Reviews

Polar A370 User Review – All Day HR with Activity Tracking | GadFit

July 2, 2017

The Polar A370 ($179.95) is a near replica of the aged A360 which was released in 2016. In all aspects, the naked eye will find it hard to differentiate between the former and the latter. Heck, even the wrist straps between the A360 and the A370 are exchangeable.

However the A370 brings with it a new slew of features that would make the its predecessor proud. There’s all day HR measurements, HR broadcast via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Sleep Plus algorithms to better track recovery, and connected GPS by tapping on the connected mobile device’s GPS.

I’ve used the wearable for a while now and here’s what I have to say about the Polar A370 all day fitness tracker.

Polar A370 in box

LOOK AND FEEL

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the A370 and the A360 are hard to tell apart from the physical appearance. The only tell tale sign is the back where it’s listed as A370. The other way is by powering the device up. A single button on the side along with touch enabled display controls all the functions of this wearable.

The display is a magnet for finger print smudges, something I didn’t fancy at all. After a few days of use, I found myself wiping the Polar A370 on my clothes, trying to remove the smudges like how I’d do on my phone. How I wished it had the oleophobic coating that was on the Samsung Gear Fit 2 and the Apple Watch Series 2 but alas.

Polar A370 activity summary

The display performs splendidly under low lighting conditions but visibility under bright sunlight may be a challenge.

Both the wrist strap and display face are changeable. The new wrist strap features a double loop design instead of a single loop. Yet it’s annoyingly difficult to slot the strap into the loops.

The wearable is a tad thick on the profile so it will not go unnoticed. The back of the A370 is where the charging port (micro USB) and optical HR sensors are housed.

Battery life is listed at 3-4 days worth of use before charging is required. This will depend on usage; whether smart notification is enabled and duration of workout. In my case, I was able to go 4 days worth with 2 workouts (30 minutes each) thrown in.

POLAR A370 FUNCTIONS

Heart Rate Features

The HR readings from the Polar A370 was compared against that of the Polar H10 chest strap HR monitor. I found the HR measurements of the A370 on par with that of the Polar H10 save for bits of hiccups. In my case, it was towards the end of the workout as can be seen by the spike of the blue coloured graph. The occurrence is rare but I thought I should highlight it in this review. More often than not, the performance is stellar for optical HR sensors of this size.

You have to understand that both the Polar M600 and the M430 shipped with 6 LED optical HR sensors.

Polar A370 HR measurements vs H10

Polar has also added 2 new features to the HR measurement aspect of the A370.

For starters, Polar has enabled the all day HR measurements that has eluded all its previous wearables while its competition powered ahead.

Could this be a sign that Polar is finally confident of its wrist based HR measuring tech for all day use? Or is it simply a case of keeping up with the Jones. We’ll never know. One thing’s for sure, Polar isn’t sitting on it.

Polar A370 all day HR measurements

What I particularly like is that lowest recorded HR during sleep, lowest HR during the day, and he highest HR during the day are all captured and recorded.

Polar A370 all day HR trend over time

These 3 readings are accessible both on the wearable and within the Polar Flow mobile app which makes for ease of reference. Over time, the readings are charted over time along with workouts, activity levels for a quick overview.

The other key feature in the HR measurement aspect is the broadcasting of HR measurements to compatible 3rd party mobile apps. In this mode, the compatible 3rd party apps will read and record HR measurements from the Polar A370.

Polar A370 transmission mode

From the get go, I was only able to connect it to Endomondo app. Subsequently, I was able to transmit HR readings to Strava as well. In spite of the various apps I succeeded to connect my Polar A370 to, the Polar Beat isn’t one of them.

Even after 2 weeks of use, it’s the single mobile app which I haven’t been able to pair the A370 with. I’m unsure if it has to do with my having both Polar Flow and Polar Beat on the same mobile device.

HR broadcasting is on demand and can be turned on and off from the “settings” tab easily.

Polar Sleep Plus Algorithm

As of publication, the A370 and the M430 are the only 2 devices which have Polar’s Sleep Plus tracking algorithm. According to Polar, Sleep Plus has been compared and bench marked against Polysomnography.

