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First look at Polar’s new V800 GPS triathlon watch

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(Please note that my full in-depth review is now published and available based on the final unit and functionality.  Read it all here!)

Today, Polar fully announced their new V800 GPS integrated triathlon watch.  The watch covers all three sports – swim, bike and run – and does so with newfound Bluetooth Smart connectivity for sensors and phones alike.  Further, it includes a built-in activity monitor for the remainder of your day when you’re not working out (like a FitBit/Fuelband, or Polar’s recent Loop device).

I’ve been using the V800 for a few weeks now, putting it through its paces in all sorts of weather from cold to…well…colder.  While the device is still months away from release, and many of the features are not yet enabled in my beta unit, I’m going to run through what the plans look like and the features that’ll be included.  I’ll be noting areas where things are ‘paper plans’ versus ‘already in the unit’.  Note that I’ve had a ton of discussions with Polar over the last few weeks about the device, covering a lot of ground – so I’m trying to include as much of that as possible in areas where the functionality isn’t yet enabled in my test device.

First though, just as a quick note, Polar sent over the V800 for me to poke at.  At the end of my poking, I’ll send it back to them – just like everything else from all companies I receive – and then I’ll go out and get my own device through normal retail channels.  Just the way I roll.  You can support the blog through various partners listed on the sidebar and at the bottom.

Let’s get on with it!

Oh…wait – one final thing:  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!

In The Box & Size Comparison:

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Polar would like me to point out that the box isn’t final.  Nor are it’s contents.  Though, I will assume that the V800 box will ultimately actually include the V800.  Which, would be sorta important.  Mine also included a small note to me, sorta like a love letter, except without the lipstick kiss.

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Inside the box you’ll find a bunch of components, the three I’m going focus on are the three things you’ll likely find.  First is the watch itself:

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Then, we’ve got the USB charger.  The charging clip looks somewhat like the Timex Global Trainer and the Polar Loop charging clips shacked up and had offspring.

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Finally, there’s the Polar H7 Heart Rate Strap.  Note that whether or not you get this will depend on which bundle you buy (with or without the HR strap).  If you already have the Polar H7, then no need to buy the bundle with one.

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What is notable however, is that the H7 is unique in that it will transmit over two frequencies: Bluetooth Smart, and 5kHz. The second frequency is used if you want to receive heart rate (HR) data while underwater.  If not, then any Bluetooth Smart strap on the market will do.

With things unpacked, let’s take a quick look at how it looks size-wise against a range of current on-market triathlon and upper-end running devices:

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As you can see, it fits in pretty well.  It’s a bit smaller width-wise than the FR910XT, though about the same thickness.  It’s obviously much thicker than the FR220/FR620, but, it also does a heck of a lot more.

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Finally, for those coming from past Polar units, here’s how things shake up against the Polar RCX5 (the last full featured triathlon-focused unit Polar made), and the more recent Polar RC3 (first GPS-integrated running focused unit Polar made):

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Let’s head outside and take it for a run.

Running:

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If there’s one thing I’ve done, it’s a lot of running with the V800.  And you know what’s my favorite part?  Just how fast the satellites pickup.  Like most new units on the market, the V800 includes satellite pre-caching, which means that it caches up to 3 days of satellite location information for quick reception.

Below, is a short video showing me turning on the unit for the first time some three thousand miles away from the last place I turned it on:

Now, here’s another video, this time showing me turning it on a day after I last turned it on:

Blazingly quick.  Really sweet.

At this point, the watch will show that it’s connected to your Bluetooth Smart HR strap, and show your heart rate value on the ‘waiting’ screen.  You’ll also see the GPS percentage if it’s still looking for them.

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Once it’s done all that, you’ll go ahead and tap the side red button to begin the workout:

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Once you’ve tapped that button, the unit is recording and actively displaying pace/distance/heart rate, and any other metrics you’ve configured.  By default, it has a number of pre-configured screens.  Here’s a quick look at them:

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When it comes to laps, you have two options.  First is to manually press the lap button (lower right) to trigger a lap.  The second is to use automatic laps based on a preset distance (such as 1-Mile or 1-KM).  Or, you can do both together:

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The V800 does support having automatic laps at the same time as manual laps.  Think of them as two separate sound-tracks (and actually, they are audibly separate, as you’ll get notifications for both).

The screens are fully customizable, though, that wasn’t enabled yet on my device, so I just stuck with what was given to me.  The customization though will occur via the Polar Flow site, allowing you to add stats like Lap Time, Distance, or any number of other metrics to your screens.

From a running functionality, the unit includes a feature called ‘Race Pace’, which allows you to race against a known time/distance target.  This looks and sounds similar to Garmin’s Virtual Partner feature.  It does not however allow you to race against a past historical activity (such as last week’s activity).

Looking at more general instant pace, I found the unit quite smooth.  Below, a short video clip from a run:

The unit also includes ‘Tap gestures’, which allow you to tap the screen of the watch to retrieve information such as recovery status or take/set laps.  Further, you can also leverage Polar’s Heart Touch feature, which will enable you to customize the unit to perform a given event when you touch the watch to the HR strap (your chest).

When it comes time to pause or save your workout, you’ll do so by tapping the left ‘back’ button, which pauses it.  If you hold that down for three seconds, it’ll save the workout:

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Once saved, you’ll get a long screen of summary information that you can scroll through:

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If your phone is within range, it’ll upload that data automatically via Bluetooth Smart and the Polar Flow app, to the Polar Flow site (with WiFi/Cell service).  The mobile app is however capable of doing offline data analysis as well.

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Below, you can see an example of  a workout uploaded to the Polar Flow app from the V800:

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At present, the Polar Flow app isn’t quite enabled for connectivity to the V800, so I couldn’t upload any demonstration workouts myself to show you how it works.  However, you can see my Polar Loop review, which covers much of the Polar Flow app in far more detail.  Most of the app will remain the same for key aspects such as activity monitoring.

From an accuracy standpoint, thus far, things have been nearly spot on with the FR620 and FR220 I’ve had on some recent runs:

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The V800 includes some nice navigation and routing capabilities.  I’ll start with the most basic, and then build on that into the more advanced features.  First, it includes a ‘Back to start’ function.  This function gives you ‘as the crow flies’ directions back to the starting point of your activity:

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This is useful in city environments where you just want to get back, and don’t particularly care if it’s back the same way you got there.  The V800 can also go back to an alternate saved location point (such as your house, etc…).

This is different however from ‘Track Back’ style functionality, which tracks back on the exact same route you came.  That functionality tends to be used in trails/mountains where you must follow the same track back (due to rivers, etc…).

The V800 further includes ‘Route Guidance’ capabilities, which enable the unit to follow pre-planned routes, as well as previously recorded routes.   It can also follow shared routes from Polar Flow.  At launch in April, it’ll just follow exiting routes, or shared routes – down the road, they’ll allow you to create your own routes.   In this mode, the unit uses it’s magnetic compass to provide guidance breadcrumb style along the route.  You can see an example of how the user interface will look in this mode, below:

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It will be most interesting to see how others in the space react to these changes.  From a competition standpoint, Suunto has all of these functions in the Ambit 1/Ambit 2 (plus a whole lot more).  Meanwhile, Garmin decided against adding these functions in their higher end FR620 that were previously available in earlier generations of their units.

Cycling:

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It’s been many years since Polar has released a useful cycling product.  No, the RC3 doesn’t count (sorry, it’s a running watch, not a cycling-specific computer).  But that appears to have changed with the V800.  This will be Polar’s first new unit to support Bluetooth Smart accessories such as cadence sensors and power meters.  And in doing so, it’ll also be the first watch on the market to support Bluetooth Smart power meters.

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All of the features available to you in the running mode are also available to you in the cycling mode (minus the running footpod of course).  They key difference is that in cycling mode you’ll switch over to ‘speed’ versus ‘pace’, which means using MPH or KPH such as 20MPH or 15MPH.  Also, you’ll get data from the aforementioned sensors.

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Polar will be coming out with both a Bluetooth Smart speed-only sensor and a Bluetooth Smart cadence-only sensor.  At present, they don’t have a Bluetooth Smart speed/cadence combo sensor in the lineup.  But, they will allow you to pair to other Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence combo sensors from other companies (such as the Wahoo BlueSC).

In some ways, this is the same pattern we saw with the Bluetooth Smart stride sensor, where Polar simply changed the protocol stack on it, but left it in the same ugly casing.  Hopefully sometime between now and April someone in Finland realizes that people don’t want to buy two sensors both using zipties that were originally designed in 1998.  It’s time to move to quick-release rubber bands and combo sensors like the rest of the industry did a few years ago.

Ultimately though, it doesn’t matter too much, since you can just buy 3rd party units anyway.

Next, we’ve got power meter support.  Polar will support Bluetooth Smart power meters starting in June 2014, with an update that will be made available then.

That timing corresponds with Polar’s planned availability of their Polar/Look Keo power pedals being available in a Bluetooth Smart variant.  Though, you don’t need the Keo Power system in order to get power information.  Once the update is made available, Polar will support any Bluetooth Smart capable power.  Today, that’s the widely available Stages Power meter, as well as the just-started-shipping PowerTap G3’s with Bluetooth Smart caps.

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Now, I’ve argued that I’d like to see Polar bring that firmware update timeline closer to April.  Ultimately, I don’t see any overlap between potential customers of Stages power meter ($699), and Polar’s power meter ($2,500US).  I think it actually offers Polar much more if they move that timeline up and ‘secure’ the Bluetooth Smart watch/head unit market before a competitor comes out and does it for them.  But, that’s just my two cents.

Lastly, and most applicable to cyclists, is that the V800 includes a barometric altimeter.  This altimeter is automatically calibrated via GPS, though, it can be calibrated manually with a known elevation.  This is useful as it provides what is typically more accurate elevation data than GPS-based altimeters found in most running watches (such as the Polar RC3).

Swimming:

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[Update – March 2014: At this point the wording I’m seeing now from Polar seems to indicate that the V800 will not launch with swim tracking capabilities (i.e. distance/pace), but rather, only HR tracking – like past Polar products.  Instead, this will come later in the year.]

The Polar V800 will include the capability to track swimming both indoors (in a pool), as well as outdoors (openwater).  Additionally, like some past Polar units, it will include the capability to track your heart rate underwater while worn with a compatible Polar heart rate strap (the H7 is one such strap).

While indoors, the unit will track laps like all other indoor-swimming focused watches on the market, and use internal accelerometers to determine distance, pace (speed) and stroke related metrics.  This is based on knowing the length of the pool (you enter that), and then it will detect turns (either flip or open turn) at the end of each segment.  When in an outdoor pool, you’ll still want to use the indoor swim mode.  It will use the internal accelerometers to determine distance, pace (speed) and stroke related metrics.

When outdoors, the unit will use GPS to track your swim.  This will be in conjunction with accelerometer based information to provide for stroke information outdoors. [Update Feb 1st: Polar seems to be slightly changing their tune here a bit, saying that outdoor swimming metrics won’t be available at launch, but potentially down the road.  Adding this note inline, though I had noted it in the ‘update’ section a week or two ago.]

Finally, the unit can connect to Polar’s H7 strap for underwater metrics.  The H7 is required (or, past T31 coded straps with 5kHz transmission) because it transmits a secondary signal that will penetrate underwater.  A standard Bluetooth Smart strap cannot penetrate through the water, and thus, will not work (for example, the Polar H6 won’t work, neither will any other HR strap from any other vendor).

Please note that as of this writing, the V800 beta build does not yet include swimming functionality, thus, I have been unable to try it either indoors or outdoors from a lap/openwater swim perspective.  I have however taken it swimming and into water repeatedly, where it has a waterproof rating of 30 meters (~90ft) deep.

[Update – July 8, 2015: Today Polar added Open Water Swimming features (distance & stroke) to the V800; and these metrics are now also available in the Swimming profile for indoor swimming]

Triathlon, Multisport, and other sports:

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The V800 includes a triathlon ‘multisport mode’.  This specific term is used when a watch can be seamlessly switched between the multiple legs of a triathlon (or other multiple sport event), without requiring you reset and/or restart the activity.  This means you can seamlessly transition from Swim to Bike to Run, and the unit will show the appropriate sport information and displays for each leg of the event.

The unit includes two variations.  The first is an automatic Swim/Bike/Run option, and the second is a ‘Free Multisport’ mode, allowing you customization of the sport segments.  After you’ve completed the segments, the unit will record the event in its entirety, with each of the segments containing separate information that’s visible to Polar Flow (the online Polar website for the V800).  You’ll also have transition times recorded as well.

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Further, like past Polar products, you can configure the unit to use numerous sport profiles from their online catalog.  These are pulled from the Flow web service, but are predefined by Polar and cannot be added or changed (such as the name or function).  These profiles can however be further customized with display fields of your choosing, and configuration such as how different metrics are displayed (i.e. pace vs speed, kilometers vs statute, HR%Max vs HR BPM, etc…).

The only downside to the multisport mode is that the V800 won’t have any quick-release kit or ability to quickly attach it/detach it to a bike.  It will support a standard Polar bike mount, but that requires you to get it setup on the bike, which isn’t something you’ll want to do during transition.

Activity Monitor/Tracker Feature:

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In addition to traditional sport tracking modes (like running and cycling), the V800 also includes the ability to monitor your activity throughout the day, including your sleep.  This puts it in the same category as devices like the FitBit, Nike Fuelband, Polar Loop and the just announced Garmin Vivofit.

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The V800’s goal in tracking your activity outside of sport is to be able to give you a holistic view of your daily output expenditure – 24×7.  From this, it can more accurately give you calorie recommendations, as well as recovery recommendations.  These are consolidated into the activity tracker dashboard view on the unit, which shows you a composite of your day – from workouts to walking around to sleep:

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Sleep is automatically calculated without the need for pushing any buttons when you fall asleep.  Note that sleep is actually measured separately from rest.  ‘Rest’ is defined as inactivity within a single day, whereas ‘Sleep’ can span a day (since you might fall asleep at 10PM and wakeup at 8AM).  Both are tracked using the internal accelerometers, similar to how the Polar Loop works.

The V800 will track steps and distance and report that to the Polar Flow phone app.  Which in turn, uploads it to the Polar Flow site.  At present, the watch doesn’t actually show you steps or distance, though it does show you calories for the day.  I’ve argued however that having an activity monitor that doesn’t show you the activity on the device…is sorta pointless.  Hopefully they’ll adopt my viewpoint between now and April.

The calories for the day include your baseline (staying alive) calorie requirements + workout calories burned + walking around activity + adjustments for altitude (yes, really).

Next, that information can be fed into their Training Load and Recovery calculations, which estimate how hard your effort was and how much time it might take to recover from it.  This includes adjustments from resting and activity monitor information as well.  This then shows up in two places.  The first is on the unit itself:

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And the second is within the app & associated site. While the activity monitor piece is actually active currently in my unit, my ability to get the data out is not yet active.  Thus I can see the bar going across the screen as I wander around, but I can’t actually tell you how many steps that is.  So, accuracy comparisons will have to wait for down the road in the full in-depth review.

Smart Coaching Features:

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The V800 includes a slew of new features aimed at bridging the gap between simply providing data, and providing coaching instruction.  Polar calls these “Smart Coaching” features, and there’s a bunch of them, some new, and some more vintage.

On the new side, we’ve got these three:

Training Load and Recovery: This is designed to provide a holistic picture of training load and recovery.  This is similar to other load/recovery systems that you see within other platforms such as Training Peaks and TSS (Training Stress Score).

 

Running Index (RI): This provides a ‘score’ for each of your runs, which accounts for both aerobic fitness and running economy based on heart rate and speed.  In addition, the RI value is compensated by barometric altimeter data as well.

 

Jump Test: This test requires the Polar Stride Sensor, but enables you to “assess leg muscular strength and power output”, along with “neuromuscular fatigue”

The above three, join the following other features on the V800:

Training Benefit: After each workout, this details out the effect of that workout, as seen on the unit in the summary information.

 

Smart Calories: This is uses Polar’s OwnCal system, which while outside will compensate for the impact of altitude (for example, training at 5,000ft)

 

Fitness Test: This is sorta like a VO2Max test, basically trying to determine how fit you are and then from there it can start to measure gains in fitness.

 

Orthostatic Test: In this test the unit uses your HR data with HRV (RR) to determine fatigue levels and recovery from workouts.

Looking at the earlier mentioned Training Load piece, Polar divides each workout up into one of five categories with a corresponding recommended recovery time:

Extreme: >49 hours
Very High: 25-48 hours
High: 13-24 Hours
Moderate: 7-12 hours
Light: 0-6 hours

The workout data is then combined with historical data to determine your recovery times.  The unit will use the previous 14 weeks of training history to help determine these recovery times.  In addition, it’ll account for other activity from that day.  For example, if you spent the first 4 hours of the day at the mall walking around like a madman doing last minute Christmas shopping, and then you ran 15 miles, it’ll compensate for the fatigue from both.

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Below, you can see the Running Index scores plotted over time for some apparently rather fast runner.

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From a ‘what’s cool standpoint’, I’d say the RI and Training Load pieces are the most relevant, and the biggest leaps forwards for Polar to be competitive with other platforms out there.  It’ll be interesting to see how much of the calculation side they reveal longer-term on the Training Load piece, as most other platforms detail a bit more of the science behind the numbers.  Further, it’ll be interesting to see how Polar’s platform compares with existing systems out there.

Polar Flow – Online Analysis Site:

Once you’ve completed your workout the unit will automatically upload it via your phone (or PC) to the Polar Flow site.  This is Polar’s new fitness-focused site going forward (away from PolarPersonalTrainer.com).  The site will enable everything from device customization online (and then push to the device) to workout creation and analysis.

In addition, Polar will make available tools to migrate data from Pro Trainer 5 – so those folks hanging out on the desktop software can make the leap.  As part of my final in-depth review I’ll take a look at how the features match up.

For those using either the Polar Beat or Polar Loop today, much of this won’t seem radically different.  What is different however are many smaller nuances of the display of the data to fit better with the features of the V800.

Below is an example of a cycling workout from the V800 uploaded to the Flow site.  You’ll notice that in addition to the common maps and summary information, you’ve also got social information up top – such as likes and comments (these are controlled through privacy settings).  So it’s somewhat Strava like.

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The site includes calendar and summary views of all your activities, so you can look at totals by different metrics over time (such as a weekly or monthly report).

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As you saw earlier, the site also  includes the new features related to Training Load and Running Index, and as well it will track the Fitness Test results, Orthostatic Tests, and Jump Tests.

Further, the site will enable you to compare completed activities against your past historical efforts (for example, the same course), as well as other people’s efforts (friends, coaches, me…).  Though, this feature will not be available at launch.

Today, the Polar Flow site does some fairly cool stuff when you upload workouts from Polar Beat, for example, this workout I did yesterday that shows portions of the route along the way:

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Here’s a running workout at the high level as well:

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All this carries through to the V800.  Further, as noted earlier Polar is adding in the ability to create workouts on Flow and then transfer them to the device.  These workouts can have multiple steps and targets, as seen below.

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Of note above is the ability to ‘Save a copy to my favorites’.  Within the V800, there’s a concept known as ‘Favorites’, which are easily accessed from the main dashboard.  These are frequently accessed workouts that you may do often, and don’t want to dig down into the watch a bit deeper to access:

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As you can see, the site looks years better than the PolarPersonalTrainer.com site does/did, and is coming along nicely since it was introduced this past fall in conjunction with the Polar Loop activity monitor.

Obviously, given it’s somewhat new there’s still some gaps compared to other competitive platforms, but everything I’m seeing points to Polar having the right resources focused on bridging these gaps.  One area that hasn’t yet been announced is whether or not the V800 will have a live tracking function (like the Garmin FR220/FR620), which would also likely be integrated into the Flow site and likely be made available across other devices/apps like the Polar Beat app.

The one area that remains outstanding however is open access to the data.  Polar had planned to have the Polar Flow site have an API in place by the end of the year, and I don’t believe that’s been implemented yet.  It will be critical for Polar that all workouts from the V800 (Swim/Bike/Run/Full Tri) are able to be exported to 3rd party services for other/further analysis.  This includes ensuring that those exported files includes all relevant data such as laps, sensor data and location data, at 1-second recording rates.

Coaching Platform:

In addition to an online site to track your workouts, Polar will also be introducing a new online site/service that coaches can log into and specify workouts for coached athletes.  This would allow a coach to prescribe a given custom workout to an athlete, and that workout would automatically appear within the scheduled workouts for the given athlete (from the athletes online dashboard).  Then, the workout would be available to transfer to the watch for the athlete to execute.

Once the workout is completed by the athlete and uploaded, the platform will allow a coach to view the athlete’s completed workout automatically and make comments on the workout via the site (which will be visible to both parties).

This is notable because the major player in the space today – Training Peaks – doesn’t actually have full device integration.  And on the device competition side, Garmin doesn’t have any sort of coaching platform.  While some may see this as a new venture for Polar, that’s actually not accurate.  In fact, Polar has long had various coaching platforms used primarily in the educational system (schools/universities/teams), with special coaching software and even school-focused variants of some of their popular heart rate monitors (which held slightly different model numbers).

At this point, Polar doesn’t have a ton of information about the program.  In fact, the sum total of information they were able to give me was approximately one PowerPoint slide, of which, the first line was the title of the program, and the last line was the embargo date.  So, there’s a lot to be unveiled here.

It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out.  On one hand, it’s pretty cool sounding.  However, on the other, it’s going to be challenging for Polar to make ground in this area since coaches will be highly reluctant to go to something only good on a single platform (Polar) for a single device (V800).  Individually coached athletes typically are on a wide variety of devices across a wide variety of price ranges, and most individual athletes won’t simply go out and buy a new $400 watch + new accessories for it.

However, where Polar likely will have a better run of things will be for teams, such as entire track teams and other sporting teams.  In those areas where the organization provides the units and can ensure uniformity of devices, Polar will be able to deliver a very compelling offering that no other device maker can do today.

Product Comparison Charts:

I’ve added the V800 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 V800, Polar RCX5, Garmin FR910XT and Suunto Ambit 2s in the chart below.  However, you can easily make your own change with any device you want here at this link.

