Let’s Get Training With Polar M430 and H10

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Polar M430 vs H10 \ Image: Polar
Polar M430 vs H10 \ Image: Polar

While kicking the bag at CKO this past month, I’ve been joined by two pieces of equipment: the Polar M430 and the H10. The M430 is a wrist-based activity monitor and the H10 is a chest strap that syncs to my phone. You don’t technically need both, but the H10 does sync with the M430, so I guess you could say it’s kind of an add-on that can also stand on its own.

Because the H10 can stand on its own, I’m going to compare the two and show you how they are similar and how they are different so you can determine for yourself which one you need or if you want to grab them both for the best of both worlds and switch between them as I do.

What’s the Difference Between the M430 and the H10?

Polar Fitness M430 App Screens \ Image: Dakster Sullivan
Polar Fitness M430 App Screens \ Image: Dakster Sullivan
  • The M430 retails for $199 (Amazon has it for $180 right now).
  • The H10 retails for $89.95 (Amazon has it for $73 at the moment).
  • The M430 is a watch that you can wear all the time and get your phone notifications on.
  • The H10 is a band that goes around your chest, and while it doesn’t give you phone notifications, it does give you voice feedback on your workouts.
  • The M430 you can control with the watch face.
  • The H10 you have to control with your phone.
  • The H10 doesn’t interfere with the boxing gloves.
  • In case you do any kind of boxing like I do: in order to wear the M430, I have to strap it a little above my gloves, and that interferes with some of the moves we do on the heavy bags.
  • The M430 has a battery lifespan of 30 training hours.
  • The H10 battery last 400 hours (with an over the counter replaceable battery).
  • The M430 will track your sleep habits and give you feedback.
  • The M430 has integrated GPS.
  • The H10 uses the Polar Beats app.
  • The M430 uses the Polar Flow app.

How Are the M430 and the H10 Similar?

Polar Fitness H10 Screens \ Image: Dakster Sullivan
Polar Fitness H10 Polar Beat Screens \ Image: Dakster Sullivan
  • Both are waterproof and can be worn in the shower or the pool.
  • Both devices are compatible with the same devices (Android and iOS).
  • Both devices are compatible with the same 3rd party apps including MyFitnessPal, Google Fit, and Apple Health Kit.
  • Both devices give feedback about your workouts in their own way.
  • Both have very impressive battery lifespans.
  • Both have access to over 100 pre-configured sports that have special algorithms built-in so you get the most accurate calorie count based on the sport you’re doing.
  • Both will let you leave your phone behind while you train and sync up your metrics later.

What Is My Preference?

I wear the first generation Apple Watch during the day, and I can’t say the Polar M430 had me wanting to leave it behind for my daily use. The Polar M430 is not a touch screen and I can’t respond to my text messages on it. Texting aside, the Polar beats my Apple Watch hands down when it comes to my fitness.

With the H10, I put it on and forget about it. It’s so comfortable that I slip it on, set it for kickboxing, and just start kicking tail. The M430 can be distracting during my workout because it shows me in real time where my heart rate is sitting at and how long I’ve been working out for, so that can stop me from focusing on my work out and instead have me focusing on my stats.

What Does My Instructor Think?

As far as my workout goes, I think the little gym instructor on my shoulder would rather I not wear the M430 to class simply because of the distractions it offers me. When I’m in class, my mind should be on the bag, not on my watch.

Then again, being able to see that my heart rate is sitting at a two when I want it to be at a four motivates me to hit harder, so I argue that it’s better for me to wear it to class. Which puts me on the fence again! I guess I just can’t pick. I like them both equally.

When it comes down to it, I guess it all depends on your personal preference and budget. Use the comparison above and go from there. That’s my suggestion.

In the meantime, check out my post about battling anxiety and depression by kicking it out at CKO Kickboxing!

Disclaimer: I was sent a review sample.

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