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skoptic
Reviewed: 08 March 2006

GREAT INVESTMENT FOR RUNNER OR TRIATHLETE

Good accuracy 97% or better every time in 2 years.

None of problems that GPS can cause - the footpod tells you exact speed & disctance in the city, woods - absolutely anywhere!

Perfect for a triathlete - buy the generic polar bike speed & cadence sensors and suddenly you have a single unit that will track all of your swim, bike & run sessions.

Tests & programmed sessions. Its a very powerful watch which lets you run VO2 & fitness tests. Also you can setup the watch to take you through pre-planned sessions - it will count intervals, or check your HR or speed stay within a region.

The polar software which comes with the watch is brilliant - this is where full training history & analysis comes in.
With such a powerful unit - there is obviously quite a lot of info in the manual. But if you're spending £250 - I'd rather have more than less and once you have absored the manual - the day to day usability is very easy.

Getting caught on a night out wearing it gets you lots of stick from your friends (which you can remedy by talking them through the last long run you did!)
This unit helps me define my training - it may seem expensive, but I feel like I have recouped my money 10-fold in a couple of years.

If I lost mine today - I wouldn't hesitate and buying a new one tomorrow (makes me sound very dependant!)
Score breakdown



Performance:
5.0
Ease of use:
4.0
Value:
4.0

nick upton 2
Reviewed: 08 March 2006

A HANDY LITTLE BIT OF KIT ONCE YOU USED TO ALL THE SETTINGS

gives reliable readouts can be used anywere, from the watch files can be downloaded to pc to check long term progess
can take some time to get used to all the buttons and thus setting the watch up may need some patience
the s625x is a reliable bit of kit with this watch you ge to check pace samples calories used ,distance ,pace speed ,heart rate, v02 and a fitness test only downside is in setting up the watch and transferring to pc can be a pain
Score breakdown



Performance:
4.0
Ease of use:
2.0
Value:
3.0

Andreas Stradis
Reviewed: 08 March 2006

THE ALL-EMBRACING MULTISPORT TOOL

The watch will synchronise with your PC to both design and monitor your training.

The over-training test makes sure that you don't become stagnant, or, if you do, that you are aware of it - this is perhaps the most dangerous pitfall for runners and cyclists.

Can be used in conjunction with Polar bike accessories, making it great for those of us who like to dabble in triathlon/duathlon.

Worth considering over GPS, as it is very accurate regarding speed and distance, and still takes altitude into account. No waiting around in the cold for a GPS lock, and no '3600 metres per second' speed readings! (Though this can be flattering).

Poor students like me will be pleased by the fact that it doubles as a watch (shock horror!) with up to six reminders too - I knew there was a reason why I found myself in lectures all term!
Switching between bike and run requires stopping the programme you are on and recalibrating the watch, which is enervating (unlike a GPS such as Timex where you just hop on or off your bike and hit 'lap'). To get it fully rigged-up for the bike is pricey too, and involves the installation and testing of lots of parts. A GPS unit is only a couple of pieces of equipment. The foot-pod has to be calibrated for each pair of shoes you have too: beware, make sure you have it in the same position each time!
First and foremost, this is a precision heart rate monitor. I have had other brands, but this gives the most detailed feedback, both during and after exercise, especially with the VO2 predictions, overtraining tests and progress reviews.

As far as multisport is concerned, it can be a bit fiddley for triathletes due to the transition problems between sports (see 'weaknesses'). But it is functional, beeps at you when you're not pushing hard enough (or too hard!) and guarantees a weird sense of satisfaction when you bring up your week's training on screen on Sunday afternoon.
Score breakdown



Performance:
4.0
Ease of use:
3.0
Value:
3.0

helbelle
Reviewed: 08 March 2006

VERY NICE PIECE OF KIT

Large numbers
User friendly
You can have a lot of info on the screen
Polar customer service is dire
Watch is too big and very unattractive
A great piece of kit for running but not for a good dress watch!
Score breakdown



Performance:
4.0
Ease of use:
4.0
Value:
4.0

benja
Reviewed: 08 March 2006

LIVE IN A CITY? THEN THIS IS FOR YOU!

1. If you regularly run in a built up area then you can forget the supposedly more accurate GPS systems - tall buildings block satellite signals - and getting accurate measurements in the centre of London is nigh on impossible.

The polar S525x does not have this problem.

Ok, you are supposed to calibrate the footpod first - but even if you don't the measurements are remarkably accurate.

2. It's incredibly easy to use - and you can get a tailored combination of stats on screen at any time (I generally choose %HR, time elapsed and distance - but you could go for actual HR, split distance, split time, etc)

3. Unlike most GPS systems - It's not bulky! you have nothing strapped to your arm!

4. If you are considering using online training packages such as www.trainsmart.com - a large number of these packages only work with polars.

5. And finally - its a Polar - should you need a servicing or a new HRM strap you know you are not going to be left to your own devices - a trip to the local running shop should sort you out.
There are a few weaknesses.

1. If you are a serious triathlete you can buy cadence, power and speed sensors to fit your bike that all work with this device - but I've not managed to find a serious cyclist who has been able to use these reliably. I've had to revert to using my CatEye again.

2. The memory recall is difficult to operate. I now record all my stats directly after finishing a work out, rather than waiting until another workout has been completed.

3. Polar software doesn't work with a Mac! Not the end of the world though - there are a number of internet sites that offer ways round this.

4. Again, if you are a triathlete, there is no quick way of switching between the cycle and run modes - so you can't use this device for recording accurate time / distance for both legs of a triathlon or duathlon (but then again, most GPS systems are too bulky to wear when racing - so offer no advantage over the Polar here)
I own both the Timex bodylink and the Polar S625x.

My device of choice? The Polar - everytime.

Not only do I know I wont lose a satellite signal mid way through my run (or get interference from anyone else's device), it weighs almost nothing, gives me all the info I need on one screen and is frighteningly accurate.

Polar - you need to make a few tweaks to make this the perfect machine for multi-sport athletes - but you're getting there.
Score breakdown



Performance:
4.0
Ease of use:
5.0
Value:
4.0

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