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Polar M450 Cycling Computer

Garmin has been the undisputed market leader when it comes to bike navigation equipment and cycling cumputers, but Polar has been steadily creating a new range of cycling related products to take on the established order. One of these products is the new Polar M450. It’s small, competitively priced, and offers broadly similar functionality as its competitors. This small bike computer has entered into a big battle against the established order.

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Polar M450

The three points mentioned above were considered high priorities by Polar, partly because they’ll be facing off against the current market leader, Garmin. Something which is considered nigh-impossible because of the sheer dominance established by Garmin.

The first thing that stands out as soon as you pick up the Polar M450 is its size. The design is sleek, attractive and compact. It houses a strong GPS sensor allowing you to track your speed, distance, and route accurately. The internal barometric sensor will give you an exact altitude calculation for your ride, while the built-in Bluetooth will enable you to connect the Polar M450 to your phone. You can easily check out and analyse your rides using Polar FlowSync, which also allows you to create extensive training programmes. Polar has also thought about the integration and migration of data to other training services such as Endomondo, TrainingPeaks, and Strava, the last of which can also be directly linked to your Polar Flow account via the online application. Finally, the Polar M450 has interchangeable rear covers, allowing you to personalise the look of your device and match it to the rest of your gear.

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Excellent Value for Money

The Polar M450 offers fantastic value for money, especially when you consider what you get from competitors such as Garmin for the same amount. A clever and necessary move from Polar! The Polar M450 offers virtually identical functionality to the Garmin Edge 520, but at a price which -on average- is around 100 pounds lower.

Bluetooth

The Polar M450 uses Bluetooth instead of ANT+, which might pose a problem for some when it comes to connectivity. It particularly limits your choices when it comes to external accessories. Polar considers ANT+ as Garmin’s own proprietary connection protocol and as such don’t (yet) offer any compatible accessories or products. Many brands have chosen to offer dual-band connectivity (Bluetooth and ANT+) in order to reach more people, but Polar has stuck to their guns and offer Bluetooth only. Polar’s own line of Bluetooth accessories is extensive, but other brands are taking a little more time to switch over to the Bluetooth protocol.

Conclusion

The Polar M450 is an excellent cycling computer for those looking for a compact, easy to use device. It offers ample functionality and training options for even the most fanatical athletes. The excellent value for money ensures you’re getting a lot of tech at an excellent price point. If you’re interested in the Polar M450, do note that all external communication takes place via Bluetooth rather than ANT+.

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Bart van Es

Bart van Es

My heart stilll lies with my boat, though it's forever being tugged at by the bike. I spend most of my time on or around the water, either as a rower or a coach. However, I'm always up for a blast around the countryside after work with my colleagues! Proud owner of a Giant TCR Composite, and addicted to upgrading it...

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One thought on “Polar M450 Cycling Computer”

  1. Having spent £100’s on speed sensors/HRMs/Power Meters that are all Garmin compatible (ANT+) the fact that the Polaris doesn’t support it instantly rules it out of consideration as a potential Garmin replacement. What were they thinking?!
    Yes, ANT+ is a Garmin invention.
    But if they want to compete they’ll just have to suck it up, apply for an ANT+ licence (which will raise the price affecting its competitiveness) and make the Polaris viable to those of us who would consider switching but have ANT+ kit.
    Which I imagine would be the vast majority…

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