Home Fit Gear Reviews Fit Gear Review: The Polar RC3 GPS with Heart Rate Sensor: First Introductions

Fit Gear Review: The Polar RC3 GPS with Heart Rate Sensor: First Introductions

by Erika Nicole Kendall

I was just saying to myself, “Self, I really need to get back into doing those fitness gear reviews that I once loved.”

So, imagine how I jumped for joy once the opportunity to review the Polar RC3 GPS fell into my lap, courtesy of FitFluential?

Let’s get into it!

What is the Polar RC3 GPS?

Intended to be a triathlete’s dream watch, but also manages to work for those of us who love our tabatas and HIIT, the Polar RC3 GPS (with heart rate monitor) is a training computer that can give you your distance, your speed, and even altitude thanks to a GPS sensor that lives within the watch.

The watch also comes with a built-in rechargeable battery, that allows the watch to plug into your computer via a non-proprietary (meaning, it’s not some fancy cord that’s exclusive to Polar, making it easy to replace if it becomes damaged) cord and charge easily. The battery boasts a pretty lengthy lasting power – even with GPS in use, the watch can last a little over twelve hours. (Take it from me – most GPS sensors that are simply sensors don’t last that long, let alone with a watch!)

The watch provides you with the same kind of smart coaching I talked about with regards to the Polar FT60, but adds more:

  • Your speed, both in total and per individual lap
  • Your distance, both in total and for each individual lap
  • lets you track your laps
  • your heart rate and average heart rate per lap
  • can tell you about your total calories burned
  • Syncs all of your information with Polar Personal Trainer (more on that later!)
  • Can also be used with a bike mount that makes the watch far more convenient for cyclists

Polar did a pretty good job of creating an introductory video to the ins and outs of the watch…

…so I’m going to go right into talking about data collection and who I think this watch is really going to help the most. Stay tuned!


You can check out the watch here, on Amazon! What do you think so far?

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kami August 12, 2013 - 3:57 PM

I need to one of these watches. I did not know how to pick it out. I will be paying attention to these reviews

Hope B August 12, 2013 - 6:21 PM

I really would love on these but just can’t afford it right now.

Alexandrea Ward August 13, 2013 - 1:50 PM

I’ve been looking into Polar for a few months now. I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot of mention of this brand from friends and other fitness-minded people as well. I would like to hear more about it.

Thomas May 29, 2014 - 6:06 PM

hi. can you tell me how this inverted LCD works in darkness and low light environment (with illumination too)?

I’ve heard that the standard display (grey background, dark numbers) is much more visible and readable that the inverted one.

What is your opinion on that?
I am not sure which model to choose (black orange or blue) …

Apparently the coloured versions of RC3 have the option to switch from inverted LCD to normal … but Polar Distributor has told me that this option does not exist. Do you know anything about it??

Thank you

Erika Nicole Kendall May 30, 2014 - 7:37 AM

Hey, there! To answer your questions:

1) The inverted LCD also comes with a backlight controlled by a button on the side of the watch face, which allows for it to be visible in darkness and certain types of low-light situations. In other types, the LCD itself works quite well on its own.

2) In terms of readability, as someone who owns multiple Polar watches, I have to say I’ve never really noticed a difference.

3) I’ve not seen an option to switch the inverted LCD to normal, but I have to admit I haven’t really hunted for that particular option, either.

Hope that helps!

Thomas May 30, 2014 - 7:34 PM

Ive posted a comment, but it didnt appear for some reason …

…thank you for your feedback on this.

I just have one last favour 😉
Can you post a pic or email me a pic, of the screen being illuminated in the dark?
I cant seem to find any on google or anywhere.

And also if you find a chance, to check out that option to switch between inverted LCD to normal.

Much appreciated.

Erika Nicole Kendall May 31, 2014 - 9:12 AM

A camera photo isn’t going to show you what you’re looking for. Your best bet, for such an expensive watch, would be for you to visit your local sports store with an advanced electronics section and check it out in person.

And, no, I couldn’t locate any option to switch the screen.

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