Smaller smartwatches or fitness tracking devices can be worthwhile in terms of comfort and quick and easy accessibility. For smaller units, Garmin and Fitbit score consistent high marks in this niche range, and the Garmin Venu 2 vs. Fitbit Sense is a good comparison to consider for this variety. Both feature health monitoring, blood oxygen levels, and more, but which device is better between Garmin Venu 2 vs. Fitbit Sense?
The Garmin Venu 2 and the Fitbit Sense have superb levels of health monitoring statistics and continuous heart rate monitoring, but the Fitbit Sense has better overall features whilst the Garmin Venu 2 has a long battery life and a more powerful GPS mode.
Trying to decide which of these two fitness tracker devices is better? In this comprehensive guide, we are going to help you narrow down your choice. Each of these two watches has something unique to offer, but based on your preferences, one will likely offer better usability.
Read on to find out which of these two powerful smartwatches better suit your needs through an in-depth review and our frequently asked questions.
Quick Overview: Garmin Venu 2 vs Fitbit Sense
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There are many similarities between the Fitbit Sense and the Garmin Venu 2, as well as a few differences to be aware of.
First and foremost, both devices have built-in-GPS, which means you can get real time pace and distance, as well as a map of your workout. Furthermore, in the Fitbit app, you can do all of this without having to be connected to your phone during a workout.
With that being said, do not assume that you can leave your phone at home, because both devices have music options when in smartwatch mode. This is of course if you have subscriptions to these apps.
We’ve done a more in-depth roundup of fitness trackers with music here: Best Garmin Watches with Music – Listen to Spotify on your GPS running watch.
In a quick overview of the two devices, the Fitbit Sense will likely appeal to users who want a streamlined, basic functions, and easy-to-use smartwatch that gets straight to the point. The Garmin Venu 2 is a bit like an Apple Watch in that there are more features overall and it is much more aligned with sports tracking across a variety of fields.
In the next section, we will take a closer look at both watches individually.
At a glance: Garmin Venu 2
The Garmin Venu 2 is perfect if you are looking for a fitness-focused smartwatch. This is Garmin’s second generation Venu, and this model comes in two different sizes: 45mm and the 42mm version.
It ranges in price similar to an Apple Watch, and much like an Apple Watch, this watch is great looking in terms of it’s tech-heavy design and interface.
The Garmin Venu 2 features a bright amoled display that is very intense, which really excels during a workout due to the black levels which are quite deep as illuminated on the touchscreen. The screen is easy to see during bright sunshine, and there is also an ambient light sensor that syncs perfectly to the screen size.
The touchscreen fits nicely within the screen size, but the overall usability of the touchscreen features is not as innovative as a more advanced smartwatch. The Garmin Venu 2 is also very comfortable, and this comes in handy when using it for sleep tracking.
When it comes to ease of use of the Garmin Venu 2, the results are a bit mixed. The sliding touchscreen functionality is great, but it also pales in comparison to the ease-of-use of some other Garmin fitness tracker models. Activity data tends to get lost in the midst of notifications.
The health and fitness features are the true standouts of this model. The Garmin Venu 2 has over 25 different activity types to choose from, including the standards of running, walking, cycling, etc.
The strength training workouts now show what particular muscle groups should be worked during a chosen activity, as well as animations to show you how to perform a particular move.
Both the heart rate monitor and blood oxygen level health tracking are easily customizable, and you can also perform stress tracking. The GPS accuracy is fine and comes in at between 5-10 seconds of immediate signal once you are outside.
Like other recent Garmin smartwatches, you also get body battery with this model that displays perfect heart rate monitor readings.
There is also a health snapshot reader that takes a two minute reading from your wrist through a skin temperature sensor. This adds even more insights into stress tracking, as well as overall health tracking and sleep tracking.
You can also track skin temperature, monitor blood pressure, tracking calories burned, and compare all of these verticals to overall heart rate monitoring when in smartwatch mode. This is also present in sleep tracking as well.
There are also female health tracking statistics on the Garmin Venu 2 such as menstrual cycle tracking and pregnancy readings as well.
