Polar M200, the most economical GPS with optical sensor | Full analysis


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Today the Polar M200 arrives in Europe, at least officially, as it was already presented a few months ago but was only put on sale in some markets. Well, from today it is already possible to get one of the new watches in any of the usual channels.

The Polar M200 is a simple watch, with a clear focus on getting the lowest possible price. But being cheap doesn't mean you can't have GPS, optical pulse sensor or the ability to perform scheduled workouts. And all at a recommended price of £150 (which is almost always minor in the links I provide).

Polar has provided me with a unit before its official arrival on the market, and once the test is completed I will send it back to you, so there is no quid pro quo on your part.

This is something that I always want to clarify, because the tests that I carry out are totally independent as I have total freedom to express any kind of opinion regarding the products that I analyse. So if I have to highlight something that is not good, I can do it with the maximum freedom, in short, it is you who make the existence of this page possible with your purchases through the links that I provide.

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 purchase links I always include. That way I get a small commission for each watch, which is what allows this website to continue and covers some of the work I do on it. And if you are not going to buy the watch and what you need is toilet paper, that works too. Just click on the Amazon image.

And now that everything has been cleared up, it's time to get to know the new Polar M200 in the greatest detail: all its lights and shadows.


Overall operation - 8.5
Training possibilities - 8.5
Platform and applications - 8
Autonomy - 7
Finishes and comfort - 7
Price/performance ratio - 9.5



User Rating: 4.02 ( 3 votes)

The good

  • Small and light
  • Basic, but perfect for those looking for something simple
  • Without being the Polar optical sensor, the performance is quite good.
  • Price

The bad

  • Screen from another century
  • Strange touch strap


What do you mean, a brand new Polar M200 waiting to be opened? There is nothing more irresistible than "unboxing" a brand new box.


Polar M200

But before you do, there's always time to take a look at everything this Polar M200 can do. It's cheap, but that doesn't mean it doesn't include notifications, has GPS, is waterproof or sleep monitors. It's even Strava compatible. It's all clearly highlighted on the back.

Polar M200

Here's what you'll find inside: the sync and charging cable, the watch and a collection of quick guides in a multitude of languages. And unless you're going to use them to learn languages, you'll appreciate what you can read here more.

Polar M200

There are only two buttons to control the M200, one on each side, the left one is used to go back or to pause the activity.

Polar M200

And the one on the right side, which is the same size, is used to enter the different menus and confirm the selection. Both have different functions depending on whether the key is pressed long or short.

Polar M200

The strap is unusual, so there are no pins holding it to the case. The watch is simply a "pod" that is inserted into it. This one looks like it was made by 3D printing and does not stand out for using noble materials.

But it's not so bad to the touch and the texture gives it a special touch. It's comfortable on the wrist and has a multitude of positions for the clasp, allowing the watch to be worn firmly on the wrist for a good pulse reading, but without becoming uncomfortable by wearing the watch too tightly.

And if you look at it, the watch has a sort of tab. It's a traditional USB connector, so you can charge or synchronise it directly by connecting it to your computer or mobile phone charger.

Polar M200

Behind it you can see the optical pulse sensor, which I will talk about quite a bit in its corresponding section.

Polar M200

And as I said before, this is the way to charge it. If you don't do it by connecting it directly, the cable included is just a USB extension.

This connection is not only for charging the watch, you can also synchronize it with the computer in this way, although the most common way is to do it via Bluetooth with your smartphone.

Polar M200

Before we get down to business, would you like to take a quick look at the basics of the Polar M200?

Polar M200, a quick look

The Polar M200 is a very simple watch: in its performance, in its handling and in the number of options you will find in its menu.

And as part of its simplicity we have a display that Polar must have found in some warehouse buried in the 1990s. It is certainly the worst resolved aspect of this watch, as it is not only the antiquated image it gives the watch, but it also limits the amount of information it can display on the screen.

In fact its resolution is so low that I couldn't even find official data. But if you gave me 5 minutes (which I don't have) I could tell you about them perfectly one by one. I leave the hobby to you.

Polar M200 - Resolution

Its simplicity is also reflected in the fact that there are only two control buttons. The right button allows you to enter the menu and rotate between the different options and the left button goes back. If you want to enter any of them, you simply have to leave the right button pressed. It's that easy.

There aren't many menus to get lost in: training, activity, history, heart rate and settings. Nothing else.

In the training menu you will find the different sports profiles you can set up on the M200, which I will detail in more detail later.

In activity you will see the data of your activity of the day, provided through the internal accelerometer.

Polar M200 - Activity

If you enter it will tell you what you need to do to reach 100% of the target daily activity, as well as the steps taken during the day.

Polar M200 - Remaining activity

Polar M200 - Steps

But this is not the only place where it is displayed. On the main screen it will also appear as dots around the outer circle of the dial, which indicates the percentage of activity completed for the day. This is what the inscriptions on the dial of the clock are for.

Polar M200 - Watch activity

The continuous synchronization of the clock with your phone will upload the data to the Polar platform, and at any time of the day you can check your activity level in the application, much more completely than you can see on the clock. And not only of activity, but also of rest.

Polar M200 - Application activity Polar M200 - Application activity

You can measure the heart rate at any time.

Polar M200 - My FC

But this data will not be stored anywhere, as there is no constant monitoring of heart rate. It is simply a query you can make, but manually and not automatically throughout the day.

