Garmin s20 vs x40 – Which One Is Right For You?

Garmin s20 vs x40 – Which One Is Right For You?

Garmin Golf GPS watches are amazing devices that are hugely beneficial to golfers. Now, If you are reading this you likely finding it hard to choose between two of them, the Garmin s20 vs x40.

This is an interesting one, as both are very different. Their golf GPS capabilities are similar, but outside of golf and their design is where each of these really show their differences.

I am going to offer a little summary of each watch first to give you a better overall idea of what each does and their features, I will then put them head to head, Garmin Approach 20 vs Garmin Approach x40 to see how they differentiate.

Garmin S20 Summary

Garmin S20 vs Garmin X40

Garmin watches are the best golf GPS watches out there in my opinion, but if you looked online you will see that some of them are very expensive, for example the S60 (Review HERE). But Garmin knew they needed to introduce a golf watch that filled that price gap in the market, and so the S20 was born.

The Garmin S20 (SP) is an amazing golf GPS watch. It’s designed to do the simple things right and do them well. The S20 was designed for golfers who don’t want all the bells and whistles some higher end golf watches offer; but simply provide accurate yardages.

The S20 offers accurate yardages to the front, middle and back of the green. You also get the option to get an outline of the green and choose from a number of preset pin locations to get the right yardage to your pin location on the course.

You can hazard and lay up info also for each hole. The lay up feature can be a little annoying and hard enough to get right, but the hazard info works ok.

Although it’s a budget watch, the S20 can be paired with Garmin Connect. Garmin’s post round analysis app that lets you track key statistics like fairways hit, GIR, putts and up and downs, etc.

The S20 (Check Price) is a smartwatch in a way. But I wouldn’t exactly say it’s at the same level of a Apple watch or Samsung Gear for example. You can pair it to your smartphone to get text and email notification and also track basic fitness stats like steps and calories burned.

Priced under $150, the Garmin S20 is a great golf watch that works brilliantly for golfers.

Check out some reviews on Amazon HERE to see what they saying.

Garmin X40 Summary

Garmin  Approach S20 vs Garmin Approach X40

The Garmin X40 (SP) is an interesting one really. It’s more like a fitness tracker that also has some golf GPS capabilities. Even at first glance, a FitBit comes to mind. The shape and style is much the same.

The x40 is probably the best combo of a golf watch and fitness tracker. It looks amazing. It’s small and compact and available in a number of attractive colours. The Garmin X40 is also extremely comfortable which is really nice.

The X40 is one of the most comfortable watches to wear. It’s so small and sleek, perfect really for any golfer who hates bulky looking watches.

On the course, the x40 does what any good golf watch should do. It performs. Offering accurate yardages, hazard info and auto hole changing, it really works very well. However, I do know some people have had issues with yardages on certain courses but I think Garmin have fixed this in 2019 as it seems older reviews mentioned the inaccuracy.

The hazard info in particular is presented really well and easy to find. It’s easy to get the hazard info to bunkers and water hazards without any fuss. The graphics however are small but that’s understandable considering the size of the screen. The X40 gives you small little images rather than text to say ‘bunker’ to show what each yardage is to. You just need to check the manual to see what image means first.

You can zoom in the green to get a better idea of the shape and also move to pin around the green to the actual pin location to guarantee an accurate yardage.

The X40 (Check Price) can pair with Garmin Connect for post round analysis. Track key statistics such as fairways hit, GIR, putts etc along with auto shot tracking for club yardages. You can use this for better analysis of your game.

The Garmin Approach can pair with your smartphone for notification for calls, texts and emails.

The x40 has other fitness tracking capabilities also. You can tracking running, walking, hiking and cycling. It tracks the basics like heart rate, calories and distance travelled. But that’s about it really.

If you are a fitness enthusiast, it might not have enough for you but it does the basics anyway for a watch that is primarily designed for golf.

See what other people’s reviewing are saying on Amazon HERE (SP)

Garmin S20 vs Garmin X40

Garmin X40 vs S20

Right we are going to dive deeper into this and make more detailed comparisons comparing the S20 vs X40.

