Polar’s new super-light running watches could be its most accurate yet

Polar has unveiled its first new GPS running watches of 2022: the entry-level Polar Pacer and the mid-range Polar Pacer Pro. Both watches are thinner and lighter than devices like last year’s Polar Vantage V2, with new features and design tweaks to help improve your training.

The Polar Pacer is designed for people who are new to running and want to start their training on the right foot, putting it in competition with watches like the Garmin Forerunner 55 and the Coros Pace 2. One of its new Most interesting features is a walking fitness test that provides an estimate of VO2 max (the amount of oxygen your body can use during exercise) if you’re not yet ready to run for an extended period of time. in a row. Just walk for 15 minutes on a flat surface and the watch will do the rest.

The watch also provides training suggestions and training tips to help new runners avoid getting stuck in a rut or overtraining and putting themselves at risk of injury (a common problem when people start out).

Polar Pacer running watch

The Polar Pacer is an entry-level running watch designed for beginners (Image credit: Polar)

The Polar Pacer Pro is for runners who want to take their training to the next level and maybe start racing events. It has a new, faster processor that should make the interface noticeably smoother, as well as a barometer that lets it measure wrist power so you can track your effort in real time.

Its body is more compact than most recent Polar watches, with a thin aluminum bezel and ergonomic buttons that should be easy to press and weatherproof, even if you’re training in heavy rain.

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Polar has also redesigned the Pacer Pro’s GPS antenna in a way that promises to provide more accurate satellite positioning than previous running watches. We don’t yet know exactly what the change looks like internally, but it’s possible the antenna is now housed in one of the tabs securing the strap, as with the recently released Huawei GT Runner.

Brightness and battery

Both watches sport backlit Memory In Pixel (MIP) displays, which Polar says will be clearly visible in all lighting conditions, including direct sunlight. MIP displays consume much less power than OLEDs, but can sometimes be difficult to read with muddy colors. This was one of our main complaints with the excellent Garmin Fenix ​​7, so we’re very interested to see how the Pacer and Pacer Pro compare.

Both watches promise up to 100 hours of battery life in standby mode, which is relatively short for a running watch, most of which run for a full week on a single charge. However, it lasts 35 hours with GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring enabled, which is very respectable.

The relatively short battery life in standby mode may be due to the backlight, which is likely set to “always on” to improve visibility. We hope to test both watches and bring you a full comparison of both very soon.

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