Runners love their numbers and statistics. PR’s, pace and average pace, distance… a running watch is the perfect gadget to keep up with all of these. We extensively tested the Polar M200 watch, so you know what you’re getting.

The Polar M200 is a water-resistant GPS sports watch with wrist-based heart rate measurement and 24/7 activity tracking. You can track your running but also a range of other sports, such as walking, weight training, yoga and cycling. With the Polar M200, you can train based on heart rate, and at the end of the day see if you need to take a walk to hit your activity goal for the day. The Polar M200 will even track your sleep stats.

Let’s take a look at the pro’s and cons of the Polar M200 before diving into the design, software, features, battery life, comfort and usability.

Track your fitness like a pro from only … UK : £115  |  EU : €135  |  US : $150

Pro’s

  • Great battery life
  • Waterproof down to 30 meters
  • Lightweight
  • Sleeker design
  • Relatively cheap
  • Wrist-based heart rate measurement
  • Android & iOS support

Cons

  • Rather bulky
  • Can irritate sensitive skin

Design

The first thing you’ll notice when you receive the Polar M200, is the design. It’s a round watch with a simple design, making the Polar M200 a sleeker watch than its predecessors. You can even switch out the band for other colours, such as red, yellow and blue, by easily clicking the watch in and out of the strap.

One disadvantage of the design is that the watch is rather bulky. Of course, it depends on the wearer, but for us the bulkiness made the Polar M200 less comfortable to wear during the night and it also got stuck underneath some of our tighter sleeves.

Software

The Polar M200 is used with both an app and a website, named Polar Flow. With one push of the button, the watch will synchronize to the app that you connect with through Bluetooth and you can see exactly how you’re doing for the day/week/month activity, training and sleep wise. On the website, you’ll find extras that can’t be found on the app, like your progress and a training plan.

You can use both the app and the website to schedule ahead. The calendar will show you what to do and on the day itself you can easily select your training on the watch. The Polar M200 will show how long to go before hitting your goal.  Afterwards, you get a ton of info on your training, including statistics and charts.

Features

The Polar M200 is a versatile sports watch. There are different profiles for a range of sports, such as walking, inline-skating, weight training, yoga, running and cycling. Besides that, it tracks your sleep and daily activity.

Sleep tracking

If you choose to wear the watch during the night, the Polar M200 will track your sleep. After synchronizing with the app, it will show light and deep sleep, as well as how many hours of sleep you have had.

Sedentary reminder

Even though we all know we should get up and move around every hour, we barely do it. Too lazy, too busy, or just forgetting about it. Polar M200 will alert you to move around every hour. If you don’t do it, you will get an inactivity stamp. This adds a challenge element, as the more competitive users among us will try to not get any stamps. It can get a little annoying though if you have a desk job. Luckily, a short walk to the coffee machine or bathroom does the trick.

Activity tracker and pedometer

Polar M200 will decide on a fitting activity level for you, based on your personal data. During the day, it will track your activity (and steps!). The watch can even show you how many minutes you will have to stand, walk or jog to reach your activity level for the day.

Heart rate monitor

The Polar M200 has wrist-based heart rate measurement. No more uncomfortable bands around the chest! When you start training, you simply tighten the band so the sensor has continuous contact with the skin, and you’re ready to go. If you’re basing your training on your heart rate, you can set the Polar M200 to vibrate so you know if you are training in the right heart rate zone.

Smart notifications

Thanks to the Bluetooth connection to your phone, the watch will be able to pick up on your notifications. You can set the Polar M200 to vibrate and it will go off when your phone has a new notification. Depending on how important you are and how many notifications you receive daily, this can be either helpful or very irritating.

Running, swimming, bicycling

The Polar M200 is mostly shown, advertised and reviewed as a running watch. It will show all the necessary stats, such as (average) pace, distance and heart rate. However, it can track a lot more sports than just running. On the app and website, you can select up to 20 different profiles for your watch to track.

Battery life

A watch that tracks your activity 24/7 must run out of battery in no time, right? Not the Polar M200. We’ve worn the watch for a full week without charging it. This week included three runs where the watch was also measuring heart rate and GPS. The more you train and use the extra functions, the sooner you’ll need to recharge.

The life of the battery depends on many factors, such as the temperature, used functions, how much the screen is lit up and how old the watch is. The Polar M200 can be used for trainings up to 6 hours including GPS and heart rate measurements.

Comfort

The Polar M200 weighs 40 grams and is 12 mm thick, while the display has a diameter of 26 mm. The watch is light, but as mentioned, can be a bit too thick depending on what you’re used to. The band has many holes, which makes it perfect for both thin and thick wrists.

Wearers with sensitive skin may want to think twice about using the Polar M200 as a 24/7 activity tracker. Some users experienced irritation and even rashes underneath the rubber band. However, if you take the watch off during the night or wear it loosely, there should be no problems.

Usability

When you use the watch for the first time, you simply download the Polar Flow app and connect it to your computer. You’ll go through the menu step by step, filling in your personal data. The program will ask for your height and weight, and other data that’s important for optimal use of the Polar M200.

Next, you’ll set the watch to your specific settings. Select the profile that fits you best and the data that you want to see on the screen while working out. Synchronize it, and the Polar M200 is ready to be used!

There are only two buttons on the Polar M200, which makes it easy to operate the watch. Depending on how long you push the button, it has different functions. It’s pretty self-explanatory and you’ll work it out within a few minutes. Want to see the data while training? Simply look at the screen and it will light up- perfect for training in the evenings.

Final thoughts

The Polar M200 is a sports watch that does what it is supposed to do, plus a little more. We are impressed by all things that the watch tracks, including sleep, activity and sports such as running, swimming and cycling.

For some of us, the bulkiness may be a problem, as well as the irritation for those of us with sensitive skin.

Should you buy the Polar M200? The Polar M200 is an ideal watch for the (running) athlete that wants a comprehensive watch, for an affordable price.

Track your fitness like a pro from only … UK : £115 | EU : €135 | US : $150

Images from the Polar M200 Press Room

Polar M200 Sports Watch Review

by Petra kindts