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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polar Loop - Best tracker out there for those serious about fitness!
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...
Published 2 months ago by donnelly5673

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Without Android App it is a bit limted
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...
Published 6 months ago by Dcpen43


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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polar Loop - Best tracker out there for those serious about fitness!, 12 July 2014
This review is from: Polar Loop Activity and Sleep Tracker (Sports)
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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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fitness monitor with ability to link to HRM and Polar flow, 25 Aug 2014
By 
purpleheart (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Polar Loop Activity and Sleep Tracker (Sports)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Without Android App it is a bit limted, 27 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nearly there, 3 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but nothing new here, 26 July 2014
By 
marcoscu "marcoscu" (Chorley,UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Polar Loop Activity and Sleep Tracker (Sports)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have some history with personal trackers, I have used several from Fitbit including the FITBIT FLEX Activity AND Sleep Tracker, Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker now discontinued, and the Garmin Vivofit Wireless Fitness Wrist Band and Activity Monitor - Black. So I was pleased to obtain this one to compare against them.

This is an attractive and well designed device with an up market feel to it. The LED display is striking and easy to see in any light although it has to be accessed by pressing the button on the wristband.

The worst thing about it is setting it up. You have to take your courage in your hands and trim the wristband to length and then assemble a fiddly and complicated buckle lock. This is a one-off procedure and once done can be forgotten about.

In use the device works well and has a good battery life compared to many of the rival devices, although it does not come close to matching the one year battery of the Garmin Vivofit Wireless Fitness Wrist Band and Activity Monitor - Black. It does not really offer any new features not found elsewhere nor does it lack any. All the basics of an activity tracker are here. To my mind the main thing the Polar Loop has to offer are build quality and good looks.

It does allow heart rate tracking when a separate heart monitor band is bought, as does the Garmin Vivofit, but for most casual users this is not needed.

One thing it does lack, and for me a compulsive list maker and metrics analyser, this is a big drawback is a lack of synchronization with the very many exercise, health and diet websites available.

On balance this is an attractive and well designed exercise tracker that does not really bring anything new to the table.

The Polar Loop is certainly an upmarket and classy looking device with a striking LED display

The Good
Good build quality
Striking looks
Heart Monitor
Bluetooth 4 connectivity
LED display is easy to read
Flight Mode
USB and/or Bluetooth syncing
Waterproof

The Bad
Fiddly and complicated initial setup
Lack of interface with other exercise products and websites
Heart Rate Monitor needs add on purchase
Limited number of phones supported
LED display is not always on
Step update latency
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely one of the best., 19 July 2014
By 
Trash (London, England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Polar Loop Activity and Sleep Tracker (Sports)
I've tried a lot of activity trackers and this is definitely risen to the top of my list (well this and the Fitbit One to be precise).

I was given one of these and a HR7 heart rate monitor by some friends as a birthday present as I'm constantly trying to improve my fitness and motivation to stay fit. As it was present I thought I would give it a go but I wasn't expecting much. However after a few days use I have to say I like it.

Here's a summary:

Pros:
- Heart rate monitor addition gives better and more accurate results than a wrist only solution would
- Monitors sleep without the need to put it into sleep mode (something I was constantly forgetting to do with other trackers). I'm also trying to improve my sleep so I am interested in sleep tracking. I know these things aren't accurate necessarily but it's good to have a general idea of sleep quality.
- Display is nice and clear and actually gives a fair amount of info even suggesting different ways of completing your daily goal
- Website offers a good amount of data and analysis (Fitbit's website is also good but maybe has less recommendations - I think their recommendations are reserved for their subscription service, Nike's website is just complex with lots of bugs, Jawbone don't have a website at the moment).
- Waterproof so for those of us that swim (I don't) or take showers (I do) this is great.
- Bluetooth syncing can be turned off by setting the device into flight mode (important to me but maybe not to most people)
- You can sync via Bluetooth to a phone or directly using a cable (again important to me but maybe not to others)
- Not as minimal as a Nike Fuelband but still not too bad (there are two shiny edges on either side of the display that I could do without but still...)

Cons:
- Step display does not update in real time. I find this weird. With all the other trackers I have used you can watch the steps update as you walk. The Polar Loop seems to bunch its step updates - I'm not quite sure how or when but it seems like it's every few seconds. Not necessarily a problem but a bit disconcerting at first.
- Proprietary charging cable. I understand that this is probably due to the need to keep it waterproof but I wish it just charged from a normal USB cable.
- Mobile app could do with some refinement - it's okay but but not great (and it looks drab). Wish there was an iPad app too.
- There should be more capability to set your own goals. Currently Polar decides what your goals should be based on your current lifestyle - it's more about your overall activity level rather than setting a goal like '15,000 steps. It would be nice if there was more (or finer) control over the goals
- Once you have reached the goal for the day that's it - you don't get any indication of how much you are exceeding the goal (until you sync at which point the website tells you what percentage of the goal you have reached or exceeded - you should be able to see this on the Loop itself).
- The inactivity alert doesn't really work for me. Nike does it better as does the Jawbone. The Jawbone allows you to set a inactivity duration so that if you are inactive for lets say 15 minutes then it alerts you (the Jawbone has the advantage of a vibration alert which means you can't miss it). The Nike tracks your activity each hour and basically if you have not been active enough within the last how then it alerts you (15 minutes before the hour is up) telling you it's time to move. If you move enough within the last 15 minutes then all is good. The Loop system is the worst of the lot in that 1) it does not vibrate and 2) it has already tagged you as bing inactive without giving you a chance to do something about it. So unless you somehow remember to keep moving (difficult with a desk-bound job) at the end of the day you end up with a bunch of inactivity alerts. Far better would be to warn you in advance that you have been inactive for too long and THEN if you remain inactive it should flag it in your daily feed.

