Bushnell NEO XS Watch Review

The Bushnell neo-XS Golf Watch has been retired. Check out our current recommendations for today's best golf rangefinders..

'Bushnell neo-XS Golf Watch'

Bushnell neo-XS Golf Watch
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Our Bushnell Neo XS Watch Review is a summary of observations of comments consistently made in user reviews. Overall the feedback was extremely positive with accuracy and ease of use being mentioned more than anything else. The convenience of having the distance available with a glance at the wrist was frequently noted, as was the size and comfort of this watch.

UPDATE: This is still a terrific watch, but you may also want to check out the newer Bushnell Neo Ion golf watch with similar features, price, and higher ratings!

Bushnell neo-XS Golf Watch User Rating: 4.31 Stars 4.31 out of 5 (1460 reviews)

Score compiled from multiple sources.

Users liked having up to four hazards/layup distances available and the readability of the Neo XS was considered excellent for outdoor use. One cool feature unique to Bushnell that several users really liked was the ability to enter your tee time well in advance, so that the watch would automatically go into GPS mode 10 minutes before tee time and find your course for you.

There were mixed reviews on the battery life. On average, users were getting 1.5 to 2.5 rounds out of a single charge. That’s really pretty good for a golf GPS, but Bushnell claims “up to three rounds”, so some users were disappointed. Also, two or three users mentioned that the watchband did not hold up well. Although that’s a very low percentage of the reviews we read, for those of you who are rough on stuff, I thought you should know.

For the price and features, I think this is one of the best values in a golf watch. There are less expensive watches that either lack comfort or don’t include distances to hazards. The only thing some golfers might miss is a built-in scorecard and for them, I recommend the Garmin S3 or the Garmin S4

*As is always the case with golf GPS devices, there were a few users who experienced occasional problems with accuracy.
**For those who like wearing the XS as a watch (indoor), the black watch with reverse display was not recommended.
Notable Features of the Bushnell NEO XS Golf Watch
  • Small and lightweight.
  • Preloaded with 33,000 golf courses worldwide.
  • Preset tee time so GPS will turn on and find your course 10 minutes before your round.
  • Long battery life – up to three rounds.
  • Distances to the front, middle and back on the main screen.
  • Easy access for up to four layup and hazard distances per hole.
  • Auto course recognition.
  • Auto hole advance.
  • Shot distance calculator
  • Odometer.
  • Comfortable sports watchband.
  • No fees and no required downloads.
Bushnell NEO XS Watch Specifications
Bushnell neo-XS Golf Watch
Course Download Fees No
Pre-loaded with Courses Yes
Full Hole Views Yes
Slope / Elevation N/A
Battery Life 16 hours
Battery Rechargeable
Size (Width x Height x Depth) N/A in. x N/A in. x N/A in.
Measure Shot Distance Yes
Screen Size .91x.91
Resolution N/A
Display Type monochrome LCD
Weight 1.8 oz.
Rainproof Yes
Touch Screen No
Touch Targeting No
Manual Pin Positioning No
Stat Tracker No
Digital Scorecard No
Computer Analysis Tools No
Ground Verified N/A
Alternate Targets Yes
Green Rotates to your shot angle N/A
USGA Compliant (local rule) Yes
Notes Up to four layup targets per hole
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User Manual for Bushnell neo-XS Golf Watch


  1. Dave Humpal says

    In what ways, if any, is the XS superior to the golf buddy WT3?

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Hi Dave. The Bushnell XS watch is a little smaller than the WT3 and some prefer the round face, but the WT3 offers manual pin positioning, dynamic green view and a scorecard. The Bushnell probably has less of a learning curve because of it’s limited features, but for some golfers, that’s preferable. I think they are both excellent choices!

  2. I have used the Neo XS for 9 rounds and so far, so good. Nice looking but more important it has worked very well. Yardage seems to be reliable and it’s nice to have the additional targets yardage. Finds the course faster than my Garmin handheld GPS and if you are comfortable wearing a watch it is much more convenient to use especially if you enjoy walking. Wore it in the rain for a couple of rounds and again no issue there. The watchband is comfortable and this is a very simple product to setup and use on the course.

    The Bushnell/IGolf update program loaded without any issues on my Win 7 pc and synced up with the watch through Internet Explorer. So far it appears to be a winner and the only thing yet to determine will be long lasting reliability and if it continues to stand up to the elements.

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Thanks for the report, Tony. Glad to hear the neo XS is living up to expectations.

  3. I am looking to purchase the Bushnell Neo XS watch and was just wondering if the front/centre/back distances were based on fixed points (i.e. from centre of fairway) or if they change based on your position on the hole (i.e centre of fairway vs. off in the rough?)

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Hi Colin. The distances change with your position. You don’t have to hit it down the middle to benefit from the Neo-XS!

