Top critical review
Another Polar M4xx
Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2017
Pros: lots. It's an M400 that is lighter, has wrist based heart rate monitor, fast GPS acquire, and vibrating alerts.
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.