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Apple Watch Series 7 vs Garmin Venu 2: Which should you buy?

Apple Watch Series 7
Apple Watch Series 7 (Image credit: Stephen Warwick / iMore)

Both the Apple Watch Series 7 and the Garmin Venu 2 are the latest from their respective brands and two of the best when it comes to smartwatches and fitness trackers. Together, they host the most advanced features available on the market today. Which is for you? That depends on your operating system, usage, and the features you want most.

Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Garmin Venu 2: Which is for you?

If you're looking for built-in cellular, ECG, and smart features like voice command and Siri built-in, you're going to want to spring for the Series 7. It is more expensive, but premium features come at a premium price.

If you could take or leave those fancy bells and whistles and would rather focus on features pertaining to fitness like Body Battery, on-screen workouts, personalized training guidance, and fitness age, the Venu 2 is the way to go. Let's break down the features and specs.

Apple Watch Series 7Garmin Venu 2
Display typeRetina LTPO OLEDAMOLED
Display size1.8-inches (41mm) 1.9-inches (45mm)1.3 inches
Always-onYesYes
Internal storage32GB4GB
Media play, stream, and storageYesYes
Wi-FiYesYes
Built-in cellularYes (optional)No
Voice command + smart assistantYesNo
Built-in GPSA-GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/QZSSGPS/GLONASS/Galileo
Safety trackingYesYes
Phone notificationsYesYes
Water-resistant (5ATM)YesYes
Swim trackingYesYes
Activity trackingYesYes
Sleep trackingYesYes
Heart rate monitoringYesYes
ECGYesNo
StressYesYes
Sp02YesYes
SensorsAccelerometer, barometer/altimeter, heart rate monitor, compass, gyroscope, ambient light, pulse oximeter, ECG, thermometerAccelerometer, barometer/altimeter, heart rate monitor, compass, gyroscope, ambient light, pulse oximeter, thermometer
Battery life18 hoursUp to 12 days
Fast chargingYesYes
CompatibilityiOSiOS + Android
Companion appApple WatchGarmin Connect
Smart payApple PayGarmin Pay
Customizable watch faceYesYes
Interchangeable bandsYesYes

As you can see, these two wearables have a lot in common. The Series 7 offers a bit more but at a higher price. The Venu 2 lacks some smart features but has a lot to offer regarding fitness tracking and training. Let's break it down further.

Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Garmin Venu 2: Series 7 has it all

Apple Watch Series 7 Workout

Apple Watch Series 7 Workout (Image credit: iMore)

If we're talking about the best smartwatch available on the market right now, you can't beat Apple Watch Series 7. It can do it all and then some with features you've always wanted and some you never knew you needed.

The optional built-in cellular sets it apart from the Garmin Venu 2. This service is sold separately, but it enables users to make calls, send texts, and answer emails from anywhere on the planet. Think remote mountain tops — check in with the kids! Out crushing the waves? No problem, answer that email. It doesn't matter where you are; with built-in cellular, you will always stay connected.

The Series 7 has some exclusive new features, such as a full keyboard for new ways to input text and a larger, more advanced display. You can tap or slide from letter to letter with QuickPath on the keyboard. The new display is 70% brighter indoors, and the refined shape can fit 50% more text on screen than its predecessor Series 6.

Apple Watch Series 7

Apple Watch Series 7 (Image credit: Stephen Warwick / iMore)

Unlike the Venu 2, the Series 7 is outfitted with a mic and loudspeaker. It offers voice command and your handy smart assistant: Siri. With this nifty feature, you can set reminders, alarms, check your email and the news, and vocally answer text messages.

Among the many advanced health and fitness features the Series 7 offers, you have premium ECG tracking. You will not get this feature with the Garmin Venu 2. The Series 7 generates an ECG similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram with the ECG app. Electrodes built into the Digital Crown and the back crystal work together with the ECG app to read your heart's electrical signals. This will display signs of atrial fibrillation — a heart rhythm irregularity that calls for immediate attention.

The Apple Watch Series 7 is outfitted with 32GB of internal storage. This is substantial compared to the Garmin Venu 2's 4GB. You can play, stream, and store media on both, but there is more room to do so on the Series 7. There's also lots of space to fully trick it out and personalize it with your favorite apps.

Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Garmin Venu 2: Venu 2 is an asset for athletes

Garmin Venu 2

Garmin Venu 2 (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / iMore)

While the Series 7 is more all-encompassing, the Venu 2 poses stiff competition and hosts a variety of advanced features, on-screen workouts, and personalized training guidance tailored for athletes and fitness fanatics. It also has a few exclusive offerings like BodyBattery and Fitness Age.

The Venu 2's BodyBattery monitors your energy throughout the day, so you know when it's time for a workout and when it's time to rest. Fitness Age is a new feature that uses chronological age, your vigorous weekly activity, resting heart rate, and BMI to estimate if your body is younger or older than you are. Plus, you can get tips to lower your fitness age.

Garmin Venu 2 Plus Review

Garmin Venu 2 Plus Review (Image credit: Michael Hicks / iMore)

The Venu 2 provides animated, pre-loaded on-screen workouts, including cardio, strength, yoga, Pilates, and HIIT to ensure proper form and workout options. It also features Garmin Coach — a free personalized running coach on your wrist to help you train for your next 5K, 10K, or half-marathon.

Both wearables offer Sp02 monitoring. The Venu 2 uses the Pulse OX sensor to spot-check your blood oxygen saturation during the day or night as you sleep to show how well your body is absorbing oxygen. Though it may not have all the smart tech the Series 7 offers, the Venu 2 features plenty for comprehensive health and fitness monitoring and training.

Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Garmin Venu 2: Compatibility, customization, and battery

Apple Watch Series 7 Keyboard

Apple Watch Series 7 Keyboard (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

If we're talking compatibility, the Garmin Venu 2 is the only option for Android users as it's compatible with both iOS and Android. The Series 7 is only compatible with iOS.

Customization-wise, both wearables have customizable watch faces and interchangeable bands. When it comes to color and casing options, the Apple Watch Series 7 offers more. There are multiple materials, patterns, and colors, plus five new colors and brand-new watch faces unique to the series. The Garmin Venu 2 comes in two factory colors, but you can customize it further with interchangeable bands.

When it comes to battery, the Venu 2 comes out way ahead. It offers up to 11 days in smartwatch mode, up to 12 days in battery saver smartwatch mode, and up to eight hours in GPS mode with music. The Series 7 offers 18 hours. Remember that operating either in Wi-Fi, GPS, or music mode a lot will drain the battery much faster than basic smartwatch mode.

Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Garmin Venu 2: Which should you buy?

If you're looking for smart features like built-in cellular, voice command and assistant, ECG, and more all-encompassing health and fitness features, the Apple Watch Series 7 is the way to go. It's a bit pricier, but you're paying for those additional features.

If you're an athlete, an Android user, or want a wearable with a fitness focus, the Garmin Venu 2 is the right choice. It has everything you need to optimize your energy and make the most out of your training sessions. These are two of the best smartwatches available; you really can't go wrong.

Nicolette Roux
Nicolette Roux

Nicolette is a freelance writer for iMore. With over a decade of high-level experience as a health and fitness professional, Nicolette has become an expert in the industry. As a writer, quadruple-certified master fitness instructor, DJ/MC, and mom; she’s had the pleasure of working with some of the top websites, studios, and brands in the world throughout her career. A dedicated creative, Nicolette enjoys writing about all things: health, fitness, audio, and home. If she’s not working, you can find her sipping a glass of wine, enjoying a concert, or hanging with her family.