In the history you will find a summary of your activities performed with data such as distance, rhythms or maximum or average heart rate.

Polar M200 - History

There is no menu for notifications, they simply appear on screen when they reach your phone. You will be notified of all events, it is not possible to disable or enable notifications depending on the application you want to see, it is all or nothing.

Polar M200 - Notification

However, given the screen resolution of the M200, these are very simple notifications. It allows a quick glance to know if you have received an email, a tweet or a message from WhatsApp, but you will not be able to read the full message or of course answer it.


The configuration of the different profiles of the Polar M200 is done, exclusively, through the web, either from the computer or entering the web through the mobile phone, but it is not possible to do it from the clock. The Polar Flow application only lets you modify two or three basic options. Once changed on the web, you will simply have to do a synchronization to receive the updated settings.

As standard the clock includes a number of predefined profiles, but one of the main attractions of this type of device is its customization, so we will forget about them to create our own.

The configuration of the M200 is exactly the same as any of Polar's latest products, including the ability to set up a multitude of sports profiles, which is not at all common for watches in this price range. Normally you'll simply find a profile to run with, which will have to be the one you use for everything else.

Polar does not restrict this use in any way and allows you to select the same sports profiles you might select in, for example, the Polar V800.

Even swimming, although you won't have stroke or distance measurements in the pool, of course, but the optical pulse sensor or GPS for open water swimming will work (although the tracks in those conditions are pretty bad in general).

Polar M200 - Swimming pool

In the case of the M200, you can configure up to seven different screens but with only two data on each screen. Obviously the low screen resolution does not allow much more.

Polar M200 - Configuration

These are the metrics you can include in each of these screens.

Polar M200 - Available Metrics

There is nothing sophisticated. Perhaps a cadence data would be missing, since the clock has an internal accelerometer that could record it, but neither the sample nor the recording for later analysis. Again, concessions to get an economical product.

You can also select other basic settings, such as automatic lapses based on a certain distance or duration, or display the heart rate in beats or as a percentage over the maximum.

Polar M200 - FC

You can also set up each sport to show speed or pace, so you can have one running profile with pace in min/km and another for cycling in km/h. And in each sport you can select whether to activate the use of GPS or vibration, individually for each of them.

Career and training

Make no mistake about it, although the Polar M200 supports many different sports, it is designed to be used while running.

When you have your watch set up with the screens you need, it's time to think about going out for a workout. To select the option, simply right-click to access the list of activities. The first one to appear will be the last one you used.

At this point the watch will start searching for heart rate and satellites. When your heart rate has appeared on the display and the GPS symbol has stopped flashing you can start running.

Polar M200 - Running

To start you must leave the right button pressed again. The activity will start and you will see the first data screen you have configured.

Polar M200 - Data display

Pressing the right button changes the data screen to one that you have set up. You can also see a couple of screens that are new to the Polar M200: comparison with the world marathon record (so you can see how fast those people are running) or Cooper's test values. You simply have to select them in the Polar Flow settings screen.

Polar M200 - Cooper Test

And if you want to mark a lap (independently of the automatic laps), you can do it by holding the right button.

Polar M200 - Tour

What about the left button? You'll use it to pause the activity, and if you hold it down for three seconds you'll end it. Or resume it with a tap on the right button.

If there is one thing the Polar M200 excels at, it is that it is the only watch in its niche market that allows for scheduled training, for example, interval training by heart rate ranges (not in min/km).

Polar M200 - Interval Training

It's not the only type of workout you can create. There are multiple objectives you can select from when scheduling a workout.

Polar M200 - Training goals

You can also create training programs for a multitude of distances (5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon). You can configure various parameters to set the hardness of the training, the date you will run and when you want to start training for it.

Polar M200 - Marathon program

All training sessions will be automatically created (and new sport profiles if you didn't have them created, such as strength or core training), which will also be synchronized with the clock. And every day you go to train, you'll have those workouts available for guided training.

Even starting from the Running Index log you have in Polar Flow (basically your VO2Max), it will tell you what time you can aim for on the day of competition. Many possibilities for a watch that aims at the low range.

Optical heart rate sensor

Polar's M200 is the third model of the Finnish brand to venture into the field of optical pulse sensors. The first was the Polar A360This is an activity bracelet that had a complicated beginning with its optical sensor, especially considering that it came under the umbrella of a pioneer in heart rate recording company like Polar.

His second iteration was the Polar M600In this model, the sensor changed, highlighting the six LEDs it relied on to obtain fairly satisfactory records. Below industry leaders (Mio's and Valencell's sensors), but at par or slightly above the more direct competition, such as Garmin's Elevate or LifeQ's used in the TomTom Runner 2 and Runner 3.

In the M200 the sensor returns to the initial configuration that was presented with the A360, more traditional with only two LEDs providing support. But the important thing about an optical sensor is not the hardware (that's the easy part), but the software and the algorithm that governs it.

Polar M200 - Optical Pulse Sensor

The Polar M200 still does not offer heart rate monitoring throughout the day, all we can do is check the pulse at any time through a menu option.

Polar M200 - My FC

That record will not be recorded anywhere, nor is there any possibility of knowing the day's resting heart rate. Soon? Perhaps, but it is one of the things that was originally promised for the A360 and a year later has not yet arrived.

But the important thing about an optical pulse sensor is its ability to measure heart rate during exercise, so let's see how the Polar sensor behaves and whether it's improved from what it was a year ago.

