Polar M430 Review

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I rather like the M430, but I fear it's not enough of an improvement over the M400 to justify the extra cost, nor is it good enough for me to recommend it over the equivalent Garmin watches. The main a change from the M400 is the addition of an Optical Heart Rate Monitor, which would be a truly wonderful invention if it worked. Sadly, I don't see this replacing the traditional ECG-based heart rate monitor anytime soon, as much as I hate the inconvenience and chafing of the chest strap. I've tested the M430 over about 700 miles of running, and I've found it a fairly solid running watch, but I've found that by comparison with the Connect IQ enabled Garmin watches, the M430 seems a little dated and limited.

1 The Big Questions

I use four simple questions that I think cut to the heart of want most runners are looking for in a running watch. There's obviously a lot of nuance and detail that you can dig into, and I try to provide that as well, but hopefully these questions and their answers will give you an idea of whether or not it's worth reading further.

  • How far did I run? This is the most basic question, and the M430 has middling GPS accuracy, but this can be offset by using the Stryd Footpod. The M430 can use the Stryd and record a GPS track, something that some of its competition can't manage. If you dig into the details of its GPS accuracy, you'll notice that it's distance errors are more likely to even out over greater distances than you might expect from its overall accuracy score.
  • How fast am I running? Knowing how fast you're running can be a nice to know, or it can be vital for your training or race performance. Because of the nature of GPS, watches that rely on GPS signal alone tend to have serious problems with current pace. With the Stryd Footpod, you can get extremely accurate pace information. If you can't afford the Stryd Footpod, then you can use the MilestonePod which requires calibration, but is cheap and accurate. Without a Footpod, the M430's pace display is pretty hopeless.
  • Where am I? The M430 has only a simple "back to start" arrow, which is better than nothing, but remember this is an "as the crow flies" direct path, not a backtrack. I've also found it doesn't work in extended power mode (60 second polling), though this is hopefully just a bug that will be fixed soon.
  • What's my cadence? Cadence is one of the most critical and often overlooked aspects of running. If you get your Cadence right, many other things naturally fall into place. The M430 has support for other Footpods besides Stryd, plus it has support for Cadence from the internal accelerometer. There are no Cadence alerts which is a shame, but typically this feature is only available on more expensive devices.

The M430 is not a good choice for ultrarunners, as its battery life is too short at just 8 hours. If you set GPS polling to 60 seconds and combine the M430 with the Stryd Footpod, you should be able to extend the usable, accurate recording time out to between 20 and 30 hours. See Watches for Ultrarunning for more details.

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2 Should You Buy The M430?

This is a tougher question than I'd like, but generally I think the answer is "no". Not because the M430 has any significant flaws, but because of the stiff competition in this price range.

  • Buy the Garmin Vivoactive. The Vivoactive has far more functionality than the M430, including Connect IQ that allows for expanded functionality through downloaded apps. The Vivoactive is a vastly better activity tracker, especially when combined with a good Connect IQ watch face that gives you better feedback on how you're doing. The main limitation to the Vivoactive is that there's no Optical Heart Rate Monitor and it can't record the GPS track whilst getting pace and distance from a Stryd Footpod. If these are problems, read the next bullets.
  • Buy the Garmin Vivoactive HR. Optical Heart Rate Monitors don't work well enough for real world usage, but if you want one anyway, then consider the Garmin Vivoactive HR. Like the non-OHRM Vivoactive above, it can't record the GPS track whilst getting pace and distance from a Stryd Footpod. If you really want the GPS track and accurate pace/distance, then look to the Polar M400.
  • Buy the Polar M400. With the release of the M430, the Polar M400 has dropped in price, and I think in most cases I'd go for the previous generation, or the. The main change to the M430 from the M400 is the addition of its Optical Heart Rate Monitor (OHRM), but like most similar systems, it doesn't work well enough for real world usage, so the M400 is a good option.
  • Spend more. If you have a larger budget, I'd recommend taking a look at the Garmin Fenix 3, or check out the decision guide at Best Running Watches.

3 Polar M430 Pros

  • The user interface is nicely designed and intuitive; the buttons, display, and the menu system combine aesthetics with usability. The M430 has five hard buttons, which I much prefer over a touchscreen interface, especially when wearing gloves or in the rain.
  • The support for Stryd is pretty good. As noted above, you can get pace and distance information from the Stryd whilst still recording a GPS track. The limited navigation features mean that the GPS data doesn't provide much value while you're running, but it does allow you to see where you went afterwards. You can only get the Stryd estimate of power through the cadence field, and that feature might disappear in the future.
  • The M430 also supports the MilestonePod, which is the best option if you can't afford the Stryd footpod.
  • The Polar web site is broadly similar in capability to the Garmin and Suunto alternatives. Each has its advantages and issues, but they are all "good enough". I'd say the Garmin web site is the most mature and most comprehensive, but it's also a little easy to get lost in the details.
  • Polar, like Suunto, allow their watches to be configured via the website, which is easier than fiddling with the watch itself. Some of the options can be also set on the watch, which means you're not stuck if you're away from the Internet.
  • The Polar smartphone app is also broadly similar to the Garmin and Suunto equivalents, though I'd say that Polar is still playing catch-up in this area.
  • The M430 provides more information when you press the lap button than most other watches, including average and max heart rate, etc.

