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Initial hands-on with Polar Loop activity tracker

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Hello! My Polar Loop In-Depth Review is now published, and can be found here.  Thanks!

Today Polar announced their latest product – the Polar Loop.  This marks a new area for Polar where they’re branching into the heath “activity monitor” segment, as opposed to the straight-up fitness markets they’ve traditionally played a large part in.  The growing activity monitor market includes incumbents such as Fitbit, Nike, Jawbone, Withings, Basis and many others.  While the Polar Loop may look similar to some of those devices, it does have a few interesting differences that we haven’t seen anyone else tackle yet.

I’ve only had a day to toy around with the device, so I thought I’d briefly cover where things stand and where they’re going in the near term.  As the device shifts from beta to final retail unit, I’ll circle back at that point with a typical full in-depth review.  Like yesterday’s first-look post, this isn’t meant to replace a review – but rather just to cover the main functions.

Unboxing:

When it comes to the review process, I actually don’t very much enjoy unboxing.  Mostly because it’s slow and tedious and I have to wait for the light coming in from the windows to be ‘just right’.

Thus, I was happy to find that the unboxing for the Loop is really about as streamlined as it gets.

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Inside the box is the Loop, a charging cable and a small instruction card, that’s it.  Woot to simplicity!

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Well, actually, I’d later find this little doohickey was in the box too – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

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Here’s the unit in it’s original condition and state:

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The unit has a clasp that clips in place to allow you to take it on/off your wrist.

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Then, we’ve got the USB charging cable.   It uses a standard USB port on your computer/wall/TV/XBox, etc… to charge the device.  Meanwhile, on the other end it uses something that kinda reminds me of the S-Video connectors (remember those days?).

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With those two items completed, let’s dig into getting the unit setup.

Arts and Crafts Project Time:

Given I lack small children at the moment, I don’t get too spend too much time with scissors and rulers.  Or flavored glue sticks.  But today that would change.  See, the Loop comes with a default size that’s large enough to affix the unit to Squatch (yes, I’m from Seattle).

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So, you’ve got to fix that.  While most other players in the market solve this via some sort of clever lego-block style system (Nike), or just different SKU’s (Jawbone) – Polar went in the direction of simply requiring you to get out your scissors.  Since The Girl doesn’t let me use her nice scissors, I have a $1 pair from Ikea that’s all mine!

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First you’ll grab that card from the package.  The card is actually your ruler.  So go ahead and separate it:

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Then, wrap it around your wrist to measure yourself.  I assure you, doing this and taking a photo of it is one of the more difficult photos I’ve taken during a product review.  Especially when you’re too tired to setup a tripod:

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The numbers you see represent how many ‘chunks’ you’re going to cut off from each side of the strap.

To do that, we’ll go grab that metal doohickey in the box and poke out the pins of the strap clasp:

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Next, the moment of truth: Measure twice…and cut twice:

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You’ll cut the band on both sides to be shorter:

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Ok, then grab the metal thingamajig and put the pins back in place:

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Presto, the right size!

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Ok, it actually took me two tries as it was still a bit loose after taking off the initial chunk.  But, nonetheless, mission accomplished!

General use:

The unit has a single button on the front of it, that allows you to iterate through several screens.  Like the Nike FuelBand in many ways, the singular interface keeps things fairly straightforward.

Each button tap will iterate through the different features and then briefly display the state of that metric.

Steps: Steps is pretty straight forward and monitors your steps using the internal 3D accelerometer. It doesn’t display actual distance (i.e. miles/kilometers), but just steps.

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Time: Not much complex here. The time is your local time.  You’ll set this via your phone.

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Actv (short for activity): This is field shows you how much activity time you’ve accumulated.  It starts off with how long you’ve been awake (since sleeping, since it tracks that), then shows you how much time you’ve walked and jogged.

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If you reach your goals for the day, the unit will also give you a little fireworks show.  Additionally, it has a bit of a progress bar after displaying the word Goal.

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Cals (short for calories): These are calories burned.  Note that if you use a HR strap, it’ll use that data instead to determine calorie burn.

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The last function is the ability to track sleep.  It even tells you “Sweet Dreams” (well, it did sitting on my lap writing this post anyway).

In addition you can also briefly hold down the unit’s button to plop it into an airplane mode, in the highly unlikely event you remember to do so on a flight.

Pairing with a Bluetooth Smart heart rate strap:

Perhaps the single most interesting aspect of the Polar Loop is the ability to pair it with a heart rate strap.  The challenge with most activity trackers is how to bridge the gap between a device aimed to track day to day walking around the office/home, with that of something designed to track your exercises.  Most activity tracker devices out there today tend to gloss over the exercise piece – especially on calories.

To solve that Polar added the ability to pair a heart rate strap via Bluetooth Smart.  This works with any Bluetooth Smart HR strap – such as the Polar H6 or H7.

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I also tested it on a few other non-Polar branded straps as well (such as the 4iiii’s Viiiiva).  Regardless of which brand, it has to be a Bluetooth Smart strap. Not a standard Bluetooth (legacy) strap, nor an older Polar strap. Only Bluetooth Smart (look for the little “Bluetooth Smart” symbol):

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In this mode you’ll simply hold the HR strap close to the Polar Loop and then tap the button, which triggers a brief search for the strap before pairing to it.  The Loop will now add your current HR metric into the list of fields you can display.

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As I went on my run tonight, I was able to simply tap the Loop to display my current heart rate.

Later, if I were to upload this data to the app, the calorie information will have been pulled from the HR strap versus simple weight/distance metrics that most devices use.

This is a pretty cool idea, and one that I’m kinda surprised nobody else has added.  How to bridge the gap between fitness device and general life-monitoring device is a question I’m frequently asked, and it appears that Polar may have found the solution.

Polar Flow: Apps & Website Usage:

As part of the Polar Loop platform (that’s the device), Polar is also releasing a new website and app – called Polar Flow.

The Loop syncs with your phone via Bluetooth Smart, so it will require an iPhone 4s or newer.  Out of the gate there will only be an iPhone app available, whereas Android will follow down the road in a few months.  I suspect that the recent Bluetooth Smart challenges on Android are the key driver of that.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have access to either the website nor the iPhone app as part of my poking with the device.  Thus I can’t really comment yet on how that’s going to shake out – that’ll all come in due course with a full review anyway.  However, in looking at the two screenshots I can share with you (below), as well as a few others that they’ve shown me – I’m impressed with how polished the apps look.

It’s interesting to note for example in the below iPhone image that it breaks out your different activity periods: Sleep, Sitting, Standing, Walking, and Running.

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You’ll also notice as we look at the website, that this is a refreshed site dedicated for the Polar Loop and future Polar devices.  It seems like some good progress over the current/legacy Polar websites which are in desperate need for updating.

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Summary:

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It’s notable that the device is the only one out there that’s fully certified to be 20-meter waterproofed, and also the only one that can be worn while actively swimming (though it’s unclear if it’ll track that properly as an exercise).  It’s also of course the only one that pairs to a heart rate strap for exercises – like I did tonight with my run (where I didn’t feel like bringing a cell phone).  You’ll notice it was pouring out, no problems with water:

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As the $109US Polar Loop releases in two weeks, I’ll be aiming to dig more deeply into it after a few weeks of device and new Flow app platforms usage.  There’s a lot of players in this space, and I expect it to only get more crowded – so I’m looking forward to helping to separate out the winners and losers here.

In the meantime, here’s a quick comparison table of the features.

Function/FeaturePolar LoopGarmin VivofitFitBit ForceFitBit FlexNike+ Fuelband
Copyright www.DCRainmaker.com - Updated March 12th, 2014 @ 8:01 amNew Window
General: Price$99$129$129 (NOTE: RECALLED)$99$149
General: Body PlacementWristWristWristWristWrist
General: Data Transfer TypeBluetooth Smart & USBBluetooth Smart/ANT+Bluetooth SmartBluetooth SmartBluetooth & USB
General: Bluetooth to PhoneYesYesYesYesYes
General: Waterproofing20 meters50 MetersNone/Splash-only10 MetersShower, No Swimming
General: Battery Life5-7 days1 Year7-10 days5 Days3 Days
General: Battery TypeUSB RechargeableCR1632RechargeableRechargeableUSB Rechargeable
Function/FeaturePolar LoopGarmin VivofitFitBit ForceFitBit FlexNike+ Fuelband
Watch: Displays timeYesYesYesNoYes
Watch: Has time alarmsNoNoYesYesNo
Data: Step CounterYesYesYesYesYes
Data: Stairs ClimbedNoNoYesNoNo
Data: Distance WalkedYes (Added in firmware update)YesYesYesYes
Data: Calories BurnedYesYesYesYesYes
Data: Sleep MetricsYesYesYesYesNo
Function/FeaturePolar LoopGarmin VivofitFitBit ForceFitBit FlexNike+ Fuelband
Sensors: Skin TemperatureNoNoNoNoNo
Sensors: Heart RateYes (with HR Strap)Yes (with HR Strap)NoNoNo
Sensors: Skin PerspirationNoNoNoNoNo
Software: Web ApplicationYesYesYesYesYes
Software: PC ApplicationYesYesYesYesYes
Software: Mac ApplicationYesYesYesYesYes
Software: Phone AppsAndroid/iOSAndroid/iOSAndroid/iOSAndroid/iOS/Windows Phone (3rd party)iOS
Software: Ability to export/sync settings from computer/phoneYesYesYesYesYes
Function/FeaturePolar LoopGarmin VivofitFitBit ForceFitBit FlexNike+ Fuelband
Platform: 3rd parties can access data via APIPlanned Spring 2014SortaYesYesYes
Platform: Ability to export your data out of platformPlanned Spring 2014Fitness: Yes, Steps/Sleep: NoYes (paid option)Yes (paid option)Minimal
Purchase: Amazon LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink
Purchase: Clever Training Link (Save 10% with DCR10AKG)LinkLinkN/ALinkN/A
DCRainmaker: Review LinkLinkLinkN/ALinkLink

As always, feel free to drop questions into the comments below and I’d be happy to try and get them answered.  Thanks for reading!

 

Update: Ordering information

Just as a heads up, you can now order the Polar Loop via Clever Training – which in turn helps support the site. As most of you know, I’ve partnered with Clever Training to provide DCR Readers with an exclusive 10% off coupon (DCR10AKG), good for anything you put in your cart. Plus free US shipping over $75.  The relevant links are:

Polar Loop Activity Tracker
Polar H6 Bluetooth Smart HR Strap
Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart HR Strap

Thanks for the support!

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254 Comments

  1. David

    Seriously the point?

