Polar Ignite Test: a wrist coach!

Polar presented before the summer its latest creation of multisport GPS watch, the Ignite. We had the pleasure to test it for over 2 months.
We already talked about the Finnish brand during the M Vantage test. As you already know, Polar is the reference for heart rate monitors. Shortly before the summer, the brand unveiled the Ignite, model of multisport GPS watch oriented fitness, cross-training. More affordable than its big sister, it is mainly intended for a wider audience.
The Ignite displays very nice promises with a sporty connected watch, easy to use, complete less than 200 €! At this price it is necessary to expect some concessions; for example no more music storage. Polar focused on the essentials. In the end, it is a very successful multisport GPS watch.

First of all, on the design side, the Ignite is not different from other models of the brand. We find the codes of the V and M Vantage. It is incredibly thin and light, barely 35 grams! If you do not like the massive and traditional side of watches like the Fénix or Suunto 5, the Ignite will offer you the discretion and elegance you are looking for. It differs from other models of Polar by a single navigation button located on the left side of the dial since Ignite also has a touch screen! Yes, you read correctly, a 1.2 inch color touch screen, with a resolution of 240 x 204 pixels, which ensures a good visibility of the data. It is composed of a Dragontrail reinforced glass, resistant to scratches and shocks.
The display has an adjustable automatic lighting function, which turns on and off automatically depending on the tilt of the wrist. I much prefer backlighting to transflective screens, which certainly consume less energy, but are much less readable.
The 20 mm wristbands are made of a comfortable elastic plastic that is resistant to abrasion and wear. They are also interchangeable very easily.
The watch I tested was white (dial and bracelet). At the end of the test, the case of the watch was still bright, and the bracelet showed no wear … yet I did not spare.

On the back of the case are the latest Polar Precision Prime optical heart rate sensors, a heart rate technology that integrates three types of sensors for greater reliability. The big news is that now the heart rate sensor works in water (up to 30 m deep). A sacred feature! But if you are looking for very precise data on your pulse, you will need to invest in a chest belt.
The Ignite has geolocation that works with GPS and Glonass. The chip is very accurate and fast in its cartographic relève. In a few seconds, the Ignite spots you as you start your running session without waiting. The battery life is 17h in GPS and cardio, which is quite respectable. In fact, the autonomy is closer to 16h, see less if you leave the screen permanently on. As part of normal use, I only had to reload the Ignite every 5 days. Which is very good for a watch less than 200 €.

Via its Bluetooth, the Polar Ignite is also able to receive notifications from your phone whether iOS or Android. It also allows the synchronization of workouts with the mobile application “Polar Flow” automatically or by maintaining the pressure on the single button of the box. Its compatibility with Bluetooth Smart allows it to connect to external devices, such as a chest belt or a cadence sensor, …

Ignite is distinguished from its main competitors from Garmin and Suunto by an extremely simple and easy-to-use interface. Polar the minimalist cheek. On the first page of the dial, we access simple data such as:

  • The percentage of daily activity depending on the objective you have set
  • Heart rate
  • Sleep monitoring, called “Nightly Recharge”: assesses how much you have been able to recover from the day’s solicitations during the night.
  • The time elapsed since the last sporting activity
  • The Fitspark Training Guide that offers a ready-to-use daily workout program tailored to your level of recovery, fitness and workout history.

The button gives access to a more complete menu and very simple, from the first use. It can include:

  • Start a training, among around 130 sports activities;
  • Access Serene breathing exercises to help decompress and fight stress;
  • Use the Chrono;
  • Perform a fitness test that takes into account your resting heart rate, variability of your heart rate and your personal information (gender, age, height, weight and personal assessment of your level of physical activity called “training history” ). This test is fully automated and performed at rest in less than five minutes and can estimate VO2max.
  • Access the settings;

The functionality that ensures its added value is the development of personalized training. The Ignite turns into a real sports coach on the wrist. Depending on your profile and your sporting activities, it will propose a program whose objective will be to make you progress in cardio, muscle or body mobility. The Ignite is transformed into a daily training guide that provides users with customized advice tailored to their level of fitness, their training history and the quality of their sleep. It only remains to be guided.
And of course, after synchronizing the watch with the Polar Flow app, you can access countless amounts of data that allows you to analyze and plan your workouts, monitor your sleep and daily activity, share with your coach and his colleagues. friends,…. And big plus, Polar Flow is compatible with Strava, Endomondo, Nike +, MyFitnessPal, TrainingPeaks, Running Heroes, and dozens of other sports apps!

The Polar Ignite is a real wrist coach. I was impressed by the detail of the information given I already have my own training program however, the Ignite encouraged me to vary my workouts and to work different muscle groups … tips that I finished to follow and that proved very useful on the sleep and the quality of recovery
Light, discreet, comfortable, complete, the Polar Ignite is a watch that I can easily recommend if your goal is to improve your fitness …. Especially at a price defying all competition …. Less than 200 €!