Today Polar announced their first dedicated GPS bike computer – the V650. The unit combines integrated GPS with a full color touch screen, it also becomes the first bike-specific computer to be Bluetooth Smart sensor capable. This marks the second major unit that Polar has announced in the last three weeks – the first being the V800 triathlon focus GPS watch. Like the V800, the V650 won’t be available until later this spring – in May (the V800 is in April).
As such, the unit wasn’t yet in a usable form for me to evaluate on a bike. That should happen though in the next few weeks. Until then, you’ll have to make due with my impressions off-bike in poking at the unit. Given that, don’t take this walk-through of what’s in the unit as anything more than that. Polar tells me the hardware is now locked and final, it’s just the software that’s still being refined.
Which brings me to the following point: This isn’t a review. Yes, for real. These are my standard In-Depth Reviews. This post is just a first/early look at the unit, well before everything is done. Come back later this spring for the full review. Ok, let’s go!
Size and Form Factor:
Let’s start with the basics – checking out the front, sides and back of the 120g unit. First up, a full frontal:
Then, the side view:
And finally, the backside.
Above, you’ll note the quarter-turn mount, which is different than Polar’s past bike mounts and is not compatible with those older mounts.
Polar is releasing two mounts for the unit. The first is the little rubber mount set seen below:
The second is an aero mount, designed for time-trial & triathlon bikes. That mount will be available “later in 2014”.
Just for fun, I went ahead and tried to connect it to a 3rd party Garmin-compatible quarter-turn mount (such as the BarFly ones). No dice. The Polar notches (wings) are just a tiny bit large (like, a millimeter at most).
While I understand Polar’s hesitancy to make it compatible with Garmin, there are other companies doing so without issue. And ultimately, Polar has basically copied the design without copying the part that makes it so popular: Full compatibility with a slew of mounts, even bike-integrated mounts. Perhaps one can simply take out some sandpaper and make it fit though (I was sorta hesitant to do so with their prototype units, I figured that might be frowned upon).
With the mounts out of the way, let’s look at comparison shots. I figured I’d go with the most common units on the market today: The Edge 500, Edge 510, and Edge 800/810. Keep in mind the Edge 800/810 share the same physical external specs, it’s just different software and a different chipset internally. But externally, they’re identical.
First up, the view from the top. In this case you can see the sizes from smallest (Edge 500) to medium (Edge 510) to large – Edge 800/810, then the Polar V650 to the right of that.
As you can see above, it’s definitely the biggest of the bunch. It’s fine sitting on a bike stem, but I think it’s a bit more awkward sitting on the bars, or especially even triathlon TT/aero bars.
On the bright side, it is the thinnest of the bunch:
With the runway show out of the way, let’s start poking at things.
User Interface and Touch Screen:
The unit is navigated fully by touch – similar to your phone, except using a touch-screen that’s suited to water and glove usage. Starting off at the main menu, you’ll have options to go into ‘Settings’, ‘History’, and to start a ride. For those familiar with the Polar Beat app, this looks rather similar in styling.
Meanwhile, along the left side you have a single button that flies out to provide sensor calibration and to turn off the unit or lock the screen. This sensor calibration includes not only things like power meters, but also GPS calibration.
On the bottom of the unit is a single red button. That red button acts as a start/stop and lap trigger. If you haven’t started yet, then pressing it will start the activity. Meanwhile, if you have started then pressing it will trigger a lap. You’ll long-hold it to stop the activity.
At any point in the menu you can ‘swipe-down’ from the top or bottom of the screen. If you do so you’ll get settings information such as backlight and front light configuration and brightness, as well as sound/audio levels:
Looking at the data configuration side of things, the unit allows you to configure up to 6 data pages, with each data page containing between 1 and 8 pieces of data. Here’s how that looks:
You can swipe left and right in order to change data page views. The view configuration can be changed either on the unit itself, or on Polar Flow.
Finally, there are four sport profiles – currently named ‘Road’, ‘MTB’, ‘Indoor’, and ‘Other’. These sport profiles control activity settings. For example, you may want different auto lap settings, or distance displayed in a different format.
In addition to sport profiles, you have bike profiles – simply named ‘Bike 1’ through ‘Bike 4’. These are not currently changeable, but Polar hopes that down the road after launch they’ll allow you to set these names to custom names (such as ‘Cervelo P2’ or ‘Trek Road’).
Each bike profile has a separate set of sensors that can be paired to it. Sensors are paired globally, and then from there ‘attached’ to any given bike (or multiple bikes). Below, you can see some of the sensors paired globally.
I’ll dig more into the sensors though in a little bit in the Bluetooth section.
Built-in Front LED Safety Headlight:
Probably the most unique feature on the unit is actually a front LED headlight. This light is designed not so much for illuminating a dark road, but rather to make you more visible to others. Thus, think more safety and visibility rather than darkness assistance.
The headlight supports two modes: Constant on and flashing. You can change the two modes within the settings depending on what you want. In general, constant flashing tends to capture people’s attention better.
The light can be automatically triggered based on the unit’s light sensor, which determines how bright it is outside. You can set a minimum threshold where it’ll trigger above that point. For example, if you were riding in the day and went into a tunnel, it would automatically trigger.
GPS Integration & Barometric Altimeter:
As one would expect for a high-end cycling unit on the market today, the V650 includes an integrated GPS chipset within it. With the GPS on, the battery will get about 10 hours with 1-second recording rate. This would be inclusive of any sensor data such as cadence, heart rate, or power meter.
Like the recently announced V800 GPS unit, it includes satellite pre-caching capabilities for up to three days. This means that if you sync your V650 unit every 3 days it’ll pre-populate expected satellite location information and dramatically increase initial satellite reception each time you turn it on. The satellite pre-caching sync process would initially be completed by FlowSync (the PC/Mac desktop app), but down the road it’ll also be included within the mobile app.
Within the V800 unit I’m seeing satellite reception after travelling thousands of miles down to just a few seconds. It would be my expectation that this unit would perform similarly (of course, such video results will be included in my review).
The unit includes a barometric altimeter within it, which will give you accurate elevation information while riding. It will also give you ascent/descent information as well as vertical ascent in meter/hours (VAM) information. VAM essentially tells you how fast you’re climbing. Like the V800, the elevation information will contribute to altitude compensated calorie information, which is designed to increase calorie burn stats based on elevation.
Bluetooth Smart Sensor Connectivity:
The V650 supports Bluetooth Smart sensors, which means it can connect to standard Bluetooth Smart cycling sensors. Such Bluetooth Smart sensors started hitting the market 2 years ago with the Wahoo Blue HR heart rate strap. That was then shortly thereafter followed by Polar’s H7 Bluetooth Smart HR strap. And then beyond that, we’ve seen many more Bluetooth Smart HR straps.
After the heart rate strap flood, we started to see Bluetooth Smart speed/cadence sensors hit the market, about 18 months ago starting with the Wahoo Blue SC. This was a combo speed & cadence sensor, meaning it could measure speed using a wheel magnet on a trainer (or outdoors), while also measuring cadence with a magnet on the crank-arm. These sensors (like the heart rate straps), followed the standard (and at the time just published) profile specifications on Bluetooth Smart speed/cadence sensors. In doing so, it means that any sensor could communicate with any compatible head unit.
Finally, we saw our first Bluetooth Smart power meter a year ago with the Stages power meter. This unit transmitted both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart concurrently – making it perfect for folks who may want to transition from an ANT+ head unit to a Bluetooth Smart head unit.
Which, takes us to today with the V650. At launch, the V650 will support the heart rate straps, the speed/cadence combo sensors, speed-only sensors, and cadence-only sensors.
Polar will be making both speed-only and cadence-only sensors, modeled after their existing sensor units, just with new communications guts inside.
Moving forward, in June 2014, Polar will start supporting the Bluetooth Smart power meter profile, which is timed to their release of the Bluetooth Smart communications pods for their Polar/Look Keo power meter. That power meter runs on W.I.N.D. today and is not compatible with the V650. Getting compatibility with the V650 will simply require swapping out the communication pods. Polar hasn’t quite decided what the price for such a swap will be, but the goal is for it to be ‘relatively cheap’ – likely in the $100 or less range.
To recap, here’s the plan:
Supported sensors in May 2014:
– Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Strap
– Bluetooth Smart Cycling Speed & Cadence Combo Sensor
– Bluetooth Smart Cycling Speed-Only Sensor
– Bluetooth Smart Cycling Cadence-Only Sensor
In June 2014, Polar will add support for:
– Bluetooth Smart Cycling Power Meter Sensor
Next on the Bluetooth side it’s worthwhile pointing out that while the unit does actually include a full Bluetooth 4.0 chipset, Polar will only be leveraging the Bluetooth Smart Smart side of things, which means that it will require a Bluetooth Smart compatible phone. On iOS this means the iPhone 4s and newer. And on Android, it requires a phone with Android OS 4.3 + compatible hardware. Now, even with that hardware – the V650 will not support connecting to a phone to upload workouts in May. That functionality is coming “later in 2014”. Polar hopes that will be ‘sooner’ rather than later, but declined to publically state an exact target.
Once that update comes though, the unit will allow you to automatically upload workouts to the Polar Flow web service upon completion. Once online you’ll get ride overview, details and analysis capabilities. Further, while online using the service you can customize bike profiles and view configuration (such as data field displays).
Of course, the details of all of this remain a bit hazy since the unit doesn’t contain such functionality today.
Finally, it’s interesting pointing out that technically speaking Polar could add support for the Wahoo KICKR and other Bluetooth Smart trainers (such as the CycleOps PowerBeam Pro Bluetooth Edition). Meaning, that Polar and Wahoo (or CycleOps) could collaborate together to enable you to control the trainer directly from the head unit. If they did that, it’d make the unit incredibly compelling – especially if it could control both trainers. Obviously, neither company has committed to such – but it’s all within the realm of possibility…
Training and Coaching Functionality:
The V650 includes a bit of a mix of different training-focused functionality. Some of it is there from past units, but much of it appears to be pushed until a later release.
On the list of things it does have today, it includes the color-coded zones (such as time in zone), which are enumerated onto the screen based on your current zone information. Historically this has only really been seen post-workout on the computer, or in non-color-coded form on the unit itself in much smaller sizing. Polar didn’t have this working on the screens at the time since there wasn’t enough mid-activity data, so here’s a screenshot of what it should look like:
As it stands today, the unit upon launch will not have any form of workout, interval or structured training guidance. From a workout creation standpoint you’ll be able to create a workout online with Polar Flow (that’s the website), and then sync it to the unit. Initially this sync will occur via USB cable (once rolled out sometime in the future), but once that feature and the mobile app are present, you’ll be able to do it that way as well. But again, there aren’t any timelines for that functionality.
The unit will record RR/HRV (heart rate variability) information during a workout. That information is used to help determine VO2Max estimates. Further, the unit then takes much of this information and transmits it to Polar Flow, which will display details about training load and recovery. Based on the individual workout impact and combined with your historical load data, the site can better predict recovery times. Below is an example of how this information will be displayed on the site.
Ultimately, this information can be used to better predict not only training load but also the lead-in and taper into a given race.
Routing and Directions:
The unit includes route navigation based on routes downloaded from Polar Flow. [Update: At launch, only route tracking will be available, route guidance will come in a later update]. These routes are either routes shared by others, or past/historical routes. Note that at launch you will not be able to create your own routes on the site. Thus, the feature is kinda limiting. Initially the routes will be downloaded using your PC, but long term you’ll be able to do it with the mobile app (in a later release).
On the unit the routes will be shown both as a breadcrumb trail as well as with a little compass. The compass is GPS based, and not magnetic. Though, for cycling that tends to be fine. Below, is a screenshot of what the breadcrumb trail will look like:
Remember that this is different than ‘turn by turn’ navigation, it doesn’t provide street names, but rather just a little arrow to follow. This is similar to most other units on the market.
Product Comparison Charts:
I’ve added the V650 to the Product Comparison Tool, which means you can mix and match it against any other watch/unit that I’ve ever reviewed for feature comparisons. While I’ve validated everything below with the Polar product team in Finland and in the US, do keep in mind that because it’s still early in the release cycle things could change (either good or bad changes). For the sake of simplicity, I’ve just selected the Polar V650, Garmin Edge 500, Edge 810, and O-Synce Navi2Coach in the chart below. It’s a bit tricky because feature-wise it’s more similar to the Edge 500, but physical unit-wise it’s more similar to the Edge 510 & Edge 810 (having a color touch-screen display).
However, you can easily make your own change with any device you want here at this link.
|Function/Feature||Polar V650||Garmin Edge 500||Garmin Edge 810||O-Synce Navi2Coach|
|Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated April 9th, 2021 @ 10:29 am New Window|
|Product Announcement Date||January 26, 2014||SEP 1, 2009||Jan 7, 2013||AUG 31, 2012|
|Actual Availability/Shipping Date||March 2015||Dec 2009||Jan 2013||OCT 2012|
|GPS Recording Functionality||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Data Transfer||USB||USB||USB & Bluetooth||USB|
|Battery Life (GPS)||10 Hours||18 hours||17 hours||16 hours|
|Recording Interval||1-second||1-Second or Smart||1-Second or Smart||1s, 5s, 10s, 20s, 30s, 60s|
|Ability to download custom apps to unit/device||No||No||No||No|
|Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)||No||No||No||No||Connectivity||Polar V650||Garmin Edge 500||Garmin Edge 810||O-Synce Navi2Coach|
|Bluetooth Smart to Phone Uploading||Not yet||No||No||No|
|Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)||TBA||No||No||No|
|Live Tracking (streaming location to website)||No||No||Yes||No|
|Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)||No||No||No||No|
|Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)||No||No||No||no||Cycling||Polar V650||Garmin Edge 500||Garmin Edge 810||O-Synce Navi2Coach|
|Designed for cycling||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Power Meter Capable||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Power Meter Configuration/Calibration Options||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Power Meter TSS/NP/IF||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Speed/Cadence Sensor Capable||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Strava segments live on device||No||No||Q3 2015||Running||Polar V650||Garmin Edge 500||Garmin Edge 810||O-Synce Navi2Coach|
|Designed for running||No||No||No||No||Swimming||Polar V650||Garmin Edge 500||Garmin Edge 810||O-Synce Navi2Coach|
|Designed for swimming||No||No||No||No||Triathlon||Polar V650||Garmin Edge 500||Garmin Edge 810||O-Synce Navi2Coach|
|Designed for triathlon||No||No||No||No||Workouts||Polar V650||Garmin Edge 500||Garmin Edge 810||O-Synce Navi2Coach|
|Create/Follow custom workouts||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|On-unit interval Feature||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Training Calendar Functionality||No||No||Yes||No||Functions||Polar V650||Garmin Edge 500||Garmin Edge 810||O-Synce Navi2Coach|
|Virtual Partner Feature||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Virtual Racer Feature||No||No||Yes||No|
|Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)||No||No||Yes||No|
|Tidal Tables (Tide Information)||No||No||No||No|
|Weather Display (live data)||No||No||Yes||No||Navigate||Polar V650||Garmin Edge 500||Garmin Edge 810||O-Synce Navi2Coach|
|Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)||Planned||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Back to start||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Impromptu Round Trip Route Creation||No||No||No||No|
|Download courses/routes from phone to unit||Planned||No||Yes||No||Sensors||Polar V650||Garmin Edge 500||Garmin Edge 810||O-Synce Navi2Coach|
|Optical Heart Rate Sensor internally||N/A||No||N/A|
|Heart Rate Strap Compatible||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ANT+ Heart Rate Strap Capable||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ANT+ Speed/Cadence Capable||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ANT+ Footpod Capable||No||No||No||No|
|ANT+ Power Meter Capable||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ANT+ Lighting Control||No||No||Q3 2015|
|ANT+ Bike Radar Integration||No||No||Q3 2015|
|ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)||No||No||No|
|ANT+ Remote Control||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|ANT+ eBike Compatibility||No||No||No||No|
|Shimano Di2 Shifting||No||No||Yes|
|Bluetooth Smart HR Strap Capable||Yes||No||No||No|
|Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence Capable||Yes||No||No||No|
|Bluetooth Smart Footpod Capable||No||No||No||No|
|Bluetooth Smart Power Meter Capable||Yes||No||No||No|
|Temp Recording (internal sensor)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Temp Recording (external sensor)||No||No||No||No||Software||Polar V650||Garmin Edge 500||Garmin Edge 810||O-Synce Navi2Coach|
|PC Application||Polar Flowsync||Garmin Express||Garmin Express||TrainingLab|
|Web Application||Polar Flow||Garmin Connect||Garmin Connect||Trainingsplan.com|
|Phone App||-||Garmin Connect Mobile (not direct to device though)||Garmin Connect (iOS/Android)||No|
|Ability to Export Settings||No||No||No||Yes||Purchase||Polar V650||Garmin Edge 500||Garmin Edge 810||O-Synce Navi2Coach|
|Chain Reaction Cycles||Link||Link||Link||Link|
|Wiggle||Link||Link||Link||Link||DCRainmaker||Polar V650||Garmin Edge 500||Garmin Edge 810||O-Synce Navi2Coach|
Again, remember you can easily make your own change with any device you want here at this link.
My Initial Thoughts on the Polar V650:
I’m liking what I see from Polar. Between the V800 a few weeks ago, and now the V650 – they’ve made a really solid change in direction and seem to be ‘getting it’. The unit, priced at approximately $250 (technically the official pricing is $253US), is a bit on the high side for the functionality at launch (May) – compared to the Edge 500. The obvious differences being this (Polar V650) has a color display, is touch screen and has phone upload capabilities (later on). And the V650 also has the front LED light. All things the Edge 500 lacks.
On the flip side, the Edge 500 has ANT+ support and more power meter functionality around TrainingPeaks metrics (TSS/NP/IF). Today, in the cycling world ANT+ reigns supreme on accessories. Some of those ‘accessories’ costing thousands of dollars (power meters). Polar states that for things like the power meter metrics, they’ll be looking to provide ‘similar’ metrics that may not have the official Training Peaks branding – but give effectively the same data. Some other head units do the same thing.
I continue to see a solid market for some form of tiny device that quietly translates ANT+ data to Bluetooth Smart data (like the 4iiii’s Viiiiva or their new pods). Whether or not the V650 supports such a device would remain to be seen.
