Polar at the International CES trade show has announced a new dedicated fitness watch with all-day activity tracking. The A300 is a cousin to the M400,, and shares some of the same features. In addition to being able to track your steps taken, calories burned and distance traveled, the A300 automatically measures your restful and restless sleep at night. One feature it doesn't include, however, is GPS to track your pace and distance when running.
Bluetooth is on board to sync with the Polar Flow mobile app on your Android or iOS device. The watch supports wireless chest-based heart-rate monitors and it's waterproof so you can wear it while swimming or in the shower. The A300, as well Polar's existing products, will also soon be able to sync with popular food-tracking app MyFitnessPal.
One welcomed change from the M400 is the addition of vibration. The company noted in its press release that the A300 will vibrate to notify you when you've been inactive for an extended period of time. The vibration can also be used for a silent alarm to wake you up in the morning. As for battery life, Polar notes that you should be able to get about a month from a single charge.
During the brief time I spent with the A300, I noticed within seconds that it's nearly identical to the M400. The rubber strap has that same soft touch feel that we liked with the M400 and the button layout is the same. There are up and down buttons on the right with a single activity button to start workouts in the middle, while a backlight button resides at the top left and a back button at the bottom left.
I was also reminded of the Sony Smartwatch 3. The strap on the watch is interchangeable and the full device pops right out. What's interesting is the method the A300 uses to charge. After removing the strap you will notice a small USB plug that connect directly to your PC.
The Polar A300 will be available in the US in February in white, black and pink for $140. UK and Australian prices were not announced, but the US price converts to around £90 or AU$175, but expect final prices to differ. The watch can also be bundled with a heart-rate monitor for $180 (£120, AU$220 converted). Additional straps in white, black, pink, blue, gray and yellow can be had for $25 (£16 or AU$30 converted).
We expect to see a lot more activity trackers and running watches this week at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas -- follow CNET's ongoing coverage of CES 2015 here.
Editors' note, January 3, 2015: An earlier version of this article noted that the Polar A300 included GPS to track pace and distance during runs, but this is not the case. The article has been updated with the correct information.