• Amazon.com
  • Clever Training
  • Clever Training Europre

Polar M400 GPS & Activity Tracker Watch In-Depth Review


Today, Polar has announced their latest watch, the M400.  This running focused GPS watch also contains day to day activity tracking (i.e. steps and sleep) along with smartphone connectivity.  The unit priced at $179US/€159EUR, is very competitively placed in the market, significantly undercutting a number of models in the same segment as it.  It’ll start arriving in stores in a couple weeks.

I’ve been using the unit for the past month as both as a day to day activity monitor as well as a GPS running watch, and thus have a pretty solid feel for things.  Because I’m on both a final production unit and final production firmware, I’m comfortable enough with where things stand to call this an in-depth review versus a first look.

To be clear, Polar sent me over an M400 to start testing with until retail availability.  Like always, I’ll be shipping that back to them in Finland in the next little bit and going out and getting my own via regular retail channels.  That’s just the way I roll.

Lastly, at the end of the day keep in mind I’m just like any other regular athlete out there. I write these reviews because I’m inherently a curious person with a technology background, and thus I try and be as complete as I can. But, if I’ve missed something or if you spot something that doesn’t quite jive – just let me know and I’ll be happy to get it all sorted out. Also, because the technology world constantly changes, I try and go back and update these reviews as new features and functionality are added – or if bugs are fixed. So – with that intro, let’s get into things.

The Executive Summary:


Looking for the quick and simple version of this review?  Here’s the low-down of the M400.  As noted above it’s Polar’s second GPS watch that integrates activity tracking, following the much more expensive V800 multisport watch.  The M400 is designed as a runner’s watch, but blends in support for other activities such as cycling and…horse back riding.  Given that it’s a runner’s watch however, it doesn’t support cycling sensors, nor horse gait pods.

With the internal accelerometer the unit will track steps, distance, and sleep (along with calories), throughout your day.  It doesn’t however use the internal accelerometer to give you cadence while running nor pace/distance on a treadmill – you’ll need a footpod for both of those.

The battery life gets about 8-hours in GPS-on mode, like most watches in the category, and gets about three weeks in regular day to day watch time/activity tracker mode.

Like most Polar watches it includes a number of ‘Smart Coaching’ features.  However, one unique feature being introduced with the M400 is the Running Estimator option, which estimates how long it’ll take you to complete your run of a set distance at the current pace you’re running – thus taking the complex mid-marathon mental math out of the equation.  They’ve also added in PR support (Personal Records/Bests), which will tell you each time you break a new PR for a given distance/time/benchmark.

Lastly, the unit is well waterproofed at 30-meters, despite using just a standard micro-USB connector.  Though, while it is waterproofed, it won’t give you heart rate underwater, as it only supports Bluetooth Smart heart rate transmission and not the analog frequency used on some of Polar’s other water-friendly watches.

To get a feel for things I put together this quick walk-through video following my first run with the watch.  I go through all the major menu’s as well as some of the mid-run functions.  Enjoy!

Overall, I think this is a very solid contender at a price point that’s incredibly competitive compared to units like the Garmin FR220 (at $80 more) and the TomTom Runner.  After using it for about a month, I’ve really got no major complaints about the unit.  It exceeded all my expectations and does so at a sweet price.  Polar got it right here.

Unboxing & Versions:

The M400 comes in two color variants (white and black), and two package variants (with the HR strap, and without).  For the purposes of this unboxing, I have the black variant without the heart rate strap (I already had a HR strap).  However, I’ve also included photos of the white banded version as well.

To start, we’ve got a new fangled box design for Polar where you can actually see the product you’re buying.  Very nice!



Inside, you’ll have exactly two pieces of hardware, seen below.  They are the watch itself and the USB cable.  In the event you bought the heart rate strap bundle, you’ll have that too.


Here’s a closer look:


The watch as noted above comes in black or white, in my case I’ve obviously got the black version.  The strap is a bit different from past Polar watches, and almost feels ‘soft’.  Sorta like one of those super-soft t-shirts.  It’s kinda hard to explain, but the rubber is really nice (yes, it’s strange saying that).



On the back you’ve got a standard micro-USB port.  While it has a small cover on it, the port is internally waterproofed to 30-meters.  Yes, thirty meters.  This specific internally deep-waterproofed USB port has been making the vendor rounds for a while now but nobody bit and actually put it in a product.  Definitely excited to see it show up here.  Typically internally waterproofed USB ports haven’t been terribly awesome long term (past ones have only been rated to 1-meter at 30 minutes), so here’s to hoping this new version is as awesome as they claim.

(Update Nov 2015: One thing we have seen a spike in during 2015 is failures of the USB port, primarily due to corrosion. Interestingly, in the October timeframe we started seeing Polar ship a slightly different USB port arrangement on the M400’s. Whether or not it fixes things is still to be determined.  On the bright side, Polar has swapped out pretty much everyone’s units without question.)



Oh and in case you’re curious, this USB cable goes in that plug.  The other end simply goes to your computer, or any other USB port you’ll find on this little blue marble of a planet.


Looking at the screen on the unit, it’s a 128x128px high contrast black and white screen.  It’s incredibly sharp and identical to that of the V800, though with a plastic covering instead of glass:


Lastly, for those who prefer a less dark watch, here’s a quick look at the white variant of the watch:




Next, let’s compare some sizes and weights.

Size & Weight Comparisons:


The unit weighs in officially at 56.6g and is officially 11.5mm thick – I measured it at 55.5g, which is close enough for the purposes here.  The watch saved weight compared to the V800 by going with a plastic screen instead of glass, as well as nixing metal for plastic.  That said, it doesn’t feel cheap.

Next, let’s look at the size of the unit compared to the V800, then we’ll look at rolling pins.  As you can see in the next three pictures, it’s very similar, but the M400 is just a smidge smaller than the V800, mostly due to the slight rounding.


And here, the lack of additional metallic layer slightly reduced the profile as well.



Next, the rolling pin.  You’ll see the M400 as the 3rd from the right.  These are roughly ordered by size.  Here’s the full lineup:

(Left to Right: Garmin FR910XT, Garmin Fenix2, Suunto Ambit3, Suunto Ambit2, Suunto Ambit2S, Polar V800, Polar M400, Polar RC3 GPS, Garmin FR620)


Note that on the Garmin front, the FR220 and FR620 share the same exterior shell specs, so you can mentally just swap the colors there to get an estimate on size.

Here’s a look at the depth of the watches.  In this case the rolling pin is held exactly level upside down, allowing you to see how thick the watches are by looking at the gap to the most excellent Ikea table.


And finally, a closer look at the three Polar offerings.  As you can see both the M400 and V800 are slimmer than the RC3, and they also forgo the plastic shell area at the top/bottom of the RC3 that hides some electronics.


From a thickness perspective the watch is actually just slightly thinner than the Garmin FR220/FR620, so it might make it the thinnest GPS-integrated watch on the market.  It is also skinner (width) as well as shorter (height) than the FR220/FR620.  Good stuff!

You can see this thinness when the unit is located on my wrist.  Here’s a look at things from a few different angles:



And finally, here’s a picture of the black edition on The Girl’s wrist (she’s petite, at 5’2” tall).  My wrist size is 17cm (or about 6.5 inches).  The Girl’s is 14cm (or 5.5 inches).


She was carving cakes when I requested her wrist, hence why her hands are so dark looking (from the chocolate).  That said, she did find the black version a bit big on her wrist.  I’m checking to see if the white version is smaller as a strap.  I’ll update accordingly.


As I said above, I don’t think there’s a thinner all-inclusive GPS watch on the market today.


First up is running with the M400.  To begin you’ll first want to configure your user profile settings to ensure accurate calorie numbers, so this includes your gender and such.  Next you’ll also likely want to plug it in to your computer to ensure the firmware is up to date.

With those two minor tasks out of the way, it’s time to head outside.  The M400 includes predictive GPS capabilities which allow it to minimize how long it takes to find GPS satellites outdoors.  I’ve generally found it quite fast and on par with most other new GPS watches in the market with similar technologies.  Even while travelling, it has sometimes only taken a few seconds in a new country to find GPS.


While you’re finding GPS signal you can select which sport you’re going to do. In our case, we’ll choose running, but you can easily just scroll up or down in the menus to change the sport.  It’s at this point that it’ll go off and find your already paired heart rate strap (via Bluetooth Smart).  Once found it’ll show the heart rate value (BPM) on the screen.


Once ready (with GPS showing 100%), you can press the red button to begin recording the session.  This means it’ll start the timer and begin recording your distance, pace, location and other metrics.  These will then be shown on the screen for you in various data pages.


Each data page contains a configurable number of metrics.  This is an improvement over the previous Polar RC3 whereby you couldn’t really customize the data fields.  With the M400, you can customize all of the fields to the same extent as the much more expensive V800.  All of this customization is done online via Polar Flow:


While running you’ll get instant pace via GPS, along with your distance.


I found the instant pace responsiveness quite easy to pace by, and you can see a small snippet of that in the summary video at the beginning of this post.

You’ll also get your heart rate information displayed in a variety of manners including as straight beats per minute (BPM), as well as heart rate zones.


These zones are configurable online via Polar Flow.  You can have Polar figure them out for you, or you can override them for a given activity type.


New to the Polar lineup is Estimated Completion Time.  This function can be enabled via the ‘Timers’ option, and allows you to enable and then configure a data page that will give you the estimated time of completion of your run.  Prior to the start of the run you’ll specify how long the run will be (such as 5K):



Then while running the unit will show you how much time is remaining.  This is sorta like the Virtual Partner found on other units, but rather instead of showing you how far ahead/behind a pace you are, it’s showing you how long until you’re done.


Of course, not everyone is out to race or finish in a specific time.  If you’re more of the wandering type the M400 includes a ‘Back to Start’ function, that will show you the direct line back to the start.  Note that this does NOT follow your exact route to your current point, but rather is just a compass that points you directly back to the starting point.


This function relies upon you moving to function however, since it’s not a magnetic compass but rather one that takes into account your current speed.  If you stop moving, you’ll get notified:


This is quite a competitive feature to be found on a watch at this price point.  For example, the Garmin FR220 at $80 more doesn’t have this functionality contained in it (nor does the FR620 at $220 more).

In the event you’re still lost and ‘Back to start’ can’t help you, you can pause the watch at any time to go phone a friend for help.  To do so simply tap the lower left button and it’ll bring you to a paused screen:


Unfortunately, Polar still doesn’t allow you to see your current run data fields while paused, so you’re stuck with the main screen seen above with just the elapsed time that displays a moment later.  When you’re ready to resume you just tap the red button.

Finally, when you’re ready to end your run you’ll go ahead and hold down the bottom left button again to end the run.  At the conclusion of which you’ll be given stats about the run including how far you went, the time, calories as well as training benefit type, lap summary and individual lap detail information.



New to the Polar lineup though is personal records (PR’s), which the unit will track for various distances/times.  For example, this PR here for longest distance run (it happened to be my first run with the watch):


PR’s are a handy way to see training advancement for a given sport profile, especially if you routinely use the watch and are focusing on various specific distances to try and better times at.

Once you’re back at your phone or computer you can upload the activity to Polar Flow, which is Polar’s online training log site.


(Note: The ‘Training Load’ dots below each activity do NOT appear with the M400, but only with the V800 that’s also in my account. To be clear, you won’t see those Training Load Recovery items with just a M400 in your account.)

It’s here you can go ahead and dive into the training log for a given activity:


This includes viewing the details of both manual as well as automatic laps, which are recorded independently of one another.  Manual laps are ones where you press the button, whereas automatic laps can be configured for a set distance (such as every 1 mile or 1 kilometer):


Additionally, you can change the map view between a street map and satellite or terrain maps, which include the ability to also overlay lap information.


Finally, at the top of each session you have summary information regarding the activity, which in this case tested the limits of my hot weather running adaptation.  You can see a bit of the imperfections of the GPS based altimeter though (or, Polar’s site), whereby this pancake flat run did show some ascent/descent oddities.  Conversely, I saw some rather accurate elevation numbers on other runs while watching the display on the watch itself as I ascended/descended some hills.


Note that this training log information is available regardless of whether you are indoors or outdoors, or which sport mode you use.


The unit includes the ability to switch into a cycling mode, which allows you to customize cycling specific screens such as speed (usually shown as MPH/KPH).  These screens can be configured ahead of time on Polar Flow.

You can change screens (training views) just like in running mode, as well as configure any of the training targets seen on Polar Flow for cycling:


While the M400 can’t connect to any speed/cadence sensors, it can still connect to your heart rate strap in the cycling mode.  Once you’re ready to head for a ride you’ll go ahead and switch into the cycling mode by simply pressing up/down until you’re on that screen.  This also supports an indoor cycling mode where you can just capture heart rate data too.


Afterwards, if outdoors your routes will show up on Polar Flow as cycling-specific workouts, complete with speed-related metrics (versus pace-related ones):


Of course, the M400 is primarily a running watch, but even then, it still makes for a handy cycling stand-in if you don’t cycle very often and don’t care about cycling cadence data (or speed/distance while indoors on a trainer).  I’d suggest picking up a $10 cheap bike watch mount so you can mount it on your handlebars, allowing you to more easily see the data screens.

Other Sport Modes/Profiles:


Beyond the standard running and cycling modes, the unit can also be used with any of the custom sport modes found on Polar Flow (many more than displayed below):


These modes have specific calorie burn algorithms, which is part of the reason you can’t go rogue and create your own mode.  Note however that while there is a swimming mode, there’s no lap/distance tracking in either indoor or outdoor swimming (like the V800 will have later this fall).  Further, unlike the V800 the M400 will NOT capture heart rate data underwater.

Smart Coaching & Training Functions:

The Smart Coaching functionality has always been a core aspect of many Polar products. These features were aimed at providing a more cohesive feedback loop to users on how to train in a structured manner.  Much of this functionality was focused on heart rate aspects.

For example, there’s Running Index, which acts as a way to determine how efficient you are.  This information is displayed at the completion of a run:


Further, it’s shown online in the training log:

image(Note: The ‘Training Load’ dots below each activity do NOT appear with the M400, but only with the V800 that’s also in my account. To be clear, you won’t see those Training Load Recovery items with just a M400 in your account.)

You can then swing over to Polar’s site to see how that ranks compared to others.


Next, the unit will give you a training type after each workout that tells you what type of training it was – such as a tempo workout or a steady state workout.  In addition, it’ll give you an understanding of the training load from that workout, which can help you plan recovery.



The Polar M400 also includes two different structured workout modes (in addition to a free-for-all mode), starting first with a super basic interval timer.  This timer allows you to setup two-step workouts using time or distance (or both combined).  Such as a 5-minutes on, then 30-seconds off type workout.  For each segment it’ll give you a countdown of how much time is left.


The interval timer does support the ability to add both warm-up and cool-down portions, as well as to mix rest and work portions (such as a distance-based work followed by a time-based recovery).

The second option for workouts is far more powerful though, which is Polar’s full blown workout creator via Polar Flow.  In this, you can create workouts with all sorts of structures.  These structures can include goals like heart rate targets based on distance or time.  In November, Polar will also add to Flow the ability to create pace/speed targets.

This area is divided into three sections: Quick, Race Pace, and Phased.  Below is an example of a complex phased workout.  Whereas ‘Quick workouts’ have simple targets (such as a set distance or time).  And again, you can always just go out and run and record/manage it yourself.


You can see I’ve created a simple interval structure above with a 10-minute warm-up followed by 4x(1-mile work, 90-second rest).  Each of the targets then has associated heart rate zones with them.  These are then previewed below:


Next, these workouts can be assigned to given days on your calendar so they’ll automatically appear on your watch on the right day.  Alternatively, you can simply tag them as ‘Favorites’ and then access them via the favorites menu on the watch.

Once you select a workout to start, it’ll walk you through each phase of the workout:


There’s then a dedicated data screen during each phase showing you the target.  In my case, for this first phase I selected a warm-up target of any valid heart rate zone, which is why you see the range from 95 to 170bpm.  It then shows 9 minutes and 44 seconds remaining in the workout section, before it’ll iterate to the next section.


In its current state the workout functionality is basic compared to other competitors, but functional for many workouts.  Once Polar adds in the ability to specify pace/speed targets (November), as well as the ability to do post-workout analysis comparing planned versus actual, it’ll start to become much more powerful.

Daily Activity Tracker:


The M400 follows in the footsteps of the V800 and includes a daily activity tracker.  This activity tracker allows you to monitor your daily step count throughout the day, which in turn also feeds into the total calorie expenditure.

While it will give you distance, it won’t do so until it sync’s with Polar Flow at the end of the day (a bit of an annoyance given most other devices can do it internally).


You can view your daily activity throughout the day via a progress bar that’s accessible either through the watch menu, or via the home page if you add it to the watch face.

You can further dive into this information for any day in your history log as well, should you want to look back at some past day and see the breakdown of daily activity versus training log:


Next, all of this is sync’d to Polar Flow online, which allows you to see it both via a web browser as well as the Polar Flow mobile app.  Below is an example of yesterday using the desktop web view:


You’ll see it tracks my total steps on the left side (6,676), as well as the distance below it (3.21 miles).  Further down you’ve got how much sleep I got (6hrs and 43 minutes), along with an overview of my day as a time slice.  The M400 doesn’t require you do anything to track sleep, it just does it automatically (which is great!).

Inactivity alerts trigger after I’ve been seated too long.  It’ll give you one warning alert before it goes ahead and marks an inactivity mark on your ‘record’ a few minutes later.

I can change both that view as well as my daily activity goal status by toggling the left/right arrows.


Meanwhile, the daily activity goal is shown on the left side as broken out into different categories in terms of how you can achieve it.


