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UPDATE Polar Short-Term Products: Polar V830 and Polar OH1 (announced)


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Yesterday was the day I commented on what we can expect from Garmin in the next two months, it's now time to talk about Polar.

The Finns have added new products this 2017, but none of them have been particularly surprising. Their three main presentations (M430, M460 and A370) have not been range renewals, but rather upgrades of greater or lesser significance.

While the Polar M430 The case of the M460 has been different, being practically a "rehash" of the M450 with a software update for the Strava segments. In other words, an update that pod could have been performed on the same M450 instead of launching a new product.

But if there's one thing we're all looking forward to, it's undoubtedly the details of the replacement for the Polar V800... but I'll start with the imminent.

Polar OH1

Polar arrived somewhat later than the competition at optical pulse sensors, but did so with the wisdom and measurement expertise that has always characterized the company.

They have two different sensors, depending on the product range, to choose which one to equip. It is the only manufacturer that does this since all the others use the same sensor in all their devices. And it is not that one is worse than the other, both give good results, but the model that equips the M430 (and this OH1) is slightly superior.

The Polar OH1 is an external sensor that simply records the heart rate and sends it to another device. This sensor joins the one presented at the beginning of the year, the Polar H10Both are similar in concept, as their connectivity is exclusively Bluetooth to connect to compatible devices (either from Polar, another manufacturer or a smartphone) and they have memory.

Called for the time being Polar OH1 (Optical Heartrate 1), it sure reminds you a lot of the Scosche RHYTHM+.

Polar OH1

You will be using the 6-LED sensor that works so well in the M430, and which corresponds to its top-of-the-range version. These are its specifications:


  • 6-LED optical sensor
  • Possibility of recording data in its internal memory, up to 200 hours of training
  • Synchronisation and charging via USB connection
  • Compatible with iOS and Android
  • Bluetooth connectivity (unfortunately will not offer ANT+)
  • 12-hour autonomy
  • Immersion resistant, 30 meters

This type of sensor requires accelerometers in order to eliminate noise caused by movement. Polar probably also uses them to record basic metrics that can be consulted after training, such as distance travelled or number of steps, all without the need to be connected to a device.

It will therefore allow you to record a workout and synchronize it later, all without a watch or other device. Perfect not only for running, but also for other sports such as football, basketball, tennis or any other sport that you do not need to keep track of rhythms or distances.

This memory can also be used, for example, in swimming; being able to synchronize the data at the end of the session with a compatible watch, like the Polar V800. The data download will be through an application in the mobile or connecting it to the computer through USB, placing it in a specific adapter.

Polar OH1 - Charger

The Polar optical sensor already gives very good results when placed on the wrist, so it is to be expected that placed on the upper arm, where there is less movement and the area offers better possibilities to record the heart rate, is even better.

Polar OH1

The new sensor will probably arrive between the end of August and the first weeks of September, and will do so at a price of 79 euros.


Polar V810/V830/V850/V900

Actually, nobody knows what the successor to the Polar V800 is going to be called. There's been speculation about a lot of names: V810, V830, V850, V900... If it was my money on the line, I'd bet on V830. It would be logical, after the move from M400 to M430.

Little is known about what Polar plans for its new model. The only thing that is confirmed is a date: spring 2018. This was confirmed by Stan Brajer, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Polar USA, on the Babbitville podcast.

It probably refers to availability in stores rather than date of presentation. The triathlon season starts in April-May, so it is the perfect time to have your new watch available for purchase. Therefore, the presentation will most likely take place at CES 2018 which will be held in the second week of January.

As far as specifications go, nothing is known. It is clear that it will have an optical pulse sensor, but from there on anything will be mere supposition.

What is clear is that Polar is taking it easy, which I think is right. They already know what it's like to launch an unfinished product to the market (they already had the V800, so they received harsh criticism), and it's something they don't want to repeat under any circumstances.

Presumably the latest innovations that Polar has been flirting with in other products are available in the V830, as they are:

  • Heart rate measurement throughout the day
  • Sleep analysis, including pulse variability information to assess recovery status (thus enabling the optical sensor to record pulse variability)
  • Compatible with race power meters, such as Stryd
  • Remote control for GoPro cameras
  • Compatible with Strava segments
  • Of course, complete availability of ABC sensors: altimeter, barometer and magnetic compass
  • Compatible with Bluetooth sensors. And I'm afraid, unfortunately, it won't support ANT+ sensors

But none of this is surprising, these are things that Polar could achieve without having to create a new hardware platform.

So let's go back to the Polar H10 sensor presented at the beginning of the year and which I briefly told you about at the beginning. In addition to the most visible new features - smaller size, memory and, in theory, a better heart rate record - there is one detail not to be forgotten: it has an internal accelerometer.

This accelerometer can be used to improve pulse registration, just like the optical sensors, but I'm sure it goes much further. The sensor firmware is upgradeable, so what it does now may be different from what it does in the future.

In other words, with the Polar V830 we could be facing some kind of race dynamics or power measurement record, which would justify the delay in the arrival to the market of the new Polar model.

As I say, the presentation will almost certainly take place right at the beginning of 2018. There are four months left to wait.

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to share!

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. Hi, Eduardo!
    Congratulations for the blog, it's very good. The new Polar band reads pulses in the water? And I take advantage that I also curious the article of fitbit the new monitor reads also the pulses underwater or in swimming?
    And finally, the garmin pedals have brought out a new model, the kio power?
    Greetings and thank you very much in advance

    1. I correct certain errors:
      Work is underway to have an optical sensor read the variability of the swimming heart rate?
      The pedals are the leo power polar look.
      And really in your page I learn about unimaginable things like the new of fitbit and its possibilities like detecting sleep apnea or being able to measure blood pressure.
      Anyway, if I read it carefully, you're a real pain in the ass, Eduardo.

      1. Thanks Paco. Talk to the neighbors and advertise... :-).

        In swimming, it records data and stores it in memory... but accuracy is not easy because of the arm movement and the water drag. If it is placed firmly and you do not push yourself too hard when you make the turn, there will be no major problem, but it can happen that it moves, just like the sensors in the chest.

        Pulse variability is the next big jump that all manufacturers want to make. At the moment everyone is making estimates, Valencell has been testing and getting good results for some years but in static, not during the exercise. It will certainly be the next step they will take.
        All this regardless of whether it is swimming or any other activity.

        The collaboration between Polar and Look ended about a year and a half ago, so Look decided that it was time to launch its own version which also incorporated ANT+ connection (a power meter that only transmits Bluetooth does not have much future... as has been demonstrated).

  2. Hello Eduardo, very good article. I'm one of those who according to what I read about the pectoral stripe causes chafing. And this Polar OH1 seems to me a great idea, it asks how do you think it will behave under the clothes and about the movement when running
    Thank you.

    1. Just like the Scosche, zero problems or snags with clothing, even if it is quite compressed. It is not the best option to wear under a neoprene.

      1. Thank you very much I hope it is a good alternative to the bands. I think that the heart rate monitors with optical reader are still not very reliable.

  3. Hi, Eduardo!
    You've got a great job doing all the articles you do. Un olé pá ti!!
    I don't know if you plan to do an analysis of the Polar OH1, but at this point, the question is a must. Polar OH1 or Scosche RHYTHM+

    I have not yet dared to buy the Scosche RHYTHM+ precisely because I have found many opinions that contrary to your analysis say that in sudden changes of pace does not respond very well and really what interests me most in an optical pulse meter, is that the readings are as reliable as possible because the work I usually do is very sudden changes of pace and short duration

    What do you think?

    Thank you very much and best regards

    1. Well, I'm waiting to receive a unit, and there will also be a test compared to the Scosche.

      The secret of the Scosche and its good functioning lies in where it is placed on the body, and for the same reason I expect good results from the Polar as well.

