Polar is well known for sticking to its chest straps when it comes to heart rate monitoring. But it appears to have changed its mind and now offers optical heart rate monitoring in its new A360 fitness tracker.

The Polar A360 comes with a colour display that can be used to display tracking data like steps, calories, sleep, workouts and distance. It can also display and vibrate alerts for incoming calls, messages, calendar alerts and social media notifications from a connected smartphone. There is also a stagnancy alert that'll vibrate if the wearer sits still for too long.

The soft silicone band and device housing are all waterproof. When fully charged the A360 is claimed to last a full two weeks, according to Polar. This is constant activity tracking and includes one hour of training per day. Plus it'll also work with the Polar H7 heart rate chest strap for those that want to use that.

The device can connect to the Polar Flow app for direct access to data metrics on a connected smartphone. This also includes Polar Flow for Coach which offers training support and guidance. It also works with Polar Club meaning instructors can view heart rate data live during classes.

Marco Suvilaakso, global product director at Polar says: "The key to achieving Polar’s well-known accuracy relies on how data is recorded by the sensor, and then how it is interpreted. We developed our own algorithm for optical heart rate monitoring and optimised the hardware design to ensure the A360 meets the same accuracy and quality standards that Polar customers have come to expect. Polar created the first heart rate monitor, and 38 years later we continue to be the trusted industry standard."

The Polar A360 will be available from November for $200 or €200.

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