Sport Passion   -  advice and training tips

Garmin Venu Sq: a connected watch with full health monitoring for less than €200

by Philippe Baudoin © Copyright (published 06/11/2020)
Garmin Venu Sq sports connected watch

A low-cost watch offering ultra-complete health monitoring

Released in September 2020, the Garmin Venu Sq is a variant of the Garmin Venu, Garmin's successful connected watch with AMOLED display. This new model offers almost all the features of the Venu but with characteristics that have been lowered to provide an ultra-competitive price. It offers more than 20 sports profiles, a training coach, comprehensive health monitoring features, an optional music player, a payment solution and connected functions. Detailed review and opinions.

Buy Garmin Venu Sq

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Amazon
199.99 €
179.99 €
Boulanger
249.99 €
Darty
249.99 €

 

Buy Garmin Venu Sq Music

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Price (from)
 
Amazon
249.99 €
Boulanger
249.99 €
244.99 €
Darty
249.99 €

Commercial links. Prices are not contractual. Please visit the merchant site.

Characteristics of the Garmin Venu Sq

Weights
46.3 g
Dimensions
40.6 x 37.0 x 11.5 mm
Display
Touch colour LCD, 240 x 240 px
Autonomy
14 h in GPS mode, 6 days in connected watch mode
GPS
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo
Multisports
Yes, but without transition management (triathlon, etc.)
Recommended activities
20 sport profiles (more on Garmin), including indoor sports, golf, yoga, Pilates
Connectivity
Bluetooth Smart wireless data transfer.
Cardio-frequency meter
Yes, optical at wrist
Maps
-
Music player
Music version only (500 titles)
Payment system
Yes, Garmin Pay
Telephony / 4G
-
Barometric altimeter
-
Barometer
-
Compass
Yes
Thermometer
With accessory in option
Weather
Yes (with smartphone coupling)
Waterproof
5 ATM (swimming)
Other
Pulse oximeter, numerous health monitoring functions (heart, blood oxygen, stress, hydration, menstrual cycle, recovery, sleep, etc.), VO2max, Garmin Coach, HR/speed/distance alarms, activity monitoring, incident assistance, LiveTrack, relaxation exercises including cardiac coherence, Smartphone notifications.
Garmin Venu Sq: an affordable watch to do sport and monitor health in a comprehensive way

Garmin Venu Sq in short

Sports functions, ultra-complete health monitoring and connected functions

The new Garmin Venu Sq is a multi-sport, multi-function connected watch offering sports functions, comprehensive monitoring of health and daily activity and rather comprehensive connected functions. All this for a very competitive price: less than 200 €! It is also available with an mp3 player for 50 € more (Venu Sq Music).

Venu Sq screen hands
The Venu Sq offers a square screen and an aluminium bezel. Unlike the Premium model (Venu) with AMOLED display, this one has an LCD screen.

It has the same features as the Garmin Venu, the intelligent watch with AMOLED screen, but with features that have been revised downwards in order to offer an attractive price: small definition LCD screen instead of AMOLED, no barometric altimeter, aluminium bezel instead of steel and lower autonomy in GPS mode. The design has also been revised, notably the screen, which is square (hence the "Sq") like the Vivoactive HR.

It is equipped with a colour LCD touch screen, a GPS chip, an optical wrist cardio-frequency meter operating underwater, a pulse oximeter, a compass. External sensors can be connected to it for running or riding. The Music version offers an mp3 player and the possibility to listen to streaming music via Deezer, Spotify or Amazon Music.

It offers more than 20 sport profiles, including walking, running, swimming (pool), cycling as well as preloaded workouts for Yoga, Cardio, Weight Training and Pilates. It evaluates the VO2max and calculates in real time the body's energy level (Body Battery) to help you make the right decisions before training. Via Garmin Coach, the user benefits from expert advice and personalised and adaptive training plans to prepare for a race (5 km, 10 km or half marathon). Training sessions can also be programmed.

The watch has a GPS that records the route and allows you to return to the starting point in a straight line, but it does not display the track and does not allow you to follow a programmed route.