For days that are still in progress it’ll give some rather interesting suggestions on how you could fulfill that activity goal:


Overall the activity tracker on the M400 is good, but not great.  I’d really like to see the ability to add steps to my home screen (not just a progress bar), as well as see my exact walked distance each day.  That’s sorta the baseline for even $59 activity trackers like the FitBit Zip (and every other activity tracker out there) – so I expect it on a product three times as much.

Smartphone Integration:

Like the V800 and Polar Loop, the M400 includes smartphone integration that enables it to upload completed workouts via Bluetooth Smart to your smartphone.  Further, it also allows you to transmit daily activity information like steps, sleep and distance walked to Polar Flow via the mobile app.

Now unfortunately at the time of this writing the only thing that I didn’t have full access to was the mobile app updated to sync with the M400.  While it’s the same app as the V800 and the Loop, the production version seen online doesn’t support the M400 yet, so I couldn’t fully test this function from a sync perspective.

However, the app will pull from Polar Flow, so activities do show up there from the M400, even when they weren’t sync’d that way.

I’ll be looping back and updating this section in the coming week or two once Polar releases the production version of the app that supports the M400.  I don’t expect too many issues here though since the V800 phone sync works fairly well for me and the M400 is really just a mini version of the V800.  Of course, it’ll still be something I test to ensure nonetheless.

In the meantime, I simply use the Polar FlowSync on my desktop computer, which synchronizes the content quite easily via USB cable:


Regardless of which way you sync the data though, it all ends up on Polar Flow. There is no local analysis of the data on your computer without the data first going to Polar Flow online (web service/site).

Sensor Support (Bluetooth Smart):


The M400 today supports Bluetooth Smart heart rate straps, and in a future firmware update will also support Bluetooth Smart footpods.  It does not support Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence sensors for cycling (nor is it planned to).

On the heart rate side, you can use any Bluetooth Smart HR strap with the unit.  On the Polar front that’d be the Polar H6 or H7.  It doesn’t much matter to this specific unit which one, since the unit itself can’t use the analog frequency of the H7 for underwater connectivity.  However, if you use gym equipment and want to display your heart rate there the H7 strap is the way to go.  I have tested it with a number of other heart rate straps (such as the Wahoo TICKR, Mio Link, and the Scosche Rhythm+) without issue.


When using a heart rate strap you’ll get heart rate displayed on the device as you’d expect.  This includes both current BPM, as well as zone information.  All of this is configurable via Polar Flow online:


Again, down the road in a firmware update they’ll add footpod support for indoor running on a treadmill which will gather cadence and pace as well as distance.  Note that without the footpod the unit will not gather running cadence information.

Day to Day Watch Functions:

The M400 works as a solid day to day watch.  Outside of a few days in Vegas at Interbike I’ve been wearing it globally on my wrist in day to day life including meetings and workouts.

While the unit won’t automatically set the time from GPS, it’s easy enough to change in the menu’s in a few quick clicks (this coming from someone who changes it about 3-6 times a week).

You can set a single alarm, which can be configured as once, daily, or weekday only (Monday-Friday):


In addition, you can change the default main screen of the watch to a number of different options, such as including (or not including) the current activity level:


Or, an analog watch face mode:


Or, a funky huge lettering mode (the mode is officially called “Big”):


In day to day watch mode the unit will get about 20 days of battery life (or 8 hours in GPS-on training mode).

Note that while you can invert the screen in the training mode (so it’s black lettering on white background), you cannot invert it for the daily watch mode, thus it’ll always be white lettering on black background in the non-training pages.

The unit contains a backlight that can be enabled by pressing the upper left button:


By default the backlight will shutoff after about 10 seconds, however while in an activity you can force it to stay on by holding the upper left button and selecting ‘Set Backlight On’.

Within the settings you can also change the default distance/pace/speed metrics used for the US/Imperial system (miles/pounds/ft) to Metric (kilometers/kilograms/centimeters):


Finally, you can enable a button lock from within the menu as well.

Data Fields:

As noted earlier you can customize data fields for the M400 through the website (not on the device itself).  In doing so you can create up to 8 pages of fields, with each page containing up to four pieces of information (metrics) on them:


Those fields are picked from a little object picker:


For the above data fields, on the M400 you can select the following:

Polar M400 Data Fields

Time FieldsEnvironment FieldsBody MeasurementDistanceSpeed/Pace Fields
Time of dayAltitudeHeart RateDistanceSpeed/Pace
DurationTotal AscentCaloriesLap DistanceAverage Speed/Pace
Lap timeCurrent Lap AscentAverage Heart RateLast Lap DistanceMaximum Speed/Pace
Last lap timeTotal DescentZonePointerLap Speed/Pace
Current Lap DescentMaximum Heart Rate
Time in Zone
HR Avg in Lap

Note however that for lap time, that’s only for manual laps, and not for auto laps.  Auto laps will show up online afterwards however.

In addition, you can add two further pages for ‘Back to start’, as well as ‘HR Zones’:


Once you’re done changing your data fields you can go ahead and save the settings and then sync your M400 either via USB or via Bluetooth Smart.  Both options will update the data fields on the unit itself.

Firmware Updates:


I want to very briefly point out that the M400 can and will get future firmware updates to both add features and get updates for bugs/changes.

The easiest method for updating is simply by plugging into your USB port and then loading the Flow Sync software which will then update the watch as seen above.

Polar plans to include free updates (like the running footpod), but may experiment down the road with being able to buy additional features for a small fee, such as purchasing the Training Load function normally found on the much more pricey Polar V800 (almost three times the cost).  They haven’t quite worked through the full logistics of this, but I actually think it’s a smart move long term.  It would allow folks to potentially pickup just the higher end features they want while in a budget GPS watch.

Again, Polar hasn’t quite nailed down any timelines or full pricing thoughts there – but that’s the rough direction they’re looking to go longer term with it.  Note that there are no plans to discontinue free firmware updates for things like bug fixes or minor feature tweaks/changes (and there are other unannounced major free features coming later this year).

3rd Party Support:


As of September 25th, 2014, Polar now supports exporting of workouts from Polar Flow.  This allows you to export out activities to either GPX or TCX files.  For most 3rd party sites that are sport-specific (i.e. Strava, Training Peaks, Sport Tracks), I’d go with .TCX, as it offers the broadest compatibility with sensor data.

To access the export function, you’ll go to an individual activity and then at the bottom of the activity you’ll see an export button:


Whack that button, which will then give you a menu option for the type of file to export to.  In this case for this example I happened to choose an indoor workout, hence why the GPX file option is grayed out (since it’s GPS based, which this file lacks).  So, it’s best here to choose TCX.


Finally, you’ll be given a TCX (or GPX) file downloaded to your computer:


You can then take this file and load it into a 3rd party application.  For the heck of it, I just selected SportTracks (online variant).


And then, seconds later…magic:


Now there does appear to be one limitation in that laps aren’t exported yet (that’s coming though, Polar has confirmed, hopefully later this year).

Finally, one other 3rd-party related limitation that doesn’t quite fit anywhere else in this post is that the ‘Fitness Test’ functionality within the Polar M400 will ONLY work with the Polar HR straps, specifically the H6/H7 straps. It will not work with 3rd party straps.  This is something that Polar has done to hard-code it to their straps only.  Obviously, this is fairly stupid and is just vendor lock-in for no real purpose (since all remaining M400 functions work just fine with any 3rd party straps).  On the bright side, I don’t find the Fitness Test functionality terribly useful in the grand scheme of things – so I don’t see it as a substantial loss.

Product Comparisons:

I’ve added the M400 to the Product Comparison Tool, which means you can mix and match it against any other watch/unit that I’ve ever reviewed for feature comparisons.

For the sake of simplicity, I’ve just selected the Polar M400, Polar V800, Suunto Ambit2 S, and Garmin FR220.  However, you can easily make your own chart with any device you want here at this link.

Function/FeaturePolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated September 13th, 2018 @ 1:33 amNew Window
Product Announcement DateSept 25th, 2014Jan 6th, 2014APR 29, 2013SEPT 16, 2013
Actual Availability/Shipping DateOctober 2014May 2014May 2013OCT 31, 2013
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYesYes
WaterproofingYes - 30mYes - 30mYes - 50m50 Meters
Battery Life (GPS)8 hoursUp to 50 hours25 hours10 hours
Recording Interval1-second1sVariableSMART RECORDING (VARIABLE)
Satellite Pre-Loading via ComputerYesSorta, predictive but not cached.YesYes, 7 days
Quick Satellite ReceptionGreatGoodGreatGreat
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceNoNoYesNo
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)YesYesNoNo
MusicPolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
Can control phone musicNoNo
Has music storage and playbackNoNo
Streaming ServicesNo
PaymentsPolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
Contactless-NFC PaymentsNo
ConnectivityPolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
Bluetooth Legacy (pre-4.0) to PhoneNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart (4.0+) to Phone UploadingYesYesNoYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)YesYesNoNo
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)NoNoNoYes
Group trackingNoNo
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoNoNoNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNoNo
CyclingPolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
Designed for cyclingYesYesYesBarely (Speed mode only)
Power Meter CapableNoYesYesNo
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsN/AYesYesN/A
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableNoYesYesNo
Strava segments live on deviceNoYes
Crash detectionNoNo
RunningPolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
Designed for runningYesYesYesYes
Footpod Capable (For treadmills)YesYesYes (internal accelerometer)Yes (also has internal accelerometer)
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)NoNoNoNo
Running PowerWith extra sensor
VO2Max EstimationSortaYesYesNo
Race PredictorCan estimate finish time during raceYes, via Race PaceNoNo
Recovery AdvisorNo (only if you have V800 too)YesYesNo
Run/Walk ModeNoYes, via timersNoYes
SwimmingPolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
Designed for swimmingNoYesYesNo (protected though just fine)
Openwater swimming modeNoYesYesN/A
Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingN/AYesYesN/A
Record HR underwaterNoWith Certain Polar StrapsNoNo
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AYesYesN/A
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AYesYesN/A
Indoor Drill ModeN/ANoYesN/A
Indoor auto-pause featureN/AYesNoN/A
Change pool sizeN/AYesYesN/A
Indoor Min/Max Pool LengthsN/A20M/Y to 250 m/y15m/y to 1,200m/yN/A
Ability to customize data fieldsYesYesYesN/A
Can change yards to metersN/AYesYesN/A
Captures per length data - indoorsN/AYesYesN/A
Indoor AlertsN/AN/ANoN/A
TriathlonPolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
Designed for triathlonNoYesYesNo
Multisport modeNoYesYesNo
WorkoutsPolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesNoYes
On-unit interval FeatureYesYesBarelyYes
Training Calendar FunctionalityYesYesNoYes
FunctionsPolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
Auto Start/StopYesYesYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureVia Race EstimatorYesNoNo
Virtual Racer FeatureNoNoNoNo
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)YesNoNoYes
Day to day watch abilityYesYesYesYes
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean DataNoNoNoNo
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoNoNo
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting)NoNoNoNo
Weather Display (live data)NoNoNoNo
NavigatePolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)NoYesYesNo
Markers/Waypoint DirectionNoYesYesNo
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)NoNoNoNo
Back to startYesYesYes (added Aug 30, 2013)No
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNoNoNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitNoYesNoNo
SensorsPolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
Altimeter TypeGPSBarometricGPSGPS
Compass TypeGPSMagneticMagneticN/A
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyNoNoNo
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoYesNo
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoYesYes
ANT+ Power Meter CapableNoNoYesNo
ANT+ Weight Scale CapableNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym)NoNoNoNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlNoNo
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationNoNo
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)nONo
ANT+ Remote ControlNono (but can control GoPro)NoNo
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Muscle Oxygen (i.e. Moxy/BSX)NoNo
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)NoNo
Shimano Di2 ShiftingNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableYesYesNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoYesNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableYesYesNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoYesNoNo
Temp Recording (internal sensor)NoYesNoNo
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNoNo
Compatible with Firstbeat HR tools-YesYesNo
SoftwarePolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
PC ApplicationPolar FlowsyncPolar Flowsync - Windows/MacMoveslink AgentGarmin Express
Web ApplicationPolar FlowPolar FlowMovescountGarmin Connect
Phone AppiOS/AndroidiOS/AndroidMovescountiOS/Android
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoYes (online)No
PurchasePolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
Amazon LinkLinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training - Save with the VIP programLinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training Europe (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkLink
DCRainmakerPolar M400Polar V800Suunto Ambit2 SGarmin Forerunner 220
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLink

The tables are updated dynamically and thus if/when things change that’s represented automatically in this section.  And again, remember you can create your own charts easily here with any product you’d like.



Overall I’m really impressed with the M400.  Polar seems to have finally found an appropriate price for its products (some might even say they priced it a bit low actually).  The unit is a near perfect blend of activity tracker with GPS running watch, as well as daily wrist watch.

There are some minor nits I have, such as the lack of steps on the watch home screen itself.  And of course, it doesn’t do smartphone notifications (i.e. missed call alerts) like some of the other units on the market – though there’s no specific reason why Polar couldn’t add that down the road in a firmware update (I think they’ll be forced to competitively).

When it comes time to compare the watch, the major competitors here would be the Garmin FR220 and the TomTom Runner, and in both categories I’d probably give the edge to the M400. At least, assuming you don’t care about Live Tracking (Garmin FR220) or an indoor treadmill mode without a footpod (Garmin FR220/TomTom Runner) – I expand more on my FR220 vs M400 thoughts in this comment here.  Of course, I often note that neither indoor treadmill mode (sans-footpod) is terribly accurate, so that’s probably not a huge loss.  The Suunto Ambit2 S is also a very worthy competitor, but about $40 more expensive (the Ambit2 R is actually more expensive than the 2S, so silly to get that over the 2S).

At this point I’d have no problems recommending this watch, and the way things are trending I suspect this unit will easily make/top my updated 2014 budget/midrange GPS watch recommendations list for the updated winter season (November-ish).

[Update note April 15, 2015: Polar added the footpod support with firmware update 1.4. You’ll need to pickup a Polar Stride Sensor Bluetooth Smart for around $80, but this will give cadence and stride length metrics, as well as pace and distance when indoors on a treadmill.]

[Update note June 8, 2015: Polar announced Bluetooth Smart notifications for the M400 for iOS.]

[Update note October 22, 2015: Polar announced Bluetooth Smart notifications for the M400 for Android]

Found this review useful? Or just wanna save a bundle of cash? Here’s how:

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers an exclusive 10% discount across the board on all products (except clearance items). You can pickup the Polar M400 below. Then receive 10% off of everything in your cart by adding code DCR10BTF at checkout. By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get a sweet discount. And, since this item is more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.

Polar M400 Black or White (with or without HR strap, select dropdown)

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture



  1. David Tunney

    The inability to create complex sessions on the unit itself is a huge issue no? You HAVE to have your phone or computer to do anything worthwhile???

    • Tadej R

      Why would you bother with complex stuff on a tiny screen if you could do it on bigger ones and simply sync ?

    • This is the same as Garmin’s recent watches as well (such as the FR220/FR620/Fenix2).

      I would agree that I think the interval creator could be a bit more detailed on-watch, but otherwise it’s in-line with what I’d expect.

    • David Tunney

      Wow, thats for that. Didn’t realise about the 620 .
      Hopefully the 920xt won’t suffer from the same or I’ll have to stick to my 910xt. No significant on device interval creator is a deal breaker for me.

    • Darwin

      If it doesn’t connect to any cycling sensors then it is of zero interest to me. This is just Polar trying to force people to buy the higher end watch.

    • Hi

      After reading your excellent review I decided to purchase one.
      Arrived last week, had two runs so far and seems to do what I want it to do. Did not want the HRM.

      Still a lot to learn.




      Thanks a lot for the great review! – been following you for some years ago- but I have a question, I just get the M400 and am still a little bit dizzy with all the new interface ( I’ve been using the Polar RCX5 for the past two years) and I have a question, can you use the smartcoach function to create your own program? – e.i: answer a couple of questions and can create a program that you can transfer to your watch- I’ve been looking for it and I cannot find it 🙁
      -Noob here-
      Thanks in advance for your help.
      JG Montalvo, Miami Beach, Florida.

    • HaloPhenom

      I like this watch, however, I am an Android user and the inability to get smartphone notifications is a negative. Polar says they are planning to do so but claim that it is tougher to do on Android. To my understanding they have done so on the V800. With that being the case, I am worried that they just do not want to do it on the V400. This is a major issue considering many other watches support both IOS and Android. My concern is whether Polar is just targeting the IOS/IPhone crowd. I got out of that prison 2 year’s ago and will never look back. Are my concerns valid?

  2. Luyi_pr

    Great info as always… 1 question, do you know if the new features like race predictor and personal records will make it to the V800?

    • Chris

      I too am hoping that the Estimated Completion time will make it on the V800 (even better if it arrives before my Half marathon in 3 weeks.)

      As always, great, fair review.


    • John

      Make that a third interested in this question.

      Also Ray, I assume the activity summary on the watch itself will also be making it to the v800 through a future software update?

    • Jasper

      I hope and kinda assume those things will be added. I mean the V800 is obviously capable of having those features and it would be stupid to have them on the cheap watch but not on the flagship watch. That would make for a lot of unhappy customers.

      It’s possible we’ll have to wait untill a little while after the M400 though i guess if they need to do any reprogramming to make it work on the V800.

      Also on the activity summary question: that is already planned as a future update for the V800 outlined in Ray’s post about his vissit to Polars HQ.

  3. Looking fwd to the rolling pin comparison 🙂

  4. Simone Pillon

    As always a very good work. Any news about availability in Europe?

  5. Jorge

    No vibrate alarm… :-((

    • Ryan

      I use vibe a the time for lap alerts and as an actual alarm clock. Shame if that’s true. I’d ditch my TomTom in a second.

