Polar M430 | Test, analysis and opinion


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Despite just landing on the market, the Polar M430 seems to have been with us for several years. It looks like a simple renewal of the successful M400 that became a sales leader in 2014. Certainly three years is an eternity in the world of consumer technology.

The first impression you might get is of a product that has been relaunched with slight improvements, as if Polar were trying to renew a product at the end of its commercial life to try and squeeze it a little more.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, at first glance everything is the same, but inside almost everything is new, presenting itself on the market as a totally solid device from the beginning, without the inconveniences always present in the models that have recently arrived on the market. Therefore we are faced with a new watch, but at the same time mature in its firmware as it is the renewal of an existing product...

Without any doubt, the main novelty of the M430 is the optical pulse sensor. Polar is the only manufacturer that, depending on the product, chooses to mount a different sensor, as they have several in the catalogue. For the M430 the choice is its top of the range, a clear sign that the Finns are serious about their bet.

But the list of new features doesn't end there: vibration, new GPS chip, new battery saving modes, much more elaborate sleep metrics and other small changes that I'll go into in detail. The Polar M430 is first and foremost a watch designed for racers, and that's what I've focused on (although of course I touch on other sports).

The watch you see here is a test unit provided by Polar. As always, the watch will be returned to Polar, so there is no compensation from them. All my opinions are always free of any pressure, as I do not depend on the manufacturers at any time.

You are the ones who allow this page to keep working with your purchases, so if you like the work I do and want to keep seeing this type of item, you can help by buying through the links I provide (whether it's the M430 or any other product you like on Amazon, any help is welcome).

I won't dawdle any longer. Let the show begin!


Overall - 9
Training possibilities - 8.5
Platform and applications - 8.5
Battery life - 8.5
Finishes and comfort - 8
Price/performance ratio - 8.5



User Rating: 0.05 ( 1 votes)

The good


  • Optical pulse sensor with very good results, probably the best among GPS watches
  • A multitude of sport profiles to be able to configure
  • Support for advanced training
  • New battery

The bad

  • Aesthetics too continuous. Barely different from the M430
  • Too "plasticy" to the touch

Contents of the box

The Polar M430 is offered in three different colours (at least for the moment): the classic black and white and as a new addition, the colour orange.

It's funny that Polar has changed the outside of the box, but still keeps the same sticker for the display, but now some of its main features are highlighted, such as having a pulse sensor integrated into the wrist.

Polar M430 - Unboxing

The back offers some more information, clearly specifying that it is a watch for runners, and you can see that it is compatible with Strava and Training Peaks.

Polar M430 - Unboxing

But let's go inside the box, that although the packaging is quite attractive what we are really interested in is what we find inside.

And it's not much, three things to be exact. The watch, a USB cable and a few papers that serve as a quick reference guide.

Polar M430 - Unboxing

To the naked eye, the M430 is exactly the same as the M400. Only the most trained eye will be able to identify the new model (if we ignore the inscription on the front).

Polar M430 - Unboxing

The new strap gives it away. It's now made of a softer material and is perforated. It has reduced weight to provide better performance for the optical pulse sensor. And it's actually much more comfortable.

Polar M430 - Unboxing

If there are no big differences at the front, it is at the back of the watch that we can easily determine that we are looking at a different model. First of all because of that kind of black photo lens, surrounded by six LEDs to be able to see through the skin. But the new connector also stands out.

Polar M430 - Unboxing

That's right, Polar has changed the microUSB connector that gave so many headaches in the early versions of the M400 and replaced it with a proprietary connector. I would have usually told you that switching from a universal to a specific connector is a bad move.

More cables, more complications to charge... but in the case of this Polar it seems perfect to me. The connector that came with the first version was a source of problems. First with cover, then without cover, several warranty problems... This new connection solves all those incidents in one go, with a very resistant and durable look.

Polar M430 - Unboxing

Polar M430 - Unboxing

And what about the buttons? Well, everything remains exactly the same. Three on the right side with a predominant one marked in red, which is the one you will use to start activities and move around the menus.Polar M430 - Unboxing

And two on the left side, which will allow us to exit the menus or turn on the lighting, among other functions.

Polar M430 - Unboxing

As you can see, there are many areas where the clock hasn't changed. So let's go with the things that have.

New features of the Polar M430

At first glance there are no big changes to be seen in the new Polar watch, but as they say, happiness is in the little things, so here is the list of what's new in the Polar M430.

  • Optical Pulse Sensor - Mainly new and quite obvious. It will allow you to provide heart rate data during your workout, not throughout the day (at least for the time being).
  • Possibility of carrying out the fitness test with the optical pulse sensor, without needing the chest sensor. This is a remarkable change, as pulse variability comes into play, something that optical sensors do not usually offer. The result of this test is comparable to your VO2Max.
  • Notifications through vibration, replacing the sound warnings. Now instead of having beeps to warn you of turns or other events, you will have a vibration. It would not be bad to have bothbut I guess we can't have it all...
  • Timer function is added, not present before.
  • Change in the connector, replacing the microUSB used in the past and that caused so many problems in the first M400 by a proprietary one much more resistant.
  • Firmware update via Bluetooth, without the need to connect to the computer. Perfect for those who only have a mobile phone and no longer use a computer at home. And that's because, with this watch you don't need a computer at allOr almost nothing, if you need to create a training program.
  • New clock faces to be able to select on the time display.
  • Advanced sleep quality measurement.
  • Modified belt design, reducing weight and allowing for a better fit, both with the optical sensor in mind.
  • Larger battery, although theoretically the range remains the same as in the M400. This extra capacity is used to power the new optical pulse sensor.
  • Battery saving modes, allowing to reach up to 30 hours of autonomy using GPS. There are three modes that I will detail later.

As you can see, there are many more new features than you might think at first glance, and before going into detail on some of them, I will refresh your memory with everything the Polar M430 has to offer, which in its basic operation is the same as the M400 (you can see the proof of this one for more details)

General operation

I do not want to dwell on this section too much, because in its general operation there are not many changes with respect to the Polar M400.

Polar M430 - Polar M400

Polar M430 - Polar M400

Although the main focus of the Polar M430 is on running and running, it allows us to add a multitude of sport profiles. This is managed via the web or the mobile application (remember, you don't need to have a computer at hand at any time). You can have up to 20 different profiles synchronized on your watch, which are shared between the different Polar devices in your account.

And each of these profiles can be configured independently, with the settings that you think are necessary in each of them, including the data screens.

Polar M430 - Display Settings

These training views allow you to select up to 4 data points for each view. The display size varies depending on how many values you have selected.

Polar M430 - 3 data Polar M430 - 4 data

While we are training we can make use of the zone blocks, both for rhythm and heart rate. To do this you must first define which zones you want to have for both cases (or accept those suggested) and activate their use, all in the configuration of the sport profile on the web or in the application.

Polar M430 - FC zones and rhythm

What is this for? So that you can "block" a zone during your training. For example, imagine you want to do 1km runs suffering in HR zone 5. You simply define your zones and when you are running and it's time to start interval work, you hold down the red button to lock the zone you are currently working on. And the same for the pace.

Polar M430 - Zone Lock

Once the area is blocked, the clock will warn you with vibrations when you are outside the area, both above and below it.

The "problem" is that the blocking must be done when you are already in that zone. That is, if we take into account the values of the zone selection above, if you want to do work in pace zone 4, you will have to block the zone when you are at a pace lower than 4:00 min/km, not before.

From that moment on, the goal is to keep you in that zone. If you start running slower than that 4:00min/km, the clock will vibrate to warn you, and if you go below 3:09 (again, the default zones you can see above, you can set it to your liking), too.

It's a different way of approaching a training series, but the truth is that it's quite practical, especially because you don't need to have a training series prepared and pre-loaded on the watch, but still have a guide to know if you're complying with the training without having to constantly look at the watch.

But it's not the only way to train. You can create a guided training in the application or on the web, for example a fartlek session.

Polar M430 - Fartlek Training

10 minute warm up, 400m series in zone 4 or 5, and 200m rest in zone 2. This is a workout I created in a matter of two minutes. Once synchronised, it will appear in the favourites option.

Polar M430 - Favourite

Polar M430 - Favourite

As you go through the different phases of the training, the clock display will indicate what you need to do in each of the phases.

But it's not the only way to train. Polar also offers different training programs for 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon, which will be created in one way or another depending on the options you set when you configure it.

