Garmin Venu 2 Plus Smartwatch review: Battery life is the key

If you had no idea what a smartwatch did, how would you describe it?

Garmin Venu 2 Plus
(Image: © Josh Ross)

Cyclingnews Verdict

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus won't replace a serious cycling computer. It will record a ride but that’s more of a value-added feature just like the new EKG capabilities. Instead, it does everything you want a smartwatch to, it doesn’t need daily charging, it’s got a gorgeous screen, and Garmin Connect will give you incredible details about your whole life both on and off the bike.

Pros

  • +

    EKG functionality

  • +

    Garmin Connect data

  • +

    Lightweight

  • +

    Incredible screen

  • +

    Broadcast heart rate feature

  • +

    Garmin Pay

  • +

    Phone functionality

  • +

    5 ATM Water resistance

Cons

  • -

    Lacks YouTube music support

  • -

    Lacks support for courses

  • -

    No power meter support

  • -

    Lacks temperature sensor

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

This is going to date me a little but I remember running with a massive rectangular box strapped to my wrist. Since then, things have changed a lot in the smartwatch department. Modern smartwatches look like, well, watches. There's still a split in what you can get though. 

On one side you'll find smartwatches that are more like an extension of your phone. On the other side, you'll find options that are capable of tracking every detail as it relates to your running, cycling, and swimming. Whatever you are looking for, we have them in our best smartwatch for cycling buyers guide. Personally though, I prefer one of the best bike computers for serious riding and I love having a more casual smartwatch. 

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Testing scorecard and notes
Design and aestheticsThe primary thing you’ll see if the screen and it’s gorgeous but the watch body is still plasticky and the price point is high. 7/10
Wet weather performanceAs much as I love the simplicity that Garmin offers, comparatively it’s less full featured than something running an Apple or Google OS. 8/10
Cold weather performanceGarmin certainly knows how to track fitness but that’s not where the Venu 2 Plus focuses. It will work well for casual endeavors but it’s not a serious fitness watch. 7/10
Comfort and fitIt works exactly how you expect it should. Despite being completely different than anything I’d used in the past I was using it without issue within a few minutes. 10/10
ValueThe biggest competitor is the Apple Watch Series 8 and you can get an aluminium watch body with a similar band for a little less money. I feel like that’s the price to match but Garmin has advantages as well and the price is very close. 8/10
OverallRow 5 - Cell 1 80%

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