Polar M430 GPS Running Watch
|Price:||$175.00 - $334.65|
|Sale:||Lower price available on select options|
- Compatible with PC Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and later,Compatible with Mac OS X 10.6, OS X 10.7, OS X 10.8, and later
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From the manufacturer
Track your workouts, analyze your progress and achieve more with Polar Flow – the complete fitness and training platform available on desktop and mobile.
Polar Flow helps you plan, sync and analyze your workouts, follow your long-term progress, find training inspiration and customize your Polar M430 to fit your needs.
GPS Running Watch
Chase your destiny with Polar M430, an advanced sports watch for runners who want more.
Polar M430 is packed with features that a dedicated runner looks for in a watch. Set your goals and crush them with this waterproof powerhouse.
- Wrist-based heart rate
- Integrated GPS
- Indoor running metrics
- Polar Running Program
- 24/7 activity & sleep tracking
Polar Fitness Test
Test your aerobic fitness level without any sweating in just 5 minutes with Polar’s wrist-based heart rate solution.
Polar Fitness Test
Wrist-based heart rate
Track your heart rate from the wrist easily and comfortably with Polar’s optical heart rate solution.
Track your pace, distance, altitude and route.
Indoor running metrics
Track your pace and distance indoors on the track or the treadmill with the built-in accelerometer.
Polar Running Program
Train for a running event with a personalized, adaptable running plan.
State-of-the-art running metrics, advanced GPS and the freedom of optical heart rate technology Proprietary heart rate algorithm and 6 LED optical sensors built into the watch Wrist based heart rate monitor - no chest strap required The latest in GPS and accelerometer technology to track your speed, distance and pace Records your steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep includes interval timers, stopwatch, and finish time estimator Scientifically- validated Smart Coaching tools Multiple GPS recording options for extended battery life, capable of up to 30 hours of training timeConnect via Bluetooth Smart to see notifications from your mobile phone directly on your screenTrack your training and activity, analyze your progress and achieve more with the Polar Flow app the complete fitness and training platform available on desktop and mobile
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Top customer reviews
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Cons: the initial setup, poor customer support, and frequent sync errors. (More on this below.)
Delivery was extremely fast, but setting up the watch was a real pain. I tried it twice via phone (Android), failed both times at firmware update, having lost the Bluetooth signal (why does a product that's being sold for two days need a new firmware is another question). Finally I connected it to a computer where the setup, update and sync completed in a reasonable amount of time, and I only had to resync once because of some error.
The watch itself looks nice; similar to the M400 but different enough with its smoother touch and new wristband. If you had an M400 before, there won't be surprises, the menu is practically the same.
I'm yet to try it in action, when the pain of setup will have dwindled.
Update #1: now that I have used it in action, one more star. The M430 is just great, the fifth star is missing due to it taking three attempts to sync.
It is lighter than the M400, and while a couple of extra holes in the band don't seem to achieve much, it does help with the sweating.
The heart rate is more accurate than it was on the M200 (smooth raises and drops on the graph as I pedaled up slope and downhill, instead of noticing halfway that "hey, looks like we're doing something, let's crank it up from 90 to 155" ), even with indoor training where the wrist isn't in a predictable position like it is when running.
The buttons are quick to react, the menu is easy to use.
Finally, the silent (buzzing) alarm is here. Being an early raiser married to a late sleeper, a quiet way to wake up is cherished.
And now to the GPS.
Is it accurate? Probably is. It measures the same distance my other watches measured, give or take a few meters. But... It finds a GPS signal instantly. Right away. No waiting.
Remember when on cold, dark late autumn mornings you had to wait for a minute or two in the icy rain and wind for the GPS signal? Or when you wanted to measure the distance from the supermarket to your doorstep to prove it is *exactly* one mile*, and your husband and sister politely laughed at you while you waited for your watch to find that signal? Never again!
To summarize: set it up using a computer, be patient with the phone sync, enjoy the watch.
Update#2: Attached is how a 6k run looks with the good old H7 sensor, vs the M430. There are differences, but they are minor, and the two graphs are practically the same.
Update#3: as expected, the HR accuracy is somewhat worse during weightlifting-type activities. (attached a second picture) Here I did some front- and back squats, followed by four minutes of deadlifts alternating with burpees (during which I placed the phone recording the H7 on a nearby shelf that was too far for this Bluetooth protocol, hence the gaps). The proportions are more or less there, but the numbers differ significantly. This is something I was expecting following my adventures with the M200; the accuracy improves with the band being tightened just the right way, and if one manages to sweat moderately, but (a) few are lucky enough to remain fresh and dry after 30 deadlifts and burpees (b) even then it is far from accurate.