The Venu Sq features an activity tracker (steps, distance, calories, sleep quality) and provides complete health monitoring, probably the best on the market to date. The watch tracks the heart, stress level, blood oxygen level (SpO2), hydration, breathing frequency, menstrual cycle and more.

Venu Sq watch
The Garmin Venu Sq is a multi-sport and multi-function connected watch with sport functions, comprehensive health monitoring and connected functions.

 

Who is the Garmin Venu Sq for?

The Garmin Venu Sq is a sporty, connected, multi-sport GPS watch designed to accompany people who wish to keep a close eye on their health and who may practice a sport on an occasional or regular basis. Elegant, light and comfortable on the wrist, it can be worn in town, at work and of course during sport.

It is suitable for both sportsmen and non-sportsmen by combining the essential functions for sport and training with comprehensive health monitoring, all via an easy-to-use and intuitive interface. If you are looking for a beautiful and easy-to-use watch for everyday life and a little sport, whether you want to lose weight, stay in shape or motivate yourself to move, this model is perfect!

Comparison with the Garmin Venu

Compared to the Garmin Venu, the Garmin Venu Sq is thinner, lighter and more discreet. Its screen is square and its bezel is made of aluminium instead of steel.

The AMOLED screen and the animations, sales arguments put forward on the Garmin Venu, are not offered on this model to save costs. An LCD screen is offered instead, which uses less energy but also has a much lower definition and quality.

The watch does not have a barometric altimeter either, which explains why certain functions (counting the number of stages climbed, display of ascents and descents) are not included.

Here is a summary of the main differences between the 2 models (Garmin Venus versus Garmin Venu Sq) :

CaracteristicsVenuVenu SqVenu Sq Music
 Garmin VenuGarmin Venu SqGarmin Venu Sq Music
Awards350 €200 €250 €
Weight46,3 g37,6 g37,6 g
Size (mm)43,2 x 43,240,6 x 37,040,6 x 37,0
Thickness (mm)12,411,511,5
LunetteStainless steelAluminiumAluminium
ScreenAMOLEDLCDLCD
Screen resolution (px)390 x 390240 x240240 x240
Battery life (connected watch / GPS mode / GPS + music mode)5d / 20h / 6h6d / 14h / -6d / 14h / 6h
GPSGPS
GLONASS
Galileo
GPS
GLONASS
Galileo
GPS
GLONASS
Galileo
Cardio Optics
Underwater cardio
Barometric altimeter
  
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
  
Animations
  
Total Ascensions/Descents
  
Number of floors climbed
  
MP3 Player
 
Garmin Pay
Garmin Venu versus Garmin Venu Sq: the main differences between the 2 models

 

Detailed review of the Garmin Venu Sq

Design and technical features: a square screen and LCD technology instead of AMOLED

Elegant white Venu Sq slim watch
A slim and ultra-light case for this connected and sporty watch

Garmin offers a model with an elegant design. Unlike the Garmin Venu, it is square like the Vivoactive HR (the predecessor model to the Vivoactive 3 and Vivoactive 4). The watch is ultra-light (only 37.6 g, almost 10 g less than the Garmin Venu!), thinner (11,5 mm, i.e. almost 1 mm less) and elegant. To pull the prize and gain in lightness, the bezel is made of aluminium instead of steel. The glass is made of Corning Gorilla, which is therefore ultra-resistant to scratches. The straps are interchangeable without tools.

The big change from the Garmin Venu is its screen. In order to offer a watch at an attractive price, the high-end AMOLED display with its rich, vibrant colours and high contrast (see our explanations on the AMOLED display) is replaced by an inexpensive liquid crystal display (LCD), the one that equips the entry-level models. It is touch-sensitive and has a diagonal of 1.3" (33 mm). The LCD is less attractive than the transflective screen (MIP technology) found in most current sports watches. MIP screens offer a limited colour palette but have the advantage of being very readable even in direct sunlight.

The screen resolution is also much smaller than that of the Garmin Venu (240 x 240 px instead of 390 x 390 px). The high definition was especially interesting for the display of quality animations, which the Venu Sq no longer offers (these animations are only of interest on an AMOLED screen).

To save battery power, Garmin offers a screen that turns off automatically but can be forced on if needed ("always on" mode).

