Image source: Polar

Polar Ignite 2 vs Ignite: what are the improvements?

The most recent additions to Polar’s range of devices are the Vantage M2 and Ignite 2. Both upgrade their predecessors with a few minor aesthetic tweaks, plus there are a handful of performance add-ons.

We’ve already covered in detail the improvements Vantage M2 brings. In this article we turn our focus to Ignite.

This is not really a smartwatch or a sports watch. Polar calls it a fitness watch and that sounds about right. Mind you, it’s a popular fitness watch due to its attractive look and comprehensive set of features. But the first generation did leave us wanting more.

Should you upgrade if you have the original Ignite? Is the second generation a good first-time purchase? Read on to find out.


Polar Ignite 2 vs Ignite: Technical specs

We were pretty impressed with some aspects of the first generation Ignite and loved the unisex design. This is a lifestyle activity device that doesn’t break the bank.

In our review, we note that Polar has managed to cram an impressive array of features into something that is very good looking and extremely lightweight. We found the heart rate sensor did a decent job during exercise.

However, the GPS which was slightly off at times. Plus the temperamental screen which failed to register touches at times also annoyed us a bit. Hopefully both of these issues have been ironed out with Ignite 2.

As with Vantage M2, the design of the latest Ignite is pretty much unchanged from before. But we do get some new colors. These include Champagne, Black, Pink Rose, and Storm Blue. Plus there are some snazzy straps that feature Swarovski crystals. You can see a few of the options pictured below.

polar vantage m2 may land soon in four different colors 4 - Polar Ignite 2 vs Ignite: what are the improvements?
Image source: Polar

Read through the specs of the Ignites and you’ll struggle to tell what’s new. That’s because there isn’t much. The display, dimensions, weight, water-resistance are all the same. As are most other things.

So what has changed?

It mostly comes down to battery life. As before, with regular use you get 5 days on a single charge. But training usage has been bumped up by three hours to a total of 20 hours between charges. Now there’s also something called Training time with power save options. This is a less power hungry GPS setting that allows for up to 100 hours of training on the second generation device.

Here’s how the specs compare.

Ignite 2
Ignite
Material
Glass fiber reinforced polymer case. Stainless steel bezel & button.
Glass fiber reinforced polymer case. Stainless steel bezel & button.
Dimensions
43 x 43 mm
43 x 43 mm
Depth
8.5 mm
8.5 mm
Display size
1.2 inches (resolution 240 x 240 pixels)
1.2 inches (resolution 240 x 240 pixels)
Display
Gesture-activated color touch display (IPS TFT). Always-on option in training mode. Resolution 240×204. Dragontrail glass lens.
Gesture-activated color touch display (IPS TFT). Always-on option in training mode. Resolution 240×204. Dragontrail glass lens.
Battery
165 mAh Li-pol battery
165 mAh Li-pol battery
Battery life
training time up to 20 hours (up to 100 hours with power saving options), up to 5 days in watch mode with continuous heart rate tracking.
training time up to 17 hours, up to 5 days in watch mode with continuous heart rate tracking.
Water resistance
up to 30 metres (WR30)
up to 30 metres (WR30)
Weight
35 grams
35 grams
Sensors
GPS/GLONASS, accelerometer, heart rate, Ambient light sensor
GPS/GLONASS, accelerometer, heart rate
Color options
Champagne, Black, Pink Rose, and Storm Blue
White, yellow, and black
RRP
$230
$230

Polar Ignite 2 vs Ignite: Functionality

As far as features, the new Ignite offers built-in GPS, the standard gamut of fitness and sleep tracking sensors, rest and recovery data, FitSpark workout suggestions, 100 sports profiles and more. Not that much that is new as all of this is available on the first generation timepiece.

What is new is the Heart rate Sensor Mode. This allows you to track your ticker from your wrist and broadcast it to compatible devices. A useful thing to have although we suspect most people will not have a need for it.

Then there is something called Energy Sources. This spits out an estimated breakdown of energy burning during exercise. The info is divided into carbs, proteins and fats.
Still no on-board storage for music so you’ll need to do with smartphone music control. This is a feature that wasn’t available before so is an improvement. As are watch face color themes so you can match the band to the display color. Weather info is also new.

polar vantage m2 may land soon in four different colors 5 - Polar Ignite 2 vs Ignite: what are the improvements?
Image source: Polar

Polar Ignite 2 vs Ignite: Bottom line

The $299.99 Ignite 2 goes on sale in April. On Polar’s website, this is the same price the company is currently selling Ignite. But the price of the first generation will come down. We suspect Polar will look to discontinue and slowly phase out the first generation.

If you’re still holding on to the original Ignite, these upgrades are not really going to prompt you to sell the old and buy the new device. But if you’re a first time purchaser it’s a no-brainer – go for the new one.

The improvements come down to slightly better battery life and some power saving options, music control, Heart Rate Sensor Mode, Energy Sources, Weather info and face color themes. Plus you’ll be able to benefit from future software updates.

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