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Critical Golf: Unbiased Golf Equipment Reviews

Expresso WR62 Watch

Expresso WR62 Watch

Score

89

Grade

B+

The Expresso Satellite Navigation (ESN) WR62 is essentially a sister product to the Bushnell neo+ golf GPS watch, adding limited hazard information to the front/center/back information available on the Bushnell device. The guts of the watches look to be essentially the same (down to the same font type and almost identical menus), but the external styling and watch bands differ, and there are a few functional differences as well. Let’s call them fraternal twins. The WR62 features a stainless steel bezel and buttons, giving it more of a diving watch look, and has a lock clasp band that has to be sized to the wrist of the user (we took it to a local watch repair store, which did it in about 5 minutes at a cost of $10). The Expresso WR62 utilizes the same iGolf course database used by Bushnell, and comes preloaded with 25,000 courses.

The Expresso WR62 provides distances to the front, center and back of the green, and up to two hazards per hole. While the additional hazard data is great in concept, the execution befuddled us, as we often found that the hazards that Expresso chose to include weren’t always the most relevant ones. It is never enough to give us what we want – we will just want more of it! We aren’t software coders, and appreciate the challenge involved in creating an algorithm to select the most important hazards on any given hole. Where we quibble is wondering why Expresso chose to use dedicated screens to show the distances to the “front” and “back” when these distances are already on the primary display (where they are shown along with “center”) – it seems that the better use of those screens would be for additional hazard listings.

Like its fraternal twin, the Express WR62 provides the hole number, par, and distance information on the main screen. It does offer shot distance measurement, but there is no ability to record scores or statistics, and the only additional features are an odometer, an alarm, and a stopwatch (which the Bushnell neo+ watch does NOT have).

In an interesting twist, the Expresso WR62 retails for $179.95 ($20 less than the Bushnell neo+ watch).

We love the ease of use of golf GPS watches, and the Express WR62 is a nice option in this category. We didn’t love the styling, and getting the watch band sized was a minor hassle, but if you want a little more data than the Bushnell neo+ watch provides, at an even more attractive price (the neo+ watch is already one of the most affordable golf GPS watches), the Expresso WR62 is worth checking out.

SCORE
89
GRADE
B+
Setup/Syncing
79
Course Availability
93
Ease of Use
98
Course Details
78
Features
81
Accuracy
90
Cost/Value
94

Pros:

  • Extremely easy to use
  • Exceptional course coverage
  • No fees to update courses

Cons:

  • No current ability to sync to update course maps
  • Distance information to fixed points at the front, center and back points on the green
  • Limited hazard information
  • No advanced features, such as scoring

Availability: Discontinued. Replaced by the Expresso WR67 GPS Watch
Retail price: $179.95
Three year total cost: $179.95
Amazon.com: Check price now


79 / C+

SETUP/SYNCING

The Good: Courses are already pre-loaded on the device.

The Bad: No wall charger is provided, so the only way to charge the device is by plugging the USB cable into your computer. The clip to attach the watch to the USB cable is a bit fickle. Despite the fact that the user manual states that the device can be synced with either a PC or a Mac for latest course updates, there is currently no driver available for the Mac. Oh, and syncing functionality isn’t available yet anyways, so you cannot update course maps (details, details!).

Details:

  • Required Steps. The only thing you need to do before heading to the course is ensure that the battery is charged. Note that we purchased the U.S./Canada version of the product – the International version is available with preloaded courses from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland. The instruction manual states that course updates are available through the iGolf web site – you must first register the device through iGolf, and then download a device driver (which, as mentioned above, is only available for PCs, no matter what the user manual says, so Mac owners are out of luck). We were then taken through a process for downloading a firmware update. Oh joy! But to top it all off, after all of this, we wound up getting to a screen that informed us that “Full Sync functionality is not currently available.” What the *@#!??? The only thing that kept us from giving the WR62 an even lower rating in this category is the fact that you technically don’t NEED to sync the device…at least until something changes on one of the courses in the database…which has no doubt already happened.
  • Time Required for Setup. Charging the battery takes approximately 3 hours, and uses a somewhat temperamental charging clip. The charging clip sometimes doesn’t completely latch on to the appropriate contact points on the watch, so don’t walk way until you see the charging/connected indicator on the face of the watch come on and stay on. The charging/connected indicator will read “FULL” and show a full charge meter when the watch is completely charged, but oddly enough, it won’t show the charge level before that. The setup process of downloading the drivers and updating the watch firmware took about 15 minutes, but we can’t tell you how long it takes to actually sync the device since, as indicated above, that functionality is not supported at the time of this review.

