Review: 60beat Ranger GPS Watch

Solving One of Golf GPS's Greatest Problems
The debate between GPS and laser continues each time new models are introduced.  But at the end of the day, the reason I always go back to laser is one thing, battery life.  No matter what features a GPS has, it requires you to remember to charge it after every round or at least every other round. On the other hand I put my laser in the bag and don’t worry about it until the end of the season.  The 60beat Ranger GPS Watch has a battery life of 3 years which trumps even that of laser.  This thing finally solved the one problem with GPS devices.

So what is the catch?  A GPS watch for $60 that lasts 3 years, there must be a catch.  Well the catch is that this watch doesn’t work independently.  It requires an iPhone that is fairly current (models 4-6 work).  The watch itself isn’t actually a GPS unit, it just grabs the information from the 60beat GPS based app on your iphone.  The accuracy of this unit is tied to the accuracy of your iPhone’s GPS.  I think iPhone GPS has come a long ways offering very good accuracy at this point, for amateur golfers certainly accurate enough.

So why the watch?  Why not just use a golf GPS app on your iPhone and skip the watch?  Because I hate getting my phone out for every yardage, it can be very distracting, especially if your iPhone constantly lights up with push notifications for emails and texts.  The watch itself is like a nice Casio sport watch.  A rubber wrist band, basic watch features like time and date and a back-light for use in the dark.  You could easily wear it everyday and no one would know it is a GPS golf watch.

Paring the 60beat Ranger GPS watch is super easy and finding the course you want to play from the menu is a piece of cake.  Once paired on the course you plan on playing just push the range button on the watch and it will display front, center, and back yardages for the hole.  It ranges from 5 to 12 seconds from when you push the button to the yardage showing up.  The yardage doesn’t stay constantly on your watch, it reverts back to time and date.  It will however scroll yardage for 20 seconds or so if you are moving.  Remember that the GPS yardage is where the phone is, not the watch, so if you set your phone in the cart and walk out to your ball, the yardage will be at the cart, not the watch.  Don’t worry it won’t kill your phone either, it seemed to use maybe 30% of a full iPhone battery per round.  If you spay a ball to a different hole and the GPS automatically advanced, you can just press a button on the watch to go up or down holes.  You can control the display and hole from either the iPhone or the watch.

The 60beat Ranger GPS golf watch solved one of GPS’s biggest problems with battery life, but it still relies on your phone to get the yardages.  Everyone charges their iPhone daily so the problem of recharging the GPS isn’t an issue, but the delay in getting yardages sometimes takes a little planning ahead.  It’s not perfect, but very solid for the price.  If you are looking for a simple GPS watch for golf, this is one of the least expensive models available, plus it never needs recharging once you pair it with your phone.

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Quick Hits
+No recharging needed
+Front, middle and back yardage
+Easy to pair and use with app
+Nice watch
+Easy to switch holes

–Delay in yardage once range button is pressed
–Requires iPhone for yardagell swings