the Polar Pacer Pro Review – For Runners ? Good for Triathletes too

Polar-pacer-pro-review-precision-primePolar Pacer Pro Review – Polar Pacer & The Competition Compared

Finally, it’s back to basics time. Running.

Polar re-jigged its current products and lowered prices to create two good running watches – the beginner runner’s Polar Pacer and the committed runner’s Pacer Pro. Except someone in the Features Department slipped up and left too many features in. Inadvertently, it seems, Polar created a rather competitive beginner/improver triathlon watch with the Pacer Pro coming in at £259.00 (€/$299.90 rrp)

For newbie runners, Polar nicely avoids the complexity of a Garmin Forerunner Watch and beats the visual experience offered by Coros Pace 3 and its partner app….oh! and it has done that with the Pacer (non-Pro) for a highly competitive price of £169.50 (€/$199.90 rrp)

Let’s start off with a summary review of the Polar Pacer Pro and I’ll expand on some of the more interesting topics afterwards

Verdict: GOOD ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Ticks all the boxes, including price - although if you need more confusing features, buy a Garmin.
  • Price - 90%
  • Build Quality & Design - 85%
  • Features, Including App - 80%
  • Openness & Compatability - 85%

Great running watches

Polar Pacer Pro Summary Review

Both Polar Pacer watches have a new generation of hardware with improvements over all previous Polar models. You will most easily see that in brighter and more responsive screens than found on either the earlier Vantage V2 or Grit X Pro.

Polar-pacer-pro-review-weatherPutting aside some minor new tests, the features on offer are all from the tried-and-trusted Polar stable. Boring but, hey, they’re proven to work!

With Pacer and Pacer Pro, you get two competent running watches that provide all the regularly-used running metrics that derive from the basics of HR, speed/pace, power, distance, direction and altitude plus the modern crop of physiology insights that cover detailed sleep analyses and assessments of your readiness to train. For a beginner, an improver and arguably even a very competent runner Polar Pacer Pro is a complete package.

If you want day-to-day training plans and guidance in each workout as you execute them then you’ve got that with FitSpark. If you want to see the cumulative effect of that as you progress then you will love the Training Load Pro feature.

Do you want to know your fat vs carb bun as you exercise? You’ve got it with EnergySources. Then, as an endurance athlete, you might also want smart feedback about when to take on board carbs…and you’ve got that with FuelWise.

Put all of that and more into the market-leading Polar FLOW ecosystem/app and you’re good to go.

In a nutshell: These are great running watches and the Pro model doubles as a good beginner triathlon watch. So good, in fact, that 99% of you will be perfectly OK with these watches when compared to Polar high-end watches. In creating these great watches, Polar may have inadvertently sabotaged its premium offerings. Hey…good news for you right?



  • Great battery life
  • Extra hill and elevation related features on the Pro version
  • Running Power (Pro only)
  • Smaller and lighter case than Vantage/Grit models with same sized screen
  • Outdoors features are mostly on the Pro model (Hill splitter, route guidance and TBT from Komoot)
  • Great support for most sports especially triathlon, gym and indoor classes


  • Smartphone music control only
  • No 3rd party watch faces (this might be added)
  • No 3rd party plans and workouts (use Polar’s free Fitspark and Running Programs)
  • Err. I’m struggling, help me out.

Polar Pacer Pro Review Specifcations

Background – Comparing Polar Watches

Polar has been in the sports tech game for many years and the PACER brand name was used by them many moons ago. Much has happened since then and Polar is now at a turning point in its journey. Its older M200 and M430 are now effectively discontinued and Polar are left with a fitness watch range covering runners from many different aspects.

To generalise, the cheaper models in bold lack the following: a barometer, magnetic compass, MIL standard durability rating, and most outdoor & navigation features. The upper 4 models gain support for on-wrist running power, a wider range of fitness tests and the Recovery Pro feature.

Vantage V2 and Grit X models are a ‘standard’ size when compared to a Garmin. The Vantage M2 and Pacer models have a slightly smaller case and the Ignite 2 and Unite are smaller still.

The eagle-eyed amongst you would assume that the Vantage M2 and Pacer Pro are almost identical and you would be almost right. Pacer Pro has the outdoor & navigation features that the M2 lacks and the fitness tests too. However, the Pacer Pro has new, faster hardware with a superior screen, superior memory, a superior CPU and it’s lighter to boot. The Vantage M2 is effectively a dead weight in the product range; worse still, as an older product, it’s likely to be discounted.

