Polar Pacer Pro GPS Running Watch In-Depth Review

A very long time in the past, in a galaxy far, far-off, t. was the watch. This was an period earlier than GPS, earlier than optical HR, and earlier than numerous different metrics that we didn’t even know would exist sometime. Again then, it was time to social gathering prefer it was…err…1990. As a result of that’s about when the unique Polar Pacer got here out. Nonetheless, fast-forward a few years and Polar is reviving the model with two watches: The Polar Pacer & Polar Pacer Professional. This submit is in regards to the Polar Pacer Professional, w.because the cheaper Polar Pacer will arrive in a couple of months.

So what’s the Polar Pacer Professional? Nicely, in a nutshell, it’s mainly a Polar Vantage M2, however with virtually all of the options of the GRIT X sequence. So it provides a barometric altimeter, Hill Splitter, Working Energy, Muscle Load, Strava Stay Segments, and programs/routing. Thus, whereas Polar is branding and advertising and marketing this closely as a operating watch, virtually talking, it’s a full multisport watch.

The Polar Pacer Professional additionally has a brand show, quicker processor, and extra reminiscence. You gained’t discover/care in regards to the reminiscence, however the processor is noticeably quicker in some instances. And the show is healthier, albeit positively not groundbreaking. And regardless of rumors on the contrary, it’s not an AMOLED/LCD show (just like the Polar Unite or Polar Ignite), however a much less flashy MIPS show such as you’d see on a Garmin Forerunner or Fenix sequence (amongst many different watches).

As common, this watch is a media loaner, and it’ll return to Polar shortly. This overview is just not sponsored (nor does any firm get to preview something I overview), and I don’t take any advertiser cash from any corporations I overview. And as common readers know, if one thing is crap, I’m gonna inform it brutally like it’s – regardless of the model. As soon as this unit goes again, I’ll exit and get my very own for any future testing wants. For those who discovered this overview helpful, you need to use the hyperlinks on the backside, or think about turning into a DCR Supporter which makes the positioning ad-free, whereas additionally having access to a principally weekly video sequence behind the scenes of the DCR Cave. And naturally, it makes you superior.

With that, let’s dig into the novelty.

What’s New:

The Polar Pacer Professional is basically about shifting higher-end options down-level to a sub-$300 worth level. So in impact, virtually nothing is ‘new to Polar’ . (besides the strolling check). Which is frankly how most manufacturers are doing it lately (together with Garmin). However extra on that later.

Provided that the final time t. was a Polar Pacer product was 30 years in the past, I’m going to skip 30 years of smartwatch enhancements (as enjoyable as that’d be). As an alternative, I’m going to make use of the Polar Vantage M2, which can also be priced at $299. Whereas one may try to argue the Polar M430, that’s 5 years previous and properly previous pungent. No, the Vantage M2 is the best comparability. So, .’s the way it differs:

– Added barometric altimeter
– Added quicker processor, extra reminiscence
– Added new clearer display/show
– Added wrist-based operating energy (no equipment required)
– Added Hill Splitter (hill repeat counter)
– Added route navigation
– Added Strava Stay Segments
– Added Efficiency Checks (Strolling, Working, Biking)
– Added Polar SHIFT strap accent compatibility
– Added Compass throughout exercise/exercise
– Added Smartphone notifications throughout exercise
– Elevated GPS battery life to 35hrs from 30hrs
– Elevated waterproofing spec to 50m from 30m on Vantage M2

If I’ve received all the things roughly straight in my head, the important thing variations the M2 doesn’t have that this does is a barometric altimeter, operating energy, efficiency checks, longer battery life, SHIFT compatibility, Hill Splitter, Strava Stay Segments, after which Route Navigation.

So at this level, you may see that the Pacer Professional mainly sideswipes any motive to purchase the Polar Vantage M2. T.’s actually no logical motive you’d purchase that watch on the identical worth (each are presently $299). I’ve gotta marvel if that is Polar quietly killing off the Polar Vantage M lineup (word formally, they are saying they aren’t). Particularly because the base Polar Pacer mainly has virtually all the identical options because the M2, however at $100 much less.

