Back in April, the Kempele, Finland-based electronics manufacturer Polar Electric has updated its popular line of training computers with a new version of the well-known RC3 GPS model. Called Polar RC3 GPS Tour de France, the refreshed device, which is primarily targeted at cyclists, adds real-time GPS-based altitude information to its extensive list of functions. If you are lucky enough to live in a mountainous area near the Mediterranean Sea, the new feature may be especially useful for building that perfect training program.
As the previous versions of the watch, the Polar RC3 GPS Tour de France sports an integrated GPS tracker that not only allows you to share information about your favorite route, but also makes it easier to fine-tune your workout to get the best of your time. As the Finnish company reiterates in its press release, the watch allows you to download new training programs from their own site polarpersonaltrainer.com where you can also challenge your buddies or just track your progress.
Besides simply mapping your route, the RC3 GPS has also a very convenient “Back to Start” option that will guide you back home if you will find yourself lost in a new city.
While many wrist computers are quite bulky, this one looks a lot more compact measuring just 42 millimeters in wrist and less than 14 mm in thickness. In fact, it is a lot smaller than an average Casio G-Shock or the popular Timex Expedition WS4.
Although its built-in battery lasts no more than 12 hours, it doesn’t look like a serious problem, since the device can be recharged from your laptop while uploading date. What really bothers me is that the battery is not replaceable, so, when it finally degrades to a point of uselessness, you will probably have to swap the watch for a new one.
Another thing that has to be considered before buying this computer is that previous versions of the RC3 GPS had their fair share of problems. For example, the elastic band that houses a heart rate monitor sometimes used to break at the least comfortable moment. Also, the band uses Polar’s proprietary W.I.N.D. technology to transmit data to the watch and it is not compatible with third-party training equipment.
What’s the most frustrating about this watch is that its water resistance rating is limited to IPX7, which basically means that the RC3 GPS will probably survive a very short immersion, but it is recommended neither to swim in it, nor to wash it under pressure, which is not really elating when you are talking about a device that costs more than $300 USD.
Polar RC3 GPS Tour de France Training Computer specification
Power reserve: 12 hours (built-in rechargeable battery)
Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph, GPS, Route Mapping, Training programs, Smart Training
Case material: Black and yellow polyurethane
Case shape: Square
Case size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 13.80 mm
Lug width: 24.00 mm
Weight: 56 g
Water resistance: IPX7 (Not suitable for bathing or swimming. Protected against water splashes and raindrops. Do not wash with a pressure washer.)
Strap: Breathing yellow polyurethane strap on steel buckle
Case back: Plastic