Nowadays, the market is literally flooded with a huge amount of smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other Android or IOS devices collecting fitness and health data. It may be quite a tricky task to decide on the one device that really suits your needs the best. Luckily, we are here to help you. Today, we will focus on the under 400$ Android smartwatch device segment which is getting more and more popular in the US.
If you take time and research for the best smartwatch or fitness tracker in the selected segment, you will eventually end up in front of the following choice: Garmin Venu 2 or Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.
Let me make it clear. Both of these Android devices belong among the best products in their category and it may seem tricky to choose between them. But having a closer look, the choice is actually not that difficult.
Garmin vs Samsung
So which one is better then? Well, I have to say, that is a wrong question. Most people will decide based on their preferences such as design, functionality, price, or simply first feeling when they see it or touch it. The decision is purely individual and depends on what is it that you are looking for. So let me reformulate the question: Which device will better fit your needs?
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Garmin Venu 2 are different watches and each of them will satisfy different types of customers. Let me compare what they have in common and also what are the key differences between them to paint a better picture of what I am talking about.
Health Tracking Features
In terms of health features, Samsung Health beats Garmin with a bigger array of features. Even though they both offer key features such as continuous heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, hydration tracking, stress tracking, or pulse oxygen measurement that gauges oxygen saturation in your blood, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 offers even something more.
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is equipped with the new 3-in-1 BioActive chip with sensors that not only measure heart rate and blood pressure but are able to elaborate your Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis. Using a weak electrical pulse, it is able to measure your body composition, including muscle and body fat percentage.
By simply placing your middle and ring fingers on two buttons on the side of the galaxy watch and holding for 15 seconds, using Samsung’s own algorithms, the sensor will calculate the current resistance of your body and calculate some very useful insights.
Thumbs up for this. The first round is won by Samsung.
Score: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 1:0 Garmin Venu 2
Regarding the fitness features, the situation is quite different. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 offers most of the workouts you can think of. Including a new interval target feature, which enables you to preset duration and distance goals and your Galaxy Watch 4 will guide you through your interval runs or bike rides.
But if you are really into fitness and workouts, the Garmin watch will be hardly topped. Venu 2 model can track almost 30 activity types including basic ones such as running, cycling, or swimming to activities like bouldering, skiing, HIIT, yoga, golf, or strength workouts which include nice animations of muscle groups that have been worked. Quite cool.
This cool utility can be found in your Garmin Connect app. Your Garmin Venu 2 calculates your fitness age which is an estimate of how fit you are compared to your actual age. It takes into account multiple factors such as BMI, body fat percentage, or resting heart rate. It is nice to know your body age is lower than your actual age or it can be quite motivating if the opposite is the truth.
Garmin coach is a free service that offers personalized training plans for running, cycling, and triathlon events right on your wrist. Simply select the event, choose your level of experience, and enter some other data such as schedule preferences to time until the event you train for, and the Garmin coach will generate a training plan for you.
Samsung offers plenty of data analysis and coaching programs with its Health app too, but it is required to have a Premium paid membership to get access to it. Not nice!
The second round won by Garmin!
Score: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 1:1 Garmin Venu 2
Battery life is one of the key characteristics of sports watches and an important part of the complete smartwatch experience. With a growing amount of smartwatch features, long battery life is rather an exception in the under 400$ category of devices.
Daily charging has become an everyday life norm for many mobile devices and smartwatches out there. Unfortunately, it is also the case of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. According to Samsung, the Galaxy Watch 4 lasts up to 40 hours with regular use. But based on my own experience, with activity tracking and always-on display, you will need to charge every 24 hours.
When you go out for a run, switch the GPS tracking on and listen to some music, the battery life may be as short as 4 hours, which is quite disappointing.
According to Garmin, the Venu 2 should offer a much longer battery life. Fully charged without GPS mode or music on, it is supposed to last for 9 days. Again, my personal experience is a bit different, but solid 5 days without charging is acceptable. With GPS tracking and music on, the battery life is 8 hours (or 24 hours with GPS mode on but no music).
Overall, Garmin largely beats Samsung in battery performance.
Round 3 goes for Garmin.
Score: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 1:2 Garmin Venu 2
Display and design
Both Samsung and Garmin did a great job regarding the design of their watch. But I guess Samsung went even a bit further with its amazing model Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Let’s find out why.
Galaxy Watch 4
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 comes with a fancy sports look and it is exactly what you would expect from it. This slimline watch perfectly sits on your wrist. It comes in 2 sizes – 40mm and 44mm.
The 40 mm size option is quite small and it is recommended for people with slim hands or simply those who look for a small-sized fitness device.
If you prefer a device that you will really enjoy seeing on your wrist daily, I suggest the 44mm model. It is not too small and not too big, an ideal size which is good for sport or daily wear.
