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Garmin’s new Venu sports watch with OLED display prioritizes gyms over trails

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The company is also updating its Vivoactive and Vivomove watches

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Garmin’s brand new Venu family of AMOLED sport watches.
Image: Garmin

After announcing its Fenix 6 flagship GPS multi-sport watch with solar charging last week, Garmin is back with three more wearables for fitness fetishists. Notably, it’s launching a new Venu lineup of GPS watches with OLED displays to better compete with the Apple Watch. Garmin is also updating the outdoorsy Vivoactive and mechanical hybrid Vivomove series of smartwatches.

Venu is Garmin’s first GPS watch with a bright, colorful, and detailed 390 x 390 pixel OLED display. Optionally, the display can be set to an always-on mode to function as a proper timepiece. The 43mm Venu is a watch meant to be worn 7/24, designed to alert you to important events while in the office, help you meet your fitness goals in the gym, pay for your groceries on the way home, and then track your sleep at night. It’s basically a more refined version of the full-featured Vivoactive tweaked to better compete with the Apple Watch (and new Fitbit Versa 2) when worn indoors, instead of outdoors where Garmin watches have traditionally thrived.

Venu’s 1.2-inch OLED touchscreen plays host to live watch faces and dozens of animated workouts that demonstrate proper form and technique for activities such as strength training, cardio, yoga, and Pilates. It also features Garmin’s broad range of around-the-clock health monitoring features, including new hydration tracking, new respiration tracking, stress and menstrual cycle tracking, and pulse ox sleep tracking whereby the watch measures the oxygen saturation in your blood to determine how well you’re sleeping. Venu will alert you to notifications on your iOS or Android phone and is compatible with Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon Music. It also comes loaded with Garmin Pay contactless payments.

Venu watches will last five days in smartwatch mode, or up to six hours in GPS + music mode, and ship in September for $399.99 (same as the Apple Watch).

Garmin’s also updating its multi-sport Vivoactive watch models. The Vivoactive 4 (45mm) can go eight days in smartwatch mode, and up to six hours in GPS + music mode. The smaller Vivoactive 4S (40mm) lasts up to seven days in smartwatch mode, and up to five hours in GPS + music mode. Both watches will carry over the same transflective display from the Vivoactive 3 series that’s very easy to read in direct sunlight, unlike OLED displays. Otherwise, these watches have all the same features you’ll find on the new Venu series when they start shipping this month for $349.99.

Also getting an update is Garmin’s Vivomove line of fashion-oriented fitness watches with mechanical ticking hands and hidden display. Available in Luxe, Style, and 3/3S models, the Vivomove series now includes GPS, Garmin Pay, pulse ox sleep tracking, and many of the other health and wellness features found on the Vivoactive and Venu watches. Luxe is the standout model with a 42mm stainless-steel bezel and casing with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal lens and choice of leather or Milanese metal straps. The 42mm Style model ships with nylon or silicone bands. The smaller 39mm Vivomove 3S and 44mm Vivomove 3 are offered with silicone bands. Battery life is rated for up to five days with prices set to start at $249.99 and topping out at $549.99.

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