Leupold GX-4i2 Review
The Leupold GX-4 is one of the most interesting golf rangefinders available. The unit is unique becuase this Leupold golf rangefinder comes with two faceplates, a yellow one and a chrome one. When the chrome faceplate is attached to the rangefinder it gives only line of sight distance and is essentially identical to the Leupold GX-3i2 rangefinder. However, when the yellow faceplate is attached the GX-4i2 can access a True Golf Range mode and a club selector feature, neither of which are allowed for tournament play.
Now Tournament Legal - Obviously the idea behind the interchangeable faceplates was to allow the user to be able to turn the Leupold GX4 into a tournament legal rangefinder by simply replacing the yellow faceplate with the chrome faceplate. This was a good idea in theory but the powers that be didn’t go for the idea, and the original GX-4 and its predecessor the GX-4i were not legal for tournament play. However, Leupold was able to get the latest version the GX-4i2 approved for tournament play when rangefinders are allowed.
TGR - While other non tournament legal rangefinders feature modes that can factor in the angle of the shot and then give an angle compensated reading; the TGR (True Golf Range) feature of this model not only takes into account the angle of the shot, but also factors in the temperature and altitude into the reading. The default altitude is set at 1000 ft above sea level and the default temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but these setting can be changed by the owner to increase the accuracy of the compensated distance readings.
Club Selector - The Leupold GX-4i2 also features a club selector which can make club suggestions based on the information calculated by its TGR feature. While the GX-4i2 comes with pre-programmed default settings, the user can enter in the distance they hit a 4, 6, and 8-iron and then the unit will make club recommendations based on the distances you entered for the above mentioned clubs.
OLED - The GX-4i2 uses a red OLED display for aiming and displaying information to the user. OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode and is generally considered to provide a clearer/brighter view than the more traditional LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screens used on many rangefinders.
Metal Construction - While most golf rangefinders are made out of some type of plastic these are made out of aluminum. The aluminum housing is rubberized with a golf ball dimple style pattern which aids in gripping the rangefinder in slippery condition, as well as giving it a unique look. Whether this metal housing is more durable than a plastic model is probably debatable but it is interesting to note that the aluminum GX-4i2 and GX-3i2 have a two year limited warranty whereas the plastic GX-2 and GX-1 have a 1 year limited warranty.
DNA - Digitally eNhanced Accuracy is a new feature on the Leupold rangefinders. In a nutshell the DNA technology is an upgrade to the rangefinders laser system that increases the speed and accuracy of the unit. Where their previous models were listed as being accurate to within 1 yard/meter, the new GX-4i2 is listed as being accurate to within .5 yard/meter.
Prism Lock - The GX4i2 has a Prism Lock feature when in scan mode. If the flag has a reflective prism on the top of it the range finder will beep and display target lock brackets which indicates that it has ranged the distance to the reflective prism. Some courses also place reflective prisms on objects near hazards, so the Prism Lock feature could be used to target these as well.
All the Rest - The GX-4i2 has a fog mode which can be used to improve the performance of the rangefinder in foggy or rainy conditions. This model is also capable of displaying yardage readings in either yards or meters. Finally, the this rangefinder allows the user to select from three different reticle (crosshair) options.
Customizable - The Leupold GX-4i2 is probably the most customizable golf rangefinder currently available. The user can enter in altitude and temperature settings to aid in ranging accuracy; and the owner can enter in personalized information on how far they hit certain clubs to receive more accurate club suggestions from the rangefinder. Finally, the GX 4i2 allows the user to choose what style of crosshair they want to use.
Quality - These models are made from metal instead of plastic and features a rubberized surface that is both stylish and functional. This rangefinder also utilizes the more expensive OLED style display screen as compared to the more common LCD screens found on many golf rangefinders.
Fully Loaded - The range finder is able to give the user an angle compensated yardage reading to the pin as well as offer advice on club selection. This model also uses technology like DNA, Prism Lock and Fog mode to aid the user in obtaining an obtaining an accurate reading.
Bottom Line - The Leupold GX-4i2 is a high end golf rangefinder but its $499 price tag will keep it out of the hands of some golfers. However, this rangefinder wasn't designed to be a budget rangefinder, and is currently the only rangefinder that features the best of both worlds; having the training aids of a non tournament rangefinder but still capable of being used for tournament play with the simple change of its faceplace.
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