If you're looking to upgrade your Nikon's Coolshot 20i GII to the Blue Tees Series 3 Max range finder, this blog might be useful to you. I searched online reviews looking for blogs or videos comparing the 2 models head to head. Unfortunately, because the Nikon is a much older model, I wasnt able to find anything online. I decided to pick up a Blue Tees Series 3 Max but before I make the final decision to switch to it, I decided to test the 2 range finders myself and record my findings. This is my unbiased comparison and review of the 2 units. I have not been paid to make this review and the following information and thoughts are my own.
First off, the 20i GII is a good and solid range finder, I've been using it for nearly 3 years. There is nothing wrong with the functionality of it but I was missing some of the newer features that the newer range finders have. It is very compact and lightweight, so if you are a minimalist golfer who carries your bag, this range finder will not add that much weight. The fact that it is so compact and lightweight is actually the main difficulty I have with it: I have a hard time locking onto the pin as my hands would shake a bit too much. This is a me thing and has nothing to do with the unit itself. I could go for one of the stabilized versions, but the price tag is a bit too steep for me (at $500 CAD for the lite version and $590 CAD for the Pro II version).
When comparing the hand feel of the two units, you immediately see there is a huge difference.
Size & Weight:
While the 20i GII is compact and lightweight, the Series 3 Max is stout. For those with a smaller hand than mine (I wear a medium glove) I can imagine that the Series 3 Max would need both hands to operate. As it is, I am just barely able to operate the Series 3 Max with one hand but using 2 helps steady it even more. The 20i GII on the other hand, can easily be operated using one hand (if you're stable enough, that is).
The 20i GII weights in at around 150 grams and the Series 3 Max at around 230 grams.
For me, Blue Tees wins ever so slightly in this category.
The rubber outer layer of the Series 3 Max gives you a good grip, especially on wet days on the course. Something the 20i GII lacks, whose casing is simply plastic. As mentioned above, the Series 3 Max has a slightly larger body, so it fills my hand just a bit better than the 20i GII. It also has a better ergonomic feel to it with how the bottom indents in for your thumb to fit in. The 20i GII body is square with little to no ergonomic feel to it.
Blue Tees wins "hands" down in this category.
This is a bit of an apples vs oranges comparison and I dont think it would be fair to pick one over the other so I'll simply list what each has.
The 20i GII came out in 2019 and has slope adjustment which you can turn on and off, first target and continuous measurement modes, and can measure targets up to 800 yards. One thing that seems to be missing is the water resistance. The Nikon website does not specifically say whether the unit is water resistant but other websites have listed it as "rainproof". I have had it out in the rain and it still works. But I am likely tempting fate doing this.
The Series 3 Max has a whole lot of extras: slope adjustment, magnetic strip, auto ambient display, pulse vibration, water resistance, advanced flag lock, an easy slope on/off switch, and can measure targets up to 900 yards. But being released in 2021, you kind of expect all these extras to go against the other brands/models.
Real World Measurements:
To me, this is the most important category because who really cares if something looks and feels good when it cant perform properly for the task its made for.
The first test I did was from my front door to the top of the street light across the street. The 20i GII zapped it at 31 yards away, slope adjusted to 38 yards. The Series 3 Max zapped it at 32 yards away, slope adjusted to 38 yards. 1 yard difference unadjusted and the same adjusted distance, I could live with that. So far so good. Next, the on course test.
Zaps from the tee box
Hole # | Yardage on Score Card | Nikon Coolshot 20i GII | Blue Tees Series 3 Max
3 169 Yards 152 Yards 151 Yards
7 193 Yards 197 Yards 200 Yards
13 180 Yards 162 Yards 162 Yards
16 160 Yards 157 Yards 161 Yards
Random approach shot zaps
Coolshot 20i GII | Blue Tees Series 3 Max
120 Yards 118 Yards
195 Yards 199 Yards
122 Yards 123 Yards
230 Yards 233 Yards
I didn't manage to get too many 200+ yard measurements, I wasn't playing my best that day and knew going for the green was out of my reach! Overall, I didn't notice any drastic yardage differences between the 2 units and differences were generally +/- 4 yards - a difference that I can live with.
One thing I did notice was that the "advanced flag lock" technology of the Series 3 Max wasn't all too great. Both units had difficulties actually locking onto the flag and I was still getting measurements for things behind the flag.
Whats in the Box:
Nikon Coolshot 20i GII
CR2 3v Battery x 1
Blue Tees Series 3 Max
Blue Tees Logo Sticker
CR2 3v Battery x 3
The performance differences between the 2 units are negligible. Both units measure distances quickly and accurately (it seems). If I was forced to, I could stick with the Nikon Coolshot 20i GII for a little while longer. The little features it has is enough for me and it gets the job done well.
However, the slightly larger size and weight of the Series 3 Max helps me zap targets better, and the water resistance feature, gives it a slight edge. Having a hard case included and extra batteries is an added bonus! It looks like I'm adding a new range finder to add to the bag!
If you would like to purchase your own Blue Tees Rangefinder and help me earn some commission, please click here and enter coupon code MahaloDistributors for 10% off.
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