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Polar M600 Review – Polar M600 Heart Rate Monitor Review

Polar M600 – much more than just a heart rate monitor!

I was happy when I finally held the package in my hands. But if you intend to buy the new Polar M600, you should first check whether it is the right sports watch for you.

Because this heart rate monitor is not a pure fitness watch as one might have expected from Polar. It is a smartwatch with many characteristics of a heart rate monitor. With all the advantages and disadvantages of bringing smartwatches with them. Which of these are exactly, and whether this sports watch is right for you, you will find out here in my test.

For whom is the Polar M600 Smartwatch suitable?

  • You are looking for a GPS heart rate monitor without chest strap but still, the pulse accurately detected?
  • smartwatch with which you can read WhatsApp, SMS, and emails on the clock is exactly your thing?
  • Do you want to respond to whats apps from friends with speech recognition?
  • It does not bother you that you have to charge the Polar M600 approximately every 48 hours?
  • You are looking for a smartwatch with which you can listen to stored music tracks via Bluetooth headphones?
  • You are a techie and want to deal with the many features of the smartwatch (the M600 is not self-explanatory) exactly?

Then the Polar M600 Smartwatch could become your new fitness watch.

The scope of delivery

After opening the Amazon package, I finally got the stylish red / white box in which the Polar M600 is packed. The smartwatch is nicely and safely stored in it. This includes the heart rate monitor, the USB charging cable a quick guide, with which you can not do much, and safety instructions in different languages.

The look and operation

The Polar M600 Smartwatch has a very nice colored touch display and two buttons. A side button for ON / OFF and Back as well as a front button with which you quickly get into the training area of the Polar heart rate monitor. The buttons are hidden under the silicone strap and therefore very well protected from water. Currently, the Polar M600 Smartwatch is available in white and black. Other colors will follow, according to Polar. Well, I think that I never unintentionally come to the keys. Especially when putting on and taking off sports clothes or a backpack, this sometimes happens with one or the other Forerunner and interrupts my training session in the worst case. 

Mainly the Polar M600 is operated via the touch display by swiping, up and down. This works very well in the dry with gloves unfortunately not. When it rains, the touch screen is also easy to use. Who wants it can also control the Polar M600 via gestures and language. But it’s not my thing. The Smartwatch is waterproof up to 10 meters (IPX8) and of course also suitable for swimming and showering. Where the swimming sports profile, in my opinion, does not bring much. At first, I wanted to send the Polar M600 back, as many others I know. It was just overloaded with too many features and too complicated to use. But after the second attempt – I wanted to publish my test – I have now learned to deal with the smartwatch. But would have been difficult without studying the manual. Manual Polar M600

My conclusion about optics and operation:

The Smartwatch is very comfortable to wear thanks to the wide and soft bracelet. I think it’s good that there are two eyelets of the silicone bracelet here. So nothing stands over and can not scratch anything on the bare skin. I also like the increasing number of dials with each update. Nevertheless, I stick to it, the Polar M600 with its many functions is anything but self-explanatory. For slim wrists, I think the smartwatch is a little too powerful. There are more suitable heart rate monitors than the M600. 

The set

Let’s get to the Achilles heel of the Smartwatch (actually almost every Smartwatch). The Polar M600 is with its 63 grams rather a heavyweight among the pulse watches. For comparison, the Garmin Forerunner 235 weighs 41 grams, and the Polar V800 weighs a whopping 79 grams . Now one would think, it is a huge battery installed. But that is not the case. And if so, then the battery is quickly consumed by the extremely many functions and LEDs on display.

Because while the battery with me on average for Forerunner 235 about 5-9 days and V800 2-4 weeks persists, makes the battery of the M600 already after two days limp. Many athletes, who have been waiting for the Polar M600 Smartwatch, did not expect that either. I do not have to confess either. The bad battery is for me the biggest negative point of the heart rate monitor. Meanwhile, I can do it, that I only have to recharge it every three days. That works well with a few tricks. The display is mostly off, only with appropriate arm movement or short touch it is. At night on “cinema mode” put etc …

IMPORTANT: The above-stated battery life of the Polar M600 Smartwatch was in connection with an HTC smartphone, i.e. Android device. The developers of this sports watch optimized the battery life and functionality more on Android smartphones. Do you have an IOS device, the battery life is already after about 24 hours expired! 

The training hours of about 8 hours, however, are the same for both Android smartphones and an iPhone. At least something. And 8 hours should be enough for most training sessions. 

The tiresome shop

The charging cable can either be connected to a PC / laptop or with a standard charging plug with which one also charges its mobile phones. (not included) I almost always charge my Polar M600 with the charging plug. A synchronization via laptop is unfortunately not only via Bluetooth with the smartphone.

