Polar Vantage M - Polar Vantage V

Review and opinion


Cambiar idioma

The Polar Vantage V is probably the most anticipated watch of 2018. Almost 5 years after the presentation of its last triathlon watch, the Polar V800, the Finnish brand has finally created a worthy successor. And it does so with two models, adding the Polar Vantage M to a family we didn't expect to be so complete.

The two represent a major change for Polar in many ways, as we move away from square boxes to a circular display design; a new optical pulse sensor that Polar says is the most advanced to date; new GPS chip, color screen... and of course we must not forget that they were the first to include the running power directly on the watch without the need for any other external accessories.

Polar's commitment is remarkable, as the years of development behind these two watches testify, but there are still some functions that have yet to come and are greatly missed in the Vantage (because they were present in the brand's previous models), such as the route navigation of routes, the Notifications of mobile phone or the zone closure.

I have been working with both Polar models for more than a month, so I think I have a good idea of what both models offer. They have accompanied me during many training sessions finishing the preparation for the Malaga Marathon, so we have spent many hours together.

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I won't keep you any longer. Do you want to know everything about the new Polar Vantage? Then grab a coffee and sit back, because I'm going to tell you everything you need to know about these watches and so far nobody has told you. 

Polar Vantage


Overall operation - 7.5
Training possibilities - 7
Platform and applications - 9
Battery life - 10
Finish and comfort - 8.5
Price/performance ratio - 7.5



Five years have passed since the last Polar multisport watch. All these years have led to the Vantage series with two models that are quite similar. Both fully modernize everything Polar offers with new metrics for monitoring your training, a highly advanced optical pulse sensor and the latest GPS chipset for greater range.

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User Rating: 2.69 ( 7 votes)

The good


  • Great battery life in both models
  • The Vantage V is the first watch to offer running power data without any other accessories
  • New training and recovery control metrics exclusive to Polar are easy to follow and understand
  • Polar has not limited the Vantage M. It is also a triathlon watch, supports both cycling and running power (with external accessory) and has Training Load Pro

The bad

  • There are still things to come with updates (blocking zones, leaving lights on...)
  • Vantage M has no route navigation
  • He's lost the analog band so he can record heart rates while swimming
  • There are only two clock faces to choose from: analog or digital


New to the Polar Vantage range

Before I go into the details of either model, I would like to clarify what is new in the Vantage range and what makes the two models different.

  • New heart rate monitor Polar Precision Prime which also works in swimmingIt has a total of 9 illumination LEDs (5 green, 4 red) and four electrodes. It is a sensor developed by Polar and is only available on Vantage.
  • Support for running power In Vantage V directly and in Vantage M via external accessory.
  • Altimeter barometric on the Polar Vantage V, altitude via GPS on the Vantage M.
  • Colour display on both models, and in the case of the Vantage V also touch screen.
  • Chip Sony GPS with better autonomy (the same as Suunto 9).
  • Compatible with GPS and GLONASS.
  • Training metrics on both models. Training Load Pro is available in both (cardiovascular load, muscle load and perceived load).
  • Recovery status on the Polar Vantage V: Recovery ProA Polar H6, H7 or H10 external pulse sensor is required.
  • Great autonomy Up to 40 hours with 1-second GPS recording on the Vantage V and up to 30 hours on the M. Yes, really.

As of December 2018 there are also some functions that have not made the cut but will come in the near future.

  • Notifications of the cell phone on the clock. Added in version 3 of February 11
  • Route navigation in the Vantage V and back to home function in the Vantage M. Added in version 3 of February 11
  • Fitness test.
  • Segments of Strava live.
  • Training with zone lockout.

And functions that have been lost along the way that were present in previous models.

  • Possibility to use external pulse sensor in swimming (the V800 allowed to use the 5hz analog band, it is no longer possible).
  • GoPro camera control. It was one of the updates the V800 received halfway through its commercial life.
  • Possibility of extending the battery by reducing the recording rate, although it is true that with the autonomy that the new models have it is no longer so important.

I would like to point out that there are two blocks of benefits that are missing. The first one is things that are not there now, but that will come through updates and that Polar has already confirmedThe second one I don't know yet whether it will come in the future or not.

You're not entirely clear on the comparison between the M and the V? The differences are as follows.

Polar Vantage M vs Polar Vantage V. Differences

When we talk about the Vantage M we should not consider it as a different model of the Vantage VBoth models share many functions and features, but the Vantage M has some cuts from the V to offer at a more attractive price.

  • The Polar Vantage V has barometric altimeterNot Vantage M.
  • Since it has no barometer, the Polar Vantage M has no running power as the Vantage V (although it can be displayed if we use an external sensor such as Stryd or RunScribe).
  • The function of Recovery Pro is exclusive to the Polar Vantage VThe Vantage M doesn't have it.
  • The Vantage V has at its disposal orthostatic test as a fundamental part of Recovery Pro, the M... no.
  • In the Polar Vantage V the screen en touchNot the Vantage M's.
  • In Vantage V, we can punch a clock, in Vantage M we can't.
  • The Polar Vantage V has sound tones in addition to vibration, the M just vibrates.
  • The Vantage V offers up to 40 hours of autonomy with GPS recording at one second. The Vantage M "settles" for "only" 30In any case, both facts are impressive.
  • The Vantage M allows the strap to be changed easily thanks to quick release. The Vantage V uses a specific strap (but can also be replaced).
  • The materials used are different, with Vantage V being of higher quality construction and better appearance.
  • While the Vantage V weight 66 gramsThe Vantage M slims down to only 45.
  • Vantage M is offered in two different belt sizes, the V only in one.
  • The Vantage M is available in black and white, and the V is also available in orange (although I'm sure it will be expanded in both cases in the future).
  • The Polar Vantage V is priced at £499, the Vantage M is almost half that (£279).

