We evaluate the Polar Pacer, an reasonably priced smartwatch for the multisport plenty

We review the Polar Pacer, an affordable smartwatch for the multisport masses

Score Assessment


For simply over $200, the Polar Pacer has precisely the fundamentals a multisport athlete would want: six-day smartwatch battery life (35 hours of GPS), open water swimming, biking, operating, triathlon, and multisport modes together with a smartphone life-style sufficient options that make it OK for day by day use.


  • Worth
  • Quicker response than earlier Polar fashions
  • All of the multisport modes you want
  • Gentle weight/small footprint
  • Coloration show with simple to learn screens
  • Glorious optical coronary heart charge sensor

In opposition to

  • GPS reliability unsure (regardless of what’s marketed)
  • Do not rush with energy
  • Barely disappointing battery life in smartwatch mode
  • Small display for total footprint





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Whereas Polar has a protracted and storied historical past within the coronary heart charge monitor recreation, up till final 12 months, for those who needed a virtually succesful multisport coaching smartwatch from the Finnish model, you’d in all probability spend greater than $300 on the Vantage M2, since they did not actually have a mannequin of price range. With the discharge of the Pacer, Polar followers lastly have a chance to get a really succesful look ahead to round $200 with just about all of the fundamentals a swim, bike, run, and triathlete would want.

The Pacer boasts six days of battery in smartwatch mode (35 hours of GPS exercise time), all of the open water swim/pool, bike, run, tri modes you’d anticipate in a contemporary smartwatch, plus a colour display and physiotherapist. metrics reminiscent of sleep evaluation coaching readiness. Additionally, like different watches on this class, it has smartphone music management (no built-in music), smartphone notifications, and fundamentals like exercise monitoring. Polar additionally gives a Professional model of the Pacer that provides fundamental navigation, biking and efficiency testing, and wrist-powered operating for a further $100.

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Polar Pacer evaluate: the nice

To begin with, the smartwatch world wants extra critical sports activities units round $200. Earlier than the Pacer, the one smartwatches with swim, bike, run, and open water/pool triathlon capabilities that happy a triathlete underneath $300 included the (superior) Coros Tempo 2 and the Apple Watch SE (type of). Whereas the latter has appallingly low battery life and is not fairly the only option for critical triathletes, that brief listing proves there’s a spot for an reasonably priced multisport smartwatch just like the Pacer. With little competitors, the Pacer hits the naked foundations properly.

Thus, the Pacer has respectable marks for sports activities options, good GPS coaching time, and a very nice type issue. It is not the smallest or lightest smartwatch in the marketplace—that distinction goes to the Coros Pacer 2—however it’s smaller than many smartwatches, even within the $300+ vary. Likewise, the non-touch colour display is extremely succesful and reacts shortly and sharply to button suggestions (not like high-end Polar watches, at occasions). When it comes to knowledge show, there is identical flexibility and energy because the dearer Polar fashions, because of a implausible waterfall know-how. The optical coronary heart charge sensor can also be surprisingly glorious.

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Polar Pacer evaluate: OK

That is robust as a result of there’s just one critical contender on this value vary, so I hate to complain about lacking options when nearly no different model has a watch round $200 with open water swim/pool, bike, operating, and tri/multisport . In fact operating on the facility would have been good (the equally priced Tempo 2 has it) and the battery may in all probability be higher, however the one actually troubling gripe we’ve got with this watch is the iffy GPS.

Whereas Polar advertises that the Pacer makes use of Glonass, Galileo, and QZSS, we discovered that in apply this smartwatch had hit-and-miss accuracy and relied on the assisted variations of these GPS companies maybe greater than different fashions. In our exams, the space wasn’t too removed from watches 3 times this value, however we missed quite a lot of alerts in canyons that we do not normally do, and consequently we had massive, noticeable discrepancies in whole altitude on the 60% miss measure. + of the distinction in peak up/down. That is because of the lack of a built-in barometer and its reliance on the GPS system (OK).

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The place is the Polar Pacer situated?

As we mentioned earlier than, there is not quite a lot of competitors underneath $300 in the true sports activities smartwatch space. Certain, there are extra health/life-style smartwatches within the $200 vary, however not a lot of them have open water swimming and triathlon/multisport (which suggests switching between sports activities, like for a brick exercise or a swimrun occasion). That mentioned, the Coros Tempo 2 (sure, the names are tremendous shut, it has been famous) is cheaper, lighter, smaller, has (a lot) longer battery life, a barometric altimeter, and built-in operating on the wrist. with vitality.

However the Tempo 2 lacks highly effective physiotherapy options, music management (for what it is value), nor good optical coronary heart charge monitoring, or a form characteristic that might soften away in a no-workout surroundings. Plus, the Pacer is a way more succesful full-featured exercise smartwatch than the marginally dearer Apple Watch SE. Although by way of life-style options, the SE blows each the Tempo 2 and Pacer out of the water, assuming you reside within the Apple ecosystem.

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Polar Pacer: Who’s it for?

In case you’ve finished greater than a handful of triathlons and want to hold monitor of all (all) of your coaching knowledge, this can be a excellent place to begin and perhaps even finish. It is unlikely you will miss the extra superior coaching/restoration options for fairly a while or endlessly. The Pacer is a ample look ahead to in all probability 75% of all triathletes, and the value tag is just not sufficient to set off a credit score test. That mentioned, if you desire a touchscreen, operating energy, mapping and/or built-in navigation or music, there is not any getting round the truth that you will must spend at the very least one other $150 or extra.

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Polar Pacer smartwatch evaluate: conclusions

If nothing else, the mere undeniable fact that this absolutely succesful multisport smartwatch exists is a superb factor. It is a disgrace that in order for you most of those multisport options from Garmin or Suunto, you’d must spend at the very least one other $100. Because of this, the Coros Tempo 2 has been a loopy outlier by way of multisport functionality versus value for years; nothing even got here shut. Now that Polar is knocking on that $200 door with a really respectable supply, hopefully different manufacturers will observe swimsuit. When it comes to a smartwatch that has full swim/bike/run/multisport options, good monitoring/physiotherapy knowledge, sleep metrics, and sufficient smartphone life-style options for all-day put on, the Pacer checks all of it out. the packing containers with nearly no exceptions at this value level.

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