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Garmin's Venu Sq is another Apple Watch lookalike

The Venu Sq offers built-in GPS and a color touchscreen for $200.
Cherlynn Low, @cherlynnlow
September 23, 2020
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Garmin Venu Sq
Garmin

Garmin is the latest company to join the ranks of smartwatch makers who have their own Apple Watch clone. It’s announcing the new Venu Sq and Venu Sq Music Edition today, which promise up to six days of battery life as well as built-in GPS for a starting price of $200. These devices will retail alongside last year’s Venu, which will continue to be sold for $400.

While the original Venu had a round watch face and was the first of Garmin’s watches to feature a color AMOLED panel, the Venu Sq features a rounded rectangular screen instead. This makes it look a lot more like the Apple Watch, and those who prefer circular watches may want to consider the more expensive Venu.

Gallery: Garmin Venu Sq press images | 16 Photos

If you don’t mind the shape, you’ll be happy to find comprehensive fitness-tracking features that Garmin’s fans love. These include sleep and constant heart rate monitoring, a blood oxygen saturation sensor, abnormal heart rate alerts, stress tracking and more. The Music Edition ($250) will also offer onboard storage for your tunes, so you can go on a run without your phone and still enjoy music in your earbuds.

The 1.3-inch Gorilla Glass touchscreen and aluminum bezel make for a pleasant aesthetic, even if it is a little basic and familiar. Compared to the Venu, the Sq doesn’t have a barometer or gyro sensors, so elevation is calculated with its GPS sensor. This means you won’t be able to use the Sq to track your floors climbed or total ascent. You’ll also miss the workout animations and live watch faces that the original Venu supports.

Still, for $200, the Venu Sq offers plenty of features that you’ll find on pricier competitors like the Fitbit Sense, Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch. Garmin is not the best at smartwatch features like notifications or apps (nor at timely responses when data breaches happen), but those who want a great fitness tracker and don’t need sophisticated smartwatch tools might find the Venu Sq compelling.

Update (at 12:20pm ET): A previous version of this article’s subheader said the Venu Sq offers an AMOLED screen. This article has been edited to correct that — it has an LCD, not an AMOLED.

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