Polar M200 Gps Running Watch Review: When it comes to smartwatches, you have a lot of options. While most smartwatch makers try to be an “all-trades expert” by bundling tons of features into one compact device, they generally fall a bit short in each department. Polar takes a different approach to watching technology. They focus on a few main features, making sure they are best in class.
Polar products are used primarily by runners. When you train, you want to keep track of your heart rate, distance, and time. Small variations in any of those metrics can have a pretty big impact on your career success. The main problem is that very few smartwatches can accurately measure heart rate. Sure, they can make a pretty good guess. But when you’re the fitness program designed around that reading, you can’t afford any mistakes.
Polar M200 Gps Running Watch Review
We have already taken a look at your M600 GPS smartwatch and determined that it is the best smartwatch for runners. Today, they have decided to slim down this premium model and create a fitness tracker that has all the essential features you need at an affordable price. Let’s see if this inexpensive product can meet the high standard set by Polar.
With its soft rubber band, the Polar M200 GPS Running Watch certainly looks durable. The design is modest and focuses on simplicity rather than opulence. The black model looks no different than any other standard runner’s watch, while the red model stands out a bit more. The watch face features a black bezel with indicated heart rate values around the dial, while the center contains a circular LCD display. The entire face of the watch is black, and the inverted LCD certainly adds to the sleek look. Turning it over will expose the impressive optical heart rate monitor. Let’s take a look and see how it works.
The band is simple and well-designed. It is made from a soft rubber material that feels surprisingly good on the wrist. There is certainly a bit of pressure, but not much more than you would expect from a standard watch. Some may shy away from a rubber watch strap after the unpleasant experience of inexpensive rubber watches pulling hair from their arms. Fortunately, Polar used a much softer rubber, so the watch feels great on the arm. Because it is a bit stretchy, you can adjust it a bit more than other watches, if you like. This is great for high-intensity workouts, and you won’t have a loose watch slipping around your wrist.
Controls and interface
Using the Polar M200 is easy. There are two buttons located on the left and right sides of the watch. The right button functions as the “enter” button on your computer, while the left button performs navigation functions.
From the main screen, you can scroll through all the different modes. To select any of the modes, all you need to do is press the right button. Every time you want to exit, you will need to press and hold the navigation button to return to the main menu. Since each mode has different functions that you can choose from, the long press allows you to interact with your watch without accidentally closing your current workout.
The screen is very clear, even in bright lighting conditions. Large fonts are used so you can always see your current heart rate, even during a run. The interface is quite simple due to the low-resolution screen. Fortunately, wearing the watch is simple enough that you never get confused.
The running watch is great for tracking all your data, but it only gives you very simple information. Once you connect it to the Polar Flow software, it becomes clear how useful this watch is for running.
You can review all your previous workouts and see incredible details about them. You will see a map with your race route marked. Your run will be divided into laps or miles, allowing you to see the changes in your heart rate and speed over time. You will be provided with breakdowns showing how much time was spent doing low, medium, or high-intensity exercises. The app will use this data to help you see your progress over time and give you in-depth access to every detail of your training.
The Polar Flow app can also be used to customize its interface. The watch can display two values in each mode. For example, you may want to show the number of miles you have run and your current heart rate. But you can change this display to just about anything you want, from calories burned, speed, total time, average heart rate, etc. The list is endless, and it’s great that they allow you to find the information you need at a quick glance.
Almost all fitness trackers on the market use older heart rate monitoring technology that produces rather mediocre results. But optical trackers are a bit more advanced. Two LEDs light up against your skin, and an advanced optical sensor measures how light is scattered through the bloodstream. This means that even if the sensor is moving, it will still be able to measure your heart rate accurately rather than misinterpreting environmental factors.
Having the sensor pressed against your skin is important, which is why this watch is worn a little tighter. But technology still needs to be able to filter out the noise and make sure it’s only reading the correct information. If any company can do this, it is Polar. They have been making heart rate monitors for years; some of them are even sold for medical purposes. The combination of the well-designed sensor and its proprietary filtering software means that this is the most accurate heart rate sensor on the market.
There are several ways that the Polar running watch can improve your fitness, and each of these ways can be found in the main menu. You have 5 different modes to choose from: training, activity tracking, history, and My HR.
Training is probably the watch’s most impressive and useful feature. You can use one of their pre-designed training programs from the Polar Flow app or create one on your own. For example, a training program may require you to start with a moderate intensity run, increase to high intensity, and then go to low intensity for a cool down.
Others, like burst training, require you to run as fast as you can for short periods of time, followed by a period of rest. When in training mode, your watch will show you the target and your current measurement. It can be distance, time, or any other metric set by your program. This is a very motivating form of running and can be a strong incentive to push yourself.
Activity tracking simply shows your current heart rate with no particular goals or targets. You can choose another metric to display at the top of the screen, such as time or number of laps. History allows you to compare your current heart rate, distance, or time with your last workout. My heart rate mode simply shows your current heart rate and is used as an indicator only.
So should you get the Polar M200?
The Polar M200 GPS Running Watch is the cheapest way to get it if you want an accurate heart rate measurement. The training functions are a great motivator, and the GPS is certainly a bonus. Thanks to Polar Flow, all the data collected can be used to help you better understand your workouts and identify ways you can improve them. Polar may not be one of the best-known smartwatch brands, but it is a well-known fitness brand. People all over the world turn to Polar products when they are serious about their health. Thanks to the M200 GPS running watch, its top-notch heart rate monitor is now available to everyone.
If you’re looking for the full smartwatch experience, then the M200 may disappoint. This watch sticks to the basics, without a lot of extra features. For a more luxurious experience, you may want to check out its M600 version. It takes everything that makes the M200 great and adds the full Android Wear experience.
Whichever you choose, you will certainly appreciate the high level of quality. Personal activity trackers are often built just to be “good enough,” but the M200 refuses to cut corners with your health.
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