In short, you can see that both models are family and there are a number of small differences between the two. The main thing is that the Vantage V offers racing power, Recovery Pro, altimeter and greater range.

Configuration possibilities

Once you are clear about what is new in the range and the differences between the two models, it is time to get down to business with both watches.

If what you want is something that doesn't make you dizzy, that is easy to set up and that once done you don't have to go into the options even to say good morning... welcome, you're home.

Both Vantage M and Vantage V excel in one thing: simplicity. They are very easy to use watches where you will hardly find any options in the menus. No other manufacturer simplifies their settings so much. This will be a positive point for some, while for others it will be a major shortcoming.

If you want a watch where you can change a lot of sections, create warnings for a lot of things, be able to choose from hundreds of watch faces and control absolutely all functions from the watch; perhaps a Polar is not what you are looking for.

However, if what you want is something that doesn't make you dizzy, that is easy to set up and that once done you don't have to go into the options even to say good morning... welcome, you're home. And that is Polar has simplified the user interface to the maximum.

There are only three sections of settings that you can alter from the menu: general, physical and clock settings. In the first section you will find synchronization with external sensors, bike settings (crank length, wheel diameter) and the possibility of activating and deactivating a function such as 24-hour heart rate monitoring. The rest you can practically forget about. There is no possibility of configuring sport profiles or clock options in the clock.

You'll have to do all that on the Polar Flow or, much more comfortable, through the application for the mobile phone. At Polar things work a bit differently than with other manufacturers.

Instead of setting up each device separately we choose the sport modes we are going to use, which will be shared among all of them and then we can set up each of them independently according to the clock in question.

Polar Flow - Sports

You can have up to 20 different sport profiles to choose from a huge list. Besides the most typical running or cycling profiles there are many other sports such as elliptical, football or golf.

There are no specific features for those sports, but what it does allow is that you can configure each one of them in a specific way, and that when synchronizing the activity it is perfectly identified. Each watch has specific settings for the sports profiles, because not all watches are the same.

For example, Vantage V allows you to adjust the volume of the tones when you train, something that Vantage M doesn't have. And both have specific power functions that the M600 doesn't have, for example.

Polar Flow - Customization

But since we're talking specifically about Vantage, here are the functions you can set up for each of them. First, the Vantage V.

Polar Flow - Customization

The Vantage M? Couple of less choices.

Polar Flow - Customization

The differences are that in Vantage M you cannot set training sounds (because it has no speaker), altitude (because it has no barometer) or display tap to mark laps (because Polar does not want to).

And in case you're wondering if the Vantage M also features power data... I remind you that it's because, although it doesn't offer it directly on the watch, it does allow you to use external race power meters.

When you are out of the preset zones, the training computer will give a visual and audible alarm if your cycling rate goes out of the preset range.

These screens are new to Vantage and show the highest data of the workout at the top, either maximum power or HR achieved or the fastest pace. The bottom line is the average of the entire workout, while the center line is reserved for the real-time data along with an indicator that gives visual reference of how you are doing with the rest of the workout.

Polar Vantage V - Power display

Depending on the type of training you are doing, it is a screen that offers everything you need to know.

When including data you will find the typical ones of distance, rhythm or heart rate with maximums, minimums, averages per lap or totals, etc. There is nothing extravagant here. But there are a couple of things I want to comment.

First of all we can differentiate in some metrics between half a lap and half an automatic lap. On one hand you can have an average pace in automatic lap (the one you set, for example every kilometer) and on the other hand you can set it manually with the lap button.

So you can have the usual average lap time at all times, but also see the pace from the moment you set a new lap (really useful when doing series training).

The metrics that support this behavior are as follows:

  • Average and maximum heart rate (from training, automatic lap or lap)
  • Distance (total exercise, automatic lap distance or manual lap distance)
  • Average and maximum power (from training, automatic lap or manual lap)
  • Duration (total, automatic return or manual lap)
  • Average and maximum pace/speed (from training, automatic lap or manual lap)

As for the power only allows you to select the instantaneous dataHere I miss more options, like 3 or 10 second averages, and likewise specific data for cycling like intensity factor, nominal power, etc. But well, that's what there is and that's what we have to play with.

Thanks to the colour screen there are dynamic fields, for example the heart rate figure will be in a different colour depending on which HR zone we are in at the moment (which can be left configured automatically, or done manually). At the moment this is the only field, but it is possible that in the future it will also be applied to others as a power.

If you select a multi-sport activity profile (triathlon, duathlon, etc.) you can configure each of these sports independently. It will be different from the others you have configured, so even if you have previously configured open water swimming, cycling and running profiles, you will have to set the options you want for the new triathlon profile.

Polar Flow - Customization

And by the way, the order of the sports can also be varied and set as you like, simply by dragging and dropping them into the desired location and, after synchronisation, you'll find it on the clock.

Use in training and sport

With the watch already configured, it's a matter of starting to train, don't you think? To do this we must start the desired sport mode, and you have two options to do so. By pressing the lower left button you will enter the menu, where the first option that appears is "Start training". 

Polar Vantage V - Start training

Here you simply press the main button (the central button on the right side) and access the sport mode selection screen. Do you want to save a step? Well, from the time screen, leave the main button pressed, and you will enter directly into the sport selection.

