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New 2021 Garmin S42


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The question is what do you want to use it for??? 

 

The S62 is the TOP of Garmin's "Golf" watch line, and has more functionality than S42.  I wouldn't spend the money on S62 as its cost is not far from the Fenix line.  I currently have Fenix 5 and wear it 24/7, use it for golf among other sport activities, etc..   Just might buy one of the Fenix 6 models.

 

I am surprised the S42 exists.  Last week I bought S40 for my wife, and it has a lot to offer the golfer, even many widgets.

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Here is the compare link you will want to look at: https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/catalog/product/compareResult.ep?compareProduct=647267&compareProduct=743387

 

Lots of features missing from the S42 in comparison to S62. Main differences are far as golf is concerned is no PlaysLike distances for slopes and no ability to click anywhere on the map with the touchscreen. Those are a big deal IMO, especially slopes, but other than that it should be fairly similar for golf purposes.

 

Non-golf features are pretty neutered on the S42 though. No heartrate monitor is the big one if you care about that. Also no Connect IQ, which is the app that lets you customize the watch face and install things on the watch (that is probably why the S42 only has 64MB of memory instead of 1GB on the S62). Click here to see the types of things you will be missing on the S42: https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/. Looks like the battery is 30% smaller as well... but that may not be a dealbreaker because the S62 battery life is GREAT. 

 

I have the S62 and I would not consider trading it in for the S42 to save $200. It is missing too much that I deem important. 

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I still have a Fenix 5x but use the S62 exclusively. The S62 is far superior for golf when you factor in all the extras - slope, touch screen, etc. - and it does enough on the fitness side although it does lack some features like elevation etc. Overall, if you want a golf centric device with some other pluses, the S62 is a great option.

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On 3/23/2021 at 5:45 PM, COmedic said:

New 2021 Garmin updates released last week including the updated S42. Anybody have any insight on these vs S62? Both will be a huge upgrade to my Approach X40, but hoping to hear first hand reviews of the S42 and if there is any reason to go for the more expensive 62?

You're getting some good info here and I'd like to add a bit more.

I also had the Approach X40 for a couple years and liked it a lot. Prior to the X40 I hadn't worn a watch for decades  except for a Bushnell while golfing only, but the X40 changed that and I wore it full-time.  I then hit a crossroads and wanted something more than the X40 so I upgraded to the Vivoactive 3.  That was a nice upgrade from the X40.  Then in January 2021 I decided since my VA3 was getting older it was time to upgrade again. This time instead of going with a VA4 I decided to make a big upgrade and went with the Fenix 6 Pro.  I love the Fenix 6 Pro.  It's heavier and bulkier than the VA3 but I'm quickly used to it.  I haven't used it for golf yet but for all my fitness, mountain biking and skiing it's great.  The build quality is rock solid, battery life exponentially better and I actually prefer the button navigation over the touch screen that was on the VA3.  I'd describe the Fenix as 80% sport watch and 20% smart watch.  

  

A couple points about the Fenix for golf.  While I haven't used it yet during a round I noticed that it does have "plays like distance"--- I'll be interested in experimenting with it though I may not use that feature.  Also it can be set up to ask you "What club you hit" so you can track the distances of each club just like on your X40.  With the VA3, while it tracked your shots and put them on a map on Garmin connect, it did not have the ability to ask you which club you used. Not sure if the VA4 has that feature or not--- Garmin does a lousy job explaining this difference on their site if at all.  While the Fenix does not have a touch screen it has full vector detailed maps of each fairway and you can use the buttons to move the marker to determine distance to specific points.   As  I said before I actually prefer the button navigation now that I'm used to it over the touch screen navigation.

 

Hope this additional perspective from a former X40 user helps.  I just think the VA4 has to be part of the discussion because it has smart watch features, fitness and golf at a lower price and less weight.  While cost may not be a concern, the VA4 is also lighter than either the Fenix or S62, which will be noticeably heavier than your X40, especially the Fenix.

 

Here is a link so you can do a side by side comparison of the Fenix, VA4, S62 and S42. 

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/catalog/product/compareResult.ep?compareProduct=702902&compareProduct=643382&compareProduct=647267&compareProduct=743387

 

Edited by BlackDiamondPar5
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9 hours ago, Badshaft said:

Thanks for posting that - I was quite surprised that the Fenix didn't have touch screen. I have the VA3 music- use it for golf and the display is kind of cartoonish and not very sharp. Curious if the display has gotten better with the gorilla glass with the S62 or Fenix? Comparable to Apple watch types or no?

Thanks

The resolution of the VA4 and Fenix are slightly higher screen resolution than the VA3Music 260x260 vs 240x240.  I don't think Gorilla glass really impacts that.  They do have a Sapphire glass version of the Fenix which is even harder than Gorilla Glass but some of the reviews say it's a bit more reflective under certain lighting conditions, but that is not first hand knowledge. I do see my Fenix as sharper than was my VA3 with higher contrast, so that's good.  As for "cartoonish" I guess  I don't see it that way.  The transflective display is highly functional at delivering information under all lighting conditions especially outside in the bright sun. Whereas most smart watches, such as Apple, will be harder to read in bright conditions.   To me the animation and icons and such on the Apple watch is more cartoonish than functional.  Certainly feature wise and usability the Garmin series is more functional than smart watches when it comes to outdoor activity--- which is why you buy something like a Garmin instead of a smartwatch.  Battery life of the Garmin Fenix is in another league--- up to 14 days, though I charge it more like 7-10 days because I use GPS mode a fair amount.  When it comes to golf specifically--- I may have been able to get 2 rounds with the VA3 but the Fenix should comfortably be 6+ rounds.

