Polar V800 Review

with the V800, Polar has delivered a highly functional smart watch that can easily replace your standalone fitness tracker. The new V800 is solid smart watch that combines a lot of the great features of past smart watches into an updated package. Here are our first impressions of this unit.

Design

The exterior consist of a stainless steel casing with a brushed aluminum core. The middle metal casing is elevated above the gorilla glass which gives it a bit of protection. It has a slight curvature similar to a normal wrist watch. On the back there is a charging port that is protected by a small plastic flap. When a charge is needed, you simply remove the flap and attach Polar clip style USB charger. 

The Polar V800 stands out less than something like the 920XT, but it is not the smallest watch we have ever used. That said, we feel that the unit is not very noticeable and can easily double as a normal watch for non-fitness related activities.

Features

The V800 is a solid watch for any activity, especially triathlon training. The device measures your daily steps and can also track sleeping activity. It also offers a running, cycling, and swimming trainer with the inclusion of open water mode. We tested the indoor swimming option and had some issues with the swim metrics not being so accurate but a recent update has improved these a great deal.

The watch also allows for some pretty detailed sport profiles: running, cycling, and indoor/outdoor swimming are all present here. Additionally, you can manage your settings through Polar's website when the watch is connected via USB. The web based interface is a little bit easier to use and offers many more options. Of particular interest is the favorites menu, which can only be set via the website. It allows you to set up customized sports options. We created an interval training profile and it worked very well.

Another nice touch is that polar allows you to set how many fields per page you want to view. This is great for an activity like running where you might have a harder time seeing all of the on screen metrics because the watch is moving around so much.

Lastly, the V800 comes with an included “personal trainer” option, which is part of the recovery menu. It will show your current status, which ranges from over training, very strained, and under trained. The idea being that the status will change the more time you wait in between workouts.

Fitness Tests

The V800 has a great many different tests for gauging your overall fitness level. The idea being that it is like a personal trainer. The tests are supposed to give you a better estimate on how to train and how much recovery time is needed in between activities. The tests range from static fitness tests, heart rate tests, and variability/resting pulse. You can also calculate VO2 max which will help you get a better idea of your overall fitness level. While we found them accurate, these test are probably more geared towards beginner athletes rather than intermediate or professional ones.

Menu​

The menu on the V800 is user friendly and one of our personal favorites. For starters, the watch face can be easily switch between digital and analog varieties. Switching between activities and setting up timers is done after 1 – 2 button presses. 

Polar has also seen fit to include a color screen mode. While this is a nice feature, we found it made the unit harder to see in direct sunlight so we left it off most of the time.

Our unit got about 15 hours of training time with the GPS in low mode. Additionally, Polar states that the device can operate for 30 days in low activity mode. The device measures your daily steps and can also track sleeping activity

App

The polar app is one of the better fitness tracking apps on the market. It has a handy training dairy for your monthly and yearly goals. It will allow you to view metrics such as over fitness level, goals, distance, overall calories burnt, activity duration, and the list goes on. It allows for intricate levels of detail: for instance on one day we tried a cycling activity and you can go in and look at the heart rate average, maximum calories burned, average calories burned, speed, max speed, distance, and cadence to name just a few. The app will give you a recovery time and suggest alternate activities if you are not fully recovered yet. It will also show your location if you have the GPS enabled when performing your activity.

You can also export the data also to other popular websites to analyze the data and share with your friends

Conclusion

the polar V800 is decent all around sports watch. It can double as a normal watch for social occasions if you are looking for all day tracking functionality. Considering the low price point and the features it offers, you would be hard pressed to find a better all around sport watch.

To see more triathlon related products check out our page here.

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Alex Fischer