Skip to content
Home » Our Recent Reviews » Polar Ignite vs Garmin difference – how to track heart rate?

Polar Ignite vs Garmin difference – how to track heart rate?

Polar Ignite vs Garmin difference

What is good in today’s smartwatches -Polar Ignite vs Garmin? Learn about your sleep quality, follow your sleep stages and get detailed sleep insights with the new Sleep Plus Stages feature. Get your personalised and ready-made daily workout guidance based on your recovery and overall readiness. Even you can easily download songs to your watch, including playlists from Spotify, Amazon music or Deezer (may require a premium subscription With a third-party music provider), and connect with headphones (sold separately) for phone-free listening. Know details in Polar Ignite vs Garmin comparison.

We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn how we earn commission

Pros & Cons – Polar Ignite vs Garmin

Polar Ignite


  • Continuous heart rate tracking
  • Easy to operate (button + touchscreen)
  • Built-in GPS


  • Not NFC enabled
  • No music storage
  • No maps

Garmin Fenix 6


  • Fantastic battery life
  • Many sports tracking options
  • Versatile feature set
  • PacePro is hugely helpful for training


  • Very expensive
  • Heart rate readings can be off

Specs – Polar Ignite vs Garmin

Polar Ignite

  • Satellite navigation: GPS, QZSS,
    GLONASS, and Galileo
  • Long battery life
  • Nightly recharge
  • FitSpark™ daily workouts
  • Smart notifications and music controls
  • Water resistant to 3 ATM
  • Wrist-based heart rate
  • Serene breathing exercise
  • Energy sources used during training
  • Personal and adaptive running program
  • Swimming metrics
  • Sport profiles (choose from 130 from Polar Flow platform)
  • Weekly summary
  • Watch face color themes
  • Polar Flow app and web portal

Garmin Fenix 6

  • From $599
  • Available in 6 and 6 Pro models
  • 47mm case
  • 1.3 inch, 240 x 240 display
  • Available with steel, titanium bezel
  • Interchangeable 22mm bands
  • Up to 36 hours GPS battery
  • Includes Pulse Ox sensor
  • Waterproof up to 100m
  • 24/7 activity tracking
  • Multisport profiles
  • PacePro running feature
  • Battery saver mode


The Polar Ignite is priced at $229.95. That puts it on the cheaper end of the GPS-watch spectrum. It’s $50 less than the Vantage M, the non-touchscreen budget option Polar launched earlier this year. And it’s a significant markdown from most popular flagship offerings, including Polar’s $499.95 Vantage V, and the $449.99 Garmin 645 Music. 

Polar Ignite vs Garmin comparison chart

ModelGarmin vivoactive 4Polar Ignite
Color displayYesYes
Resolution260 x 260 px240×204 px
Display, length45,10 mm43,00 mm
Display, width45,10 mm43,00 mm
Depth / thickness12,80 mm8,50 mm
Weight51 g35 g
Waterproof / SwimproofYesYes
Waterproof / Swimproof5 ATMWR30
Recording tracks (swimming)YesYes
Swimming, open waterNoYes
Battery (up to)8 days5 days
Battery life with GPS6,0 hours17,0 hours
Internal music storage1
Build in GPSYesYes
Galileo SatellitYesNo
Pulse oximeterYesNo
Mobile paymentGarmin Pay

Polar Ignite vs Garmin review


The fitness watch Polar Ignite is lightweight (a whole 35 grams with the wristband) and in all fairness, it does feel a bit too light, as in, it feels insubstantial. 

Whether you go regular Gramin Fenix 6, pro or solar, it weighs in 83g for the steel version or 72g with a titanium case to make it lighter than the Fenix 5


In Polar Ignite, the screen is circular, but the bottom is cut off by a large bezel sporting the Polar logo. It has a nice, rather large touchscreen display and a silicone strap that does needs some time to get used to. At first try, due to the strap’s elasticity, it can be a bit of a fiddle to seam it through the right holes. It’s got the same 43mm sized case that measures in at 8.5mm thick and weighs the same 35g. The case is made from glass reinforced polymer with a stainless steel bezel.

Fenix 6 although the latest in its lineup is 2 years old. Launched in November of 2019, Fenix 6 was launched in 3 case sizes; 42mm was called the Fenix 6S, 47mm was called the Fenix 6 and the 51mm one was called Fenix 6X. 


Polar Ignite

When the screen is active, pressing the button on the side of the watch will take you to the menu, where you can start tracking an activity, do a breathing exercise (Serene) and run a fitness test, which will give you an estimate of your VO2 Max.

Start recording an activity is as easy as pressing the button on the side and choosing the activity from the list. The process shouldn’t take longer than 2 seconds. One would question why a touchscreen device need a physical button, but in reality, this combination works really well.

