Polar Pacer Professional evaluate: A significantly sporty smartwatch

Polar Pacer Professional

MSRP $300.00

“The Polar Pacer Professional is designed for runners and severe sportspeople, the place the data-rich software program and comfy, slimline design is smart, however informal exercisers danger being overwhelmed.”

Execs

  • Slim and light-weight
  • Quick and correct GPS
  • Complete health monitoring
  • Lots of information on watch and in app

Cons

  • Low high quality display lacks brightness
  • No Sp02 sensor

A smartwatch shouldn’t be only a smartwatch, there are completely different variations higher suited to completely different actions and conditions. Some swimsuit on a regular basis put on, others have a sportier design for the health club, and a few even look a bit like a diver’s watch. Then you will have sports activities smartwatches corresponding to the main focus of this evaluate, the Polar Pacer Professional. The design is overtly sporty, and its performance is constructed across the sporty particular person.

However does this degree of focus make it solely appropriate for somebody actually into working or one other sport? I’ve worn the Pacer Professional for greater than 10 days to seek out out.

Design

Smartwatches don’t get far more easy than the Polar Pacer Professional. The round case is manufactured from plastic, the bezel is aluminum, and there are 5 buttons across the edge. The diameter is round 44mm, and in whole it weighs about 40 grams. It’s connected to a snug, very versatile, and extremely customizable silicon strap. There are two variations within the field, and I discovered the smaller model high-quality for my 6.5-inch wrist, because the lengthy model bordered on ridiculously lengthy. There are a number of holes to get the tightness good, and two keepers to ensure that the tip doesn’t flap about.

Buttons showing on the Polar Pacer Pro, worn on a man's wrist.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Gorilla Glass 3.0 protects the 1.2-inch Reminiscence-in-Pixel (MIP) display, which has been introduced nearer to the floor in comparison with earlier Polar watches, and it has an improved backlight. In the intense grey coloration seen in our pictures, the Pacer Professional is nameless to take a look at. I took little satisfaction in carrying the Polar Pacer Professional since it has such a fundamental look. There’s nothing unsuitable with it, it’s simply not thrilling within the least. That mentioned, it’s very comfy and I actually have been capable of put on all of it day and in a single day with out it getting sweaty or inflicting a pores and skin response.

The large bezel across the display ages the design, which mixed with the display’s lowly 240 x 240 decision, makes the Pacer Professional appear like a watch that has been out for years somewhat than a recent 2022 mannequin. The display doesn’t have an computerized brightness adjustment both. You’ll be able to set it at low, medium, or excessive brightness, or management it manually utilizing one in every of the aspect buttons. On something lower than excessive brightness, you’ll be able to’t see thoroughly in daylight, and the viewing angles are tight. It does reliably illuminate if you elevate your wrist although, until you choose the handbook setting for the backlight.

Polar Pacer Pro on man's wrist, seen from the side.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

The essential look and display imply I needed to pressure myself to put on the Pacer Professional. It’s not a smartwatch to take a look at and suppose, wow, I like that design, or for the display to light up and present stunning, detailed animations. It’s generically useful, and I personally want greater than that from one thing I put on. Nevertheless, in comparison with many different devoted GPS sports activities smartwatches it’s a stunner, with a slim case and innocuous design that’s far more appropriate for on a regular basis put on than you usually anticipate.

Software program and app

The software program on the Polar Pacer Professional is a step again in time, visually. There are plenty of easy strains, colours, and pixels, and never a lot by way of design aptitude. It’s solidly useful. You utilize the a number of buttons to maneuver by the menus, and the shortage of a touchscreen provides to the retro really feel however is smart when you concentrate on ease of use when working. Extra processing energy and extra RAM over earlier Polar smartwatches make it snappy and simple to dwell with on a day by day foundation. I haven’t been pissed off by any facet of the Pacer Professional’s efficiency.

Polar has made the software program so it’s not all the time crucial to go to the app. Totally different screens present all the info you possibly can need about your sleep, exercise efficiency, and even options on workouts to try this day. Choose these and also you get a selection of a number of exercises, all with completely different quantities of time, after which easy directions to observe. Every is simpler to personalize, and much more various and attention-grabbing than the guided exercise classes on smartwatches just like the Huawei Watch GT Runner and the Tag Heuer Linked Calibre E4.

What’s clear from utilizing the Polar Pacer Professional is it rewards continued use, and that in case you’re probably not that sporty you gained’t profit from its true capability. It requires a number of exercises and a number of nights of sleep tracked earlier than it’ll present a lot in the way in which of in-depth evaluation, so casually lively individuals will surprise if it’s doing a lot in any respect for some time. While you aren’t on the right track with a sleep or train regime it makes it clear too. Have a foul night time’s sleep and “Compromised” seems in yellow on the sleep display to remind you ways garbage you’re, and the exercise display counts the times because you final labored out, to inspire or guilt you into doing one thing.

Preserving you out of the app isn’t a foul factor. It’s not the prettiest or most instantly accessible I’ve used. Once more, it requires many days of information to begin exhibiting any significant info. There are a number of graphs, numerous granular element, and many of knowledge on what all of it means, nevertheless it’s comparatively gentle on motivation exterior of this. In the event you’re severe about sport and well being, then pouring over all of the numbers will most likely be your motivation, however in case you’re not, the number-heavy presentation could be off-putting.

I actually have used the smartwatch with an iPhone 13 Professional and it has reliably proven my notifications, the vibration alert is noticeable, and there’s the choice to regulate music from my cellphone too. It doesn’t run different apps, so don’t anticipate to make use of Spotify or an identical app when out with out your cellphone.

