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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 12 July 2014
Polar Loop, Love it! Took a bit of a plunge buying this as many of my questions were unanswered through searching the web, in this review i'll answer the questions I had, hopefully it'll be helpful. First of all I am not naive to fitness trackers, i've had fitbit flex, one, ultra and force; the basis band; body media fit and Jawbone up... Out of all these I prefer the Loop, why?

Accuracy: This seems far more accurate than any tracker i've used with a caveat: the bluetooth HRM. For basic movement tracking alone I think this works much better than the up, which as far as I can see only gives calories based on steps and consequently often ended up with a pathetic daily burn, and better than the fitbit which always seemed to over estimate. Add in the Bluetooth HRM and it ROCKS! Spinning, exercise classes, running, weights everything recorded with accuracy and great detail - trust it 100% Use this in conjunction with Myfitnesspal (more later) and I am now seeing the weight loss i expect.

Detail: As mentioned the detail given with the HRM is amazing, tells me time in different fitness zones, %fat burn vs fitness (if you believe that slightly antiquated idea) and accurate calorie burn.

iPhone app: Forget other older reviews where syncing is criticised, the new app and band upgrade have never failed me 100% sync success, the app work differently to fitbit etc and on the surface seems to give less detail but you can delve deeper within the app and the polar flow website, no complaints there, actually prefer it to other apps which although look more detailed actually offer less data.

Flexibility: I wasn't sure if this would measure swimming but it does, comes out as walking in the burn stakes which is probably about right - tend to do front crawl after a workout to cool down and stretch out tired muscles.

Fit: People criticise having to cut the band, and it is a bit daunting, but at the end of the day you have something 100% tailored for you thats weighs practically nothing. The clasp lock is secure an unobtrusive - like it!

Questions and answers I couldn't find anywhere else: does it accurately track swimming - yes. Does it work in your pocket - yes (i'm a nurse so can't wear anything on my wrist while on duty but stick it in a pocket and at the end of the day it tells me my steps - may be slightly less accurate as it doesn't get all the motion I do each day, but still records and gives believable burn so i'm happy) Sleep tracking - I think earlier versions gave really basic time lying down data, but the release i'm using gives amount of sleep and %sound vs %light sleep - not as detailed as say the basis or up but at least it does it, and well I'm asleep so all good.

Negatives: It doesn't sync with Myfitnesspal - not a deal breaker, I just set my calories on MFP at 0 and then add yesterdays burn as an exercise to today - not ideal but looking at weekly burn let me know pretty accurately net calories + or - so i'm happy - read that they are looking to integrate which would be great, but not holding my breath as polar not known for working well with others. Battery life is poor compared to other trackers - get about 4 days just using tracker and 3 days using with HRM, but as I sit and type it's plugged into laptop and charging away - only takes about 90 minutes to go from empty to full. If i decided i've had enough and want to sell on with ebay i'm somewhat limited in prospective customers due to the already cut wristband - but have no intentions of selling up in the near future.

Would i recommend it? Totally. Who's it for? I'd say people who are serious about accurately recording their activity who work out - if you're just starting on a fitness kick or just want an easy way to track and sync with MFP then i'd suggest the Fitbit (although now that the force isn't available i'd encourage you towards the loop).

I hope this review helps you decided! I always think when i see glowing reports on Amazon that they are written by some company PR person, but I can assure you that's not me, just a delighted customer!
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on 20 February 2016
If you are looking for a tracker that works for swimmers, this is it! I've been searching for a tracker for swimming fans that didn't cost the earth for the better part of a year. so when I stumbled across this I was delighted, and if I'm honest a little nervous as to whether it would be any good being so cheap as trackers go.

I'm really pleased I bought this, it tracks everything from sleep to swimming, and is comfortable to wear. It's quite stylish looking, I purchased the purple one (my favourite colour) and love the fact that the leds are purple as well as the tracker. It comes with really clear instructions on how to fit the wrist strap to your wrist, and on how to set the android app up to work with your tracker. There is also a website that you can use and I believe there is an ios app available too. Sadly it's not available on Windows phone.

