Garmin G80 vs Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor Review & Comparison
Any round begins with a tee-off. It is the beginning of your game and your launch could determine how the rest of the round goes. But how can you get important data on your golf swings and the mistakes you are making, that will help you to correct any hitches and other flaws?
With a high quality launch monitor. Launch monitors like the ones we are going to be talking about today provide valuable insight on your drive that you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to. Of course, launch monitors have to be accurate, provide useful data and they should be easy to use.
So how do the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor and the Garmin Approach G80 stack up based on those criteria? Read on to find out.
Who Should Use these Devices?
The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor and the Garmin Approach G80 are for anyone looking to improve their drives. Both of these devices were handy to have on the driving range and on our local course.
If you wish you knew more about your drive and how you could improve it, you may benefit mightily from either of these devices. They represent 2 of the most popular and reliable launch monitors on the market, which is why we selected them for this comparison review.
The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor Key Features
First off, the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor. This device is actually a mount for your smartphone. Within the mount, Rapsodo has embedded radar tracking devices that measure the distance of your shot, the speed of the ball and the launch angle based on initial impact and flight.
The device uses your phone’s camera to record your swings. You then have the option to play the videos back to see what your shot looks like. The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor app even adds a tracer effect so you can see the trajectory of your shots in the videos it records.
When your session or round is done, you can see a chart of where your drives landed on the course or range. In our opinion, the most helpful feature of the app was the launch direction tracker. This feature tells you whether your shots were straight, had left draw, right draw, fade etc.
This same feature will also let you know if your shots were veering to the right or left of your intended target.
- Accurate for outdoor use
- Records each of your swings
- Gives valuable information on your backswing
- Automated club detection
- With the carrying case, it clips right onto your bag
- Lets you see how your shot has improved over time
- Calibration is a bit tricky
- Didn’t auto-detect some of our clubs
- You need 8 feet of rear clearance in order for it to work properly
- Does not work indoors
- You need to pay a $99 subscription fee after your first 100 swings
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The Garmin Approach G80 Key Features
As you would imagine of any product made by Garmin, the Approach G80 integrates reliable GPS features into a mobile launch monitor device. It gives you course maps for 41,000 courses around the world as well as distances to the fairway, hazards and the pin.
This is a small handheld device with a 3.5” color screen that you can set on the floor or tilt up on a golf ball to track your shots. It provides data on smash factor, shot distance, ball speed and different clubs you use.
There is even a Practice mode that basically gives you a virtual course that you can play indoors with a net to sharpen various skills. It also comes with the Garmin Connect app which allows you to store your shot data and compare it with other Connect users.
- Accurate GPS positioning
- Easy to switch from GPS to radar mode
- Gives you a “plays like” distance that accounts for incline and decline
- Battery lasts a long time in radar mode
- Rechargeable battery
- Gives hole and par information
- Battery drains quickly in GPS mode
- It would shut itself down randomly at times
- Less accurate indoors
- You have to manually input which clubs you are using
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Let’s start with the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor. The engineers could definitely work to make the club detector work better. It had a hard time registering drivers and woods. While it was accurate for outdoor use, it does drain your phone battery. Plus you need 8’ of rear clearance to use it.
The video playback was awesome and a lot of fun to use though. And it gives accurate metrics (club distance, launch orientation, launch angle etc.) that allow the user to gain valuable swing insight.
The G80 doesn’t need much space to operate, it relies on its own battery and it’s easy to carry around on the course. But you have to remember to switch off the GPS when you don’t need it, otherwise the battery will drain quickly. It was overall more accurate than the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor too.
Both of these devices will run you about $500. We wanted to compare 2 launch monitors that were in the same price range to give people an idea of how these comparable products measure up to one another.
Which one is Better?
The video launch tracing feature of the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor is really hard to dismiss – even in light of the devices shortcomings. But in the end, we liked the Garmin Approach G80 better. It isn’t as fancy and can’t record your shots, but it was more reliable and accurate. And that’s what really matters.
The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor actually gives you more information on your swing and where your shots land but it takes longer to set up, was inaccurate for shots that went over 150 yards and you have to worry about smashing your phone on an errant backswing.
The Approach G80 is easier to use and gives you all the pertinent data you need. It is our pick and we definitely recommend checking it out if you are in the market for a launch monitor.
Get The Best Price On The G80 Here:
Hi, I am Matthew, a mid handicap golfer who likes to play as much as possible. I love trying out new gear and this blog is where you can find all the gear I have tested over the years!