    • Shirley

      I came from Forerunner 610 (which has vibrations), and am currently using the Ambit 3, and vibrations are seriously not that much of an issue I feel.

      For one thing I am not looking at my watch every km and monitoring pace, and I really understand what running by feel means now.

    • Ryan

      Well then that’s good for you… For others it matters and can be a a bit of a deal breaker.

    • Agreed. I was seriously considering this one until I saw the lack of vibration alerts.

  6. Mike Smart

    You can see a bit of the imperfections of the GPS based altimeter though (or, Polar’s site), whereby this pancake flat run did show some ascent/descent oddities

    There’s quite a major bug in the Polar Flow website where the ascent/descent in the workout summary is multiplied several times. You can see the correct amount by highlighting the workout using the sliders on the graph. Hopefully Polar will get this fixed soon.

  7. FJ

    The Clever Training link doesn’t seem to be working.

    “The unit priced at $179US/€159EUR” -> is that including the BT HR sensors?

  8. Sebas

    Unfortunately the Running Index does not take altitude changes into account so it’s pretty useless if you live in a hilly area like me. Also a running index of 58 predicts a 3:27:00 marathon for Ray ….hmmmm

  9. Juha Tuomol

    Youtube embedding gone wrong 😛

  10. David Lusty

    I’m a little confused as to the placement of this watch, is it supposed to replace the RC3 GPS or sit in a different area? It looks as though there’s no reason it’s not got all the features the RC3 has, and maybe the cycle sensors will be added later in an update to fully replace it?

    At least now all the people who bought the premium v800 know what the programmers have been busy doing instead of finishing their expensive toy. Polar seem to be heading in the right direction with their software, everything that’s complete looks great it’s just a bit slow in coming. Hopefully that doesn’t cause permanent damage to the company – I’ll probably return to them in the end unless Garmin come up with something with nicer hardware.

  11. Paul Waye

    Wow.. first Polar for ages that has hit the mark and really impressed me. Chapeau

  12. Kevin Modzelewski

    It would seem the M400 paired with a TICKR X might be the perfect storm if Polar and Wahoo shared data per their sites. Do you see this as a possibility. Would the M400 be able to pick-up the stored HR Data for swims and cadence for indoor cycling and combine it all to the Polar Flow app. I’d buy them both today if they could do that.

    • No, at this point the TICKR X only saves/sends that offline recorded data to the Wahoo Fitness app, not to 3rd party units.

      I’m not sure if Wahoo even opens up that aspect of the strap to 3rd parties, but even if they did I don’t think I’d expect to see most watch companies do that due to wanting to sell their own HR straps instead.

  13. Ernest

    Thanks again for the review. How would you compare m400 to FR220? I have just paid for an FR220 as my first sports watch and it hasnt been shipped, so I can still cancel it. If price isn’t a concern, is there any reason to choose FR220 over M400?

    On a separate note, do you think ANT+ devices are going obsolete, given that both Polar and Suunto are turning to BTSmart?

    • I don’t see ANT+ going anywhere. Being at the ANT+ Symposium this week, the group appeared to be as bigger than it’s ever been (a surprise actually). I think we’ll probably start to see more devices support dual sensors (Bluetooth Smart & ANT+), and I think while Polar has done some good work lately on improving compatibility with 3rd party Bluetooth Smart sensors, others aren’t so lucky. As you’ll see shortly in my Ambit3 review, that’s a nightmare when it comes to sensor compatibility.

    • Ernest

      Thanks Ray, that’s reassuring.

      At the end of your review you said that you’ll recommend M400 over FR220 (and your words mean a lot to me given I am buying my very first sports watch; I did 90% of my research through your blog). I wonder why is that? How is the battery life on both? I really don’t need fancy functionalities. I’m looking for a watch that “just works”, connects to sensors reliably, and doesn’t look too ugly.

  14. smurgel

    Thanks for the interesting review. I own the rc3 gps since 6 months. i am really satisfied but don’t like the design. and i miss the activity tracker. should i change the model in that case? or just keep the rc3 because it is the better watch?

    • That would really be your call, but there’s a world of difference between the RC3 and the the M400, and aside from the RC3 supporting the Speed/Cadence sensor, beyond that the M400 to me is significantly better in every way I can think of.

  15. Robert black

    Wow this has thrown a spanner in the works, I’ve said before I love my Fr610 but with tough mudder type events in November it’s not suitable for the water obstacles. Ambit 2s, fr220 or now the new M400 decisions decisions. Thanks for the review Ray

    • Phil B

      If you have never done an obstacle/tough mudder type event before I strongly suggest not taking anything that you value into the event. Inevitably it will end up lost at the bottom of a mud pit/pond/lake. If you have done one before and everything worked out fine ignore everything I said.

    • Robert Black

      Your dead right its a concern, but so far been lucky, Famous last words eh………

    • MikeJ

      What makes the M400 unsuitable for water? I thought it was waterproof, maybe I read that part wrong. I thought it was fine except for reading the HR strap and not having a lap counter. I’ll have to go re-read that section.

    • There should be no problem with the M400 and water, or mud. It’s well waterproofed in that department.

    • erica leister

      On the Polar site, it says water resistant, not waterproof.

  16. Graeme

    Went to google “horse gait pods”, was disappointed…

  17. nicklesmn

    Hi Ray, awesome stuff!! Does the M400 have any type of run/walk interval timer without creating a workout??

    • No, not an official run/walk feature. However, in this scenario the limited functionality of the on-unit interval timer actually fits perfectly. So you can setup a 10-minute timer followed by a 1-minute timer, and it’ll just repeat itself forever.

  18. Tommi Vainikainen

    Based on information in http://www.polarm400.com page it seems that the mobile sync is supported only on iPhones at least for now. However the mobile app has same name (“Polar Flow”) on Android and iPhone, but development seems to be driven by iPhone version.

    I’d appreciate if you would mention in your reviews explicitly in case of mobile support if it is iPhone, Android or both. I guess some would be interested also Windows phone support etc., but AFAIK Android is by far second biggest after iPhone currently?

  19. Karlo

    I was just wondering what button the lap button is (manual laps) and what the watch does show on the lap button.
    I did hate the Ambit2 with lap button on the left, I liked the V800 with the “tap” feature …

  20. Great review, Ray. Could you please add a Garmin Forerunner 15 to the comparision chart, please? They are pretty much close prise and funtionality, it looks to me.

  21. charles

    No vibrate alert which is too bad…that’s the one missing element for me. The Garmin 620 has been nothing but bugs/headaches but there aren’t many options with vibrate alert.

    • Peronnik Beijer

      I totally agree, how hard/expensive is it to add vibration alerts?

    • Theo

      Vibe motors are relatively large components to package in a watch module. Getting to a 11.5mm thick watch (this is thin for GPS watch) probably precluded a vibration alert feature.

    • Ryan

      Same thickness as the TomTom watches. Their cardio watches are stil pretty thin at 13.8mm, and they throw in the LED HR. Just a mm more than the FR220. I’m all for thin, but at the expense of features many are starting to expect at a certain price point, not so much. Then again, people applaud this price point for Polar. It just comes at the expense of certain features. So there is a reason they were able to hit it. It will appeal to many, but it still misses the mark for many as well. That’s why we have options though. And I’ll be sticking with my 610 and TTMS.

    • I’m not sure I follow. What feature does the TomTom have this doesn’t?

    • Ryan

      Vibration, better use of the accelerometer and bike sensors. Unless I’m missing something.

    • Hardware focused then. I think if you look at the software functions though, you’ll find you’re in totally different ballparks. Everything from the workout creation capabilities to the customization of data pages and what you can show, to activity monitoring to sport modes beyond bike/run/swim.

      While the TomTom unit does have the indoor treadmill mode, I found it to be the least accurate of any unit out there (completely useless).

      I’d agree that I do wish this unit had vibration support.

    • David Janas

      Just wanted to note that the TomTom Multisport (1st Gen) is actually really accurate on the treadmill for all types of running workouts. The problem is that you need to be in Units of KM/lbs or KM/KG. For some reason TT can’t get imperial measurements right.

  22. RNOTinMan

    Nice review. Thanks. What does/will it record in swim mode? How easy is it to change sport mode, like if you were doing a brick workout? Or, can you build a multi-sport workout?

  23. Max

    This must pretty much render the Garmin 15 defunct surely ($169.99 on the Garmin website), the one thing that will be interesting to see is how the form factors of the two compare.

  24. Marco Borner

    How we can add daily goals on Polar Flow? I never see this function, only from internet photo. Is possible that from Switzerland (Europe) we cannot access to this functions? Thanks

    • Tiago Ferrao

      You don’t add them directly. Pretty sure Polar pulls them from your selection of daily activity choices (mostly sitting, mostly standing, etc…. ) at your profile settings.

  25. LB2004

    Correct me if I’m wrong: the M400 does everything the Loop does, right? Adding a real screen and a GPS and all those beautiful functions (and 3 weeks battery instead of 3 days!); correct?

  26. I know the store isn’t yours, but I’m a little hesitant to pre-order when it mentions November instead of the October street date that Polar has listed on their site. I’d love to support you and the shop, but not if I’m having to wait while everyone else can run out and buy one at Best Buy or whatnot. 🙂

    • It’s because Clever Training tends to be very conservative in their dates. By the same token, they tend to be just as fast as any other retailer (actually, often times better positioned).

      So in this case, it’s because while Polar corporate is telling me one thing, Polar US sales is telling retail shops a different thing. To play it safe, they’re telling folks the later date.

    • Thanks for the response. I’ll go ahead and pre-order.

  27. miet

    shut up and take my money
    also in the future could we able to see speed/cadance support?

  28. Chris Bauer

    Great Review EXCITED for this product.

    Any chance it would allow for just a basic heart rate workout? Say if I was doing some cardio I could see my heartrate during? Would it show that and calories burned maybe?

    Thanks for the info

    • Jasper

      Yes this is absolutely possible. You’ll just have a sports profile where the GPS is turned off. For example you could grab the one called Strength Training from Flow. There are profiles for almost all sports imaginable.

      In this you’ll be able to see things like HR and callories burned. You can set the datafields the way you want to, for example: HR, average HR and calories (and if you want a 4th) all on the same screen.

    • Chris Bauer

      AWESOME!! this is what I have been waiting for!

  29. Chris

    Is the m400 compatible with the Heart Rate Sensor from the rcx5? The v800 Works with this Sensor

    • Jasper

      No it is not. The M400 will only work with Bluetooth Smart straps (H6/H7).

      The reason the V800 works with certain older straps is that the V800 also uses one of Polars old transmition systems for underwater HR.

  30. Considering that this does have the accelerometer, do you think there’s any hope of those paid updates including swim support?? If so, this could be my perfect watch! I really want something that’s wearable when not working out and covers pace and swim. I can use a separate bike computer

    • Jasper

      Well it would technically be possible. And it would make sense for it to be a paid feature in that case to not take too much away from the V800.

      But be careful about making a choice now based on that because you might end up dissapointed if it doesn’t come.

  31. John

    This is really exciting. As an owner of the v800, I’m really impressed with what Polar is brining to the table in such a short time.

  32. Tipo Gemma

    Except the 8 hours recording time I think it is a very nice piece.

  33. Bo

    Hi Ray,
    Great review and with an Exec Summary! Even better. Seems Polar nailed it with this baby.
    Someone else asked but I could not find the answer ; )
    Do you know if Polar will make the m400 Run Preditor (i.e. when you’re finished) function available on the V800? Such a simple function but so useful.

  34. Is possible change screen to white and letter in black (invert colors)

    • Luis

      Chris, I have two questions:
      1) can the watch show the average lap speed/pace (i.e. avg speed/pace in the current lap)?
      2) how will the watch handle tunnels i.e. will it resort to speed from the foot pod or accerometers when it loses GPS coverage?

    • Toby

      Based on how Polar Flow work with V800, you can have Average Pace and Lap Pace.

      Again if it works like V800, you can choose speed from Pod or GPS, no evidence of smart use of pod, hopefully in future.

  35. Kasey

    How was the accuracy of the mileage recorded by the M400?

  36. Does the data sync with sites like MyFitnessPal?

  37. Eric Hanneken

    Which heart rate monitor is in the bundle? The H7?

  38. karl Kühne

    Thanks Ray for your blog and your reviews. I found your page a few weeks ago and I read in here everyday since then.
    This review is another example for me reading the right blog. I am kind of a polar fan and was realy surprised I saw a new polar watch in here.
    I checked it on their homepage and didn’t even find it there.
    So keep on going just how you do your things. I will keep on reading in here till I know all your reviws by heart…
    Greetings from germany.

  39. Torben Madsen

    When ceating a workout with phasses, how many Can you make? Sometimes I do advanced interval workouts like 1600m 1200m 1000m 800m 400m 200m with different pauses in between. Can I create sich a workout?

    Regards Torben Madsen

  40. Silver

    Hi Ray,

    Qs for you:
    1) When programming an interval workout like your example with 10′ w/up, 1mi run, 90″ rest, will the watch record your time for the 1mi run segment and your distance for the w/up and rest segments?
    2) Can you program the interval workout to repeat, say like the above example, several times?
    3) I have all my workouts in Garmin Connect (long time Garmin user). Is it possible to import the data into PolarFlow?
    4) Does PolarFlow upload to Strava like Garmin Connect does? If not, please suggest this to Polar 🙂
    5) How do you like PolarFlow compared to Garmin Connect?

    Thanks, as always, for your awesome product reviews and general athleti-geekiness 🙂


  41. Silver

    BTW, just purchased the FR220 yesterday, but can still return it if the Polar is a better (and less expensive) option. I’m a competitive runner, so the running functionality is important. As I travel with an iPad (no USB) being able to upload via Bluetooth to phone is desirable as well.

  42. Ben

    A slimmer watch would be welcome, but the huge logo (really, Polar?) more than balances that out, unfortunately.

    I wanted the Garmin 620, but held off when I realized how terrible its GPS accuracy is (link to fellrnr.com). If this is better, I might go for it.

    • I really wouldn’t use those tests done as a true basis of GPS accuracy (see the comments on my FR620 for a better understanding of why I believe the testing methodology there is a bit flawed).

    • John

      I second Ray’s dismissal of fellrnr’s results. In any scientific study would dismiss his data as statistically irrelevant – data pool way too small.

    • I’ve discussed my testing with GPS specialists and they conclude the test is valid and reasonable.

    • The challenge is, I’ve discussed it as well with others, and they don’t agree. I’d really like to see you publish the exact files for the tests, to understand how watches compared on specific runs, for example.

  43. Tracy

    How does the M400 compare to the V800 in physical size? Has your wife tried it on yet? I tried on the V800 and it’s just WAY too big for my tiny wrist. I’d love to get the M400 if it’ll fit!

  44. Long Run Nick

    Hey Ray, another masterful review. Could you put in a word with the folks at Polar that there are folks over 70 who still run. I noted the age stops at 65 for both men and women. Not trying to be to self-serving, but just turned 71 and continue to run 40-50 miles a week- current total miles run since 4/22/76—80,622 miles. I would mention having competed in over 500 races(501to be exact), 18 marathons and 10 ultras of 50+ miles, but that would be really self-serving:)
    Continue your great work. You are a marvel. My best to The Girl.

  45. Matt

    Ray — do you give the edge to the M400 over the 220 based on price, or did you find the M400 to be superior overall? Is the M400 more accurate at distance and pace?


    • Jasper

      Which watch is better depends a bit on what you want out of the watch. They both have a few things that are better then in the other watch. So it’s quite personal which one would be better. You could look at the comparison charts Ray has to determine what fits you.

      But generally speaking they are atleast quite equal, so unless there is a feature that you want on the 220 that isn’t on the M400 it makes sense to recommend the M400 due to the price difference.

    • I cover it a bit in the end of the review, but here’s a more definitive FR220 vs M400 thinking:

      In general, I’d go with the M400 unless you need/want the following (and one of these is a big deal to you):

      1) Live Tracking on FR220 (requires phone)
      2) Already are a Garmin customer with a larger Garmin Connect training log
      3) Want vibration alerts
      4) You have an existing ANT+ heart rate strap

      Those are pretty much the only reasons to go with the FR220 over the M400 at this stage. There is the minor downside though that you more or less have to use Flow to at least get the data off the watch (FR220 doesn’t require that), and you also must use Flow online to change data pages/fields.

      When you look at what the M400 has that the FR220 doesn’t that are big ticket items they are:

      1) 24×7 activity tracking/sleep tracking
      2) Numerous sport modes, total customization
      3) Far more customization of data fields/pages
      4) Some of the Smart Coaching features like Running Index (others like custom workouts are on both watches).
      5) It’s $80 cheaper.

      (Note: While the FR220 has a run/walk mode, the M400 can effectively do the same thing with the two-piece interval timer, so I consider that basically a wash).

    • Terrance

      In what ways does the M400 allow for “far more” customization than the FR220? Is it just the 4 vs. 3 data points per screen?

      Well I guess I’m returning the 220 that’s currently in my mailbox 🙁

    • Ryan

      Which one does 4 fields? I thought only the 620 did 4, not the 220.

    • Terrance

      The M400 looks like it has 4 fields from the picture.

  46. Mikey T

    I was excited. Until, I saw no vibration alert. That is a huge feature to leave out. As for thinness. The TomTom runner is pretty darn thin (although it partially wraps around) I doubt the Polar is thinner.

  47. Bryan

    I like that its lighter/smaller and better rubber. Sounds like an upgrade there. The glass in V800 is nice but I could live without it for better comfort. I wonder if Polar’s activity monitor watches will include optical heart rate sensors in the future. To compete with the Apples of this world they may.

  48. Happy Runner

    The “executive summary” is a nice touch that I hope you’ll incorporate into more reviews. I know this watch isn’t for me, so the long review is too much, but I’m interested in keeping tabs on the market, so the executive summary is perfect!

