In this Precision Pro R1 Smart laser rangefinder review, we test it alongside the partnering app to assess the ground-breaking features on offer
Precision Pro R1 Smart Laser Rangefinder Review
The new R1 Smart is about as far from simple point-and-shoot functionality as you’re likely to find.
Watch Joel Tadman test out 12 of the latest laser rangefinders on the golf course, including the Precision Pro R1 Smart
It gives you fast and accurate distances to the flag like all good laser rangefinders and vibrates when the target is picked out.
It’s bulky but still relatively lightweight (204g), fits well in the hand and looks like a cutting-edge device you want to be seen with.
But what sets the R1 Smart apart is how it also partners with a Precision Pro app to give you a wealth of additional, useful information.
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The app comes with 37k preloaded courses and provides Google-map style views of the hole with a moveable pointer overlaid so you can plot your way around just like a normal golf GPS app.
The headline feature on the app is MySlope, which uses three data points from a golfer’s ball flight – launch angle, spin rate, and ball speed. The MySlope algorithm then pairs that ball data with real-time weather data – humidity, temperature, and altitude. The result is a MySlope-adjusted number that’s specific to you at that exact moment.
The enhanced accuracy this provides is mind-blowing, especially if you play hilly courses prone to extreme weather where it seems impossible to pick the right club. You can switch it on using the button on the side of the laser – while off, the R1 Smart is legal for tournament play.
The only drawback is that it requires a golfer to know their launch monitor data for every club in the bag. While it’s true that launch monitors are becoming more readily available, and that once you get on one it should only take about 15 mins to collate this data, it’s a frustrating requirement to unlock what is a truly unique feature.
If you just want to know what effect the wind (and air density) will have on an upcoming shot, the Wind Assist button will tell you how many more or less yards to take into account based on real-time information.
The R1 Smart app can also provide club recommendations while a golfer is playing a round. If you have MySlope activated, there will appear a small + icon above the distance. A golfer can click this and then see a club recommendation based on their personal ball data.
There are host of other features we really enjoyed, like the built-in magnet that secures it to your cart for added convenience or the alert function that lets you know if you’ve left the laser behind.
You can also record your scores and stats within the app and even enter specific lay up points you want to hit on specific holes for the app to then suggest a club to hit.
The R1 Smart also charges via a micro USB rather than a battery, so if it runs out of juice you’ve only got yourself to blame. There’s a power meter in the laser display that lets you know how long is left and a more specific power reading as a percentage within the app.
The R1 Smart requires an investment in your time to get the most out of it, but the rewards are the most accurate distances you’re likely to have ever had before specific to you and your game. It will, in time, give you confidence that over every shot you have the correct club in your hand because no stone has been left unturned. More casual golfers or luddites may want something with fewer bells and whistles but for the gadget lover, this is an appealing and unique option that comes in at a very reasonable price given the functionality on offer.