Garmin Approach S60 vs S60 Premium: Which Golf GPS Watch Should You Buy?


Garmin Approach S60 vs Premium Comparison

Before Garmin created golf GPS smartwatches, their golf product line was heavily focused on promoting golf handheld devices. These handhelds were bulky and sometimes inconvenient to carry around, yet the available features were a hit with golfers.

Now, with the Garmin Approach S60 and the S60 Premium, golfers can get all the features that made the handhelds such a hit in the form of compact and smart GPS golf watches.
Garmin Approach S60 Premium

But which of these advanced GPS golf watches should you buy?

The Garmin Approach S60 and the Garmin Approach S60 Premium are virtually identical golf smartwatches in terms of features and capabilities. The S60 Premium is more expensive than the standard Approach S60 and the only difference is an included leather strap and resistant scratch-proof glass.

Both of these golf smartwatches score high marks in all the essential key points for rating a golf GPS watch.

This article will explore everything that needs to be known about both products, with a specific emphasis on what makes the watches different from one another.

Read on to find out more and discover which is better suited to your needs.

Garmin Approach S60 Standard Golf Watch

Garmin Approach S60 Review

Much like golf, technology is a field that is ever-expanding. Sports devices are constantly evolving to make a sport like golf easier to keep track of in terms of performance and analysis to track improvements. The Garmin Approach S60 has a decent display size that makes tracking a round of golf easier and more clear to read.

Much like the watches that came before it, the S60 has superb functionality that allows you to easily load the required information from golf courses in practically no time at all. Yardages are also perfectly captured in the innovation of the watch; front, center, and back are all brought to life with easy-to-read graphics for expert tracking.

The battery life of the S60 is also strong and long-lasting. Two rounds of golf can typically play out on just one charge that lasts about 10 hours.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the features that set the Garmin Approach S60 apart from many of its predecessors in the Garmin line.

Pros:

  • Expert mapping features. The mapping features on the Approach S60 are simply incredible in terms of the functionality this watch brings to golf-specific mapping. You can zoom into a hole on the course maps and easily see variations in distance and activity tracking to decide what bunkers or water hazards need to be cleared. This is a much-needed functionality for an advanced GPS golf watch and the ability to track a shot with precision is one of the features that truly make this watch stand out.
  • Expert sensors. The S60 has built-in sensors that can automatically detect when you take a shot and can even help you in deciding how to better your swing tempo.
  • Pin positioning targeting. The Approach S60 can provide a means to increase shot tracking to pinpoint where on the green you can swing to get more accurate yardage.
  • Performance tracking. One of the most beneficial attributes of the S60 is the watch’s ability to track your distance in terms of steps taking and calories burned. Because it feels good to know that playing a game you love is actually good for your health.

Cons:

  • Expensive. It goes without saying that likely already know that the Approach S60 is an expensive watch. Even though the watch is known for its price, the price tag is quite substantial, therefore, you have to weigh your options if the price of the S60 Standard is worth it.

Garmin Approach S60 Ceramic Bezel

Garmin Approach S60 Premium Review

The Garmin Approach S60 Premium is virtually identical to the S60 Standard, therefore, it can become a difficult task to do a proper Garmin S60 vs S60 Premium comparison. There are only a few slight differences between the two watches to be aware of.

In terms of functionality, the two watches are identical; you will not find new features with the S60 Premium that were not already programmed into the S60 Standard. Apart from a couple of additions which we describe below, the only thing that can be said to distinguish the two watches from one another is that the S60 Premium has a slightly more durable quality when compared to the S60 Standard.

Pros:

  • Ceramic bezel. The major difference that separates the two watches is the scratch-resistant ceramic bezel of the S60 Premium. This bezel makes for a powerful and long-lasting watch face that is sure to hold up better than the watch face of most golf smartwatches.
  • Leather Strap. The Garmin Approach S60 Premium comes with a leather band that is more durable than other ceramic bands.

Cons:

  • Needlessly expensive. The major downside of the S60 Premium is that this watch is more expensive than the S60 Standard for virtually no major differences to be found between the two models.

Garmin S60 vs S60 Premium

What Is the Difference Between the Garmin Approach S60 and S60 Premium?

Both of these models are nearly identical to one another. Both watches have different colors to choose from, are superior in providing data resolution for green view, and sunlight readable.

Both feature a large library of preloaded courses that cover a wide range of tracking features for the preloaded courses that best suit the game you are playing. Garmin Connect is easy to use with both watches and both watches are compatible with Garmin Connect functionality.

It can be said that the S60 Standard is essentially the only version of the S60 since there are no functional differences between this model and the S60 Premium. Since golf is a physical sport, many users find that the addition of performance tracking features that measure health statistics are a much needed new feature when it comes to golf smartwatches, and both the S60 Garmin Approach and the S60 Premium feature this addition that was included on the S60 Standard.

