Polar RS200SD Heart Rate Monitor : “A Great Running Machine”

Polar RS200SD heart rate monitor watchThe Polar RS200SD heart rate monitor is designed for competitive and serious runners who want to continue to improve their performance.

Polar Foot Pod Technology

The RS200SD comes with the Polar S1 Foot Pod which provides accurate speed and distance information in any conditions and allows you to combine pace information with the data from the heart rate transmitter on the monitor.

The Foot Pod uses sophisticated technology – an inertia controlled accelerometer – the same type of technology used in industrial robotics and aerospace positioning systems to detect speed and distance.

The Foot Pod is around 97% accurate without calibration or you can calibrate using your own gait to get closer to 100%. (This is a one-off process. After you have calibrated the Foot Pod the results are stored in the monitor).

Polar RS200SD Features

  • With the Polar RS 200SD Heart Rate Monitor, you can set up guided Interval workouts with up to three segments based on pace, distance or heart rate. The segments repeat as required.
  • The Polar RS 200 SD has a flexible display which allows the screen to be set up with the data which is most important to you and to vary the number of lines of data (and therefore the size of the digits displayed) – very useful if your vision is not the best.
  • You can set up to 5 heart rate zones. The Polar RS200SD has an audible and visual alarm so that it is easy to make sure you are training at the right intensity and it is also easy to change training zones mid-workout.
  • You can either calculate and set your optimum heart rate zones manually or you can use the Polar Ownzone feature on the monitor to calculate these automatically based on a 5 minute walking/jogging test or on your age.
  • The Polar sport zone feature helps you maintain the right intensity and you can follow the Polar sports zone based training program too. Training is in zones based on different percentages of maximum heart rate – very light intensity (50 – 60% maximum heart rate) light (60 – 70%) moderate (70 – 80%) hard (80 -90%) and maximum (90 to 100%).
  • You can also lock in a zone by holding the red button while you are exercising in the heart rate zone you want to maintain. (So if you are exercising at 68% and use the feature the zone will be set at 60 to 69%)
  • The monitor calculates calorie expenditure using the Polar Owncal feature.
  • The Polar OwnIndex feature allows you to measure your own fitness and will give an approximate V02 max figure. You’ll see improvements over time with the fitness trend graph software supplied.
  • The Polar RS200 SD monitor acts as a 99 lap /split stopwatch which is useful when doing interval training or a distance race or run. On pressing lap the display data freezes for a time to show lap time, average heart rate and lap number and then shows elapsed time since the start of the session before reverting to the standard user display. There is also an auto-lap feature allowing you to take lap data at pre-set distances.
  • The lap data can be reviewed after the session on the monitor or on your PC.
  • Every session of over a minute in length creates a file on the monitor with start dateand time, duration, average heart rate, maximum heart rate, training zone(s) appled and time in, above and below each zone, total calories burnt.You can review this session and any sessions from the past week on your monitor.
  • Exercise data can be transferred from the wrist monitor unit via a sonic link to use the Polar Personal Trainer website and monitor your progress on an ongoing basis
  • You can also use the uplink feature to edit monitor settings and download to your unit
  • There is an event countdown timer – showing days until your big event (good for motivation!)
  • The RS200SD comes with a comfortable flexible fabric Polar Wearlink chest strap and transmitter which is coded to prevent cross-talk (interference) from other heart rate monitors.
  • The monitor has a clear display which you can set up with multi-lines to show different data such as pace, stop watch, heart rate zone and heart rate at the same time.
  • As expected you get the usual time/day/date functionality
  • The RS200SD watch monitor is small and lightweight compared to many heart rate monitors with this amount of functionality and it will fit all but the most petite wrist. You could wear this one as a sports watch and it comes in black and red.
  • The Poalr RS200SD has a two-year warranty

Any Problems with the RS200SD Polar Heart Rate Monitor ?

  • Some reviews say that they feel the Foot pod is quite large and bulky to look at although you will not feel this during a run.
  • One reviewer said that the graphics are a bit limited compared to more sophisticated monitors they have tried such as the Polar S410
  • The basic features are quite easy to operate but you will need to spend some time with the manual which comes with the monitor to get the most out of it.
  • As the monitor is a precision instrument batteries should be changed by a service center. (You can change the batteries in the transmitter strap and in the foot pad yourself).
  • A couple of reviews have complained about the monitor occasionally resetting itself. These problems seem to be sporadic rather than general.
  • One Polar RS200SD review mentioned that the Soniclink used to connect the monitor to your PC is less effective than the interface for other models such as the S625X which use infrared, that the interface is slower and more troublesome for some PCs and that the data downloaded is less detailed. If this is a features which is particularly importnat to you then you may wish to buy the Polar S625X model instead which we also highly recommend.

Alternatives to the Polar RS200SD

Polar RS200

The Polar RS200 heart rate monitor is the same watch as the RS200SD but the Polar RS 200 does not come with the Foot Pod. Go for this model only if you are NOT interested in the speed (Pace) and distance features of the RS200SD. With the Polar RS200 heart rate monitors you CAN add the Foot Pod later but it will be more expensive to buy separately.

Polar S625X

If you ever think you will want to use your Polar heart rate monitor watch to get cycling data choose the Polar S625X instead as the RS200SD does not interface with the Polar cycling sensors.

If you run a lot of hills and trails you may also prefer the S625X as this has an altimeter.

See our review of the Polar S625X if you are interested in these features.

Our Summary

Great for serious runners, the RS200SD is one of the least expensive ways to get speed and distance along with already first-class Polar heart rate monitor functionality. As one review said “Not quite perfect, but pretty close”

Where to Buy the Polar RS200SD heart rate monitor

Polar do not sell through their own websites and have only licensed a small number of dealers. Always buy from a licensed dealer such as Amazon to ensure that your warranty will be valid. You’ll find the Polar RS200SD here on Amazon where you’ll also find additional product pictures and reviews.