Garmin Venu Sq 2 - our top-rated fitness tracker is now under £180

Health Editor Grace Walsh reviews the new Garmin Venu Sq 2 smartwatch and fitness tracker

Three models of the Garmin Venu Sq 2 fitness tracker
(Image credit: Garmin)
Woman & Home Verdict

A great fitness tracker for anyone looking to settle into a routine without breaking the bank

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Accurate GPS tracking

  • +

    Long battery life

  • +

    Automatically monitors repetitions in strength training

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Uncomfortable to wear at first

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If you're looking to make health goals this year, there's no need to break the bank when it comes to fitness tech - the Garmin Venu Sq 2 is on sale right now. This watch provides an overview of your general health - including sleep and stress scores - as well as detailed insights into your fitness habits for under £180. 

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 may be one of the best fitness trackers out there, scoring a top spot in our guide for devices across the Garmin range, it's actually one of the most budget-friendly. Given that the Garmin Venu 3 came to market late last year, retailers have cut the price of the previous model. 

As woman&home's digital health editor and a keen runner, cyclist, and gym-goer, I've been a fan of the Garmin Venu Sq 2 for a few years now. It rivals some of the best Fitbits and even beginner-friendly Apple Watches in terms of features and surpasses many of them when it comes to key features like battery life. Here's what you need to know and where to buy. 

Garmin Venu Sq 2: £229 £174 at Amazon

Garmin Venu Sq 2: £229 £174 at Amazon
Available on sale now with £55 off, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 is our top pick of Garmin devices across the range. It's incredibly user-friendly and delivers useful fitness tracking essentials to the recreational gym-goer, runner, and cyclist.  

Garmin Venu Sq 2: An overview

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 is a budget-friendly smartwatch, ideal for anyone looking to improve their health with unique insights into the core pillars of fitness and sleep. It offers built-in GPS with over 25 different exercise modes to choose from, on-demand blood oxygen saturation level readings (which can help to determine your VO2 Max, a key measure of cardiovascular fitness), and even some integrated lifestyle features like contactless payments (via Garmin Pay) and call/message notifications.

While the build of the watch contributes to its purse-friendly price tag (£199 on sale at the time of writing), the Garmin Venu Sq 2 can rival some of the top fitness trackers on the market. With a battery life of 11 days when used just as a smartwatch, it supersedes more advanced Garmin watches and goes well above the lifespan offered by the premium Apple Watch Series 9 between charges, for example. 

Garmin Venu Sq 2: Specifications

  • RRP: £229 (at full price)
  • Size: 40.6 x 37.0 x 11.1 mm
  • Weight: 38g
  • Material: Anodized aluminium and fibre-reinforced polymer 
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Battery life: Up to 11 days in smartwatch mode, 26 hours in GPS mode
  • Waterproof: No, swimproof only - up to 50 meters 

How much does the Garmin Venu Sq 2 cost?

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 is currently on sale for £229. However, given that it is not the most recent model in the Venu series, I've seen it on sale a lot lately for under £200 so if you're considering investing in this fitness tracker, there's no better time to buy than now. 

If you have a bit more in your budget and music or podcasts are a non-negotiable for you on runs or during gym sessions, you might like to consider the Music Edition of the Garmin Venu Sq 2. Design wise, they look exactly the same. The core difference is that the Music Edition offer an additional 4GB of integrated music storage, allowing users to download up to 500 songs from Amazon Music, Spotify, or Deezer and connect their Bluetooth headphones to the device. This means you can leave your phone at home and still have your playlists on the move. For the privilege of doing so though, it's an additional £30. 

An overview of the Garmin Venu Sq 2 design

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 casing is made of aluminium and polymer, with silicone straps. 

(Image credit: Garmin)

Design of the Garmin Venu Sq 2

Weighing just 38g, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 is an incredibly lightweight watch - so light that I had to double check I was wearing it several times. In design, it looks very similar to models like the Huawei Watch Fit 2 or the Fitbit Versa 4, with a square-shaped face that covers most of the wrist in the 40mm in casing size.

Unfortunately, the downside to the design is the aluminium and polymer combination in the casing. While this contributes to the lightweight feel, compared to the premium Garmin Venu 2, it looks cheaper. The aluminium only makes up a small slip of the casing around the edges, while the plastic covers the rest, taking away the premium feel. I also found I had to wear the watch for a couple of weeks to get the silicone straps to settle around my wrist, eventually moulding to the shape. Before this, the watch did jut out from my wrist more than I expected it to. 

What new features does the Garmin Venu Sq 2 have?

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 improves on itself in several ways. Most noticeable is the AMOLED display. Compared to the LCD in the original Venu Sq, the graphics are significantly more vibrant and having the brightness of the watch to maximum capacity doesn't drain the battery like it did on the previous model. 

The battery life is another notably big upgrade - and one of the most important features to consider before buying a fitness tracker. Compared to the first model, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 offers double the battery life with 11 days in smartwatch mode versus six days.

A new heart rate sensor improves reliability and watch performance. Considering that almost every element of fitness tracking relies on the good performance of a heart rate sensor, this is another important feature. The new HIIT workouts on screen, albeit not with image demonstrations unlike the Venu 2 smartwatch, add to the fitness offering, and for the first time, users can find out their sleep score by wearing the watch to bed. While this is quite a basic feature in fitness trackers nowadays, given that it's become standard among Fitbit, Apple, Polar, and other Garmin devices, it was not installed on the previous model. 

