Garmin Forerunner 255/255S vs Venu 2/2S/2 Plus: All Things Compared

Garmin unveiled new watches on June 1, 2022, and among the most awaited is the Forerunner 255/255S. It is an upgrade to the popular mid-range running watch, Forerunner 245, and falls in the same price bracket as some of the other Garmin watches including Garmin Venu and Garmin Vivoactive 4/4S.

This watch as the name suggests and like its predecessor, is aimed at runners and now also for triathletes. It has all the features that a runner might look for in a watch including GPS tracking, wrist-based heart rate monitoring, support for music playback, contactless payments, and more.

Venu 2 Plus was released earlier this year and this watch succeeded Venu 2/2S with better smarts and an additional button. It carries 99% design and functionality of Venu 2 and adds a voice assistant and support for voice calls into the mix.

Here, we will compare the Garmin Forerunner 255vs Venu 2/2S and Venu 2 Plus, so you can decide which one is better to invest your money in.

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Garmin Forerunner 255 vs Venu 2 Plus: General Comparison Table

Preview
Runner Up
Garmin Forerunner® 255S Music, Smaller GPS Running Smartwatch with Music, Advanced Insights, Long-Lasting Battery, Black
Winner
Garmin Venu 2, GPS Smartwatch with Advanced Health Monitoring and Fitness Features, Slate Bezel with Black Case and Silicone Band
Product Name
Garmin Forerunner 255 
Garmin Venu 2
Predecessor
Garmin Forerunner 245, Garmin Forerunner 245 Music 
Garmin Venu
Models
40mm, 46mm | FR 245, FR 245 Music
Garmin Venu 2 (45mm)Gamin Venu 2S (40mm)
Release Date
June 2022
April 2021
Parent Company
Garmin
Garmin
Operating System
Garmin OS
Garmin OS
Compatibility
Android, IOS
Android, IOS
Competition
Apple Watch 7, FR 955, Garmin Instinct 2, Fenix 7, Fitbit Sense, FR 55
Apple Watch 7, Fitbit Sense, Ticwatch Pro 3, Fossil Gen 5
Suitable For
Outdoor, sport & fitness
Primarily Sports
Sensors
GPS, GLONASS Galileo, Multi-Frequency Positioning, Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor,  Barometric altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope,  Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse OX blood oxygen saturation monitor
Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor, GPS, GLONASS Galileo Barometric altimeter Compass Gyroscope Accelerometer Thermometer Ambient light sensor Pulse ox blood oxygen saturation monitor
Runner Up
Preview
Garmin Forerunner® 255S Music, Smaller GPS Running Smartwatch with Music, Advanced Insights, Long-Lasting Battery, Black
Product Name
Garmin Forerunner 255 
Predecessor
Garmin Forerunner 245, Garmin Forerunner 245 Music 
Models
40mm, 46mm | FR 245, FR 245 Music
Release Date
June 2022
Parent Company
Garmin
Operating System
Garmin OS
Compatibility
Android, IOS
Competition
Apple Watch 7, FR 955, Garmin Instinct 2, Fenix 7, Fitbit Sense, FR 55
Suitable For
Outdoor, sport & fitness
Sensors
GPS, GLONASS Galileo, Multi-Frequency Positioning, Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor,  Barometric altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope,  Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse OX blood oxygen saturation monitor
Check Latest Price
Winner
Preview
Garmin Venu 2, GPS Smartwatch with Advanced Health Monitoring and Fitness Features, Slate Bezel with Black Case and Silicone Band
Product Name
Garmin Venu 2
Predecessor
Garmin Venu
Models
Garmin Venu 2 (45mm)Gamin Venu 2S (40mm)
Release Date
April 2021
Parent Company
Garmin
Operating System
Garmin OS
Compatibility
Android, IOS
Competition
Apple Watch 7, Fitbit Sense, Ticwatch Pro 3, Fossil Gen 5
Suitable For
Primarily Sports
Sensors
Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor, GPS, GLONASS Galileo Barometric altimeter Compass Gyroscope Accelerometer Thermometer Ambient light sensor Pulse ox blood oxygen saturation monitor
Check Latest Price

Garmin Forerunner 255 vs Venu 2 Plus: 5 Key Differences:

As these watches belong to the same brand, there will be at least a 50% overlap in design and functionality. So we will explain only the key differences between FR255 and Venu 2 Series.

Price:

Garmin Forerunner 255 is retailed at around $350, and the price remains the same no matter which size you pice (41mm or 46mm). However, if you like the watch with the music feature, the price goes $50 up for FR255 Music.

Venu 2/2S are usually available for almost $400, you can often find them at a discounted price of $350. Venu 2 Plus is a bit more expensive and usually, retails at $450.

So, the price difference is not too significant, and it all comes down to the features you are looking for in your watch.

