Polar M430

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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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Polar M430 Review Facts

Polar M430 is a complete training and fitness program that is available on mobile or desktop. Polar Flow helps analyze, sync, and plan workouts. It follows long-term progress. The system locates inspiration and customizes Polar M430 to fit the needs of the user. A 6 LED optical sensor monitors continuous heart rate without the use of a chest strap. The integrated GPS tracks route, pate, distance, and speed. Activity tracking is available around the clock. It tracks daily activity that includes sleep, calories, and steps and guides to reach activity goals. The M430 has a wall charging adapter. Users have the option of charging from a USB port or wall outlet.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Accurate
  • Affordable
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Breathable band
  • Excellent battery life
  • Website support
Cons
  • Difficult setup
  • Spotty heart rate monitor
  • Trouble syncing
Activities

Activities

The Polar 6 LED optical sensor and proprietary rate algorithm, built into the watch are meant to provide the accuracy runners demand. They can enjoy the freedom and comfort of strap-free running with no worries of compromising heart rate data.

The latest accelerometer technology and GPS are harnessed in the Polar M430 to track pace, distance, and speed whether running outdoors or inside. Hard training is good; smart training is better. Smart Coaching is Polar’s scientifically-validated tool that delivers the information needed to achieve goals with efficiency.

Running is not the only sports option for the M430. There are no restrictions on activities for which the watch can be used unless one tries to dive to great depths. There are more than 100 sport activity options loaded on the device.

Progress can be tracked regardless of the training session. As an all-day tracker, it measures distance, steps, and more. Wearers can expect to utilize the M430 for standard biking, running, walking, and swimming. The watch can be used for triathlons.

Generally, it is ok for running and cycling. For weight training, a reviewer who felt the device was just ok for running and cycling said the M430 was better than most, but still not as accurate as a chest monitor. That evaluation extends to the CrossFit also.

The M430 is waterproof. It can be taken in the pool or shower. For swimming, the heart rate situation is good and bad — it an advantage that the optical heart rate sensor is switched on while swimming. Similar watches don’t function in water. Again, the readings are not precise.

It is better than nothing. At the end of a swimming workout, depending on the duration, it might be close. The M430 does not replace a swim heart rate monitor. The device does not work with the H7 for swimming.

The user can’t record the heart rate while swimming with an external heart rate sensor. The M430 is not as good as a chest-strap heart monitor for swimming. It does not record the heart rate at all times, only on demand when the user wants to see it and during workouts. Like most Polar watches, the M430 will track most sports except golf. Latin dancing is included. Most of the information provided is based on GPS data. It is mostly a runner’s watch. There is not a lot built in for the other sports.

For example, there are not a lot of details for pool swimming. Calories, heart, and duration of workout are tracked. There is no data for laps, stroke count, or other metrics. For open water swimming, the GPS is switched on, and the user gets pace and a few more tidbits of information. The watch can detect the wearer’s VO₂ max. It is not spot on in providing fitness information. The reading is likely indicating a user is more fit than he or she is. It is a close barometer of VO₂ max.
Basic Features

Basic Features

Users can expect to track duration, distance, and pace with no problem. Integrated GPS ensures data is as accurate as possible. The timing features portfolio of the M430 includes finish-time estimator, stopwatch, and interval timers.

For those who prefer to run indoors, the watch tracks indoor running metrics as well. The numbers that are needed are available. It is easy to monitor data over time to evaluate progress and determine what need improvement.

The M430 is an activity tracker that will relay smartphone notifications. Text messages and phone calls pop up. It is not a revolutionary feature, but it is nice to have on the watch. The most negative reviewer claims there is only one feature worth talking about, and that is the daily goal.

It is based on overall activity level and less on steps, so when activities that do not include steps are done, progress toward the daily goal is still tracked. A lot of activity trackers require walking to deliver feedback.

It also provides clues on how to hit daily goals such as walk 15 for minutes or run for five minutes. The watch also has an activity alert and stopwatch. There are more than 100 options from which to choose to find the correct sport's profile for any training session.

Sleep is essential for performance and recovery. Polar Sleep technology detects the quality, amount, and timing of sleep. What a person does in the off hours impacts the next session. The sleep analysis technology automatically detects and measures sleep quality when the day is done for the wearer, and he or she is ready to turn in.

Information about whether or not enough quality rest was obtained before the next session, is presented. In addition to sports functions, the device is Bluetooth technology equipped. Connection to a smartphone for push button notifications and select apps like Polar Flow is available.
Advanced Features

Advanced Features

Superb water resistance, a wrist-based heart rate monitor, and a functional pedometer are advanced features of the Polar M430. Wearers get the functionality expected from top-of-the-line, multi-sport watches. Swimming is rushing water or diving to great depths may impact functionality.

The wrist-worn running assistant has a range of advanced metrics that include optical heart rate data. It tracks progress and allows the wearer to become a better runner. The Polar M430 is among the most accurate heart rate, wrist-based monitors. There are mixed reviewers from testers. Some laud the accuracy of the GPS and feel when accuracy is a priority, a strong argument can be made for M430 as the next multi-sport watch. The 6 LEDs are an improvement to the usual 3 or 4 LEDs.

They are supposed to help with accuracy. According to one tester, LEDs offer a little improvement but do not work as well as a chest-based heart rate sensor. It does not react as quickly and is prone to wild swings. The reviewer says it is not any better than other heart rate sensors and possibly worse.

The average number throughout a workout will end up close to that of a chest-strap monitor. When the wearer looks down at the M430, during an exercise, the reading will be close but not as accurate as a chest heart rate monitor.

