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Polar’s Ignite GPS Hands-On: Everything you ever wanted to know


(*Update* There has since been a Polar Ignite In-Depth Review published)

I always like it when Polar gets riled up. It happens every few years (the Finns don’t excite easily), where they turn around and drop a crazy full featured product on the market, driving a significant shift in pricing. I think the just announced Polar Ignite might do exactly that. This (no-longer) sub-$200 GPS watch is packed full of features, but more importantly, packed full of training-focused features. Nearly half a dozen totally new features to Polar (and some, even the industry) that aren’t seen on their higher end watches.

These features start to address the core points I’ve talked about in keynotes for years, which is the lack of integration between sleep/recovery data and daily training guidance. But with more Polar marketing branded feature names than I can shake a stick at, my first impressions after nearly a week of using it, is that they’re actually doing exactly that. If you have a crappy night sleep, it’ll influence the recommendations for training the next day. And even further, after you do your main workout for the day, it’ll even suggest recovery ‘workouts’ like stretching.

But first, an overview video of all the newness:

Oh, and last but not least, before we cruise on, note that this is definitely not a review. That’d require final firmware, which at this point it doesn’t have (I believe it’s final hardware though). As such, things could get better…or worse. Usually things get better though from beta to final production. So this is just a hands-on preview. Review down the road.

(Update: A few hours after publishing Polar USA requested I change the pricing from $199 to $229USD. However, this is in direct contradiction to the official press release which states $199USD. I turned to Polar HQ for clarification, and they’re basically saying that while the global USD price is $199, Polar USA has decided that the lesser band will be sold at $229 instead of $199, because they wanted to “avoid confusion”. Frankly, this is crap (as is the finger pointing). You don’t get to change the price a few hours after release because that changes the value-prop, and in particular, starts to change my opinion of the device. I’d have less enthusiasm for a device at $229 than $199 for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is that the entire point of offering the $229 price point was because of a more expensive/nicer strap. I’m keeping the price for the moment, because I’m not done pushing back. Also, I – like other media outlets – don’t like being jerked around.)

What’s New Overview:


For the most part, companies tend to introduce new features on higher end watches and those trickle down to lower end watches. Again, in general. But, that’s definitely not what’s happening here. In the case of the Ignite, it’s got a slew of new features that are not seen in Polar’s higher end watches (including their Vantage series). Polar has confirmed that all but FitSpark will arrive on the Vantage V & Vantage M units later this fall as part of Update 4.0 (including enablement of Galileo, too).

But first, some quick hardware basics:

– Color touchscreen display, single side button
– Display is not always-on (only turns on when raising wrist, like Apple Watch or most Fitbit’s), workout mode does have always-on option though
– Has Sony GPS chipset, like Polar Vantage series
– Polar Precision Prime optical heart rate sensor on back (same as Vantage series)
– Strap in two models, a harder rubber ($199 model), and a silicon strap ($229 model)
– Bluetooth Smart sensor support (though not power meters)
– Waterproofed to 30 meters
– Swappable wristbands
– No music/storage on watch, nor NFC/contactless payments
– Daily battery time of 5 days, GPS battery time of 17 hours

Most of what you see above is fairly standard. Actually, all of it is. Nothing earth-shattering there. The only ‘downside’ is that it’s not an always-on display. So unlike the vast majority of Polar watches (except the older Android WearOS based M600), this display turns off after a few seconds. And unfortunately, it’s pretty slow to turn back on too (about 3 seconds from wrist raise while running, 2 seconds sitting at a desk). But more on that down below.

The New Stuff:

Here’s a quick summary of the new features on the Ignite that aren’t really seen on any other Polar watches

– Added ‘Nightly Recharge’ feature that looks at breathing rate/heart rate/heart rate variability (ANS data) to figure out if you’re recovering at night
– Added ‘Sleep Plus Stages’ which adds in REM/Light/Deep sleep
– Added a nightly sleep score
– Added ‘FitSpark’ feature which gives you daily workout options based specifically on history + Nightly Recharge (this is huge)
– Added ‘Serene’, which are guided breathing exercises (like what Fitbit and others have)

Those 4-5 features are totally new to Polar, and also the ones I’ll be diving into down below in more depth since you won’t have seen them before. But more importantly, I think some of them are doing far more of what I’ve been asking for, for years. I’ve long said there’s such a gap between what happens at night (sleeping, not the horizontal shuffle) and training guidance. You could have a horrific sleep night, and then the device turns around and says to go do a 2hr long run.

Whereas that’s somewhat the entire point of ‘FitSpark’ relying on the Nightly Recharge feature. Again, in theory anyway. I’m only 5 or so days into it (and it takes 3 days before you see any Nightly Recharge data at all), so I’m just at the start line of understanding all the features in real-life.

The Stuff That’s Still There:

Next, this is a quick little section of things that aren’t new to Polar, but I just wanted to confirm for you that are on this watch.

– Has structured workout support (download workouts from Polar Flow to watch)
– Tracks general activity metrics (e.g. steps, distance, calories, etc) 24×7
– Tracks heart rate 24×7
– Tracks sleep (see new sleep features though)
– Includes VO2Max score (aka ‘Running Index’)
– Includes ‘Fitness Test’ feature (VO2Max test while lying down)
– Includes *both* pool swim mode and openwater swim tracking
– Does *NOT* have multisport (aka triathlon) mode
– Includes ‘Training Load Pro’ feature, but not ‘Recovery Pro’ found on Vantage V
– Includes timers (countdown timers & stopwatch)
– Includes ‘Training Benefit’ metric
– Includes distance
– Maximum of 20 sport profiles on the watch itself (far more than Apple, Garmin, Fitbit, or Suunto allow at this price point), some 100 sports on platform to add to watch
– Can apply both heart rate zones and speed zones (no power zones/nor power meter support)
– Accelerometer based speed/distance when no GPS is available (or inside on treadmill)

Phew, got all that? Good. We’ve just played feature and function buzzword bingo, so it’s time to shift into understanding why all these things are interesting.

Digging Into The New Features:


My goal here is to get you to the new features as quickly as possible. But first, a brief overview on some basic functions. Namely, the display. As you can see below, unless you raise your wrist, it’s blank. Black. Dark. Non-illuminated.


While this is common for Apple Watch, Fitbit, and others, it’s far less common for endurance sports type watches that have displays designed to handle days (or weeks) with the display always-on. So it’s somewhat unexpected for Polar to head this direction without a significant deviation on the display itself.

By that I mean that yes, the display is color, and yes, it’s definitely far brighter than a Vantage series unit. But it’s not streaming video either, or doing anything else akin to what we’d see on some of the Apple/Samsung/etc watches. Thus I’m a bit undecided on that trade-off.


Note that Polar does allow you however to keep the screen always-on during a workout, whereas most other companies don’t. So that’s positive for sure.

For the touch element, it mostly works OK. But one interesting caveat is that the screen needs to be ‘grounded’. Which is never an issue when it’s on your wrist, but if you were to try and hold it in your hands and use it, unless you’re touching the outer bezel, it won’t react. This helps keep things like your coat from causing all sorts of wonk. And is in fact the same on many touchscreen devices, including some of Garmin’s devices.


I bring this up as the cautionary thing to contemplate when looking at online videos/reviews that may discuss the touch screen and show non-responsiveness. Stick it on your wrist like a normal use case and you’re mostly fine. I say ‘mostly’ because there’s still places when on my wrist it seems to have issues with (such as confirming Yes/No type questions). Usually takes a few goes.

Also, the band is fully removable on both editions (the $199 one with the black TPU rubberish band, or the $229 silicon band).


Moving along, let’s talk the new stuff. Cause frankly, that’s the cool stuff. And really – it is legitimately cool. And basically it all boils down to four specific things, which do actually build on each other:

– Sleep Plus Stages
– Nightly Recharge
– FitSpark
– Serene breathing guidance

Ok, actually, Serene doesn’t build on anything. But the other three do have ties to each other. Let’s start with Sleep Plus Stages, as that’s the first building block. This functioning basically takes Polar’s existing sleep tracking and gives it a solid boost. Now it tracks your specific sleep phases (Deep/Light/REM), sleep cycles, your interruptions, and then gives you both continuity and overall sleep scores.


For bits like Deep/Light/REM sleep, there’s no easy way at the moment for me to 100% scientifically validate that with the tools I have. So instead, I’m going to focus on the other bits, things like interruptions and continuity, which I know for me personally are core factors in how well I feel the next day. If the kids are sick (like last night with one of them), and up a bunch, my continuity and interruptions are shot. And that’s reflected below:

DSC_1674 DSC_1676

That then gives you a sleep score. Now you can see that score shift over time. The first few days I was home with the kiddos (including the sick one). But the last few days I was on vacation with my wife, sans-kiddos. And holy cow, sleep nirvana! At left, a score of 54, whereas at right a score of 78.

IMG_2614 IMG_2615

And here’s a quick pile of screenshots showing all the Sleep Plus Stages data that’s available on the app (which is also on the unit).

IMG_2611 IMG_2612 IMG_2613

All this sleep phase/score stuff by itself isn’t actually super innovative in the grand scheme of the sports tech industry. It’s just a building block. But what comes next is. And that’s the ‘Nightly Recharge’ feature. That feature looks at three core things:

– Heart rate
– Heart rate variability
– Breathing rate

And it’s that third one where we take the hard left turn off of normalcy road and get into unchartered territory for mainstream wearables. Take Garmin and Suunto for example. Both use heart rate and heart rate variability as part of their ‘Body Battery’ and ‘Resources’ features, which give you a constantly shifting score throughout your day. As you chill or sleep, your body battery score recovers. Both of these companies leverage FirstBeat for these metrics.


But neither company leverages breathing rate as part of that, so Polar’s adding another dimension to the data they collect.  All of this is termed ANS (autonomic nervous system), which is designed to measure how quickly your body calms down in the first few hours of sleep.

DSC_1672 DSC_1670

Once you’ve slept three nights, it’ll start giving you nightly recharge scores, including the underlying ANS score as well.  You can see these on the watch itself or on the Polar Flow app.

IMG_2608 IMG_2609

Now it’s not fair to say that this method is ‘totally better’ than Garmin/Suunto/FirstBeat’s method, as there are some nuances to be aware of. For example, in the Garmin/Suunto implementation you can recharge during the day. So if I sit down and just relax for 45 minutes, or even take a nap – that’ll recharge my body battery. Just as you’d expect it to feel. Whereas Polar is only looking at nightly sleeps. So if it didn’t happen in bed, it didn’t count. Also probably the tagline for many other things.

But where we get into the next level of differentiation is what Polar does with the 3rd new feature, FitSpark. While I think the name is a little wonky, it’s at least memorable. FitSpark is basically a virtual coach that has no overarching fitness/seasonal goal in mind, except to give you a workout of the day. But the biggest and most important take away is that it looks at your nightly recharge scores and underlying sleep data to determine whether or not you should be doing anything at all.

That’s a super critical gap that’s been missing. Mostly automated training guidance coaches/platforms don’t do that. And by ‘most’, I mean, ‘none do’. You could have a newborn at home and be days deep of horrific sleep, and they’ll tell you to go out and run a 2hr long run. Whereas Polar will look at that sleep data and give you a go/no-go type guidance, and then depending on what your greater training data looks like, will also give you specific workouts to do.


Remember, this isn’t tied to a plan. Meaning, you’re not tied to some 5KM running plan. This is basically saying ‘Hi there, I know a scary amount about you, here’s four options for workouts today. Pick one.’

Oh, right, yes, it gives you options. Numerous options. Pick your poison:

DSC_1684 DSC_1686

And then for each of those options it’ll give you the specific steps and guidance in the watch itself. There’s cardio focused running workouts with different intensities. And then there’s core type workouts too, and for those, it’ll give you the specific moves to do, along with animations and text for each one:


But let’s say you choose the cardio workout, go run an hour or so, and then finish up. At that point the watch gives you new suggestions. Specifically ones around active recovery such as stretching and related core workouts that’ll help and support that initial workout.




It’s like for once the coaching aspects of the unit are actually smart. It’s not just following some blind plan telling you to do something just because it was on the schedule. It’s making up the schedule on the fly based on what it knows about your exact day thus far.

Last but not least, there’s Serene. Best I can tell, it’s got no integration with anything else. And for the most part it’s not much different than what Apple or Fitbit or others do. It simply guides you through breathing exercises. The default is to do 3 minutes of breathing, inhaling and exhaling each in 5 second phases. Rinse, repeat (I show this in the video as well).


After it’s done, it divides things up into different special zone buckets with very jewelry store sounding names:

DSC_1641 DSC_1642

Unlike some of their competitors, I haven’t seen any proactive recommendations from the watch telling me to do the breathing exercises. But perhaps that’ll come in time. For now you have to remember to dig into the menus and do them yourself.

First Run & Bike Tests:


With everything roughly figured out, it was time to head out for a first run, which I’d then follow up with recording some around town bike commute style rides, primarily for GPS accuracy. First up, the run. For this I did a simple loop around the Amsterdam Bos, which includes a variety of fields, forests, and running paths. Trees and all. Here’s the high level overview (full data set here if you want to dig around), as compared to a Garmin MARQ Athlete (left wrist), and Forerunner 935 GPS watch (hand-held) – with the Polar Ignite on my right wrist:


As you can see, definitely not ideal. I had ensured full sync with the app numerous times before the run (to ensure it has GPS-A data downloaded), as well as giving it a solid 10-15 seconds after it acquired GPS just for the fun of it. It cut many corners, and also wandered off into the fields here and there too.



In talking to Polar, they noted this level of variation wasn’t expected. And to be fair, I haven’t seen this specific level since – in either rides or some other shorter activities (I’m on vacation at the moment, sometimes timing sucks).

For example, I’ve been using the watch in GPS mode for a slew of rides around town. Bike commuting and such. And honestly, it’s not been ideal there either. There’s many places where it significantly cuts across buildings. For most of these I don’t have comparative data, though frankly, I don’t need it. I know I didn’t cross through four huge apartment buildings (actual route in dotted white lines).



In discussing these specific workouts with Polar, they were a bit focused on the results. Essentially saying that there are cases where the Ignite won’t perform as well as the Vantage series. Still, I’m hoping they’re able to make some progress here. Things aren’t off to a great start on the GPS front. I’m going to give Polar their proper chance to sort this out over the next couple of weeks before publishing a final review (they start shipping today, but I wouldn’t have had enough time for a review anyway).

So what about heart rate? Well, that’s considerably better. Going back to that run, I’ve got it compared against the optical HR sensor of the Garmin MARQ on the other wrist, a Polar OH1+ sensor on my upper arm, and then a Garmin HRM-DUAL chest strap. More or less things are near identical between all of them, including the hard sprints at the end, designed specifically to trick HR sensors.


There is a bit of a delay on the three optical HR sensors compared to the chest strap, more than I’ve actually seen before from any of them. At first I thought it might be a time offset of sorts, but in looking at other data points in that file, I don’t believe that to be the case. Realistically though, most people don’t care too much if the HR is delayed a few extra seconds – as long as it’s correct. Which, all these units were (even the start wasn’t too shabby).

Again, these are just some initial tests, but usually they help figure out the general flavor of the device. My full in-depth review down the road sometime in July will have far more data in it.



Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the Ignite in most ways. While I’ve been skeptical of Polar’s ability to innovate lately, they seem to nail it in this watch in terms of the new physio-focused features around sleep and training guidance. And perhaps most astoundingly do it all in a sub-$200 GPS watch. That’s the most impressive part.

While I think the sleep stages and related nightly recharge features are important and key to the foundations of what they’re doing, I think it’s the FitSpark piece that actually lights up the whole scenario. By giving you specific workout recommendations that don’t have to be tied to a greater training program, they’re putting forth a watch for active people that aren’t necessarily tied to going out and running half marathon at the end of the season. They probably just want to keep fit, and perhaps even super fit. I’ve got no doubt if you followed these recommendations daily, you’d end up pretty darn fit.

