Polar RS800CX GPS G5 Heart Rate Monitor
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- Wrist-based heart rate monitor designed to help aggressive multi-sport athletes track their training data
- Combines training files for different sports and synchronizes with Polar ProTrainer 5 software for guidance, analysis, and creating individual training settings
- Compatible with Polar ProTrainer 5 software; transfer exercise data from wrist unit to polarpersonaltrainer.com via Polar WebLink; Polar IrDA USB adapter or internal/external non-Polar IrDA adapter
- Comes with RS800CX GPS heart rate monitor, WearLink+ transmitter W.I.N.D., G5 GPS sensor, IrDA USB Adapter, ProTrainer 5 software CD, Getting Started Guide, and user manual
- Includes limited two-year manufacturer's warranty
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Hire a personal trainer and strap her to your wrist. The Polar RS800CX GPS G5 Heart Rate Monitor has everything you need to take your training program to the next level. The RS800CX takes your personal information and tells you the intensity and frequency of each workout to get you the results you want as soon as possible. The included G5 GPS receiver gives you speed, pace, and distance information and lets you map your route on map programs like Google Earth. The included G5 GPS receiver provides 20 hours of accurate speed, pace, and distance data Comes with Polar Pro Trainer 5 software to help you keep track of your training progress and create an efficient program Fitness Test measures the progress of your fitness program OwnZone guides you to train at the correct intensity to make your training most effective Running Index tells you how your running performance is developing Smart Calories tells you exactly how many calories you've burned Recovery Test helps you assess your training status Training Load helps you determine the correct ratio of training to rest G5 GPS receiver allows you to map your route on maps such as Google Earth
Top customer reviews
Sliding the little GPS unit in and out of the armband to charge it isn't too annoying. It uses the same charging cable as my phone, so that's one less cable to take when I travel. The GPS G5 unit is supposed to be good for a 20 hour charge, and while I have been on quite a few 20 hour + hikes over the past few years in training for my Seven Summits quest, I haven't done one since owning this unit. I would love to experiment with charging the G5 while in operation, so if anyone has already done that, let me know.
The Polar ProTrainer 5 software does not connect to the Polar Personal Trainer website I've been using the past few years with the FT60 and FT80, so I'm sad that I can't add these stats to my current reports, though I do continue to use the FT80 for my "indoor" training. Otherwise, the software seems to be decent enough, provides oodles of reports, and allows you to see your track in Google Earth. Garmin Connect will not accept importing the gpx files from Polar, though it's implied you can. You can mark a training log so it won't be included in reports, though you cannot delete it from the ProTrainer Calendar.
Transferring data to the PC is fairly painless, except it took me a few tries to figure out how to position the watch facing the USB adapter. The transfer LED's are not in the big red button. They're at the top of the display opposite the big red button. Mess with it for a few minutes and you'll get the angle right, then just hold it the same way each time and it's all good.
The watch unit can be difficult to fasten, with lots of little metal bits on the band, and two rubberband-like loops to pass the strap through that seem to roll and stretch, rather than slide over the strap. The huge red "do something" button is very easy to bump on just about anything, causing the watch to beep at me now and then asking what I want to do. The silver side buttons require a fair amount of force to push, which is a good thing, since that prevents you from changing things with a glove cuff or trekking pole strap. The memory clogs up, requiring a manual "delete all", rather than rolling over, like other similar watches. Seems to hold a couple hundred miles of data fwiw.
The altitude display is off by default, and the various calibration modes are all pretty annoying, unless you almost always train in the same general location. Since I train at 5,000' and 10,000' in two primary locations, I end up resetting it a lot. When the altitude is off, you can still get the data from the Google Earth view, so unless you want to look at your wrist and see how high you are, don't bother imho.
From experience running on the same road with a Garmin 305, the GPS G5 armband unit is much better at keeping a lock on satellites. The road passes through a narrow gap between some cliffs, and the Garmin loses a signal about 1/2 the time, the Polar only about 1/8 of the time. Getting the initial lock is pretty painless and transparent, and seems to take about a minute most of the time.
Generally I press the button on the G5 a few minutes before I need to start, like if I'm driving or walking to a trailhead. When I'm about ready to go, I press the big red "do something" button, and the display reads out that the heart rate is working, the satellites are working, and then I can hit "start". In the middle here, if altitude is on, it will mention if it can calibrate, and if not, will ask if you want to skip it (annoying), so if you intend on using altitude, do yourself a favor and calibrate it before you hit the big red button.
I gave it four stars, because it does all I want it to do and fairly painlessly. I have used watches like this for a few years now, so the annoyances I listed aren't that big a deal to me, and simple enough to work around in general. If I had to pick my worst annoyance, I'd say it's the little rubber band strap retainers. In order to be a five star, I'd like the altitude calibration to be less painful, ProTrainer 5 to sync with Polar Personal Trainer, the big red button to have a click or some other mechanism to keep it from being pushed too easily, and the rubber bands to be replaced with something thicker/sturdier.
The watch shape and style is one of the nicest of the sport watches. It's much slimmer than the Garmin and Suunto because the GPS is a separate optional accessory. The only thing I don't like is all the silver metal bits that go around the band. I wish they'd just left that black rubber.
The watch is comfortable and secure. The LCD is sharp, but a bit hard to read if you don't have good light or use reading glasses. The nightlight display is quite weak and not user adjustable. However the information on the watch is quite customizable so you can see the data you want while exercising.
The included software is very powerful and fairly easy to use. I like it better than the online training website they have which is more limited in functionality.
The GPS works pretty well with my limited testing. The information is exported to google earth for display. I just wish you could get an elevation profile of the course based on GPS data - but you have to get that from PPT5 software using the altimeter. GPS wasn't my main feature - I like the immediacy and accuracy of the sensor data better.
The only caveat is that it is not Mac compatible. I have to download my exercise files on my work computer as I use Mac at home. Big mistake on behalf of Polar! Amazon did a very poor job in explaining this prior to purchase and initially I was going to send it straight back, but decided to try it first. I am glad I did.
GPS works like a charm, so does the heart rate monitor. No glitches thus far on both! This is a serious piece of equipment and if you only need to monitor your heart rate, go with a less expensive Polar. If you a gear junky and/or need serious data, go for it!
Most recent customer reviews
The features on this RS800CX are great. You have all information on you wrist, display is good visible and the measurement are mostly fairly accurate.Read more
Just be aware that this model while great on specifications has a problem with battery life.Read more
Took major finagling to get software to load.
IR link did not communicate with wrist unit.Read more
Very easy to use.