Function/FeaturePolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated April 9th, 2021 @ 10:20 am New Window
Price$449$220.00$399$319
Product Announcement DateJan 6th, 2014Mar 21, 2011OCT 4, 2011APR 29, 2013
Actual Availability/Shipping DateMay 2014June 2011JAN-APR 2012May 2013
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesSeparate GPS PodYesYes
Data TransferUSB, BLUETOOTH SMARTirDA WirelessANT+ WirelessUSB
WaterproofingYes - 30mYes - 30mYes - 50mYes - 100m
Battery Life (GPS)Up to 50 hours1 year (GPS separate)20 Hours50 hours
Recording Interval1sAdjustable1s or SmartVariable
Quick Satellite ReceptionGoodGood via GPS PodGreatGreat
AlertsVibrate/Sound/VisualSound/VisualVibrate/Sound/VisualSound/Visual
Backlight GreatnessGreatGoodGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceNoNoNoYes
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)YesNoNoNo
MusicPolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
Can control phone musicNo
Has music storage and playbackNo
Streaming ServicesNo
PaymentsPolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
Contactless-NFC PaymentsNo
ConnectivityPolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
Bluetooth Smart to Phone UploadingYesNoVia Wahoo Fitness AdapterNo
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)YesNoNoNo
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)NoNoNoNo
Group trackingNo
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoNoNoNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNoNo
CyclingPolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
Designed for cyclingYesYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableYesNoYesYes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesN/AYesYes
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFNPN/AYesNo
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesYesYesYes
Strava segments live on deviceYes
Crash detectionNo
RunningPolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
Designed for runningYesYesYesYes
Footpod Capable (For treadmills)YesYesYesYes (internal accelerometer)
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)NoNoNoNo
Running PowerWith extra sensor
VO2Max EstimationYesYesNoYes
Race PredictorYes, via Race PaceNoNoNo
Recovery AdvisorYesYesNoYes
Run/Walk ModeYes, via timersNoYesNo
SwimmingPolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
Designed for swimmingYesNoYesYes
Openwater swimming modeYesN/AYesYes
Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingYesN/AYesYes
Record HR underwaterWith Certain Polar StrapsYesNoNo
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)YesN/AYesYes
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)YesN/AYesYes
Indoor Drill ModeNoN/ANoYes
Indoor auto-pause featureYesN/ANoNo
Change pool sizeYesN/AYesYes
Indoor Min/Max Pool Lengths20M/Y to 250 m/yN/A20m/22y to 100y/m15m/y to 1,200m/y
Ability to customize data fieldsYesN/AYesYes
Can change yards to metersYesN/AYesYes
Captures per length data - indoorsYesN/AYesYes
Indoor AlertsN/AN/AYesNo
TriathlonPolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
Designed for triathlonYesYesYesYes
Multisport modeYesNoYesYes
WorkoutsPolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesYesNo
On-unit interval FeatureYesYesYesBarely
Training Calendar FunctionalityYesNoYesNo
FunctionsPolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
Auto Start/StopYesYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureYesYesYesNo
Virtual Racer FeatureNoNoYesNo
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)NoNoNoNo
Day to day watch abilityYesYesNoYes
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean DataNoNoNoNo
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoNoNo
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting)NoNoNoNo
GeocachingNoNoNoNo
Weather Display (live data)NoNoNoNo
NavigatePolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesNoYesYes
Markers/Waypoint DirectionYesNoNoYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)NoNoNoNo
Back to startYesNoYesYes (added Aug 30, 2013)
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNoNoNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitYesNoNoNo
SensorsPolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
Altimeter TypeBarometricNoneBarometricBarometric, GPS (FusedAlti)
Compass TypeMagneticNoneGPSMagnetic
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyNo
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Power Meter CapableNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Weight Scale CapableNoNoYesNo
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym)NoNoYesNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlNo
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationNo
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)No
ANT+ Remote Controlno (but can control GoPro)NoNoNo
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Muscle Oxygen (i.e. Moxy/BSX)No
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)No
Shimano Di2 ShiftingNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableYesNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableYesNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableYesNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableYesNoNoNo
Temp Recording (internal sensor)YesNoNoYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNoNo
SoftwarePolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
PC ApplicationPolar Flowsync - Windows/MacPPT/WebsyncGTC/ANT AgentMoveslink Agent
Web ApplicationPolar FlowPPT.comGarmin ConnectMovescount
Phone AppiOS/AndroidPolar BeatsiOS/AndroidSuunto Movescount
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNoYes (online)
PurchasePolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
AmazonLinkLinkLinkLink
Clever TrainingLinkLinkLinkLink
DCRainmakerPolar V800Polar RCX5Garmin Forerunner 910XTSuunto Ambit2
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Again, remember you can easily make your own change with any device you want here at this link.

My Initial Thoughts:

IMG_8746

In general, I’m very impressed with what Polar has stated they plan to do with the watch.  I think it represents a significant jump forward for them as a company, and to a large degree, an acknowledgement of how far they’ve fallen behind in recent years.  But, the V800 joins the Polar Loop (and prior to that, Polar Beat) as recent products that really nailed the markets they are looking for.  For example, I think it’s brilliant that they’ve included an activity monitor into the unit – helping bridge the gap between a typical watch and the FitBit’s of the world.  It’s also sweet that they’ll likely become the first wrist unit to support Bluetooth Smart power meters.  Further, bringing in-house a coaching platform will also be a very interesting move to watch.

On the battery life side, they’ve made an interesting play at both the Garmin Fenix and Suunto Ambit, going with a low-frequency update mode to get 50hrs of GPS-on time for extended workouts.  Typically, the unit will get 13hrs of GPS time in 1-second recording mode.  I’ve argued to them that splitting the difference in a ‘Ironman’ style mode like Suunto added would be appealing for many folks who need just a few more hours to finish their iron-distance events (up to 17 hours).

Now, as I alluded to – everything is great on paper.  But, the unit I have today has pretty much just the core running functionality active/ready.  Thus, all the ‘good stuff’ that you want out of the unit won’t come for some number of weeks or months, in later beta cycles (all before final release of course).  Thus, I can’t know for certain how it’ll turn out.  Though, Polar tends to have a very solid track record of doing what they say – and doing it in a generally bug-free manner (much better than most others).

Of course, there are some minor nits that I have with the unit that aren’t beta-related.  But I think that Polar will listen to the feedback I’ve given them (both publicly here, but in more depth privately), and I suspect we’ll see those things resolved by release.  They seem eager to listen to my suggestions and have conversations about them, so that’s great to hear.

Overall though, I’m looking forward to seeing the final product come together.  The technical platform they have (with Bluetooth and the accelerometer), means that the sky is the limit for how they want to implement new features and functionality in software updates, so they’re well positioned for the foreseeable future.

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 April 2014 for availability, with the blue color variant coming a bit later.

Update 3/29/2014: Polar is saying units will start shipping in late April, with arrivals in early May.

How much is it?

$399/€399 without the HR strap, and $449/€449 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.

Can it be used for swim/bike/run and does it have multisport mode?

Yes, it can be used for all three sports and yes it has a multi-sport mode.  However, at this point in beta, the swimming is not yet active nor is sensor support beyond the HR sensor (i.e. cycling or running stride), thus I haven’t been able to test those features.

How well does it work swimming, what metrics does it show?

At this point in the beta unit, swimming is not yet enabled.  Polar has not yet clarified exactly which metrics they’ll show in swimming (either for indoor or outdoor swimming).

[Update – July 8, 2015: Today Polar added Open Water Swimming features (distance & stroke) to the V800; and these metrics are now also available in the Swimming profile for indoor swimming]

What file format does it export in?

The unit will provide standard Polar .HRM+.GPX files for running and cycling (last past Polar products).  Swimming file formatting is TBA.

Does it connect to Bluetooth Smart devices?

Yes. Upon release in April 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
– Bluetooth Smart Running Footpod (Stride) Sensor

In June 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.  It does support the existing H7 however, with the 5kHz transmission for underwater reception of HR data.  However, that strap is not using W.I.N.D..

Does it support power meters?

Polar has stated they will enable Bluetooth Smart power meter support starting in June 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.

Can you please tell me some random sexy technical things that didn’t fit?

Sure.  The unit is aluminum with a stainless steel shell with aluminum buttons.  The glass fiber edge is a reinforced thermoplastic case.  The black and white display uses Gorilla glass, and the display is 128×128 and can display 4 metrics in a single view.  The unit contains up to 99 hours of storage with concurrent GPS and HR data.  The GPS chipset is made by SiRFstar.  The V800 weighs 79g, and is 12.7mm thick.  It contains a 350 mAh Li-pol battery.  The barometric altimeter is capable of measuring altitude, descent/ascent, and incline.  It contains 13 languages, including Japanese and Simplified Chinese.  The airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow cannot be measured however.

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 V800 will include Bluetooth Smart sensor relay/broadcasting.  This means that if you attach a HR strap to the V800, 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.

Can I use it as a day to day watch?

Yup, it’ll last at least 28 days in that mode while doing continuous activity monitoring (GPS off).  You can change the watch face a bunch of different ways, as well as specify a single alarm and configure the ‘starting’ day of the week.

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 V800.  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 unit has two options.  First is battery life of 13 hours with 1-second recording, regardless of the sport.  The second mode, is a reduced recording rate with up to 50 hours of GPS-on time.  This is similar to what we’ve seen with the Garmin Fenix and Suunto Ambit.  I don’t generally recommend the 50-hour recording timeframe unless you’re doing activities that are slower-paced, like hiking.

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.

Do you think Garmin, Suunto or Timex will deliver new triathlon watches this season?

Historically speaking, Garmin is on target for a new triathlon watch this season (a successor to the FR910XT).  However, when exactly, and what features remain undisclosed.  Suunto has been doing spring releases (April) for their Ambit products the last two years, but again, whether they continue that tradition remains unknown.  Finally, Timex has been pretty quiet.  So while we certainly could see a new unit from them, I wouldn’t bank on it.  There or course be other players in the market as well, either new to the scene entirely (i.e. Bia), or from other companies with past products in the space (i.e. Magellan). Time will tell…

Do you recommend waiting till April?

There’s a lot of factors there, notably the fact that what will or won’t be included for other watches hasn’t been released.  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 a FR910XT instead of the V800, but rather, to make decisions based on your events and training schedule.  What if Polar slips to June?  Or if Garmin announces 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 April to order (4 months from now), I highly doubt you’ll get your unit anywhere near April.

Will Polar release a new cycling computer this year?

I don’t know.  But, they’ve long stated they plan to release a Bluetooth Smart enabled cycling computer.  It would seem logical that would happen.  Traditionally speaking, most cycling companies don’t make announcements in early January.  There’s no reason to.  Nobody is buying cycling gear then, and it allows them to hold back details for competitive reasons until Feb/March when people start pondering going outside again.

Update: Yes, they announced the Polar V650 – read about it here.

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 April 2014). I will update this very line item once I have final hardware/software.

With that, thanks for reading!

Found this post useful? Or just want a good deal? Here’s how:

Hopefully you found this post useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The posts generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers exclusive benefits on all products purchased. You can read more about the benefits of this partnership here. You can pickup the Polar V800 or accessories through Clever Training using the link below. By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get to enjoy the significant partnership benefits that are just for DC Rainmaker readers. And, since this item is more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.

 

Polar V800 Black Edition with or without HR strap (select drop-down to change)
Polar V800 Blue/Red Edition with or without HR strap (note June for blue/red)

Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the V800 or accessories (though, no discount). Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells). If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top.

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.

1,112 Comments

  1. Giba Baisch

    Hi Ray,

    I’m an avid reader of your blog, Tks for your dedication. I just pre order the V800 through your CT link, Tks again!

    I’m aware of lack of swimming metrics so far, but when you have a chance, can you verify with them if they will implement the concept of recovery required after swimming or it will be only for running?

    Please correct me if I’m wrong but Fenix 2 only do that for running, isn’t it? I was wondering if this kind of technology already exists or not, since their HR belt would work in water, I assume …

    • My understanding is it will. I’ll definitely validate that in person once my firmware is capable of it.

      Correct on the Fenix2. It does do TE though for other activities.

  2. Asaf

    Just to make sure I understand- if I use Mio link wrist strap, there’s no need to buy Polar’s heart strap, right? Thanks!

    • SK

      Mio Link won’t work underwater. You loose one of the great advantages of the V800 over the Fenix2. I used the Mio Alpha with the Polar Loop. Results was worthless, too many gaps over 1 minute to be useful.

  3. Chris

    Hi Ray,

    I’m not sure at the moment, if the V800 makes sense together with a Mio Link. Personally, I like to avoid the heart rate strap. So I go for the Mio Link.

    Question is now, which “Smart Coaching Feature” still works with the Mio and doesn’t rely on HRV but only on heart rate.
    On Polar website they talk only about heart rate. So I’m not sure, if HRV is mandatory

    As you already mentioned, Training Load and Running Index seem to be the most interesting, also for me 😉

    So do you know for which feature HRV is mandatory?

    – Training Load / Recovery
    – Running Index
    – Smart Calories
    – Training Benefit
    – Recovery status based on 24/7 activity
    – Fitness Test
    – Orthostatic Test – ok, you already mentioned, that HRV is used for that

    Thanks for your help!
    Chris

    • Hi Chris-

      Off the top of my head, HRV is required for everything you noted except Smart Calories. That’s my understanding, but I’ll be able to validate it as part of my review.

  4. Cato Hals

    Hello Ray,

    I am planning to buy a Polar v800, I dont know if I should buy it with or without a HR-strap?
    I have an Wahoo blueHR (marked with Bluetooth smart at the backside) wich connects to my iPhone 4s. If it works, are any functions reduced in some ways?

  5. Linda

    Awesome device (and first look), but I’m not sure about a few things.
    One is about recovery and training. Will the watch be able to suggest me to go for a bike ride when I haven’t recovered enough to go for a run (as I consider running much harder on the body than cycling).

    Second, if the watch lasts for about 13 hrs / 30 days, I wonder when it’d be the best time of day to charge it, as, I assume, you can’t wear it while charging and therefore can’t track anything. Would that be during sleep, or when I’m at work sitting at a desk? In my case it looks like I’ll have to charge it at least once a week.
    Or maybe I’m just nitpicking 🙂

    • Generally speaking when I’ve had to charge other activity trackers, I do it while sitting at a desk. Some devices, like the Basis watch actually allow you to charge them while wearing them through a nifty clip design. But definitely not the V800 unless you drill a hole through your wrist.

  6. Vogges

    Hi Ray,

    I have a question for the switch between sports during a triathlon. i have to press one or more keys to switch or recognizes the clock this automatically?

    Thanks for help….;o)

    • Linda

      Your question is answered in the article: “The V800 includes a triathlon ‘multisport mode’. This specific term is used when a watch can be seamlessly switched between the multiple legs of a triathlon (or other multiple sport event), without requiring you reset and/or restart the activity. This means you can seamlessly transition from Swim to Bike to Run, and the unit will show the appropriate sport information and displays for each leg of the event.”

    • Stipek

      Hmm, i don’t think that’s correct. You can see Fred Van Lierde in the commercial video pressing at least one button for transition. So the question would be if you only have to press one button for changing a sport or if you have to do it the RCX5-way: pause current sport, switch to different sport, start different sport. The latter did not always work in the hectic rush of a truathlon race. Ray, do you know more about that?

    • As of the older firmware I have, you press back and then the red button to move to the next sport. But, that may or may not be how it is today.

      In general, don’t believe marketing videos too much. Most videos (by most companies – Garmin/Polar/etc…) are shot well before the product ever actually does what they are showing.

    • Stipek

      Today I was able to wear a V800 on my wrist. The procedure works as Ray described. When the watch is in Triathlon-mode and you enter T1, you only have to press the “back”-button, the timer continues and the watch already prepares the sport-profile “cycling” which will be started by pressing the red button when leaving T1. So, basically, you have to press two buttons. That’s it.

  7. scualo

    Can you pair simultanuosly (dual sync) the polar h7 hrm to v800 and android app (e.g. polar beat, runkeeper) with ble trasmission like you can do with h7 pairing with mobile phone and 5ghz dual sync. Or down BLE only one connection is possible?

    • The V800 supports the ability to rebroadcast, so you can pair the H7 via BLE to the V800, and then pair the Android app to the re-broadcasted BLE signal from the V800.

  8. Barry

    Anyone know whether (unlike my RCX5) the V800 will allow you to set heart rate zones for each sport profile? This would be really valuable as your maxHR differs between sports (eg lower for cycling than running).

  9. Ryan

    I noticed that the proposed release for the product has changed from April to May. Perhaps a bit more tweaking to be done.

    Part big bonus is the ‘all-in-one’ factor, saving your arm from turning into an electronics store with so many devices lining up and down. It helps too that what it does measure appears to be relevant to active people.

  10. JohnO

    Awesome first look. One question, does the V800 have to be used with a footpod for treadmill tracking or are the sensors in the watch enough to estimate distance and pace?

  11. Tofel

    Hi Ray,

    I’m a bit confused. I was contacting Polar on their plans for the Flow Webservice. Among other things, “their aim is to first enable export of individual training files from Flow. This is planned to take place within a few months after our new flag-ship product V800 is available in the market. (ETA end of summer 2014)”. If I am interpreting this correctly, there will be NO FILE EXPORT via Flow at the release of the watch, which could be a real dealbreaker for many people. You mentioned the export of hrm and gpx files in your FAQ. Is this done via a different app/service?

    Keep up the good work!

    • I wouldn’t generally trust people outside that product group.

      I’ll check with them next week to see if any of the timelines have changed.

  12. Garry

    Will this work with the polar h3 sensor for running?

  13. falconeye

    I am just playing a litte bit with the Polar flow site. What I couldn’t find until now is a possibility to add trainings manually. Am I just blind or is this really not possible? Could not found anything about this issue on the web either.

    • Garry

      will my data from polar personal trainer be available on polar flow
      currently it is blank

    • Upon launch of the V800, the plan is to allow/enable some forms of migration. The details on that are a little slim.

      However, on the bright side, I do at least now have an up to date V800 firmware-wise, so nice to see things cooking forward.

    • Raymond B

      Ray… are you able to comment on the progression of the firmware “cooking forward” 🙂

      Any notable new features added or fixes that you have found?

    • falconeye

      So hopefully the in-depth review is not soo far away 😉

    • I’d expect an in-depth review won’t arrive until early to mid-May. I want to be 100% sure that whatever I’m reviewing is the same that you’re getting. Right now they’re targeting wrapping up firmware in late April, with delivery in May.

      Obviously, as with most devices they’ll continue to update firmware over time, but I’m interested in ensuring the features are all there for a review. I don’t want to write a review saying it lacks feature X, only to find it has feature X a week later with a new release.

      Cheers.

    • falconeye

      I have made a preorder anyway, but fear it will be June until I receive my watch. But nevertheless I am always keen to read your reviews. For me it is like reading a good book.
      So keep up you good work and hope you have fun testing the V800.
      Cheers.

    • J.Griffin

      Hmm, well that will be pushing the end of my F2 return window. Hard to gauge which device best suits my needs, as I’m not a Tri-athletic. I mostly run (roads & trails), some bike. My biggest issue to date has been the readability of the F2 where lighting is lacking.

  14. Chris D

    On the Garmin Edge 510, the unit sends data to a paired phone through bluetooth. Do you think there is the ability in the future the V800 could listen to that data from the Garmin or that Garmin could pass through the bluetooth data like you mentioned the V800 can do? Is the 510 a different bluetooth standard?

    I really like this V800, but hate that I can’t pair it with my Quarq on the bike

    • No ability in the future from the perspective of getting your ANT+ Quarq data directly to the V800. However, I think you’re best bet will be using one of the new 4iiii’s POD’s to do the trick, which would be a sub-$100 solution and could just be stashed semi-permanently under your bike seat-post.

    • steve helgemo

      can you explain this workaround for getting ant+ power (i.e. garmin vector) to v800? is the product available? link?

    • At present there is no direct workout, because the V800 doesn’t support any power meters (coming down the road). However, once enabled in theory a product like the Viiiiva would work. But again, the devils in the details there.

  15. Philip

    Hi Ray. First of all, thanks so much for your thorough (p)reviews. Quick question: could you check with Polar if they foresee to include graphical view (i.e. charts) of the tracked altitude/elevation (such as tracked with the v800) in Polar Flow? Elevation charts are available on e.g. Runkeeper and Runtastic but don’t seem to be available in Polar Flow. I’m currently using Runkeeper but since it appears the Runkeeper team doesn’t want to implement compatibility with BTLE HRM on their Android app, I’ll probably switch back to Runtastic again (as their Android app allegedly does support BTLE and thus also the H7). But ideally elevation data chart would/should also be available in Polar Flow. Any idea if/when they intend to implement that? Thanks!

    • Hi Philip,

      For the time being, Polar has asked that I hold off on showing/detailing how Flow looks/works in the pre-prod environment until later in the month once they finalize things. Things are in a state of flux there and they don’t want folks to make the wrong assumptions based on non-final and non-implemented functions, which, I think is fair.

      Sorry!

    • Philip

      OK thanks Ray for your quick reply. I trust Polar realize elevation data is crucial (in addition to pace/speed data) when analyzing heart rate data. If not already done (and as far as necessary), I’d appreciate if you could bring up the suggestion with them. I’m seriously considering to buy the v800 to replace my 7 year old RS200sd. One of the key reasons, other than all the v800’s ‘next gen features’ (and, admittedly, its looks), is that I finally want to be able to overlay my detailed HR data on pace AND elevation charts (the area where I do my runs isn’t exactly flat, to put it mildly), either directly in Polar Flow, or after exporting the HR data to e.g. Runkeeper (or Runtastic, …), which I’ve never been able to do with my RS200sd because its crappy sound-based connectivity interface has never worked. Thanks again!

  16. Lars J

    My local bike store (Lund, Sweden) has V800 in this year’s catalogue for SEK4399 (incl tax), corresponding to about $675. Not clear whether heart rate strap is included. (for ref Garmin 910xt triathlon ed is SEK4599)

  17. Lew

    Ray, I’m definitely looking forward to the full V800 review and understand the wisdom of ensuring it clearly differentiates what will be available at launch. I don’t consider promised future capabilities since things can happen despite the product tema’s best intentions.

    On balance it would be really great if the full review were available before Clever Training starts shipping pre-orders… 🙂

    A request: possibly in the conclusions or comparisons, please do consider the potential buyers who are focused on the running features and may not own a “current” running watch. Even though the V800 may be overkill, I suspect I am not the only runner who chose not to upgrade to the Garmin 620 because it was a step backwards from the 610 in certain functions/capabilities.