Polar Vantage - Sports

At the top you will find all the details you need to know, such as sensor and GPS status. If there is no connection to the sensor it will be in red, as it is with the pulse and GPS search, so you should wait until all those icons are in green.

If what you're going to do is swimOn this screen, you can select the length of the pool with the upper left button.

Polar Vantage V - Swimming in the pool

The selection of the length can be between the usual options (25m-50m) or enter the length manually.

When you have everything you need (signal GPSThe data from pulse, sensors If you are not connected and want to run) you can press the main button to start the workout. The clock will indicate that the recording has started and will present you with the first of the screens you have set up. Once here you can move between the different screens with the up and down scroll buttons on the right side of the clock. 

If you want to mark a lap again we use the main button to do so. Or if you have a Vantage V then you can choose to mark it by simply tapping on the watch. It's a function that I love for its simplicity and I don't understand that any other manufacturer has integrated it since it simply makes use of the accelerometer (something all watches have).

Polar Vantage V - Turn around

And it's for the same reason that I miss it on the Vantage M. I don't consider it an "advanced feature" to be reserved exclusively for the top of the range model, it's a simple little thing that's there to make our lives easier... and it really does. Especially in those series workouts where you're going so hard that by the time you're finishing the series you don't even feel like looking for the button in question.

At the moment it is not possible to set the screen light to on, something that can be done in the other Polar models by holding down the upper left button. It is as if they forgot to include the option... but I guess it will come in the next version. At the moment there is only a possibility to turn the screen light on by pressing that button, but it will do so only temporarily.

After the 2.0.7 update in December, the lighting is much more regular than at the beginning.

When you lift your wrist, the screen lights up and, after the December update to version 2.0.7, it does so with the same power as when you press the button. This is an improvement because in the previous version the lighting when you turned your wrist was too dim and forced you to always use the button. Although now it's enough to see the screen when you lift your arm, it wouldn't hurt to leave the light always steady.

Once the training is over, you must first pause the session by pressing the lower left button. If it is a simple ice cream break, you can leave it there and continue by pressing the main button again. However, if you do not plan to run again after the ice cream, you will have to press and hold the same button for 3 seconds.

When you finish you will have the summary of the training. It is like the one of all the life... but it highlights some new things. First of all it shows the cardiovascular load and it is based, basically, on the intensity and duration of the training. I will talk later about Training Load ProOne of the new features of Vantage M and Vantage V.

Polar Vantage M - Cardiovascular Loading

Second is the muscle load, which is the load that a session produces on muscles and joints. It is an estimate of the impact that the training has had on your muscles.

Polar Vantage V - Muscle Load

The muscle load is measured during running or cycling activities and it is necessary to have a power meter (running or cycling), as it is obtained by multiplying power by duration. In the case of the Polar Vantage V and running training you do not need any additional accessories to obtain the calculation as the watch itself reports the power. The Vantage M can also display this data, but you need to use an external potentiometer such as Stryd.

The rest of the metrics are the usual ones, including some heart rate zone graphs or average and maximum rhythm and power data.

After synchronizing your watch you will have more information about your training both in the mobile application and in Polar Flow. This is Polar's training platform, renewed a few years ago and improved over time. It follows the same policy of Polar and they have achieved a platform that offers a lot of information in a very simple way.

At first glance it may seem that the information it provides is basic, but there are quite a few things to explore. But well, more or less like any other manufacturer's platform.

Polar Vantage V - Training Overview

In the mobile app you'll see the same information, just the presentation changes to fit a smaller screen.

Polar Vantage V - Training Overview

With the Vantage there's more information than with previous models. Now we have cardiovascular load, muscle load, power... These are things that didn't appear before because they're specific to these Vantages.

This is all in relation to the most common sports such as running or cycling, but there is also swimming. Both models offer the same functions both in the pool and in open water, including the ability to record heart rate data with the optical pulse sensor, which remains on while we swim. Although as you will see later, it is not at all reliable and we will miss the possibility of analog data transmission of the V800 through the 5kHz band.

Training Load Pro (Vantage M and Vantage V)

It's time to get into what's new with the Vantage, first I'll talk about Training Load Pro. Polar describes this feature as "a holistic view of the effort your training sessions put on the various systems of the body and how this affects your performance". Which looks very nice in the marketing material, but probably left you with a poker face.

Training Load Pro is a metric that will measure your training intensity

Well, I'll try to explain to you in a simple way what it is. Training Load Pro is a metric that tries to measure your training, or rather, the intensity of your training, although this is not specified very clearly and is the biggest drawback I put on it (I'll explain why later).

To arrive at a single figure that is easier to understand Polar uses three main variables:

  • Cardiovascular load
  • Muscle load
  • Perceived load

The cardiovascular burden uses the TRIMP. It is a validated and accepted method for many years to define and quantify the intensity of a training session. That is, the effort you have applied in a session. It is closely linked to heart rate as an indicator of intensity. The TRIMP for a hard interval session is much higher than that of a recovery session at a more leisurely pace. This is what we call "quality training". In short, it is applying an intensity value to your training and measures the effort that the training has put on your cardiovascular system.

For its part, the muscular load will measure the stress on your muscular system and joints. For its calculation we need data from powerIt is especially important in sessions with very intense and short intervals, where the heart rate is hardly relevant due to the short workload but the effort is nevertheless important (e.g. 50 meter sprint series).

Finally the perceived burden is the feeling you give of how the training was and the effort it took. It is a correction factor because it assumes other things that are not possible to obtain through power or heart rate and that make the training harder (sessions that include crossfit exercises, running with extra weight, etc.).

