Polar is catching up!  GPS RF sports watch M400 HR for more than the entry (incl. Activity Tracker as Loop).  Compare M400 vs.  V800.

Polar is catching up! GPS RF sports watch M400 HR for more than the entry (incl. Activity Tracker as Loop). Compare M400 vs. V800.

Polar training computers M400 HR (equipment)

Customer Review

The M400 is a new GPS Running Watch Polar RF with many benefits at an affordable price! The price-performance package of the new Polar M400 HR as GPS RF Sport computer is remarkable: a GPS clock, including Activity Tracker (corresponding to the Polar Loop) with fully revolving textile heart rate belt and aufknöpfbarem Bluetooth transmitter (H7) for under 199 euros (RRP ). Without HR belt and transmitters there are the M400 alone for 40 euros less (the H7 Bluetooth transmitter can be purchased separately at any time later separately).

Conclusion: The M400 is an ideal introduction for runners (inside) and cyclists who want a GPS monitoring and recording their activities. The online price for the M400 (without HR belt), the (probably for racers in much more attractive) white or black is available, is now below 150 euros. Before buying you maybe should ever take a look at the websites of the Arctic Flow web service, since there the (running) activities are stored for retrieval and analysis later. Without account the flow-Web, the M400 can namely after initial power not take properly into operation at the factory is only the English-language menu structure on the clock and an update to the latest firmware for the M400 as with almost all newer running watches first necessity.

Although Polar took a long time with the siblings M400 / V800 in autumn 2014 on the market to be (similar to Garmin already in the fall of 2013 with the FR 220 / FR 620), but the result is convincing! For less money than the V800 provides Polar with the M400, a new GPS heart rate watch, which - including the integrated activity trackers - many features of its big sister V800 in simpler "packaging" brings (no metal casing no Gorilla glass as the V800) , Function and high-quality display of M400 are comparable in many respects with the V800. However, as the sensor only the Bluetooth heart rate sensor H7 can be coupled, but not one of the many other external Polar sensors (such Fußpod, wheel sensor). Who needs it, needs the V800! The bracelet is structured differently and something for smaller wrists probably better than the bracelet V800, where much of the bracelet is suitable even stiffer part of the V800-housing. Curious, we bought a production model of the M400 immediately after delivery and at times parallel to the V800, which also helped us a few months available, tested. The M400 remains as Zweituhr in use, it can nevertheless something that the Garmin-top models so can not: the famous Polar Fitness Test based on heart rate fluctuations alone. And when finally a compatible Android app is then available, we want to later teamwork for other current family members test (after reset of the clock with its own flow account).

Does a (e) ambitious (r) runners (in) a heart rate GPS Running Watch the latest generation? Certainly not mandatory - even with a simple stopwatch cross-country and speed performance can be trained. But, also we like the fundamental heart rate control and simultaneous GPS evaluation already during the run (pace, distance) and storage in the internet log (Flow Polar or Garmin Connect - depending Running Watch or manufacturer).

We have the Arctic M400 since October 2014 immediately upon availability some weeks used (after completion of the marathon season 2014) parallel to the polar V800 and Garmin fenix 2 in training and in particular also compared the results of Garmin and Polar-run analyzes in coaching amateur athletes. Experience was available: since 2005, so more than a decade, has the runners over the years at national and international city runs and marathons different heart rate Runing (in addition to simple Polar models F4, F6, F11 standard training in competitions, the Polar S410 , S625X, each with various polar-foot running sensors) and GPS Running Watches (previously used in combination RCX5 Garmin Forerunner 101, 205, 610, 220, 620, Fenix ​​2).

=== Polar M400: the main features ===
Positive:
+, In the clock built-in GPS functionality for displaying and recording of speeds and distances, or "Back-to-start" to transfer in the direction of the starting point
+ Elegant simple design in black or white, that looks good not only in training but also in leisure and office,
+ Very easy to read inverted display (white on black), read very well in the dark with backlight,
+ Satellite be found quickly (eg used the AssistNow satellite prediction technology to predict satellite positions after the first detection to three days, which is to enable a new satellite detection in about 10 seconds)
+ Built Activity Tracker (corresponding Polar Loop) around the clock (24/7), is characterized by means of 3D sensors active movements of the clock on the wrist on (also sleep quality) and calculates "steps"
+ Water-resistant to 30 m (despite special Micro-USB port!),
+ Weight: 56 grams,
+ Audible alarms,
+ Time display in different modes can be selected (also analog)
+ Diverse network connectivity: wired computers with Micro-USB charging cable (such as the smartphone!) And wirelessly with Bluetooth (via smartphone app)
+ The bracelet can always be replaced.