  49. Klem

    For the price(europe) i read somewhere :
    119€ (without sensor) / 159€ (with HR7 Sensor)
    link to erenumerique.fr

    maybe an error seems to be low!
    i’m afraid it would be 200€ with the sensor and 159€ without.

  50. Luis

    Thanks for the review, Ray. Does the watch feature avg lap speed/pace info and do you know how it will handle going thru tunnels once it takes the foot pod in? Regards, Luis.

    • Yes, the following data fields are available to add to your data pages on the M400:

      Time of day, Duration, Lap Time, Last Lap Time

      Altitude, Total Ascent, Total Descent, Current Lap Ascent, Current Lap Descent

      Body Measurement:
      Heart Rate, Average Heart Rate, Maximum Heart Rate, HR Avg in Lap, Calories, ZonePointer, Time in Zone

      Distance, Lap Distance, Last Lap Distance

      Speed/Pace, Average Speed/Pace, Maximum Speed/Pace, Lap Speed/Pace

      Full page:
      HR Zones, Back to Start, Estaimted Time to Completion

    • Ryan

      Will it do four data fields on screen? That seems to be one of the features held back on the lower end. The

  51. ownwise

    Excellent review and nice device.

    Earlier this year I returned the Polar Loop because the daily goal is a fixed amount of steps in Polar Flow and was not dynamically adjusted. Does the m400 adapt the goal to your fitness level?

    Also I am curious to find out how the First Beat technology (garmin&suunto) compares to the Polar Personal Trainer (Smart Coaching & training load) functionality? Is the Polar app for iPhone usable to adjust Personal Trainer functionalities?

    I am comparing the m400 with the Forerunner 15 & 22 and Tomtom Runner BTW.


  52. likepend1

    thanks for the great review Ray!
    love the “cheaper”-concept, polar is going. V800 for athletes, who have/want to know anything about their performance (swimming, sensors) and M400 for Hobby-athletes, who want to know basic information (how good was my training, am i improving, how am i doing).
    Lots of people complaining about sensors, battery life, vibration alarm and so on, but come on …. it’s meant to be an entry level watch (for half the price of the v800)!!

    Miss those rolling pin (comparison) – photos! I know it’s a lot of work (to switch on / put the watches in the right order), but it really helped to compare size of “in-line” products (here v800) and other competitors (especially the FR220/620). maybe …. 😀

    have a nice weekend guys!! cheers!

    • Ryan

      Vibration is on the other models in this price range. This is a basic alert feature not to mention used in alarms as they become every day wearing watches.

  53. Bora

    When you say that indoor treadmill mode (sans-footpod) is not accurate anyway, how big of a non-accuracy are we talking about e.g. with a Forerunner 220?
    I am really impressed with the M400 (thanks for your review BTW) and could consider replacing my 220 with this one to have an activity tracker + running combo but I am not sure If I wanna give up my sans-footpod treadmill possibility. If you are saying it is close to useless anyway, I could be convinced easier 🙂

  54. Nele Lejon

    Hi I liked the review, and this unit seems to be great value for money. However there is one thing that I wonder about. Can you also see speed and average speed (instead of pace) while you are running. I actually prefer speed, both for running and cycling…


    • No, it’s a single data field that varies depending on the sport.

    • Jasper

      Might be i missunderstand the question but on flow you can change to km/h instead of min/km for running.

      You should note that this will change all the data fields for this particular sport profile, you can’t have say speed and then average pace.

    • Nele Lejon


      It would be great for me to change this preference using the polar flow website.
      And it s quite obvious that you shouldn’t combine current speed and average pace.
      However I would like the possibility to keep the sport mode on running, while using speed data instead of pace.

      The only alternative I think it has this feature is the Garmin FR620 (which is nearly double in price).

      Best regards

    • Jasper

      I should note i don’t have a M400 myself, but i do own a V800. So i think we can assume it will work the same. And there i can switch between km/h and min/km for a given sport profile, for example running.

    • Toby

      and you can change on the fly to pace or speed

  55. Robert Black

    I’m sure yesterday the prices matched what Ray had posted, today it’s showing $199 for the watch alone and $249 with hrm strap.
    link to polarm400.com

    • It’s because in the US there’s MAP and MSRP. MAP is the Minimum Advertised Price ($179), whereas MSRP is the Manufactures Suggested Retail Price ($199). In virtually every case retailers will display MAP.

    • Robert black

      Thanks Ray, learnt a little more about your homeland with that, still saving hard, can’t go and not visit Vegas

  56. Victor

    This comes pretty close to what I am looking for – except it doesn’t track the metrics on indoor spin bikes. I am primarily looking for something to track outdoor running and indoor spin bike activities. For the bike, something to track all the metrics available – cadence, power, distance etc. Any recommendation? A running watch that also supports the FIT profiles of indoor gym equipment. I am using the Schwinn Indoor bike with the MPower console.

    • Eric Hanneken

      I don’t own an MPower console, but as I understand it they send data to a watch via ANT+, which would rule out Polar’s products. Perhaps a Garmin Forerunner 620 or 910XT? Or, if an ANT+ cycling computer would work (I’m not sure), maybe you could get an Edge 500 and an M400 for running.

    • Jasper

      Pretty sure the 620 doesn’t do power. So you’d have to go up to the 910/fenix 2 or a yet to be launched ANT watch.

      Or a cycle computer ofcourse.

    • It depends on exactly what’s transmitted from the MPower. If it sends out a clean ANT+ Power signal, then yes the FR910XT/Fenix2 would be required. If it sends out the signal as a ‘Fitness Equipment’, then oddly the Fenix2 won’t work, and you’d need the FR910XT, FR610 or some older watches. The FR620 doesn’t support the gym equipment profile.

  57. So “Estimated Completion” completion is basically a “Race Pace” function on RCX5 (this was added after TDF edition) ?
    Brilliant function!
    How on earth then the successor of RCX5 – V800 does not have this function btw. ?

  58. Always had a soft spot for Polar products since my first watch, the S625X – which I’ve just realised I’ve owned for 10 years and it’s still going strong!

    Seems very competitively priced and I LOVE the idea of the estimator function to stop me needing to do maths mid race! Looks smart as well – much better to my mind than the current Garmin offerings.

    Thanks again Ray

    http://www.oxygenaddict.com triathlon coaching

  59. Kevin Modzelewski

    Ray, I’m definitely going to get an M400 based on your review but would like your suggestion on the HR strap. I was thinking of pairing it with the TICKR X because I love the fact that if I don’t feel like wearing my watch or carrying my phone (or forget it ) I can still record my workout. I also like the indoor cycling info the Wahoo can provide. I’m just wondering if it’s worth it and if all of those functions still work while it’s connected to the M400.
    I realize I’ll need to view info on two separate apps(websites) but that’s fine. I’m just wondering if it’s worth it and if you would recommend the Scosche or just the Polar H7 instead. I need someone to come out with a chip I insert into my wrist and it reads and LED through my skin with my heart rate, steps, mileage, speed, cadence, swim stroke, and sends music to my ears through some kind of bone connectivity. Wouldn’t that be the bomb. My kids will probably have it someday.

  60. Colin

    Hi, that sounds interesting, been holding off buying a RC3 GPS when prices dropped in the last few months…and V800 clearly not in my budget.

    Is there a limitation on the number of phases that can be preprogrammed for workouts ?

    I believe it was 4 for the RC3 GPS, but that limitation was within the watch itself, not the website…which, pls note, I have no experience with.

    Thanks a lot.

  61. Indio22

    Thanks for the review. I wish these sort of watches were designed to accommodate different types of bands depending on user preference. I have a strong dislike for plastic watch bands in terms of comfort and feel. I always purchase regular watches with fabric/Velcro bands for day to day usage. But there seems limited options for fabric bands with GPS watches. Based on how this Polar watch band mounts to the main unit, it doesn’t seem like an alternate fabric watch band can be used.

  62. March

    Very useful as usual,thanks a lot. Just one question you haven’t answered yet, does it have lap pace? The RC3 doesn’t and it is a big drawback for many. Same for the M400?

  63. Ryon

    I was seriously considering the Garmin Forerunner 15 until this came out. The only thing I’m not clear on is if the M400 has a function which recognizes when you’ve come to a stop during your run, say at a cross walk and pauses your time elapsed until you start again. This is specifically mentioned in the FR15 review but not in the M400. The comparison results show FR15 with a “Smart” and the M400 with a 1 sec recording intervals. Both, however are listed to have an auto start/stop function. Maybe I’m not interpreting these fields correctly. Thanks!

    • Dr. D

      @Ryon – Recording intervals are different from Auto Start/Stop. You are correct that the M400 does have the Auto Start/Stop feature (within the Functions section of the Product Comparison table above).

      Recording intervals are to do with how frequently watches collate and store information.

      I hope this helps.

    • Ryon

      Thanks Dr. D! I figured that was the case but I didn’t want to make a $180 purchase without knowing for certain. I’ll be buying the M400 from Clever Training. Thanks DCRainmaker for the fantastic reviews.

    • Thanks for the support via Clever Training, Ryon!

  64. tommyboy39

    I like the activity function showing the step count. Still waiting for them to add that to the V800. It still just shows a bar for activity. This watch will definitely be something for my wife as a Christmas present. Thanks Ray for the usual great and thorough review. 🙂

  65. Petros

    Hello from Greece!
    I was ready to buy Suunto Ambit2s when yesterday I read for Polar M400!
    I was impressed from V800 but it is a litle expensive.
    Which is the difference for the recovery advice between v800 and m400 ?
    M400 shows recovery status like v800 ?
    M400 has orthostatick test ?
    It is very importand for me the advice of “overtraining” !

    Can you make a comparison Μ400 VS suunto Ambit 2s
    like M400Vs garmin f220? I would appreciate that!

    I think Suunto Ambit2 is more completly watch and better for me because I am an amateur triathlete,
    but more often I run(3 times per week) and I cycle(1 time).
    and I like a lot at M400:
    The enviroment of Polar Flow!!!
    Smart coaching.
    Daily activity Tracker.
    Smartphone Integration.
    Fresh Design.

    Please help me, I am so confused!

    P.S. It is big disadvantage that I will have to wait over a month for Polar M400!
    Authentic Classic Marathon of Athens is on 9 November!

  66. Stanislav

    Hopefully this would provide some competition to Ambit3 Sport and prompt Suunto to implement a proper activity tracker in the next firmware for Ambit3.

  67. jose

    la unidad se puede utilizar solo en modo pulsómetro, o se activa el gps una vez iniciada la sesión de frecuencia cardiaca como en el tomtom runner.?

  68. Chris O'Shannassy

    Hey Ray;

    I’m a little confused, in the pictures from the Polar Flow website showing an activity you recorded with the M400 it shows a training load, and also in your table it mentions the M400 gives recovery advice via training load, however…. There’s no mention of training load on the Polar m400 site (link to polarm400.com), and in your review you also mention:

    may experiment down the road with being able to buy additional features for a small fee, such as purchasing the Training Load function

    Both of these things seem to indicate that maybe the only reason you’re seeing training load is because you’ve registered a V800 to your Flow account?
    I believe I saw a comment from somebody that had been using a Loop, and then after they’d registered a V800 to their account their historical training load information also showed up.

    My 2c – I’m just using Polar Beat, and I’d be happy to pay Polar something more to unlock extra features such as training load. Polar already even _do_ this with the Beat app for other features – I just wish they’d expand on it.

    Also, anybody else lamenting the lack of a barometric altimeter, or is it just me that _really_ prefers those to any sort of GPS based system?

    • I’ll double-check on the training load on the site and if that’s a V800 piece. Polar did a quick technical accuracy check of the post after I published and didn’t see anything incorrect. As for training load purchasing, I was referring to on-device there (thus a firmware update of the device).

    • David M

      I recently added the V800 with lots of Loop data (with H7), however I saw no training load revisions on the previous Loop data. I had been wearing the RCX5 with the Loop for just that purpose. However, the training load data was on the “Polar Personal Trainer” site, but did not appear on the Flow site. In seeing the “Chris O’S” comment, I was momentarily excited to think a revision had occurred… but alas not yet.

    • MK

      That’s interesting. I can see my training recovery history in Flow starting from the moment when I have registered my Loop (November 2013). That’s only activity based, because I bought H7 at January 2014, and from there the recovery load has separation between activity and exercises. Of course I didn’t see the chart at the time, only after I purchased and registered my V800. I believe Chris O’S might be referring to my comment, since I have already wrote somewhere that I got recovery load from the time when I had only Loop (and later H7).

    • Chris O'Shannassy

      Yep, that’d be the comment I was referring to MK, thanks. I’ve taken a lot of runs with Beat, and a few with my Loop hooked up to a H7, if I ever give in and grab a V800 (or M400…) I’ll be curious to see if the prior training load appears.
      I still use the training load graph from PPT a fair bit as well David, you’re certainly not alone in missing that feature on Flow.

    • Bo

      +1 for missing much functionality from Polar Personal Trainer (PPT) on the Flow website.

      Strange situation where a new platform is functionally inferior to an old one.

      Hope Polar will develop Flow much further so that it catches up and surpasses PPT.

    • ownwise

      Thanks for the additional info. However it is still unclear whether you would get info for training recovery if you buy the Polar m400 (on Polar Flow or Personal Trainer)?

    • Chris

      Yep, I’d still like to know this definitively as well. Do you get recovery advice with only an M400 registered to your Flow account? There’s no real mention of it in the M400 manual.

    • Patrick M

      I’m afraid that the training load and recover graph will not be available if you only register an m400 to your flow account. If you compare the “polar flow web service” features on the polar website between the v800 and the m800, that’s where the v800 has “Training Load” and “Recovery status”, but the m400 doesn’t.

  69. Toby

    Looks good Ray, thanks for the detailed review 🙂

  70. Hume

    But will it come in blue?

  71. Dear dcrainmaker

    Really impressed with your insight and your efforts at passing on real information to your readers…excellent – has been really useful in choosing my latest gear – keep up the good work!


  72. David N

    Hi Ray

    You mention that the GNSS-Satellite reception of the M400 is “great”, as opposed to the V800 where it is only “good”. Do you know if the M400 uses a different chipset than the V800, or if it is just a software issue? And if it is a software issue, do you know if they will patch the V800 up with this pre-caching? (and in similar tone: Will they add features of the M400 to the V800, such as the race-predictor and the on-unit interval feature?)

    Thanks, for an amazing review.

    • Yes, they’re using a slightly different satellite pre-population mechanism in the M400. I’m going to ask on Monday whether or not such changes (on this and the predictor/interval are coming to the V800).

    • Hume Howe

      Very interested in this as well and to hear the outcome of your talk on Monday. Thanks for the great truly in-depth reviews.

  73. CHRISP

    Thanks for another excellent review. Do you know how the device calculates calories? Does it use HR during running and cycling, for example? Accurate calorie calculation is important to me and I run and bike in hilly terrain, so calculation based only on time and distance can be a problem.

    • Yes, it uses calories based on HR. Additionally, calories are different for different sports. It’s the singular reason why they don’t allow you to create your own sport profiles named whatever you want, because they’ve aligned calorie burn rates to the different sport profiles they’ve selected.

  74. Mike S

    Great review. I pre-ordered at Clever Training. You noted in the post from your visit to Polar that the v800 would support 4iiii Viiiiva “as is”. Will Viiiva work with M400, too?

    • Well, the M400 doesn’t support the other sensors yet (footpod yet, cycling speed/cadence at all), so it’s a bit hard to tell there to be honest. From a pure HR perspective I’m sure it’s fine.

  75. Dan Shaffer

    I just returned my third Jawbone UP/UP24 after yet another total system failure, but it has really helped me understand my life over the past year and a half. Now I have been doing extensive online research, along with some quick high level discussions with local running shops, on what to also do about a new GPS based training watch. Confusing with all these great options available now, but I am very excited about what I am reading and the new technology available with ever increasing capabilities. One thing has occurred to me and is really the basis of my question. Is there really a device or multi-device solution that integrates all of the various features and data of the 24/7 fitness-sleep trackers and at least a top of the line GPS running watch with the hope of an overall multisport device which would be even better? I would think that with the array of devices that companies like Polar & Garmin have it could use the software on your computer and/or mobile device to seamlessly integrate a fitness tracker and GPS watch for the exercising into a very powerful set of data/metrics to use to improve your overall fitness, training, recovery program, and lifestyle. Do you see the Polar V800 or this M400 really doing all of the activity tracking that other devices do well enough to be a combined solution? Thoughts and recommendations?

  76. Marc

    Hi Ray,

    Great review as always. Regarding the lack of support for triathlon. Do you know if I can create a triathlon activity where I can easily start/stop the activity and it will recognize each discipline and at the end it will show the stats of each including the transition time (Like the V800) ? Or do I have to manually start and stop the swim, bike, run and it will show as 3 different activities in polar flow?


    • Ryan

      That seems to be an elusive feature for under $250. The TTMS that even has all three modes (swim, bike and run) doesn’t even have a tri mode for race days which I find odd for a watch labeled “multisport”. This seems to be geared towards running and casual biking with an all day fit tracker. Tri mode seems to be asking a bit much.

      What would be cool is to see a wish list develop of features people would be willing to pay for and a vote develop so they could have some direction of what to develop. Well, within reason. I’m sure people will start wishing for features from watches that are double the price. Tough to keep things realistic I imagine.

  77. Thank you very much for this post! Waiting for M400.

  78. John L.

    Can I replace the battery when needed or does it need to be shipped, or can a sporting goods store like REI or DICK’s replace it.

    • No, it’s rechargeable, so it shouldn’t need it for years. In any case, it would need to go back to Polar. Pretty much the same as all other GPS watches on the market these days.

