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Polar Announces A300 Activity Tracker Watch, also MyFitnessPal automatic sync support

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The A300 Overview:

This weekend ahead of CES here in Las Vegas, Polar has announced their latest activity tracking watch, the A300.  This watch aims to take the M400 GPS watch, remove the GPS part, and then call it the A300.  Roughly.

But while that might be roughly the case when you look at the PR material, in actuality there’s a number of smaller tweaks (and adds) that differentiate it more than you might think from the M400.  For example, the A300 has removable watch bands, so you can go all colorful and swap to any of the different band colors shown above quickly:

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It also contains a USB plug built straight into the device that goes right into your computer with no cables (but still has Bluetooth Smart for transfers wirelessly to phones too):

IMG_3222

While the V800 and M400 share the same display screen, the A300 gets a reduced resolution screen with a slightly simplified menu.  It actually works well in this form factor (kinda like the Garmin FR15), and does have a cool backlight feature where the data pages will automatically light-up at a reduced level anytime you tap a button, and then you can press the dedicated light button to fully turn on the backlight at a brighter level:

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Also unlike the M400, it supports the analog portion of the heart rate strap (in addition to Bluetooth Smart), so with straps such as the Polar H7 it’ll actually record and display heart rate while swimming underwater:

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With all these features, the A300 effectively becomes a much more advanced Polar Loop activity tracking device – but in a watch form factor.  Thus from an activity tracking standpoint it does daily activity tracking including steps and distance, as well as sleep tracking.  It’ll also beep and buzz at you too – as it does include a vibration function – a feature lacking on the M400 GPS watch.

IMG_3243

On the workout side of things, the unit is heavily focused on heart rate based workouts.  As noted above it connects to Bluetooth Smart capable heart rate straps, like Polar’s H7 and H6 straps, to display your heart rate within activities.  This data is then used to give you detailed calorie burn information with the same fidelity as some of Polar’s higher end devices like the V800.  This is notable if only because some other competitive companies put in ‘cheaper’ calorie burn algorithms in their lower end devices.

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The A300 does allow you to create numerous different activity profiles on the device, like its M400 and V800 siblings.  This helps to slightly refine the calorie burn assumptions for rowing versus running, for example.  Of course, lacking a GPS chip or any other workout distance tracking, some of this starts to become more academic than practical.

These modes can be leveraged in conjunction with Polar’s existing Smart Coaching functions – which allow you to build out heart rate based workouts of structure on the Polar Flow website and then download them to the watch.  This functionality also covers guidance around targeted workouts in terms of focusing on a given effort level for a specific workout and understanding the purpose of that workout.

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Next up is that the A300 can communicate directly with your iOS or Android smartphone to relay the data to the Polar Flow website and Polar Flow mobile apps.  The mobile apps will show your daily activity tracking details, as well as individual workout details.  Additionally, from the Polar Flow site you can export out your activity data for manual transfer to 3rd party sites like MyFitnessPal.

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(Note that in order to use smartphone sync, your phone must support Bluetooth 4.0, which is roughly any Android phone on Android OS 4.3 or higher, or iPhone 4s and higher.)

Polar announces MyFitnessPal sync:

image

In conjunction with the A300 announcement, Polar is also announcing that later this month (January 2015) they’ll rollout automatic sync with MyFitnessPal (MFP), which is by far the most popular calorie focused and health tracking app out there.  This will then send from Polar to MFP your step data, as well as your activity/workout data.  This will happen automatically behind the scenes from Polar Flow to MFP.

You’ll only need to sync your Polar M400, V800 or A300 to Polar Flow as normal via your mobile phone or computer with the USB port downloading.

Now while MyFitnessPal might not be as appealing to endurance athletes, Polar says it’s the first service they’re working to support with the background sync service they rolled out this fall.  They are working with a number of the other ‘majors’ in the endurance segment, but declined to announce the names quite yet.

Product Comparison Tables:

I’ve gone ahead and added in the Polar A300 into the product comparison database.  This helps you to see how it compares to the M400 GPS watch, as well as Polar’s higher end V800 multisport GPS watch.  Note that you can always mix and match products from anything I’ve reviewed by going to the database itself.

