As you know, I’ve recently switched GPS watches and am loving my Polar V800. I don’t want this post to be about bashing my old GPS watch but every time I go out and run I am amazed by some of the rad things the V800 does that I always wished my old one could. 

I mean there are tons of things the V800 does that my other watch couldn’t simply because it is a higher-level, multi-sport training watch but it’s some of the little functionalities that make me smile every single time I run with it.

1. It vibrates!

This is such a small thing but I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that the V800 vibrates some of it’s tones instead of only offering a chime option. When I run long road runs, I usually listen to music and I love that I get a little buzz at the km markers etc. instead of having to listen for the chime and look down.

2. It can track splits for each km AND custom intervals too!

This one used to drive me insane with my old watch. If you set a custom interval timer, all of your data was organized according to those intervals only (i.e. 10:1 intervals). You simply couldn’t get it to also provide you with data for each km if you were also using custom intervals. I like both. Even though I run 10:1 intervals a lot of times, I’ve always still been interested in my per km splits but could never do that with my old watch.

My lovely V800 gives me both! I can easily switch between the automatic per-km splits and whatever data points I set with the custom interval timer. You can even have it divide the data into a few preset intervals like 0.5km, 1km, 2km etc. This makes a data nerd like me so happy.

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 8.48.42 PM

3. It records temperature too!

Again, just a small thing but it makes me happy. My old watch would only give a single temperature reading when you finally uploaded your data but with my V800 I can set temperature to be one of the data fields displayed right on the watch and I love that.

4. The autopause works really well!

Autopause is a pretty common option on GPS watches I think but it was always really slow and sluggish on my old watch. When I would be at the track, it was always just easier to manually stop and start my watch because it would take forever to actually sense that I’d stopped and then to restart again after I’d moved. My V800 is super quick and stops timing when I break for a drink and it back up and running just a few steps away. It makes running intervals at the track so much easier!

Even rainy days at the track are easier when I don’t have to worry about fiddling with my watch...

Even rainy days at the track are easier when I don’t have to worry about fiddling with my watch…

5. It syncs wirelessly with my phone!

One of the things I really love about my Polar is that there is a whole Polar Flow iPhone app that can be used to view and analyze your data. I find this feature so handy when I’m travelling or not able to get to the computer to view my data. Or you know, when I’m home after a big race and too lazy to do the whole connect-to-the-computer-and-upload thing. A simple few button presses on my watch and bam, the data is all there.

6. It has far better data analysis capabilities!

I’m a bit of a data nerd and really enjoy looking through all of my data after a big or important run. My other watch had a decent little online program for checking it out but the Polar Flow website is far beyond. One of my favourite things is how you can specify a segment of your run and Flow will show you the data just for that segment. This little trick is awesome for looking at a particular part of your run in more detail, something I could never do before.

You can specify any segment of your run and it will give you the data averaged for just that segment

You can specify any segment of your run and it will give you the data averaged for just that segment

7. It can last more than a day without charging!

The battery life on the Polar is almost ridiculous. Especially considering that it has a full time activity tracker and everything, I feel like I rarely ever have to put it on the charger. It’s amazing. My poor old watch pretty much needed to be charged after every run which was super inconvenient.

I’ve only seen this message once in several months!

I’ve only seen this message once in several months!

Now like I said, the V800 does many more amazing things than what I’ve mentioned here and it’s capabilities go far beyond. As I’m getting to know my little blue beauty however, it’s these simple things that I really notice because it makes using this watch so easy, like it’s not even there. And I love that.

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  1. Betsy    

    I use a Garmin watch but have always wondered about Polar! Interesting to hear some of the differences!
    Betsy recently posted…Gayle’s Chocolates Recap PLUS Giveaway!My Profile

    1. slowfastnik    

      There are so many bigger, more fundamental differences between the Polar and Garmin. At the heart of it though I just find the Polar so much easier and more convenient to use than my old watch. Definitely worth checking out!

  2. David    

    Warning: possibly nerdy comment ahead

    The V800 uses the latest SiRF chipset which is much more accurate than the MediaTek chipset that Garmin (and, I think, Suunto) have been using lately. See for a comparison. The V800 is almost as accurate as a calibrated footpod for average pace.