      1. Hi, Eduardo. I'm waiting for that article.

        You're a giant.

        A thousand thanks and a greeting

        P.S. You could take into account in your analysis, how the two heart rate monitors pick up the heart rate in rapid rhythm changes. Again, thank you very much

        1. Yes, it's the changes in intensity that I usually focus on most, as they are always the biggest complication

  4. Hi Carlos

    I am currently using the V800 and have been researching GARMIN FENIX 5 and SUUNTO SPARTAN ULTRA, the SPARTAN ULTRA seems better for sports than GARMIN FENIX 5, but in my opinion the heart rate is much higher than POLAR, so I would expect something super current with respect to SUUNTO and GARMIN, and I thought about making the change for this December 2017, but I think maybe I would regret it.

    I'm excited to train Duathlon, after many years of practicing athletics, my V800 allows it and yesterday I downloaded both the application of SUUNTO and GARMIN and no Duathlon appears, so I prefer to continue with my V800 and wait for the new POLAR V830, V850 or whatever it is called.

    What do you advise?

    Thank you very much.

  5. Thank you very much Eduardo

    You believe that SUUNTO will perform some updating that includes this sport.


  6. What's new with the V800? replacement, at least some features we know will be incorporated?

    Thank you

    1. Nothing, nothing is known yet. In fact, at Polar España they say they have no knowledge at all, of course they wouldn't say anything if they had more details...

  7. Hi, Eduardo.

    Yesterday I found your blog and I was amazed at all your articles and how you review them. So far the best I've seen. So I can't thank you enough for that job you have.

    I have a little doubt. The frequency belt of my Suunto ambit3 Peak has said enough. I have changed the belt and the battery closure for new ones and after two months of use it gives me again erroneous readings (220 bpm punctually, 190 bpm maintained for ten minutes, I take it off and it continues with 170 bpm readings, very rare things go).

    I had several options, repeating Suunto frequency belt is not one of them.
    1) Polar OH1.
    2) Polar H10.

    Personally, I am very interested in the OH1 polar fleece because it has always been a problem with my frequency belt, and when I swim in fast series, the frequency belt goes to my hips. However, my doubt is which one of the two is more sensitive in terms of measuring HR, especially in terms of changes in pace. My training consists basically of series on the track, long runs, long and short swimming series, strength in the gym and hiatus training with CrossFit exercises (I am interested in sensitivity to changes in pace, especially for HIIT and for the series on the track). The price is in the same range on Amazon (63 euros vs 65 euros), so I would choose the more sensitive one, I understand that the H10 is more sensitive to changes in pace than the OH1, what do you think? Which one would you recommend? I'll tell you that I probably bought both of them, although they are separated by some months, hehehe. Perhaps something optimal would be

    Thank you very much in advance for everything.

    1. By the way, the analysis that you do of the OH1 in swimming is in autonomous mode or in synchronized mode with a clock? I read in reviews on Amazon that if you have it paired with a clock, because the data cannot be transferred in real time to the clock through the water, this data is lost. And that it is quite annoying to have to disappear the device every time you go to the water, besides having on one hand the swimming record and on the other hand the FC record. What do you think? What is your experience? Thank you and greetings.

      1. If you want to use it for swimming you have no choice but to repeat with the Suunto sensor, or wear the watch closely with the Polar OH1 (where it will not record the heart rate well).

        Suunto's sensor is the only one that supports data downloading - not because it is blocked by Suunto, but because there is no Bluetooth standard for doing so.

        1. Thanks for the prompt reply. And, apart from swimming? The OH1 would work well with the Suunto ambit3 Peak in dry? Thank you.

          1. Yes, without any problem. As for Crossfit I can't tell you because it's not something I practice, so I don't know how it will work in the specific movements. But in rhythm changes I've had good experience.

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