Polar V800 Sports Watch

8.2
8.2 score
(GearWeAre.com) score (8.2)/10

Our GearWeAre.com score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
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Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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Polar V800 Sports Watch Review Facts

The Polar V800 is a multi-sport watch that remains a go-to for all serious and casual athletes looking to improve their performance. A top tier, rugged design this watch has an aluminum and stainless steel body, with the face encased in Gorilla glass that enhances it’s water resistant capabilities up to 30 meters. This satellite and accurate GPS enabled watch delivers super battery life, tracks an array of sports, provides smart coaching and even predicts recovery times. It uses the Polar Flow app to plan, customize your workout, and save your activity progress. This companion app allows you to choose from an extended library of workouts and activities you plan on accomplishing that day which you can then sync to the large face and monochrome display. The V800 monitors all workouts, both individual workouts such as strength training, running or cycling, and also multisport exercises like a triathlon program.

This sports watch connects seamlessly with several external Bluetooth enabled sensors including heart rate monitors, foot pods, and speed sensors which provide you with additional information regarding progress. The daily activity tracker includes step counting, burned calories, distance traveled throughout the day, and it also provides a daily goal that is not only based on steps. An inactivity reminder lets you know when you’ve been sitting around too long and it’s time to move, which is a feature many users enjoy. To remain connected to the world, you can also receive call, text and email notifications right on the watch. We go over these superior features below in our comprehensive review to help you decide if your sports plan needs a watch like the Polar V800.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Strong build quality
  • Multisport functionality
  • User-friendly interface
  • Easy Bluetooth sync capabilities
  • Simple functions
  • Long lasting battery life
Cons
  • Bulky for all-day wear
  • Need the online app to analyze data and set goals
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 3 hours analyzing a total of 292 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • For triathlon training and daily fitness tracking, this device works well for a variety of users.
  • It isn't too heavy for race training.
  • Although the watch face is large, overall it is smaller than some competitor's devices. People with small wrists say it isn't too large.
  • Reviewers have successfully used this device for cycling, running, and swimming.
  • This device provides an easy way to record data and track progress.
  • For swimming, it can track speed, laps, and type of stroke.
  • You can connect with social networks through the app.
  • Reviewers say this device is user-friendly.
  • There are positive reviews for the GPS functionality.
  • The watch face is durable and scratch resistant.
  • Many reviewers who have used earlier Polar products are not disappointed by this device.
  • The display is large and easy to read.
  • There are helpful online resources to learn more about all of the features and functions.
  • You can set up text, message, and call notifications.
  • It is possible to sync heart rate chest straps from other makers.
Negative
  • The app is a little lackluster in its data visuals.
  • It is slightly larger than earlier generations of Polar sports watches.
  • Several reviewers report negative customer service experiences with Polar concerning this device.
  • Unfortunately, this sports watch is no longer available from some vendors.
  • One reviewer claims the chest strap is uncomfortable and can cause some cuts on the skin.
  • The included manual is limited.
  • There are mixed reviews about the battery life. While some reviewers are satisfied, others claim it drains too quickly and needs to be charged every couple of days.
  • Keeping the heart rate monitor in place during pool laps has been a struggle for some buyers. On fast turns or push-offs it can move out of place.
  • Bluetooth connectivity has been a problem for a few reviewers.
  • Although there are no complaints about the GPS accuracy, some buyers claim that connectivity can drop out unexpectedly.
  • Early reviewers complain of software issues.
  • A few quality control issues are reported such as cracking on the screen, sweat penetrating the back panel, and the band cracking.
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 292 reviews we found in total, 25% were negative, and 75% were positive.
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Brand