Garmin S20Garmin X40
Preloaded CoursesYesYes
Free Course UpdatedYesYes
Garmin ConnectYesYes
Shot TrackingYesYes
Hazard InfoYesYes
Smartphone NotificationsYesYes
Battery Life15 Hours (Golf Mode)
8 Weeks Standard Mode
10 Hours (Golf Mode)
5 Days Standard Mode
Moveable PinsYesYes
Color ScreenNoNo
Water Resistant (Rain & Splash)YesYes
Activity TrackingYesYes
Price$141 (Amazon)$208 (Amazon)


The S20 and X40 have very different styles. The S20 is very much a common design among golf watches. It looks great, and comes in a couple of colours (Black, white, slate & midnight teal). It’s not every bulky or anything and very comfortable to wear golfing. It keeps things simple with a nice black and white screen with all data presented really well.

The X40 has a FitBit inspired design. Side by side they look the exact same. It;s extremely comfortable to wear and the narrow style watch will appeal to many that hate larger watches. The X40 is especially popular among female golfers.

The Garmin Approach X40 has a couple of colour options – black, white, midnight blue and lime green.

The X40 has more bright and loud colour options compared the S20 which are more dark and quiet colours.

Like the S20, the X40 also has a black and white screen, keeping it simple.


On the golf course, the S20 is the better watch vs the Garmin X40. Even though they are made by the same company, the S20 just seems to be more accurate.

The S20’s main job is to provide accurate yardages in the simplest of ways and it really does that very well. The only thing I really hated about the S20 was getting lay up info was a pain to get to get. It requires endless button clicks to find which makes things awkward with playing partners; especially if you duff it 30 yards after all that.

The only thing I like when comparing the performance of the S20 vs X40 is the option for the X40 to move the pin around the green using the touchscreen rather than choosing a preset location like the S20. This is only minor and I am really nitpicking doing that.

The S20 & X40 watches are water resistant as well so they are fine to be exposed to rain, but do not go swimming with either watch.

Battery Life

The battery life in the S20 is much better than the X40 as well. One of the most annoying things about owning a golf watch is forgetting to charge them before a round of golf. The S20 has 15 hours of GPS battery vs the x40’s 10 hours. The X40 might last you two rounds, but the S20 could get you 2.5 to 3 rounds in GPS mode.

Even the standard mode has a far superior battery. The S20 has an amazing 8 weeks battery life when not using GPS, compared to the X40’s 5 days.


The Garmin S20 (SP)is a lot cheaper than the X40. Right now on Amazon (where I buy pretty much anything), you can see the S20 for sale for around $140, compared to the X40 at around $208.

For me personally, I don’t see the extra value in going for the X40 over the S20 on golf performance at least. However, if you do a lot of running or cycling, then the extra $70 might make up that value for you.

But basing this solely as a golf GPS watch, I would say the S20 is better when comparing them as they both also offer the same post round analysis info by using Garmin Connect.

Garmin S20
Garmin X40

Who’s Best Suited To The S20 or X40

If you are an everyday weekend golfer, I would say the Garmin S20 (SP) all day long to be honest. It designed to offer accurate yardages and some additional features; not the premium features of the S60.

You can still use with the Garmin App, track your steps and calories while golfing and connect to your smartphone. If you ask the majority of golfers who have an S20, they are all very pleased with their purchase. It’s a golf GPS watch, not a Smartwatch.

The X40 (SP) is designed to be a Golf GPS watch and a fitness tracker. If you play golf and enjoy outdoor running, the X40 could be a great match to you.

However, I would say you shouldn’t expect the top of line fitness capabilities of the X40 compared to the Garmin Fenix 5 (SP Link).

Which One Would I Choose?

When deciding between the Garmin S20 vs x40, I would choose the S20. For me it’s the better watch.

It’s more accurate, has a much better battery life that can last a few rounds; and I prefer the normal smartwatch style as I’m not a huge fan of fit bit style watches.

For less than $150 it really is amazing value considering you get accurate yardages, hazard info, shot and score counting for post round analysis, compatible with Garmin TruSwing (Review Here) and can even connect to my smartphone for notifications. For less than $150, I couldn’t really ask for more.


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