The USB charging cable is magnetic and is “simply” plugged into the back of the watch. For me (and many other users, see Amazon customer reviews ), the charging concept is a major flaw. Several times already I wanted to charge the Polar M600 and put the watch down carefully. After some time, I realized that the magnet had slipped slightly and the heart rate monitor has not been charged. Zefix again! Since I like the load terminal of the Garmin Forerunner 235  and 735  much better.

The pulse sensor with 6 LEDs in the test

I liked that:

After Polar introduced a heart rate monitor without a chest strap some time ago, the Polar M600 followed. Unlike its predecessor, the M600 has now two instead of 2 LEDs, which should capture the pulse on the wrist even more accurate. After only three months testing the M600 Smartwatch, I have only had positive experiences. Often I have the heart rate while running, but also without training, with the V800 including chest strap and the Garmin 235 compared and came up with identical results.

No resting pulse recording:

Nevertheless, there is a small difference in other current heart rate monitors. The Polar M600 does not record the pulse continuously like some other models from Garmin or TomTom. But only during the training sessions. That means who often wants to check his resting heart rate must trick a little here or decide on another heart rate monitor. (e.g. the Forerunner 235 or 735 )

Tricksen means to start a training session, check the pulse and then discard the training session again. Or, after the last update, there are also one or two new clock faces (Google Fit digital) where you can quickly query his resting heart rate. But you can not see how the pulse in the last 4 hours was for the Polar M600. I think that’s a pity.

No triathlon smartwatch

For triathletes, the Polar M600 is not so good. Although there is a sports unit “swimming” but the pulse rate is underwater measured only very inaccurate. In contrast, running in the rain but of course no problem. The smartwatch is waterproof up to 10 meters. There is also no triathlon function, i.e. a sequence of swimming, biking and running. Therefore, for triathletes, the Polar V800   or the Garmin Forerunner 735 would be the better choice.

The GPS signal 

Even with the GPS signal, I can only report good things. The Polar M600 finds it outdoors in just a few seconds. I had almost no break in many training sessions. Unlike the Polar M400 and V800, the GPS signal without% is searched for. That means it’s there when it’s there. Mostly between 5 and 15 seconds. You can not track whether the signal build-up is 20% or 80%. But I do not miss either.

Is the Polar M600 also a real smartwatch?

Clear yes! The Polar M600 has a wealth of smart features thanks to Android Wear. And those who have not already installed enough can easily play more on the smartwatch via the Google Play Store. I have already been able to test some current heart rate monitors from Garmin, TomTom, and Polar, but the M600 is a very sporty smartwatch. At the moment I do not know any other watch that has a smartwatch and sports watch uniting so well.

Sale
Polar M600 GPS Smart Sports Watch/Heart Rate Monitor, White - Compatible with iPhone and Android Phone
169 Reviews
Polar M600 GPS Smart Sports Watch/Heart Rate Monitor, White - Compatible with iPhone and Android Phone
  • Wrist heart rate monitor: accurate wrist-based heart rate monitor with personalized training guidance to reach your fitness goals
  • GPS watch: built-in GPS Technology keeps track of your pace, distance and altitude
  • Waterproof fitness tracker: customize your M600 activity tracker to fit your style with interchangeable, waterproof wristbands
  • Full Android wear ecosystem: notifications, social features, weather, calendar, maps, 3Rd Party Apps via google play. Smart coaching: running index, Sport profiles, hr zones, training benefit
  • Please refer to the iOS/Android phone Comparison Chart for full features.Dimensions 45x36x13

The following functions are installed

  • Control of stored music tracks
  • Google Now voice control
  • Answer and reject calls with the clock
  • Navigate the wrist with Google Maps
  • Overview of upcoming appointments in the calendar
  • Weather information
  • Read and answer SMS / Whatsapp

Two smart features that are cool 

Telephoning and texting are (apparently) out. Whatapp’s writing is standard. In contrast, thanks to the new smartphones, “whats app” via voice, I have let me say of my work colleagues. Now with the Polar M600, the phone stays in your pocket or on your desk. With ” Ok Google – write whats apps ” (Kaptain Kirk sends greetings) the smartwatch converts the language into a text, which is then sent. Works very well. Ok, she does not recognize dialects yet. Maybe with the next update😉

In addition to voice control, listening to music is a great thing. Thanks to the Polar M600 I can now leave the mobile phone or the Mp3 player at home. There are about 2.5 GB of storage space(1.5 GB needs the operating system of the smartwatch) for your favorite songs available. With a Bluetooth headphone that has to be paired for a short time, you can now listen to music without a mobile phone. The battery was surprisingly not so knee like as I feared. That’s enough to do several hours of louder, motivating music. Of course, you can also use the Polar M600 to control music on your smartphone. The cell phone can stay in your pocket.

