Polar V650 GPS Cycling Computer Review

Polar V650 GPS Cycling Computer Review

£149.99 £174.50

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Price history for Polar V650 GPS Cycling Computer
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  • £149.99 - August 28, 2017
  • £164.99 - May 15, 2017
Since: May 15, 2017
  • Highest Price: £164.99 - May 15, 2017
  • Lowest Price: £149.99 - August 28, 2017
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Polar V650 GPS Cycling Computer Review

A different brand now that makes the list. Polar, and we are looking at the Polar V650 GPS Cycling Computer Review.

Lets meet Polar who are they. Polar Electro, founded in 1977, is the leading brand and the true partner in improving health and well-being through the understanding of human physiology, performance and environment and providing measuring devices for this combination.

So your in good hands with the Polar v650 cycling computer.

Who is this cycling computer for?

The Polar V650 cycling computer is for the cyclist who wants to monitor their cycling in details.  The features of this cycling computer allow you boost your training and see the benefits immediately after your ride.

Anyone serious about improving your riding will understand.

Features

What features do we receive with the Polar V650?

Data

When you purchase the Polar V650 GPS Cycling computer, you will see that this cycling computer is packed with data.

This cycling computer has integrated GPS to track your rides, audio alerts to let you know if your slowing down, allows you to analyze your data with the Polar app.

Bluetooth

One feature that makes thePolar V650 Cycling Computer stand out from the rest is the body measurement features. With the Bluetooth sensors that your receive you can measure and rack your heart rate and calories burnt offering a deeper insight into your training.

Finer Details

As a serious cyclist you most likely want more in-depth insight into your training is given with race pace that allows you to set a target speed or pace for a certain distance.

It then helps pacing the ride by showing the current speed and pace and by telling in time, how much you are behind or ahead of the set target.

Extra Features

Now for some extra features with the Polar V650 Cycling Computer. Incline measurement feature tells you the uphill or downhill inclination in numerical form, helping you to adjust cycling effort accordingly.

The feature shows you the uphill and downhill steepness in percentages and grades. Excellent if your always wondering what you gradient was.

Not only that but there is also recording features in the Polar V650 Cycling Computer that keeps a training diary and allows you to relive your rides. Somedays you want to do this.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have read our Polar V650 GPS Cycling Computer Review do you see what a great device for the cyclist who is interested in analyzing their rides and really monitoring the data received to improve their cycling?

If your struggling with cycling maybe you ride on your own then this is a tool that will really benefit you as the motivating feedback that’s delivered straight to you immediately after exercise is something that can help all of us.

Well done Polar.

8 Total Score
Superb

A great device for the cyclist who is interested in analyzing their rides and really monitoring the data received to improve their cycling.

