63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Good fitness monitor with ability to link to HRM and Polar flow,
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.
+ 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
- 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.
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.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Sep 2014 12:36:14 BDT
Richard E says:
Thank you for a comprehensive review
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2015 16:39:40 GMT
You're welcome - glad it helped
Posted on 9 Jan 2015 08:39:57 GMT
Nice review, particularly as you've experience of other Polart products.
Can I ask how the lopp's heart rate data compaes to other Polar HRM's? For example I have a Polar F11 for many years, and it tells you your training zone in terns of heart rate, fitness test, % fat burnt, in zone etc..
So how much detail regards " Heart rate' does this Polar activity Loop give? Thanks
In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jan 2015 10:47:06 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Jan 2015 10:47:48 GMT
I'm glad you found it useful.
The Polar Loop isn't the HRM as such. You need to used a HRM for the data to be displayed on the wrist tracker, I used the HR7 and I think it won't work with older Polar HRMs as they are not bluetooth.
As a default it displays the BPM on the wrist tracker but it has to be linked to a HRM to to do. Apparently the heart rate can also be expressed as a percentage of your maximum heart rate, or as a percentage of your heart rate reserve (HRmax - HRrest); can be displayed as a graphical trend; when that data is collected via a smart heart rate sensor, but I haven't tried that.
You can link the HR7 to the Polar beat app which gives a good breakdown of information and can give you audio coaching too, but I haven't been able to run both Polar beat and Polar Flow at the same time.
Hope that helps
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