The Polar RCX5 is built to be both a coach and a partner of athletes. It uses the ZoneOptimizer to help you identify and train at the right intensity. It has a Race Pace feature that will ensure you perform at your best by competing against it. You can further boost your training performance by downloading endurance programs from polarpersonaltrainer.com with the help of the Polar DataLink.
And it doesn’t matter the type of sport you participate it, it has sport profiles to enable you quickly switch from one sport to another. Unlike many heart rate monitors, you can use it in water with its very comfy hybrid transmitter. However, you will need to use T31 coded transmitter in case you are swimming in highly chlorinated or salty water. The watch is light, weighing only 46 grams, and it is ready to use as you don’t need to charge it. The battery has relatively long life, lasting up to 8 to 11 months.
RCX5 Smart Coaching Features
- It has Endurance Programs, which guide you and help you improve your performance.
- It has an integrated Fitness Test to let you know your fitness progress.
- Running Index show you how your running performance is improving.
- Smart Calories is a calorie counter that let you know the number of expended calories during a session.
- Training Load ensures you do not overwork your self and strikes a balance between workout and rest.
- ZoneOptimizer uses your demographics to establish your ideal training intensity, which optimizes your performance.
I’m not a hardcore athlete, but I workout on the elliptical trainer and stationary bike most of the times. A few months ago I decided to get myself the Polar RCX5 Heart rate Monitor to help me in these exercises and optimize my performance. Prior to this, I read a lot of HRMs reviews and I loved its superior quality and excellent design praised by most reviewers. I don’t like bulky or unattractive models. So far my watch is working perfectly well and I give it a thumps up, 5 out of 5 rating.
I have read a few reviews that are complaining about missing the heart rates, but mine has been very accurate. I also like its chest strap, which is very comfortable to wear and must have been made from a quality material. Even though I paid 30% lesser than the asking price, thanks to my internet research for the best bargains, the Polar RCX5 is worth its price.
I like this watch and how it works. It is user-friendly and easy to synchronize with the web-based account. However, there are two things that make me deny it a five star rating. The two flaws include:
You can not monitor your heart throughout the day, since it only measures your heart rate through recording. This means that you are not able how your heart varies during the day.
It fails to work with my iPhone App. The transmitter does not pair with my phone app. In addition to this, it does not provide a way to share the data on the web. I didn’t expect this; it explains how ignorant how these guys are when they integrate the devices.
I have owned quite a number of Polar heart rate monitors, but I find Polar RCX5 to be extraordinary. Perhaps this is because its features synchronize with my needs. Just for the record, I’ve owned Polar FT06, RS100 and FT80.
This Polar is built for tri-athletes, that is, swim, bike then run. However, you can still use it in other sports. Just like other Polar monitors, it displays heart rate, time, laps, calories and all the items measured. What makes it unique is that you can see your prevailing average heart rate while exercising. This often makes me push myself to the limit because I don’t want to lazy around and score below my target. But unlike other models, the RCX5 model does not display the automatic summaries when you are done with the workout. Anyway, you’ll find them within data.
I’m very grateful to have this device. However, I would be much happier if Polar can make another model which combines this model and the FT80. The combination would be incredible, especially for me.
Another thing, you don’t have to worry when you wake up between midnight and 6am, and find the monitor off. It has been automatically programmed to stay off during that period. It can be a bit nerve-breaking, but it does that to maximize the battery life.
I had a Polar HRM but it broke just a few days to a big marathon event I was participating in. I had to quickly get a new one, and I settled on the Polar RCX5 model. It is faster and comes with a feature its predecessor never had, GPS. In addition to the GPS device, I use the wrist unit and the chest strap.
Benefits of the RCX5 model
When I compare it to my partners’ Garmin, it is far much reliable since its GPRS data is only slightly different to the wheeled distances on known routes. Its satellite signal is also stronger and better.
My battery often last longer than my partners’, almost 18 hours longer. What is even interesting is that when it runs out of battery, not all features stop running. This has been very important to me, especially when I’m running long distances. I’m planning to try it with Instant USB Charger, such as Duracell or a similar device. If it works, I can use the charger as an auxiliary battery to help me go beyond 18 hours limit.
It measures topographical changes more accurately using pressure gauge, than when using the GPS. It means that elevation change features do not necessarily need the GPS unit.
Its display shows virtually every measured unit, one at a time in a three readout screen. The display is easy to configure while running, so you can interchange between the stop watch, time, heart rate, elevation, speed or distance.