The recorded sleep is synced and presented in Polar Flow mobile and web platform.

Polar A370 sleep recording weekly

I’m unsure how big a part the optical HR sensors play in Polar’s Sleep Plus tracking since the M430 was able to track sleep without activating the HR sensors.

Similar to the Polar M430, the sleep duration is usually correct if you go to sleep at the same time regularly. You’d then be given a sleep continuity score between 1 to 5; higher scores are correlated with better sleep quality.

Assisted GPS and Accelerometer Estimated Distance

There’s one other neat feature the Polar A370 has up its sleeves and that’s running with GPS. While the wearable doesn’t have GPS capabilities, it taps on the connected mobile app’s GPS instead to display essential workout data.

For this to work, the user must ensure location tracking is enabled for Polar Flow mobile app before you start your workout.

Polar A370 accelerometer estimated pace and distance

In the the absence of GPS capabilities, the Polar A370 can also estimate distance run based on the in-device accelerometer.

Sports Profiles

One of the cool thing about tracking workouts with Polar devices is the multitude of sports profiles to choose from. Depending on the wearable, each profile can be tweaked to display certain stats only. So there’s an immense amount of customisation on the user’s part.

Polar A370 sports profiles

Workout stats are recorded and then synced to the Polar Flow mobile app where the user may further analyse the sessions.

Polar A370 workout summary

All Day Activity Tracking

The A370 is a robust all day activity tracker that records your steps and activity levels throughout the day and presents it in a concise summary which the user may access right from the device.

Polar A370 ending feature

The data are then recorded within the Polar Flow mobile app after syncing. The interface has largely remain unchanged the last 4-5 years I’ve used the app. Save for the addition of sleep tracking and all day HR measurements.

I get the sensing that Polar hasn’t quite decided the best way to present their collected stats so they’ve gone ahead and enabled both graph forms (for all day HR trends) and pie chart diagram to display the activity levels for the day.

This is probably to cater to devices that does all day HR measurements such as the A370 and all other devices in Polar’s stable that don’t as yet.

Polar A370 on polar Flow web

Personally while the Polar Flow mobile app offered immense convenience, I’d prefer the details found on the Polar Flow web platform.

Also I noticed that when it comes to hitting the activity tracking goal for the day, Polar seemed to place more emphasis on intensity and level of activity compared to just step count alone.

POLAR A370 IN A NUTSHELL

At $179.95, the Polar A370 is clearly a winner over its predecessor, along with many other wrist based fitness trackers on the market; this is clearly a wearable that punches above its weight.

The broadcasting of heart rate measurements to 3rd party compatible apps along with Sleep Plus algorithm might be the deal sweetener for some. Also, the ability to become a display for the phone’s GPS during runs would sound great to those who find GPS watches bulky or running with mobile devices inconvenient when strapped to the arms or waists. There’s also the sedentary alert, smart notifications and vibration alarms the wake up to.

Polar A370 alarm

If you’d like something more comprehensive, throw in an extra $50 more and get the more powerful Polar M430 instead. You’d be getting Polar’s orthostatic fitness test along with advanced running and GPS enabled features.

You can purchase the Polar A370 ($179.95) from Amazon where there’s usually a small discount, great return policy, and free delivery depending on where you reside. In return your purchase helps to offset the costs associated with the running of this site. Thanks for reading!

POLAR A370 TECHNICAL SUMMARY

  • All day activity tracker. Records steps, distance, calories and sedentary alerts
  • Continuous all day heart rate measurements
  • Assisted GPS – Use your phone’s GPS to track speed, distance and route
  • Polar Sleep Plus algorithm – get the valued insight you need to get a good Nights rest
  • Broadcast heart rate via Bluetooth Low Energy  and pair it to your preferred fitness app
  • 3rd party compatibility – exercise and activity data is automatically sent and is available to be used in services where you allow it
  • Vibration enabled for sedentary alerts, smart notifications and alarms
  • Water proof
  • Battery life up to 3 days with 24/7 activity tracking, including 1 hour of training per day
  • Multitude of customisable Sports Profiles
  • Changeable wrist straps and display face

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