Polar training programs

But no one better than Polar to explain it.

Polar training programs

It does not replace a coach to make you a tailor-made program It's an interesting option for watches in this price range, since not all of them offer it. But it is found in the M400/M430, and it is not simply an option that allows you to access a workout, but you can download it to the watch and access the agenda to perform each session in a guided manner.

Let's go with other things. Among the data you can select for the displays is the cadence. Initially the Polar M400 did not offer this option, unless you paired a pedometer, but later the possibility was added through a firmware update. The M430 now comes with cadence detection on the wrist, which also adds the possibility of obtaining pace and distance for indoor activities (eg running on a treadmill), something that was never present in the M400.

After finishing the training, the summary screen will be presented, and it's quite complete. First it will show if you have achieved any personal records. At least, recorded by the clock. So at the beginning everything will be records.

Polar M430 - Records

Among those details is what Polar calls "Training Benefit". This function provides indications of how your training has gone, giving information on what effect the training session you have completed has had on your body.

Polar M430 - Training Benefit

Polar M430 - Training Benefit

It is based on the heart rate zones you have been using and how much time you have spent in them, which also appears at the end of the activity.

Polar M430 - Zones FC

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And of course the rest of the details: calories, distance, time of each lap, etc. And if it is a varied and intense session, you will also see the "running index". Or, in other words, the estimation of your VO2Max, although I have personally found that it varies a lot in a very short time.

Polar M430 - Running Index

Of course, you can do the same analysis in the application or on the web, where you can see all this summary data and more.

Polar M430 - Flow

And if you prefer to use other platforms for your training, Polar offers the possibility to export the activity file in a standard format such as TCX.

Polar M430 - Export session

Although we must not forget that there is automatic export to the main platforms such as Strava, Training Peaks or MyFitnessPal.

Polar Flow - Automatic export

When competing at some distance Polar has kept the end time calculator, a function that was also introduced on the M400. Operation is simple, simply enter the distance of the race you are going to run (5K, 10K, pre-set half and marathon or any other distance you enter) and you will see a new screen with the estimated end time at the finish line, the average total pace and the remaining distance.

Polar M430 - End Time Calculator

It's another way of turning the virtual partner feature around and makes it very easy to see if you're going to beat your best mark for the distance at the pace you're running.

New to this model are the stopwatches, something that was not present on the M430.

Polar M430 - Chronometer

Finally, remember that the M430 has activity tracking, so when you perform the initial setup it will ask you for information on how your day is going (to assess whether you spend a lot of time sitting or have a habit of living with more movement, due to your work).

In the clock itself you will be able to see on different screens how you feel about your target, for example on one of the new clock screens.

Polar M430 - Sphere

But also in the "My Day" menu.

Polar M430 - My Day

There is not much information that you can consult on this option, beyond the calories consumed (which include basal calories) or the steps taken.

Polar M430 - Daily activity

It is in Polar Flow where you can see the daily activity information in more detail.

Polar Flow - Daily activity

Although in this case it is true that the information is more detailed on the web than in the mobile application.

Polar Flow - Daily activity

It also has a more detailed sleep measurement, one of the new features of this M430 compared to the M400. So let's take a closer look at what this new feature is.

Sleep measurement

Sleep measurement is another new feature of the Polar M430 (also present on the A370), not because it is new, as the M400 already monitored sleep quality, but because it now offers much more detail than was available on previous Polar devices.

Before you only had the total time of sleep, while now you will have much more detail of how the night has been, both in time that you have slept and in the quality of it. This information will be available both on the web and in the mobile application.

Polar M430 - Sleep Analysis

In the first image you can see how he has identified all the details, and also in a quite precise way. For example he has correctly identified that, although I was in bed watching a movie, I didn't really fall asleep until later. Around 1:28 fits quite well with reality.

In the same way, I woke up for the first time around 8 a.m., but I tried to sleep a little longer. You can see how around that time there is a lot more movement.

The following screen graphically indicates how the night has been. The circle would be completed if you reached the recommended 8 hours of sleep. It also assesses how much sleep has been real and whether there has been continuity or too much restlessness.

The application will ask us how we slept to add it to the sleep feedback screen.

Polar M430 - Sleep Analysis

Of course, you can view the data on a weekly basis to see trends.

Polar M430 - Sleep Analysis

In general, all athletes forget that rest is just as important as training, and that resting properly is crucial to better performance in training, to recover from exertion, and to stay in shape.

The new Polar M430's sleep tracking is quite good. Not only in correctly recording the times of going to sleep or waking up, but in presenting it in a way that is easy to understand. Of course I can't guarantee that when it says I had a restless sleep I did, I wasn't "present" to attest to it. But the important thing is that the information provided is easy to digest for the average user, and I think Polar has done that by showing the information in a very clear way.

Polar M430 optical pulse sensor

Without a doubt, the main novelty of the Polar M430 is its optical pulse sensor.

Polar M430 - Sensor

However, unlike other competing models (or the A370 wristband itself), the pulse sensor will only work when you are wearing the watch for training purposes, using a sport profile.

Outside of sport mode it will only track activity, but will not include heart rate data. Clearly this is an important difference from what other competing products offer (and is becoming a basic feature), but Polar indicates that it will be included in the near future through a firmware update.

- Update -

Polar has updated the M430 firmware and already offers constant heart rate monitoring, showing maximum and minimum of the day. This same update also offers improvements to the sleep tracking mode.

There is a possibility to display your heart rate at any time through the "My HR" menu, but for the moment the data you get there is for your eyes only, as it will not be synchronized with Polar Flow and is not recorded in the watch.

Polar M430 - My FC

But we must not forget that in the end the most important thing about the optical sensor is to see how it behaves while we are doing an activity. There have been a few training sessions in which I have been testing the Polar M430, always together with other devices, so here are the results.

I'll start with an easy workout, steady paceIt's where you get the best performance from an optical pulse sensor, so if in this simple test something goes wrong... bad business.

You can click on the links for each of the training sessions to access the comparison and draw conclusions for yourself, and you can also increase the size of the images by clicking on them.

Let's go with an overview of your workout, comparing the data with the Garmin Elevate sensor on the Garmin Forerunner 935 and the Garmin HRM-Tri chest sensor.


Polar M430 - Optical Pulse Sensor Comparison

As you can see, the result is very good during the whole training, with three perfectly overlapping graphs. There is some point where there is a small difference, like here around minute 20.

Polar M430 - Optical Pulse Sensor Comparison

Or later on in the 25th minute.Polar M430 - Optical Pulse Sensor Comparison

The result is what you would expect, three sensors that have measured perfectly. As I say, it's the simplest test.

Where it's easiest to find discrepancies is when performing series and intensity variation trainingAlong with cycling, it is the Achilles' heel of optical sensors.


Polar M430 - Optical Pulse Sensor Comparison

As you can see, at first glance the result was quite good for all three sensors (the same ones used in the previous test), but let's look at each of the intervals separately.

In the first interval we can see that the start of both optical sensors is a little slower, taking a little longer to reach the sensor's registration in the chest, but once they coincide in the graph, they remain totally stable until the end, where we can also appreciate a small delay with respect to the sensor in the chest.

Polar M430 - Optical Pulse Sensor Comparison

In the second interval you can see how the situation repeats itself in exactly the same way.

Polar M430 - Optical Pulse Sensor Comparison

And in the third...

Polar M430 - Optical Pulse Sensor Comparison

And also in the room.

Polar M430 - Optical Pulse Sensor Comparison

It is not a perfect measurement during the 100% of the training, but saving those punctual moments where there is a slight delay (behavior that also happens with the optical sensor of Garmin), the result is frankly positive.

These are "easy" series. I put that in between because in reality the intensity changes are not easy for the optical sensors, but there are workouts and "workouts".

Let's go with one of the most difficult tests you can put on an optical sensor. Even the sensor in the chest has records that are not correct. Basically, to make you understand the exercises, this is what I did in this training:

  • Warm-up at a gentle trot.
  • 4x series of 250m preceded by 20 push-ups on the floor (therefore, wrist flexed), with 2 minutes of rest standing up, that is, very fast rise and fall of heart rate and without maintaining it.
  • Rest at a gentle trot.
  • 3x series of 200m preceded by 40 twin exercises, with a standing rest of 1:30. Same conditions as above.
  • 3x 100m series with 30 second rest.

