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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars V800: the good, the bad and the ugly
OK, before we start, I just like to mention that although 100% objectivity is rather impossible to achieve, I like to stay as objective as I possibly can. I've had the V800 for 3 weeks, used it 6 times/week for running and strength training.

So, V800: the good, the bad and the ugly...

The Good:
- Really accurate and easy to set...
Published 5 months ago by Dr. M. Vladeanu

3.0 out of 5 stars A good package let down by software problems
I'm going to get my major gripes with this sports watch out of the way up front, as I think either of them could be a deal-breaker for some people.

Gripe 1: there is no facility to export or import activity from the watch or in Polar's software. For those of us who like to be able to save out routes for use in other software, this is particularly annoying...
Published 3 months ago by M. Dale

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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars V800: the good, the bad and the ugly, 27 Aug. 2014
Dr. M. Vladeanu "Matt" (London) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
OK, before we start, I just like to mention that although 100% objectivity is rather impossible to achieve, I like to stay as objective as I possibly can. I've had the V800 for 3 weeks, used it 6 times/week for running and strength training.

So, V800: the good, the bad and the ugly...

The Good:
- Really accurate and easy to set up. Despite what I read on review sites, it picks up GPS signal between 5-10sec. First time it took 18 sec to pick up satelites. I do not live in a built up area. Mapping is really accurate (I run trails in Great Windsor Park - where you get lots of tree coverage). Plotting the map in Polar Flow showed the running path right smack on the trail - puny little watch but impressively accurate nevertheless.
- Lots of screen configuration options. Get the info YOU want rather than what the designer thought you shoud get. This is essential for someone like me who sometimes trains by heart zone, other times by speed or distance and also does the odd time by max hear rate fartlek. You can have all that on the screen (4 data fields) or just one. Yo can have multiple data screens at the push of a button with 1 to 4 data fields in it.
- I love, love, love the recovery status. What a fantastic feature, even if you should not totally trust it. However so far I'm injury free, so it seems to work.
- activity tracking is actually quite good. How good you ask? Ok, put it this way: it picked up the fact that I woke up last night to take a p*ss. So, I found it very accurate. Estimating BMR and the rest: well its an estimation based on a statistical regression model; so before you read whinging reviews saying its not 100% accurate thing of this: it might not give you the same calorie count as a cell-by-cell recording, but hey, short of measuring 40 odd trillion cells in your body you're getting a pretty good estimation given that all it's got to work with is an accelerometer and some stats.
- really confortable to wear. I wear mine all day long. This way it can measure you activity and adjust for recovery times. It's not a Rolex (I wouldn't wear one anyway) but I think it's not standing out as a HRM/GPS. Stylewise - I'm not gonna comment as we all have our different tastes. I'm sure some would want it with Swarowsky bling others in cammo paint and cracked screen. Personally I like it as it is as I'm more of a functionalist rather than a connoisseur of the fine arts.
- Multisport: it's great to be able to have different settings for different sports. I can't wait to take mine cycling. So far I've configured it for running and strength. It's really a running watch, but you can use the HR for other sports if you're really into them. I'm too much of a wimp for triathlon, but this watch would be fantastic to train for that.

The Bad:
- Software: Loses a start for lack of integration with Android. Here I'm joining the choir of androids who are crossed with Polar. Now, I was sick and tired of my iPhone 4 and Apples complacency towards iPhones, so after 6 years of iPhones I went to HTC. What a great phone. Unfortunately I can't sync my V800 with Polar Flow app. Guess what - it won't work my my iPad 2 either. I know, I know, it's too old now. But why should I buy a new one since my old one works just fine? Am I supposed to throw away £400 just to get a new iPad to download my runs?!! You can use the cable and the PC/Mac, but you need to take the watch off, connect it, bla, bla. Ok, once a week is not too bad. Every day thoug? No way. You need blue tooth sync. Anyway, given that Android is now more widespread than IOS, I think Polar messed up here.
- No on-screen activity alerts. OK, it's great that you get these inactivity alers - these occur when you sat on your behind for too long. This always happens at work for me. Since you can't sync your data all the time with your phone (assuming you have an iPhone 5) how would you know when an inactivity alert happens? Well, after you got home and synced your data with the big PC. Really bad omission here. Should have the possibility to enable/disable these alerts on the watch.
- no export of data. Now, I like polar flow thing. It's ok. But I've bought other software that I like more and I used with my old Garmin. Also, what if I dont' want my data to be online where someone might be able to download it. Such as an unscrupulous (are there any other kind?) insurance company who would be able to monitor my physical decline in the years to come and try to push higher premiums on me. Paranoid? Hmm... please list one (only one) online site that would guarantee in writing that your data will NEVER be accessible without your consent... Read the small print folks.

