50 Words or Less
The SkyCaddie LX5 GPS watch has the most beautiful display I’ve seen on a watch. Impressive accuracy, as you’d expect from SkyCaddie. Touch screen make for a wonderful user experience.
Everyone knows that technology moves fast, but can we take a moment to appreciate the insane pace of progress in distance measuring devices? Not that long ago, laser rangefinders were the size of lunchboxes, and now they fit in your pocket. GPS devices used to be handheld bricks with clumsy black and white displays. Today, SkyCaddie can put ten times more information on your wrist, with a gorgeous display to boot. But where does the LX5 GPS watch stand in comparison to its contemporaries? Let’s discuss.
Set Up & Ease of Use
The first thing I noticed about the SkyCaddie LX5 is the fact that it only has two buttons, which is a huge advantage for ease of use. The top button powers it up. Holding the lower button brings up the menu. Everything else is done on the touchscreen.
From basic set up to fitness functions to on-course, I found everything in the SkyCaddie LX5 quickly and easily. Despite being watch-sized, the touchscreen was precise and never frustrating to use.
I also want to give credit to SkyCaddie for the quality of the charger. The LX5 charges through a USB port and attaches magnetically to the back of the watch. The magnets are the perfect strength: strong enough to stay connected after a bump but weak enough to let go if you grab the watch without realizing it’s plugged in.
Finally, additional kudos to SkyCaddie for including two straps. This is a little thing, but players with smaller wrists will appreciate having a strap sized for them.
Accuracy & Performance
I usually start with accuracy, but in this case I have to start with the display. It’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s bright, detailed, and easy to read. This is easily the best display on any golf GPS watch that I’ve tested. I had numerous playing partners notice it and ask, “What is that? It looks great!”
Now let’s get to accuracy. SkyCaddie made its name mapping courses “by hand,” and that level of precision is still present in the LX5. From greens to bunkers to water hazards, I found every yardage to be excellent. Equally impressive is the speed. Whether walking or riding, the LX5 updates constantly so you’re never waiting for a yardage.
Where the LX5 separates itself is in how well it presents the yardages. With many GPS watches, you know it’s 157 yards to a bunker, but you can’t tell which bunker. The LX5 has HoleVue (above) where you can zoom and pan to know exact distances to specific hazards. It also lists hazards and explains specifically which hazard and if the yardage is to that hazard or to carry it. Finally, there’s IntelliGreen where you can see the width, depth, and contours of the green. If there’s a watch that can better convey all this information, I haven’t seen it.
SkyCaddie states that the battery life of the LX5 is “up to two rounds.” My experience was that a day in time mode cost 10-15% of the battery life and a slow round of golf drained nearly 60%. So, yes, you can get two rounds on one battery, but you’ll need to play with some pace. As a daily wear watch, it will need to be charged roughly once per week.
The main thing that separates the LX5 from other watches is the quality of the user experience. It’s clear to me that this was designed by golfers for golfers. All the features are easy to find and use. The LX5 does smart things like asking if you’re done with a hole before advancing to the next. Its scorekeeping system offers depth without requiring a lot of button pushes. It’s simply a joy to use on the course.
The SkyCaddie LX5 is a premium GPS golf watch and it has a price tag that reflects that. For the basic version, you’ll pay $250, which includes a 3 year membership. Please consider supporting Plugged In Golf by buying it HERE.
The model seen here is the LX5 Ceramic Bezel. For the superior aesthetics, you pay $300.
SkyCaddie membership typically costs $50 per year (less if you buy multiple years). Without the membership, the LX5 only displays front, middle, and back yardages, turning a premium GPS watch into a basic one.
I’d normally complain loudly about the annual fee, but the fact that you get a three year membership with purchase largely negates my issue because, right or wrong, I look at most pieces of tech as having a fairly short lifespan. At $300 or $350, the LX5 is significantly less expensive than its main competition, the Garmin S62 (review HERE) which costs $500.
The SkyCaddie LX5 is the most impressive golf watch I’ve tested this year. It has the best user experience, the best display, and its speed and accuracy are second to none. As a daily wear watch, it includes useful features like a step counter and heart rate monitor. If you’re looking for a premium GPS watch, you won’t go wrong with the LX5.