Here they change the actors a little bit, replacing the Garmin with Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR.

Polar M430 - Optical Pulse Sensor Comparison

Well, the start is perfect on the Polar M430 (the Suunto with the sensor on the wrist has been completely lost). As we have seen before, the Polar has a slight delay when the intensity changes. In the first four intervals, ignoring the delay, it has a quite good result. Again, it is quite good for the Suunto.

After the rest at the trot, results are much more regular. The first two 200m intervals he is still catching his breath (me too) and is late and short in all measurements. The third one is already improving, although he behaves quite irregularly again in the 100m series. But much better result than, for example, Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR, which has suffered quite a lot during this session.

The final evaluation that I can make of the optical sensor of the Polar M430 is quite positive. It is not perfect, because there is no sensor that is (even the chest ones have problems from time to time), but in the race it gives good results, and even allows some abuses in the series and very fast changes of pace.

And although it's a watch that's mainly geared for running, don't forget that Polar allows you to set up many different sport profiles. There's another kind of sport that's usually quite complicated for the sensors on your wrist, and that's cycling.

A fresh start with something easy. A indoor roller trainingThere are no vibrations, the light is much less intense and we hardly change our hands. I know that many of you do spinning classes at the gym, so this type of condition is quite suitable for classes of this type (although I haven't made so many changes in intensity).


Polar M430 - Optical Pulse Sensor Comparison

And just like with constant pace training, we have three beautifully timed corners, comparing the Polar sensor with the 935's Garmin Elevate and the Garmin HRM-Tri chest sensor paired with an Edge 520.

So... let's go outside and trainThere are more conditions to consider here. There is much more variability in the intensity of the exercise, a fair amount of sunshine (so the sensor zone can receive sunlight when you move your wrists) and the vibrations of the road. For the occasion I am taking a total of three optical sensors: Polar M430, Spartan Sport Wrist HR and Scosche RHYTHM+.

Training on a time trial bike helps a lot, since when you pedal in a coupling most of the way there is not so much movement of the wrists and the vibrations fall mainly on the elbow and reach the wrist quite damped.

The result is remarkable in the three optical sensors. Really good during the hour of pedaling.

Polar M430 - Optical Pulse Sensor Comparison

There are points where the curves don't match, but there's not much difference.

Polar M430 - Optical Pulse Sensor Comparison

I say again that I don't expect perfection, because there isn't going to be one, but the result of the Polar here is also frankly good.

Another highlight is that the M430's optical pulse sensor can be activated during swimming training in pool or open water, although in neither of these two sport profiles will you get rhythm, distance or other metrics.

But you will be able to record the duration of that activity along with the heart rate. And with a pretty good result, as you can see in this open-water training in which he was carrying a Garmin HRM-Swim sensor.

Polar M430 - FC in swimming

GPS Reception

The M430 may look almost identical to the M400 on the outside, but inside it's almost all different. Polar has changed its GPS chip supplier from the Swiss-designed U-Blox to the American-made SiRFstar IV. That means they weren't satisfied with the performance the M400 offered.

It doesn't mean that the previous chip had any problems. It's true that the M400 wasn't the best at receiving GPS signals either, but the change of chipset doesn't necessarily have to be for this reason. There could be many more things at stake, such as battery performance or simply more knowledge on the part of the developers (it's the same chip they use in the V800 and which they get very good performance from).

But the chip is only one part of the equation, probably the least important one, since here what counts is the antenna and, above all, the firmware's capacity to process all the data. This is what separates a mediocre GPS from a GPS with a good performance. Therefore the best thing is to go into the analysis of the different trainings I have done using the M430 accompanied by other devices.

As when I talked about the optical sensor data, you can click on both the links and the images to see more detail.

In this type of test, what I look for is behavior in turns, passing through complicated areas or simply, places where there has been strange behavior. Because analyzing long straights is not of great interest either.

Let's go with this first race, going up and down the beach.

Polar M430 - GPS Analysis

From a bird's-eye view there are usually not many problems, from a distance everything seems perfectly aligned. In this case you have to look at the purple line, which is the one corresponding to the Polar. In red the Garmin 935 and in blue the Garmin FR230.

Here you can see the effects of running alongside a wall. None of the three devices are positioned correctly, but none of them have strange jumps. This is where the signal processing I was talking about before comes into play, as it is the most important thing.

Polar M430 - GPS Analysis

In this kind of areas where there are complications it is perfectly normal that you do not mark the exact path and move a few meters from the real zone, but it is still a more or less straight line and a fairly good correlation with the line actually followed. The problem would be if there were constant jumps on both sides of the road, which would cause a multitude of meters to be added at the end of the training and, above all, a rather irregular rhythm reading.

Here you have the same image in map view. You can see how in the lower part of the image the three lines were perfectly aligned, but as soon as the wall area arrives the problems appear.

Polar M430 - GPS Analysis

And as soon as the open zone arrives, the three of them line up again perfectly

Polar M430 - GPS Analysis

Turning and descending towards the sea, with the Polar being the one that best represents the curve.

Polar M430 - GPS Analysis

Something we can see repeated.

Polar M430 - GPS Analysis Polar M430 - GPS Analysis

However, at the exit of this bridge under the motorway it is the Polar that later reacts.

Polar M430 - GPS Analysis

Here the M430 has performed quite well, at least as far as 2D positioning recording is concerned. Recording altitude data without a barometric altimeter is another matter.

Polar M430 - GPS Analysis

Let's go to another workout, one that we've seen before with changes in intensityHere the line of the Polar is the red one.

Polar M430 - GPS Analysis

At this point the M430 is the one that behaves best, not only because it is the one that represents the curves most cleanly (and true to reality), but especially because it is the only one that takes the same road exactly the same way to and from the road perfectly, under the tree line.

Polar M430 - GPS Analysis

But not everything is always perfect. Like all GPS watches, the M430 is also capable of getting lost on some stretches of the road.

Polar M430 - GPS Analysis

On a bicycle everything is usually much nicer from all the devices. There is no movement of arms and they are almost always placed in the same position, and at least on the road there are usually no problems with trees or buildings.

Polar M430 - GPS Analysis

There will always be places that are slightly displaced from the actual passing area, but remember that we are not talking about precision measuring devices, but a GPS clock worth just over 200 euros.

In short, the M430 gives a good overall result. No, it is not perfect, but there is no GPS watch that is. Quite in line with other similar devices and I think improving the result of the Polar M400 that it replaces.

Polar M430 battery life

There's another new addition to the new M430. Polar has included two new battery modes, capable of providing up to 30 hours of battery life with GPS use.

Far from being a novelty in GPS watches, it is a novelty among the models in its price range. It is true that we had already seen it in Suunto or Garmin models, but only in the high range. Polar therefore integrates it in a model of the medium or economic range and surpassing in a few hours the similar proposal of the TomTom Adventurer.

Until now, Polar allowed each sport profile to be configured independently, but the options were GPS on or GPS off.

Polar M400 - GPS Configuration

I mean, it's either yes or no. But on the M430, there's a better chance.

Polar M430 - GPS Setup

Two modes are added, the medium accuracy mode and the power saving mode. By choosing between these options you will be changing the time between each GPS position recording. This does not affect at all the use of the optical sensor, which will record data every second. This is the difference between each of the modes:

  • High accuracyGPS position: Records GPS position every second, the usual mode for most watches. Polar indicates that in this mode the range is eight hours.
  • Average accuracyGPS recording every 30 seconds.
  • Energy saving, long sessionFinally, power-saving mode will take GPS data every 60 seconds, extending battery life by up to 30 hours. And remember, the optical pulse sensor is not affected by these modes, recording pulses at all times.

In addition to choosing the GPS mode for each exercise profile in its settings, from the web or the app, you can also do this directly from the clock, so if for whatever reason you want to change this at any time, you can do so in the advanced settings of each sport profile.

Polar M430 - GPS Precision Tuning

You can access this menu by pressing and holding the upper left button (the one that turns on the screen illumination) on the GPS search screen.

The mode you'll want to use for your regular workouts will be the high-precision mode. Unless you regularly work out for more than 8 hours...

So, when to use these energy saving modes, for example for races where you will be in the mountains for several hours (mountain marathons) or ultra trail competitions.

