Optical heart rate monitors have been common in fitness trackers for a while now. Polar’s insistence on developing their own proprietary tracking technologies have made them late to the party, but they’ve managed to catch up with A360, their first wrist-worn fitness tracker with optical heart rate monitoring.
The A360 has a rectangular color touch display and a silicone band. It looks very large (the large font on the display doesn’t help), but the tracker will come in small, medium, and large sizes, so hopefully it will be possible to get one that fits comfortably and looks good on most wrists. It’s also waterproof, so you should be good to go for inclement weather and the swimming pool.
Besides heart rate monitoring, the A360 tracks the usual fitness stats — steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and sleep. These stats can be viewed on the Polar Flow app, which also has room for training schedules. The tracker will also buzz when it detects long periods of inactivity, encouraging movement breaks on the job or at home. Besides the fitness features, the A360 is also a functional smartwatch, pulling incoming calls, messages, social media notifications, and reminders from a smartphone over a Bluetooth connection.
The Polar A360 costs $200 and will be available in stores and online sometime next month. The medium and large trackers will come in black, while the small size will come in white. Later, Polar will release pink trackers in small and medium and a navy tracker in medium, along with interchangeable silicone bands in white, black, pink, navy, and neon green.
UPDATE: 11/09/2015: A previous version of this post stated that the Polar A360 has continuous heart rate monitoring. The A360 can only monitor heart rate when a training session has been started. The post has been amended to reflect this.