Those same eagle-eyed people will have also spotted that the Pacer (non-Pro) beats the Ignite 2 in just about every respect…including price. Again, Ignite 2 is a deadweight in the lineup.

Techy Details: At 5Mb, the Pacer models have 6x the memory found on any other Polar watch and the CPU is 192MHz, unlike all the others that max out at 120MHz. Every Polar watch has a 1.2″ display with a 240x240px resolution all that differs is the size of the case around it. Battery details are largely irrelevant in that they are all good with the Pacers giving you GPS time of 35hours vs. 40hours for their top-end watches.

To summarise the techiness: The faster, smoother Polar Pacer models are the sweet spot of the entire Polar range. If you plan to do a triathlon or take running more seriously then get the Pro model and it will last you for many years. If you are a beginner or improver there’s no need for the Pro model.

Polar Pacer vs The Competition

If you use your smartphone a lot then you might consider a smartwatch that better integrates the two. The most obvious example is the Apple Watch 7 for iPhones. For Android phones then there are many decent choices, ranging from the Samsung Watch4 to the Suunto 7 or one of the many Fossil watches. If a $5 sports app meets your needs on either of those platforms then that’s the safest and cheapest bet to get you started. A sports watch is different and, err, is more sports-focussed. The differences often boil down to more buttons, a longer-lasting battery and lots of esoteric sports features that you might not understand or ever use. It’s hard to describe the many subtle differences in the smart features you will miss if you’ve used an Apple Watch for a year and then move to a dedicated sports watch. Whilst that sports watch WILL have MANY smart features they’re never quite as good or as clever as what Apple delivers. But the sporty stuff on offer from the likes of Garmin or Polar is better than the plain old Apple Workout app. So if you know you want something better than a smartwatch, Polar is one of several great places to start out. The BIG win for Polar is that they have one of the best smartphone apps and desktop platforms. Conversely, you will be confused by the intricacies of Garmin Connect and underwhelmed by the Coros app.

If you’re a bit too sporty and a bit too techy, like me, then you may well love what Garmin offers. Many reviewers are a bit like that but we sometimes forget that YOU are probably different.

Polar is a lot better fit for beginner and mid-level runners than most Sports Tech Reviewers will have you believe. Sure Polar hasn’t got last-lap NP for the power running profile but 90% of sports tech reviewers don’t know what that means either. Let alone the people that buy the stuff.

With the Pacer Series, Polar is perhaps aiming at people who want a sports watch just for sport and then to wear something else or nothing else for the rest of the day. Why do you need 24×7 monitoring? Why do you need atrial fibrillation detection? and so on. Just get a dedicated running watch for running…there’s zero point in buying a premium version as the watch probably won’t fit your lifestyle and so you won’t wear it as often as it would like you to.

Go on. Buy a Polar. Then just go for a run.


Polar Pacer Series – What’s New

There are some new things that I’ve touched on already plus these

  • A new charging cable, I liked the old one. Grrrrr
  • A redesigned Precision Prime optical sensor – 1 green LED light, 4 yellow LED lights, 5 red LED lights, and 4 light detectors.
    • The green LED light and yellow LED lights are dedicated to the actual heart rate measurement,
    • The red LED lights are for motion artefact detection.
    • The great number of LED lights and detectors increases the likelihood of adequate skin contact and motion artefact rejection.
    • Non-Wear-detection is based on a 5-minute period of no motion from the accelerometers and no skin contact from the LEDs/detectors
  • Faster processor – 192MHz and 5Mb RAM, meaning it works faster and more smoothly than either Vantage or Grit X.
  • The newish SHIFT strap mechanism supports moulded straps and lay-flat straps. For the first time, this is on 20mm straps.
  • Updated Sony CXD5605AGF, single-banded/frequency GNSS chipset. Support dual constellation up to GPS+GALILEO with GPS+GLONASS recommended.
  • Polar Pacer Pro has a premium aluminium bezel and buttons similar to those on the other premium Polar watches.
  • A Beginner-level walking test is included to better estimate VO2max (Apple does something similar)
  • 265mAh batteries are found on both Pacer models giving 35hours of GPS time. The 40 hours of GPS time on the Vantage/Grit models and lower times on the Vantage M and Ignite 2 account for the appropriate sizes of their batteries (346mAh, 230mAh, 165mAh respectively)
  • On-watch storage is unchanged at 32Mb, these watches can never support standalone music.
  • 50m waterproofing on the Pacer is superior to the Vantage M2, in itself if you are thinking of swimming then get the Pacer/Pacer Pro because of this.

