“The Mantis X8 is an unparalleled piece of technology that will change the way you shoot”.
“While attached to any bow, the X8 analyzes the smallest of movement patterns that even the human eye cannot see. It streams the data via Bluetooth to an app on your smartphone or tablet that gives you real-time feedback on your shooting mechanics.”
The Mantis X8 retails in the UK for around £150. The item is well packaged and includes:
- 3M backed plastic adaptor
- X8 dongle
- USB charging lead
- Hard case
To see my unboxing of the Mantis X8 please watch my YouTube video below:
First off, I made sure that the dongle was fully charged via the included USB cable. I then had some hard decisions to make about where to place the 3M backed adaptor. You need to make a good decision here, or you may find yourself trying to move the adaptor and that may be a tough job, requiring some more 3M tape.
In the end I placed it just behind and in line with my button/plunger on my recurve riser. I then left the riser for 24 hours to let the 3M sticker bed in.
The X8 dongle slides nicely onto the adaptor and connecting the adaptor to the smartphone app was really straight forward. The Mantis Archery app can be found on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
To see my initial set up of the dongle and the app please watch my YouTube video below:
Once you have calibrated your bow with the app (connect the app, and don’t move the bow) you are ready to shoot, it’s that simple! But before you do, make sure you correctly setup the app in the settings of the app for your bow type and your handedness. You also need to tell the app which way round you have the dongle on the bow.
Once you have decided on a target face to shoot at and a distance the app likes to know that as well.
Mantis X8 on a Compound Bow
I am lucky enough to own a recurve and compound bow and I tried the X8 shooting system on both bows to compare my shooting styles.
If you want to see how I got on with the Mantis X8 and my compound bow, please watch my video on YouTube:
Mantis X8 App Results
In the YouTube video below, I go through the app in more detail and take a look at my results:
The app can give you large amounts of feedback data which is essential to every archer. The simplest to look at is on the pitch/cant screen to see if you are canting the bow. The timer screen is also very good at indicating your shot timings by breaking down the time you spent on setup, hold and release of your shots.
The trace window breaks your shot down into set up, hold and release. You can view each of these sections of the trace individually on the app, like an arrow flying towards the target. The app then provides you with an overall stability percentage score.
You need to be able to plot your arrows on the target face in the app. The problem comes if you are shooting at a long distance and you only plot your arrows at the target face when you get there to retrieve your arrows. You will need to know in which order you shot your arrows. Numbering the arrows is the best way to overcome this or use a very good spotting scope on the shooting line and record every arrow after you have shot it. The problem now is you will probably have to put your bow down every time to do this.
The only issue is with the drawbacks of Bluetooth technology itself. Bluetooth is used to connect the X8 dongle to the app. If take your phone to the target at a good distance away from the dongle on your bow the dongle will get disconnected from the app.
The great thing about the X8 is that it can be shared and used by other archers. All they need to do is to download the app, create an account and borrow your X8 dongle. The problem comes when they need to fix the dongle to their bow. This is easily solved by ordering more Mantis dongle adaptors or getting someone to 3D print some of the various Mantis X8 adaptors people have designed on Thingiverse.
There is just nothing like the Mantis X8 out there for archers. The amount of data it provides is brilliant. As even more new features are added to the app the X8 can only get better and better.
The Mantis X8 shooting system is available at all good archery retailers and available directly from Mantis: https://mantisarchery.com/products/mantis-x8