    I’m especially interested in whether the V800 exhibits any sort of HRM spike issues. I don’t ever remember my Polar RS200SD giving me issues with heart rate readings, but with my 610 I had to drop back to the Garmin hard strap and always use electrode gel. Even that isn’t perfect.

    I’m crossing my fingers that Polar’s got this one right. I’d love to come back to the Polar platform.

    • The trick with HR spikes is that it’s really all about the strap, not the end-unit (be it Garmin or Polar). Historically speaking, Polar straps have spikes less than Garmin straps, though, in the right conditions I can still cause spikes/drops on either platform.

      For Garmin, the HRM3’s made after July 2013 are pretty good (not perfect). On the Polar side, the H7 is also pretty good from my past testing.

      Nonetheless, it’s something I’ll be looking at.

    • Lew

      Yes, good clarification that it’s the HRM module and strap rather than the watch end-unit and that Garmin’s improved things since the 610 first came out. If I decide to not upgrade from my 610 I’ll order a new HRM3.

      Thanks for all you do, Ray, you’re a great asset to the community. Make sure The Girl knows we appreciate the time you give us.

  18. Søren Haack

    Hi Rainmaiker,
    How is the backlight possibilities for the V800? Can you set the backlight permanently on for for instance intervals in the evening? Such as the Garmin 910XT can do?

    I’m really looking forward to the V800 – can’t wait
    /Søren

    • I actually don’t see an option for setting the backlight at all (other than to simply turn-on). I’ll have to e-mail and find out if that’s a possibility. I suspect it’s just hidden somewhere I don’t realize.

    • Circling back to the backlight item, I found the option tonight on my run by accident. It’s only accessible once in an activity. You hold down the light for three seconds which opens up a new menu where you can set the light to stay on permanently. Said option is not available in day to day watch mode.

  19. dorin

    Hi Rainmaiker,

    Can smartwatches like sony smartwatch 2 linked to specifics smartphones applications, do the same things as Polar V800 does?

    Thanks!

  20. r4d4r

    Hi Ray,
    I have a question regarding – “CONNECTIVITY: PHONE NOTIFICATIONS TO UNIT (I.E. TEXTS/CALLS/ETC…)”
    In product comparision chart you say, that they do not planed it initialy. Was there any decision made by Polar to implenent in the future or is it still TBD?

  21. Janis

    Hi Raimaker,

    So far current battery life wo. GPS is about 30 days (With activity monitoring). It would be sexy to have a such mode, just “smart watch” w-out activity monitor etc. to prolong battery time even more ( like RC3GPS have 120 days in pure watch mode). I think in such way Polar could grab even more potential customers out from “smart watch” segment. Could you forward this idea to Polar people?

    • Generally speaking, the actual activity monitoring function (counting steps) isn’t much of a battery drain. It’s actually the sync (and smart watch transmit) and display that ‘costs’ battery.

    • Janis

      I think, display might not be a problem. Such LCDs can last with one battery for a year and more. Sync, transmit and other “bells” could be different story. Nevertheless, a possibility to switch off all but watch would be nice feature. Theoretically display could also be switched off (during inactivity) and activated back by accelerometer, hardware should allow that.
      ….just my 2 cents.

  22. Stipek

    Out of curiosity: Do you know if the V800 will be able to retrieve the exact time of the day via GPS as car-satnavs do? That would be more than great!

    • I can’t quite remember offhand if last time I had to change it when I traveled (or, if I bothered). Looking at the menu’s, I don’t see an option to tweak it either direction. Let me poke about a bit.

  23. Dan Feist

    Hi Ray,

    Wondering if you have an updates (from new firmware or communication from Polar) on the following which I’ve seen asked multiple times by different people over the last few months:

    1) Possibility to see activity/sleep on device. You said: “I’ve argued however that having an activity monitor that doesn’t show you the activity on the device…is sorta pointless. Hopefully they’ll adopt my viewpoint between now and April”. Any update on this?

    2) Strength training. If there is not a specific function like on other models, is there an interval training function that could be used for this.

    3) Use of accelerometer in training. While the possibility of it’s use for swimming metrics has been discussed, does the V800 use (or plan to use) the accelerometer for any other activities? e.g. treadmill running speed/cadence, rowing stroke rate etc.

    4) Training plan creation and sync. Have you been able to play with the new Flow service yet or have any information about where there will be possibility to create and sync training plans as with ppt.com as well as other ppt.com functionality.

    5) For those that own a loop, can V800 and loop be used interchangeably both contributing to activity data at flow.polar.com?

    6) File export. You mentioned HRM/GPX export, is this via Flow? Does it include HRV data?

    7) Any news/rumours about the possibility of developing apps for the V800 like SUUNTO?

    thanks!

    Dan

    • Hi Dan-

      1) Activity Display

      No, it’s still not on there. Just the little bar graph seen above. Probably still my single biggest pet peeve (aside from lack of swimming as a triathlon watch).

      2) Strength training

      No specific strength mode like the Adidas, though, you could use the timer functions (Stopwatch + Countdown Timer).

      3) Accelerometer

      It won’t use it for swimming at first. I need to do some treadmill (or fake treadmill) testing to see where (if at all), it’s doing that today.

      4) On Flow, pieces are still coming together there. So the picture isn’t quite clear yet.

      5) Yes, both end up in the same Flow.

      6) It will be via Flow. I don’t know if they plan to include HRV data.

      7) It was bantered around as a ‘possibility’, but nothing that sounds anywhere on/near the radar for 2014. They’ve got a lot of other fish to fry first.

    • Dan Feist

      Thanks for reply!

      – re: activity agree, although guess you can easily see it on your phone (once android Flow app exists!! )
      -re: strength training. I was thinking maybe interval program with HR based recovery periods.
      – re: accelerometer, lots of interesting things that can be done there..hope they eventually take advantage of this.
      – good to hear flow is coming together, software does seems to be a issue with Polar in general though 🙁 I really do hope Polar get their game together quickly here because otherwise they’ll soon struggle to compete.

    • JF Gioux

      Hi Ray,

      Re. export in HRM/GPX format, I am a bit confused. On one hand Polar says it will be via Flow, on the other hand I read earlier that they also say that no export via flow will be available for many months after the V800 launch.

      If so, that would be I think a huge shame, and a marketing mistake. For instance, I have got all my sessions since years under SportTracks (imported from Garmin/tcx). After repeated hardware failures on several Garmin units, I am absolutely eager to switch asap to a V800, but I couldn’t do without ability to analyse and compare previous history.

      Please tell me that I am wrong to worry … 😉

    • Polar (the lead of the product team) has committed to me on numerous occasions that they’ll be offering HRM/GPX exports, at or roughly about launch of the V800. I’ve made it super-clear to them that not having said capability upon launch is akin to being shot (it’s fine if it’s a week or two later, but not months later).

      There have been some folks that have gotten different communications from various Polar employees further afield. I generally prefer to go direct to the lead of the group responsible.

    • JF Gioux

      Thanks a lot for such a quick reply !

      Cannot agree more with your assessment. Great to hear that they made a firm commitment. Now looking forward for their announcement before I confirm an order with my local running shop … tough to wait !

    • JF Gioux

      Hi Ray,

      I have re-checked two days ago the status on ability to export individual workouts (HRM/GPX) from the V800 by asking a question on the Polar Facebook page. Unfortunately, the official answer from Polar was an ETA at “end of summer”. Given the repetitive delays which they had on the V800 itself, that might well mean that the export is at risk to be pushed back as well. If so, that would mean 3-6 months being half-blind with workouts analysis, so probably wiser then to either wait or buy something else.

      Have you got any different news from the development team ?

      Also, it is such a huge marketing mishap, as you say, that I am wondering if there couldn’t be another reason.

      Could it be for instance that Polar is attempting to lock as much as possible of its customer base into Flow, and then establish a paying subscription model later on ? Kind of what TrainingPeaks did when they let WKO+ drag behind with unsolved bugs (e.g. on FR910XT), but suggested that you “upgrade” to TP online (which was miraculously working fine with this device) ? BTW, on this one they lost me, for that’s when I discovered SportsTrack and dropped WKO+.

    • I actually don’t think they’re trying to lock folks in (mostly because, they aren’t in a good position to do that since they lack the upper hand). Rather, I think they’re just very much behind planned timelines on both the site and unit that they’re refocusing on what they believe are the most critical path items for delivery.

  24. Eric H

    I was wondering what you thought of the numbers you got with the Training Load feature. Are they logical and/or appropriate for the workout you did? Did the recovery period displayed seem appropriate?

    I currently have a FR310XT and load my data into SportTracks so I can get my TRIMP values. I have found the numbers to be logical/consistent/repeatable in determining the state of my training, but I am really annoyed at the cumbersome Ant Agent software. If I can get the same function directly from the watch without the extra hoops to jump through, I would be happy.

    But only if the numbers make sense and seem “right”.

    What are your thoughts?

  25. Bob D

    Do you think that V800 will be compatible with Microsoft Health Vault?

    • Likely not directly via API (ala Withings). In looking at my Healthvault account, I think if you use the Connection Center app, you can pull in some data manually, but I don’t know offhand if that includes .GPX/.HRM files.

  26. Pierre

    Hello,
    Site wiggle.fr the V800 with the belt pre-order at a price of € 490.
    Delivery end of April.
    It is not a little expensive?

    link to wiggle.fr

    • It won’t be there at the end of April. But yes, it’s a bit expensive compared to most other units. Time will tell if it’s competitive at that price point.

    • JF Gioux

      A 490€ price tag seems a bit on the high side ? What I have seen so far referred to in France is 449 € with HRM, and 399 € without. That means aligned with the Garmin FR910XT, although this one now seems to get promoted as Garmin will surely attempt to preempt the V800 launch.
      Got the same “non-official” feedback on price from my local shop, after they got the sales pitch from Polar.
      Wiggle might be just trying to get a nice premium through an early preordering process ?

  27. Thank you for the great and detailed review. For me, I like the Blue one but is worth the extra wait ? You have seen them both.

    I cycle 2 hours, 3-4 times a week. My biggest concern is would I have to charge the V800 everytime after a training session ?

    • They’re just color differences, no functional differences.

      As for hours, it has plenty of battery life for your full week of training.

    • Hanna

      Thank you for this great website and reviews. Just used the link above and placed two watches on ore-order and saved almost $100. Thank you again.

  28. George Raihala

    Great review as always…this is always the first place I come for reviews on training watches. Some questions:

    1. I determined that my RC3’s instantaneous pace is really converted mph to the tenth decimal. Is it the same with the V800?
    2. Is the sound for auto laps louder than the RC3? I can barely hear that sucker….
    3. Does the 4iiii ANT+ to BLE HRM strap also broadcast HR in ANT+? Or just BLE? I’d like to wear the V800 but still have data on my Garmin 510 during a triathlon, without having to wear 2 HRM straps.

    • 1. Hmm, I’d have to ponder on that.
      2. Auto lap seems about the same.
      3. The Viiiiva broadcasts dual ANT+ & BLE, and does both concurrently. So you could do as you describe.

  29. Dan Feist

    Read these two tweets from Polar, makes no sense:
    – “We’ll have an Android app within the next 2 weeks.”
    – “At first iOS support. We’ll try to get Flow Android app prepped for V800 as soon as we can.” (link to twitter.com)

    Conclusion: Either V800 is available imminently OR Android app will not support V800 initially OR Android App will actually be delayed again!

  30. Michael

    Any news on the swim functions? What will be included at launch and what will be added later?

    The polar websit still says “Swimming metrics Coming later in 2014”, but nothing about what that means.

    • They will not be included at launch. Upon launch the only swim functionality will be that it can record HR while underwater using the H7. No distance, lap, length, stroke or otherwise counting. Just time and HR.

    • Michael

      Thanks. Any thoughts from you or projections from Polar on when the swim functions will be added.

      Not happy about buying a triathlon watch if it takes Polar 12 months to add the swim functions.

    • No, I’ve pretty much begged them to outline a timeline for it.

      I’ve also made it clear that it’s rather difficult for me to recommend any triathlon watch that doesn’t actually measure swim metrics, given that’s 1/3rd of the event. At least having a timeline for that would be something to work from.

  31. TdR

    Thank you for a great site, with fantastically thorough reviews !
    Will Polar have the V800 available at the Boston Marathon Expo ?

  32. Gary

    So on the Swim, there is no distance at all for Swim. Does that use different GPS settings than Bike or Run then?
    I pretty much only need the Swim to have distance and time for Open Water. I already have a Garmin Swim.
    Im sure i read somewhere on Slowtwitch or something that there would be distance on release for Swimming?

    • Correct, no swim distance – whether indoors or outdoors. By default the GPS will be set for off for outdoor swimming, however you can turn it on. But there’s been no attempt made at an openwater swim mode, so the data will be useless as it isn’t tuned for it. Likely off by a factor of 2-3x.

  33. Chris

    Hi Ray,

    just once more a question about the cadence. Is the V800 able to use the internal accelerometer for running cadence (without a food pod)?
    Before you said it’s unsure, but now you have the (nearly) final firmware 😉

    Cheers,
    Chris

  34. Marc

    Hello Ray,
    Thank you for your time in setting this article.
    I’ve using the RCX5 for a while and I’m planning to upgrade into a new watch. On your personal review what do you recommend the new V800 or the Garmin Fenix2 GPS. Or even any other new watches…? I’m not involved into triathlon but I do MTB, squash, running, weightlifting and crossfit. Let me know.

    • r4d4r

      +1 to this question

    • It’s hard to say on the V800 a bit, but it’ll depend on what you want to measure. For triathlon, it’s going to be really hard to recommend it, due to lack of swimming.

      For running and some indoor activities that are heart-rate based, it’s definitely a better fit. Part of the equation will be seeing what the phone app does from a connectivity standpoint. Competitive apps do more than just upload completed workouts, but also allow transferring scheduled workouts, firmware updates, courses and the like.

  35. Paolo

    Hi Ray,

    Can you set the sports in mode “Triathlon” (swim->transition->bike->transition->run)?

    Example:
    – run->transition->bike->transition->run (duathlon!)
    – treadmill->transition->crossfit->transition->walking
    etc..etc..

    Thank you!

  36. I have been talking with Polar Global and they are still not sure when the Android app will be ready to communicate with the V800, for android users like me, it sounds like maybe it is better off to hang on to your regular HRM watch and get the V800 when it fully communicates with Andtoid app.

  37. Hanna

    Great website and great reviews. I just placed my order for two watches using link above and saved almost $90. Thank you Rainmaker for all your effort. If you happen one day in Beirut I will be happy to show you around and invite you to taste best Lebanese food ever 🙂

  38. Ossi

    Does the watch support other sports than cycling, running and swimming? For example mountain biking, cross country skiing etc…

  39. Max

    Hello Ray,

    first thank you very much for all the reviews and articles! it’s a pleasure reading you.

    The V800 is presented also as a day-to-day activity tracker, does that mean you have to wear your HeartSensor 24/7 for accurate data? Even while sleeping? or the activity is only measured using the integrated accelerometers? In the latter case, any idea how the watch differentiate between rest and sleep?

    Cheers!

    • No, it doesn’t need HR for the activity tracking. It just does it based on the accelerometer – identical to teh Polar Loop.

      I can’t quite see yet the non-fitness activity data from the unit, since the mobile app isn’t quite enabled for it yet.

  40. neil rosson

    I wonder if everything is still on track for the 1st of May? Not long now. Should we expect a review soon after if this is the case Ray? Can’t wait to see how this watch turns out.

  41. Patrik

    Amazing Review – Thank You !
    Android App coming later is of course a little annoying for the large Android community.
    Question Though ; Can you sync via PC/MAC to the full Web Application ? If yes is connection possible via the Bluetooth or only wired ?

    • Yes, you can still use PC/Mac via wired USB (not BT).

      Btw, I wouldn’t necessarily assume Android support will be significantly later.

  42. Kenni Lund

    Hey Ray.
    Is it possible to change the strap. I’m thinking of buying the black watch, and later the blue strap if possible.

    Kind regards
    Kenni.

    • I don’t believe so, though, there could be a trick to it I’m not aware of.

    • Kenni Lund

      I shure hope so. It would be kind of crappy to by such and expensive watch, and then break the strap with no way to fix it. 😉

    • In looking at it closer today, you can definitely remove some portion of the strap. But it’s not clear if that extends all the way to the edge of the square/screen portion, or just to the end of the holed rubber strap piece.

    • Marco

      This is one of the reasons why I started to hate Polar. I use the watch 24/7 and the band will die for sure. I am about to pre-order one V800 but honestly if they don’t have a replacement band available I will pick the Fenix2 instead.

    • Lew

      Marco: which Polar watch models have you had problems with straps failing and being unable to get a replacement?

      I was worried about the strap on my old RS200sd when I bought it years ago, but in multiple years of daily wear the strap never failed or wore out. I upgraded to a newer/better device before the RS200sd showed any problems.

  43. Sash

    Hey ray, thanks for the review.
    Do you know if the v800 will include a proper track back funktion ( the way you came) or just the “as the crow flies” mode? this would be crucial for me. Thanks

  44. Gilberto Baisch

    HI Ray,

    I’m eagerly waiting for your full review, but another quick question. You mentioned about the Adidas BLTE foot pod is compatible with V800. I was wondering if you had a chance to validate its data… Polar foot pod is really too big comparing to the other ones in the market (non BLTE)….
    Is the foot pod overriding GPS if both sensors are present?
    tks again.
    GB

    • I haven’t had a chance to dig into the exact functionality there. Though, I did notice last night it found the footpod somewhere in my suitcase just fine (as I was pairing a different HR strap). It’s on my to-do list by time of review.

  45. maou

    Hi Ray,
    Do you know if the v800 has any failsafe system if battery is running low, like turning off GPS automatically to save power or stopping the exercise and saving existing data before battery runs out?

  46. Jakub

    Hi Ray,

    I noticed in other posts that you seem to be spending a lot of time with this watch recently.
    In your initial thoughts you’ve stated that you’re very impressed with what Polar is planning to do with the watch. In your opinion, is Polar delivering on this promise? Is this going to be a strong competitor to Fenix 2 or fall short?

    Thanks for the great reviews!

    • It’s not a Fenix2 competitor. It doesn’t have the navigation functionality like the Fenix2, nor any of the swimming functionality.

      It remains to be seen what phone connected functionality it is.

      There are things it does that the Fenix2 doesn’t do, like activity tracking however.

    • neil rosson

      Ray do you know if they dropped the idea of route navigation or just put it back for later this year?

  47. Robin

    I have a small wrist at just under 5 1/2″ where I wear a watch. I’m very interested in the V800 but am concerned it will be too big for fit around my small wrist. Do you think it will fit me?

  48. Charles hew

    Hi,
    Can you customize interval type workouts on the watch like the garmin910 XT

    Ta

  49. Jeff

    Hello,

    I’m really interested to buy this product, but can we train indoor with that like Fenix 2 ?

    Thank you

    • Dan Feist

      Sure, but AFAIK there is currently no functionality to give you distance or cadence based on accelerometer in watch alone (like i believe fenix2 does), so you’d need a footpod.

  50. Daniel

    Great review Ray .. Thank you very much.

    One more question:

    1. Is it possible to recharge the device during training (for example, for 24h workouts).

    Thx, Daniel

  51. Cass

    Hi Ray,

    Absolutely love your site! I was wondering if you would happen to know if the older polar 31 coded HR strap I use to use with my RS200 will work with the V800? Also any updates on strava imports?

    Many many thanks!

    • Dan Feist

      V800 supports coded 5 kHz transmission (thats what it uses for transmission under water) so should work fine with T31 coded, H1, H2 and H7 belts.

    • That’s true. Though, there’s a minor caveat there in that you can’t actually ‘pair’ those straps (except H7) with the V800, so it’s just connect on demand and hope nobody else is around.

  52. Carl

    Get well soon after your unfortunate accident during your swim.
    Will the Swim metrics be a software download or will it be necessary to buy a new watch when the swimming metrics are ready ?

  53. Julien

    Hello Ray!

    Since the v800 is able to communicate with HR by bluetooth, is it possible to use another HR bluetooth belt with this watch?
    No loss of functionalities if not using the polar h7?

    Thanks for your good preview !
    I’m really impressed by all of yours reviews which are very serious enhanced by very good pictures 😉

    • Yes, you can use other straps. However, two caveats:

      1) If not using the Polar H7, then you won’t get underwater HR recording, since that uses the older analog protocals while underwater

      2) If using other BLE straps, you might want to be cautious in that some of them don’t implement (properly or at all) the RR/HRV transmission, which will impact recovery time, VO2Max estimates and the like.

    • Julien

      Thanks!

      I think I’ll get the v800 with HR instead of forerunner 620 or fenix2 which seems to have many bugs …

    • julien

      I can’t find the information for the Runalyzer blue strap, do you know if it supports RR/HRV transmission ?

      if this HR strap is fully compatible with the V800, I’ll keep it 🙂

    • Tony Vienneau

      will the miolink do this?

    • The Mio Link transmits both Bluetooth Smart and ANT+. It works with the Polar V800. As far as underwater usage, if you put it directly next to the V800, it will transmit your HR just fine while swimming (I tested it).

    • Tony Vienneau

      Perfect. Thanks.

  54. Sebastien

    Hi Ray,
    Great site you have here!
    As a Polar user, I would be very interested by the new Polar Flow you mentioned above. You know the screen shots with “User Interface Not Final – Provided by Polar”. Do you know how far Polar is from the release?
    And how far are you from your final V800 review?
    Thanks

    • They’re making progress, and it largely looks like it does above.

      My review won’t come out until 1-2 weeks after the final product unit/firmware arrives. At the moment, that’s looking like at earliest mid-May for the V800 (final prod stuff), so perhaps late-May. But it also could be early June depending on when Polar finalizes things.