Design, the Polar Pacer Pro has a more premium design with an aluminium bezel & buttons. In addition, the Polar Pacer Pro has a barometer and magnetometer, which enable running power from the wrist, route guidance and hill splitter. Finally, the Polar Pacer Pro also has a cycling performance test.

Summary: Q: What’s New? A: The hardware.

Polar – From a Product Line Up and Marketing Perspective – What’s Happening Here?

Polar’s line-up is a little confusing as there is a great deal of overlap and some redundancy with the products. My take is that the Ignite 2 and Vantage M2 are consigned to history, albeit a VERY nice piece of history in the case of the Vantage M2.

Whilst the Pacer Pro is broadly a like-for-like swap with the Vantage M2, the Pacer (non-Pro) represents a price cut over the Ignite 2. Indeed both products’ prices represent real-term cuts if inflation and likely inflation are both taken into account. So Polar is adapting to ever-increasing price competition and lowering prices in real terms, whilst their component costs and costs of manufacture are almost certainly rising.

More interestingly, Polar is saying that these are both Running Watches for runners. That’s true and they are good running watches. However, the fact that the Pacer Pro is also a pretty good triathlon watch might seem confusing at first. In fact, what the Pacer Series represents is that Polar has seen that it cannot compete as a main player in the specialist and demanding triathlon space.


I suspect, but don’t know, that a similar fate awaits the Vantage V2/Grit X end of the product line up too. Whilst I expect those products to be refreshed with next-gen hardware, like the Pacer Series I expect neither of them to materially change their feature set. What I do now expect to see is that V2/V3 and Grit X/X2 become more focused on different kinds of running with premium construction variants for those that can afford them. So we will see them focussed on UltraRunning, mountain running, track running, orienteering or whatever segments Polar chooses to target. They will still be fine triathlon watches just not marketed that way.

Q: Does that sound familiar? A: Well, yes. It sounds like exactly what Coros has been doing for a couple of years and it sounds exactly like what Polar originally did!

Remember, Polar sells significantly more watches than Coros.

For those of you new to some of the excellent Polar features I’ll cover a selection again below…

Training Recommendations

If you follow the Polar guided, adapted training you will become a better runner. Simple.

The watch makes sure you get the right balance of training to cover strength and mobility as well as to push you at different running intensities. These are far more than simple recommendations, they are based on your training history and how you adapt to it plus the recommendation follows through to a guided workout where you are coached all the way through it. It’s a great feature, well-executed


Polar also has free plans that are specifically tailored towards a race date and distance. Each plan has calendarised workouts and each workout has guided steps. Naturally, you can still build and schedule your own plan or get your coach to do it for you from his/her library of workouts.



Race Pacing

Polar can guide you on race day when you have a specific race goal in mind. Like many other running watches, you are shown whether you are on track or behind. Perhaps Polar could work more on this for undulating courses?




Running Power

Love it or loathe it, running power is here to stay. Running power is essentially a proxy for ‘how hard it feels’, taking into account the fact that you can run faster downhill for less effort.

Both Polar Pacer watches support running power but only Pacer Pro has an inbuilt, proprietary method of calculating it. I prefer what I believe to be a more accurate alternative ie the STRYD footpod, which both Pacers support.




If your running has a burst of intensity, Polar is able to automatically record those as a separate series of laps and there is a special screen that shows once you speed up (not shown). It’s cool stuff, even though it might feel hot and sweaty at the time.


Running A Route

You can create running routes for free within the Polar ecosystem.  Alternatively bring them onto your watch from KOMOOT, Strava or elsewhere.




Pacer Pro will show you a complete route with turn-by-turn instructions plus an elevation profile to remind you of the agony to come 😉 However, if you go off track, Polar is only able to route you back to the track with a simple compass heading. That’s often fine but sometimes having a proper onboard map can help and only Coros Vertix 2 and Garmin Fenix have onboard maps (plus, kinda, some of the smartwatches like Apple Watch 7). The Garmin/Coros maps make those watches considerably more expensive. If you are thinking you will use maps a lot then consider that a watch is a very small format and is often under your sleeve. Further, if you are riding a bike you may find watch-based direction too far away from your eyes to be useful.

