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Polar RCX5 - Pricing and verdict

By Cliff Jones

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Cyclists can add a cycling cadence sensor to their cyberman training get-up. Perhaps more importantly to some, the watch, stride sensor and the heart rate monitor are waterproof to 30 metres, something only the bulky Garmin 310 can claim in the Forerunner range, making them perfect for triathletes.

The RCX5 also does a great job of reporting your data via the watch itself, allowing you to view at a phenomenal amount of information about each session on the dispay without having to upload your stats and visit the website to analyse your workout.

We were less impressed with the price, at £323 for the GPS model, and at an extra £109 for the S3 stride sensor, you’ll be shedding the pounds in more ways than one.

Other packages breakdown as follows:

  • Polar RCX5 with Heart Rate Monitor - £267.50
  • RCX5 Run, which includes the above plus the S3 stride sensor £329.50
  • Polar RCX5 BIKE includes CS speed sensor, HRM and bike mount £296.37

Accessories:

  • G5 GPS sensor £ 110.46
  • S3 stride sensor £109

Verdict

The RCX5 is a training watch with a difference. While it doesn't have built-in GPS, it is thinner and easier to use than many of its rivals, it’s waterproof and it records vast amounts of data in a way which is easy to interpret. It's not perhaps the best all in one solution if you're just into getting out and about and tracking where you've been but if you really want to improve your fitness, the Polar RCX5 means business.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 10
  • Design 7
  • Features 6
  • Performance 7
  • Usability 9
  • Value 6

T800

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.

Cliff

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.

heart rate watch Monitors

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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