Bushnell Phantom Vs. Garmin G10 Review – Which One Should I Buy?
A lot of golfers already have a nice timepiece that they like to sport on the course. Other golfers simply don’t like to have anything on their wrist when they take shots. So what do you do when a golf GPS watch is out of the question?
You get a handheld GPS device. In today’s review, we will be pitting two handheld golf GPS devices against one another to determine which offers the most bang for your buck. We wanted to see which handheld unit stood the test of real-world practicality.
We really don’t like when GPS units are inaccurate with distances. I mean, doesn’t that defeat the purpose altogether? So accuracy was definitely a criterion for us as we tested both units. We are also going to be comparing the features of both devices so you will know what you’re getting.
So if you are disinclined towards wearing a watch to get all the info you need on the links, read on and we will help you decide which handheld GPS product will be the best for you.
The Garmin Approach G10
Our first entry is from Garmin. Garmin has been making GPS devices, software and hardware since 1989. You may already be using some Garmin devices. With the Approach G10, they offer a basic unit loaded with essential golfing features.
This handheld contains info for 41,000 courses around the world. Right off the bat, we liked the fact that it picked up the exact course we were on before we even got to the pro shop.
We also liked the fact that it not only tells you your distance from hazards, dog legs, the front, back and middle of the green, but that you can manually move the location of the pin depending on the day.
The G10 also comes with a digital scorecard which cuts down on stuff you have to carry in your bag. It also keeps track of fairway hits, putts and regulation greens. This device has a clip on the back so you can attach it to your belt, belt loop or hat. Of course, you can opt to simply carry it in your pocket.
So how accurate is it? We tested the G10 against a range finder and found that it was consistently accurate within 3-4 yards. It hit the yardage dead on for the carry distance to a bunker on a par 5 hole.
The Bushnell Phantom
The Bushnell Phantom is a larger handheld GPS device but the black and white digital display is still easy to read. You can clip it to stuff like the Garmin but it can also attach magnetically to metal surfaces. We just slapped it to the hood of our golf cart.
Like the G10, it automatically detects the course you’re on and displays course info (par, distances to hazards). It will also automatically track you as you advance from hole to hole.
The fact that the Bushnell Phantom gives free course updates is pretty cool. And the Bushnell Golf App that comes free with your purchase of the device makes up for some of the features it lacks.
For instance, the app gives you full color, 3D maps of any of the 36,000 worldwide courses in its registry. The app also gives specific hole layouts with fairway distances, hazard mapping and dog leg distances.
So how accurate is this GPS? Very. The hardest test we put the Phantom to was the manual shot distance calculator. We each measured our opening drives with the Phantom and a range finder and the Phantom was almost dead on.
The Phantom and the G10 are in the same neighborhood as far as price goes. The G10 will run you about $96 while the Phantom will cost around $100.
The Bushnell Phantom is consistently more accurate on distances than the Approach G10. But it’s not like the G10 is way off the mark. While the Phantom will get distances right within a couple feet 9/10 times, the G10 will get distances right within 3-4 yards 9/10 times.
That all being said, the Phantom lacks a lot of features like the digital scorecard, green view that shows the true shape of the green, stat tracking and distance to layups. The Phantom also only shows distances for up to 4 hazards per hole.
Both units feature black and white displays and are operated by control buttons, but the Phantom display is larger.
Garmin G10 Pros & Cons:
- Slightly less expensive
- More useful golf features
- Green view feature
- Displays all hazard distances on par 4 and 5 holes
- Pin setting feature
- Very compact
- Smaller display (0.9×0.9)
- No magnetic attachment
- No Bluetooth connectivity
- Slightly less accurate
Phantom Pros & Cons
- Greater accuracy
- Magnetic attachment feature
- Cool app
- Comes in a lot of colors
- Easy user interface
- Great battery life
- Lacks many practical features
- Maximum of 4 hazard distances
- No green view feature
- More expensive
Which is the Best Value?
This was another difficult choice for us. Even though accuracy is our main bugaboo and the Phantom is more accurate, we can’t overlook all the features it lacks. Even with the app, it seems like an extremely basic unit.
Plus, the Garmin Approach G10 isn’t terribly inaccurate. We can see where even the slightest deviation can be an annoyance to golfers trying to improve their game though: you’re trying to get an accurate gage on how far your drives are going so every yard matters.
On top of all that, the Garmin Approach G10 is slightly cheaper! But all of these “advantages” are only advantages by a thin margin. Still, we gotta go with the G10.
Features like true green view and more hazard distances are just too helpful when it comes to lowering your handicap. Even though the Phantom is more accurate, we can forgive a few yards here and there – especially when the G10 makes up for it with its plethora of helpful features.
At the beginning of this review, we said we would be testing these units based on distance accuracy. But we also said we were going to be testing for real-world practicality. In our opinion, the G10 is the better value because of its superior practicality. We encourage you to give it a try!