Running Hydration & Fuelling




You can set a simple drink or fuel notification. Fine, most sports watches and bike computers can do that.

However, Polar’s offering over and above that basic ability is impressive. Refuelling prompts can be dynamic based on the levels and durations of your exertions. ie If you’ve tried harder you’ll be prompted to refuel sooner than normal. Polar works it all out.



Then, at the end of your workout, you are given an indication of your likely usage of carbs or fat as a fuel source for your endeavours. If you are either trying to build an endurance base or trying to lose weight then training at the correct, low-intensity fat-burning level is essential. Polar tells you how you have done in that respect at the end of all your workouts. Consider: You may well find that your aerobics classes are FAR more carb-burning than you thought. Another interesting product is Lumen which measures your fat burn rate when at rest…Polar only estimates it from complex calculations derived from your heart rate and other factors.




Strava Live Segments

Most sports platforms easily send your finished workouts to Strava. Polar can do that and send you workouts to other places too.

However, if you are a Strava Subscriber then you can also benefit from receiving Strava routes and receiving ALL your Strava favourited/starred segments. The last of these is called Strava Live Segments and whenever you approach a segment it automatically pops up special screens on your watch that guide your effort over the segment…essentially to see if you can beat your best time or the best time ever. It’s probably more of a favourite cycling feature but lots of runners use it and it does add an extra level of achievement and motivation into your running routine if you fancy giving it a go sometime.


Other Goodies

There really is a lot more than that select list of features I covered above. You can control the music on your phone from your watch and you can see notifications on the watch too. Weather features are always handy for our outdoor sports.






Polar Pacer Pro and Polar Pacer Specifications – comparison to Vantage M


Polar Pacer Series – Full Specifications
–Activity & SleepPolar PacerPolar Pacer ProPolar Vantage M2
Serene™ breathing exercise
Nightly Recharge™ recovery measurement
Continuous heart rate
24/7 Activity Tracking
Sleep Duration and Quality
Sleep Stages
Sleep Score
Activity Goal
Active Time
Steps and Distance
Activity Summary
Activity Benefit
Inactivity Alert
FitSpark™ training guide
Hill Splitter™
FuelWise™ smart fuelling assistant
Training Load Pro
Cardio load
Muscle loadvia 3rd party sensor
Perceived loadin Polar Flow
Running Program
Running power from wristvia 3rd party sensorvia 3rd party sensorvia 3rd party sensor
Speed and distance from the wrist
Running cadence from the wrist
Route planning and turn-by-turn guidance powered by Komoot
Route guidance
Route import
Wrist-based heart rate measurement
Heart rate
Heart Rate zones
Speed/Pace zones
Power zones
Strava Live Segments
Polar Fitness Test
Polar Fitness Test with wrist-based heart rate
Running Index
Running Performance Test
Cycling Performance Test
Walking test
Smart Calories
Energy Sources
Training Benefitin Polar Flow
Back to Start
Route and elevation profiles
Altitude, ascent/descent
Altitude, ascent/descent – barometric
Altitude, ascent/descent – GPS
Sport profiles
User-adjustable training displays
Multisport training
A-GPS with GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS
GPS Power save mode
Race pace
Training targets
R-R Recording
H9/H10 heart rate sensor required
Training history
Training diaryin mobilein mobilein mobile
Interval Timers
Laps, manual
Laps, automatic
Swimming Metrics
Countdown Timer
Barometric sensor
Heart rate sensor mode
–Smartwatch features
Music controls
Phone Notifications
Watch face colour themes
–Cadence sensor Bluetooth® Smart features
–Speed sensor Bluetooth® Smart features
–Stride sensor Bluetooth® Smart features
Average stride length
Setup via mobile
Battery life
Training time with power save options100h100h100h
Training time35h35h30h
Weight without wristband23g23g28g
Always on
Colour display
Water resistanceWR50WR50WR30
Rechargeable battery
USB cableCustomCustomCustom
– More
Bluetooth Smart
Vibration alerts
Button lock
Date and weekday indicator
Time of day (12/24h)
Bike settings for three bicycles
Firmware update
GPS Power save mode
Season planner
Running Index analysis
Map view
Instant activity and training analysis
Advanced activity and training analysis
Training planning
Sport profile settings
Progress follow-up
–Polar Flow for Coach
Coach – athlete interaction
–Polar Club
HR broadcasting

These specs are sourced from Polar

Techy Tidbit: The Pacer Series is Designed in Finland and manufacturing is by Polar. Pacer Pro is manufactured in China and Pacer is manufactured in Malaysia.