Function/FeaturePolar A300Polar M400Polar V800
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated November 27th, 2016 @ 4:58 amNew Window
Price$139$179$449
Product Announcement DateJan 3rd, 2015Sept 25th, 2014Jan 6th, 2014
Actual Availability/Shipping DateJanuary 2015October 2014May 2014
GPS Recording FunctionalityNoYesYes
Data TransferUSB, BLUETOOTH SMARTUSB, BLUETOOTH SMARTUSB, BLUETOOTH SMART
WaterproofingYes - 30mYes - 30mYes - 30m
Battery Life (GPS)4 Weeks8 hoursUp to 50 hours
Recording Interval1-Second1-second1s
Satellite Pre-Loading via ComputerN/AYesSorta, predictive but not cached.
Quick Satellite ReceptionN/AGreatGood
AlertsSound/Visual/VibrateSound/VisualVibrate/Sound/Visual
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceNoNoNo
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)YesYesYes
Can control phone musicNoNo
Has music storage and playbackNoNo
ConnectivityPolar A300Polar M400Polar V800
Bluetooth Legacy (pre-4.0) to PhoneNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart (4.0+) to Phone UploadingYesYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)Yes (as of May 3rd, 2016)YesYes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)NoNoNo
Group trackingNo
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoNoNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNo
CyclingPolar A300Polar M400Polar V800
Designed for cyclingNoYesYes
Power Meter CapableNoNoYes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsNoNoYes
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFNoNoNP
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableNoNoYes
Strava segments live on deviceNo
Crash detectionNo
RunningPolar A300Polar M400Polar V800
Designed for runningSorta (no distance)YesYes
Footpod Capable (For treadmills)NoYesYes
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)NoNoNo
VO2Max EstimationNoSortaYes
Race PredictorNoCan estimate finish time during raceYes, via Race Pace
Recovery AdvisorNoNo (only if you have V800 too)Yes
Run/Walk ModeNoNoYes, via timers
SwimmingPolar A300Polar M400Polar V800
Designed for swimmingYesNoYes
Openwater swimming modeNoNoYes
Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingNoN/AYes
Record HR underwaterYesNoYes
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)NoN/AYes
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)NoN/AYes
Indoor Drill ModeNON/ANo
Indoor auto-pause featureNoN/ANo
Change pool sizeNoN/AYes
Indoor Min/Max Pool LengthsNoN/A-
Ability to customize data fieldsNoN/AYes
Can change yards to metersNoN/AYes
Captures per length data - indoorsNoN/AYes
Indoor AlertsNoN/AN/A
TriathlonPolar A300Polar M400Polar V800
Designed for triathlonNoNoYes
Multisport modeNoNoYes
WorkoutsPolar A300Polar M400Polar V800
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesYes
On-unit interval FeatureNoYesNo
Training Calendar FunctionalityNoYesYes
FunctionsPolar A300Polar M400Polar V800
Auto Start/StopYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureNoVia Race EstimatorYes
Virtual Racer FeatureNoNoNo
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)NoYesNo
Day to day watch abilityYesYesYes
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean DataNoNoNo
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoNo
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting)nONoNo
GeocachingNoNoNo
Weather Display (live data)NoNoNo
NavigatePolar A300Polar M400Polar V800
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)NoNoYes
Markers/Waypoint DirectionNoNoYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)NoNoNo
Back to startNOYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoNoNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitNoNoYes
SensorsPolar A300Polar M400Polar V800
Altimeter TypeNoneGPSBarometric
Compass TypeNoneGPSMagnetic
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyNo
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableNoNoNo
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoNo
ANT+ Footpod CapableNoNoNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableNoNoNo
ANT+ Weight Scale CapableNoNoNo
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym)NoNoNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlNoNo
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationNoNo
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)NoNo
ANT+ Remote ControlNoNoNo
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNo
ANT+ Muscle Oxygen (i.e. Moxy/BSX)NoNo
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)NoNo
Shimano Di2 ShiftingNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoYes
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoNoYes
Temp Recording (internal sensor)NoNoYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNo
Compatible with Firstbeat HR tools--Yes
SoftwarePolar A300Polar M400Polar V800
PC ApplicationPolar FlowsyncPolar FlowsyncPolar Flowsync - Windows/Mac
Web ApplicationPolar FlowPolar FlowPolar Flow
Phone AppiOS/AndroidiOS (now)/Android (Dec 2014)iOS/Android
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNo
PurchasePolar A300Polar M400Polar V800
Amazon LinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training Link (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkLinkLink
Clever Training Europe (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkLinkLink
DCRainmakerPolar A300Polar M400Polar V800
Review LinkLinkLinkLink

Remember again that you can always mix and match any products within the product comparison tool.

My Thoughts on the A300:

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With that bit of background, let’s get to the important piece – price.  And this is where things get a bit shaky.  The A300 is priced at $139 without the HR strap.  Which…is a sorta awkward price competitively speaking.  Why’s that?  Well, the GPS-capable M400 is only $40 more.  And as I’ve said before, the M400 is the best mid-range GPS watch these days under $300.  Whereas with the GPS-less A300, you’ve got kinda an odd duck feature-wise on the price spectrum.

The A300 does however have a handful of features that the M400 doesn’t, like vibration alerts, changeable bands, and the ability to use it to record heart rate while swimming.  But those features are somewhat in conflict with the people who would realistically want them (and pay for them) at the M400 price point instead.

I suspect Polar is trying to carve out a modern replacement for their FT series that’s long been in their watch stable – and to that end, this actually makes a great replacement for that aging line.  But at the same time – I feel like it’s about $20-$30 too expensive for that market.  Had this been been priced at $109-$119US without the HR strap – then it becomes more appealing (and competitive).  But because a HR strap is pretty much 100% required to have this unit be of any value, you’re looking at an entry point today closing in at $180…which is again quite a bit compared to other options on the market (or phone apps).

As for an in-depth review, Polar’s handing off to me a unit Monday, so I’ll likely aim for some form of review later in the month or early February, depending on the load of devices coming out of CES this week (and into my suitcase).

Thanks for reading – and feel free to drop any questions below!

Welcome to CES 2015! Don’t forget to check out all my CES 2015 coverage, as well as my continual updates throughout the day on Twitter.  It’s gonna be a crazy busy week!

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171 Comments

  1. José

    When did they start offering different colour straps?

    link to polar.com

    Are these still preferred to use with Garmin pods?

  2. Matt

    Strange, they could have used the GPS data from a paired phone and had a better product? I’m with you on this one, it’s too expensive without GPS.