All this is Training Load Pro, but translated into one single metric that is easy to understand and follow, instead of having dozens of data to pay attention to. In this part Polar makes it fantastic because at a quick glance we can tell when we are training well or if we need to raise or lower the intensity level.

The data doesn't come from one device, but from Polar Flow. You can train with your watch on the run and use an M460 on the bike and the training data will reflect both activities, because it's not exclusive to Vantage watches.

The watches have a screen reserved for displaying this information. It is visible on the watch face itself so that it is always present. Right now my training status after 6 days without training (the post-season has arrived!) is, of course, low. Not a single snag at the moment.

Polar Vantage M - Training Load Pro

And if you press the main button we can go into more detail.

Polar Vantage V - Training Load Pro

Here are the interesting data, beyond the maintenance indicator, productive, and so on. It is nothing else than the data of effort and toleranceThese are the ones that mark us if our training intensity is adequate and if our cardiovascular capacity is increasing.

The first is the value that Polar determines for the training load of the last 7 days, while the tolerance refers to how prepared you are to withstand that type of training during the last 28 days. These are the data we are concerned with, because you as a smart athlete should try to gradually increase your tolerance (by progressively increasing the intensity in your training) and that your daily training does not put too much strain on your body so that you do not exceed your maximum tolerance.

It doesn't mean that one day you'll be on top, not only would nothing happen but it's what will improve your condition; just try not to systematically exceed your tolerance because that's when overtraining comes.

The data displayed on the watch is the current data based on your last training session, but it is possible to perform a long term analysis through the mobile app or on the Polar Flow website, where you can see the variation of the loads you have been having in the last weeks of training.

Training Load Pro Report

Here you can see the development of my cardiovascular load over the last month, and it is in several aspects of this report and the messages on the clock that my main criticisms are made. This is the point that I think Polar should review and better explain what the data means.

This last month I have been finishing my preparation for the Málaga Marathon. The training has had to be something special since by accident and injury, all my preparation to run the marathon has had to be concentrated in about 6 weeks of training. That means that I have had to do great volumes and little quality to be able to arrive at the appointment with a sufficient preparation to support the 42 kilometers.

It has translated into running. Running a lot. But at a gentle pace and with a few days of intervals in which I have also included long runs. It has been weeks of 60 and 70 kilometres, of 7 or 8 hours a week of training in which the cardiovascular system has certainly not been overworked because there has been no time for it. But I have ended up with quite a lot of crushed muscles and joints.

I mean, I've trained a lot. However, this is the message I've seen on the clock screen most days.

Polar Vantage M - Training Load Pro

Under no circumstances can it be considered that I have been "undertraining". What has been happening is that I have been training with a intensity And they're two totally different things.

I know what it's about and what it's interpreting and indicating, but what about the one who doesn't know? What impression can you get from someone who's training 70 kilometers a week when the clock says they must train more if they don't want their fitness to decline?

This message is wrong and they are the basis of Training Load Pro because that is what Polar is all about, a simple system that allows you to make training decisions at a glance without having to study a race beforehand. Someone who is doing 70km in a week cannot be told that they are training too little, when the right thing to do is to indicate that the intensity is too low (regardless of the number of hours or kilometers).

Don't forget that Training Load Pro is recording the intensity of the training and that's what it should refer to and not to the training as a whole, because in the same way if we only do series training and no training a little longer the clock will tell us that our training is too high and that we should slow down, even if in total you haven't done more than 15 kilometres in a week.

However, if we go back to the image I have put before, it is perfectly reflecting what has happened in the training, and it does it in a faultless way. But it forces us to enter the part we should not have to enter (at least according to Polar's intention and the simplicity sought).

I can start with the cardiovascular state of charge.

Training Load Pro Report

You can see perfectly the weeks before the day of the test (December 9th), going from a training considered productive to a minor cardiovascular load, with a week of tapering that has been in the low training zone.

In fact, if we click on the information it tells us about the correct cardiovascular load, not about more or less training, which is what the clock should show.

The same applies to the development of stress, tolerance and load of the lower graph.

Training Load Pro Report

The vertical red lines you see have nothing to do with the duration of the workout or the number of kilometers. It's the cardiovascular load, so it's the TRIMP (intensity and time based) that matters.

You can see how most of the time the training effort has always been below tolerance, especially in those last few weeks.

The consequence is that it has been decreasing due to the absence of intensity training. Therefore it is all correct and coincides perfectly with the impressions I have of my training. But I return to the part of the message provided by the watch and the indication of little training.

Polar should review this detail and either change the texts of the messages (I should ask for more intensity in my training), or give another twist to the approach and introduce other variables such as the effective training hours during the week. That is my complaint, pure semantics and sentence formulation.

For the rest, Training Load Pro is a fact that I consider right because of its simplicity and its ease to follow up over time, being able to easily appreciate if our physical shape is improving (when the tolerance is increasing), and I have no doubt that it is perfectly applicable to any kind of athlete, from the less demanding amateurs to any kind of professional.

Recovery Pro (Polar Vantage V exclusive)

Another new feature is the Recovery Prowhich in this case is exclusive from Polar Vantage V and it's not available on the Vantage M.

Recovery Pro allows you to know your recovery status on a daily basis

To summarize it briefly, it is a function that allows you to know your recovery status on a daily basis and to see it quickly. It does this by starting, as with Training Load Pro, from three variables:

  • Values obtained through the orthostatic test
  • Questions the clock asks you about how you feel
  • Cardiovascular load status over time

Without doubt the most important value and where most of the information resides is in the orthostatic test, which is nothing more than a measurement of the variability of the heart rate.

