Reviews

Polar M600, GPS training watch with Android Wear | Full analysis

Advertisement
Movilan - Accesorios telefonía móvil

Esta página está disponible en español

The Polar M600 is a one-of-a-kind watch. It's not the only one with Android Wear, but it's the first one created by a sports company like Polar. It's not an insignificant detail. Having a smartwatch with a GPS receiver and optical pulse sensor is relatively simple for any manufacturer. Doing so offers the user experience and Polar's training analysis platform is not.

This is where the Polar M600 can make any other smart watch pale into insignificance, whether it's Apple Watch or any of Google's proposals so far, because Polar's ace in the hole is the integration between an Android Wear watch and its Flow training platform.

The watch for this test has been temporarily loaned by Polar. Once completed I will send it back to you. It is important that you understand this, because the tests I perform and my opinions of the products are totally independent, there is no remuneration of any kind from the brands.

Remember that if you want to show your gratitude for the tests I perform and want to help support the site, you can buy the watch through the links I provideThat way I get a small commission for each watch, which allows this website to continue and covers some of the work I do on it.

I've been testing the Polar M600 for a few weeks now, using it with both Android and iPhone, so I'm pretty clear on what the M600 excels at and what its weaknesses are. Come with me on the test and I'll tell you the best and the worst of the M600.

Unpacking

Well, well. A brand-new watch inside its box. What does the body want? Open it!

Polar M600

And while you're looking for where it opens, the first thing you'll notice is that it's not a regular GPS watch. No, this one has Android Wear!

Polar M600

A lot of box for little content, it seems... Inside you will only find the watch with its charging cable. And an instruction manual that I have already thrown away somewhere. You can do the same, in this test I will explain more things than you will find in it.

Polar M600

The strap has double locks and double pins, to make sure you don't lose it.

Polar M600

The Polar M600 has a new pulse sensor. It's different from what we've seen before in other Polar devices, not even close to what other brands offer. Now they've surrounded it with 6 green LEDs, when there are usually three. It's not due to lack of illumination...

As for the charging connector, it is proprietary (avoiding internal connectors such as the microUSB of the Polar M400 that has ended up giving many long term problems). It is similar to the one of the Polar V800, but it is not the same.

Polar M600

The screen is touch-sensitive, and you'll use it to move through all the menus on the clock, but there are two buttons. The one on the left serves to turn the screen on and off, or to return to the main screen at any time. In addition, two touches will activate "cinema mode".

The one below the display is called the "Polar Universe" button. When you press it you enter directly into the Polar training application. It also has other functions such as marking manual laps while you are training.

Polar M600

The strap can be easily removed, so that it can be replaced by a different one. Throughout 2017 there will be more options in terms of colours, at the moment it is only available in black or white. Red will be the first option available.

Polar M600

The truth is that the watch is a bit bulky, but it's more for the optical effect of its design than for the size itself (it's not much bigger than a Forerunner 35, for example).

And that's how you charge your watch. The connector is magnetic, so it's very easy to put in place.

Polar M600

And yes, the black strap is a real lint magnet. But since it's made of silicone, you can wash it as many times as you want.

The Polar M600, with Android Wear

The first thing that stands out about the Polar M600 is that it is a watch with Android Wear. This is what sets it apart from other training watches and what makes it unique.

Having an operating system like Google's allows you to expand the possibilities it offers tremendously. It's not a GPS clock with notifications. No, this is a complete intelligent clock, which also allows you to use it during your workouts.

As for its Android Wear side, the Polar M600 does not differ much from the rest of the options available with this operating system. In all of them the customization is limited to time spheres and to some specific application that may be included by the manufacturer, keeping a very similar menu structure.

In the case of Polar, it includes two specific spheres that combine the time with the activity monitor data.

Polar M600

And of course the Polar training application, which is the highlight of its development, but we'll see that in more detail in its corresponding section, so don't want to get ahead of yourself.
Polar M600 - Flow

As an Android Wear watch, the functionality with its analog Android operating system is very broad. Show and interact with notifications, send voice messages, query Google Now or even play music stored on the watch without needing the phone to do so (you have just over 2GB for music and applications). We also have an activity tracking application like Fit, but it is simply a mirror of the activity recorded by the Polar application.

Polar M600 - Google Fit

The Android Wear application must be installed on the phone. Download from Play Store Without this application it is not possible to carry out any operation with the M600, and it also allows you to configure some of the notification features.

Polar M600 - Android Wear Application

Although most of the modifications will be made from the settings menu of the clock itself.

Polar M600 - Settings

From Play Store you can also install applications on the clock. These applications are completely autonomous, so once installed you can use them and consult the information you need without having the phone on you, provided they do not require an Internet connection.

But the biggest attraction of the platform is the notifications. Android Wear allows not only to show all the notifications that your smartphone sends, but also we can interact with them.

Polar M600 - Notification

You can, for example, ignore notifications from your mail application, removing the notification on the phone as well, but without deleting the mail or marking it as read. The same is true for notifications from other applications such as WhatsApp.

Answering a message or an email dictating to the clock might have seemed like science fiction a few years ago (KITT, I need you), but when you're used to it, it's incredibly simple, especially for answering messages that only need a "yes" or "no" response.

Polar M600 - Answer Notification

But if there is something that we can highlight from Android Wear is the possibility of installing applications. And I am not talking about productivity or messaging applications (which also) but applications specifically designed for training, allowing to exponentially increase the possibilities that Polar offers us in the M600.

For example, navigation for cycling (citymapper can be a solution) or while walking. Or use it in the pool with the swim.com recording distance and specific swimming data.

Polar M600 - Swimming

And it also opens up the possibilities for use of external sensors, such as cycling power meters (the Polar application of the M600 only supports pulse sensors).

Applications with a multitude of configuration possibilities such as Ghostracer or covering options that Polar does not have present in the M600 such as 24/7 pulse tracking with the Heart Rate OS.

In short, a multitude of options that go far beyond displaying notifications on the clock screen.

However, all this is valid if we talk about synchronizing the clock with Android; if your phone is an iPhone we talk in other terms, and that is that despite being compatible the experience is not the same as we have with the operating system of the green robot.

