Today Polar announced their latest wearable, and in the process also signaled a shift in direction to a far more open platform than they’ve ever had in their 39 year history.
The Polar M600 takes the best of their M400 GPS running watch (mid-range unit released 2 years ago) and combines it with a revamped optical HR sensor and adds in some. With that you’ll get all of the typical Polar fitness focused features like daily step counting, inactivity alerts and GPS sport tracking. But you’ll also now get the benefits of being on the more open Android platform, such that 3rd parties can easily develop apps (many already exist) for Android Wear. Previously Polar had no such option for 3rd parties to place apps on the watch.
I’ve got a prototype/beta unit that I’ve been playing with it a bit, though it’s still early. The watch isn’t set to ship until next month (September), so things certainly could change between now and then (for better or worse). This is merely a preview, and not a full in-depth review.
Sometimes it’s easier to explain things in bullets, and this is one of those cases. Here’s the more interesting specs (in my opinion) on this watch. The full tech feature details I’ve listed later in the product comparison toolset.
– Android Wear based platform
– Fully waterproofed for swimming (IPX8)
– 10 hours GPS-on battery life (in tracking)
– 2 Days GPS-off battery life (regular watch mode)
– MediaTek MT2601 GPS chipset with GLONASS
– Color 1.3” TFT touch screen (240x240px, 260dpi)
– Display is inset 3rd Gen Corning Gorilla Glass, with a stainless steel bezel
– Music storage and playback via Bluetooth (4GB)
– WiFi enabled
– Activity Tracking (i.e. steps/sleep/calories)
– Optical HR sensor (using 6 LED’s now)
– GPS based altimeter
– Training Load/Recovery within Polar platform
– Downloadable/structured works & training programs
– Customizable training views (just like other Polar units)
Ok, so those are the basics. The biggie there is obviously the Android Wear piece, but also the legit waterproofing. Most other Android Wear watches only have basic waterproofing for splashes but not usually showers (i.e. IP67/68), whereas this has legit swimming waterproofing. So that’s definitely a step up on the competitors. On the flipside, some Android Wear units have 3G and related connectivity built-in, giving you more flexibility sans-phone. Interestingly, this is MediaTek’s (GPS chipset maker) first Android Wear device.
With the Android Wear piece this means that you’ll get access to the Android Wear focused apps via the Google Play store. Unlike an Apple Watch though, your phone doesn’t have to be tied to that same platform. However you’ll get a better integration experience on Android than you would on iOS for Android Wear watches. And in the case of the Polar M600 and its 500mAH battery, you’ll also get better battery life than some other Android Wear watches (48hrs for Android, and officially “less” for iOS, though it’s more about 24hrs on iOS).
Android Wear takes care of base smartwatch features that Polar used to have to handle themselves. This includes:
– Call handling
– Smartphone notifications
– Calendar notifications
– Customization of watch faces
But it also expands out beyond what Polar has done historically, adding in the following:
– Voice control
– Music control
– Responding to e-mails and texts (as opposed to just reading them)
– Weather integration
– A crapton more via custom apps (Android phones only)
And the apps is really what matters here with Android Wear. Without apps, the core of the watch can realistically be handled by Polar. But the apps enable 3rd parties to start leveraging the platform. And thankfully those such parties are already here today…as long as you have an Android device. You can’t load custom apps with an iOS device. Nonetheless, heavy hitters today in the fitness realm include:
– Under Armour Record
The way you access these apps on the M600 is to first grab an Android phone. If you’ve already got that, then you can go into the Google Play store and find apps that have Android Wear companion apps. These apps will automatically install on your M600 if the Android phone app has such a companion app.
I’ve put together a bit of a Polar M600 Android Wear app & platform differences focused overview here in the following video:
Note that if you’re unfamiliar with the nuances of having an Android Wear device on iOS, this post is a pretty good primer. Also note that Polar confirmed the M600 will support Android Wear 2.0 once it’s available.
But if you’re a regular Polar person, you’ll find the overall base experience very similar to past watches. Except now on a prettier display. For starters, from the default watch face screen Polar has loaded you’ll see the familiar font and UI screens as you would have on previous watches – especially the A360.
Same goes for the activity tracking screen/timeline:
Of course when you swipe right to get to the apps menu, you’ll feel more like Android Wear again:
If you’re wondering how well that touchscreen works in the rain – well, here’s a quick video I put together to answer and demonstrate that:
Next, for training programs, you’d dive into the Polar Flow app, which brings you back to the Polar world:
And if you wanted to change your screen customization, you’d do so online like other Polar devices:
The optical HR sensor also got a revamp, now sporting 6 LED’s (from two previously on the A360). That unit came out a little under a year ago, and I didn’t find Polar’s variant of an optical HR sensor terribly awesome (as discussed in detail in my A360 review).
Polar went with a 6 LED configuration as they found that with some of the larger mass wearables, you were getting a bit of higher noise levels and more artifacts. By going with a 6 LED configuration, they were able to get a much cleaner signal and reduce the noise. However they noted that the number of LED’s really would depend on a given device. Six may not always be the right answer, but for this particular device, 6 works well. They also noted that while the sensor should be equal to or better than the A360, that many improvements via software updates have changed the A360 accuracy since last winter. Those are now present in both devices.
I dive into my first run experiences in terms of accuracy in the next section. Note that Polar still hasn’t enabled any 24×7 HR tracking however. So heart rate is only recorded on a per-activity basis, and not 24×7 like with numerous other competitors. Polar says that they’re looking at continuous HR and know there is interest in it.
What’s in the box:
Ok, so I’ve covered all the features, but I know some of you are looking to see what’s in the actual retail packaging. And there’s no better place to check that out than the video I put together below:
Or, if videos aren’t your thing – here’s a simple gallery view of that very same box:
With everything unboxed and explained, let’s move onto some workouts.
Music Storage & Playback:
While the watch may not be aimed at the high performance crowd, one feature that’s likely to appeal to many is the ability to play back music that’s stored on the watch itself. Via Android Wear (and if you have an Android phone) you can transfer music to the M600 and then play it back via Bluetooth headphones.
To do so you’ll need to ensure your music is all happy within the Google Play app on your Android phone. Next, on the M600 crack open the Play Music app, which then queries you on what to do next:
At this point you can choose to play music on the M600, or you can control music on your phone. In this case, I’m all about the M600 playing it on itself. So I’ll choose that. It’s at this point that if it’s your first time doing so it’ll ask if you want to sync your music from the Android phone to the M600, I selected yes so that it does it automatically.
The M600 has 4GB of internal space, but after the base OS related stuff, you’re looking at about 2.6GB of usable space for your music and any other apps you load on it.
Last but not least, you’ll need some sort of Bluetooth audio device. It could be Bluetooth headphones (such as these $20 MPOW ones I often use, or these $135 Powerbeats ones), or it could be something like a JBL portable Bluetooth Speaker. Doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s Bluetooth audio. From there you’ll get your music machine in pairing mode, and then dive into the Android Wear Bluetooth menus to pair it up. Quick and easy.
At which point you can head back to the Play Music app and start playing your music as you see fit:
Finally, the battery life is actually really solid for music playback. Polar has benchmarked it at 6 hours for GPS enabled + Music via Bluetooth + optical heart rate enabled. That’s really very strong compared to other fitness watches that can do the same.
First Run Experience:
With everything all set it was time for my first run. I decided on a simple 5K run to get the hang of things, before going longer with it.
The first order of business is heading outside. Since the M600 has GPS internally, there’s no need to bring your phone along. Again – you can leave your phone behind.
Once ready you’ll go ahead and swipe to the Polar Flow menu.
Alternatively you can also just speak to the watch and tell it “OK Google, Start a Run”, and it’ll crack open the same Polar Flow app if you’ve configured it that way. The only challenge there is that when it auto-starts the Polar Flow app, it immediately starts the recording time, before it even has a chance to initial GPS lock or complete HR lock.
Once inside the app you’ll see some familiar Polar watch options: Training, My Day, and Sync (if on iOS, not on Android as it just does it continuously).
If you tap Training, you’ll then be given a list of sports to start:
Meanwhile, if you tap ‘My Day’, you’ll be given an overview of your day in terms of activity. This includes steps, distance, calories, and percentage towards a goal. It’ll also show you any sport activities you did that day:
Back at the training screen, if I had a workout transferred/scheduled for this day, it would have given me the opportunity to do that structured workout:
Instead though, I can swipe up/down through all the sport profiles that I’ve loaded onto my watch using the Polar Flow platform. Each profile allows you to customize data page and configuration settings for that sport. It also gives you more accurate calorie burn data.
These can all be changed on Polar Flow:
Along the right side of the watch display it’ll show you status of both optical heart rate and GPS acquisition. Once completed both will be green all the way around, and your HR bpm will show:
With that all ready, you’ll simply tap the sport name to start the workout. Once you do that the timer immediately starts
From there I was out on my run. The M600 allows me to swipe through data pages if I want to look at other data metrics (ones that I’ve pre-configured). You can also swipe to a pause screen to temporarily pause (and then stop/save) your run.
The unit supports automatic laps, but there is no method to manual lap at this time. I’ve brought this up to Polar as a fairly big gap, and it sounds like they may be looking at some options there.
Note that the display will dim somewhat when your wrist isn’t facing you. This makes for a bit of a lag between when you hold your wrist up to check stats, and when you can actually read the screen. At sunset it’s easy to read the dimmed screen, but on a bright sunny day (or at night), it’s tough. Polar says they’re looking to allow you to have the screen stay fully on when in a sport mode, which will solve that issue.
The heart rate shown on your screen comes from the optical HR sensor (unless you’ve also paired a Bluetooth Smart heart rate strap). In this particular test run, the optical HR sensor seemed to perform much better than the Polar A360 I tested this past winter. But Polar has also had numerous optical HR software updates since then.
In my test I wore a chest strap paired to one watch, and then used another watch on another wrist with optical HR sensor (Garmin FR735XT). I then overlaid all three onto the same chart below:
For this run, I started off with a warm-up, then did some simple repetitive internals. This sort of workout is one of my go-to’s for testing optical HR sensors, as it easily allows me to see if there is any lag on the HR sensor.
You can see that the M600 generally did well, though it did stumble on the first interval. However subsequent intervals were generally pretty close. The FR735XT seemed to catch the increase in intensity faster than the M600, but the M600 seemed to detect the walking breaks quicker than the FR735XT.
Polar says that the hardware on the M600 I have is final, though they expect many more software tweaks over the next 30-60 days until release. Said differently: This is still a beta unit. Actually, it even says it on the back of the watch:
From a GPS accuracy standpoint, things were ok for this initial run, though it did get mixed up early on for some time near the tunnel, and then again when I ran directly alongside some 6-8 story buildings. You can see the three plots overlaid below. This route was in the city and included a tunnel almost immediately upon starting, but also had some more open areas in the parks as well. This particular route can often be tricky for GPS units, especially one of the bridge crossing (as seen there where the Fenix3 cut the corner), and then immediately afterwards near the buildings on the island (where the M600 tripped up briefly).
Note that if you’d like to take a close look at these files, you can do so with the DCR Analyzer tool here.
Finally, upon completion of the run you’ll get a summary screen you can swipe through with additional details:
Further, the run is automatically uploaded to Polar Flow, where you can look at it on both your phone and online. Also, this will sync to Strava as well if you have that setup.
Note that if you use a 3rd party Android Wear app (i.e. Runtastic) to complete your activity, it won’t show up in the Polar Flow platform (though you would get credit for steps). Those 3rd party apps can leverage the optical HR sensor though.
(Note: All of the accuracy related charts were created using the DCR Analyzer tool. It allows you to compare power meters/trainers, heart rate, cadence, speed/pace, GPS tracks and plenty more. You can use it as well for your own gadget comparisons, more details here.)
I’ve added the Polar M600 into the product comparison database, which allows you to compare it against other watches I’ve had hands-on time with. Thus you can match it up against anything from Polar, Garmin, Fitbit, and others. Note that I realize that I don’t have all the Android Wear watches in there, which is simply a result of me not having time with every Android Wear device out there. I’ll be working to add more in there over time.