While it is not a feature exclusive to the Garmin Venu Sq 2 by any means, the body battery feature on the watch does make it stand out when compared to the various types of Fitbit, for example. With these, you can only get this metric if you pay extra and sign up for Fitbit Premium

Body battery is essentially an analysis of your energy reserves throughout the day. On the watch, you'll find your score within the list of recorded metrics, you can delve deeper into the insights in the app and discover how and why exactly the combination of your stress, activity, and rest scores has given you this number and how to improve it in the coming days. 

A display of the running mode on the Garmin Venu Sq 2

You can follow a workout (above left) on the device or a free run (right above), where you can record your distance, time, and pace.

(Image credit: Grace Walsh/Future)

Who does the Garmin Venu Sq 2 suit?

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 is undoubtedly a fitness tracker for anyone looking to improve their health by exercising more. It's not set up as a daily smartwatch like the Apple Watch, for instance, designed to complement your life and fitness routine together. It's an entirely fitness-dedicated watch with features like on-screen HIIT workouts and integrated Garmin Coach (which can help you aim for a specific fitness goal). 

It's also an excellent choice, in my opinion, for anyone who does any kind of exercise regularly and wants to stick to a routine. The integrated Garmin Coach feature works with the Garmin Connect app to offer users an on-wrist coach, to help develop key fitness metrics like VO2 Max for better exercise performance. I found the coach to be just as valuable at times as one of the best fitness apps - if not more so - as it delivers on-screen programs and training tips that match your current fitness levels as recorded by the watch.

There are also timed workouts available on-wrist, amazing for those who've just started training and want a little extra support, and the Garmin Connect app offers detailed insights into your workout once it's over - including a breakdown of what muscles were targeted most during the session. You'll also find that the watch will automatically count your repetitions for you during a regular gym training session if you enable the strength training workout mode. It's a feature I didn't find to be hugely vital - especially as you have to tap the side button when you start a new set - but it would certainly be beneficial to track your repetition ranges over a few months. 

A layout of the Garmin Connect app showing muscles targeted during strength training workout and display on Garmin Venu Sq 2 watch

(Image credit: Grace Walsh/Future)

What is the Garmin Venu Sq 2 like to use?

Overall, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 is very easy to use. I have used multiple Garmin devices before this one though - and I remember being slightly confused by the brand's interface on my first trial, so I'd recommend reading the instruction manual thoroughly before use. But once you've got the hang of the device, the Garmin Venu Sq 2 it's truly a great companion. With just an upward or downward swipe of your finger on the screen, you'll find all the statistics at your fingertips. Swipe through the list and you'll find your calorie burn for the day so far, step count, sleep score, stress score, and body battery score. By choice, I also receive all the notifications I'd normally get on my phone on my wrist, including calendar, email, and social media alerts. However, you can turn these off. 

Starting a workout is also super simple, provided you've saved your favourite workouts to the shortcuts menu. A simple tap of the top button on the side of the watch will take you to your choice - running or cycling, for example - and from here, you can either select a guided workout to follow or just press 'go' by tapping the top button again. 

Garmin Venu Sq 2 and Venu 2 side by side

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 (left) and Venu 2 (right) have a very different design. 

(Image credit: Garmin)

What is the difference between the Garmin Venu 2 and Garmin Venu Sq 2?

The main difference between the Garmin Venu 2 and Garmin Venu Sq 2 is the design, a few features, and the price point. Unlike the Garmin Venu Sq 2, the Venu 2 has a round design with stainless steel hardware. Side by side, this one looks and feels more premium and blends in as a lifestyle accessory more seamlessly. 

The Venu 2 also offers a sensor to record the number of floors climbed throughout the day, matching up to more advanced Garmin devices like those in the Forerunner range, whereas the Venu Sq 2 doesn't offer this at all. The HIIT workouts on-wrist are accompanied by a graphic demonstration, whereas the Venu Sq 2 just offers descriptions. 

However, it comes with a price tag to match. At £349.99, it almost rivals the newest Apple Watch in terms of price tag without the integrated advanced lifestyle features to match. This also makes it a full £120 more expensive than the Garmin Venu Sq 2. Between the two, the additional features and design are not enough reason to warrant the extra spend, in my opinion. 

Which one should I buy? The Garmin Venu Sq 2

Should I buy the Garmin Venu Sq 2?

Yes, absolutely. If you want incredibly detailed insights into your exercise sessions and fitness age potential, habit-tracking features for making new goals, superior on-wrist GPS functionality, guided workouts and meditations, a waterproof watch that'll stand the test of a swimming session, as well as useful daily assistance like Smart notifications and a new payment option for in-store purchases when you're out and about, this could certainly be the fitness tracker for you. 

Asking yourself are fitness trackers worth it in 2024? While the Garmin Venu Sq 2 comes in at a higher price point than others that have a very similar design and relatively similar features, it's well worth the cost in my opinion. While this might be a watch designed for entry-level runners and fitness enthusiasts, it's certainly capable of pro-level performance for those who are ready to use the Garmin Venu Sq 2 at its full potential. 

Grace Walsh
Health Channel Editor

Grace Walsh is woman&home's Health Channel Editor, working across the areas of fitness, nutrition, sleep, mental health, relationships, and sex. In 2024, she will be taking on her second marathon in Rome, cycling from Manchester to London (350km) for charity, and qualifying as a certified personal trainer.

A digital journalist with over six years experience as a writer and editor for UK publications, Grace has covered (almost) everything in the world of health and wellbeing with bylines in Cosmopolitan, Red, The i Paper, GoodtoKnow, and more.