Polar M400 vs Garmin 220 Comparison

Most sports watches nowadays can perform a wide range of functions, such as smartphone interaction and physical activity assistance. Yet, they become a vital role in your daily life. What’s on your mind right now may be the consideration between Garmin Forerunner 220 vs. Polar M400. Which one is better? Which one should you buy, Garmin Forerunner 220 or Polar M400?

Don’t worry. We got your back. In this article, we will layout 6 of the essential criteria for when it comes to choosing a sports watch. Also, we will compare head-to-head Garmin Forerunner 220 vs. Polar M400 and help you refine your buying decision. Stay tuned and read on!

6 Considerations When Choosing Polar M400 vs. Garmin 220


Criteria           Garmin Forerunner 220Polar M400
Dust-proof and water-resistantYesYes
Branded damage-resistant glassNoNo
Screen resolution180x180px128x128px
Water-proof depth rating50m30m

Firstly, as a sport watch, Garmin Forerunner 220 and Polar M400 offer sweat-resistance, dust-proofing, and water-resistance to endure the most difficult situations. But sadly, they are not provided with a branded damage-resistant glass, harder for the users to remain intact from scratch and impact after time. Of course, they have a display to indicate to you what is occurring, but you can not control it by touch because of the absence of touchscreen, which might become a deal-breaker of Garmin Forerunner 220 and Polar M400.

On the other hand, compared to Polar M400, Garmin Forerunner 220 acquired a higher screen resolution, which is 180x180px and just 128x128px, respectively. Even if they are both quite heavy to the users, Garmin Forerunner 220 is, in fact, 16.3g lighter than Polar M400, showing that Garmin Forerunner 220’s outlook is optimized quite thoroughly to give you the best experience on your wrist. For divers, water-proofing is worthy of consideration. Garmin Forerunner 220 can withstand the water depth threshold up to 50m, while it is just 30 of Polar M400.

Overall, even if Garmin does a solid job with this model compared to Polar M400, they are, in fact, not revolutionary.


Criteria           Garmin Forerunner 220Polar M400
Heart rate monitorYesNo
Blood oxygenation level monitoringNoNo
Cadence sensorNoYes

In terms of sensors, GPS and accelerometer are offered to Garmin Forerunner 220 and Polar M400, which can track your route and serve your running purpose quite precisely. Although compass and blood oxygenation level monitors are missed out, it is understandable in this segment among their peers.

The significant difference here is the lack of heart rate monitor on Polar M400, which you will look even more of an oversight down the line. Polar tries to compensate with a cadence sensor for cycling field, but there is not enough to fill the hole it has.

To conclude, in general training to heavy sports, heart rate monitor plays a crucial role in indicating very important data in order to adjust the exercises, but sadly, Polar M400 can not do it. It is a great flaw and so that Garmin Forerunner 220 completely takes the win in this round.

Activity tracking

Criteria           Garmin Forerunner 220Polar M400
Distance trackingYesYes
Walking step taken trackingYesYes
Sleep trackingNoYes
Sleep reportingNoYes
Calories burnt trackingYesYes
Pace trackingYesYes
Activity reportsYesYes
Elevation trackingNoYes
Route trackingYesNo
Goal setting modeYesYes
Exercise taggingNoYes
Trackback modeNoYes

Regards to activity tracking, things are reassuringly familiar. Distance tracking, walking step taken tracking, calorie burnt tracking, pace tracking, activity reports, and goal setting mode are all fitted to Garmin Forerunner 220 and Polar M400, which are very fundamental and essential features of a sport watch. However, Polar M400 is finally making a big move to improve performance with sleep tracking and sleep reporting, which is a field that Garmin Forerunner 220 can not reach. Polar M400 also offers elevation tracking, exercise tagging, and trackback mode to the users to cover a much wider range of decent data, which Garmin Forerunner 220 does not possess.

As you can see, it is the turning point for Polar M400 in this round as the win is for Polar M400 deservedly.


Criteria           Garmin Forerunner 220Polar M400
Android compatibleYesYes
iOS compatibleYesYes
Syncs wirelesslyYesYes
ANT+ connectivityYesNo

There is nothing much to compare in this section, as Garmin Forerunner 220 and Polar M400, just similar to their peers, are quite harmonious to devices with the Android and iOS compatibility. Wireless syncing is also provided, but sorely Garmin Forerunner 220 possesses the ANT+ connectivity to open up a whole new sort of fitness device.


Criteria           Garmin Forerunner 220Polar M400
Battery life42 days24 days
Battery life with GPS on10h8h
Battery level indicatorNoYes
Rechargeable batteryYesYes
Wireless chargingNoNo

Turning to the battery, Garmin Forerunner 220k and Polar M400 both step up to a rechargeable battery but still bundle with wired charging. In terms of the stamina, Garmin Forerunner 220 probably outperforms Polar M400 with 42 days function of Garmin Forerunner 220, while it is just 24 days of Polar M400 but still quite exceptional among their peers. Their battery life with GPS turned on is perfectly decent as well, with about ten hours of Garmin Forerunner 220 and eight hours of Polar M400.

In this round, the win is probably given to Garmin Forerunner 220 with decent stamina, but both are competent.


Criteria           Garmin Forerunner 220Polar M400
Phone locatingNoNo
Silent alarmYesNo
Vibrating alertsYesNo
Inactivity alertsNoYes
Achievement trackingYesYes
Access to online servicesYesYes
Social featuresYesYes

In the last section, you can see that Garmin Forerunner 220 and Polar M400 do quite a good job in social features, as the access to online services and social community are both opened to users. Toward the features that might assist your exercises, either of model offers stopwatch and achievement tracking to help you with that.

But the difference occurs the extra silent alarm and vibrating alert features of Garmin Forerunner 220, while Polar M400 probably motivates you more often with inactivity alerts.

To conclude, they are not much distinct from each other, so we perhaps give this round a draw.

Conclusion: Polar M400 vs. Garmin 220 – Which One Should You Buy?

At the bottom line, both Garmin Forerunner 220 and Polar M400 are quite exceptional in those sections above but regards to several significant flaws of Polar M400. Probably it is a deal-breaker to this model in this competition.

Choosing Garmin Forerunner 220 if:

  • You are an extreme diver and need a light and decent sport watch.
  • You have already had many fitness monitors waiting to connect to your sport watch.
  • You need a high battery capacity.

Choosing Polar M400 if:

  • You are in love with cycling.
  • You need to keep track of every aspect of your daily basis, specifically your sleep.