The V650 will be the first dedicated GPS-integrated cycling-specific computer to support Bluetooth Smart accessories. While other cycling units have Bluetooth, they don’t connect to sensors. And the units that do connect to sensors, require a phone to operate. The only ‘issue’ here that I see is that ultimately, the number of consumers that have such BLE sensors is relatively small compared to those that don’t. And, having to wait till June for power meter support is a bit of a bummer.
I’m really interested in seeing how the phone side of the unit comes into play later this year. Given that the unit will ship in May without phone connectivity it’ll be a bit behind the competition (Edge 510/810). Polar has promised such connectivity “later in 2014”, but it remains to be seen if that means ‘June’ or ‘December’. Personally I think they should be really clear about what the timelines are (à la what Suunto did a year ago) since if I was looking at a new unit, that’d honestly be one of the single biggest decision points. I’d be willing to wait a couple months, but not the entire year.
With that, I’m really looking forward to getting some on-bike time with the unit and starting putting it through its paces. As I noted at the beginning – I’m pretty jazzed about the direction Polar is going in, and I think if we fast forward till this time next year it’ll be really interesting to see how far they’ve moved forward their entire offering (device + phone app + Polar Flow website). An interesting year it’ll be…
Frequently Asked Questions – V650 and Related:
This is my attempt at reducing redundant questions based on common and/or expected questions. I’ll continue to add to this over time as I see repeats. Thanks!
When will it be available?
Polar is stating
May July August September October 2014 for availability.
How much is it?
$253US/€220 without the HR strap, and $310US/€270 with the HR strap.
I’m looking at places online to purchase it, and XYZ store says they’ll have it in March!?!
They’re lying to get your order. Yes, really.
When will your in-depth review be posted?
It’ll be posted once Polar delivers final hardware and/or software to me. This is primarily to protect you against making purchasing decisions based on a beta product that could have bugs introduced later after my review (though, that’s always a possibility). Thus, about 1-2 weeks after the final hardware/software is released to me. At this point, my understanding is the hardware is final, however of course, the software is far from final.
What file format does it export in?
The unit will provide standard Polar .HRM+.GPX files for cycling (like past Polar products).
Will Polar offer an API to access the data from their site?
That is the plan. Or rather, they plan to do two different things. First is to offer a way to download the files manually, and second is a way to push activity data to 3rd party services. A few days ago, Polar released a statement to me about their plans (in relation to the V800, but I’ve been told it applies to the V650 as well). I’ve copied said statement below:
“Polar does indeed plan to allow users of our V800 and other future products to be able to export their training data to other services.
As a first step, they will be able to export individual training files from the Polar Flow service to other training services. Although we do not have an exact timeline for this, we expect to be able to offer this within a few months of the launch of V800, at the latest.
We are also in discussions with some third party services to have an automatic connection, so that training done with a Polar product and stored in the Polar Flow service would automatically appear in another training service. This requires a software layer between the two services – called an API – and we want to be sure we can create and support this properly to ensure it works perfectly. We expect to make more announcements on specific partners and services during this year.
The final step will be to offer inbound data, so that people using other services will be able to combine this with any training data in the Polar Flow service. Again, this will require some software development work and we will offer this with selected partners at a later stage.
We believe that offering our customers a choice of where and how to use their data will greatly enhance the experience they have with our products and services and we are working hard to ensure this happens as soon as possible. Polar Flow is an important part of the Polar ecosystem for our newest devices and all future products. It will also be opened up to selected existing products in due course. We will continue to develop and improve our Flow service to ensure we can deliver on our most important promise – that our customers can meet their training goals with us.”
Does it connect to Bluetooth Smart devices?
Yes. Upon release in
May July August September 2014 it’ll connect to the following Bluetooth Smart device types:
– Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Strap
– Bluetooth Smart Cycling Speed & Cadence Combo Sensor
– Bluetooth Smart Cycling Speed-Only Sensor
– Bluetooth Smart Cycling Cadence-Only Sensor
Later in 2014, Polar will add support for:
– Bluetooth Smart Cycling Power Meter Sensor
Does it work with non-Bluetooth Smart, Bluetooth devices (i.e. Bluetooth legacy devices)?
No, it does not, only Bluetooth Smart.
Does it work with ANT+ devices?
No, it does not. It connects to Bluetooth Smart devices. It will NOT connect to any ANT+ power meters.
Does it support existing Polar W.I.N.D. sensors?
No, it does not. Neither HR nor speed/cadence/power meters.
Does it support power meters?
Polar has stated they will enable Bluetooth Smart power meter support starting later in 2014. This will be in conjunction with an update to the transmission technology for their Polar/Look Keo power system (today, that system uses POLAR W.I.N.D.). They have confirmed that they will support the standard Bluetooth Smart power meter spec, which is currently used by Stages Power for their dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart product, and in the last few weeks, by PowerTap for Bluetooth Smart-only PowerTap hub caps.
C’mon, you must have something else geeky cool that didn’t fit?
It’s true, I do. For the real geeks in the crowd, the V650 (along with the V800) will include Bluetooth Smart sensor relay/broadcasting. This means that if you attach a HR strap to the V650, it will actually rebroadcast that transmission as another BLE HR strap. This is useful for group-based sessions, and for folks who may have secondary apps/devices that want to connect to the same HR strap. In the case of the V650, they see a scenario where the coach could be in a follow-car and want to follow along on the data.
Does it do ‘smart watch’ style notifications (calls/text messages/etc…)?
In talking with Polar, they definitely see the potential for this (hardware is designed with it in mind), but at this point they haven’t decided if (or when) this would be added to the V650. But, they noted that should it be added, it’d be a simple firmware update. Whether that’s for free or paid would be TBD.
What is the battery life with GPS on?
The battery life is 10 hours with 1-second recording and GPS enabled. The LED light on the front impacts the battery only about 2% from their testing, so that’s relatively tiny. The unit gets a “whole lot more” battery life if GPS is disabled, but they didn’t have stats available.
Does it have Live Tracking capability like the Garmin FR220/620 and Garmin Edge 510/810?
Polar has stated “that’s a possibility” but have not confirmed if and/or when it might be included in the product. Given the unit won’t connect to the phone in May upon launch, I’d suspect it’d be “later in 2014” if (again, a big if) they offer live tracking.
Do you think Garmin, Suunto or Timex will deliver new cycling units this season?
I don’t expect Garmin to release a replacement for the Edge 510 or 810 this season. They were only announced 12 months ago. Meanwhile, the Edge 200 and Edge 500 are overdue – so those could be potential candidates, but I’m mixed on whether we’ll see something there. I don’t expect new cycling units from either Suunto or Timex. Mostly because Suunto has never entered the cycling-specific market, and while Timex has, they seem semi dis-interested in it at this point
Do you recommend waiting till May?
I tend however to be of the camp to buy what’s available now, and start training, rather than waiting. Which doesn’t mean to go out and buy an Edge 500 instead of a V650, but rather, to make decisions based on your events and training schedule. What if Polar slips to June? Or if Garmin announces something new in April, but isn’t available to June (like usual)? How do those impact your season and races? Finally, note that like any other high-demand product, initial capacity orders will fill up quickly. Thus, if you wait till May to order (3 months from now), I highly doubt you’ll get your unit anywhere near May.
Why haven’t you answered my question below yet?
In general, it’s likely because either I, or Polar, don’t know the answer (or they wish to not yet disclose it). Or, because I hadn’t yet slept in days and decided to sleep for an hour or two.
Wait, when did you say your in-depth review will be released? Why haven’t you released your review yet?
My review will be released once they have final software/hardware (currently targeted for
May sometime in 2014). I will update this very line item once I have final hardware/software.
With that, thanks for reading!
Updates as of 1/28/2014: Availability date shifted from April to May, changes to routing/navigation upon launch.
Update 5/18/2015: Ok, with power meter support now within the unit and them actually shipping, I’ve started my testing in earnest here. It’s currently on all rides that I’m doing (indoor/outdoor).
Very nice device, but not one I’d ever buy … just because of the battery life. Some of my workouts will outlast the battery’s life.
Also, what I don’t understand is that it can be compared to a smartphone, but with only 1 app installed. Why won’t Polar make an Android/iPhone app and have everyone use their own phone? I know mounting it to the handlebar will be a challenge, but everyone’s bringing their phone along anyway, right?
With this device I think we’re only 1 step away from using your phone for these kinda things.
Phones, in general, aren’t waterproof, and the quality/lack of cell coverage affects their battery life. Also, since the software is usually written expecting continuous coverage to the Internet, when you ride outside of cell range, the software may stop working the way you want (maps may no longer be available, etc.)
Just to clarify – Polar did make an iPhone/Android app already that does what you describe. It’s called “Polar Beat”. I wrote up a post about it here a little over a year ago: link to dcrainmaker.com
The Android variant of it came out back in December.
After reading this post and the replies, I took my Galaxy S3 (on android 4.3 / Jelly Bean) and tried to get the Polar Beat app. Incompatible hardware. Huh? Here’s what the app notes say…”For now, Polar Beat works with Samsung Galaxy S4.” Wow, pretty limited.
I have an unlocked and unused iPhone 3 in a drawer. Booted it up, tried to get the Polar Beat app. I didn’t think that this would work…and it didn’t (iPhone 3 doesn’t have the appropriate comm hardware).
iPhone on the Bike was not the nirvana I thought it should be. Yes I got a great waterproof case, but it does not ventilate well; Yes you’ll need a backup battery and cord in a pouch on the cross bar or seat pouch (as per DCR advice) as the iPhone (4s) won’t last a 4hr ride even w/o GPS on; backup battery is constantly charging the draining iPhone battery creating heat in an unventilated case; long ride on a warm day (75F) and hit some rough patches at good speed, did cook my iPhone. Now iPhone has no wifi and the GPS constantly says I’m at -304,878 feet and iPhone won’t sync hands free to my car. An expensive lesson. I eagerly await the V650 w 10hr life w/GPS no backup battery (and hopefully upload to my new iPhone later)!
Besides battery life, most phone screens cannot be seen properly in full sunlight.
Such a shame that this doesn’t have proper mapping functionality. Given the size of the screen it would have been perfect for touring, but having to rely on pre entered routes makes it fairly useless in that regard.
Would be nice if they’d had a higher end version to compete with the Edge 800. Garmin are getting lazy in that particular product niche.
Mapping functionality is useless without the maps to load. Even Garmin maps are limited and expensive. Try to get a real topo map for Australia!
There is no standard for routable maps, not even an “industry standard.”
Garmin tolerates OSM providing compatible maps, but I doubt they be happy about a commercial competitor doing so.
Producing a reasonable set of maps is clearly possible, but it takes time.
Another factor is that a live map chews battery, and this unit is already a bit challenged in that regard.
A practical compromise would be the ability to download routes from the web (or an onboard mapping app) via a mobile phone, and I expect that that is already in the Polar forward plan.
Keep in mind that Garmin released a cycling product this past year built on OSM – the Edge Touring.
Polar needs to get The phone/3rd party app connectivity ready and running for release date. With garmin having Mobile connect and tomtom releasing mysports app Soon, they are alleeady Way behind.
As always Ray, thanks for the clear level headed first look at this interesting device.
This looks very much like Polar have installed their own Polar Beat application in a stand alone device. However in true Polar fashion it is the associated website(s) which let it down. Let me explain what I mean.
Polar Beat has been around for a year or so now. Polar Loop was launched at the end of 2013. Polar have announced the V800 and now this V650 while in the background Polar Personal Trainer and the new Polar Flow web service are in complete disarray. Only sessions recorded on Beat have transferred from PPT to Flow. All other training remains languishing in PPT with no way of manual transfer.
I have asked in every possible way if Polar would make a clear statement about the future of PPT and the final capabilities of Flow with regard to input/output and transfer of information and have seen no replies anywhere at all. Without the complete user experience they can make as many sexy devices as they like but people won’t invest unless they now about the complete package.
They’ve stated that PPT is end of road. But that they’ll be migrating activities from PPT to Flow by/around April. What they haven’t stated is if there’s any limitations on which devices will get ported over. I’ll circle back again and see if they’ve solidified that yet in the last three weeks.
As for output of Flow (ignoring old activities for a second), they provided a fairly clear statement last week, which I included up in the FAQ section.
I agree that the confusion and lack of interoperability among Polar web/local client software is a real disappointment and an inhibition to adoption of new hardware. Let’s be honest – if you’re new to Polar and don’t have legacy data from legacy devices, well, perhaps you’re unaware. But I have had a number of Polar devices, the newest is a S720i (!) – which still does what I need it to do. BUT…I’m on P Pro T (the Win client) and moving that data around is a challenge. A number of folks have prepared some utilities to convert .hrm to other formats and, with enough discovery and work, it’s *mostly* possible to get what you want done. But Polar has the best knowledge of their own file format – if they wanted to remove this concern, they could probably develop a web-based data converter that would take Polar files from any of their repositories (local PPT, web PPT (P Personal T), Beat, Flow, etc. to any of their other repositories (or at least from older to newer)… Why on Earth is this so difficult to do or recognize as important? Don’t get me wrong – I’m in the market during 2014 for a new triathlon device – my swim is getting to the point where metrics could be helpful and I’m currently racing with a Garmin 305. So the new Polar devices look interesting…and I’ve had *great* customer support from them on the hardware side for many years…but…but…but…
I know companies need to get their products to market as quickly as possible but it gets a bit tiring having half completed products released.
I don’t want to pay for something and then hope a feature is added in a few months time. Particularly a feature for a common component that should be added from the start.
Good job Ray 🙂
Good morning polar – waking up from a 10 year hibernation to catch up with the market…
I’ll stick with Garmin…
As a long term Polar user I’ve been waiting for this for some time!
Critical to me is that they deliver on their promise to open Polar Flow to some of the current devices (as per their statement). I will buy this so long as I can still use my RCX5 and my CS600x with power as well as some of the WIND kit and upload the data to the same place. That way I can buy into the new format over time.
If they deliver on this then I’ll stay Polar loyal buy the V650 & buy the V800 sometime later.
Seems to me that Polar are trying to do the right thing … I look forward to it!
I was using Polar CS200 for some time, later on got H7 BT HR strap to use together with Polar Beat iPhone app, and was happy with it.
Checked PolarFlow site and did not found option to add training manually, neither training plans or routines. If they migrate from PPT to Flow- will I miss that?
Also, for me PPT seems much less professional than Garmin Connect in aspect of analyzing data, although it looks more attractive on Flow site.
So what is missing now on V650?
1. Live tracking
2.Notifications from smartphone
3.ability to create-run own plans and interval training( also ghost run)
all these thing are necessary as long as they (Polar) position V650 as (semi)professional assistant.
Does somebody know if I buy a H7 heart rate strap, it would work with a CS100 cycle computer. Would it then be able to send all my CS100 info (speed/cadence/heart rate) towards a smartphone or tablet (for indoor use) and the polar beat application ?
If that is the case, I’m going to get a H7 tomorrow !
Ray: Funny that you say a great product would be a tiny device that translates BLE to Ant+………,……next thing you know, the manufacturers would just put it directly in their devices like this Polar…………wait a sec……………if they weren’t so stubborn and proprietary, they just would. And that’s why I will never buy Polar. The dual chips are readily available, consumers should vote with their feet on this silliness!
Glad to see the price point and that it translates and rebroadcasts the BTLE signal – That will mean i can get this, pair it all up and then pair my laptop and training peaks to it with no issue. so much easier than worrying about a few devices.. i’ve gone all BTLE since i was primarily using a smartphone.
This + a Tom Tom could be a killer combo for starting out.
Way too big, very dorky looking. And those cadence sensors sticking out all over the chainstays really make any bike look stupid too. Just get the Garmin and be done with it.
The multiple sensors are for testing three different bike computers (one on ANT+, one on Polar WIND, and one on BLE).
You note that the Edge 500 is due for an update. But even though the 500 wasn’t discontinued when the 510 was introduced, isn’t the 510 basically the 500’s update? What a. I missing?
Thanks, as always, for top notch, cutting edge info!
Generally speaking, most (even within Garmin) don’t consider the Edge 510 to be a direct replacement of the Edge 500 – mostly due to it being considerably larger.
Nice preview (as always).
Any idea what % a set of sensors will drain the battery (HR, Speed/Cadence, Powermeter)?
Negligible. In general, recording of sensor data is a battery drain non-event (for almost every device on the market). The key battery drain items are: GPS (on) and screen backlight (on). Devices that do ‘smart record’ don’t really save much (if any, as in 1%) battery life.
What does save battery life is devices that do low-update GPS mode, which actually turns the GPS off for a period of time (i.e. 60s) – such as some of the ultra-running GPS units. The challenge with that is that the track files look like crap and are unusable unless just walking/hiking.
Ray, Any word from Polar if they will be updating the “Polar Beat” app to be able to sync Bluetooth Smart Cycling Speed and/or Cadence Sensors to record data like they have done with the Bluetooth Smart Stride Sensor or will this only be possible with an additional device such as the V800 and V650?
I can’t see expensive, dedicated, cycling computers as having much of a future. They are too single purpose and cost more than a low end smart phone (Moto G or last year’s Samsung anything)
Given the size of this thing, who care is it gets notifications from your smart phone – just put your smart phone on your handle bars. They all come with great screen, decent battery life, blue tooth, mapping, and a zillion software options.
The only advantage I see is the “full” gps on the dedicated devices which works better than assisted GPS in some settings.
Multi-sport wearable are different story. But I think we’re way past this Polar type cycle computer.
Related to that, are there any articles on the best apps here on DC Rainmaker? Would specifically be interested in any out there which support mapping / import of routes.
Dedicated devices haven’t disappeared yet, and smart phones have been around for a while. Personally, I’d rather have a dedicated device that’s waterproof (to an extent), has a barometric altimeter, uses the ANT+ sensors I already have, and on board maps for when I’m out of cell range. And if by chance it falls off my handlebars and gets run over by a car, I haven’t lost my phone.
Agree with Paul S. Not to mention that there’s no way my phone battery will last through a century ride.
ANT via adapter. Or dual ANT/Bluetooth device. OR built into many Sony units, even older ones.
Shock proof, water proof phone cases are everywhere.