Unlike some recommendation routines from the likes of Fitbit, the Polar recommendations mean business. I’ve often felt like the guided programs from many companies are too wimpy. Too feel-good and ‘Go jog for 15 minutes you’ll be great!’. Realistically, that won’t get you super fit. But companies seem to be afraid to say that. Based on the workout recommendations I’m getting from the Polar Ignite thus far, that’s clearly not the case here.

The singular area things are less impressive is GPS accuracy. It’s not good. But, it’s also not done yet. As noted, this wasn’t a review because it’s not a finished product. So if they can sort out that piece, it’ll likely get a solid recommendation (and, assuming they don’t break anything else between now and release).

With that, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for a full review once they start shipping down the road.  And of course, feel free to drop any questions below.

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the Polar Ignite GPS or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you shop with TPC (The Pro's Closet), you'll save $40 on purchases over $200 with coupon code DCRAIN40! The Pro's Closet has been a long-time partner of the site here - including sponsoring videos like my cargo bike race, as well as just being an awesome Colorado-based company full of good humans. Check them out with the links below and the DCRAIN40 coupon!

And finally, here’s a handy list of accessories that work well with this unit (and some that I showed in the review). Given the unit pairs with just about any Bluetooth Smart sport sensors, you can use just about anything though.

Wahoo RPM Sensor

This dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart sensor will transmit cadence not only to your bike computer/watch, but also 3rd party apps like Zwift, TrainerRoad, and more.

Wahoo SPEED Sensor

Speed sensors are primarily useful for offroad usage. I don't find much of a need for one while road-cycling, but for mountain bike trails they can help alleviate speed/distance issues with poor GPS reception in dense trees.

This is a strap I often use in testing/comparisons. It's dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, but it also supports the 5kHz analog heart rate transmission for older gym equipment. Also, it has workout storage/recording in it and supports two Bluetooth connections.

This is a great strap, especially if you're going to the gym. It's dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, but it also supports the 5kHz analog heart rate transmission for older gym equipment. Note that it only accepts a single Bluetooth connection, versus dual-connections for the Polar H10.

I'd argue the Polar OH1 Plus is the best optical HR sensor out there. So while it might seem odd to get this when your watch also has a optical HR sensor, this one is just better most of the time. Plus, it also has workout recording storage. Dual ANT+/Bluetooth.

The Polar Verity Sense is the newer variant of the Polar OH1 Plus. And while it might seem odd to get this when your watch also has a optical HR sensor, this one is just better most of the time. Plus, it also has workout recording storage. Dual ANT+/Bluetooth.

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!


  1. Richard G

    Really interested in the automatic ANS and HRV numbers. Assuming it’s fairly accurate on that and the sleep tracking it could be a buy for me.

  2. Anders

    Hi DC

    So Polar has confirmed that all these features will come to Vantage V and M?

    – Added ‘Nightly Recharge’ feature that looks at breathing rate/heart rate/heart rate variability (ANS data) to figure out if you’re recovering at night
    – Added ‘Sleep Plus Stages’ which adds in REM/Light/Deep sleep
    – Added a nightly sleep score
    – Added ‘FitSpark’ feature which gives you daily workout options based specifically on history + Nightly Recharge (this is huge)
    – Added ‘Serene’, which are guided breathing exercises (like what Fitbit and others have)

    • Polar has confirmed everything except FitSpark will come to the Vantage series. In the above I broke out the sleep score, but it’s technically part of Sleep Plus Stages.Here’s the exact wording:

      “The SleepPlus stages, Nightly Recharge and Serene breathing will be coming to the Vantage 4.0 release scheduled for October this year. In addition the 4.0 release will also include Galileo GNSS support.”

    • Ognjen

      I wonder why is such an interesting feature as FitSpark not coming to my M? Looks pretty cool. There’s no logical explanation imo to bring in Night Recharge and leave out FitSpark, they sound complementary to me. Polar, think this through please.

    • flokon

      There wouldn’t be a reason to get an Ignite then, would it? It’s the killer feature that sets it apart from the Vantage line. The M does everything and so much more for just a 100 more new, or even less when bought pre-owned/sale.
      It COULD make sense to bring it to the V because it’s a whole different league, and with its being the flagship it should have all features Polar has to offer, but the M is too close in retail price.

    • Ognjen

      To me, everything that costs 100+ more should have all then less expensive stuff has, and much more. That’s like normal? Also, this one I as a relatively novice runner/athlete would particularly like. Just finished my 5k program, relaxing during summer, not keen on doing some program up until winter. FitSpark would come handy. Also, with all the issues Vantage series has been through, I think we the owners have deserved it.

    • Miguelangel

      No think it’s because is a feature for fitness enthusiasts. If you are a fitness/sports pro you will know what to do based on the new sleep features. I find FitSpark interesting and awesome, nevertheless, I’ll never use it

    • Arne Bruening

      So this is Polars Garmin moment, where the cheaper model get features that are missing in the top line products. I am a little angry about that, having just spend money on the Vantage-V just to learn a few months later that I won’t get all the features on their top-of-the-line product.
      But otherwise the Ignite is exactly what I was looking for, as the V is a little to heavy, dim and thick for everyday (and especially night) usage for me. So I will get one and only wear the V for running.

    • Nicola

      Maybe the FitSpark will come in an update later this year. They only said it will not be part of the 4.0 update, not that it will never ever be released for the vantage series.

    • Sobbertson

      What do you think about use Ignite with edge 530 for cycling? I was thinking about monitoring recovery with Garmin fr 945, but it’s too expensive option. Ignite seems to be perfect for it and I suppose it do it better than 945. When I wake in the morning Itake a look on Ignite or Polar and I’ll be sure what to do that day I mean hard o recovery.

    • I honestly wouldn’t blend Polar & Garmin in that scenario. Ultimately there’s zero integration between them, since the Ignite can’t broadcast HR to the Edge (or to anything). And in that case you’re not going to get proper training load across them.

    • Sobbertson

      I was thinking about take advantage of only recovery status from Ignite. Training load I’ll take from Edge. Although you re right there’s no integration between. Thanks for your consideration.

    • David

      No HR broadcast is a shame – would be good to be able to use this as HR source for something like Zwift.

    • Jax

      What is the main difference between the Vantage and Ignite? I really want to get this Ignite if the GPS issue is resolved, would be interested in the Vantage if it is better but not thrilled about having to wait until October. Thank you!

    • Nicola

      FitSpark is very interesting and of course it should added to the Vantage series.
      However please note how by using the Training Load Pro and Cardio Load Pro gauges of the Vantage V you can already achieve pretty much the same, granted without indications on what to do to improve or to recover, but if you are an advanced user (who is the Vantage series target), you already know what to do.

    • Exactly the use-case I’m thinking about. Garmin Edge 520 for all on-the bike training and power-meter metrics and Polar Ignite for all recover and off-the-bike activities monitoring. Strava acts as a consolidated log.

    • Ray S.

      The EA of sport wearables, releasing unfinished/unpolished products and even releasing updates for things older watches could already do.

      Not having fitspark is just sad, good thing I held off on vantage V waiting on the update news. Another hit to my confidence in their brand. Not a penny from me, its stupid to multiple products to get these fragmented features; Integrate them in your flagship sheesh.

  3. Cristian

    Hi Ray!

    Can you please elaborate on your statement from the beginning of the article?
    “Polar has confirmed these features will arrive on the Vantage V & Vantage M units later this fall as part of Update 4.0 (including enablement of Galileo too).”

    I am very interested what is the meaning of “these”. Am I to understand the 4.0 update of my Vantage V in October will include ALL the new features introduced by Ignite? Or perhaps a sub-set of these? My main interest is in the daily guidance.

    Thank you!

    • I just updated to clarify it’ll include all but FitSpark. Here’s the exact quote:

      “The SleepPlus stages, Nightly Recharge and Serene breathing will be coming to the Vantage 4.0 release scheduled for October this year. In addition the 4.0 release will also include Galileo GNSS support.”

      FitSpark wasn’t included because Polar felt it’s a different target market. I disagree (semi-strongly), and I suspect you and others do as well. For example I think many people may have set schedules in-season (like for a running race), but out of season just want to keep fit. That exactly what FitSpark does so well.

    • Cristian Ungureanu

      Thank you for the clarification!

      Sadly, it was expected. I am still to find a replacement for the STAR fitness program Polar used to have (FT80 days) and FitSpark is the best since.

      Needless to say I am very dissapointed as I have already invested in the Vantage V Titan.

    • Mikko Laakso

      Fitspark would be perfect for me, since I do train seriously, but compete in orienteering so much (almost every weekend) that I don’t have a specific goal. Or my goal is the whole season from April to October. Would be great if I had that, but could turn it off if annoying. Vantage V is their highest end product so would be reasonable to have this.

    • tom

      I know Polar users are the most negative and demanding users out there. Seriously. But to get all this in the October release for Vantage is a total surprise since it wasn’t at all planned and still end it with a “Needless to say I am very disappointed” is just over the top.

    • Dan F

      By not adding FitSpark to the Vantage V Polar are ignoring the prosumer’s that have purchased a Vantage V even though they aren’t serious athletes because it was the best watch available and under the impression that it would receive all new features being the flagship. Disappointing.

    • Fredrik

      I agree with Ray and Cristian.

      I really enjoy my Polar Vantage Titan and I would VERY much like the FitSpark training guidance.

      Heck, I would even BUY FitSpark as a one-time download to the Vantage V (like you can buy maps or apps to other devices).

      You hear me Polar? I´m willing to give you more money ^^

      I´m all for supporting a company that steps up and bring innovations to the table.

    • Fredrik

      True Tom!

      Vantage V users should be very happy with all the extra stuff suddenly announced to go into the October 4.0 update. I know I am. It was a nice Wednesday surprise.

    • ghotz

      Same here, I would gladly buy FitSpark as an upgrade on the Vantage V for a reasonable price and keep everything in a single device (I already have, and still use, a V800 for Mountain Biking and both an A370 and M400 as backup devices, don’t need another one…)

    • Tomek

      Polar added route guidance to V, even though it was not planned. Maybe they add FitSpark as well, if enough people ask for it. Write them an email. I did it already.

  4. Frank

    Will the display stay on during a workout? Waiting for two or three seconds for it to light up during a run or another workout seems to be a real showstopper…

  5. Florian

    Not related to this specific hardware release, but to new releases in general.
    Dual frequency GPS is now available in a few mobile phones. Accuracy is supposed to be amazing and power usage somewhere around half of single frequency. Obviously those two features would be a milestone achievement for wearables.
    Have you heard anything about when to expect that technology in watches? Or if at all – ie are there any restrictions that make implementation in watches impossible?

    • I talked to Garmin about it back in April. Basically, they’re watching it closely and aren’t opposed to it per se (and see the benefits), but right now there’s not even any major phones using it, let alone wearables. And more importantly for them, it’d erase the battery gains they and others got when they went to the Sony GPS chipset.

      Again, definitely wasn’t a ‘no’, but a ‘the time isn’t right yet’.

    • Matthew B.

      Does that mean the current Sony GPS Chipset could support it (hardware wise)?

      It’s interesting that you worded it like that “[a]nd more importantly for them” – I wonder if that’s more important to them because of a perceived arms race of battery life or whether customers are actually demanding 36 hour GPS+HR battery life. I know I would 1000% prefer to have the option to turn on an “extreme” battery mode that cuts the life in half but gives significantly better accuracy on certain activities. (This is even coming from someone who could potentially use 36 hour battery life, training for a mountainous 100 miler)

    • Florian

      Thanks a lot for the info!

    • Chris

      Second that. Why can’t we have an ability to sacrifice battery for accuracy as a configuration option?

  6. Pete

    I have seen (over many runs and km’s of testing ) that my Garmin FR 645 gives markedly different tracks when on L or R wrist (suspect antenna architecture?) – repeatable, every time. (Offset etc)

    Do you also see this with the Ignite? (As you wore it on the R wrist when base lining)


    • Generally speaking I rarely see that. I’ve mostly worn it on my right wrist, but occasionally I’ll mix things up.

      I suspect there may be a specific element of arm placement that drives differences on left vs right for certain folks.

    • the5krunner (tfk)

      Yes I see that reasonably often and so it’s best to be consistent in the wear-position when comparing devices’ GPS tracks. As well you should understand the specific GPS-reception aspects of the route you are running. See link to the5krunner.com

      As long as you wear the watch on the outside of your wrist the antenna SHOULD be pointing correctly upwards regardless of the wrist. That is how GPS watches are designed. If you wear it on the inside of the wrist then…good luck with that 😉

      My guess is that it is not really the right or left wrist per se, but rather that wrist’s proximity to your body and how your body might obscure a signal from one direction when, for example, the watch is on the closest wrist to an adjacent building and that building is obscuring and reflecting the signal from the other direction. #ItsComplicated.

    • Mirko Surf&Run

      New Garmin watches ask in the settings if the watch is worn left or right. In the Garmin forum they report that it’s only for backlight “gesture”, i.e. the watch has to know wich wrist you move before put the light on, and that there are no other reasons. But it could also be that the watch uses this information for the accelerometer that helps gps. I tried once to wear my FR945 in the other wrist declared in settings, and I believe that the track was not so good as usual.

  7. Stefan Gutehall

    Will be interesting to see now the nightly recharge can tie into Vantage Vs existing recovery and load functions.

    • Stefan Gutehall

      And..I would have loved to see FitSpark functionality integrated into Polars Flows own running plans. adjusting the plan to my form for the day!

  8. James


    This watch is potentially what my wife is looking for as an upgrade to her old M400 which she uses with an OH1 optical band. Although basic, this setup works well for her whilst running at all times of year.

    My question is whether the Ignite works in a winter use-case i.e. worn over the top of your waterproof layer. Obviously she would have to continue using the separate OH1 to record HR… I assume Polar allow that on the Ignite? (She doesn’t get on with chest straps). Secondly, your comment about “grounding” to skin to make the touch screen work… is that going to be a significant issue whilst running without grounding due to layers of clothing in between the watch and her wrist (she will only be using basic in-exercise functionality i.e. stop/start/lap/cycle display)? Does the button cover this functionality perhaps?

    Happy hols & keep up the good work!

    • i haven’t tried the coat scenario, given the heat here (and I’m sitting at an airport without any longsleeve stuffs), but I’ll give it a whirl when I get back in the morning.

      You do need the touchscreen for navigation, the button is mostly just an escape/back key.

    • James

      Thanks Ray.

  9. flokon

    So, does the Ignite support native power from a Stryd, and H7/H10 strap? If so, as a runner only (80k/week), what makes me keep my Vantage?

    • D4V1D

      No, it won’t pair to Stryd. Just checked with Polar via their IG account. No sure about the straps though.

  10. Ioannis

    Is it compatible with Google Fit?

    • MikePolarUSA

      Polar’s Flow application (which the Ignite communicates with) is compatible with Google Fit. – MikePolarUSA

    • John

      Hi MikePolar. What sorts of data does it send to Google Fit? I’m guessing it does not send a step count, right? I would imagine it would send HR metrics though.

    • Lukasz

      Yes, you just need to integrate it through Polar Flow mobile app or web service.

  11. Jean-Christophe

    >So if it didn’t happen in bed, it didn’t count. Also probably the tagline for many other things.

    I like this one…

  12. Thomas Bogaard

    Tried to find it in the article and on the Polar site. But can it broadcast heart rate to a cycling GPS unit? I have been looking into a Whoop band, and this appears to do the same.

    • No such functionality here.

