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Garmin Approach S42 vs S62 (2021): Which Golf GPS Smartwatch Should You Buy?

If you’re in the market for a golf GPS watch, it’s pretty much a given that you’ve encountered many Garmin models. After all, the brand is one of the leaders in this space. Today, we’ll be looking at two of their latest offerings—the Garmin Approach S42 and S62. The Garmin Approach S42 is a mid-range GPS watch that comes with many useful features for beginners and advanced golfers. On the other hand, the Garmin Approach S62 is the company’s top-end offering, and as such, it comes with all the latest premium features that Garmin has to offer. So which one of these golf GPS watches should you buy? Below is our comparison of the two.

Garmin Approach S42 vs S62 Comparison Chart

ModelGarmin Approach S42 Garmin Approach S62
 Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, Lightweight with 1.2' Touchscreen, 42k+ Preloaded Courses,...Garmin Approach S62, Premium Golf GPS Watch, Built-in Virtual Caddie, Mapping and Full Color Screen,...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Size & Weight43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7 mm
1.5 oz (43 g)
Silver/White and Rose Gold/Light Sand versions fit wrists with circumference of 106-176 mm
Black/Gunmetal version fits wrists with circumference of 125-202 mm
47 x 47 x 14.8 mm
2.2 oz (61 g)
Fits wrists with a circumference of 125-208 mm
LensChemically strengthened glassCorning® Gorilla® Glass 3
BezelMetalCeramic
Strap/BandsSilicone
Quick release
Silicone
Quick release
Display1.2 inches (30.4mm)
240 x 240 pixels
Touchscreen
Color
Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel
1.3 inches (33.02 mm)
260 x 260 pixels
Touchscreen
Color
Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel
Water Rating5 ATM5 ATM
Battery LifeSmartwatch mode: Up to 10 days
GPS mode: Up to 15 hours
Smartwatch mode: up to 14 days
GPS mode: up to 20 hours
Memory64MB1GB
SensorsGPS, Gyroscope, AccelerometerGarmin Elevate Wrist Heart Rate Monitor, GPS, Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Pulse Ox Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor
Golf Features42,000 preloaded courses
Measures shot distance
Digital scorecard
Garmin Autoshot
Auto courseview updates
Green view w/manual pin position
Hazards and course targets
Tournament legal
Full vector map
Pinpointer
Playslike distance
Touch-targeting
Wind speed and direction
Virtual caddie
42,000 preloaded courses
Measures shot distance
Digital scorecard
Garmin Autoshot
Auto courseview updates
Green view w/manual pin position
Hazards and course targets
Tournament legal (tournament mode enabled)
Sports ProfilesRunning, Indoor Running, Biking, Indoor BikingStrength, Cardio, Treadmill and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Indoor Rowing and Walking, Yoga, Running, Indoor Running, Biking, Indoor Biking, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Swimming

Design

The more expensive Garmin Approach S62 feels more premium than the S42, as expected.

garmin approach s42 vs s62 design
The Garmin Approach S42 (left) has a smaller display than the Garmin Approach S62 (right).

The two golf GPS watches sport a rugged design with circular bezels and they have similar sunlight-visible, transflective MIP touchscreen displays. However, the Garmin Approach S62 has a slightly larger screen (1.3 inches vs 1.2 inches) and a higher resolution (260 x 260 vs 240 x 240). They also differ when it comes to bezel material and lens type, with the S42 having a metal bezel and a chemically strengthened glass, and the S62 sporting a ceramic bezel and a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 lens. Clearly, the more luxurious S62 has the more premium build.

Both the Garmin Approach S42 and Garmin Approach S62 bands are quick release, so you can easily replace them if you want to. The Garmin Approach S42 comes in gunmetal with black silicone band, rose gold with tan/light sand silicone band and silver with white silicone band. On the other hand, the S62 comes in either black or white.

The two watches are waterproof with a 5 ATM rating. A 5 ATM rating means that they can withstand water pressure to a depth of up to 50 meters. They are also resistant to splashes, rain and snow.

Tracking and Features

The Garmin Approach S62 comes with many additional features that will enhance your golf game.

garmin approach s42 vs s62 tracking and features
Both the Garmin Approach S42 (left) and S62 (right) have a Green View feature, but only the latter has Virtual Caddie.

