By Simon Smythe published
Garmin opens its 2022 launch account today with new versions of two of two GPS smartwatches, the Venu 2 Plus and the vivomove Sport.
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus (£399.99/$449.99) adds voice functionality, allowing wearers to make and take phonecalls from the wrist, Apple Watch style, and is voice assistant compatible with Siri, Google Assistant and Bixby meaning texts can be sent, questions asked and compatible smart home devices controlled from the watch.
Meanwhile the vivomove Sport (£159.99/$179.99) is what Garmin calls an “entry level addition to the vivomove lineup, combining the traditional look of an analogue watch with the health, fitness and connected features of a smartwatch” and is a “timeless blend of fashion and function.”
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
In addition to now being able to make and take phonecalls from the wrist and enabling voice assistant control, the Venu 2 Plus pulls in all of the fitness features of the existing Venu 2 series including 25-plus built-in sports apps that include cycling, walking, running, HIIT, pool swimming, Pilates, yoga, indoor climbing, hiking, advanced strength training with muscle map graphics and more.
It also offers the same suite of health and wellness features which include sleep score with insights, stress tracking, energy monitoring and Pulse Ox.
Garmin’s Body Battery energy monitoring shows users how 'charged' their body is as well as the effects of stress and exercise. Health Snapshot logs a two-minute window of key health stats and generates a report users can share with a health care provider - a useful tool for capturing physiological data.
The Venu 2 Plus also includes women’s specific features such as menstrual cycle tracking and pregnancy tracking.
The Venu 2 Plus keeps the series’ built-in music (download up to 650 songs including playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer), Garmin Pay contactless payments, and smart notifications for calls, texts, calendar reminders, social media updates, breaking news stories and more.
It can be used with either Android or Apple smartphones.
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is available in three colourways with a 43mm watch case, stainless steel bezel and hardware, and a 20mm industry-standard quick release silicone band. Bands and bezels can be mixed for a customised look. It uses Garmin’s AMOLED display and has a claimed battery life of up to nine days.
Garmin vivomove Sport
“The vivomove series is a unique product line within the Garmin wearable family and we’re excited to expand on it with the vivomove Sport,” says Susan Lyman, Garmin vice president of global consumer marketing in a press release.
The Garmin vivomove Sport has the appearance of a traditional watch with the essentials of a smartwatch, according to Garmin. It is designed with real ticking watch hands and a hidden display that only appears when needed. When the wearer interacts with the touchscreen, the hands dynamically move away.
The vivomove Sport includes built-in sports apps for cycling, treadmill, yoga, strength, Pilates, cardio and more. As with the majority of entry-level smartwatches, it connects to a compatible smartphone’s GPS to track distance and pace during rides, runs and walks.
It offers the expected activity monitoring throughout the day with step counting, calories burned and intensity minutes.
There are smart notifications for incoming calls, text messages, social media updates and alerts.
The vivomove Sport is compatible with both Apple and Android phones but only Android users can respond to texts via the watch.
Like the more expensive Garmin watches it also offers Pulse Ox, stress, advanced sleep (with sleep stages), hydration logging and 24/7 heart rate (with user-configurable alerts for high or low readings).
Also included is Garmin’s Body BatteryTM energy monitoring and women’s health features including menstrual cycle tracking and pregnancy tracking.
Battery life is a claimed five days in smartwatch mode with up to an additional day in watch mode (hands only) and it comes in four colourways.
Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
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