Polar have launched their latest device, the RC3 GPS with fully integrated GPS technology. It's a first for the heart rate monitor company, who have previously offered GPS trackers as an accessory rather than as part of the main unit.
The Polar RC3 GPS is primarily aimed at cyclists and runners who want a light (it's only 58g) heart rate-based training tool. It is water resistant (IPX7) but not enough to be suitable for swimmers.
The display is customisable to be able to show up to three rows of data. Aside from Polar's usual manifold functions and downloadable data, the addition of GPS enables distance and speed recording without an extra sensor as well as route mapping and a 'back to start' feature. This will point you back to your starting place using the shortest distance possible. Note: this might not always be the best route.
Polar have also equipped the RC3 GPS with what they term 'Smart Coaching', which is heart rate-based training guidance and feedback. These include "Running Index", which Polar say is a measure of running efficiency, and "Training Load", which they say measures your training intensity and when you will be sufficiently recovered to train again. The latter is an interesting concept and one that we'd like to test alongside real life coaching.
The unit comes with a 50 mAH Li-Pol rechargeable battery, that Polar say will last 12 hours while using the device and recording with the GPS function on and 1700 hours with it off.
Pricing and availability
The Polar GPS will be released in September 2012 and will be available with the following options:
RC3 GPS (£199.50/€242.50/$299.95) which includes the RC3 GPS training device and USB cable.
RC3 GPS HR (£249.50/€304.50/$349.95) which includes the RC3 GPS training device, USB Cable and H3 heart rate sensor
RC3 GPS Bike (£269.50) which includes the RC3 GPS training device, USB Cable, H3 heart rate sensor and CS Cadence sensor™ W.I.N.D