Polar is seriously old-school in the fitness tracking market, having launched a wireless, wearable heart rate monitor back in 1982. Now the company is diving into the smartwatch world with an Android Wear watch boasting its latest proprietary optical pulse monitoring tech and on-board GPS.
Polar is hoping the combination of its pedigree in the fitness tracking world and Android Wear will make its new M600 competitive with other training-focused wearables from the likes of Garmin or Fitbit, as well as existing sporty-smart wrist-(Android) Wear gadgets like the Moto 360 Sport and Sony Smartwatch line.
In addition to GPS and a six-LED optical heart monitor, the M600 has 4 GB of internal storage to track your run, ride and vitals and listen to music, even without a connected phone. The watch is designed for 24/7 activity and sleep tracking as well as coaching via the Polar Flow App and web services.
Waterproof-rated IPX8, the M600 is designed to be used while swimming (scuba diving might be another matter) with a 1.3-inch display, physical front button for easy control during your workout and a battery that will last over 48 hours when connected to an Android device (24 hours connected to an iPhone and 8 hours of GPS time).
Most other fitness trackers with a touchscreen watch form factor like the Garmin Vivoactive HR use a proprietary OS. Using Android Wear allows the Polar M600 to tap into features like Google's voice control and the ability to reply to texts and access thousands of Android Wear apps. Polar could be getting a little more competition soon, though, if New Balance releases its first Android Wear activity tracker this year as planned.
Polar says the M600 is designed with men in mind and will be available around the world later this year for US$329.90 / €349.90 in black and white with a changeable red wristband also available later on.