The HRM has a user-changeable battery, unlike the earlier Polar models. I suppose the receiver (wrist unit) too has a changeable one, but so far I’ve not encountered the hurdle.
The wrist watch is very comfortable; I hardly feel it during my workouts and runs. This is the exact opposite to Sigma, which rubbed me during the runs. Again, unlike Sigma, the chest strap can be adjusted without sliding downwards. Nevertheless, Sigma was very cheap. The pace readout is useful for long distance runs and workouts. Drawbacks of RCX5 model
Its buttons are too sensitive for watch functions. When I use it as regular watch, it constantly shifts to heart rate monitoring and suddenly beeps since it does not find the GPS or theheart rate monitor.
The watch settings is such that when are set to start a session, the first press on the start button prepares the watch to communicate with the monitor and GPS transmitters in readiness for the start, and the second press start both the timer and the recorder. The difference between the two settings may mix up the athlete who is waiting for the gun shot to start running. While the Sports Watch has its specific functions, I would have loved it more if it were able to map my coordinates and display my path.
My friends’ Garmin software is far much sophisticated and better. In my case, you must use GPS viewers, such as Google Earth. Nevertheless, this is not a big deal for me.
I simply like the Polar RCX5 model and I’ve only managed to point out some flaws because I was comparing them one on one. And it is obvious that its positives outweigh the negatives.
For triathletes and endurance athletes looking for better performance.
Allows you to create your own sport profiles Supports multisport training through swift switching between sports ZoneOptimizer personalizes your sport zones during your warm-up Improves performance with endurance training programs, downloadable from polarpersonaltrainer.com with the Polar DataLink Gives heart rate even in water with a comfortable hybrid transmitter * Compatible with Polar running, cycling and GPS sensors Up to 8-11 months of battery life
Body measurement features
Manual target zone – bpm / % HRmax (user set) HRmax (age-based) HRmax (Polar Fitness test-based) Polar Fitness Test Polar OwnCode® (5kHz/2.4 GHz W.I.N.D.) – coded transmission Polar OwnCal® – calorie expenditure with fat percentage HR-based target zones with visual and audible alarm Average and maximum heart rate of each lap Automatic age-based target zone – bpm / % Average, minimum and maximum heart rate of training Heart rate – bpm / % Polar ZoneOptimizer – personalized sport zones Polar sport zones
Totals Memory left indication Adjustable recording rate – 1s, 2s, 5s, 15s, or 60s Training files (with summaries) – 99 Weekly history
Interval trainer guided workouts – heart rate / pace / distance Number of laps – 99 HeartTouch – button-free operation of wrist unit Graphical target zone indicator Automatic lap recording Display zoom Sport Profiles (up to 15 sport profiles) ZonePointer Training computer settings User configurable displays – all lines ZoneLock
Training Load Training diary Training programs Map view – optional with GPS sensor Endurance programs Advanced training analyzing
CS cadence sensor W.I.N.D. features
Cadence – current, average and maximum Bike settings – for two bicycles
CS speed sensor W.I.N.D. features
SpeedPointer Speed-based target zones with visual and audible alarm Speed – current, average and maximum Race Pace Autostart/stop Bike settings – for two bicycles Distance based interval Distance – training, lap, trip and total
G3 GPS sensor W.I.N.D. features
SpeedPointer Distance – training, lap, trip and total Distance based interval Race Pace Route mapping – opt. with polarpersonaltrainer.com web service Speed/Pace – current, average and maximum Running Index Altitude data via Google Maps – using the free polarpersonaltrainer.com web service
G5 GPS sensor features
Race Pace Distance – training, lap, trip and total Distance based interval Route mapping – opt. with polarpersonaltrainer.com web service SpeedPointer Speed/Pace-based target zones with visual and audible alarm Speed/Pace – current, average and maximum Running Index Altitude data via Google Maps – using the free polarpersonaltrainer.com web service
s3/s3+ stride sensor features
Speed/Pace-based target zones with visual and audible alarm Speed/Pace – current, average and maximum Running Index Average stride length Cadence – current, average and maximum Race Pace Distance – training, lap, trip and total
Compatible with Mac (Intel-based) via Polar DataLink Compatible with PC via Polar DataLink Compatible with polarpersonaltrainer.com via Polar DataLink
Backlight Date and weekday indicator Display text in English, German, Finnish, Swedish, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian Dual time zone Button Lock Low battery indicator Time of day (12/24h) with alarm and snooze Training reminder User replaceable battery Water resistant – 30m