Review of the Polar RC3 GPS Watch

The Polar RC3 is a fantastic mid-grade watch for runners and cyclists. It’s a GPS-embedded running watch that also contains a heart rate monitor as a mid-tier running watch. We must note that this is Polar’s first GPS-embedded watch, and is a device for runners, cyclists, and triathletes.

Below we review highlights of the watch, including its Heart Rate Monitor, GPS, Measurements, and battery life.

Heart Rate Monitor

Polar’s accuracy comes from an electrical heart rate device that pairs with the RC3. You can get the GPS watch with or without the chest strap to measure your pulse for an improved fitness workout. Like most of Polar’s straps, it’s a lightweight and stretchable one with a detachable component for measuring heart rates.

It also includes preset heart rate zones based off of specific information you enter. This makes it easier on owners who are not too aware of their zones. However, the RC3 is also customizable as it allows people to adjust their own heart rate zones if they are aware of their own range.

GPS Technology

The Polar RC3 is a very accurate GPS watch as it can easily connect to satellites to track your overall process. Due to the embedded technology, users can track their distance, speed, elevation, and route. It’s handy Back to Start feature can help you trace your path back to the beginning in case you get lost.

Most importantly, with these type of watches, it requires satellite connectivity to access metrics for its GPS locator. For the RC3, it only takes a few moments outside to instantly connect to a satellite. Runners or cyclists will never have to worry as the connection stays strong to the end of your workout for you, to view your route and the metrics behind each session.


When it comes to data, the running watch contains multiple measurements to keep you notified at all times. From distance, heart rate, or calories burned, the RC3 includes 7 full pages of data, each with 3 fields per page.

At the end of a workout, the result can be viewed on Polar’s site called Polar WebSync. It allows users to see a more in-depth overview of their session for training or goal building purposes. Additionally, the platform is both Mac and PC friendly which will make the syncing of data seamless.

Battery Life

The battery expectancy is around 12 hours when fully charged. Polar predicts this with the GPS running at all times, and the expectancy is more when owners only use essential features.

Charging and uploading data from the GPS watch is through a micro-USB device. Its port attachment is behind a magnetic cover at the back of the watch.


There are two distinguishing weaknesses to note with the RC3. The first lies with the battery life and how 12 hours is a bit too short for athletes and active fitness enthusiasts. It’s data pages also cannot be customized, and users may have to toggle through pages before finding their desired metric.


All in all, the Polar RC3 is a great watch with fantastic GPS and heart rate monitor features. It is a great partner for training with its features and measurements.

  • Pros
    • Fast and Accurate GPS
    • Numerous Data Fields
    • Accurate Heart Rate Monitor
    • 7 pages of data
  • Cons
    • Battery life not as long
    • No customization in Data fields