The GolfBuddy Voice+ is the upgrade to the original GolfBuddy Voice and it is a big improvement.
The main difference is the display which now shows the front, middle and back yardages on the screen at the same time. This is something we commented on in our review of the original Voice and having all 3 yardages together makes this a much more useful device. There are no other yardages so if you need distances to bunkers and other hazards then check out one of the larger screen GolfBuddy devices.
The main USP of the Voice+ is still the spoken yardages, which you can adjust the volume of or mute if you don’t like the nice lady whispering in your ear (thankfully not the scruffy old guy from the commercials). Again there are improvements with a quick push of the button on the front results in the lady, let’s call her Doris, telling you the yardage to the front.
Push and hold the button for a couple of seconds and Doris says the front and back yardages together. Now this is marginally better than before when you could only get Doris to tell you one of front, middle or back, but at least she then continued to tell you the last option you selected. With the Voice+ Doris just has the 2 options and if you are like me and just want front and back then it is always push and hold to get this.
It would have been nicer for Doris to always tell me front and back with a quick click if I had chosen it last time. It is a minor point but it would make it easier to use for me as actually having the Voice+ clipped to your cap and Doris in your ear is quite good fun and definitely a conversation starter amongst your group.
And this is what I really like about the GolfBuddy Voice range is the compact nature of the device. It is only just over 4cm across and the clip on the back is robust and enables you to carry the Voice+ wherever you want from your cap and belt to your bag or bag strap.
Another addition to the Voice+ package is the silicone wriststrap that you fit using use the clip on the back of the unit to turn it into a wristwatch, as the Voice+ will also tell you the time now. However, handy as this is, classing this as a GPS watch is stretching it a bit as the Voice+ unit is bigger than a GPS watch and the oversized strap makes it even bulkier on your wrist. It is almost impossible to wear unless you have a polo shirt or a top with very baggy sleeves as wearing it under a jumper or waterproof sleeve like a regular watch is a non-starter.
However that does not mean it is a bad idea as I have used it to attach the Voice+ to the handle of my electric trolley and the adjustable strap does give you a lot of options for where you can put Doris if you use your imagination. You can also flip the screen display 180 degrees to make it easier to display if you want to clip it to your belt or other upside down position.
Even wearing it as a watch on a warm day the Voice+ is light and the strap is hardly noticeable from a feel standpoint even if it looks like a large white spangle on your forearm. So good points and bad points about the strap, but overall a positive and maybe the next generation will get this spot on.
So enough of the form. How about the function? Well, the yardages are clearly displayed and seemed pretty accurate for this size of device. The auto-rotate green function changes the yardages based on the angle you are coming into the green from which is a very useful feature for all you army golfers out there.
There is a shot measurement feature that is activated by pressing the "P" button on the side of the device to begin measuring and you press it again when you reach your ball . Ideal for working out how far you carry the ball as long as you can find the pitch mark.
The buttons were easy to use, but getting used to the various combinations to do things like advance a hole manually took a while. However the auto-hole advance was very accurate so you should not have to touch the device too much unless you want to hear Doris speak.
The Voice+ charges quickly and the battery life is OK. You can get 2 rounds from a single charge provided you are playing them both within a day or so and you remember to turn it off between rounds.
It can hold up to 40,000 courses which is very impressive and you don’t have to download any information. It just works out where you are using GPS and was very good at picking the right course even when there were two close to each other. It is worth connecting it to a computer to download any software updates when you get it but after that it really runs itself.
In summary I really like the concept of the GolfBuddy Voice+ with it’s innovations and features, even if a couple need a bit more thought. It is a big improvement on the first version and with a few tweaks it could really be something special.
I love the portability and the size, especially if you combine it with a pin sheet or a laser to help you judge where the flag is on the green. Price wise it is around the same as a GPS watch with similar features, but with more options for carrying it on your person or your bag so that may be key for you. If so, you won’t go far wrong with the Voice+ as long as you do as you are told!