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Review: Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, 010-02572-10 – Remarkable functionality and aesthetic appeal

Explore the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch’s aesthetics, functionality, and performance for an informed purchasing decision... Read more

Review of Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, 010-02572-10

Table of Contents

Test of Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, 010-02572-10

4.5/5 - (1063 votes)

Cena: $299.00


  • Premium and attractive design
  • Full-color display touch screen
  • Lightweight with decent watch strap
  • Easy to use on the golf course
  • Precise tracking of golf shots
  • Comes with pre-loaded golf courses
  • Long battery life


  • Proprietary charging system, not USB
  • Heavy notification alerts on phone-link
  • Higher price point
  • Limited when linked to phone
  • Not as high-resolution as competition
  • Limited statistical tracking capabilities
  • No fine-tuning of notifications

“In conclusion, the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch, although endowed with remarkable functionality and aesthetic appeal, mildly underwhelms me when considering its pricing point and the varying level of alternative options within the same brand line. It offers highly commendable features such as the color touchscreen, pre-loaded golf courses, and user-friendly interface. However, its relative cost compared to the s40 model and the limited customization with phone notifications leave room for improvement. I found it comfortable to use on the golf course and stylish enough for everyday wear, but factors like the proprietary charger and comparison to other watches, like the Apple iWatch, make it less appealing given the price point. All things considered, it’s a solid device but you might find better value exploring other options, especially within the Garmin range itself.”

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Brand Garmin
Model Name GRAPPS42K
Screen Size 1.2 Inches
Special Feature Color Touchscreen; Quick Release Bands; 42,000+ Preloaded Courses; Keep Track and Keep Score; Green View; Smart Notifications
Connectivity Technology Bluetooth
Map Type North America
Sport Golf
Included Components Approach S42; Charging/data cable; Documentation
Battery Life 240.0, 15.0 Hours
Mounting Type Wrist Mount


Welcome to the detailed examination of your potential new golf partner, the Garmin s42 GPS golf watch. In this section, I am going to discuss my initial reactions, unravel the first layer of this cutting-edge gadget and give you a sneak peek into what to expect in the rest of this comprehensive review.

My First Impressions of The Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch

Right off the bat, the Garmin s42 boasts a sleek design that leaves a mark. As someone who appreciates thoughtful aesthetics in technology, my initial impression was quite positive. This GPS golf watch doesn’t just talk about premium, it walks the walk.

The Retail Price and Where You Can Buy It

  • Price: This piece of tech wizardry currently retails at around 270 pounds in the UK. In terms of investment, it’s definitely on the pricier end of the spectrum. But whether the price is justified, we’ll discuss that further down the review.
  • Purchasing: You can get your hands on the Garmin s42 both online and offline. To make your purchase as hassle-free as possible, I’ve included the affiliate links in the description below.

Before we dive into how this watch fares on a golf course, let’s discuss its design and physical features in the next section.

Remember, I have aimed for a balanced view here, evaluating the pros and cons thoroughly without any bias. The intention is to guide you effectively in making an informed purchase decision.

Rundown: Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, 010-02572-10

Physical Features and Design

  • Garmin s42 has a sleek, premium design
  • Full-color touchscreen, but inferior to iWatch
  • Offers lightweight feel but feels plasticky

In exploring the physical features and design aspects of the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch, what caught my attention initially was its sleek and modern aesthetic.

A Closer Look at The Watch Design

It immediately struck me as a premium-looking gadget, which would be expected, considering its 270-pound price tag. The overall design is quite appealing to me. The watch face displays the name of the watch, ‘Approach s42’, and numbers 1 to 18. There’s a digital ticker that surrounds the frame, making it quite easy and quick to decipher which hole you’re on during a game.

The Watch Straps and Their Quality

Inspecting the strap , I noticed it was relatively thin. It seemed sturdy and of decent quality but honestly, I was expecting something a bit thicker, considering the watch’s price point. It employs a simple buckle system, an age-old technique that doesn’t necessarily stand out but works effectively.

Understanding the Full-color Display and Touch Screen

Diving into the display , what’s great about this watch is its full-color touchscreen. It’s quite user-friendly, and the color feature adds to the watch’s overall attractiveness. However, I couldn’t help comparing it to my series 6 iWatch – there’s definitely a noticeable difference in quality.

The Weight and Material of The Watch

The Garmin s42 is surprisingly lightweight and feels slightly plasticky to touch, particularly on the back where there’s a plastic material. This isn’t necessarily a detriment – it might appeal to those who prefer lighter watches. However, I was expecting it to feel a tad more substantial.