Size
8.5
Price
7.5
User Friendly
7
Ability
8.5
PROS
  • Easy set up
  • Syncs with Strava
  • Good battery
CONS
  • Bluetooth can have poor connection
  • Difficulty reading screen in sunlight
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I see that I am only the second customer to review the new Polar V650 and the first reviewer only gave the unit 2 stars. I am not hesitating to give the unit 5 stars and highly recommend the V650 to any bicyclist wanting to track a variety of performance parameters while riding. This bike computer is replacing the Bontrager Node 2.1 on my Trek Domane 2.0 purchased in the Spring of 2014. Before buying the V650 I also kept looking at the Garmin Edge 1000 and Garmin Edge 810 as two other units I was considering. In the end I decided I did not want or need a GPS map display of my bike route while riding. I know where I'm going and I ride my bike to achieve my fitness goals including weight control.What I wanted and got with the V650 was to have several parameters clearly visible on one screen. What I'm most interested in while riding are the following: duration, speed, heart rate, cadence, distance, and elevation. That's exactly what I get on the main screen presented as very clear, easy-to-read data under all lighting conditions. About the only thing missing, unavailable on the V650, is temperature, which becomes important to me in the late Fall and early Spring. Cold weather riding requires careful consideration of what to wear so I'll miss this particular parameter.Setting up the V650 was easy and it connects/pairs easily to the sensors. The speed and cadence sensors have to be purchased separately from the V650 with heart rate monitoring. The V650 also recognizes my MIO Alpha 2 and my Fitbit Surge!! And the Session Analysis you get on the Polar website is really outstanding. I enjoy doing an analysis of my ride when I'm done and look carefully at the graphics you can generate on the website. In conclusion, I can say that I did a lot of research before making this purchase and I'm pleased with my decision. If you decide to go with this unit I think you'll be pleased as well.
ByRick F - April 27, 2015
*****UPDATE***** I've used the V650 for about three months now. I ride my bike about 5 times a week. My V650 has the most recent update (Software Version 1.2.0, Firmware Version 4.1.7), including maps.I still generally like the V650. I find the GPS works very well. I never have any issues with GPS.Occasionally, the V650 unit has trouble pairing to the speed and cadence sensors on the bike or with my H7 HRM. I select "Search for Sensors", and it usually finds them right way. It is important that your HRM is not paired to another device (such as a Polar Loop or your phone), as it will only pair to one device at a time and you must un-pair it with the other device before it will pair with your V650.I do find the V650's screen hard to read in bright sunlight while wearing sunglasses. For example, it is tricky to see if you are paired to all the sensors in bright light. Unfortunately, the backlight times out before it is done pairing. On the screen, little green circles stop flashing when you are paired - which is very tough to see in bright light - especially if the backlight turned itself down. It would be better if a larger icon popped up for each sensor when you pair. (Also, since I sync after every ride, I end up charging the V650 with only a few percent of battery use. Let the backlight stay in bright mode for criminy sakes!) Luckily, it usually pairs just fine.I've found the case of the V650 to be pretty slippery. You have to be careful holding it so as to not accidentally touch the touch screen or the side button, and it is easy to have it slip around in your hand. A little more grip to the surface, especially around the edges, would be appreciated.The left side button is easy to inadvertently push - either when holding the unit or when you toss it in your pocket. (I regularly remove the V650 from my bike to prevent theft or to sync). Hitting the side button can take it out of "Lock Display" mode, allowing all your settings to get changed if the screen is touched - like if it is in your pocket. I've had a few frustrating moments when half way through a ride, I discovered the settings were altered. Polar needs to fix this - unfortunately, to do so is probably a hardware fix and not a firmware fix.I bought the speed and cadence sensors to allow the V650 to show "inclination", or the grade percent of the road. I found it does work, but it is not very accurate - the inclination readings in percent are quite a bit off from what Google Earth says the road grade is - that is they read way under. A 10% grade might register at only 4 or 5 % on the V650. Therefore, I have set the unit to display altitude. So don't bother with the speed and cadence sensor kit unless you really want to see cadence. You already get speed from the GPS in the V650, so the speed sensor only provides a slightly more accurate reading - a very minor difference.There are still a few bugs in the software and Polar Flow. For example, when I look at the altitude profile of my ride on Polar Flow on the web, it is correctly displayed. When I view the same profile on my phone, it says it is in "Feet", but it displays in meters - it is very obvious someone forgot to make the conversion from meters to feet in the Polar Flow app for iOS. ******END UPDATE*****----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I love the V650. I've used the Polar H7 Heart Rate Monitor with my iPhone 6 for several months and finally decided to add the V650. First of all, the H7 HRM with an iPhone and the Polar Beat app will get you almost as much data as the V650. So it is a much cheaper way to go. With the H7 and the Polar Beat app, you can record average and max heart rate, average and max speed, elapsed time, etc. and map your ride from the phone's GPS. All of the data and your route map uploads automatically to the Polar Flow website, were you can maintain a diary of all of your workouts. The same data is viewable on your phone.With the V650, you can see on the display all of the same data the H7 records, plus some additional data. I like the ability to see the data real time while riding my bike. The display is large, easily read and worked well, even in bright sun light and while wearing sunglasses. There are many customizable views available to see your data while riding.The V650 paired easily with my previously purchased H7 HRM. I did find out that I needed the "Polar Flow" app to see the V650 data instead of the "Polar Beat" app. Both are free apps and I had no trouble getting both up and running. I also figured out I need to make sure the Polar Beat app is shut down on my phone in order for my H7 HRM to pair with the V650 using Bluetooth.One major difference with the V650 vs. my previous experience with the H7. The H7 transferred data to my phone and that data was uploaded automatically. This does not occur with the V650. You must sync to a computer with USB and Polar's FlowSync software to upload the data to from the V650 to Polar's Flow website. At this time, you cannot sync your V650 wirelessly. The end result is the same, all of your data can be viewed online and shared with friends or family. A few minutes after syncing the V650 to a computer and the data for each ride is viewable on your phone using the Polar Flow app.The V650 does collect additional data (compared to the combo of an H7 and the Polar Beat app on an iPhone), including altitude from its internal barometer. I found if I calibrate the barometer to the known altitude of my home before each ride (takes about 10 seconds to accomplish) then the altitude readings are pretty accurate. I went to Google Earth to see the altitude at my home, but you can see the altitude on many car GPS units too. I'd say after calibration, the V650 is accurate to maybe plus or minus 10 ft (3m). Since the weather changes, it is important to calibrate before each ride. During the ride, the V650 records all of the vertical feet you climb or descend on a ride.The V650 can also read a speed sensor and cadence sensor via bluetooth. I've ordered the Polar speed and cadence sensors but have not yet tried them. I tried a Wahoo SC, but it would not fit my bike due to a conflict with my fat tires and fenders. One feature that sold me on the V650, was the ability to display the "inclination", or the grade of the road. Inclination can be displayed in degrees or percent. I like the idea of seeing if the hill I am climbing is a 10% grade or whatever. I discovered, however, to see inclination, you must have the speed sensor in combo with the V650. I found this out at the forum for the V650 at Polar's website. Kudos to Polar for maintaining a forum for users to share information.
Rick F - July 4, 2015
An Awesome deal when purchased from warehouse deals.Updates are giving it parity with GPS units costing double the retail price.Color screen is sharp and easy to read. GPS lock is quick, Bluetooth connectivity ties in with my HR monitor and speed/cadence sensor. Lack of Ant+ a non issue for me, and I've not invested in any Ant accessories.Polar Flow Sync is okay for a synchronization app; but Bluetooth sync to phone would be much easier. - Per Polar updates bluetooth sync to iPhone is coming soon!!Offline maps are a great feature for tracking route. Haven't successfully used route guidance as its limited in functionality as only can import from Polar's flow. Needs to support route imports from third party sites.Update 04/01/2016:I have successfully paired with my Mio HR monitor and Topeak PanoBike Bluetooth Speed/Cadence sensor. This has allowed me to use the Polar V650 on my trainer letting me track speed/cadence/hr while spinning in one place.When i get back on the road I'm excited to have the inclination featuer work as well.
ByAugsburg - February 15, 2016

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