Polar RCX5 review
Polar’s RCX5 packs a fully-fledged fitness computer into a smart, compact wrist watch. With heart rate and GPS receivers included in the box, and compatibility with Polar’s Speed, Cadence and Stride sensors as well as an optional bike mount, the RCX5 is potentially the ultimate do-it-all exercise companion.
Unlike some of its rivals, it relies on an external GPS receiver, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As the power-sapping GPS receiver has its own battery, which is good for a claimed 20 hours, the RCX5 only needs a battery change every 11 months.
The heart rate Wearlink+ dongle is waterproof to 30m, as is the RCX5, so it’s entirely possible to go straight from the treadmill to the swimming pool. That’s not its only clever trick: simply lift the RCX5 to the chest-mounted heart rate sensor, and you can set the RCX5 to mark a lap, activate the backlight or briefly glimpse at the time.
Data from workouts can be uploaded to Polar’s Personal Trainer website to view GPS-tracked routes overlaid on Google Maps alongside information from all the other connected sensors.
At over £360 with both the GPS and Wearlink+ sensors, and with bicycle-specific speed and cadence sensors costing extra, a fully-loaded RCX5 doesn’t come cheap. However, if you’re looking for a fitness computer that’s at home in the water, on the road or in the gym, the RCX5 is a veritable triathlete.
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