The Garmin Venu 3 promises sleep coaching and nap tracking to optimise rest

Nap tracking and sleep coaching make the Garmin Venu 3 a step forward from its predecessor

Garmin has launched the Garmin Venu 3, the newest iteration of the Venu range. The Venu 3 builds on the excellence of the Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2 Plus, and offers features that are both innovative and extremely welcome.  

If you’re considering upgrading your smartwatch, or preparing to buy your first one, then there were already good reasons for choosing a Garmin. And with the Venu 3, Garmin may have succeeded in creating a device that will genuinely challenge the Apple Watch when it comes to health and fitness tracking. 

Garmin Venu 3Credit: Garmin

What has Garmin revealed?

In fact, Garmin revealed two watches – the standard Venu 3 (45mm/1.77in), and the slightly smaller Venu 3S (41mm/1.61in). There are a few minor differences between the two devices in terms of weight, battery life and screen size. But in terms of features, the two devices both offer a complete experience – the 3S is by no means a Venu 3 ‘lite’.  

It was a slight surprise to see Garmin announce this in the run up to IFA 2023, instead preferring not to attend the tech trade fair. The Venu 3 rumour mill did manage to reveal a few of the features on the new watch, although there are still a few surprises.  

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Garmin Venu 3 price and release date

Available now, the Venu 3 and 3S both cost £449.99. This is a little higher than the £399.99 RRP of the Venu 2 Plus, and it’s at the top end of expectations. That price makes it more expensive than the Apple Watch Series 8 (RRP £419).  

Featured product

Garmin Venu 3S

RRP: £449.99

Garmin Venu 3S

Featured product

Garmin Venu 3

RRP: £449.99

Garmin Venu 3

Design

The watches have a stainless-steel bezel, while the rest of the case is made from a fibre-reinforced polymer to help keep the weight down. The lens is made with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to help protect it from scratches and impacts, although this is less durable (and cheaper) than sapphire glass. 

Both devices feature an AMOLED display, with the Venu 3 offering 454×454-pixel resolution on a 35.4mm (1.4-in) screen. The Smaller 3S has a 30.4mm (1.2-inch) screen, with 390 x 390-pixel resolution. The screen on the Venu 2 was superb, and we’re expecting this to be even better. These devices also have a built-in speaker and microphone, allowing users to take and receive calls on the wrist. 

Battery life doesn’t appear to have been compromised either, with the Venu 3 promising up to 14 days of battery, and the 3S offering up to 10 days. When you consider that the likes of an Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch will need charging every day or two, these are some impressive numbers. 

New features

A lot of the features on the Venu 3 were available on other Garmin devices that have launched since the Venu 2 but are new to the Venu range.

These include heart-rate variability (HRV) tracking (which can help to measure stress and recovery) and morning report (which offers an overview into your sleep, recovery, and HRV status) which can help you optimise your training and recovery schedule.

The Venu 3 can use GPS, Glonass, BeiDou and Galileo global positioning systems, to ensure accurate location tracking. 

But it’s the new features that really help make the Venu 3 stand out. First of these is sleep coaching, which goes a step further than simply giving you a basic report on how you slept.

The Venu 3 promises to monitor your sleep history, activity levels and more, to tell you how much sleep you will need for the night ahead. It also offers nap tracking, which is used to assess your rest and recovery needs. Naps haven’t previously been tracked by Garmin devices, and nap tracking is relatively rare in smartwatches (which generally only track your sleep at night).

Given the role sleep plays in recovery, it’s a welcome addition that will make features such as Garmin’s Body Battery even more accurate. 

Secondly, Garmin has introduced a dedicated wheelchair mode, which can track pushes rather than steps. It also provides new workouts and apps that are designed specifically with wheelchair users in mind. It’s great to see this included.  

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Who is the Garmin Venu 3 for?

The Venu range is arguably the closest Garmin comes to delivering a ‘true’ smartwatch experience. Other ranges, such as the Enduro, Fenix or Forerunner, are shamelessly focused on exercise and fitness tracking, while there are also fitness trackers such as the Vivosmart 5, which are much more basic.  

The Venu range still offers plenty of health and fitness functions (and the Garmin Connect app is superb in this respect) but it also includes a lot of smartwatch features, and a more stylish design than many of the more dedicated sports watches Garmin produces. 

As such, we’d suggest that this has something for almost everyone, but especially those interested in their health and fitness. If you want detailed insights into your health, fitness and sleep, the Venu 3 can offer that, alongside training support and advice.  

If you’re interested in some smartwatch functionality, you’ll be able to make and receive calls using this watch (although admittedly the app store is nowhere near as comprehensive as that of the Apple watch, for example). And with that excellent battery life, you won’t be worrying about whether it’s going to run out of juice before your next run finishes. 

Overall, this looks like a competitive package – and potentially a legitimate rival to the Apple Watch.  

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Steven Shaw

Written by Steven Shaw he/him

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Steven Shaw has been a freelance writer for a variety of outlets, most notably TechRadar. His degree in Medieval History prepared him less adequately for his career than you might expect, but the years spent working in technology focused retail were much more helpful.

Outside of work, Steven is passionate about health and fitness, and particularly enjoys high-intensity interval training, weight training, and increasingly, spending time recovering. Steven loves reading, films and a wide variety of sports. A particular highlight was watching Viv Richards and Sachin Tendulkar batting together in an exhibition match.

He wishes he could travel more. He can also tell you a lot about the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Carolingians. Most of his non-work time is spent with his young children, who are the living embodiment of high-intensity training.