User manual for RS800CX appeared on the Polar site (in the download section) and while waiting for the HRM to be delivered I flipped through the pages. The watch is pretty much a RS800 with three sets of shoes, three sets of bikes and GPS sensor support including recording of a position information for post-exercise analysis. That's already known, but here are few things that the marketing does not reveal:
- First the bad news - it does not appear that Polar took advantage of the GPS sensor for calibration. The calibration of S3 sensor is still either run pre-determined distance or just enter calibration factor manually.
- Some good news - the watch will allow you to combine multiple workouts into one session - that is great. It works two ways - one is if you start second session within an hour of finishing the first the watch will ask you if you want to combine the two and will have a new view showing a distance for the combined workout. Second option is to stop the second workout and then select to combine it with the previous one in the menu. This can be done directly in the watch or if you prefer you can do it later in the PPT5 (so technically three ways of combining the exercises)
- Polar added Location function to the Settings menu before starting exercise and also to the context menu after the exercise is stopped. Nice addition if you get lost and need to call for help (and the help can pin-point you on the map).
- The capability to customize displays was already in RS800, but the amount of information you can get out of RS800CX is just amazing. It will be a tough choice what to put on the display. I wonder if they change with the use of the different sensors.
- From the description it looks like you will be able to change target zones from the context menu (hold Light button for 2 seconds). This will be available for exercises not created in PPT5 - e.g. these from PPT5 have already zones defined. I guess this allows you to switch from bike zones to run zones when you do a Free workout and finish your bike leg in a brick. The watch should support 3 zones according to the manual and marketing info on Polar site.
- The recording now supports 1s, 2s, 5s, 15s and 60s sampling interval. The computer will switch from current setting to the next one once you have 30 minutes left of recording (e.g. if you record every 5 second it will move to 15s and so on). This is to prevent from running out of space.
- The recording of GPS position information takes a lot of space (as you could imagine). The recording of S3, altitude, RR and GPS in 1s sampling gives you 4h 10min, without GPS position it is 8h 40min. That is quite substantial.
- Despite the description on Polar site it does not seem the alarm volume can be adjusted in the watch. Perhaps an incorrect formulation in the feature list.
This week I received electronic version of the Triathlete Mag and the RS800CX is featured in one of the adds in the magazine. Here is a copy of it:
Update (9/23): I forgot to add that the cadence based workouts now support both cycling cadence as well as running cadence. So you should be able to define cadence limits for your training runs just as you were for the cycling sessions with CS600. That is pretty exciting new feature especially if you work on increasing your run cadence and need to incorporate high cadence drills into your sessions.