Garmin is known for its innovative approach in GPS tracking technology. The newest release is the Garmin Approach S60 golf gps watch. Aside from integrating new features, Garmin has also improved the existing standard golf gps features, and “non-golf” functions. Basically, the Approach S60 can track your (fitness, cycling, running and more) activities outside a game of golf.
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This golf GPS watch comes with a glass lens material. As for the bezel material, it can either be polymer or ceramic (depending on the model). Speaking of model, the Approach S60’s default version sports a silicone strap material, whereas the premium variant sports a classier leather band.
Regardless of version, the watch is built with a sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) touch-screen display, which is 30.4 mm (1.2”) in diameter with a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. This 5 ATM-rated (water rating) watch measures 46 x 46 x 14.5 mm, and has a weight of 1.8 oz. and 2.2 oz. for standard and premium varieties, respectively. Battery life lasts up to 10 days in smart watch mode, and 10 hours in full GPS mode.
Features and Technologies
Before we get into the bread and butter features of the Approach S60, let us first go over its general build. Although the watch is touch-screen, it is still supplemented with multiple physical buttons, which results in a more intuitive handling.
There are three non-touch inputs on the right side of device. One is the action key (top button), which acts as the select button. Opposite of it is the return control, and the one in between is the power/menu button.
In terms of general appearance, it varies depending on the model you choose. As I have mentioned above, there are two versions of the product that you can select from, which is between standard and premium.
What are their differences? Well, the former sports a polymer-based bezel and a silicone-quality strap, giving the watch a modern and current look. On the other hand, the latter sort shows a more sophisticated and refined style with its leather strap combined with a ceramic bezel.
As expected, the premium unit is pricier, albeit the higher resistance of the ceramic material against scratches is quite advantageous. This model also has more heft, weighing 2.2 oz., compared to the 1.8 oz. weight of the standard one.
Other than the aforementioned changes, no other significant divergences in features are noted between the two. Thus, the decision will most likely boil down to personal preference and your taste in fashion.
Keep in mind that this GPS watch is compatible with Garmin’s QuickFit™ bands, specifically the 22 mm ones, meaning you can interchange the strap if you desire. Furthermore, both standard and premium forms come with a glass-based lens.
The watch has a water rating of 5 ATM. This entails that the gadget can survive pressure of up to 50 meters in depth. So, whether it is just a small splash, a heavy downpour, or an unintentional submersion, you can rest easy that the unit will turn out fine.
Let us move on to the screen quality. The display that this device uses is sunlight-visible, giving you a detailed view of the on-screen data even when under direct sunlight.
The watch also uses the future-advanced transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) technology on its LCD. It can be a mouthful, I know, but it is actually fairly easy to grasp.
Compared to traditional LCDs, which continuously displays the whole image, MIP saves the pixel information currently shown on the monitor. When you change some of displayed data, only the new pixels are rendered, which means there will be less power consumption.
This development significantly boosts the Approach S60’s battery life, up to 10 hours in optimal GPS use, and 10 days in smart watch mode. For a device that not only shows full colors, but is also touch screen, such numbers are quite the achievement. Some of the other similar products often average just between 6-8 hours in golf mode, putting this model in the lead among its class.
Another big contributor to this item’s impressive power duration is the lithium-ion battery. You can easily charge the unit via the USB cable, which comes in the package, along with the user manual. A fully drained battery will usually take around four hours to recharge.
Unfortunately, the product does not come with an AC adaptor. Thus, you either settle with charging the watch through your personal computer, or buy the adaptor from Garmin.
Moving on. It is time to inspect the functions of the Approach S60 by Garmin, starting with its connectivity features. You can pair up the watch to either the Garmin Express™ software (PC) or the Garmin Connect Mobile app (smartphone Google iPhone), to access current and future updates.
The second option offers more intuitive features, especially when it comes to interacting with other players. Linking to Garmin Connect™ Mobile also requires direct connection to the application, instead of the usual Bluetooth®. Once pairing has been established, you now get updates to more than 40,000 course data, and the ability to sync your recorded statistics.
If you connect to your phone using Bluetooth®, you can setup various widgets on the watch. From notifications, music controls, to weather, step count, among others, all these can be easily viewed on the Approach S60.
When you start playing, the watch will display the hole view, which shows data like distances to the front, middle, and back, of the green. The current hole number, hole indicator, par, and the map, are also exhibited.
Perhaps one of the biggest improvements found on this particular Garmin Approach iteration is the PlaysLike Distance feature. Such technology comes up with a compensated distance value, which has taken the elevation between you and your target into account, allowing you pick the best shot approach.
This is somewhat similar to the slope feature normally found on modern rangefinders. However, any ranging technology that adds elevation into the formula is restricted by the USGA in official matches, so please bear this in mind when utilizing the PlaysLike function.
As usual, you can still view a list of layup and dogleg distances for the 4th and 5th par. However, the device cannot display all existing hazards on the course. Thankfully, you can save up to five points of interest that you come across.
You can also tap anywhere on the map to measure how far it is from your current position. Moreover, if the green is not in clear view, the PinPointer feature can help you in this regard.
For your statistical needs, this golf gps watch can automatically monitor and document your shots, thanks to its AutoShot feature. A built-in scorecard and shot history view also provide amazing value to your overall game flow. You can view all these data in more detail on the companion software and phone application.
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The Garmin Approach S60 is, without a doubt, one of the best GPS watches available this year. Its stylish and versatile look, backed with exceptional features, both for inside and outside the course, will surely appeal to you. It is definitely worthy of being Garmin’s latest flagship golf GPS device.