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Polar Ignite sport watch heats up Apple Watch competition with sleep and fitness coaching

Polar is expanding its packed lineup of sport watches with a new mid-priced entry called Ignite. The new $229.95 GPS fitness watch introduces new sleep analytics and fitness guidance features not yet built-in to the Apple Watch and new to Polar.

Polar Ignite introduces overnight heart rate measurement and an array of new smart fitness features such as Sleep Plus Stages and Nightly Recharge, FitSpark personalized training guide, and guided breathing exercises with Serene. Developed for busy athletes and fitness enthusiasts who want to incorporate a variety of indoor and outdoor activities into their training, Polar Ignite delivers accurate data across more than 100 sports, allowing users to focus on their improvement by sport category.

While Apple Watch isn’t rumored to gain built-in sleep tracking without third party apps until next fall, Polar says Ignite is tackling sleep tracking in two ways using in-house experts.

Sleep Plus Stages is a new feature that offers “insight into the amount and quality of sleep as well as information on how users cycled through light, deep, and REM sleep stages.” The result is an understandable sleep score to help highlight areas that need improvement.

Nightly Recharge combines that sleep score with daily body recovery information to offer personalized recommendations for improving sleep, recovery, performance, and fitness using heart rate, heart rate variability, and breathing rate.

Polar’s guidance features go even further with fitness coaching through FitSpark on Ignite.

FitSpark is a daily training guide that provides athletes with personalized, adaptive guidance based on their fitness level, training history, and Nightly Recharge measurement. Polar Ignite suggests exercises within cardio, strength training, and performance categories. Athletes can choose from these suggestions, select their favorite sport when doing cardio exercises, and then start their training session and follow the personalized targets and supporting exercises.

Polar also touts a slim form factor with a color touch display and up to five day battery life on a single charge, a new guided breathing experience called Serene, continuous heart rate tracking, running performance scoring, an adaptive running program, and swim tracking features.

Polar Ignite launches today with white, yellow, and black band choices. The new sport watch retails for $229.95 with additional bands costing $24.95. Learn more at

Prefer the Apple Watch? I use and recommend Polar’s OH1+ Optical Heart Rate Sensor which connects wirelessly over Bluetooth and provides more heart rate samples and dramatically saves battery life during long workouts.

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.