Polar S710 vs. S720

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by ihollo, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. ihollo

    ihollo New Member

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    Other than the look and IRDA feature, are there any differences between the two? Does the S720 have an improved sofware? Is it worth the extra cost?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. RoadHazzardBuzz

    RoadHazzardBuzz New Member

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    Hi there,
    I just got the 720, based on recommendations I read on line. One of the major positive differences for the 720 is that it can be paused for 30 minutes without shutting down, whereas the 710 can only pause 5 minutes. (ya gotta eat fast!) Still learning about it, there is a lot of bells and whistles to the beast.
    Buzz
     
  3. ihollo

    ihollo New Member

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    Buzz:

    Did you go through the same process? (710 vs. 720?) Good luck with your new HRM!
     
  4. steve

    steve Administrator
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    How much is the price difference? if its only a few dollars, you'd be mad to get a 710 IMO

    cheers!
     
  5. ihollo

    ihollo New Member

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    Steve:

    It's about 40 bucks, but the 720 does not need an infrared interface. (the problem is that my laptop does not have one . . .)
     
  6. RoadHazzardBuzz

    RoadHazzardBuzz New Member

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    Software is the same, and there is a new update on the polar web site www.polar.fi
    While you're right the 720 doesn't need an IR interface IF your laptop does, since your's doesn't you'll need an external IR interface. It's available in either serial or USB for @ 39 bucks I believe.
    The more I play with the 720, the more I like it.
    Buzz
     
  7. rek

    rek New Member

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    Don't forget the S710 can beep when outside HR zones while performing cycling functions, whereas the S720 and (I think) S710i can't. (Polar mentions something about 'interference' on the later models being the reason why it's disabled, but it works just fine on the 710 (??) )

    Myself, I'd rather keep my S710 .. and rememember to take the watch with me when I get off my bike in the middle of a ride :) (or use HRMmerge afterwards)
     
  8. Zoanie

    Zoanie New Member

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    I was interested in the same question. I must have had a less cynical-of-customer-service moment and fired of just this question to Polar. This is the reply I received in no less than 24 hours from Polar:


    "The S720i can download to the PC's IR port or external IrDA devices without using the Polar IR interface. Please note the external devices may require own drivers and settings.

    The monitor ' timeout' feature has also been increased from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. You can be away from the receiver for up to 30 minutes before the receiver shuts off the receiving circuits. The target zone alarm is disabled in the bike mode to eliminate cycling signal interference.

    The S720i also has a new durable, lightweight steel frame design. It has a brighter screen for better visibility. It retails for $339.99.

    If you need further assistance please feel free to contact Customer Service at 800-227-1314 or 516-364-0400.

    Thank you for choosing Polar."

    Cheers,
    Carlos
     
  9. kneighbour

    kneighbour New Member

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    This is not quite true. The 30 minute thing was brought in with the "i" models. ie the S710i and the S720i. Both 720i and the 710i are the same.

    The 30 minute thing is a HUGE improvement. The old 5 minute shutdown was a fatal flaw for me.
     
  10. kneighbour

    kneighbour New Member

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    This is not much use unless you use a laptop with one of these interfaces. If you use a desktop computer like me, then it is no use at all.

    I have even found the USB interface to be more trouble than it is worth. I could not get the drivers to load - like a number of other users. The Serial interface works perfectly.

    But the S710i is the same - so this is not a comparison issue. And it is not really an incentive to upgrade from a S710.

    This is in both the S710i and the S720i. It is the single biggest improvement, I think. The old 5 minutes was totally fatal to me. I actually gave back the old S710 I originally had because of this very thing. The new 30 minutes is just fine, although I would like to set this myself.

    If you have a S710, this reason alone is worth upgrading for.

    I think this is only on the S720i. But since these things are VERY prone to interference, anything they do to improve the situation is very welcome. Why the S720i is the only model to have this feature I do not know. The inbuilt software is otherwise exactly the same.


    This is actually why I went for the S720i and not the S710i. I had hoped that the steel case would act as more of a shield than the plastic case of the S710i. But they seem to be just as susceptible to interference.

    I actually went and bought the Power Sensor just so that I could get around most of the interference problems. The Power Sensor hardwires in the speed and cadence sensors, and this is a vast improvement over the wireless versions. Interference with those is so bad they are virtually worthless. I found that some rides had a error in the distance travelled of around 20% or more. Simply because of speed sensor interference. On many rides, you would see with surprise that you topped out at 140 kph, for example. Very hard to filter out, too.

    No problems now with the hardwired version. I still have problems near taxis and the like with the HR sensor, but there is nothing I can do about that, unfortunately.

    The S720i has a plain silver case - it looks very simple and plain - not very attractive at all. Certainly nothing to impress your friends with. The S710i looks a lot better with the red lines and things. The band on the S720i is also just a plain gray thing. So if you want better looks - definately go for the S710i.

    The different screen could be true. I found the top line of the S710 very hard to read on the bike. It is too close to the edge of the case, and the shadow from the case cuts off the top of the digits. Since this is the only place you can display most of the important cycling information (cadence, distance, etc), this makes the thing pretty useless on the bike.

    I had hoped that the S720i would have corrected this problem, and it might in fact be a little bit better. The top line is still very hard to see while actually riding a bike, so I do not think you could use it as your main cycle computer, but I have a vague feeling it is better than the S710. Polar really need to fix this up - at least allow users to put the cycling information into the center line or something.

    Actually, the other reasons you would not use it as your "real" cycle computer is that

    1. the readouts update too slowly
    2. there is no ride distance at all!! (only Trip Distance, and this does not reset automatically)
    3. too hard to read the top line

    The other big problem with the S720i screen is that it seems to suffer from manufacturing problems. I have had two S720i units now - both have a very marked rainbow artefect in the substrate of the LCD screen. This can be so bad there is no way you can read anything at all on the screen, not even the center line. It seems to vary depending on light, but I have no idea really. Some users have watches where the artefact is only mild, and they can live with it. I feel that since we are paying so much money for these things, there should bo no artefact at all.

    The S710 never had these LCD problems.

    All in all, I would go for the S710i next time. Cost is not an issue - the difference is only a few dollars.
     
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