Polar RS200 Heart Rate Monitor Watch Review
Polar RS200 is a fully customizable watch with fast and easy to use functions. If you want to create different ranges of heart rates while you are running or resting or working. It provides all that options so that you can constantly monitor your heart rate at each modes of working.
With the digitized output, you can set 5 different screens with three distinctive output parameters. You can receive outputs like heart rate, total calories burnt, total time of running, total distance covered, average speed of running, etc. With the heart touch function, you can change the screens whenever you want to do.
Watch has an exciting feature of “Night mode/ sleep mode” to minimize battery usage when you are not using it. In this mode, if you bring watch near the wear link coded heart rate transmitter, backlight turns on automatically for next 5 seconds. The watch accuracy has no match with other heart rate monitors as it gives you a pin point reading even up to 7+ mile runs.
To keep a track of your daily fitness, upload your exercise logs on polar online personal trainer website. There you can view graphical analysis of your data which will tell you where you stand on performance charts.
If you feel you are performing better, then you can even compare results with other performers and can win exclusive rewards. For help guide, you can download polar fitness programs to divert your hard work in the right direction.
Polar RS200 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Black)Polar RS200 is a PC compatible watch so that you can link your data with convenience. This watch has been specially designed for the use of biking, running, etc. Therefore, it has a S1 footpad along with the wrist and chest unit to measure your running pace with precision.
It has electroluminescent backlight with a good battery back-up. Watch is a good water resistant and can run accurately up to the depths of 50m.
The watch has a comfortable chest strap and an efficient transmitter. After attaching transmitter with chest belt, you have to wet the 2 diodes with the proper electrode gel. Then you can view your heart rate on wrist monitor afterwards.
Polar gives you other excellent features of “Polar Own zone” and “Polar Own Cal” too. They help you to determine your exercise zone, calories burnt and energy expenditure during one workout. Watch can be easily synched with all your gym machines.
LCD display is of green light which makes it partially visible during day times. Watch has no single button functionality so you have to use more finger tips to run it. Before you upload your data, your connection should be working fine. Otherwise it will display “Errors in Connection.”
Ever since I bought this watch and its foot pod combo, I’ve never shared its ups and downs, since I did not know much about it then. But now that I’ve used it for almost 10 months, I feel like I know it too well and I can share the knowledge with other interested people.
Some people refer to the HRMs/Sports-Watches as “running computer”, and that is what I exactly needed for my workouts. I settled on Polar RS200, which I truly like because it is very carefully designed –no wonder it took time before it was released. The monitor is made with the user in mind since the control options are all customizable. During my workouts, I can set five different readings on the display, which show three different measurements, such as heart rate, total time, the total distance, lap time, calorie burned and a few others.
What’s more, its five screens are not fixed to specific units so I can choose to use only two of them to display the information that is relevant to me. To customize the output is very easy; in fact, I do it while running without affecting my pace. You can also make the watch automatically change the heart-rate functions for you, and you can do this by placing the watch close to the chest strap.
This watch enables you to customize not only the outputs, but virtually everything. You can use the available work routines, which include free, basic or interval, or you can use the user-created. In my case, I have created my own routines namely “Easy”, “Long” and “Fast”, and each has different heart rate target zone. This way I monitor my performance much easily and efficiently. And When I’m not using the watch, I set the watch to sleep mode, which turn it off to save battery.
The integrated Fitness Test enable the watch to determine my resting hear rate and VO2 maximum. Yes, I can manually measure my heart rate while resting by counting the number of heart beats per minute, but the watch is much accurate. It listens to the heart beat for close to five minutes, something that is very difficult to do by oneself, but again, what are machines for?
The event countdown calendar helps me to plan by letting me know, at any moment, the days I have before an event. I’m preparing for the San Francisco Marathon (my first), and you can imagine how this watch has been useful to me. It is motivating when it does that.
The foot pod is a masterpiece of design, sturdily made, smooth and as round as a sea stone. Physically, it is a little bit heavier and larger than I thought, but I hardly feel it when training. You can not tell its location once you put in your shoe, so nobody can notice it when you are doing your workouts. It is programmed to switch off after a specified period of inactivity, which is great, as it helps you conserve the power and prolong the battery life.
The chest strap is equally good, and I have not had any problem with it at all. I wet just a little before use and lightly wash it in warm water after my workouts. It is very comfortable and far much better than the designs I’ve previously used.
Generally, I like the entire design of the Polar RS200, but design alone can’t offer it five star rating. Since I bought it, I’ve noted that there a few things it ought to do better! Here are a few concerns you might notice:
1. The foot pod took a long time to calibrate. Polar state very that the foot pod is 97% accurate on the first use, and this implies that the calibration should range from 0.097 to 1.03. However, this was completely not the case with mine. I ran 1200 meters, which is equivalent to 3 laps, and the calibration read 1.093, which is such a large error margin. I even tried to cover routes with known distances, but the calibration was still way off, reading between 1.004 and 1.027. I used manual calibration of 1.010, which I generated through triangulation and interpolation, for a while. But now the foot pod’s accuracy has greatly improved and the error margin stands at +/-0.002 meters per meter. This equivalent to 99% accuracy, which I’m quite comfortable with, but Polar claims the foot pod can achieve 100% accuracy.
It is important to learn from my experience with the foot pod. The device is good for approximating distances. However, if you want accuracy and precision, which is normally the case in competition, you will have to do a lot more. I suggest you train on courses with known distances, at least this way you can note the error and help you improve the accuracy which is good for your performance. You will need to recalibrate the foot pod whenever you change your shoes or the running surface (e.g. tarmac to grass) since this has direct effect on the mileage output by the device.
2. My watch has freeze out half a dozen of times within the past nine months. It more like hangs up and leave the screen blank. There is nothing you can do, at least, if it had a power cable like a PC, I could just remove the power source and restart it. But in this case, the only solution is a global reset which involves pressing all the four side buttons at-a-go. This is very distressful because whenever it happened, I lost the whole training data, leave alone the time I stop to reset it. Don’t’ chicken out, you don’t loose any data previously saved; you only loose your current session data!
3. The foot pod a battery power indictor, so you can’t tell whether you are running out of power or when to do the replacement. It could die while you are in the middle of an event. I’ve made it a routine to change the batteries if they have been used for more than 20 hours. To overcome the two last annoyances, I do a global rest and change batteries ahead of a big event I’m participating in.
In total, the Polar RS200 is a fantastic sport watch and a heart rate monitor. Though it has a few drawbacks, it is way far much better than many models in the market and the issues cannot dissuade you from getting it. Polar is the way to go! [/wptab]
- Altimeter: No
- Barometer: No
- Compass: No
- Stopwatch: Yes
- Chronograph: No
- Thermometer: No
- Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
- PC Compatible: Yes
- Waterproof: Water resistant up to 50 meters
- Backlight/ Electroluminescent: Yes
- Alarms: Yes, with snooze
- Size: Medium
- Recommended Use: Running, biking
- Wrist-style heart rate monitor and stopwatch in black geared for runners
- With included S1 footpad, take advantage of the RS200’s Speed and Distance functions
- Polar’s OwnZone helps determine an individual exercise zone; calorie counter and goal management
- OwnCal feature shows your energy expenditure during one exercise session and accumulated expenditure
- Dual time zone, alarm with snooze, and water resistance to 50 meters