Tech Review: Polar M400 GPS Running Watch

December 17, 2015 - running watch

Last month we wrote an essay about how we schooled to conclude aptness technology, in that we generally addressed a merits of a Polar M400 GPS Running Watch. In this article, we mangle down a facilities of a watch for readers who competence be interested. 

All photos by Jorge Figueiredo.

The M400 GPS Running Watch is a sleek-looking square of wearable technology. It is a singular territory with a stiff, durable, and simply tractable wristband. Relatively light (just underneath 57g), and slim (just underneath 12mm), a rope becomes some-more open when it warms adult during earthy activity (I’ve been regulating a watch for a month with no pointer of any tearing). The interface (for charging and syncing with a computer) is an unclosed micro-USB pier on a back, that was a bit disconcerting until we satisfied that it’s H2O resistant to 30m and customarily needs to be dry to be used. An progressing chronicle of a watch had a rubber cover, nonetheless it was eventually private due to a fact that it was not required.


The large, easy-to-read face (128×128 pixel resolution) boasts an ominous arrangement that is clear in object and can be backlit with a press of a symbol when required. In “passive” mode, a watch displays time, an activity bar, a date, and a battery meter; in “active” mode, a watch can uncover an considerable array of statistics, including heart rate, path time, and sum time. The buttons are vast and widely spaced, so activating them is easy even while wearing a skinny span of gloves, that is apparently critical when we go regulating in a cold in Canada.

While a Polar M400 is technically a “GPS regulating watch,” it could substantially be personal as a multi-sport tracking watch given a monitoring acumen. Like a aptness band, a M400 marks elementary daily trends like stairs taken and moments of inactivity. It is also most some-more effective than aptness bands during monitoring sleep, given it’s intelligent adequate to figure out when we indeed go to nap nonetheless we carrying to manually tell it. The M400 has some-more modernized functionality, such as GPS tracking, that enables we to get some-more accurate information from your focused activities, generally when wearing a Polar H7 heart rate monitor.

Setting adult a watch is easy and takes customarily a few minutes. Once done, a watch starts doing a thing, tracking your activity turn and informing we when we have been dead for too long. It’s a accessible underline that will remind we to keep your heart rate above a certain baseline. Should we confirm to configure a watch face with a activity meter, we will observe it stuffing adult around a day. The activity territory can be accessed with dual symbol presses if we wish to know how most time you’ve spent being active, how many calories you’ve burned, how many stairs you’ve taken, and how most some-more “work” we have to do to grasp your goals. You can also span your watch around Bluetooth with Polar’s smartphone app to get loitering alerts sent to your phone and to guard your daily activity, including nap patterns. Polar’s Polar Flow web portal does a same, nonetheless is a bit easier on a eyes and creates it easier to take notes.


Once we confirm to do a focused activity, a watch bids farewell to a aptness rope counterparts and traipses merrily into a land of some-more costly competition watches. The menu that appears allows we to corkscrew between opposite activities (running, walking, strength training, and a far-reaching accumulation of others). It will settle a GPS tie (this never took some-more than 20 seconds when we was station in an open area), and it will also sync with a interconnected H7, should we be wearing one.

While a volume of information that can be displayed in activity mode is considerable (you can corkscrew by a series of opposite pages), a Polar Flow web app (the smartphone app is bare-bones) is a some-more useful approach to investigate a information in a simple, easy-to-read format. Distance, route, normal heart rate, and calorie bake (which is sincerely accurate interjection to a ability to tailor it around a activity selector) are presented, giving we a ability to investigate your possess examination patterns. You can use a information to set adult extensive workouts with targets that take into comment your lead-in and lead-out periods. Want to set adult involuntary laps? You can do that and afterwards tweak it as we turn improved during a exercises we are performing. It can all be finished in a web app and afterwards synced to your watch.

There’s also an in-watch aptness exam (15 minutes) that shows your VO2 turn (your turn of potency when operative out). When complete, we will get an potency rating that will let we know if you‘re improving (when we do mixed aptness tests).


Sadly, we can’t do track formulation on a M400, nonetheless a web-based map is utterly minute and allows we to map your track formed on heart rate zones or speed. There is also a celebrated miss of amicable functions for those who obsess about gripping everybody familiar of their activity standing (but for those who don’t caring about over-sharing, that’s positively not a hindrance). While a Polar Flow web portal does not concentration on a social, it does give we a ability to follow others in your closeness and we can also share your selected workouts to Facebook, that allows your friends to relive your run by a lovable video that displays your route, altitude (graph) and heart-rate zones (chart), along with other information that is applicable to a activity.

The customarily genuine problem that we had with a M400 is that a buttons on a right side of a watch are too easy to incidentally press (at slightest when wearing a watch on my left wrist). Due to a fact that a buttons are large, when tortuous my wrist (usually to support myself while removing up), adequate vigour is placed on a activity symbol to name it. From time to time, if a same thing happened twice, it would finish adult recording. Thankfully, it never indeed gets really distant (the watch creates a sound when it starts recording), so we could stop it fast – and if it did go on for too long, we could simply undo that event to safeguard that it didn’t disaster with my results. we detected a close symbol underline after it happened a few times, that was handy. More importantly – and even nonetheless a symbol close – we never had any random presses or stoppages while a watch was recording my activity.

The no-nonsense, nonetheless absolute statistics tracking and a durable, water-resistant pattern make a M400 an easy choice for those who wish something some-more than customarily a aptness band. The considerable battery life and discerning assign times (I’d assign my watch once a week while regulating it each day for “normal” activity tracking and 3 times a week for runs) is customarily a topping on a cake for such a versatile watch. If you’re looking for elementary activity tracking, afterwards maybe a easier resolution (like a Fitbit or a Polar A300) competence fit your needs. However, for a marginally aloft price, a M400 is a improved choice if you’re critical about substantiating a profitable aptness regimen, given it eliminates a lot of a guesswork and helps we follow your swell and stop your weaknesses.




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