Many thanks go out to Tracy Nackel from TEN Marketing and PR for giving me the opportunity to test and review the SkyCaddie SX400. Thank-you Tracy!!
The SkyCaddie SX400 comes to us from SkyGolf. SkyGolf, is the “#1-Rated and Most-Trusted Rangefinder in Golf” and is a company that specializes in developing technology that’s designed to help golfers play better golf and have more fun while doing so. SkyGolf’s objective is to help golfers play better golf by providing them with the best information available.
In the case of the SkyCaddie SX400 this is accomplished in many ways. Built off of the chassis of its predecessor the award-winning SX500, the SX400 is a smaller, more compact version. Where the SX500 was a little bit on the “bigger side” the SX400 is smaller with a touchscreen size of 4″. The display is touted by SkyGolf as being “brilliant” and responsive. The design is sleek, rugged, durable and is water-resistant. The graphics are full HD and the unit features Wi-Fi connectivity, which means, you don’t need a cord to upload courses or upload system updates to your device. All you need is a Wi-Fi signal.
The SX400 comes with over 35,000 pre-loaded golf courses and includes a bunch of great features. Here’s a brief summary of the features.
- Dynamic HoleVue – Dynamic HoleVue automatically re-orients the entire golf hole from your position to the green as you progress from the tee. So if you’re you’re on the next fairway, you’ll be provided with true and accurate distances to the green.
- IntelliGreen Technology – This displays the exact shape of the green and automatically rotates to match your angle of approach.
- Dynamic RangeVue – Multiple yardage arcs that overlay fairway landing areas and greens that allow golfers to select the best club for the required shot.
- IntelliGreen Pro – This feature provides golfers accurate details of the green. It will display false front, mounds, tiers of the green, and contours. **Note that this feature is only on select courses.
- Dynamic RangeVue with Club Ranges – Allows you to learn quickly how far you hit each club. “Customize RangeVue® by entering your club yardages. Then as you play, you will see your club range next to the RangeVue ring on every part of the course for much-improved shot-making to fairways, layups, and greens”
- Digital Scoring – Easily enter your score and keep track of important stats like fairways hit, greens hit and track where your misses were off of the tee.
I was excited to receive this product for testing and review. When I received the press release for the SX400 I was very intrigued because of all of the features listed above. More importantly, when I have used devices in the past it was typically in the form of a laser rangefinder. I always felt that the point and shoot versatility of a laser rangefinder, therefore, I have long thought that a rangefinder was the way to go. So, coming into this testing the SX400 was at a disadvantage. Upon opening the package, I really liked the appearance of the box, especially in terms of “curb appeal” in Pro Shops and other retail locations. The box for the SX400 will stand out in cabinets and cases. The bold contrast of black, white, and chartreuse green is guaranteed to be seen by those browsing for similar products.
Opening the box, everything you need is there. Instructions, the recommended charging cord, a cloth for cleaning the screen, and plenty of charge on the battery to get you started if you’re taking it right to the golf course. More on the battery in a bit.
The device itself feels great in the hand, personally speaking, I really liked the beveled edges. My thumb sort of just rests on one edge and the SX400 just sort of cradles itself in between my thumb and index finger. If I were to give it one piece of constructive criticism as far as the design goes, maybe a rubberized coating along the sides. Just to give an extra feeling of security in your hands.
The display itself, I feel is the real attraction and the star of the SX400. SkyGolf touts it as being “brilliant” and it is that. I find that the display is vivid and very eye-pleasing. The hazards, bunkers, and tee boxes all appear on the display in front of you just as it appears on the course as you look down the fairway.
I feel it’s important to note that some courses only have a feature called QuickVue. Courses with QuickVue aren’t quite as detailed as courses with HoleVue. Meaning that while you still get the general shape of the hole it and all of the important yardages. However, it will not display features like water hazards, trees, and the target cursor cannot be moved. Don’t fret though, if you click on the little eye icon on the bottom-right side of the screen and go to the “list view” it will tell you how far away you are from certain course features (hazards, gulleys, and bunkers).
Getting the SX400 ready for your round is quite easy. Type the golf course that you’re looking for into the search bar and let the device work its magic. Upon downloading the course, you will receive pertinent information. For example, I played at a course in Zephyrhills, Florida called Southport Springs. Before heading out from where I was staying I downloaded the golf course. It gave me pertinent information such as their physical address, whether it had a driving range or not, the telephone number for the facility, and which features it had as far as the SX400 was concerned (HoleVue, IntelliGreen etc). Another cool feature upon downloading the golf course is that you can go into “Demo” and scout the golf course. I devised a gameplan before arriving at the golf course. I knew exactly which club I was going to use where and when. I’ve also used it to simulate rounds of golf during range sessions. Nothing beats good scouting and good preparation.
The battery life of the SkyCaddie SX400 has been phenomenal. In fact, when I first started testing this product I never charged the SX400. As it sits right now, it’s holding at 34% and it has been used in some very cold weather (albeit 9-hole rounds) and 18-holes in Florida. I’ve played 72-holes without charging, the SX400 is very efficient.
The SX400 fits perfectly into any golf cart cup holder and travels really well while on the golf course. In fact, much better than its bigger sibling the SX500. I held the SX500 at the PGA Show and I was surprised by how bulky it was. I could envision hitting a bump while riding on a cart and having the SX500 fly out of the cart. Not the case with the SX400. Not to mention if you walk it fits nicely in your back pocket (if you wanted to carry it there). Generally, we already have a cell phone connected to us somehow. So why would we want more potential bulk? The SX400 beats its bigger sibling.
I really could go on boasting about how great the SX400 has been throughout testing. I love the versatility of the SX400 and with features like HoleVue, IntelliGreen, and the vivid display there is nothing to dislike about it. The SkyCaddie SX400 has superior battery life and has lasted longer than any other wearable GPS device that I’ve tested to date. If I have a choice of a rangefinder or the SX400, I’m using the SkyCaddie SX400 every time.
In terms of a golf score on a hole, the SkyCaddie SX400 is a sure Eagle. The SkyCaddie SX400 is a “sure bet” to win awards from other publications. If you’re looking for a handheld golf GPS this season look no further.
For more information on the SX400 and other products from SkyGolf please visit SkyGolf.
Until The Next Tee!!