There are so many fitness trackers on the market that it can easily be a bit intimidating to choose just one. Many of those new to trackers tend to want to go with something simple and budget-friendly. Two of the more popular options are the Polar Loop and the Fitbit Flex.
Both Polar and Fitbit are very well-known brands, each with a solid fan base. While the Loop and the Flex has numerous positive reviews, there are some differences. Depending on what is important to you, one of the two will be a much better fit. Before getting into a comparison, let’s go over the details for each product.
Specs and Features of the Polar Loop
The Polar Loop Activity Band is designed for 24/7 wear. This attractive band has a bold LED light display but remains a fairly simple band-style tracker.
Here are the details you need to know:
- Color options – Misty Blue, Black Currant, and Smoky Black
- Retails for $59.95
- Tracks steps taken and distance traveled
- Vibrate alert after 55 minutes of inactivity
- Shows calories burned
- Automatic “Smart Calories” option gives calorie good back on body size, gender, age, and activity level
- Tracks sleep, including hours slept and quality of sleep
- Compatible with the Polar Flow web and app interface
- Add heart rate monitor for more insight (sold separately)
- LED light display
- The battery life of up to 6 days with 24/7 tracking
The Loop doesn’t just track activity, but it also guides you on how to improve your lifestyle to reach your fitness goals. All activities are broken down into 5 easy to understand categories based on intensity, including resting, sitting, low, medium, and high.
This tracker offers two main measurements for activity – steps taken and calories burned based on the distance you traveled throughout the day. It is recommended to buy a compatible heart rate monitor to really get a better insight into your activity levels.
Specs and Features of the Fitbit Flex
Polar is a well-known brand but when it comes to just fitness trackers, Fitbit is easily one of the most popular. There are famous for their innovative designs and one very impressive app display (more on that later). The Fitbit name may mean the Flex costs a bit more, but it is money well spent.
Here are the details you need to know:
- Massive selection of 10 colors including lime, pink, black, red, teal, tangerine, and more
- Attractive, minimalist slim design
- Ability to use various Fitbit accessory bands for fashion
- Retails for $99.95
- Tracks steps, distance, calories burned, time spent active and stationary, hourly activity
- 5 LED light display alert you to notification and shows progress during your daily goal
- The completely water-resistant band allows for 24 hours wear, even in the shower
- The battery life of roughly 5 days
- Wireless and automatic syncing to a computer and over 150 types of smartphones
- Monitors sleep and have a built-in silent alarm for a more peaceful morning
The Fitbit Flex comes with plenty of high-star reviews for obvious reasons. It has some excellent features, obviously, but its whole design and overall quality are excellent. While it is more a simple and budget-friendly Fitbit device, it certainly performs as well as its more expensive cousins.
Major Differences Between the Loop and Flex
With the specs and features of both the Loop and Flex out of the way, here is a more in-depth comparison between these two excellent devices.
Accuracy is a super important aspect of any fitness tracker. The purpose of such a device is to see your activity throughout your daily life, and if you aren’t getting truthful data it isn’t going to help you achieve your goals.
Now, the Fitbit Flex uses two types of sensors – a 3 axis accelerometer and a vibration motor. It isn’t clear on Polar’s website what sensors the Loop uses, but it’s safely assumed to be very similar as more trackers use some type of 3 axis accelerometer. Despite having similar technology, customer reviews show that when compared to a third party pedometer worn at the same time there are discrepancies.
The Fitbit Flex is often right on par with the pedometer, although it typically reads a few hundred steps higher. This sounds bad but is acceptable for a wrist tracker since your arms move more than your hips (where the pedometer would be located).
The Polar Loop, however, read significantly higher. For example, let’s say your pedometer reads 5000 steps. The Flex may read about 5500 but the Loop could be 6500 or more.
If you use the same activity every day, you will get good data, even if it reads higher. But when it comes to the simple of which device is more accurate, the Flex is the better choice.
While not as important as accuracy, looks and the display of the tracker are also important considerations. Both trackers have a classic band look of a tracker, minus any of the sports watch style display screens. Instead, they rely on LED lights to keep their wearers in the know. However, it only takes a glance at both to see that the display of the Loop is better.
The Polar Loop’s LED lights actually work as a normal display, meaning you actually seeing numbers and words. Think of it as an alarm clock. You can actually see your data right on the band, which also means you don’t need your smartphone on you just to check how you’re doing. With the Fitbit Flex, you’re essentially tied to your smartphone.
The display of the Flex is about as simple as you can get. It is a line of 5 small LED lights which light up to alert you to notifications. They also fill up to show your progress towards your daily goal. That is really is as basic as you can get. You will need your smartphone or a computer to review your data throughout the day.
When it comes to displaying, the Loop comes out on top.
The final comparison is each product app interface. Both Loop and Flex have great apps but there are a few differences. The Polar Loop app is very simple. You log on and right on the homepage is your activity data.
You don’t at all need to be tech-savvy to comprehend the data. The Fitbit app is already fairly well know and certainly is more advanced in terms of age. You can use on Android or Apple, and even Windows phone.
Another cool feature of the Fitbit app is that it also tracks water consumption and seamlessly works with MyFitnessPal. The Loop also works with MyFitnessPal. The Flex syncs seamlessly and quite fast. The Loop is a bit slower but still works well. Overall the Fitbit app is the better option.
So who wins between these two brands? It is difficult to say since both are very functional. If you really want the best of the basic trackers you can get, go with the Flex. The Flex is just a bit better of a device all-around, even with having a limited display.
If budget is a significant issue or you don’t use a smartphone often, go with the Polar Loop. The Loop still gives a good experience with a better display, but it seems to be a step down from the Flex in terms of technology.