If you’re looking for a modern, stylish fitness watch that has everything you need to improve your rest, recovery and fitness, look no further.
Both are powered by science and built on decades of pioneering research and development in heart rate and physiology to offer you the most accurate and reliable technology on the market.
All you have to do is choose one.
But what are the major differences between them, and which one would suit you best?
To answer this, it’s best to focus on your individual needs.
FEATURES – WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES?
Whilst most of the features can be found in both watches, the Polar Ignite 2 offers a more extensive feature list.
Whilst you can get phone notifications on both Polar Unite and Polar Ignite 2, the Polar Ignite 2 caters more to your everyday needs with built-in music controls and weather reports – two new features that aren’t currently available with Polar Unite.
Summary: If you prefer to have more features on your wrist, such as music controls and weather reports, you should choose Polar Ignite 2.
SLEEP TRACKING – WHICH ONE IS BEST?
Both Polar Unite and Polar Ignite 2 offer Sleep Plus Stages™ sleep tracking and Nightly Recharge™, so essentially, they have the same sleep and recovery applications to help you track and understand your sleeping behavior and overnight recovery.
With no metal parts on the wristband or back cover (except for the charging dock contact points), Polar Unite is slightly lighter than Polar Ignite 2 – perhaps making it less noticeable on your wrist whilst you sleep.
Other than that, there really is no difference and both fitness watches will give you the tools you need to accurately track your sleep and provide personalized insights with the help of Polar Precision Prime™ OHR technology.
Summary: Both watches have the same sleep tracking features and functionality, but Polar Unite fitness watch is perhaps the more comfortable of the two due to its lighter weight.
outdoor workouts – WHICH ONE IS BETTER?
It depends on your personal preferences.
For those who don’t mind carrying a phone with you whilst you exercise, the Polar Unite is great for outdoor workouts. The only caveat is that you need to pair it with the Polar Flow app to access the GPS features.
The Polar Ignite 2, however, has integrated GPS – meaning you can leave your phone at home and focus only on your workout without the extra weight and distractions.
Integrated GPS always offers the best possible GPS tracking, although using it may drain your battery slightly quicker than when it’s not being used.
Summary: If you prefer not to take your phone with you when you work out and you want more accurate GPS tracking built into your fitness watch, Polar Ignite 2 is the best option.
BATTERY LIFE – WHICH ONE HAS THE BEST BATTERY?
Both the Polar Unite and Polar Ignite 2 will give you 4 to 5 days of battery on a single charge for everyday use and continuous heart rate tracking. The differences between the two become clearer depending on what you want to use your fitness watch for.
Like we explained in the section above, Polar Unite does not have GPS built into the watch, instead it takes your GPS data from your phone which means it can save the battery life of your watch (using your phone’s battery instead). In training mode, the battery life of the Polar Unite is up to 50 hours when using connected GPS and wrist-based heart rate monitoring. Pretty good, right?
When it comes to the Polar Ignite 2, the integrated GPS demands more from the battery but allows you the freedom to work out without connecting to your phone. It’s also a lot more accurate to use integrated GPS. In training mode, this means the Polar Ignite 2 offers up to 20 hours of training time when using GPS and wrist-based heart rate monitoring, but – and this is where the Polar Ignite 2 excels – you can get up to 100 hours of battery life when you use the built-in power-save modes.
Summary: The Polar Ignite 2 has the better battery in terms of power and capabilities for training. If you’re looking for the accuracy of integrated GPS, but don’t mind it using the battery from your watch, Polar Ignite 2 is the best option.
If you don’t need to track your speed or distance with precise accuracy, and you just want a watch for standard, everyday use, Polar Unite is a great option.
CUSTOMIZING – WHICH ONE IS MORE CUSTOMIZABLE?
Both the Polar Unite and Polar Ignite 2 can be customized to match your style and mood. You can pick from a variety of colors and accessories to personalize the look of your watch and express your character.
