The Polar RS300X Heart Rate Monitor Watch is a running and multi-sport wrist training computer and heart rate sensor with strap that allows athletes to track, monitor and control their heart rate and various other aspects of physiology during fitness training sessions. The training computer, also called the wrist watch or unit, sends feedback from the heart rate sensor strapped around the chest. The RS300X includes heart rate tracking capabilities including, calories burned, variable heart rate, and training intensity guides. The RS300X was designed and released by Polar in 2009 and can be purchased on Amazon.com for $86.99. This model can also be expanded with the addition of other sensors including the G1 GPS Sensor and S1 Footpod Sensor.
- Polar Fitness Test – allows user to establish a benchmark and test progress over a range of workouts
- Coded transmission between the training computer and heart rate sensor stops potential interruptions of transmission due to crosstalk (Polar OwnCode®)
- Heart rate variability feedback to determine recommended training intensity (Polar OwnZone®)
- Customizable display allows user to simultaneously see any three training measurements in real time
- Displays number of calories burned (Polar OwnCal®)
- Selectable target heart rate zones with visual and audible alarms
- Average and maximum heart rate of each lap and average and maximum heart rate of entire workout session
- Adjustable max heart rate indicator (user set)
- Automatic ideal heart rate indicator (age-based)
- Manual target zone – Beats Per Minute / %
The Polar RS300X Heart Rate Monitor is for any athlete who is serious about harnessing the power of accurately monitoring biological systems for the sake of perfecting training routines or increasing performance during competitions. This is a a straightforward heart rate monitor (HRM) that includes all of the basic and necessary features for tracking and planning fitness routines. Some of the most popular features among athletes who use this HRM include:
Display – It is big but not bulky. The display is easy to see from multiple angles and is even easily readable in unfavorable conditions, such as in inclement weather, under water or in very bright sunlight.
“Real Time” Training Info. View – The training computer display allows for simultaneous viewing of three different measurements. For example, the user can set a single screen to display HR, Lap Time and Peak HR for real time tracking of those various parameters.
Polar OwnZone® – This feature allows the user to avoid over-training and under-training, respectively, by providing real-time feedback of the users current state of readiness or lack thereof, based on monitoring heart rate variability. Heart rate variability (HRV) can be used to determine the level of stress an individual has and is experiencing. This measurement is also an indicator of how well rested, recovered and prepared a user is for exercise.
Expandability – Information sent from the G1 GPS Sensor and the S1 Footpod can be displayed on the training computer. The GPS and Footpod sensors are sold separately but when added allow for the tracking of speed, pace, and distance plus add visual and audible speed based target and training zones. The GPS cost about $100 and the Footpod cost about $90.
Memory and Data Transfer – The data from up to 16 training sessions can be saved on the training computer. This information can also be uploaded to a PC or Mac via Polar FlowLink®.
Some of the good features of the Polar RS300X could be perfected by Polar and some could be removed to improve the HRM. Users report several reoccurring problems that should be considered before purchase.
Transmitter Connectivity – Sometimes when the RS300X is first purchased, the transmitter fails to connect to the wrist computer. Often it seems that the transmitter itself is faulty and once replaced the problem goes away. Other times, even when the transmitter is replaced, the wrist unit continues to fail to connect or transmits inaccurate data of the user’s heart rate.
Complicated – Unless you are tech savvy or do well at reading manuals it can be difficult to determine out how to access all of the available features. Some users even have trouble entering basic information like the time and body statistics.
Expandable but Slow – When the GPS and Footpod sensors are added the HRM can become slow and/or sluggish. It is believed that in these instances there is too much information for the training computer to process effectively.
The Polar RS300X Heart Rate Monitor is overall an exceptional purchase for a basic yet feature rich HRM. The top features, such as the multiple measurements display and the hear rate variability feedback far outweigh negative issues. When the list of “The Bad” is reviewed it can be determined that user error—for example connecting the transmitter incorrectly or not understanding how to operate the product—accounts for more of the dissatisfaction than do product defects.
If the expandable features (GPS and Footpod) are more desirable, then there are comparable products such as the Polar RC3 GPS. The RC3 GPS has the GPS features built in providing speed, distance, altitude, and route tracking in addition to the HRM features included with the RS300X. Expect to pay just over $200 for the RC3 GPS on Amazon.com. The cost of the separate G1 GPS transmitter for the RS300X is about $100. Ultimately, the RS300X is the more affordable option and the fact that the GPS system is separate might even make it a smarter purchase altogether for users who do not always require the GPS feature, as they have the option to keep it simple or expand.
Polar RS300X Video Review