The Available Colors and My Personal Preference

The Garmin s42 offers some color variety. There’s a white version, a rose gold variant, and a black gun-metal version. My personal favorite is the black gun-metal; it adds to the ‘premium’ look I mentioned earlier and enhances the overall appealing design.

Overall, the physical features and design of the Garmin s42 are commendable, but with a few caveats. It scores points for its appealing design and user-friendly touchscreen but loses some due to the strap, the plasticky feel, and the inferior screen quality compared to other smartwatches.

Assessment of Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, 010-02572-10

Using The Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch

  • Garmin s42 offers ease of use on the golf course
  • Initial GPS connection can be slow
  • Stats tracking could be improved

Out of the box, the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch came across as a pretty straightforward piece of technology to get acquaintance with. Here’s what my user experience was like:

How the Watch Performs on The Golf Course

Upon taking it to the golf course, I noticed the simplicity and ease of use it offered. The user interface was friendly enough, allowing me to transition smoothly between different functions. But let me mention here – it’s probably going to take a round or so to fully understand its operations. Nevertheless, it was pretty much self-explanatory, given most of the interface was touchscreen-based.

Connecting The Watch To GPS and How Long It Takes

While most features worked like a charm, I did experience a slight hiccup when connecting the watch to golf course GPS for the first time. Surprisingly, it took quite a while for the watch to find the GPS signal. In fact, it took so long that I initially thought that the watch was possibly malfunctioning. Even though Garmin promptly was able to pick up the signal after around five minutes, it’s something that may frustrate someone looking for an immediately quick pairing.

Navigating The Watch and Its Touchscreen Features

When it comes to its usability on the green, it’s fair to say I was quite impressed. The watch was helpful in breaking down the golf course into clear, digestible numbers, with separate figures for the front, middle, and back numbers to the green. Another interesting feature was the ability to play around with the pin position, but this came up as more of a novelty than a practical feature for my gameplay.

The Garmin s42 came pre-loaded with more than 40,000 golf courses – a feature that every golf enthusiast would appreciate, but this wasn’t without its drawback either. For example, the ability of the watch to keep track of my shots seemed limited. While it did display the distance of my previous shots nicely at the top, it missed out on providing insights on my approach shots and bunker shots. This seemed like a miss-move, considering full-blown stats tracking is an increasingly popular demand among golfers.


The user experience of this watch is worthy of noting but could do a lot better, especially when it comes to stats tracking and the initial GPS pairing time.

Lookover of Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, 010-02572-10

Functions and Features of The Watch

  • Garmin S42 has over 40,000 pre-loaded golf courses.
  • Includes straightforward shot tracking capability.
  • Notification types cannot be customized.

When it comes to the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch, it’s essential to dig into the features this device offers. For a tech tool that’s worn on the golf course, the incorporated functions are what can potentially make or break the experience for any user.

Pre-loaded Golf Courses

First things first, one of the standout features that impressed me with the Garmin s42 was its extensive golf course library . Having over 40,000 courses pre-loaded onto the watch meant vast opportunities for exploring different fields. It’s a hassle-free feature that saves you the trouble of manually loading or searching for golf courses.

Shot Tracking Capabilities

As a golfer, measuring the distance of your shots is crucial to improve. This watch integrates a straightforward shot tracking capability . It provides a small banner on top of the watch face showing the distance of the previous shot. It’s a simple, yet handy feature that’s, honestly, a gold mine for data-driven players. However, it’s worth noting that the tracking is somewhat limited compared to other pricier models.

Notification and Alert Feature

The notification function seems like an ideal concept for golfers who wish to stay connected without being distracted. The watch vibrates for every alert from your phone, whether it’s a text, call, or app notification. Personally, I found this feature a bit overwhelming. It’s a disadvantage that you can’t customize what type of notifications you receive . Perhaps, Garmin could improve this in future models.

Overall, the watch comes packed with a handful of features that can enhance your golf game. Certain nuances like the inability to customize notifications or the basic tracking could be drawbacks for some users. Remember, though, that every golfer has unique needs, and it’s important to weigh these features against your personal preferences.

Review of Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, 010-02572-10

The Downside of The Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch

  • Proprietary charging system can be inconvenient
  • Unfiltered phone notifications can be intrusive
  • High price point, cheaper alternatives available

Now, let’s take a moment to explore a few aspects of the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch that gave me pause. Everyone wants to get the most out of their investments, and this product, while impressive, does come with a few quirks.