    • Roman

      That is a pity, as you would need the watch and and an optical sensor band, if the regular chest strap gives you a rash. Or is just uncomfortable.

      It would just feel absurd, wearing two optical sensors on the bike, when one would be enough.
      And the A370 could do it.

  13. Antonio Boskovic

    i hope some of those features make it to vantage series

  14. Theo Leijen

    Does it also have the back-to-start option?

  15. Howie

    $200 for all this vs. $25/month for a simple strap (whoop). Kinda seems like Polar is going after more than the exercise watch market. Love it!

    • Brett Cochran

      I think Whoop did an amazing job of gamifying strain and recovery for me but the cost didn’t justify “just a strap”. The polar may push me to move away from my Garmin Vivoactive 3 because I miss the strain and recovery stuff so much.

  16. janic wesseling

    I tried a Garmin device with heart rate monitoring in the device itself and it gives me a burning feeling on the skin.
    how does this work with this device?

    • Dave Lusty

      It’s extremely unlikely that the oHR is responsible for a burning sensation – they are very low power green and red LEDs. More likely an allergic reaction to one of the materials used to make it. As such nobody can tell you what your body will and won’t react to, other than saying it’s definitely not the sensor (assuming you’ve ever been in a lit room or outside).

  17. joakim

    you said that ignite dont have ANT+ functionality, but has that shipset, do you know if that goes for the Vantage and v650 aswell?

    • The Vantage does have such a chipset, but I’m unclear on the V650.

    • Ognjen

      Didn’t you say in your previous comments when OH1 and H10 got ANT+ that Polar is thinking adding ANT+ on Vantages? Supposedly there was hw support there to do it?

    • joakim

      since the v650 came out around the same time as v800 do you know if polar is planing any updates to the v650 or maybee even a totaly new bikecomputer thats more inline with the vantage series?

    • osi22

      That’s also a question from my side!
      @MikePolarUSA: can you give us a short update, if anything is planned for the future regards to cycling computers?

      Thanks in advance!

  18. Robert

    Just curious can you use a PC to download information from the watch or does it have to use a app on a smartphone? There are a few of us that still don’t use smart phones.

  19. TC

    From the article: “FitSpark is basically a virtual coach that has no overarching fitness/seasonal goal in mind, except to give you a workout of the day.”

    Both this Polar Ignite and the Garmin FR945 give training recommendations based on previous workouts, training load, and in the case of the Ignite, sleep patterns. I think that’s awesome.

    However, I don’t understand why they don’t take that overarching fitness/seasonal goal into account. The Polar Ignite seems to give options, which is already better than just “do a long run”. But still, a 5K runner and a marathon runner should not get the same recommendations each time, right?

    Anyone have a clue why it’s not possible to ‘set a goal’? Are the features just not there yet, or is there an actual training/coaching related reason to not do this?

    • The coaching bits aren’t really related to this, though certainly you can run coaching programs too. I haven’t tried applying a specific running program (with a goal) yet to see what happens and if the two offer conflicting guidance. On my to-do list.

  20. Yonah


    Quote from the article:

    “Polar has confirmed that all but FitSpark will arrive on the Vantage V & Vantage M units later this fall as part of Update 4.0 (including enablement of Galileo, too).”

    But then later you said FitSpark isn’t coming to the Vantage series – did you mean in the current release or at all?

    • flokon

      That’s what “all but” means. All the functions except FitSpark are coming with Update 4.0. For one, Polar doesn’t think that more serious athletes that own one of the Vantages would benefit from FitSpark, but the truth is that it would seriously eat into Ignite sales. FitSpark is the raison d’être for that watch, the killer feature. Why should someone get an Ignite when you can get an M that does everything the Ignite does and so much more!?

    • Nat

      Why would eat into Iginte’s sales? Both M and especially V are considerably more expensive? If anything apolar would want more sales of M&V I would assume?

    • Ognjen

      I agree. Simple order would be that cheapest watch has lowest number of features. My M was suffering with buggy fws from day one, I stuck to it. Now it’s a pretty decent watch I really like. I would welcome this FitSpark very much. Killer feature or not, it belongs to M much more than to V. V is for serious athletes who are very into their training needs or programs. M is for less experienced runners or recreational athletes, where FitSpark fits in imo

    • Yonah

      Oops 🙂

    • Yonah

      Vantage M is $280 MSRP. Polar just had a sale that took 20% off of it – so it was selling for roughly the same amount at the silicon banded Ignite, and $30 more than the TPU-Banded one – for $30 more is it worth it to get the ‘higher-end’ vantage.

    • flokon

      Considerably? The M is a couple bucks more (about €210), and much less when bought pre-owned, of which there are plenty around since its release in October.

  21. Chris

    “Bluetooth Smart sensor support (though not power meters)”

    I almost exclusively race cyclocross. Lots of bike changes mid race, so if you want any data from a race, you need to wear a watch. Unfortunately there is NOTHING inexpensive that will connect to a power meter. I understand companies want to drive you toward a more expensive product, but all of this workouts and recovering tracking has zero interest from me. Am I the only person looking for a basic watch that will create a gps track and log HR/power data?

    • David Chrisman

      Chris: Have you checked Lezyne’s watches?

    • giorgitd

      @Chris… Depends on what you mean by ‘inexpensive’, but the Garmin FR920XT can do ANT+ power and is pretty available, including (often, but not always) from the Garmin refurb store. Heck, if you don’t care for newer features but want GPS/multisport/inexpensive/power, the Garmin FR910xt and FR310xt (!) might work. More difficult to find, but I recall seeing the 310 for <$100 as a refurb not that long ago…

  22. tom

    Related to Vantage but anyway… massive update to what was recently planned for 4.0 in October:
    link to polar.com

  23. Paolo

    I Ray,

    Two questions:

    – how does GPS work in running (for example) comparing it with that of Vantage V? same software and same performance (not very good)?

    – You could understand from Polar if the increase in brightness that IGNITE has will also have Vantage V with the next October / December releases


    • flokon

      The Vantages have always on displays, so I seriously doubt they will get the same brightness. It would work against their highly promoted battery life.

  24. A

    the only thing stopping me buying this is the GPS inaccuracy.

  25. Robbie Moran

    I currently use a Polar M430 and am using workouts created in the Polar Flow app (along with general run tracking), would this watch be an upgrade. I currently run 5 days a week on an intermediate marathon plan. Polar Vantage is too expensive in my opinion.

    • flokon

      Stick with your M430! For a pure runner it is by far the best running watch out there. I have a 935, and a Vantage but still go back to my 430 for simplicity sake. For the 200 I’d grab a Stryd.

    • Jburnaa

      I had the same question. Love my M430…but my wife doesn’t like the fit of it very much and begrudgedly wears it as her daily watch. The Ignite does seem like a more appealing daily wear watch just on the form factor alone.

    • Robbie Moran

      I have just compared specs on the Polar website and they are effectively the same spec with regards to running there are a couple of omissions but nothing I use anyway. I might just pick one up and give it a go for a while.

  26. Steve Williams

    Thanks for the preview. How do you think it would stack up as a replacement for my beloved V800? I would miss the training load and recovery status elements.

    • ChrisTexan

      As a frequent commentor on the v vs V, this watch won’t replace a v800 if you use the multisport aspects at all. And the GPS is still the crappy (thus far) Sony GPS chipset, so if you are used to the clinically precise accuracy of the v800, m4xx or v650 (computer, but same quality) sirfstar chipsets , you’ll lose that (for now…) Also by all reports I’ve seen, the v800 is still the most accurate swim tracker in both open water (the only game in town for tracking both GPS and HR accurately, of course requiring the chest strap to do it), the Vantages seem by all accounts less accurate in stroke/lap counting compared to the v800, and as with all Ohr, not real great at live HR tracking (and can’t pair the analog signal straps to them to fix that issue unlike the v800). I may be the only one in the world who NEEDS active HR tracking while swimming (I have serious HR issues when working out prone (I’ve been in the hospital before due to fluid in the lungs from them, cause not fully determined, but there is a condition I ran across once in research for it) so even though I can swim at a decent pace (typical, nothing special) sometimes every few hundred yards my heart gets a little out of whack, so I keep a watch on it in events in particular)

      HOWEVER if turning on Galileo fixes the Sony sight-seeing along the route GPS issues, and you don’t need those above features, then this becomes a strong contender. I’m looking at this as potentially my future daily-wear watch (keeping the v800(s) for dedicated sports/training use only (I bought a 2nd when the barometer on #1 started climbing Everest every workout, I still use #1 for daily wear when altitude is not being tracked, to preserve the “#2” in as nice shape as I can as long as possible))

      If turning on Galileo for the M/V fixes their GPS tracking to at least close to Sirfstar quality, then I may finally go Ignite for daily wear and if/when the battery starts failing on both v800s, replace them for actual workouts with a new “V” series (maybe they’ll last long enough that Polar will have worked out the dim screens (my eyes are aging nowadays), and GPS accuracy by then, or have a new, Sirfstar-based (not holding my breath) model V that’s actually v800 accurate (as mentioned before, I can tell when cars are parked across a sidewalk on driveways, from my GPS track of having to go around the back of it off the sidewalk and back on, a few feet diversion laterally).
      The v800 actually tracks accurately INDOORS even (assuming cellular-based), I track Crossfit workouts, where we workout on the first floor of a 2-story house for indoor stuff, and I can follow my track where I go from room to room, where I went to get weights and back to the rack, when I put my bag down, etc… it’s astonishing to be honest how accurate it is even indoors (it wasn’t in the early days). I don’t expect that from any GPS device, but it does it anyhow.

    • Steve Williams

      ChrisTexan all I needed was someone else to tell that the V800 is still good as I believe it is, especially the GPS, so thank you for that.
      As far as HR monitoring is concerned, as a sea rower, I have found Polar’s wrist based HRM woefully inaccurate, due to the wrist movement I guess. Chest based monitoring is still the only solution for me.

  27. >>the new physio-focused features around sleep and training guidance. And perhaps most astoundingly do it all >>in a sub-$200 GPS watch

    Yes, very nice to see some innovation and competition for Garmin, let’s hope they can sort out the GPS issues.

  28. David Chrisman

    Any idea if you record with a device that can record cycling power (Vantage, V650) if that power data would incorporate into Ignite’s formulas or is it only looking at data recorded directly by it? I know in Polar Flow this was possible (ex: record cycling activity with V650 and it would be combined with daily activity from activity tracker to get a complete picture).

  29. Nick

    How fast is the watch to wake when raising your wrist?

  30. Marcus

    What about barometric altimeter and Stryd support?

    • tom

      No, neither.
      Look at it as a much more advanced version of A370 with GPS.

    • flokon

      Dude, it’s a 200€/$ watch. Barometric Altimeter is usually in the 500+ range of watches.
      Stryd is not supported, sadly. I guess Polar wants to keep selling some Ms 😉

  31. JB

    I do agree with some previous comments made in this thread, again no cycling power, only on the higher models. As I cyclist I was more focusing on a future watch to be a Garmin Fenix or an Apple Watch, however with Polar releasing also these features later on to their higher end range this becomes much more interesting.

    Anybody here who can share their cycling experience with this watch? I always see that Polar tends to focus more on the runners then cyclists.

    • Thc

      As a cyclist: I’d look at either Garmin or Wahoo for cycling power-based stuff. Polar devices in general are missing a lot of functionality / integration options.

    • MikePolarUSA

      While the GPS within the Ignite will track your speed/distance/route while cycling (and push the data to services like Strava/Training Peaks) it does not offer cycling specific metrics (cadence/power) like our cycling specific units would do. – MikePolarUSA

  32. Davis

    What is the wrist band size? It looks like the 20mm quick release??

  33. Ali Husain

    Will the ignite be compatible with a running power meter like Stryd?

  34. tx911

    I don’t really need my watch to tell what workout to do and how to do it.

    But I am looking forward to the other updates coming to the Vantage V

  35. JP

    In the video you refer to the Ignite as a “sub $200” watch (with the black band), but the price on the Polar web site is the same ($229.95) for all band options??

    • So, this one is interesting, and also really irks me.

      A few hours after publishing Polar USA requested I change the pricing from $199 to $229USD. However, this is in direct contradiction to the official press release which states $199USD (more than once). I turned to Polar HQ for clarification, and they’re basically saying that while the global USD price is $199, Polar USA has decided that the lesser band will be sold at $229 instead of $199, because they wanted to “avoid confusion”.

      Frankly, this is crap (as is the finger pointing). You don’t get to change the price a few hours after release because that changes the value-prop, and in particular, starts to change my opinion of the device and my overall thoughts – especially in the summary section. I’d have less enthusiasm for a device at $229 than $199 for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is that the entire point of offering the $229 price point was because of a more expensive/nicer strap. I’m keeping the price for the moment, because I’m not done pushing back. Also, I – like other media outlets – don’t like being jerked around.

    • JP

      Thanks for the reply. I totally agree. I was going to pull the trigger via Clever Training based on your review and video (both which I really appreciate). Now I will wait and see how this plays out. I don’t want a white or yellow band, but if the black is inferior, and less comfortable, it should be reflected in the price.

    • JP

      Thanks for the reply. I totally agree with you. I was actually going to pull the trigger via Clever Training based on your review and video (which I really appreciate and enjoy). I am a Polar fan and have several of their products, but now I think I’m going to hold off and see how this pricing issue plays out. I don’t want white or yellow, and if the black is a lesser band, then it should be reflected in the price

    • Arne Bruening

      On the German Polar website, it is still 199,- EUR for the black one, 229,- for the others. So better get one quick before they notice …

    • Chris

      I know that politics is off topic but I think that the extra 30 USD and/or the cheap band is due to the tariffs… Polar wants to minimize the loss in the US sales.

  36. Niels Heemskerk

    Hey DC thanks for the early review, looks like a promising unit, although I am not sure this would be a good triathlon watch or maybe I am not reading it right. By the way, glad you are vacationing in Amsterdam, my home town.

  37. Jeff Fox

    Thanks for the early review. Just purchased the Vantage V – and when I heard the features of the Ignite, I called Polar to ask if these new sleep features would be included in their October release as stated in the article. Two reps and a supervisor said that decision has not been made. Can’t believe their top of the line watch doesn’t include features in their newly released sub $200 watch. Considering a return on my V. Spend twice as much for half the useful features??

    • Fredrik

      Jeff Fox, you´re getting loads of new features you didn´t pay for (since you didn´t know about them then) this October. Rejoice!

      Also your Vantage has lots of stuff that Ignite doesn´t have like a barometer, 40 h of training instead of 17 h, Strava Live integration coming, sounds, routes, back to start and Recovery Pro etc.

    • jburnaa

      Yeah, SOUNDS are a huge deal. I wish my M430 had sound

  38. Kevin W

    always spot on

  39. Freek

    It’s interesting to see these watch will advise workouts (or avoiding them) based on the prior sleep/recovery. It’s a true and exciting innovation and if it works correctly it’s very impressive. But this depends both on quality of measuring the sleep cycle (which is not trivial and very hard to test accuracy of), and on the understanding of the impact of sleep quality through physiology on the ability to do a next workout (also not trivial as most sports physiological research shows – people are different). Yes it’s logical and understood widely that there is such link, but do I trust my watch (Polar) on this?

    I’m not sure that adjusting (mostly down) my training plan based on sleep data will yield better fitness than not adjusting it…… needs some hefty support materials / “reasons to believe”.

  40. Andreas

    Very interesting new market offering from Polar. Didn’t even expect these guys to have something new in the pipe for 2019. So this is a very pleasant surprise.
    However, with a little more research over on Polar.com I found “Route import” is not supported. Too bad, since this is something I enjoy a lot on my V800 when traveling to new places and countries. This is probably close to a deal breaker on my end.

