The Garmin Approach S70 is no ordinary golf watch. It’s a premium GPS smartwatch designed for golfers, boasting an impressive array of features. With its vibrant 1.4-inch AMOLED touch display and pre-loaded access to 43,000 golf courses worldwide, it offers on-course functionalities such as “plays like” distance and a virtual caddie with green contour data. The Garmin S70 doubles as a comprehensive health and fitness tracker, making it a well-rounded smartwatch option.
Continue reading to discover what our testers had to say about the Garmin Approach S70 and whether its steeper-than-most $699.99 price tag makes it a worthwhile addition to your golf game and daily life.
What Our Testers Had to Say
Before we dive into our testers’ evaluations, let’s introduce them. We carefully selected four testers with handicaps ranging from 7.8 to 20, with two additional golfers of 10.6 and 13.4 sprinkled in. Their swing speeds varied from the low 90s to more than 111 mph. This testing pool includes both casual and competitive golfers. Those chosen as testers had previous experiences with Arccos, Shot Scope and various GPS apps to provide a comprehensive comparison to the Garmin S70 GPS watch.
Tester Josh Ross shared his initial impressions, noting the watch’s premier build quality. While he could do without the red accents, he loved its overall aesthetic. With the right band, he found the fit perfect and he liked the overall size of the watch face. The tactile buttons were easy to press and, even with a tempered glass protector, the touch screen remained highly responsive. Josh Ross also appreciated its sleep mode, which deactivated when he raised his arm to check the time.
Parshooter36 also offered positive feedback, emphasizing his love for the S70’s appearance right out of the box. Transitioning from a Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 as his everyday timepiece, he felt right at home. He also highlighted the availability of both 47mm and 42mm versions to cater to different wrist sizes.
On The Golf Course
Tester FallenSaber, our higher handicap tester, had a slew of positive notes from his on-course experience, despite a few minor GPS quirks. “On the course, the watch performed exactly as expected,” tracking most shots effectively, even around the green. The quick GPS signal connectivity and overall accuracy impressed him. While there was a minor issue where the watch placed him on the wrong hole, it was easily rectified by manually changing the hole. He also noted that, for his purposes, the Pin Point Feature was useable, but not crucial.
Another tester, Goaliewales14, mentioned a drawback related to his watch placement and golf glove. He explained, “The fit was good, but what I ran into was my glove kept hitting buttons. There were a few times during my swing where the watch vibrated in my backswing because my glove pushed the power-off button. That, to me, is a huge downside for a watch that’s supposed to be a golf watch.”
Josh Ross’s on-course experience aligned with expectations for a premium golf watch. He found it user-friendly, with faster course detection than his SkyCaddie. The watch’s graphics impressed him and its light weight made it was nearly unnoticeable. The data provided soon gained his confidence and trust, replacing his rangefinder with the Garmin S70. He argued that the access to the compressive data and yardages provided by the Approach S70 could help golfers find better performance.
Another standout feature highlighted by our testers was the Tempo Training feature. Parshooter36 considered it a valuable tool for improving swing tempo. “I have always considered myself as having a smooth swing, but I really struggle to get the 3:1 tempo they are looking for. I am always looking for ways to improve my swing, and I never had a way to measure tempo before. I plan on continuing to work on my tempo with this feature as I feel it is a very useful tool.”
Health & Fitness Features
Recognizing that the Garmin S70 is more than just a golf GPS watch, we tasked our testers with evaluating its health and fitness features.
Health & Fitness Tracking
Josh Ross found several vital features that enhanced his daily life. “For many who are users of smartwatches, this likely is data you’ve got access to and isn’t anything exciting for you. But for me, I thoroughly enjoyed the data I was provided with.” He used the Sleep Score and Body Battery daily to monitor his overall readiness for tasks. The accurate heart rate readings even helped him avoid a problem with syncope ( a brief loss of consciousness similar to fainting). For him, this alone made the watch invaluable.
However, for Goaliewales14, the off-course features couldn’t surpass those of his Samsung Galaxy watch. He hoped for general improvements to elevate the S70’s status as a daily driver smartwatch.
Tester FallenSaber, an avid runner, found the watch’s fitness and wellness data highly valuable. He noted that the watch tracked various fitness activities, including weight lifting. While it did a decent job pre-populating activities, it struggled with high-intensity interval training workouts that required quick adjustments. The Garmin S70 provided pre-loaded workouts and instructional videos for weightlifting, a handy feature.
FallenSaber also highlighted the watch’s myriad features such as stock monitoring, weather updates, calendar integration and more. The watch’s versatility made it challenging to cover all its functionalities within the review. He emphasized the ability to download playlists and connect Bluetooth headphones for music without a phone.
The Final Verdict
The reviews for the Garmin S70 GPS watch were overwhelmingly positive. Three of the four testers said they would continue using it. Their scores were impressive, ranging from 82 to 93 out of 100. The fourth tester gave the Garmin S70 a score of 66, citing concerns about its price, button interference with the golf glove and its performance as a smartwatch.
The price was a recurring topic among testers. This watch retails for $699.99 and some testers said there were more affordable options available for higher handicaps. However, they unanimously acknowledged the quality, feel and build of the Garmin S70.
Tester FallenSaber provided a fitting conclusion to the Garmin S70 watch review. “The Garmin Approach S70 watch is your go-to watch to replace your rangefinder, golf app, smartwatch, and fitness tracker. This watch will do it all with a very impressive display that is highly customizable. I wish this watch would have come with at least 3 sensors or would be compatible with non-Garmin sensors to help justify the price point. If you are looking for a do-it-all golf watch that is much more than a golf watch, then this watch is for you. If you are simply looking for a golf watch, then you might be able to find something at a lower price point.”
Want to read the full in-depth reviews from our testers of the Garmin S70 watch? Go Here!
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