Note that this model, like the Garmin Venu, is available in only one case size, while the Vivoactive 4 is available in 2 sizes (Vivoactive 4 and Vivoactive 4S) to fit all wrist sizes.

Sensors

The watch is equipped with a heart rate monitor on the wrist, a GPS chip (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo compatible), a pulse oximeter for measuring blood oxygen level, a compass, an accelerometer and an ambient light sensor.

However, unlike the Garmin Venu, it does not carry a barometric altimeter or gyroscope (for detecting changes in direction). The altimeter allows precise altitude measurement. The Garmin Venu uses it to count the number of floors climbed and the total daily ascent and descent altitude difference. These 2 functions are not available on the new Venu Sq.

Finally, some external sensors (ANT+ or Bluetooth) can be coupled, including a cadence and speed sensor for running and cycling, an HRM-Dual cardio belt or a thermometer.

Health monitoring functions

Garmin offers the features already present on the Garmin Venu for ultra-complete monitoring, the best on the market today. These include in-depth sleep monitoring (including breathing frequency and blood oxygen level), hydration monitoring, continuous or on-demand measurement of blood oxygen level, and stress level monitoring.

The watch evaluates the available body energy in real time (Body Battery function). It indicates how the body recovers from the day's efforts and whether you have enough resources for an effort or a sports outing.

It also offers relaxation reminders and exercises to help you relax, including a cardiac coherence exercise.

Watch Venu Sq
The Garmin Venu Sq offers excellent health monitoring, the most comprehensive on the market today

 

Sports functions

The Venu offers more than 20 sport profiles (more profiles can be downloaded from the Garmin Connect platform) including walking, running, swimming, cycling, skiing, snowboarding, rowing, stand-up paddle. It includes workouts for yoga, Pilates, weight training and cardio but not animations like on the Garmin Venu. All you have to do is follow the instructions to do the exercises. Other workouts can be downloaded for free from Garmin Connect.

Waterproof to 50 m (5 ATM), the Venu Sq can be used for swimming but not for diving. It can recognise the type of swimming (backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, free) and measure the number of lengths in the pool, the distance, the speed, the number and frequency of movements. It also measures heart rate underwater.

Garmin offers the creation of workouts from its platform. They can then be loaded into the watch to follow them. For people who do not know how to train, Garmin Coach offers customised training to prepare for a 5km run, 10km run or half marathon. Garmin has brought in 3 well-known coaches (Jeff Galloway, an Olympic athlete and best-selling author, Greg McMillan, a physiologist and online running coach, and Amy Parkerson-Mitchell, a physiotherapist with expertise in running). Garmin Coach offers to choose a coach from among the 3 and to be guided according to the objective (distance and date of the competition). A personalised plan is then proposed. All you have to do is load it into the watch. The watch will then adapt it according to the performances achieved. If you miss a session, the plan will be adapted to deal with it. Garmin coach also offers videos and advice on how to learn and progress.

Finally, the Venu Sq offers alarms based on distance, speed and heart rate. All of which can be used to guide you in your training or weight loss exercises.

Physiological measurements

The Venu Sq uses Firstbeat algorithms to exploit heart rate data and provide key indicators for the athlete or for health monitoring, such as Body Battery (body energy), VO2max (performance indicator), stress level, calories expended, breathing frequency.

Connected functions: Garmin Pay, LiveTrack, support

The watch offers Smartphone notifications (SMS, email, calls) with the ability to reply to SMS, provided you have an Android Smartphone. It has the LiveTrack function, to be followed by friends on the Internet and the "Find my phone" and "Find my watch" functions.

Garmin Pay allows you to pay for purchases with your watch, as long as you are in a partner bank (see the list here).

It has a fall detection function (cycling and running) and assistance in the event of an incident to transmit its position to a predefined contact.

The Sq Music Edition also comes with an MP3 player and enough memory to store around 500 music tracks. Simply buy bluetooth headphones to enjoy music without having to carry a smartphone. You can also listen to streaming tracks from Deezer, Spotify or Amazon Music (with a paid subscription).