Both manner, M2’s destiny apart – what issues . is options vs not. And t.’s completely zero motive to purchase the Polar Vantage M2 at this juncture (and Polar confirmed the Pacer Professional has each characteristic the Vantage M2 does).

Now, how does it differ from the upcoming (Might-timeframe) $199 Polar Pacer version? Nicely, in line with Polar, these are the variations:

– No Barometric Altimeter
– No Hill Splitter
– No Working Energy
– No Route Navigation

In different phrases, it’s mainly a Vantage M2. Truly, it has extra options than that because it has the Working Efficiency check. In any occasion, I don’t have a type of watches but, so I can’t make any opinions past the specs listed above.

Lastly, what does the Polar Pacer Professional lack in comparison with the dearer Grit X or Polar Vantage V2 (each of that are an identical feature-wise lately, solely differing in bezel/materials variations)? Ask and also you shall obtain:

– No Leg Restoration Take a look at
– No Orthostatic Take a look at
– No Restoration Professional
– No Touchscreen
– No Trackback navigation
– No Outside Dashboards (Altimeter, Coordinates, Compass, Daylight instances)
– No Audio Alerts
– Variations to design/supplies

Bought all that? Good. Let’s get into the field.

Within the Field:

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First up, we’ve received the field – or slightly, the field contents.

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Inside you’ll discover the watch, a charging cable, paper pile, and strap adapters for the SHIFT straps (these have been beforehand introduced final fall).

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I’ll have greater than sufficient photographs of the watch itself on this overview, so .’s a fast one earlier than I doubtlessly get this soiled or scraped up or one thing.

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Then we’ve received the charging cable. That is, sadly, new. It appears similar to the Unite sequence charging cables, besides that these are barely rounded, so the 2 aren’t appropriate.

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It’s not superior. Whereas the present Polar Vantage sequence charging connector/cable isn’t essentially one of the best connector in the marketplace, it’s fairly strong and doesn’t draw any significant annoyance. W.as this connector appears to consistently fail to both keep connected after I transfer one thing round on my desk, or, doesn’t ‘click on’ proper into place – making me consistently double-check alignment. Once more, this isn’t an enormous deal, nevertheless it’s a transparent step again.

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Oh, and t.’s that small pile of paper guides. You gained’t want that both by the point you’re achieved with this overview. It mainly tells you to clean your wrist and watch each from time to time otherwise you’ll die from dysentery just like the Oregon Path. Additionally, should you do one thing silly like 32×800 repeats on the observe, you may die too – through which case it’s positively your fault (even should you use Polar Movement to create the exercise).

Anyhow, .’s the way it compares to the Polar Vantage M2 (left), Pacer Professional (middle), and Grit X Professional (Proper):

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Above is straight-on, however you may see the show variations extra simply at-angle, w. the newer show is crisper and the blacks are darker/sharper. Taking comparative show images is all the time powerful, as a result of the digicam is basically exposing correctly for just one watch at a time.

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Bought all that? Good, let’s get to utilizing it.

Fundamentals:

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This part is all in regards to the primary usability, issues like step/exercise monitoring, sleep monitoring, and primary usability of the watch. By and huge, nothing on this part has modified on this watch in a few years of Polar watches. You’ll be able to decide and select anyone to check it to, and these items has mainly remained stagnant (extra on that on the finish of the overview).

To start, the Polar Pacer Professional has 5 buttons to navigate all of the features (no touchscreen). Typically talking, the left aspect has the again button (backside left) and lock/menu button (higher left), whereas the best aspect has an up/down choice and the center is your affirmation/enter button.

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Arguably the most important improve on the Pacer Professional is the brand new MIPS show. This offers extra readability than any of Polar’s present Vantage sequence watches. This show isn’t AMOLED/OLED/LCD (just like the Ignite/Unite), however akin to what you’d see on different manufacturers

I had no issues in any respect viewing it outdoors in direct solar, nor at sundown on an overcast day, with no backlight on. T. is backlight although in fact, which appears a bit extra ‘clear’ trying than the Polar Vantage M2, that means t. isn’t as a lot white-light from below the black areas as t. was on that unit. General, this isn’t an enormous change for Polar, however extra of an incremental one. That is kinda just like the processor change – it’s not huge. And actually, the primary day I used to be utilizing it, it appeared actually fast. But it surely appears to have slowed barely since then, to mainly be the identical in most conditions because the Grit X Professional or Vantage M2. Just a few instances will or not it’s faster.