    The increased accuracy of the Autopause feature is probably also related to the higher quality GPS chipset. The SiRF III chipset in my 910XT seems to be pretty quick on the auto-pause on the few occasions that I use it. Most of the time, though, I don’t enable auto-pause on my watch and let the logging software calculate the moving time after the fact. Both SportTracks and Strava will do it. I think this gives me the best of both worlds since I can look at things like heart rate recovery while I’m standing at a light but also get average moving time for analysis.

  3. Marcin    

    I use polar and i am really satisfied. The only problem i have noted is awaiting for GPS connection – takes few minutes. When bought it was fast catching after synchonizing with up-dates sth go wrong…

    1. slowfastnik    

      I haven’t had any major issues with connection yet but find it can be very dependent on my location…

  4. Matt Mason    

    i just got my V800 last week and use it primarily for cycling, swimming and activity tracker. It is perfect!

    1. slowfastnik    

      You bet it is! I’m not used to having so much functionality all in one watch! Maybe if I ever get brave enough to try triathlons, I’ll be all set!

  5. Thor    

    Compare it with Fenix 3 or epix. By far the Garmin devices seems better, what could be the feature that V800 owns that epix not?. Also will trackback feature implemented on V800 someday?.

    1. Vence    

      My favorite feature is a simple one. The V800 can show four data field at once. This translates to me not having to scroll through screens to see: total time, heart rate, pace, and distance during a race. One feature that the V800 does not have is the ability to measure cadence, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation like the Garmin 620 and 920 do. But with the battery in my past Garmins becoming unchargeable in 18 months, I prefer Polar. The V800 is the update to the RS800 with an internal gps rather than a separate unit.

      1. slowfastnik    

        Yes, I love how customizable the screens are. I have a few set up that I can scroll through depending on how detailed I want to get on the run!

      2. Ramon    

        Also, no Trackback, no load routes, no programming features, no color device, no touch screen, no mapping capabilities, umm I agree with Thor, I see that epix is more complete…

      3. Dick    

        Garmin can also show datafields per page. But the way it is customizable on the Polar and not restricted to 4 pages is much more convenient. I’m missing the autoscroll though.

        1. slowfastnik    

          I agree, I liked how my old watch would scroll through the different screens of data as I ran. Maybe in a future update?

    2. Ricardo    

      Garmin watches look very cheap, made of plastic.. Polar watches are made of quality materials.. Even the fenix 3 sapphire looks so cheap watch and screen so dull.. All the marketing pictures of garmin watches u find on the Internet are far from reality.

      Polar may not have as many features as garmin but what they have works fine.

      Polar v800 is EXTREMELY accurate gps wise, fenix 3 is all over the place.. In fact v800 has the best gps in the market.

  6. Crystal    

    I recently (& finally) got around to uploading my data on my computer. It’s addictive. I love my Garmin 910XT but your Polar looks pretty cool. I won’t be purchasing a new watch for awhile but I will definitely keep it in mind when I do. Great review!
    Crystal recently posted…Stocking my bookshelfMy Profile

    1. slowfastnik    

      Yeah it’s pretty rad how much functionality it has! I’m a bit of a data nerd so it’s nice to be able to look at it and analyze it in so many ways!

  7. Annette    

    Glad I read this. I’m new to the GPS watch world and had been considering a Garmin, but wasn’t sold on it because it didn’t have the auto pause feature. I will be checking out polars now!
    Annette recently posted…Spring Forward in Winter WeatherMy Profile

  8. Humphrey    

    Had v800 over 4 months now and wear it as my day to day watch. What a bit of kit it is.. . My old garmin was good and the tom-tom was very good. But the polar v800 is another ball game entirely.

    1. slowfastnik    

      I completely agree! And that’s what I love about it too, it does everything I need for training, yet is still comfortable enough to wear everyday. Glad you love it!

  9. Nicole    

    Having a hard time figuring out how to get weather as a display setting on the Polar V800. I keep seeing and hearing this is an option, but going through the directions and online posts/videos, it doesn’t tell how to get this to work. Any help would he appreciated!!!

    1. slowfastnik    

      Hmm, weather in the display, eh? I don’t actually know about that feature myself but I’ll certainly look into it!

  10. Jessica Julie    

    thanks for share such kind of informative article that helps a lot . i also wrote some articles on polar watch heart rate monitor you can check at Gps-Enabled Sport Watch .

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