What is the Polar M400?
This 2015 Polar M400 Fitness Tracker watch is supposed to track your physical activity. Polar has been a reputable entity in the fitness device industry for quite some time now and it was interesting to see the calibre of product they release now that the wearable technology industry is so saturated. I got my hands on the black and red themed version and my first impressions were really good.
The band is made from a high quality silicone with a smooth matte texture and a metal end. You’ll also find that the sizing slots are made from plastic which really ensures an overall strength to the band. It seems that the band also comes off and can be replaced although it doesn’t look as easy to change as the Basis Peak.
Moving on to the design of the face itself, I really liked the rounded square look with clear and easy to read directions to go with the buttons. Another positive is that the face is very flat on the wrist rather than being thick and protruding upwards.
As for the display, you get a tri-tone view and the use of 5 buttons controlling the back light, a back button, two scrolling buttons and a select button. From here you can select your activity type, check the time, check your activity progress, look at your diary, access the settings, and my favourite, start a Fitness Test.
I found that I can get 20 full days of usage out of the watch before it needs charging, which to me was incredible. Polar says on its website that the watch can last for 30 days on normal activity mode and only 8 hours on continuous GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring. Seeing as I used both of those features, my battery life turned out to be 20 days. This time is far better than the Basis Peak or FitBit Surge.
To charge you are provided with a nifty little device that plugs into any USB port. You plug the cable into the back of the watch and charging commences. Something that I was really happy with was the charging time. It only took about an hour at most to fully recharge the battery from dead. So if the watch died during the day, you could have it ready to wear right after napping.
The Polar M400 is the master of all fitness watches. The sheer scale of what it’s able to do is something to be admired. Its ability to perform to this standard and do it in a way that is simple and easy to use is a whole other ball game. As for all of my fitness watch reviews, I took the watch out on a few different activity types: Walking, Running, Cycling and a new addition, Swimming.
It’s important to point out that I was also using the H7 Heart Rate Monitor to track my heart rate to a heightened level of accuracy.
Performance for me is something that ranges from the speed and functionality of the watch, the accuracy and the ease of data interpretation. In terms of speed, this watch is quick. Even when we talk about receiving notification on the watch, I get the alert on my watch faster than the phone. How that happens, I don’t know. I never once saw a glitch or a slight freeze in the transitions between screens and I was rarely confused as to how to navigate the various options on the screen.
In wearing the Heart Rate Monitor, all my readings were super accurate and actually provided me with a far more in depth breakdown of my activity sessions. In addition to the great mobile app, Polar offers an online browser view of your performance and fitness schedule. I was skeptical about a browser version, but having used it and understood it, it is actually made perfectly for someone who is serious about their fitness and tracking progress. Although it’s not necessary for every person, it’s certainly a valuable tool if you’re serious.
To end on a positive, the watch can accept notifications from your smartphone. Text messages, phone calls, emails, reminders and calendar updates and it all works perfectly. I loved this feature. When using this watch, you’ll find you get the best use out of this feature if you have your earphones plugged into your smartphone. This way, you can read the message on your watch, and speak your reply into your earphone mic. One thing that sets this watch apart is the ability to answer a call from the phone itself. You can’t speak into the watch, but you can remotely answer the phone from your wrist.