When I got the opportunity to review the Kestrel 5700 Sportsman last year, I came away really impressed with the functionality, ruggedness, and accuracy of the unit. The only downside was the lack of support from third parties for connection options using Kestrel’s LiNK functionality.
At the time of my review, the only two devices that could connect to the 5700 were my phone (but only using Kestrel’s app) and my Bushnell Elite 1 Mile ConX. My hope of course had been that both Bushnell and Kestrel would open up compatibility to other devices in the coming months, and from my short time at the Kestrel booth at the 2017 SHOT Show, it appears that’s exactly what they plan on doing.
For 2017, Kestrel has expanded their approved connection options to include the Wilcox Raptar S, Vectronix PLRF25C and I-CUGR, as well as the Steiner M830 R LRF binoculars. Keen eyed consumers will note that the least expensive item on that list is $2500. The Vectronix gear is i the most expensive at $8600+ American. This is definitely a move upmarket from the ~$800 ConX that I reviewed, but I have to imagine that milspec compatibility means milspec contracts. I asked the Kestrel rep working the booth if they were planning to open source their connection so developers could take advantage of the LiNK capability and the answer was a definitive “no.”