    • David replied

      As in the point of this offering? Polar are just becoming more and more irrelevant.

    • Chase replied

      David, Polar has an ENORMOUS presence in the Health Club/General Fitness Community (a place where Garmin is essentially nonexistence). Polar isn’t ‘irrelevant’. This product will do quite well there as it also undercuts the competition & Polar already has relationships with many leading gyms/fitness centers in order to promote it.

    • Niclas replied

      It does an interesting thing. It measures your moves and calculates your activity. If you are sitting too long, sleeping, not moving enough/day then that will seriously harm your health. There are countless articles in the literature correlating e.g. vascular deceases, weight etc with activity. This is actually a product that a lot of people would need badly to help living a healthy life. Polar has done activity trackers before but this is a brand new generation.

      http://www.polarloop.com

      The fact that it has heart rate means that you can also use for training.

    • Rainmaker replied

      I think you’re looking at two different segments. I talk about it a bit lower in the comments, but ultimately the market for health/activity sensors (i.e this/FitBit/etc..) dwarfs that of traditional GPS watches for more active folks.

      Walk into any Best Buy/Walmart/etc and look what’s in the electronics section for Fitness devices. It’s generally not a Garmin. It’s a slew of FitBit like devices.

  2. Quite a few of these coming out lately. Withings pulse too. Do any of these let you control your own data? That is, export a detailed record of all these metrics that are being tracked? It seems every device out there wants to lock you into its own ecosystem. I want to buy a system that will let me move my data out of an ecosystem that turns evil.

    • Rainmaker replied

      Most of them do actually. In my table you’ll see a line-item for allowing you to export your own data. It’s an area I hammer companies on if they don’t allow it.

  3. Mark

    I’m going to broken-record here a comment I made a while ago on DCR’s Basis B1 Watch Review: All these fitness tracking devices (Basis, Jawbone Up, Nike FuelBand, FitBit, BodyMedia, etc. – and now Polar) are just going to get blown out of the water by some future Apple device. And this seems even more likely with Apple’s introduction of the M7 motion coprocessor chip in the iPhone 5s.

    • Gunnar replied

      Mark, exactly what I was thinking….actually earlier today….BEFORE I saw this article. I was strapping on my fitbit and thinking how much easier it would be if I just had the iPhone 5s to track these metrics.

    • Bruce replied

      The strive app gives you many of the activity monitor features just by carrying your iPhone. I used it for a while, but found that it used a bit more battery, and I had to charge more frequently than overnight. There are plenty of activities that I do where my iPhone sits in my bag, so you don’t get the full picture.

    • Rainmaker replied

      It’ll depend highly on execution of such a device.

    • Mark replied

      And it might not even be a future new Apple device. It may just be the iPhone 5s, since Apple has opened up its M7 CoreMotion API to developers. There could be some interesting activity tracker apps (or even just updates) coming for iOS.

    • Rhett replied

      Apple doesn’t have 100% market penetration, and built-in activity tracking certainly won’t topple me over to an iPhone. I guess I’m saying there really is a market for non-Apple devices like this.

    • RETHMD replied

      I disagree. Personally I do not like to run with a phone strapped to my arm or waist. Not to mention the fact that you are never going to swim with it. I believe the future in the fitness market is the smart watch. What I can’t understand is why Google has not embellished and reintroduced the MotoActv with features that exceed those of the Garmin 910XT plus include others you see in the fitness market. Or perhaps they should introduce a fitness watch.

    • Mike replied

      Unfortunately a lot of professionals like myself work for companies that have classified areas (no cell phones prohibited) and this device will allow daily activity tracking without a sell phone or a standard pedometer. Those with different work environments can use their phones to track daily activity, but I’m not sure how it will track your sleeping habits.

    • Rainmaker replied

      Though, the Loop wouldn’t be permitted in most classified spaces due to its inclusion of wireless via Bluetooth Smart. Of course, that does depend a bit on the space and the interpretation the ISSO over that space chooses to use.

    • Selen replied

      The Galaxy S 4 already does this with the S health app.

    • steven17 replied

      I believe you drive a car or truck.
      There will be at least two critical data display continuously right in-front of you: RPM (Engine revolution per minute) and MPH or kMPH (Speed)
      In human, that means: BPM Heart beat per minute and then the distance (speed or pace)

      If you walk into a fitness center, most of the machine display , that means most of the time those machine show my heart rate without any single touch if I already have a Polar chest strap in used.
      Diving into a swimming pool or lake, a waterproof case for any smartphone (perhaps except for the Sony water proof Xperia Z1) is not that small to strap on while you swim  try to swim with you iphone…
      BTW, I change the battery of my Polar FT80 once a year, a piece of mind as my heart beat monitoring cheat strap, both water proof build-in.

  4. Matthieu

    Why is there no activity tracker that you can slap on your ankle? That should make it much easier to track different activities no? I personally hate wearing things on my wrist and I would definitely not consider breaking this habit for something which has huge flashing LEDs on it… All I want is a tracker on my ankle that talks to my phone. Why doesn’t this exist? Any thoughts?

    • NS replied

      People will think you are on court ordered GPS tracking or a sexual predator being monitored :)

    • Look out for more from Sensoria – these guys from Microsoft Xbox Kinect will :)

      link to igg.me

    • Cathy replied

      Why can’t you do this with the Pulse? As noted, its default size is big enough to fit Squatch, so you can cut it to fit your ankle instead of your wrist. Not exactly comparable, but I wear my Fitbit One on my ankle for sleep tracking. The sleeve fits my ankle, I hate having stuff on my wrist while sleeping & it works fine – accuracy not sacrificed.

    • Cathy replied

      Oops! Meant Loop, not Pulse! :-O

    • Matthieu replied

      Thanks for the replies, I didn’t know these would work on the ankles, I would have thought the algorithms would have to been tweaked since your movements are going to be quite different… I will look more into this.

  5. NS

    Still waiting for a wrist strap that has a pulse oximeter for HR built in like the amiigo (vaporware at this point)

  6. You can also go swimming with the Misfit Shine and Amiigo activity trackers.

    See the full matrix of what I’m wear testing here:
    link to minimalistrunningshoes.org

    Nick

  7. TT

    DC, I have been thinking about getting one of these types of devices. My problem is that I’m all in with Garmin Devices(Swim, 910, 800 and set ups on 3 bikes) and Garmin Connect that I use to share info with my Dad in Florida. It doesn’t seem as if any of these devices work well with Garmin. Am I correct?

    • Paul S replied

      I’m pretty sure you’re right that no one pairs with Garmin Connect. I know you’re right about Withings, since I have a Pulse and have used it since it was released in July. I have a Withings scale and blood pressure cuff, and the Pulse wasn’t that expensive, so I thought I’d give it a try. I have a Fenix, an Edge 800, and a retired Edge 705 (in addition to a Nuvi and a 60 CSx), and in order to get data to the Withings app, I have to go through RunKeeper. I’d drop RunKeeper in a second if Withings paired with Garmin Connect.

      I’ve been waiting to see what DC has to say about the Pulse. To summarize my opinion, Saturday I lost my Pulse; the belt clip has developed a tear and it no longer holds the Pulse securely. Before I found it lying on the driveway hours later, I had decided not to replace it if I didn’t find it again. I’m a cyclist (road and mountain), a cross country skier, and do the once-a-week hike in the mountains with the dog in addition to the daily walks around the neighborhood. The Pulse is useless for cycling, and I leave it at home when I’m out. (I’ll try it once if I haven’t lost it again, but I’m sure it will be useless for cross country skiing as well.) It knows something is up when I’m mountain biking because of all the shocks, but I might as well be sitting on a sofa so far as road biking is concerned. I haven’t really checked it against reliable (GPS) measures of distance and elevation, but since it can’t be calibrated, I’m assuming it’s only roughly accurate. Of course, I don’t believe the calorie burn numbers at all. The sleep tracking is interesting and is reasonably accurate. It was worth the price just to see what an activity tracker is like, but I won’t get another unless they become more capable.

    • TT replied

      I forgot to add that I also have a TANITA Wireless Scale

  8. Tom Smulders

    I am not interested: 2h 40min of house cleaning…. Phewww…

  9. Harmless Harm

    Ray, as part of full review: it should be compatible with Mio Alpha, can you please try?
    I am looking for a HR recorder for my Alpha, without the need to carry a phone.
    Thanks.

  10. Sooz

    Do activity monitors have the ability to track intensity of workouts? Can they detect the difference between a 40 minute easy run and a 25 minute track workout? What about when you’re lifting weights or doing some metabolic conditioning where you’re relatively stationary, but still doing a significant amount of work? Can it measure that?

    • NS replied

      You would need to have a HR strap on to accurately measure that. One of the reasons many are waiting for integrated HR in a band this size. Amiigo is one example but not out yet. I’m waiting for an Apple device with similar functions to tie into their comotion processor on the 5S.

    • John Amschler replied

      @Sooz – activity monitors can detect your intensity without a HRM. The Bodymedia device does this by using motion (accelerometer), sweat (GSR) and temperature to gauge that you’re strenuously working out.

  11. One thing i was wondering – you mention sleep tracking, the Fitbit One does an ok job, and wakes up with a vibration, the Jawbone Up has a smart alarm that tries to follow along with your sleep cycles to wake you – Does the Polar do anything similar? (even the basic “vibrate like crazy at 5:30am so my wife does not wake up and kill me”)

    If so this combined with the HRM seems like a great option to the basic HRM watch i was thinking about.

  12. These activity trackers really do magic in terms of motivation (walk more, less elevator usage etc.).

    One question: What about the data collected by the polar loop? Is that a closed loop system as all other polar data (no sync with myfitnesspal, fitbit etc.) or an open approach? The latter would make me thinking of buying my first polar device – the first push more towards ignoring. Hey, we are in 2013, that’s all about connectivity and sharing data in the cloud (and no, I am not talking NSA ;))

    • Rainmaker replied

      The Loop is open via a webservice API. So the device itself isn’t open, but the data is open from a webservice they’ll have. Which, makes it like most of the others out there.

    • Thilo replied

      That’s good news. Now, let’s watch out for the services they will connect. I expect Withings to be there – hopefully my fitnesspal, too.

      But am really diubtful about other sports tracking apps like endomondo, runkeeper etc. as polar has a completely different (customer unfriendly) strategy at this point.

      Nevertheless, the loop looks quite interestig to me.

  13. Erika

    It seems very complicated to re-size. Not good.

  14. LV Bob

    This device just makes me wish for the release of the Amiigo tracker even more unless, of course, Apple release their device in the same timeframe (their October event which is doubtful – I expect Apple to release whatever they have planned next year). The one thing going for this device is the price which is pretty competitive given what is does compared to some other devices (the HR stuff). Still the Amiigo offers more with potentially better step (and maybe distance) counting using their foot pod.

