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Polar A360, an activity monitor with an optical pulse sensor

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Polar has been playing cat and mouse with all of us for a few days now, and it's been announcing a new product for a few days. First they warned us of what was coming through this image they published on their social networks. For those of you who know the sector well, I'm sure you've quickly identified what it is. No, it's not a UFO, it's a new device with an optical pulse sensor.

Polar A360

Knowing what was to come, yesterday they left us this other image, where we could slightly see the bracelet.

Polar A360

And today they finally presented it. With all of you the new Polar A360.

Polar A360

 

The truth is that many of us were waiting for a new GPS watch with an optical pulse sensor to accompany the mid-range (where the TomTom Cardio Runner and TomTom SparkGarmin Forerunner 225 and Fitbit SurgePolar has surprised us with an activity monitor, without GPS receiver, and mainly oriented to fitness. Fitbit Charge HRThe new system, very well established in the market since it was introduced a year ago, also incorporates the optical pulse sensor.

 

What stands out in the Polar A360?

Technically, what stands out the most in the new Polar A360 is the optical pulse sensor. Thanks to it we will have pulse monitoring during our fitness activity, being the first approach of Polar to this kind of technology, since it is not a licensed sensor, but Polar has decided to develop its own optical sensor, contrary to other brands that have chosen to integrate Valencell, LifeQ or Mio's technology.

But objectively what is most striking is its large color screen (for a bracelet) of 1.18″. The screen is touch-sensitive, so moving through the different menus is very simple.

Polar A360

Through the screen you can not only control the activity modes, you can also view activity data such as estimated steps, calories or distance traveled.

Polar A360

Buscador de chollos

The bracelet is waterproof, submersible up to 3o meters, meaning you can swim with it on without having to worry about its integrity, but it has no swim tracking function (i.e. it neither counts lengths nor offers metrics).

Charging is done through a microUSB connector located at the rear, above the pulse sensor. 100mAh battery capacity promises 2 weeks of autonomy with a daily 1 hour training, provided that the intelligent notifications are not used.

Of course, it has an inactivity warning, vibrating when you are too long without activity, during the day, and at night it also performs its service, analyzing movement data during sleep to determine what Polar has called the "Sleep Index".

Bluetooth connectivity

The A360 Polar has Bluetooth Smart connectivity, which on the one hand allows you to synchronize your activity with Polar Flow (Polar's tracking website) and on the other hand offer smart clock functionality, alerting you with its vibrating alarm of incoming calls, messages, calendar and social network alerts. Notifications are now available for iOS-enabled phones, will be updated at the end of November to support Android as well.

Polar A360 - Notifications

After synchronizing activity data with the cloud, you can view it both from your computer browser and in the mobile app (available for Android and iOS).

Polar A360, availability and price

The Polar A360 will be available very soon, in the first week of November. In fact there are many German websites that have been filtering the product and its price, 199.90 ?. Polar wants to have it on the market soon to try to reach one of the key dates in the calendar where more devices of this type are sold: Christmas and Black Friday.

At first you can find it in black or white, but later there will be more colors to choose from.

Polar-A360-colors

Other colors such as pink and navy blue or green will be available later. In addition, the strap will be interchangeable, so it can be replaced later.

Polar A360

 

My opinion

I think that Polar is going to have a hard time entering the market with this activity bracelet, especially with the price marked initially. At a price of £200 I think it's a pretty complicated buy, not only because the Fitbit Charge HR can be found almost halfway (right now in Amazon Italy it is at just over 100 Euros) with a very similar concept, although with a much smaller screen and without being in colour. But it offers constant heart rate monitoring, something that, at the moment, Polar does not indicate it will offer.

The real problem with the new A360 is called Fitbit SurgeAnd of course, it's a complete GPS watch that will give you more accurate data when you're training outdoors. And to top it off, there's the TomTom SparkThe same range of prices is also available.

Setting that price is something I have missed from Polar. Their two most praised products in recent years have been the Polar M400 and the Polar M450It seemed that Polar had decided to go for that market range, but this Polar A360 is a far cry from that philosophy.

