Finnish technology outfit Polar has just announced its newest smartwatch, the M600. Built around Google's Android Wear smartwatch platform, the new unit features Polar’s wrist-based, 6-LED heart rate system with built in GPS/GLONASS, Bluetooth, 24/7 activity tracking, and Polar Flow for Android Wear.
- New FitBit Surge with wrist heart-rate detection auto-uploads to Strava
- Garmin VivoActive GPS smartwatch review
- Garmin Edge 520 vs Polar M450
The M600 has a waterproof rating of IPX8, and Polar says it's suitable for swimming down to 10-metres. It’s claimed to weigh 63g and gets a 1.3in / 33mm full-colour Gorilla Glass touch display.
Interestingly the claimed battery life differs when the watch is connected to an Android smartphone or iPhone; Android users get two days battery life while Apple users get only one. However, Polar claims the M600 will last eight hours during an activity regardless of your smartphone preference.
Android users also get access to Android Wear functionality, which includes voice control, customisable watch faces, receiving calendar notifications, reading and replying to text messages, scrolling through social media feeds and access to 4,000 third party apps through the Google Play store.
The M600 comes with 4GB of internal storage, which allows users to sync their music through Google Play and listen without their smartphone ― there doesn’t appear to be a headphone port so you’ll likely need Bluetooth headphones too.
For Apple users, the Android wear app is available on iOS and offers access to Google apps, like Google Weather and Calendar, but third party apps like Strava won't be available. That said, based on what we know from other Android wear devices paired with iPhones, the M600 should be able to display notifications from most apps that appear in the notifications centre.
It's all built-in
Polar has also revamped its optical heart rate sensor — the M600's sensor, which features six LED’s. By shining light on to the wearer's skin the watch measures the reflection and plugs the information into a proprietary algorithm to determine heart rate. Polar doesn’t mention 24/7 heart rate anywhere in the press materials however, so we’re assuming the M600 won’t have this feature at launch.
As with other Polar units, the M600 will sync with the Polar Flow app which also allows for access to Polar's Smart Coaching features. Despite most of its functionality being designed for runners, workouts can be loaded into the device with parameters set for time, distance, or race pace targets, or phased targets with heart rate or speed/pace guidance. During the activity the M600 will offer real-time feedback on the display as well as audio and vibration alerts.
The device also comes with support for over one hundred sport profiles, which can be managed through the Polar Flow web service.
In addition to the built in GPS/GLONASS, gyroscope, and accelerometer, the M600 can connect to Polar’s own H7 heart rate sensor via Bluetooth. Although there's no mention of support for third party sensors, speed and cadence, or power meters. It also seems the M600 does not get Go Pro metric overlay functionality at launch.
The M600 is available for pre-order now and is set to retail for £264.50 / US$329 / AU$499. At launch the watch will come in Charcoal Black and Powder White, with a Polar Red changeable wristband available later this year.