In the meantime, flipping it over you’ve received the optical coronary heart price sensor. As is custom with Polar watches, each single watch appears to have a special optical HR sensor. This time they’ve gone again to the Ignite sensor, seemingly ditching the Polar Vantage V2/Grit X sequence sensor (most likely a good suggestion based mostly on the efficiency I see t.). The sensor is used for each exercises in addition to 24×7 monitoring of coronary heart price.

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This additionally contains the monitoring of sleep metrics, like respiration price. Be aware that in a exercise it goes into a better energy mode for extra correct HR measurement t.. I level that out as a result of should you don’t put it (like some other watch) into exercise mode, you gained’t get correct coronary heart price measurements throughout high-intensity exercises.

On the strap aspect, the unit comes out of the field with a not-quickly-removable-strap. Nonetheless, within the field was the Polar Shift adapter, which mainly offers you a regular watch strap mount to attach your individual straps to:

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Okay, again to the watch face, and also you’ve received so-called ‘Dashboards’. These are mainly completely different widget pages that show consolidated .rmation about areas like steps, sleep, exercise historical past, coaching, and extra (equivalent to climate, music controls, and so forth…). The way in which Polar designs their dashboards, is that the principle date/time display will be seen always on them, however you may iterate what’s proven alongside the underside as a ‘preview’ of extra detailed .rmation about that dashboard web page (e.g. steps/exercises/heart-rate/and so forth…). Right here’s the climate web page instance:

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After which I can faucet that to get extra detailed climate .rmation:

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The identical is true for steps. And as soon as I crack open the steps web page, I can get extra .rmation in regards to the step depend for the day:

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After all, all of this .rmation is then synced to the Polar Movement smartphone app (in addition to the Polar Movement internet platform). This occurs by way of Bluetooth in your telephone, or a USB cable in your laptop.

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The sample is basically the identical for the opposite knowledge units, like coronary heart price. On this case, you’ll see your max coronary heart price in addition to each daytime and sleep minimums. On this case, I suffered by means of the operating check a couple of hours in the past:

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And once more, you’ll discover all this up on Polar Movement too:

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One space that’s a bit completely different although is the sleep pages. At first look, it appears related, however as you dig deeper into it you’ll get a slew of sleep .rmation. This contains each the Sleep Plus Phases and Nightly Recharge. The primary piece covers features like what time you went to mattress/woke-up, after which your estimated sleep phases. W.because the Nightly Recharge appears at how recovered you have been that evening. Be aware that nightly recharge takes three days’ value of knowledge earlier than it begins exhibiting the products, and that the longer you put on the watch (at evening) the higher/extra correct it turns into.

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As you open the principle dashboard web page you’ll get a flood of sleep-related knowledge to dig into:

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And all of that is additionally extra simply considered within the Polar Movement app too:

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By way of sleep accuracy, the Polar Pacer Professional appropriately recognized the time I fell asleep and the time I awoke, in addition to any time I used to be awake. It additionally guesstimated at my sleep phases. As I’ve talked about quite a few instances, sleep phases/phases is at greatest, in a medical setting extremely wishy-washy, and that’s with full medical tools and a educated workforce doing the evaluation. Thus, it’s not one thing I put a lot religion in on the wearable stage, nor do I’ve any means to precisely check this on a day-to-day foundation.

Past that, t. are a couple of different dashboards, and you’ll tweak which pages are proven inside the settings, to both embrace or skip dashboard pages as you scroll by means of.

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By way of some fast smartwatch fundamentals, you’ll see textual content messages present up mechanically, assuming you’ve received it paired up and in-range of your smartphone:

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And whereas the watch doesn’t have any music storage on it, you may management the music in your telephone. You’ll see that it does pull the right icon for the app it’s controlling, so you may see the Spotify icon proven t.. I can skip/rewind/pause/play on the principle display, in addition to faucet the quantity icon to extend quantity.