This test should be performed in the morning, at least 3 days a week, and to do so it is essential to have a pulse generator Polar (H10, H6 or H7The optical heart rate monitor is not capable of recording pulse variability data reliably and Polar only relies on its sensors (and sells its own, of course).

The test is simple - you simply lie down for 120 seconds and then stand up for the same amount of time. The watch measures your heart rate and pulse variability to compare it with your baseline values to determine how you have recovered from your workouts and daily hustle and bustle.

Polar Vantage V - Orthostatic Test

You can select which days you want me to remind you to take the test, although bear in mind that the more data I have, the more accurate the information I can provide.

After completing the test and answering the relevant questions (how you slept and if you have muscle pain) you will be able to see on the watch your state of recovery and how your training can be that day.

Polar Vantage V - Recovery Pro

Of course, this data is also synchronized with Flow, where you'll be able to track your recovery over time.

The orthostatic test is also fully recorded with all the information and you will be able to track it over time.

You will be able to see all the data from each of the tests. The heart rate in detail during the whole test along with the main details to be highlighted. And all this for each of the days you have done the test. All this was already present before, the new part is the Recovery Pro messages and the direct presentation of a much more technical information.

It's a good way to track your recovery and to be able to make estimates of when and how you should train, as well as to see what the estimate of your recovery will be. Again, the measurement is not new, but it is Polar's job to show the information in a way that is simple to understand and that anyone can understand.

Measurement and power training (exclusive to Polar Vantage V)

Perhaps the possibility of show the power directly on the screen is what stands out most in Vantage V. But the first thing is to answer the main question that you will all have. Is the power measured by the Polar Vantage V real, as if it were a potentiometer? NOT.

It's not a real fact, it's a mathematical estimation The Polar® system is a unique, patented algorithm created by the intelligent people at Polar. They're not the first to enter into the estimation of running power, but they're the only ones to do so directly on the wrist without using data from an external sensor.

Point number two. If there are several methods of measuring power on the run, do they all provide the same data? NOTAnd for that you only have to take a look at this chart.

Polar Vantage V - Running Power

There are three clearly differentiated graphs:

  • In blue the power measurement with a Garmin FR935 and the Connect IQ Running Power (created by Garmin).
  • In orange the power measurement of the Polar Vantage V.
  • In purple, the power measurement of StrydThe Vantage M. Polar, engraved with the Vantage M. Polar

Indeed, as you see there is no correlation between one and the other. What is the correct (or more correct) one? Well, I couldn't say, because although there are ways to measure power in a real way when running, they are exclusive to the laboratory (and I don't have access to any). The difference is remarkable, there is no doubt about it.

Of the three methods, Stryd is the one that in principle has carried out the largest number of tests (and shared the most data), mainly because they were the first to arrive and have been working on it the longest.

Polar has indicated to me that they have also made measurements in the laboratory to check the data of their algorithm.

Garmin... Garmin hasn't said anything, and since it's simply an application that hasn't been given much publicity either, it's one of the least trusted.

Is it an important detail that the data doesn't match? Well yes... and no. I'll explain later, but first I'll tell you what data is used to make a power estimate.

First of all it is necessary to have user data such as weight and height. These are the first variables of the algorithm, since obviously the power needed to move 50 kilos is not the same as to move 100.

Then we have variables that can be applied to the terrain, because it is not the same to climb a hill as to run on the flat, or to descend. To do this we need the data from the altimeter (which only Vantage V has, so it is exclusive to this one). All this data is part of the algorithm, and surely many more. However, there are things that cannot be taken into account, being the wind (for or against) the most obvious.

All this is taken into account to obtain a single final data, much more useful than having a lot of data spread out that in the end we don't know what to do with (this is what happens many times with Garmin's racing dynamics).

Why these differences between the different measurements? Simply because of the weighting that each algorithm applies to the variables. And since I have a higher than average weight and height, the differences are even more noticeable. 

It would be great if all these data coincided between the different manufacturers, but each one has its own algorithm and interprets the data in a different way. In theory there are two that claim to have tested and contrasted them, but they don't agree with each other either.

But it's not something that should matter to us... as long as we use that data constantly. Therefore, always use the same data source to have a complete view and not go changing from one system to another, because then it wouldn't be useful for anything.

And what can you do now with power? It simply complements what we have already had until now, it does not replace it. It does not mean that you have to throw away all your training patterns until now, forget about heart rate and rhythm, and replace it with watts; but you can use power to have one more variable that depending on the situation will help you more or less. At the moment it is not comparable to the importance of power in cycling (where it is the opposite, power is the main data and the rest of the information we get helps to understand other things).

To begin with, the power is a instantaneous dataThis allows you to do specific workouts at a certain power level where neither rhythm nor heart rate is useful.

For example, short intervals. Heart rate takes time to rise and reflect the intensity of the exercise, while pace does not depend exclusively on your effort (surface, incline, etc.). Power allows you to repeat intervals at a constant intensity between sets that would otherwise not be possible to repeat. A clear example is in this workout.

Polar Vantage V - Power Training

I'm extending one of those random intervals.

Polar Vantage V - Power Training

These are one-minute intervals. There is a first peak of power at the beginning which coincides with the fastest rhythm. I am still at 126ppm, although it is the point of highest intensity. From then on the power remains more or less stable while the rhythm decreases. The peak of pulses is not reached until I have finished the one-minute interval.

Then there are the efforts. Measuring power allows us to have a constant effort regardless of whether we are going up or down. This is essential in a mountain race or asphalt races on undulating terrain because you can maintain a balanced effort without getting burned on the climbs. Here the pace is no good, and the heart rate is too slow to provide useful information.