Polar M600 - iPhone

The first thing that stands out is the control we have over the notifications on the phone, which is void. You can only see it or discard it from the phone. And in the same way, it doesn't allow you to start new messages or conversations. So the smart clock gets less smart when paired with an iPhone.

The battery life is drastically reduced. If paired with my Nexus 6p it is able to go beyond the 2 days duration (including training), when it is the iPhone 6 that is connected to the clock it costs to reach the day of duration. This is what the Apple operating system allows, which also favors your Apple Watch over any competing model.

And when the watch is away from the phone, it doesn't allow you to use the WiFi connection either. With Android, you can move to another location in your home or workplace and still stay connected to your phone, even if you're not in range of Bluetooth, as long as you stay on the same wireless network.

Another important point that iOS doesn't support is the impossibility of installing applications - you'll only get what's included in the clock. And don't think "I can install an application from a friend's phone and then use it. No, because to pair the clock with another phone you have to do a complete wipe, so it's impossible to jump around from one phone to another. And in addition to not being able to install applications, you can't transfer music to the clock either.

This should all change with the arrival of Android Wear 2.0 on the clock, but the update is still in development and Google has not yet clarified, specifically, what the compatibility improvements with iOS will be. It will allow the installation of applications directly from the clock using the WiFi connection (without needing the phone to do so), but this is the only thing that is clear. We still don't know if it will solve any of the other present and previously mentioned problems.

Android Wear Stick

It is clear that one of the main benefits of the Polar M600 is that it is based on Android Wear. With this operating system Google offers different manufacturers a platform from which to create complete and complex products without having to develop a platform independently.

In other words, it allows manufacturers like Polar to close the gap they have with Garmin and ConnectIQ when it comes to installing applications and clock faces to customize the devices. And not only that, but it provides the entire system of voice notifications and control that would otherwise be impossible to achieve. At first glance, it seems that Polar only has positive aspects thanks to the integration with Android Wear.

But as you've seen with iOS support, not everything is rosy. Android Wear also offers limitations to manufacturers, and since the operating system is completely out of their control, these are limitations they cannot overcome in any way, regardless of whether Google works on it.

The first example can be found in the operating system updates. When Polar introduced the M600He did it thinking that before the end of the year Google would already have the definitive version of Android Wear 2.0, thus arriving at the Christmas season with a very solid product recently updated to a new and shiny operating system. The problem is that Google has delayed the update againThis is not only a drawback for users, but mainly for the manufacturer, who loses strength in the most important months of a product's launch.

The new version of Android Wear will include the possibility of installing applications from the clock itself, something basic for iPhone users (who currently cannot install applications or dials in any way). And it will also update the platform's possibilities, which after almost 21 months without any major developments has actually become somewhat old. This is common to any other clock based on this operating system as they all suffer from the same problem.

But the Polar has its specific characteristics, as you will see below.

The Polar Universe

So far we have been checking the normal behavior of any watch equipped with Android Wear. Not much different from what we can find in any other model with Google's operating system. But if you press the button below the screen you will enter a totally different universe: the Polar universe. And once you press it you can forget that you are in front of a watch with Android Wear, because what you will find is something very similar to any other Polar watch.

Polar has done a fantastic job of adapting all its functions into an Android application - everything is exactly the same as on any other of its devices, both in terms of configuration and subsequent synchronization and training analysis.

Its main menu is quite reduced, but we don't need more. First of all you will find the training option.

Polar M600 - TrainingBy clicking on it you will be able to access the different sports you have configured for the M600. This is where the GPS and pulse sensor search will start.

Polar M600 - Race

The second option is "My Day". Basically the activity history of the current day.

Polar M600 - My Day

This includes the data from the activity monitor and the workouts you have completed, and you can access the same information that the watch displays at the end of an activity.

But you can only have the activity data of the current day again. If you want to consult something from past days you must open the application on your phone or on the web, but we'll see that later.

You'll also find the training sessions scheduled for that day, if you have them created in the Flow calendar, because all the configuration must be done from your own platform.

Sports mode settings

The configuration of the Polar M600 is not done in the watch, but through its website. The negative part is that you need to be connected to make any change, no matter how small. So if you go out and before you start you realize that you forgot to activate a specific data screen, bad luck, because you need to make the change through the Polar website.

But not everything is negative. There are many positive points. To begin with, the initial configuration (and the subsequent ones) are very simple.

And you've got plenty of sports to choose from as well. Instead of just having a running and cycling profile alongside a generic one for everything else (as is the case with other manufacturers); at Polar you can go crazy and create profiles for things like ping pong or yoga. Not that it has a specific function for this, but it does allow you to set up the screens independently and, by synchronising the activity, be able to identify what you were doing that day.

Polar M600 - Sports Profiles

After selecting the different sports you want to have available you can edit them to set the different parameters in each of them. First the basic settings (and which will be common to all your Polar devices), such as speed or heart rate zones and automatic laps.

But the most important part is the configuration of the data screens. The Polar M600 supports up to 8 different screens, with a maximum of 4 data per screen. Depending on the amount of data you select, it will be shown with a larger or smaller size on the screen.

Polar M600 - Display settings

At this point it is important to note that it does not allow us to select "cadence" as a data field. Although the watch is capable of recording it and it appears later in the activity summary, it is not possible to see this data during training. Something that I miss and more than one would appreciate.

All the changes you make will appear on the clock at the next sync you make. If you made the change before you went running, simply open the Polar Flow application on your phone and it will be enough.

Training with the Polar M600

With all the profiles set up on the watch it's time to go training. You know, you simply press the center button and you'll enter the Polar training application, where you select the sport you want to practice.

Buscador de chollos

Polar M600 - Running

Before clicking on the screen you must wait for a GPS signal and heart rate. While you are looking for both circles will have an animation, being fixed when you can start your training.

When you are running (or playing any other sport) you will have access to the data screens that you have configured from the computer. They can be data or graphics, depending on what you have selected. These screens can be accessed by scrolling down.

