Polar M600 – New Functionality Announced as it moves to AndroidWear 2.0

Polar M600 android Wear TomTom Runner 3 spark Garmin Forerunner 235 reviewWe looked at the Polar M600 a few months back in a detailed review and it faired well. I’ve seen a few other AndroidWear watches and have seen the specs of yet more of them. There seems to be a broad consensus that the M600 is the best of the AndroidWear bunch for sports usage. With the very recently announced LG Sports watch POSSIBLY being its closest rival (TBC).

FWIW: I like the M600 and use it and would generally recommend it to someone wanting an AndroidWear sports watch. It has many plus points including: a great Polar app; ability to run other sports apps; good Android phone integration that actually works for me; optical HR when swimming; and great looks. Perhaps the only downsides for me were: the small text on AndroidWear itself; an overly sensitive touchscreen when swimming; and a lacking in the swim functionality of the Polar app.

ESSENTIAL READING: Polar M600 Detailed Review

Polar have just announced support for AndroidWear 2.0. This means that soon after AndroidWear 2.0 is released by Google then the M600 will be updated.

Wednesday 15th February 2017 is likely to be the date that Google release Version 2.0 of AndroidWear, brining this new functionality to the platform – in bold indicates potential significance to sports’ usage.

  • Fitness challenges – apparently auto-sport detection is added, Google Fit functionality is increasing and Google Fit is also automating links to Strava 
  • Standalone apps – AccuWeather, Android Pay, Bring, Foursquare, Google Fit, Google Messenger, Google Play Music, Lifesum, Robinhood, Runkeeper, Runtastic, Strava, Telegram and Uber. The Polar app was standalone in any case
  • Native Google Play store to allow browsing of compatible apps – this will significantly help iOS users run apps on the M600
  • Modified interface design
  • Complications (bits of an app’s data shown on a watchface eg steps)
  • Better notifications, well, SMALLER notifications. The M600 has a small screen so we shall have to see how this is handled.
  • Messaging + quick replies
  • On-screen keyboard
  • Android Pay; Google Assistant & Rotational input support

Of specific note with Polar’s upcoming app release to support AW2.0 on the M600 include:

  • Polar M600 battery life improved to 36 hours (this is not in-exercise time which I assume to remain around 9 hours)
  • Polar M600 now offers new indoor swimming metrics such as distance and pace, as well as strokes per minute and strokes per pool length. Polar M600’s have STROKE DETECTION for swimming freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly.
  • With Android Wear 2.0, Polar M600 has Google Assistant* built-in. Users can access and also customize watch faces, receive calendar notifications, read and reply to texts, scroll through social media feeds via Google Play.
  • Android and iOS users can access the Google Play store via the watch, download apps and operate them directly on the Polar M600 ie it will be greatly improved on iOS
  • Newly designed watch face and additional languages including Vietnamese, Turkish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish and Danish.

But that functionality is not just for the Polar M600. This is the list of supported devices: Asus ZenWatch 2  &3; Casio WSD F10; Fossil Q Founder/Wander/Marshall; Huawei Watch; LG G Watch R/Urbans (1st and 2nd gen); Michael Kors Access Bradshaw; Moto 360 (1st & 2nd gen); New Balance RunIQ; Nixon Mission; Polar M600; and Sony Smartwatch 3.

So, all that is great. Much of it is not so relevant to the in-sport experience. Auto sport-detection should be interesting and I’m always pleasantly surprised if/when such features work. But of particular interest to the M600 is that swim-stroke detection is also supported as are some new M600 swimming metrics. This extra swim functionality is great as I had tried to use the swim.com app to get some more swimming data from the M600 on AndroidWear v1 … but swim.com had a bug on the M600 platform and didn’t work. Oh well. Too late for them now I suppose.