Mixed:
o a German-language manual is available as a PDF file (even before buying the clock), but is not supplied,
o Android users can synchronize the computer via USB charging cable; the Polar Flow app for Android is still not compatible with M400 (or V800) to Dec. 2014
o the Polar web service flow even after twelve months online end of 2014 still officially "beta"
o the Aktivtitäts tracker used as a unit while "steps", but these are calculated steps, the clock is not a pedometer)
o no vibration alerts (such as V800), only audio signals (eg for 1-km-Laps or interval ends)
o Battery life in GPS mode with RF sensor "only" up to 8 hours ("slow" marathon runners should always go with a fully charged clock on the route).

Negatives:
- Firmware update only after establishment of a Polar-flow account possible (but no account does the use of the clock in any case only half as much sense)
- On the Polar web service flow is not indicated or stored in the diary entries of sports activities, with which Polar device that records were made (eg Polar M400, Apple App Polar Beat)
- A lack of rapid and variable programming of interval training without PC only on the clock is a weak point and the M400 (Polar: "You can split your training in phases and each set a different target duration and intensity for each stage (...). Remember to synchronize your training goals of the Arctic Flow Web service at the FlowSync software or the Flow app with your M400. If you do not syncing, they are only visible in your journal or in the Favorites list in the Arctic Flow Web. ").

=== Latest Polar models M400, V800 and Loop compared ===

Polar model ________________________ M400_______V800_______Loop

GPS________________________________ja__________ja_________nein
Distance (training, lap, trip and total) ___ ja___________ja_________nein
Back to Start____________________ja___________ja_________nein
Target time estimate ____________________ ja_________nein_________nein
Race pace________________________nein___________ja_________nein
Heart rate (with RF sensor H7) ________ ja__________ja___________ja
Heart rate (HR) in Wasser_________nein__________ja_________nein
RF training zones ____________________ ja__________ja_________nein
Trainingsnutzen______________________ja__________ja_________nein
Training load (Load) ______________ ja__________ja_________nein
Running Index________________________ja__________ja_________nein
Polar Fitness Test (VO2max) ____________ ja__________ja_________nein
Polar OwnCal (Smart Calories) ___________ ja__________ja__________ja
24/7-Aktivitiätstracking _________________ ja__________ja__________ja
Activity Guide_________________________ja________nein__________ja
Inactivity Alert________________________ja_________nein__________ja
GPS Chipset _______________________ u-blox ________ SiRF
Operating time in hours. (With GPS and HF) _____ 8_________13
Battery (Lithium polymer, in mAh) _______ 190________350
Data storage for hours. (With GPS and HF) ___ 30________60
Display____________________________Plastik_______Glas
Bluetooth_____________________________ja_________ja
Thinness ("thickness" in mm) ____________ 12_________13
Weight (in grams) ____________________ 56_________79

(Sources: manufacturer, Polar Comparison Tool, your own research;
all information to the best of our knowledge)

= Wired Data Synchronization =
The M400 was the first Polar clock a waterproof Micro-USB connector, where the Polar charging cable can be used for charging and syncing the PC (no special loading clamp longer necessary!). But, to charge the clock reaches the power pack with micro-USB connector of standard smartphones. The Polar M400 transmits to the PC via Polar FlowSync software all their records (activities such as courses and fitness tests) to the protected user account of the internet portal Polar Flow web service. At the same software (firmware) updates are loaded for the clock from the network and update on the M400.

= Wireless synchronization with Bluetooth and Polar Flow app =
News for Arctic M400 (and the V800) and the Polar Loop Activity Tracker Polar has the smartphone app Polar Flow developed the works for months for Apple smartphones. While Android users now see an Android app, but this is still not in December 2014 compatible with M400 or V800. A disappointment for Android users in the face of the Android market share. After one-time coupling of the clock with the smartphone is later with active Bluetooth connection on your smartphone and invoked Polar Flow app to press only the BACK-pushers at the M400 long and it begins Bluetooth Synchronization (great feature!).