Polar M600 - Data

Polar M600 - Data

Polar M600 - Data

And if you scroll to the right you will have two predefined screens. Firstly a summary of the current lap.

Polar M600 - Data

And if you scroll one more screen you will see the total summary of the training until that moment.

Polar M600 - Cycling

Data such as distance travelled, average and maximum speed and heart rate, zones, etc.

The data on the screen is perfectly visible, whether you're training day or night. The quality of the M600's LCD screen is very high, with a resolution that ensures that any graphics or data will be clearly seen.

As for the lighting, by default you can have it off to increase the battery life, turning it on when you click on it or when you turn your wrist. There is a second option, which is to leave the screen always on. You can activate the option by sliding it from above while you are training.

Polar M600 - Backlighting

I always use the second option, because even though the wrist turn is perfectly recognizable in most cases, those tenths of a second that it takes until the screen is turned on seem like an eternity.

Obviously because of the type of screen used, the word "backlighting" has a different concept here. If in any other clock you simply turn on the screen lighting to see it in the dark, here it is necessary to do so either during the day or at night because the screen will otherwise remain off.

While you are training, if you have activated the option, the clock will automatically mark the laps at the distance you have set, showing a lap summary on the screen. Although it is easy to go unnoticed, because the vibration is not excessively powerful and the M600 does not have audible warnings.

You can also set up your training computer to monitor your performance during a training session, for example, by pressing the button below the display (called the Polar button) to set up a lap. The data displayed will be the same as for automatic training.

Polar M600 - Tour

And when you've finished training (or want to stop the activity momentarily) you'll need to slide the screen to the left, where you'll find the pause button.

Polar M600 - Pause

On the next screen you can resume the activity by pressing the green button, or stop it permanently by pressing and holding the red button.

Polar M600 - Stop

Once the training is finished, you will be able to see the summary of the activity, which is the same one we have seen before for the "My Day" section.

Finally, as far as the use of sensors is concerned, it only allows connection to an external pulse sensor via Bluetooth. But it does not allow the use of footpods, power meters, cadence/speed meters, etc. At least with the Polar application, but as the watch is based on Android, it opens up a world of possibilities...

Reviewing the activities

As soon as the phone and the clock meet again, the activity you just did will be automatically synchronized with Polar Flow (and with Strava, if you have automatic synchronization enabled).

You can then review all the training details both in the mobile application and on the Polar website.

Polar M600 - Polar Flow Calendar

And not just the training details, but also the daily step and calorie activity coming from the activity monitor.

Polar M600 - AppPolar M600 - App

As for the activity data, you will have the classic data and graphical view together with the activity map, and if you have marked manual laps, this is where you will also be able to consult them.

Polar M600 - Training

By the way, it's also in Polar Flow where you can create workouts that synchronize with your watch.

Polar M600 - Training

You can design your workout and set a date for it to take place, in which case the clock will alert you the day it's time to do so.

Polar M600 - Training

Optical heart rate sensor

The Polar M600's optical pulse sensor is new. It is not the first optical sensor from Polar (the Polar A360 was the first device of the brand to release this technology), but it is the first to show this configuration. 6 green LEDs surround the optical sensor to try to ensure a good reading of the pulse.

Polar M600 - Sensor

The sensor makes a small bump on the back of the watch that brings it closer to the skin, to try to ensure constant contact and avoid erroneous pulse readings.

Polar M600 - Sensor

It is common for other devices to use the pulse sensor throughout the day to record pulse and trend data, as well as to calculate the resting heart rate. This is not the case with the Polar M600, as the sensor is only operational when you are doing an activity, remaining inactive for the rest of the day. You can take your pulse at any time through the Google Fit application, but that record will not be saved or synchronized anywhere.

Polar M600 - Google Fit pulses

So there's nothing more to discuss about heart rate when we're not in the activity. So let's discuss what we do have while we're training.

Let's start with a race at a constant pace, simply running on the flat with no change of pace. This time, in addition to the Polar M600 (yellow line), I'm wearing a Garmin Forerunner 35 (blue line) and a Garmin Fenix 3 connected to the HRM-Run sensor on my chest (purple line)

Polar M600 - Garmin FR35 - FC Comparison

Perfect behaviour of the sensor of the Polar M600 during the whole activity. The only one that deviates is the HRM-Run sensor at the beginning of the activity, something common when it's cold and we haven't started to sweat yet to guarantee a good conductivity with the sensor. It's curious to see how the two optical sensors fully coincide in their registration while the chest sensor is totally absent-minded, considering how optical sensors are always suspected.

We go with another test with the same protagonists, although this time with different colors. Here the M600 is the purple line. It is a progressive rhythm training, with a rest before doing five 200m sprints at full speed. That rest are the two straight lines that can be seen in the graph. Although the data of the Fenix 3 does not appear until the intervals, because I had decided it was too early to connect with the sensor and at the stop I had to do it manually.

Polar M600 - Garmin FR35 - FC Comparison

Again you can see how the Polar M600 records the heart rate perfectly, at least during the progressive race period. In the final sprints it manages to do the first one perfectly, falling a little short in the following two. The fourth and fifth interval records it satisfactorily, much better than the Forerunner 35 which at that stage of the training seems to be even more tired than me.

Then another race at a constant pace but at a higher intensity, going around the Z4 and Z5 and bringing the heart rate closer to cadence rates (a complicated situation for the optical sensors, because sometimes when the "hits" of the cadence coincide with the optical pulse it causes the graph to be totally distorted by the similarity between both signals). The Polar M600 in blue, this time introducing the Fitbir Charge 2 optical sensor into the equation.

Polar M600 - Fitbit Charge 2 - Sensor Comparison

Again you can see how the start of the activity is complicated for the chest sensor, which needs more than 6 minutes to get into the right rhythm. Meanwhile the sensor of the Polar M600 is working at full capacity from the start, even if it is momentarily lost for a few minutes, however it is able to recover and finish the activity correctly.

An incorrect reading for some undetermined reason, because at that time I neither moved the watch nor was I doing anything strange.

