Once at the course you press the GOLF button, it starts the GPS and starts finding what course you are at. You select your course and you are ready to go. GPS lock generally takes up to 30 seconds and it is recommended you do it with an unobstructed view of the sky.
The watch will then display the hole number you are at in the upper left corner, the par of the hole in the upper right corner, the distance to the centre of the green in the middle and distances to the front and back of the geen at the bottom.
You can calculate how long you hit a shot by pressing the GOLF button at your starting point and you can see the distance once you get to your ball. This is useful for checking to see how long your drive is.
The watch can also display what hazards are in your way and uses the iGolf hazard glossary:
LFB - Left Fairy Bunker FGB - Front Green Bunker
MFB - Middle Fairway Bunker RGB - Right Green Bunker
RFB - Right Fiarway Bunker LGB - Left Green Bunker
LFW - Left Fairway Water Layup BGB - Back Green Bunker
LFWC - Left Fairway Water Carry RGW - Right Green water
MFWC - Middle Fairway Water Carry FGWC - Front Green Water Carry
MFW - Middle Fairway Water Layup FGW - Front Green Water Layup
RFW - Right Fairway Water Layup LGW - Left Green Water
RFWC - Right Fairway Water Carry BGW - Back Green Water
CRK - Creek Layup CRKC - Creek Carry
EOF - End Of Fairway
These codes are a bit daunting at first but once you get the hang of it you are fine.
As you switch to another hole the watch generally changes the hole number automatically. I say generally since it didn't always happen and this meant I had to change it manually. No big deal. The ability to change this manually is useful if you are playing a shot gun round and you start at different holes.
At any time you can view the total distance walked and the time you have been playing so far. The new ION model also keeps track of your steps and is visually a more appealing looking watch than the NEO X.
This is a very important aspect and one I hated when using my cell phone as a golf GPS too. The screen is easy to read even in bright sunlight. It has a backlit display if you are in poor visibility such as at dusk.
In my tests it was accurate to within 5 yards. Your yardage (pun intended) may vary depending upon the course and GPS strength. I found that this to be good, even on a course I was familiar with. The time it takes to change the yardage display was quite quick too, perhaps a second or two delay at times but nothing off-putting (OK, I must stop using golf puns).
How does it look and feel?
Let's face it, you are not going to win any fashion awards wearing this. It looks like a digital watch from the 80's. This and the poor comfort will not want you to wear this as your daily watch. The rubber strap is stiff and if you don't have it just right it will be too tight or even worse be loose which is annoying when you are taking a swing. It also gets a bit sweaty too.
It is a shame that the watch band is not user replaceable as that would have made it more bearable to where. It is also a pity that the watch itself is not styled like a regular fashion watch to encourage you to wear it all the time.
In my tests the battery did not show any depletage in two 9 hole rounds one week apart. This is very good.
What doesn't it do?
It doesn't keep track of how many shots you are doing. I would like to see a function that keeps track or your shots as well as a number of opponents. It doesn't count your steps either but I don't see this as a deal breaker as you won't really be wearing this every day.
Despite its shortcomings the watch does its most important function of giving you distance and harzard information well. This information is easy to see and the watch is easy to use.
It has good battery life so there is no fear that you will lose functionality mid-round. It has an auto off feature which is useful in case you forget to turn the GPS off manually. It charges up quickly too.
It's not a very comfortable watch and looks kind of geeky, but is much better to use than those telescope distance devices and in my opinion a cell phone app as those are hard too see in bright light and is a hassle getting it out of your pocket all the time.
As for value for money , $120 is a fair price. I wouldn't pay any more - I would swing (oh no, I did it again !) for the newer ION model at $150 which looks more comfortable, has a better charging mechanism, looks better, has more courses preloaded and tracks your steps.
Value for money: 7/10
Ease of use: 8/10
TOTAL SCORE: 7/10