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Galaxy Watch 5 vs Polar Ignite 3 : Which Will You Choose

The Galaxy Watch 5 and the Polar Ignite 3 are both excellent smart watch’s in their own right, and same can be said in terms of value, but I guess that’s the whole point of doing this comparison article.

When I do comparison articles, I do things a little differently and if this is your first time reading my comparison articles, I like to base comparisons off my own testing criteria. In a way it’s a good thing because you wont be getting a review based on my opinion, instead you get facts based on test results, where you can have your own opinion for if the device is useful to you.

After testing each device, the Galaxy Watch 5 has come away as the winner in this comparison article with a 3-2-1 score line, here is a quick summary of the final results.

Smart FeaturesGalaxy Watch 5
Health FeaturesGalaxy Watch 5
Third Party AppsGalaxy Watch 5
Workout Mode AbilityPolar Ignite 3
GPS TrackingDraw
Battery LifePolar Ignite 3

After reviewing the final results, it’s a true reflection of how I see both devices in comparison based on my own testing criteria. Although the Galaxy Watch 5 is the winner in this comparison article, what really matters is your user intent.

User intent is something that I think really matters to determine a smart watch’s value, so if the Polar Ignite 3 is something you were thinking of buying, please continue to read this article. My hope, after reading this article, is to connect you with a device that match’s your user intent.

How I Go About Comparing Articles

Before I share my results, I think that this is important to read first, because this is the way I will be presenting my test results to you, and they are

  • I wont be comparing specifications (there are plenty of websites that do this)
  • I will provide comparisons based on my testing criteria
  • When ever I test a device, I test the device in six different categories
  • I will provide a list of advantages from both devices over each other.
  • The list of advantages is something that I have discovered during testing
  • I will provide a link to my full articles if you want to see how I go about testing the device.

There is a good reason why I am doing it this way, because there is so much information to absorb, and I know you just want a straight up answer. If there is a category that matters to you, please do take the time to read my full articles, because you get an idea how I go about testing devices based on my testing experience.

Smart Features : Winner Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

LevelWatch 5Ignite 3
StrengthVery StrongWeak
Final Score14/154/15

When it comes to smart features, the Galaxy Watch series is probably one of the best devices that can challenge the Apple Watch in this category. If you are not familiar with the term smart features, it’s the ability to provide some form of automation or convenience in your day to day activities.

As far as smart features go, the Polar Ignite 3, may have a very weak score but from a user experience perspective, I think it provides just enough convenience like music control, view messages and answer phone calls, but that’s about it.

In terms of advantages, the Polar Ignite 3 has none in this category. On the other hand, the Galaxy Watch 5 has so much to offer. You only have to look at the final score, the gap between both devices says it all, however there is a catch, and that is, smart features can burn your battery life quickly.

From my own experience, I find the battery life an inconvenience because I have to manage my usage and have at least 50% battery remaining to do GPS tracking workouts, then go home charge the watch so I can track my sleep. I some times charge the watch once or twice a day. Here is a quick summary of the advantages.

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Watch 5Ignite 3
reply messagesNone
NFC payment
SOS messaging
Google assistant
Google maps
Stream to devices
Watch only mode
Gesture control

Galaxy Watch 5 Advantages

  • Reply messages : The device can do it all, you can reply using preset messages, custom messages, or voice recoded messages. Also you can reply to popular social media platforms as well, which appeals to many people.
  • NFC payment : One of the most trusted pay wave systems in the world, Google wallet. Very reliable and is accepted in many countries around the world, but do check with your bank if Google pay is accepted.
  • SOS messaging : If you value your safety when you are out and about, this feature could be useful to you. The feature also comes with fall detection as well, which is a good thing in case you dont have the ability to send for help. If you cannot connect to your emergency contact, a SOS alert is sent also with your GPS co ordinates to find you. Check out my article Galaxy Watch 5 : What to expect when you send a SOS message. I can show you how to set it up, and share my experience using this feature.
  • Google assistant : Very similar to Alexa, useful feature but can drain your battery life. Can access smart features without the hassle of activating manually.
  • Google maps : I only find this feature useful when walking, and not riding or driving. You can also have the watch provide voice instructions as well, but this can drain battery life very quickly.
  • Stream to devices : This is very new to the Galaxy Watch series, where you can pair to smart home devices via smart things app. The smart things app can tell you what brands and types of devices you can connect or stream to i.e. security systems, doorbell or air conditioner unit. I will be doing a future article on this soon.
  • Watch only mode : I have used this feature a few times, and watch only mode is a feature to help save battery life. I dont think that this feature is for everyone, because the device is basically switched off. Check out my full article Samsung galaxy watch : Watch Only Mode isn’t too bad. In this article can show you how I been typically using this feature.
  • Gesture control : If this feature worked reliably and consistently during testing the Galaxy Watch would have a perfect score in this category. Quite a useful feature if you can get it to work, however you do need to practice the gesturing. Check out my article Samsung Galaxy Watch : What to Expect When Using Gesture Control. In this article I only found one gesture type that works, while the others not so much.

