Garmin launches Apple Watch rival | New Garmin Venu Sq smartwatch

Garmin Venu Sq range starts at just £179.99

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The Garmin Venu Sq is a new line of lifestyle smartwatches with a number of fitness-tracking features of interest to cyclists.

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With a more casual design than the rest of the Garmin range, the slim square profile is strongly reminiscent of the Apple Watch with an overall aesthetic that screams healthy millenial rather than rugged outdoors person.

Trendy design aside, the watch packs in loads of performance tracking tech that could make it a useful training companion for serious athletes that want fashion-forward 24-hour health and wellness tracking.

For the casual athlete, the watch could also be of use for those that simply want to track and analyse performance and aren’t interested in on-device navigation or advanced metrics.

The Garmin Venu Sq is available in two versions: one that’s music playback equipped and a more simple model. To be totally clear, these two models are known as:

  • Garmin Venu Sq Music Edition: £229.99 / €249.99 / $249.99
  • Garmin Venu Sq: £179.99 / €199.99 / $199.99

For a ~£30 premium, the Venu Sq Music Edition offers on-device music storage, which will allow you to store and play up to 500 songs via Bluetooth headphones without a smartphone.

The watch is based on a 240 x 240 pixel colour LCD display that’s housed within a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 watch face.

“Health and wellness” is a key focus of the watch’s features, including abnormal high and low heart rate warnings, menstrual cycle tracking, stress tracking with “relax reminders”, energy monitoring and loads more.

The watch can also provide users with “four mindful breathing activities”, which will give a “breathwork activity” summary at the end of a session, measuring duration, respiration, average heart rate and change in stress.

Over 20 sport-specific activity profiles are included on the watch and, like all modern Garmin devices, workouts can be automatically synced straight to the watch.

Garmin Venu SQ
Though it’s best thought of as a lifestyle product, the Venu Sq could be a useful supplementary training tool.
Garmin

As well as basic GPS tracking, the watch can calculate estimated VO2 max, track hydration levels, track sleep patterns and a great deal more. The watch also features an optical heart rate monitor.

The press release does not divulge exactly what hardware is used on the Venu Sq, but we imagine it will be similar (if not the same) as that used on Garmin’s other recently-released smartwatches

The watch definitely falls into the ‘lifestyle’ category, so there is no base mapping or – as far as we can tell – on-device breadcrumb navigation. The watch does include Garmin Connect tracking and other safety features though.

The watch is compatible with Bluetooth and ANT+ accessories so for those that – for example – want to connect to a more accurate chest strap heart rate monitor or power meter, this will have you covered.

For swimmers, the watch is waterproof down to five atmospheres (roughly 50 metres).

Battery life for the lithium-ion cell is claimed to be up to six days in smartwatch mode or up to six hours when using GPS tracking and playing music. Without music, in GPS mode, the watch is claimed to run up to 14 hours.

The Venu Sq uses 20mm interchangeable silicone bands, which are available in seven different colours. Replacement straps are priced at €29.99 each.

For those that prefer an unencumbered wrist, you will be pleased to hear the claimed weight for the watch is just 37.6g – a mere 7.9g more than the Coros Pace 2, which is claimed to be “the world’s lightest smartwatch”.

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The Garmin Venu Sq range is available now.