18 July 2017
Designed for Fitness & Sports
Customisable watch faces
Changeable silicone wristbands
in Black, White & Red
Water Resistant 10 meters, IPX8
4GB internal storage
MediaTek MT2601, Dual-Core 1.2GHz processor based on ARM Cortex-A7
240 x 240 pixels, 260ppi
Transmissive TFT display
Corning Gorilla® Glass 3
Android Wear 2.0, supports Android & iOS, 2 button control, Smart Notifications, Google Assist, Listen to music, GPS tracking, Smart Coach, Strava, Lifesum, Polar Flow, Customisable Sports Profile
Bluetooth® 4.2 Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, Glonass
500 mAh battery
Android : 2 days / 8 hours of training
iOS: 1 day / 8 hours of training
45 x 36 x 13
Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Gyroscope, Vibration motor, Microphone, HRM with 6 LED's
Accurate readings including GPS & HRM
Good battery life
Great fitness apps
Below par display
No auto detection
A look at the Polar M600, it features Android Wear 2.0 but what else has it got to offer?
Polar fitness trackers have always had a very sporty look, even though the Polar M600 is a Fitness Tracker / Smartwatch hybrid, Polar decided to steer away from the classic watch look you see on other hybrids and keep a design made for fitness and sports. The result is an understated stylish fitness tracker with smartwatch capabilities, though it is on the chunky side….. if you have small wrists you will notice it. That said it is very comfortable to wear with a soft silicone wristband and a standard watch clasp with multiple notches so you can get the perfect fit. The fitness tracker core easily pops out of the wristband, which comes in three colours – black, white and red, so you can change it when you want and fully clean the M600 after a strenuous workout. You can also customise the watch face with many options to choose from you can make the M600 your own. Part of the reason for the M600’s chunky design is it’s water resistant up to 10 meters, with an IPX8 rating, a feature we would like to see on all fitness trackers and something Polar does well. Overall the design is not ground-breaking and may not be for everyone, if you prefer a classic watch look that is, but I admire the fact that Polar has stuck with a sporty look and chosen function over style for it’s fitness tracker.
The Polar M600 comes with 4GB internal storage for applications and to store some music from Google Play and 512MB RAM to support the processor. You’d be right thinking that’s quite small but we’re not talking about a smartphone or tablet, you’ll find this is enough for the M600 and on par with most fitness trackers at this price point.
Polar has packed the M600 with a MediaTek MT2601, Dual-Core 1.2GHz processor based on ARM Cortex-A7. The MediaTek processor performs just as well as a Snapdragon processor we’ve seen in other fitness trackers / smartwatches. You will notice a little lag with some user interface but again this is common, thanks to the Android Wear 2.0 upgrade things are a little smoother. I did find the Polar Flow app was far smoother than other apps which isn’t surprising as it’s Polar’s own app, but noteworthy as you will probably find yourself using this app most.
The M600 comes with a 1.30″ touchscreen, a Transmissive TFT display with 240 x 240 pixels, 260ppi. What this breaks down to is a colourful display with enough detail to make the limited text and icons easy to read. However, you will find the colours look a little washed out when you’re outside and in direct sunlight the screen can be difficult to read which is not great news for those who like to work-out outside or go running. Also, you can see the screen scan lines, which can get annoying at times, Polar should have gone for a monochrome display if they didn’t want to add to the cost with a better colour display. The display is covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 3 meaning it’s quite tough and resistant against scuffs you’re likely to get in the gym.
