Polar Loop: Data & Connectivity

This category was tough for the Loop due to relatively basic functionality and a penalty for proprietary charging & syncing hardware (one cable serves both purposes). Polar has a tradition of using docks to support syncing and in my experience their gear has been very reliable. Even so, without these key components you’re really left high and dry. The specifics:

DATA & CONNECTIVITY CriteriaPolar LoopJawbone UPNike+ FuelBand
On-device display?101
Web display?111
iOS App111
Android App010
Automatic Upload (via bluetooth, wifi, xwave, etc.)000
Proprietary Hardware Connections (antenna, charging, other?)-1-10
Customer data download010
Bluetooth001
Wifi000
NFC000
Z Wave000
Integrate data gathered with other devices from the same brand?000
Integrate with other brands?000
Can the device be calibrated?010
Battery Life (days divided by 10; range of eligible values = .5 to 1.5)0.510.5
TOTAL2.554.5

The Loop gets credit for a scrolling display that shows the time, goal status, heart rate (with the optional chest strap), steps, and calories. There’s also an iPhone app (but no Android counterpart) and yet another Polar Web property to track your progress. Polar needs to simplify its portfolio of Web sites or at least ensure a consistent experience across its properties, including the display of previously uploaded data. Despite being in the fitness tracking business for years, Polar still doesn’t offer any way to download your data. Finally, battery life is average at an expected five days without a charge.

Let’s move on to Functions.

Quick link to buy at Amazon