Folks who like to optimize their days might get a kick out of Polar’s latest fitness watch. The $329.95 Ignite 3 comes with a new feature that claims to predict when you’ll be at your most alert during the day based on your circadian rhythms.
The new feature, dubbed SleepWise, is an extension of Polar’s existing sleep tracking. It purportedly analyzes your sleep quality, timing, and duration to determine your sleep-wake cycles. That, in turn, generates a daily report that predicts when you’ll be most alert during the day. The gist is to help users determine when’s the best time to plan a workout or block off time to focus on projects. Conversely, it’s also meant to help you visualize when might be a better window of time to take it easy.
SleepWise is a natural extension of Nightly Recharge, a recovery-focused feature Polar introduced on the original Ignite in 2019. Nightly Recharge analyzes your autonomic nervous system to give you an idea of what days you should push it in training and when to prioritize recovery. This seems to be a more granular version of that. It also dovetails with the increased focus on sleep and recovery in wearable tech since the pandemic.
Other additions include in-training voice guidance, which gives users real-time feedback on workout metrics through headphones so long as they’re connected to the Polar Flow mobile app. It’s a fairly common feature on wearables these days, so it’s a little odd it’s taken Polar this long.
More surprising is the addition of multiband GPS, considering who the watch is for. The Ignite 3 is aimed at casual users instead of the adventurers and triathletes Polar usually caters to. Meanwhile, multiband GPS is still a relatively new feature that utilizes the L5 frequency on top of the L1 frequency normally used in commercial devices. In plain speak, the benefit is much better GPS accuracy in challenging environments like cities or dense forests. It’s usually found on more hardcore multisport watches like the Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar, Apple Watch Ultra, and Coros Vertix 2. The Garmin Forerunner 255 series is the only other major watch in this price range that also has multiband GPS.
It’s an interesting mix of features, especially when you look at the design. Garmin may get roasted more often for its clunky watches, but Polar’s not too far behind. However, the Ignite 3 is pretty chic, resembling the Pixel Watch. It’s got a 1.3-inch color OLED display, stainless steel bezel, and swappable 20mm straps. It’s also lightweight at 35 grams and delivers an estimated five days of battery on a single charge or 30 hours of continuous GPS training. Polar also says it improved the processor so that the Ignite 3 is twice as fast as the Ignite 2.
On paper, the Ignite 3 looks intriguing, but this is one area where Polar has to play catch-up. While it’s a well-respected brand among outdoors enthusiasts, it’s not exactly a household name. At $330, the Ignite 3 is also competing with flagship smartwatches like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Google Pixel Watch. The Ignite 3 may have more in-depth fitness than either of those watches, but it lacks smarter features like voice assistants, contactless payments, and offline playlists.
The Ignite 3 is available today in night black, purple dusk, greige sand, and brown copper. However, the SleepWise and Voice Guidance features will be available later this month via a software update to the Polar Flow app.