Logically the location accuracy and quality of the tracks will be affected, since instead of getting 60 points per minute, you will now have 2 or 1 point per minute. But the other option is that in the middle of the race you will not have any points, which is worse...

This is all on paper, so let's go with the real evidence

The case of the Polar is also special, because when the clock is very low in battery, instead of turning it off completely what it does is to deactivate the GPS and continue recording other data. Therefore I'm not going to show you an exact time, but we can see it through the altitude graph. The moment the clock stops recording the altitude is the moment the GPS has been deactivated. And that's the point I mark as exhausted autonomy.

The test is done by leaving the watch recording an activity in a fixed location, so it's usually the least demanding. If you're running through areas of complicated coverage, this figure is likely to be reduced.

Polar M430 - Range Test

In the high precision mode I managed 9h 20m until the GPS is deactivated, not bad, as it exceeds the time set by Polar by more than an hour.

Polar M430 - Autonomy in normal mode

But after testing in the advanced battery life modes there are some things that don't add up. In the 30s usage mode I got a little over 32 hours, when the theoretical maximum using any of the battery saving modes is 30 hours.

Polar M430 - Autonomy

And if we go to maximum savings mode, it's over 36 hours.

Polar M430 - Autonomy

So I have two theories, either Polar has preferred to make a somewhat short estimate so that when there is more demand for use the battery does not reach the indicated specifications, or when there is no movement the consumption is somehow reduced.

I did confirm that the optical pulse sensor is still operational. This is something that at Garmin, for example, makes it impossible for me to perform a battery test, because after a few seconds without movement the sensor turns off. But this does not happen with the Polar.

However, there are two new modes that extend the battery life, which, as I explained, will reduce the number of GPS points recorded, so keep this in mind when using this option.

View Polar M430

If I'm honest, the first impression I had with the M430 was of indifference. The first impression it gives is that it's the same M400 with some new features and the integration of the optical pulse sensor. Externally the upgrade doesn't offer much interest, and that's its biggest flaw.

But during these weeks of use, every day we spent together I appreciated it a little more. Although it looks like the same watch that Polar launched on the market almost 3 years ago, inside almost everything has changed. New GPS chip, bigger battery, new strap that improves a lot to the one of the M400 in touch and comfort and of course a really good optical pulse sensor.

I won't tell you that the M430 impresses. It doesn't because it's part of a model that we've known for 3 years, but the truth is that its behavior is impeccable. The optical pulse sensor is the one that has given me the best results among those equipped in a watch, if not the best. Polar is the only manufacturer that uses several sensors depending on the device they mount it on, and they continue to retouch and improve their sensor. They have always been known for their heart rate measurement, and the jump to optical measurement has been taken very seriously.

The small new features update it in line with what we are used to seeing in the market, including features that many users wanted to see in the M400 such as vibration alerts, longer battery life or more detailed sleep analysis. All this is included in the M430, and now we can only wait for the update to come in order to add the ability to record heart rates throughout the day, a feature that Polar has launched with its A370.

Polar M430 | Test, review and opinion 8

The truth is that you can't put too many obstacles in the way of the M430. What it does, it does well. Both its GPS and its optical sensor offer very good results. And it is very similar in performance to what other manufacturers like Garmin offer. My only complaint is the lack of aesthetic changes, and that is that despite bringing new things, it comes with an old-fashioned look.

It is this aspect that I think will play against you the most. Polar will need to do important promotional work to explain to the consumer why the price difference between the M400 and the M430, beyond the optical sensor. Not everyone is lucky enough to know this page as you are, being able to access the tests and know all the details of the different models in the market :-).

But if the question is whether the M430 is a good watch... yes, it is.

Buy Polar M430

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 buy your new device through the links I provide below. And if you don't buy it today, remember to stop by when you do!

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, which is what allows me to continue offering you proofs like this on the page.

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

Help the site

This page, like any other page you see on the Internet, needs to be compensated in order to continue to function. If you make your purchase through the links on the web you'll be helping out the blog a little bit and becoming part of the Running a Marathon family. It's a small family, but it's cool!

This is the only way the blog generates some money (apart from the cents that come from Google advertising), as there is no consideration from the brands. The only income comes from the purchases that you, the users, make through the links provided.

If you liked the analysis, don't forget to share it on your social networks. Not only will you be helping me, but you will also be helping your friends find this page.

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

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.
    I'm hesitating whether to buy this or the garmin fr235. The use would be basically for running and daily use as a watch.

    1. The Garmin wins in terms of smart features and application availability, while the Polar is much simpler and has a longer range.

      I think the decision will depend more on where you come from and what platform you're used to.

  2. Hi Eduardo, I am amazed with your publications, they are great. My wife wants to start with some triathlon and I would like to know how the m430 behaves in this respect, both in pool and in open water, to give her a gift. A greeting and thanks for your great work.

    1. The M430 is primarily a running watch. It has no multisport support (it cannot concatenate one sport after another) and does not offer swimming metrics. For triathlon I would opt for some other option, such as the Polar V800

      1. I won't be the one to take away your reason, that's a big start. Being a person who's not going to make the most of the clock, what do you think of the TomTom Adventurer, I think with this one you can swim in open water and they're practically at the same price.

          1. Bought through the link. Thank you very much for the information. Greetings.

  3. Good morning, Eduardo.
    I've seen your page and I love your reviews.

    I explain you, I wanted a watch, that I could use to run (very sporadically, to prepare competitions) and to record with precision, or to follow segments with MTB in Strava (descending in special).
    The Strava thing is the most important thing to me, since I would use it to train for races.

    I would also like you to have sleep analysis and daily activity analysis.
    Optical sensor, I wouldn't mind, though it would be a bonus.

    I know that for the Strava segments the ideal would be a 520 edge, that's already in mind, but I also wanted a watch, so I wouldn't have to depend on the Garmin edge all the time.

    What watch you recommend, I think the M430 might be one of the ones.

    Greetings and thank you.

    1. No, the M430 doesn't have any live Strava segments. At the moment the only ones that do are the 735XT, Fenix 5 and Forerunner 935.

      1. Good morning again and thanks for responding. I don't care about the live segments on Strava. All I want is for it to record well and have little distortion.

        1. As long as you assume that even the M430 is not perfect with GPS use (or any other) it has no major problem. The result is good overall.

    2. Hi, Eduardo.

      As far as heart rate reliability goes, you're stuck with the m430 or garmin 630?
      And with the new H10 band of polar + m430 or garmin 630 +hrm run

      1. In theory the new Polar H10 is the most reliable sensor, but when it comes down to it I have never had any problems with chest sensors. The performance obtained has always been correct, but I don't doubt that the new Polar will be "top". I expect a similar result to what can be obtained with the Garmin sensor.

        1. Thank you, Eduardo.
          I think I'll try H10 + M430. Polar gives me a lot of confidence in my heartbeat.

  4. Hi, Eduardo.

    As far as heart rate reliability goes, you're stuck with the m430 or garmin 630?
    And with the new H10 band of polar + m430 or garmin 630 +hrm run

  5. Hello,
    When I train on a course that I have already measured I turn off the GPS and set manual laps, but the M430 keeps measuring distances (I guess with the accelerometer). This leads to a lag between the actual distance travelled and the one indicated by the clock.
    How do I disable that sensor when I run?

    1. To do that you should use a different running profile, so that it does not make use of the internal accelerometer. When you turn off the GPS the clock understands that it is because you are running indoors.

  6. Hi Eduardo! What a review I found while surfing the internet. The truth is that this watch looks very good (for the price it has). I love that you highlight the spinning thing, it is difficult to find devices with reliable measurements. It was between this and the Garmin Vivoactive HR, basically I am interested in the sensor to be as accurate as possible and to see at the end for example, the calories consumed. Do I lean towards this or another?

    1. Today the Polar M430 sensor is one of the best performers in terms of pulse measurement. Cycling is usually complicated for optical sensors, but the absence of vibrations helps in the case of spinning. Being the accuracy of the sensor the most important thing, Polar is a better choice.

      1. I thought so! So I'm going to get this one, in the future I'm sure there will be a more suitable bicycle clock and we can renovate. Cheers!

  7. Hello, I love this article, but I have a doubt. I have to change watch and I was hesitating between the cardio TomTom Runners 3, Garmin fr235 and the polar m430. I use it mainly for MTB and running doing series and varied training. Which would you advise me? Thank you

    1. If you are doing series and intervals and want to schedule workouts, I would choose between the M430 and the FR235. The optical MTB sensor will not be very accurate in either case, so you will need a chest sensor if you want reliable heart rate data, but with the M430 you will be luckier.

