The SkyCaddie SW2 GPS watch is the upgraded version of the original SkyCaddie Watch with a slightly slimmer design and a longer battery life.
To the naked eye there does not seem much change in the body and visually the lime green flashes on the original have been replaced with a more subtle approach, which means you can wear it off the course without drawing too much attention to yourself.
A lot of GPS watches look like a slab of tech on a strap, but SkyCaddie has continued the relatively sleek chassis and calm rounded style that makes this one of the best looking GPS watches around.
The soft rubber strap is light and comfortable and the one size fits all should easily adjust to most sizes of wrists for men and women. If not then it is easy enough to use the strap to attach it to your golf bag or trolley handle.
With one exception, all the main functions are the same as the previous model, so once you have charged up the SW2 using the supplied charging clip then you are ready to go.
This charging clip is also the means for updating courses and firmware on the SW2 as you can only do this by plugging it into the USB socket on a computer and going online. When you buy the SW2 you get free course updates every quarter for the life of the product.
Once you have all the latest updates, just stand outside so the SW2 can see the satellites and select Golf from the menu of activities and it will automatically find the course you are on from the database of 35,000 it can store.
As these things go, the SW2 was not the quickest GPS I have ever used to locate the course it's on, with times of up to 2.5 minutes not unusual. Even the SkyCaddie App on my smart phone got its bearings in 30 seconds, so just make sure you don't leave it until you are walking on the tee for your first shot before setting it up.
Once you are in play then the SW2 clearly displays the yardage to the centre of each green, with front and back yardages showing below. It auto-advances easily and the two right hand buttons make scrolling up and down between holes simple.
The accuracy was pretty good as you are accessing SkyCaddie's own database where every course has been manually mapped and if that is all you want, then there is no annual fee for continuing to use the SW2 for general yardages.
Pushing the middle button on the right brings up the scoring for each hole and it defaults to the par of the hole, so if you are a bogey free Faldo machine you don't need to touch it at all, but otherwise it makes for easy adjustment to scroll down or more likely up from par.
There are many other useful features such as an odometer to track walks, runs, rides, calories burned and, heaven forbid for a smart watch these days, it also tells the time.
The main new feature is the one that probably adds the most to the functionality and that is the introduction of Bluetooth Smart technology so you can sync the SW2 with your SkyGolf 360 app on an Android or iOS device.
To do this you will need to subscribe to one of the SkyGolf360 membership plans starting at £14.95 a year, or £20.95 if you want the GPS app on your phone too. Once enrolled it syncs your scores into your SkyGolf 360 account that you set up online.
After each round you can then embellish your scores with stats on fairways hit, greens hit and putts taken to then analyse your game over time through an easy to use interface.
Being able to do this in the app means that uploading your scores and adding the information can be done as soon as you finish the round, which is better than having to remember what you did until you get back to your computer at home.
Analysis can be done online or via the app and there is a good choice of data. You can view performance over the last 20 rounds or the last year, but it would be good if you could determine your own date parameters too.
However the scoring analysis is just part of the SkyGolf 360 service and if you have other products like the SkyPro swing trainer then you can upload data to the same account to do some in depth analysis on your practice and playing.
The Bluetooth function also gives you the option to be notified on the SW2 screen if you have a call or message arriving on your phone. Unlike some other GPS watches it doesn't then preview the message, but at least you have confirmation that you are definitely ignoring the world while you are playing.
As an entry level GPS watch, then the SW2 does everything very well with a clear menu structure. It feels well made and is one of the most comfortable and stylish golf GPS watches around.
If all you need is front, middle and back yardages then the SW2 will deliver this backed up with the re-assurance of one of the most accurate golf course databases in the market.