Cobalt Q-6 rangefinder review: Why I made a Smart Switch
16 May 2022
by Kent Paisley of AmateurGolf.com
see also: Equipment Reviews
The direct-to-consumer business model has evolved substantially over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow consumers to invest in the so-called "better mousetrap" before the product even hits the market.
Shark Tank brings many of these companies and their founders into your living room, where you might be riding the new Peloton you bought (direct of course) as you watch.
However, purchasing a laser rangefinder has pretty much consisted of choosing from three or four brands available at golf retailers or wading through the confusing number of choices and price points on Amazon.
Enter Cobalt -- a new brand from a company that has been at the forefront of laser technology for over 25 years. After manufacturing lasers for various applications (including for a major golf laser company), the parent company decided to put all of its best technology and components together in a rugged and easy-to-use package. They then backed it up with a lifetime warranty.
The result is the Q-6 Slope Rangefinder -- and it's available directly to you at a very fair price point considering the warranty and myriad of features. Cobalt brought the Q-6 to the golf rangefinder market during the first quarter of 2021. AmateurGolf.com did extensive testing, before initiating a program with Cobalt for its laser to be the Official Laser Rangefinder of AmateurGolf.com.
Fortunately, the program came with a number of units for staff use, so I was able to put the Q-6 through its paces.
From the first time getting my hands on the box, I could tell the quality of the investments Cobalt poured into the Q-6. It's easy to hold with an ergonomic rubber grip, and it is also very light, with a weight of just 2/3 of a pound. Its included case comes with soft cushioning to protect against any potential damage.
The handy dandy SmartSwitch
The “SmartSwitch" technology on the left side of the Q-6 rangefinder easily stands out. A great deal of the compact design's functionality and ease of use comes from this tactile disc. The small, grey toggle on the right turns slope mode on and off. It provides a final fail-safe for those in competition to see if they're in slope mode, with the small red light turning on when using the illegal competitive part of the rangefinder.
The bright blue wheel dictates how bright the screen is. Don't be like me and accidentally think the battery died instead of adjusting the brightness. The red color of the text stands amidst the green and blue that accents most courses. In nothing-flat, you can adjust the screen brightness to any light -- you'll never squint to see the yardage again.
The third component of the SmartSwitch is toggling between yards versus meters. No matter your preference or how you spell metres, the Q-6 rangefinder will log the correct distance for you.
But what about the accuracy?
No number of bells and whistles in a rangefinder will satisfy you if it doesn’t do its primary job. That is, to accurately pinpoint the distance from you to the flagstick or any other reference point you choose. The first time I used it on the course, its seven-times zoomed-in lens took me by a pleasant surprise. It’s also the first thing my brother noticed when he used it for the first time. A few hundred yards away felt easy to gun down anything accurately.
In addition, the range finder’s PinSense technology ensures that the rangefinder locks onto the pin, not a tree close behind the flag. Here's how it works. To confirm that you're gunning the pin and not anything else, by holding the button for longer, the Q-6 vibrates to confirm. In addition, a second box around the target pops up, with the yardage confirmed down to a tenth of a yard. Its battery life works for 2,000 beams, meaning there won't be many trips to the store to replace its CR2 battery.
When I need to dial my yardage into that specific of a number, I won't be writing here anymore as I aim for PGA Tour glory. But it's nice to have that knowledge to confirm what club to use.
It's been a "smart switch" adding the Q6 range finder to my arsenal, and like my AmateurGolf.com teammate Pete, I don’t see myself switching anytime soon.