Polar Pacer Pro Review: Jogging Watch

Polar Pacer Pro Review: Jogging Watch


Ergonomics and design

With a case measuring 45 x 45 x 11.5 mm, the Pacer Pro is the most compact Polar watch. It is also the lightest, weighing only 41 g, when its cousins, the Vantage M2 and V2, show a weight of 45.5 and 52 g. This format is very comfortable on the wrist and is easy to forget. The housing is made of stainless steel, aluminum and fiberglass and is waterproof to a depth of 100 m (10 ATM). It will be possible to practice swimming, surfing or snorkeling. However, the case does not withstand scuba diving. The silicone strap is very comfortable on the wrist.

Polar Pacer Pro full length.

Polar Pacer Pro full length.

Despite its small size, Pacer Pro offers the same screen format as Vantage, based on a 1.2-inch MIP (Memory In Pixel) LCD panel and a 240 x 240 pixel display. The color screen is not touch, but has an automatic or manual backlight. Despite the slight reflections here and there, it is legible in most situations.

The back of the Polar Pacer Pro case.

The back of the Polar Pacer Pro case.

Editors' rating: 3 of 5

Interface

The interface of this Pacer Pro is strictly identical to the interface of other Polar models. The regulars of the brand therefore find their way around very quickly. We stay here for touchless navigation with five buttons: one to activate and deactivate the backlight, the second to go back, the third to confirm choices and the last two to navigate up and down. Note that Garmin users will also not be too disoriented by this interface, which is pretty close in the drive in the end.

Polar Pacer Pro on the wrist.

Polar Pacer Pro on the wrist.

Before we dive into the possibilities that this watch offers, let’s take a look at the new integrated processor. This chip, clocked at 192 MHz and combined with 5 MB of RAM, really makes navigation smoother. Regarding the reaction time of the plate, the procedure is the most remarkable. When even top Polar models drag before changing screens, the Pacer Pro responds to a quarter turn. And it feels good, especially on the already austere interface offered by Polar.

One of the Polar Pacer Pro offers.

One of the Polar Pacer Pro offers.

Nevertheless, this home interface is still so simple and efficient and offers only about ten functions. You can start an activity there, practice breathing exercises, set supplies or diet segments, and even run a chrono or timer. Among the non-sports functions we can only find notifications from the smartphone. These appear legible but lack information. The source application is not evaluated, so it is sometimes necessary to guess the context for the report to be properly assessed. Please note that it is possible to deactivate the reception of notifications during physical activity from Polar Flow. Music control, for its part, is quite simple. However, it is still not possible to save your favorite songs directly to your watch. You will need a smartphone to take advantage of this.

Polar Pacer Pro alert display.

Polar Pacer Pro alert display.

Some parameters are available, but minimal. They allow you to configure screen lighting, Airplane and Do Not Disturb modes or even alerts. Finally, it is possible to synchronize your run with the Komoot wrist navigation application. During such an exit, the track is displayed in green on a black background and vibrates with changes of direction. Although the system is maximally cleaned, it works quite well.

Komoot display on the watch.

Komoot display on the watch.

Editors' rating: 4 of 5

Usage and accuracy

Pacer Pro, designed for runners, does not lack sensors. Its case thus contains a heart rate monitor, GPS, barometer, compass and accelerometer. Combined with many of the software features offered by the manufacturer, this accessory looks promising.

Very easy to read display during sports sessions.

Very easy to read display during sports sessions.

Fortunately, for watches with such running ambitions, the Polar Pacer Pro is equipped with a very accurate heart rate monitor. Whether during a quiet or split session, heart monitoring is always realistic and sticks to the results offered by the chest strap. Below is the interval session divided into blocks: green data recorded by the chest band; in pink, you at the watch. All rhythmic variations are tracked with accuracy.

In pink Polar Pacer Pro, in green Polar H10 chest strap.

In pink Polar Pacer Pro; in green, chest strap Polar H10. On the time line; on the heart rate ordinate.

A little tip for the thinnest wrist: don’t hesitate to tighten the watch very tightly. If he has a little clearance, the impressive case could move during the session and the results would then be skewed, which happened to us during our first tests.

On the GPS side, the results are not very famous, the recorded tracks are not better than those obtained by a smartphone, moreover, with a tendency to overestimate distances. If you are taking part in an official race, rely instead on the terminals showing the actual distance scattered on the track.

Finally, Pacer Pro is able to measure the power deployed during a session. Due to the fact that we do not yet have the tools to evaluate this function, we cannot assess its accuracy and relevance. Nevertheless, this power is calculated using speed and altitude. External factors such as wind, rain or even slippery soil are not taken into account. Logically, the performance curves often overlap with the speed curves (see figure below).

Heart rate, speed, power and cadence measured during a session with Polar Pacer Pro.

Heart rate, speed, power and cadence measured during a session with Polar Pacer Pro.

Finally, this watch is able to monitor its user’s sleep. His results appear to be consistent and close to reality, although we cannot verify their accuracy at this time.



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