Garmin S40 Vs. X40 Review – Which One Do We Recommend?

Garmin s40

Choosing a golf watch is harder than ever these days. With all the available features, it could be hard sorting through what you don’t need and what is essential on the links. Many Golf GPS watches these days are made to be functional off the course as well.

Are you in the market for a golf GPS smart watch but aren’t sure which is the right one for you? We have had similar problems which is why we composed this review. Today we are going to be comparing and going over the features of a couple of high quality golf GPS watches.

Do you choose a watch that works better on the course or one that has more functionality when you aren’t playing a round? In the end you will have to make that decision based on your lifestyle and your preferences but here is a cheat sheet to help you make a sound decision.


The Garmin Approach S40

Garmin s40 Golf Gps Watch Review

It’s important to note that both of the watches we are highlighting have at least basic fitness monitoring features. This is becoming more and more standard for golf watches as consumers are becoming more health conscious.

To start off with, let’s go over some of the fitness tracking features of the Garmin Approach S40.

  • Pedometer – The step counting feature allows you to set a daily step goal and monitor your progress throughout the day.
  • Sleep Monitor – This feature allows you to see how many hours you were in place, sleeping or at rest.
  • Calorie Counter – The S40 keeps track of calories burned throughout the day.
  • Activity Alerts – You can program this smart watch to remind you to get up and be active when you have been idle for too long.
  • Odometer – The odometer measures distance traveled as well as the speed at which you move during certain activities such as swimming, running and cycling.

Now onto golfing. The S40 comes preloaded with 41,000 courses from around the world. It can detect the type of shot you take and how far each one went. The Green View feature allows you to see your distance from the back, middle and front of the green and you can even set the pin yourself depending on where it is on any given day.

While all the bells and whistles are great on this watch, what we really liked about it were its more practical features. Being able to see the par and keep score digitally (eliminating the need to carry scorecards and pencils) is extremely convenient and we are suckers for convenience.

The Garmin X40

Garmin x40 Golf GPS Watch Review

The Garmin X40 has all the same fitness tracking features as the S40. But it does have one fitness tracking feature the S40 doesn’t have: an active heart rate monitor that reads from your wrist.

As far as golf features, the X40 is almost identical to the S40 except for another single deviation: the X40 does not allow you to manually enter in hazards that are not documented on the course maps.

In fact, the X40 and the S40 are really very similar. The real differences lie in how each of them performs…


Performance Comparison

Garmin s40 Golf GPS WatchGarmin x40 watch

The Garmin Approach X40 and the Garmin Approach S40 perform very differently. The most glaring difference is the design. The S40 is operated via a color touchscreen that is more akin to common smart watches.

The X40 does not have a color display and is built differently. It was designed to look more like a traditional fitness watch such as the FitBit. The S40 on the other hand has a round 1.2” display face. They feel different on the wrist even though they weigh almost exactly the same.

Their compositions further serve to differentiate them from one another. The screen of the X40 is made of plastic while the screen of the S40 is made of chemically strengthened glass.

The S40 has 1,000 more golf courses pre-loaded onto it than the X40, which was not a problem for us but is worth mentioning.

The battery life on the S40 is also a bit better. The S40 will last just under 10 days in normal mode while the X40 is good for just under 5 days.


Price Comparison

As far as price goes, you are looking at about a $50 dollar difference between these two watches. You can score an S40 for about $250 or an X40 for around $200.


The X40 Golf Watch

X40 Pros and Cons


  • Added heartrate monitor
  • Designed like a contemporary fitness watch
  • Very functional for both golfing and other physical activities
  • Easy to read in the sun
  • Free course updates
  • Allows for notifications from your phone (texts, calls etc.)


  • No Advanced Swing Training
  • Becomes less accurate on distances with age
  • It’s easy to scratch the screen
  • Can’t manually enter hazards


The Garmin S40

S40 Pros and Cons


  • Sturdy watch face
  • Drag and drop pin placement
  • Reasonably priced
  • Allows for manual hazard logging
  • Comfortable wristband
  • You can easily switch out the wristband


  • No heartrate monitor
  • Needs to be reset when the screen freezes
  • Loses Bluetooth connection to phones easily
  • Takes a long time to charge


Our Assessment

At the beginning of the review, we pointed out that your decision will largely depend on how you plan to use your watch – and that is still true. If you are looking for a straight up golf watch, go with the S40. But if you aren’t too serious about your game and are more active off the course, go with the X40.

Still, we have to give our opinion and our recommendation would definitely be the S40. The S40 offers almost all of the fitness tracking features that the X40 does with better golf functionality, battery life, a lower price and it looks great to show off to your golf buddies at the 19th hole.

It serves me better as a golf watch when compared the X40 while offering 90% of the fitness tracking features that the X40 does. Overall, it is a better watch for on and off the course because of the design. If you want an all-around useful watch, give the Garmin Approach S40 your strong consideration!


We found the best price for the Garmin s40 at Amazon 


Check out the best price for the X40 Here