Garmin’s new Venu SQ offers pretty decent health monitoring for your money

Garmin released its latest consumer-friendly Smartwatch called Venu SQ this week. The new smartwatch from Garmin is competitively priced and its feature offerings match up to those offered by the new Fitbit devices 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 new Venu SQ and see how the smartwatch stacks up against other smartwatches at the same price point.

Three Venu SQ models

The Venu SQ comes in three different models:

  1. The Premium model – Starting at $349.99, the Venu Premium features a traditional circular 1.2” face design made with a high-resolution AMOLED display. It is made of stainless steel hardware and offers animated on-screen workouts. The Premium model also supports on-board music storage.
  2. Venu SQ Music edition – This is the model which is very similar to the Venu SQ (square) base model and supports on-board music storage so that you can pair your watch with a bluetooth headphone and listen to music. This is priced at $249.99
  3. The Venu SQ Base model – The base model of the Venu SQ is competitively priced at $199.99 and offers all the bells and whistles around health monitoring and workout tracking minus the on-board music storage capabilities.

Venu SQ Health monitoring vs Fitbit Sense health and wellness features

All three Venu SQ models feature the following Health monitoring featuresGarmin Venu SQ Health vs Fitbit Sense health

  1. Pulse ox sensor for monitoring blood oxygen saturation levels -The Pulse Ox sensor gauges your blood oxygen saturation during the day and as you sleep to show how well your body is absorbing oxygen. The feature offering differs from Fitbit Sense since you can use the SpO2 feature during the day and it is on-demand where as the Sense only tracks your blood oxygen levels during sleep.
  2. Heart Rate Monitoring – The watch constantly samples your heart rate4 and will alert you if it stays too high or too low while you’re at rest. It also helps gauge how hard you work during activities, even underwater. The heart rate monitoring stays on for 24 hours. Fitbit Sense wins in this area since the device not only measures your heart rate but also has a FDA approved ECG (Electrocardiogram) app that can help with detection of atrial fibrillation and cardiopathy related issues. Venu SQ also provides with abnormal health rate alerts.
  3. Stress Tracking – Use your Garmin Venu SQ to find out if you’re having a calm, balanced or stressful day. Relax reminders will even prompt you to do a short breathing activity when you’re feeling stressed. The Fitbit Sense also provides you metrics that help you better understand how your body is handling stress with a daily score. One advantage here for Fitbit Sense is its EDA scan app that can detect electrodermal activity to understand your body’s response to stress. Garmin’s stress monitoring feature is primarily driven off the Heart rate variability signals.
  4. Sleep Monitoring – See your sleep time in light, deep and REM sleep and get a daily Sleep Score in the Fitbit app.The Venu SQ advanced sleep monitoring also provides you with details around REM sleep and sleep stages.
  5. Respiration Tracking – This feature on the Venu SQ allows you to see how you’re breathing throughout the day, during sleep and during breathwork and yoga activities.
  6. Unlike the Venu SQ, The Fitbit Sense does offer an on-wrist skin temperature sensor.Fitbit sense health tracking

In terms of battery performance, both Fitbit Sense and Venu SQ offer almost a 6-day window between charging. Both Smartwatches come with built-in GPS, so you dont have to carry your phone around when working out. In terms of water resistance, you can use the Venu SQ as well as Fitbit Sense for your swimming workouts and they are 5ATM. You can also use Always-on display on both the smartwatches, but that will definitely cut into your battery performance.

Garmin Venu Sq, GPS Smartwatch with Bright Touchscreen Display, Up to 6 Days of Battery Life, Light Gold and White
  • 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

In terms of pricing and performance, the Venu SQ is quite comparable to the new Fitbit Sense. You also have the choice of exploring the new Apple Watch SE at this price point, but it’s worth pointing out that the Apple Watch SE does not offer the full spectrum of health monitoring features that are included in the Apple Watch Series 6. 

Apple Watch SE (GPS + Cellular, 40mm) - Gold Aluminum Case with Plum Sport Loop
  • GPS + Cellular model lets you call, text, and get directions without your phone
  • Large Retina OLED display

If you have been looking for a smartwatch that can not only help you track your workouts, heart rate zones and hydration levels but also offer you a good list of health and wellness monitoring features, the Venu SQ is definitely 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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