Customer Reviews: Polar S3+ Stride Sensor
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Price:$76.59+ Free shipping
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on August 9, 2013
I am going to review the product in a second, but first a caveat: be sure that if you order the s3+ that what you get is the s3+ (the newest version of the footpod), not the old version (which doesn't work as well). I initially ordered through an Amazon 3rd party, a fitness and sports store, and though I definitely ordered the s3+, they sent me the s3 WIND. Not having seen either before, I didn't realize this, but I could tell the s3 WIND didn't work right with my watch (Polar RCX5). It was about 1/2 mile off out of the package, and even after I calibrated it twice on a track it was still about 1/4 mile off. So I sent it back and ordered directly from Amazon and--surprise--got a totally different package with an actual s3+ footpod that was only off by .03 miles out of the package. So buyer beware. Don't pay the same amount for the wrong product.

Information in this review about these products:
Polar S1 footpod
Polar S3+ footpod
Polar RCX5 watch
Polar datalink (USB drive)

My four stars is for the product, not the problematic seller I mentioned above.

I used an S1 footpod for years with my old Polar watch, and it was fantastic--I almost never calibrated it and it was very accurate, even after I moved it from one pair of shoes to another as I wore them out. Though both still worked all right after 6 or 7 years, I decided it was time for newer technology and upgraded both my watch and footpod. With the s3+, as someone else mentioned, you really need a marked track since the calibration can be off so slightly. Also be sure to walk or run at a steady pace when you calibrate; the s3+ seems to be more sensitive about that than the S1 was.

Both footpods come with the actual sensor, the shoe holder, and a battery. That was unclear to me when I purchased since all you see is the actual sensor in the photos here and elsewhere.

I was surprised how much smaller the s3+ is than the S1. I didn't really notice the weight of the S1, but it was a lot bulkier. I don't feel the s3+ at all, and it's a lot easier to stretch afterward if you can actually grab your foot rather than constantly grabbing the footpod. I had to teach my watch to recognize the s3+ by using the watch itself, because the USB packaged with the watch is useless -- my computers can't even see it (Windows 7). The s3+ also provides a lot more information to the watch (which is itself capable of receiving more information) than the S1 did, including stride length and cadence.

It's a little frustrating that Polar's technology doesn't sync with other, more common systems like Nike and especially the iPod/iPhone, but I've always liked my Polar products because I find them to be rugged and accurate. Finally, as another person mentioned, be aware that you can't use the GPS and the footpod simultaneously.
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on August 15, 2012
I had the previous polar S1 sensor before that was still working after 10 years. But I had to buy this one to work with my new polar watch. This one is much smaller than the S1 and you don't have to remember to turn it on and off (which I frequently forgot). It's a bit hard to figure out how to properly attach to the laces, but you only have to do that once.

Main reason I got this is because it give accurate and instantaneous pace data compared to GPS technology which is averaging & compensating as it goes.

Cadence and stride length data is very useful to runners trying to improve.

I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 because it's pricy.
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on March 14, 2012
I really like this footpod. It isn't too big and being able to see my pace in real time is great. I also like the data that is captured that I can review when I am done. My stride, cadence, splits, averages. It really has helped me become a better runner. I use it with my RCX5 and it has no problems syncing up. Great Product. I would reccomend this to anyone.
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on May 10, 2013
I originally got the watch (RS300x) when our company got involved with Virgin HealthMiles - a company sponsored health program where you earn points by racking up steps by wearing their pedometer or minutes of exercise as captured by your heart rate on certain Polar watches. But I just recently thought I'd try the foot pod. My exercise of choice is walking and I walk/jog on a treadmill but also on walking paths in my neighborhood.
1. For me, the biggest pro is the ability to track pace *when not on the treadmill*. Once I calibrated it (very easy BTW), I can now watch my pace to keep me honest. It's easy on the treadmill b/c you have the speed control right there. Now I can monitor my pace outside the gym.
2. Very easy to calibrate. Our trails have 1/4 mile markers so on my first walk, I "lapped" every 1/4 mile. I could see that for me, it was consistently reading .28 miles for each quarter. Just read the directions, get a calculator and I manually calibrated (.25/.28 = .89285 which I entered as .893 on my watch). It's now registering either .24, .25 or .26 for each 1/4 mile - which makes sense b/c my route goes over several bridges where the climb and descent cause me to change my gait ever so slightly.
3. Now with the watch and the foot pod combined and using the lap function on the watch (I capture every 1/4 mile as a lap), when I sync with [...] I get a *very* accurate accounting of my nightly 6-mile walk. I can see each 1/4 mile lap with the speed for each lap.
Cons: I wish it was slightly smaller. That's the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars.
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on August 10, 2013
Bad thing: sometimes seems not to record the distance correctly. In Tijuana half marathon, the sensor measured 18.3 km instead of 21.1, bit difference.
Anyway helped me to mantain constant pace in the race, so final time was less than 1:37 hours.
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on March 24, 2015
Not too terribly accurate if you change your pace from walking to running, or visa-versa, and will not be accurate at all if used in an inclined environment like hiking in the mountains (too much variability in pace length when hiking).
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on December 2, 2014
I was using a Nike+ pod for a long time (just attaching one to every pair of shoes by using Leukoplast,
the same way the Polar S3+ Stride Holder is placed on the crossed shoelace), but the Polar S3+ is a
definite upgrade. After the initial calibration (by simply running a measured distance on track or treadmill),
the Polar S3+ attained an accuracy of within a meter for every km. Of course this depends on the regularity of a person's
running gait, but for the serious runner, this is a given.
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on February 24, 2015
The product simply does not work. i have changed the original battery in order to find a solution for the problem and the polar watch (rce) continues to not being able to detect the device. My biggest problem? The refund policy already expired so I am stuck with the problem. Thanks Amazon
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on June 13, 2013
By that I mean you cannot use GPS to measure distance. Have to rely on Stride calibration to get distance to compute stride data.
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on August 13, 2013
the stide sensor really encourages me to control my running and use a consistent and reproduable pace. It seems to be accurate and the speed display is a usefull tool
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