What’s in the Box: The Expresso WR62 golf GPS watch comes with:

  • Cable (USB-to-charging clip)
  • Quick Start Guide

Required Downloads:

  • You must download a device driver to your PC (available on the iGolf web site). Of course at this moment, that won’t actually do anything, since syncing isn’t currently available. Grrrrr….


93 / A-

COURSE AVAILABILITY

Critical Golf Test: Like the Bushnell neo+ (which has a different set of features than the Bushnell neo+ watch), which also provides hazard information, the Expresso WR62 watch leverages the course database from iGolf. Course coverage is 93%, which is what we expect from devices that provide fixed front-center-back of the green distance information and, in this case, only limited hazard information.

Manufacturer’s Claims: The WR62 comes with more than 25,000 worldwide courses pre-loaded on the device, which ranks it near the top of our course coverage comparison test .


98 / A+

EASE OF USE

The Good:The Expresso WR62 benefits from the watch form factor– just look at your wrist!

The Bad: More bulky than the standard watches we wear.

Details:

  • Buttons. The Expresso WR62 golf GPS watch has five buttons: front (which doubles as the power button), back, hazard/select, shot, and menu.
  • Screen. Though the screen viewing area is a mere 0.8 square inches, one of the smallest golf GPS screens available, the black and white screen is easy to read. There is no backlight for the screen, which is a difference from the Bushnell neo+ watch.
  • Form Factor. The Expresso WR62 has a black rubber and plastic body and, unlike its sister device the Bushnell neo+ GPS watch, is accented with a textured stainless steel bezel and a stainless steel clasp and buttons. The stainless steel adds to the weight a bit, as the WR62 comes in at 2.6 ounces, 0.7 ounces heavier than the neo+ watch. While the WR62 has more pizzazz to its design, it’s still pretty bulky, and the texture of the bezel tends to get snagged on long sleeves. As with other golf GPS watches, there is the advantage of being able to access readings with the simple turn of a wrist. The watch band must be custom sized to fit your wrist – in our estimation, the hassle of getting the band fitted far outweighed any improvement in the aesthetics.
  • Starting a Round. Click on “play golf” from the main menu, then, once the satellite signal has been acquired, select a course from a list of options within a 20-25 mile radius. If you don’t start on the 1st hole, the watch won’t automatically find the hole on which you begin, but advancing to the appropriate hole is a relatively painless process.
  • Battery Life. Expresso claims a battery life of about 12 hours on the course. During our testing the Expresso WR62 performed even better than that, as the battery meter showed half of the charge remaining after we had played two full rounds (we’re not sure whether to really believe it or not, but two rounds of battery power is pretty good in any event). On top of that, Expresso claims up to 1 year of battery life when the device is used exclusively as a watch. Note that we had one round where the battery only lasted 9 holes, but this was part of a session in which the device crashed twice, so it may have been a result of some bugginess in the firmware.

For more details, check out the Critical Golf comparison of golf GPS device features.


78 / C+

COURSE DETAIL AND MAPPING

The Good: The Expresso WR62 provides distances to hazards.

The Bad: The number of listed hazards is limited to two.

