Hey folks, it’s Ray at DCRAINMAKER.com, today I’ve got your seven things to know about the Garmin Venu watch, the one right here.But before we get into those “seven things to know” we got a couple freebies thingsthat aren’t counting against those seven things. And the first one is that it’sbasically the exact same as the Garmin Vivoactive 4, which isright there. And if your familiar with the Vivoactive lineup it’s designed for kindof like the “fitness outdoor enthusiast”, so it’s not really designed for someonewho’s gonna run like twenty hours and whatnot. But really it’s designed for peoplewho go out and ride, and run, and enjoy life; hang out on these sorts of trails outhere, but might not be super serious about it.
And so within that vein there,everything you know and love about the Vivoactive series in the past is onVenu, and everything you know about Venu is on the Vivoactive 4. In facthere’s a really super secret one that should be one of my (7) items but is not Vivoactive 4 and Venu are identical. Literally identical in every single way,shape, or form, except for the fact that one has a pretty display and one has a “meh” so-so display. Everything else is exactly the same. But we’ll get into all of that injust a moment. The second freebie I’m gonna toss out there is the pricing. I’ll put it on thescreen right now. It’s a little bit confusing depending on whether you’re inthe US or Europe. In the US is pretty straightforward and in Europe it’s kindof a cluster. So with all that said, let’s get right into number one on the listwhich is a new AMOLED display.
So what does AMOLED mean? It means the display isreally nice, it’s really vibrant, it’s colorful, it’s got deeper blacks, it’swhat you would expect on a high-end SmartWatch. You know, it’s kinda what yousee on things like the Apple watch and plenty of others out there. The downsideof that, and the reason why Garmin and others (mainly Garmin actually), have avoided thatkind of display is the battery life is pretty terrible. In the grand scheme ofthings, if you’re lucky is an Apple watch user you might get two days of batterylife, but realistically, it’s probably just one day. But things are a littledifferent here with the display Garmin has used, we’re kind of seeing this trend aswell with Fitbit in the recent Versa 2… I guess a week or two ago.Number 1) is: that the display battery life, so for example the battery life ofthe unit itself is still five days, but it doesn’t have the display onalways-on mode, but we’ll get to that in just a second.
So if we look at the thingsthat Garmin is using the display for, it’s more about kind of brightening up littlepockets of the watch than anything else. For example the watch face is the mostobvious and brilliant one, it’s the one you saw in the intro there, and all that kind ofstuff. And that’s something that does look a heck a lot better, and looks likeit is on par with an Apple Watch and whatnot. But you’re not going to see the displayreally matter too much in a lot of other areas.So for example a normal workout mode you don’t notice it. Things are just lookingblacker and whatnot, but otherwise it’s basically the same. Where as you go intosomething like music, and you notice that the album covers are a little bit more vibrant,a little more colorful. If you got to pay for something you notice that yourcredit card looks a little nicer. But again by, and large things are the same.The other area you’ll see it in as well as animations that we’ll talk about injust a moment. Now when I first heard about Venu and the display, I was reallyconcerned that Garmin was going to go too far from the roots. In other words, thatthe battery that would be horrible and they would sacrifice all of this just for apretty watch.
But I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised and using this lastcouple weeks, and that the battery life I am getting is acceptable to me. It’s not too bad, and they’re using it in reasonable ways. That said my onlycriticism would be, they’re not actually using it enough. So for example at the end ofan activity you got this like summary screen, that has just pure text. It’s likethe lamest summery screen Garmin’s ever had on their watches. That’s a great area toshow the map, to show it a breadcrumb trail, to show something that makes youthink that the display is a lot nicer, and realize it displays a lot nicer. Stillyou get that it’s basically a complete battery trade-off there, the more they dothat the less your battery life will last.