  3. Francis C

    Yeah. I’ve got the 910XT and 920XT right now. Unless something spectacular pops out, I think I’m all watched out for now. Looking forward to the 930XT unless a “game changer” pops out. Hint: A Garmin Smartwatch would be awesome. Hehehe

  4. Mark

    agree interesting placed device. If the 8 hr battery life is correct it would be short of being either an activity tracker or a ‘real’ running device

  5. JJ Lee

    Ray,

    I know this is off-topic, but are you going to review the Microsoft Band in the near future? IIRC, you said you received a sample from Microsoft, but never got around to reviewing it or even previewing it. I wonder if that product is any good?

    • I did purchase one, but haven’t quite decided if I’ll review it. I do want to write something up on it. I’m mixed on it. Some things are good, but it’s just super clunky.

    • JJ Lee

      I think that’s what most reviews are saying. However, the band seems to have some really impressive cutting edge technology. No reviews really touch on the topics that you do. They also don’t touch on the accuracy of the Microsoft Band’s sensors. I know you tackle those subjects which was why I am still hoping you’ll write something about it! :)

  6. Matt E

    Ray, does it have an alarm clock feature utilizing the vibration? Did polar mention any intentions regarding smartphone phone calls and/or text alerts added as feature via firmware?

    Thanks again for the great write-up!

  7. ssss124

    In this watch accumulator or battery?

    Is in this watch bluetooth 4.0 or 4.1?

    Can this watch simultaneously send pulse on dispay of watch and on smartfone via bluetooth in running?

  8. Kingart

    The Garmin Fenix 3 is much more interesting than this. This screen is outdated…

  9. Marathon Man

    Ray – Just trying to work out if this allows me to get one Polar device and remove my need to have an actual Fitbit device. If this automatic syncing to MyFitnessPal transfers all the activity data (not just workout data), then surely the connection between MyFitnessPal and Fitbit will transfer all that data to Fitbit?

    Currently MyFitness Pal transfers my workout data from Runkeeper to Fitbit. So it seems this would transfer all my activity data. Is that correct?

  10. Simon Kennedy

    Has there been any mention of POLAR syncing with other sites other than MFP? ie Training Peaks/Strava/RunMeter etc? Just asking in case there has been any rumours.
    PS keep up the great reviews. I bought a M400 due largely to your detailed review.

  11. James Lombardo

    How can this be marketed as designed for swimming if it doesn’t have LAP/INDOOR DISTANCE TRACKING? I’ve been looking for a swim watch that can do HR and Polar continues to disappoint.

  12. Aaron

    What *IS* the resolution on that thing? I thought for a second I was looking at a Atari 2600 emulator.

    • SK

      I had the same concern. But in the grand scheme of things, I don’t mind the lower resolution if it allowed Polar to offer it a relatively competitive price.

  13. Emily

    Any chance the MFP sync will go the other way too, syncing nutrition details into the Polar Flow system, like it does with Training Peaks? Not really essential since I already use TP premium for that, but the Polar Flow layout is much prettier.

  14. Mikhail

    Sensors table:
    Polar v800 – Magnetic compas – are you sure?

  15. Steven Shaw

    If the v800 has q magnetic compass it would be nce to have a compass screen.

  16. Juan-John

    One thing to check when you get the review unit is the *TRUE* battery life when working out regularly with a heart rate monitor. I know Polar *CLAIMS* four weeks, but I’d love to see/read your results of battery life when doing 30- to 60-minute workouts per day, 5-6 days per week.

    I love my Loop, but having to recharge it every 2.5 days is getting kinda tiresome (not to mention my Timex Ironman wristwatch is getting kinda long in the tooth). And since I mainly work out indoors on a Concept2 rower, GPS isn’t a major thing for me (if I wanna do an outdoor bike workout, I’ll just pair my H7 to the Polar Beat app on my iPhone).

  17. If the M400 could do in-water HR and swimming metrics, I’d already have one on my wrist. That fact that the A300 has no GPS makes it sort of silly; one might as well buy the M400 and then another device for swimming.

  18. Juan-John

    Also, there’s a rumor out there that it will be really difficult to replace the battery once it nears the end of its natural life. Is that the case?

    • Yeah, for whatever reason folks get all tangled up on Polar battery rumors. It’s no different than any other device on the market. Eventually you’ll hit end of life with the battery, likely after 3-5 years, but usually measured in re-charges (around 1,000 in most cases).

      At the end of that companies (including Polar) typically will charge a flat rate for replacement, but in most cases you won’t want to bother since the technology will be so outdated then it won’t make sense. 😉

    • Juan-John

      Phew. Good to know. Thanks! :-)

  19. Juan-John

    Just outta curiosity, if the A300 “supports the analog portion of the heart rate strap (in addition to Bluetooth Smart)” as you say, does that mean there’s a function that would allow older, analog Polar HR straps (like the T31-CODED) to work with the A300? Even if you’re not swimming? Therefore one wouldn’t need to buy the H7, right?

  20. Kevbird

    Will my H7 heartrate monitor talk to the a300 AND my polar beat app at the same time?
    Right now my H7 talks to polar beat and my FT 60,
    In this way you get GPS distance and pace data during a run as well as heartrate data and I am logging my excercise againt the polar star training program on an ongoing basis
    I’m wondering if the a300 will replace my FT 60 and if it will have similar or even better functionality . It sure looks a lot nicer

    • Juan-John

      Ray can correct me if I’m wrong, but:

      H7 sends out two signals — one analog and another Bluetooth.

      Your FT60 is receiving the analog signal from the H7, while Beat is receiving the Bluetooth signal.

