Polar Ignite 3 : Is it Worth Buying or Upgrading?

When it comes to understanding a smart watch’s worth, it’s not an easy question to answer, but if I was to provide some advice on picking the right smart watch for you, I always believe it comes down to the users intent, and in my opinion it makes sense because you are getting great value, on the features that really matter to you.

In this article my hope is that the information that I provide you will help you make an informed decision if the Polar Ignite 3 is the device for you. When ever I test a smart watch, I test each device in six different categories using my own rating system, here is a summary of my test results including it’s strength rating.

Smart featuresWeak
Health featuresaverage
Third party appsWeak
Workout mode abilityVery strong
GPS trackingStrong
Battery lifeAverage

As I reflect on the final summary, this is a true representation of how my experience was like when testing the Polar Ignite 3. Like I mentioned before, it comes down to user intent and judging by the results, the device is very heavy in tracking your workouts, especially at intermediate and advanced level. As you can see the ratings that really stand out is workout mode ability and GPS tracking.

Keep in mind what you want in a smart watch, and I will go through each category as to why I rated the Polar Ignite 3 with the strength ratings shown.

How I Will Show You a Smart Watch’s Worth

I think this part is very important so I will keep it very short. I have already written full articles for each category in this article so I will be only providing my final test results, including a table “suited” and “not suited”.

The “suited” and “not suited” is my take on who would likely get value from the Polar Ignite 3 versus someone that doesn’t. What I am trying to create is a user profile that match’s your user intent in a smart watch. I wont be showing how I score each device, but I will provide links to the full articles showing my full test criteria. If the Polar Ignite 3 does seem worth it to you, I think it’s important to see my full articles, just to confirm if the device is for you.

Smart Features : Minimal at Best 4 out of 15

Advanced0/5Very Weak
Final Score4/15Weak

Smart features is the ability to provide some form of automation in your everyday life, and also the ability to provide some form of convenience. After the testing the Polar Ignite 3 for smart features, the device deserves its rating of 4 out of 15. From testing experience it’s the weakest device that I have tested in this category. Here is a quick summary of who I think is better suited versus not suited.

SuitedNot Suited
Not smart feature heavyRead messages direct
Music playbackMake phone calls
notificationsNFC payment
No digital assistant
Battery life burner
No SOS notifications


  • Not smart feature heavy : If you are someone that doesn’t care too much about smart features, then the device work for you. You can actually turn off the permissions for the device to gain access to notifications or music playback. The advantage of this is that you will get better battery life.
  • Music playback : Very popular feature, and is available. You cant store music on the device, or create a music playlist within Polar flow. Or you can do is playback and control music directly from your device when you are playing music on your phone.
  • Notifications : This is getting messages from emails, Facebook, SMS an apps. You wont be able to read the full notification, you will need to view on your phone only.
See also  Polar Ignite 3 : Third Party App Integration is Fairy Good

Not Suited.

  • Read messages direct : If you like to view your message directly from your watch, unfortunately this is unavailable, all you really see is maybe the first 50 characters.
  • Make Phone calls : Unfortunately you cannot make a phone call directly from the watch, which is a very popular feature. Also the device will notify you when you have a incoming call, but you cannot answer directly from your watch. Instead the the watch will control your phone application (that’s if you allow the device to control phone calls)
  • NFC Payment : A very popular feature and unfortunately the Polar Ignite 3 does not have wireless payment transactions. To be honest Google pay and Apple pay are the most trusted NFC payment methods.
  • No digital assistant : A very underrated feature, but is very useful when features built in the device can be voice activated using Alexa or Google assistant. This also means you cant stream smart home devices to your watch, such as doorbell or your home security system.
  • Battery life burner : Smart features are great, but use it too often and it can burn your battery life very quickly. As for the Polar Ignite 3, it doesn’t have many smart features, and yet still the battery life drains fairly quicky. I will explain why in the battery life test results.
  • No SOS messaging : For a smart watch that specialises in tracking your workouts, a feature like this could be useful, which also includes fall detection as well. Especially if you are someone that takes your own safety seriously when going out for long rides in the open road, or hiking on your own in the mountains.

The smart feature ability of the Polar Ignite 3 is very light in comparison to other smart watch’s in the market today. Do take the time if any of these things mater to you, and if it’s something you want in a smart watch. Please check out my full article Polar Ignite 3 : Smart feature ability could be better.

Third Party App Integration : 5 out of 15

Connection TypeBluetooth
App Stores0/5
In Direct Ability5/5
Direct Ability0/5
Final Score5/15

Third party app integration is another popular category, but that is dependant on what third party apps you want to integrate, whether it be sports performance, smart features, or Health tracking. After testing the device the Polar Ignite 3 performed well but there are some things you need to know and why I rated the device with a weak score of 5 out of 15. Here is a quick summary on who I think is suited versus not suited

SuitedNot Suited
Does not mind in direct accessNo direct control
No app store


Does not mind in direct access : If you never heard the term, In direct access is where you share your tracking data in Polar flow with a third party app as a partnership. All you have to do is track your workouts normally using your device and the third party app will synchronise that data once your tracking has ended.

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During testing, my experience was very good and I used popular third party apps like Komoot, Strava and My adidas running. All apps performed well when my phone was in Bluetooth range and also outside Bluetooth range then synchronise when within Bluetooth range. I found this to be very reliable.

