We’ve just seen the announcement of Polar’s latest ‘proper’ running watch – the M430. It’s essentially a refreshed and updated oHR-packed, M400. But how do they compare? What’s missing? And, instead, might it be worth going for the AndroidWear2.0, market-leading Polar M600?
- There is a comparison table further below.
- There are links to detailed, individual product review, below
If you are stuck beetween the M400 and M430 then the choice is simple: Buy the M430.
The M430 and M600 are a trickier comparison. The M600 is an AndroidWear 2.0 smartwatch. Essentially the M600 is the same sort of thing as an Apple watch but instead it is closely integrated with apps on an Android smartphone and with an Apple phone but to a lesser extent.
Both the M600 and M430 are sports watches rather than a generalist smartwatch that also does sport. The M600 is probably the BEST AndroidWear watch for sports.
For pure running I would go for the M430 over the M600.
FWIW: I like both the M430 and M600.
Polar M400, M430 & M600 Reviews
Further below is a tabular comparison of the detailed features.
The M430 is clearly the same or an improvement over the M400 in just about every respect. The one, single respect where the M400 has a winning feature is with AUDIBLE alerts. That lack of audio alert could be a show-stopper for some people with the M430; which instead has a newly added vibration alert.
The M600 is a great device and surprisingly has a better GPS life – ie how many running-hours you have with it. This is slightly misleading as the M430 has a longer-battery life mode where GPS quality is reduced.
Also when used solely as a ‘watch’ the M430 will go longer than the M600 between recharges.
So the battery depletion BETWEEN RUNS will be lower with the M430 and you are likely to get more one hour runs on a single full charge from the M430 than from the M600…hopefully that makes sense!!
The prices shown are Polar’s. Amazon prices will be lower for older models. (Current prices added after the table)
If you are looking for a runner’s ‘proper’ running watch then you would go for the M430 and a foot pod of some sort (STRYD is the most accurate).
Why is the M600 More Expensive?
The M600 has a beautiful, high quality screen. Superior to ALL Garmins.
The M600 will benefit from the functionality of numerous apps that can run on AndroidWear. The review, above, will give you more of an insight into that. eg ‘proper’ navigation via maps.
Both the M600 and M430 have Polar’s superior 6-LED optical HR.
That’s why it’s more expensive.
Me?: Personally I love the M600 and would recommend that. If you want a ‘proper’ running watch for, ahem, running then you would take the M430 over the M600. If you have a M400 and it works fine then there is no reason whatsoever to upgrade UNLESS the optical HR attracts you. The GPS chip has changed from the M400 so the M430 has a better GPS performance. But as I said, buy a STRYD for your current sports watch if you want accurate running footpod pace (Milestone pod is cheaper). Some watches, not the M430, will also then also give the power metric with STRYD.
In a nutshell:
- Buy the M400 as it’s much cheaper.
- Buy the M600 to integrate with your smartphone more as a sports watch.
- Buy the M430 for great quality components as more of a proper ‘runner’s watch’.
|Smart Coaching Features||229.90 EUR||159.90 EUR||349.90 EUR|
|24/7 Activity Tracking||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Steps and Distance||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sleep Duration and Quality||Yes (new)||Yes||Yes|
|Speed and distance from the wrist||Yes||No||No|
|Running cadence from the wr||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Wrist-based heart rate measurement||Yes||No||Yes|
|Heart Rate zones||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Polar Fitness Test||Yes||Yes||No|
|Training Load||In Flow||In Flow||In Flow|
|Recovery Status||In Flow||In Flow||In Flow|
|Back to Start||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|User-adjustable training displays||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|GPS Power save mode||Yes||No||No|
|End Time Estimator||Yes||Yes||No|
|Bluetooth Stride Sensor:|
|Average stride length||Yes||Yes||No|
|Bluetooth 4.2 (see BT smart below)||No||No||Yes|
|Color touch display||No||No||Yes|
|Date and weekday indicator||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Running Index analysis||Yes||Yes||no|
|GPS Battery Life||8 hrs||8 Hours||10 Hours|
Altimetry is not specified by Polar. However it is MOST likely that it will be GPS based. I think I’m right in saying that the M400 can calibrate altitude based from a manually set start point (based on GPS). However I don’t think that ascent/descent/altitude can be displayed as fields on the M400 and presumably also the M430. If you are interested in corrected altimetry then you could run your files through sporttracks or even Garmin connect where they can be corrected based on known altitudes of GPS points. STRAVA might do something like that too, I’m not 100% sure (GPS elevation, barometric elevation and gps-corrected elevation are all entirely different).
If you are just interested in gym classes then consider the much cheaper option of the FREE Polar Beat and Flow apps coupled with the awesome Polar OH1 optical armband
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