Expresso WR62 Golf GPS Watch
Click for more images

Details:

  • Views. The Expresso WR62 provides “hole view” screens for “front”, “back” and “center”, and secondary screens for hazards, shot distance measurement, battery level, and time.
    • Hole View – The primary Hole View screen displays the hole number, par, distances to center of the green (in largest text in the center of the screen), and front and back green points (in slightly smaller text at the bottom of the screen) points. The Back and Front buttons switch to displaying only the distance to the front or back of the green for approximately 10 seconds before returning to the main Hole View screen. These two additional screens seem superfluous, as all three distances are already provided on the main Hole View.
    • Hazard View – Pushing the Hazard button will bring up a screen showing distances to up to two hazards on the course. The hazards are identified with three-letter abbreviations, such as EOF for End of Fairway and RFB for Right Fairway Bunker. After approximately 10 seconds, the display will return to the main Hole View.
    • Shot Distance– Activated when the user presses the Shot button, this view displays the measurement of a particular shot. Users can’t toggle between views while continuing to measure shot distance.
    • Battery Level– To see the battery charge level you will need to toggle to exit your current round. This doesn’t result in the loss of any data since the WR62 doesn’t keep score anyway, but it’s a bit of a hassle to have to reacquire satellites when you want to get back to displaying distances.
    • Date/Time– Before you begin a round, this is the default view, showing the date and time (including seconds). You must exit your current round to get back to the full date/time view, but the time is still accessible during a round if you just push “Menu.”
  • Hole Information. The hole number and par are always shown on the main Hole view screen. Hole handicap is not available.
  • Custom Mapping. Users cannot add custom points to the course data, nor can they modify any existing map information.


81 / B-

FEATURES

The Good: Shot distance measuring, auto hole advance, and an odometer that will measure how far you have walked and how quickly. And it’s also waterproof to 30 meters! Go ahead, take a victory dive into the pond by the 18th green!

The Bad: No ability to track scores or statistics.

Expresso WR62 Golf GPS Watch
Click for more images

Details:

  • Shot Tracking. The Expresso WR62 watch can measure shot distances, though it does not have the ability to save this information nor link a measurement to a club to calculate average shot distances.
  • Score and Statistics. Not available.
  • Auto-advance. The Expresso WR62 automatically advances to the next hole during play (there’s no option to turn this off). On those occasions where the auto advance gets a little squirrely, manually changing holes is easily done through the use of the Menu button.
  • Miscellaneous. Expresso has included a few bonus features, including a stopwatch, a countdown timer, an alarm, an odometer, and (should you ever wander into uncharted lands in your search for a ball that you launched wildly out of bounds and need to identify your location to the Search and Rescue team) the ability to display your precise latitude/longitude coordinates.
  • Preferences. A limited number of adjustable settings are available on the Expresso WR62, including how the time is obtained (automatically by GPS or just manually set and whether or not there is an adjustment for daylight savings) and displayed (12 hour or 24 hour), sound (whether or not a tone sounds every time you press a button), and unit of measure (yards or meters). By default the time is determined by your longitude. Since time zones aren’t based on longitude, you may find cases where the incorrect time is shown and need to manually set the time or time zone.

    During play, there is the option to select whether you are playing from the men’s or women’s tee boxes. Befuddled about this, we made a trip to the user manual to learn that this affects the par that is displayed if there is a difference between the men’s and women’s par on a given hole. Interestingly, we’ve not seen this on any other GPS device – kudos to Expresso for sticking up for the ladies!

For more details, check out the Critical Golf comparison of golf GPS device features.


90 / A-

ACCURACY

In our on-course testing the Expresso WR62 watch generally provided readings within five yards of course marked distances. The distances to points continue to be shown throughout the hole, regardless of how far away you are from those points.

We did experience completely inaccurate mapping at one of our tested courses, where the device was rendered unusable. This is presumably an error by someone at iGolf who was mapping based on a satellite image, as not only were hole numbers incorrect, but tee boxes were paired with the wrong greens on certain holes.


94 / A

COST/VALUE

Retail Price: The Expresso WR62 watch retails for $179.95, making it one of the least expensive golf watches.