=== Km accuracy of GPS recording (compare M400 and V800) ===
The accuracy of the GPS-based distance measurement of the M400 is specified by Polar with plus / minus 2 percent (see. Manual), so possible 200 meters on a 10-km route. We have several test runs 10-16 km by three clocks run at arm simultaneously measured (M400, V800, Fenix ​​2) - has never been deviations which deviate more than 1 percent from the average of all three watches. The manufacturer's information is confirmed as the upper limit for all our runs outdoors (but may possibly differ in dense forest or urban area with high-rise buildings). This coincides with the usual experience that determines the running magazine Runner's World in issue 4/2014 on the same subject ("presumptuous claims", p.78): "different GPS watches show almost never at the same distance." Upper tester and editor Urs Weber is there further stated: "GPS watches of the latest generation (...) measure the actual length of the route much more accurate (plus / minus 200 meters with a ten-kilometer run course, as our experience value) than any runner they can assess ". So RW derives also from an empirical value of about plus / minus 2 percent.

At the suggestion of some readers we documented by way of example, the measured GPS distances from various training runs, the Fenix ​​in the months of Nov. / December 2014 and Jan 2015, the Arctic M400, temporarily also the Polar V800 and the Garmin 2 (F2) were conducted , In all cases were the inaccuracies of the measured total distance is always well below the specified polar uncertainty of maximum 2 percent. The paths of fidelity GPS tracks that have been shown to Polar Flow, has always been very high - even in sharp turns and return on the same path runs along the Rhine. When changing locations (greater than 600 km) had their satellite position always within one minute redetermined (in quiet location on the doorstep before the start of a run) and the M400. We see no significantly poorer GPS features of M400 as for example the V800, although the M400 is actually always measures the shortest of distances (coincidence?).
>> Training run standard route (Cologne Rhine)
* 12/2014: M400: 11.20 km, f2: 11.34 km; Difference: 70 m, variation around average: less than 1%.
* 12/2014: M400: 11.23 km, f2: 11.26 km; Difference: 15 m, variation around average: less than a quarter percent.
* 11/2014: M400: 11.19 km, f2 11.25 km, V800: 11.32 km; max. Difference: 130 m, max. Variation to mean: less than 1%.
>> Training run (parts Bonner Bridge Round)
* 11/2014: M400: 15,90 km, f2: 16.11 km, V800: 16.05 km; max. Difference: 210 m, max. Variation to mean: less than 1%.
>> Training run incl. Mountain (at 1000m altitude in the Swiss Jura high incl. 275 meters of altitude difference)
* 01/2015: M400: 10.10 km, f2: 10.18 km; Difference: 80 m, variation around average: less than 1%.

=== Return to the starting point ("back-to-Start") ===
The M400 has a great special feature that allows for occasional runners into unknown territory (eg in a (European) city, in America) "free" running experiences. If you went just wide (eg on a discovery tour in a strange city or along a river course) and not want to walk all the way back (or it is unlikely that you will find the exact way back), allowed the "back-to-start" feature a display of direction and distance in a straight line to the starting point of the run. Warning: this function should try before! It only works on the move - and as long as the battery lasts. To call (ie during running) must be in the Training view the Light button (top left) long be pressed to bring up the Quick menu. Under the menu item "location guide. Power." must be confirmed (during running in the background exercise recording) the selection with the start button, which is "switched position guiding arrow" with confirmed. The M400 then switches to view "back-to-Start". This is a bit complicated and not always easy to find during the race (times we succeeded, sometimes not).

Alternatively, "back-to-Start" are added to the M400 displays: to the Polar Flow web service under Sport profiles for the M400 at the field "Run", click "Edit" at the point "Device-related", "M400", "Training Views "the box under" Back to Start "provided with a hook (click). After that, the M400 synchronized iseren on PC. From now on the back-to-start-up screen can be displayed at any time during Druchblättern through the screens - this is helpful! (Garmin had this feature is in 2011 featured Garmin Forerunenr 610 - but saved in the result in 2013 at his watch couple FR220 / FR620). Glad Polar she maintains even when the small model M400.

