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Garmin G8 vs G80 (2020): Which GPS Device Is the Better Golf Companion?

GPS devices are a part of golfers’ arsenal nowadays, and Garmin has been supplying them for years now. That said, the G8 and G80 are two of the most popular ones available. Between the two, the beginner- and budget-friendly pick is the G8, while the G80 is more of the premium and feature-packed type. Each one can improve your swing and overall playing skills, but considering the price difference, is the G80 worth forking over a hundred dollars more? We made this guide to clear up how the two differentiate from each other and help you choose between them.

Garmin G8 vs G80 Comparison Chart

ModelGarmin Approach G8Garmin Approach G80
Garmin Approach G8 Golf Course GPSGarmin Approach G80, All-in-One Premium GPS Golf Handheld with Integrated Launch Monitor, 3.5'...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions (W x H x D)2.1″ x 4.4″ x 0.6″2.3” x 4.5” x 0.6”
Weight0.24 lbs0.26 lbs
Display3″ Transflective Color TFT Touchscreen, 240 x 400 Pixels3.5″ Transflective Color TFT Touchscreen, 282 x 470 Pixels
Battery LifeUp to 15 HoursUp to 15 Hours
BluetoothYesYes
Wi-FiYesYes
GPSYesYes
RadarNoYes
CompassNoYes
AccelerometerNoYes
TruSwing CompatibleYesYes
CompatibilityAndroid, iOSAndroid, iOS
Smart NotificationsYes (iOS Only)Yes (iOS Only)
Garmin Golf AppYes (Android and iOS)Yes (Android and iOS)
Year of Release20142019

Design

The Garmin G8 has a slightly smaller form factor than the G80, which is both a good thing and a bad thing.

Garmin G8 vs G80 Design
Garmin crammed more pixels in the G80 (left) than in the G8 (right).

The Garmin G8 and G80 measure and weigh pretty much the same, but going by their exact dimensions and weight, the G8 is technically lighter and smaller. Sure, that might be negligible, but the G8 is supposedly easier to carry around because of that.

Now the display size is where the differences become more pronounced. The Garmin G8 sports a 3-inch transflective color TFT touchscreen, while the G80 has a larger 3.5-inch one with a higher resolution. The pixels per inch here are practically the same, meaning there’s no noticeable discrepancy in clarity and sharpness. However, the G80 has more screen real estate to work with, which comes in really handy out on the course. That’s also good news if you were born with stubby fingers.

Features

The Garmin G8 and G80 share features such as PlaysLike Distance, but the G80 has a lot more to offer.

Garmin G8 vs G80 Features

Garmin included an integrated launch monitor and practice and game modes in the G80 (in photo).

Both the Garmin G8 and G80 are preloaded with over 41,000 golf course maps around the world. They also come with PlaysLike Distance so you can get the exact distance from a target and yardages fine-tuned for uphill or downhill shots. PinPointer is also included in the two, a feature that lets you know the pin’s direction on blind shots. But that’s as far as their similarities go.

The Garmin G80 has an integrated launch monitor that provides easy access to your swing metrics, such as head and ball speed, swing tempo, smash factor, and estimated distance. It also has practice modes to help you with your swing consistency and accuracy, which you can use even when you’re playing at home with a net. Last but not least, it has full vector maps too.

In comparison, the Garmin G8 doesn’t have any of those. It’s a bit more bare-bones in that sense, but it does come with the Club Advice feature. That way, you can always know which clubs are the best to use in just about any situation depending on the yardage you enter. In other words, it’s just the thing for beginners to up their game.

Performance and Reliability

Garmin fitted the G80 with more sensors than the G8.

Garmin G8 vs G80 Performance and Reliability
The Garmin G80 (left) provides more accurate readings than the G8 (right).

When it comes to the number of sensors, the Garmin G80 has got the G8 beat. It has four in total: GPS, radar, compass, and accelerometer. Meanwhile, the G8 only has a GPS sensor.

In terms of accurate readings, the Garmin G80 is better than the G8 as well. Over the years, golfers have been reporting inaccurate measurements on the G8, and those could mess with your training. For instance, things like PinPointer’s blind shot assistance is more accurate on the G80, which is important to improve your overall game.

On top of that, the Garmin G80 automatically keeps track of scores, while the G8 doesn’t. That means you’ll have to manually key them in after each hole on the G8. The convenience of automatically recording scores is a huge deal, really.

As for potential cons, you may have trouble when using Bluetooth connectivity on the Garmin G80. In contrast, you may find that connections on the G8 are slow at best.

Ease of Use

The Garmin G8 provides a more beginner-friendly experience compared to the G80.

Garmin G8 vs G80 Ease of Use
Both the Garmin G8 (left) and G80 (right) are compatible with Android and iOS and support TruSwing.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an Android or iOS user since the Garmin G8 and G80 play nicely with either platform. For the record, the two are also compatible with TruSwing.

Beginners may have a difficult time in using the Garmin G80 for the first time and setting things up. In short, it’s not beginner friendly. On the other hand, the G8 is more straightforward with a simpler interface. Setting it up is easier to boot.

Verdict

The Garmin G80 is more reliable and brings more features to the table that can help you improve your game.

Even though the Garmin G80 is more expensive, it’s really the better choice over the G8. The extra dollars you have to pay for is a worthwhile investment in this case. After all, it has an integrated launch monitor, as well as a bigger screen and higher resolution, automatic score tracking, and a more accurate GPS than the G8. Put simply, the G80 beats the G8 across the board.

The G8 might be a good pick for beginners, thanks to its intuitive interface and Club Advice feature. However, we’d still go with the G80 because it’s just more reliable out on the course.

Last update on 2020-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria
Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.