Polar A360 Review – Simple And Efficient. The Finnish group Polar is not new to the wearables and fitness trackers game. They’ve been in the fitness monitoring game for more than 30 years. In fact, the company launched the world’s first wearable HR sensor back in 1982. After a few years of “silence”, the company is re-joining the wearables market with a consumer-level fitness tracker with an HR monitor.
The Polar A360 fitness band. We had the pleasure of testing the new A360 and here are our findings. Without further delay let’s start the Polar A360 review.
Polar A360 Review – Design And Specs
The A360 is Polar’s first tracker created to compete against popular fitness trackers like the Fitbit Surge or the new Microsoft Band 2.
The Polar A360 features a bright and colorful display, and this is “a first” for any Polar fitness bands. For some reason, that screen makes it look a lot like the Microsoft Band or the Samsung Gear Fit. However, the A360’s screen is not curved, so the fit is not as ergonomic. More than that, the touchscreen features just an 80 x 160-pixel resolution, and the brightness is quite poor.
The band on the Polar A360 comes in three different sizes. Small, medium, and large, made of a soft silicone material that is comfortable to wear. Similar to the Garmin Vivosmart HR, the entire tracker can be popped out of the strap and placed into a new one.
As you would expect from any decent tracker, the A360 monitors activity and provides in-depth feedback, thanks to the built-in accelerometer. The Polar A360 can also record sleeping patterns, show you smart notifications, and warn you when you’ve been sitting at your desk for too long. Also, the Polar A360 is water-resistant up to 30 meters, therefore, you do not have to take it off while swimming or taking a shower.
As a downside, the Polar A360 is missing the GPS sensor. I have the feeling that this is something dedicated runners might not like.
Other than that, the Polar A360 bracelet feels like a robust and capable fitness tracker. I must say that overall, I am quite impressed with this tracker. Well done Polar.
Polar A360 Review – Performance And Features
Moving to the features, the Polar A360 can track your daily activity. By that I mean the steps and the distance walked, calories you’ve burned and also your sleep pattern.
To access your daily activity log from the screen, you’ll have to swipe down into the ‘My Day’ dashboard item. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll sync the A360 to your phone via Polar’s Flow app to see the data. The app gives you a more detailed breakdown of how your day has been structured. The app is simple and easy to use even for a child.
As I was very impressed with the Polar A360 simplicity and ease of use for basic tasks, I decided to take it out for a few running sessions, accompanied by another tracker we tried here. The Fitbit Surge. Quite unexpected, this is where everything started to fall apart for the Polar A360.
While testing the Polar A360 heart rate sensor I’ve found the results inaccurate in most situations. For example, the HR results of the Polar A360 compared to the Fitbit Surge and a Garmin strap HR monitor were different even for a 15 minutes run.
Surprised by the results, I thought that maybe I have a faulty unit. However, after a bit of online research, I’ve found out that there are lots of users with the same problem.
A Polar representative said they are aware of the problem, and a software fix is expected in the next coming weeks. In the meantime, if you cannot wait, you can buy a Polar’s H7 HR monitor and connect it with your Polar A360. Both work great together.
Leaving the HR inaccuracies aside and moving to the Flow app, you’ll find that this is a complete fitness tracking platform. The Flow app has a well designed UI, with clear metrics that are easy to read. There is also a Flow web app, which for me was the icing on the cake during my time with the Polar A360.
The Flow web app can help you plan workouts, analyze your data and even send training summaries to your email. More than that, on the “Explore” tab, you can see the training schedule of other Polar users.
Going back to the Flow mobile app, that is the place for you to gain access to smart notifications such as calls, SMS, emails, or calendar reminders. You also have vibrating alarms, even though just one alarm can be set at a time.
To be honest, I am still not able to understand why there are no multiple alarm options. I can only hope that a new firmware or an app update will add this feature soon. Other than that, both the Flow app and the Web service are great reasons to use a Polar fitness tracker.
Similar Read: Garmin Vivosmart HR Review
If you find the Polar Flow app too complex for your needs, you can always export your data to third party apps like Google Fit and Apple HealthKit. That being said, not all that glitters is gold with the Polar software.
As an example, the sleep stats are quite basic, with no option for a detailed view. Even worse, there is no option to turn on or off notifications from individual apps. You either keep them all on or off.
Polar A360 Review – Battery Life And Price
The smart wristband is advertised with two weeks of battery life. That is with an hour of usage/training each day. However, if you want to make use of all the features, such as smartphone notifications, you will have to charge the A360 every week.
The Polar A360 costs $199, and you can choose from 3 colors. Black, blue and white.
Polar A360 Review – Conclusion
The Polar A360 could have been an outstanding fitness tracker. More than that, it could have been a launching ramp for Polar in the mainstream fitness trackers market. The device has a robust battery life and nice design. With a better screen resolution and improved brightness, the Polar A360 could have been great. But, somewhere along the line, Polar made a decision to release the A360 before it was “ready.” Most likely to meet holiday timelines.
Moreover, still, the ease of use, the waterproof capability, and the Flow web service are top qualities of the new Polar band. It is a decent middle ground buy, not as expensive as a Polar V800 or a Garmin Fenix 3.
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