Best Polar Fitness Tracker – With so many good fitness trackers on the market and promising ones on the horizon, it’s hard to contain them all in just one list. We’ve limited our picks here to trackers that have scored four stars or higher, but there are lots of other very good options out there that might be right for you. We update this article often, so make sure to check back for our latest recommendations.
Pros & Cons
- ULTRA-LONG BATTERY LIFE : The Polar Vantage M Advanced GPS Running & Multisport Watch lasts for up to 30 hours of training time
- POLAR PRECISION PRIME HEART RATE : Polar’s heart rate monitor watches redefine the gold standard in optical heart rate accuracy by combining the latest in bio-impedance electrodes and optical sensors
- TRAINING LOAD PRO: The Vantage M is the ultimate fitness tracker, separating cardio load, muscle load and perceived load. Polar’s Training Load Pro provides an unparalleled look into how your training affects your body
- SWIM/BIKE/RUN FUNCTIONALITY : As a waterproof watch, long-distance running watch and biking activity tracker combined, you can capture key metrics like swimming stroke and pace. You can even pair with your favorite compatible cycling accessory
- PERSONALIZE WITH YOUR OWN STYLE : With customizable fitness band options, tailor your Vantage M with replaceable wrist bands of multiple colors
- Display resolution 240 x 240. Sizing M/L - wrist circumference 140-210 mm
I don’t normally do reviews of wearables on this site. I’m much more comfortable writing about home technology topics like smarthomes, Home Assistant, and cord-cutting. A few months ago I bought the Polar Vantage V Titan. I like this watch enough to share my thoughts in the hopes it helps someone looking for a fitness watch with smart capabilities.
You can find a lot of reviews of the Polar Vantage series online. However, most of them are early reviews and don’t account for the numerous features Polar added over the last year (e.g. Fitspark, notifications, Strava integration). This review is an up to date of review of the Polar Vantage V with the latest firmware and features as of April 2020.
Pros & Cons
The Coros Apex is a breath of fresh air for endurance athletes that care about simple design, excellent battery life, and a great deal. While it doesn’t have preloaded layered maps or extras for navigation, it has all the features you need and none that you don’t.
It offers excellent battery life, a breadcrumb trail map, TrackBack, and sensors to measure barometric pressure, altitude, temperature, and heart rate. On top of that, GPS accuracy is one of the best. After testing it during open water swimming, trail running, and skiing, we are impressed at its performance, especially for the price.
Pros & Cons
- Vastly extended battery life through solar charging
- Rugged GPS Watch is water-rated to 100 meters and constructed to U.S. military standard 810 for thermal, shock and water resistance
- Built-in 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter plus multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, Glonass and Galileo) track in more challenging environments than GPS alone
- Track your activities for running, biking, swimming, strength and more
- Help understand your health and wellness better with all-day health monitoring and Pulse Ox (this is not a medical device and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or monitoring of any medical condition)
- Monitor how your body uses energy by tracking heart rate, stress and sleep estimates with body battery energy monitoring
We’ve tested the best Garmin watches around to help you pick the right one for you. Whether you’re a runner, swimmer, cyclist or someone just starting to look after their fitness, we’re here to help.
We’ve put all of these watches through rigorous real-world testing, weighing up the accuracy of their GPS tracking, the responsiveness of their heart rate monitors, and the quality of their training tools. We’ve also evaluated their battery life, plus display quality, and overall design so you know how each one will feel to wear and use during workouts and in everyday use.
Pros & Cons
- Use built-in GPS to see your pace and distance on screen during outdoor runs, rides, hikes and more and see a workout intensity map in the app that shows your heart rate changes along your route
- With Active Zone Minutes, feel a buzz when you reach your target heart rate zones during exercise, and celebrate when you earn extra minutes outside of exercise
- Get a 90-day free trial of the Fitbit Premium to help you stay active, sleep well and manage stress. Unlock it all in the Fitbit app. (Valid payment method required. Cancel before free trial ends to avoid subscription fees. Offer valid for new Premium users only).Operating temperature: -20° to 60° C
- Use 24/7 heart rate to track resting heart rate & better measure calorie burn. Syncing to mobile devices requires Bluetooth LE and internet connection. Syncs with Mac OS X 12.2 and up, iPhone 5S and later, iPad 5 gen. and later, Android 7.0 and later
- See your SpO2 nightly average and range on wrist, and view trends over the past week in the Fitbit app (SpO2 is not available in all markets. The SpO2 feature is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition or for any other medical purpose)
- Track your skin temperature each night to see how it varies from your personal baseline (Not available in all markets. Only available in the Fitbit app and only displays variation. Not intended for medical purposes)
- Track workouts in real-time with 20+ goal-based exercise modes. It’s also swimproof and water resistant to 50 Meters, so you can track swims, wear in the shower and more
- Multi-day battery lasts up to 7 days and up to 5 hours when using built-in GPS (varies with use & other factors). Track sleep stages & review your in-app Sleep Score for an easy way to see how well you slept
Fitbit says the Charge 4’s battery lasts up to seven days, or up to five hours while using GPS. After wearing it for a full 24 hours (before testing GPS), the Charge 4 still had 85 percent battery, which is pretty good. Using GPS to track a workout depleted that number significantly faster, but that was expected.
