I recently received a Polar V650 as a gift. It looks great, the touch screen works well even when riding. The GPS seems to work well, and integrates nicely with Strava. Installation was a breeze, although I think the rubber bands that hold the bracket on the bike will stretch.
My Software Experience
To get the units data in to Strava you have to perform the following:-
- Connect the Polar V650 via it’s micro-usb port to a computer.
- The FlowSync software from Polar is supposed to recognise the Polar V650 and start syncing the device to the Polar Flow web site.
- Polar then syncs the data to Strava.
- Strava then allows you to edit the ride before saving it into your dashboard.
- My Polar V650 unit turned up with old firmware. That shouldn’t be a problem, the FlowSync software is supposed to recognise out of date firmware and offer to upgrade the unit. I run Linux and Mac OS X El Capitan at home, unfortunately the former is not supported by Polar and the latter had a fairly major bug, where it didn’t recognise the Polar V650 at all on that OS. The local support said a new later version of FlowSync would fix the problem, to my knowledge that never occurred. In the end I borrowed a Windows laptop and upgraded my Polar V650. In the new firmware you tell it that you are connecting to Mac OS X El Capitan ( I wonder why?).
- Using Mac OS X El Capitan on the MacBook Air I have to force run FlowSync for the synchronising to work, note I use the actual onboard USB ports for this.
- Using Mac OS X El Capitan on the iMac I plug the Polar V650 into a USB hub. The hub has two external hard drives connected, they are immediately ejected, but do come back! I again have to force run FlowSync but it never sees the Polar V650 unit.
- The Routes feature only shows you your favourite routes, i.e. ones you have already ridden, it would be nice to be able to upload GPX files with a route that you are about to do. There are work arounds mentioned in the Polar forums.
- It we be nice if it handles running. Instead f having the ability to have 4 bike profiles, one of them could be running. I wouldn’t need to take my phone on a run then.
- In Australia it is the law that all cyclists have to ride with a bell. It would be good if this was available from the pull down menu or a new pull up menu.
On the whole I like the unit, the software around the Polar V650 let it down. Some of the bugs related to USB shouldn’t exist, it’s been around a while now. I’m hoping Polar fix the bugs and include some of the features requests, using it would be a much better experience.