Polar RCX3 Review
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The Polar RCX 3 GPS Heart Rate Training system is great for those looking for general to advanced GPS and heart rate monitor features. The Polar RCX3 includes a heart rate monitor strap, a data stick, and either the Stride Sensor or GPS Sensor.
The watch unit of the Polar RCX3 is a little slimmer and sexier than the previous Polar watches I have tested out. The watch face is an oval shape with 4 buttons at each corner and one at the bottom. The menu platform on the watch is fairly straight forward and it doesn’t take a lot of manual reading to understand how it works. I ended up reading the manual, but it wasn’t necessary. While running or exercising, you have 6 different types of views in which you can choose from. Variations include pace, avg. pace, distance, time spent, actual time, heart rate, heart rate zone performance, and calories burnt. There are up to 3 different functions displayed at one point which is good for about 80% of the time, the other times I found myself shuffling through the different display views.
During the late night hours, the watch face goes to sleep similar to that of a computer. I haven’t seen this before in a watch and I think it is fairly intuative. If you want to bring the watch face back to life, all you need to do is hit any button. The Polar RCX3 is a little slimmer than other Polar watches I have tried and there is a little less material in the watch band. This I personally like, it has a sporty yet sexy feel to it. Sporty Spice…
TheGPS in the Polar RCX3 is seperate from the watch and is in the form of a pod. Similar in size to a bill fold. There is a clip on the GPS device so I usually place it along my waist line in my shorts. While it is nice to have the GPS in the watch, I truly don’t mind having it seperate in the RCX3. As for accuracy, I find the GPS on the RCX3 to be as accurate as all the other GPS watches I have tested over time. The start up time for the GPS is pretty fast, it usually takes 30 seconds for it to find signal which is a little faster than most other models on the market.
Heart Rate Monitor
As Polar has been getting heart rate monitoring for many years now, I have come to rely on Polar Heart Rate strap. The strap is very comfortable and you don’t need to lick it or run it under water to get it to pick up signal. The strap is adjustable, but for people with very large torso’s, you will have to get an additional strap to get it to fit.
The Data Stick on the Polar RCX3 is what is used to transfer your data in your watch to your computer/online. For this to work, you have to download the program to your computer. I use a PC using Windows 7 and it worked fine.
Using this website in conjuction with your Polar RCX3 is simple and easy to use. I found the program really helpful to provide basic to advanced information. For example, after I get back for a run and I want to review how far I ran, my pace, total time, etc. While I can get it on the watch, it is much easier to read on the computer screen. I also get to see a map of where I ran which I enjoy seeing where I sped up and slowed down on certain running routes. There is also a basic training program on this website that can help set you training for a 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, etc. If you are into sharing your info, there are also share buttons for facebook, twitter, etc.
My overall opinion of the Polar RCX3 GPS and Heart Rate Monitor is that the watch and accessories rock and it is a major contender when it comes to GPS and training watches. Given that I Have been running for over 25 years and I started using GPS when it first came out over 10 years ago, I hope that you take my opinion with a little bit of credibility 🙂
For more info on the RCX3 and other Polar products, visit www.polar.com.