For below, I’ve compared the M600 against the Garmin Vivoactive HR and the Fitbit Surge. It’s kinda an awkward direct comparison of units, but it seems to fit the bill most logically in terms of the specific market this watch is targeted at (unofficially a geeky non high end performance focused fitness person…roughly). Except I threw in the Polar V800 as a Polar reference point.
|Function/Feature||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
|Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated November 24th, 2020 @ 3:33 pm New Window|
|Product Announcement Date||Aug 3rd, 2016||Oct 27th, 2014||Feb 19th, 2016||Jan 6th, 2014|
|Actual Availability/Shipping Date||Sept 2016||Dec 10th, 2014||Q2 2016||May 2014|
|GPS Recording Functionality||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Data Transfer||USB/Bluetooth Smart/WiFi||Bluetooth Smart||USB, BLUETOOTH SMART||USB, BLUETOOTH SMART|
|Waterproofing||IPX8 (good for swimming)||ATM5 (~50m), but no swimming||50 meters||Yes - 30m|
|Battery Life (GPS)||10 hours||10 hours GPS on (5-7 days in time/step mode)||13 hours GPS on||Up to 50 hours|
|Recording Interval||1-second||1-second||Smart Recording||1s|
|Ability to download custom apps to unit/device||Yes (Android Wear)||No||Yes||No|
|Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Music||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
|Can control phone music||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Has music storage and playback||Yes||No||No||No|
|Streaming Services||No||Payments||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
|Contactless-NFC Payments||No||Connectivity||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
|Bluetooth Smart to Phone Uploading||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)||Yes||Text and Call notifications only||Yes||Yes|
|Live Tracking (streaming location to website)||With some apps||No||Yes||No|
|Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)||No||No||No||No|
|Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)||No||No||No||No||Cycling||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
|Designed for cycling||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Power Meter Capable||No||N/A||With some Connect IQ apps (but cannot record data)||Yes|
|Power Meter Configuration/Calibration Options||N/A||N/A||N/A||Yes|
|Power Meter TSS/NP/IF||N/A||N/A||N/A||NP|
|Speed/Cadence Sensor Capable||No||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|Strava segments live on device||With Strava app||No||No||Yes|
|Crash detection||No||No||No||No||Running||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
|Designed for running||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Footpod Capable (For treadmills)||NO, HAS INTERNAL ACCELEROMETER||NO, HAS INTERNAL ACCELEROMETER||YES (Also has INTERNAL ACCELEROMETER)||Yes|
|Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)||No||No||No||No|
|Running Power||With extra sensor|
|Race Predictor||No||No||No||Yes, via Race Pace|
|Run/Walk Mode||No||No||Yes||Yes, via timers||Swimming||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
|Designed for swimming||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Openwater swimming mode||No||N/A||No||Yes|
|Lap/Indoor Distance Tracking||Yes||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|Record HR underwater||Yes||N/A||No||With Certain Polar Straps|
|Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)||N/A||N/A||No||Yes|
|Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)||N/A||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|Indoor Drill Mode||No||N/A||No||No|
|Indoor auto-pause feature||No||N/A||No||Yes|
|Change pool size||Yes||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|Indoor Min/Max Pool Lengths||N/A||17M/18Y TO 150Y/M||20M/Y to 250 m/y|
|Ability to customize data fields||Yes||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|Captures per length data - indoors||Yes||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|Indoor Alerts||N/A||Yes||N/A||Triathlon||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
|Designed for triathlon||No||No||No||Yes|
|Multisport mode||No||No||No||Yes||Workouts||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
|Create/Follow custom workouts||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|On-unit interval Feature||No||No||No||Yes|
|Training Calendar Functionality||Yes||No||No||Yes||Functions||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
|Virtual Partner Feature||No||No||No||Yes|
|Virtual Racer Feature||No||No||No||No|
|Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)||No||No||Yes||No|
|Tidal Tables (Tide Information)||No||No||No||No|
|Weather Display (live data)||Yes||No||Yes||No||Navigate||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
|Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)||No||No||No||Yes|
|Markers/Waypoint Direction||No||No||Yes (to pre-saved spots)||Yes|
|Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)||No||No||No||No|
|Back to start||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Impromptu Round Trip Route Creation||No||No||No||No|
|Download courses/routes from phone to unit||No||No||No||Yes||Sensors||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
|Optical Heart Rate Sensor internally||Yes||YES||Yes||No|
|Heart Rate Strap Compatible||YES - CONTAINS OPTICAL HR SENSOR||Contains optical HR SENSOR||Yes||Yes|
|ANT+ Heart Rate Strap Capable||No||No||Yes (Can also broadcast ANT+ HR)||No|
|ANT+ Speed/Cadence Capable||No||No||Yes||No|
|ANT+ Footpod Capable||No||No||Yes||No|
|ANT+ Power Meter Capable||No||No||No||No|
|ANT+ Lighting Control||No||No||Yes||No|
|ANT+ Bike Radar Integration||No||No||Yes||No|
|ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)||NO||No||No||No|
|ANT+ Remote Control||No||No||YES FOR GARMIN VIRB||no (but can control GoPro)|
|ANT+ eBike Compatibility||No||No||No||No|
|ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)||No||No||No||No|
|Shimano Di2 Shifting||No||No||No||No|
|Bluetooth Smart HR Strap Capable||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence Capable||No||No||nO||Yes|
|Bluetooth Smart Footpod Capable||No||No||No||Yes|
|Bluetooth Smart Power Meter Capable||No||No||No||Yes|
|Temp Recording (internal sensor)||No||No||Sorta (Available only in Skiing/SUP)||Yes|
|Temp Recording (external sensor)||No||No||Yes||No||Software||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
|PC Application||No||Windows/Mac||Garmin Express - Windows/Mac||Polar Flowsync - Windows/Mac|
|Web Application||Polar Flow||Yes||Garmin Connect||Polar Flow|
|Phone App||Polar Flow (iOS/Android)||iOS/Android/Windows Phone||iOS/Android/Windows Phone||iOS/Android|
|Ability to Export Settings||No||No||No||No||Purchase||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
|Amazon||Link||Link||Link||Link||DCRainmaker||Polar M600||Fitbit Surge||Garmin Vivoactive HR||Polar V800|
Remember that you can build your own product comparison chart here, using the nifty product comparison tool.
Overall the M600 is an impressive little beast, in every sense of the word. It’s a beast in terms of having music, GPS, a fairly decent optical HR sensor, and Android Wear all packed into one unit at $329USD. Not to mention it manages 8-10 hours of GPS on time, which is more than enough for the vast majority of activities of this target market. Let alone the solid 6 hours for GPS + music + optical HR…that’s impressive. Yet it’s also a beast in that it burns through battery life pretty quickly in just standby mode, like a hungry hippo.
Note that I asked Polar whether they thought this means that all future Polar wearables are Android Wear, and they noted that at this point that was unlikely to be the case. They pointed out that when you get to performance optimized devices (i.e. the V800), users are looking for better battery life (be it GPS-on, or standby), as well as more dedicated buttons. At the movement, Android Wear presents “challenges” for those types of devices. Thus the company expects to continue to make platform appropriate choices going forward depending on the market for the device.
At this juncture some of you might be wondering if/when Garmin might make a similar move. Yet, I think Polar actually answered that question for Garmin without realizing it. In Garmin’s case, they have Connect IQ. That allows 3rd parties to develop apps, something that Polar lacked until now. However that platform kinda differs from Android wear in many ways, but most notably is the type of apps you get. With Android Wear the apps are major companies (i.e. Strava, hotels, airlines, etc…). Whereas on Connect IQ they are more sport/fitness focused, and smaller companies. However, with apps on higher end performance devices (and to what Polar was saying regarding something like a V800), you don’t really want Android Wear as it sits today in terms of battery life. So Connect IQ makes more sense there. Whereas for general ‘lifestyle’ type devices (i.e. the M600 or the Vivoactive HR), then Android Wear may be a better fit in terms of the average consumer. Said differently, both Garmin (and Pebble as well) seem to be doing fairly well with their current app platform strategies, so I don’t expect any changes there.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this unit matures by time they start shipping in September. Right now the hardware feels solid (and is final), and the OS feels pretty mature for a beta/prototype device. I only noticed a handful of software quirks, all of which were more Android Wear related bugs than Polar bugs. But of course at the end of the day, it’s Polar’s watch, and thus Polar’s branding – regardless of the bug origination. Still, none of the bugs I saw in my beta were deal killers, but rather silly things like the WiFi resetting during an update download. So not too shabby given the beta state.
With that, thanks for reading, and feel free to drop any question down below!
Update – heads up! You can now pre-order the M600 via Clever Training, which is slated for delivery before the end of September. As a DCR reader you’ll save 10% with the DCR coupon code DCR10BTF, plus you’ll get free shipping on it. Oh, and best of all? You’ll support the site here. Enjoy!
This looks great – I’ve always had Garmins but the integration with Android Wear might be the thing that makes me buy this. Half sports watch, half smart watch (on a popular platform) is exactly what I’ve been waiting for.
I knew that you are preparing this article and waiting until they officially announce it. 🙂 At first glance, M400 with color screen and optical HR, but I’ll make judgment after I read your review. 🙂
Don’t want to say I told you so but….I did say it was only a matter of time until Android wear based watches would be on the big players. (I believe it was in your Connect IQ post) I do agree that the battery life needs to get better but Connect IQ has been an underwhelming to say the least. The amount of apps, flexibility, and intuitiveness is just unmatched if they can ever improve battery life.
So it would be possible to: install Strava, run it on the Polar and get live Strava segments (like the Garmin Edge series)
You can sync Polar Flow with Strava and get that stuff anyway.
Yep, AFTER your run. Not during the run…
Yes, you can. It’s possible because of Android Wear strava App
No power meter… Sad trombone.
The device itself isn’t on the comparison table?
I wonder if android wear apps could eventually add sensor connectivity, or if it isn’t supported by android wear for access to that hardware directly.
Support for BTLE sensors is limited only by the apps on the watch.
Well, I’m in. Using an M400/Loop 1 combo at the minute for when I’m training or not, but this is my perfect watch as I’ve been meaning to try Wear for a while now.
One thing, in the feature comparison list you’ve put the M600 as not supporting footpods – the Polar website is saying it does.
Interesting, I’ll check with them again. When we chatted yesterday it was just Bluetooth Smart HR straps.
“Polar M600 is compatible with the Polar H7 heart rate sensor and Polar Bluetooth® Smart running and cycling sensors.*”
I can’t find the asterisk anywhere haha, does that mean it’s not compatible just yet and is coming soon?
They are also talking (by today) of sound- and vibrationalarms, as well as Navigationfeatures (via App!) in Addition to the possibility to use H7-Heartratesensor and compatibility to Bluetooth smart run- and cycle-sensors.
As you said: Things are changing (given that the marketing-blabla is correct there).
Thanks, Ray! Great work as alway! I admire your site!
As the maker of the best android wear running/cycling app ‘Ghostracer’. 😉 I’m sure it will support all Bluetooth sensors. If not just downloaded ghostracer.
Ghostracer really is the best! Thanks for all your work on the app, Craig!
Ghostracer is the most compelling reason for Android Wear as a training solution and the reason I stopped drinking the Polar coolaid! I was reading all the “No’s” in the feature list and thought, “but I can do that if I just use Ghostracer!”. It’s just a matter of time before Strava buys you out or copies you Craig…
So can you connect the watch and chest strap without the phone present?
A quick question- if you disable the Android Wear feature (since i’m using iPhone and also because it’s less interesting to me), how much battery life can you expect in a standby mode? 2 days sounds quite restricting…
No method to disable that, since the entire watch platform is Android Wear.
For iOS it’s about a day in standby mode. I did my first 24 hours paired to iOS before switching to Android, and that seemed roughly in-line.
I guess Asaf wanted to know if it was possible to use the watch like a standard sport watch (I mean without any synchronisation between the watch and the iphone). For example by switching off bluetooth on the iphone. What will the battery life be in that case?
Yes, Ugo, that’s what I meant but I guess it’s not possible, so the watch is less atractive if I have to charge it every day or other day (when already charging other devices on a daily basis- a real pain. BTW, that’s why I gave up on Rhythm+ OHR, which is great in any other aspect).
Besides, it means after a year or so, the battery performance starts to deteriorate (usually companies talk about 300 cycles).
…See what October brings with the new v800.
If you install the Strava App on the watch: Does it support Strava segments as the Garmin Edge 520?
You can sync Polar Flow with Strava and get that stuff anyway.
I see what you mean Barry, but I think he is talking about “live” segments, not just syncing after the exercise – is that already possible using the Polar “app”?
Sorry – that should say “Andrew” – don’t know where I got “Barry” from 🙂
Haha I wondered who you were talking to there for a sec!
I guess that’s true if you analysis mid-activity – I’ve not used the Strava app for actual activity recording, so couldn’t tell you if it’s something I would use. I tend to do my analysis after the fact so wouldn’t really need it live.
Strava does not do live segments on wear yet. Ghostracer though can load segments into memory and then tell you how you compare after. Not ideal but without your phone there is not much choice.
Yes, after the run..
Greg, it does “live” segments as long as you choose them before you head out. It doesn’t suggest them like Strava or download them while you’re out exploring (which even Strava can’t do without a data connection, of course). But the experience on the watch is much better than the Strava app.
You can see how far to a segment and follow it on a map. You’re alerted when it starts, and during you can view your time split, speed, pace, etc. At the end of the segment you’re alerted with the results.
Watch looks nice and clean, sadly Android under the hood kills battery life (said by Fenix3HR owner ;)). BTW. nice analyser tool you have here Ray, any chance to have a account?
Thanks Ray so is there optical HR sensor going to work while swimming as does there HR belts?
Right now it’s not. They’re looking at enabling it, and are doing testing. In discussing it with them, they’re basically seeing the same thing I see from reader on optical underwater: For some people it works great, for others not at all.