In terms of visibility, it can be said that the S60 Premium is also a bit easier to see due to it being more sunlight-readable than even the ceramic-based visual patterns that can create a glare in the sunlight.

In fact, the only real differences between the two watches are found in the design. In terms of design, the S60 Standard is made from a polymer bezel whereas the S60 Premium is made from a reinforced ceramic bezel.

This can be an important difference since the S60 Standard does have a tendency to scratch easily if you drop it or brush it against abrasive materials. Ceramic just holds up better in these situations than what you can expect with a bezel made of polymer.

The final difference is simply related to the watch band: the S60 Standard has a silicone-based watch band and the S60 Premium has a leather watch band. Both of these materials are durable, yet the leather band of the S60 Premium has a bit more of a fashionable quality.

Hardware Comparison

Hardware Features Garmin Approach S60
Lens Material
Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
Bezel Material
polymer or ceramic
QuickFit™ watch band compatible
included (22 mm)
Strap material
silicone or leather
Physical size
46 x 46 x 14.5 mm
Touchscreen
Yes
Display size
1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter
Weight
Standard: 1.8 oz (52 g); Premium: 2.2 oz (61 g)
Battery Life
Smartwatch mode: Up to 10 days. GPS mode: Up to 10 hours.
Water rating
5 ATM

Should You Buy the Garmin Approach S60 or S60 Premium?

Determining which of these watches to buy is simply a matter of taste. Everything you get with S60 standard model is available on the S60 Premium, and the S60 standard model is one of the best Garmin golf smartwatches.

If you want to add a bit of style to the watch, it is certainly feasible to go with the Premium version of the S60. The leather band is sure to hold up for a long time, and the scratch-resistant ceramic bezel only increases the durability of the watch for long term use.

The only downside is that the S60 Premium is about 100 dollars more expensive than the regular Garmin S60. For this price, you are getting a slightly more durable bezel and a leather band. Some users report that the S60 Premium has improved visibility over the Garmin S60, but this is mostly a matter of personal preference.

We say to go all out and go with the S60 Premium. The scratch-resistant bezel is certainly a good quality to have for a smartwatch while on the golf course.

Golf Features Comparison

Golf Features Garmin Approach S60
Preloaded with over 41,000 courses worldwide
Yardage to F/M/B (distance to front, middle and back of green)
Yardage to layups/doglegs
Measures shot distance (calculates exact yardage for shots from anywhere on course)
Automatic
Digital scorecard
Custom targets
Stat tracking (strokes, putts per round, greens and fairways hit)
Garmin AutoShot™
Green View with manual pin position
Hazards and course targets
PinPointer
PlaysLike distance
Touch-targeting (touch target on display to see the distance to any point)
Handicap scoring
SwingTempo
Tempo Training
TruSwing™ compatible
Round timer/odometer
Automatic club tracking compatible (requires accessory)
Buy Now

Are These Premium Golf Watches Worth the Money?

No matter which of the two versions you ultimately decide to purchase, both models are certainly worth the price. The features are just too innovative and useful to pass up.

The biggest problem consumers frequently have is deciding if the S60 Premium is really worth the extra price. We struggled with this decision as well since there are no functional differences that can be found between the two watches.

No matter which watches you purchase, the decision to buy the S60 will make your golf game so much more involved and easy to keep track of. The S60 Premium is the overall best decision due to the scratch-resistant bezel.

FAQs

Q: What is the difference between the Garmin S60 and S62?

The Garmin Approach S62 (see on Amazon) is a recent upgrade to the Garmin Approach S60. The S62 has a larger build than the S60 and a much stronger and more clear pixel resolution than what is seen with the Approach S60.

Q: Does Garmin S60 monitor heart rate?

Unfortunately, there is no heart rate sensor or customizable heart rate monitor that comes with the Garmin Approach S60. With that in mind, there are many different performance tracking features that are available with the Garmin Approach S60 with many that can track activities beyond golf if you use the Garmin Connect App.

Final Thoughts

With all of these similarities and differences in mind, you may notice that both watches are far too similar to make a final choice. The best way to make the decision is to remember what each smartwatch is geared towards. The S60 standard has all of the features that you can find with the S60 Premium.

Both Garmin Approach S60 watches have design techniques that are sure to make your golf game easier and enjoyable. A ceramic bezel and leather band are the only differences between the two, therefore, we recommend the S60 Premium for these stylish and useful additional features.

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Andy Brooks

As a running enthusiast, I found it frustrating that there were limited review sites available willing to give me an honest opinion on the latest technology to aid my hobby. I am certainly not trendy (my kids will testify to that), however I am an early adopter and just love getting my hands on the most up-to-date gadgets.

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