      1. What interests me most is the GPS tracking when I go with the bike or go out for a run and link it with strava. I know that the pulses are indicative on the bike, I am more interested in running. The series and intervals are marked by the trainer, so I have read, I can pass them to the clock I control the distance targets and pulses (3×400 in 85-90% pulses). Thank you very much

  8. Good morning, Eduardo,

    First of all, congratulations on this blog, finally an extensive analysis with data and not just ratings.

    I practice CrossFit and I was looking for an activity watch to record mostly the frequency and what intervals I move as I should try not to overtrain. I know there is no specialized watch but after a lot of looking I found a couple of watches out of the big ones on the market:
    Actofit (croudfoundig)
    These two measure series and recognize exercises, something I don't know how useful it is.
    And after the big ones I had in mind:
    Garmin vivoactive or vivosmart3
    Fitbit emerges
    Polar M430
    TomTom spark3 (The functionality of being able to carry integrated music and dispense with the mobile phone is a plus I think)

    After this analysis the polar has gained many points but I wanted to know your opinion about the rest.

    PS: just to put a glue to this tremendous analysis (I don't think I've seen that data), I'd like to know how long the battery lasts in an activity bracelet, wearing it all day without using GPS.

    A salute,

    1. For CrossFit the most recommended is a chest band, from there any of those you indicate will serve you perfectly.

      As for the daily use, it depends on many things. Synchronization with the phone, etc.

  9. Hi, Eduardo.
    After almost two years with an m400 the strap is a bit of a drag, but I am very happy with the performance of the watch.
    I saw a page where they sell belts to make the change myself without going through technical service. The doubt is whether it will be compatible with the m430 belt with the m400, if it was I would gain a lot in comfort with the change?
    Greetings and thanks for your analysis!

    1. The case is the same, the strap will almost certainly do. But it's something I haven't tried, so I can't guarantee it. The new one is a lot nicer

      1. Thanks for the answer, I'll talk to the service guys and see what they have to say.

        Greetings, you do a great job with your posts!

  10. Well, thank you very much for your blog, I find it super interesting and useful. I'm hesitating between the polar 430 and the Garmin 235. I usually do continuous running training and some series, also for the bike. I'm interested in the connection with strava. I'm also interested in the daily and sleep monitoring. Which one do you recommend? Thank you very much and I repeat again that I love your blog.

    1. Either one of them meets those conditions. Maybe I'd go for the M430, its optical sensor is a bit superior and overall it's a really well-functioning watch.

  11. Hi, Eduardo,
    First of all, congratulations for your space and all the work and information you dedicate to it. Thanks to your blog I'm learning a lot of things.
    I wanted to ask your advice because I hesitate between buying the Forerunner 35 or the Polar M430, since I'm totally new to this. I've only been going out for a month, still walking at intervals, and for the last 4 years I've also been taking my bike (hybrid) to go to work and go on a trip. I also do yoga... I'm already in my 40s and haven't smoked for 7 months, so I try to take care of myself a little bit!
    I am more attracted to the Polar, because physically I find it more resistant and beautiful, the Garmin looks like an Apple Watch, which I don't like so much and it seems weaker, but for price, performance and simplicity I read in your review that it can be a good option. I am also interested, apart from the GPS and good reading of the FC, in sleep tracking and simple training in principle.
    Prices I get: Forerunner 35, about 135 euros and Polar M430, about 189 euros.
    By the way, I have an iPhone 6S+ in case that matters too to opt for one or the other.
    I'm very motivated to go running, the truth is that I've been recommended a training watch so I can keep a good track and not do crazy things by forcing the machine.
    Do you think I would buy the M430 and the Garmin would be enough or will the Polar give me more than that?
    Thank you in advance and best regards

    1. It depends more on your user profile. The FR35 is for those who prefer a simple and easy to use watch, the M430 is more performance oriented. Both work well with the iPhone.

  12. Hello Eduardo Excellent analysis, do you think this watch would be useful for trail running, I mainly practice cycling and in fact I wear a polar v650 with which I am delighted but I would also like to start in trail running, obviously I would like to have all my data on the web of polar but seeing the competition between garmin, polar and suunto, I do not know if this M430 would suit me, seeing the new suunto spartan trainer, or the tomtom adventurer I do not know for which to decide. I do not intend to do any ultra but if any race of no more than 10 hours. What would you recommend?

    1. If you are planning to do trail riding on a regular basis I would look for something with a barometric altimeter and navigation, even if you don't think you need it now, if you do trail riding frequently you will end up using it.

      The Polar V800 has both, but I guess the M430's choice is for the optical sensor that the V800 doesn't have.

      In any case, the M430 is a watch designed for road racing. It can be used in the field... but it is not the best choice.

      1. Hi, Eduardo.
        Congratulations on your impressive analysis of the pulse meters
        Look, I wish you'd give me some advice on what pulseometer to buy.
        The activities I normally do are spinning, mountain biking and hiking. I am interested in having GPS if you can add tracks, altimeter, sleep control and connection to the mobile phone, by subject of messages and so on. Thanks in advance
        What do you recommend?

  13. Hi, Eduardo.

    Between vivoactive 3 and the m430, which one would you choose? Main sport crossfit complementing with running and eventually hiking.

    1. For sensor quality I would probably stick with the M430, which is a step above the one mounted on the Garmin. Although you must be clear that by doing crossfit, no optical sensor will be 100% reliable (neither the chest ones, but they will offer a slightly more accurate record).

  14. Hi Eduardo! I have an M430 polar fleece and I'm delighted, I use it a lot for spinning and it goes great. The other day I wanted to try crossfit but the reality is that it is in danger of being damaged, I prefer not to take the risk. The topic of the chest bands, and here my doubt, how does not being able to pause the session affect it? The H10 band can record the session without the need to be with the cell phone, but both crossfit, bodybuilding, etc. there are pauses where exercises are explained, you get organized, you go from one side to another. If you continue recording continuously, wouldn't the results be incorrect?

    1. It depends on the information you want to take out. If it's just calories it will hardly affect the result.

  15. Thanks Eduardo, thanks to your reviews I was able to decide to buy my first watch (sorry but I could not use your links, I live in Argentina and they do not arrive). I am delighted, still investigating its functions but with very good results. The amount of sports to choose from is super varied, however I have doubts about some of them. The days I do acrobatics we do a physical preparation that consists of jogging interspersed every now and then exercises such as squats, push-ups, burpees, etc. What would that be, "another indoor"? Do you have any idea if there is another profile that fits better? I would like to have more accurate feedback regarding calories.

    1. Within the indoor exercises there is not much variety in calorie consumption (which anyway remember that it is not something exact but simply an estimate. It is impossible to know the exact consumption), so the indoor profile will serve you perfectly.

  16. After two months of use, the battery has fallen into a state of collapse, the charge is incomplete and lasts less and less, in addition to which it has no reference to the % charge remaining. I would not buy it again

    1. Honestly, I don't know what you've charged it with and the use you've made of the watch, but I've been training with it for 3 months almost every day, GPS in precise mode, FC 24/7 and no cell phone warnings though, and the battery lasts as long or longer than it did at the beginning since I charged it with an Anker smart charger.
      Get in touch with the TS because that's what you've done wrong. Greetings and good luck.

  17. Good afternoon,
    At the moment I'm hesitating between this model of polar fleece and the forerunner 230-235. The main thing I've read against both m430 and 235 is that the optical sensor must be worn in a very specific area of the wrist and quite tight.

    * How you've had the pleasure of wearing both, is this comment spread around the nets true?
    * In possible to connect a chest strap to both polar and Garmin?
    * I come from an rc3gps so I guess any of the 3 would be a qualitative leap

    Thank you very much and congratulations for the work you do, piece of review!

    1. The clock must be kept steady, but not cut off the circulation.
      Just keep it in contact with the skin and don't move on the wrist.
      Both models support external sensor. Bluetooth for Polar and ANT+ for Garmin.
      And yes... the RC3 is well below either in many ways, but mostly in screen quality and customization and synchronization possibilities.