    Interesting times given that everyone seems to be jumping into this pond.

    • LV Bob replied

      Forgot to mention that the Amiigo has an open SDK which bodes well for connecting to other fitness apps.

  15. Eli

    Does the BLE strap need to support broadcasting rr intervals? (optional part of BLE HR strap standard) I know Polar and Viiiva strap has that support, while the wahoo strap doesn’t support rr intervals. Some of the algorithms in their watches depended on HRV info so guessing they use HRV based algorithms. Fitness test, recovery test, …

    • Rainmaker replied

      I’ll find out tomorrow from them in person, or later tonight I’ll grab my Wahoo strap out of my suitcase and see.

    • Eli replied

      May be best to ask them. It may work in a degraded state when rr interval data is missing so it may look like its working, just not as well as it could if a BLE strap with rr interval support was used.

  16. The little sleeping dude looks like he’s ready for something other than sleep…..
    Interesting device, I was initially wondering what set it apart from the rest of what’s out there already. I do like that it’s waterproofed to some degree. I’m still unsure if these things should have a place on my wrist.
    I’m longing for the day that Garmin comes out with a watch that I can wear for workouts and during my daily routine.

  17. Sensor

    I am happy with my RCX5 and its already too much hassle to clip on the foot pod + HRM + GPS. life is short; enjoy while it lasts.

  18. brad roberts

    DC, Have you heard any rumors for Garmin doing a similar device? Something to track all day as opposed to only during a training session.

    Thanks for the review.

    • Rainmaker replied

      Lots of rumors, but been like that for 18+ months.

      I have zero doubt they’ll get into the market – makes complete sense for them. If I were to guess (and again, I have zero inside information here), that would be a product they’d typically align to a CES announcement (January) versus a random fall or spring announcement.

  19. patti

    I just preordered one with the bluetooth strap. Seems like a fun new not overly expensive gadget.

  20. Josh

    I guess Im confused. What exactly is the point of something like this for those of us who are regularly active, very active at that. Im not knocking these, just trying to understand WHY I should buy and wear one.

    • Rainmaker replied

      Honestly, the market isn’t for you.

      The market is for the other 98% of the population that’s trying to get ‘healthy’, typically through encouraging themselves to walk/be more active/etc.. That’s pretty much true of any FitBit/Fuelband style product.

      Where this differs, is that traditionally folks in those categories who then went out for a 30 minute run, didn’t have a way to accurately track it. It was a shot in the dark honestly. This does HR-based calories, which is generally better than accellerometer based calorie guesses.

      And, since most folks in the above 98% bucket are really focused on calorie in vs calorie out, the importance is increased.

    • Eli replied

      Would be interesting to have activity trackers for the highly active but don’t think we know how to use the data well yet though.

      The point would be, sure for the workouts you use the more advanced watches and bike computers, but the rest of the day? Could be useful to know how relaxing, stressful, and active the off time is along with sleep time to track how well you recover between workouts

  21. Hayley Curtis

    You didn’t mention the Fitbit Flex which has been out since the end of May. You can wear it on your wrist and you can shower and swim with it on. The waterproofing is up to 10 meters. My husband and I have each had the device since its release. I do like the Polar option though of pairing the heart rate strap to the device. I think it would be a lot more accurate while working out. Now what I would like to see is a heart rate monitor for women that doesn’t cut into your skin.

    • Rainmaker replied

      I have a Flex, but it’s not my favorite. Primarily because I think the concept of a wrist-based unit without an actual display seems sorta silly to me. I find that for most people having a clear display with goals tends to promote more activity than an LED line.

      Just my two cents.

    • Rainmaker replied

      Which, btw, doesn’t take away anything from you liking it. :)

      Everyone differs. :)

  22. Thor R

    Twelve months ago I would have seriously looked at purchasing this device. Sadly as a result of their iOS apps still not being available in my region I’m not holding on to any hope that they can deliver this product (in my region) before another vendor delivers something equal or better.

  23. I really like my RCX5 and RS800 units but I can’t wait to strap these on for the other 20-23 hours of the day! I’m probably not the target market and maybe my wife is but this thing looks cool!

    • Hessu replied

      Same here! I have also RCX5 and RS800CX with GPS pods etc…. I have also been using Jawbone Up since last spring. I will ditch the JawBone as soon as i know (and I really hope that) that Polar will combine my data all together in Flow or in PPT.com for that matter.

      I want to use my RCX5 for workouts for more advanced features and Loop for the rest of the day and i just want one simple way to transfer data from devices to cloud and MERGE all that together for full picture. Jawbone provides all that via Runkeeper (even when using RCX5 when running), but Polar really has a competitive edge here and great possibility to delight their already existing (and becoming) customers as they can utilize the whole potential of their Polar gadet arsenal (existing or to-be-bought after using loop and faaling in love with Polar).

      So dear DC any hints or tips regarding this kind of a functionality visible anywhere?? I want to utilize all my Polar gadgets, doesn’t everybody. Isn’t this just common sense? :-)

  24. Nicky Defraeye

    I’ve asked the same question yesterday about the new Garmin devices… Will the Mio Alpha be compatible with the Polar Loop? That would be a really interesting combination, as it would make one able to track activity accurately throughout the day without having to wear a HR strap whole day through…
    Thanks for your feedback Ray!

  25. Josh

    Ray, tku for the reply to my question, that was appreciated! FR620, im ready for mine. very excited, hopefully will have it in time for my 10/27/13 26.2, or my 11/3 13.1

  26. Jose

    Looks like the Withings would be nearly ideal if is was water proof.

  27. Loop can pair with BTLE heart rate belt.
    So its chipset can act as BTLE host?
    Is it the first fitness product with this capability?
    Will we see some Polar watch support BTLE accessories soon?

  28. Paul Wakeford

    Yeah, echoing that the Flex can be worn while swimming. I do find the lack of display irritating as it feels like I’m wearing a watch but when I look down.. no watch.

    Even though I exercise a fair bit I still find the Flex pushes me to do those extra incidental bits of exercise – walking instead of taking the tram to work, taking the stairs instead of the lift etc. I also like the sleep tracking function – not that I think it is super-accurate around how many times I was awake in the night, but it makes me aware of how much sleep I am getting (or not).

    I would also be all in for a Garmin solution. Something like the Loop to start with, evolving into a 910XT style optical HRM watch and activity tracker, which could then be supplemented with HRM strap data when exercising (fixing the Mio problem of losing HRM data when active), in a smaller package and 5 days battery life – within a couple of years surely. I want to track all the things, all the time.

    Paul

  29. OMG! I don’t know if I can be more excited about this. It seems that Polar has found the KEY to success! I have to get one of these ASAP! Goodbye jawbone :) I think I am moving on!

  30. Rafael

    Polar should make a wrist [LED] heart rate monitor with either ANT+ or Bluetooth smart. That would be far more useful and complimentary to the products people actually want to buy.

  31. Long Run Nick

    Ok, having run over 78,000 miles (78,262) since April, 1976, I picked up a Nike Fuel band a couple of weeks ago. I have found the Nike Fuel to equate to about 500 fuel points per mile when running. At 70, my pace has slowed(10-11 min training miles). I run with a Garmin 610 and have been somewhat impressed with the “accuracy”. Running my training pace equates to about 2,000 steps per mile. On rest days, I lower my Fuel Point goals and find the damn thing motivates me to take the dog for longer walks. OCD folks be aware of gadgets like this. I like the added stuff Polar has come up with. I wish I never found this site. PS I have already ordered the Garmin 620,

  32. Ales Susnik

    Fitbit Flex is water proof and does track your swimming as being active.

    • Rainmaker replied

      True, most devices do understand ‘activeness’ – but they don’t know whether or not you swam for two hours, or put it in the dryer for two hours. ;)

  33. T.H

    Just to clarify. I am using the FR610 for my runs together with the Garmin HR Strap. So what do I do when I use the Loop during the day and go for a run. Using two HR Straps sounds silly and won’t work. Any solution for this? Ditching the FR610 tracking during my runs doesn’t seem to be the solution. Ditching the Loop during the run would let the Loop day be incomplete.

  34. Anders Majland

    There a lot of devices out, and I’ve backed more than a few crowd funding projects that has still to deliver. like Leikr, amiigo and Instabeat. I don’t expect a one-device that does it all but i’ve now also put my money on one of the best speckted smart wacthes: link to kickstarter.com

    It does’nt clearly state if it will be bluetooth smart (says just 4.0) but i want it primarily as phone that i can carry on my wrist. I’m one of those that often carry two phones – one for work and one for private calls and this one would replace my private one. It also has the specs that so that it (with an app) may rival my garmin 910xt for logging some exercises or replace my old garmin gpsmap for mapping/directions when cycling.

  35. The most important question for Quantified Self enthusiasts is… Does the Loop store RR data and allow you to download it for post processing?

  36. JR Powers-Luhn

    The article shows it tracking standing time (distinct from walking time)…what sensor does it use for that?

    Would also love to know if it plays well with the viiiiva strap.

  37. Tan Yee Hou

    I never knew you had lighting issues!

    What you can do is grab a 430EX (1 or 2 doesn’t really matter) and pointing it at the ceiling makes taking simple pictures a whole lot easier.

    If you’re on Nikon then the SB-600 is a good choice.

  38. FirinBlanks

    From Polar.com – “Battery life: 5 days in continuous use”. You can update that chart now Ray :)

  39. LV Bob

    I did more research on the competition and just thought about what I would require in an activity tracker. In short, any activity tracker that requires the user to wear a heart rate monitor is a fail. It’s no problem to don one when exercising but not for the other 23 hours of the day. I believe the devices that will ultimately rise to the top of the activity tracker arena will be those offering wrist-based HRM. This is important on its own for tracking heart rate for the entire day and, as Ray has pointed out previously, it is important to have heart rate to more accurately calculate calorie burn during those other 23 hours.

    This is one reason that I think that the Amiigo is the standout in this generation of devices in spite of its lack of display. Paired with something like the Kreyos Meteor, that issue could be addressed and include a host of other benefits “on the wrist”.

    • Eli replied

      Wrist mounted hrm do have a major dawlback, they can’t record rr interval data. One of the big drawls of the activity trackers is calorie count and guess what data the more acurate calorie count algorithms use? HRV. So using a strap what can’t give HRV data as it doesn’t record rr interval data won’t be as useful

    • LV Bob replied

      Perhaps so but the bottom line is that very few people are going to “strap up” 24/7. Maybe performance athletes but the typical user at whom these activity trackers are targeted are very unlikely to want to wear a HRM all day long.