Fees for Access to Course Database: There are no additional fees for access to the course database through their partner, iGolf. Of course there is also currently no ability to sync to iGolf and update the course maps on your Expresso WR62…so you get what you pay for!

Three-Year Total Cost of Ownership: With no cost for access to the iGolf course database, the three-year total cost for the Express WR62 golf GPS watch remains $179.95, keeping it as one of the lowest-priced golf GPS devices in terms of overall cost over three years.

Value: The Expresso WR62 is affordable and by offering limited hazard information, offers a slight upgrade on other entry level devices. We aren’t enamored of the styling and the lack of syncing capability is a concern, but there’s no doubt that it’s one of the best values among available golf GPS watches.



  • AJ

    How you reviewed this yet?  Is it still on track for a March release?

    • We haven’t received a unit yet for review (we hopefully will be receiving both the AG50 and WR62 shortly).
      As of the first week of February, the Expresso WR62 was still scheduled for a mid-March ship date. We will update the availability date if we hear otherwise. Stay tuned!

      •  Looks like the shipping date has slid to mid/late April…

        • Lzybdha

          Thanks for the update to the ship time.  I’m actually holding off on buying until I see YOUR head to head comparison with the S1.  I love the ideas of these watches and can’t wait to see how this compares with your very favorable review of the S1.

          • As are we! Golf GPS watches are really easy-to-use devices, and we really enjoyed the S1. One of the S1 deficiencies is the lack of hazard information (curious since Garmin has that information available), which the WR62 does include.

          • What about the 
            Bushnell Neo Plus GPS Golf Watch. Have you had a look at it yet. Could be a contender

        • 3Jack

          Any word on an S2 from Garmin?  I see them dropping the price of the S1 which could be because of WR62 price and/or a S2 is coming soon.

          • Webflavor

             3Jack, I was thinking the same thing. This is the second price drop in the last couple months for the Garmin S1. Every 3 days, I google Garmin S2 hoping it will magically appear in the results. I waiting out a Golf GPS purchase at least until the WR62 comes out and I read CG’s review.

          • Webflavor

            Omg. I was googling the wrong thing the whole time. Garmin s3 is here and it looks awesome!

          • Sorry we couldn’t divulge that it was actually an S3 that was due out!  😀
            We hope to have the product shortly and a review soon after.

          • Lzybdha

            Looking forward to the S3 review.  Can you also consider a review of the MOTOACTV?  

            This is starting to get beyond the simplicity of the dedicated golf watch, but it has a similar form factor and is definitely in the field of products O am considering.  Thx!

          • We actually just purchased a MOTOACTV last week (good timing!). We are just starting the review process (we take each device to multiple different courses for testing) and hope to have a detailed review up shortly. It does have a ton of features…

          • We don’t expect an S2 anytime soon. Stay tuned for updates, though!

    • UncleGuy

       Now moved to a June 29th thru July 3rd release date. Hmmm… maybe just in time for a July 4th sale??

  • Kkllouie

    What comwes with the watch in the box?

    • No news yet on what comes in the box with the WR62, but we will update our post as soon as we get the information (or better yet, the box!).

      • Update on what’s included in the box: the watch itself, a USB sync cable, and user manual. This comes from information provided to retailers – we have not received the device yet for testing.

    • UncleGuy

       You can find that out easily enough online via a Google search, now. Not a lot is needed. Manual. Charger cable. There are quite a few Apps included — such as coordinate location (in case you need to tell an ambulance where to reach a colleague who is having a heart attack). Alarm. Stop watch features. Etc.

  • Jerrybryant

    Have any of these hit the stores yet and if so how do they rate on courses provide?

    • Last we heard these still have expected date of mid-April. We haven’t received one for testing yet, but will let you know as soon as we do.

    • UncleGuy

      Expected Release Date keeps moving. Three days ago it was June 29th at TGW. Now it’s July 3rd when you receive your confirmation after placing an order.

  • Ned5

    As far as is known, is the battery rechargable?   The Garmin watch indicates it includes a recharging cord in “what’s included”; don’t see the same listed for the Expresso?  Does it recharge through the USB connection perhaps? 

