a Weekend Warrior
from Mission, TX
Date Reviewed: December 30, 2006
Strengths: Easy to use, accurate, wery robust, personnel training programs possible
Weaknesses: No computer connection
Good and robust product which I bought for running/crosscountry skiing training. It helped a lot specially on beginning because it started alarming when pulse was too high. Not as fancy as more expensive Polar heart rate motitors but it's has all basic needs for endurance training.
Weaknesses: 1.For $150-180, this is built like cr@p!!! 2.Compilcated array of buttons to access functions while working out (riding) 3.Can't use with polarized lenses 4.Powerline interference 5.Non-user replaceable batteries (watch or transmitter)
I only used this watch for work-outs. Never in the pool, beach, etc. I did however leave it in the bathroom. After about 1 1/2 years of use screen would go blank erratically. Had a watch shop replace battery. Still same problem. Changed it myself (I know my way around watches). Insides were all corroded- obviously not waterproof. I think the reason they want you to send it back to them to change the battery is so you don't see how cheaply this watch is constructed. The watertight seal consists of a tiny string of rubber. There are 4 screws to close the back of the watch. Not optimal for a waterproof watch where even pressure on a decent O-ring is required. I disassembled the watch and cleaned all the contacts- got it to run again- but still erratic as a HRM. Maybe because the transmitter belt needs replacing? OK, let's see. Can't change the battery there either. New one is $60!
I went with a Sports Instruments Fit 3 for $35. User replaceable batteries on both watch and transmitter, belt is far more comfortable and makes better contact (doesn't glitch on beginning of ride until a sweat is built up). Still some power line interference, but I can see the watch monitor with my polarized shades. The SI watch is very simple, but honestly, it is all I really need. The Polar functions present a nice wish list, but are difficult to access while working out, IMHO.
Like a previous lister, the Polar is relegated to its watch functions as my bathroom clock. About all it's good for anymore.
I give it 2 chilies overall because it functioned well for nearly 2 years. Good watch if that is sufficient for you. But still way expensive for build quality, which is pure CraPola(r) !!! Only 1 chile there.
Similar Products Used: several HRMs. Current fav- Sports Instruments Fit 3 from Performance?Nashbar for $35- simple, and it works!
Bike Setup: Stumpy Pro FSR
from Knoxvegas, TN
Date Reviewed: March 12, 2004
Strengths: Lightweight on your arm/bike. cool features, I paid an employee purchase price. If I paid retail for this $200 piece of equipment that is screwed together like a $5 fleamarket watch I'd be really pissed. The estimated VO2 max feature is really cool, although I rarely use it.
Weaknesses: Fit and finish is terrible. It is screwed together like a cheap child's toy. buttons are difficult to press. I've broken three of the buttons. Polar customer service was great but I've given up on asking them to send me more buttons because they will just break again. This is far too expensive a piece of equipment for it to fall apart. So easily. Another weakness may be that the battery is no user replacable but I've not worn my battery out yet and I use it 3-5 times a week sometimes for 5-6 hours at a time. I don't buy the logic behind have a non-user replacable battery though.
I would not recommend polar to anyone. while they may be the market leader in design/features, the poor quality of assembly is just not acceptable to me. Especially with Timex, sigma sport and other company's bringing reliable inexpensive monitors to the market. I hope I can make this S210 last until Timex markets a monitor with more data storage.
Strengths: All the wonderful features you can read for yourself. The user interface is very good, considering all the things that this little device can do and the info it gives you. But it does take learning. I imagine it can be frustrating for non-techies or non-gearheads. Interval training features, which I am starting to learn to use after having this thing for 6 months.
The plain old watch features (display, alarm setting, etc) are much nicer than my old Timex Ironman.
Weaknesses: Sometimes loses the coding and cannot get it back. The HRM still works, but it tends to be less reliable. Ocassionally spontaneously cannot pick up any signal, and I'm not talking about interference--where was nothing around to create the interference. As for interference, it can give erroneous heartrates near powerlines.
If you have dry skin, it takes a long time for your sweat to begin conducting the cardiac signal to the chest strap. You'd need to use the electrode gel.
This is specific to the particular hrm, but my watch face is virtually unreadable through polarized glasses. I'm told that this is due to the oil on the plastic face. One of the buttons needs to be pushed hard to register.
Good investment for me, but until I started to use the interval training feature, I thought I should have bought a more basic model.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 28, 2004
Strengths: Reliable. Easy to use. Can set up and record time in different "zones". Can record data for each "lap". Has ability to use for interval training (although I haven't used that functionality). Easy to recall file information.
Weaknesses: The only thing I don't like about it so far is the fact that, even though it saves six files (i.e. workouts), only the latest file contains detailed info on time spent on zones and details on individual laps. Once you record a workout, the previous workout becomes "summarized" (i.e. total workout time, avg, and max heartrates). Seems like it wouldn't take that much to store all the data for up to six workouts. Not that big of deal - you just need to remember to write down the detailed info after each workout or risk losing the detail.