      The analog signal can be sent to more than one device, but the Bluetooth signal can only be sent to ONE device.

    • Kevbird

      I should be good then !
      I will try it out in the shop though I think before I buy one

    • Rafal

      Ray, now when you have a test unit of a300 can you test if it is possible to use smartphone with for example strava app to record gps and HR from Bluetooth and A300 to record analog signal and display current HR?

  21. Jason

    Any news to when we will actually get MFP to Polar Flow sync?

  22. Juan-John

    Any news on when your in-depth review will be coming out? :-)

    • I actually don’t have a unit at the moment, so it’s probably going to be a while.

      I was supposed to get one at CES to take home, but perhaps after they read my thoughts on it (above)…that casually slipped away.

  23. Dennis D

    “vibration alerts, changeable bands, and the ability to use it to record heart rate while swimming”. Vibration alerts is not found on Fitbit and only Nike Fuelband, UP and Garmin Vivofit/smart. From what I have experienced the activity alerts don’t work in the Garmin (they go off while you are moving), The Nike Fuelband just lets you know at the 3/4 of the hour if you haven’t moved. How does it work on the A300?

  24. Whitney

    Sooooo….. It says launch date in US is Feb 2015… where is the A300!!??? I am ready to buy!! lol. I have been to a few websites that say “pre-purchase”, I was just curious if the date has been pushed back or if someone knew when the watches would be for sale AND shipped out!?

  25. Jocelyn sherman

    Is the a300 smaller than the m400? I’m not looking for a running watch, but an accurate calorie counter for various types of workouts, so size matters. :)

    • Yes, it’s a little bit smaller.

    • Jess

      Totally agree Jocelyn! I’m scouring the internet for a side by side comparison picture but am coming up blank! :-/ I just purchased the M400 but am seriously considering returning it to get the A300 instead. I like the idea of GPS but the thing is MASSIVE. I mean like – obnoxious massive and I don’t exactly have dainty wrists. I’m wondering just how much smaller/lighter the A300 is as I can’t find any size specs either.

    • Jess

      Oh -and I was really surprised that the heart touch feature is missing on the M400 but is available on the A300. Seems odd but maybe I’m just not looking in the right place for the setting.??

    • Have you tried the M400 in person?

    • Jess

      Hi! :-) Thank you so much for all the valuable content and insight you provide! Your site is amazing and so detailed and helpful.

      Yes- I purchased one last week and have been wearing it with the hopes that I’ll get used to it but I’m a bit more low profile when it comes to daily accessories. I LOVE the data and feedback for my workouts and really liked that this also tracks daily activity (a big part of the reason I went with it over an older HRM model). But wearing it all day to track it is cumbersome. I have been a long time polar ft60 user so I want to love it but I’m struggling because of the size. The ft60 was bulky but I could deal with that -maybe because the strap was not as wide as the face. I cycle so I liked the gps component but I’m feeling a bit like I could sacrifice that and use something external on my bike if the a300 is less obtrusive.

    • Jocelyn

      Jess, the A300 is the same size, but the strap is more tapered & the screen is smaller, so not as overwhelming in my opinion. Haven’t seen it, just got the pics, though I did go to a Best Buy to try on the M400. Also Polar tweeted me yesterday that is will be shipped out to suppliers by the end of next week so maybe you can switch. Here is a side by side pic if it helps: link to picasaweb.google.com

    • Jess

      Thank you SO much for sharing that Jocelyn! You’re right it’s still pretty big, but I just preordered one so I’m going to give it go! :-) Did you decide to get one too? Like you, I’m not looking for a runner’s watch (though I do run – I’m not competitive so the pacing isn’t as important as just making sure I’m getting a good workout). I like the GPS for cycling but I would prefer to be able to feel comfortable wearing it everyday over the GPS. The M400 isn’t particularly heavy just feels really thick and bulky.

  26. Bora

    Ray, did you get any update from Polar on MyFitnessPal integration? January is long gone and all I hear is “it will come” without any firm commitment.

  27. Juan-John

    Polar posted a new video on the A300 today (would they just release the doggone watch already?!? :-))

    link to youtube.com

  28. Melissa S Guertin

    Polar made a comment on Instagram that these should be shipping next week!

  29. Whitney

    IT’S HERE!!!!!!! You can buy via polar.com!!!!!!!!!

  30. Whitney

    I just called Polar USA to confrim…. YES its is available!!! This is not preorder… they have them ready to ship out!!! WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!!

  31. Juan-John

    One Hundred Seventy Bucks WITHOUT the heart-rate monitor?!? I thought it would be $140!

  32. Whitney

    So I ordered my from another website… Not sure if I’m allowed to post that here. My total with heart rate monitor was 183$. I called and they are shipping mine today!!!!!! The website I was on only had black, white and pink!

    • Adam

      Which site did you order?

    • Whitney

      I got mine at holabirdsports.com, they have free shipping. I tired using a coupon but Polar wont allow additional coupons!!

      Also if you go to the polar.com website and you add the watch and additional wrist band of your choice to the cart… you can remove the watch and just purchase the wrist bands. No one else has just the wrist bands for sale right now. They are 24.95$ plus almost 13$ for shipping… dumb. Hope this helps y’all,

  33. jocelyn

    Where did you order. I want to order it ASAP!

  34. Juan-John

    This site is selling it for $140 (without the HRM): link to heartratemonitorsusa.com

  35. Whitney

    I got mine at holabirdsports.com, they have free shipping. I tired using a coupon but Polar wont allow additional coupons!!

