They are both very well-rounded GPS watches that can track a wide range of fitness activities and sports modes. However, there are some key differences that we will make explicitly clear in this post.
To do this, we will highlight all the the key similarities and all the key differences between the Garmin Venu and the Fenix 6 Pro. We will also provide a full list of the sports modes that each watch offers, together with some recommendations at the end, to help you make the right decision.
What are the biggest differences between the Garmin Venu and the Fenix 6?
- The Garmin Venu has a beautiful AMOLED HD touchscreen, whereas the Fenix 6 uses buttons to work the watch.
- The Fenix 6 tracks open water swimming and it has a triathlon mode. The Venu doesn’t support either of these features.
- The Garmin Fenix 6 has several running specific features that aren’t supported by the Venu.
- The Fenix 6 has TOPO map and Ski Map technology which is missing from the Garmin Venu.
- The GPS battery life of the Fenix 6 Pro (36 Hours) is much longer than the GPS battery life of the Garmin Venu (20 Hours).
- The Venu is considerably cheaper than the Fenix 6.
- The Fenix 6 can track 10 extra sports/activity modes in total.
- There are two versions of the Fenix 6 that support solar charging.
Garmin Venu vs Garmin Fenix 6 - Key Similarities
Fenix 6 Pro
Garmin Venu vs Garmin Fenix 6 - Key Differences
Fenix 6 Pro
Comparison of Sports Modes - Venu vs Fenix 6
|Garmin Venu - Sports Modes||Fenix 6 Pro - Sports Modes|
|01) Strength Training||01) Strength Training|
|02) Cardio Training||02) Cardio Training|
|03) Elliptical Training||03) Elliptical Training|
|04) Stair Stepping||04) Stair Stepping|
|05) Floor Climbing||05) Floor Climbing|
|06) Indoor Rowing||06) Indoor Rowing|
|07) Yoga||07) Yoga|
|08) Running||08) Running|
|09) Treadmill Running||09) Treadmill Running|
|10) Indoor Track Running||10) Indoor Track Running|
|11) Skiing||11) Skiing|
|12) Snowboarding||12) Snowboarding|
|13) Cross Country Skiing||13) Cross Country Skiing|
|14) Stand Up Paddleboarding||14) Stand Up Paddleboarding|
|15) Rowing||15) Rowing|
|16) Cycling||16) Cycling|
|17) Indoor Cycling||17) Indoor Cycling|
|18) Pool Swimming||18) Pool Swimming|
|19) Golf Mode||19) Golf Mode|
|20) Walking||20) Walking|
|21) Open Water Swimming|
|22) Triathlon Mode|
|26) Mountain Biking|
|29) Trail Running|
|30) Indoor Track Running|
Reasons To Choose The Garmin Venu
It has an AMOLED HD touchscreen
This is definitely one of the biggest differences between the Garmin Venu and the Fenix 6. Where the Fenix 6 relies on a button-only interface to interact with the watch, the Venu relies predominantly on the touchscreen.
As a result, some users might find that the Venu functions better as a standard smartwatch. If you’re familiar with using a touchscreen smartphone, transitioning to a touchscreen watch should be pretty seamless.
However, sports enthusiasts are quick to point out that a button only interface is often a bit more practical when you’re exercising. This is mainly because sweaty fingertips can make the touchscreen experience a bit clumsy at times.
From our perspective, the touchscreen is generally fine during most endurance exercises, but we will happily concede the button only setup of the Fenix 6 is a touch more reliable during demanding physical activities.
The Screen Resolution Is Significantly Better
The bullet points below should make this pretty clear.
- Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Screen Resolution: 260×260 pixels
- Garmin Venu Screen Resolution: 390×390 pixels
The Venu is Garmin’s first product model to include an HD AMOLED screen. While this is likely to become more common in future, for now, the Venu is really your only choice in the Garmin family if screen resolution is a dealbreaker for you.
It's a lot cheaper
The Garmin Venu is about 40% cheaper than the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro. Morever, there are several version of the Fenix 6, which are more than double the price of the Venu.
In other words, you can save yourself a fair bit of cash if you forego some of the finer features exclusive to the Fenix 6, and settle on the Garmin Venu. If go this route, the good news is that you still get a very well rounded sports watch with a beautiful HD screen.
It has more than enough sports modes for most people
The Garmin Venu really does have you covered from a sports and activity tracking perspective. Fitness enthusiasts, runners, cyclists, rowers, golfers and even snowboarders will all be well served by this watch.
Of course the Fenix 6 gives you all the same core features (plus a whole lot more), but those extra features come at a fairly steep price. You just have to ask yourself if you really need all the extra technology that the Fenix 6 brings to the table.
The Venu has Guided On Screen Workouts
Together with the HD screen, guided on screen workouts is another area where the Garmin Venu actually outperforms the Fenix 6.
