polar-m400-reviewAthletes that want to improve their time, speed, and other fitness goals often need plenty of feedback and information about their workouts. Fitness trackers today have so many tools to help you learn more about your performance and ultimately make you a better athlete. There are just as many fitness trackers out there as sports, and it can take some time to figure out which device will best suit your needs.

If you are a serious athlete, then a professional fitness tracker is what you need, and the Polar M400 with heart rate fits the ticket. Rather than include tons of unnecessary features such as smartphone notifications and texting capability, like other smartwatches, the M400 homes in on fitness and performance. When it comes to these features, this tracker is not lacking and can help serious athletes and even those serious about achieving their fitness goals, excel.

Overview

polar-m400-trackerPolar has a long history of tailoring their products to the needs of athletes, starting with their first heart rate strap back in 1977. Since then, they have only improved and expanded their offerings, and the M400 proves they keep making great strides. This fitness tracker has GPS-tracking, 24/7 activity tracking, specialized running programs, sleep tracking, and it all syncs with the Polar Flow app to keep your information organized.

The M400 also comes with a heart rate monitor that provides even more accurate details about your workouts. It can track your beats per minute which helps you train at the right intensity for your goals. The watch itself has built-in GPS which means it can tell you pace, distance, and even altitude. The GPS also comes with an End Time Estimator so you can see what time you should expect to cross the finish line. The Back to Start feature helps you navigate back to the beginning of your route, which is helpful if you have a new route or in an unfamiliar city.

Polar M400 continually tracks your activity throughout the day. You can get a better picture of the time you spend active, the steps you take, calories burned, and the amount of sleep you get each night. All this information is synced with the Polar Flow app and organized into charts and graphs that make it simple to analyze your personal data and see the areas you can improve. You will also get inactivity alerts if you haven’t moved around in a while, which can help you reach your activity goal and keep you healthier overall.

If you are not a professional athlete but want to start a running program, the M400 can assist you with your goals. Once you set your personal fitness levels and your goal, such as a 5k or marathon, the M400 will set training targets and weekly motivation to get you moving. They even offer cross-training suggestions so you can avoid injury.

Along with the M400 watch, you will get a USB cord so you can charge the tracker and connect to your computer to sync all information with the Polar Flow app. The band of the watch has a comfortable rubber strap that secures with a double loop. You can get the watch in either black or white, but you can’t change the straps like some other fitness trackers. The USB port is on the backside of the watch and has a small rubber flap to cover it.

Even if the cover isn’t over the USB port, the port is internally waterproofed up to 30 meters. You could reasonably swim or even shower with this watch on, which can help if you have a water workout. The five buttons are large enough to use with ease and user-friendly, so it doesn’t take a long time to figure out how to get where you need to go. The screen is large enough to read with ease and feature a backlight to help in low-light situations.

Last update was in: December 10, 2017 6:21 pm

Pros

  • Comes with a heart rate monitor strap that accurately tracks your beats per minute and helps you hone your workout to get the best results.
  • The GPS capability can help you track your distance, pace, and altitude. The GPS also creates an End Time Estimator and Back to Start feature that can be helpful during a race or in unfamiliar territory.
  • 24/7 activity tracking means you get a whole picture of your day, including times that you sleep or had little activity, and syncs it with the Polar Flow app to allow you to organize and analyze your data.
  • The M400 comes with the smart coaching features offered by Polar including a fitness test, daily activity, smart calorie, sleep, and more.

Cons

  • The GPS can take a few minutes to find a signal, and you must stand still as it connects which can be mildly frustrating.
  • Depending on how you use the M400, that battery life could last 9 hours to 24 days. While 9 hours is plenty of time to say run a marathon, it can be a hassle to remember to charge it every night if the battery does run down.
  • It has no smartphone capabilities, so you won’t get text notifications or calendar reminders through your watch, which isn’t a massive issue for some people.
  • It is rather large, so it might not be appropriate to wear in all situations which can make it hard to gather daily data.

Streamlined Features

polar m400 with heart rate monitorThere are many fitness trackers and smartwatches on the market today, and many of them come with so many features it almost seems impossible to use them all or even understand it all. The Polar M400 is different in that it tries to cut out the unnecessary features and hone in on what they know best: sports and enhancing performance.

The GPS ability on this watch is one of the best features to get some of the most accurate data during your workout. Once you turn on the GPS signal, you can choose which activity you are about to start such as running, cycling, or swimming.

You can also let the watch know if you are working out indoors or outdoors. As you work out, you can toggle between five screens to get various updates on your progress. The GPS will let you know the altitude, distance, elapsed time, and lap time data. This information can help you effectively tailor your performance as you go and give you the best results.

The heart rate monitor is another significant feature of the Polar M400 and only better serves your needs. Many fitness trackers have wrist heart rate capabilities, and while those are good, they are not as accurate as HRM straps. Once you strap on the HRM, you will get continuous data about your heart rate and beats per minute. This data helps you work out at the right intensity for your goals and will help you recover better in the long run.

