Polar Unite review: A fitness tracker for personalized cardio routines

When paired along with your telephone’s GPS, Unite shows in-workout stats like distance, pace and coronary heart charge.
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Figuring out how one can spot the most effective health tracker in a sea of ​​choices could be troublesome, particularly when there’s a lot overlap with a few of the greatest smartwatches.

That line will get a bit blurrier with the introduction of Polar’s newest smartwatch, the Unite. This easy-to-use watch affords lots of the highest-end options within the trade, like superior sleep monitoring and multi-sport compatibility, at a surprisingly low value.

Though I spend most of my time outdoors, I’ve all the time been hit or miss in relation to health trackers. I’ve by no means been an enormous watch wearer and I am not the kind of one that intently displays my health or each day habits. However Unite guarantees a lot of helpful options, together with route and altitude monitoring, sleep monitoring and, apparently, meditation and respiration steering. I made a decision to present it a strive.

After my first few days with the watch, I grew to become a transformed health tracker. Though I initially deliberate to put on it for per week to write down this assessment, I wore it day-after-day and it grew to become regular to sleep and bathe. Listed here are my ideas on Unite and if the worth is simply too good to be true.

Extraordinarily straightforward to make use of, even in case you are not tech savvy

Your well being data is definitely accessible at any time, with easy one-button and touchscreen controls.
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Proper from the beginning, I’ve discovered Unite to be very straightforward to make use of and use, and I would not hesitate to advocate it to newbies or tech-challenged consumers. The colourful show is evident and simple to learn, and there are only a few fundamental actions that management all the pieces it’s worthwhile to see on the watch. Unite is a way more beginner-friendly choice than different gadgets like Fitbit or Garmin.

Studying to navigate the watch’s capabilities takes a few day, and since the display robotically lights up whenever you raise your wrist, it is simple to rapidly see your information and stats as you train.

Whereas the face would not supply as a lot customization as different watches, these downsides are outweighed by the Unite’s clear and easy-to-use data. It has the best operation of any tracker I’ve used.

These extra considering smartwatches may wish to take a look at our Polar Ignite assessment, which, in response to Polar, wears out a lot faster when coaching mode is enabled however lasts dozens of hours longer in watch mode. It might be greatest for individuals who are health acutely aware however not strictly regimented, or anybody whose coaching type requires fast bursts slightly than longer, extra sustained exercise.

Excessive-tech performance for exercises and on a regular basis life

Polar Unite is filled with options like health suggestions and in-depth analytics.
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Unite has a lot of the options I care about on a watch: GPS monitoring (kind of) a coronary heart charge monitor, sleep monitoring, and textual content notifications. Sadly, it would not function music integration, touch-to-pay cost capabilities, or maps and climate.

Nevertheless, what the smartwatch lacks in superior health or health options it makes up for with useful on a regular basis health options, together with Straightforward Respiratory steering and Spark, a wide range of customized energy, cardio and restoration routines.

Each Serene and Spark are straightforward to make use of and comply with, and I’ve all the time managed to search out time to make use of them most days. I not often do respiration workout routines myself, however I discovered myself utilizing the Serene function at the very least a couple of times a day.

There are additionally two apps suitable with the watch: Polar Beat, which focuses on capturing resting coronary heart charge, route monitoring and pace information, and Polar Circulate, which is extra centered on offering a normal abstract of your well being and health stats.

Unite nonetheless has some superior options discovered even on costlier Polar watches. I notably just like the cardio load operate, which analyzes the depth and effectiveness of your exercise by evaluating your coronary heart charge to earlier coaching classes. The watch learns about your health and exercise over time, permitting it to make suggestions and analyzes about your well being.

Common battery life however quick charging

Unite makes use of a USB adapter to cost, slightly than an ordinary mini USB cable.
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Polar claims the battery lasts about 4 days with regular use, and that appears largely correct. With out utilizing GPS-enabled monitoring, a full day of use (together with sleep) used about 20 % of the battery. Monitoring a roughly 45-minute bike experience used an extra 20 % of the battery. Fortunately, it solely takes about an hour to get to 100%, so there’s often sufficient time to pack a cost whilst you bathe or prepare dinner.

As a substitute of charging with an ordinary mini USB cable, Unite has a one piece that clips to the again of the watch and plugs instantly right into a USB port. This charger is small and Polar particular, so be sure you do not lose it.

GPS performance solely when paired with the telephone

Unite would not have built-in GPS capabilities, however when paired along with your telephone, it might use your telephone’s GPS to trace altitude, distance, and route. Appears correct sufficient (I examined it side-by-side with a Garmin Vvoactiv 3 with native GPS). I believe Polar determined to benefit from the telephone’s GPS slightly than embody one as a compromise to maintain the worth down. Nevertheless, in case your telephone battery drains rapidly otherwise you want to not carry your telephone whereas exercising, it might not be a viable resolution.

Unite additionally robotically connects and uploads to Strava, Gaia, and different in style health telephone apps. You’ll be able to retailer as much as 20 sport profiles akin to kayaking, biking, working or open water swimming, and as you train, you’ll be able to change the metrics displayed in your face to rapidly entry the stats that matter most to you.

Take into account that restricted GPS performance implies that some health monitoring options will likely be much less correct as they will not have the ability to observe distances constantly.

Cons to contemplate

The Unites band fastens with a nub via a band (prime black) in contrast to a standard band clip (like with the grey Fitbit).
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Apart from the dearth of built-in GPS, the one huge disadvantage is all the way down to the options. With no music options or superior monitoring options (new Suunto watches include heatmaps, for instance) it is designed to be extra of an on a regular basis tracker to observe your well being than a severe coaching or life administration gadget. It most likely will not beat the extra complete choices from Apple or Garmin.

One other minor gripe I had with the Unite issues its strap. As a substitute of getting a standard clasp, the watch has a nub that threads right into a collection of notches and the band then slides underneath the bracelet. I did not discover it as snug as a standard material band, however there are many band replacements obtainable on-line.

Do you have to purchase it?

The Polar Unite takes all the most effective options of its high-tech sibling, the Ignite, and places it right into a extra inexpensive and easy-to-use bundle. If you need entry to superior health and well being options and might do with out native GPS, it is a wonderful choice. It is a good on a regular basis watch with sufficient outdoor-oriented options for the common person, and at simply $150, it is an thrilling new addition to the health tracker market.