Connect app, which is very good particularly for fitness and sports tracking. The app is not cluttered, easy to navigate and works quite well. Overall this arguably the best health and fitness app available today. Many people put up with the rudimentary watch experience and enjoy the excellent app.

Internal Photos

Known Issues

As this watch has just recently been released, there are no common known issues.

Verdict

One of the more affordable Garmin watches but the design, screen and user interface are not the best. Good app and NFC with Garmin Pay are positives. Average all-around watch.

Specifications

General

Read Review readreview
Watch Type Full Featured Smartwatch
Gender Unisex
Release Date September 2020
Operating System Proprietary - Other
App Garmin Connect
Supported Devices Android 5.0+, iOS 11.0+
Processor NCP Semiconductor MK28F

Design

Shape Rectangular
Case Size 40.6 x 37.0 x 11.5 mm
Case Material Plastic
Weight 37.6g
Strap Width 20 mm
Strap Material Silicone
Interchangeable Strap Yes
Watch Colors Gray, Orchid, White, Black, Sand, Blue, Green
Input Touchscreen, 2 Buttons
Water Resistance 5 ATM

Screen

Screen Size 1.3"
Screen Type LCD Touchscreen
Resolution 240 x 240
Pixels per Inch Not disclosed
Always On Yes
Custom Faces Yes
Screen Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Battery

Typical Usage Battery Life (Days) 6
Watch Mode Battery Life (Days) Not disclosed
GPS Mode Battery Life (Days) 0.6
Charging System Dock
Capacity 195 mAh

Features

Notifications Recieve Notifications and Respond
Bluetooth v4.0, ANT+
Bluetooth Calling No
Bluetooth Music Yes
Speaker No
Microphone No
Camera No
Cellular No
GPS GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (EU)
Near Field Communication (NFC) Yes
Payments Garmin Pay
WiFi Yes
Voice Command No
Memory 4GB in music edition
Sensors Accelerometer, Ambient Light, Compass, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2)
Tracking Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Incidental Fall, Menstrual Cycle, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming, VO2 Max
Sport Modes 20
Warranty 12 Months

Summary

Unique Features None
Advantages Good fitness and sports apps
Can respond to notifications
NFC with Garmin Pay
Disadvantages Screen is not impressive
Simple / dated user interface
Limited apps, no app store with third-party apps
No speaker or microphone
Verdict One of the more affordable Garmin watches but the design, screen and user interface are not the best. Good app and NFC with Garmin Pay are positives. Average all-around watch.

Published: December 28, 2020

Garmin Venu Sq - WatchSmarty
Garmin Venu Sq

The Garmin Venu Sq is one of the more affordable Garmin watches but the design, screen and user interface are not the best. Good app and NFC are positives.

Product SKU: Garmin Venu Sq

Product Brand: Garmin

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 200

Price Valid Until: 2023-01-01

Product In-Stock: SoldOut

Editor's Rating:
6.1