For more information

If smart features is something that matters to you, check out my full articles Polar Ignite 3 : Smart feature ability could be better and also Samsung Galaxy Watch : Smart feature ability is fantastic. In these articles, I will show you all of my test evidence, including how I rate each device for smart features.

Third Party Apps : Winner Galaxy Watch 5

FeatureWatch 5Ignite 3
StrengthVery StrongAverage
Connection TypeBluetoothBluetooth
App Stores5/50/5
In Direct Ability5/55/5
Direct Ability4/50/5
Final Score14/155/15

Third party integration is another popular category amongst smart watch users, and once again the Galaxy watch is very strong in this category and nearly getting a perfect score. It’s only let down is that the Galaxy Watch can only operate in a Android ecosystem, so you must have a android phone when managing third party apps on the Galaxy Watch. Garmin devices and Huawei and can connect to different ecosystems, but there are some limitations, and really its due to your location in the world (some apps wont work in your country).

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You can integrate with third party apps in two ways directly (control the app from your watch) and in directly (share your tracking data with a third party app as a partnership). The Polar Ignite 3 can only integrate in directly, and after testing the device, it performed very well, which is why the device gained a 5 out of 15 rating, and has no advantages over the Galaxy Watch 5 in this category,

Watch 5Ignite 3
Strong app storeNone
Direct ability

Galaxy Watch 5 Advantages

Strong app store : When google play is your app store, you are literally spoilt for choice, and the app store is so strong it rivals Garmin connect and Apple. You can connect to some the most popular third party apps on the market, and it’s not in one category, it’s in multiple categories like health, workouts, smart features and so on. I do think there are some gaps within the Galaxy Watch ecosystem, however with third party apps, the device can develop as a well rounded smart watch.

Direct ability : A very popular option for many smart watch users, due to their personal preference, to interact with third party apps directly from the watch. Since you cant install apps directly onto the device, third party apps will not work independently, so therefore you must have your phone nearby (within Bluetooth range)

More Information

If you want to know more about both devices when it comes to third party apps check out my full articles Polar Ignite 3 : Third party app integration is fairly good and also Galaxy Watch 5 PRO : Tracking your workouts is reasonably . In these articles you will get to see what I look for when testing and how I rate a device as well.

Workout Mode Ability : Winner Polar Ignite 3

CriteriaWatch 5Ignite 3
StrengthAverageVery Strong
Basic Level5/55/5
Intermediate Level1/15/5
Advanced Level1/15/5
Final Score7/1515/15

When it comes to tracking your workouts, the Polar Ignite 3 is the clear winner in this category. Please note that this comparison is based on the native tracking systems Polar flow and Samsung Health. Since the Galaxy Watch has a very strong third party app ability, I do wonder if it’s final score could be higher.

The Galaxy Watch does not have any advantages over the polar Ignite 3 in this category. The Polar Ignite 3 has everything that the Galaxy Watch has to offer, so I will be listing the gaps that the Galaxy Watch does not offer.

Watch 5Ignite 3
NoneAccurate training load systems
Structured running program
Ideal for swimmers
Train wise
Advanced auto detection

Polar Ignite 3 Advantages

Accurate training load system : Managing your training load is important as you progress through your program, and the Polar is no different to Fitbit’s daily readiness score, Garmin’s body battery and Huawei’s training load. What makes this different is that you rate your workout once completed. This is not an uncommon practise and athletes do this all the time, which is your RPE (rate of perceived exertion). This is a good thing because it allows the device to auto adjust when needed, and provide accurate training advice.

Structured running program : The galaxy watch does have one, and if you have a premium level third party app you could have something at the same level. Polar’s running program is ideal for anyone that wants to take up running as a hobby, 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon. The great thing about it is you just focus on the running and the device does all the thinking and make training adjustments based on your training load.

Ideal for swimmers : The Polar Ignite 3 has the very fancy precision prime sensor, which is a patented sensor that uses sensor fusion. Sensor fusion is where more than one sensor is used to authenticate your tracking information more accurately. With a 3D accelerometer, the sensor can track your swim motion fairly accurately, which is hard to do due to the static motion. The polar Ignite 3 also has advanced auto detection, and can only be used in the pool. The device can detect change in swim motion, but is limited to a few swim styles which is free style, breast stroke and butter fly. I will be doing a future article on this, once I have a swimmer to record the results for me.

