Garmin Venu SQ First Thoughts | Comparison Apple Watch, Fitbit Sense

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Garmin Venu SQ Review

Garmin Venu SQ First Thoughts & Verdict

The new-look Garmin Venu SQ hits the spot for SMARTs, HEALTH and includes many, trusted Garmin sports features for a competitive wellness and activity package. It looks like a Fitbit Sense but it’s better; it looks like the Apple Watch SE but, well, maybe it’s not better…let’s say ‘different’.

Initial Verdict | Garmin Venu SQ Music

Garmin Venu SQ Initial Verdict

Garmin Venu SQ Review

Garmin is targetting a predominantly female audience with the Venu SQ and includes in the Venu SQ fertility tracking, wellness activities like meditation, sports profiles like pilates, music (optional) and smarts like Garmin PAY.

The key success points here appear to be PRICE, LOOKS, USABILITY and HEALTH capabilities:

  • Price: Garmin has hit the Apple Watch 3/6 SE price point(ish), although a separate, more expensive music version is silly.
  • Looks: Garmin has gone all-in for the Fitbit-cum-Apple looks. Looks proven to work.
  • Interface: Garmin has chosen a standard case with a quality screen but still has its outdated menus onboard. Decent-looking watch faces hide some of what lies beneath.
  • Health & Personal Safety: Personal Safety issues are nicely covered and I would argue so is the overall health offering. However, it lacks some of the headline sensors featured on the Fitbit Sense which, perhaps, most of us don’t really need.


The Apple Watch is a superior companion for you UNLESS sports and battery life are important to you. IF you are doing 1-2 hours of varied exercise 6 days a week and are perhaps not organised enough to charge your watch twice a day then the Garmin Venu SQ is the one to go for as the Apple Watch would eventually annoy you.


Best Triathlon Watch
Country-specific, discount links to Amazon, Wiggle, PMC, REI and more.


  • Sensible pricing
  • Relatively standard ‘square’ looks
  • A decent HR sensor gives the foundations for believable insights, like those from Apple
  • 6-day battery life easily wins over the Apple Watch, 14 hour GPS workout time is good for this class of watch
  • Superior sports profiles
  • Proper workout support edges it over Fitbit
  • Fancy screen


  • A separate music version is silly and confusing. K.I.S.S.
  • A lack of supported banks outside the USA will be an issue for the Venu SQ to succeed globally
  • Cheaper look and feel to Apple Watch
  • A naive and unpolished interface when compared to Apple & Fitbit
  • No tracking of ‘stairs climbed’



Garmin Venu SQ Firth Thoughts | Music Key Specifications

  • 1.3″ LCD display with 240x240px resolution
  • Decent Gorilla Glass 4
  • 2-button plus touchscreen
  • The Garmin Venu SQ is available to buy at an rrp of Eu/$200/£180 and Eu/$250/£230 for the music version. Check the BLUE Garmin banner below for links to discounts
  • Garmin Pay – for contactless payments
  • Music via Garmin’s CIQ apps which includes Spotify and Amazon Music support
  • Storage – 4GB/500 songs
  • WR50 – 50m water resistance for swimming
  • Lots of sports profile
  • Sony GNSS chipset supporting multiple GNSS constellations including Galileo
  • Standard Garmin charger
  • 20mm, cheap-looking but interchangeable straps
  • Latest Garmin Elevate sensor (the good one) delivering  SpO2 and the supporting info for Firstbeat’s body battery, respiration, PulseOx, Stress level, 24×7 HR and more
  • Structured workout support


Screen Shape Comparison | Garmin, Fitbit, Apple



Early release partners will likely include REI (USA) and Wiggle (Eu). Amazon won’t likely get stock for several weeks, although Amazon USA can sometimes get stock relatively early.

Garmin Venu SQ Review




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Does it support firstbeat’s sleep features?


Doesn’t look like it, but I hope it will soon. Garmin is now far behind in sleep. And IMHO sleep is a crucial factor in health.


Thanks for the answer. It’s a shame it doesn’t seem included, decent sleep tracking is the only thing stopping me from pulling the trigger.


I have to toddlers keeping me up most nights. As I’m mostly a zombie during the night, I can’t even remember how many times I got up or how many hours I’ve slept. Fitbit gives me a ballpark, and actually like the sleep analytics.

Problem is Fitbit is lacking in so many other areas.

How do you think body battery works as a metric compared to sleep score? They should both give me some insight into how rested I am. Really wish Garmin would just put all the body battery, recovery, sleep and training data together to actually give me some meaningful insight!


and this concludes the garmin announcment season with zero new features (bar the copied track mode). here’s hope for a more innovative 2021

John Kissane

Looks like it’s one new watch a week from Garmin now, surely the 655 next week 😉


The 745 didn’t end up getting the new sleep widget.

tfk, the5krunner

yes, i don’t know what’s going on with that.


One of the other reviewers mentioned the 745 was due to be released with the Firstbeat Sleep Metrics like the Fenix 6 – but Garmin pulled it last minute due to some issues. Apparently it should be back in the next update or two

I wonder what the chances are for the Venu SQ to receive the better sleep tracking & widget? – Either way, I bit the bullet and ordered one!

tfk, the5krunner

that’s a good question.
because of what garmin are trying to achieve with the VSQ in the market it should have the sleep stuff.
but , by a similar token, it’s not yet hit some of the high end devices . so i’m not sure what’s going on.


in the comparison tool on the garmin website there is now a new field called “Advanced sleep monitoring (sleep score & insights)” FR 745 is listed as yes, while the Venu SQ is not listed =(

tfk, the5krunner

i’m keeping my eye on all the sleep stuff.
garmin just has to include it in all the health type devices. sleep is what ‘everyone’ is interested in. its full inclusion will be a key factor in the success of the venu sq (IMHO)


I agree. What’s frustrating is that they have the hardware in place on the newer devices, they acquired firstbeat earlier this year – but yet they only release the software capabilities on Fenix 6 (and now FR745) range – makes no sense when its practically ready to go

tfk, the5krunner

the 745 is effectively a small 945 so will get it with the 945 i guess