Garmin just launched the Approach S40, a smart golf watch that’s built to help you do better on the course. It’s an upgrade from Garmin’s previous golf watches, the S10 and S20. Whether you love or hate golf, being good at it is likely part of the equation. We had a tester take the S40 out last weekend to Silver Spring Country Club in Connecticut where the snow had finally melted surrounding the 18 hole, walker-friendly course. He found it was intuitive to use and easily connected to satellites so the distance between holes was accurate. Knowing the distances between the greens and where the hazards are can change your golf game helping you to know what kind of power to put behind each swing.
Compared to the previous model, the S20, the watch face on the S40 is circular, not a rectangle, so it’s less clunky and looks more like an everyday watch as opposed to a smart golf watch. The single bezel, as opposed to four buttons, also adds to the regular watch allure. It’s “noticeably smaller, lighter and more legible in bright sunlight,” our tester said. “It definitely helps that it is slimmer [and] more attractive than others I have seen before, like the previous Garmin models like the S10 or S20 — I actually wore it all day as opposed to rushing to my bag to get my real watch back on.”
You’ll still get texts so your friends can rag on you or cheer you on while you’re on the green. And the battery life is equivalent, if not better, than the previous model: you still get up to 15 hours of playing time or 10 days of no golfing (smartwatch mode) before needing to charge it via the USB/data clip charger. Time to grab a golf ball and start putting.
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