Polar M400, first impressions


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The complete analysis is already finished, so if you are interested in knowing all the details of the watch, I recommend you to read the review of the Polar M400 here.

The Polar M400 is a GPS watch with a built-in activity monitor, which means that in addition to your training it also tracks your daily activity in steps, calories burned and even how you sleep. The M400 is the second Polar watch to feature an activity monitor after the V800. And if we have Polar Loop, it would be the third device from the brand that monitors activity. So I guess Finns know what they're doing after so much experience.

The M400 is primarily intended as a running watch, but it also offers a number of sports profiles, including cycling and swimming, but it is not a triathlon watch at all. You can think of it as the little brother of the Polar V800 (which you can read the review of here). Or the poor brother. And you can look at this in two different ways:

Es un reloj «low cost» al que le han eliminado características y reducido calidad de materiales para bajar el coste y ponerle un precio más competitivo.

You won't pay for features you don't use or need. You don't swim, so you don't need specific swimming functions or underwater pulse recording. Your cycling is non-existent or testimonial, so you don't care if it doesn't support sensors. Your races are relatively short and you don't need more autonomy than the 8 hours it offers. You don't go ultras or run in the mountains, and you don't need navigation either. In other words, if your profile is that of a pure asphalt runner, this watch is much more adapted to you.

En definitiva, ambas suposiciones son correctas. Y es que estamos ante un Polar V800 «recortado», tanto en prestaciones como en materiales usados. Pero si no vas a usar esas prestaciones, ¿para qué las quieres?. Y, sobre todo, ¿por qué vas a pagar por ellas? El no tener esas prestaciones no lo convierte en un mal reloj, sino en un reloj más adaptado a un cliente menos exigente.

Polar M400
The button display is the same as on the Polar V800, two on the left side...

Sólo hay una característica del Polar V800 que se echa en falta, y es la falta de avisos por vibración. El Polar M400 sólo tiene avisos por tono sonoro. El problema es que el volumen de esos avisos es bastante «modesto», por lo que si corres en entornos ruidosos es fácil que no te enteres. Pero sigues teniendo un reloj con conectividad Bluetooth y además microUSB (lo podrás cargar con cualquier cargador), sumergible hasta 30 metros, con una pantalla con muy buena resolución e iluminación y vistas personalizables con hasta  cuatro parámetros, con algunas funciones de Smart Coaching, etc.

The best thing about this watch is, without a doubt, its price. 160 euros without a pulse sensor and 200 euros if you want to get the pack that incorporates the Polar H7 (which also has a 5 kHz band for swimming, but which the M400 is not capable of receiving). This is a fairly competent rival to other watches in the same range, such as the Garmin 220, which is about 50 euros more expensive right now (and without support for other sports, although with vibration).

The trial period has already begun, and I'll bring you the full analysis in the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can entertain yourself by taking a look at the Polar M400 image gallery.

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  1. One of the few problems I find with the clock is not being able to follow a track (even if you have done it yourself)... I don't understand how the hardware exists and leaves it captured (I suppose to sell more V800). Still, a great clock for those of us who are starting out.
    Looking forward to reading the full review. Greetings!

  2. Hi Eduardo. Congratulations on your blog, I'm impressed by the complete and exhaustive posts. Really thank you very much.
    Entrando en materia. Soy novata runner y para mi es súper importante un buen pulsómetro pues ando un poco «desajustada» todavía.
    Acabo de hacerme con un tomtom cardio runner, pero no me está terminando de convencer. Dos razones: la pulsera es enorme para mi muñeca y me resulta incómoda y la segunda es que no me permite crear mi propia meta a superar. Ya menos importante es que me resulta un poco «aburrido» frente a las gráficas de otros competidores. A favor: pues que no lleva correa y que el gps conecta rápido.
    I'm thinking of changing it tomorrow and looking for opinions on the forums because I've come this far. I'm between mine, the forerunner 220 and the M400. On there are opinions for everything. I'd like to know yours.
    On equal terms I would keep the tomtom because it saves me the trouble of the strap although I take the trouble for the bracelet ... Anyway, you see, I'm a mess!
    Thank you very much in advance. Greetings!

    1. Hello Arantxa

      Thank you for the congratulations, they are always appreciated.

      It is true that the case of the TomTom is even more special, since having the control pad on an extension of the watch itself increases its rigidity and it is more complicated to fit it comfortably.

      I think that because of your profile and given the price difference, the Polar M400 is designed specifically for users like you, beginners and not so beginners, who are looking for a GPS-enabled heart rate monitor for easy training.

      With respect to the TomTom, you lose the vibrating alerts but in return you get a much more complete web platform (even though Polar Flow is still in beta), in a multisport clock that also has an activity monitor.

      If you're worried about losing the treadmill functionality of your TomTom, the Polar will be upgraded to a pedometer in no time, so you might want to buy the accessory.

      And if you think you're going to miss the pulse sensor on your wrist a lot, buy the Polar M400 without a pulse sensor and Mio Link.

      I think the Polar M400 will leave you very satisfied, and if you want to wait, in a couple of days you will have the full test published so you can be sure that your purchase is the right one.

      1. Hi, Eduardo,
        Thank you for answering.
        I just read your review about my link and you just opened a new option I didn't know about. I see that it's compatible with Garmin so I still don't rule out 220.
        Can you pass me if the M400 has a chance to compete with yourself?

        1. Yes, the Mio Link supports Bluetooth and ANT+ simultaneously, so you can connect to almost any computer.

          The 220 convinces me, it's a great team and in some aspects it's above the Polar, but we can't forget the difference in price between the two, and in my opinion and with your profile as a rider, it's not justifiable.

          El M400 no tiene un «Virtual Racer» como tal que tu puedas programar un tiempo y distancia y competir contra esos datos (el Garmin 220 sí lo tiene, el TomTom también pero antes hay que hacer la actividad para poder desafiarla). Pero tiene otra cosa que es una calculadora de tiempo final, que en definitiva es lo mismo. Si tu objetivo es acabar 10km por debajo de 50 minutos, por ejemplo, pones esa distancia y en todo momento el reloj te irá marcando cuál será tu tiempo final y, por tanto, tu ritmo medio final. Y a partir de ahí ya sabrás si puedes o no puedes cumplir el objetivo.

          You can also set training goals and run with that goal in mind, and just like the Garmin 220, it will also track the records you break.

          If the price difference isn't an issue, it's true that the Garmin 220 is a bit of a step up from more elaborate firmware (the M400 just came on the market and has to be upgraded), but with the price difference, and if vibration isn't a must, you can almost buy the Mio Link bracelet.

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