If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
That seems to be the strategy Polar has adopted with its latest release, the A370.
Polar’s first smaller, sleeker wrist-based tracker, the A360, was an instant hit with fitties who couldn’t quite stomach the idea of one of the brand’s massive, hardy trackers on their arm – and the A370 offers a more refined version to that loyal fan-base.
The A370 looks pretty identical to its super-popular predecessor, with the notable exception of a sturdier clasp. The A360’s was slightly flimsy, and had popped open more than once in my few weeks with the model – although it was really my only gripe.
The A370’s clasp is more like that of a traditional watch. It makes it ever so slightly bulkier, but it’s so much easier to put on (and it stays on!), so the feature is a definite upgrade.
OK, that’s a minor change – what else is new? Let’s take a look at what’s under the hood.
The A370 is Polar’s first device with continuous heartrate tracking, meaning the nifty little device has a new function when you swipe up or down: My Heart Rate. This will give the user their beats per minute even when not in workout mode.
Like the previous model, the up- or down- swipe will also give you the My Day menu (to see an overview of your steps, calories burned and inactivity stamps) and the Training menu (from where you’ll be able to start tracking a workout, from the plethora of workout types Polar has available in their Flow app).
Also new is the Settings menu. Here, you can turn off continuous heart rate tracking, turn on airplane mode, night mode and the like.
Also – if you like tracking your ZZZ, you’re gonna love what this little guy can do. The Polar A370 boasts some pretty hardcore sleep analysis tech. Polar Sleep Plus will give you an idea of your actual sleep time (trust me, it’s always less that what you think), your sleep continuity, sleep interruptions and your heart rate during sleep – which, for some reason, I found totally fascinating.
Runners and cyclists will love this new feature – the A370 can sync with your phone’s GPS to track your routes. Sure, you have to take your phone along with you, but since I tuck mine into an upper arm strap so I can listen to music on my runs (or rather, walk-runs), this wasn’t an issue for me.
For gym or home workouts, the A370 tracks your training admirably – it’s not quite as accurate as devices that use a traditional heart-rate strap, but it never loses your BMP completely (as some of the other major brands’ devices are wont to do.) For me, it’s a perfect compromise between aesthetic and functionality.
If you’re looking for better accuracy during workouts, you can always use a Polar H10 heart rate strap along with the A370. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to test this, but the various online reviews I’ve read suggest the two link up beautifully.
On the downside, the battery life on the Polar A370 wasn’t stellar. I found with regular use, I was only getting about three days out of a charge. But turning off notifications (I get super annoyed that my wrist buzzes every time I get a text) helped considerably. Battery life is super important to me – there’s nothing worse than losing power when you get to the gym! – so I eventually turned off continuous HR too. What’s cool about the A370 is that you can still do HR ‘spotchecks’ with the My Heart Rate option I mentioned above, even if you’re not training at the time.
It’s just as pretty as its predecessor and far sturdier. Overall, the A370 is a win for me and perfect for my active lifestyle.