Not exactly a smartwatch pioneer like Pebble, or an early fitness tracker trend-setter a la Fitbit or Jawbone, Finland-based heart rate monitoring equipment specialist Polar Electro is slowly coming up in the world of intelligent wearable devices.

The just-introduced Polar A360 sports band vastly improves essentially everything about the old A300, starting with a design that’s no longer cumbersome and repulsive, and a color touchscreen. There are no words on the rectangular panel’s resolution, or the gadget’s overall weight, but the A360 looks sleek and slim, and the pixel count isn’t very high on a fitness enthusiast’s list of priorities.

From a functionality standpoint, by far the biggest upgrade is the inclusion of an optical heart rate sensor, which makes chest straps obsolete. That’s obviously not all the Polar A360 can monitor, with steps, distance covered, calories burned and sleep quality an integral part of the user experience.

Guiding your workouts is also important for the water-resistant (up to 30 meters) band, and as long as you turn off notifications, you’ll get practical advice on what and when to step up for a max of two weeks on a single charge.

Speaking of, the Polar A360 can only be synched to iPhones at the moment, though Android compatibility should be added to its bag of tricks sometime next month. Coincidentally, that’s when the smartphone accessory is slated to go on sale as well, priced at $200 stateside. Large, medium and small variants will be offered in a range of paint jobs, from black to white and blue to pink, with matching silicon straps coated in white, black, pink, blue, and green.

Sources: Digital Trends, Cnet

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