Thanks Ray much appreciated
What about the T31 coded 5ghz heart rate strap? Will it connect to use while swimming?
Couple of questions, I currently have an Android wear watch (Huawei), and outside, during the day, the dial is next to impossible to read. Does the M600 have the same display type as the v800/M600? Also, if I use “cardio”, or another sport profile, will the OHR work in water? I’m asking as I am looking to replace the Huawei/VSHR+ combo with a single unit, (M600?), and the VSHR+ works well (for me) in the water.
Any news regarding HR recording underwater? Thanks.
I have used My M600 for several water aerobics classes, and the heart rate monitoring is actually better than with the Garmin fenix and HR-Swim. I am a bit overweight, and that may be the reason belts don’t do well underwater for me, but the M600 showed more consistency than either the Garmin, or even the V800 with the H7. I can’t say about extended (my classes are only an hour), or open water, or more vigorious actions, but underwater, no problem.
Good news! Will buy one!
great review (hands-on) as always!
one question – is the screen always on, or is it wrist movement/button activated. like in a360?
It’s always on, though you can change that to be wrist-on only.
With the always-on, it stays in a dimmer mode until you turn your wrist, then it gets brighter. It’s a bit awkward at night sleeping, as it’s this glow from under the sheets.
The always on mode is an Android wear setting. It is easy to turn off by using theatre mode (accessed by swiping down and then swiping left x3) which turns off the screen completely until you press the physical button.
Is that charger lead just a charger lead or does it have other functionality? How are M600 firmware updates etc performed – wi-fi?
Kinda wary after the dramas of the M400 usb connectors and the unit’s need to have the firmware/gps updates over that cable.
It looks like the Loop magnetic plug, I’d imagine though that you can update over wifi as it’s Android Wear.
Correct, exact same one. So no real worries there.
Right now it pulls Android Wear updates from WiFi or Bluetooth Smart. I did a WiFi based one two days ago.
For Polar Flow, it’s the app at this point, which I don’t know off-hand if the current rev of Android Wear can update that over WiFi, or if it’s just 2.0 that does those over WiFi.
Hi Ray, thanks for the early hands on. Do you know if the final release will come with vibration alerts?
I reply to myself. According to polar web, it got 🙂
It does have them, But the vibration intensity is terrible. Overslept twice already in 3 days.
Ooh, now I like the look of this. I use a Forerunner 610 for running at the moment but it doesn’t look so nice to wear full time. This looks much prettier 🙂
Would something like this be classed as an upgrade on the 610 or should I sell the children to the local chimney sweep and buy something even shinier?
This is exactly the setup I dreamed up when I first tried the Moto 360. I really liked Android Wear but the fitness features were insufficient so I returned it. This looks like a really nice marriage of fitness and smartwatch. Kudos to Polar for trying something new.
im really pleased with m600, i guess it shows what we can expect for the v800 successor at kona this october.
i guess m600 without optical HR but with the new H7i strap and barometric alt, plus better battery lifetime.
Hey Ray, nice preview of the watch.
I thought this supports ‘Swimming’ (at least pool) as an activity. Can you confirm this? The comparison table says no.
I read somewhere else (link to theverge.com) that it can track swim workouts too.
Is this feature not enabled yet?
It does support pool and OPEN WATER swims!
Link: link to youtube.com
Looks like a good watch for triathletes!
It doesn’t. Those are the same modes that have appeared in Polar watches forever, despite not actually collecting any swim metrics (the exception being the V800).
It’s merely for calorie calcs, but does not measure distance in the water at this time (openwtaer or pool). Polar did point out (as someone else did here), that there is an Android Wear app for pool swimming, which would work with the M600.
The M400 doesnt support open water swimming but t works. Only when you put your hands out and if you keep them in for more than 2 secs it’s gone.
Right…so…it doesn’t work. 😉
😉 yeah. Commented to mention how the experience would be with even using the android swim app(for open water) .
I am looking closely to a watch that can track open water, and I was really hoping for the m600. Now ill probably wait for the Suunto Spartan. Will there be a review coming soon Ray? Thanks.
I just received the Spartan Monday night, so still getting settled on it. I posted a video last night on unboxing/comparisons, and I’ll post another tonight with user interface stuff. Last night’s video here: link to youtube.com
I will be trying out the M600 at some point in the pool to see how it handles, fwiw.
Ah didn’t know that. That kindof sucks. Maybe an update in the future may add the features :/
Thanks for clarifying!
So it won’t connect to the chest strap and collect BPM during a swim?
Does it support interval training and creating custom workouts ?
Yes, as long as they are defined on Polar Flow first, and added to your daily calendar.
In the wrap up Polar seem to be hinting that the v1000 (for want of a better name) will be very much like the v800 when it launches at Kona which I see as a very good thing. I don’t want the battery life etc. but a genuinely readable screen is important and I hope Garmin don’t mess that up when they replace their current gen devices this Winter as 920XT and Fenix 3 are just about right screen wise.
The M600 is a great move from Polar, it addresses a huge market segment that wasn’t being met before. This segment won’t care about battery as long as they can do the occasional marathon, and the watch lasts until bed time every night – just like the Apple Watch.
Any thoughts yet on the Spartan screen? That one looks a tasty watch but again the screen needs to be good at that end of the market.
This is what Apple Watch should have been. Congrats Polar, you did a wise move.
I’m 100% agree with you 😉
Interesting look as always Ray!
I’ve been using a Sony Smartwatch 3 as a sports / smart watch for a while – in case of use:
Android wear has an interesting pool swimming app at swim.com which presumably would work on the Polar
There’s a very good standalone running app called Ghostracer which will pick up sensors too – I have my HRM paired with it
And it works with some beauty as a work watch.
However, the Sony’s IP68 waterproofing is (in my experience) only just up to it – I had to return one to Sony after there was some ingress, and I can see the seal going on on my replacement. So – very interested in this Polar one, looking forward to the full review.
Hi Ray, can you please post some more pictures of example data screens in running or cycling mode, also how many data fields can you put on one data screen and how many custom data screens can you configure for each activity?
I’m not very familiar with android wear, can you have a polar app and some other app like mapping app with gpx track displayed running in the same time simultaneously and switch between those two apps?
After the interval graph u said: internals instead of intervals (I think).
Watch: mehhh at best… multisport that doesn’t support any kind of Ant+ sensor
Interesting that they made an Android Wear device and it’s good the development is going forward and different choices exist.
But IMHO the overhead of a ‘bloaty’ OS like Android Wear is still too much for a comfortable watch usage without having to think about charging the device all the time.
Also an important point to note: how long does Polar guarantee that the device will be functional ?
Because when they stop updating Android Wear for the device in two years (or sooner), how will this affect ability of still running those apps ?
Seeing old-school GPS watches puffing along after 5 years ain’t anything rare, but they don’t run on pixie dust magical ‘smart’ software, like here, where a lack of updates can turn the device into a portable paper weight.
Shouldn’t be any different than Garmin. 2 years is a long time for product support.
You still rocking a 2 year old iphone? probably not.
Sport watches aren’t phones, which are usually replaced after 2 years on a subscription. Since the mobile hardware isn’t being developed as in the past there is no progress and need to change devices so soon.
And yes, I have a 2 year old phone, Android though, which is completely fine.
Ein Handy nicht, aber ich benutze noch eine Polar RCX5 von 2011 fast täglich beim Training. Warum auch nicht? Das Armband habe ich mal ausgetauscht, aber sie funktioniert noch wunderbar und mit einer neuen Uhr könnte ich auch nicht schneller laufen.
Not a phone, but still using a Polar RCX5 from 2011 for training allmsost every day. Why not?
Ray… Do they seem concerned with the rumors about a Google Android wear watch with fitness built in? Supposed nexus watch.
Also… Assume they don’t plan to sell their apps for non polar wear devices?
I would buy this if it had:
– 24/7 HR (to determine baseline/resting HR; I’m very bad at doing this myself explicitly)
– barometric altitude for more altitude based sport support (and stairs, I suppose)
what’s the benefit of barometer vs GPS?
…barometric works indoors (where lot’s of stairs are ;-), GPS does not
I was wondering if Running Index and Training Load statistics are provided on Polar Flow when using optical heart rate on the M600, or is a heart rate belt still required?
I use a mio link optical heart rate wristband with the polar m400 and get both running index and training load. One thing it doesn’t do is the fitness test as that requires the strap as it uses the variation in time between heart beats which the optical sensors just don’t give accurate information on if at all.
Ray – question about what feedback the watch gives when you’re running.
Does it have vibration alerts for laps/intervals, or only audible? (which I think I saw on a screenshot above)? If it uses the audible alerts, I assume those come through if you’re playing music fro the device?
Very interesting platform. Good to see it will be upgradeable to Android Wear 2.0. I understand 2.0 brings standalone apps to Android Wear. Would that allow iPhone users to load apps directly via the watch?
Also, I know Google has been improving their maps app for Android Wear. i’d be very interested to know if it’s usable for navigation, particularly with saved points of interest or routes saved to a gmail account. The ability to load a google maps view and show present location on a map view with gps only (no cell signal) would also be nice for trail runners.
I’d like to know the answer to your question as well. It seems like iOS users are left out from a lot of the features that this watch brings or am I wrong with that analysis?
Reading up on Android Wear 2.0 and apparently you’ll be able to browse the Android Wear app store and install standalone apps without the need for the partner app to be on your phone and regardless of what OS your phone is running. It will be able to use wifi, cell or bluetooth to do so.
That would mean iPhone user should be able to install apps directly from the watch itself once the M600 has AW 2.0.
Google decides about those apps and Polar can only recommend.
Is there any sort of automatic way to sync an external training plan like from training peaks?
I’m not aware of any way to do that.
Polar already has their own training plans
This makes sense from Polar’s standpoiint. Polar’s software development capabilities aren’t that quick and to develop an app ecosystem from scratch would take too much time. Questions I have are: 1) how much does it weigh? 2) What’s the max number of fields you can put on the training view? 3) It says it has Glonass. Can glonass be disabled and does it increase the battery life any?
1) 64g by my scale
2) 8 custom data pages, each with 1-4 data metrics per page.
3) I don’t see any method of disabling it either online or on the watch itself
Ugly design 🙁
Well, in some sense it is a very honest design language. The other smart watches try to imitate a classic watch face but they are not. This is a state of the art training computer.
Excelente review! I was totally sold by the addition of storage for music playback but it seems this would only work with an Android phone. Is it really so? There’s no way to put mp3 files on the watch and just play them from the watch without the phone interface?
I have the exact same question!
There’s no way to get them on the device without an Android phone. Period.
Perhaps in the Android Wear 2.0 realm an app developer will come along with a standalone app and make that happen, but as of today, it takes an Android phone. When you plug-in the M600, it doesn’t enumerate as a USB storage device, so you can’t just drag and drop. 🙁
Is Android emulator like AMIDuOS, BlueStacks App Player or any else solve this problem?
on the one hand:
– featurefull device
– brillant display
– good battery power
android wear seems a nice solution for long-term app support
on the other hand:
– the m600 architecture needs a lot of battery power because android wear & built in display.
– Battery life is then okay, can may be (software-)optimized.
– this unit is about 63g (m400 is 56,6g)
it’s a compromise between a modern & feature-full-architecture and the ultimate basic needs an athletes may have. I would prefer a bit more purist variation which is about 40g with more battery lifetime then.
Something like a V800, but in smaller regarding weight.
I recently bought a Polar A360, which I love – for everything but cycling and running. I dislike that I have to take my phone with me to use Strava, but the lack of GPS makes it necessary. Especially with running – I get an extra .1 miles/actual mile on Polar. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but a log of 9.9 when I’ve actually run 9 just seems excessive to me.
Seems like this new product fixes the GPS problem, as I wouldn’t need my phone to Strava. However, I wouldn’t use Android Wear – I have an iPhone. Does that make this product not worth it for me? Or even impossible for me to use?
Thanks! Looked at so many of your reviews before settling on A360 – they are the best on the web.
I love my 360 and the long battery life.
What about vibrate notifications. Does the M600 have vibrate notifications? What about sound notifications? The missing vibrate notifications were a huge miss on the M400.
Polar has done a good job complicating the decision between the vivoactive HR and the M600.
I may have found an answer… the Polar site indicates Vibration Alerts (link to polar.com)
Yes, it has vibration alerts.
Per Polar webpage, the display texts in language said 15 but I don’t know what languages they support in the m600 currently. Can we expand more language supports via Android wear settings or updates? Also I am wondering if the smart notification can display full contents of email / message / alerts as opposed to what V800 shows only brief message, which is not full contents.
Thank you for your review.
This autumn Google is going to release Android Wear 2.0 which is bringing some very interesting features. Do you know if Polar plans to upgrade M600 to AW2.0?
Yes, they do plan to support 2.0.