Full GPS and barometric altimeter is problem, BUT tiny, inexpensive, bluetooth external GPS does exist . Don’t know about the altimeter.
link to amazon.com
As for loss, well, why use your good phone? Why not put dedicated cheap(er) phone on your bike.
This polar unit will cost at least $250. It will be just as destroyed as a phone if it gets run over.
A Moto G is $175 (unlocked, unsubsidized). A prepaid SIM card is one time $20 (for AGPS). Similarly low priced bargains can be found on older Samsung and Sony models. If you want to go up, a brand new iPhone 4s is $450 unlocked and unsubsidized. Or free if you add it to your plan.
That was supposed to say “. . . there’s no way my phone battery will last through a century ride with GPS on.”
@Turn The Damn Cranks
I think one of the latest gen phones (like the iPhone 5s) might last 5-8 hours with GPS on but they are expensive.
For a less expensive and/or older phone you’d need supplemental battery phone case, like a Mophie or a Powermat. Not ideal, at $80, but doable.
Yes, I know, I have a Lifeproof case on my iPhone 5c. It’s been covered in sweat many times already. I still don’t want it mounted on my handlebars.
And Turn the Damn Cranks brings up a good point. With GPS on and tracking and the backlit screen active for hours, how long is the battery going to last on a smart phone? You’ll wind up carrying an extra battery pack. I’d rather just use my Edge 800, which lasts for over 10 hours.
Try and get an old xperia Active. Waterproof, barometer, ANT. Battery life 5 hours with the screen on all the time. If you want to get more the you have to let the screen go off and your looking at about 10 hours full logging with gps and ANT sensors. You could of course change the battery mid way…
Sadly Sony has not come up with a direct replacement yet as the latest offering is missing the pressure sensor.
could you please give any advice of a software where I can get all this information incl. Power, online VAM, real altitude etc. I cannot find it. So please advice. Thank you.
As The Trimaster asked.
IpBike No online VAM that would chew battery worse than gps. With a pressure sensor you of course don’t need online to get VAM and real altitude. I am the author so feel free to ask questions though the email on Google Play.
Hi, would a polar H6 heart beat sensor also work on this device ?
Yes, H6 works with this device.
I’ve noticed in Ray’s photo of Polar V650 when the unit is pairing link to dcrainmaker.com that Polar V650 is using Android. The dialog is just a standard Android ProgressDialog. In a sporty/geeky dream it could be very interesting to allow developers to build (Android) apps for this device, and therefore to allow users to add apps.
About the size of devices, as Garmin Edge and Garmin Approach share the same formfactors, we can easily guess that the next Garmin 8xx will have the same size and formfactor as the just announced Garmin Approach G8. Devices are getting bigger and bigger.
Now that is an interesting observation!
I like the light. That is the one feature I miss with my Xperia Active and IpBike. The old home made setup I had before had a 200 lumen led in the case which ran a 10% duty cycle 2Hz flash in daylight which did a good job of making you more visible.
All told as people have said If you want BT Smart it’s for your Phone and then a standalone unit is kind of missing the point especially one which is missing half the features you can get in a phone app like proper maps, workout creation and direct upload to your favourite sites.
Do you really want the light competing for battery resources anyways? Also, the best place to mount the unit may not = the most visible spot for a light. I’d rather use a dedicated front flasher or mount a LED flashlight with a flashing mode.
I agree on the BTLE side. Don’t get the appeal on a non-smartphone. Probably Polar has a strategy which excludes anything Garmin whether it makes sense or not. A dual BTLE/ANT+ device would have made more sense, but it sounds like they are strained getting a basic software stack for one side.
As mentioned by someone else, the Moto G would make for a great second phone acting as a cycle computer at $200 for 16GB version (off contract). Given the recent price drops, even the higher end Moto X makes some sense (~1/2 cost of iPhone). Now, someone just has to create a good armored/water resistant case which incorporates a supplemental battery. Both also have BTLE and USB OTG support so an external ANT+ adapter would work. Unfortunately, no barometric altimeter.
LED’s generally don’t use that much battery. I wouldn’t worry about it, especially with the GPS on and active.
Why do you guys keep trying to pound the square peg of a smart phone into the round hole of a cycling computer? So the Moto costs $200. A good case and a battery pack must cost at least $100. So now you’re into Edge 800 range (I just checked, and Amazon wants $320 for an 800). You’re sure the GPS on the Moto is up to the task and that the apps exist? I’m very sure the 800 works.
Oh, and about BTLE. To be fair to Polar, Garmin pulls the same stunts. Ray mentioned in his review of the 810/510 that, although they have BT, they don’t have BTLE, so there’s no chance a BT sensor will work. And the Fenix/Tactix does have BTLE, but you can’t use BT sensors with it. (Heck, Garmin’s own Tempe doesn’t work with Garmin’s own Edges, and that’s all ANT+. True, the Edges have a built in temperature sensor, but so does the Fenix, and Tempe works with it.) I’d be much happier if everyone played together nicely (especially Withings and Garmin), but that’s not the way it is.
Paul – To be honest, I mostly agree with you about force fitting a smartphone into being a cycle computer, but I’m always looking to reconsider as technology changes. The allure is that the smartphone is so capable of being adapted, even when it doesn’t make sense. You see it all the time, even with it’s core functions. At best, it’s a mediocre camera/video recorder, but you can spend $130 on a HitcasePro to turn your $750+ iPhone into a $200 GoPro. You certainly could make similar analogies for cycling like the Wahoo RFLKT+ where for $150 you’re doing about what a $200 Garmin Edge 500 does (in combination with an expensive smartphone). You could quibble over details and maybe for a particular use it makes sense, but in my mind they are about equivalents.
Last outdoor cycling season I was set on trying to use my smartphone as a cycle computer when my old setup died, but eventually switched on/off with an Edge 800 I picked up on that great sale last May/June (~$240 if I remember). From an app standpoint, IpBike is an excellent application and does a great job.
From a pure performance standpoint, my Samsung GS3 w/IpBike did a wonderful job and had performance advantages over the Edge 800. MUCH more accurate GPS tracks under difficult conditions like heavy clouds and near total tree cover. The barometric altimeter data via IpBike was nearly a order of magnitude more accurate than the Edge 800 on round trips (difference in elevation at the start/end point). Even so, the big downside to the smartphone trial was: 1) battery life, 2) environmental sealing, 3) Needing an external ANT+ dongle (although I made a small one piece “nub” adapter), 4) fear of damaging a $650+ smartphone and 5) size. Without going into details, I addressed some of these issues, but cost effective and robust accessories to make a smartphone into a cycle computer are still not there. Ultimately, putting an expensive smartphone to such a vulnerable use made me reconsider. With that said, the coming of very good $200 smartphones could change this equation, but 3rd parties would have to address some of the downsides before it really made sense.
Regarding LEDs… I’m more familiar with higher end flashlights with outputs ranging from 0.01 to 2700 lumens where their battery use can be anything but insignificant. Don’t really know what lumen/design is needed to achieve good daylight visibility, but guess it’s well beyond the toy LED range. Without more info, it hard to know if this feature on the Polar is worthwhile.
Well, I hate to take up any more of this thread with things not related to the Polar V650, but about the 800, it has the best altimeter and worst GPS antenna of the three units (60CSx, Edge 705, Edge 800) I’ve used daily for cycling over the years. Still, the GPS performance is entirely adequate.
To get closer to the topic, if I ever ride with a phone on my handlebars, it’ll probably be one designed by Garmin or Polar, a proper cycling GPS with a phone chip included rather than the other way around. I’ve had my iPhone 5c for a little over a month now and I haven’t gotten rid of my Pentax still camera, my VIRB Elite, or my Edge 800, or my Kindle Fire. I’m fond of single purpose devices, and I’ll probably continue to be for the indefinite future. Sure, if I was a poor grad student again (heaven forbid) and the cost of a single purpose device was a big dent on my finances, then I might try to use it for everything. Fortunately, that hasn’t been the case for a long time. As I said earlier, smart phones have been around for years now, and single purposes devices are still being designed and sold (like the V650!). They’re not going to disappear. (And if my phone were on my handlebars, it’d be harder to ignore when it rang or a text came.)
The LED is a gimmick. It’s better than nothing if you’re caught in the dark, but I can’t imagine that the people that would buy a cycling GPS would get caught unprepared in the dark that often. And little LED lights like that are small, cheap, and easily stored in a seat bag. I live near Penn State University, and I often seen students riding around in the dark without lights, or with only a rear light. But they’re not the type to buy cycling GPS’s.
iPhone on the Bike was not the nirvana I thought it should be and the risk of damage is very real, they’re not robust enough to rattle around on the handlebars of a bike. Yes I got a great waterproof case, but it does not ventilate well, because its waterproof; Yes you’ll need a backup battery and cord as the iPhone (4s) won’t last a 4hr ride even w/o GPS on; backup battery is constantly charging the draining iPhone battery creating heat in an unventilated case; GPS on increases heat; long ride on a warm day (75F) and hit some rough patches at good speed, did cook my iPhone. Now my $750 iPhone has no wifi and the GPS constantly says I’m at -304,878 feet and iPhone won’t sync hands free to my car or my BLE SC HR devices. An expensive lesson. I eagerly await the V650 w 10hr life w/GPS no backup battery (and hopefully upload to my new iPhone later)!
Giorgitd – the S3 issue has nothing to do with Polar. The issue is with BTLE compatibility. Take it up with Samsung, not Polar on this one.
Ah, for some reason I thought that the app predated the S4, thus thinking that the limited client possibilities was strange. But the S4 has been out close to a year now ? so I guess the whole thing makes more sense now. And the BTLE v other BY variants – you need a scorecard to keep up! Thanks 4 clarifying. ..
Hmm, at this point it actually should be a Polar issue, since the S3/S4 with 4.3 are fully BLE capable from a sensor standpoint. Given Polar just released the Android app, it’s slightly surprising it doesn’t support it more broadly.
Fwiw, it’s the same issue with Garmin Connect Mobile and Android. Right now Garmin is stating “Q1 2014” for full compliance. Across the board getting to complete Android BLE compatibility is proving challenging for many companies, big and small. I suspect by summer things will finally settle down a bit across the board.
To be fair to everyone trying to do BTLE on Android the framework is sill way too buggy and Google show no sign on working on it…
So you don’t even get an Openstreetmap for mapping? Just a track? That’s worse than on a Motoactv..
Correct. It puts it on par with the Edge 500/510/O-Synce/Mio/Joule, etc… and many others in that mid-range category.
Keep in mind that as nice as the Motoactv was, it’s fatal flaw was/is poor waterproofing (battery was an initial flaw, but ultimately corrected). That said, I think everyone agrees that if the Motoactv had been maintained, it would have shifted the industry.
All – Just a few minor updates this evening from Polar. I have integrated the following into the review:
1) Upon launch, the V650 will not have route guidance, but only route tracking. Route guidance will come in a later update.
2) I made it more clear that once route guidance does come, it will be via Flow site first, and not via mobile app (since said mobile app isn’t available upon launch).
3) Launch is in May 2014, not April. There was an error in their press release that was corrected in a secondary release.
There’s also apparently a slight difference within the satellite pre-caching between the V800 and the V650 that I’m working with Polar on getting further clarification on. Hopefully our back and forth e-mails on the topic will result in a concrete and more clear answer by tomorrow.
This will work only as well as the H7 heart rate sensor/strap it comes with.
On Amazon (1/28/14), 23% of the 765 reviews of the H7 are one or two star. Amazon doesn’t allow zero stars.
My H7 is currently at Polar for Warranty Repair for the very issues most commonly cited: it just stops pairing with the the bluetooth device’ (in this case an iPhone 5) via the Polar Beat App.
Many do not know the H7 has two wireless signals: Smart Bluetooth and 5 mhz. The latter signal connects flawlessly each and every time to all the treadmills, bikes, and elliptical machines at my health club So it;s not the H7’s battery, strap, strap not being wet enough or not making contact with the skin that causes the H7 not to function. The 5 mhz connection always works. It’s got to be the bluetooth radio, or the software of the App that causes so many failed connection problems with the H7. Bluetooth Smart devices do not pair with the phone they pair with the App. When I tried to connect the H7 to Wahoo Fitness App I had the same connection issues. That means to me a quality control issue with the H7.
Since the H7 is also the only Polar heart rate strap compatible with the upcoming $400 Polar V800 watch, i think Polar is risking really damaging themselves unless they get the H7’s connection issues solved.
Interesting. In the year+, it’s sorta funny though in that I’ve actually yet to see someone mention pairing issues with the H7 on any of my reviews. So that’s a first.
Btw, Polar also makes the BLE capable H6.
Honestly I have connection issue between H7 and iPhone 4S, I ahem to restart either H7 (remove battery for couple of minutes) or both, but happens once a month only, so I do not care
My 1st H7 no issues, bought 2nd for The Wife, won’t connect to iPhone 4S though it did once briefly. Works fine on gym equipment and Polar watches (older). It’s on it’s way back to Polar, nothing I tried worked to regain connection. My H7 connects to her iPhone on same apps, so it’s the 2nd H7!
Is there some way to move all my stuff from Garmin Connect into Polar Flow right now? Or just import anything? I really like the idea of Polar Flow but I need to be able to import my training data into it.
No, no method to. And none that have been outlined. I could see a scenario though where once the API is put in place 3rd party companies add in sync capabilities (like CopyMySports, SyncMetrics, and Tapiriik).
Feedback I got from Polar: so it’s possible to send data from a CS100 cycle computer to the heart rate strap, and then send it on with bluetooth towards an Iphone. Very Nice ! So you could use both (5Khz and Bluetooth) signals at the same time, but NOT 2 Bluetooth signals at the same time.
I used H7 this way from the first day I bought it(H7),
however later on my CS100 speed sensor died and I decided to get RFLKT.
Is Polar flow still a beta product? The banner says Flow beta? Yet on PPT they direct you to the new Flow site. Once there I did see some of my very old data but none of my recent data or new data since logging into Flow?
Yes, still beta. Not sure if it’s going to be one of those ‘perpetual beta’ things like some Google products or not.
The whole PPT to Flow situation is very fuzzy right now.
Really interesting article and comments to someone who has been using a S625X since c. 2001. That’s a lot of data sitting in ProTrainer! I’d basically given up on Polar as they (rather like TomTom) seem to have missed the (running) elephant in the room called Smartphones. I’ve been using smartphones (and the 625X) with Run.gps since 2007. Doing it all and more before iPhones/Strava etc even existed. Now trying to re-spec a new bike based around BTLE devices and smartphone, so its interesting times. iPhones are rubbish for bikes. Any android with replaceable batteries (and external SD card in case of loss) will do. I use Samsung Galaxy S3 which are now pretty cheap, now with 4.3 BTLE and spare batteries can be brought for $7 and weigh nothing for back pocket. Mostly 1 battery will last all day, with GPS on. Any decent case will make it absolutely shock and water proof, e.g. Seidio. Better, have a BTLE ear piece and keep the phone in your pocket and receive voice instructions without taking your eye off the road.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that the new Polar devices/apps/web-bases are going to have to be VERY good to attract me back.
Update – Yesterday I commented about problems with the Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor/Strap.
Polar Repair contacted me today to say that the conductors on the strap had worn out it was not a problem with the sensor electronics. They were replacing the entire unit for free and apologized for any problems I had encountered. Mystery solved.
It seems like a nice step forward. Though to late to little.
Did they said anyting about export data to Polar Pro Trainer 5?
Any change they’ll reconsider supporting WIND sensors. As Well?
Because as a big Polar device(s) owner I feel kind of let down by Polar.
All my WIND sensor will become useless….
It’ll enable export of GPX/HRM, so technically you could import it into PPT5.
As for WIND, no, no chance there – that’s a chipset change.
I don’t know how others feel about it. But previous owners of the CS600, CS600X and CS500 will have to start again from scratch to buy all the sensors BTLE. I can imagine that they want to move forward. But they should have created a more low-entry upgrade path.
I also hope they’ll enable export to Strava etc etc.
I never understood why they didn’t do that much with Polar Pro Trainer 5. It’s a great tool, old but it does what it should do. But it could use some inovation.
Considering the really useless service by Polar. I doubt if I’ll buy anything new from Polar and maybe move to the ANT+…..
BTW: What surprises me. Is that they are willing to cooperate with you Ray. But completely disregard al of the feedback in their forums. (You should read them it’s quite funny to see how good Polar is at ignoring people. 🙂 )….
The worst thing with my Polar Keo Power, with CS600x, is that you can’t get average power during your ride. Does the V650 solves this problem? Tks!!!
Unfortunately, the V650 hasn’t released which data fields will be available for power meters yet (since the PM piece won’t come till June).
thank you for the great review. I have a question concerning the route navigation:
On which web service can I plan a route? Is this integrated in Polar flow, could I use gsies etc?
Down the road it would be integrated into Polar Flow. But when exactly remains to be seen. Could be Summer, December, or next Spring.
Thank you Ray for all of the great posts.
I have been very excited with Polar’s recent introductions (Polar Loop, Polar V800) and was eager to see their next bike computer. Based on this preview and other posts around the web, I’m disappointed. The V650 is too big and clunky to fulfil my needs. As others have pointed out, it seems positioned against the Garmin 800/810, but without full mapping capabilities, is missing a key feature that justifies the larger size.
Maybe my needs and use are different than the typical user. I would prefer something small and discreet that provides GPS and parameter recording so I can save and review the data when off the bike. I only need enough display for a few parameters when on the bike. (Or none at all, I often ride with my computer in my jersey pocket.) I would love to see something that is positioned directly against the Garmin 500/510, maybe a CS500+ upgraded to include GPS and Bluetooth Smart.
I really would like to love these units (V650 and V800), but they are not compatible with Trainingpeaks.
I can understand that nowdays all manufacturers are supporting their own web based training softwares, but for a lots of athletes it is a mayor drawback. Only because of this I would go for the Garmin 500 or 800/810. Sorry to see, because I think with these watches Polar is coming back to the level what they provided with the S7xx series.
The integrated headlight is a problem in Germany. I know, many people don’t care, but the light makes the device illegal on public roads in Germany.
All lights on the bike must have an approval number. To get approved a light must illuminate the road well enough without blinding others too much. There are exact specifications for this. I don’t think this unit complies. Esp. everything with a blinking mode is prohibited.
