Garmin’s Venu Series health monitoring vs Fitbit Sense health and wellness features

Garmin’s Venu Series smartwatches from Garmin are competitively priced, and their feature offerings match those offered by the new Fitbit smartwatches like the Sense or Versa Series as well as other leading brands when it comes to health and fitness.

In this article, we compare the health and wellness features of the Venu models and see how the smartwatch stacks up against other smartwatches, like the Fitbit Sense, at a similar price point.

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Garmin’s Venu Series models

All Venu models are made from Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3, including GPS and advanced health monitoring and fitness tracking features.

The Venu 2 comes in three different models: Venu 2 smartwatch Series from Garmin

  1. Venu 2 Plus: Round design.1.3 inch AMOLED screen with up to 9-day battery life. Includes onboard music storage for up to 650 songs. 5 ATM water resistance and stores up to 200 hours of activity data. Offers Bluetooth phone calling and voice assistant support on the watch itself. Plus, you get Garmin’s on-screen workout animations and muscle maps! 
    Sale
    Garmin Venu 2 Plus, GPS Smartwatch with Call and Text, Advanced Health Monitoring and Fitness Features, Slate with Black Band
    • Suit your style with a smartwatch that’s available in three colors and features a bright, crisp...
    • Enjoy the convenience of making and taking phone calls from your wrist when paired with your...
  2. Venu 2S: Round design. Smaller 1.1-inch AMOLED screen version with up to 10-day battery life. Includes onboard music storage for up to 650 songs. 5 ATM water resistance and stores up to 200 hours of activity data. Plus, you get Garmin’s on-screen workout animations and muscle maps! 
    Sale
    Garmin Venu 2S, Smaller-sized GPS Smartwatch with Advanced Health Monitoring and Fitness Features, Light Gold Bezel with Tan Case and Silicone Band
    • Suit your style with a smartwatch that's available in two colors and features a bright AMOLED...
    • Get an uninterrupted picture of your health with battery life up to 10 days in smartwatch mode
  3. Venu 2: Round design.1.3 inch AMOLED screen with up to 11-day battery life. Includes onboard music storage for up to 650 songs. 5 ATM water resistance and stores up to 200 hours of activity data. Plus, you get Garmin’s on-screen workout animations and muscle maps!  
    Sale
    Garmin Venu 2, GPS Smartwatch with Advanced Health Monitoring and Fitness Features, Slate Bezel with Black Case and Silicone Band
    • Suit your style with a smartwatch that's available in two colors and features a bright AMOLED...
    • Get an uninterrupted picture of your health, thanks to battery life of up to 11 days in smartwatch...

The Venu SQ comes in two different models: Venu Series smartwatch by Garmin

  1. Venu SQ Music edition: Square design.Liquid crystal screen with up to 6-day battery life. 5 ATM water resistance and stores up to 200 hours of activity data. This model is very similar to the Venu SQ model, with the addition of onboard music storage for up to 500 songs so that you can pair your watch with Bluetooth headphones and listen to music. The SQ model does not support totals for ascent or descent or HIIT workouts.
    Sale
    Garmin Venu Sq Music, GPS Smartwatch with Bright Touchscreen Display, Features Music and Up to 6 Days of Battery Life, Black
    • Fits wrists with a circumference of 125-190 mm
    • Get an uninterrupted picture of your health with up to 6 days of battery life in smartwatch mode
  2. The Venu SQ: Square design. The base model of the Venu SQ features a liquid crystal screen with up to 6-day battery life, 5 ATM water resistance, and stores up to 200 hours of activity data. The watch is competitively priced and offers all the bells and whistles around health monitoring and workout tracking minus the onboard music storage capabilities. The SQ model does not support totals for ascent or descent or HIIT workouts.
    Sale
    Garmin Venu Sq, GPS Smartwatch with Bright Touchscreen Display, Up to 6 Days of Battery Life, Slate Aluminum Bezel with Shadow Gray Case and Silicone Band, Slate Band
    • Fits wrists with a circumference of 125-190 millimeter.GPS mode with music: Up to 6 hours
    • See everything clearly on a bright color display that includes an always-on mode, perfect for quick...

Health features: Garmin Venu Series vs. Fitbit Sense

All Venu models feature the following Health monitoringGarmin’ss.

Garmin’s Pulse ox sensor Garmin Pulse OX

The Pulse Ox sensor gauges your blood oxygen saturation during the day and as you sleep to show how well your body absorbs oxygen. You can spot-check your SpO2 during the day or set it to check your SpO2 throughout the day. The Venu Series watches sleep monitoring feature checks blood oxygen saturation levels.

The feature differs from Fitbit Sense since the Sense only tracks your blood oxygen levels during sleep. Fitbit app SpO2 oxygen saturation

Heart Rate Monitoring

The watch constantly samples your heart rate and alerts you if it stays too high or low while resting. It also helps gauge how hard you work during activities, even underwater. The heart rate monitoring stays on for 24 hours/7 days and tracks your daily resting heart rate. Garmin’s Venu Series does not offer an ECG app at this time. Garmin watch heart rate tracking

Fitbit Sense wins in this area since the device not only measures your heart rate but also has an FDA-approved ECG (Electrocardiogram) app that can help detect atrial fibrillation and cardiopathy-related issues. 