The ugly:
- for such a high end product you'd expect a foot pod (sold separately) of similar quality, not one that looks like it came from the design bureau of Nuclear Weapon Office of the fromer Soviet Union. That thing looks like it's been built with vaccum tubes in the early 50s and has been designed to take the weight of a tank. How does Garmin manage to create one half the size and weight?
However, you don't need a foot pod, you can rely on GPS. Polar flow is not able to plot your stride length anyway.

A GREAT little thing. If you're a runner you'll love it. And who knows, they might rectify some of the problems above and would make it a 5* product even for critics. Importantly, all the little flaws are easily rectifiable by some software upgrades.

I've used this HRM now for over 2 months roughly 3-4times/week.

The Good:
- all above, plus battery seems to last forever. I charge it once every 2 weeks at the usage of full GPS recording for approx 3.5hrs/week.
- some firmware updates (esp 1.1.70) makes the foot pod more usable as you can manually calibrate and also chose to use GPS/foot pod for distance.
- used it for cycling with the cadence and speed sensors - abs fantastic.
- ability to export data from Flow

The Bad:
- STILL no Android app. This is starting to irritate.C'mon, until now a monkey would have cracked android's weird approach to bluetooth smart. In the end the Loop works fine with the android app. If I were Polar I'd move my eggs way out of iOS's basket, considering the recent iOS8 blunders.
- occasional loss of signal from heart sensors, especially when multiple Bluetooth devices (e.g. speed and cadence cycling sensors) link to the watch. I was told this has been fixed from 1.1.70, and in truth I haven't seen it since I've upgraded the firmware. However, it took me ages to google forums to find out what was wrong initially. It would have been nice for Polar to put this on Flow messaging service. I tried everyting from buying the special conductive gel to changing the battery before I found answers on a triathlon forum.

The Ugly:
- Speed and cadence sensors (about £60) have no user-replaceable battery. This is because of "weather sealing" you see. Polar have not yet heard of Sunnto, Scubapro, Mares to name but a few manufacturers of DIVING computers with user-replaceable batteries. Apparently there is this almost magical technology called "rubber o-ring" which can seal a port up to 200m. Clearly this is not good enough for a sensor on your BIKE, so the sealing has to be permanent. Maybe some of us take our bikes deeper than 200m or higher than 50km up in the stratosphere, dunno, but I for one, I'd be happy with someting within those limits. When I take my bike into the Mariana Trench for the "Tour de Bottom of the Atlantic" I promise to take the sensors off, or not to sue Polar if they malfunction. Maybe the addition of an o-ring (around 2 pence retail) might put Polar in financial difficulty, who knows?

This is a bit of a joke me thinks. Anyway, I will not be buying other sensors from Polar when those die, on principle. Hell, I do reuse supermarket bags, why should I throw away electronics coz the battery needs replacing? I will try other BT comaptible ones, definitely not Polar, it is just wasteful (not to mention expensive).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic fitness monitor., 5 July 2014
This review is from: Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I bought the pre-sale version directly from Polar and I must say its the best fitness Monitor/Sports watch I have ever owned.
All aspects of measurement are extremely accurate. The GPS is especially accurate and only takes seconds to lock and almost never loses signal.
It monitors your day to day activity as well as your logged exercises to get an accurate picture of recovery and calorie burn etc.
The Polar Flow software suite is also very good.
The watch looks very stylish and even though it is quite large you do not really notice it.
Fantastic piece of kit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent GPS training watch, 29 Aug. 2014
This watch was bought as a replacement for my Garmin Forerunner 410. Polar has done an excellent job designing this watch, it is by far the most stylish GPS training watch I have seen, and matches a wide range of clothing (you can even change to an 'analog' watch face when not in training mode if you want). The watch is also very intuitive and easy to use, while having many advanced features. You do not need to read any manuals to figure out how it works, just pick it up and start using in. If you want to fine-tune any displays or choose your favorite types of training activities, the Polar Flow web-based software is also very intuitive. Connect the watch to your computer via the provided USB power cord, and Flow lets you decide what stats (heart rate, altitude, time of day, speed, temperature, etc) you want displayed on the watch face for different training activities that you are interested in - and then just hit 'Sync' to send the updated training profiles to your watch.

Polar seems to have also done quite a bit of research to make this watch fit into your training routine naturally. For the first training run, it took about thirty seconds or so to find GPS reception, but on subsequent training runs it picked up GPS signals within a few seconds, since the watch anticipates future GPS satellite positions to lock-on faster. The GPS signal itself was very accurate, even while running in forested trails. If you need to pause your training run (i.e. waiting at a stop-light while running), and forget to resume training mode, the watch will vibrate to remind you it is still paused. The watch also vibrates every lap (i.e. every 1km by default in metric mode), a nice reminder if you want to check out your average pace over the past km or so, or to check your heart-rate to see if you're in a good zone or need to increase the intensity.

