Categories: Technology
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2023-12-04 8:34 AM

Garmin Venu 3S: Fitness Elegance with a Price Tag – Is It Worth the Splurge?

  • Sleek design, 41mm Venu 3S caters to varied wrist sizes, offering a fresh and fashionable OLED display.
  • Slim and lightweight, it provides comfort during extended wear, surviving everyday workouts and playful encounters.
By Lethabo Ntsoane

Garmin has unveiled its latest smartwatch, the Venu 3S, priced at a hefty R8,549.99. Boasting a sleek design, this device aims to strike a balance between style, functionality, and enhanced wellness features. Let’s dive into the details and see if it lives up to the expectations.

Design and Comfort: A Fashionable Fitness Companion

The Venu 3S comes in two sizes, catering to different wrist sizes – the 41mm Venu 3S and the 45mm Venu 3. Offering a mix of affordability and style, the smartwatch comes in various colour options, ensuring a fresh and fashionable flair. The 1.2-inch OLED display provides crisp visuals, and the slim design, measuring 12mm thick and weighing 40g, ensures comfort during extended wear.

Sleek and stylish designRelatively high price for a lifestyle watch
Comfortable to wearLimited third-party app ecosystem
Variety of colour optionsNo LTE capability

Durability and Battery Life: A Reliable Fitness Companion

Durability is a key factor for any fitness device, and the Venu 3S doesn’t disappoint. While not the hardiest in Garmin’s lineup, it is suitable for everyday workouts. The smartwatch survived multiple tests against potential damage, including encounters with playful kittens. Battery life is commendable, offering 9-10 days on a single charge with the always-on display disabled, making it a reliable companion for fitness enthusiasts.

Advanced Health and Fitness Features: More Than Just a Tracker

Heart Rate and Sleep Tracking

One of the standout features is the new heart rate sensor supporting EKG readings for atrial fibrillation detection. Garmin has stepped up its sleep tracking game with the introduction of a Sleep Coach feature, considering factors like heart rate variability, age, activity history, and even naps. The addition of nap detection is a welcome improvement, providing users with more comprehensive sleep data.

Meditation Sessions and Wellness

The Venu 3S goes beyond basic fitness tracking by introducing audio-guided meditation sessions. Users can choose a mantra, audio tracks, and an overall theme while monitoring their heart rate and respiration rate during the sessions. This holistic approach to wellness is a positive addition, though it might not be a frequently used feature for all users.

EKG and AFib Detection

The smartwatch supports EKG and atrial fibrillation (AFib) detection features. While the review indicated accurate results, these features might be more relevant for users with specific health concerns, as they are not considered must-have for everyone.

Smart Features: Bridging the Gap

While Garmin watches are primarily known for their fitness tracking capabilities, the Venu 3S adds a layer of smart functionality. Users can take calls directly from the wrist and interact with their phone’s voice assistant over Bluetooth. This feature, introduced in the Venu 2 Plus, continues to provide clear calls and practicality, even without LTE capability.

However, the smart features remain fairly basic, including alarms, timers, calendar, weather, and Garmin Pay. The limited third-party app ecosystem might be a drawback for users seeking a more extensive range of applications.

Pricing and Competition: A Steep Investment

The elephant in the room is the price tag – R8,549.99. In comparison to other lifestyle smartwatches, particularly in the South African market, this places the Venu 3S on the higher end of the spectrum. Competitors such as Fitbit, Apple Watch, and Samsung Galaxy Watch offer good alternatives at potentially more attractive price points.

CompetitorPrice (Approx.)LTE Capability
Garmin Venu 3SR8,549.99No
Apple Watch Series 9 (41mm)R8,549.99Yes
Google Pixel Watch 2 (LTE)R6,799.99Yes
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (40mm)R4,899.99Yes


The Garmin Venu 3S impresses with its design, durability, and advanced wellness features. However, the steep price tag may deter potential buyers, especially when considering the competition in the market. South African users seeking a lifestyle smartwatch with a focus on fitness and enhanced wellness might find value in the Venu 3S. For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, exploring alternatives in the market may be a prudent choice.

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Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted: Email: Twitter: @NtsoaneLethabo