Polar Ignite Specifications & First Run

The new Polar IGNITE immediately stands out from very many other fitness & running watches. It’s got a good screen. It’s bright; it’s clear; it’s got great colours, and the resolution appears very good. For those of you already familiar with what Polar usually put on the screen then there is much to be familiar with when compared to the Vantage. Yet there is also some new stuff with the sleep and recovery metrics and these appear on some new, somewhat quirky screen layouts. That’s quirky in a nice way.

IGNITE is very light and is slightly smaller than the Polar Vantage V. Gone are 4 of the buttons on the Vantage and we are left with just the one ‘back’ button and a touchscreen. The logic and flow of the screen seem to mostly work for me, yet the touchscreen itself needs a bit of work to rectify the occasions when it decides to be a little temperamental (I prefer buttons BTW). Like DCR, I’ve only got a beta unit (two actually) so hopefully, that will be fixed in the production units that are winging their way to Power Meter City, Wiggle and other respectable retailers worldwide.

All I’ve done so far is change the straps and go for a couple of runs. Oh yes, I have just done a 3-minute serene breathing test and, managed 20 seconds in the diamond zone and 50 seconds in the Amethyst zone.

Hey, I’ve had a stressul day. 3 minutes looking at some nicely animated circles changing colour and doing wierd stuff was relaxing. I think diamond’s good.


The two runs were interesting. Firstly, the screen is meant to stay permanently on  (@DCR) yet mine didn’t and took a good 2-3 seconds to come on when I turned my wrist when running. Perversely, when just wearing it normally it came on almost immediately when I turned my wrist. So, something’s not quite right there but I’m certain it will get sorted out VERY quickly. (Edit: user error…see below)

My OH1 and H10 were automatically paired so I unpaired them to force the sexy PRECISION PRIME heart rate sensor into action. I tried to pair STRYD as a regular footpod but IGNITE was having none of that and definitely doesn’t support power meters for either running or cycling.

The gear icon is now a veritable treasure trove of ‘stuff to do’. There are the new TRAINING SUGGESTIONS (looks AWESOME); favourite workouts that you’ve created earlier in FLOW as well as an interval timer and countdown timer. I just ran and bemoaned my ever-aching Achilles.

The workout screen is standard for Polar and, as I found out later, is compatible with some of the newer screen types found for the VANTAGEs on FLOW. Most, but not all, of the data metrics seem to be there on FLOW to be chosen if needed. I’ll have a more detailed look later.

My experience with the new SLEEP data is just about zero. OK…it’s one night. FLOW apparently needs 3 nights of sleep to crank up the algorithms but straight away you do get the more basic sleep overview…ok, well, it’s not basic. It looks quite thorough.


The GPS data is just about acceptable and is CERTAINLY being worked on with GALILEO GNSS capability slated for a couple of months time. However, the oHR data was spot-on (#Perfect) and I’m normally an awkward case for optical HR technologies although today was a steady-state run on a hot London day.

INTERPRETATION: IGNITE in Blue nails the underpass but gets the wrong side of the road as it heads North. Perfect oHR

First Impressions

I’m normally a little bit negative when I write, I think. However, it seems to me that Polar has got a very nice little device indeed here. I read an interview today on WAREABLE with a senior Polar Exec discussing the theme of, something like, “We’re not interested in chasing Apple’. And I think that is EXACTLY right. Polar’s strength has always been heart rate and sports focus.

Yet the IGNITE looks like it could be the FITNESS-cum-SPORTY watch of the masses who want to take a holistic approach to fitness AND DO IT PROPERLY. With the inclusion of the various tests and the various continuous interrogations of your physiology throughout the sleep cycles, then polar seem to really be focussing this device around PROPERLY guiding you on what to do next. Couple that with what seems to be a rather sweet adaptive training program and then all looks rosy. The adaptive training program looks great too and it adds in strength and skill suggestions. And that’s EXACTLY how it should be.

So, on closer inspection in my upcoming review, Polar Ignite might look like

  • A Garmin Vivoactive 3++ that’s pared down its super-smarts to just do fitness and recovery properly
  • A Suunto 3 Fitness++ that’s expanded it’s training programs beyond adaptable Training Effectiveness goals
  • A WHOOP (Review)++ that builds more features around the core strain and recovery elements of our sporty fitness lives.

And for £200/£230 (or thereabouts) it’s nicely priced for a sexy-looking fitness/sports watch.