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And once more, simply to be super-clear ., t.’s no music storage on the Polar Pacer Professional itself, it’s merely controlling music in your telephone.

With all these fundamentals lined, let’s dig into the sporting aspect of the unit.

Sports activities Utilization:

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The Polar Pacer Professional is by far essentially the most succesful sports activities watch Polar has ever made at this worth level (or, anyw. close to it). It’s solely lacking a handful of much less essential options from their higher-end $400-$500 GPS watch lineup. On this part, I’ll dig into how all of the sports-focused options work, since undoubtedly should you’re shopping for this watch, it’s for the sports activities features.

First up, to decide on a sport, you’ll both long-hold the purple button, or press the lower-left button and select to begin coaching (or, begin a check – extra on that later). When you’ve achieved that, you’ll be proven your sport profiles, and it’ll begin trying to find coronary heart price, and GPS (if an outside exercise).

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The Polar Pacer Professional can retailer as much as 20 sport profiles on it, with every of those profiles having custom-made calorie burn, knowledge fields, and different settings (like auto lap). These sport profiles are configured on Polar Movement, which is accessible out of your smartphone app or the web site itself. T.’s a boatload of profiles to select from, although for essentially the most half many will be fairly related. The principle variations are typically custom-made calorie burn to that given exercise.

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As famous although, that is w. you may customise knowledge fields and different settings, for instance making a customized profile for path operating with knowledge pages which can be distinctive, versus one other profile for highway operating.

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When you’ve received that every one settled, you’ll long-hold the underside left button to sync it again to the watch. The sync takes maybe a minute more often than not, from a smartphone. It’s a bit quicker if doing it on a pc by way of USB cable.

Again on the watch, you’ll see the icons flip inexperienced when it has GPS and coronary heart price lock. You’ll all the time wish to anticipate these earlier than beginning. Most often, you’ll get coronary heart price lock in 1-5 seconds, and I’ve been getting GPS lock in 10-15 seconds (zero issues t.). For those who determine to depart the platform earlier than these lock, you’ll typically have poor outcomes for a lot of your exercise, because it’ll wrestle to seek out lock. For those who’ve received any paired sensors (like a Bluetooth Good biking cadence sensor or energy meter, or a Bluetooth Good coronary heart price strap), it’ll present a blue icon for these.

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As for sensor sorts it helps, it’s the identical as earlier than, they’re:

– Bluetooth Good Coronary heart Fee Straps
– Bluetooth Good Biking Energy Meters
– Bluetooth Good Biking Cadence & Pace Sensors
– Bluetooth Good Working Footpods
– Bluetooth Good Working Energy Meters

Now the Polar Pacer Professional doesn’t require any operating energy meter equipment to get operating energy, it does it internally just like the Polar Vantage V & Grit X sequence has. Nonetheless, for biking, you will want an exterior energy meter. I attempted connecting it to a pair of Garmin Rally pedals and a pair of PowerTap P2 pedals, and neither labored. That is par for the course with Polar and energy meter assist. I don’t actually know what to say ., this hasn’t modified in years. Polar was actually good on Bluetooth accent compatibility, however lately it’s like they simply don’t care anymore.

To pair sensors, you’ll head to the overall settings menu, after which sensors from t.. Be aware that you probably have a Polar coronary heart price strap already in your Polar Movement account, they really mechanically pre-pair them to your watch. That means, should you’ve received a Polar H10, it’ll truly mechanically stick the sensor particulars into the watch once you flip it on. Once more, the blue pairing icon on the beginning display is your indicator that it’s utilizing that as an alternative of the optical sensor.

For all my testing I used the optical HR sensor on the again of the unit (since I already know the exterior Polar H10 chest strap works completely advantageous). So with that set, let’s head out for a easy run first. As you’re operating you’ll see your knowledge fields proven on the watch, and you’ll iterate by means of the info pages to see different configured pages.

