Is the Garmin Venu OLED GPS smartwatch an Apple Watch killer? Plus updated Vivoactive range

An all-new GPS watch and updates to Vivoactive smartwatch range

Garmin Venu

Hot on the heels of the flagship Fenix multisport range updated last week, Garmin has announced the Venu, an all-new GPS watch with an OLED display.

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Garmin has also revamped its popular Vivoactive range of smartwatches.

The Venu is Garmin’s first watch with an OLED screen and no doubt takes aim at the Apple Watch as a fully-featured everyday timepiece (the vivid 390 × 390-pixel display can be set as always-on).

Garmin says the Venu offers the “broadest available range of 24/7 health monitoring features in the market.”

The updated Vivoactive 4 (45mm display) and 4S (40mm display) watches, meanwhile, share the new features found on the Venu, but they are displayed on the same transflective display as the existing Vivoactive 3 series.

Fully-featured smart watches for everyday health monitoring

Garmin Venu
Training zones for over 20 sports are available on the Venu, Vivoactive and Vivoactive 4S.
George Scott

Central to the Venu, Vivoactive and Vivoactive 4S is GPS, wrist-based heart rate tracking and training zones for 20-plus sports (including, of course, cycling).

Meanwhile, Garmin’s ‘Body Battery’ energy monitoring enables users to check their body’s energy levels and subsequently schedule workouts and rest times using data from heart rate variability, sleep and activity. A higher figure indicates an optimal time to be active whereas a lower number suggests rest is required.

Garmin Venu
The Garmin Venu measure and monitors a range of activities including energy levels, heart rate, sleep, breaths per minute and blood oxygen saturation levels during sleep.
George Scott

Sleep monitoring estimates the light, deep and REM stages of sleep, while Garmin says the watch can also measure the number of breaths per minute and blood oxygen saturation levels while asleep. This data, according to Garmin, demonstrates sleep quality, which can be reviewed in Garmin Connect.

The Venu and Vivoactive watches also feature more than 40 on-screen animated workouts to demonstrate the correct technique for strength training, cardio, yoga and pilates, Garmin says. Customisable workouts can be programmed via Garmin Coach.

Garmin Venu
Workouts include cardio, yoga, pilates and breathing.
George Scott

Both watch ranges also offer structured breathing activities, apparently designed to promote focus and relaxation, while menstrual cycle tracking allows users to log details such as period start and end dates, physical and emotional symptoms and personal notes.

As you’d expect, the Venu and Vivoactive watches are all fully connected, with notifications for calls, text messages, social media updates and calendar reminders. They can also be used for contactless card payment, while songs and playlists can be downloaded from third-party music services such as Spotify.

Garmin Venu smartwatch range overview and prices

Garmin Venu
Four colours are available for the Garmin Venu.
George Scott
  • 1.2-inch screen
  • Claimed battery life of up to 6 days in smartwatch mode and up to 6 hours in GPS plus music mode
  • Four colours available
  • £329.99

Garmin Vivoactive smartwatch range overview and prices

Garmin Vivoactive
Garmin’s Vivoactive range.
George Scott

Garmin Vivoactive 4

  • 45mm screen
  • Claimed battery life of up to 8 days in smartwatch mode and up to 6 hours in GPS plus music mode
  • Six colours available
  • £279.99
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Garmin Vivoactive 4S

  • 40mm screen
  • Claimed battery life of up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and up to 5 hours in GPS plus music mode
  • Six colours available
  • £259.99