Polar M400 Fitness Watch Review

Polar M400 Fitness Watch Review

Nov 22, 2016

Fitness tools with a mobile bent make sense, and Polar is a leading entity in this space; it’s M400 Fitness Watch looks to be a great option for those that want something that does the job of tracking health strides in a relatively unobtrusive way.

So, what do we get?

In testing, I liked the fact that I could get it going with a touch or two. It did take me a few goes (and false starts) to get comfortable, but it worked well overall. The default screen is effective in monochrome default, and the simple activity bar makes sense. The brightness toggle is also a nice touch.

The companion application works well to expand upon the functionality of the unit. It possible to get data to Google Fit, Google Calendar and Polar’s own fitness utilities via the app and Bluetooth. The app allows one to manage units of measurement, device usage, profiles and more. The app works well to be an extended device manager, and syncing data didn’t take too long.

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Now, one aspect of the watch that does resonate is the ability to sync the watch with Android devices via the aforementioned app. As long as both are running and synced, the watch will get notifications from the device. Now, these notifications cannot be acted upon, say, as would be possible on a “true” smartwatch, but are great for basic info on any number of situations.

The Windows component feels a bit clunky, and I did not like that it was necessary for setup; fortunately, beyond updating, there isn’t be a need for it as far as I can tell.

For folks who are still not completely sold on smartwatches for everyday use, or who might strongly lean towards an emphasis on fitness and health tracking, the M400 is a great option. It works well as a standalone product, but can also add functionality here and there via connected smartdevices and/or Polar itself.

Polar Bowler Review

Polar Bowler Review

Apr 14, 2014

There are bowling games, and there are bowling games. Polar Bowler looks to NOT be your momma’s bowling simulation, and at first blush, it does well at being the renegade.

In a post-Angry Birds world, the initial element of catapulting animals will be fairly familiar. In this one, our genial bear, PB, straps himself on a tub of sorts, and with the help of a massive human-sized slingshot, becomes just the bowling ball that the curiously laid out set of bowling pins need.

The graphics are fairly sharp, quite representative of a polar atmosphere with a lot od whites and blues making up the landscape. The 3D representations are mostly reasonable, and are buttressed adequately by the animations. The control set involves gesture pulling and the occasional taps. The controls are a big part of the gameplay; to get PB in motion, “pulling back” and releasing in the direction of the pins is necessary. There are direction buttons pol1on each side of the play area that allow for the sling to be adjusted before the shot, and to also alter the direction of the already launched bear.

One aspects that makes the game unique is how the sets of pins are laid out. A typical level could have an initial set of pins, and another set or two in different areas that need some sort of finagling to get to; the basic idea is to knock down a set number of pins to advance.

The game has plenty of power-ups, some from wood cases that show up in the playing area, and others that are bonus grabs, or can be purchased with coins garnered from playing. The power-ups are stuff called tubes that can be selected prior to a run… stuff like pin magnets or extra jet power.

Yep, it’s fun. Some might balk at the additional in-app purchases after paying, but even as-is, it doesn’t feel like a wasted 99c.