This time I chose two smart watches in the same price range for horizontal review. They are Apple Watch Series 8 and Garmin Venu 2 Plus with further upgraded functions. Compare them from the five dimensions of appearance design, smart experience, sports monitoring, health management, and battery life to see who is truly comprehensive and can bring us a better experience.
01/ Appearance Design
In terms of design, Garmin Venu 2 Plus uses a classic round dial, the bezel is made of stainless steel, and the case is made of fiber-reinforced polymer and stainless steel metal back cover. It not only retains the metal texture of the watch, but also achieves a lightweight body material. At the same time, Garmin also equipped it with a 43mm Corning third-generation Gorilla Glass mirror and AMOLED screen. The narrower bezel and larger screen ratio allow us to have a larger usable area and create a better visual perception.
Apple Watch Series 8 continues Apple’s classic narrow-frame large-screen design. The square dial has rounded edges, and the size is still divided into two versions: 41mm and 45mm, but compared with the previous generation, the black border of the screen will look narrower. But subjectively speaking, even if you are a heavy Apple Watch user, it is difficult to distinguish the difference between the Apple Watch Series 8 and the previous two generations if you only look at the appearance.
Appearance, as the “face” of a product, not only makes the product more outstanding, greatly enhances the brand power, but also brings us a new and unique experience. Compared with Apple’s immutable appearance, Garmin’s update iterations in appearance are more abundant. The Venu 2 series launched by Garmin are the Venu Sq 2 with a square dial and the Venu 2 Plus with a round dial.
Two forms of dials allow us to have more choices. It is worth mentioning that the Weatherface dial specially launched by Garmin can produce “time changes” with the passage of time, weather and festivals, so that these dynamic changes can help us avoid aesthetic fatigue.
Not only that, as smart watches are the “second screen” in daily life, the convenience of operation is very important to us.
Both Apple and Garmin have added operation buttons on the right side of the watch, bringing more options for operation. The difference is that the Apple Watch Series 8 is equipped with a rotating crown + physical buttons, and the watch body is fully surrounded by texture etching, which has been greatly improved from the visual to the texture of the screw compared to the previous generation.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus has a power button, a shortcut button and a menu button on the side of the dial. Compared with the Apple Watch Series 8, the three button operations are more convenient to use, and the functions are more independent. Another advantage of this is that even if we “accidentally” encounter screen touch failures outdoors, we can rely on these three physical buttons to meet most of the operational needs.
02/ Smart Experience
Apple’s self-developed chips and systems can indeed bring us high-performance performance and a convenient interactive experience with various iOS devices. But because of its self-developed system, the Apple Watch Series 8 only supports devices related to the Apple system. Compared with Garmin’s products that are compatible with iOS/Android dual systems, there are certain limitations.
In addition, in the actual use process, I found that both Apple Watch Series 8 and Garmin Venu 2 Plus have built-in voice calling and voice assistant functions. When we exercise outdoors or cannot check our mobile phones, this function can provide us with great convenience in operation. But in terms of payment function, there is a clear difference between the two.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus supports NFC transportation cards and WeChat Pay/Alipay. Just use the watch to approach gently when taking transportation. And the NFC traffic card function covers subways and buses in more than 300 cities in China. Apple Watch Series 8 only supports Apple Pay in the payment function due to the limitation of the operating system.
On the whole, although the two watches are similar in terms of smart experience, Garmin will cover a wider range of people and can more easily harvest “smart life”.
03/ Motion Detection
With the development of technology, sports monitoring has slowly developed into another major attribute of watches. Friends who exercise regularly should be able to find that although it is impossible to have a smart watch to instantly develop our daily fitness exercise habit. However, with professional guidance, real-time feedback, and health assessment, these software-level incentives can subtly affect our living habits, so that we can gradually develop the habit of exercising and fitness.
Take the basic exercise – running as an example. Garmin Venu 2 Plus can automatically record our running mode, duration, laps and location information. You can also view the training schedule, training plan, etc. through the mobile APP to help you understand your own situation during training.
It is worth mentioning that Garmin Venu 2 Plus can also check the heart rate in real time while running. After running, we can also see the data of the whole process on the Connect App. In addition to the regular numerical monitoring, the Apple Watch Series 8 has added an interface that can view the heart rate interval in real time. We can observe the intervals of each interval more intuitively, and let us better understand the various conditions of the body by marking the current heart rate interval and the training time of each interval.
But in “advanced” strength training, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus is more detailed. It can simulate the muscle heat map for us through the action recognition system, showing the main muscle groups trained for each activity, so as to detect problems in time and remind us to optimize the action, so that we can practice more targeted and make the exercise more efficient.
In addition to real-time sports data, a good training plan can also lay a solid foundation for our sports and bring better sports efficiency. We also compared the built-in workouts between the two.
In this regard, Apple has launched a virtual fitness class subscription service – Fitness. When we follow the training, in addition to obtaining basic data such as heart rate or calorie consumption, we will also get smart suggestions to tell us which fitness items to try. But it should be noted that this service is a fee-based service, and we need to spend a certain amount of money to obtain the corresponding data and courses.