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Whereas I lack many hills, I did get to poke briefly at Hill Splitter, which was added to the Polar Grit X two years in the past. That’s a hill-repeat counter of kinds that mechanically detects climbing up a hill, and reveals you stats for that particular climb.

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That is considerably completely different than one thing like Garmin’s ClimbPro, in that ClimbPro is predictive and based mostly on a deliberate route (exhibiting you distance/top until high of climb). W.as Polar’s Hill Splitter is all about what you’ve achieved on this present climb. So Garmin is healthier for occurring a 50KM path run within the Alps with a deliberate route, w.as Polar’s is healthier for a Tuesday evening hill repeat session in your neighborhood.

Even should you load a route up on the Polar Pacer Professional, it gained’t offer you that per-climb steering. Nonetheless, it will provide you with turn-by-turn steering if that route comes from Komoot. In order for you extra particulars on how that works, see my detailed navigation part within the Polar Grit X Professional overview, because the performance is similar ..

Now, within the occasion you loaded up a structured exercise (which you’ll be able to create on Polar Movement), then it’ll present the particular targets for these as properly. I did a set of 800 repeats this previous weekend with it, w.by it guided me by means of every exercise stage, together with each work and restoration sections. On this case, I did a exercise with operating energy targets for every chunk. Polar operating energy hasn’t modified any in the previous couple of years, nevertheless it’s nice to see it included at this worth level built-in.

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On this case, it mechanically iterated from part to part, successfully urgent the lap button for me. However in non-guided exercises, you may press the lap button to create a lap manually, or you are able to do auto laps based mostly on the game profile settings (which might, and certain will, differ between sports activities). Polar additionally helps concurrent computerized and handbook laps, in case you wish to do completely different evaluation afterward.

Put up-run, you’ll get a abstract of your work on the watch itself, .’s a gallery of that:

After which all of that is synced to Polar Movement in addition to third social gathering websites like Strava or TrainingPeaks.

Throughout my exercises I had zero points when it comes to show visibility or button responsiveness. For pacing stability, that was a bit iffier. So, this can be a good time to take a look at one of many two Polar Efficiency checks I did and why that issues, which have been the strolling check after which the operating check.

First up is the brand new strolling check. The idea behind that is that the Polar Pacer Professional can decide your VO2Max from simply strolling for quarter-hour. Although, as I’d discover out, you must stroll actually darn quick to maintain the watch blissful. First up, you’ll warm-up for five minutes:

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Then, it asks you to speed-up to maintain your coronary heart price above 121bpm (or, a minimum of 121bpm in my case). And also you’ll keep at that for 10 minutes. I’d level out that for more healthy people, you may discover this difficult. The truth is, so did Polar. For your entire check period, each few seconds it was yelling at me to not run. I wasn’t operating (not even shut), however, apparently my quick strolling pace made it assume I used to be. However preserving my HR excessive sufficient was difficult.

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On the finish of the check, it mentioned my VO2Max was 48. Typically talking, after I check (both lab or on different watches), I float within the 58-61 vary. So, this was considerably decrease than that. Massively decrease.

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So, the following day I went out and did the Polar Working Take a look at. I figured on this I’d most likely check a bit bit decrease than regular, since this has been my 4th consecutive day of operating, however that’s advantageous. The Working Take a look at begins off with a 10-minute warm-up, after which resets again to a painfully gradual 20-30 minute construct from quick strolling up all the way in which as much as dying whereas operating. It’s mainly a ramp check, w.by you fail when you may’t keep the requested tempo any longer. One situation I’d word is that with the GPS wobble, I noticed instant-pace responsiveness that was a bit bizarre at instances. That mattered within the run check, as a result of as I’d make lengthy/lazy activates the trail (not 90° angles), the tempo may drop (or rise) considerably, which in flip upset the run check app that may warn me if I spent an excessive amount of day trip of zone. It reset as soon as truly, and I needed to begin once more early on within the first check. However the second check went advantageous.

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On this check, I scored 56, which is about w. I figured I’d be on barely sore legs. Contemporary legs/restoration would most likely have put me at 58 or so.