Ease of Use
Usability – The Polar M600 now comes with Android Wear 2.0, the latest version of Android Wear which supports a wider range of functions and runs a lot smoother. The M600 supports Android and iOS devices, though with iOS the functionality and apps available are limited, to enjoy the M600 at it’s best you need to use it with an Android phone. The M600 comes with 2 button controls and a touchscreen which combined make for an easy user experience. The main control button sits at the front where you can activate your workout and the button on the left-hand side is to back-up between screens. The touchscreen is very responsive, registering each swipe with ease. The Polar M600 also enjoys smartwatch functionality, allowing you to receive Smart Notifications, viewing and replying to texts directly on the M600. You also have the added benefit of Google Assist, so while you’re out for a run and get a text to meet a friend just say ‘OK Google’ to the M600 and ask for directions, the M600 will take you there. As I mentioned earlier the Polar M600 does have some internal memory so you can download a playlist to the M600 and listen to music while you work out, just don’t expect to have a full library of music….. just a few of your favourite tunes that can be switched out with your phone when you want a change.
Fitness – One of the best features of the M600 is the Polar Flow app. You are prompted to download this app to your phone to sync up with the M600, once this is done you are set to go, there is also a desktop version if you want to view stats on your PC. However, you do not need your phone with you at all times as the M600 will show you your progress directly on the fitness tracker, for more detailed information you will need to consult your phone or desktop. Polar Flow is a feature rich fitness application that will rival the best on the market and is likely to switch many users once they begin to enjoy Polar Flow’s capability and usability, however the M600 does support third party apps if you want to stick with an old favourite for specific work-outs.
Polar Flow will not just track your steps, distance and calorie count for the day, though it does this well, it also has over 100 sports profiles to choose from. When you begin to use the M600 you should set up your own set of sports profiles, you can have 20 uploaded to the M600 at a time from jogging and cycling to football or rowing, if you want to add a new profile just use your phone to switch out a profile you’re currently not using and add the new one in. While you can get full details of certain profiles like distance, pace, speed for cycling, you cannot get in-depth detail for others like rowing. Polar M600 now has a swimming profile which I was very excited about, a feature a lot of fitness buffs will love, providing in-depth information like strokes per minute and which style of swimming you were doing.
Unfortunately the M600 does not automatically start recording data when you begin to exercise you need to press the centre control button and select the sports profile to begin recording. What the M600 does have however is full GPS tracking and a Heart Rate Monitor with 6 LED lights. All readings including HRM were very accurate, rivalling the best fitness trackers on the market. Polar uses all the data collected and with it’s Smart Coach advises if you are at a good level of overall fitness or what areas you need to work on. The insights are very good and relatable, this is a feature many fitness trackers are missing. The Polar M600 also monitors your sleep, this does activate automatically. The data gathered is quite limited, as you find in many fitness trackers, recording restfull sleep, restless sleep and time awake, however if you want more in depth data you can download a third party app.
The M600 supports Bluetooth® 4.2 Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS and Glonass, syncing up is quick and easy and you can update your sports profile within minutes.
Power & Battery
The Polar M600 comes with a 500 mAh battery that Polar states will give you up to 2 days of regular use including GPS and listening to music via Bluetooth, or about 8 hours of intense training with GPS tracking. This is quite accurate and depending on your daily usage you may get another day or two before you need to charge. Unfortunately with iOS this drastically reduces to approximately 1 day or 8 hours of training. This is disappointing for iOS but not surprising.
The M600 is quite chunky in design, it will sit a bit off your wrist and is also quite wide, those with smaller wrists will notice the larger size. That said it’s very comfortable to wear and not too heavy weighing a mere 63 grams.
Polar m600 white front HRMPolar m600 white front HRM
Polar m600 black front watch facePolar m600 black front watch face
Polar m600 black side angle time steps
Polar m600 white front runningPolar m600 white front running
Polar m600 black side angle time progressPolar m600 black side angle time progress
Polar m600 red white blackPolar m600 red white black
Polar m600 black white red wristbandsPolar m600 black white red wristbands
Polar m600 black front GPSPolar m600 black front GPS
Polar m600 black front GPS back HRMPolar m600 black front GPS back HRM
Polar m600 black back HRM LEDPolar m600 black back HRM LED
Polar m600 black back HRM LED lying downPolar m600 black back HRM LED lying down
Polar m600 black & white front HRMPolar m600 black & white front HRM
Polar m600 white side angle time stepsPolar m600 white side angle time steps