By Don Smith
Tested: Swingbyte mobile swing analyzer
I’m always looking for the next swing improvement tool, because it is often the Indian, not the arrow, who causes most errant shots.
I was excited for the opportunity to evaluate the Swingbyte, a swing analyzing system that attaches to your golf clubs and sends swing data to a mobile phone or tablet through Bluetooth.
Swingbyte captures club head speed and acceleration at all points through the swing, the club's true plane from address to impact, club face angle relative to swing path, static and dynamic loft and lie at address and impact, as well as angle of attack, club path and tempo. But like any gadget, especially one that promises so much and is as cheap as the Swingbyte, I approached testing with caution.
Pros: Swingbyte provides an incredible amount of information for the very modest price of $149. The information provided was accurate and relevant, once you understood how to sort through it. It’s compatible with Apple iPhone (3GS or later), as well as the iPod Touch and all iPads. It also works with Android phones and tablets 2.3.3 with Bluetooth 3.0 or later.
Cons: Setup was difficult, and the user interface is not very intuitive. The unit also rotated left on the shaft after several swings, which resulted in bad readings, meaning I had to keep realigning the unit to stay square to the clubface. At times, I found it difficult to understand the information that Swingbyte provided.
Overall: The device is simple to attach and fairly easy to use. It was free of any technical glitches, and I found it easy to sync the results. For $149, the Swingbyte provides an unbelievable amount of data. But some of the data is so in depth and technical that you may need to talk to your PGA Professional to get the most out of it.
Out of the box, the Swingbyte setup guide was difficult to follow, and I could have used some audio instruction to go along with the pictorial. I also found it difficult to switch from the swing view screen to the data screen, which I believe should be be more user friendly, requiring only one click back and forth.
The Swingbyte did a lot of thing very well, however. It worked equally well with my iPhone as it did my Samsung Galaxy Tablet. I had no problems turning unit turned on and off, and swing data and swing screen animations it provided were excellent. Although I first struggled to interpret the large amount of data that Swingbyte provides, once I developed a corrective action plan with my PGA Professional the device was excellent at tracking progress or absence thereof.
If you consider how much it would cost to get this level of information on an ongoing basis, this price of $149 dollars is extremely modest. With just a few simple improvements, this could be a "got to have" swing improvement tool.