    • John Amschler replied

      @LV Bob,

      I would agree that requiring a Chest strap would be a big negative for the Loop; however, I think they offer the option to attach a HRM to increase their accuracy.

      This puts them ahead of the Nike Fuel, Fitbit and many other devices out there. And it leapfrogs the pending BodyMedia/Jawbone release of a device that records HRV/R-R from the upper arm.

      @Eli – RR data can be recorded from the wrist; however, the issue is the reliability of the sensor over varying body structures. Basis (mybasis.com) had planned to do this but is still trying to solve this for a mass produced product.

    • Eli replied

      Chest based hr straps are electrical based in that they detect when a heart beat signal spreads through the heart muscle where the peak of that signal is very accurate and easy to detect. Don’t wrist based hr monitors work by seeing the pulse of blood moving through the circulatory system so it can tell when each pulse is. That would not be as accurate for rr interval measuring as the circulatory system buffers it a bit smoothing out the timing which means it will be close but not as good.

    • LV Bob replied

      Since I have a tachycardia, I actually know some of this stuff.

      The R in R-R stands for the R wave in the QRS complex in an EKG – the timing between these waves is what is being measured. You are correct that the best place to get this measurement would be the AV node of the heart but, in this case given the target market, I think that just obtaining the heart rate values may be enough.

      This is all academic for me since I am on a beta-blocker for my tachycardia so my heart rate is artificially low. I will be having an stress EKG to determine my estimated maximum heart rate so that I can determine appropriate heart rate zones for training but I doubt that it would provide correlation for the R-R timing. I could be wrong there and an nuclear stress test might actually provide that information.

      In any case, it is most probably moot for me since the calculation for calories are most likely based off the calculation of (maximum heart rate-age) or the Karvonen method (see link to wikihow.com). In a few years, you will probably see devices that account for people with artificially low or very high (performance athletes) in their software setup.

      I suspect that this may be a shortcoming in the Beddit product as well but I am not sure. I am guessing that they use the simple (220-age) to derive HRmax and derive sleep states from there. This ws one of the advantages of the Zeo product which tracked actual brain waves (much like an EEG) and rapid eye movements. Of course, the headbands often interfered with people’s sleep.

    • John E Amschler replied

      @Eli HRMs are the most widespread consumer method to obtain RR; however, there are other ways that I have experienced to obtain RR data. Unfortunately, I have not benchmarked any of these against an ECG so I don’t have a baseline.

      The other methods and companies that I’m aware of:

      Heartmath uses LEDs to accurately pull it off the ear lobe or finger, and their business is RR measurement. They tell me that their sensor is more accurate than the HRM because their sample frequency is higher.

      Although the mechanical ‘pulse’ through the circulatory system does reduce the delta, the most important thing is being able to measure a correlated bit of information which will give the same result. I tend to believe that Basis can make the measurement on the wrist in some cases simply because my friend is the Director of HW at Basis and he claims they have it ‘solved’, albeit it isn’t solved for the masses. I also won’t say it is done until I see it working myself (I am a product design engineer so I’m skeptical, but semi-trusting on this one).

      My contacts at BodyMedia also claim to have solved it on the upper arm which I also believe is possible. Their credibility lies in the fact that BM started as a ‘mind/body centering’ company and used RR before they found the GoWear/BodyBugg/SenseWear product that gained traction with consumers.
      Again, I won’t believe that this is done until I experience it!

      Visi Mobile/Sotera Wireless actually calculates Blood Pressure electronically by calibrating ‘time of flight’ measurements with actual blood pressure measurements to give a ‘beat by beat’ blood pressure.

      Over the past few years these technologies have helped me understand more about different technologies that can provide the most discernible of the PQRST complex measurements… the RR peaks.

    • Eli replied

      Thanks. I’m trying to learn this stuff but its slow learning (mostly cause its hard to find it)

    • John Amschler replied

      @LV Bob – it sounds like you and I share an interest in these gadgets.

      There is definitely a push for us to understand the ‘outlier’ measurements on people such as you who have tachycardia. In fact the more data we have, the more we will learn!

      Thanks for highlighting the Karvonen method – I was not aware of this new ‘rule of thumb’ calculation.

      Non HRM devices calculate calories via ‘actigraphy’ – a standard used in sleep and activity research for years.

      I have heard from a very good source that Beddit does not collect accurate RR data. They use ballistocardiography which can gather useful sleep information without the ‘annoying’ Headband.

      By the way – I love my Zeo! I would wear it nightly if it would store data locally rather than transmit it multiple times per second. When I use Zeo I collect the raw analog data every night that I wear it – it will tell a useful story in the future ;)

      @Eli – I’ve done lots of digging in this arena. Feel free to hit me up for any questions. You can find me online in multiple places (I’d post my info here, but I don’t like spam bots to scrape and start sending me junk!)

    • LV Bob replied

      I wish I would have gotten a Zeo when they were available. I also have sleep issues and have even had sleep studies suggested. I’d rather just monitor my sleep at home. IBeddit acquired some of IP from Zeo – I wish they would jsu buy the rest of it for future integration into future devices (like a headband :) ).

  40. LV Bob

    @John Amschler

    This will be interesting to find out. The implication I got from Ray’s article is that an HRM is the only way to get heart rate values into the device. He didn’t mention anything about an optical sensor built into the device. I do agree that if such a sensor is built into the device that their approach puts them ahead of the competition in this area.

  41. @LV Bob

    You are correct – there is no optical sensor, I was commenting on Eli’s remark about not being able to get RR from the wrist.

    In order to calculate calories Loop, Fitbit, UP, Misfit Shine, FitLinxx Pebble, and others use the accelerometer data and proprietary algorithms to estimate calories based on the average consumer. This is an acceptable method, but you should not trust the change rather than the absolute caloric value.

    As @Rainmaker states – these devices aren’t targeted at people who are fit, they are targeted at people who need to be motivated to move.

    I’ve evaluated many of these devices, and I still go back to the Polar RS800cx because it stores RR data. This data is invaluable and a great marker of health, fitness, diet and recovery.

    • LV Bob replied

      “As @Rainmaker states – these devices aren’t targeted at people who are fit, they are targeted at people who need to be motivated to move. ”

      That’s my point. Those in the targeted market are the least likely to use an HRM and certainly not wear it 24/7.

    • Rainmaker replied

      I think Polar is actually making the move to split the difference. They’re basically saying that for people who want the day to day metrics of a Fitbit style device, but also want to go for a run and get semi-useful metrics.

      In that, Polar really has the market to themselves. I think it’s a smart move in a crowded market.

    • LV Bob replied

      @Rainmaker – The split the difference play could be interesting for many people. It’s not the device for me but that doesn’t mean that many others won’t find it useful for just the purposes you noted.

  42. Just as a general FYI, I talked with Polar today about the R-R portion at Interbike. It is not required for the device to use, nor did they believe it’s being leveraged for the metrics the app is showing. That said, they’re going to circle back with the product team to validate 100%.

    They had tried it with virtually every HR strap on the market, including the Wahoo strap, and saw no problems. They did not yet try it with the Alpha strap.

    Finally, someone had asked about alerts. Alerts are surfaced to the phone via iPhone notifications. So you’re pocket would vibrate, not the band (the band has no vibration motor).

    • Eli replied

      I was working under the assumption the device is based on Polar OwnCal (as in the didn’t create any new method) and I thought that was based on HRV but can’t find the reference to that now.

  43. Thank you for this awesome review. I had a previous fitbit Ultra – and loved it. After three devices dying, I gave up on the brand and went with a Jawbone. I like it but not being able to push a button and SEE my step count, isn’t motivating. I rarely think to sync it with my phone mid-day, so at 8pm I am certainly not going to do a mile or two to catch up. So seeing something like this with a visible step count is great!

  44. Ian

    Probably the best tracker to date. However, what happens when the Nike FuelBand 2 arrives and can do all the same things and more? Do we wait and see what Nike has to offer or not?

    • LV Bob replied

      The Fuelband 2 will lack full-time heart rate monitoring based on the rumors which say that they will use a “pinch to measure” trigger. I really think that casual fitness users who are monitoring heart rate will want full-time tracking so they can correlate it to activities and calorie burn.

  45. Michael Ciuffo

    I’m a little skeptical about the 20M waterproofing. That certainly is a lot, and I haven’t found a single other source outside this review that confirms that value.

    Does anyone know where that number is coming from?

  46. Ivy

    Have you had a chance to compare the calorie expenditure calc in the Loop to another Polar product like an FT40? I’m curious how they’d measure up in terms of accuracy, given something like the FT40 factors in data collected through the fitness test (VO2 max, resting heart rate, etc.). Any thoughts?

  47. Pedro Costa

    Hi,

    Do you know if the Polar Loop detects automatically the state of your body in the sense of you are sleeping, standing still, sited or walking / running, or do you need to select which activity you are doing before you do it? I’m interested because i wanted to know if when you go to sleep if you forget to mark as sleeping mode will it detect that you are sleeping and you have waken up an X amount of time ?
    Also are you able to manipulate using the APP the values received (for ex. in case you forgot to set the Loop in sleep mode, you can select the aprox time you went to bed and woke up)?

  48. Frankwin

    Does it support the Polar bluetooth footpod?

  49. Koen

    Hopefully PPT will also be updated for their current line of products. Would hate it not to see my RC3 get access to the renewed site.

  50. It will be pretty interesting to see how accurate the Loop will be compared to the Bodymedia Core armband.

  51. MG

    How do you track stairs and other activities, other than walking, on the Polar Loop? Does Polar charge fee to access your own data? Will the app be compatible with a Droid 4? How long is the warranty? Thanks for the review.

    • Rainmaker replied

      The data is free to access. They do plan to support Android phones, however that will be via Bluetooth Smart, so that’s a bit messy right not on Android (requires 4.3 and compatible hardware). It does not track stairs.

  52. Edward

    Thanks for the preview. I suspect my question will have to wait for the next round of testing …. I use a Polar H7 with Polar Beat to track my runs using an iphone. A Loop sounds like it would give me 24/7 activity and sleep tracking *plus* an HR display on the wrist during runs so I don’t have to dig out the iphone yet still allow the run to be tracked by the iphone so I can see the GPS/HR profiles. Would be great if you could test whether this scenario can be made to work. Would the H7 connect to both the Loop and the iphone? Would Polar Beat attach to the Loop and get a relayed HR signal from the H7. Would I have to unpair the Loop to attach H7 to iphone directly?

