Garmin S10 Vs. G10 Review – Which One Should I Buy?
Need a little help on the links? Do you find yourself prey to water hazards and sand traps more often than you would care to admit?
These days, keeping up on the golf course also means keeping up with technology. The problem is there are so many devices on the market so choosing the right one is a challenge in and of itself. That is exactly why we have composed today’s review.
Today we are going to be looking at 2 basic golf GPS devices for the golfer just getting into GPS technology. They are both made by Garmin, a trusted name in GPS technology for decades now.
Either of these watches would be a good choice for any golfer who doesn’t want to deal with a lot of complicated features and prefers to keep things simple. They are similar in this way but there are also some key differences between them. Let’s find out what they are.
The Garmin Approach S10
The Approach Series from Garmin is a line of golf GPS watches that has become their flagship GPS model. There are a handful of watches in the Approach family and they range widely in price and features.
The S10 is almost as bare bones as it gets when it comes to golf GPS watches. It has all the basic features that have become standard for this type of gadget.
Features like 41,000 preloaded courses, GPS detection so it automatically pulls up the information of the course you’re on and a green view that tells you how far you are to the middle, back and front of the green.
You also get distances to hazards, layups and doglegs, a manual shot distance tracking feature and stat tracking (strokes, fairway hits, putts etc.) Oh and did we mention there is a digital scorecard as well?
All these features are pretty much standard on any golf GPS watch on the market today. The unique features of the S10 lie in its design. It has a 0.9”x0.9” sunlight readable, black and white display that is operated by 4 buttons – up, down, back and OK.
The Garmin Approach G10
For all intents and purposes, you can consider the Approach G10 the non-watch version of the S10. It has all the same GPS features of the S10 (course information, green information, manual distance tracking) and the same practical features (digital scorecard, stroke tracking).
The designs are very similar too. Like the S10, the G10 features a 0.9”x0.9”, black and white 128×128 pixel display. You can also operate the G10 via four buttons placed on the sides of the rectangular digital display.
However, the G10 is not a watch. There is a clip on the reverse side of the display where you can hook it to your belt, your bag or anything else that it can latch to. You can also just keep it in your pocket which is what most of us did.
The feature we really liked, even though it is super basic, was the automatic hole recognition. The G10 picks up your location via GPS so it can actually tell when you advance to the next hole. Again, super basic but you can’t mess with practicality and convenience.
Price Point Difference
You’re not going to find much difference between the S10 and the G10 in the price department either. At most retailers, they are pretty much the same price: $96 give or take $5-$10.
As far as the S10 goes, you have to judge its performance from the stance that it’s actually a watch. The wristband was comfortable enough but the watch face itself rests in a kind of cumbersome way on the wrist. It didn’t affect our swings, but for casual wear, it wasn’t super comfortable.
The problem is with its shape and size. It’s rectangular and almost half an inch thick. The G10 on the other hand is more versatile. You can keep it pretty much anywhere so comfortability wasn’t an issue.
They were both accurate for the most part as well. We noticed that the S10 had a bit of trouble picking up a satellite signal on cloudy days. It took a bit of extra time for it to detect which course we were on, but once that was sorted out, it performed accurately.
S10 Pros & Cons
- Long-term stat tracking with Garmin Express
- Rechargeable battery
- Pressure rated up to 5 atmospheres
- Free course updates
- Played 4 and a half rounds in GPS mode on one charge
- Battery life not as advertised
- Feels a bit clunky on the wrist
- The wristband isn’t very durable
- No full hole maps
G10 Pros & Cons
- You can put it anywhere
- Automatic hole detection
- Accurate shot distances
- Lightweight (1 ounce)
- Display reads well in the sunlight
- Manual pin placement
- Easy to lose
- Can’t connect to your smartphone
- No club tracking
- No fitness tracking
Which One to Buy
As a starter GPS watch, you really can’t go wrong with either of these watches. They offer the necessary features (stat tracking, GPS course and hole detection etc.) in a user-friendly interface – perfect for any golfer who isn’t exactly tech savvy.
Still, there was something about being able to put the G10 anywhere that really appealed to us more. The watch almost becomes a distraction when it doesn’t rest comfortably on the wrist. So we have to give our endorsement to the Approach G10.
But the G10 beats the S10 out by a very narrow margin. Literally, the only 2 differences between these 2 devices were, A) the S10 can be linked to Garmin Express to keep track of each round you play and B) the G10 was more comfortable by virtue of versatility.
And those two differences may be negligible to most golfers. But if you are anything like us, comfort goes a long way and the G10 is the one you should buy. Take a look at it for yourself.
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Hi, I am Matthew, a mid handicap golfer who likes to play as much as possible. I love trying out new gear and this blog is where you can find all the gear I have tested over the years!