    Also if you go to the polar.com website and you add the watch and additional wrist band of your choice to the cart… you can remove the watch and just purchase the wrist bands. No one else has just the wrist bands for sale right now. They are 24.95$ plus almost 13$ for shipping… dumb. Hope this helps y’all,

  36. Whitney

    When I called holabirdsports.com they said mine will be shipped out today! Not sure about Heartratemonitorusa.com, you might want to call them to see if they received their stock!

  37. Juan-John

    HRM USA rep said: “We should be getting some in next week, but we do not know how many or the colors we are getting in.”

  38. I just confirmed with Clever Training that theirs is expected to ship out today to them, so they’ll get it in early next week and ship back out same-day.

  39. Juan-John

    Thanks for the Holabirdsports link. Just ordered mine. :-)

  40. Adam

    Holabirdsports FTW! :-)

  41. Holabirdsports just shipped the A300. Should have it tomorrow.

  42. Whitney

    Just so y’all know holabirdsports.com has the wrist bands now for sale. Blue, Pink and White for 22.95$

  43. Jessica Eudy

    I am trying to figure out the the Polar Loop will sync with MFP with an ANDROID phone, not IOS. I got the email confirming the link-up, but for the life of my I can’t find on either website the ability to do so! Anyone else have the same trouble, or success?

    • jocelyn

      No. I just bought the polar a300 expecting that functionality and called polar. They are blaming in on MFP and are offering no eta saying it’s up to MFP to do, not polar. :( Pure bull s they were offering the integration as a selling point.

    • Conor Garvey

      Polar are terrible when it comes to integration on the 3pp spectrum!

      I had a Luke warm response to the mail from polar but said I’d try the MFP app anyway and surise suprise no itergration available for polar on the app….why bother even announcing it!!!???

    • Just to be clear, integration for MFP doesn’t typically happen at the MFP app level. Rather, it happens on the backend side between Polar and MyFitnessPal. You typically associate an account between the two platforms and data is sync’d.

    • jocelyn

      I know, which is why I’m upset at polar customer service shifting all the blame on MyFitnessPal, rather than say that they are working in it w/them. Makes me wonder if Android users will ever get the integration or if it’s going to be apple only. Polar is ignoring th question on their Facebook/Twitter sites.

    • I guess that’s my point though – it typically has nothing to do with the apps themselves (iOS/Andoid), but rather is something you’d usually setup via the website (such as from a desktop PC initially).

    • Conor Garvey

      Hi,

      Thanks for your response however I couldn’t see this link?do you have a screen shot or something like that?

      I’m not that excited about MFP but see it as a dry run for the bug players like runkeeper and strava.

      I love my m400 but it bugs me that it’s so far behind garmin on the 3PP side.

      ps keep up the amazing work!

    • Just asked this question on polars twitter and got this replay

      @andy_moin don't have a date to give you. sorry. later this year.— Polar (@PolarGlobal) March 26, 2015

      My official job title is has “Integration Specialist” in so I understand how API link shuld work should work and have no Idea why polar are basing there offering around phone apps and not just allowing us to link via the actual websites.

      As DC says it should be happing in the background and be phone app agnostic…

  44. Jessica Eudy

    I checked the websites. Nothing.

  45. Jessica Eudy

    My husband tells me that typically IOS gets updates sometimes months before Android. We may be waiting a while. Upon further inspection of the update notification, it does specifically list IOS as the ones getting the update. It is however, very frustrating that we don’t get it just because we are not apple users.

  46. Jess

    I’d love to hear initial feedback from the A300 owners…?

  47. Jens Backman

    Hi!

    Do you know of any good replacement for the old Polar FT80?

    Only one geared towards strength/gym training that I have found, would really like to find another with the billiant “Guides your strength training with heart rate based recovery periods between sets”-feature :)

    Thnx in advance & keep up the brilliant work :)

  48. KF

    Will the Polar A300 fit a small wrist with a 5 1/2 inch circumference? Thank you.

    • Jenn

      I have a 5.5″ wrist and received an A300 as a prize this weekend. Yes, it fits a small wrist, in fact it might go a little smaller than 5.5″. The leftover strap is really long though. I think if I keep the A300, I would end up trimming it. I am finding it very bulky though on my small wrist. It effectively doubles the size of my wrist where it’s worn and is really awkward under a long sleeve shirt.

    • KF

      Thank you so much for the information!

  49. Tabitha

    Hi! Are you still planning to write an in-depth review of the A300? I’ve been using the Loop for a little over a year, and while I love it, I’m interested to hear your thoughts on whether the A300 would be a worthwhile upgrade. I don’t need GPS, but would really like things like sound/buzz alerts, having the face of the watch always be on (vs having to push a button and scroll through to see time/steps/etc), and the ability to swap out different colored bands is pretty sweet too. Thanks!

    • Yup. I actually don’t quite have one yet. They ended up holding a week or two, in order to get me and The Girl both units to try out. I believe they said I’ll have it early next week.

    • Juan-John

      All of those things you “would really like” you would LOVE with the A300. I absolutely love my A300 and plan to return my Loop within the next week. Put it this way: The Loop to the A300 is like the Mercury program compared to Apollo 10.

