Today Polar is renewing its Ignite with the Polar Ignite 3The new Ignite 3 is now available with more significant changes than the original model and the second version that was sold until now. The new Ignite 3 takes a leap in quality and now uses an AMOLED screen, has a processor twice as fast, receives a dual-band GPS along with the latest version of the optical pulse sensor and will also come with some new features in the Polar Flow application.
Of course it still retains all the features of Polar in terms of training load tracking, sleep tracking, etc.
So it's a hardware upgrade of the watch to make it prettier and bring it up to date in terms of performance and features, but without too much new on the software side. But let's go through all the new features.
Polar Ignite 3, features and news
As usual, I will start by listing what are the new features and characteristics of this Polar Ignite 3.
- 1.28″ AMOLED touchscreen with "always on" function
- Curved lens with Gorilla Glass protection against scratches
- 43mm in diameter which, together with the almost 1.3″ screen, makes for a fairly small bezel for what Polar is used to.
- Stainless steel bezel
- 35 grams of weight
- Faster processor for better clock performance and improved animations
- Dual band GNSS chipset
- Latest version of Polar Precision Prime optical pulse sensor (same as Polar Pacer and Polar Pacer Pro)
- Autonomy: up to 5 days in clock mode, up to 30 hours of GPS use and up to 100 hours in power saving mode
- Different clock face options with customizable widgets
- SleepWise, a new sleep analysis function with indication of the most important moments of the day according to how the rest has been
- Voice guidance of workouts through the Polar Flow app, either through the speakerphone or through headphones connected to the phone
- Fitness, Walking and Running Tests
- Interchangeable 20mm standard type strap
The quick access widgets can be customized according to the information the user wants to have in view: weather, heart rate, activity summary, among others. The home screen can also be customized by choosing between different colors and styles (analog, digital).
In the renovation of this Polar Ignite what will draw your attention is the new AMOLED screen, which replaces the LED screen that Polar used so far in this model. This type of display brings several improvements to the watch.
The first of these is that it allows the Ignite 3 to have an always-on display mode showing the time without excessively affecting battery life. Obviously this mode has some impact, but it is not like having the LCD screen on permanently.
The second advantage is that it is much more colorful than the screen used until now. More vivid colors, deep blacks and wide contrast range.
And also in this case we are fortunate to have a large screen for the size of the watch, which makes the black border around the screen is reduced in size, much more than what is usual in Polar watches. And is that with 43mm watch diameter, the Ignite 3 has a screen of almost 1.3″.
Dual band satellite reception
Within the Polar Ignite 3's feature sheet, the fact that it has a dual GNSS chipset undoubtedly stands out. It is the first Polar watch to have this feature, and it may seem strange that it is a fitness-focused watch that is the first to do so.
But the only thing it confirms is that the multiband chipset is no longer something of the future, but of the present. Possibly the cost will be the same as the old chipsets without multiband, so it is already a matter of the manufacturer being able to adapt the antenna within the specifications of the clock itself.
In fact all the releases of the last months have a chipset with this feature, although in some cases it is disabled (for example Suunto 9 Peak Pro or COROS APEX 2). So if it is the chipset that the manufacturer chooses and it is the one that gives the best performance in terms of autonomy and allows this feature... it is a logical choice to allow it to be used by the user.
As you may have seen in reviews of other devices, the benefit of using the dual band depends a lot on where you are training. If you do it in open areas with full visibility of the sky you will not notice any improvement.
Where you will see this improvement is if you are running in difficult coverage areas such as through lush forests, between buildings or in a canyon next to mountains. Here you will notice the benefits of dual-band reception because there is an additional data source to check for errors caused by those tricky locations.
Autonomy Polar Ignite 3
The battery life of the Polar Ignite 3 is reasonably good. Let's not forget that this is a version that leans more towards being a smartwatch than a pure training watch. The AMOLED display is much more eye-catching than the typical transflective ones, but that comes at a cost in battery life.
In watch mode with activity and heart rate tracking the autonomy reaches up to 5 days. In this aspect it falls somewhat short of the competition (e.g. the Garmin Venu 2 reaches a maximum of 10 days).
However, the autonomy data with GPS use are very good, thanks to the low consumption of the new GNSS chipset. And it reaches up to 30 hours of training with GPS at 1s and heart rate recording, compared to 22 hours for the Venu 2, its most direct rival.
It also has a power saving mode (reducing the GPS recording rate), with which it is able to achieve up to 100 hours of autonomy.
At the software level, the only new feature is SleepWise, an advanced sleep log function that allows you to see in the app the impact of your rest during the day ahead of you.
According to Polar, making use of the data collected during the night's rest through the (very good) Nightly Recharge and Sleep Plus Stages function, it allows you to see on a graph in the application the times of the day when we will be ready for greater concentration, the best time to train, and which will be the ideal times to go to bed.
This data is obtained by entering into an algorithm the quantity, quality and moments of sleep of each individual user, after several days of data logging. This information will be displayed every morning.
It is an app-level feature, and as such it is not going to be something exclusive to the Ignite 3 but will be coming to all other Polar models that support Nightly Recharge and Sleep Plus Stages. But it is not yet available, it will arrive via app update later this month.
Another of the new features coming to the application (and therefore not only to Ignite 3 but to the rest of the range) is real-time voice guidance. You will be able to listen to data from the training you are doing through messages either through the phone's loudspeaker or with a hands-free headset connected to it.
To clarify, the watch does not have a speakerphone or the possibility of connecting a handsfree, but the phone is responsible for sending messages, so it will have to be paired to the watch and you will have to carry it with you during training.
There is also no music playback capability, but there is an option to control the playback you are doing with the phone. That's something.
Polar Ignite 3, availability and pricing
The Polar Ignite 3 can now be purchased directly from the Polar website, and will soon be available in other stores. At launch these are the colors that are available:
- Night Black
- Purple Dusk
- Greige Sand
- Brown Copper
All four models have the same price, 329€.
Review Polar Ignite 3
My main problem with the Polar Ignite 2 (and the original model as well) was the slow response time to the twist of the wrist. On many occasions it struggles to recognize the gesture, and when it does it takes a while to turn on the screen.
This new Ignite 3, on paper, should be better in that respect. First because you can have an always-on display mode that, although it doesn't show all the information until it's activated, at least you can see the time. But it also has a much faster processor, so the response is faster.
I assume that the processor will be the same one that is present in the Polar Pacer Pro, and in that model everything worked quite a bit better than in previous models.
The renewal of the Polar Ignite 3 is quite interesting. An aesthetic improvement accompanied by new features in terms of processor, display, optical pulse sensor and satellite chipset. It is more expensive than the model it replaces, but the improvement is evident and in terms of price it is in line with its main rival, the Garmin Venu 2.
As for the offer of software possibilities is complete for a watch of this type, both in health section as in activity tracking. Although Polar needs to give a boost to the software of its specifically sports watches (it is lagging far behind the competition), in this case we are talking about a fitness watch, something very different from a triathlon watch for someone who trains 20 hours a week.
What is your opinion about it? You know you have the comments down there, so... make use of them! And without further ado... thanks for reading!