4 Polar M430 Cons

  • Unlike the Polar V800, the M430 has poor GPS Accuracy, though I think there may be scope for improvement. See below for more details.
  • The M430 can only act as a simple activity monitor, with the only motivation display a simple progress bar. If you compare this with Garmin watches that support Connect IQ, which can provide things like a graph of the daily activity over the last week. I found that the sleep tracking didn't seem as accurate as the Garmin watches, though I don't have a way of verifying this.
  • The M430 will auto-pair with Bluetooth sensors, which sounds useful until you find it trying to repeatedly pair with sensors nearby. The only way of disabling this that I could find is to put the M430 in airplane mode, which means it won't pick up the sensors you're using. Hopefully Polar will fix this soon.
  • Like the Polar V800, the M430 uses visual tricks to appear smaller than it is. The watch is curved, so the first part of the watch strap is really part of the watch body. This can cause problems for runners with smaller or larger wrists. I have to wear the V800 and M430 over a wrist sweat band as my writs are quite small. (I have no problem with watches that appear to be bigger, like the Garmin 310XT.)
  • The M430 will give an estimate of V̇O2max if you're wearing a Heart Rate Monitor, but I didn't find its estimate as accurate as the Firstbeat software used by Garmin and Suunto.
  • It's a minor problem, but if you have a Heart Rate Monitor strap paired with the M430 but don't have it on you, the M430 will wildly overestimate your calories and effort.

5 Polar M430 Other Features

I try to put most items into either pros or cons, but there are some that depend on your perspective.

  • The Optical Heart Rate Monitor (OHRM) works about as well as any other system, which means it's not much use in the real world.
  • The battery on the M430 lasts the claimed 8 hours, which should be enough for the vast majority of marathon runners, but most ultramarathons would be too long and the M430 can't be charged on the run easily.

6 Differences Between M430 and M400

There are a few differences between the M430 and the M400 to consider.

  • The M430 has better GPS accuracy than its predecessor. It generally believed that it uses the same chipset family as the Polar V800 (SiRFstarIV), though it doesn't have the same accuracy as the V800 (it may not be the same chipset, just the same family.)
  • Polar added their Optical Heart Rate Monitor (OHRM) to the M430.
  • Something as simple as the vibration alert is most welcome.
  • You can now select a lower accuracy, intermittent polling mode for GPS which increases battery life up to 30 hours by only recording one sample per minute.
  • There is now a rather limited selection of watch faces, but don't expect anything like the flexibility of a Garmin Connect IQ enabled watch.
  • The use of a Micro USB connector of the M400 has been replaced with a nonstandard connector. Using a micro USB connector has the obvious appeal of using any cable, but it seems that this has caused too many problems in practice. (I found it worked fine for me, other than the typical USB problem of not knowing which way round to put in the cable.)

7 Sensor Support

The M430 only supports Bluetooth sensors, so anything that's Ant+ based won't work. An intrinsic limitation of the current Bluetooth specification is that a sensor can only be connected with one receiving device (watch) at the time.

  • Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor. The Bluetooth heart rate monitor support seems to work perfectly, overriding the Optical Heart Rate Monitor when the external sensor is connected. I tested it with the Suunto and the Polar H7 without any issues. (See below for notes on the Wahoo TICKR Run.)
  • Stryd Footpod. The Stryd Footpod is both a Footpod and a power meter, but the M430 will only use it as a Footpod (unlike the Polar V800.) To use the Stryd with the M430, pair it as a normal footpod using Settings -> General Settings -> Pair and Sync -> Pair Other Device -> select Stryd. Then go to Settings -> Sports profiles -> Running -> Stride Sensor. Calibration=manual, factor = 1.0, sensor for speed=Stride Sensor. You'll then have extremely accurate pace and distance information, as well as recording a GPS track for later analysis via the polar website or app. Unlike first-generation Footpods, the Stryd does not require any calibration. I tested the Stryd in extended a GPS mode, where the M430 only turns on the GPS chip once per minute to save battery, and this works perfectly.
  • Milestone Footpod. The MilestonePod is not as accurate as the Stryd, but with a calibration it can do better than any GPS based system. Note that the milestone Footpod can be calibrated through the milestone app or within the watch. I'd recommend using the milestone app to calibrate, but don't try to use both or you'll end up double calibrating.
  • Other Footpods. I would recommend avoiding any other type of Footpod. If you can afford it, you should absolutely get to the Stryd. If you can't afford it, and are prepared to put in the effort of the calibration, then get the milestone Footpod. Other Footpods are more expensive than milestone and not as good.
  • Biking devices (Speed, Power). The M430 doesn't support biking specific sensors.
  • Wahoo. The Wahoo TICKR Run is a little unusual in that it not only supports both Bluetooth and Ant+, but it also pretends to be both a heart rate monitor and a Footpod. I found that in doing so, it really confused the M430 and I had all sorts of strange behavior.

