Polar’s new Pacer smartwatches are for beginners and serious runners

Polar, the sports and fitness company, has launched two new smartwatches — the Polar Pacer, and Polar Pacer Pro. While many wearables from the brand in the past have been aimed at experienced runners, or those who are at the very least quite fit, with the Pacer range, Polar has recognized not everyone is at this level.

Polar Pacer

The Pacer Pro is still made for serious runners, but the non-Pro Polar Pacer has been designed for the first-timer. The Pacer uses the same brand new high-performance chipset as the Pacer Pro with a screen covered in Gorilla Glass, but a thin 40-gram case for increased wearability. It comes in four different colors — Cloud White, Night Black, Deep Teal, or Purple Dusk — and costs a reasonable $200.

What makes it interesting is how Polar has adapted some of the features from its other, more focused smartwatches, for the Pacer. For example, Polar’s running test that estimates your fitness level has been replaced by a walking test. Beginners won’t benefit from a VO2 Max or maximum heart rate reading, and will likely be put off by the intensity of the running test. The walking test takes its results from a 15-minute fast-paced walk instead.

This is just the start of its increased accessibility. It shows simple pace, time, and distance data; has curated running programs to decrease the chance of injury and boost motivation, along with automatic sleep tracking, music controls, GPS; and general smartwatch features so it can be worn daily.

The Polar Pacer Pro takes the features from the Pacer and adds in additional technology that will benefit the more experienced, dedicated runner. A new 10-LED heart rate sensor is on the back, and inside is a new barometer and magnetometer to better assess elevation changes when out running, and provide power level data in watts. These sensors are backed up by a new antenna array for the GPS system, resulting in the Pacer Pro being able to more accurately track your route and effort.

Available in Carbon Grey, Snow White, Autumn Maroon, Midnight Blue, or Aurora Green colors, the Polar Pacer Pro costs $300. Both new smartwatches have a faster chipset for improved performance, and a battery that should last around 35 hours on a single charge with GPS and heart rate tracking enabled, or about a week with the power save feature active.

The Polar Pacer Pro will be available from April 13 through the company’s online store, while the Polar Pacer will arrive in May.