Post-training session, connecting the watch to the USB port of your computer will automatically launch the Flow software and download your training information to the Flow site, where you can see all the detailed statistics and graphs you might want to see about your session (you can of course scroll through all these stats on the watch itself as well), as well as a Google-Maps based view of your training session. It also lets you see a summary of your total training for the day, week, or month. And there's a very cool gimmick where you can 'Relive' a training session, after a recent hiking session, it was very neat to see the summary, showing some sample photographs from the hiking area (nice if you are travelling somewhere new), and the points of the session with the highest altitude, highest heart rate, and highest speed. You can set your training sessions as either private (only for you to see), or public for others to see - you can see other public training sessions in your area for ideas on new running routes, biking routes, etc.

Overall, I am very satisfied with this watch, and do not hesitate giving it 5 stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Huge potential, but little niggles prevent five stars (for now)., 17 Aug. 2014
Danielle (Port Talbot, Neath Port Talbot United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased the Polar `V800 as a 'unification device' to combine the functions of my Polar Loop / Fitbit, Polar FT80 and iPhone. And as such, it very nearly does exactly that, and in several ways a lot more.

First the bad:
The product still feels incomplete, Some of the displays during training are missing information.
None of the resistance programs of the FT80 are available the V800 (I *really* hope we get these soon so I can sell the FT80).
Mine arrived with a faulty HT7 HRM (luckily I had a spare).
Some of the advertised features like HR rebroadcasting are not yet working.
No integration with third party apps like MyFitnessPal etc.
The iOS app is still beta and at the time of writing does not function correctly on iOS 8 (dev 4).

Now the good:
The V800 is very well built, superb quality and remarkably light weight considering it feels like a solid lump.
Even on my lady-girl wrist the watch looks smart and not too big like some of the previous generation of GPS sports watches.
The programs that are present are very good, with some *really* nice features like the vibrating lap timer and swimming modes.
Battery life seems excellent and has only required charging once this week (which has included 8+ hours of running fitness programs).
The V800 should improve over time if Polar keep developing it (FT80 style weight training program please!!).

Overall then, four stars and could well become a five star product if Polar can make it integrate with other apps and finish the software before Apple establish the iWatch.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a work in progress, but so far very impressive., 17 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought mine from Amazon UK after a couple of nice price drops and it arrived today. I'm in my fifties and am on a crusade to lose weight and improve my fitness after some troubling news from the doctor a few months ago. I am not a competitive athlete, but I do want to measure/monitor my achievements and track progress towards my end goal. For such purpose this watch may seem like expensive overkill, but if it encourages and motivates me then it's a small price to pay for a healthy life.

So, about the watch....

It is large on the wrist, no doubt, but I am used to fairly substantial sports watches and it looks and feels fine to me, if rather techy. I shall be wearing it 24x7 so it needs to look OK throughout the day rather than just when working up a sweat. It's no dress watch, but it's staying on my wrist.

I found initial setup to be pretty easy via the online Polar Flow website, although there were some options which, if chosen, prevented the changes from being saved. I would put this down to beta troubles rather than a permanent failing. I hope I'm right.

So far today I have used it to track a 50 min walk with GPS and HRM, a 23 minute walk with GPS and no HRM and a 30 minute exercise bike session in which I was able to use both the watch and the Polar Beat Android app to record the session. Everything seems to have been logged perfectly so far and I feel confident that am measuring calorie burn as accurately as possible. This is especially important to me due to my weight loss goals. Of course, heart rate is an important metric and I have found the real time heart rate graphic in Polar Beta, together with the calorie count, to be highly motivating, to the extent that today's was by far my hardest exercise bike workout yet.

I know the watch and supporting software is still in development, but so far I am pretty thrilled with my purchase and any bugs with the Flow website have proved petty so far. I look forward to the time when Polar Flow is up and running for Android as well as iOS, but I can get by well enough without for now. The watch seems easy to use and familiarisation is nice and quick, despite the impressive feature set.

