Review: Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch
by Darren Round on Nov 08, 2014
The fitness wearable revolution keeps chugging along and absolutely stunning tech-innovation just keeps coming our way. Today, we’re going to take a look at the V800 wrist watch from Polar. It’s a fully optioned GPS Sports Watch with 24/7 activity tracking and a few nuances that truly set it apart from the rest.
Here’s the basic principle of wearables: the more we know about how our bodies are performing and what challenges them, the more effective physical training can be. With the V800, Polar has added new depth to the “smart coach” momentum that’s pushing us into the next century of human conditioning.
A Feature packed GPS Watch
The Polar V800 has been positioned for the serious athlete. The V800 allows you set up to 20 different sport profiles and the metrics you would like to measure and view for each one and switching from one sport to another is as easy as a couple of button presses. In triathlon mode for example you can also measure the time you spend in transition from swim to bike and bike to run to give you the complete picture of your race performance.
The V800 measures all the things you would expect from a GPS watch – speed, distance, race pace as well as providing route guidance from previous session and a smart back to start direction system. The V800 also incorporates a running index which gives you feedback on your running efficiency.
Using an atmospheric air pressure sensor the V800 also measures altitude, vertical ascent and descent and steepness in grades and percentages.
Swimming metrics are due to be released for the V800 in November 2014. This will allow simmers to measure swim distance, pace and stroke count whilst recognizing your style of swimming.
Polar Bluetooth stride sensor and cycling speed and cadence sensors are all compatible with the V800 and you can establish settings for up to 3 bikes in the watch. These sensors provide some additional information beyond the capability of the GPS sensor alone like the jump test using the stride sensor.
The Polar V800 will guide you in terms of your training load benefit and intensity levels and then will give you a picture of your recovery status so that you avoid under and over training.
As a heart rate monitor, Polar has also stacked this this watch with all of its heart rate knowledge and feedback systems so everything is included. If you are not fussed about heart rate there is also an option to purchase the V800 without a heart rate monitor making the unit a little cheaper.
The Display: Where the Magic Happens
Is the v800 sporting the best display you can find in a wrist-based fitness tracker? Perhaps. First of all, the “gorilla glass” itself is pleasantly scratch resistant adding to the overall toughness and durability of the aluminum-frame watch. But then, the display itself is relatively huge! And that’s without being an eyesore.
If you head online you’ll see pics posted by plenty of folks in many different fitness outfits, as well as both formal and informal attire. This explains why the more popular of the two colors is black, because black can go with everything!
How about Battery Life?
There are basically three ways to use the v800 depending on your particular lifestyle and each has its own battery life:
- Full GPS Mode: Okay, so you’re going to take full advantage of the v800 and switch it into full GPS maode to transform it into a serious training computer for monitoring and managing fitness progress. In this case you can look forward to roughly 13 hours of continuous usage before having to bust out the charger.
- Power Saver: In this mode things are only paired down a bit, but the battery life skyrockets to about 50 hours.
- Everyday Usage: Just want to use a couple light tracking features, but basically use the v800 as a watch? In that case you shouldn’t have to charge for between 2-3 weeks.
Incredibly Accurate Data & Dependable Connectivity
Throughout the reviews there are a couple common themes, first of which is that users truly appreciate how incredibly accurate the V800 is. I mean, whether you’re a triathlete, a strength training gym-rat, or just a general endurance athlete who loves swimming, biking and running, accurate data means everything. Fine tuning depends on it.
By tracking and syncing up (through a multi-purpose USB cable/charger) with your PC, you can jump into the community and take your personal health conditions to the next level. And it’s easy to use! Dependable connectivity across the board, easy to sync up, a user-friendly website, a thriving community…what more can you ask for?
How about those Nuances?
Okay, the V800 is the first watch, or wearable, that serves as both a GPS tracking watch and a potentially 24/7/365 fitness tracker simultaneously. Plus, not only is it water resistant up to 30 meters, but swimming can actually track their activity including heart rate with the dual transmitter while in the water. Now we’re talking modern versatility. So, it’s a cake walk to switch from one sport or activity to the next and still receive reliable information!
All in all the v800 is hard to beat. There’s a still a couple rough edges (no Android support, and users can only view tracking data online vs. through the watch itself in real time), but Polar is only getting started.
At Ready Set Go Fitness the Polar V800 is available with or without heart rate as well as running, cycling and multi-sport packages we have put together to incorporate Polar’s Bluetooth stride sensor and or cycling speed and cadence sensors.
Check it out and let us know what you think. Thanks for reading!