    • Rainmaker replied

      The H7 would not be able to connect to both the Loop and the iPhone concurrently (you could alternate one or the other), it’s a limitation of the way Bluetooth Smart currently works – and oddly enough the topic of my post on Friday: link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Edward replied

      OK, so only hope for my usecase would be either (1) Loop can be seen as a virtual HR strap by Polar Beat or (2) Polar Flex replicates some of the GPS tracking featues, which does not look likely from the pre-release screens.

    • Rainmaker replied

      Correct. They’d have to re-pair it to the phone in real-time and then take advantage of the GPS side.

    • Niclas replied

      Loop can connect to both. Don’t ask me how.

    • Edward replied

      Niclas, interesting … I would not be surprised if Loop can connect to the H7 and to the iPhone. I guess my concern is whether the Loop/iPhone connection has to involve the new Polar Flow App which, from the screenshots, does not appear to do anything with the HR signal other than to accumulate a better calorie count.

    • JJ replied

      Niclas, is that true and have you tested it?

      The Polar Loop Manual says: “While you train with a heat rate sensor, you can’t sync the Polar Loop with the Polar Flow mobile app. You can sync your data after you’ve stopped the training session.”

      Since it says it won’t sync with Flow app, I am assuming it won’t sync with the Beat app as well.

  53. Chris

    Quick question(s) – so, it just shows steps, not distance if I read right. The app though, will report distance? What about 3rd party use? Maybe early to say, but not really looking to add another app, rather just use the apps I use and either directly load data in or export / import if needed.

    Any ideas?
    thanks,
    Chris

    • Rainmaker replied

      Correct, the app isn’t showing distance at present (at least in what I was provided). 3rd party use is via the API to their upcoming site, but not directly to the device. Data access via that site will be via the API. I suspect we’ll see more details in the coming days according to the timelines I’ve seen.

  54. Hanna

    Looks very promising. Looking forward for the detail review.

  55. Rachel

    Will the Loop sync to MyFitnessPal? Like FitBit does?

  56. Glen

    I talked to Polar (Canada) this morning and asked about sizing. My concern is that if I fit it to be snug the first time, then find myself motivated by the device to hit the gym in a regular basis and increase my forearm diameter that the loop that was once comfortable will now pinch. Alternatively if the thought was to give this to a younger (still growing) person how would the loop account for the change in size? Finally what if after 30 days you decide to get into biking instead of running but now the band sits in the bend of your wrist uncomfortably… Or maybe you just realize that the fit is a bit tighter than you wanted.
    First the customer service representative had to go ask someone else which I actually really respect…. If you don’t know just go find out like our favourite tech gadget reviewer does. Unfortunately the answer he came back with was.
    There is a one month return policy. The problematic nature of that response is I think fairly obvious. Sensing himself that this was an inadequate response the service representative had a manager came on the line to assure me that since the wrist is all bone, increases in the diameter of that area don’t happen. In fairness they did also say that there is a tiny adjustment you can make to make the loop a bit larger. Based on what we saw in the above review my guess (and it is only a guess) would be that you have to pull out a few millimeters of the band that were previously being secured by the metal clasp. Would this leave the loop prone to separating at that weak point?
    If there is any more information on this please let me know. I actually think the product is a great idea for a certain type of consumer and it seems silly to hamstring it with this inability to adjust when there are a variety of obvious and easy solutions.

    • Rainmaker replied

      You could basically leave the cut portion under the band 1-2 notches loser and then adjust without cutting.

      Though, in general unless your losing (or gaining) significant amounts of weight, your wrists aren’t going to change significantly. There isn’t a ton of muscle one could add there either.

  57. Shelly Forkel

    Can you still use the Loop w/ the HRM strap if you don’t have an iPhone?

  58. Shelly Forkel

    Can you just transfer the data with the USB cable/pc? Do you think (your opinion) it is worth it to get one if you don’t have an iPhone?

  59. Shelly Forkel

    I will check back in a few days. Is there any idea on the possible Android software release date??

  60. Ian Oh

    Do you have an idea of the released day ?! I have been waiting . Ordered mine at CleverTraining with your code but they said it won’t ship out until later November :(

    • Rainmaker replied

      In theory Polar has stated that they’ll release software on Oct 16th, with distributors starting to receive shipments on Oct 21st.

      Clever Training tends to be at the front of the line for just about everyone, but they also are fairly hesitant to put vendor-provided dates up they deem unrealistic. In other words, they’ll see it when they believe it. I have a thread with them about upcoming products that they’re working on tonight, so if I hear an updated date from what they’re hearing – I’ll definitely drop a note here.

  61. Angel

    Does it read/display your Text Messages? Did I miss read something..I just thought I saw something like that.

  62. Philip

    I’ve been on the fence between Polar Loop, Nike Fuel and FitBit and reading this review sealed the deal for me. I can’t wait for the Polar Loop to be released!

  63. Robin Clark

    The Polar H7 heart rate monitor is listed as being compatible with the Polar Loop. According to Polar’s website, the Polar Loop can be worn in water when swimming. Also, the H7 monitor is capable of using Polar’s GymLink frequency to transmit heart rate information in water where Bluetooth doesn’t work. Does the Polar Loop support GymLink for receiving the H7′s heart rate information in water? Or, does it only support Bluetooth for receiving heart rate information from the H7 (via Bluetooth) when on dry land? (I’ve sent the same question to Polar customer support and am waiting for their response).
    I would like to track my heart rate on land and in water, and the Polar Loop seems to be the best choice since it’s waterproof for swimming. However, I don’t want to have to wear two devices on my wrist in water (the Polar Loop and another Polar watch that can receive heart rate info in water from the H7).

    Thanks.

    • Robin Clark replied

      Just got a reply from Polar, and the answer is dissapointing, but at least they responded quickly, as follows:
      ======================
      “Dear Robin,

      Thank you for contacting Polar Customer Care!

      The Polar Loop communicates using the BluetoothSmart frequency. As BluetoothSmart cannot transmit through water the Loop+H7 cannot communicate while swimming.

      Both products can be swam with, it will not damage the product however you will not receive heart rate data from the H7 while using the Loop while swimming.

      If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact us directly using the link below. We have representatives available via Livechat, E-mail and our toll free line 800-227-1314 option 4 Monday-Friday 8:45am-5:15pm EST.

      link to polarusa.com

      Thank you for training with Polar!”
      ========================================
      Since the Polar Loop only works with the H7 on dry land, does anybody know which of Polar’s wrist-worn products can receive the H7′s heartrate information when swimming in water? Thanks.

    • Rainmaker replied

      Polar H7 has the analog 5kHz transmission signal as well as the Bluetooth Smart. Current generation watches it’s really only the RCX5 that will support reading from this underwater (via the 5kHz signal).

  64. Stephen

    The loop needs to pair with Myfitnesspal I am so surprised it does not at this point. Also why doesn’t it show miles traveled? If it connected to my fitness pal I would purchased in a second and dump fitbit.

  65. Avi

    If I have the RCX5, is there any point in buying the Loop?

    • Rainmaker replied

      They’re two different devices that serve different purposes. The RCX5 is meant for monitoring a physical workout, whereas the Loop is primarily an activity tracker meant for monitoring the full 24hrs of the day, rather than just the 1-2hr workout.

  66. Avi

    Of course. However, consider I’m really not doing any physical activity except during my training classes where I wear my RCX5, is there any point in buying the Loop?

  67. Ian Oh

    Do you have any info about this product. I am so curious about the phone app and the website. Everything look so fine for me. I am on my track of losing weight (20lbs so far) with H7 and will be happy to have Polar Loop with me all day long. MOTIVATION

  68. Danielle Cunniff Plumer

    So I got to take a look at Polar Flow today (flow.polar.com). I was honestly kind of horrified — social sharing run amuck! (It was the “reliving’ other people’s runs that really got to me; no idea how that will work with step data from the Loop). The Polar Flow website will work with the Polar Beat application, which has been updated. The connectivity with PolarPersonalTrainer.com is unclear. There is some information about the Flow website at link to polar.com, but I don’t know how to parse sentences like this:

    Q. Is it possible to transfer data from polarpersonaltrainer.com or Polar ProTrainer to Polar Flow web service?
    A. Polar Beat users who have registered to polarpersonaltrainer.com will have their data migrated to Polar Flow web service.
    At the moment it is not possible to transfer data from other Polar products from polarpersonaltrainer.com or ProTrainer 5 to Polar Flow. However, we are constantly developing Polar Flow, so follow us on Facebook or Twitter to stay informed of future updates.

    I haven’t pre-ordered a Loop yet, and I’m feeling a little uneasy about Polar right now.

    • Danielle Cunniff Plumer replied

      Update: my husband just ran a test, creating a new session in the (updated) Polar Beat application to see what happened. The new session was displayed in the Polar Flow web site, but not in PolarPersonalTrainer.com. Since we’re exporting data manually from PolarPersonalTrainer.com for import into SportTracks, and there is no option that we can find for exporting anything from the Polar Flow web site, this is a total no-go. I hope others will manage to avoid this trap! Do not update the Polar Beat app or create an account on Polar Flow, and maybe all will be well.

      Anyone want to buy two nearly new H7 monitors?

    • Edward replied

      My previous data flow, alluded to by Danielle, was

      Polar Beats on iPhone ->
      PolarPersonalTrainer.com ->
      Ixported to gpx/xml files on PC ->
      ST3.0 on PC via import plugin ->
      SportTracks Mobi via browser import

      Since Polar shot that in the head pretty soundly, I have put togther this work-around which works way better:

      WahooFitness on iPhone ->
      Dropbox TCX file via one-click upload ->
      SportTracks Mobi via file import in browser.

      And no intrusive social network “features” to contend with.

  69. Heather

    I am very interested in this but just trying to clear something up. Do you have to wear the HRM strap 24/7 in order for it to collect the HRM strap data or can I just wear the strap for say a run or workout, then remove the strap and the Loop continues to collect data as normal?

    I have a Polar Bluetooth Smart strap but if wearing the Loop would eliminate having to carry around my phone and using the bluetooth strap with Endomondo, it would be a much better alternative.

  70. Keri

    sorry if someone asked already..but I have the fitbit flex, but I also have the polar H7 now i’m thinking about the loop but the one benefit I like about the fitbit is that it’s a glorified pedometor…does the loop track your daily steps? because honestly I will switch so fast if I can get the exact sale options as the fitbit..only for the simple fact that I can link it to the H7!
    thanks! =)

    • Danielle Plumer replied

      The Loop does count steps, but not stairs climbed (altitude). It remains to be seen how well the Polar Flow website integrates step data with heart monitor data. Using it in combination with the Polar Beat app (or perhaps the Polar Flow app, if they in fact come out with one) may let you add a GPS overlay, though that’s iOS only, for now.