Next is another activity with fartlek intervals. The work part includes 20s segments at a rate of about 3:20 with 10s rest. This is the most difficult thing an optical sensor can face. In blue the line of the Polar M600, which appears with a little delay because of the difference in the time codes, not because of the sensor's default. Simply the Suunto Spartan Ultra did something strange by marking the times in the activity file, so when comparing the graphs they do not match.

I was also carrying the Fitbit Charge 2 that day, but the activity file has no GPS data so it is not in a standard format (unexplainable, but true), so with the invaluable help of Suunto and Fitbit, this is the comparative graph of the activity.

Polar M600 - Pulse Sensor Comparison

I don't comment anymore on the strange start of the Suunto sensor, as you know why. As for the training itself, I had to do two blocks of 4 minutes warm-up and 4 minutes work summarized in 8x(20s to 3:20, 10s rest). Between the two blocks a few minutes of stretching.

In the case of the Suunto sensor, you can see the 8 intervals in each of the two blocks perfectly. In the case of the Polar, it records the approximate intensity, but not with the same precision as the sensor in the chest. The intervals are more "crowded" and in some of them it is not possible to identify them correctly. But as I say, it is the hardest test we can do with an optical sensor because of the rapid changes in exercise intensity.

So far we have seen high intensity running activities, but there will be many who are not used to these rhythms of work. How does the sensor behave when the intensity is much lower? Well, I have also prepared a test for this. Light jogging, followed by a period of walking; to again jog a little and then walk again. The line of the Polar M600 is the purple one.

Polar M600 - Fitbit Charge 2 - Sensor Comparison

Good general recording by the Polar, both when jogging and during the walking periods. Much better than the Fitbit sensor, which records satisfactorily when jogging but loses the line completely when walking.

So far, we've reviewed running practice. Let's go see a cycling one.

Polar M600 - Garmin FR35 - FC Comparison

The start is good, following the other two sensors correctly without any major problems, but around the 28th minute it seems that the Polar M600 decides to take a totally different route, choosing a much easier path. At that moment it got lost and did not regain the tone at any point during the whole training. I can tell you little more about it, 2/3 of the training in which the Polar M600 is a disaster.

The rest of the cycling training I have done has been very similar. What we are going to do, it seems that this sensor does not get along very well with the activities on two wheels, although in those occasions you could use any external sensor through Bluetooth, since the M600 allows to pair with an external pulse sensor, obtaining this way the heart rate data.

Polar M600 - External Sensor

In summary, what is my opinion about the optical sensor of the Polar M600? Well, despite not being too bright in cycling training, we must remember that this is usually the case with most optical pulse sensors. In this case the behavior it has had has reminded me of the first iterations of Garmin's Elevate sensor, which now offers a better performance.

As far as running with it, the result has been good. Quite good. Yes, with some small errors here and there, but overall the result is satisfactory. Much more than the results of the sensor of the Polar A360 that they presented before. And good enough that I had no problem using it as a pulse sensor during all my training.

GPS Reliability

The GPS tests that I perform are specific. I simply use as a basis my training, by areas I know and points that I identify that are often problematic with the GPS signal. Black spots that by how the signal bounces from the satellites or by difficulty in coverage can present more or less of a problem.

And to confirm that the reception they make is correct I accompany it with different devices. Logically I know where I have passed and where not, but through graphics it is much easier to show you.

There are people who use other systems, like having a pre-configured route and comparing records on it. But in my opinion this is not a valid method, since it doesn't take into account changes like weather differences, differences in the foliage of the trees depending on the season, the hand you are holding the device in (yes, it is also a differentiating factor), etc. That is, managing a database of trainings on different days won't always give the same result. That's why I prefer this kind of tests in which I compare the data under the same conditions. So below I will show you excerpts from some of my trainings. Remember that you can click on any image to see it enlarged.

In this first example, in addition to the Polar M600, I'm wearing a Garmin Forerunner 230 and a Fitbit Charge 2 wristband (whose GPS is an iPhone I'm wearing at the time).

Polar M600 - GPS Analysis

On the straights there are usually no problems, especially when the speed is a bit faster. It is in the turns where we can see strange things. In this first image you can see how the M600 makes both turns almost perfectly (cutting a bit the first one), but both the FR230 and the iPhone go long in the curve.

In areas of good coverage, the usual is that all units coincide perfectly in the recorded track. Slight deviations, but also caused by the different location of the device (in the case of this test the iPhone is the most complicated of the three to go in the waist within a Spibelt).

Polar M600 - GPS Analysis

In the next capture it's the M600 that goes a little long in the curve, although the other two cut it too much. But we're talking about a difference of 30cm over the actual passing area in a pretty narrow turn. So, a good result from the other contenders who didn't choose to draw a simple straight line.

Polar M600 - GPS Analysis

It is in the areas of greater complication in the reception where the problems are perceived better. In the lower part of the route, running by the zone of docks of the port, I go stuck to some buildings that complicate the reception. To the return, the passage of the avenue is quite covered by trees, to which is added buildings to both sides of the street.

Polar M600 - GPS Analysis

It's usually a sticking point in all the tests I do. The one with the worst performance is the iPhone, while Garmin and Polar have some ravings. But given the circumstances of the area, it's not striking. The Polar also has a slightly more unstable line, and highlights a quite remarkable cut in a curve.

More areas with complicated tree cover.

Polar M600 - GPS Analysis

The first turn the Polar M600 nails it, while the other two devices go long again. In the second turn, entering again in a good coverage area, the M600 and the FR230 nail it again while the iPhone takes time to recover the signal after leaving the tree area.

Another different day, this time a short training series. The other watch I compare the graph with is a Suunto Spartan Ultra, with the latest update released to correct some GPS reception problems.

Polar M600 - GPS Analysis

Except for a small difference in the arrival at the area of the promenade, in which the Suunto traces in a correct way, both graphs coincide almost completely in every moment. Good result of both clocks.

Let's go now with a road trip by bike, ending with a series. At first sight everything fits perfectly.

Polar M600 - GPS Analysis

And that's right, when the reception is good and the speed high, you get perfectly aligned tracks.