With multiple wristband options to choose from, including different materials and colors, you can find the perfect watch for you.
Polar Unite comes with handy ‘snap & slip’ wristbands, and you can change and mix the watch face color themes to match your wristband color.
Polar Ignite 2 comes with metal buckle attachments for added style. You can also change and mix the watch face color themes to match your wristband color, just like the Polar Unite, but the color options and wristbands that come with the Polar Ignite 2 out of the box are exceptionally beautiful – you can even choose a wristband that is embellished with real crystals from Swarovski®.
It’s good to know that all Polar 20mm wristbands are compatible with both Polar Unite and Polar Ignite 2, so you can choose any one you like best, and it will fit perfectly. They are easy to change so it just depends on the style you want to create.
Summary: Whilst the Polar Unite can be matched to your style, needs and personality, the Polar Ignite 2 offers a more diverse set of options to really express yourself. But remember, you can always use any 20mm wristband for either watch, if you want to.
DESIGN – WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES?
The thin, lightweight, but durable design of both Polar Unite and Polar Ignite 2 gives you two stylish fitness watches to choose from. The difference is in the details.
The case of Polar Unite is made of high-quality glass-fiber polymer and the watches come with snap & slip silicone wristbands that have no metal parts at all.
Polar Ignite 2 casing is also made of high-quality glass-fiber polymer but is beautifully framed by a decorated stainless-steel bezel that is available in a choice of classic colors, such as black pearl, rose gold & pink, storm blue, and gold & champagne. The button and metal buckle are also made from stainless-steel.
Note: You can use Polar Ignite 2 wristbands for Polar Unite and vice versa. They are both the standard 20mm size and have spring bars that make changing them quick and easy.
MARATHON TRAINING – WHICH WATCH IS BETTER?
If it’s a marathon that you have in mind, integrated GPS is useful, and out of these two watches we’d recommend Polar Ignite 2. It also has the Running Index, Running Cadence from your wrist, Energy Sources and Training Load Pro features, as well as the ability to measure your speed/pace – all important tools for runners.
However, Polar Ignite 2 is specifically a fitness watch. Since our product range includes watches that are tailored more for running, we recommend you check out Polar Vantage M2 and Polar Vantage V2 before making a final decision.
Both Polar Vantage M2 and V2 are great running watches that have everything you need to reach and exceed your PRs.
Summary: Between Polar Unite and Polar Ignite 2, it’s the Polar Ignite 2 that is better equipped for marathon training. However, it’s not the best watch Polar has to offer for marathon training. For that, we recommend Polar Vantage M2 or Polar Vantage V2.
SLEEP, RECOVERY & TRAINING – WHICH ONE SUITS MY ROUTINE BEST?
Both watches have everything you need for 24/7 activity, sleep and recovery tracking and both are packed with intelligent training applications.
If indoor workouts are your main interest, Polar Unite has a lot to offer. For outdoor training, pair it with your phone to get your route and track your speed and distance on your run or bike ride.
Polar Ignite 2 comes loaded with more sport-specific features such as Running Index, Swimming Metrics, Polar Fitness Test, HR Sensor Mode and Training Load Pro, as well as Running Cadence from the wrist and the ability to measure speed/pace and altitude (ascent/descent).
If you think there’s a chance that you might start running as your main exercise one of these days, then Polar Ignite 2 could be the better choice for you.
Summary: If you want to focus on improving your general fitness and want a watch that will monitor your workouts, track your sleep & recovery, and provide personal feedback, choose Polar Unite.
If you want to focus on improving your general fitness, but you want to step it up a gear – perhaps by doing more sports, more often, within different settings – and you would like more help understanding your body and its potential, choose Polar Ignite 2.
There you have it – Polar Unite vs. Polar Ignite 2. The choice is yours.
If you’ve already made up your mind, you’re probably wondering where you can get your new fitness watch.
For that, visit our webstore:
If you liked this post, don’t forget to share so that others can find it, too.
Or give it a thumbs up!
I like this article
Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.