    • Ignacio Perez Perez replied

      Danielle, I have a similar question: How it’s possible to overlay the Loop daily tracks with my Garmin GPS track files? And at the comparison table of features up here in this review, says that Loop it’s able to export data out of platform. How it’s that possible? Thanks in advance for your answer. Best greetings.

    • Rainmaker replied

      The Loop site was scheduled to go live with export/API capabilities, but I’m not terribly sure it’s there yet (or at least, I can’t find it).

      I’m probably going to change the comparison table in the next day or so unless I get confirmation otherwise.

  71. Bob L

    Ok for you geeks out there, here is the Polar Loop manual in English…

    link to polar.com

    • Danielle Plumer replied

      The first link gives me a “Page Not Found,” as does the link in Polar’s navigation. Using the model of other user manuals on their site, I tried capitalizing the initial letters and got to the manual.

      link to polar.com

      Direct link to PDF: link to polar.com

  72. Robin Clark

    Thanks, Danielle! And here is a link to the Polar Loop-specific website:
    link to flow.polar.com

  73. Bianca Cork

    I found your review very informative but hoped you could provide me with your opinion on which tracker is most suited to me. I currently run, swim and cycle so I am pretty active and I would’ve chosen the 910xt Garmin Forerunner as it seems top runner..however I need a device that tracks throughout the day as not only am I interested in my daily movements, sleep patterns etc I am extremely scatty and would be likely to lose something I have to take on and off. I thought this device seems to cross that gap between fitness and lifestyle. I like the fact I can use a heart rate monitor and that I can swim with it. Is there anything else coming on the market or already out that I haven’t thought of!? Would appreciate your advice?

    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi Bianca-

      Note that the HR monitor won’t capture data while swimming however. Ultimately, there isn’t yet any single device that accurately does the whole day. Devices like the Basis B1 watch are good for 23 hours of the day, but not the 1hr or so of actual workout time. And this devices is good for tracking much of the day, but it’s great for running/cycling to display pace/etc while you workout (you can view that on the phone app however).

      Hope this helps!

  74. Robin Clark

    I just pre-ordered a Polar Loop and H7 heart rate strap. I was waiting for the Amiigo to be released, but what finally sold me on the Polar Loop was the fact that it has a display right on the band. With the Amiigo, all your data must be viewed on your smartphone. Just my personal preference.

  75. Ben Gregory

    Does it have a stop watch function? My crappy Timex just died and I’m trying to find the best all around HRM. I do a lot of Olympic lifting / cardio interval training and I need something with that particular function. Also, can you adjust the calorie calculation of the software based on individual VO2 max and body fat percentage?

    Thanks,

  76. jen cox

    Two questions: does it include the sleep waking feature waking you at the appropriate rem phase to allow you to wake feeling rested.. I’m assuming not…
    Did you figure out if it was compatible with with the bluetooth smart/ant heart rate strap? ?
    Thanks, Jen

    • Rainmaker replied

      It worked with the 4iiii’s strap (that’s the combo ANT+/BLE strap) when I tested it earlier with the beta unit. I should have the production unit here by the end of the week at latest.

  77. Mario

    Question the only way to track your activity through the day is by wearing the hr band or just if you want your hr to use this band all day is uncomfortable can some one answer me thanks

    • Rainmaker replied

      No, per the answer a few comments above – you don’t need to wear it (the HR strap) all day. Only if you want heart rate data. Step data is collected via the wrist otherwise.

  78. Ashlyn

    If you don’t have a smart phone, could the Loop sync up with a blue tooth capable computer?

    • Rainmaker replied

      No, it’s not an option at this time. The challenge is a bit twofold. On Windows PC’s, you’d have to have Windows 8 (+HW) to be able to see it without a separate adapter. On Mac’s, it’d be easier (since it’s been built in for a while now). I suspect though that the crowd that has Mac’s highly overlaps with the crowd that has iPhones/iPads. ;)

    • Ashlyn replied

      I actually have a macbook pro, but it still won’t work?

    • Rainmaker replied

      Correct. The desktop software just doesn’t leverage that connectivity.

  79. Ciara

    I love the chart at the end that compares all the fitness trackers, can you add the fitbit force to the chart? Would love to see how its stacks up against the loop!

    Also I read in your review that once you pair the HR strap to the loop that the heart rate then appears on the loops display. Does the calorie count also go off the HR strap then as well?

    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, I’ll definitely add it in as soon as I have hands-on top with one (that’s sorta my baseline requirement for making it to the charts). Essentially though you can take the Flex and just put ‘Yes’ next to Stairs & Time. ;)

    • Ciara replied

      Thanks! Can’t wait for your up to date review! But you didn’t answer the calorie question =).. does that update when you’re paired with the HR strap and display on the loop?

      Which one would you recommend btw the loop and the force? I’m guessing the loop b/c of its HR monitoring ability…

      How does each of the accomanying app programs stack up?

      Sorry for all the questions, I’m a bit of a novice with fitness trackers and want to make the most informed decision before I buy and it seems you’re the go to guy!! =)

  80. Ian Oh

    It ‘s going down to the end of October and there was no released day have announced beside those Guides and Commercial that Polar posted on youtube. Do you know when will it will be released. So exciting

    • Rainmaker replied

      My understanding is units started shipping out yesterday. Both the App and site also went live yesterday, as well as desktop software. A final production unit is on a flight to Paris as of this afternoon, so my guess is I’ll be able to get a final review up next week sometime (likely later in week).

    • Ian Oh replied

      Thank you . This is a good info

  81. ericny

    shipments out yesterday (10/29). getting my unit directly from the polar site.

  82. Jen

    Thanks for the info Ray. Do any of the newer ones coming out have the REM wake feature that wake you at the optimal time to feel rested..that would be icing on the cake for the Polar..but if it actually works and Polar doesn’t have it, I’d likely jump to a different device. That feature seems helpful if it works….

  83. Ian

    I got mine this morning! I email the R&D department and request they:
    -Make a white Loop since they are making the pink.
    -Add the feature of the user being able to modifying the LED words displayed.
    -Create a food dairy in the Flow App so that we can track Fat/Protien/Carb ratios.

    Rainmaker, How tight should the Loop be? Mine is loose enough that it slides up just a bit, but not a lot. I am worried about cutting too much. I also might be used to the stretchy rubber in the Fitbit Flex. I would forget I was wearing it at all.

  84. Ben Vanmarcke

    Received my Polar loop today, it looks very nice but trying to use it isn’t very straight forward!

    First, my computer at home is a Mac with OS X 10.5.8. Upon trying to install the sync software, it said it could not install on the hard drive. Couple attempts to no avail…. Drove to work to go get my windows laptop and was able to install the app and update the firmware. Created an account with no problems.

    Installed the app on my ipad (don’t have an iphone) but the loop does not want to communicate to it. I’m also running a Jawbone Up as well as a Fitbit One on the same ipad without any issues.

    Sizing of the armband seemed to be seriously off, after cutting according to the guide the armband was way too big. Had to cut of an additional 2 holes on each side. At least it wasn’t too narrow!

    First impression, if it wasn’t that i need it for work related purposes I would have sent it back already. The only way i can get the data is via usb connection with a pc, which, as a mac user, is just not an option for me.

  85. Long Run Nick

    OK, my Loop showed up today. Got it uploaded/downloaded-whatever on my lap top and my I phone 5. I like the looks of the phone app. Feels a little lighter than my Nike Fuel Band. I am wearing both-can you say GEEK? I will run a 8-9 miler tomorrow AM and will report back on steps,calories,etc. comparison. It won’t be as in depth as Ray’s, of course, who could match the MASTER? Doesn’t appear that the app shows distance but, I will confirm after I run tomorrow.

  86. Letok

    I got my Loop and fired it up no problem with an old Mac. Question is how do I update the time and date (it thinks today is tomorrow already). I do not have an iPhone or iPad and there does not appear to be an option for fixing this on the Polar Flow site on the Mac or the Loop itself.

    Also, not sure why, but my Loop does not display sleep or time awake.

  87. Ben Vanmarcke

    The calendar problem seems to occur with several people, I have some data from Thursday, nothing on Friday, and Friday’s data was put on Saturday and Saturday’s on SUnday.

    I don’t seem to have consistent sleep data either (one night it is there, the other night it is not). And would like Polar to explain the goals because it never shows how to adjust them.

  88. JC

    I have the RCX5. I measure everything about my workouts, to the point that I question what I am doing. I have the hybrid chest strap, not the H7. If I get the H7 will that send a signal to both the RCX5 and the Loop? I do a lot of weight training and the RCX5 captures info I doubt the Loop will – like I have a “chest workout” I can select and hit lap when I switch to a different exercise. I would not expect the loop to do that.

    I would like to have all the data go to the same place. It seems Polar is not using the same data from PPF, which makes me nervous and wonder why. Any ideas if the PPT will be able to get the data from the Loop?

    Lastly, people are giving 1 star reviews on Amazon assuming the Loop supposed to measure heart rate without a strap. They talk about using their fingers and putting conductivity gel who knows where. It’s really sad, people may not read the reviews, just see the one stars.

    Thank you in advance

  89. JC

    In my prior post I meant will it send the signal at the same time. I want to wear both at once as the RCX does things the Loop will not. I want to keep tracking with the loop and at the same time capture with the RCX5.

    Thanks

    • celeste replied

      Yes it will, I just used my ft80 and my loop to try my combat workout, sent to both seamlessly.

  90. Rafael

    My question is around the heart rate integration. I use the polar beat app with the H7 and I get to see a minute by minute representation and trend line of my heartrate throughout the workout. For those of you working out with your new loop, and then syncing it with the app, are you getting this same minute by minute trend line of your heart rate or do you get what I used to see on my FT7, which is average, max, and current numbers only? I’d hate to think I have to carry my iphone while wearing a loop to try and get my trend lines from the heart rate strap.

    thanks!

    • letoki replied

      Nope. The Loop readout will not stay on nor show you the same info as the app. Although tapping it can give you your heartbeat it is best not to think of it as a workout tool. Think of it as an all-day or 24 hour tracker. In that sense, you will probably still want to use another device, whether it is a HRM watch or smartphone app for your workouts. Whether those other devices will conflict with the Loop is not that clear to me yet as there is some discussion that the Bluetooth straps will only pair with one device at a time, which would be quite problematic if true and not remedied.

      For myself, I worked out with an F7 Polar watch, H7 strap and Loop the other day. It seemed fine at first, but at some point when I was using a Polar-enabled treadmill, the watch froze and is now dead. Whether this is a conincedence or flaw, I honestly don’t know yet.