Brand

Polar has been leading the way in technical innovation and heart rate monitors since 1977. Based out of Finland, the features you find in Polar products are based on scientific research testing that is influenced by some of the world’s leading authorities in sports medicine. Responsible for the first ever wearable, wireless heart rate monitor they have now spanned to include fitness trackers, bicycle computers, professional sport and casual lifestyle GPS watches that some users thank for helping them set new PR’s. Heart rate monitoring has become a practice utilized by serious trainers and Polar has made it more accurate and adaptable by enabling Bluetooth connectivity. They continue to develop and release new technology that has a wide fan base amongst amateur and professional athletes.
Features

Features

Made for use during all types of physical activity inside the gym and in the great outdoors. Use this watch to start training for your next triathlon or refresh a fitness plan. This watch features a backlit monochrome LCD screen that is high contrast and sharp. The face is easily viewed in daylight and at night, with the numbers displayed large enough to see even on a moving arm. Polar classifies this screen as a high-resolution display but the simplistic design of the graphics don't exactly hold up to that claim. The strap has a nice soft rubber feel to it that fits securely on all wrists.

Whether you’re hiking, biking, or swimming, the V800 is logging your heart rate, distance and pace then send it to your smartphone through Bluetooth connectivity. It sets daily goals and users can watch the bar on the home screen fill up as you make progress. An inactivity reminder will pop up when you’ve been stationary for too long and the Activity To Go offers suggestions such as walking, jogging, or just standing up, to reach your daily goal. This user-friendly, customizable sports program is available to set on the Polar Flow app and is available for download on most Android and iOS devices. Even while your workout is running on a treadmill, doing laps in a swimming pool, or feeling the major burn in Crossfit, the embedded GPS sensor knows how fast and far you’ve gone and how many calories you’ve burned.
Advanced Features

Advanced Features

The real success of this watch lies in its advanced features that go the extra mile to help improve the wearer’s performance and will also monitor recovery. Built-in guidance on performance and training load, the watch lets you know when you’ve hit maximum levels and measures a recovery period. That recovery period is then tracked with regular status updates. An orthostatic test is prompted on a regular basis to measure users health conditions. The test measures resting heart rate while sitting and standing highlighting any potential overtraining. The external heart rate sensor also provides advanced swim metrics. The V800 also supports power pedal accessories and cadence sensors all connected by Bluetooth. This watch offers smartphone notifications from a synced mobile device so you can leave your phone behind while staying active and focused.
App

App

You can download each session directly through the USB cable to most iOS or Android devices via the Polar Flow mobile app or website. On the phone, you can briefly assess your efforts like visualize your training load, set new goals and training targets, as well as share workout sessions with friends. Once online you can analyze in more detail, set up training programs and customize different metrics you’d like to see while running, swimming, or cycling with the simple drag and drop menu.

The popular Strava fitness app also works with this watch incorporating the social, community aspect of working out in a city or suburban setting and seeing other's progress. By adding a sense of competition some users have enjoyed the boost to their regular workout aiming towards "King of the Mountain" status amongst their peers. Strava offers a free 60-day Premium membership to new V800 users.
Connectivity

Connectivity

After a quick set up online through Polar Flow, you will notice how the V800 is relatively easy to use, pair with, and navigate even if you’ve never used a “smart” sports watch before. While out on the go and depending on what setting you choose, the watch regularly sends and receives data via Bluetooth. It syncs activities with your phone and in reverse receives all message notifications that are easily displayed on the watch face. The advanced GPS capabilities enable you to know the exact distance you’ve traveled, what path and your pace in real time. Some users did experience issues with the watch’s reading of current pace which can be due to a number of reasons involving location. The only fault is in the limitations of GPS technology and not the watch itself, luckily only a few cases like this have occurred. To help solve the pitfalls of outlier technology, Polar offers its Bluetooth enabled sensors to supply a more accurate reading.
Durability

Durability

Built for durability and withstanding the elements, the stainless steel body and rubber material on the band will last as long as you, in and out of the gym. Its substantial weight makes it a very strong device that can take a beating while still performing with precision accuracy. The manufactured Gorilla Glass face is bound by aluminum acting as a scratch and shatter resistant case enhancing toughness and water resistance. It's comfortable and solid, which is a must if you're swimming in open water and don't want to worry about it slipping off your wrist. The added weight just acts as an indicator, reminding you its there. The materials used in this watch add a premium feel, befitting the somewhat higher price point.
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