Charging Port and Cable System

The first stumbling block comes with the charging port and the included USB cable. Now, the s42 uses a proprietary charging system, as opposed to the standard USB. To be candid, this becomes a bit of an inconvenience. For someone like me, who maintains quite a collection of USB cables all around the house, the fact that the S42 requires a specific charger that only comes in the box is a bit of a setback. In case I lose that charger, I would be required to get a new one, and that can be an unwanted hassle.

Linking the Watch to Your Phone

Moving on, I found the feature that brings phone notifications onto the watch to have its own drawbacks. Initially, it might seem like having all notifications right on your wrist could be convenient. However, the watch quite literally brings all your notifications to the forefront. So, all alerts, including the ones that I deem less important, pop up on the s42. After unsuccessfully attempting to filter the notifications, I realized that the notifications are either fully on or off, with no middle ground. Consequently, the frequent alerts evoke the potential to become a bit intrusive during your golf game.

Price Point

Last but certainly not least, is the issue of the price point. At 280 pounds, the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch is quite an investment. While it does flaunt numerous admirable features, the price can be a bit steep for a number of golfers, especially considering there are alternatives like the s62, s12, and s40 models that offer similar attributes at a lower cost.

Thoughts and Reflections

All things considered, despite the few negatives pointed out, the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch holds ground as a high-quality offering for the sophisticated golfer. The few drawbacks are largely surmountable, and with a bit of patience for the charging system and notifications, and budget allowance, you’ll find that the innovative gadget brings a new perspective to your game.

Study of Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, 010-02572-10

Comparisons with Other Watch Models and Brands

  • Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch compared to s62, s12, s40
  • Garmin s42 vs Apple iWatch: iWatch has more features
  • s42’s price point may not justify its offerings

When considering a new golf GPS watch purchase, it’s important to examine how the product in focus compares with its counterparts. In this case, let’s look at the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch in relation to other models and brands, including its siblings from the Garmin family and the technological giant, Apple iWatch.

Comparing The Watch with The s62, s12, and s40 Models

Upon looking into other models from Garmin, specifically the s62, s12, and s40, there are some essential factors to consider. The s62 model has quite a few more features than the s42, such as heart rate tracking and a virtual caddy, at a higher price point. However, if a smaller watch is your preference due to wrist size, then the s42 is a better option. The entry-level s12 Garmin comes at 90 pounds cheaper than the s42 but lacks the color screen and the premium look. The s12 might seem basic, yet sufficient if it’s strictly for golfing purposes, whereas the s42 could double up as an everyday watch. It’s also worth noting that the s40 model, although a previous version, still commands a market presence. Functionality-wise, it is very similar to the s42, with the main difference being the improved battery life in the s42. Furthermore, the s40 currently comes at a significant discount and might be a smart choice if budget is your main concern.

Comparing The Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch with The Apple iWatch

The Apple iWatch is another potential alternative, particularly if you already sit within the Apple ecosystem. In a head-to-head comparison, the Garmin s42 is outperformed by the iWatch regarding the quality of the display, notifications and functionality, such as heart rate monitoring, sport modes and the fact it can be used for swimming. However, this comes at a higher cost and might not be as specialized in golf-specific features as the Garmin s42.

In conclusion , while the Garmin s42 holds its own in terms of functionality and aesthetics, its price point may not justify the offerings when compared to its peers. Consequently, it’s essential to examine the alternatives before deciding if this is the perfect option for your needs.

Remarks on Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, 010-02572-10

Final Thoughts

  • Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch has full-color touchscreen display.
  • Golf watch includes pre-loaded courses and robust battery life.
  • Criticisms include proprietary charging system and limited notification customization.

After spending several rounds on the golf course with the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch, I’ve collected quite a few impressions about this device.

What I Liked about The Watch

The first thing that stands out about the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch is the full-color display and the touchscreen feature. It was easy to read under various lighting conditions, and navigating through the options was straightforward.

I found the golf GPS functionality to be on point and the tracking features useful. I think the pre-loaded golf courses (over 40,000, according to Garmin) are a great plus, and the details provided, like distances to the front, middle, and back of the green and hazards, were beneficial.

The watch’s battery life was impressive. With up to 15 hours of golf usage, I could comfortably get through two rounds and a few days on standby.

What I Didn’t Like About The Watch

I found that the proprietary charging system to be one of the downsides. The fact that I’d have to purchase a new charger if I ever lost the one included in the box is somewhat inconvenient given the ubiquity of USB chargers today.

