Polar V800: Post-Review Update

Since I wrote my Polar V800 review last year, there have been a couple of updates, one bad news and one good news, and I wanted to share them with you. If you have not checked out my Polar V800 long-term review, you may want to check it out before reading this.

As I was saying in my earlier post, I bought my Polar V800 primarily for one reason: GPS tracking accuracy. My aerobic activity of choice has been running, and ever since I started tracking my training runs, I wanted to get reliable measurements of my distance and pace. For those measurements, Polar V800 has been my perfect running companion for just about a year.

But about 6 months into my ownership, it started to give me troubles while charging the watch. First it started out as slight connection problem that can be solved by trying a few different times to clip on to charging cable. Then it progressively got worse to the point where I had to use a binder clip to fasten the charging cable connector to the watch.

After about 10 months, it had gotten so bad that binder clip was not enough. I had to use the binder clip plus crushing pressure to the charging cable connector clip to create a stable connection to charge the watch. And soon enough, even that was not enough.

I had a perfectly functioning watch that I could not charge any more. The watch was as good as a prop! All because of stupid charging cable!

Or was it?

When my improvisational side of brain gave the way to the logical side, I started thinking about why. What was wrong with the charging cable? Could it be the watch?

Then I finally realized that my watch has been expanding. In fact, the reason why the charging cable connector was not clipping on to the watch was because the watch body expanded so that the clipper was not binding to the charging pins.

v800-battery-issue

I suspected that it was the battery that was expanding causing the entire watch to expand vertically. In closer inspection, I could see the watch body was starting to crack because of what-seemed-to-be expanding battery (or something else).

Note that I did not wear my V800 under water while swimming. Only water exposure that it had was during shower a few times a week. Yet I could see the crust forming on the side and around the charging port.

So I did what any gear-loving runner would do. I sent it back to Polar for service request. Since it was under 2 year contract, I sent the watch back to get it serviced. I was hoping that Polar would honor their warranty and replace the battery and cracking watch body for free.

After UPS shipping the watch and a little over a week of waiting, I got a little package back from Polar. To my pleasant surprise, I found a new model of Polar V800 with a new charging connector, thanks to the warranty!

new-v800

As you can see from the photo, the new Polar V800 has a cover on its charging port, and it has black body instead of chrome.

I had the new watch for little over 3 months. So far it has been charging like a champ, and haven’t seen any other issue with it at all. I hope that continues to be the case.

Happy training, everyone!

-Jae

2 thoughts on “Polar V800: Post-Review Update”

    1. Yes. A couple of useful features in recent software update have been 1) cadence tracking and 2) treadmill distance estimation. When GPS is turned off, V800 can now estimate the distance based on the cadence and accelerometer. Based on my experience, distance estimate accuracy has been about +/- 5-7%, but it’s still useful to me to track treadmill training distance.

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