Polar RCX5 - Accuracy

By Cliff Jones



Our Score:


With just the basics or all this kit combined, you’re all set to train and upload your workouts to the Polar Personal Trainer website and view or share your cadence, heart rate and a wealth of information.

Uploading to the site is easier than any sport watch we have used. The USB stick recognised the watch and started uploading new data straight away and was free from the software install errors and aborted uploads we have experienced with the Garmin models, and free from the USB connectivity issues of the Nike Sportwatch.

Once you’re logged in, there is a focus on training as well as analysis and you can set yourself goals as part of a fitness regime.

As you can see from one of our test runs, there are plenty of statistics and you can share your individual runs with your friends via email or social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter.

We were disappointed at not being able to zoom in to the extent you can on the Garmin service, so we couldn't conduct our customary “wiggle test” in which we strafe down a street from side to site in order to test the accuracy of the GPS tracking. On a monitor set at 1920x1200, we could zoom into the Garmin Connect so the span of the screen covered 55m of road. On the Polar site, the maximum width covered a wider area of 2.3 miles across, which didn't provide much detail although it was fine for a overview of the route.

We found a slight GPS variance between the Garmin Forerunner and the Polar G5 unit on longer runs. Tested over a half marathon, the RCX5 gifted us an advantage over the distance, which the Polar product said we ran 35 seconds faster than its rival at 1:54:20, although it's hard to say which one was right. We'd like to think it was the faster time, and as flattery will get you everywhere, we're happy to further sing the praises of the Polar, which handles mutli-sport training better than any of its rivals.


September 27, 2011, 11:48 pm

Not in the same class price-wise but I was very disappointed with the build quality of a Polar S410 that I purchased for my wife. The material covering the buttons was repeatedly prone to cracking and then the whole lot would disintegrate. My wife is by no means a power user of all of the watches functions, often simply wearing the watch to tell start and end times of a run, so its not like the buttons got a lot of abuse. Even when replaced (at a charge) by Polar the same buttons failed again (the large red one on the front and two of the side ones). The strap also proved to be a weak point, with the shorter length that holds the buckle failing in two different places. I don't know what Polar's reputation for reliability is but I was put off getting a Polar myself and stuck with a simple Timex that proved very capable and durable. I'm now considering other options to give me more information, such as Garmin solutions, so this review caught my eye. I'm not sure, though, if just sticking to the Timex and combining it with an app like Endomondo on a lightweight smartphone would be just as useful.


September 28, 2011, 1:47 pm

The build quality on the RCX5 is very good. The strap is more flexible and rubberised which suggested to me it won't dry out and crack the way that my older 1st gen Polar watch has.

Garmin announced a revamp of its Forerunner 210 yesterday. I have been very impressed with the Endomondo app. Free apps are rapidly changing the game for Sat-Nav and GPS watches are no exception. Just a shame that data plans are less generous now.

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April 10, 2012, 3:05 pm

I was born to be cyclist.I have used Polar RCX5.It is really good stuff with indeed a difference.I like polar watches and I have my collection of polar.thanks for sharing.heart rate watch Monitors

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