Garmin Approach S70 Review: The Ultimate Golf Watch Upgrade

Garmin Approach S70 Review: The Ultimate Golf Watch Upgrade

The Garmin Approach S70 is the latest addition to Garmin’s lineup of golf watches, and it comes with some notable improvements over its predecessor, the S62. Two of the standout features of the S70 are the new AMOLED touchscreen and the option to choose between two case sizes – 47mm and 42mm (41mm in the smaller version). In this review, we’ll delve into the key aspects of this golf watch, including design, performance, golf-specific features, and its overall value.

If you are thinking of buying this watch, UK golfers can get 10% off with my exclusive code GGR10 at UK Golf Academy.

US Golfer can buy the watch from here and receive free returns on their order.

Design and Build Quality

One of the most significant changes with the S70 is the introduction of the AMOLED touchscreen, a significant upgrade from its predecessor. The display is crisp, vibrant, and easy to read, even in direct sunlight. The touchscreen is responsive, though not as snappy as an Apple Watch, which is a minor point considering its primary function as a golf watch.

Garmin offers two case sizes – 47mm and 42mm. The smaller case size is a welcome addition for those with smaller wrists, offering a more comfortable fit. However, it’s worth noting that opting for the smaller case size means sacrificing some screen real estate and battery life. The larger version only comes in black, while the smaller version lacks this color option, which might disappoint some potential buyers. The smaller version also lacks multi-channel GPS compared to the larger one, which means you may be sacrificing some GPS accuracy.

In terms of build quality, the S70 feels solid and premium without reaching the luxuriousness of Garmin’s MARQ range. The plastic casing is sturdy, and the silicone straps are comfortable, although they lack quick-release functionality, requiring a tool to remove them.

The watch face is protected by Gorilla Glass, which is durable but falls short of the sapphire crystal found on higher-end models. The ceramic bezel is a nice touch, offering better resistance to scratches than a metal one.

Battery Life

Garmin claims impressive battery life figures for the S70. The 47mm version boasts up to 21 days in smartwatch mode and 20 hours in GPS mode, while the 42mm version offers 14 days in smartwatch mode and 15 hours in GPS mode. Real-world usage, however, still impresses. During a test with the 42mm version, the watch lasted 8 and a half days under normal conditions, including GPS usage, a Peloton ride, and sleep tracking. This is a considerable improvement over many other smartwatches, including the Apple Watch.

Golf Features

The Garmin Approach S70 is clearly designed with golfers in mind, offering a comprehensive set of features to enhance your golfing experience. The golf-specific features are the highlight of this watch:

  • Course Maps: The improved course maps provide detailed information on trees, shadows, and hazards, making it easier to plan your shots effectively.
  • Auto Caddie: This feature learns your game and suggests club choices based on your location, previous club performance, and course conditions. It even includes a discretion grid to help you visualize potential trouble on the hole.
  • Play Like Yardages: Taking into account slope, wind, and air pressure, this feature provides incredibly detailed yardage calculations. While it’s a fantastic addition, it might be considered excessive by some golfers.
  • Score Tracking: The watch allows you to track your score on each hole, providing instant feedback on your round’s progress.
  • Shot Tracking: The watch can detect when you hit each shot and prompt you to input the club used. While sensitivity is generally good, it can miss some shots. For more accurate shot tracking, you can pair CT10 tags, though this comes at an additional cost.

Activity Tracking and Health Features

Beyond golf, the S70 offers a wide range of activity tracking options, making it versatile for various sports and workouts. It can also track heart rate, blood oxygen levels, sleep, and offer insights through the Body Battery feature, which suggests when and how hard to exercise. While these features are robust, their utility may vary depending on individual preferences.

Smartwatch Features and Connectivity

The S70 can serve as a daily smartwatch, but it faces stiff competition from the likes of the Apple Watch. While it can handle notifications, answering calls, and even mobile payments with Garmin Pay, it lacks some of the convenience features that Apple users might be accustomed to. The limited control over app notifications for iPhone users, for example, can be frustrating.


The Garmin Approach S70 Golf Watch is undoubtedly one of the best golf-specific smartwatches on the market. Its impressive golf features, improved AMOLED touchscreen, and respectable battery life make it an excellent choice for avid golfers who want to enhance their game.

However, its value as an everyday smartwatch might be more questionable, especially for those already invested in the Apple ecosystem. The S70’s appeal extends beyond golfers who are looking for a comprehensive fitness and health tracking device, but it may not fully replace a traditional smartwatch for some users.

In summary, if you’re a dedicated golfer looking for the best golf watch with a focus on improving your game, the Garmin Approach S70 is a compelling choice. For those seeking an all-in-one smartwatch with broader functionality, it’s worth considering whether the S70 aligns with your specific needs and preferences.

UK golfers can use my exclusive code GGR10 to get 10% off this watch at UK Golf Academy here –