Another shortcoming is the notification feature when linked to the phone. Ideally, I should be able to customize the notifications that I receive; however, it seemed to be an all-or-nothing option.

My Recommendations and Who I Think This Watch Is Best Suited For

If you’re a golfer who appreciates functionality and is comfortable spending 280 pounds on a golf GPS watch, then the Garmin s42 could be a good fit. However, if you’re looking for more comprehensive stats, or if you want to have a heart rate tracker and other such features, you might find better value in other models or brands, including the Apple iWatch.

To those watching their budget, considering the s40 model, which retains much of s42’s functionality at a significant discount, might be a better decision.

Overall Rating

In conclusion, the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch has quite a lot going for it. It serves well as both a golf assistant and an everyday watch. Despite a few shortfalls, its benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, and therefore, I’d give it a strong recommendation.

Rundown: Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, 010-02572-10

Concluding Remarks

Having put the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch to test across multiple rounds in different conditions, I can confidently say it’s a product with significant strengths mixed with a couple of setbacks, as with any piece of tech.

Product strengths

The Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch is a versatile golf companion with a sleek and stylish design, making it blend in not only on the course but in everyday use. The full-color screen and touchscreen features offer an interactive and easy-to-navigate user experience. The pre-loaded golf courses and tracking features are impressive and flourish on the golf course. It’s remarkable how readily available information is right on the wrist, from yardages, shot tracking to hazard details.

Areas for improvement

While the Garmin S42 triumphs in many areas, there are a few aspects that could be improved. The usage of a proprietary charger limits the convenience of charging, especially if the cable is misplaced. Although linking your phone to the watch might seem like a great feature initially, the inability to finetune notifications can be bothersome. Lastly, the price point might be a deterrent for some, given the competitive rivals in the market that offer similar features at a lesser value.

Value for money

The watch doesn’t come in cheap at 280 pounds, and when considering other market competitors, including older Garmin models with similar functionality but at a considerable discount, it’s worth re-evaluating if the price justifies the features for you.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch has a lot to offer in terms of design, functionality and comfort, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and weigh them against the price point. The nuisances could be minor inconveniences for some or deal-breakers for others. This overall assessment aims at providing a comprehensive look at the watch, highlighting both its boons and banes, to help you make an informed decision.

Should you buy the Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, 010-02572-10?

Buy it if…

You Want a Simple and Easy-to-Use Golf Watch

The Garmin s42 GPS watch is praised for its simple and self-explanatory interface, making it easy even for first-time golf watch users.

You Appreciate Good Battery Life

The battery life on the s42 is impressive, with up to 15 hours of golf usage according to Garmin. This means you can get at least two rounds out of it before needing a charge.

You Like the Convenience of Pre-loaded Golf Courses

The watch comes with over 40,000 courses pre-loaded. Once it picks up your location, you’ll have access to courses nearby instantly.

Don’t buy it if…

You Want More Advanced Stats and Tracking

The statistics and tracking on the Garmin s42 is limited. If you’re looking for detailed stats, you’d have to purchase the extra shot trackers, which could be costly.

You Find Brand-Specific Chargers Annoying

The Garmin s42 uses a proprietary charging cable. If you prefer the common USB cables, this watch may not be your pick.

You’re on a Tight Budget

At 280 pounds, the Garmin s42 is not exactly cheap. If you’re shopping on a budget, there are other options available that offer similar functionalities yet cheaper prices.


What is the retail price of the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch?
It currently retails in the UK for around 270 pounds.
Does the watch come in different colors?
It is available in three different colors, including a white version, rose gold version, and a black gun metal version.
Is the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch a touchscreen?
Yes, it has a full color display touch screen.
Does the watch keep track of your score?
Yes, it can keep track of your score, enter the number of putts you’ve taken, and note any penalties you might have taken.
Can you get notifications from your phone on the watch?
Yes, you can get notifications from your phone on your watch, provided your phone is compatible.
What is the battery life on the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch?
You can get up to 15 hours of golf usage according to Garmin.
What is the issue with linking the watch to your phone?
All notifications show up on the watch. There appears to be no way to filter the type of notifications that show up on the watch from the phone.
How does the Garmin s42 GPS Golf Watch compare to other models?
It has more features than the s12 model, but fewer features than the s62 model. It is also more expensive than both.
Is the watch worth its price point?
The price point may be seen as a downside. Depending on what you’re looking for, other models or brands might offer more value for money.

About Felix Brooks

Felix BrooksFelix, with a background in both arts and analytics, is adept at dissecting and delivering on the essence of products. His reviews resonate with clarity and conviction.

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