Let's go to another segment of a training session where I perform a climb.

Polar Vantage V - Power Training

In the 28th minute I start to climb a hill. Immediately the power starts to rise (in fact it rises earlier because I'm already preparing to face it). I keep a constant rhythm around 5:00min/km -training objective- even when climbing the hill, so obviously I must increase the power. The heart rate reacts late again.

If it were not a training session with that objective in mind and it was a long-distance race, the smart thing would be to keep the power delivery constant, even if the pace was lower, and recover that difference in the descent while maintaining the same power (and therefore increasing the pace).

The running power It also allows measure efficiencyThe key for any runner is to go as fast as possible with the least amount of power consumption. The difference between running with good technique and running badly is noticeable in the number of watts.

So power is another aspect to look at in any endurance race where sooner or later your technique will deteriorate as fatigue sets in. Will it fix the power data that will improve your technique when you are fatigued? No, but it will allow you to interpret when it is coming in and when you should start thinking about lowering your pace by maintaining the previous power, rather than not varying it and fatiguing yourself faster. 

But I'll leave the theoretical part aside and go with the practical part. As I say the Vantage V stands out in that it doesn't need anything to show the power. You don't need to spend more money on footpods or sensors for the chest or waist, or worry if another device has enough charge.

That doesn't mean that Vantage M isn't compatible with power; it is and with the same features as Vantage V, but in this case you'll need an external accessory such as Stryd.

Polar Vantage M - Stryd

When training you will have the power data as you have configured your sport profile, being able to see the specific power screen as I have shown you before. In the future it will be possible to train by blocking a certain power zone (it is not yet enabled, it will come in a next update).

This is a great feature of Polar that allows you to stay on top of a certain zone (either power, heart rate or pace). You will receive alerts if you are over- or undertrained. The advantage of this feature is that you can dynamically make and break locks during your training.

What you can do now is to set some zones manually, in addition to the default zones, but as I said this won't be totally important until the zone lock function is reached in the Vantage.

Polar Vantage M - Polar Vantage V 16

In short, running power is just another variable, very useful in some cases and less important in others. The Polar Vantage V offers an estimate, not a real value as such. And no, it has nothing to do with your cycling power (cycling power will always be lower). It will serve to measure in a somewhat more objective way the energy you are using in certain conditions and will help you be more efficient during those conditions.

Polar Precision Prime Optical Pulse Meter

Polar is premiering with the Vantage M and Vantage V. Both use the new optical pulse sensor Polar Precision Prime which is loaded with technology and innovative design solutions.

It has a total of 9 LEDsHeart rate data is collected by 4 different sensors (compared to the classic single-sensor design). In addition, four electrodes are used to measure the contact between the watch and the skin.

Polar Precision Prime
Impressive, isn't it?

As you can see it has absolutely nothing to do with the other proposals we have seen so far, both from Polar and from other manufacturers. Especially because of the number of sensors and LEDs. Beyond the imposing appearance it has, the important thing is that the performance is correct afterwards.

Before we go into more detail about comparisons, let's go into all the details. First of all, it is possible to keep the optical sensor active 24 hours a day to record all the pulse data in the day-to-day life (outside the training itself). This is possible because it is an efficient sensor and does not put a significant burden on the autonomy.

On the clock screen we can see the instantaneous heart rate at all times.

Polar Vantage M - FC current

And by pressing the main button we access the advanced heart rate information for the current day, where it indicates the maximum and minimum heart rate reached along with the lowest heart rate during sleep. 

Polar Vantage V - Extended FC

All this activity (and sleep) logs are saved in the clock and later synchronized with Polar Flow, being able to see both on the web and in the mobile application all the details.

Polar Flow Activity

Perhaps we could ask for a little more definition in the pulse graph since the points scored can vary several minutes from each other while the sensor is always active, but it serves to give a global idea of how the day has been.

But let's go with the most important thing: its reliability. Polar says that its optical sensor is the most advanced to date, so it will have to be corroborated. All these trainings have been done with the initial final firmware version, 1.2.3. Recently Polar has released a new version, but in principle there are no changes at the level of heart rate recording.

As always, I will start with a simple training; that is to say, a race without much variation in intensity.

Polar Vantage - FC Comparison

It can't get much more stable than this. Colours to look out for are:

  • Polar Vantage V: purple
  • Polar Vantage M: orange
  • Garmin FR935 with HRM-Tri: blue

Except at the start of the training where the chest sensor fails miserably, once all three sensors are on the same page there is nothing to highlight in any of the graphs, a perfect alignment. Obviously there is no difficulty for the sensors in this type of training, but it is equally true that we are talking about 100 minutes of training where there has not been the slightest odd peak on the part of both Polar models.

But this is not the only example. Below you can see the Vantage V (in orange) with the Suunto 9 using the optical sensor (blue) and the Garmin 935 with the HRM-Tri (purple). 

Polar Vantage - FC Comparison

Once again the Vantage V's graphics are impeccable from start to finish. The chest pulse sensor is once again showing a very complicated start, as is the Suunto which also starts a little high but quickly finds its way.

So far, that's two out of two where the optical pulse sensor improves the chest sensor's record... not bad.

Let's go with something a little more "bumpy". A workout with a little more intensity and with a couple of breaks where the intensity is reduced.

Polar Vantage - FC Comparison

Here we can see some more variation and we already find one of the usual problems of optical sensors, which is the slower response to changes in intensity. The optical sensor will always take longer because it is based on algorithms, so it is normal to see small delays when the heart rate goes up or down. If I zoom in on the first of these breaks you can see it clearly.

