The No Frills watch face disappears and then will not reinstall. The Bluetooth disconnect when the watch face is hit by the water when taking a shower. We sent a man to the moon fifty some years ago but cannot make a usable watch. Adding heart rate can really impact battery life. Some faces update less frequently, or show an average (I believe). If you wanted to extend battery life, stock watch faces seem to be best. Seconds can impact battery life, but its negligible, imo, and so can an analog watch face, but also pretty negligible.
- Garmin Watch Singapore
- No Frills Garmin Watch Faces
- Garmin Watches For Men
- No Frills Garmin Watch Face
- No Frills Garmin Watch Face Install Queued
This is something that really touches me since owning a watch really changed my life. I had worn my last watch back in the Nineties when I was a teenager but quickly realized that there is always a clock around somewhere so I skipped wearing one. With the advent of smartphones in the early 2000 years the necessity to buy a watch further diminished so I never got one again. Well, that changed recently when I realized that it was not only impractical but also a bit annoying (especially in foul weather) to always squeeze out my smartphone just to check for the time.
So I decided to again try to wear an ordinary watch whilst sailing and got me one on amazon. It´s not a fancy watch nor is it a “proper” sailing watch. The Festina Unisex Chronograph costs some150 Euros and I thought this might be a proper brand and a good price-value product. Here´s what I experienced in my first year wearing the new sailing watch.
Most precious during night sailing
It no less than changed how I sail. The convenience of a wrist watch is undeniable. Just a quick turn of the hand, a short look and you instantly know what time it is. Sounds strange and a bit crazy but if you realize that normally I would open my watertight pocket of the oilskin sailing jacket, take out the smartphone (which is very laborious especially when wearing a life jacket), deactivate the screensave mode (a pain in the ass when its raining!) just to have a quick time check, you understand why I am so excited about an ordinary wrist watch!
Next thing is night sailing. Usually it is dark, of course, during the night and all plotters and other screens are dimmed to minimum light emanation. You simply do not want to have your smartphone lit up to full blowing light just for a 4-digit information. I love my watch for its fluorescent clock face which really works fine. That would be also my recommendation for any watches you may look at: Ask the seller to provide for a dark room to check if the face is clearly lit up face of the clock.
So, I am now sailing for some 1.000 miles with my Festina and I am really surprise how it changed everything. “Time to distance” is a new quality in sailing tactics for me, so, for example, when tacking upwind I can now much quicker determine when best to tack. Before I used the watch I clicked on the plotter to mark a position in the water (hence: the distance) where to tack – now it´s a quick thing of mental arithmetic. I now do not determine where but when to tack. Much easier to instruct a crew by telling them “We are going to starboard tack in 30 minutes” than to tell them to look out for a mark in the middle of the blue screen on a plotter.
Festina Unisex Chronograph: Smart Watch?
Now, what about my Festina Unisex Chronograph Smart Watch? Well, the name is a bit misleading. This watch isn´t smart nor has it any „smart” features. There´s a stopwatch and a calendar, but that is all. The watch is also water proof, which is a good thing when sailing of course, but in essence, it just displays the time – and that it does very well.
Something that is clearly not good about this Festina watch is the quality of the wrist straps. They are made from leather (faux leather I´d suppose but nicely to look at). These straps disintegrate and loose their “leathery” surface quickly . That is annoying since the colors of this watch are a USP as Festina offers a great variety of these watches in your favourite colors.
Well, in addition to my 150 Euros spent initially on the watch itself, I recently bought a high quality wrist wrap in France worth another 40 Euros. This time it´s real thick leather and strongly stitched sews. This raises the budget to mere 200 Euros and that would be the threshold I´d recommend when thinking of investing into a watch as the minimum amount you should be willing to pay.
What is the best sailing wrist watch?
Now, what is the best watch? I don´t know – as always this depends on what you want to achieve. If you are a keen racer and regatta-sailor you might look for a really smart watch. Garmin offers a variety of sailing dedicated watched with great functions: GPS, speedometer and a load of load full of functions. The Quatix watch starts at some 450-500 Euros, topping out the range with a budget around 1.500 Euros.
Well, as for me, I am for now happy with my entry-level wrist watch. I wear it all the time, not just whilst sailing and every time I take a look onto it I am really happy to have it. What are your experiences with watches, how do you tackle the time-question on board and do you have any experience with real high-class sailing watches? Looking forward to your comments.