The thing I really like about Galaxy Watch 4 is definitely the watch display. It is a Super AMOLED 1,4 in (1,2 in for 40mm version) with corning gorilla glass. It supports always-on display options which is quite cool but on the other hand, it quickly drains the battery power.
The Galaxy Watch 4 is a high-end smartwatch aimed at individuals who like the sports design of their watch.
Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
If you are the type of person looking for a more “city look” in your smartwatch, Samsung has a solution for you. It has come with a beautiful Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, which combines the sports style of Galaxy fitness trackers and the classic look of stylish watches.
The robust physical rotating bezel is the signature feature of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic and it makes the Classic version stand out among other smartwatches.
Unlike Galaxy Watch 4, the Classic model comes in 42mm and 46mm sizes, which is, in my opinion, a bit unfortunate. The 42mm version is too small and the 46mm bit too large for a sports watch and it’s quite a pity that Samsung does not make it also in the 44mm version.
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is a stylish sports smartwatch that can be worn for any type of occasion.
Garmin Venu 2
Garmin Venu 2 is a fancy smartwatch equipped with an amazing AMOLED 1.3″ display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It is available in 3 color options – Carbon Gray, Rose Gold, and Slate. The size of the watch is 45mm which is, in my opinion, the ideal size for most people.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Venu 2 Plus version comes in 44mm size which is my personal favorite. It fits great and does not bother my hand during longer sports activities.
Unlike Samsung, Garmin did not introduce Venu 2 Plus model to present a more luxurious watch look. Actually, both Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2 Plus models look very similar and are pureblooded sports smartwatches.
What Garmin did instead is that it decided to add some additional functions. Namely, Venu 2 Plus has an in-built microphone and speakers that allow you to make and answer calls without using headphones. Also, it allows you to connect to your mobile phone’s voice assistant whether you use Google Assistant, Samsung’s Bixby, or Apple Siri.
To sum up, all 4 model lines look great and I very much like the looks of all of them. But I give this round to Samsung because of its Galaxy Watch 4 Classic model. With Samsung, you get to choose if you prefer sports or a more fancy “city” watch look. The two watches from Garmin are both purely sports watches.
Score: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 2:2 Garmin Venu 2
Galaxy Watch 4 (Classic) is IP 68 water and dust-resistant, which allows you to take it 5 meters deep into the water. It has 1.5GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage which is a standard in this category.
Garmin Venu 2 (Plus) is also IP 68 water and dust-resistant so you can take it with you to shower or swim. It has less internal storage than Galaxy Watch 4 – only 8GB, which I didn’t find limiting. On the other hand, it offers a bigger RAM option of 2GB.
Both devices are equipped with GPS trackers and are able to accurately keep track of your location and movement. But remember that GPS is a battery-eater.
Regarding system performance, all of the compared models work flawlessly and therefore this round ends up with a tie.
Score: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 3:3 Garmin Venu 2
Garmin Pay vs Samsung Pay
Both Garmin watches and Samsung watches allow you to make contactless payments but they use different technology.
Galaxy Watch 4 uses Samsung Pay, which is available in an only limited amount of countries. On the other hand, Garmin Venu 2 supports Garmin Pay, which is not as popular as Samsung payment technology but it is available in much more countries.
What’s really cool about Galaxy Watch 4 is that it has an NFC chip that allows you to use it for public transportation tickets in some countries.
While both Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic are equipped with Google Maps, it is not the case of Garmin model lines. Garmin watches do not have onboard maps. However, there are a few third-party apps that are available in Connect IQ Store that will do the job.
Music and podcasts
If you are one of those people who cannot run without music, you will be happy to find out that both devices support offline music playback. You can either transfer your favorite songs from your computer or simply download them from Spotify or Deezer while connected to your phone or another Android device.
Both Garmin and Samsung offer LTE versions of their smartwatches which allow you to listen to music online. But the extreme consumption of battery power for LTE models is something that still needs to be figured out.
Podcasts are also available on both smartwatches but they can be played only when connected to the phone. Garmin or Samsung do not support Amazon’s Audible in offline mode, which is a pity.
With Garmin being ahead with contactless payment and Samsung having extra points for access to GoogleMaps, the last round also ends up with a tie.
Total Score: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 4:4 Garmin Venu 2
As you may have seen, both Garmin Venu 2 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 are very advanced devices with plenty of useful features. While Samsung comes with a better design and more health-tracking functions, Garmin leads in regard to fitness features and battery life.
If you are looking for a fancy watch that will look great for any occasion and it will give you a lot of useful insights about your blood pressure, sleep quality, or body fat, but you don’t plan to use it for tons of fitness tracking and sports activities, then I believe Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is a perfect option for you.
On the other hand, if you consider purchasing a smartwatch because you plan to do a marathon, triathlon, or any other sports event that will require a lot of training, then Garmin Venu 2, a pureblooded sports watch, is the best option for you. Not only does it look great and fits perfectly on the wrist, but its battery will last long and its personalized training plans will save you a lot of time.