The Polar Ignite 3 is an efficient wanting health tracker disguised as a watch, with strong fundamental health options which are marred by laggy software program at too excessive a worth.
The Polar Ignite 3 is the primary Polar watch ever with an AMOLED display, and it’s definitely a glow up in comparison with the monochrome screens the model’s gadgets usually sport.
The watch additionally has a neat set of health options in a light-weight physique that made me sit up and concentrate, having used a number of Polar trackers beforehand.
However the software program on the Ignite 3 is so fundamental and lags a lot that it’s arduous to advocate. Add to that the truth that at $329.95/£289/€329.90 it’s dearer than the Apple Watch SE, and Polar is combating a shedding battle with the informal, fashion-conscious purchaser it’s attempting to draw right here.
Then once more, you would possibly desire the Polar’s options to these on an Apple Watch. It makes the Ignite 3’s flaws all of the extra irritating as a result of this might have been a killer health watch.
Design & construct
Good AMOLED display
4 color choices
The Polar Ignite 3 is a really merely designed watch with a round touchscreen and only one button on the left edge to open and shut menus or pause and finish exercises.
It is available in black, sand, purple, or brown copper colors. All of them, oddly, have totally different casing finishes with grooves, lattice, easy, and scored respectively, so you should definitely take a look at which one you favor.
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All of the straps are silicone with a conventional buckle and a loop to tuck the tip into when sporting. They’re easy on the within however have a patterned texture to the surface that I dislike because it feels coarse and collects mud and (sorry) pores and skin particles that make it look soiled.
They’re 20mm dimension and are straightforward to change out if you wish to use different ones from Polar’s on-line retailer. I reviewed the black mannequin which is extremely plain however your best option for a delicate look.
The Ignite 3 is amazingly light-weight and is simply 35g with the strap. That is very spectacular contemplating the watch has a coronary heart charge sensor and inbuilt GPS, and it’s one of many fundamental causes to purchase to it as you’ll be able to overlook you’re sporting it – it’s essentially the most comfy watch I’ve worn to mattress for sleep monitoring, the place different, bulkier smartwatches are a ache (actually). It’s positively one of many thinnest watches with GPS on the market.
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That featherlike really feel is all the way down to the very fact the watch’s 1.2in show is pretty small, however I nonetheless discovered it massive sufficient to simply learn the time and stats when out and about monitoring walks and runs.
It’s additionally waterproof as much as 30 metres.
I’ve reviewed different Polar watches earlier than this one, however the expertise is extra irritating on the Ignite 3. Although the Ignite has an AMOLED touchscreen that feels premium in comparison with the monochrome reminiscence in pixel (MIP) display on one thing just like the Polar Pacer, the dearth of buttons and laggy software program make the Ignite irritating to work together with.
The place the Pacer and different Polar watches have buttons to allow you to rapidly cycle via Polar’s software program menus within the absence of a touchscreen, the Ignite 3 insists you employ contact. However the low-powered internals can’t sustain, leading to a really delayed and laggy really feel to the watch which, frankly, ruins it.
Even merely swiping as much as view notifications ends in stutter, and I don’t like that you would be able to’t contact the display to wake it up. You need to increase the watch to wake, or press the aspect button.
Henry Burrell / Foundry
This doubles the frustration whenever you’re truly exercising, coupled with the very fact there’s no full always-on show choice. So, when you’re working for instance, it’s important to increase the watch to your face to view your time, tempo, and different helpful stats, however the watch both doesn’t realise it has been raised or is gradual to show the display on.
In comparison with different working watches that both completely present stats or are responsive, the Ignite 3 is wearisome to make use of as a result of it will probably’t sustain with my easiest calls for.
It’s solely acquired a 192MHz CPU and 5MB of RAM, the naked minimal that works advantageous on watches with decrease decision screens however with the Ignite’s shiny AMOLED it’s merely not sufficient to maintain up.
Fortunately scrolling left and proper of the clock face is easy, which cycles via full display tiles of exercise, climate, sleep, and different features, together with a ‘in the present day’s suggestion’ panel.
Henry Burrell / Foundry
You will get smartphone notifications to ping the watch however they’re very fundamental and you’ll’t work together with them or use them to answer to a message, for instance.
Audio controls seem whenever you’re taking part in music or a podcast so you’ll be able to management what you’re listening to from the watch, however solely as a cellphone distant – you’ll be able to’t load tracks onto the watch itself. In case you run to audio, your cellphone must include you each time.
As with each Polar watch, it’s important to maintain down the button to manually sync your newest information together with your cellphone. I nonetheless discover this annoying and don’t know why Polar can’t get automated sync to work like nearly all of different manufacturers can.
Additionally, contemplating Polar is attempting to enchantment on to a extra trend or life-style aware purchaser with the Ignite 3, the absence of any type of cell fee choice is extra obvious than on the corporate’s extra hardcore coaching gadgets.
The Ignite 3 isn’t a smartwatch. It’s a health tracker with GPS monitoring and a strong set of wellness options and nice-to-have issues like customisable watch faces.