Polar Pacer Plus Accuracy Tests

From what I see so far; the elevation tracks are good, the heart rate tracks are often not good, and the GNSS tracks are ‘normal’ for the industry.

Polar suggested I use GPS+GLONASS even though GPS+GALILEO is theoretically more accurate. It’s a slightly new chip for Polar so we can’t assume that it performs like previous ones and there could be more improvements to come. My standard 10-mile test produced an industry-average result and that tied in with what I saw elsewhere. Some other early owners report good GPS. Instant running pace for GPS was often significantly different to the actual pace, though lap pace should be fine.

Generally, I found good old-fashioned tarmac to yield relatively stable HR results but when I went on the soggier ground or when I went cycling the results were notably worse.




I’ve not made a definitive call yet on the GPS+GLONASS accuracy and have been comparing it on rides and runs against Apple Watch 6, Garmin Epix 2, Stages Dash M200, Wahoo Bolt 2 and the Garmin 935. Whilst it’s definitely not the best of that bunch it’s certainly a better-than-average performer as these charts indicate


Optical HR though is very sensitive to personal factors and I almost always seem to bring out the worst in EVERY vendor’s optical heart rate monitors for the wrist. No doubt, Polar will be similar. But it could work perfectly fine for you.

Bottom Line: You will only get very slightly better accuracy from significantly more expensive watches…and they still have a notable degree of inaccuracy. (All of them)

Polar Pace Pro – Options

Polar Pace colour options – Night Black, Cloud White, Deep Teal, Purple Dusk,

Polar Pace Pro colour options – Carbon Gray, Snow White, Midnight Blue, Autumn Maroon, and Aurora Green. Aurora Green available later in 2022

Both have a 20mm band and Pacer Pro comes with a SHIFT adapter that allows the use of any, non-Polar 20mm band. I’ve used that in all the photos in this review.

Polar Pacer Pro Review Specifcations

Can You Recommend The Polar Pacer & Pacer Pro?


Reviewers and die-hard Polar fans will be disappointed as there is not too much new here in terms of features. However, Polar seem to be gradually shifting to announce more significant feature releases separately from their watch launches [see here:  1, 2, 3, 4], with some exceptions. Polar has a good, history of adding features to products, although die-hard Polar fans and reviewers might bemoan the speed at which this happens. But it does happen.

You will also read that some challenger sports watches can iterate new features much more quickly than Polar. And that’s true. However, you have to look at the accuracy, the detail of what’s delivered to you and the way in which it is presented. Taking a supposedly simple measure like ‘calories’ most vendors will disagree with its magnitude, however, Polar has decades of research in sports-related areas and is generally trusted more than others to be accurate. Yes, of course, there are exceptions.

Q: Will I use these watches myself?

A: Probably not is the honest answer. I’m using a Garmin 935 and Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar right now plus an Apple Watch 6 (not 7) and a Wahoo Bolt Gen 2 . I ‘do’ triathlon plus this blog so I have other needs and those fit my needs, my partner prefers and uses Polar watches FWIW.

Polar Pacer and Polar Pacer Pro – Price, Discounts & Availability

Pacer Pro is available from major retailers and the non-pro version is on pre-order only from until mid-May

Polar Pacer Pro Review Specifcations

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31 thoughts on “the Polar Pacer Pro Review – For Runners ? Good for Triathletes too

  1. I may be crazy but I think my first HRM was the Polar Pacer around 1992-ish.

    This looks like a very solid entry point — especially if paired with an H9 or H10.

  2. Is turn by turn navigation reliant on Komoot and is there the ability to vary zoom levels while navigating? Those were the main drawbacks of previous Polar watches if I recall.

