I have to say that after a week of use the Garmin Venu has proved itself to me and to the point that I would rate it above the Apple Watch, any Apple Watch to date.
Ignoring the cellular Apple Watch, the Venu offers the following advantages-
It is cheaper by 25%.
The battery life is 3-4 days with ease and this is with always on time and date displayed.
The screen seems to offer more at one time, especially in messages etc, even though it is circular.
The fitness tracking and presentation through the app is more customisable and more understandable.
You can use any 20mm watch strap which should save more money.
I tend to trust the tracking more than on the Apple Watch and things like Body Battery and Stress are genuinely useful.
There are tons of watch faces available for free of which some are, however, rip offs of other watch brands.
It can’t all be better though and the following is where the Apple Watch wins-
The apps on Apple Watch are better, but I never really installed any in past.
The Apple Watch looks better on the wrist whereas the Venu looks like a generic fitness watch with a flat screen.
You can respond to messages on the Apple Watch and also take calls.
I would argue that the better Apple Watch features tend to be the ‘smartwatch’ features and that the Venu is a more practical offering that really does do what it focuses on very well indeed. It has been a genuine surprise so far.