Possibly part of that price is determined by the cost of the development of the pulse sensor. We must also consider that being a new sensor, with a high initial price can ensure a slow entry into the market and can refine the algorithm of the sensor. Because for many tests that can be done in their laboratories, is not comparable to 10, 20 or 30 thousand units on the market, with users with different skin tones, different types of use, different types of sweating, etc.

It is a good way to validate data in order to continue adding the sensor to the rest of the range, starting with the replacement (or range mate) of the Polar M400, which is what we were all really waiting for.

Really the most important thing in today's presentation is not the product itself. As an activity monitor it does not bring great novelties to the market, beyond a showy screen and features on par with the rest of the competition. What is great news is that Polar has developed a new optical pulse sensor, expanding the number of players in the sector. Undoubtedly this increase in competition benefits us, the end customers, as it will make the development of the technology faster. In the last month we have met two new players, LifeQ (present in the TomTom Spark) and Polar, which join the existing ones, mainly Mio and Valencell.

Support this siteYou can do this by buying your Polar A360 through Amazon.

Polar A360 - Heart rate monitor, colour white, size S
Price: 159,90 €
3 new from 159,90 €   0 Second hand
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Polar A360 - Heart rate monitor, colour black, size L
Price: 268,81 €
1 new from 268,81 €   0 Second hand
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29 Comments

  1. Thanks for the information, I love your blog, I don't know if I understood correctly, you say that the gadget doesn't offer a constant monitoring of the heart rate as opposed to the fitbit charge hr? I understand that it can be programmed to do so even if it doesn't come by default... I agree with you that the price has gone a little bit off, but in any case as always a few months after its release I'm sure we'll have it for 50 or 60 euros cheaper... I'm between waiting or buying the fitbit charge hr, with the downside of the smaller screen, which doesn't give all the notifications and which is not waterproof, but on the contrary it has a very good app for smartphones and pc with very precise information... I'm not telling you anything you don't know because you have analyzed it.
    Congratulations for the blog, you do some analysis at a level of depth that I don't see in any technology portal
    a greeting

    1. Thank you, Daniel.

      Remember to vote for the Blog Awards 😉

      For the moment, the optical sensor will only be active when an activity is performed, and will not take records the rest of the time.

      It is possible that this is the case at the beginning and that later the option to always have it on (something that, for example, you want to do on TomTom with the Spark) will be activated. But for the moment if you want constant measurement, Fitbit is your option.

          1. Hello. Now that the "kings" are approaching, I'm assessing the acquisition of these products. The issue of daily heart rate monitoring, is it still not daily in the case of the 360?

          2. That's right, it's still not daily, just active. For daily rhythm, right now, Garmin Vivosmart HR or Fitbit Charge HR

  2. What's not to like?
    Which in the heart rate measurement goes "to your ball".
    If I reach 134 ppm on a downhill course and the hill gets steeper, my pace increases, and I will "burst" can't give a measurement of 91!
    With two fuck...! "You hillbilly! You're not doing a day on the couch!"
    And this has happened to me on several occasions by wearing the heart rate monitor tightly fitted to a finger above the wrist bone.
    I think I'm going to give it away (I'll stay for a p.m.) and get the Fitbit Surge, because these frequency errors don't suit me at all.

  3. I have one and it's not going well at all. It stops when it wants to and doesn't set the heart rate correctly. As soon as it's going at a thousand per hour than at 50 ppm. I took it in for a check-up and they told me it was working fine. I think the classic chest tape is the only reliable one.

    1. I haven't tried the Polar A360 yet, but it's true that from the comments you make, the optical sensor is not very good at the moment. Optical sensors of other brands don't have a big problem.

  4. I tried polar a360 for a couple of days and I returned it. It doesn't sync with the APP. and that's a problem many users have in spite of having last generation smartphones, (in my case a S7 galaxy), supposedly compatible. Take a look at the comments in Play Store before deciding for a POLAR.

  5. Good one!
    I'm looking at 2 smartbands to buy and I don't know which is better; Polar a360 (Launch 2015) or Fitbit Charge 2 (Launch 9/2016).
    Both have the same price.

    Polar 360º advantages:
    -Color and touch screen
    -More autonomy
    -Submersible

    Fitbit Charge 2 advantages:
    -Aesthetic
    -Best App
    - "Novelty" ( I have to imagine that it can be an advantage, since the sensors can be more advanced than the polar one...or not... )

    Can someone help me with the election?
    A complete novice in this world.