Polar Vantage - FC Comparison

The blue line (corresponding to the HRM-Tri sensor of the Garmin FR935) goes down and up before the other two graphs corresponding to Polar Vantage M (purple) and Vantage V (orange). This is common for all optical sensors and I think it is difficult to see how it will improve in the future, both for Vantage and for other manufacturers.

It's something that's repeated at the second break.

Polar Vantage - FC Comparison

The behavior is similar. The Garmin graph responds earlier to the drop in heart rate, and begins to rise before the two Vantage graphs, although in this case the chest sensor again has strange behavior with both a lower and upper peak that does not correspond to reality.

Do we do some intervals? They are not of a very high intensity given the point in the season I was at while testing both models, but it allows you to get an idea of the variation in intensity repeatedly. 

Polar Vantage - FC Comparison

Forget the purple graph, it's the one for the Polar Vantage M, but the long sleeve of the shirt probably slipped under the sensor so the reading hasn't been correct all the way through the training. In fact, its graph appears quite late and never makes any sense, so I'll focus on the one for the Vantage V.

Result? Well, except for the initial interval where the Vantage V is quite lost (orange graph), for the rest of the training it is in full agreement with the record obtained by the Suunto Smart Sensor paired with Suunto 9.

On the bike the result is not so positive. Overall the record is good, but the reactions are noticeably slower than when we're racing - something I've seen in all the bike training I've done.

In the graphs you can see that the intensity is coincidental, but it comes with several seconds of delay.

Polar Vantage - FC Comparison

And that delay is more noticeable than when we are doing interval runs. As I say, it is not a one-off situation, but it is normal behaviour.

Polar Vantage - FC Comparison

Therefore I can not classify the result as good, because it takes a long time to see reflected in pulses the effort we are doing. It would be slightly acceptable for training with not too much variability. If we were guided by the average frequency of training we could give a pass, but the truth is that if we want to have reliable data is necessary to use a chest pulse sensor necessarily.

However I believe that Polar can improve this in future versions through a firmware update. The measurement is good, what is not correct is the "timing", and that is mainly related to the algorithm.

Finally, I would like to remind you that the Vantage uses the optical sensor during swimming, but we have lost the possibility of using sensors in the 5kHz analogue band, which was present in the Polar V800 and allowed the pulses to be recorded during swimming. Polar has dispensed with this analogue connection in the Vantage, placing all its trust in the optical sensor.

But this is not an easy situation for optical sensors. The movements that occur when you put your hand in the water and the passage of the liquid element between the sensor and the skin make it difficult to read. Here you can see it compared to the Garmin HRM-Swim sensor.

Polar Vantage - FC Comparison

The bottom line is... bad.

It is hoped that Polar will enable the ability to save heart rate data in the Polar H10 sensor and transfer it to the watch at the end of your training, in the same way that Suunto or Garmin do with their respective sensors. At the moment Polar has not made any pronouncements on this, although the door is open and technically it is perfectly possible.


The news continues, because the Vantages also has been launched. chipset GPSPolar has also changed its manufacturer, opting for the latest proposal of Sony It is precisely thanks to this chipset - among other things - that both models achieve such good autonomy.

As far as GPS tests are concerned, I use the same methodology that I always use. Instead of establishing a specific route, I compare the clock or clocks on the same output with other devices. There are many variables that can affect performance: clouds, satellite locations, tree foliage, GPS satellite settings (yes, that is also variable). Therefore, in my opinion, it is not possible to repeat the same test on different dates and make the results comparable to each other. It is like comparing the track performance of two cars with different tires and ambient temperature. Which we can do... but there are very important elements that alter the final result.

These past few weeks I've been running a lot with Vantage M and Vantage V. But a lot of it. Of course, most of it has been through areas with good general satellite coverage and nothing through the mountains. Consequences of training for a marathon. But given the target audience that both models have, I think it's the kind of training where you're going to see them most.

Almost all of them have been quite long, so I've had a lot of material to compare with, both in circular routes and in days I've done round trip (and when you pass more than once through the same place it stands out when you don't repeat the same path).

Let's go there, I'll start with this 21 kilometer training where the satellite coverage is perfect in almost all the route. 

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

From a bird's-eye view everything looks perfect, as is usual with any model. It's when we zoom in that we see inconsistencies, like this one I'm pointing out below. I swear I didn't take the bus to get a head start on my workout.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

And I must also say that I am in the habit of using the pedestrian crossing when crossing the street. The line I have marked in yellow is the correct one (which corresponds to the Polar Vantage V), centimeter up or centimeter down. Up to that point all three watches arrived perfectly, however the Vantage M deviates a lot before making the road crossing. 

For its part, the Garmin 935 coincides at the point where the road crosses the pedestrian crossing, but it also goes for a walk to the area reserved for buses. The Vantage V does this area perfectly.

However, a little further on it is the Vantage V that gets lost in the turns, while the Vantage M and FR935 do it correctly. 

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

It's especially remarkable the cut that the Vantage V makes over the paddle tracks you see in the middle of the picture (in blue), so we have a lime and a sand one in each of the models.

Next I go with the most complicated zone of this training. Several changes of direction in urban area between buildings, a good place to put in difficulty any GPS watch.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

On the way down Arturo Rubistein Street both Vantage respond satisfactorily. It is not an easy area because in addition to having the buildings on both sides I am running under trees. At this point the FR935 suffers quite a lot and passes over the buildings.

However, later on it is the Vantage V that does the same, which is strange because it gets to that point being the best of the three and yet it gets lost where a priori conditions are easier as it is an open square.