One should keep in mind that while Polar will most likely deliver what they promise they might not do it in a timely fashion. I guess it all depends on what is in the pipe next consuming development resources. If they are working on a V800 successor you can probably expect a quite significant delay on Android wear 2.0. If they are working on a triathlon android wear watch then the platform is probably the same and you will probably see a quick update to the M600
I highly doubt the v800 successor will be Android Wear because the OS eats battery life and the people who buy a V800 or similar want great battery life.
… was expecting this hands-on to have musical accompaniment.
… leaving disappointed.
Closer to MotoActv, but missed the connection to additional sensors. Still much better than the MOTO 360 Sport. If they would add in cadence, speed, and power sensors for the bike, and audio notifications for intervals and such, they’d sell well.
I agree. Ironic we still compare things to Motoactv. Five years and some of it still not matched. The Polar may be closer than anything else. But, just like the Tom Tom Spark, very limited sensor support. I like the Spark for running but not much else. Polar seems to have equally limited themselves. Also, you’d think that companies would figure out that looks has a lot to do with Garmin selling $500 and $600 Fenix 3’s. Please, no more square black gps watches.
Agree – I killed my Motoactv with sweat a couple of years ago – and have been surprised how long it has taken for something equivalent to come along!
I am really tempted to pre-order if Clever makes it available on their site.
Ask and you shall receive! The M600 is now available for pre-order at Clever Training, using linkage here: link to clevertraining.com
And of course, don’t forget to use the DCR Coupon Code DCR10BTF to save that 10%. Plus free shipping and all that jazz. Thanks for the support!
You got any UK based affiliates/codes Ray? 😀
Looks nice and a fine write-up but still saving my money for the suunto spartan Sport w/ HR sensor this Christmas
Will this device track heart rate while swimming with a T31 coded strap like I can do with the Polar A300?
Wonderful “preview” Ray as always! Your previews are more extensive than any in-depth review I’ve ever seen! Was wondering if watch has always on display? You mention dim mode but is that on all the time?
Yup, it’s always on. It’s dimmed unless you turn your wrist. Though, you can change those settings too.
But you can only switch the always-on off, which means the display will not dim but switch off.
There is no option to keep it on without dimming during an activity.
And I find the lag too long for a quick look, so it’s back to my Garmin…
Ray, you glanced over a bit but a big improvement to Android wear 2.0, which will be released in the fall, should solve alot of the iOS issues. One of the features is standalone apps so you don’t need your phone, which should solve some of the app issues on iOS.
So I asked a bit about the standalone apps on iOS piece to the Polar team, but it seemed a bit out of their wheelhouse. They know of course that standalone apps would solve some of these problems for iOS users, but not all issues (for example, music).
I’d be curious if you have a link to somewhere that dives deeper into how iOS will benefit with AW2.
Ray – a simple explanation is that 2.0 will give Android Wear watches the capabilities of an Android phone that can use an iPhone or wifi (or cell, if equiped) for all its communication/data.
For watch apps, you will be able to visit the Play store in a web browser with your Google account, pick an app, and it will automagically install on your watch.
A tracking app, for example, could exist on your watch only, which uploads all data through the phone or wifi when finished. No app needed on the phone to relay it from watch to server.
Music won’t transfer to the watch from your iPhone’s memory, but a music app on the watch could grab tracks from a cloud service or your laptop. Don’t hold your breath for native iTunes support.
Unfortunately, it looks like other limitations will remain. No replying to notifications unless they’re from Google apps. No making/receiving phone calls on the watch.
Bottom line, how much things improve for iOS users is almost entirely in the hands of app developers, but there is great potential.
Too bad that they didn’t try to reduce the size. On my tiny wrist it will look absolutely rediculous.
Having said that, I will probably buy it anyway. You have to support companies that are going down excellent routes like this. Well done Polar!
I am pretty sure that they did. The battery takes a lot of space and if you like to run for two days or have long training sessions with music, gps etc. then you just must compromise.
Future solutions will use less juice and Google continues to optimise the platform.
I agree with some of the above that the Apple Watch’s fitness features should be this robust.
Really looks like a versatile product.
Thanks for great review. Your comparison list says no navigation but on the Polar site it shows a picture of a screen looking like a gps car navigation including direction instructions. Whats is that in that case?
Mike, I think is only the Google maps application, as the watch is capable to download an Android application.
But you can not download a route a follow it in your watch as the V800 can.
Jorge – maybe not in the Polar app, but other Android Wear apps will give you that ability.
Yeah, definitely not in the Polar app.
It’s part of the challenge of adding in these types of devices to the tables, is where do I draw the dividing line. With Apple Watch, Android Wear, and to a lesser extent Connect IQ & Pebble, there’s tons of cases where apps can fill gaps that would otherwise be ‘no’.
Some of the obvious ones I’ve been putting notes next to ‘Available via 3rd party apps’, but it’s hard to know every app on the planet, and whether or not that apps implementation is legit, or just half-ass. :-/
That explains it, fully understand the issue what to include or not. For trail running it’s very valuable to sometimes pre load a gpx file now when Polar Flow finally allow to uppload thsese files. If it’s available in M600 via an external app it’s fine to me.
Little video,a year old, showing gpx loaded into android wear fitness app(Ghostracer). link to youtube.com
I’m just spamming this page with my own app.
Interesting. I was holding out for a replacement for my M400 but I decided to take the plunge and get the Garmin 235 when it went on sale last May.
The M400 had a lot of good features and was a pretty decent unit. This looks like a good successor. Too bad they didn’t get it out a bit sooner.
I may be in the minority, but I like to listen to audiobooks and podcasts when I run. The issue I’ve seen with watch music players is that they never save your place in an audiobook like a standalone podcast app would, so you have to cue up the track to where you were in the book/podcast before you start your workout.
Can you try loading an Android podcast app like Podcast and Radio addict and see if it’s able to save your place in your “Reading in Progress” section? I’d love to be able to lose my phone while running.
I think the app BeyondPod might do this. It’d be nice for someone to ensure it works before forking over $329
Im almost positive Pocket Casts app does this also
Not a minority. I listen to podcasts exclusively.
I’ll try and remember tomorrow to load it up, toss a podcast on, and see if it says my spot.
Did it work?
Mark. Pocket Cast works well with Polar M600. Google Play is also working as it should. Hopefully we also see Spotify in a near future working as stand alone as it going to do with Pebble Core.
This works presently with the Pocket Casts Android Wear app on Android Wear devices. Should be the same for the M600.
I know i am idealist but it would be nice to see this in a triathlon version. As many have said battery is the main issue. Hopefully over the next few years battery efficiency will improve to the point it works well for a triathlon. I am still sporting my Ambit 2S and don’t plan on upgrading for awhile but a triathlon android watch would make me want to upgrade
link to mediatek.com
So the chipset does support Ant+ although being Polar its highly unlikely they will support it. But maybe if there are generic ant+ drivers for android wear…
Interesting indeed, would love to hear from an Android Wear developer on what level access they’d have…
My wife has a Garmin Vivoactive HR … and I would like to have a similar activity watch. Which one of the 2 watches would you chose?
I read your review since at least 2014 and you do an excellent job to help a user have a feeling about a new product and you had an impact by one of your review for me to not buy a product al least.
I’m a long time Polar user and I’m really please to see the characteristics of this new M600.
I’m living in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and I train almost daily outside, doing running workouts.
During a lot of day, a runner need to have gloves, and my guess is that below a certain temperature the screen is not responsive even with the user putting off on glove to try to swipe the screen.
So what about that?
Good point. Suunto’s new Spartan Ultra has a touchscreen as well, but they have said that you can still access/control the watch via the physical buttons. From what I can tell so far, that does not seem to be the case with the M600. Would be interested in it’s performance in below freezing temps.
I’ll create a gloves video tomorrow and upload it (and see for myself how well it works).
just to be clear, my impression is that surely the swipe screen is not usable below a certain temperature even if the user has put off his glove and his touching the screen with his freezing fingers.
I ran many times in temperature below -20C here in Quebec, and my guess is that probably that even below -10C that the screen is not usable.
So if it’s the case and that the user can not use a button to pause, stop the workout or to change the sport view…
Any word on HR broadcasting so the HR monitor can be viewed on a Garmin Edge?
Thanks for your reviews!
No such broadcasting. Also, the Edge would require ANT+, which this unit isn’t supporting.
I love the potential Android Wear brings to app/feature development. My only concern from this hands on is the gps accuracy. The v800 is one of the most accurate gps watches on the market. I hope the M600 fares better in the in-depth review. If accuracy is suspect, like it was for the two Fenix 3’s I tried, the rest of the features are irrelevant to me.
Yup, as part of my review you’ll be able to dig into all activities I do and decide for yourself (plus my analysis). It’ll be the same tool linked to above that you can check out the files in.
Thanks for the in-depth pre-view! Would LOVE to see a picture of it on a small wrist – is it too bulky and heavy? Especially when compared to the FR235. Thanks!
At the moment, not movement…typo.
I’m guessing from the table above then that this will not talk to my chest band whilst swimming the way my v800 does? I love the v800 but i really want Android AND a screen that looks like it dates back to the 1990’s.
Too bad it doesn’t work with Balance scale and doesn’t have Fitness test in it. Until then – no buy.
A lifestyle watch that doesn’t work with their lifestyle scale? Yeah guess I’ll stick with my V800 then.
They said this feature may be released in the future, but it won’t be there at the launch.
Polar is committed to evolve the platform long-term and I guess it will get a lot of attention.
To be fair, Polar has been pretty good about following up with firmware promises. It took a while, but cadence counter function showed up on the M400 months after it was promised.
based on the pictures I saw, it looks as if the M600 would be using the same power cable as the Polar Loop. Is that correct?
Very interesting comparison of the HR sensor accuracy.
I already use Android Wear with various apps. I also have an older generation Polar watch that works for swimming. Although I applaud Polar’s initiative to launch an AW device, the Polar is too bad looking to be worn for anything else than work outs.
What I’d like to see is a really good looking watch, that could pass for a regular watchy, with a circular high rez display, waterproof to 10atm, working in the pool, and with sensors so that it can be used for e g repcounting when working out with weights, while simultaneously working for HR, running, biking and swimming. I’m sure someone will bring something like that to market and they’ll have my money. These are opportunities that are entirely possible to be harvested today by a company that has a broader vision because the technology is already here. On the other hand, perhaps the app makers will take advantage of it, and the watch brand won’t matter.
It would have been better if you would have compared it to the Fitbit Blaze.
You can change the comparison chart to whatever you want to compare it to.
I didn’t compare to the Blaze because:
A) Blaze lacks GPS (Surge has GPS)
B) Blaze lacks apps (Surge doesn’t have)
C) Blaze isn’t really a standalone device, Surge is.
I could certainly see why one might shift that way, but in general it has more in common with Surge than Blaze. Even if just barely.
Can M600 send heart rate to phone so that I could use Polar Beat when cycling and watch heart rate and speed from my phone? When cycling I could use M600 only as bluetooth heart rate transmitter.
No, not at this time.
Some ideas for the complete review.
– Is it possible to switch off bluetooth only ? Is it possible to switch off WiFi only ?
Is there a plane mode switching off BT and WiFi ? If yes, does it also switch off the GPS (like the M400)?
– Battery life in sleep mode?
People won’t necessary want to use the watch all the time (because they have several watches or want to use the Polar M600 only for sport). I’d like to know if it’s possible to do a running session monday, put the watch in a drawer, then do another running session next thursday without the need to charge the battery. It’s possible with a M400 (or a Tomtom Runner), with a Pebble watch, not really with an Apple Watch.
– How long it takes to boot the watch?
Like other smart watches I suppose it’s possible to shutdown the M600.
I shutdown my Apple Watch because I don’t want to have it always in charge (I don’t use it every days), It takes around 2 minutes to boot. It’s very long… For Pebble Watch it takes around 10 seconds…
– Is it possible to listen music without a phone (after synchronization of course)?
If yes, an Android Emulator, like Bluestacks, could be used to synchronize musics, like with an android phone. An alternative solution for iPhone owners. To test also with apps (some of them wich work without phone).
Cherry on the cake, use android apps such SyncMyTracks to synchronize activities between Polar and Runkeeper (and other) is possible with an android emulator
DCR – do you know if polar will release more new watch models this year?
I don’t think this was a teaser for an upcoming watch. Polar released this picture, and in a few days announced contest for a chance to win a trip to Kona triathlon competition.
Which to me is a good thing. It doesn’t seem like Polar is following the path of “planned obsolescence” as closely as other businesses do but trying to catch up on development. That’s good for the consumer.
Awesome review! Thanks
1) If I pair it with a strap rather than using the optical, will the 10 hour GPS battery life get better or worse?
2) Does it provide swim metrics indoor?
3) Does the GPS work on outdoor swims? (The M400 has open water swim mode but loses GPS signal the moment my hand starts to go underwater)
The two day sleep mode (non-activity) battery life pretty much kills this for me as an everyday watch, and puts it into the fitness device only category. Looks like when my M400 starts to get more funky/sketchy that I’ll be heading to Garmin again.
Things change, life goes on, adapt and go forth.
