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For a while I had a Fitbit which went missing in Florida a few years ago , but my go-to device for the past year or so has been the Garmin Vivofit. For the most part I really like the Vivofit — solid battery life and tracking accuracy, smallish form-factor, works with a heart rate monitor, etc. I was particularly interested in how it would compare to the Garmin Vivofit. First off, the Polar A is a watch, whereas the Vivofit is a narrower band.
Both tell time, but since I already use a GPS watch I prefer to have a band on the opposite wrist so as not to look like a total geek. The A is a nice looking, well-made device. The wristband comes in several different color options white, pink, black and a few others — the device pops in and out of the band with ease, and has a built-in USB plug so it can be inserted directly into a computer for syncing and charging.
Band comfort is good — no issues there.
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As for function, the A does a solid job tracking steps, but one complaint I have here is that the watch-face displays a status bar below the time-of-day readout that slowly fills in as you accumulate steps rather than the actual step count. You can click the bottom right button and go to your daily activity screen, and that adds in a percent value showing how close you are to reaching your daily step goal, but you still need another two button-clicks before you can view your actual step count.
One feature I like with regard to activity tracking is that the watch vibrates when you reach your daily goal or if you have been inactive for a long time. My Garmin Vivofit does neither, so this is a plus for the A In addition to tracking steps, you can also record activities with the A There is no lap counter or stopwatch function per se, but you can time pre-set activities like walking, biking, swimming or running. These activities will show up when synced with your phone or on the Polar website.
Garmin Forerunner 230: Run tracking
One of the big pluses for the Garmin Vivofit is battery life. Though battery life is nowhere near as long as the Vivofit, I have gotten several weeks of life on each charge so it is still quite good. The A can be purchased with or without a heart rate monitor. If you opt to buy the HRM, you can use it during activities and have it display your heart rate.
I do use heart rate as an indicator of effort, but mainly as a reminder to slow down when I push the effort too hard. As such, I have not made much use of the more advanced heart rate features. One additional heart rate feature is that you can use the HRM to conduct a fitness test.
The watch records your heart rate, and then spits an estimate of your VO2max. I did the test and the watch gave me a VO2max value of 48 — not too far off the value of 52 I got a few years back when I had the test done in a lab. Another plus for the A is the Polar Flow app. The app is pretty simple, but it displays activity data nicely and syncs flawlessly with the device via Bluetooth Smart much more reliably than the Garmin Vivofit does with the Garmin Connect app.
Sample of daily activity screen from the Polar Flow app. Looks like I got restless around AM!
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So, as an activity tracker the Polar A is a great little device. It does just about everything that other activity trackers do, and adds in some more sophisticated heart rate training options.
For a device without GPS, this is a bit on the high side, especially when you compare it to a device like the Garmin FR Pricing both with and without a heart rate monitor included is almost identical between the two devices, which makes me question why one would opt for the Polar A However it is a bit pricy for a watch without GPS, so keep that in mind when weighing your options — comparably priced devices with GPS functionality are available and might be a better option.
The Polar A is available for purchase at Amazon. Purchases support this site and help me to write reviews like this one. Your support is very much appreciated!
This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession.
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In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly , and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. I had a question about the Polar A Can u not just check your heart rate at all times?
Or do u need the HR strap? I wish I would have done more research before buying this watch.
Garmin fr15 vs polar m400 manual
Completely disappointed. The watch face falls out of the watch band on a daily basis.
The band constantly comes undone. I regret giving my far superior Fitbit away. I just bought mine and it arrived this month.
Get calls, text messages, and other social updates right to your watch! Hey, just bought my A Thank you!
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View men's and women's selections. May 12, By Peter Larson 6 Comments.
Hands-on: Garmin’s new Forerunner 35 with optical HR
My activity diary so far from May — via the Polar Flow website So, as an activity tracker the Polar A is a great little device. Comments Cristina says:. October 20, at pm.
Peter Larson says:.
Maak van 2020 een top jaar.
November 22, at pm. No, you get steps with the HR monitor, you can just wear it during workouts. December 29, at pm. Kerry-Anne says:. February 1, at pm. Shizuka says:.
May 9, at pm.
Which Unit : Polar vs Garmin
Brigitte Preda says:. June 10, at am. Follow Runblogger. Search Runblogger. About Runblogger Runblogger is edited and authored by Pete Larson.
Garmin Forerunner 230: Design
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