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Both manner, that is vastly completely different than the 48 from the brand new strolling check.  I requested Polar in regards to the discrepancy on my strolling check, however didn’t obtain any reply as to why t. was such a discrepancy. It’s an odd miss for a corporation that typically will get physio-type sports activities metrics/testing proper.

After your exercise you may overview all of this .rmation – each checks and common exercises – on Polar Movement. Within the case of standard exercises, these will even sync over to any third social gathering related platforms you’ve arrange like Strava or TrainingPeaks. And naturally, you may simply view the small print proper within the Polar Movement app itself:

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As for the checks, these too present up in a devoted part for struggling (testing):

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And in spite of everything that, you may return to your dashboards and get options from FitSpark for stretching or different supportive exercises:

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Every day it’ll offer you a steered cardio exercise, after which after you’ve accomplished that (or some other exercise), it’ll offer you a supportive or energy exercise. These aren’t tied to a selected coaching plan (like constructing in the direction of a marathon), however slightly, aimed toward supplying you with a ‘Exercise of the day’ idea. And doing so in a manner that doesn’t get you injured.

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Relying on the kind of exercise you select it’ll provide the particular steps and steering within the watch itself. T. are cardio-focused operating exercises with completely different intensities. After which t. are core kind exercises too, and for these, it’ll provide the particular strikes to do, together with animations and textual content for every one:

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Once more, should you’re on a structured coaching plan in the direction of a specific-season race, this frankly isn’t for you. As an alternative, it’s for people who don’t have a selected coaching plan, however simply wish to preserve lively in an endurance-sports-focused method. The watch gained’t fiddle, it’ll throw down strong exercise options, so don’t assume you’re simply gonna get a bunch of 30-minute easy-peasy stretching exercises.

In the meantime, should you’re on a structured coaching plan, you then’ll most likely be utilizing the Cardio Load standing parts. However first, you’ve received the Weekly Coaching dashboard, which reveals you your coaching load every week (in my case, resetting yesterday), inclusive of the precise HR zone breakdowns.

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Nonetheless, in live performance with that’s the precise Cardio Load dashboard. This reveals you whether or not or not your coaching is productive. On the principle dashboard web page you’ll see a fast overview, after which when you dig into it, you’ll get the precise particulars of what it thinks about your exercise habits:

Be aware that the core distinction . to the Polar Vantage V/Grit sequence is that these even have Restoration Professional monitoring, w.because the Polar Pacer Professional doesn’t have that. Although, that does require a chest strap a minimum of thrice every week to get the total Orthostatic check and related restoration knowledge. Nonetheless, you need to use the Nightly Recharge knowledge on the Vantage M2 (as mentioned earlier within the fundamentals part) as a fairly good proxy for restoration.

GPS & HR Accuracy Testing:

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T.’s seemingly no matter that stirs as a lot dialogue and keenness as GPS accuracy.  A watch may disintegrate and offer you dire electrical shocks whereas doing so, but when it reveals you on the incorrect aspect of the highway?  Oh hell no, carry on the fury of the web!

GPS accuracy will be checked out in quite a lot of alternative ways, however I favor to take a look at it utilizing quite a lot of gadgets in real-world eventualities throughout an unlimited variety of actions.  I exploit 2-6 different gadgets without delay, making an attempt to get a transparent image of how a given set of gadgets handles circumstances on a sure day.  Situations embrace all the things from tree/constructing cowl to climate.

Through the years, I’ve continued to tweak my GPS testing methodology.  For instance, I don’t place two models subsequent to one another on my wrists, as that may influence sign. However typically I’ll merely carry different models by the straps, or connect them to the shoulder straps of my hydration backpack.  Sporting a number of watches on the identical wrist is well-known to influence optical HR accuracy. Within the case of the Polar Pacer Professional, Polar confirmed the GPS chipset is similar as discovered within the Vantage M2 sequence (which, is mainly the identical as all their current watches – based mostly on Sony).

In the meantime, for HR accuracy testing I’m usually carrying a chest strap (often the Garmin HRM-PRO, or Polar H10) in addition to one other optical HR sensor watch on the bicep (these days the Whoop 4.0 band and/or Polar Verity Sense). Be aware that the numbers you see within the higher proper nook are *not* the averages, however slightly simply the precise level my mouse is sitting over.  Be aware all this knowledge is analyzed utilizing the DCR Analyzer, particulars ..