Overall, the Garmin Venu 2 is an innovative fitness tracking watch. It is not excellent across the board, and there are some limitations, but if you are seeking a more basic Garmin fitness tracking device, this is a great choice.
- New and improved heart rate monitor features
- Garmin pay for NFC contactless payments
- Ample music storage
- Female health tracking features
- Impressive battery life
- Skin temperature readings
- Perfect for longer outdoor activities due to stellar GPS mode
- Pulse ox sensing
- No speaker for music playback
- No LTE option
At a glance: Fitbit Sense
The Fitbit Sense is definitely one of the most feature-packed watches in the Fitbit brand range and it also comes with some standout innovation and display dynamics.
First and foremost, the overall look of the Fitbit Sense is eye-catching and futuristic. The Fitbit Sense has a stainless steel ring and is made of corning gorilla glass 3, which displays a stunning resolution of the Fitbit Sense features. The Fitbit Sense also comes in a variety of different colour display options to choose from.
The Fitbit Sense offers amazing control over the display screen of the watch. The amoled screen helps to make the colors vibrant and saturated, as well as the black areas a lot darker.
By far one of the most useful features of the Fitbit Sense is that you can receive calls directly on your watch, on your wrist thanks to a built-in microphone and speaker. All you have to do is make sure this is set up first in the Fitbit app.
There is also a skin temp sensor as well as a cadence sensor that can measure fluctuations in your overall body temperature as well as workout intensities and dynamics such as calories burned.
The Fitbit Sense features a Google assistant that is super nifty. There is also a feature that allows you to use voice assistant that is just as useful as the ability to use Google assistant.
The Fitbit Sense also comes with a new feature known as EDA, which stands for electrodermal activity- a stress indicator and manager where the sense actually detects the sweat on your skin. To run an electrodermal activity scan, you just access the main menu, select EDA, and then place your palm over the watch face where your stress score will be recorded in the app.
There is also a speech-to-text feature that allows you to respond to various texts as well as What’s App messages.
The size of the Fitbit Sense is just right- in the words of Goldilocks it is not too big and not too small. This watch has a much longer battery life than previous Fitbit models, and a charge can last up to 24 hours.
All in all, the Fitbit Sense is a near perfect fitness tracking device.
- Features a useful haptic button on the side to help with overall water resistant efficiency.
- Voice assistant protocols across different voice assistants
- Long battery life
- Fitbit pay
- A range of third party apps to choose from
- Band release latch
- Daily readiness score in key areas
- The ability to answer calls from your smartphone
- Lower battery life when in GPS mode
- No on-device storage for music
In terms of price points, the Garmin Venu 2 is similar in price to something like the Garmin Vivoactive series, and generally retails for around $400.
The Fitbit Sense retails for $200.
A key point between the two models is that the Fitbit Sense is also available with a Fitbit Premium subscription to unlock more fitness tracking features, and this addition retails at $9.99 per month.
Both the Fitbit Sense and Garmin Venu 2 require separate music subscriptions for Deezer, Amazon Music, and Spotify.
The prices are not too far off in terms of scale, with roughly a $200 difference between the two fitness tracking devices.
Both devices have an always on mode, which most users find to be convenient. Using this design feature can drain the battery life quite quickly across both devices.
The Fitbit Sense has a sleek and innovative design scheme, and to me, this is one of the most noticeable differences between the two devices. The Garmin Venu 2 certainly isn’t shabby in this department, but the Fitbit Sense manages to pop a bit more.
With that in mind, the screen resolution is a bit better on the Garmin Venu 2 where the pixel density is a bit higher and more luminescent than the Fitbit Sense. The Garmin Venu 2 has a stainless steel watch body whereas the Fitbit Sense is made of aluminum.
Both devices feature amoled display, but the corning gorilla glass 3 on the Fitbit Sense is a bit more durable and helps to add to the watch faces alluring aesthetic display.
In terms of design, I find both devices to be alluring, but the overall design of the Fitbit Sense is a bit more noticeable in a side-by-side comparison.
Both devices are also stellar in terms of display.
The Garmin Venu 2 features a bright amoled display that is very strong, which really excels during a workout due to the black levels which are quite deep as illuminated on the touchscreen.