    • Tabitha

      Good to know, Juan-John! How long have you had your Loop? I’ve had mine about a year, so I highly doubt I’d be able to return it, but I might suck it up and buy the A300 anyway because it looks like it’s such a big step above the Loop. Can’t wait to see what DC has to say about it too! :-)

    • Jennifer

      Have you done the in-depth review of the A300 yet? I haven’t been able to find it and I see it’s over a month from this last comment. Thanks!

    • I haven’t written up the review yet, though have been using the unit.

  50. Jessica Thenhaus

    For anyone on the fence deciding between the A300 and the M400; I purchased the M400 first and while I LOVED the feedback – it looked cartoon ridiculous on my female (“big boned”) arm. Got the A300 from
    Clever Training and LOVE it. I returned the M400. I’m not a runner though – so if I was I would want the GPS but since I’m just striving for weight loss, strength training, overall fitness, and cycling (I use an app on my phone for that data) I’m LOVING the A300. I’ve tried just about every fitness tracker and Polar just makes sense to me.

    • Jennifer

      Thanks Jessica! Good to know! I’ve been trying to decide between those 2! What color band did you get? I like the look of the white but it seems to be split 50/50 as to whether people think it stays nice and pretty and the other half who hate it ’cause it gets dirty.

  51. Just asked this question on polars twitter and got this replay

    @andy_moin don't have a date to give you. sorry. later this year.

    My official job title is has “Integration Specialist” in so I understand how API link shuld work should work and have no Idea why polar are basing there offering around phone apps and not just allowing us to link via the actual websites.

    As DC says it should be happing in the background and be phone app agnostic…

  52. Meghan

    Is there a stopwatch function?

  53. Hello!
    As I understand with A300 I cannot to send my training goals to watches? If we have no GPS in it they don’t know about my speed and cannot recommend to run faster or slower?
    If I am runner and wish to send data about my training from laptop to watch I must to buy Polar M400?
    Thank you!

  54. Jennifer

    Does anyone have any feedback on the white band?? I’ve heard mixed reviews…some say it says nice and pretty but several hate it because they say it gets so dirty.

  55. Andrea

    Hi there:

    Any news on a in depth review? I am looking for a base swimming watch and this could be it, but would love your opinion? (something in this price range would be awesome and I already have an H7)

  56. Jennifer

    If anyone is looking for a deal on the A300, I got the one WITH the heart rate monitor for only $139.95 on Amazon plus free shipping!! It’s normally that much for one without the heart rate monitor!

  57. Jacob

    Does the M400 by now have timer/stopwatch functionality ?? Looking for a watch that can track heartbeat during running but also during crossfit. GPS also a must for running.

    Swimming I cover with my Garmin Swim :)

  58. alan mushnick

    Can this be used with a Scosche Rhythm Plus to pick up heart rate?
    Does it use Bluetooth to pick up heart rate from an H7 strap or the standard Polar signal?

  59. alan mushnick

    How does this device know whether to use polar signal or bluetooth smart to pick up heart rate?
    then if you pair with a bluetooth smart HR sensor, will it still pair with iOS device?
    +

  60. alan mushnick

    I am noticing that with this and my older polar receivers, that the wearlink soft strap coded transmitters do not work as well as the T31 transmitters while swimming. I wish that they had made this clear. Now I might need to buy a T31 coded transmitter, too.

  61. Unhappy polar user

    Hi,
    Has anyone had any issues with the M400 ?
    I’ve had to return mine three times to polar
    1St return .in April my watch stopped recording after 39 km during my first marathon even though it was fully charged time was 3:40 polar said it was a firmware issue and sent me back the watch
    2nd return:Mid May watch failed to charge polar refuse to change the watch and add a new component
    3rd return :Watch won’t sync to polar sync tried several cables and in installed the program still no joy..drop the watch off at dealer and ask him to plead my case guess what?? Polar still refuse to change the unit and promise for the third time to fix the unit…Its on the way to polar and there’s still a discussion to be had but really is this common practice??
    Surely a unit like this should go to scrap and the customer should be compensated??

    Watch is 6 months old and has spent 4 weeks in repair this is not including the third time BTW

    • alan mushnick

      I have had only a few customer support issues, all good. but this is the M400 you are having trouble with. This is the A300 discussion?

  62. Daniel H.

    Hi,
    Today, after a few updates for the A300 and also M400, does anyone knows if any of those HRM can measure distance indoor (or outdoor without the GPS) during a training session? (not ‘under’ the activity monitor function)
    Thanks!

  63. Daniel H.

    Hi,

    How is possible to the A300 can be able to measure/record HR under water but the M400 can’t if both use a bluetooth HR?

    I tried to compare both models on the Polar website but it doesn’t allowed, the A300 can’t be compared with any other model.

    Thanks!

  64. Jennifer

    I was curious if several watches could be connected to the same email address?

  65. Robert Rembold

    Hi, I would like to know if I can set a target HR zone on the Polar A300 for training? if so, does the watch vibrate when i have reached or left the HR zone? I would like to use this for swimming and cycling. I have been getting conflicting information from the Polar customer service. Thank you.

  66. Robert R

    Hi, I would like to know if I can set a target HR zone on the Polar A300 for training? If so, does the watch vibrate when I have reached or left the HR zone? I would like to use this for swimming and cycling. I have been getting conflicting information from the Polar customer service and hope you can help me. Thank you

  67. Spencer Range

    I’m searching everywhere just to find out if the A300 will sync with the Scosche Rhythm+ HRM. I KNOW they both are Blutooth Smart, so they should in theory, but this review by Runblogger (link to runblogger.com) says that he couldn’t get the two to sync. Has anyone tried to pair the two or know for sure? Thanks!

