Forget the Pixel Watch – I think the Polar Ignite 3 is a far better fitness smartwatch

The Ignite 3 looks similar to the Pixel Watch, but under the hood, some key differences tip the scale in favour of Polar's latest smartwatch

Polar Ignite 3 press images
(Image credit: Polar)

Polar launched the Ignite 3, its latest fitness smartwatch, and I'm over the moon. Not just because Polar finally granted my wish by launching an AMOLED watch – something I asked for in my Polar Pacer Pro review – but because it seems that the new Ignite 3 will be the wearable I thought the Pixel Watch was going to be. And then some.

As a person who reviewed many wearables in the last few years, including the best Garmins, and many of the best running watches and best multisport watches, I was keen to learn more about the Pixel Watch. When it was announced, I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed, especially since the watch followed the tradition of the Apple Watch and offered only 24 hours of battery life on one charge.

That's even though many of the best Fitbits, including the new Fitbit Sense 2, also have AMOLED screens, yet their battery lasts for up to six days. Worse still, it seems Google is downgrading some Fitbits by disabling the built-in WiFi chip and banning third-party apps on the watches. Needless to say, all these developments made me sad, as I'm a big fan of Fitbits and thought the Pixel Watch would be amazing.

Then, out of the blue, the Polar Ignite 3 was announced. I really enjoyed using the original Polar Ignite – it was one of the first watches I reviewed for T3 – and when I looked at the new fitness watch, I instantly got excited – it looked just like the Pixel Watch! I started reading the specs, "okay, AMOLED display, nice; new SleepWise feature, pretty good; dual-band GPS chip; alright, alright, alright; faster CPU, niiiiice; Up to five days in smartwatch mode or up to 30 hours of continuous training time with GPS; WHAT!?"

Could it be possible? Is the Polar Ignite 3 the Pixel Watch I've been waiting for? It seems to be the case. Not just that, but the Polar Ignite 3 is also the Polar Pacer Pro update I've been waiting for. It's marketed as a fitness watch, not as a multisport watch like the Pacer Pro. Yet, it has almost all the features that make the best Polar watches good, including the Precision Prime optical heart rate sensor, sleep tracking, recovery advisor, smart features galore, and more.

There must be a catch, right? The Polar Ignite 3 must be more expensive than the Pixel Watch; after all, it's a more capable smartwatch. But no, Polar's latest wearable is actually cheaper than Google's new flagship watch, selling for only $330/£290/AU$500. Compare this with the price of the base Pixel Watch model, which is $350/£340/AU$549. Un-be-lievable.

Polar Ignite 3 press images

(Image credit: Polar)

Is the Polar Ignite 3 the ultimate fitness smartwatch? The competition is fierce, with watches such as the Fitbit Versa 3 and the Huawei Watch Fit 2 offering a lot of health and fitness features and excellent build quality for a lower price. There is also the Garmin Venu 2, which has a stunning AMOLED screen and is a super capable fitness watch, although it's more expensive than the Polar Ignite 3.

We'll have to wait until we can thoroughly test the latest-and-greatest Polar watch to have a definitive answer to that question, but for now, it's safe to say I'm excited to put the Ignite 3 through its paces. Who knows, it might push the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar off my wrist, eventually... Visit Polar today (opens in new tab) to learn more about the new Ignite 3.

Matt Kollat
Fitness Editor

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar (opens in new tab) and Fit&Well (opens in new tab), and he collaborated with other fitness content creators such as Garage Gym Reviews (opens in new tab).