The Polar V800 is Polar`s multisport flagship model. As such, it has undergone some drastic improvements and is more complex and beefy than its predecessor the Polar M400.
Being a multisport watch, it`s not a surprise that it draws a comparison as well as competes head-to-head with similar and common multisport watches such as TomTom Cardio, Garmin 920XT and Suunto Ambit 3.
Like the Omni-competent Garmin, the V800 is designed with the triathletes in mind. It comes with both pool and open water modes, as well as run and cycle tracks.
Though beefier than its predecessor, it does not come with a built-in HR monitor, meaning you will have to put up with a stand-alone chest rate to monitor your heart rate.
Read on as we explore go into details of what this remarkable piece has to offer.
What Makes Polar V800 Awesome?
- GPS SPORT WATCH: Advanced multisport GPS Watch for serious sports enthusiasts and professional athletes who want to reach peak performance, the built-in GPS keeps track of your ride, run or hike measuring your speed, distance and route
- ADVANCED TRAINING WATCH: Create and customize profiles for different sports and get exactly the data and guidance you need for each activity
- FITNESS TRACKER: Combines training load with 24/7 activity data for true recovery status. Polar Flow web service compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6, OS X 10.7, OS X 10.8, or later, and PC Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, or later
- HEART RATE MONITOR INCLUDED: Use the Polar H7 heart rate sensor while training and even while swimming
- TRIATHLON WATCH: Compatibility with Bluetooth Smart running and cycling sensors provide even more details about your training. Compatible third-party power meters
More Unique Features That Make V800 Interesting
In comparison to its rivals, the V800 is a bit of a chunky beast. However, the compact and sturdy build, thanks to the 12.7mm thick stainless steel body in combo with a wide rubber strap covers up for the lack of svelteness.
Sporting an overtly macho design, this activity tracking device bounded by aluminum, which hosts alloy buttons, merging into stainless steel back. As such, it is built to handle anything you throw at it and will withstand serious rough and tumble.
On the downside though, is the distinct heft which not only makes the watch uncomfortable to wear, but it`s not attractive as well.
With regards to the band, the watch comes with a wide enough strap that conceals the bespoke charge and sync port. Additionally, the strap plays hosts to a double-buckle for safety and convenience.
Aside from the protruding heft, the overall design is solid, provides a comfortable experience and a pleasing feeling of permanence, which is essential if you are to swim in open water.
There is no clear-cut distinction between the V800 and V400 display. They both come with 128 by 128-pixel resolution monochrome display. The only difference is perhaps the nice addition of beveled Gorilla Glass cover in the mix in the V800, which enhances waterproofing.
Concerning brightness, the Polar V800 comes with a backlit dot matrix LCD number, which Polar has dubbed a "high-resolution display." As such, the backlight is not only bright, but it also makes the device a handy night-time running companion as well.
There are two ways of accessing your stats from the V800.
The first one is to download Polar`s software onto your computer and then to create an account with Polar Flow. Polar flow is the company`s portal for viewing your data.
Alternatively, you can download the Polar Flow app on your mobile or tablet. Then you can wirelessly sync to the watch using Bluetooth.
Without the app, you can as well sync by plugging your watch into a computer.
The Polar Flow App is at the core of the V800. The app, which is designed exclusively for Polar devices takes your data management to the next level. The app will allow you to monitor and track all your training activities.
Additionally, the app is multi-oriented and comes with a variety of sports profiles. This is to mean that you can customize your different metrics when running, swimming or cycling.
What users like about the app is the drag and drop operation, which makes it easy to use and convenient.
The V800 is a complete fitness monitor and is configurable for different sports and activities it can track. Though everyone has their own set of requirements and the watch may not exactly match their needs, the overall performance is quite exceptional when it comes to activity and sports tracking.
Let us have a brief overview of the activities tracked by this watch.
Swim. When the V800 was originally released into the market, its support for swimming was minimal. However, Polar later added swim metrics through a firmware update, and this significantly increased the number of swim metrics and options.
When it comes to the swim option, the V800 can record a variety of metrics including recognizing your swim style, number of strokes, speed, number of laps as well as the length of the pool.
Also, as you have guessed it, the watch will even record your heart rate while swimming, but don`t forget to carry to strap with you. According to many users, the heart rate metrics are not quite accurate.
Running. The built-in GPS pick-up is zippy and delivers accurate mapping of your run or hike including speed, distance, rate and average speed among others just like other best gps watches for running we reviewed some time back.
Unlike the Garmin 920XT, the V800 does not provide metrics such as vertical oscillations, running cadence, and steps. However, you can track your cadence with the V800 only if you pair the watch with a large foot pod.
Cycling. When it comes to cycling, the watch supports a variety of cycling health metrics including speed, heart rate, cadence, and power.
The smart notification feature was incorporated into the watch after the firmware update. Though limited, this feature allows you to receive notifications such as calls, text messages, and emails without needing to get your phone from the pocket.
Housing a 350mAh battery, the powerhouse will provide you with 13 hours of training with GPS on and 50 hours in GPS lower mode.
The V800 package deal comes with;
-Heart rate strap
The V800 comes with a one-year warranty
What We Like About the Polar V800
- Durable. Constructed from premium and hard-core materials such as aluminum, Gorilla glass, alloy and stainless steel, the V800 is a robust and durable piece.
- Accuracy. Though subjective, many users are impressed by the remarkable accuracy of the all the V800 metrics including distance on the run, bike, and swim.
- Advanced Features. The V800 has earned its admiration among the fitness world, thanks to its slew of advanced features. Aside from the basic monitoring and tracking features, V800 comes with adjustable training modes, alerts, smart notifications among other exciting features.
What We Don`t Like About Polar V800
Bottom Line on The Polar V800 Sports Watch
The Polar V800 is designed with the triathletes in mind. The ability to set and customize each sport`s profile to the user`s preferences has taken the watch to the next level.
It`s bulkiness, however, is perhaps a huge drawback to the watch. Nonetheless, it`s understandable given all the features that the model packs. While the inclusion of a HR monitor is a huge improvement, we would have loved to see a built-in HR monitor for swim purposes as in the case of Garmin 920XT Watch we have reviewed here.
Nonetheless, you should go for the Polar V800 if you are looking for an affordable multi-sport device that packs plenty of features and is performance-oriented.