The idea of the Guided workouts is to leverage the amazing screen, giving you structured workouts to follow, together with visual demonstration of how to perform each exercise in your routine. In a way, it’s a bit like having a personal trainer packed away in your watch. For fitness enthusiasts, this is actually a pretty big win for the Garmin Venu.
Reasons To Choose The Fenix 6
Triathlon Mode + Open Water Swimming Support
From a sports perspective, the addition of open water swimming and triathlon tracking make the Fenix 6 significantly more attractive for endurance athletes.
Much Longer Battery Life & Power Management Options
Althought the Garmin Venu actually has quite a good battery life considering the power hungry screen (20 Hour GPS battery, , it can’t compete with the might of the Fenix 6 Pro in this regard.
It actually goes above and beyond simple battery life improvements. The Fenix 6 also gives you power management options (kinda like a smartphone) which puts it in a whole new league from a power perspective.
The bullet points below (derived from the Fenix 6 Pro) should give you a good understanding of the battery capabilities of the Fenix 6.
- GPS Battery Life – 36 Hours
- Max Battery GPS – 72 Hours
- UltraTrac GPS – 150 Hours
- Smartwatch Battery – 14 Days
- Expedition GPS Mode – 28 Days
- Battery Saver Watch Mode – 48 Days
The Fenix 6 Is Better For Runners
There are 4 main reasons the Fenix 6 is the better than the Garmin Venu as a dedidicated running watch.
- The Fenix 6 supports Garmin Advanced Running Dynamics
- It Fenix 6 supports Garmin Running Power
- The Fenix 6 uses buttons rather than a touchscreen to work the watch (a lot of runners prefer this).
- The Fenix 6 supports Garmin PacePro, which precalculates the speed that you should run during each stage of a race to hit your target time, while factoring in the performance impact of hills.
Now, you might not be sure what Garmin Advanced Running Dynamics is all about. The bullet points below explain the 6 main stats which the Fenix 6 supports, but the Venu does not.
- Ground Contact Time – The time your foot spends on the ground with each stride.
- Ground Contact Balance – The symmetry between left and right foot.
- Vertical Oscillation – The degree of ‘bounce’ in your running motion.
- Vertical Ratio – The cost-benefit ratio with stride length.
- Cadence – Real time cadence stats displayed directly on the Fenix 6.
- Stride Length – Real time stride length stats displayed directly on the Fenix 6.
There is just one caveat here. In order to unlock Garmin Running Power and Advanced running dynamics on the Fenix 6, you need to invest in one of the following 3 accessories (not all 3, just 1 of the 3 ).
TOPO Maps & Ski Maps - Fenix 6
If there’s one area where the Fenix range is way ahead of the competition, it’s the topographical map technology.
By investing in the Fenix 6, you essentially unlock advanced route navigation capabilities, built on 3D topographical maps that display in real time. This makes the Fenix 6 a lot more desirable for trail runners, hikers, mountain bikers and mountaineers, all of whom can benefit from the TOPO map technology.
In addition, the Fenix 6 also support SKI Maps. This gives you a 3D representation of the SKI resort that you’re visiting, together with an indication of the slope rating (green, blue, red, black) and a general overview of how to access all the slopes of a particular resort. In other words, if you’re into snow sports, you will be well served by the Fenix 6, because of the built-in SKI Maps. The only extra thing worth mentioning is that you have to choose the Fenix 6 Pro, the Fenix 6 Sapphire or the Fenix 6 Solar in order to gain access to this feature (it’s missing from the base model).
Bigger Music Storage Capacity - Fenix 6
This one is pretty simple. The Fenix 6 can store about 4 times as much music as the Garmin Venu.
- Garmin Venu Music Storage – Up to 500 songs
- Fenix 6 Pro/Sapphire Music Storage – Up to 2000 songs
Garmin PacePro & Garmin ClimbPro
Garmin ClimbPro gives you a better understanding of all the upcoming climbs along your training route (when running our cycling outdoors). It detects all the climbs, and makes all the important information available to you as you approach it. This includes:
- Distance remaining in the climb
- Ascent remaining in the climb
- A chart with a profile of the climb
- Average gradient for the climb
Garmin’s PacePro technology is designed to help you achieve your target time during training and races. It’s a bit like having a pacemaker built into your watch, for the entirety of the race.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that Garmin’s PacePro technology factors in both uphill and downhill sections of the course, setting a slower target pace during uphill sections and a faster target pace during downhill sections. This is a nice touch. Factoring in the contours of the route helps the watch set an achievable pace during challenging sections of a course.
It's as good as it gets from Garmin
The Fenix range has always been the pioneer of Garmin’s product line-up, and they have continued this lineage with the Fenix 6 range.
Long story short, the Fenix 6 is the best multisport watch from Garmin at this moment in time. It’s a pretty safe bet if you just want the best that Garmin has to offer, with every single technological feature baked into the watch.