    • Damon replied

      You receive minute by minute and today I worked out with my FT80, Polar Loop and H7 HR Monitor with no issues. Understand the only Bluetooth link used was between the Loop and the H7. I hope that helps.

  91. Long Run Nick

    Received my Loop on 10/31. Sent it back today. Several issues: Very difficult to see/read LED in outside daylight and nearly impossible in sun light. I have a Nike Fuel Band and visibility outside has not been a problem. Battery life, Polar quotes 6 days. Mine lasted 2 1/2 days. Each of the days I was over 300% over my goal. Still have not figured out “standing time”. I found the Polar step count off by about 2,000 steps versus the Nike FB on each of the days I wore both- on the same wrist. I have run over 400 miles with the Nike and have found it pretty consistent, ie, 500 fuel points per mile run/2000 steps(give or take 100 or so either way). I also found the Polar wouldn’t always respond when you would push the button. Web site has some glitches. Very disappointed, I thought more of Polar.

    • Damon replied

      Nick, what have you used to measure your distance outside of the Nike Fuel and Polar Loop? I used my Garmin to measure a distance run and wasn’t off by anywhere close to your number. I also used the Polar Loop on both wrists and found a difference of about 200-300 steps when wearing the device on the dominate side, instead of the recommended weak side. I haven’t encountered the visibility issue unless the battery was low and with utilizing the H7 for about a 2hr workout, I’m experiencing about 3 days. I need a waterproof device and a HR sensor makes it a plus. I wish the new NIKE Fuel SE was waterproof, not water resistant. I will say I am experiencing a major software flaw in the Flow website and App. My training is showing up on November 5th and 6th; which obviously isn’t here yet. The bluetooth syncing is not smooth, just slow for my iPhone 5S. I will give Polar some more time, as HEART RATE is vital, not pretty colors and points with friends.

  92. flyingmachine

    Have to agree with Nick, had mine for 3 days and very disappointed. The step count is about 3-5X over actual. The app on iOS does not sync well at all, I have to sign out, re-sign in, re-connect to get updates on an iPhone. At this point, I’m planning to use the loop for another week, if no software updates are in the works from Polar, I will probably return it. It’s too bad as I’ve been a loyal Polar user for about 12 years now and was really excited about the loop.

  93. Long Run Nick

    Hi Damon, a little intro on my part. Having run over 78,000 miles over the last 37 years I have used more devices to measure routes than I should honestly admit to. My main GPS watch is the Garmin 610. I got the Nike Fuel Band at the end of August and have worn it 24/7other than taking it off to charge-3-4 days. I have run with it over 400 miles on routes measured by numerous devices over the years. I found the FB to be quite consistent and “accurate”. I got the FB as a toy and have had fun with it. Got the Polar because I like tech toys. As I mentioned my main issue was not being able to read the LED’s outside and it was not as consistent as the FB. I have to question the standing time measurement. I would say 95%of the time I am standing I am moving. So to see I stood for “5hours”gets lost on me when there is walking/jogging/sitting/resting. The HR was not a big deal to me because I use the Garmin HR monitor with a Polar strap and have not had any issues.
    My sickness continues, I pre ordered the Garmin 620/withHRM on 9/17 and look forward to running with it. I will also sheepishly admit that I have pre-ordered the Nike Fuel Band SE which is to be shipped tomorrow. Being 70, with expendable income is dangerous. My oldest daughter(49) is a runner and is the beneficiary of my hand me down running toys as is one of my grand sons. Keep running, there is no finish line.

    • Damon replied

      Nick, I appreciate your in depth feedback and reply. I’ve heard mixed opinions about the FB since it’s introduction and seeing that it’s still just water resistant disappointed me. I run in bad weather often and don’t care to take it off in the shower. Have you had any issues with it in the rain or shower? I also run with a 610 and was just looking at the RC3. I’m only 38 and haven’t logged nearly as many miles as you, but I am very active and looking for a band that’s waterproof and accurate. I will never buy another Fitbit product again, so it’s between PL and FB.

  94. John

    I’ve had a loop for a few days now, and overall I like it. I appreciate seeing the steps and the extra motivation. I also use it with a BTLE strap when on my trainer (a Viiiiva, which lets Trainerrod see the ANT+ signal, while still transmitting BTLE to loop). Those functions seem to work well.

    I’ve had a problem for the past couple of days, however, and Ray I wonder if you’ve seen this issue. Last night when I plugged the loop into my laptop to charge, it reset the steps/calories/activity on the unit. Today, I also noticed that the word “afternoon” flashed on the display, and it reset itself again, from around 10k steps back down to about 400, and calories went from 2100 to about 1100, etc.

    When I looked at the flow app on my iPhone (which, by the way, takes forever to sync with the Loop), I noticed that today’s activity showed up as a zebra stripe line that is supposed to indicate “no data”, and all of TODAY’s data appears under TOMORROW’s date. Weird. Date and time on the iPhone are correct.

    • Damon replied

      John, I am dealing with the same issue and it started with my sync last night. This is very disappointing and I’ll be reaching out to Polar in the morning.

    • John replied

      I see, this is very disappointing indeed. I sent them an email via their online support form (which doesn’t yet list the Loop as an option in the drop-down menu for products. Yay for IT coordination!). I hope that this is being addressed, since I’ve actually enjoyed using it when it works.

      If anyone else is considering one of these, I would hold off until this issue is figured out.

    • Jim replied

      Just a quick comment, I’ve reset my Loop to see if it helps with advanced day issue. It didn’t. I guess we’ll have to wait until a software update is done.

    • Damon replied

      I reset my loop as well and Tuesday, November 5th is a lost day. Something had to go wrong with the servers.

    • Jim replied

      I just got this info from a chat session with Polar.

      “Katherine: We are aware there is a time zone bug with the software and this is causing the issue you described. The activity may post to a different date or time. Our software team is working on a resolution as quickly as possible. An updated version of the Flow app will be available soon. Thank you for your patience and continued support.”

      Looks like they are aware of it and working on the issue. It’s not a big issue to use the device, just the AR side of me kicks in sometime :).

  95. Long Run Nick

    Damon, I have showered with the FB since the day I got it and have run in some heavy Florida showers, no issues so far. Oh, like Ray, to be open, I paid for all my stuff and don’t own any stock in Nike or Polar.(:

    • Rainmaker replied

      Fwiw on waterproofing, I swam in the ocean for two hours (2x1hrs) with it without any issues. Salt water no less, never bothered to rinse it off afterwards.

    • Damon replied

      This is very good to know, I want to be patient with Polar, but out of the gate, this is very frustrating. As for the FB being more than water resistant, I guess Nike just doesn’t recommend it. Guess I’m off to the Apple store tonight. The FB is in stock and available to purchase. Thanks Guys!

  96. Long Run Nick

    Hey Damon, Are you buying the Fuel Band SE? According to Nike the FBSE goes on sale on 11/6 and pre orders also ship tomorrow. I hope you are getting the SE, a few minor upgrades and the same $149 price.

  97. Damon

    Yes, it’s the FBSE. I just received the notification from MACRUMORS.COM and confirmed it on the Apple website. Amazing how it’s available at the store the day before, but on NIKE’s website you have to pre-order. Thanks for checking!

  98. Damon

    3 Total Training Sessions for the day, 2 Strength Training (1HR 28MIN 44SEC w/H7) and 1 Run w/ Core (35MINS 34SEC w/H7). I used the H7 each time and at 2314hrs, my Polar Loop just gave me a low battery warning; showing 20%. The life of this Polar Loop doesn’t last 5 days, nor come close to it.

    • Rainmaker replied

      I’m reasonably certain that once you throw in the H7 BLE strap pairing, it tosses the battery estimates out the window.

    • John replied

      I’m getting pretty short battery life as well. I’ve started taking it off while at my desk at work to charge it…

    • Rainmaker replied

      So for those curious on battery life on the final unit, I’m at 7 days right now without charging. That’s 7 days of 24×7 standard (non-H7 use), with one 1hr run (with H7) tossed in. It’s been letting me know all day though that it wishes to be charged.

  99. Pat

    I’m currently “trying out” the FitBit Flex and have learned the arm needs to be swinging in order to register “steps” while the FitBit Ultra registers “steps” when the body is moving. My question: Does the Polar Loop register “steps” similar to the FitBit Flex or will it register “steps” simply by body motion?

  100. Damon

    Hit the link to jump to Polar’s Global Forum on the Polar Loop.

    link to forum.polar.fi

  101. Norbert

    Hi Ray,
    As the Polar Loop is just showing up in Canada, wondering if you are still planning on releasing one of your amazing reviews this week? With so many choices out there, and the holiday season coming up, I would certainly appreciate your help navigating through the ever growing field of activity trackers. Keep up the great work and thanks in advance for any and all help!

    • Rainmaker replied

      Not this week unfortunately. I only got a final production unit earlier in the week unfortunately (got caught up in customs).

      I suspect late next week right now, or at absolute worst Monday/Tues the week after.

      You will however next week see the Withings Pulse review, and another unit (cheaper one for a different market segment). Fwiw.

  102. Leslie

    Sync with these steps.

    1. Open Polar Flow iPhone App
    2. After the iPhone App shows that the Sync to Service is Completed.
    3. Press the Polar Flow Button to wake the Polar Loop.
    4. The BT Symbol should then flash and connect.
    5. Sync Data with Product should show up at the top of the App.
    6. Sync Data with Service will follow after sync w/ Product.
    7. This will complete the syncing phase.
    8. Polarpersonaltrainer.com will only show exercises when using the H6 or H7. It is not designed to show your daily activity, that is Polar Flow’s task (website and iPhone application)

  103. Leslie

    Sync with these steps.

    13. The mode that displays activity total time looks OK (picture) but the mode where it displays the activity per minute does not show the circle with the activities, only the clock and nothing else. I’ll try to attach the pciture in a response to this post.
    I Sync with these steps.

    1. Open Polar Flow iPhone App
    2. After the iPhone App shows that the Sync to Service is Completed.
    3. Press the Polar Flow Button to wake the Polar Loop.
    4. The BT Symbol should then flash and connect.
    5. Sync Data with Product should show up at the top of the App.
    6. Sync Data with Service will follow after sync w/ Product.
    7. This will complete the syncing phase.
    8. Polarpersonaltrainer.com will only show exercises when using the H6 or H7. It is not designed to show your daily activity, that is Polar Flow’s task (website and iPhone application). Open Polar Flow iPhone App
    2. After the iPhone App shows that the Sync to Service is Completed.
    3. Press the Polar Flow Button to wake the Polar Loop.
    4. The BT Symbol should then flash and connect.
    5. Sync Data with Product should show up at the top of the App.
    6. Sync Data with Service will follow after sync w/ Product.
    7. This will complete the syncing phase.
    8. Polarpersonaltrainer.com will only show exercises when using the H6 or H7. It is not designed to show your daily activity, that is Polar Flow’s task (website and iPhone application)

  104. Oscar

    Is there any way of using this without having to sync it with your iPhone? I am a Windows Phone user and this is a problem for me….

