M450 Review

Polar M450 Review – Looking for a Bike Computer?

At a Glance: Quick Ratings

Heart Rate Functions


Fitness / Sport Features


Ease of Use


Battery Life


Where To Get It

A Deep Dive Into Polar M450

I have had the pleasure of using and testing the Polar M450 for over 1 month and can confirm without any hesitation that it’s the best bike computer Polar have ever produced. It’s a serious competitor for the Garmin Edge 25. The Polar M450 GPS bike computer has been reviewed by Tristan Haskins aka Cardio Critic (was HeartRateMonitor UK)

  • Who Is It For?

  • Video Review

  • Pros

  • Cons

If you are looking for a bike computer with built-in GPS and optional heart rate, cadence and even power support then look no further than the Polar M450. It’s not a navigators GPS device but a top spec performance monitoring bike computer.

The M450 is suitable for all levels of cyclists from daily commuters, recreational and family riders to performance monitoring athletes and competition riders.

There’s very little this mid-sized GPS bike computer can’t do it even has built-in fitness tests and customisable display views so you can see what’s relevant to you. If you didn’t already know, Polar started selling heart rate monitors in 1976. CardioCritic have tested the majority of Polar heart rate monitors & bike computers – using them for the first time in 1996

Main Features and Functions


Thickness14,0 mm
(with mount19,4 mm)
Display size3.5cm x 3.5cm
Splash proof (IPX7)

Technical Features

  • High precision barometer
  • Sensitive and accurate GPS
  • 64Mb flash memory
  • 35 hours of recording time with HR, GPS and power sensors on
  • Rechargeable 385mAh battery
  • Battery duration up to 16 hours of training with heart rate and GPS on


  • Easy wireless sync via Polar Flow app with Bluetooth Smart
  • Micro-USB connectivity for charging and data sync with PC or Mac via Polar FlowSync
  • Splash proof (IPX7)
  • Polar Flow web service compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6 or later and PC Windows XP, 7, 8.
  • GPS satellite pre-loading
  • Updatable software
  • UI languages English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, German, Italian, Finnish, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese

Additional Features

Bluetooth Heart Rate, Speed, Cadence & Power

Recovery Time

Training Load

Smart calories

Training Benefit

Orthostatic test

Fitness Test

Emergency Backlight

Fitness Tests to monitor progress

Top Alternatives

Next Model UP

The next model up would be the FULL SIZE Polar V650 with it’s touch-screen COLOUR display. The biggest difference between the two is the V650 supports MAPPING. It’s not got auto-routing capabilities like the Garmin Edge 810/1000, however, it does support FREE OpenStreetMap mapping support. You simply select a 450km square area and it downloads the WHOLE MAP…. FREE … with super high resolution down to street names

220 Triathlon Magazine “Best on Test”

220 Triathlon Magazine gave the Polar M450 the prestigious “Best on Test” following a review of 10 mid-sized GPS bike computers. Awarding the M450 an excellent 90% score overall. Included in the test was the Edge 1000, Wahoo Elemnt, Lezyne Super GPS, Sigma Sport Rox 5.0, all bettered by the M450. If Rob Banino had known how to configure / customise the display it would have surely got an even higher score …..

What 220 Triathlon said…

The M450 is the little brother of the V650 computer we tested in August. “Little” in the sense that it has fewer features (no colour screen or route mapping) and smaller dimensions – 49 74mm compared to the V650’s 63 x 105mm. It’s also lighter (63g rather than 132g) so it stays put whereas the V650 slides around when you hit a bump [NOT if you use the OUT FRONT mount, Tristan]. The M450 is a GPS unit but you can pair it to a heart rate strap (optional) as well as cadence, speed and power sensors (sold separately). It took 18 seconds to fit the mount to the stem and 3.27 mins to configure the computer. The only gripe is that all the readings it displays in use are the same size. So until you’re fully accustomed to the M450, it’s not immediately clear what data you’re looking at unless you check the symbols next to the numbers … [this last bit is INCORRECT. The M450 features fully configurable training views with 1,2,3 or 4 lines per page, similar to Edge units]

Verdict => 90% Quick and simple to set up but no clear hierarchy to display info [oh yes there is… Tristan]

Configuring the M450 for 1,2,3 or 4 lines per display

This is what the 220 tester didn’t know how to do. It’s very easy with Polar Flow to set the Training Views for your different sports. You can have 8 x pages per sport and each page may be 1,2,3 or 4 lines. You can mix any metric with any other, speed, distance, altitude, power, cadence etc. It’s your choice. Currently Polar Sports profiles include a generic Cycling, MTB, Indoor Cycling and Road Riding. This means you can have different display options for the various styles of riding.

Take the Garmin Edge 400 & Polar M400…

For those familiar with Garmin and Polar products we’d say it’s the combination of all the good features from the older Garmin Edge 400 and current Polar M400 wrist worn GPS HRM. The M450 has been purposefully designed to support all riding styles and goals. It’s small, customisable and packed with sensible, usable features. M450 logs your routes and trails using an integrated GPS and built-in precision barometer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *