Polar V650 is the new high-end GPS cycling computer from the folks at Polar and it is totally touchscreen and includes Smart Training features that rival, and in some cases, surpass, even the Garmin Edge 510.
The V650 bike computer features a few very unique features that are only found in Polar products. First, it is packed with Polar's Smart coaching features which are the most advanced heart rate based training features anywhere. Second, it has a smart LED backlight that turns on and stays on in low light conditions for better visibility and no other computer on the market today has this feature. Third, is has a formula for altitude compensated calories and Polar has always had the most accurate calorie calculations of any product on the market.
Larger and More Visible Screen
Polar has the largest screen now of any GPS touchscreen bike computer on the market and it will be at a price point below the Garmin Edge 510, its top competitor. At 120 grams (4 ounces) it is a bit heavier than the Garmin at 80 grams (2.8 ounces), not that this is a big deal because a couple of ounces of static weight on a bike is virtually meaningless.
The 10 hour battery life at one second recording is a bit shorter than the competition but unless you are an ultra-enduro rider that likely won't matter. Not many people ride over 10 hours in a day unless they are doing RAAM.
Highly Updateable Platform
Thanks to the new Polar Flow App and the Polar V650 platform there will be lots of room for Polar to update the unit going forward with updates to add or improve features. This is a huge plus because the previous generations of Polar product could not be updated.
There will also be a new Bluetooth speed and cadence sensor in the same form as the WIND speed and cadence sensors. Of course the cadence mounted in the rear triangle is really all you need.
For nwo the Polar unit will only interface with Bluetooth Smart power meters, which at this point limits it to the Look/Keo Polar power pedals, however that too is likely t change in the future as more and more bike manufacturers make the move from ANT+ to Bluetooth. It's happening now just as we predicted over two years ago.
The delivery date for units is looking like late April, perhaps early May, so it is a ways off but if you would like to pre-order one you can and we'll keep you informed and update your credit card info prior to shipping.
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--Rusty Squire, copyright 2014, email@example.com