Exercises and accuracy

It’s if you observe a exercise and evaluate it to a extra customary smartwatch that the Polar Pacer Professional’s strengths are revealed. A 40-minute outside stroll tracked on the Apple Watch Sequence 7 exhibits common info most individuals will probably be thinking about — coronary heart price, distance, tempo, and energy — however the Pacer Professional goes a step past this.

The heart rate sensor on the Polar Pacer Pro.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Coaching zones are remoted and are mapped out utilizing tempo and coronary heart price information, it breaks down calorie burn into carbs, protein, and fats, there’s an in depth route map and knowledge on coronary heart price, velocity, and tempo for every lap. When you’ve tracked sufficient exercises, the app builds a baseline to indicate your efficiency and the place to enhance, and your VO2 Max information may even begin to return into play. Runners get a bunch of extra options together with coaching plans, working energy measurements, and coaching load information too. All of this exhibits how the Polar Pacer Professional is geared toward the intense runner or sports activities particular person.

All the standard exercises are able to be tracked on the watch, together with working, strolling, biking, and swimming, plus weight coaching and the choice to select a generic indoor our outside exercise if nothing actually matches. There’s no particular choice for golf or actions like horse using or yoga, however the Multisport characteristic might enchantment to triathletes. The Polar Pacer Professional has its personal GPS which discovered a sign in a short time throughout my assessments and matched the Apple Look ahead to accuracy, as did the guts price sensor.

Put on the Pacer Professional in a single day and it’ll observe your sleep. It matched the guts price information collected by my Oura Ring, however the pair differed on the period of time spent in several sleep levels. I’m extra inclined to consider the Pacer Professional’s information although. It provides a Nightly Recharge rating alongside the standard Sleep Rating, which helps you perceive how restful your night time was, and whether or not it ought to have an effect on plans to train. In the event you’re prepared for it, the watch additionally has exercise and working plans to observe, a few of which look like very difficult.

The heart rate sensor on the Polar Pacer Pro.

The Polar Pacer Pro being used, worn on a man's wrist.

I’m properly conscious I’m not the audience for the Polar Pacer Professional, and am ill-equipped to check its limits personally. It even took a couple of tries utilizing the newbie VO2 Max strolling take a look at for it to acknowledge my “capability.” Nevertheless, seeing the extent of element when you’ve accomplished sufficient classes — it exhibits in case you’re coaching sufficient, doing too little or an excessive amount of, and units clear targets based mostly in your progress — mixed with its accuracy, exercise planning, and common on-wrist consolation provides me confidence it’ll work thoroughly for individuals who love working and need to get even fitter.

It’s disappointing that the Polar Pacer Professional doesn’t have an Sp02 sensor or an electrocardiogram (ECG), each of that are frequent on competing smartwatches.

Battery and charging

Battery life has been good. Polar’s seven-day estimate is slightly conservative in case you solely observe a few exercises plus your sleep, when you must see the smartwatch final for eight or 9 days. Add GPS into the combination extra usually and 7 days is about proper. Polar claims a complete of 35 hours whole coaching time with GPS and the guts price sensor lively.

Charging is sort of sluggish and takes about two hours to go from underneath 10% to capability. A proprietary charger that magnetically attaches to the smartwatch’s case again is included within the field.

Worth and availability

The Polar Pacer Professional is out there now for $300 or 259 British kilos. It is available in the essential black coloration — Polar calls it Carbon Grey — seen in our pictures, or in a prettier Midnight Blue, Snow White, or Autumn Maroon.

Our take

The Polar Pacer Professional doesn’t look or really feel particularly recent, and it doesn’t actually convey something recent to the desk both. It matches the potential of equally priced fitness-orientated smartwatches however doesn’t present a standout purpose to purchase a minimum of by way of options and design. It’s even lacking some sensors which are customary on different health smartwatches and bands.

That leaves the Polar software program. I solely scratched the floor of what it’s able to, and the info it returns might look overwhelming to the informal proprietor desirous to know slightly bit extra about their well being and exercise. For the devoted runner (sure, it’s primarily going to enchantment to runners) although, the depth of element, quick and correct GPS, and good battery life will make it very interesting.

It’s then the design comes into its personal. The slim, light-weight case is so far more wearable than chunky, rough-and-tumble GPS watches seen earlier than. It’s not trendy like a Huawei Watch GT 3 Professional, nevertheless it’s easy and delicate. All of the performance an athlete (budding or in any other case) desires, however not wrapped up in an obscenely proportioned case for as soon as. You’ve acquired to actually need the Polar software program expertise, however in case you do, the Pacer Professional is the best strategy to get it.

Is there a greater various?

It relies upon slightly on what you wish. In the event you need an all-out sports activities watch, the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music competes on worth, plus the Garmin Vivomove Sport brings Garmin’s glorious software program platform to an amazing trying smartwatch. In the event you need a extra health-focused smartwatch take a have a look at the Withings ScanWatch or ScanWatch Horizon.

In the event you don’t suppose the actually hardcore sports activities monitoring will probably be for you, then the Apple Watch Sequence 7 is one of the best smartwatch in case you personal an iPhone, and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 stays the strongest selection in case you personal an Android cellphone.

How lengthy will it final?

The Polar Pacer Professional has a 50-meter water resistance score, and has apparently been examined to “navy requirements,” so anticipate it to be fairly sturdy. The strap is definitely changed if it breaks, however the particular pin system used to safe it means you should have to purchase one immediately from Polar. The software program is proprietary and updates could be added through the app. The Pacer Professional’s general capability means you’re unlikely to hit its limits any time quickly, and its extraordinary design gained’t succumb to vogue tendencies both. It’ll final you for a few years.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure, however supplied you’re conscious it is a sports activities smartwatch for sporty individuals. It’s not an Apple Watch various.

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