The screen is easy to see during bright sunshine, and there is also an ambient light sensor that syncs perfectly to the screen size.
The touchscreen fits nicely within the screen size, but the overall useability of the touchscreen features is not as innovative as a more advanced smartwatch.
The Fitbit Sense, in addition to having an attractive display screen, also comes in a variety of different colour display options to choose from.
The Fitbit Sense offers amazing control over the display screen of the watch. The amoled screen helps to make the colors vibrant and saturated, as well as the black areas a lot darker unlike what is immediately noticeable on the Garmin Venu 2.
Garmin Connect/Fitbit App
Both apps are convenient and display a wealth of information for the user. The only drawback I can find here is that Fitbit has a premium subscription whereas Garmin Connect allows for everything to be seen and displayed for the user with no paywall.
Both devices feature pay options.
Health Tracking Features
The Garmin Venu 2 now offers a sleep score, which was always something found in many Fitbit models, in addition to being found on the Fitbit Sense.
Respiration rate and the body’s response to a variety of different stressors are also both reflected in each device in the heart rate readings. The Fitbit Sense has a few more features related to heart rate that standout in comparison to the Garmin Venu 2. But if you just want basic heart rate readings, either device will suffice.
The Garmin Venu 2 also unlocks many more dynamics in terms of its GPS abilities when outdoors. So it can be said that the Garmin Venu 2 wins in terms of features related to GPS in this comparison.
Both devices are also water resistant, which means you do not have to worry about sweat or water affecting the health readings.
One company dominates any comparison when it comes to battery life, and that company is Garmin. The Garmin Venu 2 watch can last for up to 5 days on one charge, and this is only reduced to about 2 days when constantly running the GPS and wi fi.
But the Sense is not too bad in terms of battery life with a charge that can last about 24 hours-which is longer than many previous models.
But the watch that wins in this comparison is the Venu 2, which is the right smartwatch to choose if you are concerned with battery performance.
Which activity tracker should I buy?
This is not an easy comparison, but the Garmin Venu 2 watch only slightly pulls ahead. There are many great new features on the Sense, with the ability to receive calls on your watch being a particular standout, but nothing can beat Garmin in terms of battery performance, GPS, and the features when it comes to a comparison revolving around these points.
Does Garmin last longer than Fitbit?
In a comparison between a Garmin and Fitbit watch, you will find that the Garmin foes pull ahead in this category. In terms of which particular Garmin device, it pulls ahead a great deal since these devices are built to hold a charge for days and even weeks in some series.
The Fitbit Sense is not bad at all and seems to be getting better in this department with the release of each new model. But still, with only about 24 hours one one charge compared to potentially weeks depending on the Garmin device, there is no comparison when it comes to Garmin.
Does Venu 2 have a speaker?
The Venu 2 Plus model does have a microphone and speaker that allows you to take calls on your wrist. This is unique to this model and represents a long time coming within the brand.
The Sense also has a microphone and a speaker as well, and has a better overall relay of the call thanks to the various voice assistant features built into the watch. However, the Venu 2 allows you to make emergency calls if needed and this is truly a great and useful feature when you are outdoors.
What is better Fitbit or Garmin?
This really all comes down to which of the two brands represent the unique and individualistic needs that you may have. If you want a more simplistic and straight to the point type of device, you may find that Fitbit certainly fulfils this metric.
But a Garmin device has so many different variables that make it one of the best, if not the best, of GPS tech devices on the market. The accuracy you get from a Garmin, as well as the battery performance represent unique verticals within the tech tracker field.
If you want something extra each and every time a model is released then Garmin is certainly the better of the two brands. With that said, Fitbit is certainly upping their game lately with new additions.
In summary, comparing both the Garmin Venu 2 and the Fitbit Sense reveals more similarities than outright differences. Both devices are so similar in fact that the only real way to differentiate between the two is to pay attention to the innovative display resolution on the Fitbit Sense.
Both devices are great, but if you want a bit better resolution and more features, the Venu 2 is for you.
Still can’t decide? Read more about other fitness trackers here: