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Polar Pacer Professional overview: A severely sporty smartwatch | Virtual Tendencies

The Polar Pacer Pro worn on a man's wrist.

Polar Pacer Professional

MSRP $300.00

“The Polar Pacer Professional is designed for runners and critical sportspeople, the place the data-rich device and at ease, slimline design is sensible, however informal exercisers chance being beaten.”


  • Narrow and light-weight
  • Speedy and correct GPS
  • Complete health monitoring
  • Plenty of knowledge on watch and in app


  • Low high quality display lacks brightness
  • No Sp02 sensor

A smartwatch is not only a smartwatch, there are other variations higher fitted to other actions and scenarios. Some swimsuit on a regular basis put on, others have a sportier design for the health club, and a few even glance somewhat like a diver’s watch. Then you’ve gotten sports activities smartwatches reminiscent of the focal point of this overview, the Polar Pacer Professional. The design is brazenly sporty, and its capability is constructed across the sporty particular person.

However does this stage of center of attention make it best appropriate for any individual in point of fact into operating or every other recreation? I’ve worn the Pacer Professional for greater than 10 days to determine.


Smartwatches don’t get a lot more easy than the Polar Pacer Professional. The round case is made from plastic, the bezel is aluminum, and there are 5 buttons across the edge. The diameter is round 44mm, and in overall it weighs about 40 grams. It’s hooked up to a at ease, very versatile, and extremely customizable silicon strap. There are two variations within the field, and I discovered the smaller model effective for my 6.5-inch wrist, because the lengthy model bordered on ridiculously lengthy. There are more than one holes to get the tightness good, and two keepers to ensure the top doesn’t flap about.

Buttons showing on the Polar Pacer Pro, worn on a man's wrist.
Andy Boxall/Virtual Tendencies

Gorilla Glass 3.0 protects the 1.2-inch Reminiscence-in-Pixel (MIP) display, which has been introduced nearer to the skin in comparison to earlier Polar watches, and it has an advanced backlight. Within the critical grey colour observed in our footage, the Pacer Professional is nameless to have a look at. I took little satisfaction in dressed in the Polar Pacer Professional as it has this type of elementary glance. There’s not anything flawed with it, it’s simply now not thrilling in the slightest degree. That mentioned, it’s very at ease and I’ve been in a position to put on all of it day and in a single day with out it getting sweaty or inflicting a pores and skin response.

The large bezel across the display ages the design, which mixed with the display’s lowly 240 x 240 answer, makes the Pacer Professional seem like an eye that has been out for years fairly than a brand new 2022 fashion. The display doesn’t have an automated brightness adjustment both. You’ll be able to set it at low, medium, or top brightness, or regulate it manually the use of probably the most facet buttons. On the rest lower than top brightness, you’ll be able to’t see really well in daylight, and the viewing angles are tight. It does reliably light up while you carry your wrist regardless that, except you choose the guide surroundings for the backlight.

Polar Pacer Pro on man's wrist, seen from the side.
Andy Boxall/Virtual Tendencies

The elemental glance and display imply I needed to drive myself to put on the Pacer Professional. It’s now not a smartwatch to have a look at and assume, wow, I like that design, or for the display to light up and display gorgeous, detailed animations. It’s generically useful, and I for my part want greater than that from one thing I put on. Alternatively, in comparison to many different devoted GPS sports activities smartwatches it’s a stunner, with a slender case and harmless design that’s far more appropriate for on a regular basis put on than you typically be expecting.

Tool and app

The device at the Polar Pacer Professional is a step again in time, visually. There are many easy traces, colours, and pixels, and now not a lot with regards to design aptitude. It’s solidly useful. You employ the more than one buttons to transport throughout the menus, and the loss of a touchscreen provides to the unfashionable really feel however is sensible while you believe ease of use when operating. Further processing energy and extra RAM over earlier Polar smartwatches make it snappy and simple to are living with each day. I haven’t been annoyed by way of any facet of the Pacer Professional’s efficiency.

Polar has made the device so it’s now not all the time important to talk over with the app. Other monitors display the entire records you should need about your sleep, exercise efficiency, or even tips on workout routines to do this day. Make a choice those and also you get a selection of a number of workout routines, all with other quantities of time, after which easy directions to apply. Each and every is more straightforward to personalize, and way more various and fascinating than the guided exercise classes on smartwatches just like the Huawei Watch GT Runner and the Tag Heuer Attached Calibre E4.

What’s transparent from the use of the Polar Pacer Professional is it rewards endured use, and that should you’re now not in point of fact that sporty you gained’t take pleasure in its true skill. It calls for more than one workout routines and more than one nights of sleep tracked sooner than it is going to supply a lot in the best way of in-depth research, so casually lively folks will wonder whether it’s doing a lot at concerned about some time. While you aren’t on target with a snooze or workout regime it makes it transparent too. Have a nasty evening’s sleep and “Compromised” seems in yellow at the sleep display to remind you ways garbage you might be, and the exercise display counts the times because you final labored out, to encourage or guilt you into doing one thing.

Holding you out of the app isn’t a nasty factor. It’s now not the prettiest or maximum straight away available I’ve used. Once more, it calls for many days of knowledge to begin appearing any significant data. There are more than one graphs, a large number of granular element, and a variety of data on what all of it approach, but it surely’s quite gentle on motivation outdoor of this. For those who’re enthusiastic about recreation and fitness, then pouring over the entire numbers it will likely be your motivation, however should you’re now not, the number-heavy presentation may also be off-putting.

I’ve used the smartwatch with an iPhone 13 Professional and it has reliably proven my notifications, the vibration alert is noticeable, and there’s the approach to regulate track from my telephone too. It does now not run different apps, so don’t be expecting to make use of Spotify or a identical app when out with out your telephone.

Workout routines and accuracy

It’s while you observe a exercise and evaluate it to a extra usual smartwatch that the Polar Pacer Professional’s strengths are published. A 40-minute out of doors stroll tracked at the Apple Watch Sequence 7 presentations normal data most of the people shall be excited by — center fee, distance, tempo, and energy — however the Pacer Professional is going a step past this.

The heart rate sensor on the Polar Pacer Pro.
Andy Boxall/Virtual Tendencies

Coaching zones are remoted and are mapped out the use of tempo and center fee records, it breaks down calorie burn into carbs, protein, and fats, there’s an in depth path map and knowledge on center fee, velocity, and tempo for every lap. When you’ve tracked sufficient workout routines, the app builds a baseline to turn your efficiency and the place to make stronger, and your VO2 Max records may even begin to come into play. Runners get a number of extra options together with coaching plans, operating energy measurements, and coaching load records too. All of this presentations how the Polar Pacer Professional is aimed on the critical runner or sports activities particular person.

All of the same old workout routines are in a position to be tracked at the watch, together with operating, strolling, biking, and swimming, plus weight coaching and the choice to pick out a generic indoor our out of doors job if not anything in point of fact suits. There’s no particular choice for golfing or actions like horse driving or yoga, however the Multisport characteristic might enchantment to triathletes. The Polar Pacer Professional has its personal GPS which discovered a sign in no time throughout my assessments and paired the Apple Look ahead to accuracy, as did the guts fee sensor.

Put on the Pacer Professional in a single day and it is going to observe your sleep. It matched the guts fee records accumulated by way of my Oura Ring, however the pair differed at the period of time spent in numerous sleep phases. I’m extra susceptible to consider the Pacer Professional’s records regardless that. It offers a Nightly Recharge ranking along the standard Sleep Rating, which is helping you know the way restful your evening used to be, and whether or not it will have to impact plans to workout. For those who’re in a position for it, the watch additionally has exercise and operating plans to apply, a few of which seem to be very difficult.

I’m neatly mindful I’m really not the objective target audience for the Polar Pacer Professional, and am ill-equipped to check its limits for my part. It even took a couple of tries the use of the novice VO2 Max strolling take a look at for it to acknowledge my “skill.” Alternatively, seeing the extent of element whenever you’ve finished sufficient classes — it presentations should you’re coaching sufficient, doing too little or an excessive amount of, and units transparent goals in accordance with your development — mixed with its accuracy, job making plans, and normal on-wrist convenience offers me self assurance it’ll paintings really well for individuals who love operating and need to get even more fit.

It’s disappointing that the Polar Pacer Professional doesn’t have an Sp02 sensor or an electrocardiogram (ECG), either one of that are not unusual on competing smartwatches.

Battery and charging

Battery lifestyles has been just right. Polar’s seven-day estimate is a little bit conservative should you best observe a few workout routines plus your sleep, while you will have to see the smartwatch final for 8 or 9 days. Upload GPS into the combination extra often and 7 days is ready proper. Polar claims a complete of 35 hours overall coaching time with GPS and the guts fee sensor lively.

Charging is reasonably sluggish and takes about two hours to move from underneath 10% to capability. A proprietary charger that magnetically attaches to the smartwatch’s case again is incorporated within the field.

Value and availability

The Polar Pacer Professional is to be had now for $300 or 259 British kilos. It comes within the elementary black colour — Polar calls it Carbon Grey — observed in our footage, or in a prettier Nighttime Blue, Snow White, or Autumn Maroon.

Our take

The Polar Pacer Professional doesn’t glance or really feel particularly new, and it doesn’t in point of fact carry the rest new to the desk both. It suits the potential of in a similar fashion priced fitness-orientated smartwatches however doesn’t supply a standout explanation why to shop for no less than with regards to options and design. It’s even lacking some sensors which are usual on different health smartwatches and bands.

That leaves the Polar device. I best scratched the skin of what it’s in a position to, and the information it returns might glance overwhelming to the informal proprietor short of to understand a little bit bit extra about their fitness and job. For the devoted runner (sure, it’s essentially going to enchantment to runners) regardless that, the intensity of element, speedy and correct GPS, and just right battery lifestyles will make it very interesting.

It’s then the design comes into its personal. The slender, light-weight case is so a lot more wearable than chunky, rough-and-tumble GPS watches observed sooner than. It’s now not fashionable like a Huawei Watch GT 3 Professional, but it surely’s easy and delicate. All of the capability an athlete (budding or differently) desires, however now not wrapped up in an obscenely proportioned case for as soon as. You’ve were given to in point of fact need the Polar device enjoy, however should you do, the Pacer Professional is the perfect option to get it.

Is there a greater choice?

It relies a little bit on what you wish to have. If you wish to have an all-out sports activities watch, the Garmin Forerunner 245 Track competes on value, plus the Garmin Vivomove Game brings Garmin’s superb device platform to an ideal taking a look smartwatch. If you wish to have a extra health-focused smartwatch check out the Withings ScanWatch or ScanWatch Horizon.

For those who don’t assume the in point of fact hardcore sports activities monitoring shall be for you, then the Apple Watch Sequence 7 is the most productive smartwatch should you personal an iPhone, and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 stays the most powerful selection should you personal an Android telephone.

How lengthy will it final?

The Polar Pacer Professional has a 50-meter water resistance score, and has it sounds as if been examined to “army requirements,” so be expecting it to be lovely sturdy. The strap is well changed if it breaks, however the particular pin machine used to safe it approach you’ll have to purchase one without delay from Polar. The device is proprietary and updates may also be added by way of the app. The Pacer Professional’s general skill approach you’re not going to hit its limits any time quickly, and its abnormal design gained’t succumb to model tendencies both. It’ll final you for a few years.

Must you purchase it?

Sure, however supplied you’re mindful this can be a sports activities smartwatch for sporty folks. It’s now not an Apple Watch choice.

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