Polar M600 - GPS Analysis

The M600 performs very well at all times, even on the wrist.

Polar M600 - GPS Analysis

This area is a canyon in a river. The location of the Edge 520 is perfect, as it receives a perfect signal at all times. On the other hand, the watches that go on the wrist have it more complicated because they are not oriented towards the sky. We can see that on the way, both the Polar and the Edge coincide at all times and the FR35 fails a little when making the turn.

The lap is exactly the same with the M600 and the Edge 520 marking the track on its side of the road, but the Forerunner 35 gets totally lost and goes into the mountains.

What about the repetitive turns in the series? It's like running, but faster.

Polar M600 - GPS Analysis

Again we see the same difference as before, the Edge 520 and the Polar M600 are completely identical on the tracks, marking the pivot points exactly the same.

Polar M600 - GPS Analysis

The Forerunner 35, on the other hand, gets lost a lot more, but in its defence, the Garmin has intelligent data recording, which hurts it in tests like this where I make tight turns.

All in all, as you can see there are not many problems with the GPS of the Polar M600. It won't be the best of the best, but I really haven't seen anything important to report. Anyway, there will never be a clock that performs 100% of the tracks with the maximum perfection, there will always be some point where it gets lost and another unit has obtained a better record.

The truth is that at this point the Polar M600 is doing a good job again.

Battery life

As you may already know, if you're after a smart watch, where you can find more problems is in the autonomy of this type of devices. And that is because by technical specifications they are real battery eaters. Processor, TFT screen, operating system ... everything is designed for pure performance, not to maximize battery life.

The Polar M600 does not escape these problems, although it is true that in this aspect, the intelligent watches have advanced slightly since they began to arrive on the market. If before it was obligatory to charge the watch every night - and it was necessary to know how to manage the use well to arrive at night - with the Polar M600 it is possible to extract two days of normal use without fear of not arriving at the end of the second day. And that, including sporadic use of GPS and optical pulse sensor with one or two training sessions.

But as I emphasize every time I have the opportunity to use such a device (last time, the Apple Watch Series 2The daily autonomy depends a lot on your use, which can be similar to mine, or totally different, so it all depends on how many notifications you receive, how many queries you make with the clock or how many times you open an application on it. It is impossible to evaluate the battery life of any other user with my use.

Once I've clarified, I confirm that my results have been similar to what Polar claims. Just over two days of battery life (including workouts) when paired with Android, and close to a full day if your phone is an iPhone.

As for the battery life in activity, Polar indicates that it reaches up to 8 hours with the use of GPS and pulse sensor. In my experience I would say that it is somewhat higher than that. How much? It is difficult to establish, as the clock does not behave the same way when moving as it does when recording the activity in static.

In fact I tried to perform my usual test of autonomy by leaving the clock on the roof until the battery was exhausted, but after leaving it 12 hours recording and seeing that there was still almost a 50% battery left, it was clear that this test would not be determinant to see its performance, and that is that by standing in the same place without movement the behavior and consumption of the clock changes completely.

My opinion

Polar M600

The Polar M600 is a one-of-a-kind watch, a rare advert. Until now, we had found intelligent watches with some sports functions in the wearable market, or watches for sports with small intelligent touches, until Polar decided to bring together the best of both worlds and create the M600.

It is the first of many Android Wear watches with training possibilities, but at the moment Polar is already ahead. The integration they have managed to achieve between their platform and Google's operating system is very good. So good, that someone who does not know in depth how these types of devices work and the complexities they pose when developing them will not stop to think about it. Because, simply, it works. It is the best sign of a job well done, that something that can pose many problems goes completely unnoticed.

Polar's movement has been clever. It was only a matter of time before someone launched a clock of this kind. They don't currently have a platform capable of installing applications or allowing basic customizations such as the clock face. And creating something like this from scratch is not easy, especially considering the number of developers who can devote themselves to such a task.

With the adoption of the Google platform they manage to avoid many complications. They do not have to test compatibility with hundreds of different phones, nor worry about the operation or features of the notifications, everything is integrated into the platform itself. And that simplifies their work a lot.

But the choice of a platform like Android Wear also forces certain compromises. If the Polar M600 is a perfect companion to any compatible Android phone, with Apple's terminals it's a lot more complicated, at least for today. No possibility to install applications, with some performance problems and with difficulties to update the Polar Flow application.

If the main advantage is that the development of the operating system is totally in the hands of Google, it is also their biggest problem: it is something totally alien to them. And an update such as Android Wear 2.0, which should already be on the market, has been delayed for the third time. This also makes their work difficult, and is something that is totally beyond their control. Simply accept what Google offers them.

At this point I would like to remind you that what you should not do is buy the watch now under promises of future updates, because we do not know when or in what condition they will arrive. Make your purchase based on what the watch offers now, not depending on possible future improvements that could come to the platform.

Despite all this, the truth is that in terms of pure performance, regardless of its function as a GPS watch, it is one of the best options for watches with Android Wear. The optical pulse sensor is quite good, at the level of what other brands like Garmin offer, and the GPS performance is up to any of their traditional watches like the M400 and V800.

This doesn't mean that Polar will forget about its platform and switch to Android Wear from now on. Not at all, proof of this is that its latest presentation (the Polar M200And they've totally ruled out that the V800's replacement will follow in the footsteps of the M600.

The platform is not yet mature enough for a high-end multi-sport watch (mainly because of its autonomy), perhaps later on. But for the M600's target audience, Polar has created a fairly rounded product, in the hope that the new version of Android Wear can make it even better.

Buy Polar M600

I hope that this complete analysis has helped you to decide if it is a valid device for you or not. All the work I do you can consult it without any cost, but if you want to support the web and with it the work I do, the best way to do it is to buy your new device through the links I provide below.

Through these links not only will you get a very competitive price and the best customer service, but I will also receive a small percentage without costing you any additional outlay.

And if you have any questions, remember that you have the comments section at the bottom, where I will try to answer all your questions.

If you liked the analysis, don't forget to share it on your social networks.

Thank you for reading, and especially for supporting the page!

