Garmin has been a leading company in GPS trackers and locators. The company’s history lasts about three decades and they are second to none when it comes to GPS tracking and monitoring. To coupe up with the modern trend of smart wearables, Garmin stepped into the segment of smart watches and smart fitness tracker with a wide range of products. Garmin launched the Approach S20, in first half of 2016 and then various iterations have been seen over the course of time. A common misconception is considering it a smart watch, whereas, officials at Garmin refer to it as more of a smart fitness tracker.
Following the typical Garmin tradition, the tracker is sufficiently rugged yet display the quality of product by its precise fit and finish. The Garmin Approach S20, along with the basic fitness tracking features pack a certain software to track golf specific activities as well. Which are handy and useful. The software experience has been simplified and more involving for users across a wide spectrum of age.
Built Quality & Design
Practicality and durability have always been the motive of Garmin devices. With least available bells and whistles the bare bone features truly depict the soul aim of such devices. And more often it has been noticed that professionals prefer them over a regular smart watch or even main stream fitness trackers. Similarly, Garmin Approach S20 has a very minimalistic and practical design. With plastic chassis re-enforced by aluminum rails, it speaks of durability and rigidity. The fit and finish is top notch and feels sturdy overall. Upfront we have a monochrome LCD 128 x 128 display, which by no means is close to that of Apples or Samsung’s. however, the tiny pixelated display is high contrast and very reasonably lit even in bright sun light. Moreover, it has a chemicallystrengthenedglassoverthedisplaytoprotectitagainstslightscratchesandwears. Its surrounded by relatively thick bezels, which in 2020 seems a bit retro. For interacting with the OS, we have a set of 2 physical metallic buttons on either side. They are tactile and very solid to touch and press. The clicks are responsive and can be clearly felt, even when wearing a pair of gloves. To navigate along the menu up and down buttons are placed on left whereas to confirm or discard a selected option “ok” and “back” reside on the right of device. Generally speaking, we think that the incorporation of physical buttons is a welcome addition as to those trackers which use flimsy touch screens that are irresponsive to touch and presses, hindering the smooth flow of navigation. With rounded edges and subtle looks it adheres to the wrist using a silicon strap. Though the strap options are readily available now a day, but the included band serves the purpose very neatly. With elegant yet sport look it complements the overall feel and purpose of watch. When on course, it truly blends in with sports outfit. With no specific battery capacity mentioned by Garmin, we experienced about 15 hours of usage on GPS tracking and amazingly about 8 weeks on normal standby mode. Which owing to the sleek design, are staggering numbers. The Garmin approach s20 is water and dust resistant up to 5 ATM. Along with some basic features such as time/date, GPS time sync, automatic daylight saving time, alarm clock, sunrise/sunset times, sleep tracking we have some amazing packages like hydration level and menstrual cycle tracking. The Bluetooth connectivity is very stable and easy. Android and iOS compatibility are up to mark and no issues were noticed. It is also loaded with amazing golf features. After all, it is a golf-tracking fitness watch. It has over 40,000 preloaded international golf courses. The users can opt from any one of them before starting the session. The power and accuracy of your golf swing are accurately measured and precision is reasonable. Moreover, the middle yardage has also a “Move Flag” option where you can scroll the flag about 9 pre-defined points to get a specific yardage, but that is only functional only if you know what sector the flag is in before you play. The Garmin
Approach S20 comes from a multi-sport activity background, it can also measure walking and step count and then sync them to the Garmin Connect App on your iOS or Android device so they can be monitored and shared later on. The charging setup is a bit of gimmick. The clip style charging grip, and the metal pins are often a pain to align and hence miss the spot while charging. The use of magnets for charging would have been an appreciable addition.
- Get all information you need for your shot from an easy to understand graphical user interface. Strap material : silicone
- AutoShot game tracker measures and auto-records shot distances and shot location
- Get guidance during your approach with distances to hazards, doglegs and layups
- CourseView feature automatically updates frequently played courses for free
- Combines sporty design with activity tracking and smart notifications
- Built quality 8.0/10
- Practicality 8.5/10
- Design language 7.0/10
- Battery life 9.0/10
- Unboxing experience 6.5/10
- Value to money 8.0/10
For an entry level fitness tracker, the price of about £240 is steep, therefore the expectations quite are accordingly high. Hence, Garmin approach S20 offers
features. The practicality is spot on and the built quality is sturdy. The battery life is stunning and can last a long session of gameplay. All in all, we recommend the Garmin S20 for our fitness enthusiastic users who like to keep a track record of their health and activity for any particular day.
Keeping in view the price point we have some side picks as well. If you are into the specific sport of Golf, there are not very many picks. But in general tracking various activity parameters during any mainstream sports it is very much possible to consider other fitness trackers within the same budget or far less. The Garmin Vivo-active 3 is an adequate pick. Coming in at about £100, it checks all the boxes of quality and performance. It has all the basic features and an amazing battery life. With an aluminum circular dial, and rigid plastic body, the overall form factor is sleek. The main interface is controlled via a single button. Its tactile and very easy to use while working out of carrying out sports activity. The circular display is vivid, and very responsive. In bright sun light its reasonably visible. The connectivity with Android or iOS is very simple and straight forward. No disruptions in Bluetooth connectivity were observed. The battery life is very impressive. With active usage it can last about 13 hours whereas, on standby mode it can easily take you through the entire week. Overall, keeping in the mind the price point, it truly deserves a place on your wrist.
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