Polar Ignite is available today for £200/$230 (less 10% the5krunner10 discount at PowerMeterCity USA) in white, yellow, and black wristband options. Silicon accessory bands are $24.95/€24.90/£21.50 each and available in black, white and yellow in size medium/large and in black and white in size small.

Pre-order: at Wiggle (UK/EU) and Power Meter City (USA)

The link from here IS correct and might take a day or two for the partners to get their listings up

Anyway, you came here for the boring Polar Ignite specs as well as the waffle. So here we go…

Polar Ignite Specifications + opinionettes


Overall the Polar Ignite’s specs are good.


43 x 43 x 8.5 mm – if you have thin wrists or prefer a smaller format watch this is good


35 g with a wristband, 21 g without wristband – grams or ounces. However you measure it, it’s light


Colour touch display (IPS TFT) with an ambient light sensor (ALS), resolution 240×204. Dragontrail glass lens – the resolution seems WAY better than that, it must be the great colours and brightness that make it look so good, as that resolution is actually not that great.


165 mAh Li-pol battery. Battery life up to 17 h in training mode (GPS and wrist-based heart rate), up to 5 days in watch mode with continuous heart rate tracking – 17 hours training baby…that’s enough.


Glass fibre reinforced polymer case. Stainless steel bezel & button – The stainless steel bezel is a bit meh but alright. I’d prefer chrome but that scratches and Titanium is too expensive at this price point.


Black & Silver: TPU plastic, stainless steel buckle.
Other colours: Silicone, stainless steel buckle. – the wristbands are par for the course for this price bracket. I’d prefer nicer ones. They are 20mm interchangeable.

S: wrist circumference 130-185 mm
M/L: wrist circumference 155-210 mm


Integrated GPS & GLONASS. Assisted GPS for fast fix times – As said above, the Sony chip supports the later inclusion of GALILEO


Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Custom USB cable for charging and data synchronization – aka it talks to your computer or smartphone. Mine did pair on the third attempt.


Time & date. Alarm with snooze. Stopwatch & countdown timer. – you know what they do


Compatible with Polar BLE heart rate sensors – and it seems to be just an HR sensor that will pair.

Water resistance

Water resistant 30 m (ISO 22810, suitable for swimming) – Just suitable for swimming.

Standalone mode

Can be set up and used without other devices or connections (limited memory capacity for data storage). To access all features, functionalities and unlimited cloud storage, connect your watch to Polar Flow, our free app and web service and the home of your sports and fitness data.

Polar Ignite is available today for £200/$230 (less 10% the5krunner10 discount at PowerMeterCity USA) in white, yellow, and black wristband options. Silicon accessory bands are $24.95/€24.90/£21.50 each and available in black, white and yellow in size medium/large and in black and white in size small.

Pre-order: at Wiggle (UK/EU) and Power Meter City (USA)

The link from here IS correct and might take a day or two for the partners to get their listings up

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31 thoughts on “Polar Ignite Specifications & First Run

  1. EDIT: Matti is from Polar.

    the screen is meant to stay permanently on [during training].

    – You need to enable it from the top shade -menu when the training has started. not on by default.

    1. Correct. During workouts there’s the swipe-down thingy (like on a phone to access a flashlight or something) that toggles always-on mode.

      During normal day to day non-workout mode, the screen turns on based on gesture/buttons.

      Fwiw, I have found the same as you that in running mode, it takes slightly longer (a solid 2-3 seconds) to wake if not in always-on mode. Whereas sitting around it’s 1-2 seconds.

    2. Matti, once enabled does it stay enabled for future workouts or do you have to select it every time?

  2. Is the standard strap really that bad? I ordered one direct from Polar yesterday (being shipped to the UK from Amsterdam) and on Polar’s pics it looks pretty much the same as the other colours. It looks terrible in the pics that form part of Ray’s review and you yourself state early on that you swapped it out. I did try to amend my order to include a black silicone version but they couldn’t help and I’m not paying £8.90 shipping for a twenty quid strap

    1. Any chance there might be some OEM straps with 20mm width that would fit?
      It’s too bad the 200€ model is “silver” too and not “black”.

      They state 5 day delivery on Polar, have you alread received some tracking info ?

  3. Thanks for the preview.

    Looks like a great watch to track your fitness ! I’m thinking I might want to get it to replace my FR935 or rather supplement it by becoming my daily wearer to get the who “nightly recharge” “FitSpark”,, etc…data/guidance and I’d just whip out the FR935 when needed. For races it would be a must to have the FR935 to benefit from “Peter’s Race Pacer” that corrects for distance differences each time you hit a a mile marker. I suppose I could whip out the FR935 for normal runs too.
    Would you see this as a functional scenario ?