So in Germany they have to make a version without the light. Of course, this is not logical and it does not make riding any safer. No light certainly isn’t better than a bad light. But you know, law doesn’t always make sense.
I’d wait until May, perhaps Polar will tackle such an item then.
Are the bluetooth sensor batteries sealed or user-changeable? The CS sensors require servicing to replace the battery.
They haven’t formally unveiled them, however, they appeared physically identical to the previous series, when shown at the show. Given that, I see no reason to buy the Polar cycling sensors (BT), but rather, would buy units from other companies which offer more flexibility.
Any updates on release or pre-orders, since I just noticed that the V800 watch started pre-orders will a delay to May?
No, nothing new there unfortunately.
it will work with pedals keo look technology Wind?
No. You’ll need to upgrade the pedal pods to Bluetooth Smart. I discuss this in more detail under the ‘Bluetooth Smart Sensor Connectivity’ section.
Ray, do you maye know when will you make a full review about V650?
I don’t have a device at this point, so probably not for a while. Given the V800 was delayed till mid-May or so, I suspect the V650 will also be delayed.
Just as a general FYI, I did receive a V650 device Friday. Well, more specifically, it was delivered to our Cupcake shop in Paris just as I boarded the plane to the US. Unfortunately, I won’t be back for another week. But definitely good to see!
Looking forward to your assessment now that up you have a unit to confirm any items missed.
Dont suppose you have any further updates on the release of this computer?
I know the V800 has been delayed but wonder how the V650 will be affected?
I think the current plan is June, which, based on the current firmware state seems about right.
Great review. Big help.
One thing is not yet clear to me…
Will I be able to download pre-madeGPS routes from other sites like map my ride or GPS mapping sites?
Not at launch.
Down the road they’ll enable you to create routes in Flow, which will be breadcrumb style (not with maps, just a breadcrumb trail). It’s unclear if they’ll also allow simple GPX loading from 3rd party sites. Timelines are also unclear for when either of the above would be implemented.
Breadcrumb trail navigation (route guidance navigation) added in latest realease:
link to updates.polar.com
Both V650 campaign site and Polar site now state that “Deliveries start in July 2014”
Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me at this point.
Any news on the V650 ?
I would really like to hear if all the stuff Polar promised came true…..
Polar has what is essentially a place holder page on flow for v650.
Polar (Belgium) replied the V650 will be available at the end of the summer. So it won’t be July as stated on their website. I’ve also seen a couple of sites that said deliveries will be within 8 weeks, that would mean late August.
Concerning specifications they said that detailed specifications will come online once lauch date is known/final.
and now the Webside (polarv650.com) says “August” !!! wonderful :o(
Polar Denmark said at the end of august…..
Thank you for the great report. Is it possible to use the V650 and V800 with the same bluetooth smart sensors at the same time?
That remains to seen. In theory according to Polar with the rebroadcasting it will work – at least for heart rate sensors. But in reality the feature isn’t really working on the V800 today, and thus we’ll have to have them fix it for heart rate before expanding to other sensors. I do suspect by release of the V650 they’ll probably have it working for heart rate, but unclear on the others.
Me gustaría saber si es cierto que el lanzamiento del V650 será para septiembre definitivamente.
Now that August has arrived eyes are awaiting the V650. Polar Beat continues to languish on the Android side from horrible instability and limited supported devices (even though all the new Smartphones and Tablets are on 4.4.2.) Polar Beat for iOS also is rated mediocre on iTunes. Polar is struggling to get the V800 features implemented and continues to slide with their feature promises. As for the overall scenario, a modern Samsung Galaxy S5 has an outstandingly bright screen and long battery life is dust and water resistant even w/o an additional case, and is easily mounted to a bike using any of several systems. QuadLock has a great method! As for Apps, there are plenty to choose from that support all sorrts of Sensors BLE Smart and ANT+, offer voice feedback, mapping, route guidance, HR Data and more. Many are free and some have in App upgrade features. SPORT Tracker, iCardio, Endomondo, MapMyRide, and others are quite robust. Polar really needs to step up their game and improve their software!
They started advertising this thing in January with an April release. Seems even worse than the normal industry delays.
Either the Polar V650 will be delayed again or the Polar pr department is sleeping. If they are going to release it in august they need to start some pr.
I have not heard anything about this bikecomputer for last 2 month….
I was wondering how many of the features will be ready to start now that the V650 has been delayed :
Power meters ?
Data transfer via bluetooth ?
Route guidance ?
Aero mount ?
Connecting to a phone to upload workouts ?
Export from Polar Flow to other trainingsites ?
Just got word from Polar Denmark:
“last info we got from headquarter says we will get it late september”
it’s official the Polar V650 ist moved to September.
i’m wondering will there be a blue Polar V650?
I haven’t heard anything that indicates so.
Ray, you wrote something about the a blue on in the V650 FAQ.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – V650 AND RELATED:
This is my attempt at reducing redundant questions based on common and/or expected questions. I’ll continue to add to this over time as I see repeats. Thanks!
When will it be available?
Polar is stating May July August September 2014 for availability, with the blue color variant coming a bit later.
Doh. A simple replication mistake from the V800 FAQ that I didn’t catch editing it. Fixing it now.
Any info on the availability of the Bluetooth _Smart “pods” for the Look_Keo_Power pedals?
I have the “WIND” pods and would be happy to test the new ones. I have conducted a quick Internet search and found no retailer (in France or elsewhere in Europe) that offers them for sale.
Many thanks in advance for your thoughts.
I discuss it in this post from earlier this week: link to dcrainmaker.com
Basically it’s October. There isn’t a SKU yet available to my knowledge for the replacement component.
And here ist is !!! Oh wait, where ??
No V650 in September, surprise surprise.
First announced for May 2014, so sad.
Umm…they said back this summer it was shifted to October.
And again unfortunately, based on http://updates.polar.com to late November
ok, also changed on http://www.polarv650.com
to November, great. Hope we get a perfect Product.
That’s a fact, Polar seems to have huge fiability problems with this device and to have an even bigger problem with his communication as we only can see release date delay always pushed forward…
Ray, have you ever seen a major brand delay a product this many times since its original estimated release? This is unbelievable. I know it’s better than releasing a bad product, but it’s still not good.
Sure, Garmin Vector. 🙂
And closer to the Polar, the Garmin Edge 705. I had mine on preorder and Amazon said that it was going to be released in October 2007. It finally came out in April 2008.
Yep mine is pre-ordered also
Clever has this on pre-order for late November delivery. I don’t suppose they would be apt to post unless this date was firm, unlike Amazon. But, one question, why is Polar so afraid of Garmin that they refuse to use ANT+?
Does anyone know if when this unit does finally appear it will support BTLE rebroadcasting? Does the V800 currently?
It’ll act just like the V800, in that it’ll only rebroadcast HR to the Polar Apps on the phone.
Thanks – that’s disappointing – will it not appear in any other app? I have a Bushido for tablet and was hoping the HR would appear in that app so I could use the Tacx app to control the trainer yet record my workout on the V650.
I don’t know if you know if Polar are intending to implement Bluetooth trainer control on the V650? From what I understand the Bushido will never be updated to the Bluetooth trainer control standard so a head unit such as the V650 would never be capable of controlling it?
Thanks for your advice.
No other apps unfortunately. It’s mostly because they’re doing some funky stuff to get it to work. It sounds like it wasn’t exactly fully baked when they announced, and thus have been sorta beating it with a hammer to make it work.
I haven’t heard of any plans to enable BT control on the V650, of trainers.
Ray, will you be doing a full review of this now that its getting released? Looks like Clever Training now says late December, at least if you order today. Based on my previous order/return of the Magellan Cyclo (I was not impressed with it, given the price), I’ll be waiting for a few weeks of user reports before I jump into this, but the price/product look potentially promising.
Yup, once they start shipping I’ll start digging into it again. I have a unit here (sitting on my desk in fact), but the challenge with starting to write a review now is that if things change, then I’m up a creek. So for now I’m focusing on other products, but will pivot (to use a fancy word) as soon as it’s RTM’d.
Thanks, did you receive BLE Look/Keo power pedals from Polar already?
I have an eye on them, but awaiting your review (plus general availability).
I find it amazing power support is added for Polar pedals, while those are not available yet, while V800 (and likely V650) power support for Stages and Powertap is broken.
According to Clever Training:
That is correct. Polar has pushed the release date back until the end of December so that is when we expect our initial shipment from them. We will try and send notifications if this information changes via the email associated with your account.
I ordered mine Nov 5 at which time expected delivery was “late Nov”.
As for the pedals, no, I haven’t yet from Polar.
I’ll poke them on that, they e-mailed me on some V800 stuff today anyway.
Thanks again Ray,
My Bushido actually has just been replaced by the new Bushido Smart (with Ant+) so my thoughts are now drifting more towards the Mio cyclo 505 now – did you do a full-on review of it at all? I seem to remember an article about it controlling the Bushido via Ant+ but I can’t seem to find the post right now.
Thanks for your assistance and I can’t state enough how invaluable your website is to us guys trying to battle through the fog of sports tech to get things that actually work in the real world!
I haven’t done a full review of the Mio Cyclo 505 yet unfortunately. It got a bit back burnered while they sorted out some of the requests/issues people have brought up – primarily around functionality making it more competitive (like the lap piece).
Seems like both my potential choices for head unit aren’t really in a consumable state right now. I’ll wait for the trainer to arrive and see if it works with the Viiiiva band on ANT+. At least then I can use the iPad app to control the trainer and hopefully rebroadcast the ANT+ to Bluetooth to the phone.
I look forward to the Cyclo 505 review, the trainer control and mapping looks great. Was attracted to the V650 as I’ve been using the Loop, H7 and Flow for a year and would be great to have a head unit on the bike to record rather than relying on the phone (and battery)…
I have a V800 and need a secondary display when on the bike. I also do triathlons, so the V800 would be the main data gathering device at all times. Given that BLE can’t handle multiple head units, the V650 isn’t really a good match for the V800 then, which is dissapointing. I just noticed that O-Synce is about to release a product that would solve my (and many other’s) problem perfectly, assuming dual ANT+/BLE sensors. (I have a Viiiiva HRM now and a Precision power meter on order and wouldn’t mind getting a dual speed sensor)
link to o-synce.com
A display for ant+ signals, no GPS, but great battery time and size, perfect on the bike in this scenario! Do you know when these will be available? And please test it if possible.
you fixed my problem, which is the exact same one you had.
i just decided not to order the precision until i had a solution.
Yeah, unfortunately they’re not available yet though. Asked O-synce a week ago, but never got an answer. On the other hand, the release of the V650 has also been postponed, by months, so I’ll wait until spring of 15 and see what is available then.
Just found the manual for the V650. To bad it is in chinese 🙂
But I hope it means that the V650 is comming soon.
link to polar.com
If English is easier then quite logically the URL for is following:
link to polar.com
not a word about power meters?
Looks like a great computer. Does anyone know if it will work with a external battery pack? Im doing a race that will take about 20-24h next year and I’m looking for a system to record that.
Staffan, tested, and it is charging while recording.
link to youtube.com
Hope i means that the V650 will be released in a week or two. http://www.v650.com stills says end november. I really hope they can hold there release date and dont postpone it again.
also new FlowSync update!!! I think the V650 is on the way ;o)
Neither the manual nor the youtube video is clear if you can create a route before the ride (probably in polar flow) then somehow follow it on the polar v650? Of course I don’t expect anything fancy (like maps or turn-by-turn navigation), but will there be any possibility to track a predefined route, something similar to Garmin Egde 500 course navigation?
This is the only thing which would make me buy the product. I already have Bluetooth HR and Cadence sensors (polar), and I want to avoid to use the Android phone for recording the ride (Strava) and for navigation (for obvious reasons – battery life). Or do I have to switch to ANT and buy Garmin Edge 500? (to avoid the option to buy Garmin Edge 1000, at 3 times the price). As far as I know there is no other bike computer which supports Bluetooth sensors and has course navigation possibilities (exceptions: Android/I-Phone and Edge 1000).
Small note: edge 1000 doesn’t actually support Bluetooth sensors NOW, but it might in the future via a firmware update, as the Bluetooth chip is present in the device.
no way that garmin would actually do it,
why would they?
I don’t know why… but they have the BT 4.0 chip in, so they must plan something.
Anyway, this is just a side note, my question was about the polar v650 course navigation.
In the meantime I found out that Mio Cyclo 505 also can use BLE sensors, and they have navigation with maps.
for the moment you’ll only be able to reride routes or routes other people have done
but they will add the possibility to flow so you can make your own.
unless you speak spanish, than maybe this shows a way around it link to correrunamaraton.com.
The bluetooth chip in garmin units sits there only for the smart phone connectivity, it’s been there since the original fenix (i think it was just about the only sportswatch that had ble)
but i don’t think there is hardly a single sensor in the world that you can get in BLE but doesn’t have an ANT+ version, so yes they could do it, but there is no need, it would be bad marketing as well, owning ant+ and all.
maybe it’s possible with garmin IQ to program a unit to connect to ble sensors, but i think the mio would be the way to go.
December is just around the corner and no signs of it yet.
What the hell is polar waiting for??
Likely for it to be finished…
It’s official ( link to updates.polar.com ). First deliveries are now shifted to end of February 2015.
Than it’s “official” for me too, I go with Garmin and ANT+
I think this post should be deleted as it makes no sense to review a device that seems never to be launched… Furthermore, who will ever take the risk to buy a product that took so much time to be launched after initial announcement and public presentation…
And still no official communication from Polar except release date delay! I remember a few months ago asking on Polar’s twitter what was actually going on with this product and they said “Be patient Matthieu, it will come out very soon” maybe “soon” doesn’t have the same meaning in finnish…
Anyway… I’m really considering switching to Garmin now!
Umm, this wasn’t a review.
It says that in the very first section: “Which brings me to the following point: This isn’t a review. Yes, for real.”
you’re right! Sorry for that!
Anyway I hope the v650 will not finish in the cemetery off all the great devices once announced and never launched… This would really be a pity for such a great brand like Polar!
Read it just now too. I really can’t believe they’ve only just known that they would have to postpone it again by 3! months. This is just getting ridicilous, without any explanation from them, you just assume you’ll be buying hardware that’s over a year old for the same price as they previously announced it for.
if it wasn’t for some prototypes I’d think it was vaporware. Seriously, what the hell could be wrong with this kind of thing? Have they just started mass producing them or have they got a few hundred thousands of them sitting in a warehouse waiting for software to be finalized? Or has their been some kind of hardware defect?
Surely, dcrainmaker, you have some more intel on this? Or aren’t you allowed to share?
I’m thinking of buying a Garmin now too, too bad i’ve already got the H7 strap and Polar BT Cadence Sensor and really like the Flow platform and possibilities. V800 is no option, too expensive.
It’s software issues, not hardware. I highlighted that and that I felt it wasn’t where it needed to be during my post back in August when I rode with it at Polar HQ.
Thanks for the reply. So my thoughts on buying “old” hardware for the full price are valid.
Can’t help but think they’ve got some serious internal issues in the software development team. I can imagine Polar management isn’t too happy about this PR disaster.
V800 can be used as cycling computer but attached to the stem, it’s just not stable & clear enough to use + way too expensive if you only ride bikes since it has no navigation.
I wouldn’t overthink the hardware thing. The reality is that none of these cycling devices (be it Garmin, Polar or others) are pushing the boundaries of hardware. The screen and chipsets used, along with storage, are all more than sufficient and recent enough. The screen on the V650 is just as nice as that on the Garmin 800/810 (and comparing it to the Edge 1000 isn’t valid since that’s 2-3x the price).
It is sad that a product can be delayed so many times. I was really looking forward to bluetooth computer for my bike.
I hope Polar get there act together and release it in feb. then. But with all the delays the trust in Polar is not great.
Is there any alternative when I want a bike computer that has bluetooth, gps, color display and a easy to see screen ?
Mio 505? link to eu.mio.com
I’m very close to buying Cyclo 505 – only they seem to have dried up in the last week. I’ve seen some sites mention a Cyclo 505 2014 so I don’t know if they have changed it. Much cheaper than the Edge and supports some Bluetooth sensors already which I need.
Regarding the Polar, I am concerned they were putting units into boxes and then found a problem that means a three month delay? Doesn’t inspire much confidence in the software being improved and new features added when the unit does make it market.
The Cyclo may not have the most attractive interface but has had some fairly serious software upgrades in its lifespan, including ANT+ trainer control. Plus the mapping is much more advanced. Unfortunately the online element of it is a bit lacklustre.
I use a Polar Loop and have a lot of Bluetooth sensors and was looking forward to the V650. Polar need to be a bit more upfront about what is going on, I only asked them via Facebook on Wednesday when it was coming out and they said the end of the month! And I find it unlikely when the unit comes out that the software will have much improvement or added features from what was announced in January last year.
Polar need to tell us exactly what features it will have at launch, what will and won’t work, sensor support and also what they plan to do with the software and what features will be added in the medium turn. Otherwise anyone who was interested in the V650 in the last year will just buy something else.
Well my wife promised me one of these for my birthday… back in September! Feb now seems a very long time to wait.
What concerns me the most is I’ve not seen any clarity about the future roll-out of features. Take the mapping / route creation for instance. If I buy a 650 on the day it comes out, will this feature be enabled on that device at a later date, or will it only be available to new units bought after that feature is rolled out?
No, features will be available for all units.
As for new features, while Polar hasn’t announced anything there yet publicly, from what I’ve seen if they can execute on what they have privately planned, it’ll be very competitive (actually, likely overly competitive…if that makes sense, sorta like the M400).
But, like anything else – they have to have the baby. Otherwise, it’s all just talk.
From Clever Training this morning:
Update for Case CS11447 – “Polar V650 Update”
Thank you for recent pre-order for the Polar V650. This item release date has been delayed by the manufacturer and has been changed to late February. At this time we do not have shipping confirmation but will continue to update you as any changes are made or new information becomes available.
Preordered in Oct for a late Nov delivery, became late December delivery only a week or so ago, now a full 3 month delay. Ridiculous.
The V650 manual is now available in English on the Polar website. Plenty of time to read up on the computer before it is launched! It looks like you can assign a bike name in Polar Flow, but there isn’t much detail about saving routes and uploading them to the V650 🙁
Here is the link: link to polar.com
Any news about the release???