    • Christian

      Just got reply from German Polar Support. They say battery replacement IS possible and will be 25 Euro. Well THAT is a argument for buying it rather then Garmin … (my Forerunner 305 battery just quite and they said if it is more than five years bad luck. Well a lost customer…)

  79. lynn allen

    Thanks for the review and the 10% discount. Ordered.

  80. Edgar

    Thank you Ray for another great review, and also the 10% coupon. I ordered mine.

  81. Roberto

    Thanks for your review , Ray. Always great.

    Any cuestions :

    – can we switch off the watch in order to save battery.
    – and diary activity, can be disabled
    – micro-usb is great, but is really 30 mts watter-prof ??? , I Know problemas with humidy in rc3 (only with sweat skin) and also in V800 . My olders garmin 405, and 310xt, some times have a condensation cloud.

    I’m sad, looking for a correct pulse reading, I just bought the RCX5 knowing its limitations, this now becomes older, and cheaper.

    • 1) By default the unit is just in standby, which lasts many weeks, so the battery drain profile there is tiny. That said, I’m not quite clear on how exactly to fully power it off (you can put it in airplane mode easily)

      2) You can turn off inactivity alerts, but I don’t see a way to turn off diary activity altogether.

      3) We’ll find out here, maybe I’ll do a 30m test and check it out. That said, it is substantially different technology than the RC3 one which was only waterproofed to IPX7. Note that condensation cloud actually typically isn’t waterproofing if it occurs early, but sometimes manufacturing issues. The FR405 has the same crappy waterproofing as the RC3, whereas the V800 and 310XT have very solid waterproofing. Short of damage/lemons, I haven’t heard of any condensation issues there.

    • David Lusty

      Regarding the battery in “standby”, I have charged my RC3 GPS only once in the 3 months since I bought a Garmin and when I did it still had sufficient charge to have done at least one normal activity according to the battery meter so I doubt this will be a big issue on the M400 either even with the motion tracking.

    • Neil A.

      Like Phil in comment #1200, I now seem to have some screen condensation issues. It’s an original version watch with the usual USB issues which I have persevered with but it looks like this is going to need to be returned (if still covered by warranty?).

    • Neil A.

      As an update to my post above, I mentioned the issues to Polar Australia on Monday and a new version unit (with updated usb cable) arrived from Singapore on Thursday.
      Impressively fuss-free after sales support = happy customer.

  82. Triklan

    Thanks Ray.

    But…I am missing something you usually review. CONFIGURABILITY! How can the screens be configured? how many? to me this is something crucial when talking about a watch (and for what Garmin usually wins).

    • I discuss this within the Running section (link to dcrainmaker.com), where I start with:

      “Each data page contains a configurable number of metrics. This is an improvement over the previous Polar RC3 whereby you couldn’t really customize the data fields. With the M400, you can customize all of the fields to the same extent as the much more expensive V800. All of this customization is done online via Polar Flow:”

      And then dive into screenshots of screen configuration.


    • JW

      Each data page is adjustable as you say. But not the (auto)lap page? For me (and a lot of runners) reading small digits is difficult (i’m getting older). I think the FR220/620 is the only device right now with a full-screen laptime. So i can see my laptime while running.

    • Correct, not at this time. I’m getting clarification on why not autolap.

    • Bo

      You are right that you cannot see auto lap time continuously. However, it will appear at the end of every auto lap for a few seconds. If you want to see your auto lap time frequently, you could set your auto laps at 100M, 250M, 500M, or whatever takes your fancy.
      The other way is to use manual laps, where you can have current pace/lap full screen (i.e. single metric) continuousl on the screen. To me this seems particularly easy considering that you can take a manual lap by tapping the screen.
      Hope that helps.

    • JW

      Thank you for your reaction.
      It’s not a problem how the autolap works, but the problem is that the digits in thje autolapscreen are small. I wan’t large digits so i can read them while running.
      Somewhere i read that customizable lapscreen (for V800) maybe would appear in firmware-update. I hope that they also take that in considaration for the M400.

  83. Triklan

    By the way, another important feature to take into consideration when establishing comparison with FR220. The water resistancy. This one is just IPX7, isn’t it?

    • I discussed this in three places in the review:

      “Lastly, the unit is well waterproofed at 30-meters, despite using just a standard micro-USB connector. Though, while it is waterproofed, it won’t give you heart rate underwater, as it only supports Bluetooth Smart heart rate transmission and not the analog frequency used on some of Polar’s other water-friendly watches.”


      “On the back you’ve got a standard micro-USB port. While it has a small cover on it, the port is internally waterproofed to 30-meters. Yes, thirty meters. This specific internally deep-waterproofed USB port has been making the vendor rounds for a while now but nobody bit and actually put it in a product. Definitely excited to see it show up here. Typically internally waterproofed USB ports haven’t been terribly awesome long term (past ones have only been rated to 1-meter at 30 minutes), so here’s to hoping this new version is as awesome as they claim.”

      And in the comparison table, where I denote the waterproof rating.

  84. Charles

    Hi Ray, thanks for the review, I’m planning to buy my first GPS watch, and it was very useful! I think I’ll get the M400 when it’s released, but I’m UK based, do you have any agreement similar to that with Clever Training on this side of the pond (either UK or France)? I can use the Amazon link when it’s out, but I just want to check the best way to support the site!

    • Ayush Gupta

      I have a similar story. this seems to be the perfect fit for my first GPS watch.
      An agreement in France (I live in Paris, too) would be great 🙂
      Thanks for the great reviews on this site 😀

    • Not quite yet…but getting close!

      On the bright side, you can indeed use Clever Training to ship from the US to anywhere. For most folks you’ll still save a little, even with import taxes/VAT, due to the 10% and currency rate. Shipping is $29US flat-rate no matter where you are globally.

    • Bora

      Did not know that! This is great as US availability is usually ahead of Switzerland. Will check tonight.

    • Ayush Gupta

      Great. Sounds cool. Any idea about the duties, since you also live here? 🙂

      Thanks 🙂

    • Typically speaking it’ll be up to your local tax folks, since it varies country by country. For some countries it’s less than a given amount (i.e $100) and it’s free. For others, not so much. For me in France, it’s 20% (used to be 19.6%), so it’s 19.6% on whatever the USD price is. Again though, mileage does vary on whether or not they actually charge it when you pickup your package.

  85. Mike St. Louis

    The Garmin 220 has a color screen whereas the M400 is b/w. Does that make any difference for someone on the fence?

    Also, is Garmin announcing any new models soon? They announced the 220 and 620 around this time last year IIRC.

    • I wouldn’t expect any FR220 or FR620 replacement models anytime soon, Garmin typically does a 2-year cycle.

    • feens

      I don’t know if you can really call the colors on the 220 true colors (I own a 220). There’s basically just a few color highlights, and they’re not particularly vibrant at that….you hardly notice them, in my opinion.

  86. Tom

    really a nice watch for little money!
    what my problem with polar is and why i sold all my polar stuff (rs800cx etc.) – they produce really nice quality hardware but while not ant+ nor export options in today standard formats (tcx, gpx etc.) you are a prisoner to their ecosystem …

    of course there are tools to convert/export/import – but for me this is hassle i don’t want to spent my time for.

    • As of late last week they enabled export on Polar Flow to TCX/GPX. It was slightly after (by a few hours), my post above. I have it on my list to update sometime today along with rolling pins and a few other items.

    • Tom

      wow – they finally realized – this is a HUGE plus!!!
      thank you for updating me – i now give them a second try and buy one again. and maybe sometimes they make the next big step and go with ant+ instead their wind thing.

    • Tom

      … oh i misunderstood – you have to upload to their cloud first and then export … hmmmm … nope … not my thing …

    • Tom

      p.s. sorry for again complaining above but i’m just an amateur in sports. all i want is to be ‘master’ of my own data, having ONE software on my notebook/home-server (at the moment rubitrack) and ONE cloud (at the moment strava) where ALL my sport activities are. as i now have the wahoo kickr (thanks to this blog) i have to use a third application for trainings. this for my taste is is the maximum IT i want to deal with in my sparetime. and not my IT skills are the reason but obviously unbelievable for lots of todays companys – i have a second life – family, work, eat, fun … live.

    • FJ

      My guess is that one ore more of the third party sync utilities will figure out a way to “automagically” fetch your activities from Polar Flow and upload to the rest.

      The latest round of Polar devices hint at a reborn Polar, one that is finally trying to compete with the numerous new entrants in the market, rather than relying on inertia from their HR device dominant days. For their sake I hope they keep this momentum going by offering us what we want (like easy access to our data!) and not bury their heads in the sand again.

  87. Richard P

    Hi Ray, How does it compare size-wise to the V800? Thanks

  88. Paulos

    Thanks for the review. I just purchased my first Polar watch, after having used Garmin devices for over 10 years (and Magellan before then). My V800 arrived last month. I really like the user interface better, but was disappointed to learn that it does not sync up directly with my Android devices. Also, I cannot even view my performance history on the website because it disallows linux computers. However, it is refreshing to hear that an Android app is in development, with delivery expected next quarter.

  89. Robert

    Cual seria el precio aproximado pidiendo el M400 en la pagina de Clever Capacitacion para españa
    Muchas gracias.

  90. Steve S

    So a question about what’s NOT there (or not there yet)- and as you mention – with firmware updates, this watch has lots of potential for the future as long as it’s not a built-in hardware limitation. So, critique my list below….

    Phone notifications: possible (with firmware update as you say in the review)
    Barometric altitude: not possible (hardware not included)
    Ant+ connectivity: not possible (hardware not included; unless you use some sort of bridge device, I guess)
    Power meter data: possible with firmware update – if the power meter is Bluetooth
    Expanded navigation/GPS/waypoint tools: possible with firmware updates (maybe even simple maps)

    So, here’s what I’m after: let’s assume that some of these items WILL happen with a firmware update. Do you feel that, even though technically possible with the M400, that some advanced features (like power meter data or expanded GPS navigation, etc.) might ONLY show up in V800 (the premium offering) and some of those features will be left out of the M400 updates? That is, would Polar exclude the M400 from firmware update capabilities that they would only give the V800? It appears like the devices are pretty similar such that into the the future, the way to differentiate them (and their prices) is to only allow the V800 some features.

    And then of course someone here will figure out how to “jailbreak” the M400 so that it appears like the V800 so you can get the full features they offer with future V800 firmware updates.

  91. Terrance

    To anyone who has used the new export feature in PolarFlow: is it tedious/annoying? Do you have to export individual training sessions or can you export from a range of dates? If you have to do it individually, is it a quick process?

  92. Stephen Thomas

    > To anyone who has used the new export feature in PolarFlow: is it tedious/annoying? Do you have to export individual training sessions or can you export from a range of dates? If you have to do it individually, is it a quick process?

    One at a time. Two clicks. One to select Export and a second to select format (GPX or TCX)

    • Terrance

      Thanks! I keep looking for reasons not to return my 220 so I won’t have to wait another month but unfortunately/fortunately it looks like there aren’t any, as long as my tiny wrists won’t present a problem (eagerly awaiting DCR’s updated photos!).

  93. Terrance

    Also I know someone else already asked but I have the same question: Can you get last lap stats (pace or time for example) for automatic laps?

  94. George

    Does the M400 have a stopwatch or programmable countdown timer. I umpire hockey matches so it would be great to replace my current watch rather than need to have one on each wrist.

  95. Travis

    This review came out at the right time. My garmin 210 strap just ripped off and I was contemplating replacing it ($89 from garmin!) or going with the 220. Going to give this one a try based on your recommendation. Placed order today, here’s to hoping it ships in October. Thanks again for the in-depth review.

  96. Dirk

    Thanks for all the details Ray, great as always !
    Will Polar FINALLY upload to Strava? Since pricewise they seem to be going after Garmin customers, they have to realize that many of us have tons of data on Strava and won’t be happy to lose it

  97. jamie khoo

    Am definately getting M400!
    Upgrade from ft60…
    Am wonsering about the weekly training programmes? Are those available in the M400 itself, like ft60 or need to be view in polar flow only?

    How about connections with usb to tablets?

    Greetings from Malaysia

    • No weekly training programs at this point (in terms of ones that you can download). However, you can create your weekly training program on Flow manually, and then you’ll get it on your watch.

  98. Sebas

    Looks very interesting! I suppose that means we can no longer expect any improvements (such as customised data fields) for the RC3, such a shame since mine is only 6 month old.
    Would be interesting to see how the “waterproof” USB port holds up. Worse placement ever for a USB port in my opinion. I’m already on my third RC3 replacement since sweat collects under the watch and works is way through the seal destroying the insides.Now I pretty much have to tape it shut with electrical tape every time I use it.

  99. Maura

    Hi! Thanks for the wonderful review.

    Right now i’m trying to learn how to run so i usually walk for long distances and i do a lot of hikes.
    Do you think that the M400 is ok to do these activities?

  100. Robert Rutherford

    Will the M400 retransmit the Bluetooth Data from the H7. We use Polar Team at our Gym and receive a PDF file of the workout, but it would be nice to be using Polar Beat on my iPhone at the same time. I understand the V800 retransmits the signal from H7.

  101. John L.

    Will the M400 display the current altitude on the watch? I plan on doing hiking in the Colorado mountains and if it provides current altitude that would be a plus.

    • Yup, you can display altitude on the watch. It’s GPS based, so it might not be perfect, though I’ve been fairly impressed with Polar’s GPS based altitude calculations to date.

      (List of all data fields coming into a section here in the next hour, along with the requested photos of a few other things)

    • runnershigh

      First time I used Polar m400. I ran about one hour, but altitude calculation startet after 35 minutes and not at the beginning. On Polar Flow Webservice I can take a look on the graphs and the line for altitude startet at time index 35 minutes.
      Is there any explanation for that?
      GPS fixing before getting started was 100%/done. So…is there any body else with that issue?

    • runnershigh

      Yesterday I do another run. After app. 1KM I stopped running because no altitude values was shown on the display. I saved this 1,x KM run and start again (GPS fix, run mode etc.).
      Then it work’s and altitude values are vissible (up/down) now.
      Later at home I transferred both trainings to ploar flow. The first training is without any altitude….the second try is ok.
      On the diary@the m400 itselfs the altitude (up/donw) isn’t shown. In that case at both trainings. At ploar flow the second training shows the up/down values. Not at the watch diary but during the workout.
      This function seems a little bit buggy as far as I can review.

    • runnershigh

      At the last few days I have done some runs. The issue about altitude measuring happened only once again. The other runs are still okay. GPS fixing in comparison to Garmin FR110 is really fast.
      I run with both of my gps watches on my left arm. Counted metres in altitude are more exact by polar m400 than the older FR110.
      If GPS fixing is well enough altitude measuring is still no issue.
      Everything is fine – just want to report this pos. progress.

  102. Hi All-

    Just as a heads up I’ve added/updated in the following sections:

    1) Added in pics on The Girl’s wrist: link to dcrainmaker.com
    2) Added in V800/V650 size comparison pic: link to dcrainmaker.com
    3) Added in roller watch comparison pics: link to dcrainmaker.com
    4) Added in Data Fields section: link to dcrainmaker.com
    5) Added in 3rd Party/Export Section: link to dcrainmaker.com

    Thanks all!

  103. Lorry

    Can the activity tracker be turned on and off? For example, on days when I dont wear the watch all day, maybe just for a run, I don’t want the activity tracker on.

  104. LorryNm

    Can the activity tracker be turned on and off? is it an always on tracking thing?

  105. LorryT

    Can the activity tracker be turned on and off? Or is it an always on tracking thing?

  106. Hey Ray, Great review! Looking to upgrade from my FR10, and get some cross-sport functionality. I have looked at FR220 and FR610 but this seems to be the ticket.
    If I went to the Polar world, would I be able to import my Garmin Connect exported CSV file of workouts?

    • There isn’t a way yet to import those into Flow. However, you could pick a different platform (such as Strava, Sport Tracks, Training Peaks), and go there with everything.

  107. Laramie Wilson

    Thanks for the detailed review. I’m definitely considering the M400 based on your thorough coverage. You mentioned that the lap time is based on manual laps and not auto laps. What about lap distance and lap pace. Are these also based only on manual laps? If auto laps are set at 1 mile, does the lap pace reset at each mile? If not, I would lose a valuable metric that I use during each race. I normally would use both lap time and lap pace (based on auto laps) during a race. Having to push lap at each mile to get my lap pace and time kind of defeats the purpose of having auto lap.
    Thx again for all your hard work.

  108. thibaut

    Hello all,
    thanks for this great review
    about the predictor mode :
    – does it add another date page to the others (8 maximum) configured pages ?
    or is it the only data you can consult in this mode ?

    – does it give you
    1 the amount of time remaining until the end (what you seem to indicate) ?
    2 the total time predicted at the finish line ?
    3 or the hour at the finish line ?

    if the answer is 1, as lazy as i am in the 3/4 of a marathon, i would not be easy with calculate time completed + time remaining to finally have the info : will I acheive my goal ?

    Thanks for these precisions,


  109. Stefanie

    Thanks for a great review. As always very much appreciated!

    I own the RCX5 which I love, albeit loath the fact that I have to carry the gps unit around with me.

    The V800 is overkill for me.

    Two questions:
    1. Do you think there will be a successor for the RCX5 coming soon or is the M400 not only the successor for the RCX3 but also RCX5?
    2. I have looked at your watch comparison tool and am now wondering whether the M400 would be an UPGRADE to the RCX5 or not? In other words: where in the line up of sports watches from Polar is the M400 situated?

    Thanks for your help

    • 1) The RCX5 successor is the V800
      2) The RCX3 successor for running is the M400, for cycling, I suspect over time we’ll see the M400 get speed/cadence support and then it’ll be the complete RCX3 successor.

