Sports professionals typically use the best golf launch monitors, which can cost up to $1000 or more. If you’re just starting out or on a tight budget, options like Foresight Sports GCQuad or the Full Swing Kit will be overkill. Garmin Approach R10 and Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor (MLM) are among the few quality and budget-friendly launch monitors on the market presently, so it’s predictable for you to be conflicted between them. I tested both devices, and I will show you in this article how they measure up.
In brief, the Rapsodo MLM is the easiest to set up for practice between the two. It supplies accurate but basic information on swings and will make a great addition to your setup at home. On the other hand, the Garmin Approach R10, during the testing, proved to be a better option that can double up as a simulator. It is also a better option for outdoor usage. Still, the Rapsodo MLM is undoubtedly your best bet if you’re on a tight budget.
Maybe you’re looking to buy a personal launch monitor while under budget. The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor (MLM)” and the Garmin R10 are expected to be the best options.
I have documented valuable information about these devices and how they compare across many relevant factors in this article. If you’re in a hurry, the table below will explain what sets these two launch monitors apart.
Garmin R10 vs. Rapsodo: Comparison Chart
The best way to figure out which of these products is best for your game is to consider broadly the characteristics and specifications of both of them. I have created this comparison chart to help you with that:
|Factors||Garmin Approach R10||Rapsodo|
|Data parameters provided||Club Head Speed, Club Face Angle, Club Path Angle, Angle of Attack, Ball Speed, Launch Angle, Launch Direction, Spin Axis, Spin Rate, Apex Height, Smash Factor, Carry Distance, Total Distance, and Deviation Distance||Carry Distance, Side Carry, Spin Rate, Club Speed, Ball Speed, Vertical Launch, Smash Factor, Launch Angle, Apex Height, and Shot Type|
|Battery life||Up to 10 hours||Up to 8 hours|
|Phone software support||Android and iOS||IOS|
Garmin Approach R10
The app and subscription service of both launch monitors are decent, but the Garmin R10 seems to be more bang for your buck because you can access courses alongside the launch monitor.
Rapsodo allows you to record every swing, but you only get 100 videos for free, which leaves you with two options: constantly delete videos or pay $99 for unlimited storage.
I have tasted several other budget-friendly launch monitors enough to realize that certain features and performances are generally expected from any launch monitor. So, it would be too much to call them grand.
But what sets the Garmin R10 apart is that it first requires you to set up a selfie stick or tripod to get a swing video, versus the Rapsodo MLM, which does this by default.
The Rapsodo does not capture videos from the best angle, so it is hard to do much swing evaluation, but it is hassle-free.
If set up properly, the Garmin is great. In the performance category, I’d say the Rapsodo does a bit better, but it is still up for debate because Garmin takes extra steps to get recordings, and the Rapsodo does not record from the best angle.
There’s no straightforward way to make a judgment on which launch monitor outperforms the other when it comes to metrics. For instance, the Rapsodo and Garmin share such things as club speed, ball speed, apex, and distance, of which, during testing, results were pretty close to each other.
However, I did notice that the R10 extrapolates for club path, swing direction, angle of attack, and spin rates. This is the edge the R10 has over Rapsodo.
If you’re purchasing a launch monitor for fun and not necessarily for game improvement, then the Garmin R10 lapses won’t be a deal-breaker.
However, if you are looking for significant swing changes, the data on the Rapsodo appears to be more reliable.
Ease of Use
Rapsodo MLM reeks of simplicity, from the design to the usage. But it doesn’t defeat the Garmin on this one.
On the Garmin R10, there’s information overload—so many metrics to track, which can be a good thing and, ironically, a not-so-great item for those who just want a simple device for basic measurement.
Because I use an iPhone, I noticed while at the range that the Garmin was much easier to read all of your metrics, while Rapsodo requires you to exit the sessions and return before seeing some metrics. I wish the Rapsodo worked on this because it’s a hassle to leave the session and produce, especially when it’s single-swing data I want to look at.
The interface is different when you use an iPad, but many people use their iPhone, so it’s a flaw on the part of the Rapsodo.
Pros and cons
Indeed, there’s no perfect product out there. There are always two sides to the coin. To further help you decide which of these launch monitors is best for you, consider the pros and cons of each:
|What I like||What I don’t like|
|Record all the data you could want. It’s a great value for the money.||The course simulator costs $10 a month and is cartoony and not worth it compared to simply doing the practice range.|
|It comes with a companion app that makes it super easy to use.||Temperamental with alignment|
|With the R10, you can access courses to play if you want to use the portable device as a simulator.||No ball normalization feature|
|It is still affordable, considering its high-tech||It would be better if slow motion were added to the video capabilities.|
|What I like||What I don’t like|
|Easy to set and use||It doesn’t display spin numbers.|
|Visual aid for your shots||Short battery life|
|It helps to track your performance with each club individually.||Not compatible with Android phones|
Based on this elaborate comparison, the Garmin R10 appeared to be a better golf launch monitor than the Rapsodo, but it’s with a less significant margin. The R10 wins as the best launch monitor for under $600.
I think the ability to double as a sim can make the range a little bit more fun. This is what you won’t get with the Rapsodo MLM.
P.S.: The R10 comes with five courses and a driving range on E6, which is supposed to be a major bonus, but E6 sucked on my iPhone. It was so choppy and did a battery hog.
We’ve also explored other areas and how these two devices measure against each other. With these in mind, here’s my rating from my experience with using these two launch monitors:
|Rating||Garmin Approach R10||Rapsodo|
|Ease of Use||6.5||7.0|
|TOTAL (50 points):||40 Points||37.5 Points|
I’ve used the Rapsodo for a while before purchasing the R10 for this review. The R10 came as a recommendation because I was particular about knowing advanced metrics such as swing path, club face, and angle of attack.
I am a little disappointed in those metrics based on what I see online compared to advanced launch monitors like Trackman.
Of course, the R10 won’t perform like a $15,000 device, but the fact that the advanced metrics offered were even shaky doesn’t fully justify upgrading from Rapsodo.
However, this is because I already have a Rapsodo MLM. If you don’t have a launch monitor and this is your first purchase, I recommend the Garmin R10.