Rating

Overall operation - 8
Training possibilities - 7.5
Platform and applications - 8.5
Battery life - 7.5
Finishes and comfort - 7
Price/performance ratio - 7.5

7.7

Total

User Rating: 3.62 ( 7 votes)

Do you want to be always up to date?

Join the community

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Strava

Subscribe

RSS

Related Articles

95 Comments

    1. Yes, it's a dirt magnet, but just as it picks up lint very easily, you just have to pass it through the tap to make it completely clean again. And the truth is that it's comfortable and the system for changing the strap, although simple, is very practical.

  1. Good analysis, thanks.
    I just bought one, I have a fenix3 and a vivamart hr and I wanted something for comfortable and reliable training (heart rate and rhythm).
    My first outing was on Sunday. 14k average pace and lack of fret more, well I'm liking it (with his stuff, that you can not change the data on screen from the clock or the mobile I find incredible).
    I wanted to comment that I had a drop of about 10 minutes, about 40 to 50 minutes, from 155 to 110 all that time.
    Greetings

    1. From your mobile you can access the Polar Flow website and make the necessary changes, and then synchronize with the application.

  2. Very good analysis, I would like to know if you also used it in the pool, which is what interests me most. What features does it have when doing pool training? Right now I use a Garmin Swimn, which does exactly what I want (it counts long, rest times, I can put meters when I do leg series between series using arms)

    Thank you, a greeting

  3. Hola actualmente tengo un polar v800hr
    Worth changing x the m600?
    You say in the article that it has no sound alerts and that the vibration is very weak?
    It's a big mistake if that's the case, this was already happening on the m400 since you didn't hear the alerts.
    However, the v800 goes great and sounds and vibrates perfectly
    I really liked the theme of the pulse sensor and the mp3 player
    But the issue of autonomy and the sound warnings are throwing me back
    I mainly do athletics, some biking and swimming in the pool
    You definitely think it's worth changing?

    Greetings and congratulations on your website

    1. The V800 is superior in all aspects of sport. I'd only switch to the M600 if you were looking for a smart watch, otherwise your current one would give you more.

    2. IT'S DEFINITELY BETTER TO WATCH THE V800, SOMETHING THAT I PERSONALLY DON'T LIKE ABOUT THE M 600 IS THE BATTERY TIME

  4. Hi Eduardo, I just bought this watch to replace my current Garmin FR225 and there are some options I can't find in the Polar and maybe you can help me.
    In Garmin there is an interval training option for the series that is programmable directly on the watch, in Polar it is mandatory to do it through the web or mobile app and you always have to indicate a specific date?
    Also regarding the series, in the Garmin you don't have to indicate time or distance to do the heating and cooling, which I think is comfortable, but in the Polar I see that it is mandatory to define these 2 parameters, isn't there a way to do it like in the Garmin?
    And as for the time/rhythm of each series, in Garmin I can't see it until the end of the training, in Polar you can see that data during the training?
    Finally, I understand that it's not possible to load routes, see estimated end times, or track back the route. Would I have to go to a high-end Garmin to have all those features vain?
    Thank you for your help.
    Greetings

    1. That's right, you can't schedule workouts from your watch. This is common to the entire Polar range. You can see lap times for each leg of your training.

      In terms of navigation, I am sure that throughout 2017 there will be applications for Android Wear 2.0 that provide navigation solutions.

      1. Thanks for the answer Eduardo, but it is not clear to me if the m600 polar has or will have advanced training features (like Garmin) such as Virtual Partner to follow a set pace, Virtual Racer to compete against the pace of activities performed, Virtual Pacer to alert when the pace is +/- 5 seconds away from the set pace, Pace Alerts to set a maximum and minimum pace range or Training Effect (measures the impact of an activity on your aerobic capacity). I think some of these features are in the V800 and even the M400, right?
        Greetings

        1. Garmin functions are just that, Garmin functions. Don't wait for them in other models because they won't come.

          As for other functions, more will come to the M600, including GoPro support in the coming months.

  5. Hello, good morning, congratulations on the report, very complete!
    I've had the watch for a few days now and it's really driving me a little crazy, so see if you can help me out

    Can you disable the step count function? (I don't want to have it)

    How do I know how much device memory I have free?

    There are several android applications that I install on the phone and I do not go on the clock, you know pq can be ... are only compatible apps for android wear ¿ those of a normal phone are not valid?

    How can I manage the apps that I have installed, I explain myself, I get some like shazan or spotyfy that do not interest me, but others like the compass or tide table do not appear, I try to know how to get the apps that do not interest me from the clock but I do not know how.

    Thank you very much and best regards!

    1. The Activity Monitor cannot be deactivated.

      Applications must have a specific application for Android Wear, and logically not all of them do. To install the application on the clock it must be installed on the phone.

  6. Good morning, Eduardo. Congratulations on your work and your articles.
    I was given a Garmin 630 and I'm thinking of changing it because for the level of sport I do and the use I'm going to make of it I don't think it's going to make up for it. I mainly do gym work, running and some occasional cycling. The two models that I think would suit me best are the Fr235 and the M600 fleece. Why would you go for it? Is there someone else I should consider? I can't stand chest bands and I use the watch as such every day. Thank you.

    1. The difference here is more additional metrics in the case of the 235.
      If you don't care too much and value the smart clock function, you'll be happier with the M600

  7. Well, first of all, thank you very much for the test.

    I have a problem, I connect the clock to the pc and it loads but it doesn't synchronize with flowsync, I have tried in three computers and nothing, do you know if there is a driver to install or something?

    Thank you

  8. Hello.
    I just bought a Polar M600 and previously had a Polar M400 that I used for training and weight control on a Polar Balance scale.
    I'm satisfied with my new Polar M600 but when I go to register my weight with the scale, despite having the bluetooth activated in the watch and the scale linked, I can't get it to register my weight.
    Am I doing something wrong? Is he compatible, or if not, will he be compatible later?
    After spending a lot of money on a Polar scale, I find it incredible that it is so difficult to record weight or that it is not compatible. With my old Polar M400 everything was easier when it came to weight control.

    You'll let me know. Thank you and best wishes to all of you.