A handy little feature of this particular tracker is that if you haven't moved in 55 minutes it will flash up a pattern of lights to catch your eye, and when you tap the button it tells you 'It's time to move' on the led screen. There is also a time function so you no longer need to wear a watch.

The app gives you a choice of three levels depending on how active you already are, being quite the couch potato I opted for the lowest level, and believe me for someone as unfit as myself it's quite a challenge filling my daily activity meter up. Its very motivational when you do get through the day and see that its either full or nearly full though. And delightfully if you manage to go over your daily goal it tells you in % how much over you have gone. So far the best I have managed (ever) is 104%.
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Colour: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am a big fan of fitness monitors as I find them hugely motivating for exercise and very useful for monitoring sleep. I have had the fitbt ultra, fitbit one and wear the fitbit flex daily. I recently compared the Garmin vivofit with the fitbit flex and when I had the opportunity to review the Polar loop I was delighted as I have used a Polar RS300x Black, Running Series HRM and a Polar H7 Bluetooth 4.0 Heart Rate Sensor Set for iPhone 4S/5 and was looking forward to seeing how they would work together. My left wrist is currently sporting both myFitbit Flex Wireless Activity Tracker & Sleep Wristband and my Health & Fitness Calories Burned Monitor Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensors Polar Loop so that I can do a direct comparison.

Actually getting the Polar loop onto my wrist was a bit daunting as you have to cut the wrist band to size and then fit the buckle. It worked fine but was far less easy than the other fitness monitors to get going, although the rest of the set up was straightforward.

Pros

+ Polar loop can be linked to a HRM so you can analyse your activity data
+ Polar loop links to Polar flow. The heart rate band picks up higher heart rates and logs them as activities. I already had a Polar flow account because I had the H7 and now all my activities and data is merged there
+ Waterproof, so good for swimmers and it counts the activity as steps
+ Display comes on when the button to the right of the display is pushed, and you can toggle through steps (daily total), calories burned, daily activity goal bar, guidance to achieve goal e.g. jog for 60 minutes and time
+ Set up is straightforward and syncing is via custom charger cable. Videos are available online to give more info
+ Website for Polar flow is good for summarising activity, but I prefer the widget based fitbit one in look and feel
+ Bracelet clasp feels secure
+ Has a sleep function but less breakdown on sleep efficiency etc. than the fitbit
+ Prompts you to move after periods of inactivity
+ Memory capacity holds 12 days activity data

Cons

- Charge is via a custom charger and the Polar loop needs charging every 4 days or so and it's all too easy to be caught out without it. The flex sends me messages on email and to my phone when it is low on charge - I wish the loop did the same
- Bluetooth syncing to my iPhone app is a bit flaky and slow
- No altimeter, so doesn't give you a stair count like the fitbit one does and the withdrawn fitbit force did
- Display is via Red LED and is not straightforward to read in bright sunlight
- Style is functional rather than aesthetically pleasing and it's a bit clunky and heavier than others and it's certainly less pretty than, say, the jawbone.
- Website does not have the food database of fitbit and the links to partner sites such as Withings and MyFitnessPal
- Sleep function is rudimentary and does not provide as much analysis as the fitbit, for e.g.
- Have to initiate sync instead of it happening in background
- No buzz alerts when you meet your daily goal- which could be useful in the absence of a permanent display

In terms of accuracy: the Polar loop and my Fitbit units are providing similar measures when compared with purposeful walking- within 5%. However I have found a difference of 30% when pottering around the house - with the Polar loop recording more steps by far.

In terms of websites the fitbit website is better for overall healthy lifestyle monitoring as you can get an overall picture of calories in and out. The Polar website is great for analysing fitness and breaks down your activity levels through a set of colour codes. It also lets you know what percentage you are through your Daily Goal, and makes suggestions on how you could quickly reach your goal - eg. 43 minutes of squash, 2 hours 6 mins of "gentle dancing"

One of things that I have found most motivating about wearing my fitbit has been the linking with friends on a leaderboard for competition and, of course, I would lose that if I were to switch. I will report back once I have used them in tandem for longer.

