Polar M600 – Here it is – some initial thoughts & specs – followed by review

Polar M600 android Wear TomTom Runner 3 spark Garmin Forerunner 235 reviewSo here is the M600.

Polar classify it a Sports Watch.

Not a fitness watch. It’s better.

Not a running watch. It’s not as specialized.

As we shall see though it will probably be good for both those two uses.

So this is probably not the optical-HR enabled M400 we were waiting for. That may come too.

Essential Reading: >> Polar M600 – Detailed Review <<

Features/Specs:

  • 45 x 36 x 13mm, 63g
  • Waterproof for swimming IPX8, 10m
  • Does work with iOS 8.2 on iPhone 5
  • Built-in GPS (14-day A-GPS) and GLONASS
  • Built in proprietary 6-LED optical HR sensor. That is claimed to be ‘accurate’.
  • Links/Apps to execute/display training features already in Polar Flow eg smart coaching and activity guide.
  • 1.3″ colour touch display
  • 240 x 240 pixels, 260ppi transmissive TFT display, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
  • 247 activity tracking (not 247 HR, I understand, just single measurements and sports measurement)
  • Activity tracker
  • One single navigational button underneath the screen
  • >2 day battery life as a connected android device (GPS off). 500mAh
  • 2 days / 8 hours of training (with Android phone), 1 day / 8 hours of training (with iPhone)
  • 4Gb of internal storage (eg music playback does not require a smartphone), 512Mb RAM
  • Vibration alert, backlight and alarm
  • Running cadence from the wrist
  • Recovery Status, Training Load and Running Index
  • Inactivity alert, sleep duration/quality, activity benefit.
  • External sensor support is in Polar’s specs to support Bluetooth HR strap AND speed/cadence sensor (the speed/cadence sensor may be a type). The internal accelerometer would permit treadmill usage.
  • Internal sensors supported are: Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Gyroscope, Vibration motor, Microphone
  • Data exchange is via Bluetooth 4.2 and WiFi and the Polar APP. Presumably this supports iOS. Gone is the often not-waterproof micro-USB port, a fiddly implementation at best on the A360.
  • Processor MediaTek MT2601, Dual-Core 1.2GHz processor based on ARM Cortex-A7. The MediaTek supports ANT+ FWIW (doesn’t mean the M600 does).

Polar M600 android Wear review

The Polar M600 supports Android Wear so it also supports these features/apps and many more besides

  • Multiple simultaneous apps: google maps, music playback, your polar app and there LOTS of other Android apps to choose from. Imagine using maps/music and Polar together, a simple example that replicates some APP functionality without Polar having to do all the work on their hardware. Cool….
  • Android voice control
  • Custom watch faces
  • Calendar notification (this integrates with training functionality announced recently on Flow)
  • Text/Read/Reply/Call Handling
  • Sync music through Google Play
  • Note it is possible to have limited functional pairing of an Android Wear device with iOS8.2 and above and with iPhone 5 and above. NOT with iPAD. With Android Wear v2.0 (late 2016) the functionality should be expanded.
  • Did I mention STRAVA? Oh yes I forgot that minor point 🙂 Android Wear also has apps from some of the major APP players in the fitness market like Apple Health Kit, Google Fit, MyFitnessPal (iOS users) and MapMyFitness who are already there and working…unlike the same vendors on Garmin’s Connect IQ platform .

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Availability: of PR samples in the UK is targeted as October. You can buy this now

Full Detailed Review of the Polar M600: <here>

Price: UK£265, US$330

Image Sources: Polar and me

Thoughts:

I’m hoping that the M600 is a competent A360+M400 running/fitness combo. That runs a clever wrist-based app system with optical HR.

The ‘fitness’  gadget market is a bigger one than gadgets for running or triathlon. So you can see that polar are eyeing a potentially very large market. Large in terms of both the number of consumers AND in a way that provides the Android-half of the consumers with a device that will integrate with their smartphone environment whilst exercising. And that  wrist device retains its connected usefulness for the rest of the day. The alternative approach for Polar with the Apple Watch would probably be a $2 Polar Flow app using Apple’s hardware…I don’t think Polar are interested in that. They want to sell hardware.

polar-m600-post-workout-summaryPolar’s slant on the ‘fitness’ market seems to be to provide a top-end hardware solution. Or at least that is what the likely price of Eu350 indicates. Let’s not forget the recent Samsung Gear Fit2 is a competent device coming in at £150.

Most of the devices that have come from other manufacturers before have always, at best, been GREAT FITNESS DEVICES but ‘OK’ FOR RUNNING. I hope that Polar has nailed the latter. Great GPS and great optical HR. Let’s see.

It looks wide but it is hard to tell from the photos. It has the hoped-for look of the V800 with a colour screen so that’s ALL I EVER WANTED on that front. The counter argument is that a big watch might not go with the smaller-wristed amongst us. Many of whom may well be the women who comprise lots of the recent growth in the ‘fitness gadget’ market. Again, we’ll see.

  • It’s NOT a tri watch, although the M600 might be able to be used for one eg in a ‘consecutive sports’ scenario. Good.
  • It looks like it could be the first of a new wave of Polar products. These subsequent products  (tri/H7i) may come sooner rather than later. The H7i may well work with the M600 but it is NOT destined for the M600 I reckon. There could STILL quite easily be a new M400, new V450 and new V800 following on from this announcement. The M600 may just have been the updated and extended A360 sports/activity tracker. Good.
  • Polar have been releasing a few clever bits of functionality of the last few months on FLOW on the web. That was clearly part of the strategy going forwards into integrating with this product (and hopefully more). I’m not entirely clear how they will integrate that new functionality with AndroidWear – I would presume with an all-encompassing, single Polar AndoirdWear app.

Competitors include:  Moto 360 Sport, Sony SmartWatch 3 and Garmin’s Vivoactive HR.

Summary: Exciting! The battery consumption will mean that this will never be a ‘performance’ device. Performance devices will not run on Android Wear. Existing Android Wear apps from big players like Strava give Polar an edge on Garmin for once.

0 thoughts on “Polar M600 – Here it is – some initial thoughts & specs – followed by review

      • good hint from DCR since i dont really need the apps and stuff!

        “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.”

  1. Disappointing that it doesn’t include 24/7 hr tracking. Personally (and particularly with my sport rowing) wrist based hr is far too inaccurate for actual workout tracking, it’s great however for resting and general 24/7 tracking so you’re able to get a feel of how your recovery is going post workout – I feel polar needs to fix this with a firmware update (which I think dcrainmaker mentioned they are looking into) before this watch is an option for me & other rowers

    • Hey YOU are waiting. I can’t sleep because of the extended months of gadget excitement. Well; something like that 🙂 KONA is in a few weeks V85/V900 will be then or else next year. I’ve still not got my hands on m600..again hopefully v soon.

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