Garmin Fenix 6

The buttons feel subtly more premium too, and at last the Fenix 6 doesn’t feel like a beast on the wrist and will suit a variety of wrist sizes and shapes.


The Polar Ignite offers 240 x 204 pixels in the resolution. The Garmin vivoactive has a resolution of 260 x 260 pixels. The resolution is quite low too at 260×260 (Fenix 6) and 240×240 (Fenix 6S). This also comes as a hurdle in making it a touch screen. 

Sleep tracking – Polar Ignite vs Garmin

Polar Ignite

After the baseline has been established – you wore the Ignite for three nights – it will score how well you slept on a scale of 1 to 100. The Polar Ignite also features the Sleep Plus Stages feature, automatically tracking the amount and quality of your sleep and showing you how long you spent in each sleep stage.

The Polar Flow app offers you tips on how to train, sleep better and regulate your energy levels during the day. It won’t actually make you sleep better, but it will do anything in its arsenal to provide you with ways to improve your sleep.

Garmin Fenix 6

Sleep tracking is one of the best in Garmin watches. Garmin provides a lot of data when it comes to your sleep tracking. The features are identical in both the Venu 2 and Fenix 6. At the end of each sleep cycle, you receive a sleep score on the basis of the quality of your sleep, how many times you woke up in your sleep, restlessness, total duration of sleep, time of sleep, etc. A welcome feature for those having trouble organizing their sleep schedule. 


The Polar Ignite also has built-in GPS, meaning it can track your runs and rides even if you don’t bring your phone along. If you listen to music while exercising, this won’t matter to you; the Ignite doesn’t store or stream music, so you’re probably bringing your phone along anyway. But if you prefer to run in silence or your music lives on a different MP3 player, onboard GPS is likely a big bonus for you.  

Fenix capable of controlling the music on your phone but there is no physical storage for music. On the other hand, Venu 2 can store up to 650 songs along with the support of offline Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, iHeartRadio, etc. Meanwhile to get the support for such apps you have to buy the Pro version of both 6 and 6S. 


Polar Ignite

You can also run fitness tests with the Polar Ignite. Quite surprisingly, to do a fitness test, you have to sit or lay down and keep very still for a few minutes. Not something you’d expect from a fitness test, but what it really does, it measures your VO2 max levels, and for that you’ll need a steady and low heart rate frequency.

Garmin Fenix 6

Venu 2 lags a bit with its limitation of tracking Running, Indoor Track Running, and Treadmill Running only. On the other hand, Fenix 6 records Trail Running and virtual running too for those who are concerned. Both watches show the real-time cadence (steps per minute). Fenix 6 also goes up by providing a comparison of your real-time fitness after a 6-20 minute run to your average fitness.

Heart rate

Polar Ignite

It can be used to continuously monitor heart rate, offer real-time heart rate measurements, offer those richer sleep sleep stats and let you train in heart rate zones. The new heart rate based features you won’t find on the first Ignite that you do here is the ability to transmit live data to other Polar devices and showing energy sources used during workouts. This uses heart rate data to understand whether you’ve used carbs, protein or fats to fuel training.

Garmin Fenix 6

Respiration rates tallied with results from Fitbit breathing rate metrics, and we averaged the same 13 breaths per minute we’re used to seeing in the Fitbit app. Again, it should be noted that you can only see 7 days of data without Fitbit Premium, while you get full tracking in Garmin Connect.


Smartphone notifications are also supported by the Ignite. You can access these by swiping up on the watch face. The apps allowed to send notifications can be changed on the Polar Flow app (under ‘Devices’). By default, all apps are allowed, but it means that the watch will vibrate any time a new song is being played on Spotify, and there is really no need for that.

Garmin watches offer the notification alert. You can see the notifications as well as respond to them using the predefined responses. There is no limit as to what app notifications can be shown, if it is in your watch, it shows. This is customizable though and you can set up what notifications you want to see. 

Battery life

In Polar Ignite, the battery life is quoted to last for five days, which is pretty accurate. The watch is charged using a special magnetic cradle, and it charges fast. I was really surprised how quickly it charged up from being almost completely depleted.

Fenix 6 can last for 14 days while the 6S lasts for 9. Venu 2 underperforms a little bit in this mode and gives an endurance of 11 days while the 2S can keep its juices up for 10 days. The S version of Venu performs a tad better than the Fenix 6S. 


It doesn’t use Wi-Fi or LTE, and there are no apps. You can’t use it to order Starbucks, read the New York Times, control Spotify, or do most other things that are unrelated to health and fitness. There’s no period tracking, a feature of both Fitbits and cheaper GPS watches like the Garmin Forerunner 245. 

Editor’s recommendations