The Bushnell Neo Ion is the successor of the NEO XS, which was already a great and very popular golf GPS watch from Bushnell. The NEO iON is an even more improved and feature-rich watch and it makes you look stylish.
This unit shows the most important yardages and includes all the necessary features. Alongside this, it drops the unnecessary ones that we never use, and thus avoids that extra heft and complications.
Like all other Bushnell watches, it looks and feels premium and comes in a nice solid box that makes for safe storage.
It is not the cheapest watch out there. In this Bushnell Neo iON Golf GPS Review let’s check out how this not-so-cheap watch brings on the table.
Bushnell Neo iON Golf GPS Watch Review
Face & Strap
The Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS watch comes with a square-shaped screen and there are black characters contrasted with the white background. In normal lighting conditions, you can view the characters easily. And the screen is backlit for low light conditions.
However, the watch face is circular and has a circumference of 45mm, where the square screen occupies half the space only. You have 5 buttons, 2 on the left and 3 on the right to control and adjust the device.
The NEO ION looks a little bit thicker than the predecessor XS regarding both the strap and face. But once you put it on, you can barely feel any difference. It weighs 1.8 ounces which is a mere 0.1 ounce heavier than the XS, so any difference is barely felt.
It rests quite effortlessly on the rest while you swing and doesn’t wobble at all.
Credit for that goes to the soft and one of the most comfortable straps we’ve ever tested. This is a dual-injected silicone strap with super breathability that makes soft yet firm contact with the skin and brings confidence.
Charging & Battery
The NEO ION has a quite better battery life than the NEO XS. You can do three rounds with it before you need to recharge it. There’s a nice battery life meter which indicates how much battery is left.
You can turn off the watch completely if you do not intend to use the watch off the golf course, which will help to save battery juice.
But what’s even better, a life-saving feature for forgetful golfers like me is that you can set an auto-off period for it. This will switch the GPS off automatically after the stipulated time, which consumes most of the juice of the battery.
This way, even if you forgot to turn the watch off, a lot of battery juice will be saved from getting drained and you won’t have to curse yourself before the next round that you forgot to turn the GPS off.
Features of the Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS watch
The NEO iON comes with 35,000+ pre-loaded courses, and there’s no membership fee for it. It also recognizes the course instantly and surprisingly accurately, which we’ll talk about in the performance segment of this Bushnell neo ion golf GPS review.
The watch features an step counter so you can monitor your traveled distance, activity time, speed, etc., not only throughout the round of golf but also in your daily life if you choose to wear it off the course. This can replace a minimal fitness tracker band and save you a few bucks.
The usual features that you’d expect from a GPS watch are all there. You can measure the yardages to back, middle, and front of the green and also the distances to hazards. There’s another feature that allows you to measure the distance of your drives.
There are other little useful features like tee-time alarm, round timer, etc. The round timer helps you to know how quickly you are getting round.
A watch can have a handful of features in the paper but how they perform in real life is the most important factor. Regarding that, the NEO iON shines.
What surprised me in the first place is its speed and accuracy to recognize the course. Most other watches I’ve used to date have struggled to some extent to recognize the 9-hole I mostly play.
It often takes a few tries and some time for those watches to get on the track but the NEO iON was completely different. It picked the course right away and in no time, which I thought was highly impressive.
The numbers it shows are pretty accurate and easy-to-read. You can measure the distance of a hazard with a single press.
It’s quite accurate as well and it shows you up to four per hole. Such accuracy of the features speeds up things as it takes quite some time to zap the pin with a laser and then all the greenside bunkers.
The shot measurement features work pretty well too. You have to press a button and then walk after the ball to measure.
You could manually calculate this number as well but for those who are too lazy to engage their brain into maths, this feature will be useful.
-Instant course recognition.
-Great battery backup.
-It looks and feels premium.
-It can be used off the course as well.
-A little bit expensive.
-Takes time to sync data to your Bushnell account.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you use a Bushnell Golf watch?
Follow this video for detailed guideline:
How do I update my Bushnell golf GPS watch?
Go to your Bushnell.iGolf.com account and login. In the edit section, you’ll find the option to update
What is the best Bushnell rangefinder GPS for golf?
In my opinion, the Bushnell Pro X2.
How do you turn off a Bushnell golf watch?
Hold the button in the lower right for 5-7 seconds.
Bushnell Neo iON Golf GPS Review – The Verdict
The NEO iON is an all-rounder watch and a true successor to the XS. There’s barely anything to not like about the GPS watch.
I mean it’s lightweight, handy, easy to charge, long battery, and there’s no set-up time so you are ready to go right away.
The buttons are nice and give tactile feedback upon pressing. It’s no hassle if you need to navigate through the menus mid-round.
The features work pretty accurately. Off the course, it’s still a nice watch to wear and it has the feature to replace a simple fitness band which will save you a few bucks. And as all other Bushnell watches, it has a premium look and feels and you’ll look stylish on and off the court.