Polar V650 Review 2019 : My Honest Opinion On This Bike GPS

In this article, I am going to review polar V650 model.  You will see why I like it and consider one of my top go to accessories. Let’s begin.

The Polar V650 has been around since 2014, and that’s a long time in gadget years. Is the recent update sufficient to keep the V650 competitive and will it be able to shrug the competition against the onslaught from more competitive models such as Garmin and Wahoo? It’s a possibility.

If you are a Polar enthusiast, you might have probably noticed a trend from the manufacturer since 2017. Polar has developed the habit of refreshing both the hardware of their hardware and software of existing models and giving them a new model number.

The assumption that the same would happen for the V650 is a false one; but instead with this new model, we see the addition of more features to an already feature-full product.

Polar V650

Polar V650 is a simple bike GPS with basic functionality and an industry-leading ride data storage capacity.

Though it lacks on the live GPS tracking and turn-by-turn navigation, the V650 offers ANT+sensor capability, which will allow the GPS to be paired with heart rate, and pedal power/cadence for advanced metric monitoring.

The GPS is also built to perform a variety of navigational as well as metric-tracking stats.

Who is it For?

The Polar V650 cycling computer is for the cyclist looking to improve their fitness and expand their training horizons.

The V650 can monitor your cycling in details and given that it can support all the metrics that both a professional as well as an amateur cyclist may have in heart, this GPS will allow you to boost your training and see the benefits immediately after your ride.

With the recent addition of Open Street mapping, the Polar V650 will dare you to explore new paths without the fear of getting lost.

Polar V650-Design

From a pure design perspective, the V650 is aesthetically pleasing, and that’s not me alone; my sentiments are further underlined by the fact that this GPS won the Red Dot design award.

The V650 has a clear visual design, which seems to lack from other GPS units. The visual aesthetics are further complemented by the black and white shell with a contrasting red “action” button.

It’s obvious that the V650 has taken its design cues from the smartphones we know. For instance, the central “home” button doubles up as the start and stop button (held down) and lap button (tapped).

Pressing the side button on the GPS will pop up a sub-menu for screen lock, calibration, sensors and turning the unit on and off.

The GPS similarly features an Android-esque pull-down menu, which will allow you to adjust the screen brightness, alert sound volume as well as light settings.

The 2.8-inch-high contrast color touch screen will allow you to access a wealth of information, while the backlight makes the screen visible even in bright sunlight.

The touch screen comes with a touch sensitivity similar to that of a mobile phone and isn’t troubled by full fingers or insulated gloves.

The Polar V650 is not a small unit by any stretch of imagination. Weighing at 118g, the V650 comes in towards the heavier end of the scale, but unless you are a weight weeny, its weight doesn’t matter on the bike.

On the back on the unit, we have a familiar quarter-turn mounting system that will keep the V650 securely planted in the mount.

The stem/handlebar mount employs a twisting lock mechanism that secures the V650. A tabbed disc built into the back of the unit mates with the mount twisting it 90 degrees locks it in place, while the ratcheting teeth will prevent the device from rattling free.

GPS

GPS is a new thing for Polar, at least in an integrated form.

It was until 2012 with the launch of RC3 that Polar began to integrate GPS into their devices. Before then, you had had to have an additional sensor, which was an irritating extra.

With the Polar M460 however, you get an in-built GPS, and most importantly, this new feature is impressively quick in new locations and you will not have any issues with signal drops.

Ant+ Sensor Technology

Polar V650 is Bluetooth Smart enabled with a Bluetooth Smart heart rate sensor that guides you on how to train effectively.

ANT+ has a proven record of low power protocol for wireless data transmission and will allow you to get instant feedback after each session.

The V650 will also support other Bluetooth sensors including pedal cadence, bike speed, and power pedals.

Compatibility of the V650 Bluetooth smart includes Polar’s Bluetooth sensors, as well as third-party HR sensors like the Wahoo Tickr/BlueHR.

For a long time, Bluetooth has suffered from excessive power consumption, the Bluetooth Smart, also known as Bluetooth low energy was specifically designed for the low power protocol.

Though it shares a similar radio frequency as ANT+, Bluetooth Smart is on an open channel. And given that it’s increasingly becoming popular with mobile phones and tablets, it’s a setting the new standards for wireless transmission.

Also See : My Polar M460 Review

Functionality

The Polar V650 is flush with some awesome features that will take your training sessions to the next level.

The Recovery Time feature, for instance, will display your current state of preparedness and show you the time necessary for recovery before hitting the road again.

This will prevent you from overstretching, and most importantly, allow you to optimize your training sessions.

The Training Load is yet another awesome feature that shows how training affects your body. It’s similar to the Recovery Time feature, only that it goes ahead to compare the load of different rides.

It’s a major role; however, is to monitor your load continuously, allow you to recognize your limits and adjust your training intensity and duration accordingly.

If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, the Smart calories feature will show you how many calories you’ve burned.

The calorie metric is based on several factors such as weight, age, height, HRmax and your intensity of training.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Ample file storage
  • Effective data graphics
  • Accurate performance metrics

Cons

  • No route navigation
  • No Wi-Fi Connectivity

While the lack of route navigation and Wi-Fi connectivity are a bummer, the Polar V650 is a capable entry unit in the GPS domain and has plenty of room for growth.

The simple, and yet intuitive interface, plus the inclusion of sufficient features will satisfy even the most discernible cyclist.

In particular, it will have the greatest appeal for those who have been relying on a smartphone to record their ride data.

Conclusion: My Thoughts

I am a big believer of quality. If you ask me about this product, I would say just go for it. Sure it has some certain flaws that could make this product even better but considering the price and the ability it gives, I am happy that I bought it and tested it out. I got it when it has a deal but you can check & see if there’s any good deal available here.