As you may know if you have read some of my tests before, I perform the pulse sensor tests by contrasting graphs with others from different sensors, trying a minimum of three different ones, in order to determine who fails if there is any discrepancy.

Let's go with a first test that, although not very long, I try to play all the clubs. You can enlarge the images by clicking on them.

Polar M200 - Pulse sensor comparison

The start of the activity is a continuous race. The Polar arrives a little late to the party, but it is quite common when the activity starts. This time both the Garmin chest sensor and the Scosche register correctly (which is not always the case, especially in winter).

After 20 minutes I start trying to "touch the nose" of the sensor. Up to that point the recording is perfect, with the three sensors giving a totally overlapping graph. The first test is to increase cadence and pace, trying to confuse the sensor with the cadence data. But it doesn't sting, and the recording continues to be correct in all three units.

At the time of the stop a slightly higher peak can be perceived in the case of the sensor in the chest, but it can be simply because of the punctual recording at that time. Nothing to object to in that period.

After that stop, the rest period is perfect (something that many sensors choke on, such as the Garmin or TomTom sensors that have a slight delay in recovery). And with the intention of continuing to look for the sensor's tickle, after a few minutes I decide to lie down and lower my heart rate even more. The Polar sensor continues to respond correctly, with a slight hesitation but nothing important.

After continuing to pass the hard part of the test, it's time for another difficult test, a return to intense activity from a standstill. He starts perfectly, although in the 28th minute he gets a little off track for a little less than a minute, but he recovers again and again records the rest perfectly. I recover my trot again and the three sensors coincide perfectly again.

Not bad for a first test, with several difficulties. Except for two small deviations, he does well in the rest of the exercise. I can give him a 9 out of 10. But let's go with more tests.

Another interval session, but this time for real. 20 minutes shooting, 3x330m at full speed with 3 minutes rest, 10 minutes shooting followed by 2×1000 at 10k speed with 2 minutes rest and cooling down. A punishment for the trainer (me), but also for the optical sensors.

Polar M200 - Pulse sensor comparison

And what can be said after such a graph? Well, given the difficulty of the training due to its high and short intensities, simply "chapó".

Slight differences here and there, but we are talking about point readings of 2 or 3 beats per minute at the height of an interval or at the end of a break. There is little more I can say about this, except that it is once again a magnificent result.

Gym activities are a problem when comparing activities, because the extracted TCX files do not meet the standard, so I cannot add both to the application for chart comparison.

In this low intensity indoor core training (weights, abs, etc) I used a Mio Link on one wrist and the Polar M200 on the other. Here are the graphs of both devices.

Polar M200 - Pulse sensor comparison

When the intensity is low, it is quite common that pulse sensors do not give good readings. Even those that take records from a chest band are not reliable either.

I cannot give a clear winner in this test, firstly because there was no third sensor that could clarify which of the two graphs is more correct, and secondly because even if there was I would not have the possibility to compare the files.

Even so, after a few years of training I know quite well my working intensities of different exercises, including gym work, and this time the Polar M200 proves to be more successful.

The graph is more reasonable over the entire exercise range, while the graph shown by the Mio Link is much more variable, even with drops to the 55 beats per minute zone (something impossible to achieve while doing any type of activity).

In any case, the objective is to evaluate the result offered by the optical sensor of the Polar M200, which in this case is satisfactory.

Below we can see a cycling activity, usually the most difficult for an optical pulse sensor. This time I do not include the data from the Mio Link because, despite wearing it, the Fenix 3 that recorded the data was in the back pocket of the jersey, so it received the signal with great difficulty.

Polar M200 - Pulse sensor comparison

You can see that the Polar M200 is not an exception and it also suffers when we are pedalling. It is always late at all intervals, although at least as soon as the rest period comes in there is no delay.

It only shows up correctly at the start (where the sensor in the chest fails again until I start to sweat) and at the end of the training at a more constant pace.

Still, it's not a bad result on the cycling side for what I usually see on other optical sensors. He's been taking late readings at the beginning of the intervals, but at least he was in the right environment. But certainly his running performance has surprised me pleasantly.


The GPS on the M200 lacks a feature that is quite common on almost all devices today, and that is that it has no GPS position cache, which means that the wait for a signal when you start the activity is longer than on other Polar or competitor watches.

But if it fails to do so, it upgrades to other models in its price range (e.g. the Garmin FR35) in offering position data recording per second, rather than intelligently every few seconds.

Polar M200 - Recording data per second

What is the benefit of this? Well, besides having more realistic tracks, the instantaneous rhythm information is more accurate and faster to update. That if you are doing training at a constant pace you won't mind too much, but when we talk about doing series it is something that has much more relevance.

In addition, in circuits with many curves the final distance will be a little more precise, since in the turns it will not be cutting meters. But do not expect reliability 100%, no GPS clock will give you.

The behavior in the different activities I have done is the usual one in any watch of this type, with its lights and shadows. But let's go with the comparisons.

In this race training at first sight there is not much to highlight, the three clocks seem to coincide on the route without much problem.

Polar M200 - GPS

But let's zoom in a bit. This is an area where I usually pay a lot of attention to the behaviour of the different clocks. It's a fairly lush tree-lined area, along with buildings that can make reception difficult.

You can see that none of the three is perfect, although the Polar M200 (yellow line) is the most outstanding in three points where it goes long in the record.

