Polar launches budget fitness tracker for everyday workouts

Polar Unite
(Image credit: Polar)

Polar has released a new beginner-friendly fitness tracker, the Polar Unite, designed with new users in mind – particularly if you're just getting into fitness for the first time, or returning from a break.

The Unite is made for everyday wear, providing stats on not just your workouts, but also the rest of your day, including smartphone notifications, guided breathing exercises, sleep tracking, and all-day heart rate monitoring.

The Unite is a real change of pace for Polar, which is better known for its range of fitness trackers and heart rate monitors designed for serious athletes, including the newly released Polar Grit X – a watch created with outdoor enthusiasts firmly in mind.

Not only does it feature a wide range of location tracking technologies to help you find your way when exploring remote locations, it also offers fuelling and hydration reminders for long treks, and detailed analysis of your recovery afterwards.

Light and bright

The Polar Unite includes similar features, but with a more beginner-friendly twist. For example, it offers sleep tracking to help you make choices that will improve your nightly rest, plus a tool called Nightly Recharge that measures your autonomous nervous system (ANS) recovery not just from workouts, but from your day as a whole, and gives you practical daily feedback.

It can also guide you through a five-minute fitness test that can give a good estimate of your VO2 max (a measure of how efficiently your body uses oxygen), providing a starting point for out new exercise routine. VO2 max is partly genetic, but is also trainable to an extent, and seeing improvement over time is rewarding.

Polar Unite

(Image credit: Polar)

The Polar Unite is light (at 32g, it's just 2g more than the slimline Fitbit Charge 4), making it comfortable to wear all day. It has a bright color touchscreen, and offers battery life of up to four days in watch mode, or 50 hours in training mode.

The only downside appears to be the lack of on-board GPS, meaning you'll need to carry your phone so it can connect to the Unite via Bluetooth if you want to map your runs, walks and rides.

The Polar Unite is on sale now on Polar's website for $149.95 / £134.50 (about AU$240) in black, white, pink and blue. Extra bands are available in a range of colors and materials, starting at $22.95 / £20.50 (about AU$35).

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)