I’m wondering the same thing, any update on the late February status? Does that look like it will happen?
An e-mail I received from them about 40 minutes ago (head of the product division) says that they’re on track for limited quantities at the end of February, and then widespead into March.
Does that wide release, include the U.S?
My understanding is yes.
Which is better the polar v650 or the garmin edge 1000
I think even Polar would agree that the Edge 1000 is a far more capable device.
Ok now that it looks that is gonna be released by March, have they upgraded the hardware in some way?? The unit right now is one year old and a new gps chipset will be welcommed.
It us clear that is not an Edge 1000 competitor but is it better than a 810?? How do you see it??
At present, it doesn’t have mapping support. Thus, not really an Edge 810 competitor. More like an Edge 510 competitor (of sorts).
The hardware hasn’t changed as far as I know, but to be honest, their hardware was/is just as equiv to units going out today (except the far more expensive Edge 1000) – so I’m not worried about that. Plus, my understanding is it (V650) has considerably more storage/memory space in it.
Is there a cycling computer that can support both Buletooth and ANT+ devices?
The Mio Cycle series, such as the Mio Cyclo 505.
Now the V650 must be around the corner:
link to youtu.be
Was about to post the same link. You beat me to it!
Ray – when do you expect to have the full product review available? (assuming that the V650 is finally released this week)
So it’s finally launched! I received an email this morning so quickly got on the Polar website to place my order. But wait, it seems it’s only available with the heart rate strap and I’ve already got one…
Quick phonecall to Polar UK confirmed that it is only available with the strap at the moment (so any website / shop saying they have both versions is lying) and that the non-strap version will follow in about a month’s time.
So, spend an additional £40 for something I don’t need or wait another month. GRRRRRR!!!!!!
Same here in Germany, placed an order with the strap ( 3. one). Don’t want to wait longer, one year is enough.
My understanding is that with the V650 you Will have the same acces to Polar Flow as with the V800, so with training load etc. Does this mean that when i have the V650, this feature in Flow Will also be available with sessions of my M400? (Some sections in Flow are now limited and not accessable with the M400, only with the V800)
Ray, when can we expect a full review of V650?
I believe the updated V650 (final production unit), just arrived yesterday to me (a crapton of boxes came in yesterday evening and I haven’t had a chance to run through them all).
But, ideally about a month from now. The one outstanding piece is that the power meter portion isn’t in there yet, which is kinda a bummer.
In your review can you please try to use the V800 and V650 concurrently with one H7 HR sensor. I’m interested to find out if you can use both in a triathlon race for example. Theoretically this should work using the V800 re-brodcasting feature but I’m not sure if this really works.
It would also be interesting to find out if using both devices at the same time will create two files on the Polar Flow diary or the system will recognize is part of the same session.
Do you have an estimated date for your “in depht review”?
You guessed a month from March 4th.
Really looking forward to this.
I do not. I had hoped they’d roll out power meter support earlier in March, but it sounds like that’s…well…pending. 🙁
If I unsterstand you correct, you won`t make “in depth review” until power meter will be supported?
I cannot decide which one I should buy – Edge 510 or V650. I think I`d go with Garmin…
That’s correct. Mostly because I just don’t have the time due to other products to go back and re-do the review again with that section.
got the V650 today, sync with a Mac (MAC OS 10.10.2) is a mess!!! The V650 is creating a own Network, i think the V650 needs Bonjour, but in MAC OS 10.10.2 is no more Bonjour. for every Sync i have to start the Mac new. I have no Problems withe the V800. cant believe this, one year delay and a beta Product.
Andreas, have you tried using the V800 and the V650 at the same time. I’m wondering if you can pair the HR sensor with both at the same time, or if the V800 is re-broadcasting the signal to the V650.
And YES! you need Bonjour on a Mac.
link to polar.com
Guys, anybody knows were in the US is the v650 available for online purchase, cant find any website
I contacted Polar and it was released in Europe first. Coming in April to U.S.
Got my V650 today.
Paired with Wahoo Tickr = no problem
Paired with Wahoo BlueSC = no problem
Paired with Wahoo Kickr = doesnt work
I have done a training on the Kickr and got HR og cadence. Looks great when uploaded to Flow.
Anyone else got V650 ? I got it with the Polar H6 heartrate monitor. Got mine V650 from Italy but I was told from Polar UK that the V650 would come with the H7 heardrate monitor because the H6 has now been discontinued.
What heartrate monitor did people get with the V650 ? H6 or H7 ?
What other sensors are compatable besides Polar?
Wahoo BlueSC works for me
Do you have acces to Training Load/Recovery with only a V650 in your account or is this feature only available when you have a V800 in your account?
The V650 include only the following Polar Smart coaching features:
Maybe more features will follow later with updates ?
got the V800 and the V650. can’t see any training Load from the V650 . i am afraid there ist no training Load from the V650 and no Recovery. So side by side use is not funny. hope there is a update any time soon.
But if the HR rebroadcasting worked i could just record heart rate on the V800 for the training load and do everything else with the v650, but i can’t get that working
can anyone get either the v800 or v650 to succesfully rebroadcast HR to the other device?
Good thing Polar invented the H7 so the v800 can use the 5khz channel and the v650 the BLE side.
polar just left it in a drawer for a year, didn’t they?
no power meter support, no phone app compatibility
did they change on thing on it during the YEAR they postponed release?
anyhow, i bought one today and i do like the interface, it’s clean and simple, no manual required.
i can’t seem to find my sportprofiles on flow, on the sportprofile pages i have all my v800 sportprofiles but not the 4 new profiles from the v650, it’s not a biggy though since i can change datafields on the unit itself (are you listening v800?)
wat is big though, is the v650 itself, i just put it on the bike and dayumn, it huge! it’s edge 1000 sized
can’t really tell why that is though, since there is no navigation or anything.
for the people that are wondering, it does come with the H6 strap, which makes perfect sense since it cant do anything with the 5khz frequency, i was more surprised the m400 didn’t come with the h6.
Benjamin thanks for your answer!
Anyone have experience with both a M400 and a V650 in Polar Flow? Does a trainingsession with the V650 have influence on the daily activity (measured with the M400) in Flow?
I have the Polar Loop. The V650 does not add to the daily activity with the Loop.
If it is the same for M400 I dont know – but I would quess it is.
The V650 doesn’t add to daily activity when used with the M400 in flow.
Does anybody know if the Wahoo RPM will work with the V650?
I can confirm that a Runtastic SC sensor similar to the Wahoo Blue SC will not pair, i.e. the V650 recognises that it’s there when searching for sensors, but just won’t pair with it. This is the first time since Bluetooth started that I’ve had a pairing problem 🙁
I have a Wahoo Fitness Blue SC Speed and Cadence sensor that work fine with the V650.
Too little too late. Strava on Apple Watch will do everything I need. No more Garmins with their lousy quality control and unreliable uploads either.
I’ve been using it for 1 weeek. Overall I think it’s a very good product. Screen is great, no issues with barometric altitude in raining conditions. Pairing sensors is easy. I’ve got a H6 and an Alatech (30€) dual speed/cadence sensor. I’ve done 12 hours training and I still have 19% battery left.
However there are several things to improve: sync with polar flow mobile app (syncing with other fitness apps like strava), possibility to change bike names as well as total kilometers, temperature is listed as a feature but no information is showed, inclination should have one decimal digit, route guidance as in V800, zoom function in map view. I hope Polar guys take into account users requests.
Do you know if this unit uses gps for distance and pace, or whether it uses the cadence/speed sensor like the V800? I’d really like to go with this unit over, say, a comparatively priced Edge 500, but that’s kind of a deal breaker for me.
Thanks so much!
I have purchase a while ago the V650, as soon as it was released and evauilable in France. Here are my comments about it.
I did purchase it to complement the V800 I did purchase to shift from Garmin. I was motivated mostly by larger displayed digit…. getting old…..
For the V800 as per V650 the expected but ever delayed ability to pair and use third party power meters is the first limitation (as instance the Stage Cycling Power meters).
The V800 for cycling use as the following limitatiion for me. First the fact that you cannot mount it on the stem, the Hair clip like mount works good for horizontal traditionnal bars. This is a necessity while you are using flat handle bars such a 3T Zephiro and clip on.
V650 with its larger display is good but as it issues as well. With adjustable bike mount on the stem (100 cm one) it is difficult to fit in the provider space. Apparently Polar has to release an adjustable deported support, it should help. It was at some time available but longer on their site.
To clear for me the use of both devices is for Triathlon. If I am using V800 as well, as it would be the case. The Heart rate monitor cannot be detected and displayed on the V650 during the Bike leg.
That point is important as we are many and will be many to use them in combination for whatever reason.
The third point, would be with Polar flow. Polar flow and V800 interest is to monitor the different activities and evaluate the activity load. Well, it doesn’t happen.
And of course the very uneasy way to transfert files to Strava and Trainning Peaks, which are to be honnest for Triathlete very convinient and wide spread social and trainning plateform.
About the V800, another limitation of the product comes when your are sheduling a trainning. Let say, when you start with Phases setting.
Warm-up 20 minutes: You have 2 options either you jump to the next phase manualy or Automatically. Well, we are not in a prefect world, the warm-up part may last longer…. means that if you do not jump to the next phase V800 stop recording.
Same at the end of the cool down phase….
Does V650 have internal temperature sensors? DC rainmaker comparison table says yes, but I haven’t seen any Polar specs mentioning temperature sensor in V650.
As the altitude is based on barometric pressure (per Polar specs) I believe it *has* to have an internal temperature sensor in order to correctly give you the altitude i.e. barometric pressure on its own is insufficient to determine altitude. However, I’ve not seen it appearing as a display item/recorded value, unlike its predecessor the CS600x.
Is this true? “for inclination data you need speed sensor”
Ray, anything new about the date of full review of V650?
I’m a fan of Polar and I really like my RCX5. But the new direction is leaving me somewhat cold. Firstly, devices should not always be getting bigger and heavier. The size of the V650 is getting towards ridiculous. Secondly, the move to Bluetooth immediately draws a line under all pre Bluetooth items. I can no longer add devices and share WIND sensors. Thirdly, all the new functionality is just bling to a semi-serious athlete.
I’d appreciate Polar keeping devices such as the CS500 on the market, although it needs GPS functionality, and allow those of us happier with smaller, lighter but brilliantly functional devices that concentrate on the data we truly value to continue with them. Anyone wanting a bloated V650 or V800 is welcome to them, but I don’t want one.
ordered my v650 – and can only hope a lot of the issues i have been reading about above have been resolved … have a v800. both will be used for Tri – the v650 mainly as extended display for HR, speed, cadence, power ..
just realized that Polar USA doesn’t offer a front bike mount for Tri bikes, but in Australia and Europe it seems easy to get … what’s wrong with them? Can anybody help? With hydration between the aero bars I can’t use the stem mount. that’s simply ridiculous!
Mr Polar product manager – if your read this, too, please do something! Geez!
I bought the v650 a week ago and my recommendation is to stay away from it. It should clearly be advertised as a beta product with a warning that the promised features have a 1% probability of being implemented. After some research it seems Polar has a poor track record of delivering promised functionality. They rather abandon and leave a product line unfinished and start working on the next product.
A very good bicycle computer whose main feature is to connect to Bluetooth sensors. It found my cadence, speed and HR sensors without issues. If this was a €100 product without sync features I’d recommend a purchase.
The sync of training rides, settings and sensor data feature requires you to be connected to Polar’s cloud service Polar flow. This service has an uptime of around 5% so I hope you enjoy being up in the middle of the night to sync your training rides. Additionally the Polar FlowSync application is unable to sync all of my rides, settings and sensors even when the Polar Flow cloud is online. This makes their training analysis service useless.
There is additionally no Windows Phone app or ability to synchronize ride data from from v650 to windows phone or any other phone it seems.
Old polar mounting options aren’t compatible. If you manage to find a retailer selling the polar v650 bike mount be prepared to shell out up to €50 for a 1€ piece of plastic.
How to fix v650:
Make a SDK available so I can extract ride data and settings from the v650 because Polar seems unable to provide a service that does this for me. And no a webserive API to Polar Flow cloud is not OK because that doesn’t solve my syncing issues from the device.
Windows phone app (yeah never going to happen)
Offline application that can extract ride data into .TCX format so you can use your data in a cloud service that actually works.
Cheaper bike mounts. A 5000% markup is not OK.
First off, fantastic website – I’ve spent several weeks reading various reviews of yours as I’m fairly new to cycling (1 year) & decided I needed a structured training schedule (as all the experts recommend) as I’ve hit a plateau!.
Anyway, I’ve decided on the Wahoo KICKR, with the BLUE SC, TICKRX HRM, & Stages PM as these are all BTSmart & I’m about to upgrade my ipad anyway. So indoor training will be sorted.
However, I don’t have an iphone so need a BTSmart-enabled head unit for outdoors that will allow me to connect the SC/HRM/PM sensors (I’m not worried about maps as I already have an Etrex 30).
I narrowed it down to 2 : Mio 505, or the Polar V650, and if the V650 does everything it says it does, then that would be my choice. However, I then saw the final post by Mike!
I know you’re still testing it but as a quick bit of guidance (I’m about to make all my purchases) which one would you recommend out of the 2 – Mike’s post makes it sound like a non-starter.
Also, how do I support the website? I’m based in the UK & can get the Wahoo stuff for a 12% discount from Wiggle Honda (limited period, being one of their subscribers) but am willing to ‘click a link’ for the head unit.
A few days testing the v650. My impressions:
– Gorgeous screen & data display under all conditions tested
– Easy to use and config
– Reliable GPS, battery and barometric altimeter.
– No connection drops, lockups or weird behavior.
In general, design and hardware quality
– Excellent display of graphic HR intervals data
– No wireless sync, wasted BTLE connectivity.
– No degree of collaboration with V800: broadcasting HR data not working and training recorded by both devices computed separately in Polar Flow site. v650 trainings do not account for training load or training program-related Polar couching but account for time, mileage, etc.
– Graphic display of Speed and Altitude is useless: scale and buffering of the graphs are made to look cool but not to inform. Please have a look at informative speed and climbing graphics as implemented by cyclemeter, for example. Wasted hardware possibilities.
Anyone has any info regarding sync via Bluetooth, via the Mobile Flow app?
Expected, quote from above: “Polar has promised such connectivity “later in 2014” one year ago. But wait….they are too busy presenting a “polar M450” device for cycling. These guys are genius at marketing, they don’t deliver things that they announced 2 years ago (a fully operating v650) and they announce new gadgets that are probably not needed (we’ll see).
Just out of curiosity, what else specifically is not working on your V650?
Looking at your list above, most of that seems related to Flow data presentation, not so much the V650 itself (except sync).
Btw, I has a “tiny” bug in which I ran. And I just got feedback I’m not the only one.
When you first turn it on, you have to connect it to the Flow app and register the device in your account.
If you live in an apartment building like I do and my computer is nowhere near a window, it will search for a GPS signal for the first time and never found it.
After 2 hours I put it on the balcony. Didn’t find the GPS signal. Tried turning the device off/on, turning off the GPS, on… didn’t help.
Because that initial first GPS search “failed” it had an issue with it.
Solution is to make a factory reset (via Flow application) and when it resets it, take it outside for the first GPS signal search. When it finds it, took 7 minutes for me, the next time you won’t have any more issues.
The issue might be more common for a lot of people. Reason? When you buy it in the shop, maybe the sales person, maybe you will turn it on, to see if it works, you stay in the shop for 10 minutes, yer done. Just got feedback today from the shop, they had the same issue, because of the same procedure they did as I.
Maybe it will help someone.
Otherwise, the device itself, I’m satisfied.
I’m just looking for a solution NOT to take my laptop with me to vacation in August to sync the rides, but to do it with BT (as with V800).
Will make wife more happy also 🙂
The majors are of course no BTLE sync and no signal broadcasting (this is actually a V800 shortcoming but one starts venting there is a little blame for the v650 coherence in the whole product line as well). Bun then there are also the little things: no names for different bikes, still no aero mount available (at least widely), no intervals or training configuration possible – this one is a huge drawback. Most of what you said in your post above that would be fixed/implemented along the line is still in the same situation.I agree many shorcomings are related to flow, but hey, this kind of product are part of a platform.
Sorry forgot more minor things still not fixed: no inclination data without speed sensor, and no decimal number in inclination. These are common on v800 and v650
and routes… hahhaha, should have thought about everything first. Sorry for the bombing
Aero mount, DIY solution:
link to dl.dropboxusercontent.com
link to dl.dropboxusercontent.com
link to dl.dropboxusercontent.com
Garmin extended(!) mount, minus the inner part (unscrew), V800/RCX5 watch handle/mount.
It works also without the handle/mount, but I didn’t take it off.
Maybe it helps 🙂
really nice Ales!. I was thinking about designing a garmin to polar male/female adapter for a 3d printer, the garmin side is figured out and publicly available already but the polar side needs careful measuring & blueprint design.
I’m not a marketing expert, but I have a suggestion to make, in case POLAR are reading these lines. I bet you do…
Your v800 and v650 are amazing piece of hardware, but there’s still so much to do in terms of software potential.
SO, here’s a recipe for winning the cycling crowd in 24 hours or less:
…Add route planning and map tracking and your v650 in $250 kicks garmin 810 ass
Too hard? OK, so-
…Add strava integration and strava-related data fields (entering a segment, time in segment, distance left… all derived from the mobile phone) and the v650 is one of his kind.
Too adventurous? SO-
…Add proactive workout guidance in which you specify the desired workout result and your GPS computer guides you through (Instead of the present state in which you ride as you like and in the end finds out what type of workout you did).
These tips are free of charge… 🙂
Point being made… the battle is won via great software (given your hardware is already great).
Taking x000 and calling it x050, just because it has x+2 new features…
That’s just marketing, not innovation. Be the great company you are and dictate the pace for the rest.
1. Can you confirm whether or not you’ve been able to connect your Stages PM to the V650. Poster #207 says there’s no Pm support??
2. Read on a few forums that the Mio 505 has serious s/w problems; v4.1 loses ride data on upload to Strava, and v4.2 (which has been withdrawn by Mio) caused the GPS to break. Are you seeing any of this with your testing?