Polar M200 - GPS

But there are also situations that a priori should be easy for any clock where there are strange behaviors. For example in this image the only one that registers perfectly the whole stretch is the M200. In the lower part of the image the FR230 goes 1 meter to the left of the real route, while the Fenix 3 goes to the right.

After crossing the road both the FR230 and the M200 make the correct registration, but the Fenix 3 gets lost a few more meters without any reason.

Polar M200 - GPS

Let's go now with a bike training. These have the particularity of being faster, so the lines tend to be straighter as they cover more distance in less time. But at the same time the turns are more complicated to represent well for the same reason.

I often train on a short circuit (especially if I go out at night), which allows me to pass the same turning points over and over again.

In this case the ones that should have the best performance would be the Garmin Edge 520 and the Fenix 3, because the first one is placed on the handlebar and the second one in the jersey pocket; while the Polar M200 goes on the wrist with the worst vision of the sky (road handlebar, so it is turned).

However, it is the M200 that shows the best performance, nailing the turn every time in this very narrow roundabout.

Polar M200 - GPS

And practically the same situation is repeated in this slightly wider turn, where the M200 once again stands out with greater precision.

Polar M200 - GPS

And not to be repetitive, but it is something that is repeated at other points.

Polar M200 - GPS

However, like any GPS, the Polar M200 is not perfect and there will be points where the behavior is strange, as here that inexplicably moves away from the correct track.

Polar M200 - GPS

In short, the GPS performance of the M200 is good, both in terms of signal reception capacity, which presents no major problems, and the ability to record data per second. Operation is consistent at all times, and although there are times when it is lost, this is something we will see in any device.

The only negative point present is the absence of GPS cache, but given the selling price at which this model is aimed it is a concession that is bearable.

Buy Polar M200

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.

My opinion

Polar M200

You can see the Polar M200 as a watch with a display unworthy of the century we are in, with a "vintage" touch that reminds us more of the past than even a model launched on the market in 2016.

But the Polar M200 is a cheap product. Its low resolution screen is cheap, it doesn't need much processor power to move it and there are certainly no graphics to display. In the end every detail adds up, and in this case what it does is subtract money from the price tag, which is the main goal to achieve.

On the other hand, if the only negative thing I can say about a GPS watch with an optical pulse sensor is that the screen has a resolution that doesn't correspond to this century... it's a good sign, right?

Polar's goal was clear: to have a reliable GPS watch, including an optical pulse sensor, but at the same time very cheap. And just like the Polar M400 two years ago, the M200 is still one of the best examples of a remarkable price/performance ratio.

And in a sector where its main rival is capable of launching more than 20 products in a year, finding a market niche where a product can be introduced is not easy.

We are talking about a watch with an optical sensor, mobile phone notifications, the ability to perform structured training, activity and sleep monitoring... It presents no problem in any of these functions, and all for less than 150 euros.

And I'm sorry to be repetitive; if the worst thing I can say about a cheap watch is that it feels cheap, but that it behaves perfectly in everything else it pretends to, it's that the development work that has been done has been good.

That's where the Polar M200 comes in. A reliable GPS, a fairly bright optical pulse sensor and features that are not common in its price range, such as the ability to follow scheduled workouts.

For those of us who are data obsessed and like to control a multitude of parameters at a single glance the watch is not the best option, but for those who don't need that data invasion and just want the basics, the Polar M200 is one of the best options if your goal is to spend as little money as possible.

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!


Overall operation - 8.5
Training possibilities - 8.5
Platform and applications - 8
Autonomy - 7
Finishes and comfort - 7
Price/performance ratio - 9.5



User Rating: 4.02 ( 3 votes)

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. Hello, good analysis, as always. I have two doubts. The first is the issue of caches. As I do not control so much, that would indicate that it does not keep the satellites in memory? Could it affect especially when you have moved many miles since the last use?
    And the second doubt is the battery issue. What data does the manufacturer give and what data do you have? I happen to have a battery problem with my Tom Tom Runner Cardio and I have to think of some options just in case.
    Thank you and a greeting

    1. Yes, in general, satellite searches will be slower.

      There is no official data from Polar (or at least I haven't found it).
      But by using GPS and optical sensor the battery lasts about 6-7 hours in activity.

      1. Yeah, I figured that about the satellites.
        As for the battery, a normal duration then. Do you know if there is a way to train with gps but without a pulse reader?
        Thank you and a greeting

  2. If you had to choose a single model for those who want to use it for swimming (if possible with heart rate and calorie consumption after practice) and spinning (and occasionally gym), I never go out for a run, which one would you choose?

      1. I have read your comments about Suunto Ambit3 and I note that for the heart rate it would require the tape and in no case would it give real-time values. As the post you made is from two years ago, you know if future updates are foreseen. I also know that you have recommended Garmin Vivosmart in other occasions, although not for heart rate parameters in water, it will be perhaps the most recommended option? or is it worth waiting for 2017? Thanks as always and of course if I finally buy I will do it through your links.

  3. Hi Eduardo, great review, congratulations. I have an M400 and I've been wanting to change it for a while. Its features cover my needs perfectly for running and cycling. Would this M200 be a good option for the change? What differences do they have apart from the GPS search and the optical pulse? The battery, as far as I can see, is on par. Thank you.