8 GPS Accuracy

The GPS Accuracy of the M430 is a fairly reasonable for a modern running watch, though you could argue that's "damned with faint praise." I believe that with the advent of the extremely accurate Stryd Footpod, GPS accuracy is rather less of an issue. However, for runners not wanting to spend so much on a Footpod, GPS accuracy may still be important. For a detailed comparison of the M430 with its competitors, check out my GPS Accuracy page. For those wanting something a little more qualitative rather than quantitative, the image below may help give a more intuitive look at the accuracy. You'll see that generally the tracks follow the path reasonably well, with only a tiny number wondering off on their own. The M430 does a pretty good job in the curvy sections of the path, an area that typically reveals weaknesses in the GPS accuracy. You'll notice that most tracks are a similar shade of green, showing a good degree of consistency, though not the highest level of accuracy. One peculiarity with the M430 is the way it records lap markers so far away from the actual location; there is no clustering of the lap markers at all, and it looks to me like a strange skin disease. I feel like this is a software bug rather than an intrinsic problem in of the hardware, and I'm hopeful that Polar may be able to improve their GPS accuracy in future firmware releases. (I tested with the 1.0.28 firmware.) If you look at the statistical analysis of this watch, your notice that it's trueness score is disproportionately high when compared to its precision score. This means that over longer distances this watches errors are more likely to even out than you might expect from it overall accuracy score. This does make me wonder if there's more room for improvements in software we might see in the future.

Here's the tracks from the M430. This diagram has tracks color coded with green indicating good accuracy through to red indicating poor accuracy, and the lap markers as blue dots

If you compare the image above with the image from the Polar V800 shown below, you can see the darker green lines indicating a more accurate recording.

The Polar V800 tracks.

Here's the tracks from the extremely accurate Suunto Ambit3, showing how the lap markers should look.

The Suunto Ambit3 tracks.

9 Optical Heart Rate Monitoring

I've gathered all the results of my testing under my Optical Heart Rate Monitoring page. In addition, it's worth noting that the Polar fitness test on the M430 only supports the optical sensor and won't work with an external chest strap.

10 What's Missing

While I don't consider these missing features as 'cons', it's worth understanding the features that are missing compared with other watches.

  • Altimeter. GPS is far less accurate vertically than horizontally, so a barometric altimeter can provide a much better idea of your ascent and descent. It can also be useful for navigation if you're ascending or descending a mountain. In some races I've been far more interested in how much ascent is left rather than the distance to the top.
  • Navigation. The navigation capabilities are useful if there is a risk of getting lost. I've made good use of this feature when running in an unfamiliar city, or when running remote trails. There is a rudimentary "back to start" functionality that gives you an arrow pointing back, but that's a poor substitute.
  • Downloadable Apps. Smart watches have got is used to the idea of a device that can be extended with new functionality, and this concept is being introduced to running watches.
  • Training Effect. The Firstbeat Training Effect gives you a sense of how hard each workout is, and this sometimes includes the time for recovery.
  • Graphs. Instead of simply displaying a numeric value for things like heart rate, some watches will display a graph of the value over time, giving you a sense of how things are progressing.
  • Running Dynamics. Some of the newer Garmin watches can show and record Vertical Oscillation (VO) and Ground Contact Time (GCT).
  • Alerts. Some watches will alert you when a metric is out of range. The alert for Cadence is really useful and one of my favorite features.

11 Comparison Table

I evaluate running watches in three distinct ways. Firstly, you can use a watch on its own, without any kind of Footpod. This is probably the most common way runners use their watch, but you miss out on a lot. The second rating is with a standard Footpod that is available quite cheaply. These Footpod's can be reasonably accurate once the calibrated, but calibration is a little tedious. The final evaluation is with the Stryd Footpod, which is vastly more accurate than any other type of Footpod, or and more accurate than GPS. The table below looks at the score, and the value for money of each watch for each of the three conditions.