We’ll begin off with comparatively simple exercises, earlier than moving into extra complicated exercises. First up is a steady-state run, which wasn’t in super-complex GPS circumstances. That is in comparison with a Polar H10 chest strap, and a Garmin Descent G1 watch on the opposite wrist (mainly an Intuition 2 Photo voltaic however for diving). Right here’s that HR knowledge set:

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That is truly a textbook-perfect case of when optical HR can do higher than chest straps in early spring/fall circumstances. In these instances you’re typically carrying lighter clothes, and thus sweat much less early on. So that you see . the Polar H10 was truly incorrect for the primary few minutes, however the optical HR sensors have been appropriate (each Garmin and Polar). Inside a couple of minutes all three converged. You do nevertheless see a couple of drops/spikes from the Polar Pacer Professional although about 1/third of the way in which by means of the exercise. Although, these solely lasted a couple of seconds, after which went away.

On the GPS aspect of that exercise, at a excessive stage issues look advantageous.

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Nonetheless, as you zoom in, not one of the models did significantly properly for the underpass, together with each method and exit of it. For this part, the Garmin Descent G1 was offset greater than the others.

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Nonetheless, a minute or so later, we’d see me swimming within the canal from the Polar Pacer Professional. This could have been simple pickings for GPS ., because it’s a straight path with nearly no significant tree cowl this time of yr. Once more, this isn’t unhealthy, it’s simply meh.

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Subsequent we’ve received an interval run, with 800s tossed into it, in addition to being each within the bushes and the open. This was in contrast towards the identical set of watches and HR straps, besides, I added the Whoop 4.0 band to the combination as properly. As you may see, the Polar Pacer Professional optical HR nailed this one. W.because the Garmin Descent G1 had some substantial points on the peaks of every interval (what’s odd is that it appeared to trace the preliminary ramp of every interval w. sensors fail). T. have been a couple of very minor nitpicky bobbles from the Polar Pacer Professional, however once more, you may’t even discover them until you actually squint and look shut. Strong job ..

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On the GPS aspect for this set, I used to be largely within the woods (or below tree cowl). And once more, at a excessive stage issues look OK – albeit you may see hints of bother brewing down under:

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Not one of the models had main failures ., however once more each the Polar Pacer Professional and Descent G1 simply wobbled a bit off-, often by upwards of 15-25 meters. Under you may see that within the lower-left part it was the Polar lacking the flip, w.as within the mid-section it was the Garmin being offset.

 

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After which . in deeper woods, each the Descent G1 and Polar Pacer models have been offset from the observe. Albeit, the Garmin Intuition 2 did keep on-trail, which is notable as a result of in principle the Descent G1 and Intuition 2 are the identical watch below the covers.

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Subsequent, we’ve received the operating check I did. In principle this ought to be a comparatively simple optical coronary heart price check, because the price of change is exceptionally low (okay, painfully low). It’s often price of change that impacts optical HR essentially the most (so a sudden dash for instance). And certainly, this was just about spot-on with the Garmin HRM-PRO chest strap. The Whoop had some bobbles through the ramp portion for a minute or two, however in any other case all of them matched.

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Once more GPS-wise I used to be principally within the woods ., albeit on largely straight paths.

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As with earlier than, we see some off- points from the Polar Pacer Professional, equivalent to this part under within the decrease proper w. it will get actually wobbly as I’m strolling (virtually immediately on the actual spot I transition from laborious run to cool-down, it goes askew). After which stays offset by means of many of the manner throughout the wetlands.

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On this different part, we see each the Apple Watch Collection 7 and Polar Pacer Professional commerce turns in being offset, although, the Intuition appears to nail this part. The Apple Watch’s failures are largely the age-old Mario Kart cornering it does each from time to time (exhibited . at low-speed turns). W.because the Pacer Professional’s points have been simply being offset from the observe. Although, the vast majority of the exercise was largely appropriate.

