Polar RS800CX Heart Rate Monitor With GPS Speed and Distance

Polar RS800CX Heart Rate Monitor With GPS Speed & Distance

No matter what the terrain, whatever the sport, the Polar RS800CX Heart Rate Monitor With Speed and Distance is the most accurate way to measure your speed and distance as well as plan, monitor and analyse your body's response to your training sessions. You can also see your route on a map after the training session. Ideal for cross-terrain sports like running, cycling, Triathlon, Nordic skiing, in-line skating, and kayaking, this is an essential addition to your training.

The RS800CX is the replacement for the RS800/RS800SD/RS800G3.

The following describes what is included with each of the Polar RS800CX models:

Polar RS800CX - comes with WIND Wearlink chest strap - but no accessories. You can add run, bike and/or GPS components later.

Polar RS800CX RUN - comes with WIND Wearlink chest strap AND the Polar S3 stride sensor. You can add G3 GPS and/or bike / pedal sensors later.

Polar RS800CX BIKE - comes with WIND Wearlink chest strap AND the Polar WIND bike speed sensor. You can add G3 GPS, S3 running stride sensor and/or pedal cadence sensors later.

Polar RS800CX MULTI - comes with WIND Wearlink chest strap AND the Polar G3 GPS sensor - This is for outdoor sports that requires speed and distance feedback, plus GPS mapping / tracking. You can add the running S3 stride sensor and/or bike sensors later.

Features

  • Combines training files for different sports, e.g. running and cycling for total data recording

  • Synchronises with the Polar ProTrainer 5™ software for guidance, analysis and creating individual training settings

  • Determines if your training program and recovery time is optimally developing your performance

  • Highly sensitive barometric altitude sensor shows your elevation profiles

Review

I have now tried out what can only be described as the ultimate in triathlon gadgets: Polar's flagship model, the RS800CX. It does literally everything. The RS800cx really is a complete training tool. It's a Heart Rate Monitor, Speed and Distance Monitor using GPS or a Footpod and has mapping ability too. The software makes planning and analysing training sessions so easy. With a few running sessions under my belt, the measurements were spot on. This is for serious athletes or serious gadget geeks only. You should only buy this training computer if you are going to study the manual. The possibilities are endless.

Anybody thinking of buying this watch should consider carefully their aims:

  • If you want accurate timing - Buy a stopwatch.

  • If you want mapping - Get a GPS Unit.

  • If you want Heart rate monitoring - Get an Heart Rate Monitor.

  • If you want a personal trainer on your wrist - Get the RS800CX.

This Polar heart rate monitor and speed and distance monitor combines all of the above with a good looking watch that is slick to use.

I tested the RS800CX Multi model with the G3 GPS Sensor, the S3 Stride sensor and the Wearlink chest strap. I installed the Pro-trainer software on my PC and transferred the data using the Polar USB infra-red receiver.

Setting Up

I set up my profile set up on the wrist unit with ease, and loaded the AA battery inside the G3 GPS Sensor (you need to go outside to get a green light from the four satellites it polls for location) and with the chest strap on I was ready to go.

Like most heart rate monitors the wrist unit offers a vast array of settings and views but the screen is very clear and legible. The RS800CX allows you to choose exercise style (freestyle, basic, 'own-zone', interval or build-your-own) and the display cycles time, HR, Distance, Pace and Calories burned with any three lines of data visible at once.

I initially took the RS800CX with me for a walk my Wife and the kids using the G3 GPS sensor to see how it performed. I also put the S3 stride sensor on my shoe. As we walked I took few laps to see how the whole thing is implemented in the Polar Personal Trainer 5 software in Google Earth.

A couple of days later I did a quick 10k a little bit on-road and a little bit off-road. I could have stopped, picked up a mountain bike and restarted the wrist unit connecting two or more sessions seamlessly - an essential feature for multi-sports enthusiast. Hence why this watch is perfect for triathlon.

The Results

Post walk/run I transferred the data with ease to the Polar ProTrainer 5 software. This is where Polar rises above the competition!

First, you link the watch to a computer using the USB pen. It's a beam, not Bluetooth so you'll need to place the watch right up against the receiver. The data transfers across (and the profile synchronises too so no re-setting) and you go the diary area to see your results.

I could see my sessions in the diary with the weekly summary split by time spent in each effort zone.

Each tabbed exercise displays a details field, an effort zone breakdown for that session and a thumbnail graphical display of altitude, speed and HR. Click on this and you can see a whole-screen display of same with more figures such as what % was up/flat/down, your own running index and pace.

You can carve the graph up, zoom in or overlay and compare with the last time you did this run. And the whole trip is up on Google Earth with a click - complete with colour-coded effort levels en route.

Lap information is shown in Google Earth pretty well and helps you analyse the segments much better than in the Polar Software (This is just an additional set of features Polar added to RS800CX). Overall I like the way Polar highlights your route a little clearer than Garmin does in the Garmin Training Centre Software. Other great things I found are that the watch prompts you if you want to merge the exercises if you start a new exercise within one hour of finishing the previous one and the watch has a new display for multi-sport view where it shows a combined distance, calories burned and combined time of the exercises. I still need to test out the transition from bike to run and see how the sensors need to be handled but so far, very impressed. I'll let you know how I get on.

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Polar RS800CX Heart Rate Monitor With GPS Speed and Distance