Garmin is the name that comes into the mind of almost everyone when the word smartwatch is being discussed. Right now the market is quite saturated with companies that offer a lot of options in quite a diverse price bracket. Garmin Fenix 6 is a smartwatch that is the latest in the Fenix lineup. We are going to compare it today to the Venu 2, the latest in the Venu lineup. As base variants of both the watches lie in almost the same price segment, that is the comparison we are going to go with today.
Garmin Fenix 6 although the latest in its lineup is 2 years old. Launched in November of 2019, Fenix 6 was launched in 3 case sizes; 42mm was called the Fenix 6S, 47mm was called the Fenix 6 and the 51mm one was called Fenix 6X. The price varies accordingly with the cheapest one being $550 Fenix 6S and 6 to $700 Fenix 6X. These watches are also launched in Sapphire (with a sapphire glass) and Solar (with the lens to harvest solar energy). For the sake of a fair comparison, we will compare only the base variants of Fenix 6 and 6S.
Launched in April 2021, Garmin Venu 2 is the latest in the Venu series, the only one with the superior AMOLED display. The company is demanding top dollars for it, almost $400, which puts it in direct competition with the likes of Apple watch series 6, Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, and Fitbit Sense. It undercuts Garmin’s very own premium Fenix and Forerunner series.
Venu 2S : 40.4 x 40.4 x 12.1mmVenu 2: 45.4 x 45.4 x 12.2mm
Fenix 6S: 42 x 42 x 13.8 mmFenix 6: 47 x 47 x 14.7 mm
Venu 2:Silver bezel with Granite Blue case, Slate bezel with Black case venue 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
Fenix 6S: Silver with Black Band, White with white band Fenix 6: Silver with Black Band
fiber-reinforced polymer with Stainless steel bezel
fiber-reinforced polymer with Stainless steel bezel
Venu 2S: 18 mm fits a wrist of 110-175 mm circumference menu 2: 22 mm, fits wrist of 135-200 mm circumference
Fenix 6S: 20 mm fits wrists with the following circumference: Silicone band: 108-182 mmSuede band: 108-175 mm Fabric band: 108-189 mm Metal band: 108-180 mmFenix 6: 22 mm fits wrists with the following circumference: Silicone band: 125-208 mmLeather band: 132-210 mm Fabric band: 132-210 mm Metal band: 132-215 mm
Silicone (quick release)
Silicone (QUICKFIT™ WATCH BAND COMPATIBLE)
Weight (with/without strap)
Venu 2S: 38.2 gramsVenu 2: 49 grams
Fenix 6: 57 Garmin Fenix 6S: 41 grams(Both without straps)
While comparing Fenix and Venu, we can see that there are more differences than there are similarities.
Design-wise, Venu is much sleeker than the Fenix. But as the Fenix targets the sports and fitness enthusiasts more, that explains its rugged and a bit bulky design. Venu screams smartwatch more than the Fenix though and it all comes to the matter of personal preference. Both watches offer multiple size options to fit small to big wrists.
The straps situation is also a bit different on both of them as the Venu supports the standard quick release straps, while Fenix has its own rendition of it called the QUICKFIT. Both bands are readily available though, in their respective sizes. Fenix also comes with the option of titanium, leather, Fabric, and standard Silicone.
The display situation is a bit disappointing in the Fenix, as it comes with outdated memory in pixel display. The resolution is quite low too at 260×260 (Fenix 6) and 240×240 (Fenix 6S). This also comes as a hurdle in making it a touch screen. But that aspect doesn’t matter much as sweaty athletes prefer their screens to be dry of sweat. Fenix’s button-controlled interface takes care of that.
Venu is superior when displays are concerned with its top-notch 416 x 416 pixels (360×360 for Venu 2S) AMOLED Touch display along with the always-on feature. All the major controls are touch-focused and you can navigate through the menus with touches and swipes. Both of the watches are protected by the Gorilla glass 3 though.