Review With Stryd Score With Stryd Value for money With Footpod Score With Footpod Value for money Without Footpod Score Without Footpod Value for money Price at Amazon.com
Garmin Epix Review 47 4.5 31 3.9 23 3.4 Garmin Epix $199.95 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $172.99)
Garmin Fenix 5X Review 47 2.9 32 2.3 24 1.9 Fenix 5X $685.00 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin Fenix 3 Review 45 3.8 28 3.1 24 3 Fenix 3 $449.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $379.98)
Garmin 935 Review 45 3.6 30 3 22 2.4 Garmin 935 $499.95 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin Vivoactive HR Review 40 4.9 21 3.8 17 3.8 Garmin Vivoactive HR $. at Amazon.com
(Referbished $175.00)
Garmin 920XT Review 39 4.4 30 4.7 24 4.5 Garmin 920XT without HRM $253.95 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $199.99)
Suunto Spartan Ultra Review 37 2.6 27 2.3 23 2.1 Suunto Spartan Ultra $649.00 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review 36 4 19 2.9 15 2.8 Garmin Vivoactive 3 (Price Not Available)
Garmin Vivoactive Review 34 5.1 14 3.4 10 3.3 Garmin Vivoactive $127.18 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $87.99)
Suunto Spartan Trainer Review 34 3.9 23 3.7 18 3.4 Suunto Spartan Trainer (Price Not Available)
Polar V800 Review 33 2.8 26 2.8 22 2.7 Polar V800 without HRM $429.00 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit2 Review 32 3.9 25 4.3 21 4.5 Suunto Ambit2 $299.24 USD at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review 32 3.4 29 4.1 25 4.2 Suunto Ambit3 Peak $301.16 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin Fenix 2 Review 31 2.9 22 2.7 18 2.5 Garmin Fenix 2 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit3 Run Review 30 4 27 5.5 23 5.9 Suunto Ambit3 Run $299.00 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit2 R Review 30 3.5 23 3.8 19 3.8 Suunto Ambit2 R without HRM $249.00 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 235 Review 28 2.9 20 2.8 12 2 Garmin 235 $329.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $259.95)
Garmin 620 Review 27 3.8 24 5.1 20 5.6 Garmin 620 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 910XT Review 26 3.9 26 6.1 21 6.7 Garmin 910XT without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 310XT Review 25 4.6 24 8.3 18 10 Garmin 310XT without HRM
price not listed at Amazon.com
Polar M400 Review 25 4.3 15 4.5 11 4.9 Polar M400 without HRM $129.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $110.00)
Garmin 225 Review 25 3.8 13 3.1 9 2.9 Garmin 225 $249.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $259.99)
TomTom Cardio Runner Review 25 3.3 10 2 10 2.5 TomTom Cardio Runner price not listed at Amazon.com
Polar M430 Review 25 3.2 15 2.9 11 2.7 Polar M430 without HRM (Price Not Available)
Garmin 610 Review 24 3.3 20 4.3 14 3.9 Garmin 610 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Leikr Review 10 1 20 2.5 14 2 Leikr ($380)
Epson SF-510 Review 4 0.7 6 2 6 3 Epson SF-510 $79.99 USD at Amazon.com
Epson SF-810 Review 4 0.6 6 1.6 6 2.3 Epson SF-810 $109.99 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 10 Review 2 0.3 2 0.6 2 0.9 Garmin 10 $86.57 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $88.97)

The score is the sum of how well each watch can answer the four basic questions (how far, how fast, where are you, what's your cadence), plus some bonus points.

  1. The "How far you've run" will be based on GPS only for "without Footpod" and "with Standard Footpod", but based on Stryd if supported in the "with Stryd Footpod" table..
  2. How fast you're running assumes you're using a Footpod if it's supported, otherwise the rating is 0-2 based on GPS accuracy.
  3. The "Where are you?" is based on various navigation features such as back to start, breadcrumbs, and preloaded maps. For some watches, you have to turn GPS off to get the benefit of Stryd, so those watches have worse "where are you scores" with Stryd than without.
  4. The cadence score uses 1 point for an internal cadence sensor, 2 points for footpod support, 1 point for support from chest strap cadence, and 1 point for cadence alerts.
  5. I give 1-2 bonus points for application support, 1-2 bonus points for data upload, 1-2 bonus points for Optical Heart Rate Monitoring, and 0-1 bonus points for battery life.
  6. Value for money is the score divided by the price (at the time I last updated the table.) Your needs may be different, so you might weight the different aspects of the watches differently, or be basing your decision on different criteria totally. Hopefully this table will give you a good starting point for your decision.

11.1 Score Breakdown without a Footpod

Review Score Value for money6 How far did
you run?1
How fast are
you running?2
Where are
you?3
What's your
cadence?4
Bonus Points5 class="unsortable" |

