Polar M600 Connectivity issues with iOS/iPhones

The Polar M600 is a brilliant smartwatch. This is one of the first true smartwatches produced by Polar, who generally stick to the fitness side. Interestingly, they haven’t yet released a follow up to this brilliant watch. We looked at it a few years ago, loved it, and it is still the watch I am currently wearing right now.

Back then, I was pretty much an Android guy, so anything that ran Android Wear, or Wear OS as it is now called, worked perfectly. While their Watch OS has changed, the connectivity with Android phones has generally been good. However, it is a whole different story when you look at iOS/iPhone connectivity. In fact, when I last moved to an iPhone from an Android, I ended up going back to my analog watch.


Now though, I wanted to go back to the Polar M600 as it is a great fitness. It measures your heart rate, has built-in GPS, a pretty decent fitness app and of course everything else you want or get from a Wear OS watch. I am not getting any younger and have started to include some regular fitness activities in my life. While the numbers probably don’t mean that much from the watch, they are good at keeping me motivated, and that is what this watch is all about.

So, as I moved from my Huawei P30 Pro to the trusty old iPhone 7 Plus, I really wanted to carry on wearing this watch. I had some issues, but have seemingly resolved them all, so thought I’d write an article detailing them.

Just as an FYI, the issues were so annoying that I almost bought a dedicated fitness watch. I had my heart set on the Garmin Forerunner 35, with its long battery life and features. However, luckily, end of the month meant I wanted to check my cashflow and instead found ways around the issues.

Anyway, without further ado, here we go:

Wear OS watches need to be Factory Reset to move to a new phone

Yeah, this one is obvious for those who know, but not so much for others. You can’t just pair it to a new phone, or multiple phones. You have to Factory Reset it.

To do so:

  • Go to your Apps
  • Go to Settings
  • Go to System
  • Click on ‘Disconnect and Reset’
  • And do the usual ‘are you sure, yes I am’ routine.

Polar M600 will update again after the reset

This one I found a bit odd. Weirdly, even though it has had an OS update, if you reset it, it reverts back to the older version of Wear OS it had on it.

This means you need to add WiFi to it, which means you are best off sitting at home or in an area with a pretty decent WiFi connection.

Try Disconnect and Reset yet again!

So, one of the main issues with connectivity I found came because of a bad WiFi when I first updated it.

I tried the whole Disconnect/Reset thing again at home, with the watch sitting static, having added the home WiFi password on it, and since then it has been a lot better. When it does disconnect, it tends to reconnect again.

You can obviously use this with other Android Wear/Wear OS watches as well, and sort your Wear OS connectivity issues with iPhones/iOS.

You will have to SYNC fitness data manually

Yeah, annoying, but at least it works. In order to have your fitness data from your watch to your phone, and hence the Polar M600 app/website, you need to manually sync it to your phone.

In order to do so, go to the Polar M600 app on the watch, swipe up till you get to the Sync bit, and click on it.

It will go from Searching to (hopefully) Syncing.

Restart your Polar M600

I hate this one. We really shouldn’t have to live in a world where this is a way out, but sadly it helps.

Restart your phone

Aargh. See above.

Ensure the Wear OS app is running on your phone

It is easy to ‘turn off’ apps in iOS by swiping them up or killing them. Sadly, the only way Wear OS pairs to your phone is if the app is running. So yeah, turn the app on, press Home on your phone, and leave it running. Do not turn it off/kill it, as that will kill the pair.

Ensure the Polar M600/Polar Flow app is running on your phone

See above.

Turn Bluetooth off and on again on your phone

This one was particularly frustrating. I found that the Polar M600 app itself wasn’t pairing. I can live without the notifications on the watch, but fitness is something I needed to work. For two days, it just wouldn’t sync data, no matter what I did. Finally, I tried turning the Bluetooth on the phone and turned it back on again.

Opened the app, forced the watch to sync data, and viola.

 

PS, while this came out in 2016, you can still get one from under £200 from the likes of Amazon

Sami Mughalhttps://www.oxgadgets.com
Can be found somewhere between designing new tech as an electronics engineer or testing new tech as a technology enthusiast. Lives mostly on Twitter, and would love to have a word with you there as @smacula.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you, Sami! My two cents:

    Pairing: I keep smartwatches paired with smartphones. I currently use two Apple Watches with two iPhones and two Polar M600s with two Android smartphones. And a SmartWatch 3 with an Android tablet.

    M600: I do love the watch. (I bought them successively, earlier this year.) For running Wear OS and for its battery life: I’m not into fitness. HOWEVER, the magnetic connector for charging still drives me mad. It is prone to disconnect, even using the “loop lock” I devised. Do remember to blow any grain of sand or dust away before charging, and do check the battery status before using the watch.

    • Hi Chris, thanks for your comment and input. Yeah. The magnetic connector often disconnects and you only realise in the morning when you’re there with just 20% left for the day. I’d love to have an Apple Watch as well but so far haven’t been able to justify the costs to myself.

      • As I see it (or rather: as I use it), an Apple Watch is rather strongly tied to the iPhone as a part of the Apple ecosystem (which I have come to describe as ordering a taxi), whereas a Wear OS watch seems more stand-alone Iin the Androud ecosystem, which I have come to describe as tweaking a car).
        For illustration, just look at the possibilities of Watchmaker for either platform.

        So, me neither, I couldn’t justify the cost of an Apple Watch when merely changing ecosystems (rather than keeping a foot in both, like me).

        • Yeah – though I like the Apple approach where it fits like a glove instead of the Android one-size fits all approach, though not very well for anything.

          Also interesting the approach taken by fitness watches recently to merge with Android or create apps for Apple Watch to serve that market.

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