  55. Dave Lusty

    Hi Ray, I’m guessing that since you said you have begun the real review you now have some more final code. Is there any news on standard data formats which were promised? While tcxcreator works very well indeed on the RC3 I’m thinking I may vote with my feet and hold off the v800 if they’ve not implemented the standards. There’s really no excuse these days, and I hate owning devices and feeling like the vendor doesn’t care. If the Garmins weren’t so darned ugly I’d have probably already jumped ship 🙂

    • Bleuette

      Hi Dave,

      my garmin FR620 isn´t “darned ugly” I bet it´s mor comfortable than V 800 while running and while using it all day long! The watchstrap is sophisticated comparing with Polar´s RS 800 IMVHO!***

      Herzallerliebst !Bleuette Naomi

      *** All those who agree and believe in telekinetics raise my right arm now!

    • I asked today, they’re not quite yet 100% sure that the export function will be there at launch. It’ll come down to the wire.

      I definitely don’t expect them to export to TCX, but the planned GPX/HRM files like other products of theirs.

    • Dave Lusty

      Thanks Ray, reading back I’m not sure where I got that from, I thought you’d said they were going to also support a single file export option but you didn’t at all 🙂 With a little luck though someone at Polar reads comments on your site and will realise that their customers think it’s time to bring the exports and integration up to date. With the Suunto integration to Strava hopefully things will start moving in the right direction across the industry, I know it’s making me thing about a Suunto instead just for their attitude alone.

      Bleuette, I have seen the FR620 and we’ll have to agree to disagree. Somehow Garmin have made a watch that’s the same size as all the others but looks far larger, and they’ve managed to make a perfectly good screen look tiny too!

  56. Bleuette

    Hi folks,
    News here:
    HRWC Reports on Compatibility of Polar V800 Android

    link to broadwayworld.com

    Herzlichst! Bleuette Naomi ..and very happy with her Garmin Forerunner 620 ( a 99% watch thank god) I exchanged for Fenix 2 (both had been one of the 1%),so that Polar v800 isn´t become a watched pot never boils for me. I can wait 😉

  57. Cathy Smith

    Will the V800 ever be compatible with Droid Maxx cell phone??? I just moved from iPhone to Droid 🙁

  58. Bleuette

    Polar V800 starts selling in Germany today!

    Hi Ray,

    first to be sure you ´ll read my post here an give me your bank accout.

    I´ve read about your accident in water, while you are testing Polar V800 .

    So you kept attention to the watch instead of paying attention where you feet step in water. IMVHO the injury and all the trouble most likely would not have happened to you without watch-testing but only swimming in the ocean. The bill for saving your live was about 2300 Us dollar. I cannot take away all the pain you had, but I wish to send you one Euro (or two 😉 ) to get paid you lifesaving bill . One Euro is little or nothing and doesn´t hurt /ache/ail me but is my heart wish to help you (and keep you independed by the way).

    So Ray please please shut up , give no comment to my post here. Just do me the big favour and give me any bank account nummer ( in Switzerland maybe or elsewhere) msoI can send you my 1 Euro for your life saving bill. I would feel better afterwards.

    Ray, please shut up, “forget the pain , give me the baby.”

    Herzallerliebste Grüße! Please get well soon. I bey you pardon for the fake in the headline.

    All those who believe in telekinetics raise my right arm now!

  59. Stefan

    Hi Ray,

    can you confurm if the v800 works with the H6 HRS, and if there other dissadvantages than HR under water?

    Thanks a lot.
    Stefan

  60. Huub Raemakers

    Hi Ray,
    Nice review again!

    Do you think that the the Polar V800 can use the cadence signal from the Wahoo Tickr Run? Or will my old Ant+ footpad (Adidas Micoach) work via the Wahoo Tickr? If so, than I don’t need to buy a new bluetooth footpad.

    Hope you can help,
    regards
    Huub

    • No, it doesn’t (used it on my most recent run). And, the TICKR doesn’t bridge ANT+ to BLE (the 4iiii’s Viiiiva does however).

      Now, technically Wahoo and Polar could work together to make the TICKR send that cadence info in a manner that the V800 understands. But, I wouldn’t expect that to happen since that would undercut sales of the Polar H7 strap. And accessories make these companies a lot of money.

    • Huub Raemakers

      Thanks for the reply!

  61. TonyH

    Hi Ray,

    you know how important GPS accuracy is to me…

    I am thinking of buying the Polar RCX5 again even though it is a 3 year old watch (I sold the one I had but do regret it since GPS accuracy was great).
    I don’t know if you can already answer this question, but is the GPS accuracy of the Polar V800 very very good?Are they using a better and newer gps chip set?
    Also, when you see the run on a map (running software), is it very accurate?
    I also noticed that wearing a gps watch on the left or right wrist does make difference in gps accuracy. Since the RCX5 does come with a GPS belt click system (instead of the arm strap), would it possibly make a difference if I would click the GPS unit to my running shirt right in my neck area on the back? That way it is always visible to satellites and doesn’t move all the time compared to when you would put it on your wrist.

    Hope you can answer these questions. It will determine my decision.

    Greetings

    Tony

    • At the moment I’m not seeing any accuracy issues there. The numbers are coming out near identical to both the Fenix2 and FR620 that I have on most runs. Plus occasional other random GPS devices (like the Suunto Ambit2 or other apps). The lines appear crisp. If you look at my Wednesday post (5 Random Things), the map of the run in the park was from the V800 – and given how many times I went around that furthest loop, it looks precisely like a single track through there.

      I’ve worn the unit on both wrists, as well as clipped to my CamelBak (when I had too many other units on), and haven’t seen any difference.

  62. TonyH

    thx a lot Ray!

    That means I will better wait for the Polar V800.

    Greetings

    Tony

  63. Steph004

    Hi Ray, hi every one!

    Thx for a such good site Ray. THE reference!

    Someone mentioned that it begin to be sell in Germany today. Is it right?
    What about USA and CANADA?
    Thx,
    Stephane

    • It may be available for sale in Germany, but units aren’t quite shipping unit to consumers yet. Still a few weeks away for global availability.

    • Bleuette

      @Steph004:”Someone mentioned that it begin to be sell in Germany today.”

      It was me: No selling in Germany!

      It was my pay-attention-action to get bank account from Ray and as I mentioned in the same post: It was a fake .

      I beg your pardon confusing you or anybody else!

      Liebe Grüße! bleuette Naomi

    • falconeye

      Hello,

      I am from Germany and I had preordered the V800 some weeks ago. The retailer said I will receive a mail round about one week before delivery and then I have to pay.Until now I received no mail from them So I guess it will be at minimum one week before the watch is available in Germany.

  64. Nicole

    Does this show current pace in 1 second intervals? The Garmin 620 shows it in the 5’s and I’m not a fan of it.

    If you could choose between this and the Garmin FR620 for running only, which would you pick and why?

  65. Luciano

    Hello R.
    thanks a lot, I am elarning a lot from your answers and your review.
    Some more questions for you.
    – What about intervalk training? Does the V800 supports it? (I do runnning cycles of 30 seconds slow, 20 fast and 10 very fast, repeted 4 times and then a minute slow – for a total of 5 minutes. I then repeat this 4 or 5 or 6 times –> will I be able to set the V800 to give me instructions or vibrate at every change?)
    – What about smart awakeining? Can the V800 calculate your sleep cycle and wake you up with a vibration at the right moment before the wake up time?
    – I am a sailor and a freerider, and I am looking to funcitons like Bearing (in degrees) AND Speed in kn or km, do I have them on the V800?
    – what other sports are supported apart the triathlon sports? is it true that the V800 works on the model of Apps developed and downloaded when necessary?
    Cheers and thanks,
    Luciano

    • At present, the answers to all your questions are ‘No’.

      I’m validating the first one on interval training though, as I don’t see it today – but am trying to get clarification on if it’s simply not yet in the unit/site but is coming.

      You can add sports from a list of pre-created sports and customize those, but there isn’t anything ‘special’ about those sports. Meaning, adding in Yoga doesn’t track Yoga moves, but rather allows you to tweak display/recording settings.

    • Jesse

      Flow site was updated recently and I think you can now create this sort of interval training on the site and then transfer it to V800. You can create an Polar account and test it yourself if you like.

    • Yes, I have both prod and test. Neither appear to show me a way to do that.

    • Jesse

      Hmm, OK, maybe I misunderstood what was wanted here. But I you definitely build a training like this:
      Phases;
      1. 30 sec
      2. 20 sec
      3. 10 sec
      4. 1 min

      Repeats:
      Repeat 1.-3. four times
      Repeat 1.-4. five times

      So this will result in [(30 s, 20 s, 10 s) X 4 + 1 min] x 5

      P.S. My comment about creating a Polar account was aimed at Luciano, I’m sure you’re already very familiar with the site 🙂

    • Ahh, I see what you mean. I’ll see what the limitations are.

  66. Wade

    Will the V800 function with the MIO Link wrist band instead of using a chest strap? Great review as usual. Thanks.

    • Yes, you can use that instead.

    • Trond E

      Will you lose out on any functionality by doing that?

      Heart rate straps have always annoyed me – regular situations being dead, pulse of 230 when the half would be correct or pulse of 80 when it was double the previous 5 minutes.

      I’m currently thinking of getting a V800 with an Adidas speed_cell (unfortunately not available at Clever Training) and a mio link, and hope that will be a nice combination.

      I’ve also looked at the TomTom multisport Cardio with optical sensor, but there only seems to be running, cycling, swimming (don’t care) and treadmill: No “just use the sensor” (spinning, x-fit, yoga) or “just use the sensor and GPS” (cross country skiing).

    • JEsc

      @Trond E,

      That is exactly the setup I am going with based on what I’ve read here on DC’s blog. I already have the Mio Link and the Adidas BLE Speed Cell, preordered the V800 from Clever Training, just waiting for it’s arrival! Can’t wait to bring them altogether!

    • Raymond B

      Same here… already have the BLE Speed Cell and the Mio Link. Using them today with the Wahoo App on my phone. I have the Bia waiting to deliver, but sadly the first versions won’t do BLE or ANT+. Based on all the current comments/concerns with the Bia, I too have pre-ordered a V800 from Clever Training. I went ahead and got the HRM Package… although I probably would prefer the Mio Link unless the strap does anything cool that the Mio can’t.

  67. Charles

    Hi Ray,
    As always great review!

    What about the integration with Strava. Would it be able to export data to strava?

    Thanks

  68. Tom

    Am I the only one that is kissing an music player on almost all of these watches?

    Until now I stick the my Motoactv and I’d like to replace it, focus was on biking (MTB) and running, therefore a player will be appreciated butIi will not buy the Adidas unit, due to unstable software and missing bike mode.

    Seems that I have to wait again..

    Cheers Tom

    • Trond E

      With the growth of streaming services like Spotify and many others, that’s a dead end.

  69. Jari

    Hi Ray,

    thanks for all the thorough reviews! I currently have a Suunto Ambit, and although it’s otherwise great, it has a poor connection between the chest strap and the watch. Because of that, while inline skating, when I put my hands in the usual resting position on my back, no pulse is being recorded. I didn’t have that problem with any of my previous devices (Polar, Garmin). Would you have noticed this with the Ambit or any other device? Any comment specifically regarding the V800? (If you have covered this in the reviews, I beg your pardon, I must have missed it)

    Thanks,
    Jari

  70. Toby

    Hi Ray,

    I spotted this on Polar’s Facebook Page:

    • first enable export of individual training files. This is planned to take place within a few months after our new flag-ship product V800 is available in the market. (ETA end of summer 2014)
    • create an automatic connection from Polar Flow with selected services to allow automatic sync of your training data to a partner service. We are currently in discussions with selected partners to create this connection. We hope to be able to make more specific announcements on partners and connected services during 2014.
    • offer inbound data to allow training data from other services to be combined with your data in the Polar Flow service. This feature will require more software development. Schedule for this is still open.
    //Jaana

    • Lew

      Link? I didn’t see that in any recent FB posts.

      If true, that’s a deal breaker for me. Export is required functionality and I don’t buy on promised future capabilities. No matter the product team’s good intentions, stuff can happen.

    • Grzeg1

      Please correct me if I’m wrong: with V800 you are locked down to Polar Flow website alone and cannot export the training data in any other way (PC app etc.)? That really would be a deal breaker…

    • Lew

      Thanks for the link. Wow. That’s huge.

      I really hope that changes before release.

    • jonhoffm

      Thanks Toby. I agree the other posters that is a big deal. I am uncomfortable with their emphasis on ‘inbound data’ as they seem to be angling toward marrying you to Polar Flow. I can understand offering import features so that you could use Polar Flow as your primary service if you wanted, but it would seem that they could easily make the data available for export – at least pace, HR, cadence and GPX since they have had this through ppt for some time.

  71. Chris

    Hi Ray,
    You wrote: “Openwater swimming: They will not at launch have an openwater swimming mode, and GPS will be disabled. It’s TBA if they implement a full openwater swimming mode (like the FR310XT/910XT/Ambit 2/2s/Bryton Cardio 60/etc…)”.
    Waiting for the openwater swimming mode, why not use the running mode during the swim? This will allow to have at least the distance…
    WhaIs there any specific GPS difference between running and swimming?

    • Using a running mode on your wrist will result in wildly inaccurate data, as it doesn’t account for the loss of signal when your wrist goes underwater. My testing confirms this.

    • Chris

      OK I see…
      So hopping the swimming mode will come soon! Just wait
      Thank you Ray!!

  72. Júlíus Björnsson

    Hi Rainmaker.
    I’ve been following your reviews and I have to say they are great!
    I want to upgrade my watch (I have Suunto T4d) and I would really appreciate if you could give me some advice that would make my decision a little easier. What I am looking for is a watch for running. I don’t bicycle and I don’t swim. I would like to have a GPS with the option to use a foot pod. It could be great with custom workouts but it’s not necessarily a must. I’m also trying to keep the price in the lower end. Therefore I had my eyes on Suunto Ambit 2 r. I already have a heart rate belt and a foot pod so I wouldn’t have to buy that. It has a great GPS connectivity and there’s the possibility to add workouts via apps. Then there is Polar V800 and even though the price is steeper, I have the option to buy it discounted by 33% so it wouldn’t be that much more expensive. However, maybe that watch has way too many features for me as I don’t swim or ride a bike. I like the features though and especially the 24/7 activity tracker and Bluetooth connectivity. Maybe it’s a bit early to say as you haven’t tried the final (beta) version. But could you give me your initial thoughts?

  73. A.Nienkerk

    Great first look, love it!

    I saw on your weekly summery that you mentioned a few firmware updates since this first look. Can you tell us something about these updates and have you heard anything new about a potential release date?

    Thanks!

  74. Stefan

    Hi Ray,

    do you have the footpod for testing?
    – Did they have changed anything from their approach (RCX5…. If footpod than GPS is only for recording Track)
    – How are different shoos now organised?

    It really would be great if there would be some versversa calibration (on the run error correction between footpod and GPS). If GPS signal is A+ it calibrates the footpod, and incoming GPS Data is checked on the fly if waypoints are possible (with pace from footpod).

  75. Linda

    Online stores in the Netherlands have changed the release date for the black/grey version to June 2-6 . 🙁 From mid-April to early June is quite a delay (and poor planning?) to say the least.

    • Stephane

      Same case for online stores in France. They are now showing a release date in June (without specifying the period in June). Looks like Polar is not ready yet to release this watch.

  76. Francois

    Hey Ray,
    Congratulations on the blog, being a geek and a runner, it’s like heaven here!
    I know you have posted some comments about how to sync files and websites info from TP, Garmin etc, but I cant’t for the life of me make a proper tax file from a polarpersonaltrainer file.
    Your help would be fantastic
    Thanks a lot!

    • I’m not aware of any way to convert a Polar GPX/HRM file set into a .TCX file.

    • There are a few ways to combine HRM/GPX to TCX – none of which are very user-friendly (at least the last time I looked).

      Personally, I use my own AWK script to combine them – I’ve wrote up a description on my blog a couple of years ago: link to colby.id.au

      There are other options available if you Google around, or you can check out some of the alternatives people have linked in the comments on blog post linked above.

      Good luck! 🙂

      PS – I wrote my script (and use it almost daily) to get my Polar RCX5 data into Strava. Cheers.

    • Dave Lusty

      Tcxcreator works flawlessly with cadence and stride etc as well as gps and heart rate to integrate these files. Windows only but it is easy to use.

    • Awesome stuff on both. Thus reminding me a I need to add a wiki somewhere to stash links to all these types of tools.

    • Francois

      Tks a lot, I see how to export the gpx file, but can’t have access to the hrm file. Is it because I am using polar web sync for Mac?

    • Sebastien

      Francois – I am using Polar Web Sync on Mac and I can import/export to/from polarpersonaltrainer.com. The export comes into two separate files GPX(including gps data) and XML (including hr, speed and cadence if you have a footpod). I do not think there is a way to export HRM file. I think you are right.
      If you are looking at a way to upload into TP, then both files will upload fine… but not together! It seems there is a bug “somewhere” with the timestamps (TP blames Polar and vis versa) which makes TP understand these are two different workouts with X hours in between (X being your time difference with GMT).
      I will try the above tools when I have a moment. Maybe there is a way to merge and fix this issue via a TCX file?

    • Johannes

      The link for tcxcreator is link to jmelhus.com
      From polarpersonaltrainer.com you can’t export hrm & gpx, but in websync you have a “Training Computer” view. There you can copy gps & hrm directly to your PC. At least for some watches.

      Ray: Great page, great reviews keep it up. Anything new about May release of the V800.

    • I think things will wrap up sometime this month, I suspect by the end of it. I should be in a position to have a review out 1-2 weeks after final firmware.

  77. Juha from Finland

    Hi! Has PolarV800 vibration alarm for heathrate limits?

  78. Grzeg1

    Ray, thank you for the review. I can see that the faq section says:
    “What file format does it export in?
    The unit will provide standard Polar .HRM+.GPX files for running and cycling (last past Polar products). Swimming file formatting is TBA.”

    Shouldn’t it rather say “There will be no export options at release date. Export in HRM+GPX will probably be available a few months later”?

    • Except that we don’t actually know that yet. Said differently: Don’t believe everything you read from a Facebook post.

  79. Rob

    Are you still in the dark about what the swimming options/capabilities are going to be with the V800? I’m torn between an Ambit 2S, 910xt, and now the V800 (even considering the TomTom for size reasons). Or heck, maybe I’ll just wait until next year when the 910xt replacement comes out…?

    So confused!!!

    • The unit will not have swim capabilities at launch. Specifically, it will not track distance or pace (or stokes/stroke type), either indoors or outdoors. It will however track heart rate while swimming with a compatible strap.

      Polar has not been clear on when such swim capabilities would be added to the unit, beyond “Later in 2014”.

    • Rob

      Okay, thanks for confirming. So, in short, no new news…

      I guess until such an announcement then those other watches are the best route to go if you’re after swim metrics.

  80. Magnus

    Talked to my sales rep at Polar earlier today. He said the release is announced to june 2nd.
    I was supposed to use my V800 at my first 21km next week 🙁
    Borrowed another watch and now I can probably get a blue V800 instead of a black =)

    Great blog btw, especially for me who is working daily with this kind of stuff

  81. mauno

    Hello folks,

    Verkkokauppa.com – in Finland says that they will deliver first watches on May.

    • Magnus

      Yes May was what they thought from the beginning but the new word on the street is beginning of June 🙁

  82. Magnus

    Yes May was what they thought from the beginning but the new word on the street is beginning of June 🙁

    • Steph004

      For myself, i was so sure that they will delay that I have order the Fenix 2. Will received it next week.

  83. Winchester

    I had an opportunity to play with V800 at Prague Marathon Expo today. The watch do not seem to be bulky, compared for example to Garmin FR 910xt. The Polar.cz guys told me, that according to fresh news the unit should be generally available from early June and that the availability date will be same for all countries.
    What surprised me, that in order to get the recovery status overview in the normal watch mode, you atually need to slap the unit. Easy tapping does not work, so it seems to me, that this feature is accelerometer based rather than touch enabled display based.

    • Albertocs

      I’ve purchased the v800 and i can cofirmatari the Hard Slap Tap Gesture :).
      You have to smash 2fingers to obtain a response… Hope Polar will fix it, Now the tap gesture is useless

  84. Jack

    Can you get your GPX and HRM files out of it to any other training programs but the Polar Flow site?

    • Anton

      That’s something I’m intersted in knowing as well. I want to own my own data and not be locked in to one particular service or tool. Pretty important buy-or-not-factor, at least for me.

    • Andreas

      Perhaps it is possible to connect to the Watch via USB with the Polar Websync Software. Then it should be possible like it does with the RCX5
      (link to dcrainmaker.com).
      That would match the technical feature “Data transfer via custom USB cable or Bluetooth Smart via Polar Flow mobile app” at the product page (link to polarv800.com).

      Ray, have you already tested such a USB connection with your beta unit? Is it working like with the older Polar watches?
      Maybe it`s already theoretical answered with the replies #233 to #237, but it`s always good to know, that somebody has already tested such an important feature before preordering something…

      Thank you very much.

    • The V800 uses Flow Sync, just like the Polar Loop. And just like the Polar Loop there is no native access to the device (such as a USB mass storage thumbstick).

      I currently upload my workouts via USB to Flow. I’m also able to setup it to upload via Bluetooth to my phone (I have to do it again after the most recent firmware update).

  85. TonyH

    Is Polar going to make the same mistake as Garmin by updating firmware of there products? On Facebook a lot of people seem to have problems since the recent Polar Loop firmware update…
    I’m afraid the Polar V800 will get firmware updates too (like Garmin does with and without success)..instead of delivering a completely finished product as they used too..

    I (re)bought a new ‘old’ RCX5. A completely finished product. No messy firmware updates for me.
    I’ll see how the V800 develops in a few months and can still buy it when it is ‘finished’

    • Polar has committed to delivering future product functionality increases down the road via firmware updates. I expect that will include both bug fixes, as well as new features. At launch, the watch will lack many features that would have made/make it competitive with other devices out there (Suunto/Garmin). Thus, firmware updates will be the only method to get it to that level.

    • JoggwithoutAmbit

      Just the same like Suunto did with the Ambit(1) … and even Garmin …
      That’s modern life … 🙁
      Joachim

  86. Tomas Hannibal Nielsen

    Hi there

    Great blog – and great to have a solid “non-review” of the V800.

    Right now I am facing the situation that I have been using Polar for 10+ years (and like their products) – on the other hand my fitness center have just started spinning classes with a group system based on Suunto – specifically the Suunto Dual belt.

