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:

It is a "low cost" watch that has eliminated features and reduced the quality of materials to lower the cost and make it more competitively priced.

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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.

In short, both assumptions are correct. And the fact is that we are looking at a "trimmed down" Polar V800, both in terms of performance and materials used. But if you are not going to use those features, why do you want them? And, above all, why are you going to pay for them? Not having those features doesn't make it a bad watch, just a watch more suited to a less demanding customer.

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

There is only one feature of the Polar V800 that is missing, and that is the lack of vibration alerts. The Polar M400 only has audible tone warnings. The problem is that the volume of those alerts is quite "modest", so if you run in noisy environments it's easy to miss them. But you still have a watch with Bluetooth connectivity and also microUSB (the pod can charge with any charger), waterproof to 30 meters, with a screen with very good resolution and lighting and customizable views with up to four parameters, with some Smart Coaching functions, 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.

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. 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.
    Getting down to business. I am a novice runner and for me it is very important to have a good heart rate monitor because I am still a little "out of tune".
    I just got a tomtom cardio runner, but it is not convincing me. Two reasons: the bracelet is huge for my wrist and I find it uncomfortable and the second is that it does not allow me to create my own goal to overcome. Less important is that I find it a bit "boring" compared to the graphics of other competitors. In favor: it does not have a strap and the gps connects quickly.
    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.

          The M400 does not have a "Virtual Racer" as such that you can program a time and distance and compete against that data (the Garmin 220 does, the TomTom also has it but before you have to do the activity to poder challenge it). But it does have something else which is a finish time calculator, which is ultimately the same thing. If your goal is to finish 10km under 50 minutes, for example, you put that distance and at all times the clock will be marking what your final time and, therefore, your final average pace. And from there you will know if you can or can not meet the goal.

          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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