  18. Hi, Eduardo,
    I am considering buying a GPS with an optical pulse sensor, hesitating between the Polar M430 and the Garmin 235, my doubt is the following:

    When doing a scheduled training from Polar Flow, during the workout or series, is it possible to have a field with the average pace of that series in order to control the target pace?

    In my current GPS (920xt) and I think that in all Garmin is possible, taking each phase as an autolap, however I think that in the Polar v800 does not take it as a lap and gives you the average rate per km, mixing series and recoveries which makes it unusable for me.

    Can anyone confirm this? Otherwise I bet the reliability of the M430 sensor over Garmin's.

    Greetings and congratulations on a job well done

    1. If you come from Garmin the use of automatic and manual laps is somewhat different, so you need some adaptation. Polar differentiates between automatic and manual laps (Suunto too), but Garmin doesn't. This has its advantages and disadvantages.

      In the case you indicate, if you want to have the average pace in that lap you will have to remember to press the lap button when you start the interval and press it again when you finish. On the other hand, the advantage is that you can make punctual time takes at any time of the training or race without interfering in the automatic lapses.

      1. Thanks a lot, it's much clearer to me and I think Garmin's system seems more practical for what I want...

        Greetings and again congratulations on your work

  19. Good morning Eduardo, first of all thank you very much for all the posts, they are of great value. I am a beginner in this type of watches, my main sport is the crossfit and now I start with 1 running session and 1 mtb per week and I wanted to implement the occasional swimming practice. I wanted a watch of this type to take a better control of rest and a good control of pulses knowing that in the crossfit they are not 100% certain, but they would help me anyway. Of budget I have 250 euros at most, and I have arrived at the conclusion reading your posts that for me the best one can be the m430. But these days I have seen that the fr235 is very well of price and even the suunto sparta training...could you give me a hand to decide? A greeting and thanks

      1. hello again,the vivoactive has a partner and the truth is that quite well but wanted to try different brand to compare for example,between the polar m430,and the suunto sparta training which is now at 220 euros for which you would choose? thanks a lot for your information

        1. The Suunto is a more complete clock, with a better display and navigation capabilities.

          The truth is that at a similar price, if I had to choose, I would keep the Suunto (which will also serve you during swimming).

  20. I haven't found any article on the web about this. Which website and/or application do you find more complete when it comes to analyzing and monitoring your sports activities? Polar Flow (WEB and APP version) or Garmin Conect (web and APP version)? I've taken a look at both and I think I like the Polar website better.

    1. Personally I use Golden Cheetah. Maybe it's an excess of information but it's what works best for me. It's also true that my profiles from each of the manufacturers are a disaster because of the amount of duplicate files from the same activity (running with 3 or more devices), and the only way to keep effective control is by using an external program.

  21. Hi Eduardo, the question is about my father, a 60 year old man who does indoor strength training on a circuit with functional exercises, combined with walking/running outdoors. Which heart rate monitor do you recommend for him, that can do a good pulse registration and has gps?

    1. Given the type of exercise you do in the gym with the optical sensor will be sufficient, in that case I see no need to use a breast sensor.
      If you don't like technology too much, the Garmin FR35 is a very easy to use watch that won't make your life too difficult. If you don't mind picking up this M430 yourself, it's a great option. Both are on sale today (only today), you can see it in the list of offers.

  22. Hi Eduardo, congratulations for your contribution, today I have released the M430, I would like to know if there is the possibility of setting the type of vibration alert. Being training and exceeding a training zone and the clock does not stop vibrating until you return to the established zone, it is quite annoying. A greeting.

  23. Tremendous review, I found this website by chance and I've been reading for hours. I have this watch and I am very happy, it goes very well with all the activities I do. I have a doubt, and that's why I came across this post, about the different sport profiles... there are so many that it's hard for me to choose one or the other. For example, what would be the difference between "running" and "asphalt running"? I currently run in a park that has a street, not on grass, but I see in photos that most people simply use the "running" profile.

    1. Nothing, it's just to be able to configure it in one way or another and have different data screens. There are differences in very different profiles when calculating calories, but not in running.

      1. Of course, if you usually create running sessions and do another asphalt running session, it will not compare the goals and objectives achieved between one and the other, I understand.
        Thank you as always, Eduardo. Greetings.

      2. Thanks Eduardo! Now that I think about it, Daniel is right. If someday I get the urge to run somewhere else I should always use "run" for poder compare, at least I think so. It's my first watch so everything is new to me. Regards and thanks!

    2. Hi, good question Mariana. I've had the same doubt for 4 months now, and I'm very happy with it too. Let's see if there's really any difference that the experts know.

  24. Hello!
    I have just found your page crossing searches, the article is in detail and as I see that you do understand about this (not like the staff of the stores) and that you do have experiences with them, I wanted you to solve some doubts, you see I have been given by kings the Polar A370, I love its design, although I have not tried it because I was looking to change it for the Polar M430 or the Forerunner 35.
    Thank you very much in advance!

    1. They are three very different devices and it depends mainly on what you are going to use it for. I recommend that you read the tests and see for yourself what will best suit your requirements.

  25. Hello Eduardo! First of all, thank you very much for the review as it helped me to choose my first watch. I have a question about the Running Index. If I run a background, the result is better than when I work exclusively slopes (uphill and downhill), surely because the pace is lower. It is strange, because it is another type of work and it does not consider, I read that only the V800 takes into account the slopes. Do you suggest me to continue using the profile "running" or change to "trail running" to simulate the slopes? I hope my doubt is understood. Thank you!

      1. Thank you! So what I should do is start marking the laps and not use the automatic lap, as to have more complete results. Thank you very much!

  26. Hi Eduardo, my question is if you don't know if it's possible to use the m430 as an optical sensor when you use another polar device like the v650 or m460, you can see the heart rate measured with the clock on the computer? I think garmin has that option in their products but I don't know if polar has it, thank you very much.

    1. Yes, it allows you to activate an option in the menu to send FC data via Bluetooth to other devices.

    1. For use in generic paddle tennis any watch will give you basic data, the M430 like any other will do

  27. Hi there! I think the explanation is great, but I have a doubt. I do series on track, in polar flow you can do series by time or distance, but you can stop the series with a button and not only time and distance? I understand that Garmin has the option of stopping with the manual lap...this would be useful if in 4 laps the gps marks different than 1600 meters. I hope I explained myself well.

  28. Hello Eduardo, I have read your posts very complete, the truth is that I want a watch that tells me when I'm running or program the maximum FC, I have a samsung gear fit, which already fell short with my activities, because when running I do not know my heart rate, basically now I do intervals on treadmill and have weight sessions and / or crossfit, and yoga, I also walk and sometimes I go cycling, and I would like my watch to accompany me in all that. Which one do you recommend, aesthetically I liked the fit bit ionic but it will not accompany me in running intervals, then I was interested in the garmin vivosmart3 (price is fine) and this polar, but the battery seems to last little, I am not tempted by that, plus it seems to be only for running and I practice multisport. What do you recommend?

    1. For multisport practice I think the best option you'll find is the Vivoactive 3 or the Suunto Spartan Trainer, either of which will leave you completely satisfied and are not much bigger than the Gear Fit which is certainly not the best option for sports tracking.

  29. First of all, impressive article. Honestly.

    I'm almost convinced to buy the M430, the only thing that made me doubt it was that you don't recommend it for trail running. I usually run on the road although I'm going to start seriously with this trail thing. Tomorrow I'm going to pick up the M430 at Decathlon that I have booked, but I don't know if there's anything better out there that will get away from me.

    I would like it to be exactly like the M430, but also ideal for trail running. The garmin 235 has caught my attention because it can follow the selected route from the clock, although I am not convinced because it is lower in heart rate.

    If you finally chose the M430, would you feel too negatively about the trail?

    Thank you very much and best regards.

    1. For trail riding (especially training) you should look for something with navigation.
      And if possible with a barometric altimeter.

      1. Of course, that's what I was thinking. What would you recommend for running in the city, in the mountains and for hiking/ camping? There are many models of many brands and I would like to know your opinion as an expert. Personally I would like to have the pulses on my wrist, but I have only seen that with pulses on my wrist and everything I need the Garmin Fénix 5 fits, although it is beyond my budget, which I can afford over 300 euros.

        Thank you very much and I look forward to a reply.
        A salute!