Same here, all seems pretty good till you get to battery life and no 24/7 HR. I hope they release the real upgrade to my M400. Maybe I’ll jump to the updated V800 that could be released around Kona 2016, October or Garmin 235. Who knows!
Thanks to DCR for this excellent preview.
I really like the M600 design and features. Apart from running, can I track other workouts (HIIT, Weight lifting, Insanity etc)?. I would like to track continuous HR, calories burnt, HR zone etc. when doing these workouts. If I have paired the watch to an iPhone, will the polar fitness app work?
Also, if the watch is already paired to an Android phone, can I still go to Settings…Bluetooth on iPhone and pair it that way too to get call notifications?
There are a variety of sports that are supported by the Polar watches (M400, V800 and I assume the new M600). Circuit training is one of them as are fitness dancing, disc golf, and boot camp, canoeing and several other obscure activities – perhaps the most obscure being Finnish baseball. You set up those sports profile using the Polar Flow app. You get all the standard HR, calories burned, elapsed time, etc. data for those sports profiles.
I’ve got a M400, this may be a nice upgrade. Although I will definitely wait 6 months or so for them to work out the kinks, and lower the price a bit. I’m not going drop $329 on something I’ll throw away in 18 months!
Sounds like a nice little beast, Ray. Just a thought: since the TomTom Spark seems to be in the same target audience of multi-sport capable watches WITH music, might you add that to the list of devices for that side-by-side comparison? (I know that you have the product comparison calculator page that allows us to do that, but casual readers of this review won’t know that.)
I have to say as a M400 owner, I’m disappointed with the specs of the M600. Only things that interest me are the music player and ability to swim with it. I’m meh on the optical HR monitor, especially since Polar hedges and allows pairing with a H7 for more accurate readings. That aside, the real deal-breaker is the 2-day battery life. The Android component isn’t that useful to me. I want a pure sports watch – not a hybrid/compromise. If I want a good Android experience, I’ll bring my phone along. Maybe the update to the V800 will be the pure sports watch I’m waiting for. This seems like a crossover product.
My thoughts exactly. Guess I’ll have to keep using my m400 till that happens.
Image of Polar Flow workout on Aug 1 states M400 instead of M600 in title?
Correct, it’s done prior to announcement to ensure things don’t slip up anywhere publicly. Pretty common by companies. For example, when Garmin launched the Fenix3, all activities showed up during beta as a FR920XT. 🙂
Whilst I’m a long time Polar user and defend them passionately against my Garmin touting friends I may struggle with the price point for this. With a price of £265 vs £250 for a Fenix 3 (non HR) I think this is over priced. So I will wait a while. Polar are also retry well known for their prices ‘settling’ if this had come out at £199 I would have jumps on it. But I think that would have made it a very competitive AW watch, and as I’m mostly about the fitness maybe this isn’t the watch for me.
I will however wait to Kona to see what the Vxxx becomes, and whether there really will be a follow on to the M400 which I currently have and love, this watch with Polar OS and 24/7 HR with a colour eink screen a la VAHR would suit me down to the ground.
And battery life of a day with reasonable use does hold out much appeal.
Huh? This is the same price as the Forerunner 235, but it has music and Android Wear. Garmin’s the one that’s going to have to cut its price.
$499 Aussie dollars compared to under $200 for the M400 makes it a hard sell as an exercise watch. Expect the V1000 will be more expensive?
Polar support emailed me back. The T31 coded strap WILL monitor my heart rate with the low end A300 watch/receiver.
The M600 WILL NOT work to monitor my heart rate while swimming.
It bothers me that Polar does not seem to care about heart rate monitors while swimming. So I will be stuck using the A300 and all those advanced features will either be unavailable to me or will force me to buy the V800 that I really don’t need. w
Yup, correct. I validated that as well last night. No T31 support.
Does the watch have a built in speaker such that Google Now can respond to questions or give turn by turn directions?
Can you please expand on what differences, if any, regarding the Android Wear experience between the M600 and another Android Wear device (e.g., the Moto 360 2)? I am looking to consolidate a Garmin and my Moto to 1 watch without losing smartphone functionality (voice-controlled maps, text, email, etc.) and without sacrificing fitness performance (primarily running).
Dustin: I replaced an Huawei Smartwatch, and Garmin VSHR+ combination with the M600, and have to say, for someone looking for what you’re looking for, the M600 is the way to go. I go to fitness classes 4-5 times a week, ride a bike, water aerobics, and the M600 works beautifully through it all. Plus, unlike my Huawei, if I turn the watch into “Theater Mode” overnight, it still tracks sleep (no times though, are ya listenin’ Polar?) and lasts a full 2+ days. The M600 is the perfect watch who wants to combine the two types, not so much for the marathoner’s or the semi-pro athletes.
Hi Ray, thanks for this early review. I was intending to buy the new Garmin Vivoactive HR until I saw this popping up. How would you compare the Polar M600 to the new Garmin Vivoactive HR?
Thanks for the review – I love my RCX5 and have always been a polar fan ( I tried a Garmin once but didn’t like it) but I wanted optical heart rate and integrated GPS. I need long battery life and change of sport mode for ironman – does the new m600 fit this? I have an iPhone rather than android.
There is no way to switch between activities after starting one. M600 supports no “mutli-sports” in that case (triathlon). Battery life is about 10 hours. If you look only for Polar, then this time V800 has all needed features, lacks optical HRM. Garmin FR735xt (“only” 16h battery life) and Garmin Fenix 3HR are possible solutions.
Thanks – looks like I need to wait for the next new polar to fnd my ultimate device (I have the tomtom multisport but it doesn’t tick all the boxes either)
I am annoyed and frustrated to learn that the newwest device, the M600 is
not compatible with the T31 coded strap.
The options for recording and monitoring real time heart rate while
swimming are very limited. It seems strange that it I could use the lower
end A300 watch and the higher end V800 but nothing in the middle.
Is it only novice swimmers and elite athletes that would care about this
feature? I probably fit somewhere in the middle.
Is the T31 coded a legacy product? Will it be phased out? My H7 strap never
really works in the pool with the A300 so I still keep a functioning T31c
just for this feature. That was what Polar support insisted that I needed.
Do many swimmers still support the idea of heart rate monitoring in real time? If so how come so few of the newer products really allow this?
Please help me understand! I have been using Polar products for 25 years.
I use Mio Link on same wrist as M400 for heart rate while swimming using the Indoor profile. No swim metrics are measured other than time and HR.
From what I’ve seen, it’s pretty rare for folks to record HR in the pool with any number of watches (up until something like the HRM-SWIM). Even though Polar has had it forever, very very very few people did that. I’m guessing something like 1-3% of purchasers of the watch.
However, more importantly, the main reason you don’t see it in this price-point is that it actually requires purchasing of a different chipset to support the analog side (for Polar’s solution). Whereas Garmin and Suunto do a data offload afterwards (which means no-realtime feedback during the swim).
The T31C works fine with most Polar models (“Compatible heart rate monitors include, but are not limited to: FT1, FT2, FT4, FT7, FT40, FT60, FT80, CS100 – 400, RS100, RS300X, RS400, RCX5, V800”) so I don’t understand your comment on the “very limited options”.
I am also disappointed to see that the M600 would/can not be used with the T31C … but will keep checking once the watch is released if they will not enable it for the Swimming sportsprofile. Similar to what they did/do for the V800: only works together with the T31C for the swimming profile in my personal experience. (If I start a running profile it doesn’t want to pair with the T31C…).
Apparently Polar simply does not want people to use some models (like the V800) with the T31C which could be a reason that the T31C is (‘partially wrongly’) listed as INCOMPATIBLE for both the A300 or V800 here
link to support.polar.com
Regarding if HRM during swimming is widely supported: not really. I am a former elite swimmer and always do my swims with a T31C but I rarely see others in the pool with a strap. It takes some getting used to, the strap tends to move downwards after flipturns or sprints (especially with a new strap as the plastic is rather ridged) etc. HR is also not as big a deal during swimming (compared to running/biking) + more difficult to keep an eye on in real time. So I guess most elite swimmers will find it to much hassle and most novices will be more concerned about surviving their laps (and/or don’t want to come across as an ‘overly serious poser’)
Will it be possible to use speed sensor and a powermeter like stages in future like the v800?
Or can you use a third app for this?
Otherwise this would be really sad for cycling
Is there such thing as a Polar H7i?
Has anyone tried this?
Will this device allow syncing with the Polar Balance (scale)?
Unfortunately not. Only via the app on your phone.
Great review, as usual.
Do you know if, once started the activity it can be sent to background and switch to another app (like maps)?
I try to understand if route guidance can be achieved in any way.
I like, Gorilla Glass, onboard music, but I want 24×7 activity tracking and automatic activity tracking to cover those brisk walks to and from the train, or to the store, or whatever that I might not characterize as an activity. That can be added via software so if its added, I’m likely interested. Looks sharp.
24×7 activity tracking is on all the time for this device
True, though, not 24×7 HR monitoring (only during workouts).
Acutally you can have 24/7 monitoring but not via the polar app.
There is a plethora of apps doing that. For example sleep as android can track your sleep with HR and depending on that it can even wake you up clever.
Heart Rate OS can be configured to monitor your HR 24/7 at intervals with averages of your choice and sync that to google fit. That is awesome. Here is the app link: link to play.google.com
Amazon UK has at 190-200 Pounds the Garmin 230 and the Suunto Ambit 3 Sports. What would be your choice considering mainly the future support that the device will receive and secondly workouts like 65% running, 30% cycling and 5% swimming.
I wouldn’t go over that budget and even if I would like to have an optical HR wrist reader, I am pretty disappointed by the Garmin Vivosmart I have now as it has a fantastic lag in reading the intervals or changes in pace.
Me too. I really liked the Basis Peak because of that automatic activity tracking. The Apple watch seems to note some brisk walk activity too.
The Basis Peak had some advanced features that have yet to be copied. I wonder if a similar product from Intel will return to market.
One wonders why those features can’t be incorporated as software into an Apple Watch or this android Polar M600.
I had big hopes for this unit and then it comes without swimming metrics – ray, do you know of plans adding them with future updates, as they did with the v800? Regards and thank for your good work!
Any recommendations on a great wireless BT headset or buds for cycling and running–had the backbeat FIT but found the conversation outside to be unbearable for background noise when speaking to folks and my wife….what’s your goto for running and or cycling–have you tried true wireless/cable less options? thanks!
I have really been enjoying my MPOW Wireless earbuds. I have the MPOW Swift, which I paid 20$ for on Amazon.
And…I just realized he already mentioned them 😛
Can you lock the screen. I also do kickboxing and I’ve found if the screen doesn’t lock whenever I do a workout with boxing gloves on it turns it off – one of the reasons I can’t use a fitbit. I’ve also had problems with the vivoactive HR screen unlocking on me so I went back to a button only device to avoid that problem. Any thoughts. Right now I’m using a M400 and a 735xt. I would love to try the M600 though.
I’m disappointing that Polar has gone this route. The USB port on my M400 is on the fritz, so I have been waiting to see what Polar has coming, hoping for something like an updates M400/800 with better battery life and perhaps an optical HR sensor.
Using a device like this with a touchscreen and a lack of physical buttons sounds like way too much hassle for training; I misclick physical buttons enough as it is trying to stop or pause runs, touchscreen would be a nightmare.
Hopefully they have something else in the pipeline as your last couple of paragraphs suggest. Otherwise I may have to switch to Garmin.
Do you know of a good wearable device that has the ability to track indoor rock climbing?
I wonder if it would be possible the use the polar workout functionality (with vibrations/sounds) together with a 3rd party gpx waypoint navigation software. So that I can navigate and still see/hear/feel my workout alarms when too high or too low. (like I do now with my Garmin 310XT)
I hope that you would write unbiased reviews, but by receiving profit whenever this item sells (using your coupon code) may give you reason (conscious or not) to give more positive reviews in some circumstances. I do like discounts, but I feel you may want to reconsider that program.
If it’s a discount site wide, at least reconsider embedding it in a particular article. I do not think you are biased. If you follow some product representatives on instagram or some fitness websites, often articles/posts are written by people directly connected with the product they are directly/indirectly advertising. They often add discount codes. Those people are not often clearly stating their association with the particular brand, but if you look closely you can find their connection. I don’t think that is you, but I’m still slightly uneasy about it.
and also, thanks for writing this article because there really aren’t others out there as thorough as you are.
I think DCRM writes unbiased reviews and is not marketing or biased. He has written negative reviews and still has the link. I think you are bring harsh and the reviews and analysts is very good. The original review of the 1000 was very negative and had the link/VIP program.
I have zero to change my partnership with a retailer or the discount code. Let me explain why.
In the world of the internet, nothing is truly free. Eventually all sites have to make money to justify time or expenses. Even hobbyist sites eventually hit a point where they taper out because the time commitment becomes too big, or they put some sort of revenue generation on their site. And at the other end, you have larger publications that every word in an article is validated to not upset some advertiser that’s spending tens of thousands of dollars on ads. Which is how you got to the point of magazines being totally useless reviews.
