Polar M400 - Tested and Reviewed.
The Polar M400 GPS Run Watch.
What do you want to know?
Out of the box, the Polar M400 is attractive. Understated. Sleak.
On the wrist it fits securely and the strap, though rubber, has ease of movement, then once secure - it stays in place all day without need for adjustment.
Once in use, the square display offers a great set of easy to read statistics, individually tailored to your priority and preference.
The light is bright and instantly readable when using after dark. Throughout a run, it's easy to see what the watch is telling you, but even easier just listen out for pre set alarms that you can set when wishing not to work to hard or too little.
The update and upload from watch to website or indeed Bluetooth phone App are simple and 'idiot proof' (I can do it, so anyone can).
The features are endless, with the essential basics covered (time/distance/speed) and backed up with ascent, descent, avg pace, speed, cadence, calories burned, %fat burned, daily activity tracking, sleep tracking, V2O, Heart Rate, daily workload targets, training goals, coaching features that tell you what benefit will come from the run you just completed and much much more.
But all of this is optional and can be selected, activated or deactivated at your leisure.
So straight on and into a run, I'm informed of my workload, Heart Rate strap around my chest and comfy enough to forget it's there.
I'm notified of any overload or laziness creeping into my run, according to pre determined levels set by me at home in advance.
I can tailor my training toward specific goals and see that I reach them successfully.
I'm able to run at random, exploring as I go and then thanks to the 'Back to Start' feature, simply follow directions back to where I set off. So I'm saved from my own lack of local route knowledge, but confident enough to begin gathering some.
The watch isn't heavy or bulky and will run the GPS and Bluetooth simultaneously for a full 8hrs. So I'm covered for long runs.
The watch can even be paired via that Bluetooth, to my smartphone (always with me for emergencies) and prevents my having to stop and unpack every time a junk call or general communication comes my way. In a genuine emergency, I'll be even quicker to act - which is great.
When analysing your results online/via the app - there's clear information laid out for you and graph for comparing the various details of your run at the same time. It's easy to pick and choose the settings and options, then transfer the chages to the device. Every step is made simple by clearly labelled boxes and buttons, rather than infinite drop down boxes and hidden menus.
Having supported people with various alternative brands for the past 4 years, I can say without doubt that Polar has the edge when it comes to ease of use. There are no frustrating combinations of clicks and/or buttons where one will do, which I find very refreshing.
So, what's not to like...?
I might wish it had more battery life, but I'd assume that with Bluetooth turned off it'll go a little further and I hardly ever run longer than 8hrs, so I don't need to worry right now.
Thanks to the constant stream of updates, I wouldn't be surprised if the battery life improved any day.
So would I recommend the Polar M400? Definitely. I'm loving it so much, it's breathed new life into my running. It packs all the features you migt find in watches twice the price, while simple and fun to use.
I have the black version, but it comes in either Black, White, Blue or Coral (pink) and Heart Rate is included for only £157.50.
With far more sophisticated watches on the market, it's reassuring that where you might wish to simply run and develop your running long term - this is a watch that can deliver everything right from the go. No compromises. Fun and easy to get along with and as such, incredible value for money.
I'm not missing my old watch one bit!
It certainly has potential for use as a Cycling or Swimming watch (and therefore Traithlon). My colleague and resident Physio, Mr. Pete Down from the Accelerate Performance Centre competes in Triathlon and he loves his M400.
But as a less than confident swimmer, with a heavy steel bike, right now stuck in my cellar - I'll have to take his word for it!
Wednesday 18th of May 2016