Not Suited

No direct control : If you never heard the term, direct control is interacting with third party apps directly from the device, and unfortunately the Polar Ignite 3 does not have that ability. It all comes down to personal choice, but lately many smart watch users prefer this method. The only downside when using this method is that your phone must be in Bluetooth range to operate. Since there is no direct control, there is no app gallery.

If you want to see my full article when I test a device for third party app ability, please check out my article Polar Ignite 3 : Third party app integration is fairly good. This article will show you the testing criteria I work to, and how the Polar Ignite 3 is rated in the market.

Very Good at Tracking Your Workouts : 15 out of 15

SpecialityTracking Workouts
Basic Level5/5
Intermediate Level5/5
Advanced Level5/5
Final Score15/15

When it comes to tracking your workouts, the Polar Ignite 3 performed exceptionally well and I have rated the device with a perfect score of 15 out of 15. The device has everything that I test for in this category and each feature is very reliable and consistent, and by far it’s strongest category. The Polar Ignite 3 can do way more than just track 150 different workout modes, and here is a quick summary on who I think is better suited versus not suited.

SuitedNot Suited
Fitness progressionBasic Fitness tracker
Training load


  • Fitness progression : If you are someone that’s at a beginner level and is looking to get better over time, then this device has all the tools to assist you along your journey. I personally thought the device is overly scienced, but in reality the built in AI coach is tracking your progress, and make training suggestions based on your fitness level. All you really need to do is focus on your training, and advanced features like Fitspark, Train wise, training load pro and fuel wise will make training suggestions that wont let you “de train”. I will be doing a future article on each to share my experience.
  • Runner : Polar are one of the most reliable smart watch brands that can help your running performance. The device has a built in running program, that’s used to assist anyone that likes to run as a hobby, or anyone that is training for a event like 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon.
  • Swimmer : Tracking your swimming can be very difficult, because of the static movement and your arm, thrashing under water. Polar Ignite 3 has the Prime precision sensor, which uses three different sensors to authenticate the movement for better accuracy. Also the device has advanced auto detection technology which means the device can track your swimming when you change swimming styles, between freestyle, breast stroke and butterfly.
  • Training load : If you are someone that trains quite often, the training load management system is very good. It’s a bit different from other smart watch brands, and the main difference is to rate your workouts. This is what as known as your RPE (rate of perceived exertion), and is very important because it allows the device to understand you better, for better training feed back and better training suggestions avoid de training or over reaching.
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Not Suited

  • Basic fitness tracker : If you are someone that just wants a basic fitness tracker (nothing more nothing less), I dont think it’s a better fit for you. The Polar Ignite 3 is a very pricey watch, and I dont want you to spend your hard earned cash on a device that does not meet your user intent. The better alternatives, would be the Fitbit Inspire 3 or the Xiaomi S1 Active.

If you want to see my full article on workout mode ability check out my article Polar Ignite 3 : Performs well when tracking your workouts. It has the testing criteria that I follow including how I go about rating a device. You will also get to see how the device ranks in the market. The Polar Ignite 3 is not the only device I have given a perfect score to.

GPS Accuracy is Very Good : 10 out of 15

GPS DifficultyRatingComments
Easy Level5/5Excellent precision
Hard Level1/5Not good
Very Hard Level4/5Very good precision

If GPS tracking matters to you then the Polar Ignite 3 is a good choice. During the tests, the device failed when I did the hard level test. One of the major obstructions that I like to expose the device to is walking through a area of tall buildings. Every device that I have tested all have trouble with this, so the Polar Ignite 3 is not the only device that failed the Hard level test.

If you want to see how I go about testing GPS tracking accuracy please check out the following articles Polar Ignite 3 : GPS accuracy is very good but it does have issues and also Polar Ignite 3 : Is the power saving settings worth using. I have two separate tests, that I think you may find interesting, especially the power saver settings

Battery Life Could Be Better : 6 out of 10

Polar Ignite 3 sleep charge to your next training
Battery modeWatch
Battery Economy Without GPS Tracking1/5
GPS Battery Consumption Rate Per Hour5/5
Final Score6/10

Whenever I test a device for battery life, I do two separate tests. The first test is based on my typical usage (battery economy) without any GPS tracking, and the second test is the GPS battery consumption rate per hour. In conclusion I typically get around 3-4 days battery life which isn’t too bad, but it could do better as some devices that I have tested can last up to 14 days.

The only area where the device failed is it’s battery economy. Without GPS tracking I would consume at least 23% per day, which is very high considering the device is very minimal smart features built in.

As far a GPS battery consumption per hour, the Polar Ignite 3 performed exceptionally well and gained a 5 out of 5 rating in the battery life category.

If you want to see my full test results please check out my article Polar Ignite 3 : Battery life isn’t too bad . You will also get to see how the Polar Ignite 3 is rated in the market.

Final Conclusion

Polar Ignite 3 view messages from Facebook

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have learnt a lot about the Polar Ignite 3. There is a lot of information to absorb, but I just want to provide facts that I think matters to you before you make a decision if the Polar Ignite 3 is worth buying or upgrading.

The Polar Ignite 3 strongest categories is tracking workouts, and GPS tracking. In regards to the other categories, the device performed fairly average to say the least. In terms of value, the Polar Ignite 3 is very pricey, and I think all of the value is really invested in the strongest categories that I mentioned.

In terms of worth, remember what your user intent is and think carefully if it aligns with my suggestions in this article. The suited versus not suited table is to give you an idea of what the device offers and does not offer, so that in itself is what value the device offers. Thank you for reading.