Sunday, May 6, 2012

Polar RS300x Review: First Thoughts

Now that I've had several training sessions with my new Polar RS300x heart rate monitor, I thought I would do a quick review comparing to my previous HRM, the Polar RS100. It was only a one-step upgrade from what I am used to and the differences are fantastic!

At first glance, the watch is the same size as the RS100 but 'fancier' looking with the nice decorated background and striped band. It comes in two colours - orange and black. The screen is the same size in both models, however they have improved the use of the screen in the RS300x and seem to fit more detail in.

The watch and more importantly, the chest strap are extremely comfortable. Instead of the long plastic strap of the RS100, the RS300x has a flexible fabric strap, with a detachable transmitter unit in the centre. It feels like you aren't even wearing a HRM! Don't get me wrong, the RS100 strap was comfortable enough, but the fabric strap is pure luxury!

The features are a great improvement on the RS100. I feel like I have much more information available to me and much more flexibility when using the watch. My most favourite feature is being able to get percentages of time spent in each heart rate "sport zone", which really helps to give me an idea of how hard I am working at my maximum HR rather than just getting a single max HR and average HR.

Some other features I have enjoyed using include the option of having calories/hour estimation for my current heart rate and being able to swap into stopwatch mode during my activity.

The option of using the Polar FlowLink USB is absolutely FANTASTIC! The RS100 is not compatible with any of the uploading devices, so I have been manually entering all my data onto! Now with the FlowLink, I just rest the watch down on the device and a few seconds later all my data is online waiting for me! It has saved a lot of time, particularly now that there is so much more data being captured.

So overall, I am definitely glad I upgraded to the RS300x and don't know how I lived without it now! I highly recommend it! Hopefully I'll be able to get back into running and try out the foot pod and when I do, I'll write another review.

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