  68. alan mushnick

    I easily paired the Scosche+ with the Polar A300. It finds it. The name shows up. It was fine. Didn’t work while swimming. Only coded Polar T31 is suggested for swimming.

    • Spencer Range

      THANK YOU!!! EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for!

    • Jamie

      Hi. I just purchased both the Polar A300 (without hr7 strap) and the Scosche rhythm+ HR optical strap, and the A300 is not picking up the connection – I’ve been scanning reviews to see if it will actually pair, and I found your comment here. Can you please tell me how you were able to get it to connect? I went into Settings/General Settings/Pair Other Device… and it doesn’t find it. Am I not doing this correctly?? (and in case you’re wondering, I DO have the scoshce turned on :) ).

      Any help would be MUCH appreciated. I really want this to work! Thanks!

    • Adam

      Jamie, when you put the A300 into pairing mode, turn on the Rhythm+ and then try touching them together. I wasn’t able to get them to pair at first either, but it seems that holding them together (actually touching) seemed to fix.

    • Jamie

      Thanks Adam! I’ll try it that way

    • Catherine

      Jamie – did you get the A300 to pair with the Scosche Rhythm+? I’m considering buying the A300 but only if it pairs with Scosche (which I just bought and love so far…just don’t always want to have my phone with me). Thanks!

    • alan

      I easily paired the Scosche Rhythm + to my A300.

    • Catherine

      Thanks Alan. So might be a silly question, but can one pair the Scosche Rhythm + to an Iphone app (like MapMyRide and/or Wahoo Fitness) and the Polar A300 at the same time? Thanks!

    • Chris T

      I just figured it out. Make sure you have it on “Pair other device” NOT “Pair mobile device”
      I was about to freak out. I only use the Rhythm +

  69. alan mushnick

    I am still wondering whether I need this A300 or not. I have a couple old Polar receivers that work fine. But no web or app connectivity. I wish the screen was light with dark numbers. My old eyes do better with that.

  70. SK

    Thanks for writing this review, Ray. Question on the vibration alert feature: How long does the unit vibrate? What’s the pattern of the vibration? Does the alert repeat itself several times, and if so, how many times?

    • SK

      Decided to buy it, and am pretty happy with it. I’ll answer my own questions in case others are wondering about the vibration feature. It’s strong enough to be noticeable. For the alarm, I’m glad that it vibrates long enough to be useful – It starts with short vibrations, and in the next set, it adds sound at a low volume. It will gradually add louder sound in the subsequent ones until the alarm is turned off manually. For interval training, it vibrates at the start of the next phase – Very useful. I think it gave me two short buzzes. I haven’t tested the vibration feature that alerts you when you venture out of the targeted heart rate zone. I find the vibration feature to be useful in reminding me to move after sitting down for too long.

  71. alan

    I have a few polar wrist monitors. I am finding this one particularly difficult to use in one aspect. I would just like to be able to set a low and high limit for my target zone. It seems like something so simple is a challenge on this device. Any help is appreciated.

  72. RD

    Hi! I currently use a Fitbit One and have been since 2012, and I am getting a little tired of looking down my shirt (I keep it in the middle of my bra) to see my stats. I have really been struggling between the A300 and the Garmin Vivosmart. Does anyone have any experience with both and what would you recommend? I don’t really run, I try to walk at least 5 miles daily, I would like a buzz notification when I have been sitting for too long, and also really like the idea of smart phone integration like calls/text notifications which I know the VIVO does but is the A300 slated to have these capabilities? I also am pushing a stroller a majority of the time if this matters. So am really looking for steps, calories, and sleep tracking would be cool too. Thanks for ANY advice! If you think there’s something else that may fit the bill I am open to that as well.

  73. alan

    Will the H7 strap work while swimming or do I have to use a t31 coded strap for water?

  74. Alan

    I did a few swims with the A300. When I sync the unit to the iOS PolarFlow app, the data comes up with a heart rate graph in addition to the amount of time spent in each zone.
    When I look at these sessions on the Polar Flow web site, the graph of heart rate DOES NOT appear. Only the side bar graph showing time in each zone shows up.
    I called polar support. They told me to resync the A300 directly with my computer. That did not change anything.

    Thanks for your help

    • alan

      Actually when I updated all the software to current versions, this issue ended. I like the unit. It’s a little bulky but works well in the pool with T31 coded strap. And works well with H7 for anything else. And it can pair to other Bluetooth transmitters like a Scosche

  75. ala

    Is the watch cover made of glass?
    My swim workouts will show up on the iOS Flow app perfectly. But on the web the heart rate graph isn’t there. Two phone calls to Polar were not helpful.
    Any help is appreciated.
    Alan

  76. Steve

    Ray, I have the M400 and just bought my wife the A300. Can we use the same computer to update polarflow? I know the app synch will be fine but curious about the synching with the PC will the device update with its acssociated account?

    By the way I bought M400 last weekend based on your review and love it. It’s great and the polar flow is addicting. I just set up mobile notifications and am extremely impressed

  77. Alan

    If you start an activity, and wait before you start a recording, the heart rate will show up and it will pair automatically.

  78. Karen Crist

    I was wondering if the Scosche RHYTHM+ Dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Optical HR will work with my Polar FT60. Thanks,

    Karen

    • Alan

      Scosche broadcasts via Bluetooth Smart (aka Bluetooth LE) to newer Polars like the A300, probably the Polar Loops, or Ant+ stuff. The older Polar receivers work with the older T31 straps and the H7 strap.

