Want to get fit but feeling unmotivated? Then maybe it’s time to meet your new favourite running buddy.
With integrated GPS, a heart rate monitor, training guide and all manner of fitness tracking wrapped up in a neat little package, the Polar M200 is ready and willing to get out there and hit the open road. Whether it’s a 5km jog around the block or a full marathon, this durable sports watch is primed to help you meet your running goals.
A personal trainer on your wrist
When paired with Polar Flow’s Running Program, the M200 acts almost like a personal trainer, without the shouting: coaching and encouraging you during runs, adapting to your performance and bringing you closer to your goals. When in training mode, the watch shows you the objective and your current measurement (distance, time, or any other metric set), encouraging you to push yourself.
Once you set your steps goal, you can see the percentage you’ve walked at a glance from the numerical values on the bezel. This tracker resets every day, so if it’s 8pm and you’re still 20% short, time to take the stairs instead of the lift.
It also lights up, beeps and vibrates whenever you reach an automatic lap (each mile or whatever distance you choose to set in the app), showing a quick glimpse of your last mile’s average pace and heart rate. And while you might miss the beep if you’re plugged in to music, the vibration alerts you to the mile mark. This small but powerful feature can be extremely motivating, especially for runners trying to reach a new goal.
Minimal style, maximum comfort
Finally, a waterproof sports watch that looks as good as it works. The M200’s design is minimalist, focusing on simplicity and functionality but with enough edge to make it a stylish companion to any workout gear. Things are kept super sleek with a circular inverted LCD making up the screen of the watch, which is surrounded by a black bezel with heart rate values.
If you think the M200 trades in comfort points for looks, think again. The soft rubber material feels great on the wrist, and is stretchy enough to strap on a little tighter than other wearables — a bonus for high intensity workouts if you don’t want your watch sliding around. The band is interchangeable and comes in five colours — Charcoal Black, Bright Red, White, Fresh Blue and Mellow Yellow.
Stay connected on the go
More than just a fitness tracker, the wearable connects to your smartphone and vibrates whenever there are incoming calls, messages, calendar alerts, and social media notifications. During training you can see who's calling and decide if you want to pick up or keep on enjoying your workout. You can also define which notifications you wish to receive or turn off notifications altogether.
Plus, if it notices you've been a couch-potato for too long, the M200 encourages you to get up and move. It also vibrates when a notification comes through from the Polar Flow app so you can check on your progress immediately.
No brainer to use
The M200’s display is clear with large fonts, and when in training mode, the screen lights up automatically when you turn your wrist to look at its face. This is awesome especially under direct sunlight, so there’s no need to squint or break your stride just to check the time.
Navigation is a breeze, with two primary buttons on the watch. Scroll through the different modes from the main screen, and press the navigation button (on the right) to select. When you want to exit, press and hold the navigation button for three seconds to return to the main menu. Since each mode has different functions, the long press lets you interact with the watch without accidentally closing your current workout.
At this affordable price tag, you’ll be hard pressed to find another smartwatch that boasts the kind of tech that’s packed into the M200. At the forefront is Polar’s proprietary optical heart rate measurement — two LEDs illuminated against your skin, with an advanced optical sensor.
Even if the sensor is moving around, it’s still able to filter out noise and ensure it’s not misreading environmental factors. Honestly, we wouldn’t expect anything less from a company with such a rich history of heart rate monitoring.
On a full charge, the M200 offers six hours of training time with integrated GPS and optical heart-rate monitoring. Charging is kept simple by popping out the watch face from the strap and plugging it directly into any USB port.
Track the things that matter
You can set up different sport profiles in the Polar Beat app, which then sets the parameters for the relevant data you’ll require for those activities. For example, a running profile will automatically set the watch to track GPS and heart rate, while an indoor sport like boxing will leave out the GPS.
When you’re done with your workout, scroll through the watch to find out information on steps, distance, duration, average heart rate, heart rate max, average pace, pace max and calories burnt. You can also choose which metric you prefer to be shown at the top of the display, such as time or number of laps, while history allows you to compare your current data to the one from your last workout.
With all of the above in mind it’s clear that the Polar M200 offers a powerful fitness tracker to get you up and exercising at a price that won’t punish your pocket.