Besides heart rate, the M430 records pace, distance, speed, and much more. It utilizes a sophisticated accelerometer and GPS technology that tracks progress outdoors or inside. Multiple timer functions are additional runner-friendly features that are available.
Connectivity

Connectivity

The company recognizes the importance of transmitting data through such challenges as Bluetooth. That functionality is supported. The users can track all data regardless of the location. The feature makes tracking progress and determining where to improve easily for those are seriously competitive. The M430 appeals to both the average athlete and the serious competitor.

Bluetooth connectivity allows notifications to be seen directly on the M430 screen from a smartphone. Link the Polar Flow account to a third party service such as TrainingPeaks, MyFitnessPal, or Strava to share data with the free Polar Coach online tool.
Comfort

Comfort

The wristband is a lightweight material that feels soft and is breathable. Breathable holes in the band allow water to pass easily through without making the wrist uncomfortable or getting stuck. Having a wrist heart rate monitor that is comfortable is of importance.

Users do not want an obstructive design that aggravates the wrist while performing. Other design features have comfort in mind. The numerous holes in the band allow moisture to escape. Getting of a pool or being wet from sweat from running does not cause the watch to gather moisture under the band and become uncomfortable. Regarding design, the M430is a comfortable, sleek watch
Apps

Apps

Without an array of apps, no multi-sport watch is complete. The Polar M430 supports Super Flow that monitors all data generated as the wearer exercises. It is sent to a central profile. Users can look at everything they do as they exercise. Some complaints were lodged about syncing correctly. A quick app reboot will remedy the situation.

The built-in 6 LED optical sensors and proprietary heart rate algorithm deliver sophisticated heart rate data. The scientifically proven Smart Coaching provides the tools needed to achieve goals with precision and efficiency. Wearers can run anywhere.
Style

Style

The Polar M430 is the Polar M400 but a little bit more stylish and thinner plus a built-in wrist-based optical heart rate sensor. When it comes to fashion, the Polar M430 is recognizable and futuristic. It has integrated GPS and is loaded with features. Activity can be tracked around the clock. Vibration alerts keep the wearer on top of what is happening.

The Polar M430 has a sleek, attractive appearance. It is as pleasing aesthetically as it is functional. The black color matches well with the background of the watch face. It is available in orange, white, and gray also. The watch makes a statement without being ostentatious.

The Polar M430 is available in one size, that was chosen specifically for the likelihood of fitting most people. There are those who find the watch to be too large or too small. The majority of athletes have no problem with the fit of the watch. The band and face are reasonable. The watch is not too chunky and does not protrude in a way that hinders performance.
Durability

Durability

The Polar M430 is a tank. The screen is flush with the hand. Opposite of flimsy, the band of the M430 is thick. The seamless design lends itself to withstanding plenty of abuse. Breathable and waterproof are two other characteristics of durability.

The M430 is water resistant down to 30 meters. Those searching for a watch for a mud run would be pleased with the M430. Due to its construction, there is little chance the watch will break down on the wearer.
Face

Face

The face of the M430 blends into the band seamlessly. It does not display as much as other high-end, multi-sport watches but it looks smooth and sleek and displays information in a way that is aesthetically pleasing.
Band

Band

The band is sleek and durable. The Polar M430 band is noted for strength and durability. Sleek dotted holes allow for breathability. It is a soft touch silicone band, but depending on the wrist size of the wearer, it will either fit perfectly or not be the right watch.

For someone with a small wrist, there would be a lot of band hanging off of the end that would be annoying. The band is not designed to be replaced. While it has an aesthetic appeal, it is a sports watch. It is not something to be worn in the office.
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

Many reviewers praise the simple setup of a watch that is easy to fit and a heart monitor that is accurate and easy to use. For the most part, the watch is easy to set up when it is taken from the box. After a possible reboot of the app, the watch is ready foar the road or pool in no time.
Battery

Battery

Because endurance matters, multiple GPS recording options are offered for extended battery life. The device is capable of 30 training time hours. The rechargeable battery delivers eight to 30 hours training time, dependent on how it is used.

The device has an impressive battery life for a device that tracks so much. The Polar M430 battery does more than excel. It nearly crushes the competition. Due to the way the watch displays information, it does not use up much processing power which conserves the battery. Some users can go three to five day before having to charge the battery. It has a proprietary charger.
Price

Price

Most people do not expect a stylish multi-sport watch for such an affordable. There are few negative things to say about the Polar M430, that includes the price. For a futuristic watch, it is offered at an affordable price according to most users.

It has an MSRP of $230. For all the features packed into the watch such as how it looks, how it wirelessly sends data to other devices, and how it tracks data, $230 is a low price. The reviewer who felt the watch was nothing exceptional felt the watch was priced $30 to $40 too much.
Accessories

Accessories

Using the web portal provides more than the app. It gives workouts and activity history. The user can join communities to stay motivated or join conversations in the area. The user can browse and start different training plans. By entering goal date and current fitness level, a detailed plan for attaining a goal is developed. The Explore capability allows the user to creep onto workouts for unknown people to discover areas to run.

Key Features

* 24/7 activity tracking
* Advanced metrics and running data
* Integrated Bluetooth
* Polar Flow
* Polar Sleep
* Push notifications
* SiRFInstant Tech Integrated GPS
* Smart Coaching
* Swim friendly waterproof design
* Training time up to 30 hours
* Wrist-based 6 LED optical heart rate sensor

Bottom Line

Polar put out a high-level of performance watch that scores well in nearly all categories that can be evaluated. It is an affordable watch that does almost anything needed while looking good. The multi-sport watch is worth considering.