Polar V800 is a lot of power wrapped in a simple tech-savvy design. Users are able to navigate around the screen with ease using the well-positioned buttons and pick functions within the menu. Customization of the workout plans are limited to the web app but once that is in place simply scroll down the list of different sports options and press start. Although it can be used for almost any activity and sport, this technology really excels at putting together a comprehensive training program for long distance marathons or triathlons that is easy to stick with. Afterward, users were able to quickly sync data between the watch and the app and take advantage of the accelerated charging speed while doing so. Simplicity was a core feature of this version of the V800.
Style

Style

Compared to its competitors sleeker, more compact running watches, the Polar V800 seems substantially bulkier. It has a 12.7mm thick stainless steel body with a wide, thick rubber strap featuring a double buckle clasp. Offered in black, red and blue color options, many users have purchased the black design of this watch for its sleek professional look. What it lacks in slenderness it makes up for in exceptional build quality. This is a watch designed to withstand severe wear and tear that can be experienced in the outdoors or near gym equipment. The textured finish on the metal navigation buttons is a subtle touch, making sure you get full use of the product even when your fingers are wet.

A lot of reviewers are put off by the masculine structure and hefty weight of the V800 that looks funny on small wrists and can get caught easily on shirts or jacket sleeves. This can be an issue that would keep users from wearing it all day or at night while sleeping and not be able to use the pedometer or intricate sleep tracker appropriately.
Accessories

Accessories

Polar offers a number of brand named accessories that will upgrade your fitness game. The H10 external heart rate sensor straps across the chest and is connected to the device using Bluetooth. Watch on the V800 as it monitors your heart rate in real time and tracks your pulse underwater in swim mode. Stride sensors, that track cadence when attached to your shoes will also help you use the jump test. For the avid cyclers out there is an option to pair with compatible bike pods that accurately track bike speed improving performance. A number of power-meters are available for different activities and require a little more set up. Third-party Bluetooth smart sensors are available online as well.
Power Source

Power Source

The stellar battery life of the v800 is one of the main factors that set it apart from other sports watches on the market now. It’s rugged design houses a 350mAh battery that is charged with a clip style USB charger that can be plugged into any computer. User tested and proven, the battery will last through GPS enabled daily runs, bike outings, and regular heart rate recordings for up to 13 hours before needing a charge. GPS low mode which only records samples every 1 minute or so and leaves out small changes and will last up to an amazing 50 hours. When in time mode only, GPS is off but daily activity is still being monitored, the battery will last 30 days. That’s a rare feature to come across when everything released lately has a flashy high-definition color screen that looks cool but needs to be recharged frequently. The unique charging clip can be a little difficult at first to attach to the port on the back of the watch and users comment on needing to wiggle it quite a bit to make contact. Luckily the charge lasts so long you won't need to mess with it that often and once you’ve attached it you can leave it alone to sync your data.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

A rugged, GPS watch that’s built to take some damage, the V800 is a testament to dedicated athletes everywhere. The multi-sport data collected 24/7 is comprehensive and the smart coaching features are well integrated. Seamlessly connect with smartphones and external devices through Bluetooth that provide more in-depth analysis of your workout than ever before.

The only real problem lies with the displaced way the information is spread across two apps. Data collected by the watch is better managed and viewed via the Polar Flow website when it would be easier if users could do all that on the mobile app. This model doesn't quite hold up to the smartwatch craze sweeping the masses with high-res color screens, apps, and music streaming but at it roots its not a smartwatch, it’s a highly capable sports watch. Built for the hardcore athlete, the Polar V800 is a solid investment for those who are committed to their sport and want a more in-depth look at personal progress