  105. Adrienne

    Hi, any updates on the loop? Also, do you know how it compares to the fitbit force?

  106. JR

    RE: your comparison chart, my FuelBand gets WAY more than 3 days battery life. Try 10-14 days.

    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, that’s not what I found in my testing, nor what Nike advertises, nor what any other review I can find says it gets anywhere near that.

      I’m not saying you don’t get that long, but that’s definitely not normal.

    • Damon replied

      That’s interesting for the Polar Loop, no one on the Polar Forum has even come close to 7 days, let alone the 5 days they state it will last.

    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, I charged it last Thursday evening (France time), and have been wearing it since. It’s now Thursday evening again France time. Charger has otherwise been in my suitcase the entire time.

      And, as I write this, it’s just changed from showing my stats + “Charge” to simply “Charge”. Thus, it’s done.

    • Long Run Nick replied

      Hey JR, do you stay in Bed?(:
      My FB got 3 to maybe 4 days. I averaged around 6000 fuel points a day. This includes runs from 6-10 miles. My new FBSE needed re-charging for the first time after a little over 3 days. I would think when you activate sessions you will burn more battery and with the Blue tooth automatic, no need to sync, that may eat some more of the battery. My sessions are running 6-10 miles. I do like the sessions and am happy with the SE. Old one headed to my daughter. Thanks for letting me share.
      Ray, you continue to rule!!

    • Damon replied

      How long were each of your workout sessions with the Polar Loop & H7 in one day? 2 1hr sessions and 1 30min session and my PL was down to 20%. Less than 3 days without the H7. Polar Customer Service said that was normal. I’m in the USA and have the chat session as proof. If they’re shipping better bands over that side of the Atlantic, I’d sure like to order one, be worth the wait.

    • Tim replied

      Which tracker is more “motivational”, the FB or Loop? It seems the Loop is the more powerful device, but the FB and its app appear to make one keep ‘playing the move game.’ Trying to figure out which one to get.

    • Damon replied

      I own the Fitbit Flex, then went to the Polar Loop and I’m currently using the Fuel Band SE. Returning the PL, sold the FF on eBay. The FBSE is definitely more motivational if you’re a competitive person, especially when you join a group. Really disappointed in the PL app software and hardware. Nike and Fitbit customer service outclass Polar anyday. You also have 30 days to try either of those two. Don’t by direct from Polar if you want to try the PL, try REI or an Online Source instead. Polar accepts no refunds after an item is opened, whether you like it or not.

    • Damon Ross replied

      I own the Fitbit Flex, then went to the Polar Loop and I’m currently using the Fuel Band SE. Returning the PL, sold the FF on eBay. The FBSE is definitely more motivational if you’re a competitive person, especially when you join a group. Really disappointed in the PL app software and hardware. Nike and Fitbit customer service outclass Polar anyday. You also have 30 days to try either of those two. Don’t by direct from Polar if you want to try the PL, try REI or an Online Source instead. Polar accepts no refunds after an item is opened, whether you like it or not.

    • Tim replied

      Damnon,

      Thanks for that reply. Whatever I get, I’m getting one for myself and my wife for daily competitions. One more question if I may….How do you think the durability is on the FBSE? Reading all over the net these things seem to break a lot. Is that a Nike problem or a side effect of an activity tracker? I’ve never owned one so I have no clue if an activity tracker can withstand the day to day activities/workouts, even if it’s a Nike product or not.

    • Damon Ross replied

      The FB was a first run, I trained myself never to buy the initial launch. I went against that with Polar because of their track record the last ten years with my money; boy was that not a smart move. A rare number love the PL, I have had a clasp issue with my FBSE and Nike replaced it right away. The band takes some getting used to after wearing the FF and the PL, but they give you 3 different ways to fit the band and 2 extensions. Go to an Apple Store and get moving with the FBSE. Add me as a friend and you’ll see just how my group pushes and encourages you to get moving. FYI, Nike is coming out with a special color for the ladies on 11-21-13 and it’s all the rave on the web. In the end, it’s all about finding what gets you motivated and moving. FF is great and so is PL, but they don’t push you or light the fire to make you competitive. Nike linked with Apple and made a great social application. Oh and FBSE isn’t the 2.0 Fuel Band, so there will be another around the 3rd or 4th quarter of next year.

    • Damon Ross replied

      @Robin, I had the exact same mindset. Check the forum and see for yourself. Don’t wear the HRM for more than an hour or you’ll be searching for a charger. I swim in cold water and the minimal operating temperature is 32F/0C. Oh, you’ll love the band and good luck with the iOS software. I really hope it works for you, didn’t for me. I’m going back to my Polar FT80 for HRM, I’ll use the FBSE to keep me moving competitively. link to forum.polar.fi

  107. Robin Clark

    Regarding which activity tracker to get, It really comes down to personal choice. I’ve ordered a Loop and H7 heart rate strap and expect to get it next week. For me, it’s the best choice and unless I find it really unusable (the band or the software) I’m going to stick with it. It’s the only all-day activity tracker on the market that uses heart rate and is also waterproof for swimming. Those two features are must-haves for me. The Amiigo incorporates heart rate and is waterproof but you have to use your phone to see anything, as opposed to the Loop which has the display right on the band. That was also a must-have feature for me.

  108. Ruben C

    I have had the Loop for 5 days now. My thoughts. Pros: very light and comfortable to wear, stylish, LED readout very nice and easy to understand, syncing very easy, nice magnetic cable for charging, hard to exaggerate step counter with false movement. Nice watch.

    CONS: Over exaggerated calories counter and activity counter, phone app data very basic, the sleep monitor is almost useless compared to FITBIT and Jawbone UP, the LOOP would not pick up my sleep during daytime hours as I work on call and have random sleep habits. It assumes that non movement at night means sleepy time and during day is just inactive time. No breakdown of sleep habits. My Kettlebell workouts were hardly noticed by the bracelet.

    I did not use loop with the heart monitor.

  109. Dan G

    Somewhat silly question that’s relevant to me – how many clicks does it take to view the TIME on the loop? Based on the manual it looks like 4. The Force and FBSE get there in 2 I think.

    • Robin Clark replied

      I’ve had my Loop for a couple of days now. To view the time with one tap of the touch button, just leave the display mode cycled to “TIME”. Then you can see the time just by tapping the button once.

  110. xtgirl

    Ray, I bought the 4iii Viva heart rate strap because you mentioned it worked with the polar loop. I can’t seem to get it to pair. It never detects heart rate or shows heart rate screen at all.
    Can you check yours again and make sure it still continues to function? I’ll now be out 200 dollars if this doesn’t work…could it be new firmware? I don’t have a polar strap to test the overall function.

    • xtgirl replied

      I finally got it to work after a factory reset….

    • xtgirl replied

      Ahhhh…I can’t get it to show heart rate. I even did a factory reset this time. It’s worked once out of 10 times that I’ve tried to get it to read heart rate. Can you check yours when you have time and see if it’s still working with the 4iii. I guess I’ll call/write Polar. Sometimes my button will be unresponsive as well. I wonder if my unit is a little messed up. Does yours read on the loop and a Garmin at the same time? Not that that is the issue as it won’t read on polar alone….

    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, the Viiiiva will dual-broadcast.

      I’m not home at the moment and don’t have that strap with me, but I can check when I return.

    • Rainmaker replied

      I re-validated both production units at once (4iiii’s Viiiiva + Polar Loop) this evening, and it does still work for me. And, at the same time also streaming to a Garmin Edge 800.

      I do get occasional non-response from the buttons. In general I find that it happens if I press it a few times, and then try again immediately to press. Sorta like a fail-safe of sorts from something holding down the button in your sleep/bag/etc… Odd, and it’s something I’ve noted in my full in-depth review (set for 12AM Eastern).

  111. kousaku

    Hi, awesome review, but now the choice is even harder.
    At the moment I have Suunto M5 watch which I use for the gym, but recently I noticed I might have water damaged it. So now I’m looking for a new health tracking solution.

    As far as I have understood there is still no Holy Grail, meaning that there is no single device, which would track sleep patterns, activity level, pulse etc, gym activity, running and all similar activities with good accuracy etc. (there always seems to be an area in, which given product is inaccurate).

    So, I’m now wondering which two devices I should get or should I settle for a compromise. For a while now I’ve been wondering about Getting Basis B1 for normal daily tracking and then for a gym Getting Polar bluetooth chestband to track pulse with a smartphone. Now however, I’m not so sure anymore what to get. Fitbit Force seems to be quite nice for daily use and on the other hand Polar has this device which, makes smartphone unnecessary. On the other hands Basis has nice idea about Habits&Level Up.

    Any suggestions?

    • Rainmaker replied

      No, there’s no Holy Grail at this point.

      Your idea of getting the B1 for the 23 hours of the day you’re not working out, and then just a HR strap makes sense if you’re more focused on the data for the rest of the day.

      Whereas if you’re more focused on the workout, then you may want to spend more money there, and less money on a activity monitor.

    • Nancy Schoeggl replied

      I am experiencing the same problem as xtgirl with connecting to the Viiiiva. My button also exhibits the same issue.

  112. Stacie

    How well do you think this would work with a day of continuous heart rate monitoring (with a strap of course)? Would I have to have my phone on me the whole time for it to be transmitting to, or is the Polar Loop capable of storing the information internally until I am able to sync it with my computer.

    I’m looking for a device that can help me got some readings for full days. I did look into the Alpha and your post on that was amazingly helpful, but I’m really not looking forward to the drain that would be to my phone.

    What would be your suggestion for a heart rate monitor capable of keeping an accurate reading for and entire day?

    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, I wouldn’t use the Loop for that honestly. Mostly because the challenge with then pairing to normal HR straps it that for non-athletic purposes – without HR gel – you’re likely to get drops/spikes since there’s no moisture.

      Check out the Basis B1 watch (in the reviews), as an option here instead (optical).

  113. Hi All-

    With the In-Depth Review now published, I’m going to go ahead and close this specific post to new comments, simply to keep things organized. You can check out the review there, as well as add any new comments there: link to dcrainmaker.com

    Thanks all!