    • UncleGuy

       Yes, rechargeable via a USB cable. Charge supposedly lasts about 52 days.

  • J.Nort

    When will your review of this product post? I’m deciding between the Garmin Approach S1 and the ESN WR62 and will be making my decision off of your review of the WR62.

  • 3Jack

    Estimated shipping date: slipping…slipping…now early July 2012

    At the PGA Merchandise show Expresso announced that “it would ship in early March”.
    Must be arriving via a slow boat from China.  

    Slip sliding away , slip sliding away…the nearer your destination the more your slip sliding away

    from a Paul Simon song

  • JJ

    Any clue on when this item will get a review?

    • We actually don’t have a WR62 yet – we have prioritized some other products as it is not widely available yet (the largest resellers sound like they should have supply starting in August). Our guess is that this product may compare closely to the Bushnell neo+ watch – both are powered by iGolf and seem to have the same functionality. Our Bushnell neo+ watch is under review now and we should have it up shortly.

  • MontanaJackWR62

    I purchased the WR62 on Aug 12, 2012.  Everything works great except it is not accurate. Some holes are 20 yards  off, some are 15 to 18 yards off.  If it is 20 yards off at the 200 it is also 20 off at the 150 and the 100.  You cannot download your course because it is already loaded. I think they are working on this. The instructions tell you to download two drivers on your computer, etc, etc. A technician called and said that you do not have to do that.  I am not sure if they are leaving me out on a limb because I have heard nothing for the last few days.  Another golfer on our course  had the Garmin watch and it was accurate (either right on or one yard off.  I cannot return the WR62 because the band has to be modified to fit all golfers–specifically you have to cut the band to fit your wrist.  I would not buy this item until they get their act together.  Supposedly they will allow the WR62 to access (update) courses but as of the middle of August you are stuck with your watch.

  • J.N.

    How long does it take for a company that prides itself on non biased reviews of golf equipment to complete a review of a product? It seems like this product is the toughest GPS watch to ever review. According to your tweets this product was in review August 31st. Does it really take a full month to complete this?

  • Alistair Strachan

    Do you have an estimated date when this review will be available ?

  • I have one on my wrist as I type this message, it has made my Bushnell obsolete, everyone in my foursome just asks me what the watch says, it is very accurate, I don’t know who stated that they were 20 yards off, they need to send it back. Mine is right on the number and within a yard or 2 of what the rangefinders scope out (meaning they are off, the watch is accurate). I love this thing for the price and wear it all summer as my everyday watch. The rechargeable battery lasts a year of daily use, but will need to be recharged after about 3-5 18 hole rounds of GPS usage. it is no big deal to charge, and the comments about fitting the wrist band? really any one with a brain and a pair of scissors can get it perfect in about 3 minutes. Just measure twice cut once as they say. I for one am extremely pleased with the watch and would recommend it at this price point.

  • UncleGuy

    Well over a year ago Critical Golf was still asking us to wait for their upcoming Review. ‘Nuff said.

    • Andrew

      My my my, such a clamor to read about the Expresso WR62! It only took us 8 months to get the review up – compare that to the gestation period of a baby elephant, or how long it will take Sergio to win a major! Apologies to all for the delay – the review was put on the back burner since the WR62 is so similar to the Bushnell neo+ watch, for which we had already released a review, but it now occurs to us that while WE knew that they shared much of the same technology, our loyal readers probably did not.

  • L. Richardson

    I purchased this device about a year ago, and was happy with the performance until May of this year. When I tried to pull up a course previously played with the WR62, I got a message that I needed to sync with igolf. I thought that it was just the course that needed to be updated, so I didn’t think much about it. After getting the same message on two different courses, I tried to do a sync/update through igolf, but was unsuccessful. I have tried 3 different browsers, and also the ‘reset’ on the watch. Nothing seems to work. Are there any suggestions, or do I just have a plain old digital watch?