Finnish electronics wizards Polar have launched their first GPS bike computer, the v650.
Coming in at £194.50 for just the unit, which is available now, or £239.50 with a heart rate monitor, Polar are making a clear move to take back some of the market share that’s been dominated by Garmin in recent years.
The headline function is the GPS, the first time Polar have integrated route tracking into one of their bike computers, and a 2.8” colour touch screen which promises to make it easy to see and use.
It also features customisable data fields which contain all the usual suspects like speed, distance, time and so on, but also VAM (velocità ascensionale media, or average ascent speed measured in vertical metres climbed), altitude and ascent/descent using a built-in barometric pressure sensor.
The device uses Bluetooth Smart for connectivity, meaning that it’ll already communicate with Polar’s existing Bluetooth bike sensors and heart rate strap, and potentially with mobile devices in the future as well. However, like all Polar devices there won’t be any ANT+ compatibility so the range of power meters and third party accessories it’ll connect to will be limited as a result.
They’ve also updated the mount to a Garmin-style quarter turn, available as standard with rubber bands to mount on the bars or stem, but there’s an out-front mount available as an extra.
Battery life is from a claimed 10 hours for training mode (with GPS enabled). Polar will also be releasing an update in April that will add compatibility with their Look Keo Power Pedals.