Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
Good watch shame about the sync and online services
on 7 December 2015
I bought this for general cross training including circuits and spin classes, outdoor running (didn't need GPS) and BodyPump/weights sessions. I wanted to see how hard I was working and whether I was predominantly improving my fitness or fat burning. This information was to help me plan my sessions across the week and set/meet my fitness goals.
I chose Polar because the brand was recommended by a fitness trainer who is very experienced in Heart Rate training.
On the plus side: The Heart Rate Monitor watch unit is very easy to use and interpret. The band fits comfortably round my chest and the results seem very accurate (I compare with other gym users!). It's discreet to wear and the watch looks good outwith the gym.
If that was all, the product would get a 5 star review. However the big problem is the synchronisation with PolarPersonalTrainer. I could not get the Polar WebSync to download to my macbook despite meeting all the system requirements. I also tried it on an iMac, a PC laptop, contacted Polar support and enlisted the help of a specialist Mac IT contractor - no joy (although Polar support was helpful they wanted to remote access my computer and I didn't want to do this). In the end I bought a cheap tablet running Windows 10 and managed to upload my data from the watch to the PolarPersonalTrainer site. This is not without its headaches as the software is not optimised for tablets so keyboards etc don't appear when logging in, meaning I have to cut and paste information from another document. I then log into the website on a laptop or other computer.
Which leads me onto point 2: the PolarPersonalTrainer service. The set-up is relatively straightforward but the whole site could do with an upgrade. It's very utility - few instructions to get the most out of your training, fitness/fat burning zone breakdowns but no key telling you which is which, no real guidance on how to create reports. There's a push towards joining a Polar community and I could see the benefit but the very basic is that you should be able to upload and interpret your results easily.
So... do your research to find out how compatible the Polar Websync system will be with your current IT set-up and be prepared to spend a bit of time setting up your data and getting to know the system. Knowing what I now know I would never have chosen Polar, particularly with Apple computers.