Garmin Venu Sq 2 vs Vivoactive 4

Garmin’s Venu Sq 2 is one of my personal favorite smartwatches. Vivoactive 4 is one of the highest selling Garmin watches that has been around since 2019.

If you were given a choice, which of these two smartwatches will you buy? Or, which of these two smartwatches offers full value for your money?

Let us look at Garmin Venu Sq 2 and Vivoactive 4 watches in close detail for a side-by-side comparison.

Main differences

The main differences between Garmin Venu Sq 2 and Vivoactive 4 are shared below.

  • Venu Sq 2 was released in September 2022. Vivoactive 4 has been around since September 2019.
  • The biggest difference between Venu Sq 2 and Vivoactive 4 is the shape. Venu Sq 2 has a box or square shape while the Vivoactive 4 has a round shape.
  • Venu Sq 2 uses an AMOLED display while the Vivoactive 4 has a MIP (memory in pixel) screen.
  • Venu Sq 2 is slimmer and lighter than Vivoactive 4 smartwatch.
  • Venu Sq 2 offers limited music functionality while Vivoactive 4 offers complete feature of music storage and management.
  • Venu Sq 2 has a higher battery life than the Vivoactive 4 smartwatch.
  • Venu Sq 2 has an ambient light sensor while the Vivoactive 4 has Gyroscope and Barometric altimeter.
  • Venu Sq 2 lacks Wi-Fi connectivity while the Vivoactive 4 offers it.

We will review these differences in detail below.

Display specifications

Venu Sq 2 uses an AMOLED display to provide a brighter and clearer display than Vivoactive 4.

Vivoactive 4 uses an MIP (memory-in-pixel) screen for the display.

The advantage of AMOLED display can be broadly discussed in two points:

  • Due to the AMOLED display, the display resolution of Venu Sq 2 is higher than the display resolution of Vivoactive 4.
  • You can use the Always-on-display (AOD) mode on the Venu Sq 2 smartwatch. You can turn it on or off at any time.

Another advantage of Venu Sq 2 is the ambient light sensor. The ambient light sensor will manage the backlight of your smartwatch in response to the light conditions around you.

It adjusts the screen brightness depending on the ambient light. Ambient light sensor can be very useful after sunset or in dark areas.

We look at all the display specifications of the Venu Sq 2 and Vivoactive 4 smartwatches below in a side-by-side comparison.

Display specificationsVenu Sq 2Vivoactive 4
Display lensCorning Gorilla Glass 3Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Display size1.41″ or 36 mm (diagonal reference)1.3″ or 33 mm (diameter)
Display shapeSquareRound
Display technologyAMOLEDMIP (Memory in pixel)
Display resolution320 x 360 pixels260 x 260 pixels
Pixel density344 ppi283 ppi
Color displayYesYes
TouchscreenYesYes
LED FlashlightNoNo
Ambient light sensorYesNo

Venu Sq 2 has a better and brighter display experience than Vivoactive 4 as it uses the AMOLED display.

Garmin Venu Sq 2 booting

Physical specifications

In terms of hardware differences and specifications, most differences can be attributed to the different shapes of Venu Sq 2 and Vivoactive 4.

We will just reiterate that the Venu Sq 2 has a square shape and Vivoactive 4 has a round shape.

The complete set of physical data for Venu Sq 2 and Vivoactive 4 smartwatches is shared hereunder.

SpecificationsVenu Sq 2Vivoactive 4
Watch size40.6 x 37.0 x 11.1 mm45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm
Thickness11.1 mm12.8 mm
Watch weight38 g50.5 g
Watch bodyFiber-enforced polymerFiber-enforced polymer
Watch BezelAnodized aluminumStainless steel
Band size20 mm22 mm
Band materialSiliconeSilicone
Recommended wrist circumference125-190 mm135-200 mm
Device storage4 GB200 hours of activity data
Water rating5 ATM (50 Meters)5 ATM (50 Meters)
Swimming profilePool swimmingPool swimming
Wireless connectivityANT+, BluetoothANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
NFC paymentsGarmin PayGarmin Pay
AccelerometerYesYes
Barometric altimeterNoYes
CompassYesYes
GyroscopeNoYes
Garmin Elevate Heart SensorYesYes
ThermometerYes (with separate purchase of tempe sensor)Yes (with separate purchase of tempe sensor)
PulseOx SpO2 monitoring sensorYesYes
GPSGPS. GLONASS, GalileoGPS. GLONASS, Galileo
Multi-band GPSNoNo
SatIQ technologyNoNo
Find my phoneYesYes
Find my watchYesYes
iOS compatibleYesYes
Android compatibleYesYes