Golfing Features

These two Garmin watches are very easy to use and their menus are also easy to navigate. They come preloaded with 42,000 courses and once you set them in golf mode, you’ll be able to find the course that you’re currently at with ease, since it’s usually at the top of the list.

Both the S42 and S62 are able to measure shot distance, provide you with a digital scorecard and give you a green view, as well as hazards and course targets. They are also tournament legal, with the S62 giving you a tournament mode.

Another feature that they share is Garmin’s AutoShot. With this feature, your fairway shots are recorded automatically, although you’ll need to manually enter your putts and chips. If you want your short game to be tracked automatically, you can purchase Garmin’s CT10 sensors. These sensors with save you the trouble of manually entering your putts and chips.

As the more expensive model, the Garmin Approach S62 has some exclusive features that include a full vector map view, pinpointer, wind and speed direction, touch-targeting and a Virtual Caddie. The Virtual Caddie feature is helpful for both beginners and experienced golfers as it suggests which club is best for each shot. It collects data based on your play and gives you advice on each shot.

Fitness and Daily Tracking Features

While the Garmin Approach S42 and S62 are primarily for golfers, they also come with fitness and daily tracking features. Both of them offer sleep, hydration and women’s health monitoring, but the S62 ups the ante by offering additional health monitoring features such as heart rate monitoring, stress monitoring, relaxation reminders and more.

The Garmin Approach S42 and S62 can also track other sports activities outside of golf. You can create running and biking profiles with the S42 and it will track your distance, time and pace. On the S62, you can create even more profiles for activities that include weightlifting, yoga, swimming and various other indoor and outdoor activities.

Aside from having more health monitoring features and fitness tracking capability, the Garmin Approach S62 also supports Garmin Pay for contactless payments. Needless to say, the S62 is more feature-packed.

Battery Life and Compatibility

The Garmin Approach S62 has a longer battery life than the S42 in both smartwatch and GPS modes.

garmin approach s42 vs s62 battery life and compatibility
The Garmin Approach S42 (left) has three color options, while the Garmin Approach S62 (right) only has two.

When it comes to battery life, the two are very good. The Garmin Approach S42 can last up to 10 days when in smartwatch or standby mode and up to 10 hours when GPS is activated. On the other hand, the Garmin Approach S62 can last up to 14 days on standby mode and up to 20 hours when in GPS mode. These watches are capable of lasting a round or two of golf without completely running out of charge.

The Garmin Golf app and the Garmin Connect Mobile app are both available on Android and iOS. You can pair these two watches with your phone via Bluetooth. They offer smart notifications, a find my phone feature, weather forecasts and a calendar. The Garmin Approach S62 offers additional smart features such as the ability to control smartphone music, text response or reject phone call (Android only), find my watch and support for Garmin Pay. It’s also able to access Garmin’s Connect IQ for downloadable widgets, apps, watch faces and more.

Verdict

The Garmin Approach S42 is easier to recommend due to its more attractive price; however, if you want the best, you need to get the Garmin Approach S62.

The main advantages of the Garmin Approach S62 are its larger display, better build quality, longer battery life and a slew of useful golf and daily tracking features. It has a few golf features that can definitely enhance your overall golf game, and it comes with more sensors for health monitoring and fitness tracking.

To sum up, the Garmin Approach S62 premium GPS golf watch is better overall, but it comes with a hefty price tag. If you have the money for it and you want the best, you should definitely get it. On the other hand, if you have a tighter budget and you can live without the added features of the S62, the Garmin Approach S42 is still an excellent buy.

FAQs

📌 Is the Garmin Approach S62 waterproof?

Yes, it has a 5 ATM rating, which means that it can be submerged under water to a depth of up to 50 meters without getting damaged.

📌 Is the Garmin Approach S62 worth it?

If you want the best golf GPS watch that Garmin has to offer, yes, the Garmin Approach S62 is worth it. It has all the latest features that you’ll want in a golf GPS watch.

📌 Is the Garmin Approach S42 waterproof?

Yes, similar to the S62, the Garmin Approach S42 has a 5 ATM rating.

📌 Does Garmin S42 have a heart-rate sensor?

No, it doesn’t have a heart rate sensor.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.