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Train wise : I was a little skeptical when I used the feature, and what it does is, the device can determine the best optimal rest period in between sets. I used it for heavy weight lifting, and I normally rest for 4 minutes, however the device suggested 6 minutes and when I started to lift, it felt very good. I did find some inaccuracy when I did not rate my workouts, but most of the time, the device tracked well. I will be doing a full article on this to determine if the feature is accurate.

More Information

If tracking your workouts matter to you then check out my full articles Galaxy Watch 5 PRO : Workout mode ability is reasonably good and also Polar Ignite 3 : Performs well when tracking your workouts.

GPS Accuracy : Draw

CriteriaWatch 5Ignite 3
No of Sensors55
Extra’sAssisted GPSAssisted GPS, Dual Band
Basic test5/55/5
Hard test1/51/5
Very hard test4/54/5
Final Score10/1510/15

When it comes to GPS accuracy, both devices scored very evenly, including the end results for all GPS accuracy tests. From my tests, both devices did have the same failures and I will briefly explain each of those.

Easy level test : No issues from either device, and in this test, I like to plan my route where there are no overhead obstructions, and on very flat terrain. For best results, I would recommend finding a area like this for consistent accurate results, but in my experience it can be very hard to plan, depending on where you live.

Hard level test : In this test I like to plan my route where 80% of my planned route is nearby tall buildings, and tall buildings is the main obstruction in the test. I was at least 2m (10FT) away from the tall buildings but still poor results. Keep that in mind when doing GPS tracking.

Very hard test : In this test I plan my route where 90% of my planned route is through dense vegetation, and changes in elevation. In the end both devices had no issues tracking my location while I was walking under thick forest trees. Were both devices failed is the change in elevation. The error occurred because the satellites require more time to track the receiver (your device). Just be aware of this when you are hiking or in elevated roads.

More Information

For more information check out full articles Polar Ignite 3 : GPS accuracy is very good but it does have issues and also Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 : GPS accuracy is very good also check out another article Polar Ignite 3 : Is it worth using the power saver settings. In this article I test the GPS accuracy of the Polar Ignite 3 when you use different power saver settings.

Battery Life : Winner Polar Ignite 3

Polar Ignite 3 sleep charge to your next training
TestsWatch 5Ignite 3
Battery economy without GPS Tracking1/51/5
GPS Battery consumption4/55/5
Final Score5/106/10

When it comes to battery life, the Polar Ignite 3 just gets the edge over the Galaxy Watch 5. Please note that the results are based off my typical usage. The battery life for both devices could be better, but here is a short summary of my test results in comparison.

Battery economy comparison

Battery economy is my typical usage, without the use of GPS tracking. I always end the test once 90% battery life has been used. In the end the Polar Ignite 3 has the slim edge with a 8% battery economy efficiency rate than the Galaxy Watch 5

CriteriaWatch 5Ignite 3
Battery economy per day25%23%
No of days3.54
Star rating1/51/5

GPS Battery consumption

GPS tracking can be a massive battery burner and in the end The polar Ignite 3 burns 6% per hour, where as the Galaxy Watch 5 burns 9% per hour, so any device that use’s 6% or less per hour for GPS tracking is a five star device, when I use my own rating system. If you included the Battery economy numbers, you get a better overall view. With that said the Polar Ignite 3 is 15% more efficient than the Galaxy Watch 5 in this comparison.

CriteriaWatch 5Ignite 3
Battery economy without GPS Tracking25%23%
GPS Battery consumption per hour9%6%
Total battery consumption per day34%29%
No of days2.53

More Information

For more information check out these articles Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 : Battery life isn’t the greatest and also Polar Ignite 3 : Battery life isn’t too bad

Final Conclusion

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have learnt a lot about both devices in comparison. Although the Galaxy Watch 5 prevailed as the winner in the comparison, but like I said, dont let the final result stop you from considering the Polar ignite 3 as your preferred choice. Im a firm believer that it always comes down to user intent, and in my opinion, that’s where you gain the best value for your money.

If you are still unsure if either device is for you maybe check out the following articles Polar Ignite 3 : Is it worth buying or upgrading? and also Galaxy Watch 5 : Is it worth buying or upgrading. In these articles I build a profile on who I think would get the best value from either device. It’s a tough question to answer, but building a profile is probably the best way to answer a complex question.