    As far as I can see the Dual belt sends on “analog” + “ANT” – but I was wondering if the “analog” would mean that a V800 could be used with the Suunto Dual belt. (that would provide the rationale for upgrading from the RS800X as I then would not have to wear two belts for the sessions)

    does anyone know if this is possible `?

    • Hmm, I actually don’t have the Suunto dual belt, so i can’t quite validate that oddly enough. Sorry!

      If you can validate that the Suunto dual belt works with other Polar products, then it should work just fine here.

    • JoggwithoutAmbit

      Sometimes I use my Suunto Dualbelt together with the old POLAR M91 titanium (just looking how far her “Own Index” is away from the figure of the POLAR RS800CX*) – so I can say: It works on the “analog” side.
      Joachim
      *) for people who are interested in: The figure of the M91ti always is 1 “point” higher (means: 49 instead of 48 … I am nearly 62…) … reason? Guess, the RS800 is more calibrated for young sporting people 😉
      PS I am waiting for the new POLAR V800 blue model 🙂 🙂
      PPS thanx a lot Ray for your good reports and good luck regarding your health!!!

  87. Jakub

    Hi Ray,
    Could you please confirm whether the watch will have live tracking feature so that others could track your location via app or web service?
    Thanks!

  88. Niels

    Hi Ray,

    Can you confirm that the Polar V800 “Jump test” works with the Adidas BLE smart speed cell?

    THANKS!

    • I haven’t done that test yet, it’s on my list by final review. And since I rarely use the Polar footpod due to be silly large, it’ll definitely be with the Adidas one.

  89. Has anyone received their v800 unit ordered online? Is the shipping started? I would like to have it before the 20th while im in US, shipping here is quick but i dont know if anyone has his hands on it from online orders. TIA for responses.

    • Hi Merlyn-

      Thus far Polar has not yet shipped any V800’s to any customers at this point (anywhere in the world). Having it before the 20th will unfortunately be unlikely.

      Cheers.

  90. Kent

    Hi Ray,

    In Polar Flow, is there a possibility to compare trainings with “overlays” as in Polar Protrainer? Also, can you manipulate trainings; add laps, trim, remove HR-spikes and so on as in Polar Protrainer?

    Thanks for your great site and dedication!

    • Kent

      Also, what about combining and splitting training sessions? All of these features are quite essential if you really want to analyze your training, and I haven’t found these tools when I have been looking around in Polar Flow.
      Will there be a Pro version of Flow so that V800 users can really use the full potential of the watch? As it stands I think Flow seems more aimed at the Polar Loop audience, it’s more about social stuff and goals than serious training analysis.

  91. pa

    Hi Ray,

    do you know if with V800 it is possible to create more than four phases in the interval training function?
    I ask you this as with RCX5 this is not possible and I find it quite annoying.

    Thanks a lot!

  92. Jorge

    I have pre-ordered the black V800 some time ago. Is it possible to change/replace the bracelet (black to blue)? Is it possible to buy only the bracelet? Thanks

    • Lew

      Looks like the casing would also need to be changed if you wished to change colors, else you’d have an odd hybrid black and blue watch. Look at the pictures for where the band/bracelet attaches.

      Probably better to just buy the color you want from the beginning even if it requires an additional wait.

    • Jorge

      Thanks you Lew

  93. Jeff

    I can’t tell from Polar’s public information whether the watch alarm is vibrational. I have the FitBit Force and to my surprise that has turned out to be the single most useful function, enabling me to awake early to work out without waking my spouse. It’s very difficult to find a good vibrating watch.

  94. Jake

    A quick update on delivery dates, in the UK at least… My retailer tells me they’re expecting stock on 2 June, so I should have mine on the 3rd…

    • Bleuette

      In Germany, online company “Cardiozone” announces:

      @” Update 15.05.2014: endlich steht der finale Termin fest: 05.06. ist der globale Product-Launch. Am 05.06. werden die ersten V800 Uhren bei den POLAR Premium Partnern (wie CardioZone) eintreffen.” link to cardiozone.de

      it is to say, that on June the 5th the Polar v800 will be received at “Cardiozone”.

      Herzliebste Grüße!

      Bleuette Naomi

    • Stephane

      Good evening Bleuette. Thanks for the news. Would you have the link to such article by chance.
      The one I found with some delivery information was saying : “delivery time in around 20 working days”

      link to cardiozone.de

      Thanks 🙂

    • Bleuette

      here we go:
      link to cardiozone.de

      @Cardizone:Seit heute (15.05.) ist die Katze aus dem Sack: am 05. Juni geht’s weltweit los …

      Auf dem POLAR & FRIENDS Meeting in Österreich haben wir es mit als erste erfahren: am 04.06. treffen bei POLAR Deutschland die ersten V800 Modelle in schwarz ein und werden sofort an die POLAR Premium Partner (wie auch CardioZone) verschickt, sodass sie am nächsten Tag dort eintreffen.

      Aus Kapazitätsgründen wird eine Aufteilung stattfinden (müssen), d.h. die im ersten Schwung nach Deutschland gelieferten Modelle werden von POLAR Deutschland unter den Premium Partnern verteilt. Wie viele eintreffen und wie der Verteilerschlüssel aussieht, ist das große Geheimnis von POLAR 😉

      Wir können daher voraussichtlich erst ein paar Tage vorher genauer sagen, wie viele Modelle am 05. Juni bei uns eintreffen und welche Listenplätze auf der Vorbesteller-Liste bedient werden können. Auf der ISPO im Januar hat POLAR seine Premium-Fachhändler ermuntert, Vorbestellungen abzugeben. CardioZone hat für die V800 Liefertermine jeweils eine sehr große Vor-Order abgegeben, die auf jeden Fall mit Priorität bearbeitet werden wird.

      Interessant: zwar hat sich der Liefertermin mittlerweile mehrfach nach hinten verschoben, doch ist die Produktion der Uhren / Hardware währenddessen weitergelaufen. Dadurch wird sich die Gesamtverfügbarkeit erfreulicherweise erhöhen. POLAR hat uns zugesichert, dass über den gesamten Juni rd. 80% unserer Vororder ausgeliefert werden kann. Wer also jetzt bei uns eine V800 schwarz bestellt, hat noch gute Chancen, diese im Juni zu erhalten (siehe Auslastung unten)

      Zur POLAR V800 in blau kann POLAR noch keine näheren Lieferinfos geben und bittet um Verständnis, dass der reibungslose Start der V800 in schwarz erstmal Priorität hat. Für die V800 in blau wird offiziell immer noch Juni gennant; wir rechnen intern mit Ende Juni / Anfang Juli …”
      link to cardiozone.de

  95. June 5th was provided on the POLAR & Friends event in Austria which we attended this week. It was announced today by the guys from POLAR Deutschland. We understood that the global launch will happen around this date. Regarding Germany the first units will drop in at POLAR Deutschland on June 4th and will be shipped immediately to the premium partners like us. So we will start to spread the units to our customers on June 5th.

    Best regards
    Heiko from CardioZone / DE

  96. JF Gioux

    Hi Ray,

    I have re-checked two days ago the status on capability to export individual workouts (HRM/GPX) from the V800, by asking a question on the Polar Facebook page. Unfortunately, the official answer from Polar was an ETA at “end of summer”. Given the repetitive delays which they had on the V800 itself, that might well mean that the export is at risk to be pushed back as well. If so, that would mean 3-6 months being half-blind with workouts analysis, so probably wiser then to either wait or buy something else.

    Have you got any different news from the development team ?

    Also, it is such a huge marketing mishap, as you say, that I am wondering if there couldn’t be another reason.

    Could it be for instance that Polar is attempting to lock as much as possible of its customer base into Flow, and then establish a paying subscription model later on ? Kind of what TrainingPeaks did when they let WKO+ drag behind with unsolved bugs (e.g. on FR910XT), but suggested that you “upgrade” to TP online (which was miraculously working fine with this device) ? BTW, on this one they lost me, for that’s when I discovered SportsTrack and dropped WKO+.

  97. Harmless Harm

    Would be interesting where these delays are coming from. Is it hardware/platform/reliability related, or are FirmWare/features delayed due to opportunistic planning or complexity. Or does Polar ensure upon release most features are enabled an working?
    Huge risk customers are walking away, if product is only available 5/6 months after announcement.

    • Hi,

      during the POLAR & Friends event we`ve been talking with Thomas Seifert, the general manager of POLAR Deutschland about reasons for the huge delay. In fact, the complexity of software – firmware and particularly Flow webservice – had been fairly underestimated by Polar.

      The hardware itself is in serial status since a couple of weeks. We had the chance to wear the units during our stay for some running units and activity monitoring.

      Second reason is to ensure 100% quality upon release. These days firmware and Flow are constantly checked and updated till they`ll be bug-free. Having worn the blue V800 on my wrist I think waiting till June is really worth it (to avoid misunderstandings: the blue one definitly comes later, the black one is to start beginning of June)

      Have a nice weekend,
      Heiko

    • ben

      any comments about open water swimming functionality?

    • Hi Ben,
      sorry, nothing really new. Still the same status as Ray has posted in the blog.

    • It will not be included at launch. I should have some concrete timelines next week.

    • ben

      thanks – concrete timelines 😉

  98. ivan

    Hello I would like to purchase the polar v800 as the size of the garmin has never liked. My question is whether this confirmed that the polar mode openwater PROPER v800

    • Openwater swimming will not be in the V800 at launch. I should have some details next week to share on timelines for it. Previously they’ve said “later in 2014”.

  99. ivan

    My second question is is may use any bluetooth polar side

    • I’m not entirely sure I understand the question. The V800 works with the following Bluetooth sensors:

      Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence Sensors (Cycling)
      Bluetooth Smart Speed Sensors (Cycling)
      Bluetooth Smart Cadence Sensors (Cycling)
      Bluetooth Smart Footpod Sensors (Running)
      Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Senors (General)

      It will also work down the road with Bluetooth Smart Power Meters (cycling).

  100. ivan

    My question was any heart rate monitor bluetooth of polar?

    • No, on the Bluetooth-enabled Polar units, only the H6 and the H7 will work. Polar has also made some past Bluetooth regular (legacy) ones – but those won’t work. Neither will the Nike+ ones.

    • juan

      Hi Ray,

      Does the polar v800 work with wahoo Tickr run?. To begin with heart rate, and cadence, maybe in the future running Smoothness/Dynamics

  101. brendan stallard

    DC,

    I see nothing here about whether the V800 will be able to use Polar Pro Trainer. Does this mean Polar have gone over completely to the (vile) Flow mess?

    Lawdy, lawdy, if so.

    And, I’m waiting for a red one, so there:)

    brendan

    • That’s correct. At the moment it doesn’t yet have export from Flow, so all communications goes straight to flow. I’d expect that once Flow gains GPX/HRM export, then you’d be able to use PPT again.

    • Charles

      Brendan, I’m just curious if you could expand on what’s so vile about Polar Flow? Please note, this absolutely a completely honest question and not coming with any accusatory tone. I’ve been pretty much a “Garmin Guy” for several years but really haven’t been happy with the chaos that the new Garmin Connect site has brought into my life. It’s definitely a beta site to be sure. The V800 is intriguing enough where I’m considering changing platforms, so was curious what an experienced Polar user has to say about Polar Flow, especially in comparison with Garmin if you have that level of insight. Thanks,

      Charles

  102. Jorge

    Hi Ray,
    is it possible to transfer data from the V800 to runtastic? Thanks

    • No, not at this point as there’s no export functionality yet.

    • Jorge

      Thank you for the answer.

    • Andreas

      Hi Ray,

      One additional question to this topic.

      I know that today there is no export function at the flow site.
      Additionaly I know, that the local USB software Flow Sync used by the V800 today has no local export possibility (yet?).
      Hopefully this “closed system” is solved by Polar very quickly, because it`s important for many people and for some maybe an additionaly showstopper. OK.

      Today I`m using the Polar Beat iPhone App and of course the app is syncing to the Flow site, too.
      But I can see my data afterwards at the Polarpersonaltrainer.com site, and there I’m able to download the GPX and XML files of the training session.
      I don`t know if this is a general function or if it has something to do with my personal Polar account which has some older Polar units configured inside.

      But if this is working in general, maybe it is working with the watch, too? Can you check this topic?
      It could be a “workaround for the beginning” till the flow site is finished with the “data part export/import”….

      Thanks.

      By the way – Thank you very much for all the stuff you write for us! Always a nice reading!

    • No, Flow Sync only connects to Flow. And the V800 only connects to Flow (unlike Polar Beat).

  103. Simon

    Hi Ray,

    do you know if the Powercal BLE strap will work with the V800 (also showing power data)? Thanks

  104. JEsc

    Polar USA’s Facebook page seems to have posted a countdown video using a V800. The countdown ends tomorrow, Monday, May 18th in the morning. Hopefully it’s with some official announcement on its whereabouts… link to facebook.com

  105. Anders lindell

    Hi

    Head of marketing for polar also confirmed on twitter that something is happening this week

  106. Jake

    Polar have announced that they are offering “pre-sale”, i.e., work-in-progress, edition of the V800:

    link to polarv800.com

    • Yup. Check out the note at the top of this post as well for my thoughts. Though, for those getting e-mail subscriptions, I’ve copied it below:

      “Polar has announced their availability schedule for delivery of the V800. Until June, the units are essentially considered beta units, and can be purchased in some countries. You’ll get frequent software updates, and they’ve listed which features are complete/not-complete. All units from retailers should ship starting about June 2nd. They’ve also detailed out which features will/won’t be there at launch. My current target is approximately the first week of June for my Polar V800 in-depth review.”

  107. Lew

    Hmm… From the website, “Coming later: Exporting data so that you can send your training files to third party apps and services”

    Sorry Polar, I’ve cancelled my preorder. That’s a make-or-break feature and I don’t buy vaporware. Love the looks and the other stuff, but will wait until the v800 is finished. If and when this and other key features are available off-the-shelf I will reconsider.

  108. brendan stallard

    “That’s a make-or-break feature and I don’t buy vaporware.”

    Lew,

    To be fair, charging $500 for a “beta,” model is a nice work if you can get it. Not quite as nice as Glass, but not bad:)

    There’s a screaming crowd of folks who want something like this that performs well across platforms. There’s such a huge opportunity. I can’t help thinking that it’s the proprietary nature that is ruining the final product.

    Come on Polar, get it right, and make it work with Android/Apple/Fitbit/MFP. Yer own software is less than stellar.

    I’m waiting, at 64, I have learned a little patience. I’ll let you youngsters kick it around a bit first:)

    brendan

    • Lew

      I don’t believe Polar set out originally to sell an unfinished device. I suspect they ran into difficulties after January that forced them to strike a balance between releasing a not-quite-complete platform in 2Q14 or delaying launch well into 3Q14.

      They seem to be very open about what is and is not in the initial release, so kudos to that. My choice is simply because the features they’ve prioritized for launch don’t match the features I require. My “make-or-break feature” comment was meant to be specific to my own buying decision and not indicative of the device’s overall success in the market.

      Within the constraints of what is complete, I imagine this will be a very cool device, and look forward to what it will become in the ensuing weeks/months.

  109. Grzeg1

    One thought crossed my head: if there is no data export you can’t compare data accuracy with other devices. Maybe it’s intentional then.

  110. ivan

    Hello watch polar or page will have the ability to send data to strava workouts?

    • Raymond B

      Ivan,

      Not at this time. Polar states that data export is planned in the future. No time known.

      “Exporting data so that you can send your training files to third party apps and services “

  111. JohnO

    Has anyone heard what 3rd party apps might be supported for exporting data in the future?

    Thanks,

    JohnO

  112. Road_and_Trackrunner

    Sorry Polar,

    it may be a great watch.

    But not yet, I am afraid to say. No running / bike sensors and no swimming metrics at a point of time – and you seriously want me to pay $ 0.5k …. for a beta – device ??

    No way. I will look into a possible purchase in autumn.

    You need time to finish things.

    Best,

    Road_and Trackrunner.

    • I think there may be some poor translation on the Bluetooth sensor front actually. I suspect what they meant to say was that their own sensors aren’t available for purchase yet. But that they do connect to both Bluetooth Speed & Cadence, and Footpod sensors from other companies. Since those are mostly working for me today with the V800.

    • Road_and_Trackrunner

      Granted, DC. But I tend to use proprietary POLAR set of devices only:

      – BTLE Chest Belt (swimming HR hopefully)
      – BTLE Running Stride / Cadence
      – BTLE Bike Speed
      – BTLE Bike Cadence
      – BTLE Power meter …. beyond my budget.

    • Eric

      I currently have the Bluetooth cadence sensor (from polar) & the h7 chest strap, both are Bluetooth and will work with the v800. i’m not sure about when the bike options will show up but I will probably buy some other Bluetooth power meter that is in the more economical price range and go from there

    • I assume you’re talking having running cadence sensor? As the cycling one isn’t out yet.

      As for buying only Polar accessories, that’s fine for the bike sensors, and even the HR strap. But for the running footpod, that’s just silly. The Polar running footpod is about 4 times larger than the other options. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it.

  113. Siimon

    Hi Ray,

    If I’ll buy Polar V800 from clevertraining.com can I use it without any complications in Europe? I’m living in Estonia.

    Thanks!

  114. Christian

    Dear all, the user manual in English is now available for download at polar.com.

    I really like many features of the watch. However, as far as I can see, there is now way to following pre-planned courses on the watch. Only recorded and uploaded tracks on polar flow webservice can be downloaded to the watch. I often pre-plan routes at home and want to follow these (unknown) courses. I do not see the point in following a course I already know as I do not need a guidance. Is there a way to get a gpx file to follow on the V800?

    • No way currently, though from my last discussions it’s planned for sometime down the road (timeline unknown).

    • Christian

      Bummer. Hard to believe Polar did not think of implementing the possibility of following third-party tracks. Thats one of the main reasons for buying a “GPS” watch IMO.

    • Linda

      What?! I thought this watch would also tell you where to go once you’ve uploaded a route. At least that what I understand from the Polar site: link to polar.com (under Integrated GPS function, it mentions route guidance).
      Would one of the main reason to still go for this device if that functionality is available, otherwise I think I’ll look for something else as it’s taking Polar way too long to release it anyway….

    • Linda

      Ow, I see what Christian means. Yeah, absolute bummer that you can’t pre-plan your own routes, as, as mentioned, I know the routes I’ve already taken. So many features not included in the initial release … I just don’t know…

  115. Jorge

    Can you post the download-link to the user manual? Thank you.

  116. Sensor

    But what other options bluetooth running strade sensor, what is smallest and works good with Polar V800?

    • Adidas footpod is the overall best.

      The Wahoo TICKR RUN mostly works as well, but there’s a few oddities there that Polar needs to fix (mostly UI-related).

    • Charles

      Ray,

      Quick question about the Adidas footpod: Is it able to perform all of the new tests that the V800 & Polar’s proprietary footpod provide, such as the new jump test?

    • I’ve just validated that the jump test will not work with the Adidas footpod. It actually doesn’t even allow you to do it, and says you must have the Polar one.

      I’m reasonably certain they have the same guts in them, so I’m a bit surprised by that and wonder if it’s more of a software block.

    • Dan Feist

      Interesting, it may be that Adidas footpod doesn’t implement everything (in the same way that not all HRM sensors capture and transmit HRV).

      I’m wondering if this one would work: link to uk.cellphoneshop.net

      It explicitly says it captures jump data and is cheap!

      Had never heard of the company before link to i-gotu.com you?

      Dan

    • Yeah, I’ve heard of the company before. They tend to fall into the knock-off category. May work just fine, just not sure. I just ordered one off of Amazon to check out, but it’ll likely be a few weeks before it makes it here.

  117. Charles

    Another question for those that might know. Does the V800 daily activity tracking do 100% of what Polar Loop does? In other words, is this truly the first device (that I know of) that eliminates the need to have a GPS watch and an activity tracker? Polar had some language on their website under the “coming soon” area of the V800 that seemed to suggest that you may want to remain in a multi-device world.

    • Charles,

      yes, it will. No need to wear two devices.
      I had it last week on the POLAR dealer event for two day 24/7 on my wrist. Didn´t miss a thing I have on my Loop.

      BR
      Heiko

    • Except on the V800 it doesn’t show you steps, nor distance. Just a small bar graph without any numbers at either end. It hasn’t changed at all from what’s seen in this section/imagery: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Once uploaded to Flow, then you get all that detail.

  118. brendan stallard

    “Does the V800 daily activity tracking do 100% of what Polar Loop does?”

    Charles,

    If it don’t, Polar will get some serious flak. Frankly, I think the loop doesn’t really work that well, despite having a wonderful specification-set, my experience is that it’s an ugly thing on my wrist that irritates more than it functions.

    Pretty much like my Rolex:)

    What *I* want from V800 is one device that will do all the HRM stuff, in the pool too. The H7 has proven to be a useful and functional item, now I just want ONE thing on my wrist that will do everything else.

    $500? It ought to.

    We’re at body-wear right now. I can’t wait till we get implants to do all this stuff. I’ll be first in line, assuming I’m still here.

    brendan (puir ole pensioner, Atlanta, GA)

  119. Dre

    Hey Ray quick question…

    I didn’t see any confirmation that near June 2nd would be the ship date from retailers. All Polar seems to be confirming is “June”. Are you basing this date on the fact that the pre-sale from Polar ends June 2nd or some other information?

    Thanks for the amazing work!

  120. Michael

    Any news on the swim? When and what will be added?

    • The current plan is “Q3”, which goes from July 1st to Sept 30th. I’d expect it’ll be later in that cycle rather than earlier.

    • Michael

      Will that be all swim functionality that will be added in Q3, e.g. both indoor stroke tracking and outdoor GPS tracking? Or are they not being very detailed about what will be added?

    • ben

      open water sim and/or indoor?

    • They haven’t clarified there yet, but have committed to giving some detail there to me by release the first week of June (so that I can provide guidance as part of my final in-depth review).

    • ben

      so what is your guess will there be an open water mode at all?

    • There isn’t an openwater swim mode for June. You can turn on the GPS and record HR, but in my testing the data is useless (distance-wise, HR is fine). I’ll be doing one final test of that sometime after the weekend to see if anything has changed. But given they’ve told me this weekend that swimming metric-wise is down the road, I don’t expect anything to have changed.

    • ben

      thanks Ray,

      I know that not at the moment – this question was more in general and if it is still in their scope … referring to their comment you posted on februar the 14th.

