Garmin Venu 2 Plus vs Instinct 2

Garmin Venu 2 Plus is a feature-rich smartwatch. It was released in January 2022. It was subsequently followed by the release of the Garmin Instinct 2 smartwatch in February 2022.

Venu 2 Plus is a complete smartwatch for modern use. Instinct 2 is a rugged GPS watch that is tailor-made for sports enthusiasts.

Which of these two smartwatches would you prefer to buy? Let us look at both watches and see the features, functions, and technology driving each of these watches.

Main differences

  • The biggest differentiator is the AMOLED display of the Venu 2 Plus smartwatch. Instinct 2 standard edition watch has a MIP (memory in pixel) screen in monochrome.
  • Venu 2 Plus uses a Corning Gorilla Glass of the third generation.
  • Venu 2 Plus has an in-built speaker and microphone.
  • Venu 2 Plus has higher device storage for offline music storage and mapping.
  • Venu 2 Plus has a gyroscope and ambient light sensor.
  • Instinct 2 does not offer Wi-Fi wireless connectivity.
  • Instinct 2 lacks the feature of contactless payments through Garmin Pay.
  • Instinct 2 is a rugged smartwatch with a higher number of in-built profiles under outdoor recreation sports, swimming, cycling, and running.
  • Instinct 2 has exceptional battery life. Instinct 2 battery backup is almost 3 times the battery life of a Venu 2 Plus smartwatch.

It is time to look at all these differences and other capabilities of both watches in more detail below.

Venu 2 Plus smartwatch

Display

Instinct 2 has a monochrome display made of a MIP (memory in pixel) screen. Venu 2 Plus uses a much more vibrant and bright display technology.

Venu 2 Plus uses an AMOLED display. Because of the AMOLED display, Venu 2 Plus has the following 2 advantages over the Instinct 2:

  • Venu 2 Plus has a much better display resolution. It has a resolution of 416 x 416 pixels.
  • Venu 2 Plus can easily support the Always-on-display mode for the display.

Another notable thing to note is the 3rd generation Corning Gorilla Glass in the Venu 2 Plus smartwatch.

Instinct 2 uses a chemically strengthened glass made with MIP (memory in pixel) display.

The difference in display configuration reflects in the display resolution and overall screen responsiveness.

We look at all the display specifications of the Venu 2 Plus and Instinct 2 smartwatches below.

Display specificationsVenu 2 PlusInstinct 2
Display lensCorning Gorilla Glass 3Chemically strengthened glass
Display size1.3″ or 33 mmCustom, two-window design; 0.9” x 0.9” (23 x 23 mm)
Display typeAMOLEDMIP (Memory in pixel)
Display resolution416 x 416 pixels176 x 176 pixels
Pixel density453 ppi124 ppi
Color displayYesNo
TouchscreenYesNo
LED Flash lightNoNo
Ambient light sensorYesNo

Venu 2 Plus has a vibrant AMOLED screen. Instinct 2 is a rugged watch. The display resolution and quality cannot match what Venu 2 Plus offers.

Physical specifications

There are considerable differences between the Venu 2 Plus and Instinct 2 smartwatches in hardware specifications. Expectedly, Instinct 2 is designed for rugged sports.

We look at the main physical specifications of the Venu 2 Plus and Instinct 2 watches below.

SpecificationsVenu 2 PlusInstinct 2
Watch size43.6 x 43.6 x 12.6 mm45 x 45 x 14.5 mm
Thickness12.6 mm14.5 mm
Watch weight51 g52 g
Watch body materialFiber-reinforced polymer with stainless-steel rear coverFiber-reinforced polymer
BezelStainless steelFiber-reinforced polymer
Band materialSiliconeSilicone
Band size20 mm22 mm
Recommended wrist circumference125-190 mm135-230 mm
In-built speakerYesNo
In-built microphoneYesNo
Device storage8 GB32 MB
Water rating5 ATM (50 meters)10 ATM (100 meters)
Swimming profilePool SwimmingPool Swimming, Open Water Swimming
Wireless connectivityBluetooth, ANT+, Wi-FiBluetooth, ANT+
Garmin PayYesNo
GyroscopeYesNo
ThermometerYes (tempe sensor needed)Yes
Garmin Elevate Heart sensorYesYes
AccelerometerYesYes
Barometric altimeterYesYes
Pulse Ox SpO2 monitoringYesYes
CompassYesYes