To preserve battery life, you can enable a feature called Dynamic GPS that uses your phone’s GPS when you have it with you, and the Charge 4’s GPS when you don’t.
The Charge 4 is water resistant to 164 feet; I wore it in the shower several times without incident. Fitbit says you should dry the tracker after wearing it in water to avoid skin irritation. Fitbit also recommends regularly cleaning it and your wrist, especially after working out or sweating.
Pros & Cons
- GPS model lets you take calls and reply to texts from your wrist
- Measure your blood oxygen with an all-new sensor and app
- Check your heart rhythm with the ECG app
- The Always-On Retina display is 2.5x brighter outdoors when your wrist is down
- S6 SiP is up to 20% faster than Series 5
- 5GHz Wi-Fi and U1 Ultra Wideband chip
- Track your daily activity on Apple Watch and see your trends in the Fitness app on iPhone
- Measure workouts like running, walking, cycling, yoga, swimming, and dance
- Swimproof design
- Sync your favorite music, podcasts, and audiobooks
That’s a gentle way of saying that if there’s nothing wrong with your current watch, there’s nothing in the Series 7 that should compel you to upgrade. If you’ve been waiting for some key feature before buying your first Apple Watch, I don’t know that it’s here, either. I wrote very nearly the same thing last year about the Series 6 and I think that’s just what we should expect from the Apple Watch series going forward: iterative updates that will be great when you replace your current watch, but not a reason to upgrade.
The Apple Watch Series 7 is great. The larger screen and faster charging are the two headline features and both are welcome. The Apple Watch is in a class entirely of its own right now. Nothing else is as good for iPhone users and nothing like it is available for Android users.
Best Polar Fitness Tracker – BUYER’S GUIDE
Swimmers will want a waterproof tracker, but keep in mind that not all water-safe trackers actually track swimming. Runners will probably want a watch that shows time, distance, pace, and lap time, at the very least. If you want good accuracy for those metrics without having to carry a smartphone, you need a runner’s watch with built-in GPS—see our picks for The Best Fitness Trackers for Running.
Also consider the display. If you want to see your stats at all times, or simply use your tracker as a wristwatch, look for one with an always-on display. How you control the tracker is also important. If you like to run in the cold while wearing gloves, you may want to steer clear of devices that only have touch-enabled displays.
Cyclists have even more considerations. There’s a difference between tracking how many miles you pedal and calories you burn versus monitoring your power and cadence. If all you want is the former, you can find a few fitness trackers that supports bicycling as an activity. More serious cyclists will want a device that can pair with additional bike equipment, like a cadence sensor, and should look at devices from sport-specific companies, like Garmin and Polar.
The Fitness App Experience
A fitness tracker’s app matters. Whether on your phone or on the web, the app is absolutely vital because it is where you make sense of the information the tracker collects. Fitbit has one of the best apps and websites we’ve tested. It lets you record all kinds of data that many other companies don’t, such as calories consumed, allergy severity, and stress level.
If you want total body analysis, look for a system that incorporates a smart bathroom scale. Fitbit, Polar, Withings, and Wyze do. Check out the Fitbit Aria 2, Polar Balance, Withings Body Cardio, and Wyze Scale. These send your weight directly to your account, so you can’t cheat the system by entering a lower number. The QardioBase 2 is another top choice, especially for pregnant women.
Smartwatch vs. Fitness Tracker
Several fitness trackers have some smartwatch functionality, and some smartwatches have fitness features, too. The Fitbit Versa 3 comes close to blending both worlds, but at the moment it still lags far behind the Apple Watch in terms of third-party app support.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will You Track Sleep?
Many fitness trackers record your sleep. When they do, they generally watch for movement using a three-axis accelerometer to a more sensitive degree than they do during the day. Some devices report graphs showing the times when you were in light sleep and deep sleep based on motion.
Do You Want Heart Rate Monitoring?
Heart rate monitoring sounds like the best feature ever, but there are different kinds of heart rate monitors, and frankly, some people don’t need it at all. A built-in heart rate monitor can drive up the price.
When you’re training to reach a specific fitness goal, fitness trackers and sports watches can be a huge help. A workout tracker will make all your hard work visible – you’ll always know how demanding your workout was and how many calories you burned. Polar fitness trackers guide you through your workouts and help you follow your progress on your way towards your goals.