Price at Amazon.com

Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review 25 4.2 8 3 6 2 6 Suunto Ambit3 Peak $301.16 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 920XT Review 24 4.5 1 2 7 6 8 Garmin 920XT without HRM $253.95 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $199.99)
Garmin Fenix 3 Review 24 3 2 1 7 6 8 Fenix 3 $449.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $379.98)
Garmin Fenix 5X Review 24 1.9 1 0 9 6 8 Fenix 5X $685.00 USD at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit3 Run Review 23 5.9 8 3 5 2 5 Suunto Ambit3 Run $299.00 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Garmin Epix Review 23 3.4 0 0 9 6 8 Garmin Epix $199.95 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $172.99)
Suunto Spartan Ultra Review 23 2.1 8 2 6 2 5 Suunto Spartan Ultra $649.00 USD at Amazon.com
Polar V800 Review 22 2.7 9 4 3 2 4 Polar V800 without HRM $429.00 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Garmin 935 Review 22 2.4 1 0 7 6 8 Garmin 935 $499.95 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 910XT Review 21 6.7 5 3 6 2 5 Garmin 910XT without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit2 Review 21 4.5 4 3 6 2 6 Suunto Ambit2 $299.24 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 620 Review 20 5.6 3 2 2 6 7 Garmin 620 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit2 R Review 19 3.8 4 3 5 2 5 Suunto Ambit2 R without HRM $249.00 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 310XT Review 18 10 7 2 4 0 5 Garmin 310XT without HRM
price not listed at Amazon.com
Suunto Spartan Trainer Review 18 3.4 5 3 4 2 4 Suunto Spartan Trainer (Price Not Available)
Garmin Fenix 2 Review 18 2.5 1 0 6 6 5 Garmin Fenix 2 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin Vivoactive HR Review 17 3.8 0 0 2 6 9 Garmin Vivoactive HR $. at Amazon.com
(Referbished $175.00)
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review 15 2.8 0 0 4 4 7 Garmin Vivoactive 3 (Price Not Available)
Garmin 610 Review 14 3.9 3 2 3 2 4 Garmin 610 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Leikr Review 14 2 5 2 4 0 3 Leikr ($380)
Garmin 235 Review 12 2 0 0 2 2 8 Garmin 235 $329.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $259.95)
Polar M400 Review 11 4.9 3 1 1 2 4 Polar M400 without HRM $129.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $110.00)
Polar M430 Review 11 2.7 3 1 1 2 4 Polar M430 without HRM (Price Not Available)
Garmin Vivoactive Review 10 3.3 0 0 0 6 4 Garmin Vivoactive $127.18 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $87.99)
TomTom Cardio Runner Review 10 2.5 2 1 0 2 5 TomTom Cardio Runner price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 225 Review 9 2.9 1 1 0 2 5 Garmin 225 $249.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $259.99)
Epson SF-510 Review 6 3 0 0 0 2 4 Epson SF-510 $79.99 USD at Amazon.com
Epson SF-810 Review 6 2.3 1 0 0 2 3 Epson SF-810 $109.99 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 10 Review 2 0.9 0 0 0 0 2 Garmin 10 $86.57 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $88.97)

11.2 Score Breakdown with a Standard Footpod

Review Score Value for money6 How far did
you run?1
How fast are
you running?2
Where are
you?3
What's your
cadence?4
Bonus Points5 class="unsortable" |

Price at Amazon.com

Garmin Fenix 5X Review 32 2.3 1 4 9 10 8 Fenix 5X $685.00 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin Epix Review 31 3.9 0 4 9 10 8 Garmin Epix $199.95 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $172.99)
Garmin 920XT Review 30 4.7 1 4 7 10 8 Garmin 920XT without HRM $253.95 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $199.99)
Garmin 935 Review 30 3 1 4 7 10 8 Garmin 935 $499.95 USD at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review 29 4.1 8 3 6 6 6 Suunto Ambit3 Peak $301.16 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin Fenix 3 Review 28 3.1 2 1 7 10 8 Fenix 3 $449.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $379.98)
Suunto Ambit3 Run Review 27 5.5 8 3 5 6 5 Suunto Ambit3 Run $299.00 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Suunto Spartan Ultra Review 27 2.3 8 2 6 6 5 Suunto Spartan Ultra $649.00 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 910XT Review 26 6.1 5 4 6 6 5 Garmin 910XT without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Polar V800 Review 26 2.8 9 4 3 6 4 Polar V800 without HRM $429.00 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit2 Review 25 4.3 4 3 6 6 6 Suunto Ambit2 $299.24 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 310XT Review 24 8.3 7 4 4 4 5 Garmin 310XT without HRM
price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 620 Review 24 5.1 3 2 2 10 7 Garmin 620 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit2 R Review 23 3.8 4 3 5 6 5 Suunto Ambit2 R without HRM $249.00 USD at Amazon.com
Suunto Spartan Trainer Review 23 3.7 5 4 4 6 4 Suunto Spartan Trainer (Price Not Available)
Garmin Fenix 2 Review 22 2.7 1 0 6 10 5 Garmin Fenix 2 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin Vivoactive HR Review 21 3.8 0 0 2 10 9 Garmin Vivoactive HR $. at Amazon.com
(Referbished $175.00)
Garmin 610 Review 20 4.3 3 4 3 6 4 Garmin 610 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 235 Review 20 2.8 0 4 2 6 8 Garmin 235 $329.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $259.95)
Leikr Review 20 2.5 5 4 4 4 3 Leikr ($380)
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review 19 2.9 0 0 4 8 7 Garmin Vivoactive 3 (Price Not Available)
Polar M400 Review 15 4.5 3 1 1 6 4 Polar M400 without HRM $129.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $110.00)
Polar M430 Review 15 2.9 3 1 1 6 4 Polar M430 without HRM (Price Not Available)
Garmin Vivoactive Review 14 3.4 0 0 0 10 4 Garmin Vivoactive $127.18 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $87.99)
Garmin 225 Review 13 3.1 1 1 0 6 5 Garmin 225 $249.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $259.99)
TomTom Cardio Runner Review 10 2 2 1 0 2 5 TomTom Cardio Runner price not listed at Amazon.com
Epson SF-510 Review 6 2 0 0 0 2 4 Epson SF-510 $79.99 USD at Amazon.com
Epson SF-810 Review 6 1.6 1 0 0 2 3 Epson SF-810 $109.99 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 10 Review 2 0.6 0 0 0 0 2 Garmin 10 $86.57 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $88.97)

