Around Sept 2014, Polar announce their latest watch M400. And I am lucky to have got hold of this watch, as a gift around Feb 2015. With excitement, I have been using this unit for the past 1 month as both day to day activity monitor as well as a GPS watch. So, here’s my review for Polar M400 and hopefully be able to shed some light for the people who would like to get hold of this watch.
The Box, Design and Build
Polar M400 comes in two color – white and black. I got mine in white. Here’s how the box look like when I got it.
In the box, it comes with :
- Polar M400 training computer
- Polar H7 Heart rate sensor and strap (depending on which bundle you select)
- Micro USB cable
- Getting started guide
Here’s a closer look how it looks like on my small wrist.
As you can see, I got mine in white version. Personally I liked the design and the look for its simplicity. The strap is very comfortable compared to many other plastic watch straps outside. It feels really soft, as makes you feel as if you are not wearing the watch itself.
The buttons by the side are very easy to use and navigate and takes a very short time to become accustom to.
At the back of the watch, it comes with a standard micro-USB port. It has a small rubber flap that covers it. As I understand, the port is claimed to be internally waterproof up to 30 meters (yes 30 metres!), which means you can still wear it while going for a shower or swim. I have not personally tested it out for a deep swim, as I do have reservation that this is still not a dive computer, and I am not sure how the underwater pressure, chlorine and salt water would affect it in the long run. If you have tested it yourself, I am very much would like to hear your experience and thoughts on this.
Polar M400 weighs in officially at 56.6g and 11.5mm thick, which doesn’t give you a bulky feeling but comfort.
M400’s battery life is approximately 8-hours with GPS enabled. If you are not activating the GPS mode, the watch can last you for about 2 – 3 weeks of day to day usage. I have tried workout and using it day to day for about 2 weeks without enabling the GPS function, the battery is still very much in good life. With this battery life span, the watch has definitely become another added point for me.
RUNNING with GPS enabled
When I first got my M400, I went for a run with GPS function enabled. I strapped on my Heart Rate chest strap and started off by locating the GPS. Make sure the GPS has reached 100% before you should start your run.
While you are running, you can actually press the up / down button on the right side of the watch to check information like distance, heart rate, speed, calories burned, lap time and few more other information.
At the end of the training, here’s a sample summary. Personally, this is great information for me to keep track of my training as well as if I wanted to make a specific sets of training goal.
Another lovely thing that M400 give is the post-workout feedback on your overall training (be it indoor or outdoor). Pretty cool.
Sync and Apps
After a run to test out M400 for the very first time, transferring or syncing the data to the phone/web (flow.polar.com) site is pretty easy. Here’s a sample summary of my run.
As you can see, the map displays the route that I have done (yes I was running back and forth for a bit as I was running along the beach) and at the top it breakdown the time, distance, heart rate as well as calories.
At the bottom end, it shows the heart rate zone, speed, heart rate. In my map above, as you can see my heart rate dropped after about 30min. This is because I was just doing a 30min run and the rest of the other time, doing toning and cool down. As this was my first run with M400, I have yet to figure out if I could separate the logging of running and cool down time with the watch continuously.
When I reviewed my training diary, another cool thing that I like is I am able to make notes for each training I have done. Eg. Beach run and toning. Stamina is improving a lot from the last training. The mood setting is nice too, even though I am pretty sure I will always choose Awesome, as that is what I felt after each training. Sweat is good ! Feeling refreshed!
Other than the basic features like tracking the distance, pacing, calorie burn and altitude, M400 internal accelerometer also tracks your activity such as walking, inactivity time even your sleeping mode, throughout your day – of cos that is if you are wearing it for 24 hours a day. Not only that, the watch itself also knows when it isn’t being worn, which will stop collecting data of your active or inactive time. I have personally put a test on it, and at the end of the day when I sync the data to my phone, it tells me that there isn’t enough data to give feedback on my daily activity. See below for a summary on one of my day.
Something I couldn’t understand is when I wasn’t wearing the watch for some time, the section should be marked as ‘not worn’ but during my syncing to my phone the next days, the information was converted and displayed as sleep/rest mode. Apparently the ‘not worn’ section will only be displayed when you sync the phone the same day or so. A few times I was syncing it only few days later and it was displaying ‘sleep/rest’ mode, which I wonder if the data is more accurate when sync daily.
And yes, if you are staying inactive for some time, it will give you a nudge to remind you to get your butt off and do some exercise or even walk around. Having said that, I think it would be great if the nudge comes with a vibration mode, as sometimes when I am out in the noisy place, the nudge sound wasn’t loud enough, which sometimes I happened to miss out on it.
In order to achieve your 100% goal, M400 will displayed the percentage achieved and suggest what you need to do to achieve 100% goal.
There is a few different face mode that you can choose from. Personally I liked the Big Face the best.
Ok, time for wrap up.
Overall, I really liked Polar M400 for it’s simplicity, look good watch as well as an all-in-one activity tracker with GPS running watch. More over I think the price is reasonably for the functionality it’s provided.
Here’s a summary based on my personal usage so far.
- All-in-one activity tracker with GPS function
- Good heart rate monitor tracker
- Easy to use interface and syncing programs
- Good set of features
- Water resistant up to 30 meters
- Great breakdown on the training summary
- Long battery life
- Very comfortable watch strap
Room for improvement:
- no vibration mode
- even though it’s 30 meter resistant, apparently it is not recommended to wear during diving
Till this point in time, despite the rooms for improvement, I would still very much recommend Polar M400 to anyone looking for a device to track their workout.
Hopefully you have found this review helpful and useful. This review is put based on my personal experience and definitely did take some hours to put it together (and of course it’s reviewed with lots love!).
And yes, if you do have any comments, feedback, questions or something to share about M400, please feel free to write on the comment section below. I will get them answered ASAP. 🙂
Thanks again for stopping by reading the review. Happy training!
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