It is worth mentioning that in the process of using Garmin Venu 2 Plus, we can not only download the training plan through the Garmin Connect APP and pre-install it in the watch, so as to start sports life. From entry to advanced, discover the fun of exercise, and fully understand the physical changes brought about by exercise through the Jiaspeed APP, and share it with others, which can further arouse our enthusiasm for exercise.
In the dimension of sports, Apple Watch Series 8 uses the S7 SiP chip + W3 wireless chip + U1 chip that supports ultra-wideband. Although it can realize a variety of sports monitoring, the fourth-generation sensor on the Garmin Venu 2 Plus, combined with the Firstbeat algorithm, has further added a number of sports modes, which can help us achieve “level up” in the sports function experience, let us exercise more targeted.
04/ Health Management
With the development of technology, we have been able to carry out self-health management through health indicators such as heart rate, breathing, and sleep recorded by wearable devices, which has made “health monitoring” a standard configuration for many manufacturers in publicity.
I wore the two products separately for a sleep monitoring test. Apple Watch Series 8 can show us more information than the previous generation through the new WatchOS 9, not only covering different sleep stages, the duration of each stage and other information. It also has sleep heart rate, breathing rate, wrist temperature, and a “menstrual ovulation” function specially developed for female users.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus is equipped with a self-developed fourth-generation optical heart rate sensor, which enables it to track and record complete sleep cycle, pulse oximetry, respiration and other data. Combined with the Firstbeat algorithm to score sleep quality, we can view a complete sleep report on the watch and improve sleep quality based on the sleep suggestions provided.
It is worth mentioning that the Apple Watch Series 8 not only follows the design of the previous generation in appearance, but also uses the same chipset on the three generations of smart watches S6/7/8, and the overall upgrade is relatively small. However, Apple is targeting women’s health. By adding a new temperature sensor, a biphasic body temperature curve is formed with continuously monitored body temperature, making the menstrual period tracking function more accurate. In addition, Apple has also added a car accident monitoring function, which is based on an algorithm adjusted from more than 1 million hours of real driving and car accident data, and can make an emergency call as soon as a user has a car accident.
In addition to basic detection functions, Garmin Venu 2 Plus is also equipped with a self-developed fourth-generation optical heart rate sensor to expand the dimension of health monitoring in order to quickly and accurately monitor heart rate and blood oxygen changes. It is supplemented by the PulseOx blood oxygen sensor, which enables it to monitor and remind users in a timely manner with second-level tracking capabilities, allowing us to detect potential cardiopulmonary abnormalities earlier and provide data basis for clinical rescue and nursing.
If Apple uses S7 SiP chip + W3 wireless chip + U1 chip supporting ultra-wideband and WatchOS system, it can bring us accurate heart rate, blood oxygen, respiratory rate, body temperature, blood sugar, blood pressure, menstruation and other monitoring data. Then Garmin Venu 2 Plus benefits from the latest Gen4 optical sensor and Garmin’s full health monitoring technology, which not only brings us more accurate health management data, but also allows us to provide us with sleep advice, analyze body age, and summarize health Report. And by providing multi-dimensional health management functions, we can keep abreast of various physical conditions, further help us interpret health data in a timely manner, and easily grasp our physical status.
05/ Battery Life
In the smart age, whether it is a mobile phone, computer, or other smart devices, battery life is the core of the product experience. Especially for smart watches that require multi-latitude function monitoring, the more “smart” it means the more built-in functions it has, and the power consumption will be further accelerated.
As we all know, the battery life of Apple Watch has been criticized by netizens. Even with Apple’s improved “low power mode”, the Apple Watch Series 8 can only achieve 36 hours of battery life under low power consumption. It is also doomed that we still need to maintain the frequency of charging once a day or a day and a half in normal use.
Compared with Apple, Garmin’s products have always been able to better alleviate users’ “battery anxiety”. The Garmin Venu 2 Plus in this horizontal review supports fast charging, allowing it to have a battery life of up to 9 days in smart mode. In the process of using it for half a month, I only charged it twice, and the Garmin Venu 2 Plus still had 21%-29% of power left when charging. Charging for 10 minutes in fast charging mode can increase the power by 15%, and these have better laid a solid foundation for “all-weather health monitoring” and further improved my experience.
After a month of long-term experience, I compared them horizontally from the five dimensions of appearance design, smart experience, sports monitoring, health management, and battery life. Apple tries to be comprehensive, but the battery life and the system limit Apple’s usage scenarios and play space. It can be said that these two have become the biggest weakness of Apple Watch.
Garmin has achieved a number of breakthrough innovations in the Venu 2 series in terms of battery life and functions. On the basis of increasing the AMOLED screen area, it has added multiple sports modes, health monitoring dimension expansion and other functions at the software level. It can provide us with multi-dimensional sports and health management functions, so that it can better balance our daily work and life.
At the same time, in the process of designing Garmin Venu 2 Plus, Garmin is also changing the health industry through continuous iterative upgrades. From product design to life scene application, it quietly penetrates technology into our life, and advocates a healthier and more scientific sports lifestyle for us.
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