    • Stefanie

      Thanks for your swift reply!

    • david n

      Hi Ray

      Is the cycling-sensor support speculation on your side – or something you may have heard? 🙂 Also: If the M400 gets cycling support via speed/cadence sensors, wouldn’t that make the V800 almost obsolete (except for the altimeter, compass and some software additions)?

      Also: Did you get an answer for the question in post #175, whether the gps-acquisition will be faster on the V800 as well (via a software update) – or if it’s a hardware-related issue?


    • Ahmed

      Hey Ray,

      I’d been using RCX5 and been very happy with it. I was planning to switch to V800, but seems like M400 is even a better choice, almost all all features are there except vibration and longer battery.

      I only use it for running, and runs 3-4 times a week.

      What would you recommend?

    • If you’re just using it for running, I’d save the cash and go M400 instead. I think you’ll really enjoy it over the RCX5. Cheers!

  110. LP77

    I just sold my Suunto t3c which was a horrible watch. At least it let me know discover my needs for the watch. So now I’m in for a new watch I was linked to this site. I must admit you do a great job, cause there is a lot of information available (didn’t expect the gps accuracy of the 620 and 220 to be that bad reading the comments). Based on these comments and your positive review I guess I want the Polar m400 (although it’s a pity it doesn’t have a vibration function like the Garmins do have). Although your great review, I still have a few questions and I hope you can answer them.
    1: is it possible to have % hart rate, min/km, lap time at one glance in one screen without the need to scroll screens? (I know the Garmin has this option).
    2: when pushing the +lap button does it show a summary of the last lap regarding to lap time and pace (or whatever info you selected) for a few seconds or are these details only available after your run?

    These are important things for me to know by choosing my next watch. Hope you will be able to answer.

    Many thanks

  111. LP77

    Ok, one more question which is very important for my new watch if it doesn’t give a vibration signal. Does it have a loud beep, while I couldn’t hear my old suunto t3c.

    • It’s fairly loud, or at least normal loud. I didn’t have the T3C, so I can’t quite comment there.

    • Markus Neubauer

      I just bought an M400 and set the audible alerts to “very loud” and they are much too quiet for a setting with that name. Definitely can’t hear them with headphones. Will likely exchange this for a Garmin FR220 or 620.

    • ASR1927

      I agree. Imo the lack of vibration signal is the biggest con of thes watch. The sound alert is way too weak even on max.

  112. Jason

    Note however that for lap time, that’s only for manual laps, and not for auto laps. Auto laps will show up online afterwards however.

    Hi Ray, great review many thanks.

    Regarding the above excerpt from your review, could you clarify what you mean exactly? Are you saying that when the watch is set to auto lap every mile, for example, that you get no alert/information on the watch itself?

    I use a combination of auto lap and manual splits on my 310XT and it displays an info box with the split time and lap number regardless of auto lap or manual.

    This would seem a very odd thing to do if I’ve read you correctly.

    Thanks in advance for your comments.


      someone can confirm this point : if an automatic lap is set each kilometer, does the watch indicates something each kilometer without touching ?


    • Jason – On the FR310XT there is only one lap concept. Whether you hit the button manually, or it triggers automatically it resets the lap. With Polar products you can have concurrent manual laps and automatic laps – but doing their own thing at teh same time.

      Thibaut – Yes, it shows a notification on the screen.

  113. Marcin K

    Hi Ray,

    As usual, you made a great great job in this review 🙂
    It seems that this is perfect watch for me but I have one doubt :).
    In your review you mentioned that screen is covered with plastic instead of glass. I am worry about scratches and other issues during the 24/7 usage of this watch – any additional info from your side? Could you please add some more details how this new material works 🙂

    Thanks in advance

  114. Martin

    Would the M400 be able to record a whole day of HR information from a strap? (while not in “workout” mode?)

    This is one of the features i really found intriguing about the Apple Watch and one of the “infrared sensor” based watches you tested.

  115. Bora

    Ray, do you expect anytime soon a similar device from Garmin or do those folks consider the F15 as an equivalent one to M400?

  116. Luciano

    Just placed an order on Clever Training. Looking forward to get it soon since weather is finally cooling a bit here in Dubai.

    Thanks, Ray, for one great review (as usual).

  117. Great review as always.

    Am I correct that it’s hard to get the data out of Polar app? As opposed to Garmin where you can automatically sync it with MyFitnessPal and/or Strava (and then on from there). As a standalone device the M400 looks great, but concerned re data silo. Thanks!

    • Currently, you’d have to manually export it unfortunately. They’ve talked about potential future sync relationships, but they haven’t specified when that might occur.

    • Kenni

      Actually I can do export to almost every site in just a few clicks on my iPhone.
      Just open the polar flow website in Safari – click the export activity button – then choose open in “rungap” (app), and then it will export to whatever site you want. Runkeeper, Strava, garmin, PPT etc.
      you can even edit stuff as title and ad notes and more.
      K.R. KilkennY

    • Craig Weich

      Thanks Ray! I understand they have to make a living but is irritating and probably rules it out for me.

  118. jean

    Great review, as always

    I understand there’s no vibration alert, but what about cadence, there’s an internal accelerometer? With a firmware update, it could be possible to get cadence or no?


  119. Roberto

    Heart Touch function is enabled?

  120. JS VT

    Thank you for the review. Any idea if/when Polar will support the Windows Phone platform? The Poar Beat FAQ says “It’s not yet available for Windows Phone devices.” and I hate pinning my hopes on “yet” …

  121. MikeJ

    I was looking at the FR15 and FR220, then this M400 came along. For about $10 more than the FR15 it seems like a no-brainer to go with the M400. The Ambit2 S is also on my short (limited budget) list, but the limited local retail sources is a problem.

    I would almost think this M400 could fit in both the medium and budget GPS watch recommendation list.

    Any idea when this M400 will start hitting local stores in the U.S.? Pictures are nice, but seeing one in person works better for me. I almost bought an FR15 yesterday but put it back on the peg. I’m looking for a running watch right now, with multi-sport and cycling needs soon after.

  122. Gary

    Is a computer required for firmware updates or can an iPhone or iPad app be used to accomplish the update?

  123. Brian

    I just put in my order at Clever Training. Thank you for the in-depth review and the discount code! Your write-ups are always very informative. Keep up the good work!

  124. ownwise

    Export on Polar Flow currently does not work for both gpx as tcx files.

  125. Gary


    Did Clever Training give a date on which it will be available?

  126. Tracy

    Thank you for adding The Girl pictures. It looks like this watch may be a bit too big for my wrist.

  127. David Janas

    So, obviously a lot of complaints about no vibration. My question, and I couldn’t find any mention in here; does the watch have the hardware to do vibration alerts? So, could there eventually be a firmware update? Or is that hardware completely omitted? Thanks.

    • Ryan

      That was my question to TomTom on Facebook. I asked about it mentioning that other lower end units have it. They said, and I quote,
      “You are correct, the M400 does not have the vibration alert feature. I cannot say for certain if this function will eventually be integrated into the watch thru the periodic updates a product like this will have. -Mike”

      A bit of a non-answer, and my reply was asking directly about having the motor in it. Of course it wouldn’t possibly be implemented if it doesn’t have the vibration motor, and it’s possible it could get activated if it does. I imagine it doesn’t if it is as thin as the TomTom since the TomTom shifts the gps and controls south of the watch face.

      But he hasn’t replied back yet. I would imagine the more that complain the better. Seems like such a basic feature at this stage of the game. Especially when many are lost in their music or in noisy environments.

    • It’s unfortunately a poor reply from Polar there. The unit doesn’t have a vibration motor in it, it’s a “can’t get there from here” type of thing when it comes to lacking the hardware.

  128. Bob B

    For those that have been wondering, the M400 bundle comes with the H7 heart rate sensor.

    I really like my Garmin Forerunner 220 but am seriously considering selling it and getting the M400. I like many of the features of the M400, including the estimated finish time in a race, plus the daily activity tracker.

  129. MikeJ

    Once this M400 hits the market, I’m kind of wondering if Garmin will react with any competitive price adjustments on the FR15 or FR220.

    Right now I’m wavering (budget constraints) on getting something sooner, or waiting until after the holidays and just keep using my phone with Runkeeper until then.

  130. ReneH

    Thanks for this great review DC.
    I am a little frustrated thought because I just bought the V800 3 weeks ago and now there is a watch more then 2 times cheaper with a better GPS 🙁 & also more added futures.
    Sometimes I have to wait 30 or more seconds for the GPS and I dont mind this when its not raining or too cold, but if is I like to start asap.
    Don’t get me wrong. I was happy with the watch the last 3 weeks, but as I read this I know I could be happy with a 270 dollars cheaper watch.
    Maybe I will sell my V800 and buy the M400.
    Thanks again for the great review!

  131. ASR1927

    Hi there Ray,
    You write that in your opinion the activity tracker is good but not great. Are the limitations that you feel on the software och hardware side? If the limitations are because of poor software then it could possibly be upgraded by Polar later on?

    • All software, and I think they get it and it sounds like they’re trying to work those recommendations in. I suspect seeing how Garmin implemented it on the FR920XT will help Polar understand what athletes want there (which is to enable the same functionality found on even their own Polar Loop).

  132. Stephs

    Thanks for your great and complete review.
    I’m a recent owner of a Garmin Forerunner 220 and I think this M400 would have been a great choice for me 🙁
    Estimated finish time in a race, daily activity tracker, return to base, basic cycle mode, great look…incredible for the price (even with the lack of vibration) !!!
    Hope Garmin will wake up and update the FR220 software to reach the versatility of the Polar M400.

    • Bora

      Same here. I just don’t believe that Garmin can add all the missing features, they would probably come up with a new version of 220 in one years time to close the gap. I am tempted to sell mine on ebay and get the M400.

    • Stephs

      I don’t think I’ll wait so long 😉
      I also think about selling my FR220 to get the M400 because I dont want to upgrade to a FR620 to have fonctionalities available in the M400 for half the price.

    • Bob B

      I’m with you as well. Thinking about selling the Forerunner 220. Actually very happy with it but love the features of the M400. Just don’t want to go away from something that works well (the 220) to something that’s not tested yet (the M400). Would like to see real world reviews. For example, the Polar Flow iOS app only gets 1.5 stars – people complain about difficulty uploading and crashing. I want the features of the M400 but not at the expense of reliability. Can’t wait for it to be released.

  133. Gary Bower

    This seems to be a watch that’s ticking all the boxes for me. Can you confirm how much memory it has, and how many runs would be stored before they are over-written or lost?

    I have a Garmin 110 where the strap has split (and it is very basic), and I am looking to upgrade. One of the advantages of the 110 is that it could store loads of previous runs.

    I have a Windows Phone (so no chance of uploading data via the phone given Polar lack of phone operating system compatibility with their Scandinavian neighbours Nokia).

    So all of my updates will have to be via usb (unless I can bluetooth it via my work laptop – may have to see if our internal IT security will allow this) and I run quite a lot during lunchtimes at work, so won’t be able to immediately upload.

    So how many runs can the M400 store?
    Also, if someone can give me an idea of when it will be out in the UK, I’d be grateful. If you put UK as your location in the Polar website, you can’t even see the M400 (at least I couldn’t two days ago). I have seen it on one UK website (Wiggle (but it is noted as out of stock but with no stock date pending).

  134. JoggWithoutAmbit

    On Polar’s side you can download the manual for the M400 since today … so you can compare in detail the differences to the V800 for things which could important for you.

    • MikeJ

      Thanks for the heads up on the manual. Should be interesting to skim through and help decide on my options.

    • MikeJ

      Okay, having skimmed the manual deeper, it really looks like this M400 beats the FR15 for me. Ideally I’d really like an FR920XT, but can’t justify the cost. With FR220 vs M400 it comes down to M400 with a HR strap for less than the FR220 w/o a HR strap, otherwise a coin flip. So unless I find a used Garmin on the local craigslist, it looks like I’m going for an M400.

    • MikeJ

      Gut check here, I might be able to get an FR210 with HR strap in supposedly unused condition for about $100, or I can hold off for the M400 for an additional $130 ($229?) whenever they hit the U.S. stores. I do eventually want a bike mode for speed and distance, stored separate from runs, and better water proofing is nice (I grew up near Seattle, but am in rainy Wisconsin, so I’m leaning toward the M400), but I could live with the 210. Gut check opinions please. Thank you.

    • Honestly, the M400 is lightyears ahead of the FR210. While it is additional cash, I’d go that route since it’ll be more current quite a bit longer (the FR210 is already a bit out of date).

    • MikeJ

      Great, thanks for the sanity check (entering finger tapping have patience mode here).

  135. HR

    Hey. I was wondering online for the past few days trying to find the perfect tracking watch. I am interested in a watch that works well both indoors and outdoors. I want a watch that can track my workout during the gym, cycling indoor, and gym classes. And good recommendations? Help!

  136. Jarco

    First of all, nice review! I still have a question, does the m400 also contains a Polar ZoneOptimizer? Can I upload training schedules to the m400 just like the rc3?

  137. Jarco

    and does the m400 contain training programs?

    • Bianca

      Hey did you ever find out if it has training programs? I would like that too since I do hi intensity interval training and run . Thats why I cant decide if I want this or the FT 60 or 80

    • As noted in the Smart Coaching and Training Functions section, you can transfer workouts with directions to the unit: link to dcrainmaker.com (Polar calls them Training Targets)

      Polar Flow at this time does not contain an entire training/workout library however, so you’d need to create them on your own within Flow.

  138. Freek Boland

    I am looking for my first sportswatch and this site is perfect! Thank you for al the reviews and work you put in it.
    My question: can the wristband be replaced when it is broken or do you have to replace the whole watch?


  139. shoppailija

    Hi Ray,

    Can you change the font size on the M400 or any other comparable GPS watch? I find some numbers on my Suunto t4d are too small to see. Running with glasses is not an option because they get too fogged up.

    Thanks for the great site!

    • You can’t change the font size, but you can change the number of fields shown. So if you only have one or two fields, the fonts are automatically bigger. Various photos in the review of the different field options.

    • Bianca

      Hey did you ever find out if it has training programs? I would like that too since I do hi intensity interval training and run.Thats why I cant decide if I want this or the FT60 or FT80

  140. Martijn Ouwerkerk

    Hi DCRainmaker,

    Really a great review! I red it for two times, i’m almost there to buy the watch. The only thing i would like to know is accuracy of the activity tracker: steps, calories, sleep etc. did you do any test of accuracy? What kind of data do you get for sleep? Or just what you already added?

    Hope you can give me a sort of answer!

  141. Charles

    Well done Ray on an excellent job. Any idea on when the M400 will be released in South Africa?

  142. Hi.
    Can I set the week to start on Sunday? I had the F11, and couldn’t do that. bothered me a lot.

  143. Bora

    CleverTraining has a “now available” banner on the home page but it still says pre-order, ships in November on the product page.
    Anyone, who got the shipping confirmation from CleverTraining?

    • The shipping date on the pre-order page is for new orders (as of today). I believe in this case the ‘now available’ graphic on the home page is simply implying it’s now available to order.

  144. Maura

    Hi Ray! Have you checked if the white one is smaller than the black one?

  145. Kelly

    Just sold my TomTom Runner and ordered a m400:)

    • Henning

      Same here! :o)

      Although it was a somewhat hard decision: Liked my TTRunner, but after having lost some data to Limbo, I decided it was time for a cut!

  146. Gary Bower

    Hi – can anyone enlighten me as to how much memory the M400 has in comparison to the FR220. How many runs can it store? This is quite important to me as I don’t update and analyse runs every evening. I normally let them build up and analyse a block of runs at a time. Thanks.

    • Eric

      Memory capacity 30 h training with GPS and HR

      Training diary
      Stores up to 30 h of training time (may vary depending on your language settings). You can see your training history from the past four weeks and what you have planned for four weeks ahead.

      Training files (with summaries) – 14

  147. Peter

    Can this be used for a duathlon? Will switching the modes between bike and pick up the race as a single event or will it just effectively split the two in terms of tracking?

  148. Peter

    *Will switching the modes between bike and run

  149. Luca Prig

    Hi Rey,

    Thanks for your very interesting review! Just few questions on recovery topic.
    Which is the difference for the recovery advice between v800 and m400? M400 gives recovery advice via training load… What does it mean?


    • Eric

      It means the recovery feature is available on the Flow webplatform rather than directly on the watch.

    • Patrick M

      I suspect it is not the case. Depends what watch you have. If (like Ray) you have the V800, that feature is active on the Flow webplatform. Otherwise, I don’t think so.

  150. Becky

    Hi interested in this watch and love your review.

    I have an Garmin FR210 which I got after my 305 died a death, its pretty rubbish and accuracy is a huge issue (massive overestimation of distance and variance in GPS trace versus my partner’s still going 305).

    What’s the accuracy like on this watch? I don’t want to be lumbered with another watch that is effectively useless in races because it says I am much further ahead than I am…


  151. Thomas Jespersen

    Now available in selected webstores

    link to updates.polar.com

  152. Jason L

    I ordered this from your link, thank you for the review. I have a Forerunner 220 which I bought specifically for live tracking (so my wife could find me if I my fitness level wasn’t quite up to what I thought 🙂 )

    It’s a piece of junk. I use a bluetooth headphones for music while running, and I simply can’t use the watch, a heart rate strap, and headphones. I get tons of interference with my music (multiple headphones tried from different manufacturers). There were days that trying to get everything connected and started actually took longer than then run itself. Not to mention the fact that I was infuriated at that point. This was with a Moto X. I can use a heart rate strap and headphones (with Strava, Runtastic) just fine with no interference.

    Sometimes it would take 5 minutes for a satellite fix. Sometimes I’d get a fix, and wait another five minutes to connect to the phone. Ugh…I can’t even tell you how frustrating this was. Even when I used wired headphones I had similar problems.