    1. TBT will come from the provider, komoot , strava, whoever. if you import a tcx route file it muct contain the tbt instructions for the m to be displayed.
      so it;s a 3rd party issue.

      zoom is unchanged AFAIK

  3. “help me out” no prob. Battery is far from being “great”. Since 2018 all what Polar can do is up to 7 days of Smart time (real life up to 5 days, typically 4). Looks like typical Polar – add 2 new functions and sell watch again (vantage v2. Did you know grit pro is named on windows like version of v2?). Race pace still doesnt show “average pace to finish on time” predictor on race pace like on v800 – updated based on average speed. Strava segments show only number on watch (not training mode) – not name, length like on v800. Watch show only 1 nearest segment (during activity – v800 shows two). When you cancel segment IT disappear and you cant run it again on this training (v800 alerts you everytime you come closer to segment). Polar strategy is to slowly, slooowly bring back functions from v800. This time – notifications during run.

    1. not sure what point you are making.
      I could point to any watch and find things I personally don’t like and/or that I think could be different.
      batteries degrade over time and degrade if you use more backlight/gps etc etc.

      1. You asked for help with cons all by yourself, so here you go. Its not about degrading batteries – its just like polar watches work. UP TO 7 days is 5 or 4 days on watches with even (346mah) bigger batteries. Yes, you could find things not to like/need but asked for help, so you struggled with that. Just helped you out :-). I don’t know how to point out more clearly.

      2. . OK, fair enough, thank you and apologies for being grumpy. ty for the Grit info

        however the points you are making are highly specific ones perhaps even bugs in some of the case.
        the battery point is probably true but probably applies to almost all sports watches and is just inherent in how these things are made and then how specifically the vendors quote figures based on their use-cases.

        I probably have been on the kinder side of normal on this product. but i do like it. its essentially the same as the vantage M and M2 which me, dcr and many other reviewers loved back when released. yes of course times and expectations have moved on. it’s a good product. (I;m currently half way through penning a why garmin epix 2 is a PITA post but will freely say its the best sports/adventure watch ever at the same time)

  4. If adding up Training Peaks integration (download complex workouts from it, like Wahoo Rival) I would buy it.

      1. SUUNTO recently added up a “sort of” in their Suunto plus “platform” Not only for Strava and TP but kind of open architecture for anybody that would want to develop a connection. I think it serves the purpose. Not as “integrated “ as Wahoo , but works. Wish Polar does something like that…

  5. Hi,
    Both Pacer are indeed really nice addition.
    Anyway, two general though about Polar lineup:
    – It’s only question of running/fitness. Adding speed unit in knot for example would open a wide market for sailor, kitesurf, paddle and everyone on sea … A bit of commercial/branding also. Ignoring such entire market for a unit everyone else have (garmin etc) is just non sense.
    – Polar needs to get more colors options on entire range. Example ? My wife just get Ignite2 (250€) instead of Vantage V2 (450€) because she wants to wear a nice gold watche and strap. Garmin for example has lot of color choice making all model attractive for women.

    1. hi
      – first point, im not sure about that. but it would be a trivial addition for polar to make, so i can’t see what harm would be done.
      – seocn point, yes you’re right. i think more colours are coming later in the years but polar’s volumes are overall lower than your comparator (Garmin) so having many, many SKUs creates stocking difficulties. Even with Garmin and Apple you will see restrictions in the SKUs that are sold by 3rd parties compared to what is sold direct from manufacturers own site

  6. Hi!

    Any reason to get the Pro if I already own a Stryd? I’m replacing my old Vantage M soon and I think the Pacer would do the job for me.

    1. I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s worth replacing the M unless there is something specific you want. Check out the table of differences above but note also that the PRO is made from better materials. IF you only use the Polar for running then it doesn’t matter about those materials

  7. Do both of the pacer models have all the features from the vantage M, including pool swimming and stroke recognition and openwater swimming? I am a triathlete and have the original vantage M but am considering the pacer pro for the route guidance, which would be great while running. Anyone know if the pacer pro connects reliably to the assioma power pedals like the vantage M does?

    1. yes, pacer pro has everything that the M and M2 have plus more.
      assioma – i do have a pair but haven’t tested that specic combination with the Pacer. I would be VERY surprised if it were not the same. Assioma is generally great all round in any case with pairing. I hear there might be some Garmin Power MEter pairing issues
      route guidance – ok, remember this is a minor feature. simple breadcrumb routes have their uses but a map is always better to add context around your position if you get lost. should be fine for 95% of us tho.

