Garmin Approach S3 Vs S4

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Garmin Approach S3 Vs S4

In this article, we will discuss the comparison between Garmin Approach S3 vs S4. Both are popular GPS watches from Garmin that are loved by many golfers who want to improve their performance. However, despite the similar looks and color choices, Garmin Approach S3 is actually cheaper than Garmin Approach S4. So, which one is better for the money?

Continue reading below to find out about:

  • – The design and dimensions of each GPS golf watch
  • – The control and ease of use
  • – The distinctive features of Garmin Approach S3 vs S4
  • – The comparison of the battery life
  • – Which Garmin model that is more recommended for you


In terms of design, Garmin Approach S3 and Garmin Approach S4 share some similarities. Both models are available in two color choices, which are black and white. Each of them comes with a 1-inch monochrome LCD that also functions as a touchscreen.

See also: Garmin G3 vs G5.

However, there are some subtle differences. The buttons of Garmin Approach S3 are plain, whereas the buttons of Garmin Approach S4 have small markings that indicate their positions. As the effect, the buttons of Garmin Approach S4 are somewhat easier to find and access.

Furthermore, both color variants of Garmin Approach S3 have some a red line that circles the display screen. For sure, it adds a nice touch of style. On the other hand, Garmin Approach S4 is elegant in a different way. The white variant has silver lines, whereas the black variant has a few light yellow lines.

The dimensions of Garmin Approach S3 vs S4 don’t differ very much from each other. Garmin Approach S3 measures 1.8 inches x 2.7 inches x 0.6 inches. Garmin Approach S4 is only slightly slimmer, as it measures 1.83 inches x 2.41 inches x 0.58 inches. Both models have the same weight of 2.06 oz. Both models are equipped with elastic bands, and are very comfortable to wear.

Display and Control

Although the size of the display screen remains similar, there is actually an important change in the resolution. If you put the two GPS watches side by side and take a look closely, you can see that Garmin Approach S3 is not very sharp. The pixels that construct the characters are somewhat visible.

Garmin Approach S4 is equipped with a high-resolution display screen. As the effect, the display looks sharper and becomes easier to read. This definitely is a nice improvement.

Furthermore, you may have noticed that Garmin Approach S3 only has three buttons, while Garmin Approach S4 has four. This is because Garmin Approach S4 comes with a dedicated green view button. It allows you to access the green view with a simple press of the button, which is the one on the lower left side. From here, you can quickly change the pin position. Just hit the same button again to return to the main screen.

Actually, Garmin Approach S3 also allows you to do the same thing, but you need to go through multiple screens as there’s no dedicated green view button. It is a little inconvenient.


Garmin Approach S4 can do everything that Garmin Approach S3 can. There are basic features and some advanced features in common. The active home screen shows the yardages to the front, middle, and back. There is also a shot measurement, just click the “Measure” button and walk from your position to the ball to see how far you’ve shot. It is great for improving your distance control.

Both models also allow you to add your own yardage points. You can add multiple spots to the map, such as a layup area, a ridge on the green, or trees. Once you’ve marked the spots, they will be saved for future rounds. This is a nice feature for playing in your home course. Both models have a built-in scorecard, timer, odometer, and more than 30,000 pre-loaded maps from various countries in the world.

However, Garmin Approach S4 comes with a few additional features for stats tracking. It is able to track the average distance, putts per round, as well as greens and fairways hits. These additional features are pretty handy for dedicated golfers.

Mobile Integration

The next big difference between Garmin Approach S3 vs S4 is the mobile integration. Garmin Approach S3 does not have this feature at all. There is no way to connect Garmin Approach S3 to your mobile phone or tablet.

Garmin Approach S4 has added mobile integration into its feature list. It is able to connect wirelessly to your iPhone. It is equipped with smart notifications so that it can show whenever there is an incoming email, text message, or any other notification. This is certainly very convenient, especially for users who frequently check their iPhones. Unfortunately, this feature only works with iPhone and not with any other mobile device platform, such as Android and Windows Phone.

Computer Connectivity

Both of these two models are compatible with Garmin Connect, which is an online platform where you can store your golf stats and share them with your family and friends. In order to sync your Garmin Approach S3 or Garmin Approach S4 with Garmin Connect, you need to first connect the unit to a personal computer.

Each unit has a USB port for that purpose. But before plugging it to your computer using the included USB cable (which also doubles as a charging cable), you need to download and install the Garmin Express app on your computer. Through Garmin Express, you can configure your device and upload the tracked data to Garmin Connect.

Battery Life

Garmin Approach S3 has a decent battery life. In the GPS mode, it can run for 8 continuous hours. This is sufficient for most golf games. In the watch mode, it can run continuously for up to 4 weeks.

Still, any improvement on the battery life is to be welcomed. Garmin Approach S4 is able to run continuously for 10 hours in the GPS mode, or up to 6 weeks in the watch mode. However, if you do connect the unit with your iPhone, you may notice slightly reduced battery life, as there’s an additional connection that the unit needs to maintain.

Garmin Approach S3 Vs S4

Garmin Approach S3Garmin Approach S4
Key features– Water resistant, GPS golf watch with 1-inch monochrome LCD touchscreen – Preloaded with over 29,500 worldwide courses – Course preview (see detailed, hole-by-hole preview)– Green view button Dedicated button shows true shape and layout of the green by one simple push, and then you can manually move pin to day’s location
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The answer is clear,Garmin Approach S4 should be your choice. This model comes with great improvements. It has a sharper display and a dedicated green view button. The control becomes a lot more practical. It also has more stats tracking features, mobile integration, and enhanced battery life.


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