Contactless or NFC payments are possible on Venu 2 Plus by using the Garmin Pay app. And, Instinct 2 does not support Wi-Fi connectivity.

Device storage of 8 GB in Venu 2 Plus is a significant feature as it affords storage for music and mapping.

The steel bezel of Venu 2 Plus gives a more premium appearance to the watch.

The thermometer feature on Venu 2 Plus will need a tempe sensor to be bought separately. That should set you back by another $39.99. Instinct 2, however, has an integrated sensor for the thermometer.

Garmin Instinct 2 standard edition

Music

Venu 2 Plus offers a rich music experience in comparison with Instinct 2.

Venu 2 Plus smartwatch can work on all the following possibilities:

  • Venu 2 Plus can store music files on the device.
  • Venu 2 Plus can be used to control music stored on the smartwatch
  • Venu 2 Plus can be used to control music on the paired smartphone.

Instinct 2 does not have the memory to offer music storage. So, it offers a limited music functionality that includes the following:

  • Instinct 2 can be used to control music on the paired smartphone

If you are looking at full-fledged music functionality on your Garmin, Venu 2 Plus gets a preference over the Instinct 2.

Multi-sport and Activity profiles

Instinct 2 offers a comprehensive suite of profiles for cycling and outdoor recreation. We cover the activity profiles in brief for the Venu 2 Plus and Instinct 2 smartwatches hereunder.

  • Instinct 2 has a higher number of profiles for outdoor recreation than Venu 2 Plus. Some of these include Snowboarding, Backcountry Snowboarding, Backcountry Skiing, Rowing, Kayaking, Surfing, Hunting, Kiteboarding, Windsurfing, Snowshoeing, Fishing, Horseback Riding, Tennis, Tactical.
  • Instinct 2 has a higher number of profiles for cyclists. Some of these include Road Biking, Mountain Biking, Gravel Biking, Bike Commuting, Bike Touring, eBiking, eMountain Biking, Cyclocross, Triathlon.
  • Instinct 2 also has additional running profiles for treadmills and trail running.

Battery

Instinct 2 has a long-lasting battery. The battery backup of Instinct 2 is almost 3 times the backup offered by the Venu 2 Plus.

We look at the battery backup offered by Venu 2 Plus and Instinct 2 in different watch modes below.

Watch modeVenu 2 Plus backupInstinct 2
Smartwatch modeUp to 9 daysUp to 28 days 
GPS modeUp to 24 hoursUp to 30 hours
GPS mode with musicUp to 8 hours
Max Battery GPS Up to 70 hours
Expedition GPSUp to 32 days
Battery saver modeUp to 10 daysUp to 65 days

Instinct 2 has a longer battery backup than Venu 2 Plus.

Costs

Venu 2 Plus is priced at $449.99 and Instinct 2 standard edition costs $349.99. There is a $100 difference in costs between the Venu 2 Plus and Instinct 2.

Final verdict

Instinct 2 is suitable for rugged sports activities. In particular, Instinct 2 has a wide coverage of outdoor sports and cycling.

Venu 2 Plus is a decent smartwatch with wholesome features, that include the AMOLED display.

The choice between Instinct 2 and Venu 2 Plus depends on the use case scenario. For most people, Venu 2 Plus ticks all the boxes as it is a contemporary smartwatch with exceptional features.

Suggested reading

You may like to read more comparison studies below:

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