Reviewed: 08 March 2006
THE BEST POD BASED HRM
Gives excellent calorific feedback, easy to use for different sports such as going to the gym, cycling, running, data transferred to PC very easy to read and play with, screen easy to read and customise.
Inaccurate mileage readings,even after callibration. They differ by around 1-4 miles depending on whether you're running fast or slow. (Slow run readings are usually more accurate for me). I tend to measure the mileage by car or on the net to doublecheck what I'm doing.
Also, the chest readings can go crazy now and again. I think this may be down to the HRM strap getting clogged with sweat salt, etc, though washing didn't appear to help ( think the detergent then clogged the fabric!) I find keeping it soaked in cold water for a half a day after exercise then drying it out keeps it hassle free. Also, when running, if the readings go whacko which they do after around 2 hours, pull it away from the chest, wipe underneath then replace, then it will settle down.
Another thing, the ascent/descent readings aren't accurate and after a run, it will show when I get back to my house it's lower than when I left it! To me though, I don't find that a problem as it's something I don't really monitor.
Finally, the battery life in the chest strap is about a year and the watch, 2 years, and Polar recommend you return it to them to replace. I wouldn't want to do that and go without it for a while as I train every day, so I replaced the chest strap when the battery was low. My watch battery hasn't needed to be replaced yet, unsure whether I'll simply replace it with a Garmin which has a rechargeable battery, or get it changed at a nearby jewellers.
If you run in an area unsuitable for GPS, I would say this is probably the best pod based HRM out there. However, if the new Garmin 305 is as good as they say in picking up a reception, I think Polar will struggle to compete unless they improve the mileage accurace and sort out an internal rechargeable battery.