Polar, the sports and fitness company, has launched two new smartwatches – Polar Pacer and Polar Pacer Pro. While many of the brand’s wearables have historically been aimed at experienced runners, or those who are at least reasonably fit, with the Pacer range Polar has recognized that not everyone is at this level.
The Pacer Pro is still made for serious runners, but the non-pro Polar Pacer was designed for entry-level runners. The Pacer uses the same brand new high performance chipset as the Pacer Pro with a Gorilla Glass covered screen but a thin 40 gram body for portability. It comes in four different colors — Cloud White, Night Black, Deep Teal, or Purple Dusk — and costs a reasonable $200.
What’s interesting is how Polar has adapted some of the features of its other, more focused smartwatches for the Pacer. For example, Polar’s running test, which estimates your fitness level, has been replaced with a walking test. Beginners will not benefit from a VO2 max or maximum heart rate reading and will likely be put off by the intensity of the running test. The walk test gets its results from a 15-minute brisk walk instead.
This is just the beginning of its improved accessibility. It shows basic pace, time and distance data; has curated running programs to reduce risk of injury and increase motivation, along with automatic sleep tracking, music controls, GPS; and general smartwatch functions so that it can be worn on a daily basis.
The Polar Pacer Pro takes the features of the Pacer and adds additional technology that the more experienced, dedicated runner will benefit from. There’s a new 10-LED heart rate sensor on the back, and inside there’s a new barometer and magnetometer to better assess elevation changes while running and provide performance data in watts. These sensors are supported by a new antenna array for the GPS system, resulting in the Pacer Pro being able to track your route and effort more accurately.
The Polar Pacer Pro is available in Carbon Gray, Snow White, Autumn Maroon, Midnight Blue, or Aurora Green and retails for $300. Both new smartwatches have a faster chipset for improved performance and a battery that should last around 35 hours on a single charge with GPS and heart rate tracking enabled, or around a week with the battery saver enabled.
The Polar Pacer Pro is available from April 13th towhile the Polar Pacer will arrive in May.
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