    I recall that the Vantage initially also came without this feature and after a lot of public discussions it got added. Any idea if they might consider this for a future update?

    • fneu

      Since route navigation only made it to the Vantage V but not the M, I doubt that it will come to the even cheaper Ignite. That said, apparently they do listen to feedback, so it doesn’t hurt to ask them for it.

  41. Jeff Fox

    Thanks – great to hear. Polar should let their phone reps in on this as well!

  42. Nazrul Nasir

    Hey, is this watch foot pod compatible?

  43. Fabricio

    Have you tested the pool swimming tracking? How’s the accuracy? Does the auto rest work?

  44. Lane Jasper

    Awesome review and screw.you Polar for the price hike attempt at last minute. You just lost my business. Sleazy…..

  45. Henning Autzen

    Hi Ray,
    would it be possible to do a follow up on the Vantage after the update in October? The price point of 350€ atm in Europe makes it a very attractive budget offering. Kinda interested in how the GPS is working after the update. A fixed GPS and the new features make it a really interesting offering for the price.

  46. harry hua

    Does COROS have the similar function with “FitSpark”? I’m considering the polar and coros.
    Coros has no more sport mode, example ball games.
    Polar has only one dial style for watch.

  47. Tomek

    It would be great if Polar could add FitSpark to Vantage V.

  48. Ty

    I’m looking for a product to track my sleep metrics so I’m wondering if this is the one. As a cyclist I use Garmin to track power, cadence etc so I’m not worried about GPS issues and don’t need music. But I would like to upload to Training Peaks, would Ignite do that with the sleep metrics?

  49. JJS

    Hi Ray, a very interesting device Polar is offering here and I am really happy they keep on competing with “The Big G”… 😉 Just a little question: The screen has a “notch” in the footer area. Does the Ignite support the same amount of data fields per page as the Vantages do?

  50. Luca

    Smartphone notifications? Do they pop up on screen (like on A360/370) or do they only appear if specifically requested like on Vantage M?

  51. Fredrik

    We have created a rapidly growing group for anyone interested to learn more about Polar Ignite or the features coming to the Vantage-series. Please join us if you´d like:

    link to facebook.com

    //Fredrik, admin.

  52. Craig D

    Ooh just noticed from reading the manual that the Ignite has Race Pace functionality from the getgo. Vantage users have to wait until December for this – ouch!
    link to support.polar.com

  53. Christian

    I want FitSpark on the Vantage V for the Off-Season!

  54. Indy Jones

    Is this the first device to track respiration rate without requiring a separate hr strap? If so, pretty revolutionary!

  55. Valerie

    The price change completely put me off purchasing at the moment, from looking on the US store (where I just came from) we don’t even have an option for the other and type. So, I’ll continue to watch reviews and such before making my decision.

  56. Avery Abbott

    Thanks so much for the review.

    Polar lost me pretty early on in this one when they decided to not have the screen on all the time. I hope they change that in the future, but I’m not sure how that change would affect battery life.

  57. Vuk

    FitSpark on Vantage for the off season please!

  58. juiceguava

    I can’t find the size of the watch on polar website.
    Anyone knows how big it is compared to the vantage?

  59. Idrive

    If they add FitsPark to vantage V I buy the Vantage V as replacement of my V800 which still does more than the VV.

  60. Paul

    Thank you for the first hands-on insights, Ray!

    Any chance to see more testing results (especially on running / cycling / swimming performance) before the mid-july sales (aka Prime Days)? Not rushing anything, of course …

    • giorgitd

      Not a specific comment about the Polar Ignite, but an overall observation about wrist worn GPS devices. Once you buy it, don’t expect any updates that increase functionality. Fix bugs – maybe. But I am guilty of the ‘I bought the flagship device and now a year later a new device at 75% of the price has some cool features I want on my device’ expectation. Tough. They have your $. They don’t care about your threats to buy your next device from vendor #2 because vendor #2 is screwing their customers too and those customers will buy their next device from vendor #1. The bottom line…once you buy it, put the blinders on and expect nothing in terms of upgrades. It’s the only way not to be disappointed.

    • Mark Cohen

      Great comments, I agree completely. Ironically, I just ordered the Vantage M, to be delivered tomorrow. Enter, Ignite, with some truly trendsetting features, FitSpark being the most compelling. The new sleep tracking is also interesting, but I use an Oura ring for highly detailed sleep metrics (I’d rather not wear a watch to bed).

      After comparing the two watches, feature by feature, I am sticking with the Vantage mainly due to battery life, Training Load Pro, Back to Start, and buttons (not a fan of touch screen during workouts). I am also factoring in the upcoming October Vantage update (as you pointed out, this could be a misguided leap of faith). Worst case is, Polar refuses to add FitSpark to the Vantage, and I end up buying Ignite later in the year. As a point of reference, I use an Apple Watch 4 as my daily driver. I’ve had a Forerunner 935 for a couple years, with no complaints. However, since using a Polar OH-1, I’ve been using Polar Flow and liking it. After years with Garmin Connect, I’m ready for a different platform.

    • Paul

      I am interested also to have more insight how Ignite executes all these new features in practise. For me, the timeline is about the same as my wife’s birthday is on early August.

      What comes to marketing focus of this product I would say that this might well be something that is just spot on for active fitness focused females with no other specific training or sport goal than keeping up healthy level of fitness and feeling good (like my wife).

      I think that common problem of this demographic (it’s applicable for her at least) is that the internal drive to do training quite often is counterproductive e.g. it’s hard to just take a easy, rest day. Another common phenomenon I have noticed by observing my sample (sized as one) of this demographic is that the training often is monotonous like go to run no matter what with same speed and same route giving same time/distance.

      I wish that FitSpark IRL are able to give a sufficient level of guidance for this point of view. As I mentioned on a paper this might be spot on for her, but I would like to wait Ray to do his stuff with the device and give it thumbs up (or not).

      BTW, I have not found confirmation on Polar site that Ignite are able to track OWS. Ray, are you sure about that?

  61. David Felfoldi

    This is the only online review worth anything. Thank you.

    For those that are worried about the price, I purchase and then sell smart watches every year. If you take care of them, you can usually sell them for 2/3 the original value, especially if you sell them during non-holidays.

    Don’t worry about buying this one. If you don’t like it, sell it and move on. You will be out $30-40, but you’ll know more about what you want. For example, I have the Samsung Sports Active, and I realized that I keep it on no-distraction mode all the time. It extends the battery, which is needed with WearOS, and really I’m tired of every gadget vibrating and ringing all the time. All onboard media watches have terrible media file management and players – a watch screen is not the place to be looking for a podcast file. So I’m looking forward to this watch! It sounds like it has some fun new sleep and recovery calculators.

  62. Jacek Brzezowski

    Interesting option. Does IT include preloaded gpx route display? Its a must have for my trails…

  63. Shane

    Ray, what is the size comparison between the ignite, vantage v, and Garmin 935? My old 935 is cracked and starting to act up. Loved it, but am intrigued by these new Polars.

  64. webvan

    Thanks for the detailed “hands-on”. That looks like a watch I could get to supplement my FR935 and HRV measuring routine in the morning. I can’t honestly say I’ve looked at any of Garmin’s “metrics” in the app for ages and the info on the watch I do look at VO2Max, Load, Recovery are more detailed in Runalyze anyway. Oh and not being very good at getting a good night’s sleep the ignite might scare me enough to work on that more seriously 😉

    So the scenario could be wear the Ignite round the clock and whip out the FR935 for runs. Do you see that as a realistic scenario ? Thanks !

  65. Luke

    Great article. I have been wanting a smart watch for a while now, and was stoked to see this one. Unfortunately it’s a no go for me. I emailed the company asking if they planned on making a bumper or case for the screen. The replied “no” . That right there turned me off. I work a physical job and my watches end up getting bumped a lot. It seems like a watch that is geared toward active people would at least have an option for a screen/bezel protector? I guess I’ll just have to wait for something else at this point.

  66. Gus

    Always On… We’ve seen the same from Huawei. They release a smart watch without Always On. Why? OK. I can see the battery thing. But isn’t that my problem? If I’m happy about charging it every night, or even during lunch hours or so, why don’t they let me have Always On? As I’ve got it, they need to make some extra features for moving pixels to avoid burn in, but still. I find it strange.

    What do you think? Will they allow Always On by a software update later?

  67. Hi DCRainmaker,
    Can you pls verify the IGNITE have indeed Training Load Pro, like you mentioned in your article? According to Polar We site comparison, it has no Training Load Pro, which would be kinda bad I think…


    • MikePolarUSA

      The Ignite will indeed offer the Training Load Pro analysis. – MikePolarUSA

  68. Juan Agraz

    Hey DCRM! Juan typing from Mexico City!

    I am a Polar fan, and the HRM that I ever liked the most is the FT80, no longer in production
    The feature that I liked the most if the ability set up your weekly training program based on time, calories burned and training zones

    This really helps me as a commitment device for excising

    This feature is not present in the running – triathlon watches

    will this Ignite have this feature?

    looking forward to your response

    • Mike@PolarUSA

      A version of the Star Training Program you refer to is not present on the Ignite. The closest feature would be the Fitspark where it looks at your training history and heart rate variability from the previous evening to provide exercise guidance. – Mike@PolarUSA

  69. Mark Cohen

    I am attending the Idea World Fitness Convention at the Anaheim Convention Center. Admission to the trade show is free. Polar has a limited amount of Ignites on show special for $159.95. They have about 9 left. I just bought one. If you’re in the area, give it a shot, but they are going fast.

    • mike

      can you buy me a yellow one.. and i,ll buy it from you somehow.. paypal. whatever??

    • Mark Cohen

      Sorry, Saturday was the last day of the show; and they sold out before the end of the day.

  70. Dawnn

    I bought it and love it, however the total calorie burn is wildly inaccurate to me. I own a few watches including Garmin, Apple Watch and Fitbit which are all a lot lower (especially Garmin) that than my ignite. Any thoughts on this?

    • Mark Cohen

      I used my Ignite for a couple workouts at the show today and my calories burned are also high, but I had my Polar Vantage M with me as well and I think it ended up counting my workouts twice. I’ll try it again tomorrow and make sure the M does not sync with Polar Flow. My first impressions are very positive, especially with FitSpark. I’ll wear it tonight, although the manual says it takes at least three nights for Ignite to accurately gauge Nightly Recharge.

    • Indy Jones

      its funny you bring up calorie tracking here. i use a garmin edge 830 for mountain biking and picked up a vantage v for 24/7 tracking + running in the offseason. i use both simultaneously when biking, both paired to a polar h10 hrm (garmin via ant+, polar via bt). let’s say i go for a 3 hour ride. what i’ve noticed is that in hour 1, the garmin (which btw i consider to be very accurate for calorie tracking) is slightly above the polar (maybe 50-100 calories above). by hour 2 the polar has pulled even with the garmin to the point where they’re nearly identical, and in hour 3 the polar blows past the garmin. i end up with final results like garmin: 2176 calories, polar: 2472.

      i’m still playing with the fitness settings in the polar to see how/why there’s such a discrepancy and why it only shows up at the very end of the workout

    • Dawnn Wienecke

      Something is extremely off with my activity level and the total calories burned. I’m
      On level 1 activity, over 19,000 steps and I’m
      Supposed to do 3 hours of circuit training or 8 hours of slow walking to hit 100%. I don’t think so.

  71. Michael Chomiczewski

    I just ordered a 945 so a day too late but if this thing had power meter support I would be seriously considering it instead. Very seriously. 1/3 the cost? Yes – VERY seriously. Not being a thriathle any way… It seems for average Joes like myself, training program features on this thing are WAY better than anything Garmin has to offer with their ‘Garmin Coach’ (which I reasonably like). My investment in the Garmin ecosystem notwithstanding.

  72. Michael Chomiczewski

    I just ordered a 945 so a day too late but if this thing had power meter support I would be seriously considering it instead. Very seriously. 1/3 the cost? Yes – VERY seriously. Not being a thriathle any way… It seems for average Joes like myself, training program features on this thing are WAY better than anything Garmin has to offer with their ‘Garmin Coach’ (which I reasonably like). My investment in the Garmin ecosystem notwithstanding.

  73. Luke

    Don’t have any experience with Polar products, but am highly interested in this watch. Since polar doesn’t offer a silicone case and can’t seem to find any on amazon, I am curious how durable there watches are. I would like to wear it while working. However my current Sunto watch is all beat up around the edges, and I don’t want to drop $200 on something that will just break.

  74. Kuba

    Hey Polar, are You reading this?

    We want Vantage with FitSpark fuctionality. We want FitSpark & powermeter possible – only in Vantage.

    Please add this in the future.

  75. Daniel

    Done question, I have a H10 which I use with my phone on runs, but otherwise in the memory mode (Martial arts, CrossFit and watch doesn’t match). 1) Does the results add up automatically through flow, or result viewable in watch afterwards and workout taken into consideration by the “load/recovery”? 2) Can you start the H10 memory mode through the watch it must it be done via phone beat app?
    Thanks for the review, fairly proud of my countrymen.

    • Srdjan

      I would like to know the same thing! Does it take into account other sports you do when creating training suggestions for each day? If I play tennis 3 times a week, does it still suggest strength and mobility workouts since I have not done them in a long time, or does it calculate my fitness level based on all sports?
      And does it ever suggest running as a workout if you’re not in any training plan at the moment?

    • Mark Cohen

      I’m only a few days in with the watch, but this morning, a strength workout was suggested. I completed the recommended bodyweight workout, and the focus shifted to medium intensity cardio. Instead of doing that workout, I boxed on a heavy bag for 20 minutes, 5 high intensity rounds with 30 seconds in between. Upon completion, the suggestion shifted to a mobility workout with static stretching. My sense is that FitSpark is continually analyzing what you do and shifting focus appropriately.

      I am a Personal Trainer, and I workout out 5-6 days per week using a wide variety of activities and equipment. I plan to follow the FitSpark workouts when my time is limited, and keep to my regular workout schedule the rest of the time. So far, I am very impressed with FitSpark’s ability to analyze performance and recommend appropriate workouts.

      I should also mention that I use the Polar OH-1 for most of my workouts. I don’t think the Ignite, or any wrist HR watch, can accurately track high intensity strength workouts. I tried it while kayaking, and the HR was all over the map. I ended up deleting the workout. It’s not worth the frustration to expect a wrist HR monitor to handle much more than steady state exercise (running, hiking, some cycling). The OH-1 is incredibly accurate and very comfortable to use.

    • webvan

      Thanks for sharing.
      Yes it seems we’ll never get a wrist OHR that can provide accurate results outside the activities you mention…Does the OH1 provide HRV data though ? I suppose it doesn’t really matter for FitSpark to work properly since the analysis of activities probably relies on TRIMP with HRV used only for the analyse of the ANS system.

    • Alex

      At least with Polar Vantage V the recovery function with HRV analysis do work only with H10 strap. On the other hand Ignite like M430 includes HRV based fitness test directly from wrist e.g. by using OHR. I suppose that OH1 should be able send HRV signal which is at least as good as signal from internal WOHR of device.

      I really hope that OH1 integration with Ignite will include HRV and loading cached OHR and HRV signals from OH1 after swim etc. session when online transmit is not possible (like higher end Garmin devices handle Hrm caching with HRM-TRI or – SWIM.

    • webvan

      @Alex – yes it’s sometimes confusing when you look at what can or cannot be done with oHR sensors in terms of HRV. Originally they didn’t have that capability, then they had it during resting, then possibly during activities. Then you have the derived metrics that normally require HRV like FB/Garmin’s Performance Condition but you also get a value with an oHR…

  76. Paul Tourkin

    Got my Ignite today after a 2 hour ride. It does not appear that Polar Flow imports activities from Strava or Training Peaks. Can anyone Polar literate comment whether I should import if I don’t record on the watch or should I just let it monitor my HR?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Mike@PolarUSA

      The Ignite has the ability to push its exercise data to 3rd party services like Strava and Training Peaks. You can enable this connection in the Flow app (by tapping into ‘General Settings’ or the Flow website by clicking on your name on the top right.