Motivational fitness clock

The Polar M600 plays its full power in the fitness and training functions. It has an excellent and motivating fitness tracker, and of course, you have full access to the popular Polar Flow app. With it, you can significantly improve your fitness through individual training plans. A really strong program that works well with the M600. 

Tip: The exclusive Polar Flow web service can be fully exploited on the PC / laptop or tablet. On the smartphone, unfortunately, you only have the most important functions to choose from. The Polar Flow app is just too extensive for the mobile phone!

The most important smart coaching functions 

24/7 activity tracker

You can set yourself how many steps you want to go every day. (from 1000 – 21000) The sports watch counts. The Activity Guide will give you tips on how to reach your daily goal today. Well, I find the Polar M600 not only the steps are taken to lead you to the goal (100% is the goal) but also other physical activities. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with Garmin.

Sports profiles – 100 and more.

Polar offers over a hundred different sports profiles for the M600 Smartwatch. All you can easily manage the Polar Flow web service. The sports profiles are tailored to each sport. After each training session of Polar, you receive a short feedback if the sports unit has brought the condition or more to body recovery, and so on …

Running Index

I think a very important tool from Polar. Has been around for x years. All the more amazing was that the Running Index was not included in the Polar M600 at the beginning. But it was replenished relatively quickly with an update. Your Running Index value is automatically calculated after each run, based on heart rate and pace data collected by your watch. The higher your value, the fitter you are. From this value, you can easily see what end time you could reach in a 5km, 10, 21 or marathon run. The good thing is that this extrapolated finish time was always very close to the times of my running partners and me in the past. 

Running program

You have a running event for which you want to be fit? The running and training program of the Polar M600 will help you. Simply enter the date and length of the event, and you’ll get a detailed calendar in the Polar Flow where you can see your daily workouts. That motivates, and you have a plan . Of course, you can move the individual training sessions or catch up if you want.

In the past, such a training schedule usually consisted only of the different runs such as interval, long and short runs, hard or light runs. For some time, there have been other suggestions. Such as stretch-force and core units. They will each be presented to you by a short video on a laptop or tablet. So training is no longer just about running but is more holistic. Great!

Calorie consumption

Smart Calories, as the Polar M600 says, always calculates how many calories you have already burned. The calculation is based on age, gender, height, weight and maximum heart rate, as well as the intensity of the workout. This allows the M600 Smartwatch to help you reach and maintain your desired weight.

Community

Would you like to join various sports groups and compete with other athletes over the web? It works quite simply with Polar Flow. Simply select the desired sport and then join an exciting group. This can be incredibly motivating to do sports together. Sometimes there are also groups in your city. Thus, you can even go along on the track.

Sleeping recording

Like many other current heart rate monitors and smart watches, the Polar M600 also records the duration and quality of your sleep. If you are interested, you can watch your sleeping pattern on the phone at any time.

My conclusion from the test with the Polar M600

After having tested the Polar M600 Smartwatch for almost three months of training and everyday life, my conclusion follows.

Advantages

  • Very accurate heart rate measurement and GPS tracking 
  • Many sports functions (about 100) 
  • Top smartwatch features that are fun for longer 
  • Motivational training companion

Disadvantages

  • Battery life and charging concept 
  • iPhone users have functional disadvantages 
  • Complicated operation, until you understand all the functions of the Polar M600 
  • Vibration alert barely noticeable during exercise

Verdict:

In the beginning, the Polar M600 was not much fun for me. I’m a guy who buys a heart rate monitor, charges, briefly taps through the settings and then looks forward to running with the new watch. That did not work with this smartwatch. Too complicated and extensive for me was the operation at the beginning. Then also the unusually short battery life. I wanted to send her back right away. Only a few weeks later I gave the Polar M600 another chance to convince me. And it was beautiful like that. Because many of the great functions just make fun of more. The fitness guide motivates me to do more sport, GPS and wrist measurement is great. And the Polar Flow app with its community and the analysis and training plans are fantastic.

I think it’s a type question if you want a smartwatch combined with sports features or not. Therefore, I understand the mixed customer reviews on Amazon. In any case, Polar with the M600 has understood very well that everything best packed in a clock. If you do not need all the smart features, you should take a look at the M200, the Forerunner 235 or TomTom 2 or 3. If you need this technology and want to deal with it, you will love the Polar M600.

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