Holly tests out the brand new Polar Ignite 2 watch – here's her verdict...
POLAR Ignite 2 GPS fitness watch | £199.50 | Tester: Holly Taylor
This reasonably-priced fitness watch is perfect for first-time users
Top tech brand Polar’s second edition of the popular Ignite fitness watch is stylish, smart and packed full of tools to boost your running. I’ve been lucky enough to take it for a test run – here’s what I thought…
Straight off the bat, I’m stunned by how utterly gorgeous this watch is: it’s small and sleek like its predecessor, but with striking new details that have given it an upgrade in terms of style. There are plenty of options for customisation, but I’ve gone for the new gold and champagne design, featuring a super-comfy silicone wristband and ribbed gold detailing around the face. As with most Polar products, there’s nothing stopping you from ordering an extra wristband with your watch if you’d like the option to shake things up: I’ve got my eye on the crystal bands for Christmas…
The Ignite 2 might not look as heavy-duty as some of Polar’s running-specific watches, like the Grit or Vantage models, but it’s perfect for fitness fanatics who want a versatile performance tracker that you can slip onto your wrist and almost forget it’s there. I’m hugely excited to try this out.
Setting up my Ignite 2 was surprisingly simple: everything I needed to know was in the instruction manual that arrived with the watch. The charging unit is really neat and is all included on arrival, so I could get started straight away. It took all of an hour or two to charge it up to full capacity, which then lasts for 20 hours in training mode in five days in watch mode.
Once it was all charged up, I was prompted to download the Polar Flow app so I could sync the watch up with my phone. All your activity is tracked via the clever Precision Prime™ sensor at the base of the watch, which sits flush to the skin, but the app is a brilliant way to stay on top of your stats, plan your training and get an overview of your performance. There are also plenty of tutorials on there, which I found answered any setup questions that I had, and even blog posts from the Polar team, so you know you’re getting the most out of your watch. It feels a bit like having a personal trainer in your pocket.
As I mentioned before, this watch isn’t just for running: it’s perfect for tracking your all-round fitness levels, including sleep and recovery. There are multiple options to select when you hit ‘start training’ on the watch, from yoga to cycling, swimming to group exercise: but, true to form, I select the run option and get cracking in. I’ve already scheduled a 30-minute session in via the app, so after one quick tap on the touchscreen watch face I’m off.
Being able to navigate my running playlist directly through the Ignite 2 is brilliant – though I have to admit, it took a technophobe like me a few moments to work this out (don’t forget to turn this setting on via the watch itself – duh!) – and the watch stayed comfortably in place throughout. I was also thrilled to discover that I can receive notifications from my phone to the watch, which is already proving useful. I can view my milage, speed, heart rate and the duration of my run easily on the watch face as I go – no more fiddling around checking stats on my phone.
Once I’ve finished my run I check the app, which proudly tells me I’ve completed 55% of my goal activity for the day. Once I’ve locked in a few more training sessions, the app will start telling me whether I need to boost my running to achieve those goals or whether I’m over-exercising and need to slow down.
If you’re looking for your first fitness watch, the Polar Ignite 2 is absolutely perfect. I’m only just scratching the surface with all the features that are available, from sleep stats to personalised training advice, but I’m already loving it and am so impressed by the price point. It’s ideal for cross-training and looks gorgeous for everyday wear. I can’t wait to see how this benefits my upcoming half marathon training!