  4. If this comes preloaded with all the courses why is it having to be hooked up to a computer for downloads?

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      It’s preloaded with 33,000 courses, but courses will continue to be added and updated. We recommend updating periodically just to make sure you have the best information available.

  5. Only have apple iPad and Book,
    Does Bushnell have app to download updates.

  6. I have a NEO XS brought by my brother from US last May, I found out that no Philippine courses is pre loaded in the unit. I then individually downloaded 34 courses. After which the watch is already full and erased my home course. Its firmware development I think is bad as it can’t accept additional course nor erase unwanted course. The golf watch now is an ordinary watch use for time only. I can’t recommend this watch in the Philippines.

  7. Golf Rangefinder Shop says

    Sorry to hear that Ed. Have you contacted Bushnell to see if they can help you get your home course back?

    • Thanks for the reply. Yes through email (support@l1inc.com), the suggestion was to replace the watch, then I ask for the email address where should I raise my concern. The reply was infogps@bushnell.com, I sent my concern to this email address, resent twice. Until now I don’t get any reply, I’m still patiently hoping of at least bushnell will tell me, the company will offer me a solution, replace the watch or simply say bushnell will not do anything.

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Maybe try filling out the form on this page: http://www.bushnell.com/global/company/contact-us
      OR try calling. There are phone numbers on that page too. I know I have gotten through to Bushnell Customer Support on the phone before, so hopefully you will have some luck.

  8. Thank you for the reply. Yes, I did filled it up that twice, no reply from bushnell,

  9. I am looking to replace my Bushnell Neo. Overall, I have really liked it, but it is a major pain to charge it. When brand new, I had no issues but within months it became more and more difficult to make a connection with the clip. My husband has the same issue with his, and I have read that this is a very common problem. Any comments from anyone on ease of charging regarding the Neo XS?

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      In all the hundreds of reviews I’ve read, there are a few mentions of the charging clip being awkward. But overall, the percentage of users who mentioned it is very small.

  10. I recently bought a NEO XS but because of poor weather I have only had a couple of opportunities to try it out. I love it’s display and ease of use. However, it is extremely inaccurate on my home course. I compared it to the marked yardage, my range finder and a friend’s Garmin GPS watch. It was off (either long or short) on every hole by at least 10 yards and sometimes as much as 25 yards. I’m convinced my home course is miss mapped. I contacted IGolf who does Bushnell’s mapping and was told they would look into re-mapping my home course. I am basing my decision to keep the watch on the reviews of others and I am anxious to try it elsewhere.

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Hi Tom. That’s a tough decision. I guess if your main purpose for using the watch is for courses other than your home course, I might keep it, but I’m not sure if I would want a GPS watch that wasn’t reliable on my home course. The old Bushnell neo+ handheld had an option to reset the front, middle and back of the greens, so you could correct a problem yourself, but I don’t think the neo-XS has that feature. Let us know when iGolf re-maps the course and any other experiences you have with the watch.

  11. I have a problem with the xs and no way Bushnell is responding to my quistions. The timesetting via the gps is one hour off. Even with daylight saving i’m still one hour off. This means that other function do not work properly as well. Trying, testing and so on. Nothing. A software update seems to be not possible.

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Hi Will. Sorry to hear you are having trouble setting the time via GPS on the Bushnell Neo XS. I have successfully reached Bushnell via telephone in the past. Have you tried the contact methods here: http://bushnellgolf.com/Contact? Here’s the time setting page from the manual just in case that helps. Good luck!

      Bushnell Neo XS Manual

  12. I have a new neo xs golf range watch and visited Belek, Turkey to play golf and the watch won’t find any courses. Am I doing something wrong as I thought the GPS was self loading and has course recognition?

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Hi Chris. Did you register the device and download courses? (https://bushnell.igolf.com/). If you go to iGolf.com, you can click “Advanced Search” and enter Turkey as the country and Belek as the city to see what courses they have in the database. I’m surprised nothing showed up, but maybe international courses aren’t on the watch when it ships. Let us know if you learn anything more about this. You may want to give Bushnell a call as well: (800) 423-3537.

  13. Hi,

    Yes all downloaded whilst in Turkey but still no luck.

  14. It’s a fine watch with respect to the yardage and ease of course loading. The problem with the watch is that the band broke after 4 uses. Contrary to what was written by the article above, I am not hard on stuff. I put the watch on when I get to the course and take it off when I’m done. The watch shouldn’t just fall off my wrist while standing in a tee box. Very disappointed that a $199 watch has a band that breaks after only 4 uses.

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Hi Kevin. That’s really unfortunate, as that is not a common complaint. I hope you were able to return it and get a replacement or refund. We would love to hear an update if you did or if you purchased another brand.

    • same thing just happened to me. Have you have any luck finding a replacement band? I sent an email to CS but haven’t heard yet.