You may as well like to read:
Product test: The Ibberson sailing knife
Sailing tool box, all a skipper might need: Kraftwerk!
Garmin Watch Singapore
Sailing boots fail: Gotop© Provided by CNET Lexy Savvides/CNET
The $200 (£179, AU$300) Garmin Venu Sq has almost every fitness - and health-tracking feature you could want in a smartwatch for less than competitors like the Apple Watch and Fitbit Versa 3 . It has a bright LCD touchscreen, built-in GPS, SpO2 (blood oxygen) tracking and up to six days of battery life, which makes it a compelling buy, especially if you want a watch that's compatible with both Android and iOS.© Lexy Savvides/CNET
It's not the most premium-looking smartwatch out there and it misses out on features like a voice assistant and altimeter, but it makes up for it in health and fitness features that elevate it from the rest.
A functional watch without the wow factor
Like the name suggests, the Venu Sq has a square watch face with rounded edges, unlike the original Garmin Venu and almost every other Garmin sports watch with circular designs. Its 1.3-inch color LCD display feels a bit cramped compared to other Garmin watches, but it's clear and easy to read even in bright sunlight and you can keep the screen set to always-on. Having used the larger Garmin Venu for a while, the smaller size of the Venu Sq took a bit of getting used to, especially during workouts when I couldn't see as many stats at a glance and had to scroll to find the right metric like heart rate, which was all the way on the last page.
The overall build quality is sturdy enough thanks to an aluminum bezel, although the plastic case and buttons make it feel like a cheaper watch than it actually is, especially compared to something like the Apple Watch SE , Galaxy Watch Active 2 or Fitbit Versa 3 for example, which all have metal finishes and OLED displays. The Venu Sq has two side buttons: one to start/stop activities and the other to navigate back and forth between menus. Once I figured out which did what, it took me a few days to get completely comfortable using them to navigate the interface.
My biggest complaint with the Venu Sq's design is the vibration motor, which is not particularly strong. Half the time it was the buzzing noise, not the vibration itself, that clued me in on a notification.
Blood oxygen monitor and heart health alerts
Garmin's biggest strength is in health and fitness tracking, with the Venu Sq squarely hitting the mark. It has an SpO2 sensor to identify blood oxygen levels, either as a spot check or automatically throughout the day and night, similar to the $399 Apple Watch Series 6 . Although setting it to monitor constantly will reduce battery life a lot faster. It's also hard to find the SpO2 option in the menus and I found that adding it as a widget in the settings is the best way to get it to pop up on your wrist.
No Frills Garmin Watch Faces
Unfortunately I didn't have a pulse oximeter to compare the readings from the Venu Sq to determine accuracy. Either way, it's important to note that the Venu Sq has not been approved to be used as a medical device and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Always consult with a physician or other qualified health provider about any health-related issues you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
Though the Venu Sq doesn't have an ECG, or electrocardiogram, like the Apple Watch Series 6 and Galaxy Watch 3 , it does give you the option to receive high and low heart rate notifications that will let you know if your heart rate spikes above or falls below what it considers to be a healthy threshold.
The Venu Sq also uses heart rate variability to determine your stress levels, but doesn't really offer much guidance on how to decrease your stress. I found Garmin's Body Battery meter, which takes into account heart rate variability readings, activity levels and sleep, a more accurate representation of how my body was working that day and helped me decide what kind of workout to do and how hard to push myself. It works better than the Stress Management Score in the Fitbit Sense that is a bit more difficult to interpret for me.
Garmin also offers breathing rate and estimated VO2 max, the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during exercise, which can be used to gauge and improve athletic performance. The higher the number, the more fit you are.© Provided by CNET Screenshot by Lexy Savvides/CNET
Sleep tracking is also great on the Venu Sq and clearly identifies your sleep stages of REM, deep and light sleep. You'll also be able to see breathing rate and SpO2 levels in the morning. The downside is that the Garmin Connect app doesn't give you any tips on improving your sleep quality. Menstrual cycle tracking is also available on the Venu Sq and like other Garmin watches, it offers pregnancy tracking to log symptoms and monitor baby movement.
The Venu Sq has a range of workouts preloaded onto the watch, including cardio, strength, Pilates and yoga, so you can follow along with a preset routine on your wrist. There aren't any visual cues on the screen though, just text cues, so if you're doing yoga for example, you'll need to know what 'standing forward bend pose' or 'low lunge pose' means to get the most out of the routine. You can also build your own workout, such as a circuit of weights, a Pilates routine or a run, within the Garmin Connect app and sync them to the watch. There are also over 50 additional Garmin-created workouts you can load.