  8. Good day, how does it compare to the Suunto 5 peak, I’m an avid runner, most pf my maon activities besides running is just body weight exercise, yoga etc…I’im looking to replace my 3+ year Suunto Spartan Trainer… currently looking at Suunto 5, Coros Pace 2 and Polar Pacer pro…

    1. 5 peak is a very nice piece of quality hardware and your data i already in suunto app. you can wear this watch 24×7 as it look like that kind of watch

      pace 2 and pacer pro are both the sports watch aesthetic. both are light and suitable for racing with lots of features. the differentiator here is that polar’s app and physiology algorithms are better but that the pace 2 is cheaper

      if you only use to minor the race go for the Pace 2.

      not sure that help.

      1. Tq, I guess i just have to decide ig i want to stay with Suunto or explore either Coros or Polar. Cheers

  9. I used the Pacer Pro for a couple of days. I though it would be able to replace my Vantage V. The extra features are nice but what disappointed me was the battery. After one day and one night the battery was already down to 60%. I don’t want a watch that I have to charge every few days. That is why I returned it.
    It also made me leave Polar after 7 years using M400/V800/VantageV. Switched to Garmin(Fenix 7x), what a difference a bigger screen makes…..

  10. Hi, thanks for a great review site. I am really having trouble finding my next GPS-watch. Partly since I want to get a watch with good health/stress/productivity measurement (mostly HRV-based) except for running (only running well maybe some biking but not that important). The V2 seems to do a good job on it, but I find it way too bulky for my wrists.

    The Pacer Pro looks sleek (?) enough to be worn daily, but seems to lack the Recovery Pro (contrary to the text above if I didn’t misread it) and also the orthostatic tests (I guess they are linked).

    Any good recommendations of watches if one wants to have similar functionality in V2 price range and below?

    Or maybe I should buy a less expensive watch for running, like the Pacer and a Whoop band for health/stress monitoring / reporting?

    A thought might be for Polar to appify the watch so that I can buy/add apps that are present in more expensive watches (that doesn’t require non-existing hw)

    grit X is an option too

    1. pacer+whoop is a valid choice.
      consider the hrv4training app plus a h10 strap and do scientifically valid waking hrv measurements. use the polar software to look at your ctl/atl/load. sorted. you only have to wear the watch in sport then.
      oura ring is good at overnight data

  11. Hi , I like your report on HR accuracy.
    I also really want to know how do HR test among three watchs in same workout, because ppg signal is different between different wirst of same people,different position of same arm, and different time at same route.

    thank you very much!

    1. hi
      the tests are not to a scientific level of accuracy and the issues you allude to are real.

      slight delays or differences in ppg signals are just not relevant to recreational athletes. they don’t affect instant actions based on the data and they don’t affect any post workout physiological calculations…or at least they shouldn’t.

      ppg cant do hrv at higher intensities.

      so: one on each wrist and one on the bicep is fine. you can even get away with one on the wrist and one on the same forearm but i find that the forearm-mounted watch can more readily slip and move.

      ppg at night for hrv should be accurate but results might be different on different wrists. but the inferences drawn from them SHOULD be the same

  12. Do you happen to know if Polar have any new watches in the pipeline? I really like Polar’s UI, but not so keen on any of their recent models.

    Specifically the lack of dual band gps, something I’d really like to have for my trail running. The current models have been around for a while now, apart from Pacer Pro which seems to have virtually all the features of the more expensive models.

    I still use the V800 with Stryd and love it, but I am getting that new gps watch itch!

    1. all the watch companies have watches in the pipeline! depends on how long a pipe you were thinking of!!

      I can’t see dual-band coming until next year at the earliest ie if there is a Grit X gen 2, vantage v3 would maybe be 2024. no specific intel on any new Polar with dual-band. but it will eventually come.


  13. i have a polar watch, looks like pacer but is Pacer Messi 10. do you know something about this?

  14. Hey there 🙂
    I have a question about Polar+Stryd compatibility. If I start to follow a training plan on Stryd (like a half marathon), the workouts created by Stryd will pop up on my Polar watch and I can follow them, or I have to create every workout manually in Polar Flow so I can follow them on my watch?
    Thanks for helping me out!

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