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- Huzzah, iOS and Android compatibility!
- However, the M600's battery life tanks when used with iOS
- The Polar Flow app succeeds in being useful for generalists and more hardcore users alike
The Polar M600 is compatible with Android and iOS, making it one of a rather small (but growing) handful of Android Wear smartwatches that offer compatibility for both sides of the fence.
A big reason for the cross-compatibility is probably because Polar Flow, the companion app which the M600 feeds into, is available on both platforms. It's a rare, but welcomed move to see some - scratch that, any - unique functionality working with Android Wear and iOS, but unfortunately, there are some caveats.
First off, third-party apps (other than Polar's) won't work on the M600 when it's synced with an iOS device. You'll receive notifications, but you'll likely need to whip your phone out to take an action on most of them.
Also, Polar stated that battery life varies wildly depending on what OS you're using. On Android, it offers two days of battery life with mixed use, eight hours while working out and about four with GPS enabled. On iOS, you'll only get a max battery life of one day with mixed use, up to eight hours during workout mode. Here's to hoping that a patch, or the upgrade to Android Wear 2.0 can help things out here.
Our testers aren't the most active bunch, but we made sure to do a little bit of exercise to properly test the battery. On a Nexus 6P, we were able to squeeze an average of two days of mixed use out of the Polar M600. Sometimes, the smartwatch lasted longer, while other times it died more quickly.
Touching on the companion app, in addition to tracking intensive activities in the Polar Flow app, the M600 can also record some standard wearable features, like sleep tracking and step count, both of which consistently put out accurate, detailed results.
Checking up on the app isn't a necessity, as the M600 can display a lot of the information on the screen - a big plus compared to how most fitness trackers operate. But when you do log into Flow, you'll be greeted by a slick user interface and as much or as little detail as you'd like.
For example, you can find a date and simply glance at how much sleep you got. Or if you're hungry for metrics, you can drill down to see the amount of your sleep that Polar considers to be restful.
Another example: the feed view shows the quick and dirty info from a workout, but clicking into, say, a walking activity shows a play-by-play look at your trek. Every step of the way, the M600 is recording your heart rate, and the GPS is recording the location. We found the latter function to be more accurate outside of large metropolitan areas, as the results shown from a walk through Manhattan made our tester seem like a chicken with its head cut off.
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Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.