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I have been using the uPro MX+ for awhile now and have found it to be a neat and fairly useful gadget.
Small size. Fits in your pocket and is relatively unobtrusive while swinging your golf club.Good GPS. Seems to lock quickly and be fairly accurate. Comparisons with laser derived distances have been within a few yards.uExplore Website. The ability to upload scorecards and analyze your Fairways and Greens in Regulation can be interesting and fun. Flyovers and the option to explore courses on your computer is nice to prepare for upcoming rounds on unfamiliar courses. It’s a lot easier to see the detail here than on the device as well.Scorecard. It’s nice to use your device to keep score. You can score for all the members of your group if you choose.uPro Course Downloads. Included with the price of purchase.
Small size. The screen is pretty small and the resolution is good but not great. For those of us with not perfect eyesight, seeing the screen detail can be challenging at times. Be advised, if you wear polarized sunglasses while you play, they will effectively block out the screen image so you can’t see it at all.Battery Life. This is truly a one round machine, if you don’t mind charging after every 18 holes maybe this won’t be an issue.Docking Cable. Seems to be a standard peripheral micro to USB, but mine is a challenge to plug in (device side micro plug) every time.Anypoint Distance feature. Clunky to use and very challenging to get accurate distances with this. A large part of the problem is the form factor of this device is so small. Manipulating the optical pointer and then actually getting the right spot on the map is such a feat, I don’t use it.Touch screen. Again, form factor (size) of device does not help. I repeatedly find myself jabbing a my finger to the screen to try to get the right spot to get my selection. This seemed to get a little better the more I did it.Flyover. Although this can be useful, the resolution isn’t that hot.Sync/Charge. Device does not seem to be able to sync and charge at the same time, you have to pick one or the other when you plug it in to your computer. Also, you have to tell it whether you’re plugging into a Mac or PC every time. Really? Sync screen freezes on device once plugged in (the sync seems to work just fine however).
Overall, not a bad little golf GPS. A few of my noted issues could probably be solved via a firmware update. It does make me wonder though, why the majority of this units functionality couldn’t be built into an app for the iPhone. Obviously the hardware is all there already, the display is larger, the display is better quality and higher resolution, the touch functionality is superior, the sync/charge process would be better, and everyone in the world already has one… As Alton Brown would say, nobody likes a uni-tasker. Actually, how ’bout build the uExplore out with some of the handheld features and make it an iPad app…Yup, that would be me, the dork with an iPad mounted to his push cart, ruling the links like Mr. Data on the bridge of the Enterprise.
Callaway are you out there??
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I just got the UPRO mx+ this week. I have synced it to their callawayuxplore web site as instructed and downloaded the latest software and updates. It comes loaded with 1000s of courses in “basic mode” from all over the world. I then loaded a few local courses for their “Pro Mode”, which gives you a satellite image of the course. So tonight I took it out for a 9 hole round to try it out. I have never used a golf GPS before, so this was new for me.
No instructions?: There are no printed instructions, just a ‘quick start’ pamphlet which explains the obvious buttons. I would like a complete user guide to read before using it, but you have to get a PDF file from their web site. There are some built-in videos explaining some features, but you need your own headphones to plug into hear them, and they are short and not easy to memorize. So I hoped that, on the course, the features would be intuitive.
On the course: It took several minutes to set up the game — choose the course, set your playing partners’ initials, etc. The small touch-screen is difficult to accurately ‘click’ on icons with your fingers. I don’t know if the screen is heat or pressure sensitive, but I had a hard time tap-tap-tapping the icons and letters to get it to enter the info. This was a problem throughout the round – sometimes it took 8-10 taps to work. Meanwhile, you’re standing there holding up the game.
The screen is fairly visible in most light conditions, although the screen is shiny, and so in direct sun it’s hard to see through the fingerprints and glare.
When you set up to play a hole, it will initially give you a close up of just the green, with yardages from wherever you are standing. You can zoom out to see the whole hole, although it took me three holes to figure out how the ‘zoom’ icon works, and then it was not easy to use it with your fingertip.
One major thing I would have liked to see on the screen is where “I” am on the course. Presumably, you are usually standing by your ball or moving to it, so it would be nice to see an icon on the fairway or tee box showing your current position. One would think this function would be a no-brainer for a GPS device.
The instructions mention a “shot tracking” feature where you have it record the distance you hit each club. This would be great to get an accurate yardage range for your clubs, coupled with the exact distances you get with a GPS. But this feature is disabled at this time.
Keeping score was somewhat easy enough, where you click on a scorecard icon and then click a + or – to change your score on a hole, and to keep a count of putts and of GIR and Fairways hit. However, there was no way I could find to show the whole scorecard at a glance — you must look at every hole’s score individually to check your scores. Maybe I just don’t know how to do it, but like I said above, I was hoping it would be intuitive and it was not.
One thing that really ticked me off was that on the 6th hole, the unit reset and lost all my scores! I was carrying it in my pocket, where it would usually go into “sleep mode” until I took it out to check a yardage or enter scores. When I took it out on the 6th green, it was acting like I wanted to play a new round and there was no way to go back and tell it I was still playing! Next time, I will keep my score with a pencil and scorecard, sheesh.
On the 9th hole, the screen froze and it no longer accepted any ‘tapping’ input on the screen. You could push the buttons and change the ‘mode’ and turn it on and off, but the touch screen was not working. I don’t know whether maybe the battery was low or what the problem was, but I could not enter the final hole score or see the total score for the round. Also, the GPS stopped tracking as if it lost the satellites.
The final thing that bothered me was that the battery on this unit is way underpowered. I barely got 9 holes in and it had about 25% battery left. If you plan on playing more than 9 holes, I would suggest buying a second battery as a backup.
So in conclusion, the yardages from the front, mid, back of the green and the front and back of bunkers, are nice to see and use in your round. It helped me to know the exact yardages to know which club to choose. The satellite images are nice, but not really necessary — I would be happy with just a graphic image of the course. So that’s about all the good I can say about this GPS. Luckily I got this unit from Amazon to review – with all the issues above, I would not spend any money on this GPS. Instead you can get free Smart Phone apps (my golfing buddy had GolfLogix to compare with this GPS tonight) that work just as well and have more features (like seeing your current location, and a full scorecard, hello!). Unless they fix the above problems with future software updates, I would not buy this GPS…
I love this device. It is small enough to fit in my pocket and not be bulky, yet large enough that the screen is easy to read. I do wish the touch screen was a little more user friendly for my big fingers though. The accuracy of the gps is dead on. It has definitely improved my club selection by giving me accurate distances to bunkers and pins. The aerial flyover combined with the actual aerial images is an awesome touch. There are a lot of features to track in the score card (gir, fir, puts, etc.) which is awesome. The computer sync is great. Especially since they fixed the Apple incompatibility. (The Callaway technical support is very one-on-one and eager to please. I appreciate how hard they work to make my experience with Callaway a pleasant one.) I love being able to look up my scores, preview courses, and see the progress of my performances on an easy to navigate format. I look forward to the shot tracking feature update (If i read that right). I would love to know what clubs and distances I have hit. Overall a great product with some minor hiccups. All my friends are jealous of it. I look forward to future features!
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