Set3-GPS-Mid2

Lastly, we’ve received an indoor biking exercise on a Peloton Bike. This wasn’t a brilliant intense exercise, however is nonetheless an excellent check to double-check. That is in comparison with the Descent G1’s optical HR, and the Polar H10 chest strap (paired to the bike). On this set, it tendencies properly sufficient, nevertheless, you see about half a dozen HR spikes all through. That is one thing I’ve seen on different current Polar watches with a barely completely different optical HR sensor (Vantage & Grit X sequence), although haven’t seen it a lot on the opposite datasets from the Polar Pacer Professional. Once more, it’s minor ., however does stick out when it occurs.

Set4-HR

Okay, so total other than a couple of minor points, the optical coronary heart price on the Polar Pacer Professional did properly for me in my testing, and once more appears to reflect my sentiment that the current Vantage M2 & Grit X Professional sensors aren’t fairly as reliable because the sensor used . and initially within the Polar Ignite 2. In these instances, it’s carried out fairly properly, even throughout demanding intervals.

As for GPS, it’s a strong ‘meh’. It did higher than the Garmin Descent G1 (dive-focused watch), however typically was overwhelmed barely by the Garmin Intuition 2. It didn’t have any huge errors, however simply wasn’t write-home-great both. I fear that for a tool positioned to compete for the following 1-2 years, it might need challenges doing in order different distributors implement dual-frequency GPS on the mid-range tiers. I believe you may get by with out dual-frequency so long as your common GNSS efficiency is ok, and that is proper on the road of ‘advantageous’. Once more, not unhealthy, simply not nice.

(Be aware: The entire charts in these accuracy sections have been created utilizing the DCR Analyzer instrument.  It lets you examine energy meters/trainers, coronary heart price, cadence, pace/tempo, GPS tracks, and lots extra. You need to use it as properly on your personal gadget comparisons, extra particulars ..)

Wrap-Up:

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The Polar Pacer Professional is a conflicting watch to me. From a usability standpoint, it largely works properly and does precisely what it says it’s going to do. If I examine it to present higher-end Polar watches, they mainly simply gave you virtually no motive to purchase their higher-end models – with only some options lacking. And the show is unquestionably extra readable – which is nice. The half that leaves me conflicted is that in some ways I really feel like that is principally simply re-arranging the (options) chairs on the deck. Exempting the brand new stroll check that clearly didn’t work, t.’s nothing new from Polar .. And I fear, not sufficient motion to excite potential consumers away from the competitors.

What makes this much more conflicting is that within the grand scheme of issues, Garmin & COROS additionally do the identical when it comes to taking higher-end options and shifting them downstream to cheaper watches. Besides the basic (and big) distinction is the pace at which that occurs. Polar is basically taking options from 4-7 years in the past and shifting them down-level. W.as when Garmin iterates to the sub-$300 stage, it’s taking options from 1-2 years in the past and making them obtainable. If we have a look at this watch purely from a operating standpoint (which is how Polar explicitly markets it) – it has a really difficult time competing with the $199-$299 competitors together with Garmin & COROS (particularly in Garmin’s case with PacePro, or COROS’s case with the $199 pricing). And I solely anticipate that hole to considerably widen over the course of 2022.

The extra I give it some thought, I believe Polar’s mistake was truly making an attempt to revive the Polar Pacer branding for this watch and billing it as a “Runner’s Watch”. Sure, it really works good for runners, however from a runner’s standpoint, it’s simply not aggressive to the opposite choices. As an alternative, w. it’s extremely aggressive is as a triathlete/multisport watch. It’s a really very excellent deal t., and whereas COROS is less expensive at $199, COROS can’t maintain a candle to Polar’s efficiency monitoring and every day exercise features (and even the Polar Movement app/platform).

I don’t know learn how to tie all that up right into a nifty bow to finish this overview in a single satisfying paragraph, aside from to say that typically it’s not in regards to the expertise or the options, however the way you body the intentions. And on this case, regardless of how good the tech is, it’s framed for the incorrect viewers. However should you’re a triathlete, it’s a hidden gem.

With that – thanks for studying!

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