    • It’s still in scope.

    • Road_and_Trackrunner

      Better don’t bet. This is complex, if the swimming pattern recognition will be worked out well. Q4 makes a better guess imho.

    • Probably. Though, actually indoor swim recognition is well understood within the industry now with many doing it: TomTom, Garmin, Suunto, Bryton, Swimsense, and probably some others. Outdoor swimming is a much more limited crowd.

  121. r4d4r

    Did they decided to pass on the notifications for received calls, sms etc?

  122. Stephen

    I don’t see any mention of Zone Optimizer?

    I got tired of waiting for the V800 and decided to go back to the RCX5 for a while. But the Zone Optimizer is really messing things up. It had me barely going past walking to keep in Zone 3 and running at my normal pace 5k pace put me into Zone 5.
    Not sure if it’s just because I haven’t been running for a while, or if there’s no Zone Optimizer in V800 can we take it the idea never really worked?

    • fabrice

      Same frustration with a polar RC3.

      At least in the RC3, you can change manually the low and sup limits of the sport ranges to fit your paces or if you you use kerven % like me. The sport ranges are based on % of maximum frequency, and this is an issue especially with zone 1 and 2.

      However, as soon as you are loading a program in the watch, you are no longer allowed to modify the sport zones. I hope this issue is solved with the V800, as well as the possibility to change the limits of sport zones in the online software. I am tired to programm all trainings using frequency, it would be easier to use sport zones. Or maybe I missed an option.

  123. Jake

    On the issue of exporting data, am I right in thinking that the V800 can simultaneously re-broadcast the HR data via bluetooth? If so, wouldn’t carrying a mobile phone running an appropriate app- Wahoo, etc.- provide a solution until Polar add the export facility to Flow?

    • In theory. In reality, no. I’m finding that the re-broadcasting doesn’t really work the way they advertised, in that it seems to rebroadcast it out so that only Polar apps can see it. I’ve been working to get some clarity on what can be done to address that.

      Using your Wahoo example, as one that I tried, Wahoo doesn’t even see it.

    • Dan Feist

      Any idea if rebroadcasting of speed/cadence works? I was hoping to use V800 in conjunction with TrainerRoad. i.e. be able to follow a workout in TrainerRoad using VirtualPower (which relies on speed/cadence) and at the same time have the session recorded in Flow.

      Dan

    • It does not. Only HR, and only to something unknown.

    • Dan Feist

      So I guess I’d need to pair HR with V800 and speed/cadence with TR and than manually enter distance in Flow once done.. not too bad..

    • Stipek

      Hmm, so I can forget about my plan to use the V800 and V650 simultaneously? I wanted the V800 to record everything and to rebroadcast ALL data (HR, speed, cadence, power) to the V650 which would be placed between the aerobars so I don’t have to twist my wrist all the time to view the data. Do you know if there are any plans on rebroadcasting all other data as well?

      Thank you so much for writing all your reviews and patiently answering all our (stupid) questions!

    • I don’t know if there are plans to re-broadcast everything. It’s on my list of questions though to ask. Cheers.

  124. Marius

    I like your site, and look forward to the in-depth review.
    Will another stride sensor work with the jump-test?

  125. Stefan

    Just checked the manual. Seems like there is no specific shoe handling, like with the RS800. So I should use different sportprofiles. Dies anyone know an other solution.

    Ray you said calibration of the stride sensor is done automaticaly with gps. Did you find out how it is handled?

    I really would love to see some kind of kalibration on different paces. With my RCX5 it works near to perfekt if I stay at the calibrated speed. But if I change it tend to get mixed up.

    • So far automatic calibration of the footpod is not working for me (on multiple running cadence sensors from different companies), it’s an issue I’ve raised with Polar. I’ll be trying out their footpod next, as I’ve been using other footpods. But ultimately, if the answer to everything is “Get a Polar BLE accessory”, then honestly the whole switch to BLE devices is misguided (and frustrating)

    • Dave Lusty

      I agree that them demanding Polar accessories for everything would be a terrible move. On the other hand though if, like the HR strap, their own has extra functionality then I don’t see a problem. I’d always assumed that the Polar accessories were better in some way (OK, mainly based on price). With stride sensors it would be easy enough to make a device that just ticks like the cadence on a bike, but I assumes the polar one was using some clever accelerometer stuff to determine the difference between a walk and a run. Is there a chance that they have their own bluetooth profile for the stride sensor to allow more info to be received? As you’ve said all the foot pods work for the cadence which is the main bluetooth profile requirement so perhaps Polar are trying to add value while also supporting standards Of course they could be trying to play the proprietary game without realising consumers are smarter these days 🙂

    • The stride sensor may be a case of having something ‘unique’, but I’m not convinced of that yet honestly. I agree that the H7 is definitely a unique case with analog.

      But, if we look at the Wahoo TICKR RUN, that transmits BLE HR/Pace/Cadence – and the V800 seems sorta confused by it. It understands the core metrics (HR/Cadence), but doesn’t trigger auto-calc of stride, or stride length.

      But when we look at speed/cadence sensors and power meters, the Polar variants fall behind the competition. They require zipties (competition doesn’t), they require aren’t available (competition is), and they don’t have the flexibility (such as combo sensors). If we look at the power meter side, it’s not even the same ballpark. Stages is 1/3rd the price of the Polar system. That said, since the power portion isn’t enabled, I don’t yet know how that’ll work out.

    • Dave Lusty

      I’m certainly not convinced either, and it’s nice to see your opinion on it. Having been a Polar customer for quite a while I’m currently in that benefit of doubt stage where I’d like to think Polar is about accurate training info while Garmin etc. are about selling product. Partly it’s because the Polar devices are so much nicer than the Garmin ones too.

      It would be nice if one of your readers was geeky enough to properly investigate the chips inside and the signals sent to see the real difference, I’m sure the Bluetooth signal is easy enough to read and decipher for someone geeky enough 🙂

      Out of interest, have you ever opened up a stride sensor to see if the massive polar one needs the internal space?

    • Doing teardowns is actually something I’ve had planned for a while, just haven’t quite had the time to do it (and do it properly).

    • Stefan

      Do you have to start calibration manually, or should it really work automatically on the fly in the background ?

      I kind of like the idea of automatic calibration (it ought to work of course). But thinking further, I didn’t like the idea that some kind of algorithm changes my settings without me knowing about it. If there would be a message, maybe.

      @ Polar or if you have the chance to address calibration with them.
      The concept of calibration manually while in the middle of a workout is something I really love on my RCX5. At my last HM the BIG (despite Ray I kina like it) s3+ food pod has recorded distance at 21.08 (does it get better with GPS distance?). So you can adjust die calibration at the first view km of a race, or been able to change it in between, when you recognize something is wrong. What I didn’t get, is why Polar uses the new factor just from that moment on, and not for the section you calibrated in revers. I just told my watch that the last section was 1km and not 0,9km so please korrekt the wrong recorded distance as well.

      Thanks, just go a message that my v800 is on its way 🙂

    • Mixuli

      Hello Ray and Stefan et all

      I tried the automatic calibration and it was totally off for me. in 2km there was more than 250m difference compared to Garmin.

      I’ve been discussing with polar on footpod calibration and I got today an answer that I should calibrate the footpod on a track and use manual calibration factor.
      I told them that this is so 80’s and they should upgrade themselved to 21st century and have the cadence on wrist unit or at least have a possibility to use GPS for speed and dispance and foodpod for cadence.

    • Agree. So how did you know it calibrated though? Meaning, what feedback did you know that it actually completed a calibration? (Purely curious).

    • Mixuli

      There is no feedback. First run I left calibration on automatic and started to run today again and I got way too long km’s. When I changed the calibration to manual, the v800 had changed the calibration factor from 1 to .85.

      I really hope they’ll see light and change foot pod behavior in the future.

  126. Jeff

    If I understand, the first watches to be sold will be beta versions ?!? Thank you

  127. JF Gioux

    Hi Ray,

    Would a Viiiiva HR starp/smart bridge be an option to broadcast simultaneously both R-R HR to the V800 and the ANT+ signal from a Garmin footpod. Could it at the same time give HR readings on a Garmin 910XT ?

    This would be if I cannot resist going for the V800 even if it will be missing a lot of essential software capabilities (even after June 5). Running with both watches would be a temporary turnaround for impossibility to export individual workouts till after summer (or possibly quite later). yes, I know … this would be quite overkill.

    Would there be any loss in functionality or accuracy on the V800 side from either HR or footpod data (apart for the jump test which you already said wouldn’t work) ?

    By the way, I have seen that the V800 will not process R-R readings initially ? So much for training load and recovery time then, or is it only further analysis on Polar Flow ?

    • In theory. I haven’t tried out the bridging yet with the Viiiiva (most of my V800 testing has been TICKR/Adidas/Polar items). It’s a bit challenging in that there’s so many potential combinations of things and because it’s becoming apparent that one or more companies aren’t following the BLE specs, it’s making it rather difficult to figure out who’s at fault.

      As for RR, it’s also tricky. I can do the recording, but it doesn’t seem to tell me much. I think in general some of the confusion is coming from the fact that whomever put together the site isn’t either a native English speaker (or level), and/or doesn’t quite understand the nuances of what’s being said. So many things are ending up in a grey-area of ‘huh?’.

    • JF Gioux

      Thanks a lot ! Doesn’t sound like a sure win for my intended workaround. So much still unknown … will you cover these compatibility questions (HR belts/bridges and footpods) when you will do your in-depth review ?

      Anyhow, unless you find out some good surprises when you get the final firmware release, it seems so far that the wisest option would be to wait a few months and then reassess.

      It still beats me to see Polar launching a half-ready V800 with so many capabilities missing vs. the core expectations of its intended customer target. I guess that many will take a pass. Might have been better to launch clean in September … unless there is a major competitive initiative coming soon that we wouldn’t have heard about ?

    • I’m going to try and cover as many variables as I can, though I expect there will be some configurations I simply won’t think to test.

    • JF Gioux

      Of course. Whatever you will think of – and have time to test – will be immensely appreciated. Thanks a zillion for your great work !

    • Calle

      I emailed firstbeat about R-R and V800, and they said

      Polar V800 states that it monitors RR intervals but unfortunately it does not record it. Therefore the measurements created with it cannot be analyzed in Firstbeat programs.

      Which is a bit disappointing. Maybe they’ll add it later on.

    • That’s in-line with what I’m seeing. I can start the little wizard on the V800, but I can’t really do anything, and it doesn’t show me any RR/HRV from within the wizard.

  128. Jacquyes Godon

    Hello Ray,

    I’m waiting my V 800. I have a question. How could i be able to pair my V 800 and my Edge 800 together ? Otherwise wich cheststrap could permit to pair an ant+ unit and a bluetoooth smart at the same time ? I tried a Mio link, but it doesn’t work for me.

    • If you have one of the following HR straps:

      1) Mio Link
      2) Scosche Rhythm+
      3) Wahoo TICKR
      4) 4iiii’s Viiiiva

      Then you can pair those straps concurrently to a single Bluetooth Smart device (including the V800), as well as unlimited numbers of ANT+ devices (such as the Edge 800).

      I’m routinely doing that (daily) with #1-3 above and the V800 + Edge/Fenix/FR620.

    • Jacquyes Godon

      Hello Ray,

      thank’s for your answer.
      4iiii’s Viiiiva and Wahoo TICKR X seems to be very interessant . i’m not a specialist like you and my poor English doesn’t help to understand all.

      I’m a cyclist using a Stages power meter, an Edge 800, an IPhone 5 and soon a Polar V800. Reading your report, i have the feeling the Wahoo Tickr is more for running and Wahoo more oriented for cycling, is it right ?

      Also, i need the R-R datas of Polar. WIll i have them with Viiiiva and Wahoo ?

      Thank’s for your informations

    • I don’t know offhand if the Viiiiva does RR/HRV. I know the Wahoo doesn’t yet today, but they are planning to add it via firmware.

      The TICKR is running-focused being it does cadence/pace for running. Whereas Viiiiva can bridge into different products.

  129. juan

    Hi Ray

    Can you use the adidas speed_cell for the jump test ?
    Will the RPM WAHOO work for it (and cadence on the bike)?

    Thanks in advance.

    • No, the Adidas pod does not work for the jump test.

      The Wahoo RPM sorta works for bike cadence, but there’s some bugs around it still.

  130. Kim Ng

    How is V800 vs. Fenix2 ?

  131. Tim L

    Why I ordered the V800.

    First of all, thanks Ray for providing such insightful reviews on the latest and very best in electronics for our sport. I spent the past few months studying your reviews and my short list ended up with the V800, Fenix2, 910XT, Adidas Smart Run, and the Forerunner 620. I unfortunately had to order direct from Polar given my address in Canada; at $559 + taxes, so it’s expensive up here.

    As a data geek, this was a real struggle to consider the V800 given the limited data export options, specifically for data to end up in Strava, Training Peaks, and Sporttracks–I’ll get to this in the end. I initially liked the Adidas smart run, given the optical sensor and the ability to use it for all types of work outs, including strength training intervals. But that watch seems not to last long and did not allow third party export (ok, the data part is now fixed). For the 910XT, it is a great watch for triathlon, such as virtual partner, large display, great battery life, large buttons, firmware matured, well supported, and at a great price now; the only thing bad about it is weight, no Bluetooth support, and it is a product that will be replaced if not this year then next year by Garmin. Next up was the Fenix2, with all the features on paper, it almost does everything the 910XT does and as well the 620. But the Fenix2 seems to be all things and the complexity can get in the way during competition. The 620 was out because I run in the rain and managing touch screens in the rain can be tricky, and it really is just for running.

    I ultimately decided with the V800 because, despite the current inability to export to third party sites yet (still annoyed), the watch provides everything I need for my current training cycle. I really like the touch to see recovery and training load because it simply confirms when you can train hard again and the effort of the training. This of course is in comparison with the TSS score from Training Peaks (difficult to interpret and made for post training analysis); the training load/fatique graph on Sporttracks is the closest in simplicity for making decisions on when to train hard again but still not as simple and as intuitive as what is essentially built into the watch. And yes, to be sure, both the Fenix 2 and 620 have a recovery advisor for, as you noted, how long one should wait until the next “hard workout” but does not incorporate other activities, like a swimming in between or strength training workout. The V800 is of course not without faults. The only thing that bugs me now is the inability to create routes via the Polar Flow website unless you tag your existing run as a favourite or a community member’s run. I see that you have uncovered the ability for the Fenix2 to load a map, but it’s too tiny to use and heck if I am on a unexplored trail, I would have a proper GPS display in tow.

    As for swimming metrics, not important for now. At the end of the day, you are on the mark at saying that one should buy what is available now and start training. I think the V800 is it and will help me stay in the moment as all the menus are simple to navigate during a run, metrics are clear and concise, and more importantly, I can transition from run, to strength training to swimming, and track my daily activity. Nothing on the market that I can think of can do this as smooth and incorporate all these activities in a watch into overall recovery time. And for a limited time, Polar will provide a free blue strap for the HRM if you provide feedback on the V800 as an owner.

    For those sitting on the fence, I bought the V800 for running marathons this season and getting into triathlons next year. I think this watch has just enough features on the watch that will guide me to train harder. Thanks to your reviews, I currently use a Wahoo HRM and adidas speedcell using an iPhone 5S on an SPI belt. I currently run concurrently the Wahoo app, Strava, iSmoothRun–timing the starts and configuring which app to give audio feedback is key. To this end, by bases are covered in terms of data export—this means I will be towing an iPhone as well as wearing a V800 but both will be using the same sensors. (still annoyed about the inability to using the speedcell for the jump test though). Training with the iPhone however is distracting, particularly when at the 30km mark and in the rain, so this is why I now need a proper training watch and the V800 it is. Finally, the Polar Flow web service is very straight forward, easy to use, and provides the right metrics for focusing on training. Creating targets is not as quick as Training Peaks or Sport Tracks, but at least they have templates and ability to reuse favourite training templates. By the way, the watch only limits 20 favourites while the web service is unlimited—so pushing the top 20 on top will sync to the watch. In the end, I will still need to use Training Peaks, due my training plans loaded by the coach, and Sport Tracks for detail diary recordings. Thoughts?

    • Lew

      Tim – clarification for one aspect you’re misunderstanding about the 620 touch screen.

      The touch screen on the 620 and 610 is a different kind than you find on your phone. It doesn’t care about rain or water or sweat. Works with gloves on as well. Read up on the difference between “resistive” and “capacitive” touch screens. Phones use the latter, which is sensitive to water; the 620 and 610 use the former which work fine when wet.

      (May be TMI but I regularly review my run stats on my 610 while in the shower after a run. Touch screen works fine even with water streaming over the watch)

  132. rltprivat

    Hi Ray,
    Waiting desperately for your final review. As you state on top: Presale has started over here – do not feel in a position to decide without (your) in depth-review!
    Maybe you can manage to get things done earlier than june 5? –

    No matter when: Thanks for your wonderful work (studying your review-information then going for Garmin FR 620, now heading for Polar V800).
    🙂

    • Unfortunately, it’ll be the week of June 2nd. I’m primarily waiting on ensuring everything is locked, as well as getting some mountain time next weekend to test out test out the accuracy of the barometric altimeter (an area I’ve seen some oddities with thus far).

  133. betscharts

    Hi
    The presale in Switerland (and other countrys) started today. You can order the watch directly from Polar.

    May 22nd: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and UK

    May 27th:Finland

    June: Global retail sale starts.

  134. Grzeg1

    I’m curious what you all think so I made a quick survey. After you complete it you can see what others think.
    v800 survey

    Ray if you think this is inappropriate please remove this post.

    • Dave Lusty

      You missed the option of waiting to see blue and black side by side to decide on colour 🙂 I’m willing to trust Polar that the software will catch up because the hardware is (in my opinion) so much nicer than the competition. If Garmin had a device which looked this good I’d have ditched Polar by now, and if Suunto didn’t have so many variations I may have gone with them, but I can’t for the life of me work out which model is best for me and don’t have the patience to look into it 🙂

    • Jake

      I’l make life easy for you. The Suunto Ambit 2 Sapphire is the alternative for you to consider 😉

    • blondin

      Or the fénix 2. With running analyzes.

      But the V800 looks definitely nicer. And I start to enjoy Polar software, and the new version for the V800 seems way better than personalpolartrainer for my RC3
      I will wait for the blue (and the cash). Unless if someone is kind enough to offer me as a gift the black right now. Polar, please, it’s almost my birthday (more or less 6 months).

    • Christian

      Indeed. The Queen of Ambits IMO.

    • Grzeg1

      I just thought we’ll consider buing it for the features, not for the color. It seems for today I’m within 20% withholding until data export is done. I’m also surprised by so many ready to buy beta but then I think it may be due to excellent return policy in the US. Not so much here :(.

  135. Paul

    So definitely now open water swim data at launch (except HR)?

    Will it ever have GPS data for open water (speed, distance etc)?

    I was ready to pre order but this a showstopper.

    • Definitely not (as in, will not have it at launch).

      I suspect it’ll eventually have it down the road later this year. You can manually turn it on for the swimming mode, but in my testing the data is really funky. I want to validate that data again early next week on some swims just to ensure nothing has changed (they say it hasn’t), but ya never know…

    • Paul

      Do you have trust in Polar that later this year the open water mode is fixed. And the data is more or less accurate (like the 910XT)?

      What a bummer…

    • Jorge Paulo de Franca Jr

      And what about indoor swimming any metrics planned down de Road for this year?

    • Paul: I think they’ll get it out the door, but I suspect like most companies it might be a bit rough in implementation initially, and then get refined over time. Garmin took a number of stabs at it, refining over time, and the same with Suunto, who took a few tries at it to get where they are today (good).

      Jorge/Indoor: Yes, later this year.

    • Well I believe I will buy one by the end of august. Your links here (Clever training and/or amazon) will be available when?

    • Clever Training links are already up. Amazon doesn’t sell it yet.

    • Frank

      Hi

      Did you hear anything on the timeline for swimming metrics (openwater distance, pool laps & distance)?
      Will Polar charge extra for the swimming functionality?

      Thanks!

      Frank

    • It’s planned to be free.

      The timelines are later this year, Q3.

  136. SergV

    Got mine today delivered by UPS (Canada) … so excited … going to test it with P90X Kenpo today 🙂
    … love the ability to configure indicators on screen by activity.

  137. Jakub

    Hi Ray,

    Do you know if Polar plans to continue Personal Trainer via Flow web service?

    Thanks!

    • I don’t expect that we’ll continue to see Personal Trainer get any updates. But, I don’t have complete clarity there yet.

  138. brendan stallard

    “Do you know if Polar plans to continue Personal Trainer via Flow web service?”

    Jakub,

    Over the past five years, I’ve had a couple of heart scares, that turned out in the end to be pericarditis. A scare, but not an MI. Which has meant that I spend some fruitful hours with an hilarious lady cardiologist.

    She thinks the print outs from Polar Personal Trainer and the program in general is excellent-and further states that it works flawlessly accurately right along with the unbelievable electrical kit in her office. So much that she regularly pesters her patients to kit up with polar, although, like me, she believes the 610i was the best iteration so far.

    What she thinks of Flow, so far, isn’t polite for publication.

    I tend to agree, although of course, I don’t have her expertise or knowledge. Polar really, IMO, need to get ONE thing really, really right and not “churn,” so much.

    If I buy this V800, I fully expect it to be functional for 10 years. Just like my (several 610i’s)

    brendan

  139. Michael

    I was extremely fortune and received my V800 yesterday. So fare I have been really impressed. It is solid build and super easy to use – just like setting up an Apple product. It has been very fast at finding satellites, even in covered areas. My beta version is still missing some things, but the core functions works great. Can’t wait for the next firmware update.

  140. Bull Winkle

    This seems like a real contender for Suunto’s Ambit2. I had hopes that Garmin’s features-rich Fenix 2 would be, but the general consensus is that it’s glitchy and not so dependable. The one thing I wish Ambit2 had is vibrating alerts & Bluetooth connectivity to my mobile. The V800 brings it to the table. Watch out, Ambit2. Looking forward to using your Product Comparison Calculator when the details come in on the final product.

  141. Joe

    Ray,
    I am confused and wanted to make sure I was sure that you can get speed from the V800 with an additional sensor on the bike. I know in past Polar units you couldn’t get speed without an additional sensor.