It could actually observe working, strolling, biking, HIIT periods, swimming, indoor biking, treadmill working, energy coaching, mountaineering, and mountain biking particularly however you too can choose basic indoor or out of doors exercise if what you’re doing isn’t listed. This may nonetheless guarantee your coronary heart charge and GPS actions can be tracked if crucial to permit to you to log that train.
I used the watch extensively over a number of weeks as my on a regular basis watch and to trace walks, lengthy hikes and runs. Other than the efficiency points I’ve talked about, the Ignite 3 does a superb job with the precise monitoring. However once I zoomed in to the GPS path overlay for a few of my runs, the route lower corners, suggesting I ran over greens that I didn’t, or gained the power to run via partitions.
Henry Burrell / Foundry
As a lot I’d like, that’s an influence I do not need. The Apple Watch SE and Polar Pacer (each cheaper than the Ignite 3) did a greater job in my testing. It’s a disgrace particularly contemplating the Polar has dual-band GPS that’s supposedly extra correct.
The Polar Movement app you sync the watch with on Android or iOS requires a small studying curve because it’s not essentially the most intuitive app, however whenever you view your exercises you will get a strong granular view of information similar to coronary heart charge and zones, tempo by distance, elevation change, energy burned, and a full GPS map with distance markers.
I discovered the GPS to lock on effectively and it hardly ever if ever disconnected. Wanting on the end in Polar Movement, I belief the Ignite 3 to trace what I’m doing precisely, which fits a good distance in direction of eager to proceed sporting it and trusting the information it offers.
The extra you train, the extra helpful the app and watch change into to you. Though most particulars are simpler to view on the app, the ‘in the present day’s suggestion’ tile, when tapped, reveals you really useful coaching for the day that’s based mostly in your latest exercise masses and high quality of sleep.
Polar’s no-subscription inclusion of fundamental coaching applications based mostly on utilization information is nice to see, and is preferable to comparable options from Fitbit, which require a Fitbit Premium paid subscription to get at comparable teaching perks.
You may also get elective voice steering when figuring out however as a result of the watch has no speaker, that is solely heard out of your cellphone speaker or Bluetooth headphones related to your cellphone. In case you get it arrange it’s fairly helpful although since you might be guided via coaching periods with out having to take a look at your cellphone or watch, but it surely’s solely based mostly on coronary heart charge zones reasonably than particular train actions – so there’s no run teaching, for instance, simply basic exertion.
There are additionally useful apps similar to Serene, which guides you thru respiration workouts to encourage mindfulness, Fueling, which helps you to set customized reminders to eat and drink according to coaching applications, Timers, and Exams, which check your baseline strolling, working, and health ranges.
I actually like Polar’s sleep monitoring. Put on the Ignite to mattress, and it’ll provide you with a strong abstract of how effectively you slept and let you know straight up if that’s ‘VERY POOR’ or one thing a bit of higher. There’s a superb breakdown of sleep levels too, estimating whenever you had been in mild, deep, or REM sleep and in the event you had any interruptions.
Henry Burrell / Foundry
Battery life & charging
Multi-day battery life
Proprietary cost cable
No wall plug in field
The Ignite 3 has moderately good battery life. I must cost it each 4 days or so, which normally included one or two exercises of over half an hour. Utilizing the GPS for out of doors actions will use extra battery however the watch will final at the least three days, in my expertise.
The battery life began out a bit of erratic however steadied out after just a few weeks. It drains a bit of at night time, however that’s to be anticipated when it’s monitoring coronary heart charge and motion. It’s extra annoying that it drained at the same pace even when I wasn’t sporting it.
It costs by way of the included USB-A proprietary cable that clips onto the again. There’s no wall plug within the field however you’ll be able to cost it with a charger chances are you’ll have already got or in a pc’s USB-A port.
Worth & availability
The Polar Ignite 3 prices $329.95/£289/€329.90 direct from Polar.
That is fairly costly contemplating the Polar Pacer has a lot of the identical options for $199.95/£169.50/€199.90, although it lacks the Ignite 3’s AMOLED display.
The Apple Watch SE is a powerful competitor and a greater purchase for its $249/£259/€299 asking worth and much superior smartwatch options, however the battery solely lasts a day. You possibly can additionally contemplate the $449/£399 Garmin Venu 2 Plus if you would like a superb mixture of health and smartwatch and have a bit more cash to spend.
The Polar Ignite 3 is a slim and succesful GPS health machine for folks on the extra informal finish of the exercise spectrum. It’s acquired a pleasant light-weight design and a sexy AMOLED show, and first rate multi-day battery life.
However the software program is so annoyingly laggy that it ruins the entire expertise of utilizing the watch every day. It may be unresponsive and downright irritating to make use of, with every day annoyances like being gradual for the display to wake whenever you increase your arm to view the time or your exercise. The dearth of totally always-on show is a disgrace too at this worth and with OLED tech.
It’s a sensible choice if you would like one of many slimmest health watches with GPS and worth not having to cost on daily basis however there are higher choices on the market for the cash.