Polar announces Ignite GPS fitness watch: Advanced sleep tracking and training guides at an affordable price

Polar announced its newest mid-range GPS sports watch that takes some of the technology from its high end Vantage line and offers improvements in sleep tracking and overnight recovery insights.

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Image: Polar

Last fall Polar announced the Vantage V and M watches, see our full Vantage V review, that were targeted at runners interested in advanced metrics. The newest Polar Ignite GPS fitness watch is offered at a price $50 less than the Vantage M with a focus on athletes and fitness enthusiasts interested in a variety of indoor and outdoor activities.

The new Polar Ignite is the thinnest and lightest watch ever released by Polar, which is sure to appeal to people who want to track their sleep and wear the watch 24/7. It has a five-day battery life and a launch price of $229.95 with white, yellow, and black wristband options.

New features found in the Polar Ignite include Sleep Plus Stages, Nightly Recharge, FitSpark, and Serene. You can track data in more than 100 sports with the Polar Ignite while Polar's Precision Prime advanced optical heart rate monitoring technology provides accurate and reliable data through three sensor types.

Also: Apple Watch 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Polar Vantage: Comparing their heart monitoring capabilities

While I used the Polar Vantage V to test out sleep tracking, the results were much more basic than that provided by Garmin and Fitbit so I did not feel it was worth wearing a clunky watch to track sleep. The Polar Ignite takes Sleep Plus to the next level with Sleep Plus Stages so that light, deep, and REM stages are tracked. Polar then takes that data and provides a Sleep Score with insights to help you improve your score.

Taking the Sleep Score and then looking at your activity data helps Polar come up with Nightly Recharge recovery insights. Garmin recently added Body Battery to its new Forerunner 245 and 945 devices and this appears to be a similar new metric. Polar's Nightly Recharge measures your autonomic nervous system (ANS) through heart rate and breathing rate to help you improve your sleep and recovery. This would be an interesting new feature to test in the future.

Also: Polar Vantage V review: Advanced technology and coaching help athletes achieve their best

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Image: Polar

FitSpark is Polar's new daily training guide that provides personalized, adaptive guidance based on your fitness level, training history, and Nightly Recharge measurement. As stated by Polar, new smart coaching and additional features in the Polar Ignite include:

  • Serene: Offers new guided breathing exercises, right from the wrist. Athletes' bodies don't distinguish between stress from training and other parts of life, and mental well-being is an important part of recovery. Regular, daily breathing exercises with Serene can help balance body and mind, recover better, and even help with better sleep.
  • Daily Activity and Continuous Heart Rate: Intelligently combines activity and heart rate data to calculate daily calorie burn and steps outside of training, and offers a comprehensive view on everyday life, accurate calorie consumption and activity data.
  • Running Index: Provides a straightforward number that scores running performance. Running Index automatically provides an estimate of a runner's Running Vo2max score based on their submaximal or typical runs.
  • Running Program: Polar's free, personalized and adaptive training program that offers guidance on completing anything from a 5k to a marathon.
  • Swim Metrics: Tracks indoor and outdoor swimming sessions with metrics such as stroke rate and distance.

The Polar Ignite will be available starting today for $229.95 in white, yellow, and black. Silicon accessory bands are priced at $24.95 each with options in small, medium, and large.