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Polar unveils the Loop 2, an entry-level wearable for everyday fitness tracking

Polar promised a lot with the Loop. Too much, perhaps, for its own good — the company’s first wearable was met with lukewarm reviews, many by users who lamented its flimsy build quality. Still, the Loop managed strike a chord with the fitness crowd, selling briskly in a sea of Jawbones and Fitbits. But that was two years ago. The competition’s now a lot fiercer, but Polar believes it can recapture the magic of the Loop by honing in on its most appealing characteristic — simplicity — for the Loop 2, its new wearable.

The Loop 2 is very much fashioned in its predecessor’s image. It’s about as bare bones as fitness trackers come — you won’t any distinguishing marks other than the LEDs that comprise the dot-matrix display, the embossed “Polar” logo that runs around the edge, and two metal contacts for heart rate monitoring — but packs important improvements in a few areas.

Related: Polar’s Loop tracks exercise at work, on the street and between the sheets

Polar’s moved to soft silicon and polyurethane material for the Loop 2’s outer band, but the new band retains the original’s steel buckle. A vibration engine’s in tow for inactivity alerts (couch potatoes be wary), alarms, and notifications from a paired phone. And a sensor array handles activity tracking — the Loop 2 will plot out basic metrics like step count, distance, calories, and your sleep activity.

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In a welcome change, fitness data won’t be walled behind Polar’s own software, unlike the previous Loop. The new band will happily sync with third-party platforms such as Google Fit, Apple Health, and MyFitnessPal.

The Polar Loop 2 will launch in two new colors, white, and pink when it goes on sale in July at $120 ($10 more than the original Loop). Note that the aforementioned variants are silicon — the black PU band won’t be available until September, Polar says.