    I suspect that Garmin just isn’t even close with their bluetooth implementation.

    I’ve given up on Garmin.

    • Unfortunately, it’s actually your phone. 🙁

      The Moto X is known within industry circles for a horribly botched BLE stack implementation. It sucks, and many companies struggle to make it work (like most Android devices, but this one is particularly bad).

      Wish I had better news there.

    • Karlo

      Hi ray

      Do you have any recommendation on Android phones that work well
      I know the garmin list:
      link to support.garmin.com{bbfc9660-8f77-11e3-d5f4-000000000000}
      and the a list for bluetooth smart
      link to bluetooth.com

      but looks like there are good and bad implementation of the BT LE stack, as the Moto series is on the bluetooth web page

      Especiall to finally work togather than with a M400

    • I generally hear good stuff (from companies doing dev) on the S4/S5, and on the Nexus series.

    • Jason L

      Wow, I didn’t know that. Thanks for the info. I had assumed that Motorola would be pretty good at this sort of thing since they’ve been doing it for so long.

    • Jason L

      >> The Moto X is known within industry circles for a horribly botched BLE stack implementation.

      I was thinking about this a bit more, and I’m not sure that it’s completely the Moto X. When I run using a BT headphones and a BT Low Energy heart rate strap and Runtastic, Strava, etc., I have no issues whatsoever, except maybe an 1-second audio dropout once or twice a run. Otherwise, everything pairs quickly and reliabily.

      When I use the Forerunner 220, *everything* has trouble. My headphones stop working randomly (or won’t connect at all), or the phone doesn’t connect to the watch. When I turn off the watch’s bluetooth (obviously losing the ability to do live tracking) it works.

      So it’s definitely the phone’s bluetooth that is causing the problem. Now it’s certainly possible we are both right — Garmin may have written the firmware in a technically-correct way which causes problems due to Moto X’s stack. However, that explanation is suspect since HRMs and headphones work fine.

      Whatever the case, it’s disappointing. Since the Polar M400 presumably doesn’t connect live to the watch while running, I don’t expect any issues even if the Moto X stack is correct.

      I’m going to look at the new Nexus line that was announced today and maybe upgrade to that next month.

  153. sportgebbi

    Exciting day! All over sudden the black and also the white M400 is available for purchase in first selected German stores. Just bought today the black M400 in the “Dresdner Laufsportladen”. Unfortunately sickness forces me to stay in bed. But this gives me plenty time to play around with this fine gadget and test the activity tracker while resting. Hope to hit the road for first run soon and I’ll keep you posted in case there are any dramatic downsides in the daily use.

  154. Meredith

    Ignore my last question, I need to be notified if this gets answered! 🙂

    Are you alerted of inactivity on the watch itself or from the app?

    Since the watch has an alarm, will it be able to determine when to wake you based on sleep cycles, or is it just going to be a regular old alarm?

  155. Turn The Damn Cranks

    Putting aside the annoyance of having my data in two non-combinable gardens if I buy the M400 while sticking with my Edge 500, are the Tickr and the Viiiia my only options if I want one strap to rule them all? Actually, is the Viiia even an option? I know it acts as a bridge, but can’t tell if it will read BLE data.


    • Turn The Damn Cranks

      On a related note, I forgot I also have a footpod (currently use it with my FR 305). So if I want to avoid having to buy a new footpod and a new HR strap, I guess I have to stick with Garmin, no? Does this mean that short term my best bet would be to try to find a used FR15 or a good deal on a new one? I don’t care about activity tracking, and right now my running is pretty basic — no need for serious workout creation.

  156. ownwise

    Polar confirmed they will first supply select retail outlets and direct orders from their web site http://www.polar.com

    Third party ecommerce web sites will be delivered afterwards.

  157. Bora

    Is anybody already holding the unit in his/her hands? (Except Ray of course)

    • MikeJ

      Sportgebbi a few posts above indicates having one in hand in Germany.

    • Robert

      I just got a confirmation e-mail that my watch has been sent and a tracking id so it sounds like they actually are in stock now. I ordered mine from Polars own webshop in Sweden.

    • ASR1927

      That’s strange. I was in contact with Polar Sweden today and they told me that they would receive the first batch of M400 on Friday. Maybe if you order from Polar they send directly from Finland to the customer regardless of what country’s Polar shop the order is placed? Does it say anything on your tracking where its sent from?

    • Bora

      My order for Switzerland was sent from the Netherlands. I also got my tracking ID yesterday and they told me that it should arrive early next week.

    • Ahmed

      I ordered it from Denmark, and got confirmation email with tracking id. During online order it says, it will be shipped within 3 working days. And it seems like(from tracking URL), it is being shipped from Germany 🙂

    • Robert

      Mine was shipped from the Netherlands.

    • Thomas van Eijkeren

      I’m holding it in my hands as we speak. I ordered it wednesday night 8 o’clock and received it this morning at 11. (Amsterdam, ordered from shoppolar.nl, the official online Polar store).

    • Patrick M

      Yeah! I got it yesterday afternoon straight from Polar Benelux. Did my first run with it, and confirm that the “Training Load” feature is missing. You only get the training feedback plus your running index. As someone else pointed out, Polar Flow web service is a bit buggy. But besides this, this is a nice watch with lots of potential. Really looking forward to the future updates.

    • Bora

      Another good news from here (CH). Got it this morning, started charging it, installed the flow, very much liked the different sport profiles option already (It might have been my Garmin illiteracy but I always needed to manually turn off GPS while using FR 220 indoors, it is cool to be able to pick e.g. threadmill and have GPS automatically turned off or change all other settings for different running options).
      Looking forward to the first run tomorrow.

  158. Marty

    Thanks so much for the coupon! Just ordered the black watch only for my wife’s birthday. Of the 4 options, that is the only one that doesn’t say pre-order on it, so I’m hoping they have some physical stock on hand.

    • Marty

      Update…after placing my order, the product page now shows all 4 as pre-orders. So who knows. It’ll get here eventually (hopefully before her b-day on the 22nd).

  159. Icebear

    Hi there, thx for awesome blog and your work.

    I am looking for GPS watch and activity monitor in one device – as I get it there are currently only 2 devices capable of that: Garmin FR15 and Polar M400 (in this reasonable price category). I want to primary use it for hiking, running, workout and daily activity tracking.

    Are there any significant difference between these 2 watches? And secondly do you have any information if there will be other watches in near future (maybe from different manufacturers)?

    Thx in advance for all replies.

    • Bora

      Icebear, the best answer to your question is hidden on this page 🙂
      link to dcrainmaker.com
      You might find other comments from Ray and other readers that between the two, M400 seems to be the significantly better option.
      The other options with integrated activity tracker are at a higher pricing level such as 920XT or Polar V800 but from your message it felt like you want to keep the budget limited.

    • Icebear

      Yeah I checked product comparison tool before – I just wanted to know if I am missing something. Okay so M400 as a winner over FR15.

      On the other hand does anybody have any idea if there will be more activity monitor with GPS coming to market soon (horizon to the end of year)?

  160. ownwise

    I picked one up today from a shop after confirmation from Polar Electro Benelux they were delivered to Runners World in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

    Overall happy with the device and the connectivity with the app is great. Unfortunate though that recovery and training load is not functional, even though it was suggested above. (would it work though if I temporarily connected a v800 to Polar Flow websync?)

    • js802

      That’s disappointing especially since it seemed to be part of the package as presented.

    • ownwise

      It is somewhat included in the on watch messages. However you cannot register the Polar m400 for use on Polarpersonaltrainer.com. (Somehow Polar did make this available for the Polar Loop).

    • ownwise

      To add to previous remark. Training load is communicated on the watch. Training recovery is missing all together and you cannot add training programs from Polarpersonaltrainer.com..

      Furthermore discovered that it is quite cumbersom to create a training program (has to be done in Polar Flow website) for the m400. Some simple changes in UX on Polar Flow would help a lot or simply add polarpersonaltraier.com functionality to Polar Flow

      -Not possilble to modify or add trainings in the watch or app (FE every sunday add some distance to your run) Any change has to be done in Polar Flow website. After this you will need to sync the watch through the app by bluetooth or with USB to update your diary or favorites.;
      -No link with Polarpersonaltrainer.com where you can select training programs;
      -Unfriendly user experience in Polar Flow website (FE start with diary, select date, click add, click favorite targets, select favorite training target, scroll to bottom, click add to diary, error message -check the values, find out you will have to select the date once more, type in time according to mm:ss, scroll to bottom and click add to diary once more. (other option is to create a new training target per day where all fields have to be filled in from scratch)
      – a wish would be to have recurring training targets. Possibility to add a training program in Polar Flow. Better use of favorite training targets (FE add favorite phases which can be re-used when creating training targets)
      -general wish is for a better user experience on Polar Flow. (Easier time of day or duration input (possibility to add a number in the hh:mm:ss format without having to re enter 0x:0y:0z)

    • Marc

      polarpersonaltrainer.com is not mentioned in the M400 manual, so I reckon it’s not supposed to work together with the M400?
      Only Polar Flow & Polar Flow app are mentioned for the M400.

      Groetjes, Marc

    • Correct, it’s not supposed to work with PPT.

      For other feature updates that are planned for Flow, see this post (towards end): link to dcrainmaker.com

    • JS VT

      Thanks for posting this.I was/am looking at the M400 to take my training up a notch and recovery data was something I was really hoping to be able to use. It sounds like Polar Flow isn’t quite as developed as I would have expected.

      Thanks again for posting your insights and experience!

    • MikeJ

      Nice write-up and review, thank you. Except that now I want a power meter of some sort someday. (And being that my wife is from Finnish ancestry I can add a sauna to the someday list.)

  161. Robert Black

    I’m really gutted with amazon.co.uk as i’m typing this it’s still not listed, they had the fenix 2 se on pre-order before Ray broke the news here. So wanted to support you, but also get a great deal. Which i have. One of Polars official uk sellers have it for sale with the hrm for £149 inc delivery, use the discount code 10off100 and voila its £139!
    Guys you can do the legwork on that,

    Ray have you ever thought of having a donate link? for where supporting you via the current means is not really viable, import tax, courier customs clearance fees ect. Because you have certainly saved me from a world of pain and bad purchases.

    The site really is a goldmine of information, keep it comming
    Thank you

    • Thanks Rob for the thoughts!

      Yeah, it is something I had at one point through Google (a Tip Jar) of sorta. I hadn’t thought of using Paypal and a donate link though, that’s definitely an option. I’ll poke into that a bit more.

    • Kevin Dwyer

      Hi Robert,
      I had a look around but could not find the UK reseller, do you have a name ?

      Kev Dwyer

  162. Brian

    Ray, I had an idea for your site.

    Have you ever thought of having an additional link at the top of each review page to jump to the bottom of the page or comments? It could be really helpful on mobile devices when you want to check up with the most recent comments and you can get there quickly.

    • Meredith

      Mine has a ‘Skip to Responses’ button that does that…

    • Yup, on mobile it’ll say ‘Skip to responses’, and on the desktop the menu bar along the left has ‘Discussion’ at the end. 🙂


    • Brian

      Yes. I use that feature but it brings you to comment #1. What if you had a button to get you to comment #500 or #1000 at the very bottom of the site. Maybe I’m crazy. Thanks for listening.

    • Meredith

      I think you’re crazy. :p When I use the button on my phone it brings me to the top comment, which is the most recent. When I use the site on a computer the most recent is the bottom.

    • Brian

      Meredith, I had my mobile device set to view as desktop theme so I changed it to mobile theme and now I can see what you are saying. Exactly what I was looking for, thanks!!

    • Meredith

      Great news! I’m glad you figured it out! 🙂

  163. CH

    Anyone know where is Zurich Switzerland I can pick up the watch?

  164. MikeJ

    Friday at 3:13 central daylight time in the U.S. and I see that Canada (French & English) are now on the dropdown buy now list at link to polarm400.com , so at least it now shows something on the North American continent. 😉

  165. CH

    MikeJ, thanks will call them tomorrow. Might as well order directly from Polar….I need it NOW 🙂

  166. Alison


    I am a cyclist looking for a HRM and GPS that will work on the bike and will also record gym sessions. Would the M400 be suitable? I am particularly keen to ensure that it will consistently record calories across inside and outside activities.

  167. prucha82

    Hello, I want use Polar M400 with Wahoo TICKR X. Is it possible to get data from HR strap (running smoothness/cadence) into Polar flow?

    • No, the TICKR X running related data data is only compatible the Wahoo App, and not with 3rd parties.

    • karol


      Recently I have bought the polar M400 and Wahoo Run HR monitor.

      I am not able to pair M400 with wahoo HR monitor?
      The watch does not detect the HR monitor.

      The HR monitor works fine. I was able to pair it with my phone and wahoo phone application.
      The bluetooth on M400 also seems to work. I was able to pair the watch with my phone.

      Any advices?

  168. Leah

    I am wondering how the GPS performs on semi-remote trail runs and rucks?

  169. John

    does the unit have alerts (sound/visual) for pace or heart rate tracking?

    • Bora

      Yes it does, sound only as far as i know. You click the start button during the run for a few seconds while you are at your desired heart rate zone and it alerts you whenever you are above or below

  170. Michelle

    Polar M400 with H7 Heart Rate Sensor bundle – On Polar’s site (USA), the H7 strap in Accessories shows 2 sizes – M-XXL, and XS-S. I’m 29.5″ around chest strap area. Is/will there be an option to order the M400 as a bundle with the XS-S H7 strap, online or at retailers? This will make my decision to buy M400 or find out if Garmin HRM-Run Strap will fit me (for 220/620/920xt options). Thx.

    • Meredith

      I’m 31″ where I wear my M-XXL chest strap. I measured the chest strap at it’s tightest and it’s 26″, of course it’s got to be stretched to be tight. I have worn it at it’s tightest but over time it manages to slide a little so I’ve been wearing it at about an inch to an inch and a half longer than the tightest and it has been working just fine. I don’t think you can order it with the smaller strap but you can always buy the smaller one on amazon. A sports bra will probably help to hold it in place if it is too large for you, but I would guess that it will probably be fine! Good luck!

  171. Bora

    One weird observation with the M400. Everytime I go back to the main screen, the display shows the battery level for a second and later it disappears. During this short time, if the battery is full, it also shows 100% but if it is not fully charged, it only shows the battery icon without the percentage. Did anyone observe it, too?

    • Patrick M

      Yes noticed the same. It also stayed quite long at 100% before dropping to somewhere what I would estimate at 70% or so… It’s a pity it doesn’t tell.

    • Stijn

      It’s the same with my v800, so it’s normal i gues 🙂

    • Bora

      Ray, any idea if this is known by Polar and if they perceive this as a bug? If it has the possibility to show the 100%, it should have the capability to show other percentages, too. It will be a great improvement.

  172. Bob B

    Sold my Forerunner 220 and preordered the M400 through Ray and Clever Training. I really liked my 220 but I love the features of the Polar. And if Ray thinks it’s one of the best watches in its category, then that’s good enough for me. 🙂

    Can’t wait to get it!

  173. Rob

    Hi guys/girls, those of you that have received yours have you had any issues getting a gps fix? Received mine today and synced up and updated through Flow. Went out and in 30 minutes it didn’t once get a gps fix/lock just constantly flicked between 10% and 0%. no matter how I positioned arm or watch had any effect to improve this. Watch has currently been sat in garden for the last 45 minutes with a clear view of sky and hasn’t lock on yet and is still jumping between 0 & 10%. Will speak to Polar tomorrow as they are shut in the UK now, but any pointers that might be worth a try would be greatly appreciated right now.

    Cheers, Rob.

    • Bora

      Had my first outdoor run this sunday and did not observe this issue. It needed a few minutes but hey it was the first time so no complaints. It warned me a few times to stand still, I did it and after that gps was there in 20-30 seconds with 100%. I’d absolutely ask Polar to have it checked.

    • Patrick M

      I had three runs so far, different starting location. GPS fix was really quick (much quicker than with my old RC3 GPS). Are you sure that there are no tall trees or buildings that could interfere with the signal? Otherwise, there seems to be something wrong with your watch.

    • Rob

      Cheers guys. Tried in several locations including in the middle of several football pitch’s/playing fields, no difference. Will call Polar when home see what they say. Disappointed so far

    • Have you tried resetting the unit entirely by chance?

    • Rob

      Yeah that’s next on the list Ray but not at home right now or with access to another computer until later.

      Really hoping that does the trick, don’t fancy waiting whilst this one goes back/get replaced.

    • Rob

      Well two hard resets done (one straight up reset in Flow and one where I deleted everything from the flow service first so nothing resynced just to be sure) and still it jumps between 0-10% and never locks.
      I even reset my old Garmin 705 (smashed screen so don’t use) so it had no satalites stored and that connects within 30 seconds everytime so its not like they are not visible!

      Out of interest how are you all ‘holding’ your arm whilst connecting to gps?
      I know Polar recommend away from chest, watch face up and above shoulder height, which I’ve done amongst every other possible position!

      Call to Polar tomorrow then after one more try whilst I wait for the support to open. Gutted really, was really looking forward to a dedicated device after using apps for the last year or so.

    • MikeJ

      I’m no expert and am going just by what I’ve been reading, but is it possible that the device is somehow confused between being indoors and out? Try setting it to an indoor non-gps mode and do an activity for 5 minutes and stop/save to see if it will record that. Then set it to an outdoor mode like cycling or running and see if that will now wake up the firmware and get it to see the satellites. No loss in trying.

    • Rob

      Hi MikeJ, tried everything, turned gps off and on again, put it into flight mode, done a soft reset and factory reset, turned recording on/off for all sports types and indoor/outdoor. Nothing has made a difference and it still sits at 10% max. After discussion with Polar UK earlier today the watch is now on its way back to them with a suspected faulty GPS chip.

