Polar has packed lots of features into this top-end unit, more than enough to satisfy the most diligent coach. There’s even an altimeter.
The Polar RS800CX wristwatch looks more stylish than Polars of old and its large screen can be read at a glance. An excellent feature is the ability to customise the display, so you can specify what you need to see within three data fields. Set-up was very straightforward, both for the watch and Pro Trainer 5 software. Polar has done well to keep it very user friendly; simple menus and choices guide you through with ease.
The GPS is optional but an excellent asset to the Polar RS800CX. An armband-style receiver is all that’s required, transmitting data via W.I.N.D. 2.4 GHz transmission. With the software linked to Google Earth, a satellite shot of your training route with colour-coded route line depicting your effort level at any given time is a unique and very interesting aspect. There’s no hiding from this novel way to assess your training.
Heart-rate monitoring might currently be playing second fiddle to power measurement as a specific training parameter, but the RS800CX still has lots to offer and will definitely appeal to the gadgeteers. It's a disappointment that Polar hasn’t got round to making Mac-compatible software though.