  142. Robin Johnson

    RE Tim L’s comment about ordering for Canada. I ordered from CleverTraining and even with the exchange at the time and delivery costs, I’m a bit cheaper getting it from CleverTraining than in Canada ;o)

    • Tim L

      Hi Robin, yup you are right. Pricing on clever training is comparatively less. I definitely will order another device soon from there. I ordered direct this time because I got the device two days later. The retail release date is about another week from today.

    • Tim L

      Hi Robin, yup you are right. Pricing on clever training is comparatively less, though I am not sure about the duties. I definitely will order another device soon from there. I ordered direct this time because I got the device two days later. The retail release date is about another week from today.

  143. Duke

    I’ve had the v800 for two days now and so far it’s worked great. I’ve taken it for a long run and for a bike ride and it worked smoothly each time. No bugs, no glitches, no freezing, and a quick lock onto GPS.

    One of the best features is I can make adjustments to the v800 using my computer. For example, I configured the exact data fields I wanted using my laptop and then uploaded those configurations to the v800.

  144. Duke

    I haven’t tried an open water swim yet but from what I’ve seen on this site and Polar’s site, the open water capability isn’t functional yet. This watch is really just a little computer attached to my wrist so I think the updates have the potential to go very smoothly (knock on wood).

    For the bike, I just used GPS and heart rate. I need to pick-up some Bluetooth speed/cadence sensors for my bike. Right now, I’ve just got an old school speed/distance computer.

    By the way, thanks to Ray for all the very detailed info. I have wanted to buy a new GPS watch for a while and I would have been lost without this website.

  145. Cato Hals

    Does the V800 has a magnetic compass? The manual says you have to move for the device to figure out in wich direction you are moving.

    The manual also states that it messures temperature .

    In Rays preview it was the other way around (i think), magnetic compass and no temp

    • I’ll get it updated. Initially it (temp) wasn’t planned to be included (it’s used for the barometric piece), but they added it in a few firmware updates ago.

      And, by the same token, they had planned magnetic, but I’m not convinced it is based on some testing. So I’ll re-validate that’s gone.

  146. christian

    Is there any info on if we’ll be able to select the preferred data source for running? I’ve got a V800 and an adidas stride sensor but I’ve seen no option to use GPS over the stride sensor for distance calculation and was wondering if this might be a future option?

    • Stefan

      Hi Christian,
      I wouldn’t count on it. Polar vs. Garmin is coming from stride sensor side. And if propper calibrated (if you need, on the fly on the first km of a race) it’s more accurate than GPS.

      The only situations where I have minor differences with the stride sensors are if I’m on unknown ground and I changed shoes to a different pace, or I have a crescendo with great different paces, or after breakes (illness, or…).

      So give it a chance, maybe you become a fan like I tree years ago 😉

    • As of today you can’t. I don’t see that changing either.

      Except, unlike like Stefan I don’t agree that it always works out. For example, in my race today the V800 with footpod registered 26.8 versus the 26.3 for the FR620. In theory it automatically calibrates, but I don’t think it is.

      Even if it did, the problem with that concept is that in today’s race the first mile was basically a hill – so my stride is different than on flat ground (the rest of the race).

    • Stefan

      I’m too very skeptical about automatic calibration. Done it manual works pretty good for me. But it’s not possible, if you have no accurate measured Tracks handy.

      That brings me to a topic, I really find frustrating. Ray please correct me, but the technic insede the stride sensors didn’t change (except connection methods) in the last 10 years. Why is Polar satisfied with their sensors. And they have their flaws, olthough I love tham and found my ways to awesome accuracy.

      The calibration just sets one factor. All calculation is done by with this number. But if you change pace or ground, you will loose accuracy.

      Why can’t they have a more complex calibration, where you can calibrate on a various number of paces and grounds. The sensor should be developed that it could recognise different grounds. And GPS and stride sensors should worke hand in hand. With the pace from the stride the whatch should test every new GPS point if it’s a good one, or if it is to fare away. And on the other side the whatch could identify a bad stride calibrating factor by analysing the GPS points.
      With some logic like this the whatch could identify sections where GPS is awesom and use it to calibrate the stride on the fly.

  147. Bleuette

    Hi folks,

    IMVHO :Polar Company fucks all its dealers in the knee with its bussiness politics!

    First : Polar didn`t permit its dealer to take pre-order of their customers (quasi-offical), so I read on dealers webside here in Germany.

    Second:Polar begun selling a beta-version device on its own online shop two weeks bevor launch, so the dealers have no fair chance.

    Now it´s understandable, why Polar nerver told all of us the exact date of launch an fucked all of un in the knee.

    Well in German one says: ” Nie darfst du so tief sinken und den Kakao,durch den man dich zieht auch noch zu trinken!” But damned how will you say this in English? About this? “Bloody fucking company POLAR! Not with me! Not with me! Never buy my watch in your online shop! Moreover I will reconsider, if I buy its Polar V800 or any following watches anyway!”

    Grüß euch!

    Bleuette Naomi – hinter meinen Lippen warten die Zähne.

    “All those who believe in telekinetics raise my right arm,now!” – so I can feel, you can still wait two little weeks and don´t cancel your pre-order at your deal you can trust and don´t buy it on Polar online shop, to be fair.

    • Bleuette

      Ups!

      Now it´s understandable, why Polar nerver told all of us the exact date of launch an fucked all of us in the knee. (we were asking ,whats wrong with V800? The hardware of device ? Or is it software flow? Now we know: It is the Polar Company that isn´t oke-i !!

      By the by : it seems that you have always to be online to analyse your data.und no chance can doing it offline on your tablet or computer. (correct me if I´m wrong ,please).

      So all my data,with exact date , place, biometric identification then Polar has – and others!!! All German will know what I mean! 😉 (You could be glad not to be a top athlete as Frederik Van Lierde who send all his data from his watch to Polar cloud. Well then, I bet, all his competitors will exact know how much he is training and how good his condition is at every time. Pardon: not all competitors, not all! Only this from USA!)

      At CardioZone webside I could read, that´s why the software is so huge, that my PC wouldn´t manage it. (That made me laugh! My Alienware has memory storage 32 GB).

      But first time Polar fucked their dealer in the knee with not giving permission to pri-order for their customers. Second time Polar Company tells them such a one bull shit to the dealer-trainings and fucks the dealer while brainwashing them an second time in their knees. “Nie darfst du so tief sinken..!”

      Place of brainwashing…if you do feel like…:

      link to cardioblog.de

    • While I generally don’t disagree with the end-point of much of what you have written above, I will say that it’s untrue that shops weren’t allowed to pre-order units. Many did, both in the US and in Europe. In fact, the European prices were finalized well before the US/CAN prices.

      I’d suspect something else might be going on if they didn’t place pre-orders.

    • Bleuette

      Halloh Ray,

      thank you very much for your answer! 🙂

      my opinion that Polar gave instruction to its dealer, not to allow pre-order, comes from this:

      @ Cardiozone: “Wie kann ich die V800 reservieren / vorbestellen? Warum so umständlich? Warum kann ich die V800 nicht direkt in den Warenkorb legen und bestellen?

      Das war anfangs auch ganz einfach bei uns möglich. Allerdings hat uns POLAR Deutschland “sanft gebeten”, die Warenkorb-Funktion zu deaktivieren, solange die V800 noch nicht verfügbar ist”

      link to cardiozone.de

      Above means : first it was possible to order Polar V800 since February.
      But then Polar Germany has CadioZone dealer “gently bitten” (reading between the lines I understand this as ” forced it”, if you dont´t want disadvantages as dealer) to deactivat shopping-cart function on its webside till the V800 is at launch.

      Nevertheless the bussiness-poltitics of POLAR Company seems to trick out its dealer. IMVHO I said so. And I really hate this to the bottom of my heart. Full stop.

      Herzallerliebste Grüße!

      Bleuette Naomi (After my lips waiting my teeth 🙂

    • Bleuette

      Au weia!

      Behind my lips waiting my teeth.

      I beg your pardon please for my little English.

      So I´ll apologies your little German.

      Herzlichst ! Bleuette Naomi

    • Yeah, I don’t know why Polar Germany specifically did that to that specific vendor. It definitely seems isolated though, because there’s plenty of other global vendors that it isn’t happening to. Whether that’s a Polar Germany thing, or a specific company thing I suspect we might not know.

    • “(You could be glad not to be a top athlete as Frederik Van Lierde who send all his data from his watch to Polar cloud. Well then, I bet, all his competitors will exact know how much he is training and how good his condition is at every time. Pardon: not all competitors, not all! Only this from USA!)”

      Polar Flow allows you to simply set either your profile or your activities to private.

    • Stefan

      Polar asked to not use the cart. Cardiozone from then on took pre-orders by mail. Which Polar was fine with.

      Kind of different from abolishing pre-orders.

  148. giorgitd

    Hmmm…I really want to like the V800. I own an S720i and it’s been great. BUT, perhaps the lack of field upgradable firmware (S720i) is an advantage wrt the V800. Would we see the V800 released today if the firmware could not be upgraded? Nope. So, as much as I want to trust robust implementation of features important to me – it’s a lot of coin for an unfinished product. Then there is the opportunity cost – pay now and hope that things work out – and lose the ability to buy something else (well, without a divorce 🙂 ). My S720i works. I have a FR 305 for GPS training. I’m OK for now. But I have the ability to buy something like the V800. Just am not going to do it now and let Polar worry about the opportunity costs of making me a repeat customer…

  149. Road_and_Trackrunner

    The V800 and associated recording / presentation system is a great concept for sure. Polar will gain back some lost territory from Garmin (and Suunto).

    However, the actual offer is a non-finished product. If you think that only SW will be undergoing an evolution you’re wrong. This also applies for some HW aspects.

    Would I buy an incomplete V800 at this point of time, especially given the money which I’am asked to pay ? This is easy: No way.

    If I am not at least 95 % fit, I would not line up at the starting line of any race. If a high-tec sports watch is not 95 % finished, you won’t find it around my wrist.

    Yes, it’s also a wake – up call to the industry, not only POLAR:

    Finish your job, then offer a watch. Not the other way round.

    Anyway, good luck POLAR ! If things goint to be stable, count me in as a customer – probably at Christmas time.

  150. Rolf

    … how can some of you already have the v800 whereas the official release date is ‘early June’? I’m sitting here, counting the days until I get mine (via your clevertraining.com link).
    it will replace my rcx5 and open me to ridicule by all my tri team friends who all have the 910, fully functional, now even on sale.
    Well, but therefore I will be wearing a watch (design & functionality ) and not something that has obviously been designed by someone who previously designed dishwashers (and before that the Texas Instruments pocket calculators of the 80s) … 🙂

  151. Y

    I took the plunge and preordered the unit from Clever Training instead of through getting the early release from Polar as I want to support Ray’s hard work (and the discount didn’t hurt either). I guess I have faith that their future updates will improve the product over time as Ray said. My only question is whether the included heart rate strap is still plagued by the slippage problem while swimming as the other straps do?

    • It generally does slip for me. I haven’t found any strap on this planet that lasts more than a few flip-turns worth at a pool. Openwater swimming is fine however.

    • brendan stallard

      //It generally does slip for me. I haven’t found any strap on this planet that lasts more than a few flip-turns worth at a pool.//

      Ray,

      Yup, they all do. Course, you youngins are going miles faster than me. I’ve been wearing straps since the early 90’s and I’m a 48inch chest man.

      The ONLY thing that works best is marginally uncomfortable tightening of the bra strap stretchy piece at the back and just replacing ’em every 4-6 months.

      I’ve gotten reasonably accustomed to the looks from the kids, at the pool “Is that man gonna have a heart attack any minute?”

      I’m glad I was born a bloke, because wearing a chest belt anything up to 4 hours a day is bad enough. If I was a lass, having to wear a wire under bra would just about make me crazy:)

      //Openwater swimming is fine however.//

      For those who have a marginal hold on sanity, ONLY:) I did a trial period as a water Cop in Southampton/Portsmouth docks in the UK back in the 1970’s. As the boy, all I did was gaff corpses…Not for me…:) Open water is for FISH!

      brendan

  152. Linda

    I just purchased the Wahoo Tickr as it is (should be) both compatible with Bluetooth and ant+ so I can use it for the V800 and Garmin Edge 510.
    Will I misss out on any functionalities using the Wahoo HRM with the V800? Would love to save some money by getting just the watch without the HRM.
    And how about connecting the V800 to 2 HRMs (the one Polar sends along and the Tickr)? Will that be possible or will the V800 only allow me to connect with either one?

    Thanks so much for all the info on this site, it’s tremendously helpful. Looking forward to the in-depth review.

    • The main thing right now is that the TICKR/TICKR RUN isn’t transmitting RR/HRV over BLE. It’s something it sounds like they’re planning on doing, and I’ve talked to them about about.

      There’s also the interesting factor that the TICKR RUN actually transmits cadence just like a footpod, which the V800 picks up. But it seems sorta confused by it, so while it shows cadence it doesn’t show stride rate.

      Finally, the V800 allows you to pair/save numerous BLE sensors – so I’ve got probably a dozen sensors saved in mine. Different HR straps, etc…

    • Linda

      Awesome, thanks.
      So, should I look for another strap instead of the Wahoo? Like the 4iiii? I can still cancel the Wahoo order 🙂 I’d like to use only one HRM for the V800 and Garmin Edge 510 (as I’ll use them simultaneously), without losing too many features for either device.

    • Huub Raemakers

      Tyler Harris (Wahoo Fitness Support)
      May 28 11:27 AM

      Hi Huub,

      The TICKR does support RR/HRV via Bluetooth 4.0. There are a few apps on the iPhone that accommodate this. You will need to check with Polar to see if they have support for this. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      link to itunes.apple.com
      link to usacycling.org

      Thanks,

      Tyler

  153. Arnout

    I am a recreational triathlete who was looking for a activity tracker / sleep monitoring device next to my 910xt for sports… This has it all in one. Excellent.
    I found the Mio link with Ant only works well on the same arm.
    Did anyone test this with the V800? Does bluetooth HR reach a bit further? Could one on every arm work? Or both on one arm is the only option?
    Regret that the V800 would require new Footpod & Cadence/speed on the bike. But having a watch/activity meter and triathlon watch all in one is brilliant.

    • I’ve tested the Link with the V800 on the same arm and without too much issue. On opposite arms it seems to mostly work. I’ll have to go back and look more carefully at those specific runs and see if there was/is any issues.

  154. Tim L

    Linda—I had the opportunity to run with the V800 using both the Wahoo Ticklr and the new H7 HRM from Polar with no issue. They both seem to work with the V800 however the Ticklr appears to not work when running any of the tests on the V800, including Orthostatic, R-R, and fitness test. As Ray said, the V800 can also keep both HRMs in its paired devices list.

    Both HRMs work with iPhone concurrently, but only the TICKLR can work with a Garmin, Polar, and iPhone at the same time as Wahoo version can concurrently broadcast info via Ant+ and Bluetooth Smart. I borrowed a 910XT and had it on one arm, the V800 on another, and an iPhone in the pocket.. all three devices were recording the same heart rate from the H7 with almost no issue, though it appears connection is quickest for the first two devices paired.

    While I don’t have the TICKLR RUN yet, I think that would be a better buy as it adds running dynamics, though you would only benefit from it if the data was captured on an iPhone using apps like Wahoo (not sure if the V800 would know what to do with the data yet). For straps, it appears that the Polar H7 seems to be using the softest rubber and fabric (super comfortable)—btw, the Wahoo TICKLR sensor also works on the Garmin premium strap.

    As for other BLE devices, the Adidas SPEED_CELL to work with the V800 and iPhone but again, not when running the Jump test on the V800. One thing to note is that the V800 seems to only capture cadence from the SPEED_CELL but not stride length. This seems kinda weird because I thought BLE devices would be fully supported on the V800, but I suspect Polar seems to want people to purchase their super-sized foot pod.

    In any case, the coolest discovery so far with the V800 is how it deals with laps and auto-laps. If laps are initiated by the user, they would appear in the laps tap in the diary section of Polar Flow. If auto-laps are set, then an auto-lap tab appears, as well as the laps tab if user initiated laps in addition to auto-laps. If the user did not initiate any laps or auto-laps, one can also use the Split into laps tab into 0.5km, 1km, 2km, and so on. Auto-lap by position also seems to work flawlessly.

    One feature that I haven’t tried yet is auto-pause. Ray, have you tried the auto-pause feature yet and determined how Polar handles moving time?

    • Linda

      Tim, thanks so much for clearing that up.
      I contacted Wahoo and they said the sensor is already capable of RR/HRV. So I guess I should be good using the Wahoo sensor. I don’t actually do triathlons (I just ride and run a lot), so I’ll use the Polar sensor on runs and swims.

    • Linda

      Contacted Polar about using another heart rate sensor (either Wahoo or 4iiiia), but apparently they have not tested the V800 with other heart rate sensors (or they don’t want to tell us). They say the sensors should work, but can’t guarantee anything. As for RR/HRV from the Wahoo Kickr to the V800, they say “it may work, but we don’t know”. Hmm, you’d think they test their product at least as extensive as Ray does …

    • I have the 4iiii’s on my list this weekend to toy with.

      For the TICKR, it works for basic HR. For cadence on run, it works, but there are limitations as noted a bit above in some comments.

      For RR/HRV, the TICKR doesn’t send that today over BLE, but will in the future.

    • Huub Raemakers

      Strange, Wahoo tells me otherwise:

      Tyler Harris (Wahoo Fitness Support)
      May 28 11:27 AM

      Hi Huub,

      The TICKR does support RR/HRV via Bluetooth 4.0. There are a few apps on the iPhone that accommodate this. You will need to check with Polar to see if they have support for this. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

    • Linda

      I got the exact same response from Wahoo after which I contacted Polar. I don’t know much about the technology/code behind heart rate monitors and when it says a sensor supports RR/HRV thru Bluetooth, will any bluetooth device that ‘s capable of receiving RR/HRV data be able to deal with it?
      I’m more into web coding and know they’re tons of languages out there … I can only hope that the language for heart rate sensors and monitors is universal among brands/manufacturers.
      Ow well, I’ll just wait and see. The Kickr is on its way and I’ll most likely get the V800 by the end of next week.

  155. Trailerman

    Does anyone have the Android Polar Flow app working with the V800 yet?

    From what I can make out the Polar Flow App is only designed for the Loop, and I see no option or facility to sync with the V800. The Polar FAQ also says that the V800 is only compatible with the ios version of Polar Flow version 2.0 or later. I received my V800 today, and have so far failed to get it paired with Polar Flow on my HTC One, which leaves me a little worried.

    Can we get some clarity on whether the V800 works with the Android app, because I’m seeing conflicting information around the web.

    Many thanks.

    • Tommyboy39

      I will second that. I pre-ordered it through clevertraining.com (Thanks DC Rainmaker for the discount and great reviews!!!) and hopefully will have it by the end of next week or early the week after. I hope Polar gets more involved with Android devices. Much more potential and people to reach there.

    • TE

      Probably most potential with iPhone – and easier to support, with less diversity. That said, Android needs support too. Windows Phone is fare more likely to get the “maybe later” treatment than either of other two.

      Also ordered a V800 from CT, alongside a Mio Link.

    • Dave Lusty

      It’s nothing to do with popularity or ease of support. iPhone supported BTLE on the 4s from launch while Android only just added it, and then only on some high end handsets and third party ROMs. For a company looking to develop a product iPhone is therefore the obvious choice because there were millions of devices guaranteed to work while Android has thousands. Now that (I think) Android 4.3 has added support for BTLE the apps will begin to follow but it’s not surprising that iPhone got priority on this one. Sometimes the features Apple puts in seem odd at the time, and the features they leave out equally so, but they have a habit of pretty good predictions – for instance have you used your NFC functionality yet?

    • Tommyboy39

      Not going to get into any kind of debate about smartphones as I don’t care. Simply threw that comment out there to garner a response (or two). I use the NFC function on my phone regularly but what does that have to do with the V800 or BTLE? I also use the BTLE on my phone as well with my polar H7.

    • Dave Lusty

      I didn’t want to get into a phone debate either, just pointing out that Apple have a habit of spotting and implementing useful features and hence they tend to be the first supported platform. NFC was just an example of the extras added to many Android phones just because the chip doesn’t cost much. I don’t know anyone currently using it or any actual use for it so would be genuinely curious what you’re using it for as maybe there’s something I’ve missed.

    • Tommyboy39

      Don’t sweat it. No big deal. Actually I use the S-Beam feature regularly. Not so much NFC by itself as it is only good for sending tidbits of data to another device that is in really close proximity without the need for manually pairing the devices initially like Bluetooth. Much quicker than Bluetooth as well.. S-Beam uses NFC and WiFi combined to send items in really close proximity of each other. I use it to send music, photos, documents, you name it to other devices that have it (my wife, brothers, parents all have Samsung GS3′s or later). NFC by itself sounds like ti could have potential, especially if you wanted to turn your phone into your wallet / credit card and such. It can transfer the data to the intended target via NFC.

  156. Juha Tuomola

    There is talk about open-water metrics missing, does it mean this does not have a sport profile for it or it just does not measure distance while swimming? In latter case couldn’t you just use running profile while swimming and make a note “swimming” on the exercise?

    • Tommyboy39

      Don’t sweat it. No big deal. Actually I use the S-Beam feature regularly. Not so much NFC by itself as it is only good for sending tidbits of data to another device that is in really close proximity without the need for manually pairing the devices initially like Bluetooth. Much quicker than Bluetooth as well.. S-Beam uses NFC and WiFi combined to send items in really close proximity of each other. I use it to send music, photos, documents, you name it to other devices that have it (my wife, brothers, parents all have Samsung GS3’s or later). NFC by itself sounds like ti could have potential, especially if you wanted to turn your phone into your wallet / credit card and such. It can transfer the data to the intended target via NFC.

    • Tommyboy39

      Dave Lusty.

      Oops, my reply above was for you.

  157. Trailerman

    So is there certainty that the V800 is currently NOT supported on Android? I have seen articles to the contrary, and a mixture of comments either way here and elsewhere. My own read of the situation was thet Android support had must been added, hence my purchase.

    Also, if the Loop is supported, does that not use the same BTLE technology that the V800 uses? If so, what’s happening with the V800 – supported, not supported, in the works, never to be supported …. I had hoped it wasn’t a terribly difficult question to answer.

