Any runner looking for a new running watch will eventually end up choosing between the Polar RCX5 and the Garmin FR 610. Both of these recent releases by Garmin and Polar are impressive enough to cause a stir in the running community so much so that picking a clean winner from these two products is near impossible. Polar RCX5 reviews extol the advantages of the Polar RCX5 and predictably enough, there are also a good number of supporters in the Garmin Forerunner 610 HRM camp. While this review will never be able to pick a clean winner between the two, suffice it to say we’ll try to cover the important aspects of each product so you will learn to differentiate one from the other.
Every modern running watch has to have a GPS and these two excel in that regard. Polar RCX5 reviews laud the accuracy of the Polar RCX5 but the Garmin FR610 clearly has a leg up in this department. With the Hotfix technology, signal acquisition is reduced to 5 seconds giving you more time on the road and less on the curb.
Advantage: Garmin FR610
Heart Rate Monitor
Polar has long been an industry leader in this department and the Polar RCX5 only served to reinforce this. While the Garmin FR610 has excellent HRM functions, Polar is still king.
Advantage: Polar RCX5
Both devices have the clean look that is a significant departure from the traditional bulky look in old designs.
Any of the many Polar RCX5 reviews will tell you that the Polar RCX5 has come a long way from the old Polar designs that were cumbersome enough to limit multi-sport uses. The Garmin FR610, on the other hand, took a small step back in the sense that many users continue to consider the Garmin FR310XT as the golden standard in multi-sport watches. We would rather have the Garmin FR610’s sleeker profile over the bulk of the 310XT but in the long-run, we’d have to say this is a tie.
Home Run Feature
The Garmin Forerunner 610 HRM is a touch screen watch, the first of its kind at this form factor. It even works with a winter glove on so you can continue flicking through your run data even while you’re out in the cold. The Polar RCX5’s answer is the hands-free feature; simply by swiping the watch across your heart rate monitor, the data pages flip to your pre-set views so you can look at all your data without fidgeting with your watch’s buttons. It’s tough to pick a winner but we’re leaning towards the Garmin.
Advantage: Garmin FR610
As you can see, both watches are excellent in their own respects and you can never go wrong with buying one over the other. However, should you have a specific preference, let this review guide you in choosing which watch is the best for you.