Water protection is where Fenix 6 takes a lead. It is rated for 10 ATM of underwater protection compared to 5 ATM of Venu 2. 10 ATM basically means that your watch is safe even when there is a water column 100 meters above you. Perfectly fine for swimming and water-related activities as well as diving.
If we discuss the color options Venu seems like a clear winner with 2 colors for the base Venu 2 and 4 for the Venu 2S. The base variant of Fenix 6 comes in a single color while the Fenix 6S comes in 2 colors. There exist the Pro, Sapphire, and Solar versions for both of these watches but getting those means adding $100-300 to their already bloated price. This is the reason we are not considering them in our comparison.
So considering the Display and design of the watch, the winner is the Venu 2 with its more offerings in a lesser price bracket. The AMOLED display, 10 ATM water protection, more colors are all under a price lesser than Fenix 6.
Apart from some of the differences, the smartwatch features are quite the same in both of the watches.
Both of the watches offer the notification alert. You can see the notifications as well as respond to them using the predefined responses. There is no limit as to what app notifications can be shown, if it is in your watch, it shows. This is customizable though and you can set up what notifications you want to see.
The companion app is Garmin Connect which is one of the better ones out in the market. It provides support for most third-party apps also. All the other features like weather updates, timer, and alarm. Both of them support Garmin Pay which comes in quite handy for contactless payments. What Fenix 6 lacks is the Wifi connectivity in its base variant while Venu 2 provides it.
As far as the music is concerned, things are quite disappointing for Fenix 6. It is capable of controlling the music on your phone but there is no physical storage for music. On the other hand, Venu 2 can store up to 650 songs along with the support of offline Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, iHeartRadio, etc. Meanwhile to get the support for such apps you have to buy the Pro version of both 6 and 6S.
A win can be regarded for Venu 2 as far as the Smartwatch features are concerned. On-board memory, third-party app support, wifi connectivity, and lesser damage to the wallet give it an edge over Fenix 6.
The GPS situation is quite similar in both watches in question. Both are backed by a multi-satellite system pairing with GLONASS and GALILEO. The GPS quality is premium and the connectivity both the devices offer is immaculate.
Talking about the accuracy, Fenix 6 and Venu 2, both are fairly accurate when it comes to tracking. A few hiccups come when it tracks through a very dense tree canopy. Some little anomalies may occur in Fenix 6 as it may run off track at some sharp turns otherwise it is one of the best out there. Venu 2 is a little bit better as it sticks to the track quite well. Not much of a difference though.
Both of these watches cover a lot of outdoor sports as well as indoor sports. The best part about it is that all the sports are detected automatically by the watches. You name it, they cover it. Running, cycling, walking, hiking, swimming, triathlons, open water swimming, everything. This is why they are a preference among athletes. Both of the watches are equipped with barometric altimeters that are perfect for mountaineers and hikers.
If we see how these watches fare against each other in the running segment, Venu 2 lags a bit with its limitation of tracking Running, Indoor Track Running, and Treadmill Running only. On the other hand, Fenix 6 records Trail Running and virtual running too for those who are concerned. Both watches show the real-time cadence (steps per minute). Fenix 6 also goes up by providing a comparison of your real-time fitness after a 6-20 minute run to your average fitness which is suitable for those who want to see and observe the change.
They also go head to head in strength workouts and gym exercises. Fenix 6 tracks Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing, Pilates, and Yoga while Venu 2 goes a step ahead by tracking HIIT also along with monitoring your breathwork. Another cool feature Venu 2 offers is that it shows you a map of the muscles being targeted by a particular exercise on your watch screen. Cool workout animations can also be viewed in Venu 2. All of your fitness workouts can be synced directly with Strava and automatically too so that you can compare your data with athletes from all around the world.
Health Features: Heart Rate, Sleep, Blood Oxygen Tracking & Others
Health features is a niche where Garmin left no gaps in any of the 2 devices. Both perform as they should for a premium device.