Design and Display:

ProductGarmin Forerunner 255Garmin Venu 2
Dimensions, Weight46mm: 45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 mm, 49g | 41mm: 41 x 41 x 12.4 mm, 39gVenu 2: 45.4 x 45.4 x 12.2mm | 49gVenu 2S: 40.4 x 40.4 x 12.1mm 38.2g
Band Size45mm: 22mm | 41mm: 18mmVenu 2: 22mmVenu 2S: 18mm
Build materialssiliconeStainless steel bezel, reinforced polymer, and hardware Silicone band
ColorsTidal Blue, Slate Gray, Light Pink, Powder Gray,  Whitestone, Black


Venu 2: Silver bezel with Granite Blue case, Slate bezel with Black case | Venu 2S: Slate bezel with Graphite case, Light Gold bezel with Light Sand case, Silver bezel with Mist Grey case, Rose Gold bezel with White case
Waterproofing5 ATM5ATM (up to 50m)
Display Size46mm:1.3 inches | 41mm: 1.1 inchesVenu 2: 1.3-inch Venu 2S: 1.1-inch
Screen Type & Resolutionsunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) | 46mm: 260 x 260 pixels, 41mm:218 x 218 pixels (active area)Venu 2: AMOLED 416 x 416 resolution, Venu 2S: AMOLED 360 x 360 resolution
Pixel Per InchNot Specified326 PPI
Screen ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 3Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Always-on DisplayYesYes
Rotating BezelNoNo

Garmin FR255 is available in two sizes (41 mm and 46mm), whereas the Venu 2 lineup offers you flexibility in choice: Venu 2 (40mm), Venu 2S (45mm), and Venu 2 Plus (43). So both Series caters to people with different size wrists. There is no significant difference in the size and weight of these watches.

However, Venu Series offers a premium look with its metallic bezel rather than a reinforced fiber build you would get in the Forerunner 255.

Furthermore, Venu Series come with a touchscreen color display, whereas FR255 is still sticking to the transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) screen for the display. Obviously, the color resolution (416 x 416 pixels) is better on the Venu Series, and you can see more information on the screen. Plus, it offers both button and touch navigation to users.

Winner: Venu 2/2S or Venu 2 Plus

Smart Features:

ProductGarmin Forerunner 255 Garmin Venu 2
ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
Companion AppCONNECT IQCONNECT IQ
Storage4G & up to 500 songs650 songs
Notification AlertYesYes
Calendar, WeatherYesYes
Offline SpotifyYesYes
Timer & AlarmYesYes
Customizable Watch FacesYesYes
Voice AssistantNoNo
Music Storage, ControlYesYes
Third-Party AppsYesYes
Make calls, send texts & EmailsYes(Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only))No
Browse WebN/AN/A
Contactless PaymentYes (Garmin Pay)Yes (Garmin Pay)

Both watches offer offline music playback and streaming on Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer. So, you can download your favorite songs and playlists on your watch without needing your phone.

However, only the Venu 2 Plus watch offers voice assistant support and Bluetooth calling features. This gives it a slight edge over the FR255 in the smartwatch department.

Other smarts like contactless payments via Garmin Pay and Connect IQ apps support is available on both the watches.

Winner: Venu 2/2S or Venu 2 Plus

Health and Sports Features:

ProductGarmin Forerunner 255 Garmin Venu 2
Built-in GPSYes (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo)Yes (-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO)
Heart Rate TrackingYesYes
SleepYesYes
StressYesYes
Blood OxygenYesYes
ECGNoNo
Bioelectrical Impedance AnalysisNoNo
Steps, CaloriesYesYes
Menstrual cycleYesYes
Sport Mode32+75+
Sync Data With Strava, Apple HealthYesYes

All the health monitoring features of both watches and their accuracy (powered by the same Elevate V4 sensor) are more or less the same. These include all-day heart rate and stress tracking, menstrual cycle tracking (for women), respiration rate, water intake, and more.

However, the wealth of data Garmin Forerunner 255 offers in sports tracking is unrivaled. It offers a ton of training and performance metrics that are more than double what Venu Series has. For instance, it has training load, training status, improved recovery time, daily suggested workouts, and more.

Forerunner 255 is a complete triathlon watch so it tracks the swim, bike, and run metrics. We were excited to know that now we can get the same features as the Forerunner 945 had, on a mid-range running watch. Whereas, Venu 2 series merely touches on running and cycling.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 255/255S

Battery Performance:

ProductGarmin Forerunner 255Garmin Venu 2
Battery PerformanceUp to  6.5 hours to 14 days (mixed usage)Up to 7-11 days (mixed usage)
Battery SizeNot SpecifiedNot specified
Charger TypeUSB charging cable.USB Charging Cable, with pogo pin connectors
Fast ChargingNoYes (takes 90 minutes to fully charge)

Garmin Forerunner 255 has a clear advantage over the Venu 2 Series when it comes to battery performance. For our ease, we will only compare the large models in both Series.

Forerunner 255 can last up to 30 hours in GPS mode with music and 10 hours without music. On the other hand, Garmin Venu 2 can last for only 24 hours in GPS mode with music and 8 hours with music.

Keep in mind that the battery performance differs from the size of the watches. For instance, the 41mm model of FR255 and 43mm Venu 2 Plus might deliver the same performance.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 255

Garmin Forerunner 255/255S vs Venu 2/2S/2 Plus: Final Verdict

As both watches are targeted at different audiences, it is hard to declare an overall winner.

The Garmin Venu 2 Series is a great choice if you are looking for a beautiful and feature-rich smartwatch with good battery life. It also makes a good buy for those who care about their fitness and health as it offers all the essential features.

On the other hand, Forerunner 255/255S is a great watch for athletes and triathletes. If you are looking for a running watch with tons of features to help you train better, then this should be your pick. Additionally, its better battery life is also a significant selling point over the Venu 2 Series.