    Bonus question : do you need to track runs with the Ignite or would the 24×7 HR tracking be enough to still get load analysis/guidance ? Actually, it doesn’t show the training load does it, hum…well it shows VO2Max 😉

    Thanks !

    1. you’d have to wear the IGNITE for the workout. so if you don’t mind wearing two watches…go for it
      I doubt the 24×7 tracking would work without doing the workouts as workouts. (No. from what i’ve seen so far)

      1. Thanks, yeah it might look a bit kludgy to wear two watches for a workout. I suppose I could save that for actual races. Well I might miss the most excellent HRM4-Red HR strap too, the only one that’s performed consistently for me since, hum…2013.

        Would you consider using the Ignite + a more “workout advanced watch” like that yourself ? I mean it would have to be worn round the clock for the data to make sense.

        I can’t see any good reason for upgrading my FR935 to another high-end watch but getting an additional “cheap” watch with these advanced “sleep recovery” derived metrics, why not. Especially since I’m not very good at getting a good night’s rest !

      2. I suspect that’s exactly what I’ll be doing for at least the next 4 weeks.

        although in my non-the5krunner/real world I wouldn’t do that. I’d use the one advanced workout watch.

        I could very easily live my life without wearing a watch outside of sport…but in sport…there’s got to be at least one on my wrist! I would tend to use waking hrv or emfit for the overnight recovery stuff which i would use to work alongside TRIMP-based wokout/load analyses.

      3. I’ve always worn a watch and I must say the FR935 has been great with its buzzing to let me know there’s a notification and even better to let me send a canned reply without pulling out my phone. The CIQ apps have been great too like MinuteCast or the OWM Widget. Clearly the Polars have none of this.

        The whole “quantified self” on the Ignite really looks great though and again, I *think* I can justify getting in in addition to my FR935, not something I could do with the high-end Polar watches that will not be getting FitSpark on top of that. HRV4Training is well designed but it’s yet another thing you have to do in the morning, on the Ignite it would be seamless.

      4. My use of fitspark so far is that, if you do all it says, you’re gonna get fit! It keeps nagging me to do weights (remember those? the thing that runners mostly “know” an extra mile will probably have the same effect as)…ahem

      5. Hehe…all the “good stuff” that runners keep coming up with excuses not to do 😉
        For the Training Load part, the watch just shows “cardio load” it seems, with all the details being visible ni “Polar Flow” ?

      6. it’s giving me 4 options what to do now and they involve weigths or core or circuit or bodyweight regular. so what am i going to do? 30 minute easy ride to the lake, 30-45 minute swim, 30 minutes tempo ride back. That’s almost the same right? My formal training plan has today down as a REST day, so that seems about right? Or am I doing something wrong 😉

      7. if i had a few hours spare I might do it all!!
        actually i’ve done a few things it’s suggested. it’s good in the sense that I am actually, sort of,using it properly and it seems to be working so far. i’m just going to have to clarify if any duplicates on FLOW miight confuse it.

      1. Thanks, well that wouldn’t be great for someone running laps on the track…Another sign that it can be viewed as an “advanced tracker” 😉

      2. a core function like creating manual laps should not be part of classification. Handling by using touchscreen seems a reason for lacking…

      3. Yeah it’s a pretty basic feature and an absolute must if you’re running on a track. The touchscreen would be a limiting factor I suppose, but what about a double-tap on the button ?

  4. I didn’t like it, I have already requested a refund.
    I had Polar A370 and M600 for my fitness at the gym, fantastic watches and a unique Polar Flow system, but this Polar Ignite from incorrect sleep information, (he claims I sleep 4 hours), cheap material, misread the HR, the battery lasts only 2 days (not 5 days) with 4 training sessions without using GPS.
    There are watches with Amoled screens and more reliable sensors that last for weeks.
    I can’t put a watch on charge every 2 days because “maybe” the third doesn’t arrive …
    forgive but (my opinion)
    It would have been enough to charge 100 euros more and put an Amoled Screen (which consumes less than TFT) and a larger Battery.
    Look forward to a better Polar watch.

  5. I can’t find any info on the notifications function.Did you set this up and does this work for you? Can you read the whole message/text by scrolling or is it like the M430 where you still need to check your phone for the whole message?

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