=== Polar Fitness Test (VO2max estimation) ===
Polar leads with its top running watches already for a decade the sophisticated fitness test (as "OwnIndex" provision already in introduced in 2003 S410 to find), which is based on an evaluation of the measured heart rate variability at rest, for the one about Must be 6 more minutes quietly. Basically, already Studies from the early 1990s, currently refer to which Polar and Firstbeat Technologies (Garmin), the relationship between maximum oxygen uptake VO2max and heart rate variability. The Polar clock determines the index every time and date on the basis of a daily current (idle) situation. Current heart rate-based evaluations also make the Polar chest strap and -RF transmitter further required; the running watches TomTom and adidas (miCoach) that determine without chest strap heart rate via infrared near the wrist must renounce the ECG accurate evaluation of the heart beats.

The fitness test of the M400 makes it possible, according to the Arctic (see. M400 Manual), easy, safe and fast to measure aerobic (cardiovascular) fitness at rest. The result is used to evaluate aerobic fitness. The index is in healthy adults by long-term training workload, heart rate and heart rate variability at rest, gender, age, size and body weight influenced (more on this in the manual). For optimum comparability, it makes sense to the fitness test under unchanging conditions at rest (with no disturbing noises, for. Example, television, radio or telephone) to carry out, for example, early in the morning before getting up.

On the M400 the test under test is> Fitness test starts Start> Relax & Test. Recognizing the scale and Heart Rate Strap sensor and end of the test (after 6 minutes) is acoustically confirmed. We carry out the Polar Fitness Test with different running clocks by about 10 years, there is for domestic use of amateur athletes today with the M400 is no better method of measurement which is so inexpensive. At the end of the test, a description of the fitness test results and the estimated VO2max value is displayed and can be stored in the clock. The result is entered in the synchronization Running Watch as a separate entry in the activity calendar of the Arctic Flow Web Services and can later be checked and evaluated. Unfortunately, there is not noted that Polar device has taken the test (the Polar Beat App can do that, but does not allow the necessary classification of training load). The correct input of the training load, eg "regularly (1-3 h / week)" or "Often (3-5 hours / week)" is important and has a significant impact (about 10-20 percent) on earnings.

Even more than the absolute value of the time course of the fitness test value or VO2max estimation for training development ("coaching") of the athlete is relevant. A unique selling point of the Arctic, not only in the top model V800, which also offers other tests, but already in the M400!

=== === Running Index
If the M400 used with activated GPS recording and RF measurement while running, are the clock at the end of the Running activity - as well as the V800 - a "Running Index" and an assessment of the barrel ("good", "very good" , "excellent"). From the long-term analysis of various runs of Running Index can be using the manual forecasts for different distances (10 km, half marathon, marathon) read.

=== The write the other: pro-tests (for information) ===
* The Runner's World magazine, presents the Polar M400 as Product of the Month in their (German) Issue 1/2015 ago: "The clock that does it all." Chief tester Urs Weber holds this fixed "would be a little less better. (...) Especially for slender wrists. The display is easy to read, the clock sits on slender arm better than the V800. The battery pack (...) . keeps for about a week (...) Built-in GPS: The measurements were (...) extremely accurately and the GPS signal found most quickly ".
* On the large German Running Blog Achim-Achilles.de writes Frank Joung:. "Our rapid test has really convinced us - and surprised because for around 200 euros (with heart rate measurement) get a really good runner GPS clock with the most common functions and nice workout -Features. (...) Polar has here produced a winning combination of activity and sleep tracker, everyday and GPS clock. And the ideal place for a price at which you can not complain. Especially for beginners, but also ambitious runners suitable. "
* Thomas Rottenberg, running journalist and bloggers ("rotting runs") of the Austrian daily newspaper Der Standard describes the M400 as applicable "high end of the middle class".
(Note .: Amazon removes links, so only information about googling).

=== === A Final Word
Sounds, text, images - critically, independently, often "on the run" - our motto. Should these lines be useful in orientation and possible purchase decision, thank the reviewer for an appreciative clicking on "helpful". For additions, questions and comments is the comment channel available.

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