50 Words or Less
The Precision Pro R1 Smart Rangefinder links with the Precision Pro app to provide distances to the flag as well as front, center, and back of green yardages. App is very solid. Larger than most rangefinders. Quick, but display is black only.
After slope-adjustments and red/black optics became nearly standard, I wondered how rangefinders were going to evolve. Precision Pro has answered that question by pairing their R1 with the Precision Pro app to make it smarter than your average standalone laser. I was eager to test the R1 Smart Rangefinder to see what kind of advantage it offers on the course and, just as important, how enjoyable the user experience is.
Set Up & Ease of Use
When you unbox the Precision Pro R1 Smart Rangefinder, you’ll find the rangefinder, a case, an instruction manual, a charging cable, and a cleaning cloth. Unlike most rangefinders, the R1 uses a USB-rechargeable battery. My R1 came out of the box with some battery life, but it’s recommended that you charge it before heading to the course.
The basic functions of the R1 are simple: push the large oval button on top to turn it on, and press it again to get your yardage. An external switch on the side turns slope on and off. “Slope” is displayed in the viewfinder when this feature is turned on, but I wish the switch itself was labeled.
Pairing the Precision Pro R1 with the app happens in two taps. After they’re paired, anytime you open the Precision Pro app and power up the R1, you’ll see the R1 as “Connected” on the home screen. From there, you start your round just like with any other GPS app. The app displays a satellite image of the course along with front, center, and back yardages. To get those yardages in your R1, just push the round button on the top of the unit.
Accuracy & Performance
Let’s start with an evaluation of the basic rangefinder functions of the Precision Pro R1. The laser is fairly quick – not the fastest but not slow either. The display is clear, but it’s only in black. Accuracy is excellent compared to other lasers and course marking. My only significant complaint is that the button push is sloppy. It can be hard to tell if you’ve pushed it hard enough which can lead to a heavier push and difficulty keeping the laser on target.
When paired with the app, you can get the front, middle, and back distances on the R1’s screen by pushing the round button. The response isn’t lightning quick, but it’s not going to slow down your group. The display is impressive. There’s a lot of info on this screen, but it’s laid out in a way that’s easy to read.
The app itself is quite good and deserves some discussion. As you can see above, it displays the yardages with or without slope adjustment and with or without “Wind Assist” – a feature designed to gauge the impact of the breeze. Also interesting is that it displays the last yardage that the laser shot in the upper left. This can be useful on par 3s as you can have the front, center, back, and pin numbers all on one screen.
Finally, the Precision Pro R1 has a few other features worth a quick mention. The unit has a magnetic grip for those that like to keep their laser attached to the cart. Additionally, it has “Pulse Vibration Technology” to let you know when you’ve locked onto the flag. Last, the rechargeable battery is excellent. Precision Pro doesn’t have an official battery life claim, but I found it would last through two rounds.
The Precision Pro R1 Smart Rangefinder retails for $320 [please consider supporting our sponsor Play Better by buying it HERE]. This is a lower price than I was expecting given that the R1 has some features that are new to rangefinders.
Ultimately, I would recommend the R1 to players who don’t mind using their phone on the course. The R1 is good on its own, but there are better pure rangefinders. When you pair the R1 with the app, it delivers something unique.
The Precision Pro R1 Smart Rangefinder brings welcome variety to the rangefinder market. It’s a solid rangefinder on its own, but it shines when it interacts with the Precision Pro app. If you’re looking for a way to have more course knowledge when you play, this is an option worth considering.