      Polar’s Flow service does not offer the ability to import training results/targets from 3rd party services.- Mike@PolarUSA

    • Paul Tourkin

      Thanks, I know that everyone wants to be the main platform for all of the data, but it would be really nice to see at least the sleep and recovery metrics on Training Peaks, where our coach could see them for planning purposes. Many of us are embedded there and probably won’t move regardless of what Polar, Strava or Garmin (which we also use) do to move us.

  77. Gustav

    Mike@Polar, you are answering so many questions here…

    Will you answer to: Will Polar add Always On for the Ignite as well? I need a watch to use also as a watch, and then it’s needed.

    As a workaround: It’s supposed to be always on during workout. Is there any workout type that will give just a basic watch interface why working out..? (But then, based on previous experience from Polar, it might be that you don’t push notifications from the phone during workout?)

    • Mike@PolarUSA

      I can’t say for certain (product development comes from our global office in Finland) as to whether or not an ‘always on’ time display is under consideration as an update. Feedback from customers as well as battery performance will dictate such decisions.

      As for updating the display when exercising with it, yes a time only screen can be added. – Mike@PolarUSA

    • Gustav

      Thanks, Mike!

      I later found in the documentation that notifications are not pushed during training. So then that workaround will kill the notification feature 🙁

  78. Thijs

    That display looked absolutely gorgeous… Until I saw the POLAR branded flat-tyre section.

  79. Phil

    1) Is there any special reason why it’s not possible to take/create an manual lap during excercise?
    2) Can I connect my Scosche OHR Sensor with the Ignate?


    • Mike@PolarUSA

      Developing a portfolio of contrasting products sold to different consumers at multiple price points is why the Vantage product for example might have certain functionality (like manual laps/multisport transition) whereas the Ignite won’t. The Ignite however will offer automatic laps (set up via the Flow service).

      As for connecting the Scosche product, yes it should work. – Mike@PolarUSA

    • Phil

      I think Polar has a good range of products actually (not too much) instead of other manufactors.
      Because of functions like “multisport”, “navigation”, “Stryd support”, “Strava Live Segments” etc. I am 100% with you.

      In view of

      – manual laps
      – ZoneLock

      I think different.

      The Ignite could have this both features easily. It would help for “product cleansing” to put this feature (long term) into it.
      I don’t believe “manual laps” are premium features. There are enough other reasons to buy a Vantage as you/we can see.

      I like Polar products. I just wanna help. Sorry for my english 🙂

    • webvan

      Yeah the lack of “manual lap” is a pretty petty omission…manual laps are an absolute requirement for whoever runs on a track, even from time to time.
      I suppose it reinforces the status of the Ignite as a GPS watch for “casual athletes” and as as “advanced tracker” for serious athletes opting to wear a “real” watch like a Garmin FRx35/x45 or Polar V for workouts.

    • Ali Husain

      Seriously, there is no way to click splits in workouts? A workout has to be set up ahead of time?

  80. Luca

    Hi Polar Ignite, can you connect to the Interactive trainers Elite?

  81. Adam Enatsky

    Hi DC Rainmaker, I enjoy your videos. Thanks for making them. Quick editing tip if you are interested, for some jump cuts you may be able to hide them using some built-in transition FX. Depending on what you are using all the major NLEs have some flavor of it. Basically just takes two shots that have an unnatural cut in them and you drop this effect in and the GPU can often seemlessly smooth out the jump.

    FCPX – Flow
    Adobe Premiere – Morph Cut
    Davinci Resolve – Smooth Cut

    Hope it can be useful in the future!

  82. LeeB

    Oh what a shame… Bought a polar ignite based on this review as looked great bit of kit for the money and features looked really smart… Watch arrived promptly from Polar online and all was looking good until I powered it up. The screen was really noticeably dimmer on bottom right compared to the rest of the display.

    Tried a full charge and software update but still the same. Looks like I am sticking with Suunto until Polar sort out quality control issues.

    To give Polar credit they have been good so far arranging the return but beyond this I can’t say much else…

  83. Ralph

    I received mine yesterday and I wish there was a brightness controls in settings or in the swipe down screen

  84. @ Mike@Polar: Please send greetings to your developer team. We would like to see FitSpark™ on our Vantage watch (at least Vantage V), because it would be an ideal feature for off-season, when we want to archive our fitness with varying exercises. I think the top watch deserves ALL features that are possible. Thank you very much.

  85. Elle

    I really wanted this watch, but between the below and the pricing changes, I think I’ll pass.

    The yellow version appears to have a black bezel around the watch instead of the silver one. This one only comes in the larger size, and apparently Polar has no intention on adding a smaller size (or offering with different color bands) per an email I got from their customer care team.

  86. Dawnn Wienecke

    I wish there were more watch faces, honestly that may be the deal breaker for me to return along with an inflated total calorie burn.

    • Jax

      How inflated is it? Is it reading your HR incorrectly?

    • dawnn helene wienecke

      with a low activity day ( workout wise ) and sedentary job it’s claiming close to 2800 calories. I’ve owned enough watches and tracked my total burn for years now, that is around 500 plus over the amount I really burned. I know none of them will be perfect but I use these numbers when I am prepping for a show (competitive bodybuilder) and there is no way that is close to accurate.

    • Mark Cohen

      After several workouts, including walking, boxing, TRX, bodyweight, rowing and cycling, I’ve had very erratic heart rate readings, and at times, inflated calorie counts. In fact, the only consistently accurate readings are during sleep. I contacted Polar support and they suggest a factory reset, which usually improves OHR performance. Doing the reset now. Hopefully it will restore at least an accurate baseline for heart rate and calorie burn. Without that, Fit Spark is useless, and the watch will be going back.

    • dawnn helene wienecke

      Exactly what they said to me. Specifically said my total burn calories are high because I leave my OHR on all day… isn’t that the point? My garmin 245 is on all day and my total calorie burn is around 800 less than Polar.

    • Mark Cohen

      I’m trying my best to like this watch, but after the reset, I took the dogs for a walk. It’s a 40 minute fast walk that I do a few times a week. Strictly a Zone 1-2 walk with heart rate topping out at 103, with an average of 94 (Apple Watch or Garmin 935). Ignite had me hitting 126 with an average of 110, putting me in Zone 3 for most of the walk. It’s just not acceptable for a steady state walk with no wrist flexing. Sadly, the numbers feed FitSpark with bad info, which then sabotages the whole concept. I don’t mind (actually I prefer) using an OH-1 on my arm for more accurate heart rate during high intensity workouts. But, if I can’t even walk with just the watch, why have it?

      I’ll try a couple more workouts using a nylon watch band, similar to the one on the Apple 4. It is the best band for keeping the OHR close to your skin. If things don’t improve, I’ll return it.

    • Ana Cepeda

      Mark Cohen, can you please tell me what Nylon Band fits the Polar ignite? Is it the same available for Vantage M or other brand?
      I’ve searched everywhere but could only find silicone. Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Mark Cohen

      This is the one I ordered from Amazon. It fits perfectly and I’m finally getting accurate heart rate.

      Nylon Sport Loop Band SIKAI 20mm Replacement Nylon Strap Compatible with Amazfit Bip/Huawei Watch 2 Sport/Ticwatch E Breathable with Hook and Loop Fastener Adjustable Closure (Black)

    • Ana Cepeda

      Oh, thank you so much! Will order it 🙂

    • Mark Cohen

      Just found another one on Ebay for $7.99. I ordered one of these as well. If you work out a lot it is probably a good idea to change them out periodically.

      link to ebay.com

    • Ana Cepeda

      Thank you very much for the tips. Following your advice, I’ve found similar ones here in Europe but I was so excited about yours fitting perfectly and giving good HR, I ordered the exact model in American Amazon.
      I’ll check if those at eBay ship to Portugal as having 2 or 3 would be rly convenient 🙂
      again, than you!

    • Mark Cohen

      Finally some good news. After installing the nylon loop band and securing the watch two fingers width from my wrist bone, heart rate issues are solved. I did a hard spinning workout and the HR was spot on. Today I kayaked for an hour and it was near perfect. Exercise heart rate and calories make sense, and the continuous heart rate data is no longer skewing my daily calorie burn. Now after three days of sleep tracking, I’m getting great feedback on readiness.

      I am amazed that Polar would ship an excellent product with a horrendous rubber strap. Apple had the right idea when they went to the nylon loop. It is the most efficient and comfortable way to properly position a fitness watch.

    • Ana Cepeda Santos

      What lovely news! I also have the Apple Watch and couldn’t agree more with you, it’s really hard to go back to rubber after the comfort of nylon, specially when you have a sensitive skin.
      I was following your updates closely as incorrect calorie burn count would be a killer and I would send it back so I’m really happy with your post !
      Thanks for the updates 🙂

    • Ognjen

      Omg, I have same issues with OHR on my M on even regular walks. Are you saying it’s all about the strap? Can’t be that simple. I wonder if Mike from Polar can comment. Looking to order some nylon loop 22mm.

    • Mike@PolarUSA

      A contributing factor towards heart rate performance is how it sits on the wrist. If the watch ‘floats’ while wearing it then HR readings may appear not consistent with effort. Polar offers a smaller wrist band (for those with thinner wrists) as well as the ability to switch it out entirely for a 3rd party strap. If a smaller size/different design works for the user, then all the better! – Mike@PolarUSA

  87. Nightshift

    Do you (or anyone) have any idea how the clock will work on someone with very irregular sleeping times? I was otherwise really excited for the watch, but the part about it not “recharcing” your body if you take a nap and only counting nightly sleep instead really made me wonder if the watch is useful at all for someone who does day-, evening- and nightshifts. Can you manually let the watch know that you’ll go to sleep or is it automatic. How long do you have to sleep for watch to realize you are indeed asleep and not just laying around?

    • Mark Cohen

      According to the manual you need to be still for 4 hours. I don’t think it matters what time of day you sleep, as long as you have the watch set to continuous heart rate. The watch detects a lack of movement on your dominant hand. You can set a preferred amount of sleep, so if your sleep periods are only 4 or 5 hours, you can set that. Also, you can manually tell the watch you are awake. This would be important for you so the watch doesn’t think you are just having a temporary interruption if you get up in the middle of the night to go to work. I’m not sure if the watch adds short naps to your overall sleep quality.

  88. Charles Anderson

    Is there anyway to turn off the display at night!? If I move around in bed the bright screen comes on and it is really disruptive.

    On my Garmin Vivosmart 4 I can set the display to only come up when I tap on it.

    Was really excited about this watch but if there is no way to turn off the display while I sleep then it’s going back.

    Also, please do something about the alarm options. I should be able to set a different alarm for each day of the week rather than a one time alarm or an alarm that is M-F.

    The gesture to turn on the display really sucks compared to other modern fitness trackers. If there is a way to turn the screen off at night I will keep it but only use it for sleeping and gym workouts.

    Is it correct that there is no silicon black strap only TPU? On the plus side this watch does use standard 20mm straps with quick change. Polar definitely got that part right.

    • Simon B

      In the general settings you can turn off the light using the “Do not disturb” setting.

      This is what the user manual says: Turn the Do not disturb feature On, Off or On ( – ). Set the period when do not disturb is on. Choose when it Starts at and Ends at. When it is set on, you will not get any notifications or call alerts. Also, the backlight activation gesture is disabled.

  89. webvan

    Would the Polar Vantage M straps fit the Ignite since they’re both 20mm ?

  90. Marco Pinho

    Hello, can i use two polar watch devices on polar flow? I’m currently wearing a Polar M400 and i am pretty happy with it but with this Polar Ignite i am thinking on upgrading or complementing each other but i don’t know if Ignite is the best M400 replacement instead of the Vantage M?

    • Argumon

      Yes, actually I have a M430, an A370 and a Vantage V paired with my Flow App. You just have to chose, which one to sync to. But you can switch devices in the app to have them all in sync.

    • Marco Pinho

      Thanks for the reply! For example, if I use the Ignite during night for sleep tracking, during the day as an activity tracking, later for a gym session, and afternoon going for a run on my M400, the Polar Flow will integrate all the information of the two devices for my, lets say, daily goal in one account?

    • Simon B

      No problem. PolarFlow will do that

  91. Lepari

    Well just found this site and if this is just a hands-on, I wonder how detailed the review is. Already looking forward to it. Also want to thank everyone here in the comment section, nice to see so many people who actually know their stuff. I learnt more about Ignite from this site only than all the other five I visited before.

  92. Karen

    I ended up buying an Ignite on Clever Training using DC’s code after reading his write-up. I figured the discount made up for the price difference with the black one and I ended up getting the black bezel one with the yellow strap, so it didn’t ultimately matter to me. I’m not into bright colors so I just used the strap from my Suunto Fitness 3 and ordered new some new ones on Amazon. I will say this Ignite blows any of the previous fitness trackers I’ve had out of the water. I started out with Fitbit Flex, then Garmin Vivosmart, then Fitbit Charge 2. I gave up on Fitbit after I went through multiple straps that couldn’t even last a year. After some time with no tracker, I got the Suunto Fitness 3 and it was ok, I wasn’t in love but it sufficed to keep track of my workouts and give me some feedback. I’ve only had the Ignite for a couple days but I can already see myself using the features to better plan my workouts and also supplement them. I’m very happy with my purchase. Looking forward to using it for my hike tomorrow.

  93. webvan

    Is it just my watch or will the Ignite not charge above 96% ? It’s been stuck there for 30+ minutes…
    Oh and battery life is really poor, 12 hours of wearing and 2 hours of running and it was down to 19% !

  94. Rglan

    I have the ignite now for a couple of days. I generally like the aggregation of the different data into something that is easier for me to understand.
    I just seem to,have found one error and it seems the ignite accumulates steps while cycling. Did a short walk this morning of some 6000 steps. After 2 hours of cycling this is increased to almost 24000 steps. (Logged it with polar)
    But I enjoy the switch back to polar ?

  95. Lepari

    Really interested to see how the review will be. There has been plenty of criticism to the battery life for example, that it’s a LOT worse than the promised numbers.

    • I’ve only seen two comments about it?

      Fwiw, It seems I’m in the 4-5 day camp right now, depending on how much GPS-time I put into it during that timeframe (I’ve been doing slightly less outdoor the last two weeks due to a combination of trainer and pool testing).

    • Mark Cohen

      The battery life does seem less than advertised. Interestingly, this is the first watch I have kept on at night for sleep tracking. By the morning, I’m ready to take it off for a while, and it charges back up to 100% while having breakfast. Clearly, this watch is at its best when it has maximum data to analyze and dispense. With that in mind, battery life is less important to me than learning more about my readiness and recovery, and the overall effects of my training. If I need to go a week without charging, I’ll use my 935. Although, after getting more acquainted with Polar Flow (it’s a nice change from Garmin Connect), I’m leaning towards the Vantage V for longer battery life.

    • Rglan

      Well I charged mine yesterday morning to 100%. Did following activities (with gps and Continuous heart rate):
      – walk 45 min
      – cycling 2 hours
      – jogging 35 min
      For the rest of the day kept the watch on with continuous HR. After some 24 hours the battery is at 33%. This seems to fall short of the 17 hours with gps or the 5 days with continuous HR?
      But it seems to charge quickly so I can adapt for the moment.

    • webvan

      The battery life indeed falls ridiculously short of the claims, i.e. 5 days as a tracker and 17 hours with GPS on.