 

As for my experience with moving from a touchscreen on the VA3 to button navigation on the Fenix, it took me a couple days to get used to it but now I wouldn't go back--- it's so much more precise, functional, easier to navigate with gloves and less susceptible to inadvertent touches. 

 

Hope that helps.   

Edited by BlackDiamondPar5
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Thanks BDP - For me the cartoonish meant like old style images, not as sharp...Also I thought I read somewhere that gorilla glass helped with some clarity, but maybe not... I wear my VA3 music for every day usage and the display and clock faces/images are not very vibrant like the Apple watch - But you can make out images quite well.. So I agree the presentation is more than adequate and the battery life is in another league to other smart watches.

 

Garmin functionality for golf is excellent- Looking to upgrade from the VA3

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5 hours ago, Blackett said:

For those who have the s62 what’s the  typical battery life?  

 

A long (4-5 hours) round of golf using all the features drains ~20%-ish battery. A normal day without playing golf or using GPS will drain less than 5% per day.

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16 hours ago, Badshaft said:

Thanks BDP - For me the cartoonish meant like old style images, not as sharp...Also I thought I read somewhere that gorilla glass helped with some clarity, but maybe not... I wear my VA3 music for every day usage and the display and clock faces/images are not very vibrant like the Apple watch - But you can make out images quite well.. So I agree the presentation is more than adequate and the battery life is in another league to other smart watches.

 

Garmin functionality for golf is excellent- Looking to upgrade from the VA3

 

So you are right where I was in January but I had the VA3.  I decided to go with the Fenix Pro over the VA4 or base Fenix (non Pro) for the following reasons; onboard maps for hiking, mountain biking, ski trails and golf courses that don't require cell connection, which is important for the places I go biking and skiing.  Also in general the Fenix series is much more feature rich for outdoor activity than my VA3 or the VA4. Also side note, those quick-fit bands on the Fenix (and S62) are awesome and changing bands can be done without tools and takes maybe 15 seconds.  There's plenty of after-market colors and styles available.  I also like the Fenix for golf because you can set it up to ask you which club you hit for tracking purposes.  Not sure if the VA4 has that feature but the VA3 did not.  Also the Fenix build quality is significantly more rugged and I like the style.  Then of course battery of the Fenix is 2X that of the VA4 and at least 3X of my VA4.  The part for me that weighed against the Fenix was that it was heavier and bulkier than my VA3 or the VA4.  It's also 3X the cost of a VA4.  But in the end I decided those additional features made it worth it to me to go with the Fenix 6Pro.  

 

If I cared little about outdoor activities or health monitoring then those S series golf watches would have been on my list for sure.   

 

Question for you, I haven't yet put music on my Fenix. I always have my phone with me with the music.  Am I missing out on something by not using the watch music instead? ---- Thanks!

Edited by BlackDiamondPar5
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On 3/27/2021 at 11:47 AM, BlackDiamondPar5 said:

 

So you are right where I was in January but I had the VA3.  I decided to go with the Fenix Pro over the VA4 or base Fenix (non Pro) for the following reasons; onboard maps for hiking, mountain biking, ski trails and golf courses that don't require cell connection, which is important for the places I go biking and skiing.  Also in general the Fenix series is much more feature rich for outdoor activity than my VA3 or the VA4. Also side note, those quick-fit bands on the Fenix (and S62) are awesome and changing bands can be done without tools and takes maybe 15 seconds.  There's plenty of after-market colors and styles available.  I also like the Fenix for golf because you can set it up to ask you which club you hit for tracking purposes.  Not sure if the VA4 has that feature but the VA3 did not.  Also the Fenix build quality is significantly more rugged and I like the style.  Then of course battery of the Fenix is 2X that of the VA4 and at least 3X of my VA4.  The part for me that weighed against the Fenix was that it was heavier and bulkier than my VA3 or the VA4.  It's also 3X the cost of a VA4.  But in the end I decided those additional features made it worth it to me to go with the Fenix 6Pro.  

 

If I cared little about outdoor activities or health monitoring then those S series golf watches would have been on my list for sure.   

 

Question for you, I haven't yet put music on my Fenix. I always have my phone with me with the music.  Am I missing out on something by not using the watch music instead? ---- Thanks!

Thanks for that excellent rundown BDP - Sorry I don't have any info for the music usage,  I bought the VA3 music because of it was on sale and haven't used the music portion. From what I have read on it though it has quite a bit of storage.  I use it for health tracking, activities and Golf- Appreciate the insight!

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On 3/29/2021 at 2:42 AM, TheGolfingRealtor said:

I bought the S42 but haven't used it yet. I'm thinking of exchanging it for the S62 because of the added features. Is the S62 legal for tournament play because of the plays like and slope features? Or can that be turned off?


Can be turned off. Same deal as a range finder with slope adjustment. Also applies to virtual caddy and probably that wind feature as well. 

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45 minutes ago, fundustrial said:

Thinking about buying this for my wife but the no slope feature is a big downer...S62 is way too big and there don't seem to be any good, and nice looking, alternatives...

Honestly I have the Fenix 6 and don't use the slope function. Besides it's illegal for tournament play and posting rounds. 

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