'ACCURATE CALIBRATION TAKES A WHILE AFTER THAT ITS SPOT ON.'
Strengths: Very accurate once calibrated properly and never drops out like a GPS monitor. I have ran through deep mud, heather, streams, long grass and been waist deep in the sea whilst using it and it has never failed nor has the foot pod come off. The computer software is excellent. You can examine each run in datail in terms of speed, heart rate and altitude as well as automatically showing your weekly total mileage, calories, time in specific training zones etc. The interval settings are good for making you work hard if you have to do speedwork alone. The watch has three displays and you can change two of them display to show whatever you want re time, stopwatch, lap time, split time, speed or distance. The third only shows heart rate.
Weaknesses: The battery in the foot pod never lasts long and occasionally will die mid run. The chest strap is no use on hill runs as it always ends up around my waist no matter how tight I set the strap before hand. I found that the calibration was poor when I done it by the book. It took a long time to get the calibration anywhere near close to Polar's claimed tolerances. To get an accurate calibration I ran a known accurate distance of 5 miles which I checked against the watch. If the watch measured long I would go to manual calibration and slightly lower the calibration number and visa versa. It is now always within about 2 tenths of a mile. If the batery on the foot pod dies mid run the watch shows a error message and not the time etc. You have to press a button to get the stopwatch back which returns to the error message after a few seconds.
Overall: It takes a bit of learning and some times a bit of thought to get it to be accurate but once it is then it does what Polar says it's meant to. If you run a lot and like to keep track of your mileage and/or performance then its a great bit of kit.