I don’t have that. I can write pretty much whatever I want because I don’t have any ties to the companies I’m reviewing. If you want to buy the product afterwards you can do it on a 3rd party site (Clever Training or Amazon). If you want a discount on it, you can do it on Clever Training. I specifically do it this way so that it doesn’t matter to me what product you choose, as I get the same % amount either way. Most regular readers know that I actually tend to skew towards cheaper products over expensive products in recommendations. And even if you don’t want to buy a product, that’s fine too. You can buy whatever you want on Amazon, or nothing at all and the ads helps some (but I block all the companies I review from advertising).
As for a discount code, I’ve never had anyone complain about getting a discount. So..that’s a first. It’s site-wide on Clever Training, though some products require a VIP membership as per manufacture restrictions. If I removed mention of the discount code from the review pages, quite frankly people wouldn’t know about it. And that seems kinda silly to hide something that people so clearly want.
As noted by Karim, there are countless examples here of me writing harsh reviews when products deserve it.
Thanks for the reply. I appreciate all of your support and the work that you do. I am sorry that I came across as complaining. In retrospect I could have been more clear about my comment. I understand your approach and I respect your sincerity and honesty of your work.
Has it continuous heart monitoring?
Sorry, I made an incorrect question, what I’d really liked to ask is:
could it be possible to have continuous HR on this the device with a future software update?
It’s not enabled/there today with native software, though, it sounds like some 3rd party Android Wear apps can do it. However, that’d likely have a pretty significant battery hit (optical HR usually does).
Sorry, I made an incorrect question, what I’d really liked to ask is:
could it be possible to have this featute with a future software update?
Technically possible yes, but whether or not it’ll happen – Polar has committed.
Everything about this seems great except the GPS altimeter. I read your article on barometric pressure vs GPS altimeter. It was published several years ago; does it still hold true? Would the m600 be a poor decision if I run a lot of hills?
That article is still accurate.
The only thing to note is that these days most software platforms do elevation correction afterwards online, so it tends to be less of an issue than it used to be.
Thanks. So does the software then adjust the distance afterwards? So even if it uses a barometer, it won’t really be accurate in real time ?
If polar made a watch with android wear does it not sound logical that their next cycling computer will be android phone 😉
They already made one.
Does anyone know if Google Fit will be able to use the watch’s GPS? I know there are syncing options, but I would like to be able to use the Google Fit app to track my runs, rides, etc., within the app (just for simplicity’s sake). I know for example that on the Moto360 Sport the Google Fit app onthe watch could not use the watch’s GPS. (A also don’t know if that is a watch or app issue) Thanks for any insight.
I know strava has the option to use device gps which i believe is android wear. And strava syncs to fit so that might work. Not such a problem.. might save a few % from the battery on phone.
I want to thank you for two things. First, the discount – it was actually a pretty awesome discount! So good I ordered one, without seeing a size comparison (I’ve had the OG Moto 360 and I wear the Huawei Watch daily. That was a big downgrade in screen size so I was hesitant about this screen). Second, for having THE best article (and videos for that matter) on this piece of hardware. I mean, seriously the best on the internet. I’ve looked. Well done and thank you!
Will the m600 have golf or is an app available for golf?
I need hwlp. which would be more suitable for daily monitorament , A360 or Fitbit blaze or arises ? The only GPS is with the surge , right?
Will the M600 have the fit test like the M400?
Thanks for your awesome reviews!
I purchased the m600 and received it yesterday (8/20). I have been using Polar flow with the m400 for the last year. To me the Polar Flow system is the best out there to track my runs and fitness. I am currently training for my first marathon.
Two weeks ago my m400 failed on me (the usb charge port shorted out) and I was excited to see Polar come out with a watch with the HRM on the wrist and was one of the first to order the device.
Here are some of my thoughts on the m600 vs. m400 after one day (and two runs) using the device.
– Great Display
– Android wear works great
– Heart Rate Monitor on wrist is awesome
– Running Index – I would have expected this to be included on the device; I am assuming they will be adding this with a firmware upgrade in the future (it was on the m400).
– Cadence (was also added to m400; I assume it will be added to m600 in future firmware as well)
– Have had some issues getting a quick GPS signal, I am sure this will get better with time.
All-in-all, the m600 is a great device, I was just a little disappointed that some of the features of the m400 were not on this device out of the box. I have confidence that Polar will add these in the future. They definitely have a winner hardware-wise on this device.
Do you know if polar app can be sent background once activity is started?
Yes, it can.
That’s great, if HR is tracked in background, another app could be used to route guidance.
Do you also know if gps can be queried by two apps at the same time (polar/ghostracer for instance)?
According to the M600 manual it has running index, is this not the case? Even with H7?
link to support.polar.com
Perhaps this could be the reason? . . . Running Index won’t calculate if you stop during your run for an extended period of time and the Polar is on pause. I notice this when I put in half a mile to get to the designated meeting spot of my running group. It takes some minutes to get organized and moving (ten minutes give or take) and this is enough time on pause to cancel the RI calculation.
How good an implementation is this watch of Android Wear (in other words are we being compromised on AW due to the fitness features?)
Would you test it with the Endomondo standalone app.?
To see if its works with the GPS plus the heartratemonitor please.
not bad but bit disappointed by the lack of interval feature. M400 haa just a very basic interval feature but still very useful. If the M600 doesn’t even have that very basic function, this watch is only good for jogging around the park. Or perhaps an app could solve it but would be much simpler if it was a standard built in feature. The back to start function is also very useful in M400 which doesn’t seem to be included in M600, it gives the confidence to explore a new place or city by running wherever you please and still being able to find your way back!
By the way, an android tablet would also work to synch all the apps and music, not only a android phone, right?
Very useful review, thank you!
I expect that when my FR220 dies I’ll get an Android Wear based running watch, but hopefully that wont be for a few years as this isn’t quite there yet.
Any updates on:
– Running index. (even if watch doesn’t show it, does it show on flow.polar.com?)
– Support (now or planned) for stride/cycling sensors.
Running index was implemented in the last update within the last few days. Cross that one off your list. 🙂
I just got mine today. Is there a way to get the annoying “OK GOOGLE” prompt to not show up every time you raise your wrist?
Yes, say OK Google a few times to activate it, after five or six times it will go away
Awesome. That was stupid easy. Thanks!
Great review as usual!
One simple question: I (still) run with my smartphone + running app (Strava, Runtastic,..) because I like and I don’t want to miss audio-feedbacks after every km; when the voice tells you time, distance, pace and hr.
I’m waiting till one of the big sellers (Garmin, Strava, Suunto) launchs a new running-watch with integrated audio-feedback. Well, I’m still waiting!
Is this the first watch with this feature? Or not? It has internal storage for music. But audio-feedback while running?
you mentioned in your test, that the bottom button can be used to manually trigger a lap – but it doesn’t :-)?? At least with my M600 I experience this problem. Also if I load a structured workout from flow to the watch, there is no way to manually switch to the next phase.
Any idea on this? Thanks in advance an thanks for all your time and good work!
Thomas, same question here, no way to manually trigger a lap? After looking to change views after adjusting it in the “sport profiles” there are only “automatic lap” options leading me to believe that this feature has been omitted. Hopefully it’s just oversight and this feature will be added in an update (soon). A running watch without a lap feature??
Sorry, I thought I had fixed that. I discovered the same thing. When I did my first run, I had tapped the watch and thought it had lapped – in reality, it was just dumb luck that it was the exact same moment that it auto-lapped. 🙁
I went back to Polar and they say it’s something they’re looking at. I noted to them the exact same sentiments about being a fairly big gap. It sounds like they’re looking at some options, but don’t have any specific timetable. 🙁
Thanks, just a quick question in your chart it said that M600 does not do VO2 max, but in polar website it says that it does using the Polar H7 strap.
Where do you see that? Couldn’t find it
I probably misread it as I don’t see it any more. I guess it does not do it, which is deal breaker for me. M400 is still the best watch, cheap and it has all the features and more than this new one, apart from the android wear which I am not really interested.
I wanted to move to a wrist HR, but it seen that its not possible to get the same level of data as the strap.
Maybe in the near future they will add that capability.
Just found it in A360, it was the same for M600 but they remove it.
It’s not on CT UK yet…..
I’ve already asked this but no answers yet.
Question to those who already own the watch: if you install an app like Strava or Runtastic, do you get audiofeedbacks while running (distance, time, pace, hf, …) ?
I am very pleased with the interval function on my Polar V800. There I can set in different times and zones of each interval and get a feedback (sound/vibration) when its time for a run/rest.
Its this function also available on the M600?
Have looked for a smartwatch for a long time and this look like the perfect combination between a dedicated pulsewatch and a smartwatch since I dont need all the advanced function on the V800. Its only the interval function I am absolutely addicted to.
I browsed through the M600 user manual and I didn’t see the interval feature, which is utterly disappointing! The only similar functionality is the option to create a Training Target in the Polar Flow web service and add it to your diary but it doesn’t seem to be as user friendly..
link to support.polar.com
V800 may be too advanced but this is too basic. No lap times, no interval feature, no back to start feature… They should have left out those dumb “smart coaching” features! I wonder what were they thinking when they released this?? By training they probably mean hit the road and run for 30min but training sometimes is more structured and this watch doesn’t support it.
Disappointed to hear that. This alone make me not to buy a M600.
Guess I just have to keep the V800 another year and see what future updates or next version will bring. In consideration its may be smart to give both Polar and Android Wear another year in the market before I change my dedicated training watch with a smartwatch.
Thanks for answer @Steven
yes I’ll do the same, stick to my M400 and wait until they come up with something more usable
Surely a third party app is already available for these sort of features ?
It has a lap button, so I think it’s safe to assume that it records laps.
As for pre-programmed interval workouts, you do have to do them on the website. It’s not quite as intuitive as with Garmin’s tool, but it’s not bad.
No manual lappage.
That is actually insane. A lap function is the defining characteristic of a sports watch. Every Timex Ironman can do it.
Just got the M600. So far 2 issues. The vibrating silent alarm barely vibrates the watch. You can hear it, but you can’t really feel it on the wrist. I overslept. This is key for me. Also. I can’t get it to connect to the computer to edit the sports profiles. The defaults are all wrong on the profiles. Heart rate and GPS aren’t enabled.. I tried it on 3 different computers. Anyone have suggestions on either?
I found the vibration too subtle. I contacted Polar, there is no way to make the vibration stronger. However, they sent the recommendation to the people that work on updates. So, hopefully this issue can be solved in the near future.
Issue #3 – Since I can’t connect the watch to the computer to update the Sports Profiles, I used Endmondo for a CrossFit Benchmark. The M600 did an awful job of tracking heart rate. Average Heart Rate was 90, max 120. It should have been closer to 150 and max of 170, which means it also underestimated calories burned. Very disappointing. MS Band 2 does a much better job with only 2 LEDs. Maybe if I can ever get the Polar Flow app to work it will make a difference. I realty want to like the M600, but it seems like they forgot to test it.
Update: I called Polar support to figure out how to fix the problem that the Polar Flow Sync won’t recognize the watch via USB. Well, it turns out that the M600 doesn’t use Polar Flow Sync. It updates wirelessly. So, that was good news. But they still had no idea why the HR Rate and GPS sensors were not turned on when using Polar flow on the M600. They initiated me a return label. I then figured out that that the permissions were not enabled for these sensors and they couldn’t be turned back on. I then decided to do a factory reset and it fixed the whole problem! So, I was finally able to do a CrossFit WOD with it and the Polar Flow app. Unfortunately, the Heart Rate still seems to be understated and the Calories Burned significantly understated. Still may return it.
Have had the watch for 2 days. So far liking it. Have to get used to it, as I made the switch from Garmin. Like the Polar app. Sleep tracking is not that great. Went on a walk/run this morning, GPS was spot on, heart rate was spot on. It was not too hard to see in the sun! The vibration is a bit too subtle… I think I will like this watch more as the days go on.
Returning watch after 2 days of use. I have 2 main reasons for return. 1. the vibration motor is too subtle. 2. the touch screen is way too sensitive. Just wanted you all to know.
I bought a runtastic gold membership in July this year and really like the app, what I don’t like are HR chest straps, because they tend to stop working very often, so I wonder if runtatsic is able to use the internal heartrate monitor of the M600.
Could you tell me that, please?
It should. I don’t use Runtastic, but it works on Endomondo.
Well I own a M600 now but by now wasn’t able to use the heart rate monitor with Runtastic 🙁
Download SyncMyTracks and then you can sync your Polar Flow with Runtastic (and lots of more tracking apps).
As Ray has pointed out this is a advantage with the Android Wear on M600. There are tons of apps out there which can fill the gaps thats otherwise had been a no with Polar
“The m600 stumbled on the first interval…” I purchased the a360 7 months ago and quite like it (except for the fact that it has no integrated GPS). I noticed that during the first 15 minutes or so of an activity, the heart monitor isn’t accurate at all (I also wear a suunto device with a chest strap to compare) but after that it catches up and shows a heart rate 95% of the time at +/- 1 or 2 heart beat/min.
