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Review: Bushnell Neo+ GPS Rangefinder

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

By

Bushnell Neo+ Golf GPS Rangefinder

The Bushnell Neo+ GPS rangefinder is an easy-to-use option for golfers.

© Bushnell Outdoor Products; used with permission
Bottom Line: Compact, handheld, no-frills golf GPS rangefinder that gets the job done at a more affordable price point.

Pros

  • Low cost
  • Ready to use out of the box (upon charging)
  • Simple usage
  • Comes with handy belt clip
Cons
  • Interface is somewhat small
  • Lack of backlight on display makes reading tougher in twilight

Bushnell Neo+ GPS Out of the Box

Dec. 6, 2010 - If the Bushnell Neo+ GPS Rangefinder looks familiar, it should. It's a variation of the iGolf Neo that hit the market a few years ago. Bushnell has long been a leader in optical aids for outdoorsmen; the Bushnell Golf brand includes top-notch laser rangefinders and also golf GPS units. This one is small, simple, portable and (comparitively) inexpensive. You can't really ask for much more.

The Neo+ operates via a single button push once the unit is charged and turned on at the golf course. The operation is ridiculously simple. There are no courses to download, no membership fees and no arcane operating directions to follow. In fact, I wanted to see if my Luddite background would hinder operation of the Neo+ - not close. I had the Neo+ operating cleanly, quickly, quietly using just a quick start guide.

Since the Bushnell Neo+ boasts some 16,000 pre-loaded U.S. courses, I thought it should be easy to find mine. I was right. Private and public, the courses were as easy to find as entering a few letters of the state and then the course name. Then I was ready to go.

Bushnell Neo+ GPS On the Course

It's almost as if the Neo+ anticipated my foursome's recent round of golf as much as I did. The satellite capture is very strong and clean (a problem with some other brands), and it tracked my location from the bag drop to first tee.

The Neo+ has a distance calculator that tracks how far each shot is hit from its previous point. But the unit proves its worth doing what it does best – being your humble caddie supplying distances to front, center and back of green.

Players in my group, each equipped with his own GPS and laser rangefinders, compared the Neo+ to what they currently use. For ease of use, quickness to access and portability, the Neo+ could not be beat. The Neo+ proved to be accurate to about 2-3 yards of laser finders, which themselves had a 1-yard margin of error. Bottom line? The foursome loved the Neo+.

Bushnell Neo+ GPS Conclusions

Room for improvement? The smallish display works well in bright daylight or overcast conditions. Afternoon shadows or dark, threatening clouds challenged some in terms of readability. Buttons are made to resist accidental jarring – but also seemed to require a little more force than I was using to grip a club. A little difficult to go back and forth. What makes it easier is the "automatic" operation of the Neo+. Once it's on, there's almost nothing that needs adjusting.

Other items? Recharging is easy and can be done from an AC outlet or USB port on your computer. Registering your Neo+ gives you access to course updates from the Bushnell website at no cost. While the Neo+ doesn't come with hazards mapped on the course, you can mark your own, such as carry distances, and save those points.

So if you're one of those still holding out for prices to drop or features to get simpler on a golf GPS, there's no need to wait any more. Shop around and you're likely to find it at less than $100 in some retail outlets, and at that price the Bushnell Neo+ GPS is an excellent package. When it comes to looking at the value of the Bushnell Neo+ golf GPS in your bag, you can't really ask for much more.

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