Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor Review
Today we’re offering up our honest feedback on the Rapsodo MLM, one of the most popular launch monitors under $500. In this Rapsodo Golf Review we’ll go over the good, bad, and everything in between! Here are some links in case you want to skip to specific sections:
Is Rapsodo MLM Accurate?Summary: Very impressive accuracy for the price with outdoor mode producing slightly better results than indoor mode.
MLM uses a combination of camera and radar technology to analyze the initial launch of the ball and calculate trajectory and distance. In our testing, Rapsodo was very accurate. On shots inside 100 yards the Rapsodo launch monitor is amazing. Almost always spot on or within a couple of yards of the actual shot both indoors and outdoors.
As you go up in distance, we found the data descrepencies to be a bit more apparent - but still very close! Where we saw the most inaccuracy was with the driver and woods. Most drives are within about 5-10 yards of what you'd expect. But every 5th drive or so it can spit out a number that leaves you scratching your head a bit!
However, for a unit that only costs $500, the accuracy is impressive.
Slightly better results outdoors than indoors
We found that the Rapsodo MLM does slightly better in outdoor mode than in indoor net mode - mostly with shots over 100 yards. And this isn't wildly uncommon, especially for a launch monitor that has a radar componment to it. Other radar based launch monitors like FlightScope and even Trackman, typically are more reliable outdoors.
Launch angle was the most inaccurate metric
When comparing the Rapsodo MLM side by side next to more expensive systems, the launch angle metric seemed to consistently show the most discrepancy. Sometimes being 3-4 degrees off - or around a 30% difference. We aren't totally sure why that would be. But that was somewhat of a trend.
Luckily, vertical launch angle is probably the least important metric that the Rapsodo launch monitor offers anyway. And the most important metrics - distance, ball speed, and club speed, seemed to be the most accurate.
The MLM does not provide side spin data, but it does provide a shot tracer as well as a overhead view of your shot dispersion. While it would be nice if Rapsodo captured actual side spin, this is a nice comprimise given the price.
We found the shot direction or dispersion map to be very accurate on pushes and pulls, but under exaggerate or totally miss large hooks and slices. This could be directly due to the fact that Rapsodo doesn't capture side spin. But we found that the hooks and slices we hit looked better on the shot dispersion than they were in real life. Which is nice for your ego, but probably not as nice for your game..
Overall, the accuracy of the Rapsodo launch monitor exceeds expectations. It's definitely one of the more accurate launch monitors for under $500. We'll give the MLM a 4.25/5 combined rating for indoor and outdoor accuracy. The only thing keeping it from a perfect 5/5 is it's less consistent results on the longer clubs as well as it's under estimation of large slices and hooks.
Rapsodo MLM Review of FeaturesSummary: An impressive list of features for a launch monitor in the budget category.
The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor has probably the most features of any launch monitor under $1000. Most budget launch monitors simply provide the numbers with little to nothing else. But the MLM gives you a ton more! Here are some of the great features it provides:
The MLM will display a tracer of your shot on each video replay
Using your phone's GPS, see where all of your shots land on the course or range.
No need to manually enter your club. Simply show the club to the camera and your MLM will find the number on the club and adjust.
The MLM will take your average shot data for each club and provide a distance map of your clubs.
Easiliy share shot data and video with coaches or friends
Rapsodo MLM will save your last 100 shots to be reviewed at a later time.
Overall, the Rapsodo may win over it's competition strictly due to it's features, as well as the app UI. The app is very modern and easy to navigate. The data charts and displays are really high quality and what you would expect out of a modern hi-tech app.
The best feature is probably the shot tracers. Being able to see a visual of your shot really is a big step up from the competition. No other launch monitor under $500 will give you any sense of shot direction or shape.
Many features are only available in outdoor mode
This may be the biggest disappointment for users wanting to setup Rapsodo in their garage or backyard. On Rapsodo's Indoor/Net Mode, shot tracers, auto club recognition, and the GPS shot map are disabled.
It's a big bummer, but...these features are not available in any mode on other launch monitors under $500. So Rapsodo still has that on their side.
Rapsodo Battery Life
The Rapsodo MLM's battery will last about 4 hours. However, since it connects to you iPhone (MLM is not yet compatible with Android), it also has an effect on your phones battery life. And kind of a big one!
Rapsodo can wear down your phone's battery pretty fast. Oftentimes by up to 50% over the course of an entire range session - sometimes more. So definitely something to keep an eye on if you are planning on using the Rapsodo for an extended period of time.
Rapsodo MLM's Premium Features - Are they worth it?
Rapsodo offers a "premium" subscription that gives you access to a few more key features. For $99/yr, or a little more than $8/mo, it provides:
- Personalized Data Insights
- Slow-motion video playback
- Shot Apex Height
- Cloud Storage for up to 10k videos
- Coach Connect Online Golf Lessons
So Are These Premium Features Worth It?
For the beginner golfer, the personalized data insights can help you better understand shot data and the things you can glean from it. The Coach Connect access will also give you some helpful instructional videos. But for a more advanced golfer, I don't know if the subscription is a must have.
The slow-motion video is nice, but nothing you can't do on most modern phones. And the shot apex height is a fun data point to look at, but not neccessarily a very important one when it comes to game improvement.
The extra cloud storage may be the most useful feature. Since you only get 100 saved shots normally, which can add up quick over a few range sessions!
Rapsodo MLM Compared to More Expensive Launch Monitors
We've tested a lot of different launch monitors here at Rain or Shine Golf. So we feel that we have a pretty good understanding of how they all stack up.
With any "budget launch monitor", you'll miss out on a few things. Here are the main things you miss out on compared to the more expensive launch monitors:
- Extensive Ball and Club Data
More expensive units will give you much more data than the MLM. The $2,000 units like SkyTrak and Mevo+ will provide around 10-15 additional data points including side spin, carry and total distance, spin axis, and more.
- Video Analysis
While the MLM does provide video playback, some systems provide more video analysis features and allow you to draw lines, swing planes, etc.
- Golf Simulation
One of the biggest upsides to more expensive units like SkyTrak, is that they can also be used for golf simulation. You can play real courses like Augusta or Pebble Beach!
- More game/challenge modes
Many of the more expensive units will provide different skills competitions, or contests like long drive or closest to the pin.
The overall theme when comparing the Rapsodo to more expensive launch monitors is that you simply get a little less in each category. You get less shot data, less video features, less game modes, etc.
For many, however, the Rapsodo MLM provides more than enough! It's a great beginner launch monitor for the mid to high handicapper looking to improve their game and have some fun while doing it.
Overall, the Rapsodo MLM launch monitor is a really awesome launch monitor for under $500. It's got a ton of great reviews in the industry and we can see why!
It's easy to use, accurate, and provides a ton of cool features. The biggest downside is that you lose some of it's great features when using in Net Mode. And it can be slightly less accurate with longer clubs. But for the money, it's one of the best systems you can buy!
Here is our quick breakdown on the MLM:
Rapsodo MLM is for you if you're looking for some basic feedback on your swing - especially when practicing at home. You'll be able to see your distances and shot direction even indoors when you can't make it out to the range.