Garmin S40 vs S42 [Which One Do You Want?]

When comparing these two golf watches from Garmin, the S40 vs the S42, I found that I liked the S40 best. The slightly lower price for very similar features made it my preference!

Check the price here on the S40 if all you needed was to hear what I like best. Or read on to get all the details on what I found was different and the same about these two Garmin watches.


Best Choice


Garmin S40

Garmin S42

Screen Size

1.2 inches

1.2 inches


1.44 ounces

6.4 ounces

Preloaded Courses



Green View

Auto Shot Game Tracking

Battery Life in GPS Mode

10 Hours

15 Hours

Battery Life in Smartwatch Mode

10 Days

11 Days

Garmin App Compatable

More information

Having a golf gps watch can greatly lower your handicap by allowing you to keep track of all your golfing data and metrics. From your swing speed all the way to your distance on the green, which gives you an excellent insight into lots of details that you could’ve missed without it.

One of the most popular golf smart watch manufacturers out there is Garmin, which is popular for making the S40 vs S42. So what are the differences between the two? And which one should you get?

In today’s guide, we’ll put the Garmin S42 vs S40 in a head to head comparison in order to find out which one you should go for. Let’s check them out and see what they’ve got to offer!

Boxed up golf watches, Approach S42 and S40
In the Box, Garmin S42 vs S40

Garmin S40 vs Garmin Approach S42 Overview

Both the Garmin S40 watch and the Gramin Approach S42 are some of the best smart golf watches on the market, offering cutting edge features that make them excellent choices for golfers with a knack for technology.

Since they both belong to the same manufacturer and production series, there isn’t much of a difference between the two options.

difference between Approach S42 and S40

In fact, even in terms of price, each GPS golf watch belong to the same price range with the S40 being a few bucks cheaper.  Maybe you are curious about the higher end model from Garmin, the S62.  We cover that comparision in our S40 vs S62 post as well.

Comparing the S40 and the S42 golf watch
Side by side, S40 and S42 golf watch

The only real difference between the two is battery life where the S42 golf watch will last about 5 hours longer on the GPS mode. Apart from that, little to no other significant differences between the two watches.

A Brief Head to Head Comparison Between the S40 and the Approach S42

The best way to distinguish between the two gps watches is by putting them under the microscope.

Golf GPS Watch

In the following section, we’ll provide you with a brief look at some of the major aspects of the Garmin golf gps watch and how the Garmin Approach S40 and the S42 Garmin perform in each one of them:

Battery Life

This is perhaps the only aspect in which the S40 and the S42 watch differ. Although there’s a lot of mixup out there about the battery life due to the vast similarity between the two options, the S42 has a very slight advantage here.

Approach s42 watch

Both smartwatches are powered by lithium-ion batteries that allow them to last for about 10 days in standby mode.

However, when it comes to hours in GPS mode, the Approach S42 watch has implemented various internal design features that extend to 15 hours in gps mode versus the standard 10 hours of the S40.

Size and Weight

The two watches are built with just about the same size and weight. However, they’re both known for their superiority in that aspect when compared to other models on the market.

Wearing the S40 watch on the course
Garmin S40 with Front, Middle and Back Distances
Wearing the S42 on the course
Garmin S42 with Front, Middle and Back Yardages

Each watch has dimensions of 1.69 x 1.7 x 0.46 inches with the screen having a diameter of 1.2 inches.

The two golf smart watches weigh around 1.5 ounces, which is extremely lightweight and doesn’t cause hand fatigue.


Each watch has a color touchscreen built with the same design and materials, offering a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels with sensitive touch for pin-point accuracy while dragging and dropping.

Design and Color Option

The two watches have a pretty sleek yet identical look. Yet, they have a minor difference in color options. Here are the available colors for each model:

Garmin Approach Golf Features

Both the Garmin Approach S40 and Approach S42 are both considered to be a wonderful golf watch because they come with excellent golfing features, with some special features for those who compete in tournaments.

Wear a golf watch

Like many of the previously mentioned features, the two Garmin Approach watches almost never differ when it comes to these features.

Watch Features

  • Green View: This feature gives you an excellent and precise description of the shades of each green along with a drag and drop pin with astonishing accuracy
  • Preloaded Courses: Both the S40 and the S42 watch come ready with more than 42,000 courses from around the world, so you can use the watch at any course internationally by pairing them with the Garmin Golf App.
  • Highly Detailed Stats and Digital Score board: Another great feature that the two watches offer to golfers is “strokes gained analysis”, which gives you more data about your game to participate in leaderboards.
  • AutoShot: This feature allows you to track detected shot distances automatically.
  • Front middle and back yardage distances

Extra Golfing Features

In addition to all the golfing features that the watch offers, it also provides all the general features of a regular smart watch. This includes keeping track of all some of your vitals.

play golf with a watch

S40 vs S42 Watch Performance Vitals

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Move bar
  • Fitness Tracking
  • Calories counter
  • Step counter
  • Walking running, and cycling mileage counter
  • Vibration alerts
  • Sleep tracking, which is activated by pairing it with sleep tracking apps on your smartphone

In addition to keeping track of your activity and vital checks, the smartwatch can also be paired directly to your phone through Bluetooth in order to display anything from emails, texts, caller IDs, and much more!

In addition to all that, both the Garmin S40 and the Garmin Approach S 42 feature a GPS tracker, Accelerometer, gyroscope, odometer, and several other sensors for enhanced functionality and performance. All displayed on a vibrant color touch screen that you wear on your wrist.


In addition to color options and battery, the price is one of the factors where the S40 and the S42 aren’t identical.

Of course, the Garmin S42 golf watch is the pricier option, although by much, which is pretty reasonable when you keep the battery upgrade in mind.

Garmin Approach Golf GPS Watch Wrap Up

With that said, you now have a brief guide that puts the Garmin S42 vs the Garmin Approach S40 in a head to head comparison to show off the most prominent points of similarity and differences between the two.

42,000 courses for your next game

Each watch comes with distances, like to the back of the green, displayed on a vibrant color touchscreen with green view. Making both watch models a good mid range or entry level watch for those wanting to use them in tournament play or just a weekend round.

As you can see, the two options are extremely similar, with no specific models having a significant edge over the other except for the battery.

Two golf watches laying next to each other
Garmin S40 vs S42 compared

For that reason, if you like the Garmin S Series watch and you spend quite a lot of hours on the course or you don’t like frequently charging your battery, you might want to go for the S40 watch.

However, if you don’t mind the relatively shorter battery in order to save a few bucks on your purchase, the Garmin S 42 watch would be an ideal upgrade pick for you.

Latest posts by Travis (see all)
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap