Garmin X10 vs X40 [Basic Golf Watches]

With the popularity of the slim-line FitBit type watches and the more familiar shape than the round watch faces of the Garmin S20/S40/S60, the Garmin S10 and S40 bring that sense of familiarity to the golf GPS watch.

The Garmin Approach X10 is the entry-level version and doesn’t have the features of the X40 but does bring all the essential golf functionalities needed for the round. At the same time, the X40 adds more smart features and fitness tracking and has Garmin AutoShot included.

When looking at the Garmin X10 vs X40 you can see that these two devices are considered entry-level, they bring a host of features in a lightweight and compact device, which many players would hardly even notice on the wrists while playing.

To us, the X40 is the clear winner, but we go ahead and break that down here, so let’s get on the tee with the X10 and X40.

These distance-measuring devices are legal for competitive play as neither has the slope adjustment feature that would need to be deactivated or not selected during tournament play.

The USGA amendment to the rules governing the use of distance measuring devices in 2016 allowed for DMD’s that had slope and elevation functions to be used, provided those features were not active during play.

Failure to adhere would result in disqualification.

Garmin X10 Vs X40 Standard Features

These watches feature a black and white touch screen in the classic rectangular Fitbit shape with date and time, calendar and alarm, and sunrise/sunset times. They are both waterproof and rated to 5 Atmospheres or 165 feet.

automatic daylight saving time with the garmin golf app

The Garmin Approach X10 doesn’t have smartphone features such as access or notifications to email, texts, and messages, while the X40 does bring that to the table.

Garmin X10 Vs Garmin X40 Fitness Features

One of the biggest advantages of the Garmin Approach X40 is that it is one of the few well-priced GPS watches that have a heart-rate monitor.

The Garmin Approach X40 may prove to be a good option for players requiring this feature, even though it would lack some of the more advanced features of higher-priced models like the S10, which replaced the S20.

The Garmin Approach X40 offers a pedometer, daily and weekly step counts and targets, and a calorie counter and odometer. This unit also tracks the activity intensity and sleep monitoring that tracks restful sleep and movement periods.

In addition, Garmin Approach X40 also features TrueUp, which collects activity data and sends it to devices that accept it. The X40 will collect data on steps, calories burned, distance traveled, and activity intensity.

Another feature here is the step goals and weekly analysis. Many people have daily, and weekly step targets, and the Garmin Approach X40 will track those steps and targets daily and weekly. So you can set walking goals to meet your requirements and have the X40 display the daily achievements and progress towards those goals.

an analysis features gps speed when in gps mode for accurate distances and shot tracking

This would be one of the primary motivations why the Garmin Approach X40 would be a better option overall for golfers as the added value of the fitness tracking features and the heart-rate monitor make it a good all-around choice.

Having a golf watch that you can use when doing other forms of exercise and golf is a real win, as you don’t have to purchase a separate fitness tracker to monitor other activities. Considering the fitness functionality the Garmin Approach X40 brings, it certainly does put its hand up as a contender in the slim-line design models.

Garmin X40 Heart-Rate Monitor

This is one of the more appealing features of this device, as many more expensive models like the Garmin S20 and S40 don’t have the heart-rate sensor. This feature is useful for golfers that are looking to track cardiac activity while playing.

The heart rate sensor would give you solid feedback and the calorie counter to measure the effort expended during the round. If you are using a cart for most of your traveling, this function would not be worth having – unless you are playing for money!

Garmin X40 Smart Features

The Garmin Approach X10 does not have smart connect features, and here is another reason the X40 will appeal more than the Garmin Approach X10. With the proliferation of smartphones and apps, the better your GPS golf watch can interact, the better.

The X40 can connect with Garmin Connect, which means you can upload and store your stats for the round and keep track of your game and progress. Club and drive distances, putts per round, and greens and fairways hit in regulation can all be uploaded for future analysis.

With the Garmin Approach X40, you will receive notifications from emails, messages and you can also control the music on your phone with the Garmin Approach X40. With GPS distance and speed and the ability to track running stats like time, distance, and pace with Auto lap function, the X40 brings a lot more to the table than the X10.

Garmin X10 Vs. X40 Connectivity

Another drawback to the Garmin Approach X10 is that its connectivity is severely limited compared to the X40. With the Garmin Approach X40, you have GPS, Bluetooth Smart, and ANT+ for Android and iPhone, while the X10 only has GPS mode.

However, if you only really need a GPS watch for distances to the green and some other points like the lay-ups and doglegs, then the X10 could be an option for you, especially at the current price.

manual pin position for course targets along with alarm clock features and swimming features

Realistically though, the limited features and connectivity functions elevate the X40 to a more desirable level. If you are going for the thinner Fitbit-style GPS watch, the X40 would be the more obvious choice.

Battery Life Watch Mode

Then Garmin Approach X10 and X40 have good battery life in GPS mode lasting about 10 hours or two rounds of play before recharging. The X10 will run for an impressive 20 weeks in normal watch mode, while the X40 will last about 5 days.

This is due to the increased number of fitness and smart features that the X40 has, which we will review a little later on, but if you don’t need anything special on the course and need a long-running watch, then the Garmin Approach X10 will suit you as it has a much longer battery life when in watch mode than the more advanced Garmin Approach X40.

As a rule, the more features in both smart and golf mode the watch has, the less battery life it will have available before requiring recharging. One of the small lifestyle changes you will need to make if you haven’t owned a golf watch before is to keep the unit charged.

Now you’ll have to charge your smartphone and your golf watch overnight, but if you forget, you can always charge it in the car on the way to the course, maybe drive a little slower so it can charge as much as possible.

How Accurate Are The X10 And X40

With any GPS watch, they will never be as accurate as a laser rangefinder; the advancements in GPS technology give these devices accuracy to about 4-5 yards shot distance, which is more than sufficient for the average player.

For players at the higher skill levels that require pin-point yardages to within a yard or less, GPS will not deliver that, and they will need to invest in a laser rangefinder instead as a rangefinder calculates exact yardage.

Garmin X10 Vs. X40 Golf Features

As an entry-level watch, the Garmin Approach X10 provides players with the all the features of the basics on the golf course, like giving the yardages to the front, middle, and back of the greens and as well as to lay-ups and doglegs.

The Garmin Approach X40 and The X10 golf watches have some 41 000 courses preloaded to them, so no matter where you are playing around the world, your X10 or X40 will work there. The updates and downloads of new courses and updates are free, as with most Garmin devices.

However, the X10 and the Garmin Approach X40 don’t offer the full-color hole overview you get with Garmin watches like the S60. The three-dimensional full-color aerial views are reserved for the latest and more high-end watches and the price that goes with it.

It will also show you distances to hazards, but it doesn’t have the PinPointer function that the Garmin Approach X40 has. This allows you to take any point on the course map and get yardage. It’s particularly useful when you need yardages to specific points, perhaps behind or in front of the green.

And track the number of putts per round and track greens and fairways hit, plus a digital scorecard to keep track of your round and handicap.

The X10 also gives you the green shape and automatic hole advancement, and you can use the touch screen for manual pin placement. This feature enables you to drag the pin location on the green to where you want it, which will give you more accurate yardage.

Club Tracking

The more advanced Garmin Approach X40 brings club tracking, which allows you to set the driving distance and track the clubs used. This feature is useful if you tend to play the same courses a lot as you can see what clubs and distances you have hit in the past.

TruSwing Technology

Here, the Garmin Approach X40 allows you to connect a device to your clubs to give you direct feedback on your club stats and metrics for analysis after the round and is a very useful tool to have at the practice range.

AutoShot Tracking

The X40 has the Autoshot feature included, and this is another very useful piece of technology to have on your wrist. This senses when a shot is hit from the vibration of impact on the ball with the club.

It only does this with full swing shots and wouldn’t do chips and putts when played, but it also records the distance and uploads the stats for post-round analysis.

Manual Pin Position Feature

As mentioned above, this value of this feature on the X40 becomes evident when you need to pinpoint distances to specific locations on the hole and the course.

This is useful for strategic play and planning on the hole and can be referred to during subsequent rounds at the same course.

You can use your finger on the touch screen to select the point you are looking at and then get the yardage to that point in real-time. This feature allows you to play your hole and course strategy effectively without guesswork around yardages to possible target points from a strategic perspective.

You can then refer to the strategy for future rounds and utilize the same process for the following rounds.

Garmin X10 Vs. X40 – Which One Do I Choose

Straight up, the X40 is a better choice as it offers far more overall features for both golf and general fitness and smart features and timekeeping. While the battery life on the X40 may be less, the overall functionality is much better than the X10.

The slim design of the watch is ideal if you don’t want a bulky wrist piece, as many golfers feel uncomfortable having a big watch that could interfere with the swing. Still, neither the X10 nor the X40 is bulky or uncomfortable to wear while playing or practicing.

Even though the newer models like the S10, S20, and S40 have color screens, the black and white screens on the X10 and X40 are not a hindrance, and considering the price of these units at present; they would be a good option for beginners or as a gift.


For the features and value, the X40 is tough to beat and is potentially an excellent place to start with a golf GPS watch if you have never owned one before. You will get a good idea of the functions and use ability without spending a lot.

Either a watch is a good option here, and if all you need is the distances and little else or want a few more features, for the price, you are going to get a whole lot for very little.

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