Polar has just announced its newest flagship running watch, and the update is right in line with what you might expect for a 2017 health-and fitness-tracking wearable: it includes wrist-based heart rate sensors.
The new M430, which is the follow up to Polar’s M400 flagship running watch, has six LED lights for optical heart rate sensing, built-in GPS, and a thinner, lighter build. It looks pretty similar to the previous model — still has a monochrome display, and still has that same unibody design, which means you can’t swap out straps — but weighs just 51 grams (1.8 ounces) compared with 56 grams, or two ounces, for the M400. It also has a redesigned perforated strap, for breathability.
Like a lot of new fitness watches, the watch supports smartphone notifications, so you can get alerts directly on your wrist; although like many others in this category, the options for interacting with these notifications are limited. (Polar also ships a smartwatch, the M600, that runs on Android Wear and offers more of this kind of “smart” functionality.)
Polar is emphasizing two aspects of this new M430 watch. The first is its customized algorithms for heart rate. Polar says it tweaks these algorithms for every single new device it puts out on the market, since things like size and weight can impact the pendulum motion of a watch on the wrist.
For what it’s worth: other companies like Garmin and Fitbit say they also fine-tune their algorithms for each new device; but Polar has long been known for its high-quality, accurate heart rate straps, so it has a…
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