In summary:
--------------

If you're already a Polar user then this will fit in nicely with your suite of other gadgets. If you're already a Fitbit user then the reason to change would be for the link to HRM info. Currently, I wear a Polar RS300X G1 Heart Rate Monitor and Sports Watch when running and it would be nice to cut down on devices.

If you're in the market for a new tracker and are more interested in fitness activity than in measuring both your calorie input and output then this is a great unit - especially with the HRM strap as an add on.

Recommended
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on 3 April 2014
I bought the Loop after reading the reviews on amazon.com (the US, not the UK site). The thing that clinched the deal was one of the reviewers mentioning that the Loop can track the quality of your sleep. All the rest seemed to be, more or less, on a par with other products (jawbone, fitbit, etc.). It's not that I am having any issues with my sleep but I am a data scientist and have a thing for collecting data and inferring trends so I was fascinated by the idea that one device can continuously track vital data such as heart rate (if worn with a heart rate sensor), sleep and movement.

So I bought the Loop along with the H7 heart rate sensor and have been wearing the Loop for 3 weeks continuously. Here are my impressions:

Pros:

- The band looks both elegant and sturdy
- It is easy to set up and synchronise with an app I installed on my mac (I connect it via the cable that comes with the Loop)
- I cannot comment on accuracy but heart rate values seem entirely plausible so I'll count it as a pro

Cons:

- The indicator is not convenient to use

In order to see the time or the heart rate you have to press a button. If you wear the Loop continuously instead of a watch that's a major hassle. I cannot discreetly peek into it during a meeting as I could do with my watch. Everyone would notice that you are looking at the Loop as you have, to essentially, use both your hands to check the time. Same thing applies to checking your heart rate while running. Also, in bright sunlight it is very difficult to read the indicator.

- The Loop does not really track the quality of your sleep

To be fair, Polar did not claim that - it was a misleading review on amazon.com that did.

- The website design is really, really bad

Don't get me wrong, I don't need bells and whistles and the latest HTML5 tricks. I just want to have an easy way to check duration and intensity of training sessions and duration of sleep. You can get the info but it is rather unintuitively laid out. Also, the website does not offer any visualisations on trends.

- So far I can't see any ways to export the data

Feeling let down by the website I thought of exporting the data to some other application or, perhaps, doing the visualisations myself. And here comes the major gotcha - you can't do that. This seems so horrendously wrong I can't believe Polar has done it. It captures YOUR vital data but it does not give you any access to it other than via its lame website. Data export is not really a technical challenge - it must have been a conscious marketing/product management decision. In a way similar to Apple's attempt to lock you into their product ecosystem. The main difference, however, is that Apple's products are generally OK design-wise while information design of Polar's Loop website is, so far, very gauche and not well-thought-out.