  79. Tim Phillips

    The A300 is on sale on Amazon right now for $98 w/out a chest strap. Very appealing price point, I might pick one up. Deciding between the A300 and the M400 now. I take my phone with me on runs so the M400 might be a bit overkill.

  80. joann demichael

    my problem is that i am trying to set the correct time and just fugure out which buttons to push, very confusing not happy

  81. Daniel

    You can get this on amazon for $129 with the heart rate strap. link to amazon.com

  82. Alan

    Beacuse of habit, and familiarity, and swimming real time heart rate monitoring, I am still in the Polar ecosystem.
    It seems sort of obvious to me, but this feature doesn’t exist. If I do a workout using my Polar Beat App, why isn’t it showing up as calories burned or activity on the A300? Polar Beat App sends it to Polar Flow, as does any A300 activity.
    Couldn’t it and shouldn’t it work in reverse? Why can’t I see the activity on the A300, too?

    • Adam

      I believe if you sync your device (A300) via USB to Polar Flow, it will update the device with the latest stats. It’s only when it’s syncing via your phone that it doesn’t keep up to date….not sure why. Polar should fix this behavior.

    • Alan

      What I would like to see, is the workout that I recorded on Polar Beat App, show up in the “history” section of the A300. The Polar A300 writes data to Polar Flow, but Polar Flow does not write data to the A300.
      Similarly, the Polar Beat App writes data to Polar Flow, but data from Polar Flow (obtained from the A300) does not appear on the Beat App, either.

      Shouldn’t it be a two way street?

  83. Fernando Gonçalves

    Nice work ! (specially the info about swimming aptitude)

  84. Thomas Hege

    05/03/2016

    What’s new

    Polar A300 software update with Smart Notifications and Polar Balance compatibility

    fait accompli’

    • JuanJohnJedi

      Thanks for the heads-up!

    • Thomas Hege

      You’re welcome. It can be surprising how, call/text alerts can be ‘just in time.’. But for data ‘tracker’ in us, Training Peaks also receives the training activities now, Polar (Flow) now provides automatically, from A300, Polar Beat as well (situation useful e.g. A300 battery run down). Ok, the account I have with TP is free.

      Ray: The little girl will grow, as I was told and learned, have Dad wrapped around her little finger, Ray. Consider it all joy. Thanks you for the help outstanding in serving up DCR..

  85. Jocelyn sherman

    Has anyone else heard about My Fitness Pal for Android? I bought the A300 the first week it came out, expecting to get MFP as articles – including this one didn’t limit the function to iOS. Then it turned iOS only with Android a few months down the road. Now I can’t even get polar to give us any ETA when it’s going to be integrated. Maybe they would give you an answer as they totally ignore their customers.

  86. Alan

    I have never been able to get any consistent heart rate with the H7 while swimming with my Polar A300. I recently found out this has to do with the conductivity of the soft strap in chlorinated water. Is there any solution to this?
    Another strap that is less prone to shorting out in chlorinated water?

    Alan

  87. Jon Meinecke

    i just picked up a Polar a300 and like it a lot. At $90 including the HR strap it has good bang for the buck.

    It works fine with the HR7 Polar strap/sensor but I was hoping to use it with my Wahoo TICKR sensor. The watch pairs successfully with the TICKR, but it doesn’t display heart rate when I start an exercise session.

    Has anyone gotten the A300 to work with Wahoo TICKR?

    • Alan

      Hi
      I am surprised the wahoo isn’t working. I have paired the A300 with a Scosche Rhythm that is also Bluetooth Smart.
      My suggestions would be
      unpair the Wahoo from other apps or phones, especially if they are in the vicinity of your A300.

      unpair it from the A300, then again pair it.

      chose your workout on the A300, wait for the heart rate number to appear (which at times seems like a 20-30 seconds, THEN start your workout recording.

      I hope this works.
      also make sure your batteries in the wahoo are good.

      Alan

    • Jon Meinecke

      Thanks for the feedback.

      I have been able to pair my TICKR with my A300 as long as the TICKR is not actively connected to my phone. So my issue was as Alan suggested related to simultaneous BT connections.

      I didn’t have to delete the BT pairing on my phone, but just connect to the A300 first. Once connected to the A300 the TICKR is not even discoverable by the phone. So I cannot use both the watch and the Wahoo fitness app on my phone simultaneously. An understandable, if regretable limitation of the TICKR.

      I am able to connect the TICKR to my GPS (ANT+) and A300 at the same time which was my main goal. The TICKR is able to connect to multiple ANT+ receivers as previously I was using it with a Garmin FR70 and GPS.

      Thanks for the help!

  88. zazuak

    My typical swimming session with the H7 monitor + A300 always looks like this : link to i.imgur.com

    The signal keeps dropping and it is very annoying!! I contacted polar and they asked me to reset it, but that didn’t fix the issue.

    I did some research and some people said that the T31 Coded Transmitter would work better. However, I can’t confirm if this is compatible with the A300.

    Any thoughts how to get rid of connection drops while swimming.

  89. Michelle Squitieri

    Did you ever do an in-depth review of the Polar A300 as you mentioned above? Looked for it but didn’t find it. This review is very helpful of course–but it doesn’t appear to include actual testing.

    Thanks, love your reviews,

    Michelle