The Garmin Venu and Venu SQ are fitness-focused smartwatches that have nice, vibrant displays, which take a departure from the transflective displays Garmin has used for years. Those older-generation displays do have good things going for them like great readability in direct sunlight as well as long battery life but they aren’t necessarily the prettiest to look at.
The new displays are more in line with other smartwatches like an Apple Watch or Samsung watch, but the great thing about what Garmin has done with the Venus is that they’ve been able to retain decent battery life with both the Venu and the Venu SQ.
These watches share a lot in common but there are a few differences that may make you want one over the other and this article aims to detail all the similarities and differences. If you prefer to watch a video rather than read an article, you’re in luck – just check out the video below.
The Venu SQ starts at $200 for the non-music version and then $250 for the music version. The regular Venu only has one version that has music capabilities, and the Venu ranges from around $300-$350 depending on what sort of deals are going on. You can check prices here: https://geni.us/venusq & https://geni.us/venu (Amazon affiliate links)
The SQ is just slightly narrower than the regular Venu due to it’s square shape and the SQ also weighs just slightly less than the regular Venu. (Venu SQ: 37.6 grams / Venu: 46.3 grams)
Both use touhcscreens along with two physical buttons to interact with the device, both are water resistant down to 50 meters, both use industry standard 20mm watch straps, and both are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
Another hardware difference is the display where the original Venu has a 1.2″ AMOLED screen (390 x 390 pixels) where the SQ has a 1.3″ LCD screen (240 x 240 pixels).
Both have an always-on display mode but just note that this will have an impact on battery life. You can however disable the always-on display and just rely on a raise to wake gesture like what you’d find on an Apple Watch SE, Series 4, or Series 3.
The Venu also has Live Watch Faces which have an animation when you raise your wrist.
For GPS battery life, the regular Venu has a bit more in this department being able to last up to 20 hours and the SQ can last up to 14 hours, and that’s without playing music where music playback can drain your battery quite a bit. Strangely, battery life is about the same between the two while playing music using GPS at around 6 hours with both.
With the Venu and Venu SQ Music, these have offline music storage and playback with music services like Pandora, Spotify, and Deezer, but the SQ has a non-music version that can save you $50 if you don’t need that feature.
Wi-fi is available on the Venu SQ Music and the Venu but not the SQ that doesn’t have music.
The Venu also has a gyroscope where the Venu SQ does not. The gyroscope is intended to improve the rep counting ability for the strength training profile as well as improved swim feature performance like stroke detection. However, the rep counting is kind of hit and miss overall with either device so I wouldn’t gloss over this difference that much.
But one of the biggest differences between the Venu and Venu SQ is that the the Venu SQ does not have a barometric altimeter.This results in 2 big differences:
First, the Venu SQ won’t track your floors climbed as a daily activity metric since that requires an altimeter.
Second, you won’t be able to view your altitude information like your accumulated elevation gain during your outdoor activity. However, once you save your activity, you’ll be able to see the elevation data in Garmin Connect with the SQ and this is based off of altitude information from GPS data once it’s uploaded.
Safety and Tracking
Widgets and Daily Activity Tracking
Both also have sleep tracking that also can utilize the SPO2 sensor for measuring blood oxygen levels.
Both Venu and Venu SQ: Run, Treadmill, Indoor Track, Bike, Bike Indoor, Walk, Walk Indoor, Pool Swim, Golf, Ski*, Snowboard*, XC Ski (SQ has it named XC Classic Ski), SUP, Strength, Cardio, Elliptical, Yoga, Row, Row Indoor, Pilates, Row indoor, Breathwork, Pilates, Navigate.
* Ski and Snowboard profiles on regular Venu can determine when you are riding on the chairlift and going down the ski run with the altimeter to automatically track runs without having to press a lap key which is required on the Venu SQ.
Venu: Floor Climb – uses altimeter to track actual floors climbed if climbing actual stairs (not on a stairstepper/stairmill).
Venu SQ: Stair Stepper – a basic cardio workout profile that tracks heart rate and time. Does not track floors climbed since there is no elevation change on a stairmill.Also, on-screen animated workouts are only available on the Venu and not the SQ.
Data Pages and Data Fields
Again, even though the SQ doesn’t track elevation data with an altimeter, you’ll still be able to see elevation data after you save your outdoor activity. And this data is based on GPS data rather than an altimeter.