Bushnell NEO Ion Golf Watch Review (NEW GPS Device)

bushnell neo ion golf watchPre-loaded Courses: 35,000 from 30 countries
Display Area Size: 23mm x 23mm
Weight: 1.8 oz
Battery Life Time: 16 hours
Recharge Time: 2.5 hours
Operating Temp Range: -4 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit
Waterproof: Yes
Tournament Legal: Yes

Our Rating: 4.4 Stars

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Bushnell NEO Ion GPS Watch Review – New to 2016/17

With Bushnell’s premiere of the laser rangefinder, the Tour V4, they also introduced the NEO Ion GPS Watch. It’s the successor to the NEO XS series, and it’s making a statement on the green and off with its various strap size options!

The NEO Ion expands its horizons with over 35,000 courses around the world – that’s 2,000 more courses than what used to be available. Following the same route as Bushnell’s other GPS devices, all purchases come hassle-free with zero additional costs for membership fees, ever!

If you’re into keeping things simple and you can’t wait to ditch the golf app on your smart phone, the NEO Ion is Bushnell’s lightest and thinnest watch to date. While it might look bulkier than the NEO XS to the eye, they weigh in at the same at 1.8 ounces with a display of 23 x 23 mm.

You’ll be familiar with the Auto Course and Hole Recognition features, the odometer, and the 4 layups/hazards per hole. So what’s new?

The NEO Ion now sports an integrated step counter and a charging clip design to boost battery life. Its premium and top-notch look and feel is a sight to behold, especially when it arrives in a smart-looking box that you can reuse for when it’s not in play mode!

PROs:
  • Price
  • 35,000+ courses
  • Various colors
  • Charging clip design
  • Integrated step counter
CONs:
  • Some reports of quality control issues
  • Some reports of Apple syncing issues

Bushnell NEO Ion Golf Watch Q&A:

Does the Watch Accurately Determine what Course you’re on?

Every golfer has been there where you’ve invariably selected the wrong course because it picked up the one next door or across the road. Not only is the GPS pilot engine in the Ion even more accurate with locating your course, it’ll even ask you what holes you’re playing this round – 1-9, 10-18, or 19-27?

How many Rounds of Golf can the Ion Watch Last?

The watch has been redesigned to promise at least three full rounds before needing to be recharged. Bushnell says it can last 16 hours between full charges, but there’s no harm in charging it every night while you snooze. While your pace of playing will vary between courses and the weather conditions, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ll get through a few games no problem!

How Do You Use the Shot Distance Calculator?

If you’re accustomed to taking yardage while you’re on the tee, finding your ball, and using a little brain power to do some math, quit it. Save the brain waves for the office. Press the Shot Distance Calculator mode, walk to your ball, and voila – your drive has been measured!

How Do You Know When the Battery Needs Charging?

Conveniently, the watch comes with a battery life meter with four bars. Fully charged, the four bars will be dark and filled in. As battery life is drained, each bar will deplete to show how much life it has left.

What is the Charging Clip?

The charging port was redesigned to allow for a more convenient and compatible method that’s unobtrusive and tedious. The clips is small and simply snaps onto the back of the watch and is ready to be charged!

What’s the Difference Between an Odometer and the Step Counter Features?

The Bushnell NEO Ion has both an odometer and newly integrated step counter. The odometer measures the distance traveled on the course while you’re in a golf cart. The step counter measures distance while traversing on foot.

Is the NEO Ion Watch Comfortable to Wear?

The comfort comes into the strap which is made of dual injected silicone. The two injections are completed in one process allowing for a higher quality material with improved integrity. Because of this material, it’s soft and lightweight. The pin hole strap allows for many sizing options, although, you can replace the band with after market ones.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Pre-loaded with 35,000 courses worldwide
  • Accurate Auto Course and Auto Hole features for exact distance measurements
  • 4 layups/hazards per hole
  • 16 hours battery life between full charges for longer playing
  • New clip charge design for convenience and ease
  • New integrated step counter
  • Shot Distance Calculator and Odometer,
  • No membership and download fees – ever!

Our Verdict

To ping up the strokes, the Bushnell Neo Ion is a smart watch to play a smart game of golf. While the band might break for some rough ruffians, it holds up for the majority of users.

If you want to check what else Bushnell has to offer, they released a new line called the Excel series. It’s flash, fab, and smart. With Bluetooth integration, you don’t ever need to connect to a computer to sync. It even sports a Weather and Swing Tempo app! Expect to pay more, but it’s worth it.

To dabble with another brand, the GolfBuddy WT5 GPS Watch is pretty decent. It’s cheaper, but it has everything you’ll need to get the distances to each hole. If you need more than that for a game, maybe you’re not as good as you think you are!

So, for a game when all you need is the distance, Bushnell has you covered.

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