      So far I’ve found :
      3PM : 96% (won’t go to 100%)
      No activities, just notifications, HR tracking and then sleep tracking
      9AM : 79%
      11AM : 51% after a one hour run with the screen on, so that’s 28% per hour ! In comparison my 2 year old FR935 used 9%.

      Given the fact that you can’t do manual laps I will probably never run without my FR935+HRM4 too so I’ll just have the screen off on the ignite. Hopefully that will bring down battery use to at least 20% per hour.

      As a side note the screen isn’t always on at 100% anyway, there’s some BL that seems to kick in when you flick the wrist.

    • Weird. I’m at 65% right now, and I last took it off the charger a bit under 48hrs ago. And that includes maybe an hour or so of GPS usage yesterday.

      So for this go I’m trending towards maybe a touch over 4 days.

    • webvan

      “maybe an hour or so of GPS usage yesterday.”

      With screen on too ?

    • Rglan

      Just to be correct, my experience of dropping to 33% battery in 24 hours is not using the screen during exercises (with GPS of and screen only on when hitting the button or raising the wrist)

    • webvan

      “maybe an hour or so of GPS usage yesterday”

      So screen off for you then I take it ? If not there’s some black magic going on…

    • I think so, I had set it on for one. Also of note, about 12 hours since my last comment and battery only lost about 10%, down to 55%.

    • Mark Cohen

      I have had the watch since last Saturday and I barely get 2 full days out of a charge. This is with approximately 3 hours of GPS each day, clearly short of the promised 17 hours of GPS. Calories burned are definitely high, and it seems to come from an abnormally high BMR. Today I had two workouts totaling 660 calories. My total calories burned for the day was 2473. This would mean my Basal Metabolic Rate accounted for 1813 calories burned. According to my age and weight, my BMR should be about 1377.

      Despite these issues, the training and sleep metrics are outstanding, and the workouts suggested by FitSpark are very creative and perfectly matched to my cycle of training. So, I’m going to hang in there for a while and hope for an update soon from Polar. In the meantime, I’ll try a factory reset and see if the battery life improves.

    • Mel

      I agree my BMR is way way out. Yesterday said I did 2400 calories with no work out! It’s about 50% more than my old polar m400. It makes that aspect which I use it for worthless. Will an update do much, I’m ready to throw in the pan with it tbh as very inaccurate. Did a work out today with old polar and new and 375 cals (m400) vs 505 cals (ignite)

    • Michal

      Are you sure your BMR according to your age, weight, height and gender should be 1377 calories??? I looked up some calculators for BMR and from that it would mean you are a very young woman with absolutely no training. Basically a 10 year old girl…

    • Mark Cohen

      I just rechecked the numbers using a BMR calculator on alive.com. I am male, 67, 5’8”, 145 lbs. Result: 1378 cal

    • webvan

      ok, well there’s something going on, maybe different hardware revisions or different software ? I’m running 1.1.5, the latest FW I believe, took ages to update too via the phone, will try with FlowSync PC the next time.

      Went for a 55′ run today WITHOUT screen on and went from 100% (it did go up to 100% this time vs 96% the other day) to 81% so that would be about 21% for 60′ vs 28% for 60′ WITH the screen on. A little better but that’s still miles away from the 17 hours of GPS time claim. Frankly that didn’t seem likely in the first place given how thin the watch is and how small the battery must be. Actually it charged from 23% to 100% in 45′ which is good but also confirms the battery has a tiny capacity.

      After syncing my run it dropped to 79% and that’s still where it is 5 hours later…not sure how regularly that battery meter gets updated !

    • Yeah, not sure. Now another day later and I’m at 40%. No GPS activities today/yesterday (travel/etc), but it seems to be pretty consistent at 1% battery burn per hour. All default settings.

      I’d agree your burn rates don’t look right, probably worth hitting up Polar support and see if they have any ideas.

    • Michal

      I think you meant on active.com. Yes it sais your BMR is 1378 kcal. But on that website, active.com, you can also calculate caloric needs, which is a higher number than BMR. I might be wrong here but is is possible that when your watch shows you have burned 2473 calories during that day maybe its more oriented on caloric needs. Caloric needs for you should be 2002 calories per day if you don`t work out at all.

    • Mark Cohen

      Yes, my mistake, active.com. You bring up an interesting point. However, since the watch calculates calories burned for each workout, it would seem logical to start with the BMR number for someone who does not exercise at all, since this number is a minimum amount of calories burned to fuel a particular age, weight, height, etc. Adding in the calories burned for each workout should bring you to a fairly accurate total. That’s where the watch is too high.

      According to the manual, the watch calculates steps based on arm movement, rather than distance covered when walking or running. When I workout on a rower, my arm movement may be triggering additional steps, which would then pad the number of calories already calculated for the rowing workout. This might explain the extra calories and an inflated number of steps.

    • Niclas

      There is an option to turn off heart rate tracking in the day and use it only during sleep when it is really necessary. Most people do not need HR tracking in the day and HR at low beats is mostly useless.

      This saves quite some power.

    • Michal

      @Mark Cohen
      One more thought. When I was looking at different BMR calculators they all show for me BMR around 2000-2100 calories (194cm, 90kg, 31yr ,male). That means my body will burn 2000-2100 kcal per day if I don`t even make a move… But many calculators give you also another value, how many calories you need to maintain your weight even if you don`t have any exercise (sedentary lifestyle). This for me is about 350-400 kcal more than BMR even without any exercise… It might be a little confusing which is the value that the watch uses… Maybe it would be good if you just pick the one that fits you the best as a starting point for other calculations…

    • Melanie Monro

      Interestingly my step count on my ignite vs my m400 is lower but calories used is considerably higher after a run. Which makes no sense to me as its suggesting i’m doing less but using more calories. I find the HR pretty accurate.

      My calories are definitely way off though. My BMR is around 1300. The other day the ignite said i had used 2460 calories despite not doing any work out and i would say being light to medium active. Just walking around after the kids and also some sitting at the computer, it was a relatively slow day for me tbh. My Polar M400 said 1850. Multiplying my BMR by estimated total daily energy expenditure for light to medium gives a range of 1750-2000. In order to reach a value near the ignites i would have to multiple by the value suggested for extra active all day – i totally wasn’t. If i was to be eating 2500 i would be piling on the weight at around 1lb a week i would estimate, not maintaining. My polar has proved to be extremely accurate in this over the last few years, i’m so sad the ignite seems to be so far out and am wondering whether an update would help or whether to send the watch back.

    • Mark Cohen

      That’s a good suggestion. It’s just annoying that Polar advertises the Ignite to have 5 day battery life with continuous heart rate, and 17 hours of GPS use. Clearly, they have adjustments to make.

    • Melanie Monro

      Polar support have replied to me suggesting i do a factory reset to see if that fixes the issue – i will try this tonight and compare the readings from both the m400 and ignite tomorrow. They then said if it persists i can send the ignite in for repair?! But to me that seems daft as reading on here i don’t seem to be the only one with the problem, so i’m not convinced that it is my single watch that is faulty rather that the ingite system in general has issues making it incorrect? So i’m unsure what they will say if i send it for repair?

    • Mark Cohen

      I think I found the step count issue. Ignite seems to track arm movement rather than ground covered. My step count jumped 120 after doing several sets of pushups. I actually took no more than 10 steps during that time. I had my Apple watch on at the same time and it registered 14 steps. Over the course of the day, this would have a serious impact on step count and calories burned.

    • Melanie Monro

      That definitely wont help. The strange thing is though after a run my ignite shows less steps than my m400 but it shows considerably more calories burned. I just cant understand why when it thinks i have done less work that i have burned a lot more calories – makes no sense at all.

    • Mark Cohen

      Very impressed with FitSpark and Nightly Recharge, but there are too many issues to ignore. I’m going to request a replacement and hope it is a faulty hardware issue. I just got back from walking the dogs for an hour. I had a full charge yesterday at noon. Now, 24 hours later, I am at 54% after a total of 2 hours GPS use. That translates to 2 days and 4 hours of GPS… a far cry from 5 days and 17 hours GPS as advertised.

    • webvanw

      I wouldn’t sent it back for that because that’s what I’m getting as well. I’m finding that 1 hour of HR tracking equates to 1% and 1 hour of GPS (without screen on activated) to 10%. So 24 hours+2 hours of GPS would be 46%, exactly what you have.

      It’s clearly not what’s advertized but usable I suppose…

    • Mark Cohen

      Your point is well taken. I’ve noticed the recharge rate is very fast and I could establish a different rhythm for charging. I use an Apple Watch 4 everyday, and I’m used to charging it every night. I didn’t really want another watch to plug in that frequently. It would be replacing my Garmin Forerunner 935, which lasts at least 10 days of heavy use.

      With that in mind, I may end up with a Vantage V later in the year when they add the Nightly Recharge feature. The Vantage already has Training Load Pro and Recovery Pro.

      In the meantime, I’ll see what Polar comes up with for Ignite. I got a response from support today, saying that they are currently overwhelmed with support requests and there will be a delay in getting back to me.

    • webvan

      Yes I can see that you wouldn’t want to replace an “everyday” watch with another “everyday” watch. To me that’s what the Ignite is at this point, without a manual lap feature it’s not usable by anyone doing any kind of serious training. That could be added later of course but then you’d need to have “screen on” and that makes the battery life even more dismal than it already is.

      Taken as an advanced tracker with GPS with smart recovery analysis at a decent price I’m still thinking I can use it as a replacement for my current daily wearer the FR935 that I’d be using on my right wrist for all my running and biking activities.

      I’m still on the fence though because after an expected low ANS recovery after a hard running session I got a second one in a row after a day of a rest and when the HRV4Training app shows an expected upswing. Also FitSpark is still insisting on having me do a slow long run of 1:22:00 (where does that come from) to recover…

    • Mark Cohen

      My thoughts exactly. I’m thinking that the Vantage M or V is better suited to someone who knows how to train, but would benefit from accumulated information on sleep and training load. Also, I really need a more robust watch, one that has more customization for workouts, screen always on, and better battery life.

    • Mark Cohen

      Great suggestion about turning off continuous heart rate. It still comes on for sleep tracking and for all the sports profiles. During my first day with it off, I had a 1 hour gym workout and 1 1/2 hour hike, and the battery only dropped to 88%.

    • webvan

      Just turned it off myself, will see how it goes.
      Since there is no automatic activity detection like there is on Garmin watches it might as well be turned off indeed.

      EDIT – that didn’t get posted this morning for some reason. Well I can’t say I saw a big difference. After all it was only draining 1% per hour with HR Tracking on so it won’t make a big difference, 16% per day max.

  96. Kat

    Hi nice to read all your reviews.
    I’ve started running recently (+/- 5weeks, 3 runs a week) and I was thinking of buying myself a HR sportswatch.
    My mom lent me her Garmin Vivoactive 3 to see weather I like it.
    For now I think this watch is just fine. But I was wondering if features like running dynamics and HR recovery rate would be important to have.
    I am absolutely new at this and plan to buy just one watch so I’m surfing the internet to get more information on different models. But I kinda get lost in all those different models.

    1. What is absolutely necessary on a sportwatch for running?
    2. I was thinking of buying the garmin vivoactive 3 but after reading this information on the polar ignite I’m doubting. What’s your opinion when choosing between those two?

  97. Melanie monro

    I bought this to replace my m400 which I was very happy with but chest strap died and instead of replacing it decided to upgraded watch. However I’m finding the step count and calorie burn massively inflated on the ignite (not in workout, just generally). After a few days I decided to where both to compare as readings seemed off. I have turned HR off so it’s a straight compare. Today so far done 13000/19000 steps and 1600/2200 cals (m400/ignite). Given my activity today I know that the m400 is about right and over the last year has proven to be very accurate as been using calories as part of controlled diet to lose baby weight. I’m shocked how far out the ignite is and basically makes it useless for a big thing I use it for? Anyone else have similar issues?

  98. Casual Runner

    Interested in this one and looking forward to the full review. Thank you!

    Two questions:
    1) Any chance that Polar might add option to have screen always on (practical at work)?

    2) I used to have orig. Vivoactive & Garmin 235, was considering Vivoactive 3, but shifted to Samsung Sport primarily due to display. I’ll try to find them in the same store, but what is your general feeling on screen quality between this, Garmin Vivoactive 3, Garmin 245. Any improvement compared to Garmin 235? If I want to have a serious sport watch with good display is Suunto the only option?

    • inSyt

      A sport version, with a transflective display and buttons would make this the perfect sport watch at the $200 price point.

  99. U.P.

    Vantage V is 260 £ on Amazon.uk if anyone is interested.

  100. John

    Can you wake the screen by tapping on it rather than the wrist gesture?

    • Melanie

      No, you can press the button. I’m finding it pretty annoying tbh because mine doesn’t turn on when I turn my wrist to look at watch. I find the screen turning on very unresponsive.

    • webvan

      Yep as said above tapping won’t work but the button does, that’s what I do know and I don’t mind.

      An update is available : 1.1.8
      This time I did it with the PC app and it took 5 minutes instead of 30 minutes with my phone for 1.1.5 ! Bug fixes apparently : link to support.polar.com

      Talking of bugs, mine refused to sync this morning, restarted it, killed BT on my phone and finally restarted my phone, which did the trick. Hopefully that’s one of the bugs that got fixed. As a side note Polar are using a strange BT implementation since you have to pair it with your phone, unlike say Garmins that connect directly with BTLE ?

      Oh and I did a hard running session yesterday so I wasn’t surprised to see my ANS in the red this morning but FitSpark suggests a slow long run of 1h22′ ! It doesn’t appear it’s looking for an explanation to the decrease in ANS in the latest session. Looks like some fine tuning is needed here.

    • Lepari

      Does your device load to 100% after the update? At least they supposed to have fixed that problem. Im interested to know if the battery life has increased, so when you have enough usage with this firmware please let me know.

    • Webvan

      Actually my watch did charge to 100% on Tuesday after failing to go above 96% on Sunday…

      As for battery life it’s a bit hard to make much sense out of it, I suspect the gauge is not reliable with 1% drops per hour when inactive just with HR tracking, then you sync or pull up a few screens and it drops 3% out of the blue.

      It seems that for one hour of GPS activity (running/walking) it loses 10% which is acceptable.

    • John

      Hopefully they can improve the gesture with software? If it’s touchscreen, you would have thought that touching the screen would wake it. It seems like a hassle to push the button to look at the screen. Thanks for the feedback, Melanie.

  101. mdgarf

    Do you think GPS accuracy issue can be fixed with a software update? Has it been done (suunto, garmin..)?
    Because otherwise it is nice watch.
    Looking for a full review.

  102. Yan

    Great review. Just purchased to replace TomTom multi sport (still kicking after 5 years), vivosmart HR (sleep) and vivomoveHR (work).

    Absolutely love it. Only downside is in the black band only TPU available to Australian market in the box, now need to get a replacement silicone band.

  103. Kai Maison

    @DCRainmaker – Thank you for your honest evaluations and for using it to help Polar improve its products.

    @MikePolarUSA – Please resolve conflicting info: Ignite supports Bluetooth Smart, would think therefore that Ignite would talk with the Polar cycling cadence sensor and capture its data (pretty certain DC Rainmaker said as much in his “12 Things” video), but website and user manual say no. So, does the Polar Cadence Sensor pair with Ignite?