 

Here are some Amazon links if you want to buy one, all will click through to the actual current lowest price:
flag-icon-usa-the5krunner-37x37 US$299 flag-icon-uk-the5krunner-37x37GBP238flag-icon-germany-the5krunner-37x37Eur345flag-icon-spain-the5krunner-50x37Eur300flag-icon-france-the5krunner-37x37Eur289flag-icon-canada-the5krunner-37x37CDN279

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—————————– Press Release Follows —————————-

Polar Announces Polar M600 Android Wear™ 2.0 Update and New Swimming Metrics

 

Updates to the M600 include:

  • Android and iOS users can access the Google Play store via the watch, download apps and operate them directly on the Polar M600.
  • Polar M600 now offers new indoor swimming metrics such as distance and pace, as well as strokes per minute and strokes per pool length. Polar M600’s latest metrics will even determine whether a swimmer is swimming freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly.
  • With Android Wear 2.0, Polar M600 has Google Assistant* built-in. Users can access also customize watch faces, receive calendar notifications, read and reply to texts, scroll through social media feeds and access even more apps via Google Play™.
  • Newly designed watch face and additional languages including Vietnamese, Turkish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish and Danish.
  • Polar M600 battery life improved to 36 hours

 

KEMPELE, FINLAND – Feb. 9, 2017 – Polar, the leader in wearable sports technology, introduces Android Wear™ 2.0 compatibility and indoor swimming metrics to their Polar M600 smartwatch. Available soon, the latest Android Wear update enables both Android and iOS users to access the Google Play store via the watch, download apps and operate them directly on the Polar M600.

 

A sports watch at its core, Polar M600 now offers new indoor swimming metrics such as distance and pace, as well as strokes per minute and strokes per pool length. Polar M600’s latest metrics will even determine whether a swimmer is swimming freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly.

 

Recently named an International CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree in the Fitness, Sports and Biotech product category, Polar M600 is built for serious training while also boasting a sleek design for a connected lifestyle. Polar M600 features Polar’s proprietary 6-LED optical heart rate technology and industry-leading heart rate algorithms. These advanced technologies deliver incredible accuracy, stability and reliability that distinguish Polar from every alternative on the market. Polar M600 also offers integrated GPS, 24/7 activity tracking and Polar Smart Coaching features.

 

With Android Wear 2.0, Polar M600 has Google Assistant** built-in. Users can access also customize watch faces, receive calendar notifications, read and reply to texts, scroll through social media feeds and access even more apps via Google Play™. The latest update also includes an improved user interface, a newly designed watch face and additional languages including Vietnamese, Turkish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish and Danish.

4 thoughts on “Polar M600 – New Functionality Announced as it moves to AndroidWear 2.0

  1. I read your original write-up about this and wanted to make sure about a few things…

    1) Does it pair with Stryd like it does with a Fenix 3 HR?
    2) If it doesn’t, can you Download the Stryd app to the watch?
    3) I’ve read conflicting reports on if it reports 24/7 activity tracking. Does it offer that?
    4) What has been the actual battery life for the watch with use that you have found? I’ll speak for myself here, but the battery life for these android watches end up being the thing that keeps me from jumping to one.
    5) Can you create “other” workouts to the watch with your own parameters?

    • i’m not sure on these:
      1/2 I don’t think you’ll get power (having said that stryd had the M600 in some of their online images so I can’t figure that one out)
      3 I seem to remember that polar and polar flow and the app don’t do that but the google fit app does.
      4 aw2 will see a 36 hour battery life. 9 hours was the in-exercise time. I never tried to get near that, I would imagein (like most of these things) reality will be atad lower depending on usage. it’s a moot point as you have to charge it either every day or every other day
      5, I seem to remember yes you can, through flow and they appear in the diary etc etc

  2. I had read your review that very useful.Now i’m very confused about my first watch for excerising. Can you recommend a smart watch or sport watch that suitable for me? Mostly my exercise are weight training 5 days a week and run 2 or 3 times a week, no cycling so swimming sometimes. I use Iphone 6 with Strava and Endomondo app.

    I have 4 choices watch
    1. Garmin vivoactive hr
    2. TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music
    3. Polar m600
    4. Garmin 735XT

    Thanks 🙂

    • I haven’t tested the iOS functionality with the M600 so I can’t recommend that (otherwise it WOULD be my recommendation). the rest are all equal for gym use. tomtom prob has the best GPS of the others, 735 the most features and vivoactive hr has probably the best components for the money. so I’ve just narrowed your choices down by 1 😉 sorry!! they will all be fine. personally of the three I prefer the looks of the 735. it’s other features that might sway YOU eg if YOU wanted music then go for the tomtom. any purchases through clicks on the amazon icons support this blog (on right hand sidebar or in the product-specific reviews) thank you!!

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