Finally, the M400 can track your activity 24/7 which is a useful feature for people working towards improving their health. While serious athletes might only need the specialized features for their workouts and performance, fitness enthusiasts can get a better picture of their day from the constant tracking. It will even track your sleep and let you know how long it took to get to sleep, how many times you woke up, and total time spent asleep.

Statistics

With all those features, there is no doubt that the Polar M400 can give you plenty of useful statistics. During and post-workout, you get plenty of feedback. You can view the time you started and how long your workout lasted as well as calories burned. If you went for a run or bike ride, you can track the distance, average pace, max pace, max altitude, ascent, descent, auto lap times, best lap time, and your average lap time. Also, the watch stores your workout information and will let you know when you have had your fastest run and longest run.

The M400 also has a running index that tracks your improvements with running and your overall efficiency. This information then feeds into the End Time Estimator feature that tells you when to expect to finish a race. On the more fun side of things, you can “relive” your workout with a short animated feature that shows snapshots from your route, including pace, distance, maximum heart rate, and approximate location.

You can also use the M400 to perform a fitness test. All you need to do is wear your watch for about five minutes while you lay down and the watch estimates your VO2max. This reading gives you a clearer picture of your fitness levels, and you can test over time to see how your score improves.

Not only does the Polar M400 track your activity but it also tracks your inactivity. During the day, if it notices you haven’t moved in about 50 minutes or so, it will send you a notification to get up and moving around. This alert can be helpful for people trying to add more movement into their day or just a good reminder to take a break from your computer and stretch a bit. The tracker also senses when you go to sleep and starts tracking your rest.

All this information is beneficial, but it can be overwhelming if you have never tracked your activity. Luckily, that’s where the Polar Flow app comes in and helps you organize everything. All your data will be stored and then synced with the app once you connect your tracker to your computer.

Polar Flow then organizes your information into charts, graphs, and calendars that are easy to read and analyze. It will show you improvements over time and give you insight on how to tweak your performance and get the best results for your goals.

Top Features and Specs

  • Built-in GPS- You don’t have to pair with your phone for GPS technology because the M400 has its own. That means less gear on your run or during your workout and accurate readings.
  • Comes with HRM- The Polar M400 comes with an HRM strap that provides some of the most accurate readings compared to other wrist sensor models. The HRM also allows you to see your beats per minute and adjust your intensity level accordingly.
  • 24/7 activity tracking- Not only do you get valuable feedback during your workout, but you can also see how your activity throughout the day adds up. This information can help people new to fitness maximize their results and athletes can see how their recovery and active periods affect their performance.
  • Waterproof- The M400 is waterproof up to 30 meters as well as internally waterproofed, so you can wear it while showering or swimming.
  • Polar Flow App- This app allows you to plan, sync, and share your training program and data through your phone or the website. Use this app to store your records and optimize your performance.
  • Personal Best Notifications- The Polar M400 will also track all your personal bests during workouts and then send you notifications when you break your records.
  • Memory & battery capacity- The tracker can store up to 30 hours of training with GPS and the HRM. The battery is rechargeable and depending on how you use it can last anywhere from 9 consecutive hours to 24 days.

What Customers are Saying

Alright, you know everything that the Polar M400 can do but how does it perform? Here are some of the things that customers have to say about this tracker.

The first things that customers love about the Polar M400 are the various sports profiles you can choose to customize your workout. You can change the profile to running, biking, swimming, indoor/outdoor, and more. This option makes the activity tracking and feedback much more accurate. The other feature that users enjoyed was the heart rate monitor.

Many users are long-time runners who had tried other fitness trackers with wrist sensors and felt that the chest strap more accurately showed their results. The built-in GPS was another huge plus and people liked that they didn’t have to bring their phones along on their run to link to GPS abilities.

There were a few complaints on some parts of the M400, mainly the software. Some customers found it hard to sync their tracker and computer, and it often took multiple tries to get it right. The syncing also took a little longer, and users wanted to be able to set up and get on with their workout faster. A few people also had issues with the inside of the USB port corroding but could send the watch in for repairs or get a brand-new watch without any problems.

Besides these issues, the M400 received excellent reviews. It was refreshing for many users to have a watch that focused so intently on fitness and performance rather than offer a ton of smartphone/smartwatch features. The tracking was dependable, the HRM added even more feedback to workouts, and it was easy to set up right out of the box.

The Verdict

If you want a fitness tracker that is specifically for fitness as well as improving your performance, then the Polar M400 is a good fit. It’s GPS abilities, accompanying HRM, 24/7 tracking, and additional sports profiles and features make it an excellent choice for athletes and weekend warriors alike. Plus, the Polar Flow app allows you to organize your information and use it to optimize your workouts and fitness.

Polar M400 GPS Smart Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (Black)

Usually ships in 4-5 business days
Last update was in: December 10, 2017 6:21 pm

$ 209.40

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