2014 Golf’s Most Wanted: Watch and Voice GPS Devices
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Choosing a watch-based, or simple small voice GPS can be a daunting task? Do you need 25,000 Pre-loaded courses or should you go for a unit that offers 30,000? Are you willing to pay a bit more to get distances to hazards or are you content to know yardages to the front, back, and middle of the green? Do you want to use your GPS to keep score?
For such a small device, there sure is a lot to consider.
While the technology is similar, the differences are significant enough that you could find a compelling reason to choose one device over another (or several others).
We’re diving into the nuts and bolts of what matters in a GPS to help you determine which is the right unit for you. By the way…25,000 or 30,000 pre-loaded courses…it really doesn’t matter.
Our Top Devices
Garmin Approach S4
For those looking to be on the cutting edge of tech with all the goodies, you’ll want to pick up the Garmin Approach S4. It offers a touch screen, iPhone bluetooth connectivity, and score tracking. Add to that its exceptional ease of use that lets you take it out of the box and straight onto the first tee, and quite frankly, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Good – This watch led the pack by levering technology to it’s fullest. The S4 offers bluetooth connectivity for texts, call alerts and emails. The unit is incredibly simple to use. The touch screen makes sense (touch firmly) and all of the features are useful, simple to navigate. The Garmin Approach S4 offers everything you could reasonably expect or want in a watch GPS.
Bad – While we love the touch screen, it takes a bit of a firm touch. The white wrist band does soil easily, but so do white shirts right?
Notes – If you want the best tech available today, this is hands down the unit for you. We were able to open the box, charge the unit, and use 90% of the features on the course without ever reading the manual.
ESN Titanium WR72
For those who will be satisfied with a basic feature set coupled with with great battery life and extreme precision, ESN’s newest release – the Titanium – WR72 Alpha fits the bill. An added bonus that may or may not matter to you, the WR72 Alpha even offers a standard interchangeable 20mm watch band.
Good – All of the basics are perfectly executed.
Bad – Lacks the ability to keep track of score/strokes
Notes – This unit received the most attention for it’s looks – i.e.: “I’d wear that as a normal watch. This no fuss GPS gets the job done and does so elegantly.
Golf Buddy Voice
Do you always play the same course every day of the year? Do you already know what club to hit off the tee, and just want to know your distances to the green? If you’re looking for that and a few fun tech features then you’ll love the simplicity of the Golf Buddy Voice. Yes, they have released an updated version, but for many, the upgrade to the “+” may not be worth the extra money. The two devices are near equals, but we won’t hold it against you go for the Golf Buddy Voice+.
Good – Offers the basics done right. Voice or no voice, the choice is yours.
Bad – Accidental touching can have the unit speaking when you’d prefer it keep it’s electronic yap shut.
Notes – Some will question why not the Voice+ here, but for a basics unit, this does enough and the Voice+ doesn’t do enough more.