  30. Hi Eduardo! I'm between the m430, the vivoactive 3 and the forerunner 735xt (the 935 I think is too much). The reality is that my main activity is spinning, amateur running (I run eventually on asphalt and more often indoor), crossfit and fitness. I look for precision in the pulse sensor and obviously that I have the profiles of the activities I do, I am also very interested in the daily monitoring (type activity clock). Why do you lean?

    1. If you're looking for precision, you'll have to add a traditional sensor to any of them, because there are certain activities where the optical sensor is not the best option. For daily monitoring, I'd lean more towards Garmin.

      Of the ones you propose, perhaps the Vivoactive 3 is the one that best suits you, and is quite aesthetic for day-to-day use.

      1. Thanks Eduardo!! I'm going to go for the vivoactive 3, I'd love to buy it from your website but I live in Argentina and we're having a hard time with imports, thank you very much!

  31. Hi Eduardo, first of all I want to tell you that I take my hat off to this piece of analysis and that it's a pleasure because it solves all the doubts, now I'm telling you, I've been trying the m-430 and in general very well but in the race at a constant pace I get quite a bit wrong, to the point that after 45 minutes running it marks that my heart rate drops (today in particular I have dropped from 140 to 93 approx) but the feeling is of being well overwhelmed I have been told that you have to wear it tight for the sensor to mark correctly but I assure you that I wear it well because it makes me even mark, I do not know if you can guide me a little because I do not know if it is a fault of the clock that is misconfigured or is normal, thanks.

    1. The watch must be firm, but not too tight. If you press it too hard, you prevent the blood from circulating normally and this can cause problems. Simply firm and above the wrist bone

  32. Hi, Eduardo!
    I have doubts about the reliability of the Fitness Test. I guess you have done it and you also know your real VO2max, does it give similar results?

    1. It cannot be taken as an absolute reference because it can never replace a stress test. In this sense, in my particular case it gives approximate values to those of the stress test which is not always the same value either because it also depends on what time of the season I am in.

      Its purpose is to keep track of your sports performance, and by seeing changes in the Fitness Index you can know whether your training is working or not, beyond comparing results in different races.

  33. Hi, Polar Edward M430 or Forerunner 235??
    I have doubts about which one to buy, for me a strong point would be to know which one offers me better programmed workouts, and if in the two watches it is possible to load the workouts without having to program them.
    I now have the TomTom Runner 2 and I miss that.
    Great website, congratulations and thank you very much.

      1. Thank you very much for the answer, the truth is that I had the idea of buying the polar but at the same price ... . I will buy it through your website. I understand that by advanced training, you mean the training plans?

        1. Especially to what you can program and the flexibility it allows.
          Both platforms offer training, but I've never followed either one, I don't know which one will be better.

  34. Good evening Eduardo! Congratulations on each and every one of the exhaustive details of the watches! They are helping me a lot to compare all brands, but as always happens to me, I sin of too much information and now I'm a mess. I would appreciate if you could make me see the light!
    In the past I was using the Polar rs800cx and it really worked for me for years until the screen started to look very bad. 2 years ago I stopped running but now I'm starting again and I was looking at the m430 polar or the garmin 235. I understand that the latter has more features because of the IQ and connectivity, but the truth is that the mobile phone messages don't interest me. Besides the garmin 245 has to come out and I don't know whether to wait for it or buy the m430 polar...
    I go out to run on asphalt and open field or beach, but later I want to return to the mountain trail... so I don't know which one I could stay. Logically the price is important, I am not a professional nor do I run, I just enjoy the feeling and from time to time I do some running without competing...
    I'd appreciate it if you could give me some guidance.
    Thank you very much.

    1. The only thing I could tell you is that they can fall short of the mountain theme, in terms of barometric altimeter and navigation. That's what you might value.

      You also have the Suunto Spartan Trainer which does have navigation (but no altimeter). In my opinion it's a round purchase.

      1. Thank you very much for your opinion, but I don't think I would use it because I usually go on routes that I already know. The altimeter would be ideal to calculate slopes a little more real than those given by the GPS ... I'm not in a hurry ... so possibly wait a few more months to see if the new Garmin 245 comes out (to see what surprise we have) or in September the new polar.
        Do you recommend waiting? Thank you and congratulations!

        1. Only you know how much you need to wait. But if you're not in a hurry, you can wait because this 2018 still has some news to come.

  35. Hello, I have a Polar 400 for several years and it is going wonderfully I go out to run and bike, I suffered a heart attack recently, and for me it is an indispensable tool to measure the heart rate, I wear a chest band and I carry the polar on the handlebars of the bike, if I buy the 430 when I wear it on the handlebars, I would not measure the frequency, of course, could I wear the chest band as in the Polar 400?

  36. Hi, everybody. First of all, congratulations on the post! I did really well in buying my M430.

    And I'm just saying, do you know if it's possible for the M430 to indicate the percentage of slope? That is, when you go up/down a hill with the bike...

    Maybe Polar could include it in an update, although I don't know if it's possible with the resources of this clock

    Thank you very much.

    1. There is no possibility of having that data field. It is present in the V800, but it is a watch intended for multisport and that is why Polar has included it in this one.

  37. Thank you for your response!

    Actually, it's a pity, I understand that the slope is not an interesting view for most people, but, it would be so difficult to implement ? Or is it that the clock specifications are not able to process that data ?

    The V800, is worth almost 4 times as much... and it doesn't even measure wrist CF!

    1. Well, the only way to have it would be for Polar to put it in, but if it's not there, it's because of the difference in product ranges.

  38. The first thing to do is to congratulate you for the complete website you are offering us.

    I've been cycling and mtbing in a moderate way for the last 35 years (I'm 61), I never use any pulse meter, despite having them, for pure negligence. I just had a heart attack in which I had a stent in one of the coronaries. I don't want to give up cycling and I've started again little by little controlling my heart with a smartwatch (diggro gb68) that I had at home with an optical pulse, but it leaves something to be desired because at a normal pace it is reliable, but when you start going uphill the pulses drop by half.

    I read your test of Polar M430 and I loved it. What I value most is the optical heart rate control for everyday life. But I would like to know if I should buy the uncomfortable chest strap to fine-tune the pace or if the optical sensor would be enough for me.

    If you knew of another heart rate monitor that would be better suited to my characteristics, please tell me.

    Regards for the inconvenience. José Luis

    1. José Luis, first of all get well and take care of yourself.

      As for the M430 and the optical sensor, the data you'll have when you ride your bike aren't too good. Better than the smartwatch you're using right now, of course, but not up to scratch.

      If you don't want a chest sensor, I recommend an optical sensor for the forearm. The Polar Oh1 is a great choiceor the Scosche RHYTHM+.

      1. Let's say the wrist sensor works correctly at 95% time, but you need 100% availability for your case, Jose Luis, so I recommend any band, even the Polar H7 or H10.

  39. Hi, thank you very much for all the information. I recently bought an M430 along with the H10 band, sometimes I sync them and sometimes I think I don't. I think the app Polar Flow, in the daily activity, is adding the activity of the H10 and the M430 (activity, steps, calories). I think that the app Polar Flow, in the daily activity, is adding me the activity of the H10 and the M430 (activity, steps, calories), even if I choose in both devices, for example Running.
    Yesterday I decided to use all day the H10 band (I put OTHER INDOOR activity without GPS) along with the clock (I did not put any activity), they were not synchronized with each other either. My day yesterday was sitting in the office and by 18hs it showed me the Polar Flow app that had burned more calories than I have burned a whole day of physical activity, so I assumed that I was adding the two devices. Today second day, I decided not to use the H10 band and it is 19hs and it shows me an activity more appropriate to what I have done.
    My query comes from the side of whether the App Polar Flow, sees an activity of my H10 at certain times and at the SAME TIME, my watch is monitoring my daily activity, I should not take only one of the two, I do not know, the most reliable, or something else?
    This came up because the exercises I do most are HITT and at that time the H10 band comes in great for me to have accurate frequency, but I'm saving the workout on my cell phone and I'm not looking at it, but I do use the clock with the HITT programs I put on them. So when I finish my day, the results are not consistent in terms of daily activity, steps and calories.
    If you know what's going on, I appreciate it enormously because I haven't found any clear answers.

    1. The pulse sensor is simply a pulse sensor, it does not record any daily activity, nor does the Polar Beat application.

      1. but on the Polar Flow App, he's taking my POlar Beat workouts, so he's counting me double!

