If you buy a smartwatch, chances are you would like to use all the data it can give you to better your performance on the field and improve your lifestyle. But that can be achieved only partially if your watch runs out of juice every night. Enter, Garmin’s Venu 2 Plus. While it is not at the top of Garmin's product line (which means, it doesn’t set you back horribly if you suddenly decide to buy it for yourself, or even gift it to someone), it comes with absolutely amazing battery life. Available in three colours -- Graphite Black, Cream Gold and Powder Grey -- the smartwatch is extremely comfortable to wear, weighing a light 51 grams.
I have been using it straight for 10 days, with GPS-mode on for at least an hour everyday while I ran, biked or went for a swim. The initial charge lasted me a good 7 days, though I did take it off at night after the first three days. The only reason for wearing it at night was to track my sleep. The Venu 2 Plus gives a plethora of data about your sleep—including a count on your REM (rapid eye movement) and deep sleep, among other things.
This also builds the base for the watch’s 'body battery' data, which shows how much energy you have recuperated while resting. When you work out or go about your day, it starts deducting points from this body battery. One issue though is that mid-day if you are tired and decide to take a quick nap (I mean, isn’t that almost compulsory on a Sunday?), the watch cannot track it and add its score to your body battery.
Activity tracking is pretty accurate, especially on road. I am still a little unsure about using it in the pool because I have a nagging feeling that I am not swimming as much as the watch suggests. But it does give valuable data about your laps in the pool as well (obviously, only after you have fed the length of the pool in the watch) including the stroke rate, your 'Swolf' score ('swim and golf', but it actually means the combination of your stroke count and time taken in the water; shows your swimming efficiency).
What I liked most about its activity tracking is that it tracks basic activities even if you don’t switch on the mode on your watch. For example, I use my cycle to go to the gym every day and I never switch on the activity tracking mode for the short two kilometre distance. But this watch automatically detects it and puts it on my daily calorie burn map. And while it's not essentially meant as a sports watch (it is geared more towards lifestyle), it does have lots of workouts you can choose from, including bouldering, rowing, hiking, pilates, elliptical and more. It has an animated HIIT workouts and muscle map that shows which parts of your body will probably be sore soon, as well as a breathwork guide to help get your breathing under control and, in turn, build your stamina. The Venu 2 Plus, just like its predecessor Venu 2, tracks your SpO2 (blood oxygen) levels, heart rate and even gives you a fitness age, with tips on how to improve it. This is calculated only after a few activities have been recorded along with your weight and BMI inputs uploaded.
The physical features of the watch aren’t too different from its previous version. You have an Amoled screen with good visibility even under direct sunlight. You have both touch screen functionality and physical buttons. There's a third button included to select your favourite shortcuts. You can store music, make and receive calls (but since it doesn’t have a separate SIM, your phone has to be close by) from the watch itself. The call speaker volume is a little low for when you are outdoors. It has the option of adding emergency contacts in case of accidents, but again, to call for help, your phone has to be within reach with Bluetooth on. The only problem I see with the watch is that at this price point it could have been a self-sufficient watch (which did not require you to carry your phone also in your pocket during the run). But that’s a small adjustment to make for all the great features we do get to enjoy with this watch.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus is priced at ₹46,990, available on Amazon, TataCLiQ, Flipkart and offline channels (Croma, Helios, Just in Time)