Polar M430 vs M400 Vs M600 Specifications & Comparison

Polar M430 Detailed Review optical lineupWe’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

Summary

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

 

Polar M430 Review + Discount | Detailed | GPS & Optical Run Watch

Further below is a tabular comparison of the detailed features.

Best Running Watch 2018 | Top 10 | Guide Review, Recommendations & Comparisons

 

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.

Polar M430 Detailed ReviewThe 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).

▷ Polar M600 Review | Running, Sports, GPS & AndroidWear

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.

Opinion

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’.

Polar M400 Review

COMPARISON TABLE

 

M430M400M600
Smart Coaching Features229.90 EUR159.90 EUR349.90 EUR
Activity BenefitYesYesYes
Activity GuideYesYesYes
Fitness TestYesYesNo
Running IndexYesYesYes
Running ProgramYesYesYes
Smart CaloriesYesYesYes
Training BenefitYesYesYes
Training loadYesYesYes
Activity
24/7 Activity TrackingYesYesYes
Sleep PlusYesNoNo
Activity GoalYesYesYes
Active TimeYesYesYes
Steps and DistanceYesYesYes
Activity SummaryYesYesYes
Activity BenefitYesYesYes
Inactivity AlertYesYesYes
Sleep Duration and QualityYes (new)YesYes
Training
Running ProgramYesYesYes
Speed and distance from the wristYesNoNo
Running cadence from the wrYesYesYes
GLONASSNoNoYes
Wrist-based heart rate measurementYesNoYes
Heart rateYesYesYes
HrmaxYesYesYes
Heart Rate zonesYesYesYes
Speed/Pace zonesYesYesNo
ZoneLockYesYesNo
ZonePointerYesYesYes
Polar Fitness TestYesYesNo
Running IndexYesYesYes
Smart CaloriesYesYesYes
Training BenefitYesYesYes
Training LoadIn FlowIn FlowIn Flow
Recovery StatusIn FlowIn FlowIn Flow
Back to StartYesYesYes
DistanceYesYesYes
Altitude, ascent/descentYesYesYes
Sport profilesYesYesYes
User-adjustable training displaysYesYesYes
GPSYesYesYes
A-GPSYesYesYes
GPS Power save modeYesNoNo
End Time EstimatorYesYesNo
Speed/PaceYesYesYes
Training targetsYesYesYes
Training historyYesYesYes
Training diaryYesYesYes
Interval TimersYesYesNo
Laps, manualYesYesYes
Laps, automaticYesYesYes
Personal BestYesYesNo
Autostop/startYesYesNo
StopwatchYesNoNo
Bluetooth Stride Sensor:
CadenceYesYesNo
DistanceYesYesNo
Average stride lengthYesYesNo
Speed/PaceYesYesNo
General
Bluetooth 4.2 (see BT smart below)NoNoYes
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/nNoNoYes
Android WearNoNoYes
Weight51g56g63g
Color touch displayNoNoYes
Resolution128×128128×128240×240
Water resistanceWR30WR30Swimming
USB cableCustomMicroUSBCustom
Bluetooth SmartYesYesYes
Smart NotificationsYesYesYes
Audio alertsNoYesNo
VibrationYesNoYes
AlarmYesYesNo
Button lockYesYesYes
BacklightYesYesYes
Date and weekday indicatorYesYesYes
Flow FeaturesYesYesYes
Running Index analysisYesYesno
GPS Battery Life8 hrs8 Hours10 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

 

Polar OH1 Review & Discounts | Optical HR Sensor, Arm-Worn

 

AVAILABILITY & ACTUAL PRICES

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runner
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runner

AFAIK the M400 does not have vibration alerts?

Adam Miarka (@adammiarka)
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Will be interested to see what “sleep plus” actually means. There was a “Sleep Analysis” tab in one of DCRainmakers screen shots when he was reviewing the Balance scale.

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Gerson
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Gerson

Great comparison! I’m a fan of the M400.
But will the M430 be Stryd compatible like Garmin/Suunto? (the M400 isn’t)
Thanks!

theSlowRunner
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theSlowRunner

Check out fellrnr’s Stryd pod review. He shows the M400 and Stryd as a working combination.

Braam
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Braam

M400 now supports speed and distance from the wrist. An update that came out in Jan 2017.

Sporty
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Sporty

Does the m430 support music control ie. skipping tracks and control volume?

Dan
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Dan

I currently have an M600 and I am thinking of switching to an M430, why would someone want to pair a stryd foot pod with the M430?