Polar revives the Pacer as a back-to-basics running watch

There are no smartwatch pretensions, just a focus on running.


Polar is today launching a new pair of watches designed to encourage you to get your sneakers on and start running. The Pacer and Pacer Pro are back-to-basics devices with an emphasis on high-quality data to help you train, run and recover. Both devices use lightweight bodies and round cases, with color Memory In Pixel displays sat below a Gorilla Glass 3.0 crystal. And both use the same custom system-on-chip which the company says will run much faster than many of its older devices.

If the Pacer name rings a bell, it’s because it was the name Polar used for a wrist-worn heart-rate monitor at the turn of the millennium. Back then, the data was being pushed from the chest monitor, but the point of reusing the name is to let customers know this is a very light weight running watch first and foremost. They’re both pretty lightweight, too, with the Pacer / Pro clocking in at just 40 / 41 grams, or 1.4/1.44 ounces.

Both promise advanced optical heart-rate sensing technologies, as well as analysis to measure your training load and rest. But the Pacer Pro gets several features its cheaper sibling does not, including a barometer for more accurate power tracking and gradient counting, as well as turn-by-turn guidance. It’s worth mentioning, however, that while you’ll be able to get push notifications and share data with third-party running apps, neither device can be classed as a proper smartwatch.

The Polar Pacer Pro is available today in gray, white, blue and maroon, priced at $299.90 / €299.90, while a green version will begin shipping later in the year. The Pacer, meanwhile, will set you back $199.90 / €199.90 in black, white, teal and purple, and will begin shipping in May.