The Mio on V4.1 is quite stable, the only real issue is a distance metric which gets doubled when connected to some BTLE SC sensors. V4.2.4 does have some issues around stop detection and an increased battery consumption. Strava upload issues? Nope.
Regarding VAM metric on V650- Anyone has experience with actually using it? Specifically-
1. Is it good for pacing?
For example, on Strava you can see VAM score for each cyclist on a given climb segment, so this can serve as a goal when trying to outperform someone.
Until now I used the average speed on a segment as a goal. Does VAM have any advantages over speed pacing in this regard?
According to Polar it’s REAL-TIME VAM, so is it kind of meaningless without a Lap VAM avg?
Or am I wrong?
Hi Ray, do you have any idea if Polar are working on making 3rd party BT smart powermeters (stages, 4iiii precision etc) work on this device anytime soon? I just got mine in the mail and was kinda bummed that it paired fine with the Precision and seemingly even calibrated, but no power values showed up.
In theory they are, but I haven’t seen any detailed indications on what is supposed to happen when. Definitely annoying though, I agree. Really no excuse at this point.
I asked customer support at Polar, and was told: “We don’t have any schedule for supporting 3rd party power devices when using V650.”
It seemed Polar had a chance to make a dent in the bike computer market with V650 and M450, but I think they will stay a minor player unless they update these devices with all the features the HW allows, in order to meet Garmin with the newly announced features on the Edge devices.
Such a great device with such a limited software.
I truly hope Polar will roll out some major firmwares that will level up the game… It is quite annoying that BTLE sync isn’t out yet… Or that one can create training plan on V800, but not on V650.
Still, an amazing piece of gear, much more polished and responsive than Garmin. This user experience can’t be captured by product reviews or Youtube videos, thus, left unspoken.
As a side note, I do wonder why you delay this product review, Ray.
Possibly, because of lack of interest? Do you discard this product as a marketing mistake? M450 is Polar way of recalculating a new marketing route?
Alternatively, because it’s not yet “ready” for a full review. I Thought the policy is to call it as it is… Well, it “is” and available since March…
It’s simply because I’m busy with a ton of other new things. When I get super-busy, as it is now, I prioritize based on reader interest. For example, the Garmin 520 post got some 250,000 views in the first 24 hours alone. The Polar post? A few hundred or so per day.
If I had more time in the day, I’d love to get out more posts. But with a full time job, significant travel lately, and the CupCakery basically 24×7 the last few weeks – I’m simply slammed (averaging 3-4hrs sleep per night). So, I pretty much have to take what little time I have left for the topics that are of the highest interest.
Don’t worry, there are plenty of other products folks are antsy about backlogged reviews on – Epix, Apple Watch, etc…
All that said – I don’t foresee a positive review for the V650. And there’s really nothing in the next 3-5 months that I see that Polar has detailed that’ll change that.
Hi, I am the owner of V650. So far I am satisfied with this bike computer.
I only have one question about calculating ascent/descent data. I think this computer have 5m scale, so ascent/dsecent is rise by 5m. Altitude data is rising by 1m.
I noticed that when I riding on a small bumps (little slopes), with 3-4m altitude difference, the V650 doesn`t count ascent data. Is this true? So, If you don`t make at least 5m altitude difference, V650 will not count ascent/descent data. Am I right?
Theoretically that means, If I ride 10 bumps with 3-4m altitude difference, V650 will not make changes, but in reality I made about 40m ascent.
Is there a web site which shows what features will be added by Polar to the V650? I just ordered one, and after reading some of these comments, am starting to regret it 😐
I can’t get a Cyclops powertap dual speed & cadence sensor to pair with my new V650. Any suggestions?
I was tinking about leaving Garmin devices, and buying the Polar V650. But a big breaking deal is the fact that the V650 does not upload custom workouts! Come on Polar guys, what the hell were you thinking about? I used to train with a s725x and even that piece of history could do custom workouts…and even the lack BT sinc between smart phone and computer is a breaking deal for me Are they thinking like Magelan when they released cyclo 505hc?
I too had thoughts to jump from Garmin back to Polar. I have actually been enjoying the V800 and was thinking of the m450 and v650, but the fact you can’t download and follow courses on the v650 (or v800 and m450) may be a deal killer.
Its great they are allowing maps to be downloaded with a promoseds August firmware update, but maps aren’t much good without the ability to follow a route.
Garmin 520 it is. Too bad because I was kind of liking being back in the Polar fold.
Bad news from Polar support. I asked them about Stages compatibility with the V650 and they replied the next:
“We are not sure if this will be available in the future. Polar product and software development is highly based on customer feedback.
“We have forwarded this message to our R&D department. Your feedback will be taken into consideration.”
Which is really disappointing, knowing that Stages is already compatible with the V800.
Polar is really making us to regret about having bought this product.
That’s not good. Highend and their “flag ship” bike computer which doesn’t and maybe will not support power meters, except their own ridiculously over priced pedals.
Polar c’mon, you can’t be serious?!
I asked actually same question (“3rd party BT Smart power meter support coming to V650? Like 4iii Precision, Stages or Watteam Powerbeat?”) two weeks ago and they answered “It’s coming in some months, can’t confirm the date yet.”
So either they changed their mind or the support have some kind of random answer generator.
I wish I had read this post before purchasing the V650. Owning a V800, I assumed that the Polar V650 would automatically connect with the Stages PM with no problems. I was wrong. The V650 is able to pair but nothing is on display. This is a bit of a disappointment.
This is what i get from Polar:
Polar: Hi Andreas, there are plans for the update but no date to share at this stage, I’m afraid. //Anna
have you read this?
link to updates.polar.com
the v650 might not get recognised by a pc with windows 10, how will they fix that?
every pc will have it’s free update installed by the time they have an update.
and you can’t update a device that doesn’t get recognised by a pc..
that’s it i’m done.
Ray you can throw in my v650 in your extravaganza giveaway, if anyone wants it…
are you still looking to get rid of your polar V650? I can’t help it, but i need to test the device on my own. I read all comments in this article, but i just can’t believe all that.
If you still wanne get rid of it, please send me a mail. we’ll find a price we both are happy with.
Is anybody also having problems with updating the firmware on the V650? I got a unit shipped with firmware 1.0.74, but flow sync is not asking to update the firmware. Here’s what flow sync is showing: link to mobypicture.com
I tried syncing on different machines, OSs (OSX, win7), different cables, resetting the device several times: no success. 🙁
Try installing new version of FlowSync from link to flow.polar.com
Latest FlowSync version is 2.5.4 (released today)
V650 new update (v. 1.2.0) also released today, including maps.
woa, faster than updates.polar.com 😉 update is running
The latest FlowSync version 2.5.4 works finally with V650 on Windows 10. I just updated my V650 without any issues on Windows 10.
Just tested: The new update v 1.2.0 will work with Stages Powermeter!! Awesome!
Eugene, do you still have the stages Pm & v650? Is it possible to send me a random workout tcx or other file?
I’m seeing lots of dropouts in all my rides and am currently investigating what the issue could be.
Either indoor & outdoor. I can send one over to you too if you’d like to compare for yourself.
Someone else with Stages & V650 can send me one too in case you’re interested and it’s not too much of a hassle 🙂
You can mail me at debuysserk (at) me.com
The manual is already updated for 1.2.0 with the Maps.
No sign of workout/targets/training load though. 3rd party PM’s are nice.
link to polar.com
I’m unable to upgrade :-((((((
[18:57:47.000]  Firmware file written
[18:57:57.245]  ERROR: Operation timed out exception thrown.
[18:57:57.245]  ERROR: Operation timed out.
[18:58:00.136]  Run firmware update process
[18:58:00.152]  Model: PolarV650
[18:58:10.326]  ERROR: Unidentified device error exception thrown.
[18:58:10.326]  ERROR: Unknown error code.
[18:58:10.625]  Do backup
[18:58:20.750]  ERROR: Operation timed out exception thrown.
[18:58:20.750]  ERROR: Operation timed out.
[18:58:31.791]  ERROR: Operation timed out exception thrown.
[18:58:31.791]  ERROR: Operation timed out.
also tested. Powertap P1 works great with the V650 !!! since update today.
for Maps i miss gpx import.
Out of curiosity (since I don’t have a P1 handy at the moment), were/are you able to set crank length with the V650 for the P1’s?
Within “bike settings” you can now set up your crank length.
link to polar.com
Does it show the enhanced power graphics for 3rd party sensors too? Since they have a note about in the manual/update notes but it only mentions Keo Power.
yes could set crank length!
You’ve been able to change the crank length since the Firmware update that added KEO Power compatibility.
Yeah, I wanted to validate specifically with the P1’s though, only because Garmin actually allowed you to change as well, but when the P1’s were connected it all went out the window.
Anyone tried the new update with the Kickr ?
Not with the kickr, but with my Vortex smart: no luck. Works fine with the V800 though.
Oops, it appeared I celebrated too early with regards to compatibility with Stages PM. The V650 detects it, outputs a number and allows you to set crank length. The problem is, it doubles the power reading eg. if you’re putting out 160W it will show as 320W. This originally was a problem with an earlier update of the V800 but was fixed in subsequent updates. Let’s hope Polar is onto it.
I’m happy, that the polar team managed to release the update on schedule. Thanks a lot – i guess behind the scenes it looked like a grand central station. I really appreciate the openstreetmap integration, especially because it’s free of charge and no other device at this price comes with maps.
But still, the V650 appears to be half-baked:
– no logging of “paused time” to determine overall time & moving time
– no impact on recovery status (yet?)
– no synchronization via BT
– no flow integration: sport profiles (although this is pro & contra – on device configuration)
– power meter readings (V800 is getting data from e.g. vortex smart, V650 is not)
– no possibility to access maps while activity is paused. zooming & rotating maps while riding is quite difficult.
– (no possibility to create routes in flow or upload gpx files – again: yet?)
I might be a bit spoiled by how good the V800 (hardware & software) became over time (although this is my second device due to weak design of the very first units: broken housing and connector). But I don’t like being part of the manufacturer’s “public beta program,” especially not when I’m paying serious money.
At the moment I’m seriously considering shipping the V650 back to the dealer and going for a Edge520 & fenix3.
There’s a reason why i chose polar in the first place (well, fenix3 was not released 😉 ): i really like the concept of their products, but at the moment realization limps. But i guess they’re making an effort – at least in marcom with the updates blog.
Anyone knows perhaps if the V650 can read power data from a Tacx trainer (bushido smart)? Thanks!
tested it with vortex smart: no luck.
Thanks Christian .
BTW, totally agree with you about V650. To the very least Polar should stand behind the marcom original promise to wirelessly upload rides. It’s seems silly these days to connect a gps device to a pc after each ride… Perhaps M450 will be the driving force for investing in their cycling products.
I also did test my Stages PM yesterday after the software update and found out that it was doubling the power values. It’s a shame, knowing that it works perfectly with the V800. I sent a message to Polar Support some weeks ago and they told me that there was not a plan/date to make it compatible with Stages; they posted the same yesterday on a Facebook comment.
I don’t know you, but I feel very disappointed about this product. The worst thing of all is that Polar doesn’t seem to be listening their customers… not even the loyal ones.
Agreed, Paulo. It seems like the team looking after V650 aren’t talking to the team looking after V800 – like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.
Initially preorder M450 but cancel then order V650 and hope that Polar will update their firmware with more feature along the way.
Polar V650 – it’s Android 5.0.1 on MediaTek CPU
link to forum.polar.fi
Now STRAVA is running on the V650 ?!
Strava works, but without the network makes no sense. I can’t activate wifi interface.
In general, I do not see any reason to change something in the Polar V650 or do a custom build of Android. Simply buy on Aliexpress a Chinese eight core smartphone MTK6595 for 80$, and to put all that is necessary: Strava/Endomodo/OruxMaps/MyFinessPal …
Sorry guys, Polar V650 running Andriod 4.2.2, 512Mb RAM, MediaTek MT6572 CPU.
That the V650 has a MediaTek MT6572A processor is not a great secret.
The whole design is a smartphone with the phone items removed. This is one of the devices that has not been developed the the same Polar team which normal designs the other items. This has a huge influence on the firmware control they have. In the V650, Loops etc a cortex M0/M3 with realtime OS is used in which they have almost full control over both the firmware and hardware (in theory they could relative easy change the complete development kit to another brand). With the more complex V650 design the base is android which makes it much easier to start with but when running into problems it can be much harder to get them fixed because there are much more company’s involved (first pinpointing the problem and later determine who has to fix it (workaround or fix the real problem)
Dear Pavlinux. I’m not an Android expert, but how can V650 run Android 4.2.2 if BT4.0 has not been implemented till Android 4.3?
I don’t know (while)
It’s a fashion among the current generation, work on unfinished hardware?
Previously, updates and fixes were considered a disgrace to the company. Now it is the norm. And I see that in the Polar (Garmin, Sigma, CatEye,…) running stupid peoples, who only want the money by any means: Beautiful design, website, advertising, anything, but not normal and stable working devices.
Bought this device, no HR alarms, no training load on polar flow and does not sync to polarpersonaltrainer.com where you can track training load so is useless, realy regret purchasing this device, will never purchase polar again product range is all over the place, no interoperability with legacy polar services (that do work) basically a rip off. I now understand why everyone has gone to Garmin, fell like a total fool sticking with Polar. Wish some one had written a proper review, would have saved me money. I understand er stand this was on info provided at the time but reality is very diffrent
“Wish some one had written a proper review” … and what’s that up there in your opinion?
Bought the V650 because of this review the V650 very accurately describes.
Polar V650 not compatible with Win 10
Polar V650 not compatible with MacOS 10.11
Polar V650 no Bluetooth Sync iPhone
Polar V650 no Bluetooth Sync Android
can’t use it any more.
You can do more with the new and cheaper M450 Bikecomputer
can’t belief it
I sync my V650 with Windows 10 since I bought 3 weeks ago without problem.
Got a new update on my V650 with the following enhancements/fixes:
– Button logic updated. Possibility to take lap times with red button, even though display lock is activated. You can toggle between displays by pressing side button shortly
– 3rd party power sensor support (Power tap G3 and P1, Stages, Wahoo Fitness KICKR), added
– Increased the font size of street names in Open Street Maps
– Other minor bug fixes and improvements
Thanks Roel for the update. I too can confirm that the power reading from the Stages powermeter is now accurate with the new update.
Eugene & Roel, what can you actually see on your V650? Only current power, or other readings too?
Does Flow offer advanced capabilities to zoom further in on the power numbers? Or is it just a graph and nothing else?
Polar will only allow ONE of two power views: %FTP or Watts. I wish it would allow both at the same time. I chose %FTP as that is how I structure my training. You can have up to 10 or 12 views from memory on Polar V650 at the time of riding. I chose 8 views: %FTP, FTP average, Heart Rate, Cadence, Speed, Distance, Time, Altitude.
Polar Flow allows you to expand the views as shown below. The main thing you don’t get is: Intensity Factor, TSS, Hr:Pw etc that you get with Garmin or Training Peaks.
Hi Eugene –
A lot of reports across the internet re dropouts, etc with people’s Garmins and Stages. How does it behave with the V650? I’m told BLE is more stable than ANT+ in this regard?
1 other question, do you get Cadence from Stages as well? I currently have a Wahoo Blue SC with speed & cadence combined, but I will not link this to my indoor bike profile because speed & distance don’t make sense on a trainer.
I’d link just my Stages to my indoor trainer profile and get power, cadence & Hr.
For road bike profile, i’d use both Stages for Power and Wahoo for Cadence & Speed. Not sure how V650 handles multiple inputs for Cadence though, ie : which one he favors.
Hi JM, Been on one long ride so far. Havn’t noticed any problems. Will let you know as I use it more.
Cheers! If you’re happy to add me on Polar Flow, this is my profile link to flow.polar.com
short question and sorry I didn’t read all comments before.
I realy would love to get me a V650. Important for me is to follow a track on a map on the V650 screen. Is this possible today or planned for the future?
Thanks for your help!
Currently, you can see a map, and the route you’ve taken, but you can’t show/follow a preset route at this time. Polar have been promising an update to enable this, but it’s not available at this point.
Hope that helps.
Route guidance added in latest release link to updates.polar.com
I’m tired of waiting for Polar to launch the (long-promised) out front mount. The only one I can find which is currently shipping is this one from racewaredirect: link to racewaredirect.co
Does anyone have any experience of this (or other) out front mounts?
For anyone who is tired of waiting for Polar to launch an out front mount, I’ve just ordered one of these: link to werking.cc
I’ll report back soon on whether it works well or not!
Polar does make an out front mount:link to bike-discount.de
I have it and it works great
Nope, they pulled that one out. Some defects or something? They’ve been promising a new one long time now, but like everything else with Polar nowadays it’s just promises, they really can’t deliver those promises.
I’ve just had my first ride with my V650 mounted on a Werking 3d mount: link to werking.cc
It worked really well and feels secure and stable. Also easier to read out front. Would recommend. The only downside is that postage cost is a bit on the high side.
I ordered a Bar Fly one this week. They’ve just added a new SLi to their site, with a Polar mount option.
link to facebook.com
Looks good, and cheaper than the 3D printed ones. I’ll report when I received it and went for some test rides.
I have been using this computer for a while now. I have a completely Bluetooth sensor ecosystem, so it made sense to go with this product when I decided that my cell phone’s battery life was not cutting it for longer rides.
As others have mentioned above, it is not currently compatible with Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan). That is a bit of a pain, lucky that I have an older laptop that I had not upgraded that I am using with Polar Flow to sync.
The biggest issue I am finding with it is the flakiness of the Bluetooth pairings. It seems to be really, really sensitive to contention problems when multiple devices are pairing to the same sensors. I have Strava on my iPhone that pairs with HR strap, S/C sensor, footpod… iPhone’s connection to these sensors is rock solid, but the V650 seems to lose them regularly.
To get them to re-pair with the V650 I have to switch off bluetooth sensors in the Strava app, and remove the HR strap from the iOS Health app settings, or the V650 does not see them. Once V650 has paired with them then you can turn bluetooth back on in the Strava and Health apps and it works for a while (a couple of days), but then contention problems rear their head again.
It also seems to default to taking “ownership” of the paired sensors, you have to specifically activate the rebroadcast function as a separate step after the sensor has paired.