  4. Well, first excellent analysis, like all I read yours, very complete. I'm looking for something like this for my wife, between this and the Tom Tom Runner 3 Cardio what would be your personal recommendation?. She only runs trail and hikes. No biking, no swimming, nothing else. Is that the Tom Tom Runner of following tracks I see it as a good option. But give me your opinion

    Thank you very much Eduardo

    1. For trail riding I would recommend something with a barometric altimeter. Between those two I think the Runner is a better choice, it will take advantage of the navigation

    1. I haven't tested it on tape, but since it doesn't record indoor cadence it only provides FC data.

      As for the gym and the like, it's quite difficult for optical sensors, but I was impressed.

  5. Hi, Eduardo,
    Great review. I've been in the running business for many years. I had a Polar without GPS with a chest band for heart rate. I had it for many years until it died. Then I had a simple Garmin GPS until the battery died and the solution was a new watch. Now I'm going with my Casio chronometer from 30 years ago, which is working great, but I have a hard time seeing the numbers hehe.
    I'm looking for a basic GPS with an insurable price, I don't need watermarks. And I'm hesitating between the Polar M400 and the Polar M200. What would be your recommendation? Thank you very much.

  6. Hello,
    I'm running about 24 km per week and I'm looking for a running watch that gives me the running pace (the minutes it takes me to do one km) plus the total km and how long it takes me to do it. And that doesn't use a band to measure heart rate.
    What career clock would you recommend?

    1. With these basic requirements the Polar M200 is one of the clearest options. For price it is the most economical of the options with optical pulse sensor. Another option can be the Garmin Forerunner 35 if you want higher screen quality.

  7. Hello I 1TP11Could you tell me if it would be valid for cycling I mean will it measure my pulse, distance, speed and elevation gain?
    Thank you very much for your help and very good article

    1. The pulse in cycling, with an optical sensor, is complicated... Sometimes it will read correctly, but at other times it is not reliable. If you only practice cycling it is better to opt for a watch with a chest strap.

      As far as leveling data is concerned, it has no barometric altimeter.

  8. Thank you very much for your work.
    I would like to know if the polar m200 can compete with your personal record. I know what. I can with the world record but with my record? And I can go down a route and that I guided? How long does it take to take the gps, approximately?
    A greeting and thank you very much since I am in doubt as to whether fr35 or this

    1. No, it doesn't allow either of those things.

      It has no GPS cache, so it's somewhat slower than the others

  9. Hi, I've been a road racer for about a year now, but without a great interest in personal brands (I'm more motivated to put on challenges that I think are out of my reach and carry them out). So far I've been running with my smartphone and a month ago I bought the HR7 heart rate tape. The next challenges I have in mind are running mountain races and getting started in triathlon, but always as personal challenges. I don't need a big device that gives me a lot of information that I won't use later. The questions would be as follows:
    You can use the HR7 tape and not use the optical sensor for the sake of saving battery power or for cycling or other sports with the M200?
    2.- Can the Polar M200 be considered as a triathlon watch? and if so, with which triathlon watch could it be compared?
    3.- Do you think that GPS will be reliable for mountain races (because of the quality-price ratio)?

    Thank you in advance for your answers and thank you for the very interesting work you do, especially for the ease with which you read your articles in clear and precise language.

    1. Yes, you could use the H7 sensor with the M200. As for your other two questions, no. The M200 is a clock primarily for running on asphalt.
      For triathlon it is not good and for mountain it will not give you very valid data.

  10. Hi, last week I got an M200. I also made a comparison between the Polar and a chest sensor, and the truth is that the results are not so close to your tests. My test consisted of a long run (1h 30′), and I could see that in the first 40-45 minutes the differences in heart rate were considerable (sometimes up to 10 heart rates or more). From then on and until the end, the graph of both devices fit almost perfectly, as in your tests. I am hesitating to change it for a M400 and sacrifice the optical sensor, because with these results I do not know if I am convinced (I only got this model by removing the chest band). Greetings and thanks for your review.

    1. I personally have not had any problems with the sensor of this Polar.
      Make sure you wear it firmly on your wrist, and above the wrist bone.

      However, it is clear that not all bodies are the same and it is logical that in some cases the operation is not completely satisfactory. If you are not convinced, you can always go to the M400 with the sensor on your chest or try the Scosche RHYTHM+.

  11. Hi! I enjoy this watch on the m200, I have a rookie doubt and maybe it is worn by many watches but this one for me is the first one so imagine...I don't have much idea ?
    On the watch face there are some numbers from 10 to 90 and I don't know what they mean and what use they can have. I would appreciate it very much if you could get me out of it.
    Thank you very much for all your summaries, you helped me decide which one I wanted.
    A salute.

    1. It's the activity monitor. When it reaches 100 it means you've reached your activity target for the day.

      1. I mean the numbers on the outside, not the little dots on the inside... They serve to mark the same thing...

  12. Good. First of all thanks for all the guides you make about the watches. My doubt about this product is if when you refer to a race can be configured by heart rate (HR), for example a kilometer, the clock warns you by some notification if you go down or exceed the HR. I want to buy a watch with GPS that measures the pulses and warns me of the HR while I'm running, I do not want to be aware of the clock at every moment to know if the HR goes up or down in addition to controlling the laps of the kilometer. I have taken a look at fitbit surge, tomtom, polar .. but in the meantime one goes crazy haha

    1. Yes, you can schedule a workout and define a heart zone to receive warnings if you go both above and below the zone.

  13. Hello, my name is Cristian.
    Very well specified, I've been looking for a page like this for a couple of days.
    My questions are:
    - Would it help me count calories in a gym?
    -I practice swimming and I like to take the mountain bike when I have some free time.
    If I turn on the gps when I go swimming at the end of the session will I get the miles I have swum?

