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    Garmin Venu 2 Plus hands-on: So far, the ultimate fitness smartwatch from CES 2022



    Lexy Savvides/CNET

    This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.

    Garmin has all the time made glorious fitness-focused watches, however now it is stepping up its smartwatch sport with the Venu 2 Plus and Vivomove Sport at CES 2022. The Venu 2 Plus has a speaker and microphone so you’ll be able to take calls and use your telephone’s voice assistant in your wrist, whereas the Vivomove Sport blends smartwatch and conventional wrist watch with actual ticking arms on high of a touchscreen. I have been testing the brand new Venu 2 Plus for a few week with prerelease software program. Thus far I have been impressed with how a lot having a speaker and microphone add to the expertise. 

    The sooner Venu 2 was already a wonderful wearable with complete health monitoring options, profitable a CNET Editors’ Selection award in 2021. However the primary draw back holding it from going head-to-head with different wearables just like the Apple Watch Series 7, Galaxy Watch 4 and Fitbit Sense was the dearth of a speaker and mic. The Venu 2 Plus seems to be just like the Venu 2 and comes with a vivid, round AMOLED show that is simple to see in broad daylight. But it surely now has an additional button that permits you to work together together with your voice assistant by way of an extended press. You can even allocate a shortcut or favourite to a single press. 

    One different exterior distinction between final 12 months’s Venu 2 collection and the Venu 2 Plus is that the brand new watch solely is available in a single 43mm dimension, whereas the Venu 2 and 2S had been 45mm and 40mm respectively. Like Fitbit’s watches, the Venu 2 Plus and Vivomove Sport are appropriate with each iOS and Android, not like the Apple Watch that is iPhone-only and the Galaxy Watch 4 that is now Android-only.

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    A speaker and mic on the Venu 2 Plus is more helpful than I thought

    I can quickly call up Siri on iOS or the Google Assistant or Bixby on Android to send a quick text message just by pressing the button. I really don’t like pulling out my phone during an outdoor workout, so having the watch reliably be able to text or make a quick call is really helpful. The speaker quality is clear, and so far I’ve found it easy to hear callers when outside. I also like the audible cues every time I stop and start a workout, or hit a goal like steps or elevation for the day.


    There’s now one extra button on the Venu 2 Plus (center) that lets you call up the voice assistant or a shortcut of your choice.

    Lexy Savvides/CNET

    Unlike some wearables like the Apple Watch, you won’t be able to start a workout with your voice on the Venu 2 Plus. It really just acts as a go-between to get to your voice assistant and hear responses on your wrist. But Garmin’s navigation system is easy enough to learn, and starting a workout just takes two presses anyway, so I don’t mind at all.

    Battery life lasts up to nine days, way longer than the Apple Watch Series 7 and Galaxy Watch 4 that can barely make it to two days. In my testing so far with prerelease software, the watch lasted eight full days before needing a charge. Most other features are the same as the Venu 2 and 2S, so that means built-in GPS, sleep tracking, blood-oxygen monitoring and an extensive range of fitness and workout tracking modes.


    The Garmin Vivomove Sport

    Lexy Savvides/CNET

    It shares many of these health and fitness features with the Vivomove Sport, except that watch uses connected GPS, so you’ll need to keep your phone with you to track distance and pace during outdoor workouts. Really, the biggest drawing card of the Vivomove Sport is the cool integration of ticking watch hands. Most of the time this looks like a regular wristwatch, but when you need to interact with it, the hands move to reveal the touchscreen. 

    Stay tuned for the full review of the Garmin Venu 2 Plus and Vivomove Sport. Both watches are available now at $450 for the Venu 2 Plus and $180 for the Vivomove Sport. If you don’t need a speaker and mic on your wrist, the Venu 2 and 2S stay in the Garmin lineup, and both recently got a price cut to $350. 

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