However all things considered I think the positive's outweigh the negatives.
Final point - why do I still like (and use) the Fitbit One together with the Loop? Purely because it integrates with MyFitnessPal which allows me to monitor my calorie intact versus usage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I use running apps with GPS and altitude so the lack of those is not a killer for me (although it might be nice it knew about st, 9 July 2014
By 
Jo O'Connor (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Polar Loop Activity and Sleep Tracker (Sports)
I can think of some extras that I would want, and I'm hovering between 4 and 5 stars but I think this is rather nifty.

Disclaimer - I can cope without all singing all dancing gadgets. I have other apps on my phone to track food, body stats etc so I don't mind that Polar doesn't do that. I use running apps with GPS and altitude so the lack of those is not a killer for me (although it might be nice it knew about stairs).

I've used a Nike + in the past which I didn't get on with (don't have an iPhone, it wasn't very robust, phantom steps on public transport etc). An issue for me was that there was no way of getting the Nike to record details about workouts. A lot of my exercise is not step based (e.g. cycling) and so it was just incredibly frustrating. The fact that I can connect the Loop to a HRM is "a" solution to this problem.

And so far it's going swimmingly. It seems to be recording my background activity very nicely. The calorie count doesn't seem massively out. And being able to use the same thing (so the same recording) when connected to a HRM is great. It's one less thing to remember to bring to the gym. I quite like the sleep monitoring which again seems fairly accurate (total hours and total hours "restful sleep"). At least on the nights it tells me I didn't have much restful sleep are usually when I wake up feeling groggy. I like that it doesn't need me to remember to press anything, it just knows.

For me the Android app (on a HTC One) is stable and works. The online site is OK (although I'm not really interested in the sharing aspect). I think it would be useful if some of the functionality from Polar Beat was brought across, but who knows that might happen at some point. I'd also like to be able to export data which isn't possible. But pulling data from bluetooth is fine. Only thing that doesn't happen is that it doesn't sync unless I initiate it (as my phone sleeps I suppose) which means inactivity alerts aren't particularly relevant as they're more inactivity info - never real time so never an alert). I like how I can assign training activities in the Flow site for tracking - would be nice if I could do that on the phone app.

I do find that the battery runs down pretty quickly, so I have it in airplane mode a lot. (Otherwise it will got from 100 - 30% in less than a day). I'm going to do a test soon to let it run all the way down as I suspect it might be faulty calibration as most people seem to get 4 to 5 days out of it.

Pairing with a H7 HRM is painless and just seems to work. However, I should have bought a different HRM with ANT as well, as I'd like to be able to have HR on my loop at the same time my running app is using the same data for interval training. At the moment I have to choose one or the other which is a pain (but also my own fault).

A lot of the reviews make a big deal about the strap. I didn't find it a problem and it's a nice snug fit. I can only imagine that lots of people have never had to replace a watch strap if they find it so onerous, but for me it seemed pretty fool proof (at least no worse that Nike+ where you have to choose and initial size and then have a couple of spacers).

So in general I think it's good for people who are already quite active. It's not as social as some of the other things out there (which I consider a plus) and it's not into gamification so if you were looking for extra motivation in that way I can see why it would fall down.

Bad things (so far): I may have a dodgy unit but the battery life is really not good. I would like a battery indicator before you plug it in. I would like to be able to tweak my daily goals more than just using the presets. And it would be great if the "exercise suggestions" could somehow learn from information you enter in the appl. For example, if most of my JOG status activity is from running or cycling it suggest those rather than basketball. And pulling data out would be lovely.

Good things: Pretty unobtrusive. Hooking up with a real HRM is a real plus, and the app isn't too "post everything to your friends". Android support is nice (as so many things only do iOS). It seems accurate in the ways that work for me. I like the calendar view on the Flow site as well for a quick way of seeing where you are.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars absurd bracelet mechanism, 2 April 2014
I have fallen at the first hurdle. Without even bothering to set up the software how can it be that the bracelet mechanism is a dodgy watchmaker's pin thing, a paper tape measure and a requirement to cut the wristband yourslef to make it fit? What is wrong with a regular adjustable strap? One hole too big and it's no good. One hole too small and it's worthless. What if you lose or gain weight or your wrists swell in the heat or at night? What if you wnat to give it to someone else? Just an incomprehensibly stupid design in er..... 2014? really?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ) The strap is fiddly but with someone who has small wrists it's great to be able to custom your strap (I had ..., 29 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Polar Loop Activity and Sleep Tracker (Sports)
I've only just got the polar but thought I would review this now due to some of the other reviews being misleading..

I bought this even though my perception from reading the reviews was that the only mobile app this watch worked with was only available on an iPhone. . Big fan of Android, I was pleasantly surprised that there is now an Android app. Yeah :)

The strap is fiddly but with someone who has small wrists it's great to be able to custom your strap (I had to cut almost half off each end).

Bit disappointed that there were no instructions until I'd downloaded the app which gave me the website and links to download the sync programme... my watch took ages to update which could be why I've apparently used 1500 calories in a few hours although I could be wrong on that point... but good news I can factory reset the watch in the morning and start again if I like and see how it goes then :)

The button to press isn't as sensitive as I thought it would be..

I do like it though... The test will be in a few weeks time when I go back to swimming an hour each day.. A cheaper version watch only lasted three and a bit days..
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love using the Loop, 11 Mar 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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