    1. Hello, Alberto.

      I have the A-360 fleece, I use it every day, for training and activity control only.

      For daily activity control it is very good, it is nice, it is elegant, the screen is in color...

      For training it all depends on what you want to achieve, if you're looking for precision the A-360 is not your monitor. As a heart monitor it has a life of its own, you can go busting up a hill and mark 90 heartbeats, as well as later stand chatting with a friend and go up to 147. I say it's a little late and it's compensating.

      If what you're looking for is something that tells you whether you've done 5 or 6 miles, if your average heart rate has been 116 or 128, and if your speed has been 10 minutes per mile or 12... Then yes, that's what it's good for.

      In my case I use it daily for general activity control, and approximately two or two and a half hours for training (just walking). It tells me the distance with relative accuracy, approximately 8% excess, and the average heart rate for me is sufficient. It also tells me the calories I have consumed and the percentage of fat. I have no confidence at all in the accuracy of these last two parameters so they are of less use to me than the rest.

      In this context of use, the battery lasts me four days without any problem.

      I hope this helps you a little bit in making your decision because with all the heart monitor and activity meter bracelets out there now... it's really complicated

      Thank you very much.

        1. Well, I don't really know what to tell you.

          I would recommend that you buy one of them in a store or a shop that allows you to return it, try it for a week, return it, and then try the other one with the same system and finally decide on the one that suits you best.

          In any case, if what you want is precision in training control, neither of these two are what you really need. They are more aimed at controlling daily activity, with more or less parameters, with more or less "glamour", and at the training of "I'm keeping my weight" "I'm toned" "I'm in good shape". Of course, you will not be able to prepare a triathlon with guarantees of success based on what these monitors offer you.

          Maybe, if you really want to check it out, you will be interested in looking at other more professional monitors, which there are. In this same blog you have tests of monitors of all prices and all levels.

          Thank you very much.

  6. Hello, in your opinion, between the Polar A360 and the Fitbit Charge 2, which would you choose? I don't care about the notifications, I want something for the day to day and to do some sport like Freeletics or some bicycle. Do you know if either of them can be programmed to warn by vibration when passing certain pulses? Thank you

  7. I'm writing from Veracruz, Mexico and I have read your reviews about the smart bracelets, right now I'm looking for one and I would like to know if the A360 polar fleece is currently recommended over its competition ?

    1. I think it's in no man's land. Right now I think both Garmin Vivosmart HR and Fitbit Charge 2 are better options.

      1. The Fitbit would really register my pulse in the endomondo? I see good reviews of the Polar and everywhere else they recommend it as a good bracelet with a pulse in the wrist. The problem of the garmin is the luminosity and the thickness for daily use.

        1. Neither Fitbit nor A360 allows sending heart rate data to another device. A360 only with certain gym machines. Garmin's wristband allows it, but your phone must have ANT+.

          1. Thank you Eduardo, that changes my chances a lot, after the A360 came the Fitbit. When I tell my wife that after a month looking at bracelets I have not decided yet what face I will put haha. Any recommendation of a bracelet with correct pulse data within what fits and discreet for daily ... It is that then comes the vivamart HR but I'm far behind by the design (thick) and the screen.

          2. If you want something that broadcasts only Garmin does, otherwise both Fitbit Charge 2 and Vivosmart HR are good products.

          3. Thank you.
            I'm pulling the A360 towards the Garmin Vivosmart HR, but I've rejected it for compatibility with other accessories and synchronization. It's a shame because in everyday design it's much better. Now, I have in mind the Gear S2, if it gave good results in measurements I would take it now. Have you ever tried it?

          4. I have not tested Samsung devices, basically because of the absence of a training platform and because they are products aimed at another type of customer, not the most sporty one.

  8. Hello, I am about to buy this wristband and I have a decisive question. While I have an active training session on the A360 can I record my pulse on Endomondo or Runtastic on an android mobile? I usually back up my workouts with a mobile to record routes and more and I would like this one to also record my pulse data.
    Thanks in advance for your help.

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