    Thank you very much.

    1. For swimming it is not the most suitable model, as it has no swimming metrics and will only record distance (and quite regularly) in open water swimming, not in a pool.

      If you're going to use it for swimming, then I'd recommend the Garmin Vivoactive HR

  14. Good Eduardo, I have been reading carefully the comments made and clarifications, I would like you to give me your opinion, I am looking for a heart rate monitor to help me work the gym to lose weight and work more efficiently in it, I've been watching the polar m200 models and the tomtom runner 3 cardio and do not know which of the two would be more agustaria, I will not devote myself for now or running, or cycling routes, at most go swimming one or two days a week in addition to gym work.


          1. Eduardo, first of all I want to congratulate you and thank you for all your information. After analyzing everything, at first I was looking for a device that would allow me to control pulses and calories in swimming but that would not need a chest band and given the options I decided to wait, I was not convinced by what was available (I only see the option of polar and it is with a band). The truth is that in order for you to tell me how many meters I swim I do not need a device, I follow the same routines, so I should opt for something simpler that controls me in spinning and gym the basic parameters of calories, pulses, and those that you indicate as most important. And, let me the links for their acquisition that at least compensates you a little for your selfless dedication and so professional.

  15. Hello,
    I wanted to ask what needs to be done
    Light up the screen when you run at night, if you can, because my brother who has it says you have to press a button. It's important to me because I run at night regularly and it's something I'd appreciate when it's time to retire my Forerunner210.
    Thanks in advance and congratulations on the test.

    1. The M200 has wrist rotation detection. When you turn your arm to see the data on the screen, the light turns on automatically.

  16. Congratulations on the publication and the good work you're doing.
    I go for a run three times a week on asphalt and roads and participate in popular races a couple of times a month. I practice crossfit. I don't use a bike and I swim very sporadically.
    I have a bracelet of activity my band2 of xiaomi and to run I go arranging with her for the pulse and with the mobile and runtastic for the distances and the times.
    I have doubts between the polar v800 with chest band that I sell it cheap or this polar m200 because it is more current and is also cheap. Knowing my activity which one do you recommend? I know they are very different segments but I'm lost.
    Thank you

    1. That's what you say... they're so different that only you can answer them.
      It's like comparing a Dacia with a used 5 series BMW. It all depends on what you need.

      1. And between the v800 and the m600, using car-to-car comparisons:
        The v800 is Bmw series5 used
        The m200 a new day
        The m600 would be a?
        Thank you for responding.

      2. And between the v800 and the m600, using car-to-car comparisons:
        The v800 is Bmw series5 used
        The m200 a new day
        The m600 would be a?
        Thank you for responding.

        1. The M600 is a smart watch above all else, it has nothing to do with others.

          I recommend that you read the tests carefully, because they are VERY different products.

  17. Good morning, Eduardo.

    Could the Polar M200 be used for spinning classes?

    Thank you very much for your help.


    1. Yes, there is no problem, although due to the particularities of the exercise a sensor in the chest would be more accurate.

  18. Hi, I just bought the watch, you certainly look very, very basic.
    I have found some points against, the display light only comes on if I am in training mode.
    I haven't found the option to monitor my heart rate if I'm not in a training mode.
    I have not found the option to configure the display views that you show in your analysis, neither on the web nor in PC application.
    could you help me with these points?
    greetings and thank you for the time you're taking.

    1. The screen settings are made from the sports profiles. There is no constant monitoring of FC.

  19. How about Eduardo, congratulations on a thorough analysis.
    I have a couple of doubts. First, does the activity automatically stop when we stop at a traffic light or by any other circumstance, and when we start walking again?
    And the second one concerning the issue of the screen illumination for those who run at night, I understand that it only lights up in case of raising the arm and turning the wrist, or pressing any button, not being possible to keep the screen illuminated continuously.

    1. Hitchhiking is a function you can set in the settings. As for the lighting, always with a turn of the wrist, you can't leave it fixed.

  20. Hi, I need a watch that only measures calories when I swim and hopefully doesn't require a band, would you recommend the m200?

    1. If you want accurate pulse recording (and therefore calories), it is best to opt for a watch with a band. Although the M200 records pulses under water, the optical sensors are not yet sufficiently evolved to do so in these conditions.

  21. Hi, Eduardo,
    I would like to know what is better, the polar m200 or the fitbit charge 2, to measure the heart rate and the calories consumed, mostly. My goal is to lose weight, that's why I'm interested in this section. The exercise I do is 3 weekly football training and 2 weekly days of gym (weights), I sporadically hike or run. Which of the two is more reliable and more useful for these exercises?

    I do not understand much of this subject, so if there is any bracelet or watch between 100-150€ that is better in this aspect than these 1TP11Could you recommend me?
    Thank you very much.

      1. Hi, Eduardo.
        I'm a runner who is starting to run and I'm looking for a heart rate monitor but I'm very lost.
        I wish that when I run on the treadmill at the gym my pulse would not be read on the other treadmills, only on mine, or none at all, or only on my wrist.
        That can be used without a breast band.
        When I go for a run in the street, I mark the distance.
        Have him check the pulse in the pool.
        The cost is between 100- 150 euros.
        Would this one work for me or would you recommend another?
        Thank you very much in advance.