11.3 Score Breakdown with a Stryd Footpod

Review Score Value for money6 How far did
you run?1
How fast are
you running?2
Where are
you?3
What's your
cadence?4
Bonus Points5 class="unsortable" |

Price at Amazon.com

Garmin Epix Review 47 4.5 10 10 9 10 8 Garmin Epix $199.95 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $172.99)
Garmin Fenix 5X Review 47 2.9 10 10 9 10 8 Fenix 5X $685.00 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin Fenix 3 Review 45 3.8 10 10 7 10 8 Fenix 3 $449.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $379.98)
Garmin 935 Review 45 3.6 10 10 7 10 8 Garmin 935 $499.95 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin Vivoactive HR Review 40 4.9 10 10 1 10 9 Garmin Vivoactive HR $. at Amazon.com
(Referbished $175.00)
Garmin 920XT Review 39 4.4 10 10 1 10 8 Garmin 920XT without HRM $253.95 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $199.99)
Suunto Spartan Ultra Review 37 2.6 10 10 6 6 5 Suunto Spartan Ultra $649.00 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review 36 4 10 10 1 8 7 Garmin Vivoactive 3 (Price Not Available)
Garmin Vivoactive Review 34 5.1 10 10 0 10 4 Garmin Vivoactive $127.18 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $87.99)
Suunto Spartan Trainer Review 34 3.9 10 10 4 6 4 Suunto Spartan Trainer (Price Not Available)
Polar V800 Review 33 2.8 10 10 3 6 4 Polar V800 without HRM $429.00 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit2 Review 32 3.9 10 10 6 0 6 Suunto Ambit2 $299.24 USD at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review 32 3.4 10 10 6 0 6 Suunto Ambit3 Peak $301.16 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin Fenix 2 Review 31 2.9 10 10 6 0 5 Garmin Fenix 2 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit3 Run Review 30 4 10 10 5 0 5 Suunto Ambit3 Run $299.00 USD (new) at Amazon.com
Suunto Ambit2 R Review 30 3.5 10 10 5 0 5 Suunto Ambit2 R without HRM $249.00 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 235 Review 28 2.9 10 10 0 0 8 Garmin 235 $329.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $259.95)
Garmin 620 Review 27 3.8 10 10 0 0 7 Garmin 620 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 910XT Review 26 3.9 10 10 1 0 5 Garmin 910XT without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Garmin 310XT Review 25 4.6 10 10 0 0 5 Garmin 310XT without HRM
price not listed at Amazon.com
Polar M400 Review 25 4.3 10 10 1 0 4 Polar M400 without HRM $129.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $110.00)
Garmin 225 Review 25 3.8 10 10 0 0 5 Garmin 225 $249.99 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $259.99)
TomTom Cardio Runner Review 25 3.3 10 10 0 0 5 TomTom Cardio Runner price not listed at Amazon.com
Polar M430 Review 25 3.2 10 10 1 0 4 Polar M430 without HRM (Price Not Available)
Garmin 610 Review 24 3.3 10 10 0 0 4 Garmin 610 without HRM price not listed at Amazon.com
Leikr Review 10 1 5 2 0 0 3 Leikr ($380)
Epson SF-510 Review 4 0.7 0 0 0 0 4 Epson SF-510 $79.99 USD at Amazon.com
Epson SF-810 Review 4 0.6 1 0 0 0 3 Epson SF-810 $109.99 USD at Amazon.com
Garmin 10 Review 2 0.3 0 0 0 0 2 Garmin 10 $86.57 USD at Amazon.com
(Referbished $88.97)

