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Hands on with the Polar M600: The ultimate fitness-centric smartwatch is just a little too big

Florence Ion | Aug. 4, 2016
Looking to measure your gains? This could be the perfect smartwatch for doing so if you don't mind its bulky, bro-y design.

The Polar smartwatch also employs six LEDs on the bottom of the case for more accurate optical heart-rate monitoring. This compares to the dual LED set-up that most other watches use. I tried it out for myself and the darn heart-rate monitor gave away how anxious I get during briefings. I had no idea my heart beats so fast when I’m on the job!

The M600 runs on a 500 mAh battery, which the company says should last up to 48 hours on one charge if you’re using the watch with an Android phone. (iPhone users will see battery life of up to 24 hours because of the lack of Bluetooth LE optimization.) Like most other Android Wear watches, it features the traditional on/off side button, though there’s also an easy access button the front of the device that you can press when you’re ready to start a work out.

This isn’t Polar’s first dance with wearables. The company already offers an extensive line of fitness tracking devices, including the V800 smartwatch, which is widely used by professional athletes around the world. It’s likely that Polar kept the M600 simplistic so that there’s some unity among its product lineup, but I would have liked to see at least another color option and a thinner chassis to make it stand out from the rest of it siblings.

A trainer on your wrist

polar m600 2
Florence Ion

The Polar Flow app that comes preloaded on the M600 is already available in the Play Store.

Polar hopes that its app will be what reels you in. The M600 comes preloaded with a companion app called Polar Flow, which you can peak at in the Google Play Store. The app is only compatible with Polar’s fitness trackers, so you can’t use with just any Android Wear watch.

Polar Flow tracks all sorts of activities, including running, hiking, swimming, yoga, and cross-country skiing. The idea is that if your body can do it, the app should be able to track it. The app tracks active time, burned calories, steps walked, and sleep patterns (though I can't imagine sleeping with it on). It also offers a quick overview of your training and analyzes performance over time. I was impressed at the variety of activity offerings available in the Flow app, but I can’t speak to how functional it is when paired with a regimented training routine just yet. I’ll definitely be trying that out when the M600 comes in for review.

Clearly not for everyone 

The M600 is geared up for the rigidly trained athlete who relies on numbers to quantify their physical improvements and wants other app functionality. But for the average Joe who just wants to track his steps, there’s a whole Play Store filled with other Android Wear offerings that are more stylish, and more comfortable to wear. 

Perhaps all the functionality of the Polar M600 is totally worth the sacrifice of bulking up your wrist, but we won’t be able to tell until we try out the smartwatch for ourselves when it launches later this year.

 

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