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Garmin announces Venu Sq 2 — and it's taking on the Apple Watch SE 2

 a photo of a woman wearing the Garmin Venu Sq 2
(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin has today announced the launch of the Venu Sq 2 and the Venu Sq 2 Music — an affordable fitness tracker, set to take on the likes of the Apple Watch and the Fitbit Versa 4. The affordable fitness tracker is an updated version of the Garmin Venu Sq, and it has a number of impressive features, including an 11-day battery life that blows the likes of the Apple Watch SE 2 out of the water. 

The fitness tracker has many of the features of some of the more expensive best Garmin watches, including built-in GPS, pulse ox, mobile payments and music storage (on the music version of the tracker), but at a more attractive price of $249 for the Venu Sq 2 and $299 for the Venu Sq 2 music edition. This is a price jump on the older model, which retailed at $199 and $249 when it was first released in September 2020. 

So why the price hike? Under the hood, a lot looks the same between the two trackers, but the Venu Sq 2 looks to solve one of the Venu Sq’s biggest issues — it looks more premium. The screen is slightly bigger, at 1.4 inches compared to the older model’s 1.3 inches, and it’s brighter, with an AMOLED color display, compared to the LED screen on the older watch. This is the same screen as that used on the new Garmin Venu 2 Plus and Garmin Epix Gen 2.  Like the previous iteration, the watch can be controlled via the touchscreen or the two buttons on the side of the watch.

Impressively, despite that huge screen improvement, the battery life of the Garmin Venu Sq 2 is just as impressive. Garmin says it has 11 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, which is five days longer than the previous version, which had an estimated battery life of six days in smartwatch mode. 

But when will the watch hit the market? Here’s what we know so far.

Garmin Venu Sq 2: Price and availability 

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 will be available to buy from September 1, 2022 and will cost $249.99. The watch will come in three different colors — shadow gray/slate, white/cream gold, and cool mint/metallic mint. The Venu Sq 2 Music is also available to buy from September 1, 2022 and will cost $299.99. The more expensive watch will come in black/slate, ivory/peach cold, and French gray/cream gold. 

images of the Garmin Venu Sq 2

(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin Venu Sq 2: Design 

Design-wise, the Venu Sq 2 looks similar to the original version of the watch, but there are some key differences. Firstly, the screen is slightly larger on the newer watch — 1.4 inches compared to the Venu Sq’s 1.3 inches. It’s also brighter thanks to the AMOLED display. 

The watch has a number of features we’ve come to expect from Garmin, including wrist-based heart rate, Body Battery energy monitoring, sleep monitoring and a sleep score, stress tracking, women’s health tracking, and Pulse Ox. Unlike the likes of the Fitbit Versa 4 or Fitbit Sense 2, all of the metrics recorded on the watch are free to view in the Garmin Connect app (Fitbit puts some of its more advanced features behind a paywall for Fitbit Premium subscribers). 

images of the Garmin Venu Sq 2

(Image credit: Garmin)

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 also has more than 25 pre-loaded activity modes, including walking, running, cycling, HIIT, and Pilates, plus with the Garmin Connect app, users can download workouts to the watch. There’s also the option to download Garmin Coach training plans onto the watch for any runners training with a distance goal in mind.  

From a smartwatch perspective, you can receive smartphone notifications and view social media updates from the watch, as well as pay from your wrist using Garmin Pay. The Garmin Venu Sq 2 Music can store up to 500 songs on your wrist, giving you the option to leave your phone in your locker in the gym. 

a photo of a man wearing the Garmin Venu Sq 2

(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin Venu Sq 2: Battery life 

While we’re yet to get our hands on the Garmin Venu Sq 2 to put the battery life to the test, Garmin says the fitness tracker has 11 days of battery life in smartwatch mode — miles better than the Apple Watch 7, which still has around 18-hours of battery life. 

a photo of a woman wearing the Garmin Venu Sq 2

(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin Venu Sq 2 vs Apple Watch SE 2

Apple is reportedly launching a mid-range smartwatch, the Apple Watch SE 2, as a follow-up to the first Apple Watch SE. The watch is rumored to be more affordable than the Apple Watch 8 or the Apple Watch 8 Pro, but it's still unlikely to have a blood oxygen monitor (something Garmin's wearables have possessed for years), or the ECG app. 

Also, unless Apple has completely revolutionized its watch, it's highly unlikely the Apple Watch SE 2, or the Apple Watch 8 will have a battery life that would come close to the Garmin Venu Sq 2.  

Garmin Venu Sq 2: Outlook 

We’ll be updating this page once we’ve put the Garmin Venu Sq 2 through some more vigorous testing, but by the looks of things, this affordable fitness tracker just got more impressive. It’s received the facelift it needed to contend with some of the other popular fitness trackers on the market, and that’s bound to make it more popular with consumers. 

Whether it’s significantly better than the Garmin Venu Sq on the wrist remains to be seen. Stay tuned for a full review, coming soon. 

Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.