Today we welcome Polar to the Android family with their announcement of the M600 Android Wear powered smartwatch. With this release Polar has crossed the divide from simple activity trackers and training computers to full blown smart wear company.
This is the great thing about Android Wear, through the Android Wear platform manufacturers from other industries, like luxury watches of fitness tracking can cross over into the smartwatch space and offer a distinctive product with all of the core functionality just ready.
The M600 is a 1.3″ rectangular Android Wear device featuring Polar’s hardware ready to show off their core competency of heart rate and activity tracking built into the device. Polar is a recognised leader in the fitness heart rate tracking arena, so much so I’d love to put the M600 head to head against a clinical grade heart rate monitor. The 6 LED optical heart rate monitor, GPS and IPX8 water resistance will make this a great companion for any fitness-focused smartwatch wearer.
|Polar M600||Screen size||1.3-inch||Screen technology||TFT LCD||Resolution||240 x 240||PPI||260||Chipset||MediaTek MT260||Core config||1.2GHz x 2||Ram||512MB||Storage||4GB||MicroSD||—||Battery||500 mAh||Charging method||Custom cable||Cellular||No||NFC||—||Speaker||—||Android OS||Android||Dimensions||45 x 36 x 13 mm||Weight||63g||Colours||Build materials||Plastic||Band colours||Band materials||Silicone||Band swappable||Yes|
With the 500 mAh battery Polar is claiming up to 2 days battery life, and with that much juice, I could see it lasting from wake up today until bedtime tomorrow. You may have noticed that the M600 isn’t isn’t using a Snapdragon processor? Apart from the horribly underpowered TI OMAP in the OG Moto 360, and Atom processors in both the Fossil QFounder and Tag Heuer Connected, Snapdragon chips have been the standard in Android Wear. I for one will be interested to see how the MediaTek processor performs, competition is a wonderful thing.
From a hardware perspective everything else if fairly typical, the device is constructed out of plastic and can be swapped between the silicone bands. Polar say they have an optional red band coming in the future. The screen resolution is a little low at 240 x 240 coming in at 260ppi, but this is hardly a deal breaker at this stage. The M600 features an additional Polar function button on the front under the display for quick control of Polar features.
From a software perspective, however, Polar is taking the opportunity to differentiate themselves. Leveraging their experience in the sports tracking and coaching areas Polar have developed the Polar App for Android wear that offers access to many of Polar’s smart coaching and activity guidance features. You can read more about them at the M600’s mini site. The M600 can also be paired with one of Polar’s H7 chest strap heart rate sensors.
The Polar M600 will retail for $499 AUD including GST, andy you can pre-order the Polar M600 right now, from the mini-site, with free shipping within in Australia shipping with Australia Post.
If you are ‘into fitness’ and Android then the Polar M600 is something you should take a good look at. Priced at $499 it may not be the cheapest Android wear devices, however, if it delivers on the full fitness experience that additional premium could well be worth it to the right person.
We have reached out to Polar Australia for details on when the M600 will start shipping locally.
Do you like the look of Polar’s first Android Wear device? Let us know below.