Polar Pacer Pro GPS Running Watch Review

PROSCONS
Reliable GPS fitness watchSmartphone music control only
Tracks sleep and recoveryNo touch screen
Excellent GPS performance
Weeklong battery life
Faster processor

The Polar Pacer (Pro) is the latest sports watch from the Finnish manufacturer, and apparently, it is an interesting mix of the already known Vantage V2 and the Vantage M2.

Polar has announced a new running watch, “Polar Pacer Pro“, that realizes a highly functional, lightweight and thin structure that can record various data such as its running power and running power.

For runners aiming to improve running performance while achieving a lightweight of 41g and a long-time battery of 35 hours, you can use the functions that will enhance running performance, such as running power measurement and running performance test installed in higher-end models.

At the same time, we also announced the “Polar Pacer,” which targets a wide range of runners while maintaining its lightweight and long-term battery. It is equipped with the basic functions necessary for running, and it is an affordable price that pursues ease of use, so let’s introduce the details.

It was an open secret that Polar, with the Pacer (Pro), brought an ancient model out of the archive and breathed new life into it. The result is a sports watch that, according to the manufacturer, is particularly suitable for running, but in my opinion, can also be used for many other sports.

But first, let’s take a closer look at the two new models in terms of their key specs compared to the V2 and M2.

The comparison shows that the two models are very similar and differ only on a few points. Specifically, the Polar Pacer Pro offers route planning and the associated navigation compared to the standard model. The Pro version is also equipped with the hill splitter, compass and barometer.

Apart from these features, the equipment of both watches is completely identical.

What’s new in Polar Pacer (Pro)?

At this point, I usually like to show all the interesting news in a compact overview. Unfortunately, this is not possible with the Polar Pacer (Pro) because there is nothing new apart from a few small exceptions.

The only changes from other Polar watches are

  • an improved display that is brighter and therefore easier to read
  • a faster processor designed to make the watch easier to use

Otherwise, we already know all the Polar Vantage V2 or Grit X Pro features and the Polar Vantage M2.

And that explains the title of this test report because the Polar Pacer (Pro) is either

  • a souped-up Polar Vantage M2
  • or a stripped-down Polar Vantage V2

Does not bring any new functions with it.

Design and Displays

Like all other watches from the manufacturer, the Pacer Pro also comes in a very simple and clear design, which you do without any frills. The compact watch case and soft silicone strap ensure a very comfortable fit.

And I’m not just saying that like that. I’ve been wearing the Pacer Pro almost constantly for weeks now, because you hardly notice the watch on your wrist. This is mainly due to the strap, made from recycled ocean plastic, but feels more like a fabric strap than silicone.

There are hardly any changes to the display either, except that according to the manufacturer, it should now be brighter and easier to read, which I can confirm. In direct comparison to the Polar V2, the Pacer Pro’s display is a bit brighter, even if only marginally, so it is difficult to see it in the following pictures.

The watch is always operated using the five buttons on the side, and I felt the clearest change. Namely the reaction time.

Regardless of whether you operate the Polar V2 using buttons or the touch display, the watch always reacts a little sluggishly. Sometimes, there are even very clear and frankly annoying delays.

Not so with the Pacer Pro. The entire operation takes place here, whether scrolling through the various functions or changing various settings very smoothly and promptly. The improved processor is noticeable.

Battery life

I wasn’t expecting any big surprises in terms of battery life and assumed it would be similar to the Polar M2. 

  • Worn permanently 24/7
  • one hour of training every other day with activated GPS
  • Notifications are only enabled by the hour

The watch lasted around 7 days without any problems until I had to hang it up again on the charging cable.

While the battery life is impeccable, the charging cable that comes with it gives cause for criticism. To my surprise, I found that Polar has changed the design of the charging cable.

Until now, one and the same charging cable could be used for all Vantage, Grit and Unite models. Which meant, especially when switching to a new Polar model, that you had a second charging cable (e.g. for the office). Unfortunately, that’s not possible with the Pacer Pro, which is a shame even in times of dwindling resources.

Sports and Fitness

As already mentioned at the beginning, the Pacer Pro is a mix of the V2 and the M2, whereby the watch tends very much toward the Vantage 2 (and thus also the Grit X Pro, which is identical) in terms of functional equipment.

There are just a few features that the Pacer Pro cannot offer compared to the Vantage V2.

  • Recovery Pro
  • orthostatic test
  • Leg Recovery Test
  • air pressure measurement
  • compass
  • TrackBack (Navigation to start via the same route you came)

And that was about it. This means that the Pacer Pro can offer almost the same equipment as the much more expensive Vantage v2.

Features

Polar’s new smartwatch has improved both hardware and software, while being thinner and lighter.

  • Heart rate measurement
  • GPS measurement
  • Distance measurement
  • Speed ​​measurement
  • Cadence measurement
  • Lap measurement
  • Calorie consumption measurement
  • Measurement of “running power” on the wrist
  • “Running performance test” that can measure your running ability.
  • “Hill Splitter” automatically measures ups and downs
  • “Fuel Wise” alerts you to the timing of replenishment of water and energy “Energy consumption by three major nutrients”
  • “Route guidance function” that guides you to the route
  • Measurement function of autonomic nerves during sleep
  • A function to compare the latest and monthly training amounts and prevent overtraining, etc.

Conclusion

The Polar Pacer Pro is equipped with many features that we already know from other Polar watches (a major reason why this review is a bit more compact than usual). And while the watch doesn’t offer anything significantly new, I still have to admit that I’m a big fan of the Polar Pacer Pro.

There are no technical gimmicks, no unnecessary frills; the Pacer Pro is simply about sports, fitness and training. And the model can offer a lot of great features that are meaningful, useful and easy to understand.

Who is the Polar Pacer Pro interesting for?

  • For everyone who is looking for a rock-solid sports watch
  • For anyone who was originally eyeing the Polar Vantage M2 but would like a few more features
  • Anyone who wants the Polar Vantage V2 or Grit X Pro wants to save money.

If any of these points apply to you, then the Polar Pacer Pro is a really good choice, and you can hardly go wrong.

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