July 1, 2008

New Polar RS800cx due late 2008

Following some speculation and rumors about the new Polar HRM here are more rumors and picture of the anticipated new Polar RS800CX device. This is a copy of what has been posted in the Polar discussion forums on Yahoo! earlier today:

The new Polar RS800CX Training Management System- now with GPS route tracking and multisensor compatibility- is the most advanced and flexible training tool for the multisport market. The RS800CX is essential for multi-discipline and endurance athletes looking for an accurate way to measure, plan, monitor and analyze their training. In addition to speed and distance, the RS800CX records positioning information with the G3 GPS sensor(tm) and enables users to download route information into the included ProTrainer 5 Software(tm). Route information can also be easily exported to Google Earth mapping software. The sleek, lightweight RS800CX wrist unit is compatible with the range of Polar W.I.N.D. sensors, including the s3 Stride Sensor(tm) and CS Cadence and Speed Sensors(tm). The multisensor functionality allows users to combine different sport sessions into one training file for an enhanced training experience. Available Fall 2008.


Earlier one of the forum members posted the following text that complements and confirms the rumor (note that Polar did not announce this product yet, but the forum turned out to be quite accurate in the past when Polar was about to release the G1 GPS sensor for the S625X/S725X line):

The RS800CX will be compatible with the following accessories.

  • G3 - GPS
  • S3 - Stride Sensor
  • CS W.I.N.D. - Speed Sensor
  • CS W.I.N.D. - Cadence Sensor
  • CS Power - No compatibility.
There are some upgraded features like automatic switching between known measurement devices, and compatibility with Google earth. It is unclear weather current RS800G3 users will be able to use this new map feature. The software will have several upgrades, like full workout files even when using different devices (triathlon/ mutlisport) and the mapping. I was also not able to find out if the Heart rate zones will auto swap between zones (HR zones associated with speed sensors). I use a CS600 w/ Power and an RS800sd and have no problems with merged files and My HR/ Power zones are always accurate to the sports I am doing, no mental calculations during the race. My other question is how the HR/ Zones woudl be notated in the graph if the unit did switch zones auto style. No answer as of yet.

The current RS800 users on the market will not be able to start using bike sensors. this is a new unit based on the orginal RS800 platform. Think S725 to S725x type change.

Most likely not available till octoberish.

From what I'm reading in this semi-announcement Polar will upgrade the RS800 line to get GPS mapping, compatibility with the CS bike sensors (with exception of power - I hope this is not true as if they had power they would have it all - speed / distance / cadence / GPS mapping / power / multiple sensors in one session). If they bring in the Power sensor to the fold this would be the ultimate triathlete device with multi-sensor support and power. Otherwise with the exception of mapping and running cadence the features are already available in Suunto T6c with the multi-sensor support. The only thing I'm still missing in T6c is the running cadence and integration with power sensor. It would be nice if Suunto added at least the run cadence as it is technically possible to determine (Garmin does it with pretty much the same sensor as Suunto uses in their line).


Scott said...

Great blog. I read with interest your thoughts about the Polar/Garmin/Suunto experiences and thought you might be able to give some further thoughts about the new polar and your Suunto T6.

My question for you is this -do you think the Polar RS800CX is going to replace your T6 this fall? From what I have read, the Polar seems like it might be worth waiting for, but I'm not really that familiar with Polar so I am not sure what to expect overall.

For background - I currently use the 405 for my triahtlon training (except for the swim), but have decided I'm not a big fan of the bezel - too hard to use when it gets wet.

Soooo, I am looking to replace my 405 with either the T6 or the new Polar RS800CX when it comes out this fall/winter. I'd really like to make the changeover now rather than wait, but I will wait if the new Polar seems worth it.

kxux said...

The only reason I would consider switching from Suunto to Polar is Polar software. From all the manufacturers it is the best. I have few complaints, but compared to Suunto or Garmin software Polar's actually rocks. Otherwise unless Polar introduces something like Memory belt you will still have no HR on the swim and the current handling of the switch between sensors in T6c is perfect. Just did a brick on the weekend and I did not even touch the watch - it just switched from bike sensor to shoes as soon as I was 10 meters away from my car (where I left the bike). I still remember the pain of doing this with S625X or RS800. All I need in T1 or T2 is to focus on the essentials - worrying about switching the sensor is not essential and T6c handles it very well.

But I'm not saying that I will not try the Polar watch. If it gets good reviews I may try it and then keep both Suunto T6c and Polar.

If you need or want a great tri-friendly HRM today go for the T6c with Memory Belt, foot pod and bike pod (or just get the Triathlon Pack that has it all). If you want to wait until after the season (at least where I live) then Polar may be also an option. One thing is sure - Polar's software beats Suunto's any time. But there are always alternatives - like WKO+ or the FirstBeat Technology Athlete. I use both and I'm very happy with them.

Pedro said...

I think an issue for triathletes will be the fact that the unit does not receive heart rate data under water. At least the original RS800 did not. Do you know if this has been looked at KXUX?

kxux said...

RS800CX uses the WIND sensor just like RS800 and does not transmit under water. Not a big deal if you ask me - how many times do you check you HR during the swim training or racing? I swim train by splits per 50 / 100 / 200yd not by HR. Yeah I'll not know how many calories I burned and how high my HR went in the hard segments. If I need HR on the swim I'll use the S625X that I still keep.

CES Mike said...

Thanks for the info - how do you currently switch sensors on the RS800? Thinking from a triathlon perspective, how do you switch on the shoe pod after you get off the bike?

fitcajun said...

ces Mike,
To switch between the bike sensor and the foot pod on the RS800CX, press the bottom left button once to pause the heart rate recording. Press and hold the bottom right button and "none selected" will display. Press and hold the bottom right button again and "shoes 1 selected" will display. Press the red center button and you're done!

kxux said...


This is how you change the sensors on S625X or S725X. On RS800CX it does not work this way. You actually need to close the active exercise and start a new one which you can combine with the previous one.

fitcajun said...

Thanks KXUX, I overlooked the difference. Yes, you'll need to stop the current recording upon getting off the bike, press the red button once to switch between the bike sensor and the run sensor. Thanks for your input, good call.

kxux said...

fitcajun: Thanks for reading my blog. All input is welcome and appreciated.