The most important things to know about hardware specifications of Venu Sq 2 and Vivoactive 4 are:

  1. Venu Sq 2 has an aluminum bezel while the Vivoactive 4 has a stainless steel bezel.
  2. Venu Sq 2 lacks barometric altimeter and gyroscope.
  3. Venu Sq 2 has internal storage of 4 GB.
  4. Venu Sq 2 is very light weight, and has a thinner wrist band.

Music

Vivoactive 4 offers complete or full music features on the smartwatch. Venu Sq 2 has limited music functionality.

Venu Sq 2 allows you to control music on the paired smartphone. However, it offers no offline music storage. Therefore, offline music listening through the smartwatch is not possible on a Venu Sq 2.

Vivoactive 4 offers the full suite of music features on the smartwatch:

  • Vivoactive 4 allows you to store music files on the watch storage
  • With a Vivoactive 4, you can control music on the smartwatch directly.
  • You can also manage music on the paired smartphone using the Vivoactive 4 smartwatch.

If you prefer to store and listen to music directly from the smartwatch, you will need to pick a Vivoactive 4. However, if you are fine with music on the paired smartphone, Venu Sq 2 works fine as well.

Alternatively, you can buy the Venu Sq 2 Music edition smartwatch with full set of music features.

Wi-Fi Connectivity

Venu Sq 2 does not offer Wi-Fi connectivity. So, you cannot connect to any Wi-Fi network for managing updates or other content from the Garmin servers.

This implies that you will need to use network connectivity of the paired smartphone for all updates.

Vivoactive 4 does include Wi-Fi connectivity.

Venu Sq 2 misses Wi-Fi wireless connectivity. If you like the Venu Sq 2 and want Wi-Fi connectivity, we will suggest choosing Venu Sq 2 music edition instead.

Vivoactive 4 with steel bezel

Battery

Venu Sq 2 is a lighter watch. The battery backup provided by Venu Sq 2 is longer than the battery backup of Vivoactive 4.

Aside from the battery backup levels, Venu Sq 2 also offers the ‘Battery saver mode’ to help you tide over low battery emergency situations.

We look at the battery backup provided by Venu Sq 2 and Vivoactive 4 in different watch modes below.

Watch modeVenu Sq 2 backupVivoactive 4 backup
Smartwatch modeUp to 11 daysUp to 8 days
GPS mode Up to 26 hoursUp to 18 hours
GPS mode with musicUp to 6 hours
Battery saver modeUp to 12 days

Venu Sq 2 has better or longer battery backup than Vivoactive 4. But the difference is not huge to merit a consideration.

Costs

Venu Sq 2 has a list price of $249.99 while the Vivoactive 4 has a list price of $349.99.

Final verdict

Between Vivoactive 4 and Venu Sq 2 smartwatches, the choice boils down to your personal liking. Venu Sq 2 has a square shape and Vivoactive 4 has a round shape.

For me, it is Venu Sq 2 that scores over the Vivoactive 4 because of the following reasons:

  1. Venu Sq 2 is significantly lighter.
  2. I like the bezel made of anodized aluminum in Venu Sq 2.
  3. Venu Sq 2 has an AMOLED display.
  4. Venu Sq 2 is cheaper than the Vivoactive 4 smartwatch (based on the list price of both smartwatches).
  5. Venu Sq 2 is a newer variant of Garmin smartwatches. And, it does have a great contemporary look for the watch.

To be honest, it does have its own shortcomings as it misses Wi-Fi connectivity, music on the watch, gyroscope and barometric altimeter.

I can live without all these features of Venu Sq 2. If you too can look at life without these features, you can be a happy user of the Garmin Venu Sq 2 smartwatch.

Suggested reading

You may like to read additional smartwatch comparison studies below:

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