On top of these preloaded routines, the Venu Sq can track more than 20 different workout types, from the usual running and walking variants to golf and pool swimming. There's also a personal running coach you can use to help you train for a race or to hit a set goal. It doesn't give you personalized feedback on your form or audio cues like the Galaxy Watches , for example, instead it's more a guide for when you should warm up or how long you should run for, displayed on your wrist.
The Venu Sq has built-in GPS, meaning you don't have to rely on your phone for distance tracking when you're outside. Just be warned that it does take at least 30 seconds to lock on to a GPS signal when you are outside (regardless of whether you have your phone with you or not), which seems like an eternity if you're an impatient runner like me who just wants to get on with it. Once it finally locked though, it tracked my route accurately.
The downside is that there is no gyroscope or altimeter on the Venu Sq, so if you need accurate elevation data you'll likely want to look elsewhere. The Garmin Connect app does a good job of clearly showing you all the details after your workout, but it doesn't dive any deeper into metrics than what similarly priced rivals like the Apple Watch SE or Fitbit Versa 3 offer.
Like other Garmin watches, the Venu Sq has Garmin Live Track which lets you share your location with a safety contact when you are doing an outdoor workout. It does however require a cellular connection, so you will need your phone with you to use this feature.© Provided by CNET You can customize the options on this screen to show only your favorite workout types to track. Lexy Savvides/CNET
Just enough smarts for most people
While the Venu Sq is geared towards fitness and health tracking, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll miss out on smartwatch features. Like almost every other watch, the Venu Sq displays notifications from your phone and pings your phone to locate it if you lose it within Bluetooth range. You'll be able to see call notifications come through regardless of which phone you have the watch paired with, but only Android users will be able to decline calls and respond to text messages from the watch with prewritten responses. There is no speaker or mic onboard so you can't use voice-to-text responses.
The Venu Sq runs Garmin's own operating system (Garmin OS) which is not as seamless as that of Apple or Samsung's smartwatches, but I found it to be stable and more responsive than the Fitbit OS. It's faster to sync updates and doesn't experience any lag in selecting menu options or opening apps.
The biggest pain point for me when using the Venu Sq paired with an iPhone has been notifications. The Garmin Connect app on iOS doesn't let you filter out what notifications come through on your wrist and simply mirrors whatever notifications you have set up on your phone. It might not be a deal breaker for many, but I like to push only the most important notifications such as calls and text messages to my wrist, rather than everything that my phone shows. Android users get more control over which notifications come through.© Provided by CNET Lexy Savvides/CNET
If you want onboard music storage, you'll need to opt for the music edition of the Venu Sq that costs $50 more, which is the version I tested in this review. The Venu Sq Music lets you store music for offline listening from apps like Spotify (with a Premium subscription) or songs you already own. It's also the watch to get for faster data transfers as it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, whereas the regular Venu Sq only uses Bluetooth.
Garmin has plenty of watch faces to choose from, including third-party options to help personalize the look, plus a fairly wide selection of apps through the Connect IQ Store (a separate app you need to download on your phone). You can also make contactless payments with Garmin Pay on all versions of the watch. The main Garmin Connect app is where you see all your stats and change settings on the watch, while the Connect IQ Store is for adding apps and watch faces.
The Venu Sq, however, lacks a voice assistant, a feature that by now has become standard for most of its similarly priced competitors. This might not be a deal-breaker for you, but it means you miss out hands-free voice control, which I like.
Garmin Watches For Men
A week's worth of battery life
No Frills Garmin Watch Face
The Venu Sq has great battery life and you can get up to six days worth of use before you'll need to charge it up, though that number may start to whittle down if you're using it for a lot of GPS workouts, listening to music or continuously tracking your blood oxygen levels. Garmin quotes up to eight hours of battery when playing back music, 14 hours if you are using it in GPS mode, or up to six hours with GPS and music playback.
No Frills Garmin Watch Face Install Queued
A great fitness watch without extra bells and whistles
If you're willing to sacrifice a few smart features for better health and fitness tracking, the Garmin Venu Sq is a solid choice that works with Android or iOS. That said, I do wish that Garmin wouldn't charge the extra $50 for the music version, as it does alter the value proposition quite a bit, particularly if you are an iPhone user who might also be considering the Apple Watch SE which, at that point doesn't cost you that much more.