Starting off with the heart rate, both devices give out a real-time reading of your heartbeat rate. You can customize your watch face to display that info. It also pings you whenever there are heart rate spikes. Your respiration rate is also kept under check 24/7. This makes it perfect for people with heart problems to monitor their health while exercising and not exert themselves too much.
Sleep tracking is one of the best in Garmin watches. Garmin provides a lot of data when it comes to your sleep tracking. The features are identical in both the Venu 2 and Fenix 6. At the end of each sleep cycle, you receive a sleep score on the basis of the quality of your sleep, how many times you woke up in your sleep, restlessness, total duration of sleep, time of sleep, etc. A welcome feature for those having trouble organizing their sleep schedule.
Both of the watches, being very especially considerate for women, have included the option of monitoring the women’s health. You can keep a track of menstrual cycles and all the behavioral and physical changes associated with them.
Garmin Venu 2 vs Garmin Fenix 6: Battery Life & Charging Comparison
Garmin Venu 2
Garmin Fenix 6
Venu 2S: 11 days maxVenu 2: 12 days max
Fenix 6S: 34 days maxFenix 6: 42 days max
Proprietary 4 pin connector
Proprietary 4 pin connector
The battery is where Fenix 6 shines, quite rightfully due to its older transflective display and no support for music. Now in the smartwatch mode where all the features are being used for a reasonable amount of time, Fenix 6 can last for 14 days while the 6S lasts for 9. Venu 2 underperforms a little bit in this mode and gives an endurance of 11 days while the 2S can keep its juices up for 10 days. The S version of Venu performs a tad better than the Fenix 6S.
Now there is a battery saver mode existing in both of these watches. Talking about the battery save of Venu 2, it works by decreasing the notification count along with brightness and using a low-power watch face. All the other features like Always-on mode, GPS, Oximeter, wifi, and music playback are totally disabled. Now in this battery saver mode, Venu 2 lasts 12 days and 2S lasts 11 days, Fenix 6 lasts 42 days and 6S lasts 34 days. Now there is a visible disparity among the 2 models which can be justified by the use of AMOLED display in the Venu 2 which is more power-hungry.
The next segment in question is always the battery performance in GPS mode. Fenix 6 has 3 GPS modes; a normal GPS mode in which the GPS is used constantly. This mode lasts for 36 hours in Fenix 6 and 25 hours in Fenix 6S. In Venu 2, the numbers in this mode are a bit low. Fenix 6 also has a Max Battery GPS mode which uses GPS after intervals, pinging after some time, and then turning off. Fenix 6 can keep running for 72 hours in this mode while 6S runs for 50 hours. Expedition GPS mode keeps the watch pumped up for 28 days and 20 days for Fenix 6 and Fenix 6S respectively.
GPS in Venu 2 can give a hit to the battery. In the Normal GPS mode, it runs for 22 hours and the S variant, 19 hours. The Addition of music even further decreases the life to 8 hours and 7 hours for Venu 2 and Venu 2S respectively.
Battery charging time is also the same. Both can go from 0-100% in about two hours. Not too shabby but there are better options in the market that provide fast charging.
This analysis clearly shows that Fenix 6 is the winner in this category. Although this win is backed by a primitive display, a win is a win.
If you would ask a one-word answer, it would be Venu 2. Why? Because of what it offers compared to the price of its competitor. It even offers more in some cases like in the case of display, AMOLED in a lesser price point. Where Venu lacks a bit is the battery segment. But if we observe it overall, it is not bad, unless it is really a matter of concern for you and you prefer a better battery over a better display. Then Fenix 6 is recommended. Still, if you want to go for a more rugged-looking approach with a great sports-oriented setup and you don’t want to miss on the premium features, you would have to pay an extra $100 to get the pro version. Other than that Venu 2 can be regarded as a winner in this comparison.