A lot of people receiving their watches… i preordered with clever training straight away and not even shipped. Where should i buy? Direct from polar?
Same here. I think the discount is worth the wait. Up to you, it does seem Polar is shipping their own shop first. Also seems to vary by location/country. Here is the response from Clever “We do not have a set ship date as we do not have this product in our warehouse yet. We will ship out as soon as we receive them. Polar has not begin to ship theirs our yet, they will begin to do so at the end of this month” “As shipping from Polar will be at the end of August, that is when our shipment will be on it’s way to us. We are expecting them to arrive from Polar closer to September, per the stock status on the website.”
I cut out the irrelevant parts
I placed an order on Polar as well as clever training. The polar order shipped on 31st August, so I cancelled my pre-order on Clever training. I would recommend pre-ordering on the Polar website, they seem to fulfill those orders first. Clever training has not received their stock yet.
The heart rate monitoring on my wrist isn’t accurate. I mainly tried it at cycling and compared it with my V650 + H7 chest belt. Sometimes the heart rates matches really good, but sometimes the monitoring gets very low.
Are there any advises for this? Is it possible, the watch doesn’t fit right at my wrist?
Thanks and bet regards
I believe generally the problem with optical HRM’s is that they work pretty well if you wear them close but not too tight (perhaps due to restricting blood flow?). Also for probably the same reason when you lift weights with one arm HR is usually accurate for the other arm but the for the one that has the watch it will always be lower. This is probably because the arm always expands a bit when lifting big weights.
Probably for cycling is a bit similar thing when your gripping the handles. From what I’ve read usually the accuracy for optical HRM’s seems be worse for cycling than running.
For my MIO sensor it also seems that wetting the sensor (yeah, seems a bit silly at first) helps to get the accuracy better from the start. This is probably since the algorithms also take sweat into account…
Looks interesting, but it’s a Polar.
I got an M400 and after a firmware update it simply stopped syncing with my LG G4. It seems that Polar has been aware of this issue the last 6 months or so, saying that they’re working on it. Sure doesn’t seem that way.
The real question is: is e.g. Garmin’s product support any better, or are all they equally sucky?
For what its worth, the same thing happened to me. I’ve tried different phones to no avail. For me, it used to be that one Polar update will break sync, then the following update would fix it. It was a running joke in my running group. Now it just wont sync over Bluetooth anymore. I have a MotoG4 and cannot get past the ‘sync failed’ message on watch. Awesome watch otherwise.
FYI – Update to Polar Flow 3.2.5, Oct 3rd has me syncing again… Typical. Cheers
Blaklokkeveien 15, Trondheim, Norway.
Would you recommend this before Polar V800 ?
“For this run, I started off with a warm-up, then did some simple repetitive internals”
Extensive and nice review, but I’m still exhausted after laughing like crazy !
Among you that already received your M600, what do you think about the size for daily use? I currently use my M400 but are missing the smart watch part and are thinking about upgrading to M600, but it look very bulky compared to M400.
I had my polar m600 since last week. I find the size about the same as polar v800. I had polar m400 before. In my opinion, Polar M400 is bulkier than polar m600.
Have had it for about 3 days now and really like it so far. I don’t find it bulky and it actually is pretty stylish. I have worn it to work and have not gotten any wierd looks or comments. So yeah I would say it is definitely an everyday watch. My only complaint is the vibration motor , it’s very weak and exacerbated by the soft and thick silicone band absorbs most of the vibrations.
Thanks for your opinion, for me it stands between the M600 or a pure Android wear watch since I miss my dead smartwatch 3 much. M600 seems like a ok combination, a bit bulky but and not to sexy display, but still I hope it will be more durable than some pure smartwatch. And a good training watch!
Clever Training received some in today and shipped them this afternoon!
Update #2: After 2 weeks with the M600 some more analysis an comparisons to the Microsoft Band 2 (MB2) and Garmin Vivoactive HR (VAHR)
Screen – M600 is the best, VAHR is way too dim, MB2 is too small
Heart Rate Monitor – MB2 is the best for intense workouts, like CrossFit. Both the others really underestimate heart rate and calories burned. M600 is better than the VAHR, though, for accuracy, but is not 24×7. VAHR has resting heart rate
Fitness Tracking – VAHR – gives you the most information on the watch itself. M600 really gives you nothing on the watch as data except for current days steps, distance, and calories burned. No history at all.
Sleep Tracking – MB2 gives you the most info and is accurate. M600 is accurate but not much info. VAHR is really inconsistent and sometimes way off
Smart Alarms – Just wanted to highlight this as others have indicated the vibration intensity on the M600 is awful. The thickness of the watch seems to absorb it all and you can barely feel it.
Battery Life – VAHR easily the winner. It lasts a week. 2 days for the other two.
Waterproof – M600 and VAHR go in the shower and can be used to swim. The MB2 not so much.
Core App – Microsoft Health is great, and their internet site is the best. Garmin is good. The Polar is app is pretty minimalistic. You need go on their internet site to see data that the other 2 provide in the phone app or even on the watch itself.
OS – Android Wear provides the most apps and most flexibility. You can respond to texts, notifications. Use the Microphone to execute commands. I am also looking forward to Android Wear 2 coming this fall. Garmin Connect gives you a few things, most of the third party apps don’t work very well, though. Microsoft Band works best with a Windows phone. Not too much gained with an Android phone.
Bonus – If you want a truly stand alone watch for running, the M600 is the clear winner. Android Wear allows you to store MP3s directly on the watch itself. Plus with GPS you are all set. The other 2 have GPS but no onboard music, so you will still need your phone on the run or some other type of mp3 player.
Overall winner – despite its issues I still like the M600…basically because of what Android Wear gives you. If the heart rate monitor worked better, I may have picked the VAHR. The battery life is too good to pass up.
Dave: Thanks for the in-depth. I think the M600 is going to be it for me, I’ve ordered one from Polar, it should be here Friday. I’m looking for something to replace my Huawei Android watch, and the Garmin VSHR+. Now I only need to have one “shackle” on my wrist after all this time. I generally use the website more than the phone app, so that doesn’t bother me, the big thing for me is only needing one device for everything. I like the Polar in-depth analysis on their website, and absolutely LOVE the Android watch, and this combines both for me.
I got my hands around a Beta M600 for a quick run
Let’s try again, shall we 🙂
Some folks were debating what new Polar watches are in the works – I have no idea what they do on the V800 levels but I read an interview from a Polar executive and he hinted that Android wear is not (necessarily) the path forward for all of their watches – in fact he pointed out that for more professional/serious sporting folks a watch needs to be more optimized and have more manual buttons and a way better battery life.
Also, I was yesterday at a running event where Polar was represented. The fellow had a new watch with him that is to be released around October. This is an entry-level GPS watch with OHR built in and will sell for around $150.- and it was round (that watch might have actually more sports features than the M600 ;)).
Lastly I did a quick run with the M600 (it was a beta) and at first I was thrilled. However, as I was running there was no (traffic light) auto-stop. I am not sure if that is configurable but I doubt it (and this is just ridiculous). Furthermore, as some mentioned, no manual lapping. It also didn’t present me with auto-lap alerting, but not sure of that was just not configured (I assume this is sorted out in the released version). It took a long time to get GPS signal (couple minutes). No Back to Start either. And one of the biggest issues during running was the Android wear “dimming of the display”. This is great but not during an activity – but there seems to not be a way to keep this on during activity. So what this meant is that when you were running you lifted your arm and turned the wrist to look at the watch and it took 2 seconds before you could actually read it. It seemed like an eternity and is really not beneficial during running.
Lastly, is it just me or is it not very disappointing that the M600 at this price point has significantly less “sport features” than the almost half priced M400? I was waiting for this watch to come out as I want a mid-range sports watch that has OHR and I knew they were working on one. So I am very disappointed that it is more of a smart watch with sport features as oppose to what I thought a mid-range sports watch with smart features….
Totally agree Rolf, it is a smart watch with some sport features, not a proper running watch. Hopefully they will come up with something more advanced in the future
Rolf, I believe you’re correct. This watch was designed, I believe, for that target audience that is “into” sports, but not as serious as a regular decathalon runner, ‘tour de france” cyclists, etc, but for someone who wants the information provided on Polar’s website, in a watch that can be worn every day, with the smart watch features. I owned a fenix 3, and the screen was nearly impossible to read in sunlight, even with the backlight on. Also, it was WAY overkill for my needs, I’m a 68 year old man, who through diet and exercise has lost significant weight (100+ Lbs), and really enjoys his Gym time. I go to group classes, water aerobics, Mall Walks, and 10-20 mile cycling. This watch allows me to have the benefits of the Huawei that I now own, and love, except for the impossibility to read the screen outside, with the benefits of having a decent sport watch, that will give me the metrics that I like, and with the added benefit of needing only one device to do it. If I were a decathalete, training for Iron Man, “serious” cyclist, I’d have something more complete, or in-depth, to recover other more serious metrics, such as R-R rate, heart rate after exercise, (ie, recovery heart rate), etc that was available in the fenix 3. I’m sure that Polar didn’t intend this watch for the semi-pro crowd, just the somewhat serious couch potato.. 🙂
Well, I am puzzled about their strategy – let’s face it their main reason for Android wear is because they don’t have their own app eco system. It is also of course personal taste but it looks a like a sports watch and not one I would want to wear all day…
More importantly though, they could have had a significant competitive edge. All the smart watch manufacturers started of with smart phone features and then added activity tracking because there was a real demand. Now they slowly chip away on the more serious exercising features (see Apple). Why because there is a market for it and it makes sense to consolidate sport and smart functionality. And of course the likes of Apple came from the other end and it is a learning curve and it evolves over time. Polar came from the other end of the spectrum, had a solid sports features set and decided to go the Android wear platform. They added OHR but not continuous, so clearly not for the every day wearer but for exercising – hence this significant implementation is targeted for those that run, bike, and swim (well only in theory since it doesn’t work). So there competitive edge is the sports feature-richness over the other smart watch manufacturers and they cut it down – and let’s not forget that the Android wear has limited appeal for all the iPhone users. I am no product strategist, but them omitting many of those features that they are experts in and already have and are on (the half-priced) M400 and some from the V800 (given their price point) just seems off to me.
That said, my hunch is that they struggled with getting the watch out the door. I was told in April (by a representative) that the watch was slated for early May but it slipped to August. Maybe they didn’t get the features adapted for Android wear and cut more and more to get it released. Either way though for me very disappointing unless several of those features/improvements come later…
Potentially therefore a watch that will see a large reduction in cost unless they can leverage some more of their sports oriented features. With Apple Watch 2 entering the market at $40 more (at MSP) the advantages of the android wear platform, and the attached app ecosystem seem to diminish, especially when you see the stats regarding the visitors to Ray’s site which shows a real advantage to iOS.
So as a M400 user, and a real Polar fan boy this isn’t the watch for me, but I still see something on the horizon that I hope will keep me in the polar camp, if this doesn’t materialise by Christmas, I think a jump to Garmin will probably be the course of action for me. Potentially 735xt. Let’s hope they pull the rabbit out of the hat.
Quick question to the owners:
Has anybody already tried to download an app like Ghostracer and pair a Bluetooth sensor (for example the Wahoo RPM Cadence) from within the app?
Just wondering if this works, since natively cycling sensors are not supported.
Kalle, my M600 should arrive tomorrow, and if it does, I do have a Wahoo Blue Speed/Cadence sensor, along with one of the BTLE Footpods. I will try to pair the Wahoo SPD/CAD sensor, and let you know how it goes, unless someone else comes in first.
Well i tried to pair my Wahoo speed/Cadence using the Bluetooth devices option in Android wear settings. The watch can recognise both sensors but for some reason, both sensors appear disconnected.
Charles – “just works”-type Bluetooth sensors require an app to take ownership. I think Ghostracer is the only Android Wear app that supports external sensors other than HRMs.
Once you install it and add your sensors on the phone app, the watch app will use them.
Wow didn’t know that. i will try and feedback again
Charles, do you have any news regarding this?
I have tried twice now in my last 2 bike rides and so far ghostracer android wear apps did not record my cadence and speed sensor values. Both my wahoo cadence and speed sensors are registered in my watch bluetooth device list.
Charles – Do you have Ghostracer set to run in standalone mode? Is your speed/cadence sensor listed in its sensor section on the watch? Does the bicycle icon on the first screen turn white when you launch the app, to let you know it’s connected? Did you configure a watch screen to include sensor:speed and sensor:cadence, so you can see that they’re working on your ride?
One thing is that Ghostracer displays the speed from the sensor, but records the ride according to gps data. Cadence is recorded, however.
You may want to come to the Google+ Ghostracer group. You’ll find lots of help there. The developer is very active there, too.
I just got my M600, am an avid Polar user. I have a V800 that I use most of the time. The M600 has been on the Android start up screen for 2hours so far. I have turned it on and off several time and it’s just in a constant loop. Any answers? Will be sending this back tomorrow morning at this stage –
The bouncing animation? Is it on or off the charger? I thought a long press did something might check the manual on resets or recovery mode. Could try booting off the charger or letting the batt die out and letting the charger power it on. Or if you’re not using the charger turn it off and when you connect the charger it will power itself on.