Great product. I haven't any problems with it at all (I use it 4-6 days a week). I like heartrate training and have for many years. It keeps me from overtraining. At any rate, this monitor has everything I need and, to me, is worth the money.
a Weekend Warrior
from Colorado Springs, CO
Date Reviewed: January 2, 2004
Strengths: Three zones. Interval training setup. File storage and retrieval. Calorie counter. Reliable. Works great. Easy user interface - just scroll around to find what you need then hit "okay" button. Can save and retrieve multiple laps per workout (up to 99). Has a million options for setting up heart rate zones (and recovery heartrates) based on a specific number input, % of MHR, or specific times (for recovery). Built in "fitness test" (i.e. measuring your resting heart rate and factoring in other parameters such as age, weight, sex, etc.) that allows you to calculate your estimated VO2 max.
I love this HRM. It has everything I need and is easy to use. I'm not sure why someone would have any problems with the buttons. It is very well designed and, in fact, I only had to look at the one page of instructions that explained how to navigate around. You just hit the arrow buttons and move around to where you want to get for either setting it up or retrieving info. A person of average intelligence, possessing fair manual dexterity and having opposable thumbs should be able to use this.
Similar Products Used: Old basic Polar HRM many years ago.
from Valencia, CA
Date Reviewed: September 23, 2003
Strengths: Well crafted heartrate monitor, works as advertised, comfortable to wear(both watch and transmitter)
The way the buttons work, I really like it.
Weaknesses: Powerlines, sometimes get a wrong reading but only short periods of time. The max heartrate indication gets all messed up most of teh time after teh powerline affected teh monitor. That si really teh only negative I can think of and think that other hrm's will suffer too
A heartrate monitor that everything does that I hoped for.
Absolutly no problems and can highly recommend one.
My wife is very satisfied with hers and she has been using it for 18 month now.
Try one I think you will like it!
A bit on the expensive side. This is a review for the 210 have no experience with uploading to my comp, really dont need that.
a Weekend Warrior
from Green Bay, WI
Date Reviewed: August 17, 2003
Strengths: Works great - no button problems as described in other reviews. Easy to use. I was able to change the watch battery myself.
Weaknesses: Under power lines and radio transmitters (on the big hill I climb), it either tells me I'm dead or have the heart rate of a hummingbird (0 or 230 bpm). Otherwise, rock solid. Doesn't upload or download well on my computer setup via Soniclink.
I like this one, but if you want to interface with your PC, the sonic link isn't the best ticket. Your milage may vary.
Strengths: Calorie counter is useful and seems reasonably accurate. VO2max calculator is also cool but not having done a maximal VO2max test, I can't stand by the S210's reliability 100%. Screen size is good. File storage is great but it is VERY annoying that I am either not able to delete old files or find where in the manual it tells me to do so. I would give it a 6.5/ 10.
Weaknesses: You have to push the buttons "just so" or you're going to have a problem. It seems like they work on the release, rather than on the press. That can be really annoying on nighttime rides or runs. Not being able to delete old files- especially the ones that were already in my monitor when I bought it- annoys me.
Not a bad machine. But lacking a few fairly obvious functions and difficult to operate optimally unless you have a few hours somewhere quiet to spend going through the manual.
Strengths: Great features for the serious athlete. Easy to operate. Can set three different heart rate zones per workout. Can store five different workouts and save last 99 workout results.
Weaknesses: Need to read through the manual to fully understand its capabilities.
I read the other reviews on this product and must say, I have had no problems with my buttons or any other parts of the watch. I use it five days per week. If racing is your thing, this monitor will help make you a better competitor.
Weaknesses: Buttons do not work unless pushed repeatedly and especially will not work when sweat is anywhere near the watch. Can't change batteries yourself--have to send back to Polar.
DO NOT BUY ONE OF THESE HRMs--THE S210 is a total piece of crap. This has become the most expensive WATCH I've ever owned--that's about all it does reliably anymore. It takes at least 20 tries to get the buttons to work--then miraculously, the next time I use it the STOP button will work, but the buttons on the other side of the watch won't work. I'm sending it back Monday and I'm buying a Cardiosport--I should have never sold my old one.
from Temecula, CA USA
Date Reviewed: January 4, 2002
Strengths: It keeps track of three HR zones simultaneously--including giving information about how much time you spend above and below each zone. Calorie counter seems pretty accurate and is COOL.
Weaknesses: The manual is like reading someone's PHD dissertation, but it is easy to use once you figure it out. The buttons worked well for the first 2 months then the lap button became sticky and then the other function buttons wouldn't work unless I was lucky that day. The button that turns the thing off is the one giving me the most trouble right now.
The bottome line is that this is a great HRM--when it works and you can push the buttons and make something happen. I need to return mine to Polar but I use it every day--what to do? What to do? I guess I'll just wait until none of the buttons works and then return it.