Connected features
The Venu Sq offers a payment solution, incident detection and support, smartphone notifications. The Music model also comes with an MP3 player.

 

Monitoring of activity

Like the Venu, this model proposes a classic activity monitoring (number of steps, calories, distance, detailed sleep monitoring including blood oxygen and respiration measurements, intensive minutes) but no indication of the number of stages climbed (the barometric altimeter is missing on this model). The watch allows targets to be set and automatically adjusts them according to performance. It also displays coloured bars summarising performance against the target.

Autonomy

Thanks to the few fewer components, the LCD screen and the deactivation of the screen when not in use, the Venu Sq can last 6 days as a connected watch with health monitoring (compared to only 5 days for the Venu). In training mode with GPS (for sports outings), it only lasts for 14 hours. However, this should be sufficient for most users. If you listen to music, the autonomy drops to 6 hours in GPS mode.

Our opinion on the Garmin Venu SQ

Venu Sq: an affordable Venu but with an entry-level screen

The Garmin Venu Sq is a rather complete and attractive watch for the price offered and is clearly in direct competition with the latest Apple Watch SE (the Apple Watch 6 with reduced functions). Garmin adopts the same strategy as Apple by offering a limited version of its excellent Garmin Venu. But instead of removing essential functions, it offers a lower-quality display and the removal of two sensors and a few non critical functions.

We appreciate this watch as much as the Garmin Venu for its ultra-complete health monitoring functions and its well-supplied sports functions, which are sufficient for most occasional sportsmen and women. The absence of a barometric altimeter and gyroscope is not really a big drawback as this is not a watch designed for trail, outdoor or mountain activities but a connected watch intended primarily for health monitoring with the possibility of using it for sport.

If you love design and are looking for a stylish watch to wear every day to monitor your health, motivate you to move, keep or improve your shape and if you practice a sport on an occasional to regular basis, then this model should appeal to you. If you are looking for a watch for sport, advanced training or competition, then it is best to turn to a watch dedicated to sports (see our cardio-GPS watch comparisons).

Slim and elegant white watch on a thin wrist
The Garmin Venu Sq has the same features as the Venu but with a square design, no AMOLED display and no barometric altimeter

 

Venu or Venu Sq: which to choose?

Choosing the new Garmin Venu Sq rather than the Garmin Venu is really a matter of taste and budget.

The Garmin Venu catches the eye with its superb AMOLED screen (the one that equips quality smartphones) that offers rich colours, high contrast and a quality display that allows you to show animations (watchface, animated exercises to learn yoga or Pilates movements, etc.), display photos with good definition, etc. It offers an additional barometric altimeter and more complete functions. Its autonomy is barely smaller when used as a connected watch, but much greater in GPS training mode. It is the Garmin watch that comes closest to the Apple Watch in terms of its display. It is in every way more interesting than the Venu Sq. But this comes at a price and you have to love the round screen.

If it is the beautiful AMOLED screen and its impressive animations that seduced you in the Garmin Venu, then this new, inexpensive model is not for you. If, on the contrary, it is the functions more than the screen that attracted you to the Venu, then the Venu Sq will appeal to you just as much and for a much more attractive price! You just won't be able to impress the gallery with the animations!

We liked
  • The price for the functions offered (almost all those of the Venu)
  • Comprehensive health monitoring
  • The possibility to pay for purchases with the watch
  • The square and elegant design
  • The featherweight of this model
  • Autonomy
We would have liked
  • A MIP screen instead of LCD (but the price would be higher)
  • 2 housing sizes as on the Vivoactive 4

Price and availability

The Garmin Venu Sq and the Garmin Venu Sq Music Edition are available for sale from the end of September 2020 at the recommended retail price of € 199.99 (Sq model) and € 249.99 (Sq Music model).

Buy Garmin Venu Sq

Merchant
Price (from)
 
Amazon
199.99 €
179.99 €
Boulanger
249.99 €
Darty
249.99 €

 

Buy Garmin Venu Sq Music

Merchant
Price (from)
 
Amazon
249.99 €
Boulanger
249.99 €
244.99 €
Darty
249.99 €

Commercial links. Prices are not contractual. Please visit the merchant site.

Philippe Baudoin
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