Thank You. It’s the horrid Android bouncing animation! I have turning on and off. Placing with charger, but he bouncing animation has been on 4+hours. I will let the batteries die out. Hard reset is only possible through Flow Sync and I can’t get to that stage. Poor and bad customer experience so far.
This is my third Android Wear watch and I haven’t ever had that issue, that’s pretty unlucky. Did it happen out of the box? This is how I get to recovery on my Huawei watch, if this works short press until you get to reboot-recovery and then do a long press, it will reboot into recovery and you can do a factory reset from there.
1) Hold down the power button.
2) The screen will go black for about 2 seconds and then boot into the logo. Keep holding down the power button.
3) Wait for the first vibration, release the power button and then immediately give the power button one short press. If you feel the second vibration, you waited too long to do the release and press. Start over.
Thank You Noeltorious, Unfortunately that did not work either. I let the battery run out last night as it was in the constant loop. The morning I have charged it and tried all sort of restarting options. It cam out of the box like this – has been in a start up loop. I will be sending this back and letting Polar know.
Anybody knows if it’s posible to pair at the same time two bluetooth devices?. For example, an headphone to listen music and a heart rate monitor. At the same time?.
Thanks in advance.
Hey I just tried this for you and I was able to pair my wireless Beats headphones as well as my H7 at the same time. I was able to listen to music during the activity. It’s smart too, if H7 is connected there’s no wrist measurement and if it’s not connected it functions as normal – no manually switching between the two. Cheers!
Ive found strange HR recordings during my runs. My max was something like 201, normally my max is 195 when using chest straps. Also i felt like i was running easy being able to talk etc but i was hovering around 165-170. Not sure if its inaccuracy or my HR is just higher recently.
Does the m600 allow changing my HR zones?
Apart from the HR weirdness, im loving the watch. Bought from polar, 2 working day delivery.
It could just be cadence lock, where the heat rate monitor is picking up your cadence. It happens with wrist heart rate monitors.
DCR, do you plan an in-depth review of this watch in the released version and if so when?
Yup, working on it as we speak actualy. My guess is about 7-10 days out. Interbike is next week, which is kinda crazy, so the week after.
Can’t wait for your next review of M600. So on the fence still!! 🙂
Today Polar Flow was updated so now you have Running Index also with M600. As you and several other has pointed out there are other functions that you get on the cheaper M400 that you, at the moment dont get on M600. Talking to Polar yesterday and they told me that several of this functions are also going to be on M600 because they see a demand for it.
Yeah, if they add the running features from M400 and maybe V800 (I would have expected the feature set to be between those too and not below the low-end) I am very interested myself. And hopefully they can address the dimming issue so that the display doesn’t dim during activity and have an auto-pause when stopping at traffic lights (I only tried a beta-version and so I am not sure if either one was addressed for the release). Also, I saw a German youtube review and it seems the watch itself doesn’t keep a history, but maybe that was user error….
Ray and others with an M600:
Early web comments say the vibration is weak. Have you found this to be an issue? I rely on vibration to signal me while officiating and need a strong vibration. Thanks!
I heard that too that vibration is almost non-detectable during exercise (not sure if that is the hardware or the firmware and they can increase vibration). I also heard that there is absolutely no audible notification whatsoever – so if that is true, I guess it is not such a smart smart watch. Hence I am looking forward to the in-depth review from DCR…
I havent any problem with vibration or notification. I mention to Polar that some customer has that problem and they looking in to it. Regarding autostop/start u just swipe to pause screen to temporarily pause your run.
For me M600 works very well. Good battery life (compare to other) with HR, music on board together with Android Wear and Polars great Polar Flow & Bear i got a watch that fit the boxes for me. I got M400 and for me M600 is a huge upgrade. For other its not what they looking for
Lars, thanks for your insights. Is it a huge upgrade for you due to Android Wear/Music and OHR? What are your thoughts on the running features (compared to M400 and/or in general)?
Also, so you are saying the watch has audible notification (without headphones)?
Also, does the display still dim during an activity? When I tried the watch it was bothersome to say the least…
Thanks for your insights (local store doesn’t sell it yet and I don’t want to order online just yet – I tried a beta version)
I wouldn’t describe it as overly strong. But it’s not horrible either.
I agree with you and for me its more then enough but for some others here it seems to be a problem and Polar is aware of that. Thanks for a great work and Im looking forward to your review of Apple Serie 2.
Rays table with product comparison is great to way to see if a gadget fulfils important boxes for you. I got a Polar M400 that I like but M600 tick, for me, important boxes that’s M400 doesn’t.
I love to listen to music and podcast during workout. With M600 I can do that without having to take my phone with me.
I have a decent HR on board that makes the need for chest strap limited for me. I actually compare M400+H7 and M600 during a HIIT and the reading was very similar. Occasionally I going to have M600+H7 during workouts but I don’t going to need that combo that often.
I can go swimming thanks to IPX8 that I can’t with M400. I actually used a AW app during pool session and I got distance, times that I can’t get otherwise with M600 or M400. Then sync that data to Polar Flow
There are still few functions in M400 that you, at the moment don’t have in M600. For instance manual laps but with updates from Polar I think us soon going to have these missing functions on board.
With Android Wear the there are tons of apps out there which can fill the gaps during workout that’s otherwise had been a no with Polar (even no with V800). Polar M400 is not close to have all this data during & after workout and the flexibility to customize them thanks to Android Wear.
AW 2.0 is soon here with better functions and 3rd parties is hopefully developing even more useful apps that I can use with M600.
To have music & podcast, HR, waterproof and AW means I only need to take the watch with me during most of my workouts (and a blue tooth headset) and that’s fantastic for me. It’s far from perfect (will we ever have that gadget?) but it thick important boxes for me but for other it doesn’t.
This was a reply to Rolf
Just got an update for the polar app on the watch – we now have running index. Next, waiting for running cadence on wrist ;-). Good to see polar getting updates out there quickly.
Same here! That was quick. I’m quite impressed. Looking forward to more updates 🙂
This looks great. I have the M400 but wanted to get an android wear watch for other functions. Was going to buy seperate watch but this looks ideal.
However does it have NFC? Wil android pay be available when Android wear 2.0 is released?
Doeas it have an always on display for the watch part ?
If not, it is not for me…
It has Always On. You can turn that off if u wish, perhaps for saving battery.
Could a Garmin 820 detect the watch and pull HR from it?
No, the Polar doesn’t broadcast HR at this time.
Hi DCR when do you let it rain with the in-depth review of the M600? :). I would also be particularly interested in how it stacks up against the V800, the Garmin 235/735, and with respect to using it in the iOS eco system (albeit that is suppose to be improved when Android Wear 2.0 is supported). In your hands-on you had it more compared to smart watch / activity tracker, but I am personally more interested in the running/sport side of things. I just love to have one with OHR built in. As always thanks for all your diligent work you do.
Rolf I have been checking this site daily for the last couple of days to see if there was already an in-depth review of the M600. Actually I was planning on posting a comment today to ask when we could expect one.
I see that you also ask the same questions: I would like to know how it performs as a sports watch.
I am not interested in a smart watch (I will probably disable all phone notifications because life is already stressful enough) but I would like to know how it compares to my M400 or the Forerunner 235 for I am looking into sports watches with a built-in OHR.
Yup, that’s exactly what I am looking for a Sports/Running watch with built-in OHR. Android Wear (don’t care about notifications one bit) and Music is just nice-to-have add-ons for me – albeit the music will come in handy and I think is great.
Hi, don’t buy the M600 if you’re not interested in Android Wear. You’ll be incredibly frustrated.
But regarding the OHR, I find it quite good, it’s enough for 90% of the workouts and I use the H7 chest strap for the specific cases where I want the 100% accuracy.
Running with just the watch and the Bluetooth headset is awesome.
Don’t buy it now if you have iOS device, wait for Android Wear 2 sometime early 2017. (maybe)
Hey Ray, can’t believe you know nothing about M200…
link to twitter.com
link to polar.com
Neither can I. And there were all these rumors about a V900 to replace the V800. So much for the rumor mill…..
I had actually mentioned in this thread a few weeks back that they work on an entry-level round running watch with OHR. I had tried out the prototype for a short run. Also – link to dcrainmaker.com
Ok I was hoping for a v800 or m400 with OHR or even a new v800, but nothing seams to be coming anytime soon. My question then is how would the m600 be as just a polar watch (non smart watch)? If I am using iOS and don’t care about apps and only use it to workout using polar to monitor my hr and progress, how would it do? Or should I just give up and buy the v800? Thanks
I wouldn’t get the Polar M600 then. You should only get if you want the smartwatch features foremost. You lose a lot of the true gps fitness watch functionality with it as compared to Garmin watches. I haven’t tried the other Polar Watches. But the Garmin Forerunner 235 is a true GPS running watch with OHR and it has much more fitness stats on the watch than the Polar M600 does. The M600 has no history on it at all. And you get stuck with 2 days of battery life. Never buy it unless you want the Android Wear smartwatch features.
Ok thanks, didn’t realize about the history. Thanks again.
Wow, what an excellent review! Can’t wait till more of those NO in ur table will switch to YES 🙂
The competition… the progress engine!
Have the watch a few days:
1. So far like it
2. IoS users don’t purchase it
3. OHR works fine underwater
4. Wifi kills battery life. Also not needed if u are usually near ur phone
5. Vibration very weak
6. Does not have any audio cues (beeps) is that correct??? Really???
7. I got the white band. Now changed the mind. Any UK based want to swap for a black band (band swap only they are removable and polar wants £23 for another band)
I just love my new Polar M600! For running training: How do I actually set a vibration alert, if my heart rate goes too high of the level I want? Should be somewhere in Polar Flow, but I dont find it.
One way to achieve this is to create an interval training target based on heart rate zone.
2 Days GPS-off battery life (regular watch mode) — seems too short compare to my m400
It looks like the latest update addresses the manual lap problem. Is this true? link to support.polar.com
plus they added the option to keep the display on during the whole training session! That’s definitely an improvement
In your review you say: ‘Those 3rd party apps can leverage the optical HR sensor though.’
But I can’t seem to get my heart rate in runtastic… I’ve mailed to runtastic and they told me that the heart rate sensor is not compatible with the app…
Did you figure out a way to do it?
is there an app that has voice coach (android wear) without having to connect it to the phone?
I bought the M600 in September 2016. ever since it was a hate/love affair. I had to reset it frequently (and loosing all exercise data). When it works, its fantastic, but unfortunately the main purpose (activity tracking / hart beat ect) are unreliable. Syncing with the phone goes automatically, but looses data in between i.e. after a run (with H7 paired) I burned 1056 cals on the watch. After syncing the run session showed that only 723 cals burned. Sometimes the data did not sync to the web page at all.
Last thing is that activity during sleeping was greyed out, like the watch was measuring nothing.
I got rid of the M600, waste of money and learning point for me.
This is a first watch with Android gear, and needs a lot of improvement before it is as reliable as e.g the V800 or even the A360 in terms of collecting, protecting and syncing data.
If Polar continues to put their faith in a 3rd party like Android wear, I am not so sure this is a winning combination in the future.
what app for music and for the M600 do you recommend, downloading first on iphone ?
Would it be worth it to get the Polar M600 if i have an iPhone, or would a fitbit surge be better suited?
I am seriously looking into the Polar M600…however, I cannot seem to find an answer to my main question, of which whether or not I make the jump and purchase it hinges on. If I go for a long run (on a trail, in the woods) and leave my phone in the car, will I be able to access Google Maps or a map in Strava (again, phone is several miles away from me at this point) to see where I am at?
M600 is now updated with Android Wear 2.0
link to support.polar.com
How do you listen to podcasts on the M600 if you only have an Iphone, is it possible?
Was a great device until I upgraded to Wear 2.0. Play Music no longer has a shuffle function. Since I use this for running, a shuffle is a requirement for me. Also, a big list of other features that were removed. Oh well, back to the iPhone for music.
GPM has a shuffle function. You have probably already discover that but otherwise just open watch app and press Recommend and then Shuffle all shows. I got that from start but a friend got same problem as you with AW 2.0 and shuffle.
Thanks for the reply Lars.
Pardon my ignorance, but what is GPM?
Apologies! Google Play Music (GPM).
Doh! Of course. Thanks.
I hope the problem with shuffle is solved.
LIVE TRACKING (STREAMING LOCATION TO WEBSITE) (with some apps), can you tell wich apps can do this..??
Pretty much all Garmin and Wahoo GPS units do this, in conjunction with their respective mobile apps.
OK, but in my new Polar M600 i am trying to find an option for live tracking from my homefront, so my girlfriend good see where i am at a specific moment. The watch can not do this on stand-alone base i think..
Hello. Did they add the autopause feature for outdoor activites for Polar M600? Thanks