Polar A360 review
Fitness Tracker Polar A360 Review
The A360 is Polar’s first fitness device to implement wrist based heart rate monitoring, and can be used for dedicated heart rate based training and is capable of delivering on the go BPM (beats per minute). It is also the company’s first fitness tracker to be appointed with a touchscreen display, but does lack GPS. Polar fitness wearables are designed for avid cyclists, triathletes and fitness enthusiasts and the Polar A360 is no different.
The Polar A360 is highly customizable, and even delivers smartphone notifications right on your wrist such as call and text alerts. A little chunkier than its predecessor – the Loop 2, the Polar A360 is fitted with the wrist-based heart rate monitor, which is pretty accurate to say the least. With three silicone band sizes to choose from – small, medium and large, which are swappable for a bands in a variety of vibrant colors, the Polar A360 slots in nicely in the list of fitness wearable that looks just as good in the gym as it does in the office.
Highlights of the Polar A360
- Superior battery life
- Heart rate based training
- Smart calories
- Sport profiles
- 24/7 activity tracking
- Vibrating smartphone notifications
- Automatically tracks sleep
- Tracks steps and distance
- Waterproof (WR 30 – up to 30 m/98.4 ft)
Polar A360 Design
The A360 still retains the rugged look and durable feel you’d expect from a fitness wearable, but its touchscreen adds to its sleek and elegant appeal. The matte band can be ordered in three different sizes and in a variety of colors so you can be rest assured of a perfect fit for your wrist. The band of the A360 is secured with a two-pronged clasp, and is more comfortable to wear than other fitness wearables. The A360 is appointed with just a single button located on its bottom left side, which can be used to turn the fitness tracker On and Off and holding it down for a few seconds will allow you to pair it with Polar’s H7 heart rate sensor.
The A360 brings in a 80 x 160-pixel (0.51in x 1.06in) color LCD touchscreen, which can be adjusted for brightness, and is easy to read in both bright sunlight and low light conditions. Polar also offers a variety of watch faces that are able to display details in both vertical and horizontal screen orientations. The module is removable as well, allowing you to give the A360 a wipe down when not in use. The optical heart rate sensor is located under the module, and is complete with flashing lights that help generate changes in blood volumes to detect the reading.
One of the noteworthy features with regards to design of the Polar A360 is its Micro-USB charging port, allowing you to charge with any common charging cable and eradicating the need to haul around a silly proprietary cable/cradle. The screen of the Polar A360 displays time and date along with the remaining battery life whenever you shake your wrist.
With regards to battery life (100mAh battery), the A360 is good for up to two weeks of power when fully charged and closer to five days if you use the heart rate monitor and with the notifications turned on. The Polar A360 is waterproof up to 30 meters, meaning you can take it for a splash in the pool without causing any damage. The A360 prompts you with onscreen messages and vibrations for text and call alerts, and even if you’ve been static for a specific period of time. It does however lack the ability to automatically recognize a training session (see Move IQ in Garmin VIVOFIT 3) so you have to initiate this manually by simply tapping on the appropriate onscreen icon.
Polar A360 Heart Rate Tracking
Of course the biggest feature of the Polar A360 is its ability to monitor heart rate and deliver BPM on the fly. This allows you to wear the device without having to pair wit with a chest heart rate strap to measure training intensity. Although the Polar A360 doesn’t monitor your heart rate 24/7, the training mode is where you will be able to make the best of it. This mode allows you to workout in specific heart rate zones to get more accurate readings based on the type of exercise you’re pursuing. The type of sports profiles can only be setup using the Polar Flow app, where you simply pick a sport and it is synced with the A360.
Key Features of the Polar A360
Just like most other fitness wearables, the Polar A360 is designed for serious training and tapping the “My Day” icon on the screen will provide you with your activity progress including distance travelled, step count, and calories burned. Additionally and an extremely handy feature is the Polar A360 will also let you know how much more you’ve got to go before completing your daily goal. This feature is great as it allows you to put your remaining activity into perspective and know exactly what your goal is and how long you have to go in order to reach it.
The activities on the Polar A360 are divided into several different categories such as sitting, low, medium, high and resisting, which covers both sleeping and lying down. The Training mode of the Polar A360 allows you to choose from a number of sports to track including group exercise for workouts that don’t fit into categories such as running and cycling and indoor sports. Simply starting/tapping the exercise you wish to track will start the timer, and the A360 will automatically track your pulse changes and their respective heart rate zones.
The Polar Flow app available for Android and iOS devices is where you can dig deeper into your daily workouts as well as view high quality data graphs. You can even connect the Polar A360 to a wide range of fitness apps including Google Fit, Apple Health and MyFitnessPal (iOS only). The interface of the Polar Flow app is intuitive and easy to use, and doesn’t overload you with information like other apps in its segment. A dedicated button allows you to break down the data by day, week or month along with a drop down menu to view a training diary with all your logged sessions and an activity feed.
Pros of the Polar A360
- Move alert after 55 minutes of inactivity
- Bright and easy to read screen
- Great third party app support
- Superior battery life
- Waterproof up to 30 meters
- Large color touchscreen
Cons of the Polar A360
- Lacks GPS
- Doesn’t track running distance
The Polar A360 is definitely a great addition to its range of fitness trackers, but this time around brings in highly accurate wrist based heart monitoring. It is an all around option for any fitness enthusiast, and offers plenty of third party app support including Google Fit and Apple Health. It doesn’t not however track distance for running and lacks GPS technology, but if you’re looking for fitness wearable that’s on par with other devices in the fitness wearable segment, the Polar A360 is worth a second look.