Polar M400 sports watch — Review
Polar M400 is Polar’s mid-priced sports watch with GPS tracking built into it. Its main features include 24/7 activity tracking, Polar’s Smart Coaching, Bluetooth connectivity, customizable sports profiles and smart notifications. All this built into a relatively stylish, lightweight and waterproof casing makes it great for everyday usage. It comes in Black, white, red and blue. Nowadays there’s a new model available, Polar M430 with integrated heart rate monitoring straight from your wrist. Check that one out if you dislike using a heart rate strap.
At first glance
Polar M400 comes packed into a nice, stylish box. It can be bought either as a bundle with the H7 heart rate strap or without it. In the box, you’ll find the watch itself, a short USB cable and a manual. At first glance, the watch feels well build. The silicone strap feels nice against the skin and with the coating it has got it doesn’t seem to stick to your skin even when wet. So no need to peel it off your wrist after working out.
To get started using the exercise features you need to download the Polar flow application and create an account on Polar flow. The registration process is very straight forward and doesn’t take long. After downloading the app you can sync your watch via USB and update it to the latest firmware. To pair the HR-strap you need to go to Settings -> General settings -> Pair and sync -> Pair other devices. The included manual is actually very helpful, yet simple, and makes setting up the device a breeze.
You can store up 20 sports profiles on your watch, which makes it a great all around device. The selection is vast and most exercises are covered from swimming to stretching.
Your Polar M400 can track your steps, activity, sleep, and calories 24/7.
This feature allows you to see notifications from your phone directly on the screen of your watch. In reality, it’s quite limited due to small screen size, but a nice feature anyway.
Polar Smart Coaching
Smart Coaching feature gives you feedback after every exercise. What’s included in this feature is:
- Training load; How demanding the workout was
- Recovery status; How long it will take you to recover enough before next workout
- Fitness test; Takes five minutes to do and measures your fitness based on your resting heart rate, heart rate variability and your background information
- Running index; Shows how your running performance is developing
- Training benefit; Motivating feedback right after training describing the effects of the session
- Smart Calories; Shows you how many calories you have burned
- Activity Guide; Tells you how active you have been during the day and gives practical advice on reaching your daily goal
- Activity Benefit; Gives feedback on your activity
- Running program; An adaptive training plan if your training for a running event.
After having used Polar M400 exclusively for over 6 months for training and activity tracking here’s my take:
- The GPS works great, finds signal quickly and is accurate.
- Polar Flow app and website work well and can be easily connected to Strava
- The device is lightweight and comfortable to wear
- The ability to swap between four different clock screens is a neat feature
- Included heart rate strap works well and hasn’t given me any trouble so far
- Battery life is decent. Not quite on pair with what’s promised, but I can easily use it for 5-6 hours with GPS tracking on and HR-strap connected before it starts warning me about low battery.
- The feedback you get from Smart Coaching is encouraging and just a nice touch in general
- If you get lost, the device will guide you back home. Might just save your day!
While using the device it quickly became clear that it’s not the most advanced training device out there. On the other hand, it’s very easy to use and attractive to beginners. If it’s going to be your first sports watch it has enough features to get you far before you start wishing for more, especially if running is your thing. Thanks to its slim profile and decent appearance it works well as a regular watch too and the battery easily lasts several days if you don’t use the GPS features.
Unfortunately, the device isn’t compatible with Cadence sensors of any sort, which makes it quite lacking for serious cycling usage. Because it connects to sensors using Bluetooth, you won’t be able to pair it with ANT+ devices either. Whether these are deal-breakers for you is up to you to decide.
Polar M400 is a great multi-sports watch, especially good for running. The lack of ANT+ connectivity is a minus, but not quite as big as the lack of Cadence sensor compatibility for cycling. If you are willing to overlook that I can highly recommend this, especially for someone looking for their first sports watch.
- Solid multi-sports watch
- GPS works well
- Comfortable to wear
- Decent battery life
- Polar Flow app works well and syncing is easy
- No ANT+ connectivity
- No Cadence Sensor or Power meter compatibility