The sleek minimalist design allows this feature-packed dynamo to double as an everyday watch and ensures a comfortable fit for training and racing. With the launch of the V800 GPS integrated triathlon watch, Polar has created perhaps the most technologically advanced unit on the market. The tasteful design even extends to the two-colour watch band on our blue model with its vibrant red highlights (the unit also comes in black and white). The heavy-duty but pliable, double-buckle band secures a firm fit great for long hours of training.
The watch features customizable display fields for multiple data readings for cycling, running, swimming or just about any other sport you want to add. The triathlon specific option even allows you to shift between swim-bike-run with a light tap to the bottom left button. That option even records T1 and T2 times as you move through each discipline. Thinking about training at altitude? The unit provides altitude readings via its integrated barometric pressure sensor.
The Smart Calories feature tracks the amount of calories burned and the Running Index charts how your running performance is developing over time. You can store and view up to four weeks of data.
Compatible with existing Polar Bluetooth Smart running and cycling sensors, the V800 connects to the Polar Flow app to allow fitness planning and analysis. The unit connects through Bluetooth for sensors and phones. The integrated GPS tracks speed, distance and maps your route. A hybrid transmitter reads heart rate even under water (to 30 m).
Of the most standout features, the unit also tracks your recovery and suggests how many hours are needed before hitting that intensity again. The unit is linked to Polar’s Smart Coaching features which optimize training benefits, provide an array of feedback from personalized targets, as well as motivational encouragement. Smart Coaching links heart rate monitors to mobile apps and web service. You can store and view up to four weeks of data.
If you or your coach want a baseline for your fitness markers, the V800 has two quick, built-in testing methods to track fitness. The Orthostatic test (which analyzes the effects of overtraining) and the Fitness Test can give you fairly instantaneous responses.
A low-frequency battery will get 13hrs of GPS time in 1-second recording mode. The GPS picks up satellite much faster than earlier units and an icon in the lower right corner displays what percentage of the signal has been reached. Not only is it a fine looking piece of equipment, but the V800 will help you take your swim, bike and run to the next level.
At $500 without heart rate sensor and $560 with heart rate sensor, it’s an investment, but you’re getting a lot of functionality for what you pay.
Stay tuned as we put the Polar V800 through its paces at the Cannes International Triathlon on April 13.