on 15 June 2014
Just received my Polar V800. Firstly let me point out that I am not a super athlete but a moderately healthy 50+ individual who wanted a single device to replace a multitude of other devices (Polar F80 sports watch, Nike+ Foot pod sensor, Polar Loop etc). I also strongly suspect that stronger athletes will find, as I have so far, that there is no other single device on the market that can cover the breath and depth of features as the V800 can. So my first impressions:
- One device. So far it has very quickly and seems to have accurately tracked, via the inbuilt GPS, my distance, speed, altitude.
- Great display of information: time duration, calories, etc.
- Charges quickly and seems to have a good battery life in between charges.
- A lot lighter and less bulky to wear that first impression. It is not going to win a beauty contest but is not the most ugly sports watch / monitor either,
- I use the Polar H7 Bluetooth Heart rate strap (there is the option to buy the v800 with one). You can pair this with the v800 to get heart rate info etc. Polar give the impression that this is the only operating mode, however you can also avoid bluetooth pairing as the v800 will also receive the H7's analog heart rate signal. The H7 can only connect via Bluetooth to one device at a time. Pairing it with the V800 enables you to have a unique relationship with the two and therefore avoid interference from other users' heart rate transmitters. If this is not going to be a problem to you, not pairing the H7 to the v800 leaves the H7 free to pair with the Polar Beat app, for example via an iPad. This enables you to graphically view, in real time, your heart zone and exercise progress via the ipod/ipad Polar Beat app at the same time as the v800. I really like this mode of operating and The main advantage to me is that It is easier to view progress on the iPad rather than the smaller v800 screen when I am exercising using certain gym machines.
- You get 24x7 activity tracking without the need to wear an additional item, e.g.Polar Loop, Fitbit etc. However the v800's in screen info is very limited. For example you get a progress bar against a daily activity but no steps count or sleep information. This is disappointing as seeing steps count and activity to go information in the Polar Loop helps personal motivation to exercise more. Hopefully this will be addressed by some future firmware update. You do however get the steps count / sleep information, including percentage of quality sleep after you sync the v800 with the Polar Flow app / web service....:-
- The Polar Flow app / web service enables you to sync the v800 (and some other Polar products) to their free web service and therefore enables the downloading / uploading / viewing of information / stats / firmware updates etc. There are an amazing amount of stats provided including activity histories, durations, calories burnt, heart rate zone info, distances, maps of routes covered, sleep tracking, steps count, work load / recovery assessments etc. More than enough to help light to even the most advanced users assess and track exercises routines.
- I also like the ability to add further bluetooth devices for cycling, stride sensing etc. I have the latter on order so unable to comment on performance yet.
So in conclusion great single sports watch / monitor, and really provides powerful exercise information when sychn'd to the Polar Flow / web service. Cannot find another single product that can touch this and given the breadth of features seems very good value for the money. It would be great if Polar was to provide better information via the v800 for 24x7 activity/sleep tracking. That said even with this limitation I would definitely recommend buying thew v800,