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Polar's products are known for their accuracy, if not necessarily their style. With the latest version of its Ignite fitness tracker, Polar is appealing to fitness fans who also value aesthetics. The $229.95 Ignite 2 features stylish engravings on its metal bezel, new color combinations, and accessory bands with Swarovski crystals (sold separately) for those who like a bit of bling. It also offers improved battery life, a low-power mode for long training sessions, a weekly summary dashboard, the ability to broadcast your heart rate to Bluetooth-enabled gym equipment, and a few new smartwatch features including music controls and weather forecasts. It also retains the best features of the original, including a bright color touch screen, built-in GPS, continuous heart rate monitoring, FitSpark personalized workout recommendations, Serene guided breathing exercises, and Nightly Recharge sleep and recovery metrics. Ultimately, the Fitbit Versa 3 offers more for the same price, including an always-on display, mobile payment support, and an SpO2 sensor for blood oxygen saturation readings, but the Ignite 2 is a strong alternative that deftly balances form and function.
Swiping left and right on the clock face lets you scroll through the various metrics dashboards you have enabled, including your daily activity summary, weekly summary, heart rate, latest training sessions, Nightly Recharge status, FitSpark training guidance, the weather, and music controls.
When tracking a workout, the stats you see on the watch screen differ depending on the type of exercise you're doing. When tracking a strength training session, it shows your heart rate, duration, and calories burned. When tracking a walk, you'll see your distance, duration, heart rate, and pace. While tracking a workout, you can swipe left on the screen to view additional metrics and access music controls.
The Versa 3 also supports wireless headphones, and lets you download Deezer playlists and Pandora Plus stations right on the watch (with a subscription), so you can listen to music while you work out sans phone. And perhaps most notably, if you use an Android phone, you can reply to texts and messages sent via WhatsApp right from the Versa 3.
The original Ignite stood out in Polar's lineup for its classic watch design, excellent fitness and sleep tracking features, and affordable price. The Ignite 2 builds upon its popular predecessor with an updated look that transitions well from the gym to a night out, improved battery life, a weekly summary dashboard that makes it easier to track your stats, and a heart rate broadcasting feature that works with compatible gym equipment. Though it's primarily a fitness-focused wearable, it also offers smartwatch features like music controls and weather forecasts. So if you're in search of a capable GPS fitness watch that also looks good, the Ignite 2 is an excellent choice. That said, the Fitbit Versa 3 offers texting abilities (when paired with an Android phone), Amazon Alexa, and Fitbit Pay for the same price, and so it remains our Editors' Choice winner. 2b1af7f3a8