        1. Yes, the M200 meets all your requirements except being able to view the heart rate data on the tape. You'll only have it on your wrist.

          1. But Edward,

            Javier wants me to give him a pulse in the pool and this M200 does this?

          2. Yes, the swimming profile has an active optical pulse sensor, but it will only have that, there is no measurement of strokes, distance or anything else.

            As for reliability... it is variable. Sometimes it reads perfectly, but other times if water enters under the sensor the readings are not correct.

  22. Hello good day, according to your analysis, very complete by the way, the watch that meets my profile would be the garmin 735xt, but because of the insecurity in my city it would hurt me a lot if they steal it, then I'm thinking of acquiring a gps for the bike (road and mountain) how the Polar M450 and a watch that serves me to swim in pool, 24/7 activity and running (mainly in the forest) with records of heart rate, distance, receive notifications from mobile and have all the data in a single mobile application, which podrías recommend me? thank you in advance

    1. Having the data in the same application and for the same price, there is nothing that exceeds the proposal that you make from Polar. Another option would be Garmin Edge 520 and Vivoactive HR, but it will mean almost double the outlay.

  23. Hello, very good article, thank you very much.
    I have two questions about the polar m200.
    The first one is when you start a race, one of the options that appears in the menu once started, are 2 stopwatches that appear one on top of the other and they always mark the same time, what is this for?
    The other question is that if I set a goal for myself in August of running 6 km in 24 minutes, do I automatically get new training sessions on the calendar to achieve that goal?
    Thank you very much in advance

    1. Those are the data screens you created. Only you can know that.
      The programs are for 5K, 10K, half and marathon. And no target times. What you would ask for would be a coach, and obviously at this time it is not possible.

  24. Hi, how are you all?
    Excellent description. I'm actually a rookie, and I'd like to ask
    I need to bring a cell phone with me at the same time as the run session for GPS location
    I can see the speed of minutes per kilometer in real time during the session or it is only recorded for downloading later.
    Does it have any function to save or use music during the session?

    1. No, you don't need the phone.

      You will be able to see your instantaneous rhythm or counting rhythm.

      It doesn't support music, so you'd have to go to TomTom Runner 3.

  25. Thank you so much for the analysis. I was going crazy with all these makes and models.
    I think it's the perfect watch for me.

  26. Hello, I have the m200 and I'm very happy with this watch, it's basic but I don't think you need so many things to do sport, right? Just a question, is it possible to put a stopwatch function somehow? To measure someone short sprints, thank you very much and congratulations for the post

  27. Hello, first of all thank you for your help in choosing a device
    After many years with my garmin 110 with which I was very happy except that it does not have instantaneous rhythm , the damn strap has broken and the watch works fine but the strap is not worth and there are no spare parts so after several fixes touches to change watch .
    I see the garmin options and the 230 and 235 I like them very much but they are quite expensive and the cheapest ones the garmin fr25 and fr35 are not bad but I have seen this polar fleece M200 and for what it offers I think it is a very good option at a much better price than the cheap garmin fr25 also with wrist pulse which is not that I used much in the 110 that came with a band but it comes well in the wrist and I also like more aesthetically this polar fleece m200 than the garmin fr25 and fr35 despite the screen is a little poor.
    The doubt that I have is that the rhythm marks, I understand that the instantaneous will mark and the average rhythm per kilometer... In the garmin 110 the rhythm that marks me is the average not the instantaneous and when it finishes every kilometer I get a warning of the total average rhythm of that kilometer and it begins to make the average again in the following kilometer.

    Thank you

    1. On the M200 you have all the possible rhythm options. Instant, half, maximum and half and maximum turn or automatic turn. In that sense it supports much more personalization than the 110.

      1. Well, then I think it's very good value for money and I'm a little afraid, sorry, ... to move to polar de garmin because I was happy but I think it's a good option for what I'm looking for and I have been told well about this polar thanks for the response

        Sent from Outlook

          1. hello yes, i have seen it in amazon france, i have not bought it in amazon other than spain i understand that there is no problem right?
            By the way, I sent you an e-mail here before, but what you send me here doesn't appear on the forum, does it?
            a greeting

            Sent from Outlook

          2. Yes, the purchase is exactly the same as through Amazon Spain (in addition to the fact that for billing purposes it would be from Amazon Spain), the only difference being that you have to pay shipping costs that are not available with Spain.

            The subscription emails are also posted on the web, but for reasons of speed of updating and so on, you receive it earlier in the mail than on the page itself.

          3. Hello I bought the m200 fleece on the Amazon France website, I have been looking at prices in shops and on websites and it is quite good value for money despite the shipping costs I will tell you about

            Sent from Outlook

          4. A couple of outings with it and happy, for what I'm looking for and the possibility of seeing rhythms, distance, FC, ... the screen just but for what it offers I do not mind.

          5. Hello for now very satisfied but I had a question do you know if when you are running there is a possibility to see the average pace of the whole activity , I mean if for example you take 3.5 km that average pace you take in those 3.5 km At the end of the activity and pass it to Polar Flow if I can see it but I mean on the clock while you run.

