The Garmin S12 Golf GPS Watch Review

When it comes to the world of golf gps gadgets, Garmin stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of quality, value, performance and features.

2021 is a new year and that brings some new offerings to the market from Garmin, the P4P kings of GPS gadgets in all markets, with golf being no different.

The Garmin S12, is an upgrade on the ever popular, entry level S10 which was in itself was a stripped down version of the S20.

The S12 is an advanced entry level watch with some amazing features. While it is undoubtedly the best entry level watch on the market, it is also slightly more expensive than other entry level watches at $200. You can consider it a premium entry level golf watch that doesnt add too much in features from the s10 but it irons out all of its kinks and boasts an incredible battery life.

What’s New In The Garmin S12

Garmin had a few watches last year, namely the S40 and the S62. While the S62 stole all of the plaudits, the S40, didn’t do as well as hoped due to it’s expensive features and moderate battery life.

Garmin have taken the success of the Garmin s62 and applied to same process to the S10 and S40 and we now have the s12 and the s42.

The process of creating is simple. What are the weak points of the S10 and how can we fix them in the S12, while incorporating the advancements in technology since the S10 was introduced.

Garmin S12 Vs S10 Specs

Garmin S12

Garmin S10

Quick Release Bands: Yes


Size: 43.7 x 43.7 x 11.5 mm

35.5 x 40.7 x 11.3 mm

Display Size: 23 x 23 mm

23 x 23 mm

Display Resolution: 175 x 175 pixels

128 x 128 pixels

Connects With CT10’s – Yes


Scorecard: Yes


42,000 Courses: Yes


Battery Life In GPS: 30 Hours

12 Hours

Price: $200

$100 – $140

Overall Score: 96/100

Overall Score: 92/100

More S12 Reviews

More S10 Reviews

Battery Life

The S10 did 2 or 3 rounds on a single battery charge and last a couple of weeks in watch mode. This is standard battery life for any golf watch, before the S12 came around.

The S12 will last an incredible 30 hours in GPS mode, that is going to be at least rounds.

Equally as impressive, is that the battery will last 10 weeks in watch mode.

These are seriously improved battery times, and one less thing to worry about before your round.

Sunlight Readable Screen

There’s nothing like playing golf in the summer, when the sun is shining and the weather is nice.

Another pet peeve of the s10 was that it was hard to read in the sunlight when the screen would glare.

The S12 has also solved this issue perfectly and while it is not a colour screen, the black and white screen is perfectly visible in all lighting conditions with it’s transflective memory in pixel display.

How The S12 Looks Compared To The S10

The dimensions of the watches appear the similar on the surface, they both have 23mm x 23mm display sizes but the S12 is a bigger watch.

  • S10 Dimensions: 35.5 x 40.7 x 11.3 mm

  • S12 Dimensions: 43.7 x 43.7 x 11.5 mm

  • The S10 is slightly heavier at 35g while the S12 weighs 34.1g.

  • The S12 has better resolution on its clearer screen at 175px x 175px compared to 125px x 125px on the S10.

S12 Looks Vs S10

The S10 doesn’t look bad although it looks like functionality was the main concern and not the looks of the watch. If you’re lucky you could get away with somebody thinking it was an early apple watch but certainly not going to turn any heads.

The S12 looks far more crisp and sharp. The circular screen is crisply designed and controlled simply by four buttons on each size.

They both come in three colours: White, Black and Granite.

The S12 looks far superior to the S10 and looks more like the S60 and you also have a wide range of bands that you can buy and add to the S12 easily with the quick release bands system.

Features And Performance

What we like the most about Garmin as a brand is the features and performance that you get for a fair price.

There are 42,000 courses and they load as you arrive at the course, usually much faster than competitors as well.


You get distances to the back middle and front of the green as you would expect.

You get distances to any hazards as well so you can strategically plan your hole and round perfectly.

Garmin Golf App

The watch connects effortlessly and for free to the Garmin Golf which you can have close by on your smart phone.

This allows you to keep score in real time and enter in online competitions each month. You can also keep your score directly on the watch with the 128mb built in memory.

Speed And Accuracy

As you would expect with Garmin, the accuracy is right up there with the best. It might not be the absolute best but it is certainly close.

It also updates the range quickly as you can see the yardages updating in real time when riding in a golf cart.

Connectivity with The CT-10 Sensors

The CT10 sensors which place in the top of each club will allow you to track you yardages effortlessly when connected to the app on the smartphone.

It allows you to build up your data over time and make improvements to your game although the CT10 Censors will set you back around $300.

Garmin S12 Pros And Cons


  • Increased Resolution Screen
  • Exceptional Battery Life
  • Keeps In Simple In Terms Of Features
  • Connects With The Garmin Golf App
  • Synchs Easily With CT10 Sensors
  • Garmin App Is Free
  • Great Value For Money
  • Excellent Looking Watch
  • Tournament Legal


  • Not Many New Features From S10
  • More Expensive Than S10
  • No Colour Touchscreen
  • No Slope

Overall Score: 96/100

Check Out More Reviews


Other Watches To Consider

Garmin S10

Garmin S10 2

The Garmin S10 is the predecessor to the S12 and it has almost all of the same features for about $60 less.

The Screen isn’t as clear, the battery life isn’t as good and it doesn’t look as nice but if are on a budget it is still worth a look.

It certainly challenges any other entry level watch on the market.

Overall Score: 93/100

Check Out More Reviews


Garmin S42

Another new entry to the market for 2021 is the mid level S42 watch. After the S40 failed to impress in 2020, the S42 looks to eliminate the problems of the S40 and has brought another viable watch to the market.

For an extra $100 you can get a ton of extra features like a colour touch screen, autoshot tracking, manual pin positioning, excellent looks and a ton of smartwatch features like phone connectivity, fitness profiles and weather updates.

Battery will last 15 hours in GPS mode and 10 Days in smart watch mode.

For $300 it sits as a fairer priced version of the S62.

Overall Score: 94/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:


Garmin S62

The S62

Few among us will be ready for the S62. It is the grand daddy of Golf Gps Watches in the game right now with its large colour touch screen and unbeatable features like a distance to any point on the course.

It’s all got the Caddie which will make a suggestion for you on what type of shot to play.

The watch takes slope and even wind into consideration when giving you a distance to any position on the green.

Its also got an impressive battery life, a heart rate monitor, smart phone connectivity and Garmin Pay which will allow you to pay at the 19th hole with your watch.

Overall Score 96/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:



The S12 has corrected all of the bad points about the S10 but it has not added too much in terms of features.

The S12 is certainly still an entry level watch but that is going to be a selling point for plenty of golfers who just want to keep things simple technology wise and this blows anything else around the $200 mark out of the water by all means.

If you are on a budget, the S10 is available for about $60 dollars at $140 and is still an excellent watch.

If you have a bit more money the Mid Range S42 for $300 and the Premium S62 For $499 are both excellent watches worth considering.