      In fairness to Polar it looks like I’ve just been unlucky, they have been totally helpful and apologetic throughout.

      The functions of the watch that were working worked flawlessly and I have no issue with a replacement being sent versus refund as it seems perfect for my needs, as with anything theres always a chance off a faulty unit and unfortunately I got it!

      They have allowed me to keep hold off the H7 monitor too so at least I can use the Polar Beat app and it will sync to Polar Flow for when I get my replacement, hopefully before 02/11/14 for the Lancaster half!

    • MikeJ

      Good to hear that you’re being taken care of, I’m still in wait mode for units to get to the States. I’m looking forward to the reviews once these get into more people’s hands.

  174. Meredith

    I pre-ordered from Clever. I’m so excited that I read the manual online. It says to allow the unit to fully charge before using. Has anyone done this to know how long that takes? I’m having it delivered to my workplace and don’t want to have to unplug it before it’s finished charging.

  175. ASR1927

    Finally i got my hands on a M400, from Runners Store in Sweden.

    Just updated the software and created a Polar flow account. A bit strange is that i already have reached 18% of my activity goal according to the activity tracker…. but i have not yet had the watch on my wrist?

  176. MikeJ

    While waiting for this to arrive in the U.S. I’m now thinking of getting an HR strap or optical HR device to pair with my phone and Runkeeper since I want to add HR. Just looking for an opinion on choosing between the Polar H7, the Mio Link, the Scosche Rhythm+, and whatever other options there are. If I don’t go with the Polar H7 then I’d want to avoid the chest strap for convenience’s sake. (Much easier to slip on a wrist or arm strap than a chest strap when sitting at my desk at work and getting ready for a lunchtime lap.)
    Thanks for any thoughts.

    • MikeJ

      Also, if I get the Mio Link, can I wear it on one arm and have the phone, or M400 if I end up getting one, on the other arm, or does a Mio Link need to be closer (same side) to the receiving device when running or cycling?

    • Jason L

      I have a Bluetooth Low Energy version of the Zephyr HxM that I’m hoping works with the watch. It does do heart rate variability, not sure if Polar will read that data in or not (now or in the future). If you go this route, make sure you get the low-energy version (4.0).

    • Bora

      Rhytm+ works flawlessly with my M400. Can only recommend as someone, who upgraded from cheststrap.

    • MikeJ

      I wound up getting a Polar H7 (couldn’t resist with a price-match) at lunch, and just confirmed that it will link with my phone and Runkeeper and also with my ancient Polar F6 watch, which also implies it should link up with the treadmill at home (which I’ll confirm later). So now I can retire all the T31 straps I have at home (never knew when the batteries were going to die so always liked having a spare strap around).

      I still like the idea of a wrist/arm mount HR sensor, but will wait until the M400 gets to the U.S.

  177. Shoppailija

    I asked Polar if the M400 will support my Sports Tracker HRM SMART bluetooth strap. They said yes but to note that they do not guarantee complete measurement capability of third party straps. Also that the fitness test only works with their H6 or H7.

  178. Nick

    Hi Ray, i have a V800 & have found the TCX export from Flow for the V800 does not contain lap info of any sort . So was very surprised when you said that the M400’s TCX export form Flow DOES contain manual lap info . Can you confirm this is actually the case ? & the laps are not in fact distance splits within sportracks or strava ect ? If the M400’s export has lap info then is there a reason that the V800 doesn’t !?

  179. Marta

    I am about to get one, but due to my poor English, sorry, I’m not sure if it has average lap pace, I would appreciate an answer. Thanks for your reviews and attention.

  180. ASR1927

    My first run today with the M400. However the TCX-file does not contain lap data. That’s a bit of a disappointment.

    • Ayush Gupta

      Wow, that’s not good news?
      Did you create custom laps?
      Could it be a limitation of the platform that you’re uploading to?


    • I’ll take it out for a run tonight and see if I can replicate and/or determine what I was seeing there before.

    • ASR1927

      No it was 1km autolap. Not sure about the platform but the TCX-files from Suunto movescount that i have been using so far has worked fine there.

    • ASR1927

      No it was 1km autolap. Not sure about the platform but the TCX-files from Suunto movescount that i have used so far has worked fine there.

    • ASR1927

      Hi Ray. Did you try this? Do you have any info to give us?

    • ASR1927

      I uploaded today’s run to another platform but still no lap data from the TCX-file.

    • Ok, some confirmation here. Indeed above I must have been seeing laps created by ST. I’ve checked with the Polar lead over it and adding export support for laps is high on their Flow development list, which they hope they’ll be able to knock out by the end of the year. That’ll be applicable to any Flow based devices that support laps.

      I’ve tweaked the post to reflect that.


    • ASR1927

      Thanks for your effort Ray! Let’s hope Polar can fix this update.

  181. sergio

    Hey Ray

    I am an happy owner of the polar rc3 and I need to send it back to amazon as I have trace of oxidation under the USB cover …… and I am thinking if it would be better to update to m400 . What would you recommend?

    Thanks in advance

  182. Ayush Gupta

    Just received mine. Thanks Ray for helping me decide.
    Btw, the quality is really really good for its price. Actually much better.
    So happy that I didn’t get the r15 😀

  183. Doug

    Do any of these watches have a basic stopwatch/timer function that you can start and then later start the GPS and have the stopwatch/timer keep going. Example in a triathlon start the stopwatch/timer at the beginning and the during the run start the GPS function (mainly looking for the pace during the run) and have the stopwatch/timer keep going and be able to flip between the overall stopwatch/timer screen and the GPS function screen (Time, Pace, Lap, etc…) .

    I did an Ironman with a regular Timex watch to handle the stopwatch function and then put on a entry level GPS watch (that failed me during the run so I was glad I had the Timex watch) during the run. I know there are products like the Garmin 910 or the new 920 out there, but I am really looking at overall time and then run time (as well as the pacing information that goes with the GPS functions). I don’t need to measure my swim or bike (I have a computer that I leave on my bike for time-speed-distance while on the bike), but I like to be able to have that overall time all the way through all 3 disciplines
    I just bought a Garmin 220 because I was told that it could do what I asked and after receiving it if found out it couldn’t, the place I ordered it from will take it back. Based on the review here I am thinking the M400 would be better…especially if it could do my basic stopwatch/timer function as well as the GPS function.

  184. Ayush Gupta


    does anyone know how to reset just the activity tracker?
    I got it yesterday and after setting it up it showed:

    Active time: 2 minutes
    Calories: 1600 (approx)
    Steps: 38

    The calories are super off the track :/

    • Rob

      You can press up down back and light button at the same time to reset device without havingbto dona factory reset and assuming you haven’t synced to flow then the recorded activity so far will be lost. You will have to reset date and time on the watch however. Other than that I know of no other way of clearing the daily activity portion.

    • Ayush Gupta


      Thanks. I think I’m going to go ahead with that.
      So far, I just have one activity in it. So, better clear this, now.

      Thanks 🙂

    • Ayush Gupta

      Any way to do a factory reset from the device itself?

    • Rob

      Nope must be done via Flow Sync software.

    • Ayush Gupta

      Alright. But with a soft reset, the data doesn’t get deleted.
      The work out and the incorrect activity tracking are still there in the “diary”.
      After holding those 4 buttons together, the device restarts and the date goes back 1 day.

      Am I doing it wrong?


    • Chris O'Shannassy

      Sounds like it’s just including your BMR calories, not just the activity based ones. That’s how Polar does it (with the Loop at least, I’d imagine the m400 is the same.)

  185. Ayush Gupta

    Thanks, man. How can it do that? I didn’t have any activity when I first set it up.
    Anyway, what is the exact process to reset on-device?


  186. Rob

    OK was under the impression it cleared it bases on the messing I did trying to solve my problem (long story up there in the comments!). Looking like a factory reset then and that mist be done via PC/Mac in the flow sync software.

  187. Ayush Gupta

    Thanks Rob. Shall do so when I reach home, then.

    Thanks 🙂

  188. Neil

    Great review of a really nice running watch and when I saw the price difference (~30%) between the M400 and FR220 I was willing to purchase outside my stable of Garmins (and revisit my X-Trainer days), however, here in Oz the difference is only ~10% (AU$249 v AU$279) so sadly the choice is less clear cut on this continent :o(

    • MikeJ

      If the triple-thick red on the FR220 was a single-thin blue circle like on the FR620, then I’d be wearing an FR220 right now. YMMV

    • MikeJ

      And just to clarify that it is not just the color scheme on the FR220, the price of the M400 is now a major factor for me as well since the M400 w/strap is less than the FR220 w/o strap. It was the color and pricing making me waver between the FR15 and FR220, and now pricing is the primary driver (along with availability). And if the M400 takes much longer to hit the U.S. market it will then be the holiday shopping season and all the associated sales and clearances, in other words a whole slew of additional factors enter into the mix.

      Bottom line for me sitting here with $250 cash in pocket, if the M400 was available locally then I’d be wearing one, and if the FR220 w/strap was priced lower and had a different color scheme then I’d be wearing one of those, and if the FR15 was priced lower then I’d have one of those instead and would live with the shortcomings, but as things sit I’m using my phone and Runkeeper and the Polar H7 strap (which I can live with just fine as long as my phone doesn’t die in the wet/cold weather).

      Just my viewpoint, other’s may have different views.

    • Stijn

      i’d buy the m400 even if it was 10% more expensive.

  189. TNBillyEarl

    Of the three issues that irk me about my RC3 you address 1 of them – customizable fields. But two questions: 1) when you pause or end a workout, I really miss being able to see my current HR as it falls. Does the M400 show this? (Or can I find a way to show it on my RC3?) And 2) how loud are the sounds/alerts? I can’t hear my RC3 even on the ‘very loud’ setting. And like everyone else, thanks for all your efforts here.


    • Patrick M

      I have done a few runs now with the M400:
      1) I can confirm that after a couple of seconds the pause screen shows your heart rate
      2) the sounds are MUCH louder than on the RC3 GPS (finally i don’t need VERY LOUD, but just loud to be able to hear it while running).

  190. Anne

    From the Polar promo video the woman seems to have a white H7 hrm strap. Has anyone received white bundle and in fact gotten a white hrm strap ??

  191. Dmitry

    Thank you for a good review.
    After I “lost” my recent Amsterdam marathon’s track because the GPS signal on a smartphone was terrible so at the end it showed me 45 km instead of 42 and all the time I was getting completely wrong information about my pace I decided to buy a watch.
    After reading this article I ordered and have just received M400. Although I didn’t have a chance to run yet but I like the watch already. Also I’ve already noticed that the GPS is very accurate.
    Although I thought it’s an obvious feature for a GPS-watch I couldn’t find a time zone setting and time synchronization with GPS. I would like to have a precise date and time with seconds on my screen in a “watch” mode and without my name next to it. I hope it will be possible with the further firmware updates.

  192. raul tavares

    i just came available in the us polar shop online

  193. Roadstr

    Thanks! Just put in an order for the M400 only.

  194. Fabio

    I’ve just bought this M400, it’s my first watch ever.
    It’s very nice and clearly visible during workouts BUT…I think the gps signal is not so accurate as I expected… 🙁
    I tried to run with polar and runtastic (and then sports tracker) on my iphone…and the results were so similar, with some tracking error that I expected to be solved with a gps watch… 🙁

    • Without knowing the exact conditions, it’s hard to say. But in general if you have multiple GPS devices failing in a similar locale, it’s likely just a tough/hard location to get GPS signal.

    • Fabio

      yes but my M400 says 100% (after very few seconds).
      I ran in city…sunny, no skyscrapers, medium-large streets and some trees.
      Does the M400 alerts when signal is lost?

    • 100% means it’s simply locked onto X numbers of satellites, however, accuracy can vary widely. Also, in general GPS units won’t typically tell you when accuracy has significantly degraded unless it’s fallen so far below the minimum number of satellites.

      So, accuracy one moment could be +/- 3-meters, but the next +/- 20-meters.

    • Patrick M

      I have also noticed that the position can be about 40-50 meters off, especially in the beginning of a run. It seems like the very fast lock on to signal comes at the expense of accuracy. Over time, during the run, the

      Also, yes, the m400 warns if GPS signal is lost while running. I went under a bridge during the weekend and you get a beep plus warning message on the watch when signal is lost. Similarly it warns when signal is back.

    • Patrick M

      sorry, accidentally hit the button…

      I meant to write: “Over time, during the run, the accuracy gets a lot better.”

    • Ayush Gupta


      Speaking of bridges, any idea if it switches to the accelerometer/ pedometer thing in the device when there is temporarily no GPS?

      Thanks 🙂

    • Patrick M

      no it doesn’t use the accelerometer, just like any other watch it calculates the point-to-point distance between last known position and first new position.

    • Fabio

      thank you @patrick @DC
      I’ll check again next workouts. It seems to be really fast while getting 100% but, after few kilometers it becomes (sometimes!) “laggy”, with some zig-zag instead of straight line.
      I saw many of those errors in public sessions on polar-flow (even with V800), so, maybe it’s ok (I hope not)…
      so, for ex. this one is made with a V800 (and it’s not me):
      link to i59.tinypic.com

    • Hmm, knowing that street there are a number of buildings there lining it, so that could introduce lower GPS accuracy. And that track does have the tell-tale signs of building interference.

    • Fabio

      After few more workouts I can confirm: giving an extra time (1-2mins) after the gps fixes can increase the accuracy of the signal. Now on open spaces works flawlessly.
      Anyway, I have to say, on little streets between buildings, the M400 hesitates, and even on very large ones, with a lot of traffic (I don’t know why, it’s strange, indeed)

  195. Dalius

    Wanted to as a question about Polar Flow: when you upload workouts, are you able to see training load/recovery on the website?

  196. Edu

    I purchased M400 and is my first Polar device.

    I exported Polar workout to GPX file and it is impossible import this GPX file from Garmin Connect. Exist any tool to convert Polar GPX file to Garmin GPX compatible file?

    Thanks in advanced

  197. Alex

    Thanks for great review!
    Since I already own a polar H7 HRM linked to my smartphone (runtastic), I bought the watch alone.
    I’m especially looking forward to easy readings while running, which is really inconvenient on the phone…

    I have a few questions though:

    1) Can the watch be paired with two separate polar accounts? My wife’s and mine for example, since we cannot usually run together anyway… We could do that with both our runtastic accounts and a single H7.

    2) Seems like there is/was trouble with polar flow’s BT smart support for android (M400 and V800), is it solved yet? Would like to be able to sync without messing around with cables every single time… just like a fitbit or a polar loop syncs seamlessly.

    3) What about support with third party fitness apps like myfitnesspal? Looks like you can’t do that… Any workaround? (i’m used to syncing runtastic, garmin swim and fitbit one to MFP, so it seems reasonable to expect that from polar as well…)

    Everything looked great on paper but the more I check the practical details, the more it looks like polar has some major issues to solve to fit in the “health gadgets” eco-system…


    • MikeJ

      #2: I read that the Polar android app is due in December, not sure if the timing is bluetooth related or not.

      I’m waiting for the M400 to hit my local retailers so I can see one in person. But like some others I picked up an H7 strap for smartphone use in the mean time.

    • Alex – During the initial set up of an M400, the watch is assigned to a user’s personal account at Polar’s ‘Flow’ website. Any exercise data, regardless of whomever is using the product, will be sent to that account. One has the flexibility of resetting the watch and assigning it to a new account, but it is a process to do so.

      Android support is literally just around the corner. We hope to have it active (outside of any technical challenges) next week (w/o 12/15).

      As for use with 3rd party fitness apps, that too is of a high priority for Polar. It’s not a question of it but when….Mike @ Polar USA

    • Aaron

      Polar announced that Android support has been delayed until after the holidays. This comes one week after announcing it would be ready two days ago… “fingers crossed”.

      Both the announcement thrashing and development process of relying on crossed fingers seems a bit… well… troubling. I hope it doesn’t indicate deeper problems in the corporation. But maybe it’s a language translation issue?

      There have been a handful of release delays since November on the website. The 650 is particularly discouraging.

      link to updates.polar.com

  198. Hi Ray,

    I have a RC3 and considering the update to M400 …. it will be a free update but i will not be able to keep the RC3. Previously you said that M400 is far beeter than RC3 if only to be used for running. However i hear people complaining about the GPS accuracy in ther M400 as it seems to lose the signale more often. Is this something you have seen or you can confirm?


    • I didn’t see any GPS issues in my testing, the tracks were solid. As others have noted, waiting just a few extra seconds after you start can help (regardless of GPS company), as it often helps to increase the accuracy a bit more beyond “functional”.

      Above, I hear only two people, one of which is running down a street with tall buildings. There’s also a number of other people that are perfectly happy with it (the rest). As a general rule, most people only bother to comment when they have an issue – rather than coming back and saying life is happy.

    • Thanks Ray, u r a star as always

      all those people that are complaining are outside the comments above as in other running forum …. just one clarification though… what do you mean “waiting just a few extra seconds after you start can help”? do i have to wait a bit more even if it says 100% completed?not sure i understand the reasons

      bottom line …..if you were me 🙂 would you update from RC3 to M400? also would you buy the one with HR sensor or the plain one? i bought the RC3 with HR sensor but not use it much as it gives me sore chest ofter long running 🙁

      thanks again

    • Yup, just about 10-15 seconds after it shows 100%, then start running. That basically gives it just a tiny bit extra time to increase accuracy. Remember, when it shows 100%, it just means its reached its minimum threshold for accuracy. If you give it more time, it’ll increase accuracy. So it may go from +/- 15m to +/-3m.

      Bottom line is I wouldn’t buy an RC3 right now, and if given the opportunity to cheaply move from RC3 to M400, I’d absolutely do so.