Number 2 in the list of things toknow about the new Venu watch is that it actually does have an always-on displaymode. So despite the fact that other companies like Apple and Samsung, theirdisplay turns off the second you’re not looking at it. So, if I’m looking at it like thisyou’ll see a display, like this turns off to save battery. Garmin has an always ondisplay mode. Now, it’s not the default, so the default again is that five days ofbattery life where it turns it off every single time you put your wrist down orwhatever. But, they have an always on display mode you can enable in thesettings. And that goes into a low-power basically battery watch face that youhave that’s always on- as the name implies there. And that’s the way I’vebeen using it the last couple weeks, and for me I’m getting roughly between two andthree days of battery life, depending on whether GPS activities and whatnot youdo there. That’s sort of the main driver. But I’m actually pretty satisfied withthat for the most part, it’s working for me.
I don’t have to like constantlycharge every single night, so it’s not too shabby there. The other thing to keep in mind, in that low-power battery display mode, is that it actually turns off the display atnight as well. So when you hit your basically defined sleep do not disturbtime, the display turns off. You can still turn it on though of course, if you need tosee the time in the middle of the night- like by pressing a button or whatnot. But itsaves the extra battery by turning that off while you’re sleeping. Okay, nowjust a quick note if you are finding this video interesting or useful, go ahead and wack that like button right now, down on the corner there, it really helps thevideo quite a bit, and the channel. So with that, on to number 3,which is new animations. So these new animations are used in four key sportmodes: strength, Pilates, cardio, and yoga. Within those modes you’ll get tosee little figurines, as you see on the screen right now, that goes ahead and itshows you the exact move you’re supposed to do.
This is something thatcertainly isn’t new to smartwatches, other companies like Fitbit have beendoing it for years, as have been many other sport companies, Polar or morerecently as well, with some of their watches. And so Garmin is essentially adapting to that and they’ve put in-box within the Venu, and theVivoactive 4, some 40-plus workouts to take advantage of these animations. Andso as you go into a workout you’ll go ahead and see the steps you’re supposed to do. Before the work that you hit each step you can look at a little animation seewhat it’s going to do, and as you execute the workout itself, it’ll go ahead andactually show you the exact animation. And then for timed workouts, things likeyoga or whatever where you have a timed pose, you can go ahead and you’ll see acountdown clock on the outside of that workout.Now what gets even more interesting is that actually you can build your owncustom workouts on the Garmin Connect, or on Garmin Connect-Mobile.
So you can use this vast library of different animations, and go ahead and build thiswhole custom workout, save it to your watch, send it to your watch, and then executethat whenever you want. Next in the list is number 4, which isa new “breathwork”. Now breathing exercises and whatnot, are pretty common on most smartwatches, but this is an entirely different level of stuff. This is notjust simply sitting on your couch taking deep breaths in, exhaling, and doing it abunch of times. This is like structured workouts for breathing. So if you go intothe breathwork area, which is actually a sport profile. So it’s not like just anormal thing that’s shoved away in the widgets anywhere. This is a legit sportprofile, you go into that you’ll see a couple of options, there you can chooseone of those particular breathing exercise routines, and you can see eventhe steps there.
And the steps are crazy long, they are crazy complex, they’ve got many, many steps. Some of them are like repeat 37 times, and then they’ll walk you throughthose particular breathwork exercises, one after another to get to the end ofthat to workout. What’s also interesting about this of course, is that it’sactually monitoring your breathing rate, or your respiration rate, which gets intothe next one on the list (Number 5). Which is the new respiration rate tracking. So thistracking respiration rate is in kind of two core areas: 1) is in “24 by 7 mode” whichmeans that as you’re sitting at your desk, or sleeping, or whatever the case may be,and then 2) is in some of the sport profiles like yoga, Pilates, breathworkwhere it’s going to show you that respiration rate righton the screen as a data field; just like you would get pace while runningoutdoors, or distance, or whatnot. So you can see that directly right there.You can also see for example stress, as well, in that breathwork mode and someof the other modes too.
