Polar V650 GPS cycling computer

Cycling computers have come a long way since the rudimentary devices that just measured speed, distance and calculated a few averages for you. Now, it seems there’s an arms race to see who can offer the most data collection and integration with training apps or software.

Last September we previewed the Polar V650, one of Polar’s newest offerings. Now that it’s hit the market, here’s an updated look at the full feature set and promo video…

Polar V650 GPS cycling computer screen view 1         Polar V650 GPS cycling computer screen view 2

The unit’s 2.8” color touch screen uses side-swipes to take you from one view to the next. With just two physical buttons on the computer, (the big one being the main start/stop button) your fingertips do most of the talking with the V650. The integrated safety light located on the device’s backside can be switched to a convenient light-sensing auto on/off mode.

Using Polar’s web-based Flow training software, ProTrainer 5 or the computer itself the V650’s displays can be configured to show what stats and how many you wish to see. While training, the device uses audio alerts to communicate with the rider.

Polar V650 GPS cycling computer screen view 3         Polar V650 GPS cycling computer back view

Other features include Polar’s Smart Calorie counter, which calculates calories burned based on your personal weight, height, age, gender and the intensity of your workout. Paired with a heart rate sensor the device shows your basic heart rate, plus maximum heart rate and customizable heart rate zones. The Zone Pointer display and Zone Lock feature help you select and stay within optimal output levels during your ride.

The V650’s integrated GPS allows for an auto-recording mode that starts and stops the computer based on your bike’s movement. It also has a clever Back to Start feature that directs you back to wherever you began your ride, taking the shortest possible distance. Riders can preset a chosen speed and distance using the Race Pace feature, and the V650 shows you if you’re keeping up or falling behind on the display. The device is capable of storing settings for up to three different bikes, and its onboard storage saves up to 30 hours of ride data.

Immediately after finishing your ride, the V650’s Training Benefit feature provides a quick overview of your key ride data. Once you’re back at home, upload your ride to Polar’s Flow software for a more in-depth analysis and visual graph displays of your speed, heart rate, power output and more.

The V650 comes with the computer, USB cable, adjustable bike mount and startup guide, and is available with Polar’s heart rate sensor for $292.00 USD, or $238.00 without.

polar.com

8 comments

  1. Max G. on

    Imagine how good it could have been with support for ant+ power meters etc.
    Seems Polar just can’t get it right these days.
    Pity I liked my cs600 and all HR meters up to then.
    PM was not Polar’s “thing” I guess. (vibrating chain anyone?)

    Reply
  2. Darwin on

    Took them a year to come out with this after announced just when apple watch is coming with strava, maps etc. Too little too late.

    Reply
  3. Steve on

    Exactly where is it available?

    http://www.bike24.com/p278350.html
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/polar-v650-cycling-gps-computer-with-hrm/
    http://www.totalfitnessbath.co.uk/Polar-V650-with-Heart-Rate-p/V650.htm?gclid=CK-p1bCyv8QCFc7LtAodvwIAPw
    http://mytriathlon.co.uk/polar-v650-with-heart-rate-monitor/?gclid=CJOArbuyv8QCFSIIwwodeUgAfA
    http://www.cyclepowermeters.com/polar-v650-gps-2988-p.asp?gclid=CMjS59Gyv8QCFQXmwgodD2gA_Q

    Not that it matters, as its not even compatible with Polars own power meters yet alone anyone else’s! It’s display technology is 5 years old and will be useless in direct sunlight (OLED please?), resolution and size/bezel are sub-standard, no doubt it will be unusable in the rain or with full gloves, (some actual reviews, not Polar’s hype please?) not ANT+, tied to Polars toy-like software/web… (WKO+ exports please?).

    Polar lost the plot as soon as HRMs became old news and have never caught up or even been close.

    Reply
  4. Steve on

    Also, how useful actually is it?

    Beyond speed/cadence/altitude/distance which can be gathered by a simple 9.99 bike computer from ebay. (I’ll forget GPS as who doesn’t ride with their GPS enabled phone in their back pockets anyway?)

    Can it display/record multiple interval sessions? Will it display avg power during the interval while it is in progress, so you know if you need to back off slightly or up the power to maintain the interval target?

    Can it display real-time power stats like “max 5sec power” or “max 20min power”, so you know if you’ve hit a max power in a sprint or a timed TT training session?

    Does it have any idea about of FTP% or NP readings?

    Sorry to rant (or actually just as sensible questions!), but I bought into Polar technology (CS600CX etc) about 3 years ago, only to discover it was a complete waste of time and money. Waited forever for the pedals to never show up, and realized even if/when they did, the Polar software was completely useless for any serious training or data recording/analysis.

    I stopped waiting for Polar KEO and went for second hand SRMs (which were cheaper than new Polar stuff!) and a PC7 (which admittedly also lacks some of the above features, but PC8 will solve this).

    Reply
  5. muf on

    as much as id like a dedicated screen, my phone does ANT+ and until these things get good, with ANT+ and around 100 bucks I’ll pass.. (all sony android phones have ANT+ if you’re wondering)

    Reply
  6. Mikey on

    I find it a bit annoying that people don’t get it why Polar doesn’t use ANT+: they don’t want to pay their rival Garmin for using it. Suunto also seems to take the move away from ANT+ now, and others might follow as more BLE devices come to the market. ANT+ is more popular and probably won’t disappear in a few years as won’t BLE either.
    @Steve, it should do most of those in training, I’d prefer a separate power analyzing software and not Flow though.
    About the screen res: Polar has 320*240 color and Garmin Edge 510 has 220*176…

    Reply

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