    After a week of obsessively scouring information online and after two calls to Polar customer service for clarification, I remain as unable to make a purchase decision now as I was when I started. Thanks in advance for any insights anyone may have to offer, based on my use case:

    I’m a 56 yo male and work out 3-5 times per week. Currently, I alternate my workouts between HIIT on a Cybex Arc Trainer for cardio and weight loss, strength training on a Hoist V5 multi-station weight machine, and cycling routes that range from 18-19mph 10-mile sprints to 15-17mph 40-mile routes with significant elevation changes. I am neither a runner nor a swimmer (and don’t anticipate doing either), and I have not and don’t anticipate competing… but who knows! My goals revolve primarily around overall fitness, heart health, and morphing my budding 4-pack into a ripped 6-pack 🙂

    Feature wise, I prioritize accurate heart rate and sleep quality monitoring, recovery data, and cycling cadence (and possibly power) sensor integration. Also tops on the list are data aggregation and analysis, as provided by the Flow app and web service (and Polar Beat?). Fitness test is nice, though prefer not having to use the H10 strap to do it (even though I plan to buy the H10 for other reasons). Want accurate GPS for cycling. Long battery life. Want to wear 24×7, so don’t want to feel like I have a brick on my wrist (especially in bed).

    So… I can’t decide between these options:

    1. Vantage V Titan + H10 Strap + Cadence Sensor.

    2. Ignite + H10 Strap + V650 Cycling Computer + Cadence Sensor

    3. Ignite + H10 Strap + Cadence Sensor (is this even an option, @MikePolarUSA?)

    Option1: Aesthetically I *really* like the look of the Titan, it’s battery life, and all-in-one solution, i.e. it includes cycling sensor integration. But, I don’t really need the multi-sport (running and swimming-specific) features, and I’m concerned about 24×7 bulk. Orthostatic testing is very useful, but not sure if I’d do it often enough to provide the needed data for load calculations. And SIGNIFICANTLY, I’d be banking on Upgrade 4.0 features actually becoming available as promised; a risk.

    Option 2: For the same total cost as Option 1, *seems* like this might be the way to go? Opting for the black bezel Ignite with the yellow band (and then likely swapping out the band) gets me closer to the look I prefer, but not having the V’s buttons makes me a little nervous. Svelter dimensions could be preferable, but corresponding worse battery life sounds like it could be an issue based on comments I’ve read here. Good news is that the new features are available now, no risk there.

    Option 3: Lowest cost option, and frankly would therefore be the no-brainer choice if it indeed is an option. If it doesn’t meet expectations, I’d rather be out $330 than $630.

    Dying to read @DC Rainmaker’s anticipated full review. Meantime, THANK YOU for any thoughts you’d offer to share.

    • Kai Maison

      Forgot to include: Option 2 also puts $ toward features I will use, those being the cycling-specific ones offered by the V650.

    • Kai Masion

      Putting my Product Manager and software developer hats on, I’m beginning to think Polar’s product strategy here is to roll out Ignite with the new sleep, recovery, and other new features a little early… realizing that they may not be perfected… so that: 1) they quickly have a competitive product in the market at this price point, and so that: 2) early adopters can help them improve the algorithms behind these features so that they are more mature when they are migrated to the Vantage series (hopefully as promised, in October).

      Sadly for consumers, this has become the defacto modus operandi for most consumer products — and some automobile — companies. They release Minimum Viable Products (MVP) to market, balancing consumer enthusiasm for new features with consumer disappointment that they don’t work quite as promised. These companies expect that early adopters will them them more quickly troubleshoot software than had they kept the product in the oven a little longer and done it themselves.

      Not down on Polar. Personal preference is to buy a product like this from the firm that made its name in the HRM game and expanded from there… versus a navigation company that’s tried to go in the other direction.

      Just voicing disappointment that what I *really* want (see my posts #283 and #284 above) doesn’t appear to be available right now. @MikePolarUSA, do you have a different opinion? Thanks.

    • Evan Fortune


      By this time, you’ve probably made your buying decision but I’d like to contribute if I can. I am a proud owner of the Vantage V (white & Titan), H10, 0H1, and the V650 and I can’t recommend the Polar ecosystem highly enough. My wife has the Vantage M and is a bog fan (though it is a tad large for her). Polar Flow really is a great tool and I find it to be far more comprehensive than other options on the market. Sure, Polar products don’t offer a myriad of features like Garmin (they truly are the exception in the GPS watch industry) but they offer the ones needed most + they provide some of those “pro-level” features which are useful.

      By the sound of it, option #2 might be the way for you to go, considering your fitness needs.

    • Kai Maison

      Thank you very much @Evan_Fortune for your feedback! In fact, it’s not too late and it’s very helpful.

      Had been hoping for someone for Polar to respond and clarifying whether or not the cadence sensor does or does not connect to Ignite over Bluetooth Smart. ** MIKE, WAYNE…. you listening? (Perhaps they didn’t appreciate my assertion that Ignite is a Minimum Viable Product at this time 😉 Every product company does it these days, so didn’t really mean it as an eye poke.)

      But in the absence of getting that clarified and given the ongoing issues some seem to be having with Ignite, I decided to postpone a purchase until later this year (October?) when: 1) we’ll know for certain if Polar succeeded in bringing the new Ignite features to Vantage, and; 2) Ignite’s launch issues will hopefully be resolved in response to real-user, real-world feedback.

      I’m also wondering now if the OH1 (arm) sensor may not be preferable to the H10 (for me), since subsequent my original post, I realized that some of my weight machine upper body exercises pull my chest hard toward padded portions of the machine. Digging an H10 out of my pecs with a screwdriver isn’t my idea of fun. Ha!

      Thanks for your perspective on the Polar ecosystem. It mirrors my perception, so good to know I sensed that correctly. I do my calories tracking in MFP, has been 99.9 percent bullet-proof over 2+ years, and am open to integrating it with Polar Flow.

      So… jury’s still out on which option is best for me, but I like your thinking/rationale. Perhaps by October, another option will present!

      Thanks again.

  104. John

    On my Vivoactive 3, I could never get the sleep function to work. Garmin suggests wearing it for an hour before going to sleep. The problem was that I’m typically sitting on the couch then and my VA3 would récord that as sleep. Several times it didn’t record any sleep at all. I gave up on it. For those of you who have the Ignite, does it accurately record when you get to bed, when you fall asleep, etc…? Does it automatically record, or do you activate a function when you’re going to bed? Do you have to wear it for a certain period before going to bed? Thanks.

  105. openyoureyes

    I got my Ignite yesterday. So far i’m pretty disappointed. I really hope its getting better with some more usage time.

    Let’s start with the good points: Sleep tracking is really nice. The watch looks good and even the not much liked strap here (TPU black) is ok for me.

    Now for the not so good points …

    Battery is down at 76% after 18h of usage – so estimated usage time is around 3 days. Continuous heart rate tracking is on and i did a very short walk with GPS (around 20 min). So battery is pretty far away from 5 days …

    The screen on the pictures here is looking much brighter than mine (maybe the last update did some tweaking in favor for longer battery lilfe?). Touch is bad – even my actual Gear Fit 2 with screen protector is reacting better than the Ignite without protector. Most of the time i need at least double the swipes than necessary. Gear Fit 2 Screen is brighter and has better resolution.

    Heartrate tracking … this is the most disappointing part! I was 100% sure this one is better with the Ignite than with my Gear Fit 2. But the first small walk showed some weired numbers on the Ignite. Heart rate on Gear Fit 2 was around 130, Ignite shows 115 and lower. A quick check with my smartphone showed that the Gear Fit 2 was right. As a whole the heartrate on the Ignite was reacting very slow reacting. I hope this gets better! (maybe the algorithm needs some more data?)

    GPS … I did a small 20 min walk. During the walk everything seems ok. Checking the walk on the smartphone i realized that GPS wasn’t working for the first 1/3 of the walk. Tracking starts after around 6 min. Distance as a whole seems ok, but the waypoints for the first 1/3 are missing.

    Steps count is a bit too high. It seems that some hand movements count as step. Comparing with my Gear Fit: Ignite: 2976 / Gear Fit 2: 2810. Not that big difference. I can live with that if the other things working (heartrate!).

    • Mark Cohen

      I’ve had the watch for about two weeks and I’ve run the gamut from extremely disappointed to moderately displeased and finally to a point of appreciating the watch for what it does very well. You mention heart rate tracking as your biggest complaint. It was also mine. I purchased a silicon strap to replace the original and the results were no better. Then I looked at the Apple Watch on my other wrist. From the time Apple switched to a nylon loop strap, the optical heart rate performance went from poor to excellent. So, I ordered a nylon strap for the Ignite, and just like the Apple watch, heart rate readings improved dramatically. Having said that, some people just don’t do well with OHR on the wrist. I thought I was one of those people. But, with two successes tied to nylon loop straps, I now realize it is about consistent contact with the skin, and nothing provides that better, and more easily, than a nylon loop strap. You can find them on Ebay for under ten dollars.

      I also railed on poor battery life. It is definitely not as robust as advertised. However, another member of this forum suggested turning off continuous heart rate. You still have it for sleep tracking and workouts, but it no longer needlessly drains the battery all day long. Since doing that, my battery life is decent. To be sure, Polar should not claim 5 days battery life with continuous heart rate tracking.

      Not sure what to make of your poor GPS performance. I have used mine for hikes and kayak rides and so far it is on the money. But, depending on location, performance may be inconsistent.

      As for the screen brightness, you might want to contact Polar about that one. My screen is clear and bright, but another user here returned his watch due to a faded area of the screen. Finally, you’re right about step count. It is high because Polar watches base step count on arm movement, so you’ll always be on the high side.

      No, I don’t work for Polar. In fact, I use several other watches. I am intrigued with FitSpark and Nightly Recharge tracking. Last night I did a Spinning workout. I knew it was much too late, and I had a hard time falling asleep. Eventually, I logged a solid 7 hours, and my Sleep rating was good. However, due to my high resting heart rate for a good portion of the night, my ANS rating was poor. It’s a bonus when my watch reminds me of my poor training decisions, especially when I’m prone to ignoring the way I feel.

    • Melanie Monro

      So interestingly i have swapped the two watches around for the last two days. So i now have the m400 on my right wrist and ignite on my left (and swapped them in their settings). The step count if higher on whichever watch is on my right wrist which will be because of the arm movements causing the steps i guess as that is my dominant hand.

      What i find slightly weird though is despite the ignite now having low step counts it still has a higher active time and higher calories used. So despite doing less steps it thinks ive been more active and i have used more calories. so today for example which is a work day for me so lots of sitting at my desk and no exercise – steps 16000/14500, active time 6.5hours/8.5hours and 1850cals/2056cals that is m400/ignite. The m400 cals is likely to be far more accurate given my low exercise levels today. I find the more i do the larger gap between the two values, so the more i exercise the further overestimating the ignite gets.

  106. Ognjen

    Just to verify – there is an option on Ignite to use continuous HR only during sleep?
    I wrote to Polar months and months ago requesting this for my Vantage M, and they said it will be considered.
    Can @MikePolarUSA comment about this?

    • Mark Cohen

      Yes, it works perfectly.

    • Ognjen

      Ok, Polar, I WANT this for my M too. I also have to charge my M every five days which I don’t think says nice about the battery life. That was the main reason asking for this.
      So NOT nice of Polar for replying back about this after I asked them way before Ignite. I feel so stupid now.

  107. Töppö

    Do you already know when your full review is going to be ready? I’d also like to see comparison between Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Polar Ignite

  108. openyoureyes

    After some more days of usage i really start to like the Ignite. Heartrate was – beside that first walk – very good. GPS is ok. Edges are often a bit cut off, but no total failure since that first walk.

    Battery is weired. At first charging the Ignite stopped at 85%. After a restart it was at 100%. Immediately 2% and another 8% during the next minutes. After around 10 h it was down to 65% (no GPS during that!). At 65% it stayed for a few hours and only loosing battery very slow (only around 1% / hour). Next recharge goes to 88% – stopping there an directly jumping to 100% after some swiping an pressing the button. The last 12 hours i lost about 12% – this seems ok. So i think this battery behavior is a software calibration problem.

    Steps and calories are still a problem. Steps on the watch and in the app are showing a small difference. Watch is always a bit higher – thats annyoing. If i have 10.000 steps on the watch i want the same information in the app. Calories are by far to high. If do some calorie tracking with fatsecret. I eat around 2100 calories / day (office worker with some overweight) and very slowly loose weight with that amount. Polar Flow says i need about 3000 (and with some walks up to 3700!) calories / day. Thats ridiculous high!

    I really like the sleep tracking and nightly recharge. It works perfect for me.

  109. mdgarf

    Comparison or joined review of polar flow x garmin connect x Suunto Movescount would be nice. You must have quite an experience with all of these services. With watch you buy in to the ecosystem.
    Has it been done? thanks for relevant directions

    • leV

      As far as I know Ray hasn’t done such a comparison. However, Dave Lusty attempted a ‘deep dive’ into the different eco systems and structured workouts in his blog. The first part (of five) may be confusing, but he’s getting there and did a great job in producing a very comprehensive report.

      link to gpsrumors.com

    • flokon

      Since he uses so many different models from different companies I’m pretty sure he logs his training on a 3rd party platform like TP or such. So I doubt we‘ll see a long term review if any of the ecosystems.

    • mdgarf

      I understand that there are no hard metric (like GPS results, battery…) to compare and updates might make review fast out of date. Not to mention phone apps. But still this is part of the watch you buy.
      Would be interested in info like friendly environment, well thought structure, well connected to 3d parties and system is well cared for….When I log in I can judge possibly design that is it. In long term possibly more, but in that time you are invested in…

  110. Thomas N.

    Just curious as to when your final review will be coming? Love to know if the GPS portion has been improved upon since your initial hands on preview. I’ve also heard that the steps and calories burned seemed to be quite a bit inflated on some of the reviews I have read from consumers through merchant sites. What was your take on this?

  111. Claudia

    Is it possible to create trainings similar to those offered by FitSpark? For example, creating in the app a workout that combines 1′ of box jump + rest 30′ ‘+ 1′ of rope jump + break 1′ + 1’ of rowing, and that the clock will put on the screen the exercise that you have to do, and mark the time for each exercise? That is, to do a crossfit type workout? Thanks in advance 😉

    • Mike@PolarUSA

      It is possible to create a phased training target as you describe. It would be best to do so on the Polar Flow website as it will give you additional flexibility when creating it. The training targets can be time based, named to your needs (like box jump) and then have rest phases. Below is a link to our website with instructions on how to do so. – Mike@PolarUSA

      link to support.polar.com

    • Claudia

      Thanks for your reply!
      So, if I have understood correctly, I can name each phase as I want, so that once the training that is created on the clock is synchronized, the name of the exercise that I play at each moment will appear. Is that so? I just want to make sure that I can put the exercise that I want, because in many fitness apps you can put predefined exercises, and in the wide range that there is in crossfit in the apps are not usually available

    • Mike@PolarUSA

      Yes, when creating the training target phases, instead of choosing the default names (like work or rest) simply type in the name of the movement you want to do. That name will appear (and remain) on the watch face for the duration of the phase. You can also set a heart rate target for the duration of the phase where the watch will vibrate on the wrist should you go above or below the heart rate values.

      Lastly, you can repeat the phases upon each other. – Mike@PolarUSA

    • Claudia

      Thank you very much! Greetings from Spain ?

  112. Ognjen

    @Mark Cohen is this one more or less the same you bought for Ignite?

    YOOSIDE Nylon Watch Strap for Fenix 5/5 Plus, 22mm Soft Lightweight Breathable Nylon Sport Loop Replacement Watch Band Strap for Garmin Fenix 5/5 Plus/Approach S60/Quatix 5/Instinct (Black)

    I’m looking for a nylon strap for my Vantage M. Thanks.

  113. JB

    A question here:

    Does anyone believe a similar Fitspark solution could get added to existing other vendors models? Like Suunto or Garmin? Or would this be a new feature in like their next range of devices? E.g. a Garmin Fenix 6?

    I read something that a Forerunner 945 would already do this in a way, but I’m unclear about that one?

