While I have tested a lot of wearables for ZDNet over the years, it wasn't until recently that I used Polar products. I'm impressed by the amount of data the devices collect and how that data is used to aid the user in understanding their fitness level while coaching them to improve.
Today, Polar announced its new Polar Loop 2 activity tracker that adds vibration alerts, inactivity alerts, smartphone notifications, and three band color options.
The ability to have the band vibrate to wake you up is a lifesaver for me as I get up a couple hours before my wife and she detests loud smartphone alarms. A vibration on my wrist works well to wake me and is my preferred alarm solution.
Unlike Polar fitness products designed for running, cycling, swimming, and other dedicated activities, the Polar Loop 2 is designed for the other 23 hours of the day. The intent is that you wear the Polar Loop 2 24/7 and track you activity or inactivity, workouts, and sleep. It looks like a competitor to the Nike+ Fuelband, Jawbone UP, and Fitbit Charge.
Information is presented to the user via the 85 LED lights on the band. The band is customizable to your wrist size and secures with a stainless steel buckle.
The Polar Loop 2 does not have an integrated heart rate monitor, but connects to Bluetooth heart rate sensors to integrate this data. The Polar H7 heart rate sensor is the preferred companion to the Loop 2.
Activity is collected by the Polar Loop 2 and then separated into five intensity levels: resting, sitting, low, medium and high. It also measures steps, distance, calories and sleep with highly accurate and individualized algorithms based on thorough research conducted by Polar.
Daily activity is synced via the Polar Flow iOS or Android application to the Polar Flow web service where you can find more detailed analysis and views of your data.
The Polar Loop 2 will be available soon in white, pink, and black for $199.95. The white and pink models will be available this month with black coming in September.