11.4 Basic Features

Review

Released GPS
Accuracy
Weight (oz) Size (CM3) Display (mm) Resolution (Pixels) Waterproofing Heart Rate
Monitor
Cadence Data Upload
Garmin Epix Review 2015 6.2 3.0 48 29 x 21 (609mm2) 205 x 148 (30.3K total) Good (50m) Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Garmin Fenix 5X Review 2017 5.6 3.5 36 30.5 (round) (731mm2) 240 diameter (45.2K total) Good (100m) Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Garmin Fenix 3 Review 2015 6.2 2.9 33 30 (round) (726mm2) 218 diameter (37.3K total) Good (100m) Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Garmin 935 Review 2017 5.6 1.7 24 30.5 (round) (731mm2) 240 diameter (45.2K total) Good (100m) Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Garmin Vivoactive HR Review 2016 4.9 1.7 19 21 x 29 (609mm2) 148 x 205 (30.3K total) Good (50m) Yes (+OHRM) Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Garmin 920XT Review 2014 6.6 2.2 35 29 x 21 (609mm2) 205 x 148 (30.3K total) Good (50m) Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review 2017 1.5 17 30.5 (round) (731mm2) 240 diameter (45.2K total) Good (50m) Yes (+OHRM) Internal/Footpod Yes
Garmin Vivoactive Review 2015 5.4 1.3 13 29 x 21 (592mm2) 205 x 148 (30.3K total) Good (50m) Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Suunto Spartan Trainer Review 2017 7.8 2.0 25 24 x 23 (529mm2) 128 diameter (12.9K total) Good (50m) Yes (+OHRM) Internal/Footpod Yes
Suunto Ambit2 Review 2013 7.6 3.1 30 29 (round) (661mm2) 128 diameter (12.9K total) Good (100m) Yes Internal/Footpod Yes
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review 2014 7.9 2.9 30 29 (round) (661mm2) 128 diameter (12.9K total) Good (100m) Yes Internal/Footpod Yes
Suunto Spartan Ultra Review 2016 7.1 2.7 38 32 (round) (804mm2) 320 diameter (80.4K total) Good (100m) Yes Internal (Limited Footpod) Yes
Garmin Fenix 2 Review 2014 5.7 3.2 32 31 (round) (755mm2) 70 diameter (3.8K total) Good (50m) Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Suunto Ambit3 Run Review 2014 7.9 2.5 30 29 (round) (661mm2) 128 x 128 (16.4K total) Good (50m) Yes Internal/Footpod Yes
Suunto Ambit2 R Review 2013 7.6 2.5 30 29 (round) (661mm2) 128 diameter (12.9K total) Good (50m) Yes Internal/Footpod Yes
Garmin 235 Review 2015 4.9 1.5 19 31 (round) (755mm2) 215 diameter (36.3K total) Good (50m) Yes (+OHRM) Internal/Footpod Yes
Garmin 620 Review 2013 7.1 1.5 20 25.4 (round) (507mm2) 180 diameter (25.4K total) Good (50m) Yes Internal/Footpod/Heart Rate Monitor/Alert Yes
Garmin 910XT Review 2011 7.5 2.5 49 33 x 20 (660mm2) 160 x 100 (16K total) Good (50m) Yes Footpod/Alert Yes
Garmin 310XT Review 2009 7.5 2.5 63 33 x 20 (660mm2) 160 x 100 (16K total) Good (50m) Yes Footpod Yes
Garmin 225 Review 2015 6.2 1.5 24 25.4 (round) (507mm2) 180 diameter (25.4K total) Good (50m) Yes (+OHRM) Internal/Footpod Yes
TomTom Cardio Runner Review 2015 6.0 2.2 30 22 x 25 (550mm2) 144 x 168 (24.2K total) Good (50m) Yes (+OHRM) Internal/Footpod Yes
Polar V800 Review 2014 8.0 2.8 31 23 x 23 (529mm2) 128 x 128 (16.4K total) Good (30m) Yes Internal/Footpod Yes
Polar M430 Review 2017 7.2 2.0 24 23 x 23 (529mm2) 128 x 128 (16.4K total) Good (50m) Yes (+OHRM) Internal/Footpod Yes
Polar M400 Review 2014 6.6 2.0 24 23 x 23 (529mm2) 128 x 128 (16.4K total) Good (30m) Yes Internal/Footpod Yes
Garmin 610 Review 2011 7.3 2.5 41 25.4 (round) (507mm2) 128 diameter (12.9K total) Fair (IPX7) Yes Footpod/Alert Yes
Leikr Review 2013 7.3 2.4 25 41 x 31 (1271mm2) 206 x 148 (76.8K total) Fair (IPX6) Yes Footpod Limited
Epson SF-510 Review 2015 4.4 1.7 24 28 x 22 (616mm2) 128 x 96 (12.3K total) Good (50m) Yes Limited Internal Limited
Epson SF-810 Review 2015 5.5 1.8 28 28 (round) (616mm2) 128 diameter (12.9K total) Good (50m) OHRM Only) Limited Internal Limited
Garmin 10 Review 2012 3.8 1.3 33 25 x 24 (600mm2) 55 x 32 (1.8K total) Good (50m) No No Yes