    I think it’s great Polar focuses on the “Athlete” aspect, but to give that amount of money for a watch I would also like it to be more of a smartwatch, e.g. Music, Pay, and so on…

    • Fred

      JB, how are you going to base your purchase decision on what someone somewhere online believes about future unknown devices?

      It´s impossible to know the answer to any of your speculation. We know Polar has an adaptive training program that reacts to nightly HRV recovery measurements you can buy now with the Ignite. We know that neither Garmin or Suunto has that.

    • JB

      Hi, indeed it’s speculation, I’m not buying right now but the earliest around Black Friday timeframe.

      Possibly looking at Garmin, could this even be done by a CIQ app? I believe XERT has something like this, but doesn’t take into account other watch metrics like sleep and so on.

  114. Claudia

    Thank you very much! Greetings from Spain 😉

  115. webvan

    @MikePolarUSA – longtime Garmin user here, since the FR201 in 2003 in fact ! Great job with the Ignite, the ANS/Sleep recovery is a game changer for serious athletes but PLEASE add a manual lap option, it’s incredibly frustrating not to have that most basic of functionalities ! It feels as bad as being a “non Summit” Strava member where you only see 1K automatic laps 😉

  116. Mark

    I bought the Polar Ignite from Clever Training based on this review. I was using the Garmin 735XT, which I also really liked, but wanted some of these newer metrics. Overall, my first impression is I’m pleased with the Ignite. Some things I wish for:

    1) Ability to either keep the display ‘always on’ during certain times or to extend how long it stays on. I understand the reasoning for not doing so is for battery life, but when I work out (or at other times such as at work in the ER when I like to have the display on for about 30 seconds), it would be nice to have this option.

    2) There is a delay when turning the wrist until the screen turns on (or it doesn’t turn on and I have to do it again).

    3) Like Ray, I had to order the silicon wrist band. Much more comfortable than the rubber band.


  117. Zach

    Is this going to be added to the comparison tool?


  118. Barkingmad

    I see this can upload workouts it logged TO Strava – but is this also ‘aware’ of workouts done in other apps – i.e. an indoor cycle session on Zwift and logged into Strava but not logged directly on the Ignite?

  119. Gregor Močnik

    Is there any information about improved GPS accuracy of this watch?

  120. Melanie Monro

    I presume the GPS is used to calculate the pace? Whenever I go near trees or woods the GPS really struggles, route on map doesn’t stick to the straight line I took but jumps around. My pace jumps wildly and while the average pace is accurate (comparing to m400) the max and min pace as massively out as its jumping about which is incredible annoying. Last run had my fastest pace as 2.30min/km!! While my polar m400 was 5.45min/km. In every session I have worn it in the min pace has been wrong and while going through woods I can’t rely on it at all.

    • Toanee

      I got the Ignite today (from Wiggle) and I must say I am pleasantly surprised with the design and lightness, but more importantly – in particular after reading some of the negative comments here and elsewhere – most of all with the HR and GPS accuracy. I did my typical MTB route (to make it “harder” for the Ignite HR sensor due to vibrations and the “interval” nature of the route due to its shifting terrain) and compared it to my OH1 on my other upper hand and paired with my iPhone 8/Polar Beat. The HR accuracy was surprisingly spot on, with no delays, significant spikes or dips, not even in the rougher downhill part (I exported both sessions in csv and compared the data in an Excel graph). I compared the GPS tracks more qualitatively, by looking in detail the routes, and also the Ignite was very good, even being better than the iPhone GPS on several slow turns and especially when I was stationary, when it held a much more stable location than the iPhone GPS. I had the iPhone in my back pocket, perhaps not ideal, but this is how I always did it. We’ll see how it goes with running and swimming, but I am pretty happy for now:)

  121. costib

    On the display, under the letter L from POLAR logo, there seems to be a small sensor hole.
    Does anyone knows what’s the purpose of it?

  122. costib

    Is there a way to see the battery percent at any given time?
    Just from the battery icon, you can only approximate this value.

  123. Erwin

    Is the wrist strap of the Ignite the same as for Vantage M? I can’t seem to find the with of the strap of the Polar Ignite.

  124. costib

    Just found out that it can’t broadcast heart rate to other devices! Big disappointment.
    Could be possible to implement it with any future firmware version(if Polar decides to offer it)?

    In PolarFlow at SportProfiles at HeartRate section there is an option “Heart rate visible to other devices” and here I can turn it ON for “Available for Polar Ignite, SENSOR HR H7”. What’s the purpose of this?

  125. costib

    OK, it seems like “Heart rate visible to other devices” it’s only about the ability to broadcast HR to gym equipment… Sad!

    • Yeah, they don’t have any proper HR broadcasting over Bluetooth Smart. They sorta had started to go that way 1-2 years ago, but never fully nailed it (and thus backed off).

  126. JP

    Just bought the Ignite after reading seeing all the high scoring reviews and to be honest I’m not as blown away as all the hype. Unless I am missing something fundamental.
    My partner has the vantage M and raves about it so I thought I’d join the Polar bandwagon and get the latest offering… Hmmmm I enjoy swimming and thought this would be great to finally track it a bit. No joy as it seems the water activates the touch screen and pauses the session straight away.. along with going all the way through random menus unintentionally. Ive emailed polar but no response yet and already looking to send it back as really if I cant use it for my main sport then little value 8n keeping it. Would love to hear if anyone else is having the same issues or if mine is faulty


      about swimming tracking, it seems to me that sometimes it auto-locks. I haven’t found any pattern on when it locks and when it randomly going through the menus.

      Anyway, when you start the training you can pull down the menu (slide your finger from the top) and manually set auto-lock.

    • Something is amiss there. When you enable a swimming sport, the touch screen is *only* used for changing data fields. You can’t pause a session from it. Only the button does that.

      To me it sounds more like there may be a defect in your unit that is causing the button to trigger (perhaps a waterproofing issue during manufacturing, creating a short).

    • FOF

      I have made a test on my swimming training today. The auto-pause starts after 20 seconds without moving.

      As I usually start it outside the pool, the time amount of time until I jump into the pool, wait for the other swimmers to get in line and the initial impulse until I really start rotating the arms take more than 20 seconds and thus activate the auto-pause.

      The problem seems to be the time it takes to get out of auto-pause…


      I think I’ve found the issue. It’s the auto-pause mode that has a short time to get activated. Just disable auto-pause in the sport profile and sync the watch.

  127. sumeet haldankar

    I’ve had this watch or about 3 weeks now – what I’ve found other than the step counter and GPS being completely out of whack was an issue with the “Auto Pause” feature … on one of my run routes from work, I hit a couple of traffic lights – and since they are large intersections – I’m at a stand still for about 3 mins at times – though the watch does go on “Auto Pause” – it refuses to automatically come out of it once I start running again. This past weekend – I was out on the trail for a 6 mi run – stopped to tie my laces – it went on pause – but came back on much later to only record a 3 mi run….. the Garmin Fenix 5 that i had on performed perfectly …..

  128. Arne Bruening

    Already asked this in the VV thread: does anyone else has the problem, that the amount of activity shown on the Ignite is not synced to PF, but only less the half of it?
    For example, today I did no serious training and my Ignite shows 47% of my activity goal reached. Syncing to PF via the Android app shows only 20% on PF in the app and on the web.
    Sometimes, the lower value has been synced back to the watch, sometimes the keep staying out of sync.
    This is going on for 2 weeks now and all my activity data is wasted now and some depending metrics, like recovery. I already did a hard reset, but it did not help.
    Now I opened a support request with Polar, hoping that they will find a fix.

  129. Rexal

    I realize that you don’t like be “jerked” around. (I quibble with your assertion that you are “media’) But the fact is nowhere is this listed for $199 USD. Not One place.

    It creates a lot of confusion and you insisting on leaving the $199 price up is only adding to it. I realize that it’s Polar’s fault but you are just being stubborn now. They aren’t going to change the price because of this review. and you said you aren’t done yet, but haven’t seen any update on this.

    Take the L

    • I haven’t updated it, because frankly I haven’t had the time to re-write big sections of this post to account for it.

      Like it or not, changing the price changes my opinion of it, especially when it continues to struggle with GPS.

      And yup, I’m happy to be called stubborn on this. Because I hate companies trying to be deceptive.

    • inSyt

      They should at least upgrade the ‘supposed to be $199’ version to a silicon band?

  130. Mark

    Great reviews! I am trying to decide between the Ignite and the Vantage M. After reading your reviews I am leaning towards the Ignite, just wanted to get your opinion…again 🙂

    If you had to buy one…which one would it be?


  131. Diego

    Hi Ray, I wanted to ask you a question. I am interested in this Polar for the function of sleep and training, since I find the recommendations he makes based on sleep and training very interesting, but I do not think he will wear it daily as a watch (I use an apple watch). I could sleep and when I go running and exercise. Do you know if it influences the analysis it makes and the recommendations that you do not record the daily steps and movements? Thank you.

  132. Alexandar

    Polar Ignite or Garmin Forerunner 45 ?

  133. Dennis

    I can’t seem to get the Ignite to transmit HR to my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, even though I think theoretically it should work.

    According to Polar if you enable “Heart rate visible to other devices” in the sports profile, the Ignite should broadcast HR “using Bluetooth Smart wireless technology”. As far as I know the Bolt uses BT Smart. I don’t know if I am doing something wrong or if it’s just not possible. Anyone know something about this?

    • Yeah, unfortunately Polar’s implementation of that is highly optimistic in whether or not it works. The general assumption should be that it doesn’t work. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I saw it working with anything else non-Polar.

      It doesn’t really follow the BT spec, and such such, it doesn’t really work. I didn’t realize they were actually advertising it to work on the Ignite, but sure enough, they are.

    • Dennis

      Oh, that’s a shame. The HR sensor works so well for me on the bike, that I was hoping to replace my chest strap with the watch. Well, thanks for letting me know.

  134. Melissa

    I love the mindfulness feel of the ignite, but the reviews of the clunky touchscreen and battery life worry me. Especially if used during -25 degree Celsius or colder. Would long winter runs snuff out the Ignite? I have never used a fitness watch before, first time gadget buyer here! I take my phone on runs and the battery works harder in cold weather, sometimes dies if I touch the screen. So I feel the $329 CDN is not worth it if it can’t work outside for half a year. When you have the time, I would appreciate your thoughts on watches that can hold up in winter. The Ignite or the cheaper Garmin 45? Thanks!

  135. Michael DiBenedetto

    Will this watch work with a WAHOO TICKR HRM strap? I can’t seem to find this info anywhere. I use the Cyclemeter app on my iphone paired to the TICKR. Just want a sports watch paired to the TICKR to monitor other activities when I don’t use the iphone app.

  136. Terry O'Neill

    I run. And I am a registered UK Athletics coach. I have used Polar for what seems like ever, certainly 20 years. My last Polar was the V800. I tried the Vantage V. Functionality was inferior to the V800. It was even inferior to my 20 year old Polar NR (Now deceased). I actually don’t need a plethora of fancy pants stuff, it’s distracting. My heart rate when I wake tells me what level of training I can undertake that day. What I do want is a screen that automatically shows me what time I did for the last interval, until the next interval replaces it. eg, if I race 5k, and set 1k interval time view, I want that time to stay on the watch face until the next 1k replaces it. And I want a countdown repeat timer. eg, if I want to run 80 second laps, I want the countdown timer set to 20 seconds (for each 100m), and for the countdown timer to then restart automatically, and keep going every 20 seconds until I manually stop it. And I want a stopwatch that shows actual times each time it is pressed, not the time interval between each. eg, I want to time athletes finishing a race/interval, and be able to recall/record the actual time they each finished. And I want the interval timer to do the same, ie repeat until stopped. My V800 does all of this. It’s not complicated, but it’s key to a runner/racer. Why does Polar think that removing these features is acceptable? I like Polar. I prefer Polar Flowsync to the Garmin equivalent. I want to buy something that is less clunky/heavy than the V800. But not at the expense of reduced and important functionality. That would be dumb. So Polar, keep the ‘levitate in mid air and walk on water’ type features. But please, get smarter about supplying the basics that athletes actually use on a daily basis, packaged in a watch that doesn’t weigh as much as a house brick, with the visual appearance of the same.

    • fk79

      I hear you. I’m in contact with Polar via their live chat basically on a daily basis. I also upgraded from a M430, and V800 to a Vantage V and was baffled by the sheer amount of PRACTICAL features they simply removed, and by the introduction of fluff that’s clearly targeted at the lifestyle/smartwatch crowd – definitely not towards athletes. When I wake up I usually know how long, and well I slept, I don’t need a watch to tell me that. A watch that’s way too big and heavy to be worn during sleep anyway (in the case of the VV). After taking a quick bio break in the morning I conduct a Rusko-Orthostatic test (standard protocol, 5mins supine, 2 mins standing, comparing last 2mins of supine with last 30secs of standing). Polar’s Orthostatic test is very practical and apparently is based on the by Heikki Rusko, but it’s very unclear about how it builds your baseline, which quite frankly is the cornerstone of such tests. At the end of the day I can live with that fluff, because I don’t have to use it. What makes me really angry with Polar though is their decision to change essential functionality for athletes.
      – Why is there no information on the pause screen anymore except for HR (which is covered half by the settings symbol…)?
      – Why did they get rid of lap information for auto laps or manual laps. All I get is the time it took for the last lap. Where is avg. HR, cadence? distance covered? total distance?
      – Where is the information screen for my last interval/phase? All I get is what the next interval looks like, completely useless, and not something any runner would like to see. I want to see time for distance based intervals, and distance covered for time based intervals (like my old Polars did). Thank you, Polar, for informing me about my next interval instead, but it is PROBABLY recovery. Doesn’t take a genius, nor a watch screen that recovery follows a bout of work and vice versa.
      -Why scratch any training view with the “last lap” modifier?
      -Why did they get rid of infinite scrolling through menus? Depending on which wrist you wear your watch it’s either the up or down button that is the most comfortable to press. Now I have to use both. Every Polar up until now had that, and all of a sudden they reinvented their UI-wheel.

      Problem is, with the Vantage and now the Ignite line, Polar tried to impress the casual crowd with Garminesque features (crap like Sleep Plus, Nightly Recharge, SereneBreathing, FitSpark et cet. doesn’t sound very much like Polar), and forgot about their core users: semi-pro to professional athletes that want/need no-frills watches that get out of their way during training. Even though they communicated – before the release – that they cannot compete with Garmin on the feature front, and instead will continue to offer athlete focused watches. Mission failed. It is seriously beyond me why they ditched all those practical functions. I get it, the casual lifestyle crowd is a far larger audience, and they don’t care about most of the athlete centered functionality. I wouldn’t either, if I ran every other day hardly piling up 40k a week. What I don’t get though is, why they couldn’t just introduce the casual fluff WHILE at the same time keeping tried and true functionality?

  137. Terry O'Neill

    Here’s a thought for Polar. Given that Garmin is so much bigger, it’s likely that Polar will struggle to compete longer term and they’ll eventually be swallowed up. So why not change the business model? Offer a generic, basic, lightweight watch, with a basic OS, at a basic price point. Then offer the software on an individual sport/functionality basis for download, at a price. And on a 10 day ‘try before you buy’ basis. Turn it into a software rather than hardware company. Or maybe just a bit of hardware, with different colours, sexy straps, etc. So customers wanting watches with flashing lights, ringing bells and high pitched whistles could have them. And customers wanting to use sports watches for, erm, sport, could also have them.
    I know, naive, never gonna happen.

  138. Hey Folks!

    Just in case you didn’t see it, I dropped my Polar Ignite final review back on Friday. You can read/fall-asleep to it here: link to dcrainmaker.com

    As usual, I close these early preview posts to new comments – that way we can keep things a bit tidy going forward. But fear not, go forth and continue the discussion over on the final post, it’s already flowing.