This will be a five star product, I'm sure, but for now I give it only four stars because the Android integration is yet to come and there do seem to be some website bugs.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polar V800 First Impressions, 15 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
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,
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This watch has gotten (rightfully) some bad reviews in the past, 16 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This watch has gotten (rightfully) some bad reviews in the past, but
a lot of issues are now fixed. The watch has always had solid hardware
but here are some of the things to consider when buying it:

* There is still no Android app.
* Data export has to be done manually for each
workout. Although the synchronization is easy if
you only want to keep your data on the polar website.
* The watch only talks to compatible bluetooth gear, that
means ANT+ gear and 3rd party bluetooth gear cannot
be used.
* It might be worth to wait for the Garmin forerunner 920xt
as it has mostly the same specifications, but is likely (if its anything
like the 910xt) to integrate easier with other products.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent GPS heart rate health tracking watch, but be prepared for a super-long manual!, 3 Oct. 2014
Mr. M. P. Duffy (Littlehampton, West Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I received this through he vine programme and it was a happy coincidence - I was considering the purchase of a GPS health tracker watch so this made the decision for me!

Out of the box, it was quick to charge. The USB clip charger (which doubles as the data cable) can be a little fiddly to clip in exactly the right spot, so sometimes it's necessary to fiddle the clip round until the battery charging symbol appears - then you know you've got a good connection.

For full connectivity it is necessary to download the polar flow app to your mobile / iPad and there is also PC software which is necessary to be able to update the firmware on the watch. You have to download the latest version before it will work properly.

It is easy to set initial details such as weight, height, age, sex etc. to give more accurate readings. It is also extremely easy to pair the heart rate monitor (included) which is comfortable to wear and easy to adjust. My only disappointment is that to fully complete all the fitness tests it suggests in the instructions, it is necessary to purchase other Bluetooth sensor add-ons.

At this point I should say that the strap is very tight! It's difficult to pass the loose end through the retaining band. It has just started becoming easier after about a month!

The PDF manual is ridiculously long. I have to admit I have not yet made the time to sit and see everything which the v800 can do as it's too overwhelming! I have discovered enough to keep me satisfied for the time being.

Starting exercise tracking is simple. The are a number of screens available to switch between whilst tracking which give lots of information. I was glad to find one which still allows you to see the time, but it's a shame that you can't track 'in the background' and just leave the normal watch face displayed. The watch will also track without pairing the heart rate monitor.

Tracking gives you some really useful data. A GPS map do your route, heart rate, altitude graph, speed graph etc. All this comes once you've uploaded to your connected device into the PolarFlow app. I've been using mine with an iPad and iPhone and this has been really simple, but does require Bluetooth to be switched on. The app also gives a diary view of all completed workouts etc. My only disappointment is that there's no option to share with Facebook etc at the push of a button. I used to use runkeeper to track my runs and could easily share in this way.

The stopwatch and countdown functions are way too fiddly to be really useful in my opinion.

All in all so far I have been very happy with the way the watch works. It holds a long battery charge and for simple tracking which gives some useful training feedback it is real lye say to use. I have yet to delve further into the ridiculously long manual to see how much more I can get it to do, mainly because I don't really feel the need to for my type of use!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid performer with more to come!, 20 Nov. 2014
Although I didn't buy this from Amazon (I Got it for £249.99 with HRM!!!) I thought I would leave a review.
It was a toss up between this and the Garmin 920XT but as I already had the Garmin 1000 and had problems with it after lauch I decided 'once bitten twice shy'.

So here we go;

I bought this as an upgrade for my Polar RCX5 and I have to say this is the perfect replacement! I no longer need to carry the GPS around with me as it's built into the watch itself (like the RCX3). Some will know that this can be a pain even if it is the size of a pager!

The new features including a sleep recorder offer a very indepth view of things other than your training. It even tells you how many calories you burn during the day. All this can now be collated on your iPhone (4s and above) and on to either the app or the Polar Flow website. And with firmware updates going out on a regular basis the unit improves with time.


I have now been using the v800 for two weeks. Its Fantastic!! The new firmware comes with 'pool swim' this not only counts your strokes per length but you can programme in the length of pool and it will count the lenghs you do!
I am glad that I decided to go with this product, if you like your gadgets or are into your training - this is the baby for you!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The polar v800 is not only a great sportswatch with lots of nice features, 8 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The polar v800 is not only a great sportswatch with lots of nice features. You can also wear it as a casual watch, its really nice with a detail quality. For a start, you don't have to study to use it, its really easy to find yourself a way through the menu. Handy is the possibility to change from dark background to light. For those who have some problems with the view when sun is shining on the screen. I used my watch now for several times and I'm still surprised of the speed it connects with GPS, it's a matter of seconds. My formar watches (garmin and polar ) needed sometimes minutes. The recovery indication works properly, but is more or less a gadged. I can't imagine skipping a training of your marathon preparation based just on that feature.. It's more like a confirm of what your legs are saying to you... I found the watch expensive, but now I have it I wouldn't go for less any more. Great buy!
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