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Venu Sq Pulse Ox Not Accurate

Has anyone been comparing the Venu Sq Pulse Ox readings to a dedicated finger pulse oximeter? Perhaps you can share your findings here.

I have been seeing readings that are much lower than that from my finger pulse oximeter. Worryingly lower, with many times below 90%, in which hospitalization is advised! Most of the time, it read 93% or lower, which is below the healthy level of 94% and above. My finger pulse oximeter says otherwise with readings 96% and above. I am also wearing a Huawei watch on my other hand to compare and it says mostly 98 - 100%. I don't think I have hypoxia as I have been doing brisk walks daily for 3 - 4 km without any respiratory issues.

I have been using fitness trackers for some years and just got the Venu Sq a couple of months back. It's worrying me! And I am wearing the watch according to Garmin's instructions. And keeping the sensor cleaned always.

  • Hi, my Venu SQ is ALWAYS low, so I’d take it with a grain of salt.  My Venu 2 is much better.  I do find if I press it down on my wrist when taking the reading it does a much better job.

  • This post is old; for new readers, I will report that my Venu SQ does relate to my finger applied oximeter rather closely.  Normally the finger device is one percent higher than the wrist reading.  Having reported that, I will say that the Pulse Ox does not always read well, at times it simply quits reading early and defaults to the last reading if done manually, or the average reading if set to automatic readings.  It's not great.

  • Changed my mind, it isn't accurate all the time.  When the device is read manually without a sleep reading, it is accurate.  With a sleep reading, it just reports a default when read manually or all day readings.  

  • Just had a sleep test. Sq is generally 5% lower. 

  • I first got my Venu SQ it was giving me very accurate readings for blood ox but the past six months or so it hasn’t gotten above 93% with drops to 70% at night making me worry big time. I also use a finger oximeter which says I’m fine so there must be something wrong with the watch all of a sudden. When I bought it a few years ago all of the reviews found it to be accurate but now everyone is saying it’s very much useless. I wonder what is happened. Maybe a bad update?

  • It seems the sq spo2 monitor reads everyone has mentioned about 5% lower.  However if you are getting sat readings of 70% when sleeping this is not good and you most likely have some form of sleep apnea.  Overtime if this isn't corrected it could lead to major cardiac issues, even strokes. You should let your primary care physician know and see about getting a sleep study done to find out if you have sleep apnea. 

  • I have other, very accurate monitors that are reading fine. A sleep study done since then is fine as well. The watch is the problem. All of it's reading are now out. Heart rate included. The watch is less than 3 years old and is basically good for telling the time only...for now.

  • This device is grossly inaccurate, 5% out is about right. Although if its that inaccurate, why isn't Garmin releasing an update?

  • Garmin Venu SQ - Date code NOV 2021 - purchased APR 13 2023 - Upgraded 3.00 > 4.60
    EMAY EMO-80 Sleep Oxygen Monitor
    Veridian 11-50K pulse oximeter (aka Contec CMS50M)

    Over a period of two days for 12 hours each, I took SpO2 spot checks every twenty minutes with the SQ simultaneously with the 11-50K. The two readings rarely matched, with a disparity of ±2-3%. However, for the full days' readings overall, the SQ ranged between 98% to 92% and the 11-50K, 99% to 93%. The Garmin data rose and fell in a smooth steps while the EMAY data were scattered. e.g.  97-95-95-94-94-95-96-97 vs 97-95-94-94-97-95-94-97%.

    Being common knowledge, the reflectance LEDs of wearables (wrist or upper arm) will never match the speed and accuracy of the transmittance LEDs used in their finger worn counterparts. Clearly, this is demonstrated in the data I collected with the method I described above.

    The SQ's accuracy is quite good, but several spot checks should be taken if SpO2 records for activities is required. If accuracy is critical, then any wearable, no matter the brand or price point is not suggested.

    During sleep, the SQ failed miserably.

    The SQ's 82% at 2:59 AM was in stark contrast to the EMO-80's 96%, 97% and 96% readings at 2:59:00, 2:59:30 and 2:59:59. Ditto for the SQ's 86% earlier at 1:40 AM versus the EMO-80's 96%, 94% and 95% readings at 1:40:00, 1:40:30 and 1:40:59. The SQ's overnight average was 89%, the EMO-80, 95.5%.

    I repeated the procedure for a second night and recorded similar disparities.

    I suffer from an elevated red blood cell count possibly as a result of repetitive minor desaturation events during sleep which is beyond the means of any reflectance SpO2 device to detect or record. The EMO-80 was an affordable device (among others) recommended when I expressed interest in learning more about my condition.

    05/25 UPDATE:  Clinical sleep tests reveal I do not suffer from any apnea maladies and the desaturation events are normal for my age, 73..  My SpO2 never dropped below 92%, the average being 97%.

    Not singling out the SQ or any other Garmin product, it is universally accepted by those who suffer from sleep disorders and their health providers that ALL of the crop of "smart" watches and bands should be treated as curiosities (toys, IMHO).

    That said, the Venu SQ is a step up from the $40 band I've used to track my workouts, which did that job very well. But when the SQ dropped to $119 at a local big box retailer, it became affordable. And I like it.

    We're not alone, see the commentary and screenshots:

    Two of the devices have the same sensors as the SQ:

  • I know this is old but im glad I found it as my spo2 is average 93 but drops around 84 to 88 A LOT wich is basically your organs will die from lack of oxygen which has really been stressing me out.. lol pretty sure it's not correct as I'd likley be dead.. but ever since I got this watch I've been stressing out about it so hopefully this will also help someone else thst comes along, that there is no way this can be correct if im still alive. 

    EDIT  just did 2 back to back health snaps, one on wrist one on forearm, wrist spo2 93 forearm 99 ... sooo take that as you will.