That’s a Bluetooth related issue. When your phone picks it up first, your v650 won’t see them anymore. That’s completely normal. Don’t remove the pairing, just disable Bluetooth on your phone during your workout.
I use V650 with H7 and Polar cadence sensor. The only time that it lost connection was when I walk away from the bike. All I have to do is goto recovery the device and it’s all set.
Is anyone of you getting Cadence along with Power metrics from Stages with the V650? I am only getting Power, but when paired with my V800, I get Cadence and Power from Stages. This may be a limitation on V650.
I’m getting both cadence and power from my Stages PM on my V650.
Works just fine.
Hi Ray and Polar V650 users,
Would it be reasonable to ask for a refund, now when it’s obvious that the V650 will NOT receive the Bluetooth wireless uploads? This is not just another promised feature. It was listed as an existing feature at the day of the release.
I’m seriously trying to understand if a company can write whatever it feels like, or should it stick to its marketing word? In principle, all the V650 customers were misled.
Connected devices that allow for upgrades are both good and bad. The bad one is clearly what Polar has shown here. I’m still hopeful Bluetooth sync will arrive though (they’ve repeated it in the past that they’re building it), unless you have a confirmation of Polar about this?
I’ve stopped worriying about the timeframe of updates and just kept on working out like i’ve always had. Don’t let technology get in your way, it makes working out easier, but not impossible.
A refund this late won’t be easy I think..
Legally, Polar never provided what’s promised. Ain’t talking about upgrades. Can you imagine the Edge 520 released without Strava segments after all the PR hype? Will it go unnoticed?
If you think it will eventually happen, how long is long enough to call it a bluff? Yet, Polar seems to have the time and resources to launch M450, the cheaper model (With Bluetooth uploads, how ridiculous is that?) as well as A360 and very soon, V860, I guess… Why Ray is hard on Limits, but Polar can say one thing and do another? Again, it’s not some wishful upgrade, it’s how they marketed the device from day one.
To make my point clear, here’s a photo from the Polar V650 site as of today:
“(BT) Connects your Polar device and possible sensors to each other and enables you to sync your data via mobile.”
MOBILE you say?
Check out today’s date. When was it released?
You don’t have to convince anyone that the v650 release was (and still is partly) rather incomplete and shortcoming.
I’m just more optimistic that they eventually will come through with some needed updates.
But, everyone can do what he/she wants of course.
I’m not trying to convince. Just asking if it’s reasonable to expect a full refund on behalf of the 12.3 customers who voted for the V650, put their trust in Polar, etc.
I would think it’d be a reasonable request.
I was really excited about getting my V650 for 135 euro on Black Friday…..stupid me. Really disappointed now with it. It won’t work on my Mac and won’t work either on my Virtual machine running Windows 7. How can a company seriously get away with this? Upon further investigation I discover that they are working on a fix and have been for some time now. I’m now left with a GPS unit I can’t sync after my rides. No maps either, won’t sync. Stop me! Hey Ray, I’d love you to give them a good kick and get them to respond. Still no Strava integration with Flow. I expected better to be honest.
I had no problems using mine in a Virtualbox ith win7. (youd have to instal the extensionpack in virtual box in order to use USB3 devices)
Still no news from Polar as to when Mac users will be able to sync their V650. What’s the point of having a GPS Bike Computer that won’t sync? I would’ve happily stayed with my trusty odometer……seriously!
Mac OS 10.11 is supported now!
Since this article is nearly 2 years old will Polar release a new model next Jan or is the M450 the replacement?
I hope not, beacause V650 is still half product…:(
Thought I’d just check back in here as it’s been a while. Have been happily using my v650 since it (eventually) came out. Nice bit of kit, my thoughts…
Best to lock the screen – I’ve split a number of rides by touching, pressing or dripping on the screen by accident!
If you’re wearing an HR strap and walk away from the unit you’ll need to search for the sensors again. It is possible to do this without restarting your ride – which is nice!
Maps are a good addition, but I’ve never used them. I still reach for my phone if I’m lost, but I guess in a battery-based emergency…
Reading the review synopsis again I see the original idea was for BT rebroadcasting. Did this ever come to pass?
This is a fantastic product!! Have a Garmin 810 that I am going to sell. The display is fantastic and is readable in all types of light; the battery life is excellent; the software is easy to use and setup; the Flow website is good and it all interacts with the Polar watch as well. I don’t use a power meter, but do like to keep track of things. The Polar ecosystem is excellent. My only gripe is that the V650 won’t connect to my smartphone as the V800 does. As an older, non-competitive, athlete my priority has shifted to generally keeping track of things without too much effort and the Polar system does that for me. Go Polar.
Does any one have sync issues with v650 and windows (7 & 10.1). Usb will charge but no data sync connection.
For anyone else searching for a Sync solution, revert to basics.
In my case the 3x USB cables I tried at home were not good enough.
It sync ok on my work laptop, I assumed this was a windows or anti-virus setting and wasted many hrs re-configuring one of my home laptops. In fact it was the just the USB cable.
For me original blackberry playbook data cable and Samsung S5 cables were good, but Chromecast and some Chinese short USB cables were not.
Route navigation addedd in latest release:
link to updates.polar.com
Im just missing one feature now: mobile sync via bluetooth (aka download new map area map area on touring trips and sharing sesions without a coputer)
I have at the moment a M400 at home and started with biking now. As both v650 and m450 are nearly the same price at the moment I’m not sure for which model I should go for. Anyone has any advice about whats good / bad about both ?
I´m struggling to upload my own GPX files to the V650. Seems as if this feature is still not available.
If yes, does anybody know when this will come? I mean, my stone old Edge 800 had this feature already 5 or so years ago. Can`t be that though …
I´m struggling to upload my own GPX files to the V650. Seems as if this feature is still not available.
No, it is not. You can only upload tracks that are already in Polar flow, made but yourself previously (notice the oxymoronic idea to allow uploading only routes that you already know) or by someone else in the community. Furthermore, the last time I checked you could only start them from the beginning and no from somewhere else along the route (e.g., let’s say that you are close to the track but away from its start point, it still pointed you to the start point…. With these limitations is pretty much useless, but in case that you want to play with it there is a turnaround to import regular routes to polar flow and then to the v650. Have a look to this post to do that in the V800, it would be the same thing (sorry it is in Spanish butt you can figure it out): link to correrunamaraton.com
if yes, does anybody know when this will come?
Given the rhythm of polar updates in general, and V650 in particular, it may never arrive. But well… who knows.
There is a way to upload .gpx to V650 but a bit tricky.
link to forum.polar.fi
I try this way and it`s working!
In fact there is a way to import newly created tracks. Using Syncmytracks from Google Play (only Android useres).
1-Create a gpx using route builder from Strava or similar.
2- Copy gpx to the folder storage/emulated/0/syncmytracks
3- Export file using syncmytracks to polarflow (you can export several gpx files but I haven’t tested it)
4-Mark the synced activity in polar flow as favorite. You may then delete it.
5- Sync V650 and.. voila.
Altough Polar has made many mistakes with the v650, we have to keep in mind this is a sub 200€ device. So we cannot expect it to have features that are only available on competitor devices ranging from €300 and upwards.
To be fair, they didn’t have to include maps, they only said it would have turn by turn navigation and I guess it would be like the v800 then.
I’m just hoping they keep it updating steady so by this summer, we’ll have both mobile sync & workout targets.
Flow website will be updated with custom route imports, v650 doesn’t need an update for that.
I don’t use training load on flow, I rely on Training Peaks for that calculation (TSS).
So Polar is getting worst by the day. What they do (very late) with one hand undo with the other (very quickly). On the las V650 firmware update they render useless my Stages power meter. There response…. you have to wait for the next firmware release to get this fixed!!!
I basically paid $250 + $75 in accessories for a Cycling computer that messed up my Power Meter… Thank you very much Polar!!!
There are conflicting reports on this issue. Some users have the new firmware (with route guidance) and their stages initially had some issues pairing, but another pairing did the trick.
But I must say that the latest firmware from Stages (from end of january) has caused issues with regards to pairing to v650. They are on to it with Polar, so the situation might be two-fold?
Anyway, I haven’t upgraded my Stages yet, it’s coming back from service this week. I did upgrade my v650 however, so I’m hoping the issue will not render my Stages useless until the next upgrade.
Where did you get the answer from Polar? Twitter/Facebook?
It was on Facebook. They never see the tickets you open on their website.
Here is the transcript.
“Right. Cycling Power Service 1.1 update is not yet supported by the V650 latest release. Sorry for the confusion. I’ll double-check if there’s a roll-back possibility for V650 but seriously doubt it, otherwise we’d got the info internally on how to do this.”
So you updated your Stages firmware as well?
Stages is now compliant with the Cycling Power Service 1.1, but the v650 isn’t yet. That’s why the pairing is off. That’s also what Stages has been telling me, so basically your Stages will render useless if you update your Stages to the newer firmware.
I’m guessing the v650 route guidance update didn’t break anything, but it should’ve added support for the new Cycling Power Service 1.1 which it didn’t.
Stages did mention they were already working with Polar on it, so a fix should be able to come quickly.
I’m getting my Stages back this week, hope it still works with v650, need it for training.
I can still pair may Stages with my phone (Wahoo app) after the update. And I haven’t touch the Wahoo app for a while now. So I don’t think it was Stages wrong doing. Given Polar ways lately Im pretty sure the problem is on Polar’s side.
Thanks for the info anyways.
Jep, Stages didn’t do anything wrong. They complied and somehow the v650 can’t handle the new version. Stages did say that both v800 and m450 have NO issue with the new firmware (oddly enough).
I just implied Stages could make it possible to downgrade the firmware so you can pair it again. Not sure if that’s possible since it’s done through their app without you selecting a certain firmware release..
I too confirm that since the latest V650 update (Firmware: 4.1.8 and SW release: 1.3.2) and the latest Stages firmware update (Version 2.0.77) Polar V650 is unable to pair with Stages. I have emailed Polar. Will keep you all updated on any news.
I got this from stages as I was unable to pair v650 with stages after upgrading to the latest firmwarm:
We have actually some instances where some of the Polar products can corrupt the firmware, as you are seeing. That is due to a bug in their firmware that overwrites the Stages crank length, which sounds like what is happening here.
I follow this discussion for a while now and read all the comments a while ago.
I finally got my piece this week.
Now there is one question. I know the answer is somewhere in this discussion, but i couldn’t find it again.
I wanne use my V800 and V650 at the same time for my rides. The V800 to capture everything for polar.flow and strava and the V650 to view all metrics during the ride.
How can I see my heartrate on both devices at the same time?
Thanks for the support.
You need a Polar H7 HRM to get it work with both at the same time.
Pair the H7 first with V650, after it’s showing heart rate pair it with V800. This way V650 is using H7’s bluetooth connection and V800 is using gymlink connection.
Only one of the devices can get speed, cadence and incline if you are using a sensor. If the priority is real time display that should be the v650 and then this data won’t sync with strava. Both can get the heart rate if you use a polar H7 heart strap and you pair it with the v650 first, then start pairing with the v800. I used that setup for a while until I got tired of waiting for the v650 to be updated for a logical cooperation between both devices, then I bought a garmin edge 520 and it does with the v800 much better (I get all the data in both platforms)
Thanks a lot for the quick response.
But if I use GPS for speed, I will have speed on both devices, too, right?
So this thing is absolutely worthless for triathlon, because when I change from swimming to biking the V650 won’t find my heartrate.
Or can I pair both sensors before the start and the V800 would stay on the gymlink connection? That way the V650 would find the H7 bluetooth in the transition zone with the V800 already connected.
Did you try this already? I will try it this weekend and will let you know.
If you unpair your V800 and h7 before swim start it will work. V800 use the gymlink and v650 picks up the bt signal at the start of the bike leg. I used this setup for an IM race last year. Got hr and speed on booth devices. No power in the V800 thought but I can live with that.
Thanks a lot! Great to have you folks around here.
Always great discussions and new thoughts.
[Karl] But if I use GPS for speed, I will have speed on both devices, too, right?
Yes, but only speed no incline
[karl] So this thing is absolutely worthless for triathlon, because when I change from swimming to biking the V650 won’t find my heartrate.
Or can I pair both sensors before the start and the V800 would stay on the gymlink connection?
Yes you can, no problem as long as you force the analogic lock with V800 by pairing with the v650 through the BLTE connection first. As long as the v800 remains locked with the H7, the v650 will pick the BLTE signal when you get in range again. It is just a pain…
Would somebody be able to help with some screenshots? I’d like to know how the power, speed and heartrate graphs in the training views of the V650 look like in order to judge how readable and useful they might be, but couldn’t find any screenshots on the web (or they are so different from what I expect that I didn’t notice – I was expecting data plotted over time, some color version of the heartrate graphs on older models), all The graphs I found were histograms (of time spent in zones). Polar support seemed to agree that there are no images on the web, but surprisingly just recommended to look in YouTube videos (where I wasn’t successful either) instead of attaching any pics…
I’ll try to make some tomorrow, while doing an indoor session (safer for my cellphone), but honestly, I don’t use the graphs at all. I use the bars that represent time in zone (HR/Power) only.
@Klaus, well, I was somewhat suspecting that the absence of images comes from the fact that no one is using them, and I myself had only questionable experiences with minuscule monochrome HR graphs on past devices On the other hand, I found that the HR & power graph of TR on a smartphone can be useful for pacing even outdoors if set up right (but the ANT adapter is too clumsy), so I was wondering where the V650’s graphs would fit in. Say, if I setup the zones so that a zone would be exactly the range of power I wanted to hold, and then use that zoom in feature, I could somewhat imagine it to be useful…
So, yes, would still be thankful for screenshots.
Finally! An update on the V650 and I can confirm the pairing with Stages Power Meter is up and running again.
Warning: Polar V650’s new firmware connects to Stages power meter but changes the crank length permanently!! For those who are using the V650 with Stages, you may have noticed your power value is HALF its original. The V650 is able to permanently change the power meter crank length on your Stages! I have contacted Stages power. The only way to fix this is to change the crank length via the Stages power app. To do this go to the the “Tools” page. Once you’re on the tools page, tap the word “Connected” at the top of the screen until an extra item appears below tools. It should have a drop down to select a crank length and then hit “Set Crank Length” to save the correct length to your power meter, then repeat it with the next one. This will fix the incorrect crank length.
Sigh…I just don’t understand why Polar would even bother to set that value, since it’s obviously not utilized since you can’t self-install a Stages PM.
I have exactly the same problem but the procedure described above doesn’t seem to work. I have tapped on the “Connected” word at the top of the “Tools” page but I am not getting anything. Is there anything missing?
Hi Paulo, it will work. You just need to click closer to the “Connected” word. Keep tapping on the screen near the word. I too was disappointed that it did not work initially. It appears to be a “hidden” function. Ray is right. Why Polar wud tinker with crank length is beyond me.
I had to use android phone to change to crank length. That trick didn’t work on iOS.
Stages app showed 173mm crank length for 172.5mm. I’m not sure if this is normal or has V650 changed it.
Thanks Niko for letting me know. I don’t own an iphone so my comments were solely based on android platform. Also, the Polar V650 can change the device type. I own two Stages powermeters – one on the TT bike and the other on the Roadie. The power meter on my TT bike has been changed to “General” instead of a powermeter for “Road” bicycle. I don’t know if this makes any difference but here is a screenshot.
Anyone tried to bridge an ANT+ power meter to V650 through Viiiiva? I’m considering to buy the Infocrank or inpower, and would like to stick with my polar head unit. Ray, do you have a idea if this works?
Hi, maybe a simple answer for you but I’m not sure:
Can I connect my Fitbit Charge HR to the Polar so it reads my heartrate?
Then I can connect the Polar software to Strava so I have the data of the Polar including the heartrate of the Fitbit in Strava?
Thanks for your answer!
No, Fitbit doesn’t re-broadcast the HR unfortunately.
I see the V650 is now substantially discounted on Amazon, US$197 without HRM as of today, March 16, 2016.
Compared to when I first bought it, I’d say my V650 is a transformed device with Polar’s firmware and software updates. I’d say it works well and reliably now.
I wonder if the replacement for the V650 is coming soon, given the reduced price??
Can somebody please help me out? I would like to get a new track on my polar V650.
How can I get this track on polar.flow and my polar V650?
I only know you can use your own used tracks or from other people.
But I would like to create a track on strava or gpsies or something similar and download it on my device.
Is there a chance somehow?
Thanks a lot.
A long awaited and basic feature all of us would like to have. There is a workaround though, albeit tedious and android only. This is taken from their online forum:
Using Syncmytracks from Google Play (only Android users).
1-Create a gpx using route builder from Strava or similar.
2- Copy gpx to the folder storage/emulated/0/syncmytracks
3- Export file using syncmytracks to polarflow (you can export several gpx files but I haven’t tested it)
4-Mark the synced activity in polar flow as favorite. You may then delete it.
5- Sync V650 and.. voila.
I don’t have an android. I’m hoping that Polar will offer this soon.
Step by step instructions which I wrote a while ago for V800, works for V650 also:
link to facebook.com
Sorry, but that Facebook link is dead – can you give me a working link or post here? Many thanks.
can you pls add link for instructions
Today Polar released Flow 3.0.
While starting it, I’ve noticed (picture attached) it offered BT sync with V650, tho I have no such menu available on the V650 to do it.
Anyone else ran into this?
I’m guessing a v650 update is imminent that enables this feature. About time..
Spoke with a Polar representative on Swedish bike expo 2016 and according to him phone sync for the V650 is going to be released soon. Uploading your own routes is also about to be released soon™.
Polar Flow 3.0 is a disappointment for me. Sure it looks new and different, but the functionality is dumbed down. For example, the plot of my rides accessible on my iPhone 6 would previously show all the collected data including heart rate, speed, cadence and an altitude plot. Now just heart rate and speed are plotted in the graph. I don’t care about looking at a plot of speed, so only one form of usable data is now plotted.
I stand corrected. Polar Flow 3.0 is not “dumbed down” as I said above. The button to expand the data graph and show more data is gone in 3.0. But I discovered you just touch the graph image and it will open to the expanded mode similar to before. No button required. I’m no longer disappointed with 3.0.
Today I stumbled upon a way to IMPORT .gpx files into Polar Flow – and thus to the V650!
