The Garmin Venu 3 is here, bringing with it a plethora of new features that cater to both sports enthusiasts and those seeking a holistic approach to wellness. In this review, we’ll dive into the standout features of this new smartwatch, covering everything from improved sleep tracking to enhanced sport profiles, and discuss how well these features perform in real-world scenarios. Let’s begin by taking a closer look at the key updates that the Venu 3 brings to the table.
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Design and Features
The Garmin Venu 3 arrives as a significant upgrade over its predecessors, the Venu 2 and 2 Plus. Its design features a 1.4-inch AMOLED display, which is larger than the older 1.3-inch screen, offering a more immersive experience.
The watch boasts three buttons on the right side and a speaker on the left, providing the ability to answer calls and use voice assistants. The stainless steel bezel surrounding the display adds a touch of elegance and sturdiness.
One of the most noticeable improvements is the extended battery life, allowing you to go for up to 14 days on a single charge. These enhancements already set the Garmin Venu 3 apart from the competition.
Sleep Tracking and Health Features
One of the standout features of the Garmin Venu 3 is its sleep-tracking capabilities. In the past, sleep tracking often provided vague data, such as the amount of REM or deep sleep, leaving users wondering what to do with the information.
Garmin recognized this issue and introduced two crucial additions to its sleep tracking: a sleep coach and sleep recommendations. The sleep coach guides you through understanding your sleep patterns and offers suggestions for improvement. The sleep recommendations provide guidance on when to go to bed and other sleep-related advice.
Moreover, the Venu 3 includes all-night heart rate variability (HRV) tracking, which is a valuable addition to sleep tracking. It continuously monitors your heart rate during the night, offering more detailed insights into your sleep quality. Additionally, daytime naps are recognized and boost your “body battery,” a feature that indicates your overall energy level. The watch even offers a jet lag advisor, a feature that could be beneficial for frequent travelers.
One of my favorite features is the morning briefing, which provides a convenient overview of the weather, time, sleep duration, and your schedule for the day. This feature is customizable, allowing you to tailor the information displayed to your preferences.
Daily Summary and Morning Report
The Venu 3 introduces a new feature called the Daily Summary, offering users a snapshot of their day’s activities and wellness data. This feature presents insights like weather forecasts, sleep stats, HRV status, and calendar events, making it a helpful tool to start the day informed and prepared.
The Morning Report, delivered two hours before your designated bedtime, is another innovative addition. This report provides guidance for optimizing your sleep, suggesting habits or activities to improve your sleep quality. It’s a thoughtful touch that helps users develop healthier sleep routines.
Expanded Sport Profiles
The Venu 3 impressively broadens its sport profiles, encompassing a wide range of activities. From Open Water Swimming to Hand Cycling and wheelchair activities, the watch caters to a diverse audience with varying fitness preferences.
The inclusion of new structured workout options directly on the watch is also a notable upgrade, making it more convenient to follow training plans without relying on external devices.
While the Venu 3 focuses heavily on sports and fitness, it’s worth noting that some smartwatch features are present, such as phone notifications, calendar integration, and even a speaker and microphone for calls and music playback. However, the lack of standalone cellular connectivity sets it apart from rivals like the Apple Watch and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch.
Despite lacking dual-band GPS, the Garmin Venu 3 demonstrates remarkable accuracy in various aspects. During my testing, the GPS tracking proved highly precise, with minimal deviation on track runs.
The heart rate monitor, even during intense activities like sprint intervals, consistently performed well when compared to a known accurate ECG strap. This high level of accuracy is crucial for users who rely on precise data for their fitness tracking and training.
Sleep tracking was also impressive, with the Garmin Venu 3 offering consistent results, even when compared to other tracking devices like the Oura Ring and the Whoop Strap. The watch provides useful insights into sleep quality, helping users understand and improve their sleep patterns. While sleep tracking is inherently challenging to objectively measure, the Venu 3 delivers promising results based on my personal experience.
Garmin has significantly improved workout functionality on the Venu 3, providing users with valuable insights and guidance. The addition of features like the workout benefit, recovery time, and new exercise modes, such as pickleball, enhances the user’s training experience. These insights help users understand the purpose of their workouts and track their progress effectively.
One of the most impressive aspects of the Garmin Venu 3 is its extended battery life. With the potential to last up to 14 days, this smartwatch requires significantly fewer charges compared to competitors like the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch.
In my usage, I typically get around 10 to 11 days on a single charge. This outstanding battery life means less frequent interruptions for charging, making the Venu 3 a practical choice for users who demand longevity.
The Garmin Venu 3 excels in various areas, but it does have a significant drawback. Its smartwatch capabilities are somewhat limited compared to the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch. While it offers functions like phone calls, text messages, and voice assistants, it falls short in terms of app integration.
Users are required to download a Garmin app on their smartphones to access a limited selection of third-party apps. This limitation might be a deal-breaker for those who seek a broader range of apps and seamless integration with their smartphones.
Pricing and Availability
The Garmin Venu 3 is competitively priced at $449 for both the 41mm and 45mm versions, with a variety of colors to choose from. Best Buy, the sponsor of this review, offers both sizes and a smooth purchasing experience, including the option to order online and pick up in-store. Best Buy’s trusted reputation in the tech industry makes it an excellent choice for buying this smartwatch.
The Garmin Venu 3 is a compelling smartwatch that caters to both sports enthusiasts and individuals focused on holistic wellness. Its improved sleep tracking features, enhanced sport profiles, and accurate heart rate sensor make it a valuable tool for fitness enthusiasts. The addition of automatic nap tracking, HRV monitoring, and daily summaries further enhance its utility.
While the Venu 3 falls slightly short on some smartwatch features like standalone cellular connectivity, its emphasis on fitness and health data is unquestionably its strength. With its combination of accurate tracking, extensive sport profiles, and insightful sleep data, the Garmin Venu 3 is an excellent choice for those seeking a comprehensive fitness companion.
As always, it’s essential to consider your personal preferences and priorities when choosing a smartwatch. If your focus is primarily on sports and fitness tracking, the Garmin Venu 3 offers an impressive suite of features that are worth the investment.