      1. Thank you for responding quickly.

        However, today I discovered that although it is not compatible, you can still record your weight automatically using the Polar Flow app on your mobile phone (the Polar M600 watch is no longer used to synchronize your weight). In this app, in the Balance section, there is a small icon that serves to record and synchronize your weight automatically.

        I hope I've helped if there's anyone who had the same problem.

        Thank you and greetings to all.

    1. He comprado este Polar y la verdad estoy decepcionado en lo que a las notificaciones se refiere. La vibración es tan baja que no se nota. Es mi reloj o que es? Mira si estoy disgustado que estoy pensando en venderlo.
      Tengo el Polar a360 y las notificaciones aquí si se notan bien

  9. Eduardo, I really liked your article,
    I have the M600 since 1 month and something. It was a gift and I use it mainly as a sport watch (running, indoor cycling and cross training). I have a doubt in relation to the polar flow; when configuring the running sport I can manually configure the HR and not use the defaults that the program calculates by the data entered by me. But what I am not able to do is to configure the running rhythms, it only allows to change between min/km and km/hour. This way when I do a training by phases or intervals I have to be guided by the ones sent by the program which are very wide (moderate between 5:27 and 4:00 min/km). I do not know if there is any way to be able to configure them manually.
    As a comment I wanted to say that it is a bit difficult for you to synchronize with your phone (I use an iphone 5s).

    Greetings and thank you.

  10. Hello eduardo. With this watch you can do indoor trainings? It measures by step estimation the indoor trainings? Thank you eduardo. Very good page

  11. Hi, Eduardo!
    First of all, I love your analysis and it's very useful, especially when buying a watch and knowing how to use it in every workout, thank you!
    I want to buy a watch with training gps and I've tried the Garmin 235 and it works very well, but I left competition years ago and right now I only go out running and cycling eventually, so I think the 235 is too much for what I need.
    I would like you to advise me (I go out running two or three times a week, I do spinning and I need the heart rate in percentages if possible, and I do cycling eventually); I have been watching the Garmin vivoactive HR wristband and the M600 polar, but considering that I have an iphone 6 and reading your comments, I don?t know if the polar would be the best option, although I have always used Polar for training.
    What do you advise?
    Thank you

    1. Polar V800 street, battery far above what you indicate. Now you get it on offer. You'll be able to see the percentage of your heart rate reserve, more tailored to your personal zones than seeing the simple percentage...

    2. If you use iPhone, right now the Polar M600 and until the final release of the Android Wear 2.0 version, is very limited. Then it also depends on whether you are mainly looking for a smart watch or not (to assess the issue of battery life).

      The Vivoactive HR is a good choice, although in essence it is very similar to the FR235. The advantage of the Vivoactive is that it offers more sport possibilities (like swimming or golf) and a superior version of Connect IQ (so in terms of future it has more guarantees).

      By the way, FR235 is on sale today, you might want to take a look.

      1. Hoal Eduardo tengo una pregunta el tiempo por vuleta solo puede verle en el polar Flow, o tambien puedo verlo en el reloj M600,

  12. Hi, Eduardo,
    I congratulate you on the article, as it's super complete.
    My question is whether to buy the Polar M600 or the Garmin Vivoactive Hr.
    They are more or less priced and my use is to do sport at a low-medium level of everything a bit.
    Thank you,

    A salute!!

    1. For that kind of activity, either one will leave you totally satisfied. In the end it depends if you are looking for a smart watch or not. The difference will be the battery life.

  13. Hello,
    I have Swim.com installed but I can't use it because every time I start it I get "Put watch into theater mode. Press twice" and no matter how hard I try I can't start the exercise (I've already updated it to Android Wear 2.0).

    Thank you very much and best regards

    1. If you have already upgraded to 2.0, it is best to create a swimming sports profile and make use of the integrated metrics

  14. Congratulations Eduardo. What a complete analysis. I loved it. I've been thinking about buying the M600 for some time and until you started cycling, I was very determined, but when you analyzed the pulse while cycling, you took away all my desire. I'm a cyclist and the watch is more of a whim than anything else, but if I buy the watch and the pulse doesn't work properly on the bike, I don't have to buy it. I don't understand what could happen for the pulse to work so badly in cycling mode and almost perfectly in racing. When you run, your arms move much more than in cycling, which could perhaps give more problems to the pulse reading. To something you think could give those reading errors? Have you commented this with polar? It would be good if they could explain why it is not working properly. Thank you and congratulations for your work.

    1. It's the ground vibrations that are the problem, since it's much harder to filter the records.

      Don't let it be a hindrance, remember that you can always use an external sensor for cycling.

  15. Hello again!
    Once again, congratulations on your great work.
    I'm looking for something to monitor the pulse from the wrist.
    My hobbies are
    -cycling, I think I could use the google maps application.
    -run
    -crossfit
    -open water swimming (here is where I have more doubts, I have read that you can download the app swim.com, although I don't know how it works, the only thing I need is the distance)
    I've been a user of the Polar M400 and V800 and very happy with their features. Now I have the Phoenix 3, but I think it's too much of a device for a sportsman like me, I hardly use it.
    I'm between the M600, Vivoactive HR, 235 or M430.

    Which one can be more adapted to what I'm looking for?

    Thank you very much in advance.
    Greetings

    1. Well, honestly, I think the one that fits you best is the one you already have on your wrist. Especially for swimming in open water. If you're looking for something lighter, one option might be the Garmin 735XTthat you could buy at about the same price that you could get for the Phoenix 3 if you sold it.

      But by switching to other models you're going to lose out on cycling and especially swimming.

  16. Good morning Eduardo, simply great your analysis, I have the Polar M600 since a few months ago and it is going great, everything is very good until I have been given an Iphone 6.
    I am unable to synchronize him, I have followed the steps of the Polar website a couple of times and nothing, what can it be due to? Thank you very much for your help. Greetings

    1. Well, I can't tell you what your problem is... I synchronized it in a normal way at the time, without any problem

  17. Before I go, I want to congratulate you for your great review, all very detailed and explained, great work. I have one since January of this year and the truth is, I'm super happy with it. I have a doubt that I think it can't be done but I ask you in case you know it more surely than I do. It can be configured so that when it's not moving it pauses? especially in cycling it's what interests me the most. Thank you very much for all Eduardo in advance.

