My Personal Thoughts on Polar’s New M200 Running Watch

Disclaimer: I’m a 2016 Polar Ambassador and as such have received an M200 to review and no cost. All opinions are my own.

So I’ve been using the new Polar M200 for a few weeks now. I’ve already given you a rundown of some of the features of the watch here, so now it’s time for my own thoughts.

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First and foremost, the M200 is a running watch. It has integrated GPS, wrist-based heart rate monitoring and gives you display options during your run so that you have easy access to the data that is most important to you on your run.

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This watch is also an activity tracker and comes equipped with multiple sport profiles so that even though it’s primary function is tracking running, it can also keep track of your cross training as well. From core work to functional training to swimming to cycling, you have options so don’t be fooled into thinking that if you don’t run, this watch has nothing to offer you.

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So far, I’ve used the watch for running and functional training. I’ve really enjoyed it. I absolutely love the wrist-based HRM feature. To me, it’s a game-changer because I am forever forgetting to wear my strap when I’m training and I much prefer to leave it at home when I’m training at the gym.

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How accurate is the HRM? I’d say it’s fairly accurate when stacked against my own rate of perceived exertion (RPE). The key with this feature though, is to make sure the watch is tight enough on your wrist to get a more accurate reading. If it’s too loose, you’ll still get a reading but in my case, it will be far too low. Sometimes this is uncomfortable to have a watch tight on my wrist but I think it’s more a case of figuring out how tight it needs to be so there’s still some trial and error to be done here.polarm200-1

Other cool features are the usb attachment being a part of the watch face itself. Makes for easy charging if you forget the cable adapter. The activity tracker is built right into the display for ease of tracking if you’re well on your way to meeting your daily activity goals or if you still have some work to do. And don’t worry, if you’ve been sitting down for too long, you’ll get a nudge and reminder to start moving around.

One feature I’m enjoying is the smart app feature which lets me know when I have new emails, messages, phone calls and text messages. I’ve found that with this feature, I’m FAR less glued to my phone and checking it all the time. It’s easy to see the message and then decide if it needs immediate attention or can wait for later. It’s a simple feature but one that I definitely appreciate.

Drawbacks for me would be that I find the display to be a bit dark. It does light up when in use but to check the time for example, I would like it to be brighter. The light is also attached to the “back” button so if I’m trying to find something and need to light the display, I end up backing out of the particular menu I’m in. On my less patient days, it’s kind of a pain.

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Overall, I’d say that for the price point, it’s a great watch. It retails for $189.99 CAD which makes it a great value when you look at the features it provides and everything you get via the Polar Flow app. If you feel like you may need a bit more, then I’d recommend looking into the M600 which is Polar’s new sport watch. The price point is higher but it does come with loads of features that you can read about here.

Happy Running, friends!

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