If you want accuracy, go with the chest sensor.
I'll try biking next.
The watch stopped syncing. It connects, then claims that sync is completed after 1-2 seconds. I have to plug it into a computer. Disappointing.
After reinstalling the Polar Flow client, it syncs again, who knows for how long.
I think I figured out the sync issue. For whatever reason, the phone app switches the device off after every couple of syncs. Switching it on again (Settings - Devices) usually helps; if it doesn't, connect the watch to a computer or reinstall the app.
I'd like to mention how poor support from Polar was. I reported the sync issue to them, detailing all the troubleshooting steps I took; they responded after several days with a canned response suggesting some troubleshooting steps - some I wrote them to have tried already (wasn't even the full list), and nothing since.
The final verdict is 3 stars.
First, I use this for running (road running). I'm not into all the fitness biometric craze (ie fit-bits making up crap data about number of steps knowing I can't prove it wrong so I'll just nod and believe the number it happily displays...). I wanna know how far and how fast I'm running, both afterwards and while I'm running. Id just don't want a pile of data like fitness bands, I want accurate information at the point when I will use it. (i.e. pace as I run my usual route so I can decide if I should blow on home or tack on a couple miles and make it a longer run, or distance so I can adjust my route and still hit the distance I want.) For running, this watch 110% delivers that, so that's what I'm reviewing ... not the fitness biometric functions of this watch. Those are pretty cool. But tweaking and futzing with data about health isn't going to make you fitter. Go run. Run hard. Next time run harder. That's how you get fit.
Overall, I've come to love the M430. It isn't packed full of the slew of gimmicks Garmin had (the little buddy runner that shows me if I'm faster/slower than last run... that kinda stuff). But what it is is a really awesome, dependable running watch. It's very easy to set up what data is displayed. It's very easy and intuitive to cycle between screens when running. My Garmin had the swipe bezel - cool idea, a little touchy to use when running, really. The fit is great - the soft silicone band with many perforations allows me to get an optimal fit easily - way better than Garmin's stiff bands. Probably most comfortable casual/sports watch I've had over almost 40 years of wearing digital watches.
Only one slight issue annoys me, but not to bad really, in the big scheme of things. I like to track my HR as I cool down - a decent indication of how conditioned I am, and when it may be time to bump up the miles or push a little harder. To do this, I have to stop the run, back up to main screen, start another sport activity to get the HR recording. I don't want to just continue the run activity that it's been tracking as this would mucking up stats (i.e. distance, pace) from my run. Not too bad to do this - I made an "other outdoor" sport profile for the cooldown period and when I stop my run, I start that. Problem is, while the HR seems to be running relatively true when running and at other times, it always is way off for 1st 15 min or so after run. I'll be running 120's right away after strong finish and it says 80's. It eventually catches on, but typically is still 10-15 bpm too slow for quite a while even when it does bump up from a resting rate kinda range. Hmmm. I wonder if it's a function of running in cold, as after run my hands / arms can get pretty chilly and I've found if I take my outer jacket off and bundle my wrist, it becomes accurate faster (5-10 min). I'm curious to see what happens when weather gets warm or hot.
Sync to phone and use of www site is awesome. There are a few things I might do differently, but all in all, phone app and www page for PC use are very clean and have all the basics I want plus some cool extras. Once you get the hang of the system, it's really easy to use. Syncing is easy and uploads to web fast. This means no silly dongle to plug in and futz with like Garmin. No add-ins, no futz with installing anything! Just pair by bluetooth with phone once, then to send data and download settings, push a button. Brilliant! Love it! I'm a LInux user and Garmin is not Linux friendly. So guess what, Garmin? You don't show the penguins some love, I'm kicking you to curb!! Even things like setting up intervals was pretty easy once you read on the www / manual how to do it. I love how customizable it is and that you can do it all from the PC rather than fiddling with the watch itself.
All in all, I "liked" my Garmin that this unit replaced but multiple little things annoyed me - I put up with them because as my 2nd GPS watch, it was a big improvement over the Timex I used to use. But I didn't upgrade to a newer Garmin for a long time b/c of so many annoying little things, the fact that it kept going berzerk, AND the lack of love for Penguins. So when I did pull the trigger on a new watch, I gave Polar a try. Wow, has the Polar met and surpassed all my expectations - accurate, easy/ intuitive to use, tons of data but NOT overwhelming, super comfortable. As long as it lasts a few years, I'm be totally sold on Polar and stick with them from here out. I didn't realize what a great experience I was missing sticking to my Garmin. I highly recommend the M430 to runners looking for a highly configurable running watch with rock solid function and intuitive interface.