    1. En perfil de deporte en Polar Flow puedes indicar la mínima velocidad para que se pause el entreno, siendo “0” completamente parado.

      1. Thank you very much for your quick answer, I will abuse your kindness by asking you where in the Polar Flow menus that option is found. Thank you again.

          1. Good morning,
            I'm very interested in this topic but I'm in profile settings (for example running), and I can't find where to set the minimum speed to pause in training.

            Thank you very much and best regards,

          2. Attached is a screenshot where you can see the "Automatic Pause" option.
            If you don't get it, the unit doesn't have that option.

          3. Hello, Miguel,
            Thank you very much for your quick answer. I haven't received any screenshot. Do you have that option in a M600 or is it in another Polar model? Because if it is in a M600 I understand that they should all have it, right? (I have the SW updated with the latest versions).

            Thank you again and a greeting,

          4. You can see that for the M600 there's no such option. I see the V800 has quite a few more.

            Thanks again!

  18. Hello,

    Thank you very much for this great article, it has helped me decide on this watch.
    I cycle indor and the bikes (keisers) have a display that is supposed to pick up the pulses from the heart rate monitor. Other guys with chest bands link the band to the bike and see the pulses but I didn't see my pulses yesterday with the clock.
    Do you know if the watch transmits via BT the data of the pulse meter?
    Just today I did the update to Android 2.0, can it be a question of the version of Android wear?

    Thank you

    1. It will only work with chest band H7 or H10 that emit in bluetooth for the watch and Gymlink 5khz for machines (and compatible swimming pulse meters) simultaneously.

      The M600 does not emit a bluetooth heart rate, unless you find a Wear App that does.

  19. A great analysis I congratulate you for your work. You could answer me a question that is not clear to me. Could you put an application like wikiloc or something similar to be able to follow a mountain route?
    I want to buy a watch that has GPS, optical pulse sensor and can follow routes from the watch. In your experience, what would be the best quality price?
    Thank you very much.

    1. Hello, I want to retire my v800
      Quiero algo similar al v800 pero con lector de pulsaciones integrado y con reproductor de MP3
      Algo parecido al Tom Tom runner músic.
      Which one would you recommend?

      Greetings

      1. In spring 2018 the replacement for the V800 will come out, for me in the current market there is nothing similar to what it offers...

      2. Well, the V800 replacement arrives in a few months, and Garmin will be presenting things in a few days at the Las Vegas CES...

  20. Hello, I wanted to ask. I have a Polar M400 and I would like to renew it. I use it more for the bike, the thing is that I usually ride at night. The problem with the M400 is that if I leave it with backlight to see the pulse it melts the battery in less than 35 minutes, the question is what kind of screen is the M600? AMOLED? would it last 3 hours on? The second is if it has a bike cadence measurement option, the M400 does not. And last, I understand that it can also be synchronized with chest strap or bracelet for pulse measurement. Thank you and greetings.

    1. Your only choice in Polar is V800 for battery capacity and cycling metrics (cadence, wheel speed sensor and power...). It also provides real-time barometer tilt if you use the wheel sensor, an advantage if you're a port climber. It also has support for Strava Live Segments.

    2. The M600 uses an LCD screen with a much higher consumption than the M400, so it's not an option. Anyway, I'm surprised that the M400 has such a short battery life with the power on, obviously it has an impact on the autonomy but it's not excessive.

  21. I read your article in 2019. I think it's great the detail in which you analyze all the prolegomena of the Polar M600.
    On the other hand I would like to ask you how you download the sessions, in what format and which application you use to be able to visualize the comparison of several clocks.
    Thank you very much.

  22. In May 2019 I find this article so fantastic. Thank you so much for such a job.
    I have a question. I currently have an A360 fleece that I am very happy with, but I would like to change to another watch that has GPS and so on. My workouts are usually gymnastics (within these I do weights, functional training, circuits, bodypump etc.) and small cycling routes, hiking, etc.
    Me gusta lo de los perfiles de deporte de Polar y entiendo que el M600 también lo tiene, pero no sé si debería cambiar a otra marca como Garmin Fenix o si con este voy más que sobrada. Suelo usar el reloj absolutamente todos los días y me tira un poco para atrás el tema de la batería. ¿Voy a por el M600 o me paso a otro, sea Garmin Fenix u otro tipo?

    I do not know if you can really answer my question, if not I thank you anyway and Congratulations on your work.

  23. Eduardo excellent your analysis

    Hace 1 año y 11 meses compre el M600 y estoy muy contento con la información que me brinda. Hasta que le empezó a salir al lado derecho una raya vertical de color amarillo en casi todas las pantallas.

    I took it to the site where I bought it and was told that this is a change from the last update and that this was normal.
    I have a nephew who has one just like it and that stripe doesn't come off and it has the same firmware. I have worn it again and they keep insisting that it is for that reason. I feel that the watch is not right I found it with the sensor on while it was on the table and they tell me that that reading does it every so often. My watch is still under warranty and they don't solve it. I bought it at the Polar in Costa Rica.

    My specific question is whether these symptoms are normal or who should I contact to try to find a solution to my watch failure.

    Thank you for your attention.

    Greetings

  24. Hola buenas, muchas gracias por tremenda guia que sacaste. tengo. queria consultar si puedo emparejar el reloj m600 a algun sensor de velocidad/cadencia para ciclismo indoor y asi poder ver estos valores y las pulsaciones en al actividad.
    Saludos!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

Through this form the data are treated with the only purpose of being able to manage your comments.

These data will be recorded on the server, unless you check the box to subscribe to the newsletter that will be stored in the list of Mailchimp (which also complies with all laws). At any time you can request both the cancellation of any of the emails and the removal of all your data.

For more information you can check the privacy policies for more information on where, how and why I store your data.

And I'm sorry about the bilge, but I'm obliged to put it in.

Back to top button