Fitbit also offers irregular heart rhythm notifications that look for signs when you are awake and at rest or when sleeping.

Stress Tracking Garmin Watches with Stress Monitoring feature

Use your Garmin Venu stress widget if you’re having a calm, balanced or stressful day–this feature works all day. You get a stress level score of 0-100, where zero indicates a rested state with no stress and 100 equals the highest stress level.

The Venu also offers a relaxation breathing timer and relaxation reminders to prompt you to do a short breathing activity when you’re feeling stressed. The Heart rate variability signals primarily drive Garmin’s stress monitoring feature.

The Fitbit Sense wins in stress tracking by providing metrics that help you better understand how your body handles stress with a daily score. EDA scan app on Fitbit

One advantage here for Fitbit Sense is its EDA scan app that can detect electrodermal activity and your body’s response to stress.

Sleep Trackingsleep score for Garmin

The Venu’s advanced sleep monitoring also details total hours of sleep and sleep stages, including REM sleep. The Venu 2 models also show you daily sleep statistics such as sleep movement, sleep score, and insights into how to improve your sleep. Naps are not added to your sleep statistics.

For the Fitbit Sense, you see your sleep time in light, deep, and REM sleep and get a daily Sleep Score in the Fitbit app and on the watch. sleep score on Fitbit Versa 3

And you get even more advanced sleep metrics with a paid Fitbit Premium subscription. Naps under 3 hours are not added to your sleep statistics.

Respiration Tracking

The Venu measures breathing rates during the day and night for true 24×7 respiration rate tracking, allowing you to see how you’re breathing throughout the day, during sleep, during breathwork and yoga activities, and during physical activity (works only when recording an aFitbit’sexcept for swimming.)

Garmin venu 2 respiration tracking

Fitbit’s Sense only tracks respiratory rate, the number of breaths you take per minute, during sleep. This feature works only with sleep sessions greater than 3 hours.

Skin Temperature Tracking

Unlike the Venu Series, the Fitbit Sense does offer an on-wrist skin temperature sensor.

Skin temperature sensor info in Fitbit app

This sensor tracks your temperature overnight to help identify patterns and spot trends.

Hydration tracking

With the Venu Series watches, you can track your daily fluid intake, turn on goals and alerts, and even enter the container sizes you use most often. water intake tracking on Garmin Venu Series

You can also turn on automatic hydration goals, allowing the watch to increase your goal after your workout to help replace the sweat lost during exercise.

With Fitbit Sense, you use the Fitbit app or the water widget to log the amount of water you drank manually.

Women’s Health women's health tracker on Garmin Venu

The Venu Series helps track menstrual cycles and can track pregnancy too. For pregnancy, women can log physical and emotional symptoms, blood glucose readings, and the baby’s movement via the women’s health tracking glance.

For menstruation, women can log physical symptoms, sex drive, sexual activity, and ovulation days once they set up menstrual cycle tracking in the Garmin Connect app.

On the Fitbit Sense, you can use the Fitbit app or the watch to log and track the menstrual cycle. Log when periods start and end, record any symptoms, find patterns in your cycle, and even estimate an ovulation window.

Body Battery Drained body battery on Garmin Connect

Garmin’s watches include a body battery feature. It analyzes your heart rate variability (HRV), stress level, sleep quality, and activity data to determine an overall Body Battery level that indicates how much available reserve energy you currently have.

The Body Battery level ranges from 0 to 100, where 0 to 25 is low reserve energy, 26 to 50 is medium reserve energy, 51 to 75 is high reserve energy, and 76 to 100 is very high reserve energy.

Fitbits do not offer a feature like the body battery.

What about the watch’s battery performance, GPS, and other features?

In terms of device battery performance, Fitbit Sense and Venu offer multi-day windows between charging, ranging from 6 up to 11 days, depending on model and use.

You can also use an optional always-on mode on both smartwatches, but that feature reduces battery performance and requires frequent device charging.

Both watches have built-in GPS, so you don’t have to carry your phone around when working out.

In terms of water resistance, you can use Venu and Fitbit Sense for your swimming workouts, which are 5ATM.

One major difference between the Venu Series (most models) and the Fitbit Sense is that the Sense does not offer native music storage. You must use a third-party app to stream music or listen to it offline (with a paid subscription.)

The Venu is comparable to Fitbit Sense in terms of pricing and performance. 

Sale
Fitbit Sense Advanced Smartwatch with Tools for Heart Health, Stress Management & Skin Temperature Trends, White/Gold, One Size (S & L Bands Included)
  • EDA Scan app detects electrodermal activity which may indicate your body's response to stress and a...
  • Assess your heart for atrial fibrillation –a heart rhythm irregularity- and easily share results...

Summary

If you have been looking for a smartwatch that can help you track your workouts, heart rate zones, and hydration levels AND offer you a good list of health and wellness features, one of Garmin’s Venu Series watches is a smartwatch worth exploring!

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I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products and have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. In my day job, I advise fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health&fitness-tech evolution and keep a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch or Fossil Gen 5 LTE and keep a close eye on my HRV and other recovery metrics.

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