So I know the Next we’ve got number 6 on the listwhich is hydration tracking and sweat loss estimation. So now, this is not likehydration tracking like we saw on some failed Kickstarter projects where itactually tries to figure out exactly what you’re drinking, and your hydrationlevels, and whatnot, this is a very manual thing. You’ve got a widget that you goahead and it’s on your watch, and every time you take a sip of some liquid, or not asip, but like to take the entire container of liquid, you can go ahead andyou can tap and add that into your watch. And the goal behind this is that in alot of weight loss programs the more you drink water wise (not beer, and soda, andstuff like) that you’re gonna lose weight. And so it’s, it’s all tied.
There’s a lotof science behind it, you don’t need to watch this video see that, but the core gist of it is: the more water you drink that helps with weight loss. And so thisis kind of driven towards that a bit, to where you can set up three containersizes, so you can define like what your particular water bottle size is, or whateverit is that you’re drinking out of, and you can just simply tap those at the bottomat any point in time to add that amount of liquid into your daily tracker. Or youcan do it on a smaller level, like on just a per cup basis. You can make itbased on either metric or imperial measurements, so ounces or milliliters,it’s all pretty customizable, and then that syncs with Garmin Connect mobilewhere you can also do things there as well, and just have it all magicallymerge together.
Now while I bundled sweat loss into this particular item here, itfrankly has nothing to do with it. The way it works on the Vivoactive 4, andthe Venu watch is that when you’ve completed a workout, so after the workoutis done, you’ve uploaded to Garmin Connect Mobile, which happens automatically,at the very bottom of the right-hand side you will see where it shows theestimated sweat loss and milliliters for that workout. And it’s using things liketemperature, and humidity, and your body weight, and all this black magicessentially, to figure out your estimated sweat loss.Now I haven’t like dug into that super deep to see if that’s even in the realmof a viable, like I haven’t done the whole step on a scale before hand andsee what it’s afterwards. This something I might do for my full in-depth review, if Ican get the weather warm enough.
Right now at the end of summer, I’m not gettingsome super hot days to really pump up that sweat loss, and see if I can measurethat more easily. Now last but not least on the list here is number 7, which issort of like this catch-all bucket of things that are new on the Venu, as wellas on the Vivoactive 4. And I’m just going to kind of run through thesereally quickly here, and just again, it’s a catch all bucket. Number one is that’s got the new Sony GPS chipset. So the same GPS chipset that’s been on all of Garmin’s devices over the past- this year, 2019. And it’s,you know, it’s working alright for me. Not great. Check out my full post down in the thingy down there to basically see some accuracy examples. It’s definitely notwhat it used to be in the past, but it’s improving and so that’s a goodstart. Number two they’ve added pulse ox or pulse oximetry, so it’smeasuring your blood oxygen levels.
Now the main difference between this andsomething like the Phoenix series is the fact that in this, it’s not added thealtitude acclamation bits on there. So you’re measuring just mainly at nightand whatnot, throughout the day, but that is there now. And then number three isthat music is across the board on both the Venu and the Vivoactive 4, so inthe past you had a separate Vivoactive 3 Music Edition, versus now, it’s just, it’s a baseline. It’s there for everything. That includes Spotify, Amazonmusic, Deezer, iHeartRadio, that airplane spinning up over there, it’sall right there. Okay, there you go, “Seven Things to Know about the new Venu watch”.
Again check my full post down in the link there for plenty more details, and atsome point down the road here, my full in-depth review. Again, I have been using this watch for a few weeks now, but the software’s not quite final yet. Which bythe way, this video is not sponsored in any way, shape, or form, it’s just metalking about things. And as you have seen by this point, I’m gonna tell you thegood, the bad, and ugly about the watch itself. Again if you found thisinteresting go ahead and whack that like button at the bottom there, OR thesubscribe button. There is plenty more sports Technologygoodness on the way, have a good one.