      2. What I think is happening to Michelle, is that she is using the M430 + wrist sensor and the App of Polar Flow + Band, in parallel ... so it is adding almost twice the activity, although the M430 does not activate any training, because by default the M430 records activity even if you do not start training

  40. but on the Polar Flow App, he's taking my POlar Beat workouts, so he's counting me double!

  41. Hi, Eduardo!
    I met you on prime day, and I just read your test of the M430 and I liked it. There is a lot of information to assimilate from your website and I will do it and also, starting today, everything that depends on me will be purchased from here. I have had the M400 for almost 3 years. My most common sport there is still no "gadget" designed for it, since I do karate for 8 years, but for running and cycling, I really like the pulse training. With the m400, with the new chest strap and the h7 sensor, it always gives me some spikes and very strange measurements. I count my pulse by hand with a watch, I'm at 55 and polar is reading 130 at rest. Then during the session it spikes to 230, or drops to 70 and I'm sick of it.
    Would the sensor on the wrist be better? Would the H10 band improve these problems? Any other ideas?

    Thank you!

    1. First of all, thanks for the support. Appreciate it!

      As far as sensors are concerned, your wrist won't do well, that's for sure.

      I have no experience with contact sports so I can't say for sure, but I would try the Polar OH1.

      1. The wrist is always worse than the band, unless you're wearing the band wrong. From what you're saying about the H7 sensor, it looks like you're not wearing it right, David. I mean, you might want to get the band wet before you put it on.

        Sometimes it happens that when you run out of battery, it measures in a strange way how it is happening to you. Remember to remove the sensor piece from the tape when you do not train, because if you leave it hooked, the battery will also consume

        1. Thanks for the answers.
          I don't use it for contact sports, I use it for running and cycling.

          New battery, wet band and placed according to instructions and what you see on the internet and on TV.
          I'm sick of it.

  42. the answer I got from Polar was:
    Good afternoon, Michelle.

    Unfortunately what you're trying to do is impossible.
    If both devices synchronize to the same account, it will add up your daily activity.
    Since daily activity does not depend on the device but on the account.
    In order to verify what you want, you should do two accounts and sync a device to each one, so you can check what you want to corroborate.
    I also confirm that the most accurate measurement is made by the H10.

    Any other questions are welcome.

    The thing is that I like to use the clock as a stopwatch, while I use the band, because the reality is that I don't want to be doing HITT and be looking at the Beat app on the cell phone at the time to see the heart rate, but I use both independently, the H10 for the accuracy of the frequency and the clock as a stopwatch. Now what I do is that the clock warns me the times of the intervals but I don't have it as an activity, and in the long run it adds up to everything.


    1. Michelle, you can also link the M430 to the band, so you can use it as a stopwatch and accurate pulsometer

      1. How do I link it? I think they're linked:

        What I see on the clock is this:



        POLAR H10

        Then they seem to be linked, but it happens to me that if I put an exercise in the H10 band and leave the watch still, without giving it any activity and I put to see the heart rate, it marks different things at the same time.

        1. I don't quite understand what you say happens to you "at the same time", sorry.

          If you have the M430 linked to the H10, when you start an activity on your M430 and do NOT have the Polar Beat switched on, the M430 should measure your heart rate across the band. If you look, the heart rate icon is different than when measuring the heart rate across the wrist

  43. Hi, Eduardo,

    I'm using an Ambit3 Peak for training and I have plenty of data and planning the intervals on the Movescount App doesn't bother me. I find it almost the perfect watch... but I miss the daily activity that my old Polar Loop gave me and the motivation of Polar flow. I'm thinking about buying this Polar for day-to-day and countryside training near home and leave the Ambit for the mountain or also buy the Suunto 3 Fitness but I don't know if it will give me the same as Polar.

    My ideal watch would be the reliability and robustness of my Ambit with daily activity and the motivation of Polar. Does that exist?

    Will you give me a hand?

    Thank you!

    1. Suunto 3 Fitness is more of a clock for use in gym activities and the like, for the use you're talking about I can't see it any further than having all workouts easily synchronized on the same platform.

  44. Thank you very much Eduardo!

    I'm thinking of changing the Ambit in the Black Friday for a more current Suunto, luck of your page that guides me that if not ... I will go for the Sport noseque Baro for the day to day and the Ambit for mountain excursions of several days.


  45. Thank you very much Eduardo!

    I'm thinking of changing the Ambit in the Black Friday for a more current Suunto, luck of your page that guides me that if not ... I will go for the Sport noseque Baro for the day to day and the Ambit for mountain excursions of several days.


  46. Hello! pieces of review that you do. A doubt, considering that I want it mainly to run and that it has precision in the gps and instantaneous pace for the same price recommend me the Pllar 430 or the Suunto spartan trainer?. also I would like to take it daily. A greeting and thanks

  47. The accuracy of the gps also varies? I had the M400 once and when I was training with my teammates I always finished the series later than the others. And between the spartan trainer (steel) and the Garmin viviactive 3 you still recommend the Suunto? thanks again

  48. Hi, Eduardo,
    Between the polar M430 and the forerunner 235 which one do you recommend me? I'm mainly interested in the pulse, although I'd like if you can load some track for bike routes (if you can).

    I don't know if there is any alternative over that price that is better than these options.



    1. If you are going to cycle routes the pulse sensor is totally secondary because neither of them provides valid cycling information. This is something that optical sensors do not do well.

      Neither supports route tracking, but in that price range the Suunto Spartan Trainer It does. Take a look at it because I think it'll fit your use better than either of the other two.

  49. Thank you very much,

    The pulse thing is because I cycle quite regularly and I would like to control it,

    1. Well, if it is indoors it is usually more reliable because of the absence of vibrations, in which case the optical pulsometer is an option.

  50. Hi, Eduardo.
    I currently have the Polar M400. I go out running 3-4 times a week.
    I'm thinking of changing my watch and I'm hesitating between the Polar M430 and the Garmin Vivoactive 3 or the Forerunner 235.
    Which one would you recommend?
    Greetings and thank you very much for everything.

    1. Well, I'd tell you to take a look at Polar Vantage MIt has quite a few improvements over the M430, which if you are a 3-4 day runner you will take advantage of (Training Load Pro), and the upgrade that is coming soon for rest metrics makes it a very interesting option.

  51. Hi, Eduardo,
    Congratulations, you work very well on the report.
    My wife has one just like it. She's happy with the watch and it's going very well. But we have a question.
    Nowhere does it say the total kilometers, at least we have not seen it. Does it have a total accumulated kilometers counter?

    Thanks from antenamo!


  52. I have a polar 430 and when I put it to load I have been stuck and only appears as if it were charging all the time, it does not let me enter the menu or anything, it turns on and off the screen but only appears not loaded total, I do not know how to solve need help

  53. Good morning, Eduardo.
    Thanks for the Review.
    I am going to tell you something that happens to me with the M430.
    A month ago I bought a new one. The upgrade software was installed and I started using it normally.
    Everything was going well until I tested the GPS with medium accuracy.
    It turns out that when I set it up and start the session it gives me the warning that it will record in energy saving mode, and in fact it does not show me the instantaneous speed, because in theory it makes measurements every 30 seconds. What was my surprise when after 7 hours of real route with H10 band it gives me a warning that there is one hour left of battery of the watch.
    Once at home I downloaded the GPX and I could see that I had recorded a point every second. However in the map of the route that loads in Polar Flow shows a legend that the route has been recorded in medium accuracy.
    I contacted Polar and they told me to restore it, which I did but it remained the same on the next test.
    I talked to my dealer, returned it and got another one.
    What was my surprise to see that the same thing happens. I set it to medium accuracy, I start it and it tells me that it is in saving mode and I download the GPX and I see that it has recorded one point per second.
    Total neither of the two M430 watches that I have extracted in a month comply with the power saving mode function.
    Have you had any news about similar cases?
    Thank you

    1. I haven't read anything about it, but I'm guessing it has to be a firmware issue. Try doing the same thing without the chest pulse sensor, it may be what is causing it to record data every second.

  54. Hello I am interested in acquiring the polar watch m430, I would like to know if it is valid for activities such as spinning, indoorwalking, because for running is what I am looking for, thank you very much.

  55. Hello, I am interested in getting started in sports watches and I want a watch for gym, mainly although I made the career of sports science and I usually practice different sports with frequencies, do you think this watch would be a good choice? I am in a range of 80 to 100€.

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