To sum it up - the Loop didn't live up to my expectations. I got the idea - and it sounds nice - but its implementation is lacking. I am contemplating a return (I'm still within the 30 days return guarantee).
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on 27 March 2014
I have both the Loop and Flexibit and to be honest i need something that combines them both. The major limitation of the Loop is a lack of Android App. Downloading via a computer when you are used to the BLE connection on the Flexbit is a step back. Promises of an Appp are not yet forthcomming from Polar and it is overdue. Having too to cut the strap to size is a design flaw. Someone somewhere is going to overcut the strap and they will have wasted their money. A simple clip bracelet will suffice. The final niggle for me is perhaps more directed at BLE. I go to the gym wanting to use the HRM with the loop and my iCardio android app. Not an option and this may well be the way that Polar has implemented its protocols. I can connect my fitbit to the Samsung Note 2 at the same time I am running iCardio. With the polar loop if it grabs the H7 first them nothing else can read the HRM. I am going to have to think about a way in which I can genuinely get some utility out of this other than for telling the time and it looks like I am going to keep the flexbit until Polar get its act together on connectivity and compatability.
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on 11 March 2014
This is a great product to make you do more exercise each day. I thought that I was quite an active person until I got this and realised how much I sit down at work. I go to the gym quite a lot but that is just an hour here and there of proper exercise. What the Loop does is show me how active I am during the day and any time I can just look at the bracelet to see how much of my daily target I have hit. I find myself walking up and down the stairs before I go to bed to make sure that I get 100% achievement. I would recommend this product as anyone can use it and get motivated by it.
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on 17 April 2016
Was undecided on the 'lower' priced wrist trackers..ratings weren't that good, & I wasn't prepared to pay £100+ for the market leader, as I'll be using it mainly for walking exercise-but needed to see steps/calories etc in a easy to read online graph.
Arrived OK-well packaged, VERY easy set-up on line(POLARFLOW) download...sync with the watch...put in your stats & away you go.
I was having problems over the 'cut the strap to size' reviews, but you do get a wrist measure guide & I did get the scissors out & had a cut on both ends of the strap. Which I then cut another link off, just to be comfortable. The supplied tool is not particularly brilliant, better just using your fingernails-worked OK & was done in 5 minutes..while the battery is charging.
The watch itself is extremely light..very retro looking with the scrolling dot matrix display, is waterproof & offers updates on how many more steps/jogging time etc you need to do to reach your target for the day..& how many you have already done.
Like an idiot I did order one from Amazon Warehouse...cheaper than new....BUT don't forget that these have been previously worn/used, so be aware that the strap will have been cut..the one I received probably wouldn't have fitted my 2 year old granddaughter.... :)
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on 12 July 2014
The device itself is great but the fiddling about to actually get it to fit your wrist is very annoying not simple at all I thought it was bit of cutting and then just clipping back together. You have to insert fiddly bits and they kept popping out. Would definitely not buy another one of these in a rush.
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on 4 April 2015
Purchased for my SO. First one was faulty but Amazon quickly refunded and we reordered and the second works like a charm. She really likes it for keeping on top of her activity and pairs it with her Polar H7 Heart Rate Monitor. Like all activity trackers you really need to get one that works for you so be sure to read up about what they do best and what their supporting apps do.
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on 22 March 2015
I flipping love this thing! I've had a Jawbone Up and a Fitbit but the Polar Loop is by far my favourite! Really good to look at, a bit futuristic in design, beautiful colours (if you like purple, blue and black (with red LED)), love the LED display that tells me I'm not doing enough(!) and I can cut it to fit my wrist exactly. It's not big and bulkly like some activity bands. The clasp is firm and secure, unlike the Jawbone UP and the Fitbit which kept coming off if I caught them on something. Don't be worried about cutting - I just cut and fitted, cut and fitted over again until I had it right, rather than take off a large part all at once. And I've read that Polar will replace bracelets that are mistakenly cut too small anyway.

Re the information it gives you, this is great too. The display tells me the time (do I need a watch anymore?!), steps taken, calories earned and best of all the activity taken. If you haven't reached your target, then the activity display tells you what you need to do to reach it in either methods of jog, walk or stand so you can take your choice. I have been seen jogging around the sitting room at 11.55pm (it resets at 12am) to make my target before the cutoff....! It really does motivate you!

There are two apps that I know of to connect to it, Polar Flow and Polar Beat. The Flow is a store of all your day to day data which includes your sleep pattern which is useful to read and the Beat is a precise activity tracker for sessions ie when you go out jogging. Beat records speed, map, distance, pace etc and then you can connect the data to your day in the Flow app by syncing. Also a useful feature of the Loop is it can be used underwater for swimming and as far as I know is the only activity tracker able to track swimming or non-step activities. And if you get a compatible heart rate monitor it will display your heartbeat on your Loop as well so you know exactly what you're doing at the time ie fat burning, aerobics etc.

I won't buy another activity band apart from Polar now, I'm sold! When they bring out a new one that'll be the one I get next, if I ever give this one up which seems unlikely!

Brilliant, well done Polar!

Definitely recommended for its beauty, ease of use and practicality. Oh and the connected apps are great too.
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