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Hi David. I hate hearing that. Especially the lack of responsiveness by Bushnell customer support. Have you tried connecting with them on Social Media? How long has it been since you contacted them? I think I will reach out to them on Twitter. Please let us know if you hear anything.

  15. Does this watch work for Asian courses in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and China, if I download them?

  16. It seems that wrist band fails often……………….where can we buy the bands in advanced so we don’t have to bother the manufacture…………………

  17. en Gibson says

    I purchased the watch and it is great. The only thing is that I played with my son at his club and the club wasn’t on the watch so I had to use my iphone. I’ve tried to update the course info but can’t seem to get the courses to download to the watch. The device is plugged in to the USB port but my computer seems to be searching for the device.

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Hi Ken. That’s not good. Bushnell is usually pretty responsive. Give them a call at 800-423-3537 and see if they can help.


  18. Venita King says

    I actually purchased two Neo XS GPS watches, one for my friend and one for myself. I purchased mine while traveling about a year and a half ago. We both have been very pleased even though the watches rarely read the same when we play. However, my sole disappointment is while playing the other day, the right side of the band just detached from the watch during a swing. I was shocked to look at it hanging from my wrist. I tried to reattach but it only detaches again. I now carry it in my pocket, which is now annoying .
    Given I have no idea where my receipt is, what are my options? Surely, the watch should have lasted longer and have there been other such reviews. I am a small woman and did not put stress on the band… Suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Hi Venita. Unfortunately, that is the biggest complaint with the Bushnell Neo XS. I just reached out to Bushnell on Twitter to see if they have any suggestions and will let you know if I hear anything.

    • This happened to me a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, the watch is somewhere on the Links at Gettysburg course. I am still trying to locate through the course and/or Bushnell. The GPS was extremely useful. The band and connection not so. I am sure someone picked it up and pocketed it.

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      So sorry to here. Hope you are able to get your Bushnell Neo XS back soon!

  19. Glenn Pohl says

    Watch band broke and likewise no response from Bushnell and k9t even amazon has a replacement watch band .

    Bog bummer and i notice the new model apparently modified the defect

    Unfortunately mine broke about 2 days after warranty

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Hi Glenn. This definitely has turned out to be a problem with the Bushnell Neo XS and I’m so disappointed that they aren’t responding to their customers. Did you try calling them? (800) 423-3537.

      I’ve reached out to them again on Twitter and will let you know if I hear anything. Please let us know if you get a response.

  20. Glenn Pohl says

    Yes I will give them a call next week
    I will say that their website is very poor and uninformative.

    Too bad I purchased it at golfsmith

    Thank you

  21. Nunzio Corrente says

    Has anybody heard back from bushnell about replacement bands. Mine has recently snapped and am looking for a replacement.

  22. My wristband also is broken where it attaches to the top is the Bushnell Neo Xs.
    Also getting intermittent blank screens even with battery fully charged.

  23. My watch broke after one year, I would not purchase another one.

  24. Sue Patterson says

    Same issue with the band. I actually bought two of these, one for me one for my husband. So far only one has broken. Very disappointing!! Does not appear Bushnell is interested in resolving the issue.

  25. J. Bickert says

    Re: Bushnell GPS rangefinder watches —

    Call C/S at 800-423-3537 (US) and ask how to replace watch band. They will take your info over the phone and send a new one for a fee. Or, you can replace the band with a cloth band that is a standard 22 ml width. Any jeweler will have the tool to loosen the screws. I had the “keeper” tear because I didn’t realize that it had teeth on the underside. This was replaced for free. (I was very polite.) It is a great golf watch!

  26. J. Bickert says

    Re: Bushnell battery charging

    Make sure that you use the enclosed brush to clean the contact points on both the underside of the watch and the charging unit at least every other time the watch is charged. The watch, in particular, picks up body oils which will prevent charging. Beware of static buildup on the charger as well.

  27. Hi guys.
    I have a Bushnell NeoXS about three years old which has started to give inaccurate readings (10 or more yards out) in a random fashion. Sometimes it is accurate (measured against distance markers and range finders) and sometimes inaccurate. Anyone else come across this? Can it be recalibrated?

  28. james smith says

    can the battery be replaced in my bushnell neo XS gps range finder watch

  29. Henry Kimble says

    I need a new band for my neo xs. Where can I get one.


  30. Brad Howell says

    My Neo XS is not picking up any coarse’s. This watch is only 3 years old and is my second, the first lasted 5 years. I am becoming very frustrated with the short lifespan. I like the Neo when it is working.

  31. Can you reset the bushnell xs watch, mine seems dead. Put it on charge and nothing happens. I have cleaned the terminals.

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Not that I know of. The Bushnell Neo XS has been in production for quite a while. Unfortunately, Lithium-Ion batteries do wear out after a few years.

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