            Sent from Outlook

          6. Ah I thought that average speed/rhythm field marks the average rhythm you are carrying but in every kilometer.
            In the garmin 110 the only pace that was marking me was the average pace that I was doing in each kilometer and when I reached 1 km the screen was fixed for a few seconds and I marked the calculation of the average pace of that kilometer and returned to zero in the next kilometer and the same at the end of the second kilometer I marked the average pace of the second kilometer and so on in each kilometer, The average cumulative pace of all activity only podia see when I gave from the clock to save activity and also later to pass it to garmin connect clear (here also the instantaneous rate), In the polar M200 thought that the field speed / average pace marked the same but if I have not misunderstood you is the average pace of the cumulative activity that you carry, If you carry 3.5 kim the average pace of the 3.5km and the average pace of each kilometer is marking it to me when after each kilometer autolap marks me half kilometer pace if you have put the autolap 1 km as in my case.

            sorry about the plate

            Sent from Outlook

  28. Hello Eduardo ,I really like the analysis you do of heart rate monitors ,and I have a question ,I have a polar M200 and a tom tom spark 3 both with optical sensor on the wrist and I would like to know which of the two is more reliable in giving you the calories burned ,because between one and the other varies between 100 and 150 calories and I do not know which one to wear on the wrist because I want to leave the chest strap of a heart rate monitor V800 and park it for a season .I do multisport both indoors and outdoors.

      1. Thank you very much, this article had not read and look that I read, I've been doing sport since I was 13 years old and I'm 49 years old, I started with polar fleece as there are so many now because you want to have the closest one on your wrist, I think I will continue with polar fleece, you have helped me to have a very good idea, thank you very much and continue to help us with your advice, a hug

  29. Hello,

    The sensor fails me quite a bit, at first it didn't fail me, but now it just sends me the message to adjust the strap.
    Do you know anything about it? Maintenance of the optical reader, trick to put the strap in a certain way?

    1. The way to wear the watch is to leave a finger on the wrist bone, and with a firm strap. If that's how you wear it, you'll have problems, so contact Polar for warranty.

  30. Hello

    I was thinking of buying this watch, but with your article I realized that it doesn't measure distance in swimming. I'm looking for a watch that can be used to mark out mountain routes and calculate swimming distance in a pool. Any recommendations at a similar price for the polar m200?

    Thank you very much for all the info


  31. Although the manual and the watch indicate that it is for swimming, I am left wondering if this model has any distance measurement in the pool. In the swimming profile it does not ask for the dimensions of the pool.
    could you clarify this?
    Thank you very much.

  32. Hello,
    I'm running about 24 km a week and looking for a race clock that gives me the pace of the race (the minutes it takes to do a km) in addition to the total km and how long it takes to do it. And that does not use a band to measure the pulses. I hesitate between the Polar M200, the Garmin Forerunner 35 and the Xiaomi Amazfit Bip.
    What career clock would you recommend?

    1. The Amazfit Bip is not up to the task, it is more of an occasional watch.

      Between Polar and Garmin, both will give you what you need. The main difference is the quality of the display, much higher in Garmin, which also offers more functionality by receiving notifications, etc.

      If you want the more complete Garmin, if you prefer the cheaper Polar, but both are good options for what you are looking for.

      Here is the list with the lowest offers for them:

  33. Hello, I am new to all these topics. My husband gave me the Polar M200 and it is perfect for me to know what I have run and the activity I have done. But I have a big doubt that I don't know how to solve. When I start the activity, there is no way to poder see what time it is? I do not know if I explain myself. For example, the other day I went out to run and started the stopwatch and the gps to count, but of course, I had to know the time to go pick up children, I can only do it by interrupting the function to go back and I get the initial screen of the time. My husband says that this can not be, there must be something that lets me see what time it is.

    1. Within the sport profile settings in Polar Flow you have the training views. You simply have to add a field with "Time of day" in a data screen.

  34. Hi, Eduardo.
    I've been using this fleece for a while and I'm happy with it, but from time to time the heart rate doesn't measure well but it happens from time to time and in short series sessions I don't know if someone passes me the heart rate is very low, however in long series it measures well all the session

    1. If you look at the test on this watch as well as on other optical sensors, you will see that this is a common behavior and that in short series a chest pulse sensor is needed.

  35. Hi Eduardo, I am starting in trail running and I have already competed and I would like to improve my strength, time and physical condition but I don't have much budget at the moment. So I am thinking of buying a new Polar M200 or a Fenix 3, but this last one is second hand. I would like your advice because although I think the Polar M200 is very good, I don't know how much it will be useful for trail running. Watches like the Fenix 3 second hand, I am afraid they will be damaged soon after buying, so I would like some advice to choose one of these watches because I don't want to throw my money away. Greetings and thank you very much for everything

    1. Well, I don't see the M200 as the best choice for trail... I think the Fenix 3 is going to be a better choice for that use.

  36. Hello, Eduardo, I'm Conchi.
    I wanted to know if you can change the battery in the Polar M200. I have one for almost two years, and a few days ago I started to have problems charging it. When I plug it in, the battery appears and it looks like it is charging, but soon stops charging. I don't know if I should buy a new charging cable, or if I can take it somewhere where they can look at it and tell me if it can be fixed.
    I had actually started to look at another model of Polar, but I don't quite know what to do.
    I've just recently arrived to your site (two days, actually), I loved it and that's why I subscribed.
    Thank you, greetings from Murcia.

    1. There is no replacement for the M200 battery, you would have to contact Polar because it is still under warranty. They will make the repair without any problems.

      And thank you!

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