    Many thanks for all the input.

    Jules

    • Dave Lusty

      From what I’ve read it’s just waiting for an app update, but you’ll need to be running Android 4.3 or above. The hardware requirement is the same, BTLE, and Polar have committed to Android support so nothing to panic over, I’d imagine most of their coders have been diverted to the watch itself until launch so the apps may develop a little slower until the v800 and v650 are completed.

  158. Juha Tuomola

    There´s talk about “open-water metrics” missing. Does it mean that V800 does not have a sport profile for it, or it just does not measure distance with GPS while using “Swimming” profile? In latter case couldn’t you just use “Running” profile for swimming and make a note of it on the exercise. GPS distance measure working depending on sport profile does not make any sense 😀

    • Grzeg1

      It seems it does matter with swimming as GPS signal is blocked by water. See Ray’s other reviews (e.g Garmin) to find out more.

  159. brendan stallard

    “It seems it does matter with swimming as GPS signal is blocked by water.”

    Grzeg,

    Them nuke subs seem to wander about ok..and they’re scoots under the oggin.

    brendan

    • Grzeg1

      Ok this was a simplification. What I meant was that it’s attenuated enough for the watch not to be able to pick it up.

  160. brendan stallard

    “coders have been diverted”

    Dave,

    Coders are diverted by porn, pizza and beer.

    Deprive them of ALL secondary sensual stimulation, and thrash them soundly-the day before their pay check.

    No delivery, no pay check.

    It works, brother, for you and me.

    BETA, for a half K watch? Are we all mad?

    “The burger you are being served today is an experiment, and may not be up to ANY standard. However, you cannot return it. Because we told you beforehand.”

    WTF happened to merchantable quality?

    brendan

  161. Spun

    We’ve become the QA department for them. It’ll be not so long before we also earn the Investor/Crowdfunder badge, and we’re stupidly happy because we paid 500$ for a ticket that grants us for a Polar V999 unit next year.

  162. pokos

    hi Ray. or polar V800 has the ability to “edit” distance, temperature, etc after training-as is the RS800CX?

  163. Urb

    Can I see the percentage of the daily activity goal in polar flow web service, if I use the V800, like I see it with the Polar Loop?

    • TheTrimaster

      Hello Urb,
      yes, you can. All features from LOOP are included in V800. The day I got the V800 the LOOP Went back in the box (for sale now) and I continue to have all familiar information.

    • Well, almost.

      For example, the V800 doesn’t give you inactivity alerts. That’s coming down the road. It also doesn’t show you on the watch itself how many steps you’ve taken, nor your goal steps, nor the distance (steps).

    • Urb

      So it seems that I am doing something wrong. I am using V800 now since three days. Everything works well, exept I dont get the percantage of the daily activity goal in polar flow web service, like my wife gets with polar Loop. Do you have any idea?

  164. Mattias

    Hi Ray!
    Do you have any opinions about the risk that Polar ends up in the same situation as when Suunto launched Ambit. Promising software updates but eventually discover that the hardware is not sufficient and therefore abandon the first watch and instead launch a sequel?

    /Mattias

    • JoggwithoutAmbit

      I can’t imagine that Polar will do such a big mistake as Suunto did … of course, there will be a new model after two years (or longer … look for the RS800) I guess but:
      The doing of Suunto was just unbelievable (they did it either cause they were too stupid in planning a forward-looking watch (can’t believe because of their advertisements of the Ambit1) or with the “bad thinking” of selling the Ambit2 the same customers for reasons of profit just one year later…).
      Polar is doing its job much better I believe!
      Joachim alias JoggWithoutAmbit

    • Mattias

      I do not hope that Polar makes the some mistakes as Suunto did, but I have no possibility to judge the hardware limitations on the promised or implied upgrades, but maybe Ray has (he is, after all, the king of these gadgets!

    • JoggwithoutAmbit

      Suuntos “mistake” was very simple: They saved money for themselves by using a cheaper chip of less memory power … can’t imagine that Polar will do the same with hardware … the other items should be solved by software upgrades … – but maybe Ray may help in this case to clear it up.
      Joachim
      Of course I never want to get the same disappointment again I’ve had with Suuntos Ambit1 … but I am optimism and planning to buy the blue version 🙂

    • I don’t believe hardware limitations will be a problem for the V800. I believe Polar’s development speed might be an issue, but not the physical hardware.

    • JoggwithoutAmbit

      Well, Ray, that’s a positive answer … patience is developing to the most important quality for lovers of technical gadgets for running and so on 😉
      Maybe Polar needs a lot of time for developing their SOFTware … but that’s not that problem like it would HARDware limitation. The only problem of the former model RS800 was the last one (…not that big one … just the OK button) … and Polar (instead of Suunto regarding the Ambit1) did a nice job even to solve that one 🙂
      Sorry for my bad English.
      And stay healthy
      Joachim

    • Kent

      I think the RS800 had some big issues and limitations; like a small memory, no possibility to map the GPS route, no possibility to use the GPS at the same time as a speed sensor, etc. But all of these issues were solved in the RS800CX which came out about a year and a half later (I think). I was annoyed that this upgrade came so soon after the initial watch was released. I think Polar agreed that it was a mistake from their side and that the RS800 wasn’t quite a finished product and had some unnecessary hardware limitations. So Polar made the very classy thing and offered a very reasonable trade in program, I think it was about €100 for a new RS800CX.

      But man, what a great watch the RS800CX has been, the only thing I have been missing is a built in GPS and I also find it annoying that PPT wasn’t released for Mac OS X. It is a bit of a pain to start VMware and Windows just to use PPT. But now I can delete those programs from my hard drive since I just got the V800, hoping that it won’t be a V800CX soon… 🙂

    • JoggwithoutAmbit

      Sorry, Kent. My mistake: I shortened the name of my RS800CX … didn’t realize that there was a former model RS800 … nevertheless I’ve never heard of smaller memory of an earlier model (e.g. RS800)? Well … I am 99.9% convinced that the V800 will have enough “hardware” power … otherwise it would be a killer item for me (Ambit1…).
      Joachim

  165. Ru

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for your very helpful article.

    Maybe you could also help me with this:
    I am relatively new to endurance sports and I am looking for a watch which provides some guided training to reasonably improve my level of fitness (eg training at correct HR, beginning at the right point with adequate workouts and so on).
    Which of these watches would you recommend most with respect to personal trainer functionalities:
    Polar V800, Garmin Fenix 2, Suunto Ambit 2

    Cheers

  166. Toni

    First customers in Finland have reportedly received the V800!

  167. Tony Vienneau

    Can you pair the v800 with the Kickr and Wahoo cadence?

    • Kickr: No
      Wahoo RPM Cadence Pod: Yes, but it generates some odd scenarios where the V800 doesn’t recongnize that it’s cadence only, and thus overrides the GPS speed with it (null/zero).
      Wahoo SPD/CAD sensor: Yes, that’s fine.

  168. Carl

    I couldn’t take it any more! I bought the V800 beta with a delivery date for Friday. Just a few days before release I know but I needed some retail therapy. Ray’s reviews are great! I’m hoping that the swim functions get sorted and it isn’t just vaporware. I’ve had Garmin 205, 305, and 310xt. I just want to try something different. I was glad to hear that you can turn on the GPS in the swim function if you want to. This will allow me to use it the old school way. Stick it under my swim cap. Not ideal for a race but fine for training…until metrics and other swim functions are worked out. Right now I’m primarily interested in looking at my ocean swims to check distance and course. I am terrible at tracking to a course. I 1 mile swim is probably 1.5 miles…

  169. Bj

    Great preview – cannot wait for the final review 🙂

    My question: I am training pace based but I am afraid the V800 lacks important features like average pace per lap and trainings where the different steps refer to pace zones. Am I right?
    Would be a pity – real show stopper for me 🙁

  170. Tony Vienneau

    For the Orthostatic test, fitness tests, and Swimming, with the miolink work or do you have to use the Polar chest strap?

    • Patrik Svanstrom

      Received my V800 yesterday – Yet no possibility to use Polar Flow App in Android (Sweden).
      Hope it will launch soon – downloaded it on my wifes Iphone – neat look and function ! (but Im not swapping to Ios despite my wifes argument 🙂 )

    • Patrik Svanstrom

      Apologies Tony – saw my comment on Android ended up as a reply on your question (wasn´t my intention). I have MioLink and it works great – but not for the tests – there it (at least in current firmware) requires Polars stuff.

    • Tony Vienneau

      No problem. Thanks for the answer.

    • It requires the Polar strap for those tests.

    • Phellan

      So is this V800 a real sucessor for the RS800CX?? And a real winner against Garmin 910XT??
      I was let down by the RCX5 and bought a 910XT and I don’t like at all, a great GPS but that’s it.
      So I am really looking forward this new one which looks really promissing.

  171. Jorge

    Hi, how can I export the GPX-files from the V800? Thanks

    • You cannot do that at this time.

    • rltprivat

      Are you serious, Ray? – I mean that is what people like me – and i am not the only one for sure! – am waiting for any second: I have learned to love Sport Tracks for analysis purposes since using Garmins FR 620. For running workouts.
      Biking?
      – I am creating manual workouts for my (Polar RS 800) cycling workouts. So what am I waiting for if not the ‘general’ export function that is missing with prior Polar models?
      Is it in the pipe at least, when?
      Thnx,, Reinhard

    • Export of files of any sort is currently set for September, assuming no delays (based on details I got late last night).

    • Stephane

      Last night Ray? Do you get update on swimming metric?
      Thx
      Stephane

    • Jorge

      Thank you Ray for the information.

    • For swimming I’ve simply got a timeframe of “October 2014”. I’m working to get expanded clarification on that.

      I’ll be pulling together all the feature timelines I’ve been provided as part of my review next week.

    • Kenni Lund

      September? Seriously? I surely don’t get Polar. Export of files should be there main priority.
      I’ve started my active life on Runkeeper, I have my hole active social relations there, and I’m shure not gonna buy any watch before and export I possible.

    • Grzeg1

      The real timeline is simple to calculate: watch was to be available in April, it will be in June which is 2 months later. So September makes November and October makes December :))

  172. Arnout

    Can anyone confirm already there is a silent alarm function? Love to wake up without waking up partner next to me.

    • Mixuli

      Unfortunately no there isn’t. It’s normal annoying beeping. Same goes with fitness and ortho test. The sound isn’t very loud.

    • Mixuli

      Unfortunately no, there isn’t. It’s normal annoying beeping. Same goes with fitness and orthostatic tests. The sound isn’t very loud.

  173. Jorge

    What does “Lap speed / pace “exactly mean? Is this the average lap speed of the currently running lap (1km)?
    “Speed ​​/ pace” (current pace) is too erratic / inaccurate, and the “Average speed / pace” refers to the average speed of the entire run …

    • Correct. Lap Speed is the average of the lap (same goes for pace). And “Average Speed/Pace” is the overall average of the entire activity.

    • Jorge

      Thanks Ray 🙂

    • Jorge

      Hi Ray,
      I have now set in the training views on “lap speed / pace” and automatic lap 1km. Unfortunately, after 1km the average lap speed is not displayed, but also the average speed of the entire run! Is this normal? Is there not the possibility to get as the average lap time per km like the Forerunner 620, 305 etc. or have to pull the trigger always manually at every km? Do I need to adjust something special in polar flow to make it work?

    • Castuo

      Jorge only works with manual laps, so if you want the data you have to press start after each kilometre. It’s a big fail that the data is not available for autolaps as we’ll.

    • Jorge

      Thanks Castuo for the answer. Yes, it is really a big fail. I have already forwarded it to Polar.

  174. Trailerman

    I’m loving this watch, but unclear on how Activity Tracking is supposed to work when there is no Android app that’s compatible with it. Manual is very vague on this whole area of fucntionality, unless I’m missing something.

    Is activity tracking app-dependent, or am I just being dumb? The idea of having a 24/7 watch with activity tracking + complete workout recording was very much my philosophy for taking the plunge.

    Thanks for any guidance.

    • TheTrimaster

      Trailerman,
      what I heard from Polar there will also soon be an app for Android which works with V800. The Iphone app is in Place and give acctually for instance some more information than the webservice which will be updated continuously.
      In short, the idea is that you have the watch 24/7 on you wrist with all the activity tracking functionality as it was with LOOP already since something october 2013.

  175. Jean-Pierre

    Received mine Wednesday and it works as I expected. My first take is that I like the design, but I’m a bit disappointed about the bezel size – i.e. the screen could have been bigger. As a Firstbeat “Athlete” and “Sports” user, the lack of integration of the V800, or capacity to export the HRV data from it, means I have to continue using my Garmin 910 XT – THAT’S QUITE BAD AS I HAVE TO WEAR TWO BELTS. A virtual training coach and training plan like “Athlete” (and something better than STAR in the FT80) would be a big plus for the Flow website. I would also like to have a way to track calories intake on the site, and receive data from external services and/or data – e.g. Withings. The watch could also warn or recommend to walk like Garmin’s Vivofit.

  176. Jean-Pierre

    Forgot to mention that pre-sale buyers will receive a free colour, I guess it will be the blue + red one, wristband if you provide feedback to Polar.

  177. Bleuette

    Bitterly Disapointed!

    Hi folks,
    A friend of my family is an employee at Polar in Finland.

    He´s getting known that I intend to buy a Polar 800 so he gave information to my Dad, if I ´ll want a baby anytime not to buy it NOW .(Better wait 6 or 12 months from now)

    That´s why: In a Polar Meeting emplyees got advice from their firm, not to use belt or watch more than 3 times a week for one hour mostly every time, becauce Polar company has made a mistake to use material built in watch and belt, cause Cancer and if you don´t want a baby (male or female)not to use it at all (neither belt nor watch)

    This Cancer problems in their new watch V800, said the friend to my dad, is well known at Polar company and they will change it right away in next charge / production, if all the watches now are sold.

    That will take times, maybe 6 moths or more, and dependes of when the watches that are already produced are sold completly.

    The next produktion then will not have material that cauce Cancer and infertility, the Polar employee said.

    So! I´ll skip my pre-order to wait 6 month.

    Herzlichst! Bleuette Naomi

    • Bleuette

      UPS! I beg your pardon:

      I correct myself:

      ..if you want a baby (male or female) don´t use it at all (neither belt nor watch ).

      Bleuette Naomi

    • Asaf

      Bleuette, you kill me with your psychotic episodes. Simply hilarious. This last episode is one of the funniest so far. keep on the good job and stay on drugs!

    • Linda

      Sounds very unlikely to me. If the watch/strap really is that harmful, there’d be a recall … not selling them all before fixing the problem.

    • Bleuette

      Asaf,
      I don´t intend to kill you. Use V800 .That will do.

      so long!

      Bleuette Naomi

    • Kenni Lund

      Page 87 in the manual.
      I dont know if it is a standard American Warming.

    • Stipek

      Muahahahahaha!!!!
      Bleuette, did you know that the strap ist not e new invention for the V800 but happens to be Polar’s Soft Strap which is in use for more than two years now? So the RCX5 would kill your unborn baby too.
      You are probably talkin about Bisphenol A which is contained in almost every wristband of watches (even in the yellow Livestrong-wristbands). Therefore you should only use watches with a wristband made of metal (which can be dangerous too!) or fabric.
      Don’t believe everything. Especially, when it’s on facebook 😉

      hehe, egal was du nimmst, nimm weniger davon…

    • Hello Bleuette,

      I’m sorry to be blunt, but that’s absurd.

      The V800 (and all of our products) are heavily tested and meet or exceeds all essential requirements on restriction of certain hazardous substances found in electronics.

      The user manual (website, packaging.etc..) all will list a California mandate called Proposition 65. You’ll find this same warning on mostly all wearable electronic devices, including Polar. With Polar products, the exposure may be negligible or well within the “no significant risk” range. Polar has chosen to provide this notice as an abundant caution.

      Here is a link to our site which explains in more detail: link to polar.com

      Chris

    • Bleuette

      Hallooh Chris,

      many thanks for your answer. 🙂

      More than perhaps anyone I wish to believe you that it´s absurd that V800 do any harm!!!

      So let me be blunt to you too: tell me what chemical exactly is in watch and belt? Be honest to me . No red herrings, please:exact name of the chemicals wich cause Polar to give attention and warning in the manual I could read above.And don´t beat about the bush, ja?

      First we though it is Bisphenol A,(but even Vitamix managed it to get this out in its blender, so Polar was surely do it too) I coudl live with.

      But the employee at Polar is sure it´s not Bisphenol A, so Polar would has declared it , it would be peanuts.He is sure it´s not that, but doesn´t yet know what chemical it is , but promissed us to aks the chemists working at Polar and tells us as soon he has got the information.

      But now here is a guy who speaks for Polar Company! You Chris! The much the better-this saves time! so you can give all of us the excact name of chemicals immediately which is in Polar V800 and caused Polar writting this warning.

      And the employee at Polar get no risk maybe to lose his job by telling the truth outside of Polar Company firm.By the by.

      So I´m eager to your answer Chris telling me the name of the chemical substance , so I´ve the chance to decide myself if I want take the risk on me and buy the watch now instead 6 months later,if the new material is gone in production then.

      Herzlichst! Bleuette Naomi …die nicht in Facebook stöbert.. und der Beiträge- wie die von Asaf oben, mit seinem beleidigenden Gequatsche – gerade so am Arsch vorbei gehen. 😉

    • Tri Mike

      Bleuette ,

      Please stop these ridiculous comments. They are dragging a good discussion on a great site into the mud.

    • rltprivat

      @Bleuette: agree with Tri Mike. Move on to any other forum. Getting slowly with that bull shitting topic. Think we all giving our best in training and performing. No time for stupid chats.
      kr, Reinhard

    • James

      I third this comment. You’re obviously mentally challenged. I vote ban.. This place has no room for your bullshit

    • Bleuette

      Tri Mike,

      Yes Sir! No sooner said than done!
      Let´s keep on going a good discussion. 😉

      Bleuette Naomi

  178. brendan stallard

    “This Cancer problems in their new watch V800, said the friend to my dad, is well known at Polar company and they will change it right away in next charge / production, if all the watches now are sold. ”

    Bluette,

    LOL, if there were a vapour of truth in this, it would kill Polar stone dead.

    Poor old Fitbit, even acting honourably lost millions and suffered reputationally, and only 2% of their customers got a dermatitis rash reaction to the Fitbit Force. The Force was a decent bit of kit, too.

    Polar would never dare anything so mad, bits might not work as we might want them to, it might be beta, but they’d never deliberately put their customers at risk.

    brendan

  179. Dr.Günther

    “WARNING:This product and its packaging contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm. This notice is provided in accordance with California’s Proposition 65. ” copyright Polar. Manual page 87

  180. Arnout Boer

    See also the Garmin 910XT manual
    • This product, its packaging, and its components contain
    chemicals known to the State of California to cause
    cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm. This notice is
    provided in accordance with California’s Proposition 65.
    See link to garmin.com for more information.

    If that’s a concern you can throw away most of the things you use. Stop spreading unnecessary FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt) and go back to whatever you were doing. For the others.. enjoy whatever gadget you choose to accompany you in your sports. And Ray keep up the great reviews!

    • Stephen

      Let’s think about this logically. If there is something even the tiniest bit harmful, surely it’s something you would never come into contact with?

      Can’t by the H7 because there is no declaration on the H7s manual.

      On the outside of the watch? Well they’re making this out of standard metals and plastics so avoid this then might as well avoid all watches.

      On the inside of the watch? Well it’s a sealed unit otherwise you couldn’t use it to swim with?

      Talking about the Wifi/Bluetooth? Well might as well throw away my phone.

      Other transmission? Well Polar’s been making HRMs for years without the deceleration.

      So what’s left apart from something deep inside the watch?

      On a somewhat related matter, I was reading just yesterday

    • James

      Garmin even has a website for proposition 65 :link to www8.garmin.com

  181. Myron

    I’ve had my V800 for a full week now. I’ve swam (indoors), cycled, ran, and played racquetball with it. Pretty impressive. Sports profiles needed a bit of tweaking, as what I think I want to look at while performing an activity doesn’t turn out to be what I want to look at when I’m actually doing it (in other words, programming your training views while sitting at your computer never ends up being what you need when you go out and use it).

    All I get with swimming is heart rate. I have to do laps manually. Haven’t swam outdoors yet, so it would be interesting to see if auto-lap with GPS really works.

    My Wahoo SC bike sensors paired right up and worked from the very start. The only issue with cycling is that I don’t have a clear view of the watch when I’m in the aero position.

    Running works fine, but I get lots of drops from the stride sensor. I wear it on an ankle strap on my left foot, same side as my V800, but the data shows lots of zero cadence.

    I have a sprint triathlon this weekend and it will be the first time I use it in a multisport session. Looking forward finally getting full metrics (heart rate, stride, GPS-distance) across the whole triathlon.

    • Correct, the V800 doesn’t support anything other than HR while swimming (no lap/stroke/length metrics, etc…).

    • Paul

      Please post your experience with the V800 and the sprint triathlon.

      Is Flow all ready for the 1 screen data for triathlon?

      And I am curious what your GPS data for Swimming will look like. Can you post the link to your flow data?

  182. brendan stallard

    “All I get with swimming is heart rate. I have to do laps manually.”

    Myron,

    Dang, that is a drag. Swimming is a colossal bore, up down/up down, and I’ve always been dreadful at math. I do 70 laps for a mile, (roughly) and I’m always getting the counting wrong.

    brendan

  183. Marcin D.

    Hi,

    what about phased target training? Any chance there will be pace option (as select intensity) added for it on polar flow not only “heart rate zones or free” like now?

  184. Sebastien

    Hi Ray – If you use the V800 with a Bluetooth footpod, can you record the distance via GPS and the cadence via the footpod in the same workout?
    Thanks

  185. Jorge

    Today I was with the V800 on the treadmill. No speed is measured! I thought it would work, as with the FR620.

    • No, it would require a footpod for pace/cadence/distance.

    • Pierre

      there is an accelerometer inside the watch. Otherwise, how could it detect motion throughout the day to calculate the daily energentique expense?
      Then this accelerometer could be used for classroom / indoor sessions as the fenix? right?

    • Technically it could down the road with a firmware update.

  186. Marco

    Hi Ray,
    when do you think that your in depth review will be ready?