Review

Battery
Life (hr)
Tested Battery
Life (hr)
Extended
Battery
Life (hr)
Charge On The Run? Training
Effect
HRV GPS cache Sensors
Garmin Epix Review 24 17.6 50 Yes (with USB=Garmin) Yes Record Yes Ant+
Garmin Fenix 5X Review 20 23 35 Yes, but can't be worn Yes Record Yes Bluetooth/Ant+
Garmin Fenix 3 Review 20 22 50 Yes (with USB=Garmin) Yes No Yes Ant+
Garmin 935 Review 24 24.5 60 Yes, but can't be worn Yes Record Yes Bluetooth/Ant+
Garmin Vivoactive HR Review 13 13 Yes (with USB=Garmin) No No Yes Ant+
Garmin 920XT Review 24 19 40 No (terminates) Yes Record Yes Ant+
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review 13 13 No Yes Bluetooth/Ant+
Garmin Vivoactive Review 10 10 10 Yes (with USB=Garmin) No No Yes Ant+
Suunto Spartan Trainer Review 10 11 30 Yes Yes No Yes Bluetooth
Suunto Ambit2 Review 15 50 Yes Yes Record Yes Ant+
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review 20 100 Yes Yes Record Yes Bluetooth
Suunto Spartan Ultra Review 18 17 26 Yes, but can't be worn Yes Record Yes Bluetooth
Garmin Fenix 2 Review 15 50 Yes (with USB=Garmin) Yes No Yes Ant+
Suunto Ambit3 Run Review 10 10.5 100 Yes Yes Record Yes Bluetooth
Suunto Ambit2 R Review 8 7.3 25 Yes Yes Record Yes Ant+
Garmin 235 Review 11 11 Yes, but no optical HR Yes No Yes Ant+
Garmin 620 Review 10 10 No (resets) Yes Record Yes Ant+
Garmin 910XT Review 20 20 Yes, but no display Yes Record No Ant+
Garmin 310XT Review 20 20 Yes, but no display No No No Ant+
Garmin 225 Review 10 11 10 No (resets) No No Yes Ant+
TomTom Cardio Runner Review 8 6.3 8 No (resets) No No Yes Bluetooth HR
Polar V800 Review 13 24 50 No (terminates) Yes Display Predictive Bluetooth
Polar M430 Review 8 8 8 No No No Yes Bluetooth
Polar M400 Review 8 8 Yes, but can't be worn No No No Bluetooth
Garmin 610 Review 8 8 Yes, but no display Yes Record No Ant+
Leikr Review 5 6.5 5 Yes, but can't be worn No No Yes (few hours) Ant+
Epson SF-510 Review 30 30 30 No No No Yes (few hours) Bluetooth HR
Epson SF-810 Review 20 26 20 No No No Yes (few hours) None
Garmin 10 Review 5 5 No No No No None

12 Navigation Features

Review

Color Maps Breadcrumbs Courses To Waypoint Compass Reverse course Beeline to start Connect IQ Altimeter
Garmin Epix Review Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Garmin Fenix 5X Review Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Garmin Fenix 3 Review No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Garmin 935 Review No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Garmin Vivoactive HR Review No No No No No No No Yes Yes
Garmin 920XT Review No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review No No No No No No No No No
Garmin Vivoactive Review No No No No No No Yes Yes No
Suunto Spartan Trainer Review No No No No No No Yes No No
Suunto Ambit2 Review No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Review No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Suunto Spartan Ultra Review No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Garmin Fenix 2 Review No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Suunto Ambit3 Run Review No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Suunto Ambit2 R Review No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Garmin 235 Review No No No No No No Yes Yes No
Garmin 620 Review No No No No No No No No No
Garmin 910XT Review No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
Garmin 310XT Review No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No
Garmin 225 Review No No No No No No No No No
TomTom Cardio Runner Review No No No No No No No No No
Polar V800 Review No No Yes No No No Yes No Yes
Polar M430 Review No No No No No No Yes No No
Polar M400 Review No No No No No No Yes No No
Garmin 610 Review No No Yes Yes No No Yes No No
Leikr Review Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
Epson SF-510 Review No No No No No No No No No
Epson SF-810 Review No No No No No No No No No
Garmin 10 Review No No No No No No No No No

For "navigation":

  • Color Maps gives you full color maps, rather like a smart phone, with roads and paths marked out.
  • Track Outline is a display of where you've run, rather like a breadcrumb trail. If there are maps, the outline is superimposed otherwise this is just the outline on its own without any context.
  • Course Outline is an outline of a route that can be downloaded. I've found this useful during ultras or in unfamiliar cities where I've needed to know where to go.
  • Back To Start is a simple arrow point to your starting point, so it won't help you backtrack.
  • Back To Waypoint returns you to a previously marked location using a simple arrow to point.
  • Compass. A magnetic compass can help you orient yourself or the map. Without a magnetic compass you have to be moving for the GPS to give you a sense of direction.


(Older Reviews: Polar RC3 GPS, Soleus 1.0, Motorola Motoactv.)