In Polar Flow, hit the ‘favorites’ star-shaped icon next to your name. Right underneath is an option ‘Import Route’. Click it and you’ll be able to import any .gpx to Polar Flow. Next, just synchronize the V650 with your computer to get the route onto your V650 where you can select it.
Not sure if anyone is experiencing this but I’m having trouble with pairings. Every time I turn off V650 and turn back on I have to remove pairings and then pair again to get it to recognize sensors. In a chat with Polar support they acknowledge it as known issue and that they are working on a fix.
Jep, known issue but the workaround you mention is not needed. Just remember to do “Search for sensors” after you power on your device. It takes longer than it used to (and sometimes multiple times) but eventually it’ll find all your sensors. Quicker than re-pairing all of them.
Strange they don’t notice these kid of bugs, like they don’t test drive their firmware releases on their own bikes..
But I just “ran” into this, since on the weekend I finally rode outside after a long winter.
Thanks! Great hint!!
Thanks Klaus–will give that a try!!!
Yeah I’m having the same problem too. According to a Polar representative on Swedish Bike Expo a fix for it is a few weeks away.
I’ve had to use the “Search for Sensors” on my V650 every session since the last update. Polar needs to fix this right away.
Software 1.3.4 released today fix the sensor detect problem. And also prep for Flow mobile sync?
“Last but not least, this release has some backend preparations for the upcoming Flow app compatibility which is just around the corner, so stay tuned!”
The latest update fixed the sensor pairing issue. Too bad they removed the recovery status/training load feature in polar flow for any training session synced after the update. I’m confident no one at Polar actually use the V650 on their personal cycling sessions. The QC for the recent V650 updates have been non-existent. I was going to buy a m400 and polar balance scale but at this rate I’m just growing more and more frustrated with Polar’s poor QC and lack of features. All my sensors are both ANT+ and BT. At this rate I’m just going to leave the Polar ecosystem and move on to Garmin.
As you say, with the latest update to the V650, the pairing issue we experienced from the prior update was addressed. However, I still get my training load and recovery reported in Polar Flow. So no problems for me.
We also own an M400 sport watch and the M450 bike computer (both seem to have the exact same internals wrapped in a different package), and I do not recommend the M400/450 compared to the V650. The M400 and M450 have had a lot of problems with the micro USB port and we experience frequent and ongoing problems with pairing and settings.
By comparison, the V650 has been very stable and reliable. We use the H7 HRM and both the Polar and Wahoo speed and cadence sensors with the V650. I’ve used my V650 five days a week for over a year and it works great.
My only criticism for the V650 is the back light should be brighter and stay on longer, as I never have a issue with battery life. I’d also recommend the side button be made more difficult to push, as it can be inadvertently actuated too easily.
Since Amazon recently dropped the price on the V650 to less than $200, I think it is the better choice for a Polar product if you cycle.
As an aside, the V650 is so transformed from firmware updates I’d like to see DCR do an updated review. It is quite a different device to that when it first came out. Kudos to Polar for keeping the firmware updates coming.
I’ve had zero USB issues with both the Polar M400 and M450. I suspect problems occur when people use a non supplied USB cable and/or don’t dry the device when wet. No pairing or settings problems with either device and I prefer the size of the M450 to the V650.
The latest firmware recovery status works for me. But after firmware update I notice that non-polar sensor had to be rediscover.
After synchronizing today I got recovery status for the training sessions from the past week that were missing this information.
Is the Polar v650 compatible with the Suunto bluetooth smart belt?
Yes, but it won’t pull cached data, only real-time HR data.
And maybe it’s worth noting that on the M450 (and probably also on the V650) you won’t be able to perform fitness and orthostatic tests without an official Polar HRM.
Hello I was wondering how to add a route to the V650 or gpx file
During my last 2 or 3 rides–the V650 randomly goes from my screen of choice to the new route screen and I have to switch it back. Anyone else experiencing this?
Davesee, was that when following a route?
Because the v650 then sometimes returns to the map view when the GPS signal was lost & it (re)found the initial route. I’ve had that happen too. It’s a bit of a pain that you have to go back to your preferred screen when that happened but nothing big.
Hi Klaus–yes it was on a route so that must be it. Agree–not a big deal at all–just an annoyance. Thank you!!!
Polar finally released GPX route import:
link to updates.polar.com
now Im waiting only for the update for bluetooth sync!
and today Polar released Bluetooth Sync:
link to updates.polar.com
Does anybody have a V650 with a Stages PM? I’m experiencing some intermittant (1 second long) dropouts when riding bike outdoors, lots of them when riding indoors.
I’m looking for a Garmin to test the ANT signal. If both exhibit this behaviour, than Stages is the culprit. Stages already had a look at the PM and said their tests indicate nothing is wrong so they are pointing towards v650 in combo with the PM.
ps : finally route import & mobile sync, now to smoothen some stuff and the v650 will actually be a decent cycling gps 😉
I don’t have a power meter but I have issues with Wahoo RPM sensors. I have both the blue cover and the newest revision with black plastic. I can be doing 100 RPM and all of a sudden it cuts out to 0. After about a second it works it way back up to the real RPM. I don’t have this issue with Wahoo blue SC so I’m not sure if it is a sensor issue or V650 issue. I do know it’s quite annoying analysing the data since I get drops to 0 RPM all over in polar flow.
Hi. I’ve the same problem of you, but i can confirm that Polar and Wahoo don’t have release newest firmware to resolve the problem… It’s very stressful. I think that at the moment the solution is used official polar sensor with magnet because RPM Wahoo cadence sensor uses a built in accelerometer which can be affected by sharp bumps. These bumps can cause a spike in the data. Ugly story!
Looks like Polar introduced (another) bug in the latest v650 or flow update (not sure which one). All power data from my Stages PM is doubled when it’s exported as a file or synched to Strava.
That makes my power meter essentially useless to Training Peaks since my power values are incorrect.
I’ll try and make a webapp that reads the xml and rewrites the power values to half.
Looks like testing 3rd party sensors isn’t in their book.
Thanks Klaus for letting us know. I will not update the V650 until a definitive fix has been made. This happens everytime and renders my V650 useless until the next update. 3rd time it has happened.
No problem, apparently it’s not only the Stages that’s affected. Powertap C1 as well -> see Polar forum thread (forum.polar.fi).
Temp fix for your workout files : Download Golden Cheetah (free). Upload your file & go to Edit/Adjust power values -> put -50% in and hit Enter. Save your modifications and export the file.
Please keep us up to date. I’m interested in getting a Stages power meter in the winter so this will be an important factor.
Is it just me or has the V650 become a really good unit with the latest updates? I wasn’t much impressed when I got it last year and it’s been sitting on the shelf for a long time. I thought I’d give it another go when I heard about the mobile sync feature being added. Now I must say it does the job really well in every aspect. I love the Maps! It almost deserves a new review.
I could not agree more!
On the other hand it´s up to Polar not to release it in beta… It feels like ready with the maps. But I still wait for that new bikemount that is to come in july 2016 (now).
Bar Fly have had a Polar compatible out front mount for months. No need to wait for Polar.
Does the V650 have the equivalent of the Garmin Edge 500’s ‘Workouts’ where you can create and follow intervals (such as 5 mins at 90% Max HR, followed by 1 mins rest, then repeat 6 times)?
I looked at the feature chart, and it seems like it might not have this capability on the unit itself, but can an interval workout be created in Polar Flow, and then transferred to the V650?
I’m just looking around for an alternative to the Edge 500 (not sure why, really, but I think I just fancy a change), and I’m considering the V650 – and the Sigma Rox 10.0, but perhaps the Garmin is actually the most sensible choice.
David–I haven’t found a workout section for cycling yet–there is one for running on Polar Flow so hopefully that means they might create one for cycling eventually.
As far as 650 goes–it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you read through the comments section you can see it’s come a long way since it was first launched and is a nice unit for HRM, speed, cadence, GPS, and ever improving mapping ability. I have not used it with power but hope to do that soon.
I think if you read DCR’s other reviews you’ll see his top choice right now at this level of bike computer is Garmin 520, followed by Wahoo’s ELEMENT, and then maybe Polar M450. My personal opinion is if DCR reviewed the V650 now (he hasn’t done a hands on review)–it would be number 3 with M450 (just depending if you are ok with bigger size and want mapping ability).
No idea on Sigma Rox 10–haven’t looked into that one.
Thanks very much, Davesee. It’s really helpful to know the V650 doesn’t have a workout feature.
I’ve had a glance through the ELEMNT review, and it seems to need an iOS or Android device to configure it, which is a deal-breaker for me.
I’ve always been quite happy with the Edge 500’s functionality, but Garmins can be a bit temperamental at times, and mine hasn’t been as stable since I updated its firmware a few months ago to the latest version.
I suppose they all have their quirks and flaws, and there isn’t one device which will do everything I’d like. The 500 is pretty close, but I just fancy something new.
the V650 can be found in Germany in many online stores, such as amazon, for as little as 165EUR (25% discount)
link to amazon.de
do you know if this discount is temporary, or if the price will stay there? what can be the reason for it? new polar device coming?
the discount does not seem to be available in other countries (f.i., clever training uk does not have this offer)
whats your opinion of the device for this price? what do i missed compared to an edge 520? and what do i get?
What do you miss compared to an Edge 520? A lot of things: Turn prompts when navigating a course, any sort of workout creation, on device Strava segments (if you are Strava Premium), the ability to save locations to calibrate altitude, Virtual Partner, on device training calendar, indoor trainer control, recovery adviser, VO2 Max estimation, easy power meter support, weight scale integration, Di2 Shifter support, automatic and easy upload to the internet, easy transfer to third parties in a large unit that is hard to read in bright sunlight and doesn’t play well with certain types of gloves in winter.
Then there is the ecosystem as well. Polar does not play with many others. Garmin plays with a lot more. It pretty much just works.
Feature for feature there is no comparison. Having had one, and now owning a 520, I wouldn’t recommend the V650 over the 520, no matter what the price of the V650 was.
Thank you Michael.
after my post i spent sometime looking at different bike computers. and yes you are right, you cannot compare it with the 520, not that i actually need all 520 features.
i am right now debating between the v650 and the garmin touring. or even a teasi one, very popular here in germany.
my main use for the computer will be touring with my family, following preloaded routes and being able to get to somewhere if we change minds during the trip.
Same here, switched to the Garmin 520 2 months ago and haven’t regretted it one minute.
Now only to find someone to buy my v650.. 😉
That’s a helpful comparison.
I don’t really need all the features of the 520, but I’ve generally been happy with my 500, and it looks like the Garmins are still the ‘safe’ choice.
I’d miss the workout feature, and a decent monochrome screen is more useful to me than a colour one.
I mentioned the Sigma Rox 10.0 above, but that doesn’t seem to have any advantages over the 500, and I saw a magazine review of it earlier this week in which the reviewer complained about its user-interface and computer app.
I’ll take a closer look at the 520 and 820 Garmins.
I don’t use all the features of the 520 either, but I like the fact that for me it just works.
I have recently started using MyFitnessPal and can get information to automatically transfer between Garmin Connect, MyFitnessPal and Fitbit so I get a holistic picture of my energy intake and expenditure. Okay, so weight from my Aria scales doesn’t transfer to Garmin Connect from MyFitnessPal unless I force a sync, but everything else is automatic. I only need my weight in Garmin Connect to keep my devices accurate, so I can live with that as it’s not like its something that changes dramatically from day to day.
There was a long time when Polar suited my needs. Now Garmin suits my needs better. Until I started using my data in multiple platforms I was happy with Polar. Now automation is the key so I don’t have to do data entry in multiple locations. Garmin does that better than Polar.
Michael: Which Fitbit do you use? I’ve been interested in getting an activity tracker but am struggling with the question of staying within Polar family to have all information on Polar Flow or getting a better performing tracker from Fitbit/Garmin but not getting the complete picture. Sounds like MyFitnessPal could be the type of thing I’m looking for to marry my data.
I use a Fitbit One. It just goes in a pocket and tracks my steps, not my hand movements. It means I can wear whatever watch I want.
Polar and MyFitnessPal don’t talk directly to one another unless you have an iPhone, but MyFitnessPal will talk to Strava, so you can get credit for activities recorded on a Polar device that are synced to Strava. From MyFitnessPal the activity details will then also get passed to Fitbit to factor into your daily total.
In summary, I use Fitbit to record weight and daily activity, Garmin Connect to record exercise and MyFitnessPal to track food and bring it all together.
I forgot to mention the Garmin 520 will also do Live Tracking, so your activities can be followed by others almost in real time.
I’ll buy it.
Is a replacement for the V650 coming soon? Seems a bit outdated.
First Thanks for the response on my question.
Second I must say that I bought the v650 and I am using it for a month now along with the Polar scale the device works fine my average km per ride are about 60-70 so I am not what you call an advance cyclist.
I love the fact that I do not have any problems with the device that’s why I chose it instead of garmin.
I just want to ask is there any chance Polar will ad live tracking and incident alert at this device or she is going to replace soon with a new device?
Anyone having issues syncing rides via mobile phone since last update? I’ve been syncing fine with iPhone 4S for a long time but since latest firmware update haven’t had any luck.
Same issue here! “Syncing with mobile” doesn’t work with my V650 and iPhone 5. Latest version of Polar Flow app installed (iPhone) and latest software version installed (V650). I’v been through all the help topics on Polar website but syncing still not working. Can anyone resolve this problem please?
Hi Chris–mine is syncing now. However since I have 4S I’m not on iOS 10 so hopefully someone with 10 with chime in.
I am impressed that this unit can read/display gradient in real time.
only with the Polar Speed Sensor afaik, but this bike computer with the cadence and speed sensor from Polar is really good. In the last year the updates made it something that in many cases puts my friends Garmin’s to shame and it has never missed a beat. I don’t regret buying it when they first came out one bit now, awesome bit of kit
why couldn’t polar think like Samsung and make the screen big enough to fit the device. there’s a lot of wasted space were a screen could go.
Any chance it will be possible to connect the V650 with a bt smart fitness watch like Fitbit Charge HR or the Polar A360? So I don’t have to wear an extra hr chest strap.
Can the Polar V650 (or V450) control the Tacx Neo in ERG mode?
So setting it to 250W for example like the Garmin Edge 520 can.
No, it can’t. No Polar unit can control any trainers.
Just encountered that it’s now possible to add your own gps tracks. Upload it to the flow-website (go to your favourite routes, there is a button in the upper right corner) and choose your file.
For those using V650 with power meter–what screens/fields do you find the most useful? I’ve trained with HRM zones in past and I’ve added a screen with power meter zones but the watts fluctuate so much it’s hard to follow. Would I be better off to use a screen with some smoothing?
You generally have to apply smoothing to displayed power data. The minimum would be 3 seconds to get what amounts to an instantaneous reading.
As you have seen, raw power data is quite jumpy, hence the need for smoothing.
Thanks Michael–hopefully will get something useful set up. Otherwise I may have to follow you and Klaus to the greener pasture…
Ended up with Powertap GS hub btw. Wanted to go 4iiii but since V650 still isn’t supporting it and with the GS being on deep discount from Powertap direct–decided to go that route and have my local shop build a wheel. All done for around 500-550 USD so not bad especially considering it’s a really nice wheel (DT Swiss racing hub).
I went with a 4iiii, mainly for the price. My bike was A$1800, so a Stages at A$900 was even too much for me (and I’ve read of lots of people having problems with Stages), so the 4iiii at about A$500 was it.
I’ve been reading and seeing good things about the new Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT. Might be worth considering.
The 4iiii was my first choice based on your experience and DCR review/comments section but Polar wouldn’t commit to telling me when they would get out update for V650 to support it and then the Powertap opportunity came up.
Yes–glowing review of the Bolt–I’m following the comments on it and am definitely interested. Going to give the V650 a go (just worked on setting up some new screens for power) so hoping I get some good weather this week for some outdoor rides to test. I’ve noticed it’s overwritten the FTP I’ve entered twice now so not a good sign.
Just to circle back–3 months in with Powertap hub paired with V650–no issues at all.
I was tired of the lack of battery life on my edge 1000, and also sold my Vector power meter pedals, so sold off my edge 1000 and took a chance on a dirt cheap v650 that was being sold for “parts or as is”. Turns out the owner simply didn’t change the settings from mac to PC for synching with computer. Easy fix and got this for an absolute steal.
I’ve had MANY cycleing computers and I have to say this V650 is fantastic. Much longer battery life then my edge 1000. I often do one ride a week that’s 6 hours long and that would stretch my edge 1000 to about the 20% battery mark. My v650 is at 55% after 6 hours, and that’s with back light on and the blinky white fwd. light.
I can download and follow routes from my phone/iPad and it integrates with Strava. Screen resolution is better then the edge 1000 as well.
If I get another power meter, I might consider going back to Garmin, but Polar has done a great job (finally) getting the firmware updates out there for this v650.
Well, for me battery life is the only benefit from V650. Everything else is just half done. Route guidance is not working properly. Where is the left/right turn warnings, this is especially annoying when you crossing the same route twice, you don`t know where you turn. There is also a bug if your route go on the same road in two different direction. Polar Flow simply erase the part of the route. This is very known bug for Polar support for about 6 month, but nothing is done yet.
Anyone using still using Powertap P1 pedals with V650? On Polar website it mentions basic support for P1 pedals so trying to understand what basic means. Total power + left/right split?
The V650 duplicated the reading of the PowerTap P1S. Polar is not saying a word on a fix. I would stay clear of the V650 for know.
P1 worsk fine
Has anyone got a Quarq powermeter in use with the Polar V650? From my earlier comments, I have kept the Polar V650 in a drawer for the last 2 years. It messed up my Stages powermeter (by altering its crank length) and I was hesitant to use it again. In view of the recent updates, I thought I would give it a go yday. To my disappointment, my power readings were halved. I hope the V650 didn’t somehow manage to alter calibration settings on the Quarq. Just wondering if anyone else had any issues with inaccurate power readings?
link to rosebikes.co.uk
The long awaited update?
Do you have further infos?
It would stand to reason if true since that’s what happened with M460 (software updates packaged with some minor hardware improvements and call it a new computer…)
I saw that too a while back. But it looks from today’s announcement like it’s just firmware updates. albeit similar ones to what were added to the M450.