The rest of the training runs for 10 kilometers parallel to the coast in which the three models do the course perfectly.

Before I finish I do a few turns in which the behaviour of the three models is quite good.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

There are small differences, first the Vantage M goes a bit long in the roundabout (no more than a metre), and then it's the Garmin 935 that does the same in a couple of corners further on. But all along this stretch the Vantage V behaves perfectly.

I change location and go to Malaga. Here the route is back and forth on the same road, so it will be easy to see who has gone off the right track.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

Here we have the first problem, the Vantage V decides to change sidewalks in one of the sections. Both the Vantage M and the FR935 have perfectly matched the passage through this section of the promenade in both directions, but the difference of the Vantage V is remarkable, they are 4 or 5 meters off the correct route and also during a good period of time. It is not something you see often and it is a quite remarkable failure. It is true that it does not add differences to the total distance or to the pace shown, but the error is there.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

In the following picture there are several things to highlight, and I will start from left to right. Firstly the area where I have drawn a circle and that is totally irregular, it is a quite long bus stop that is totally covered. Let's say that it has a tunnel effect, which makes the three clocks get totally lost at this point. But it is not by mistake, there is simply no possibility to capture satellite signal correctly.

I have pointed out a second straight section as it passes through the Palm Grove. Now it is Vantage M that suffers from the same problem that we have seen in the picture above with Vantage V. In a completely straight section it moves several meters, coincidentally in the same direction. It is an area with a lot of trees, but neither FR935 nor Vantage V has had any problem registering it correctly.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

Finally, there is the section where I cross that point of the quay in Malaga. These are relatively narrow streets with fairly tall buildings where the capacity of satellite signal reception is very low. There are difficulties on the part of the three watches, with the Vantage M being the one that makes the most turns in the bends and makes the largest cuts, followed very closely by the FR935. 

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

But what stands out is the speed in getting the right signal out of the complicated area on the right side, quickly and effectively by all three watches.

As for the climb up the Passeig de la Farola, which was a bad mark for both Vantage models, the correct section is the one marked by the FR935. In this picture you can also see how the Vantage V has got a little bit lost on its way through the Pompidou centre.

The error pattern we see is always the same in both models. They are not errors of lack of satellites (because there are no round trips from one side to another) but triangulation problems with the data provided that are also continuous in time. 

We change our training and continue our route along the coast. We go to Fuengirola, where I repeat the route scheme back and forth on the same road.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

Here it is added to the Suunto 9, with the same chipset as the Vantage, although on Polar's side only the Vantage V is present.

As I say this type of route is very easy to analyze because it quickly comes to light when there is a break in the discipline. On this stretch you can see how the line is perfectly defined, although there are points where the Suunto 9 has separated. But the record of the Vantage V has been satisfactory.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

This has been repeated in this training. A little further on, you can see that Suunto 9 continues its mania of going off-road, while Vantage V remains unmoved and draws the same route both ways. Polar Vantage - GPS ComparisonDoes the way the error is represented sound familiar to you? Exactly, the Suunto track behaves in the same way as the Vantage M and V in the Malaga training. It seems that Suunto and Polar must polish the Sony chipset in the same place.

New change of training place. And in case you were doubting it... yes, another promenade. Consequences of running in the coast, now it's Torremolinos and Benalmádena.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

It is a pace change training that adds an extra difficulty to the algorithm. Here we have the first discrepancies, from Suunto 9 in one of the points and Vantage M in the other. But Vantage V is very correct both to the way and to the way back.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

I have pointed out a couple of things here. Firstly, at the bottom of the image there is a new deviation from Suunto 9 (we are getting used to it), but I would like to highlight that area indicated at the back of the port.

It is not an easy area because of the continuous changes of direction and being surrounded by buildings. I also insist on the added difficulty of the changes of pace. It is true that the registration is not perfect (which I did not expect in this area), but given the circumstances the note is very good especially for both Vantage. Only Suunto 9 stands out at some point - which means that it has gone off the right track.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

One last example simply as a curiosity and not as a comparison (he only wore two watches): Malaga Marathon 2018.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

Total distance marked by each of the devices?

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

The Polar Vantage V registered 42.360m and the FR935 42.430m. 70 meters difference between both after running 42 kilometers and with a deviation of about 200 meters from the official distance. Taking into account that I have not always run on the blue line... I think this is an outstanding result for both and below a margin of error of 1%.

When riding the bike the result is as expected: there is no incidence. It is much simpler because the speed is higher, the points it records are more separated so for the algorithm is much simpler.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

In this case it should be noted that while both Edges are placed on the handlebars perfectly facing the sky, the watch will always have it more difficult to go on the wrist in a less direct position.

This is the most complicated area when running through a canyon parallel to a river with mountains on both sides. You can tell that the record of the Vantage V is somewhat worse than that of the cycling units, but it is not bad at all.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

Of course, in the open everything is perfect and there is no strange situation.

Polar Vantage - GPS Comparison

I don't have any training done in open water, I haven't been very interested in going into the sea in the middle of December :-) But I'm writing it down for the future if there is a chance.

What conclusions do I draw from the Vantage's satellite reception? I think it's not bad, but there are still some points that need to be polished up.

For this test it's been very interesting the comparisons I've made with Suunto 9 that also mounts the same Sony chip. They've been on the market for some months now and in fact they've already had some firmware update improving the GPS (the examples where I've included Suunto 9 already have this update done), but it's curious to see how both present the same problems.

In general the track records are not bad in any of the two Polar watches, but there are some points where there are some details to be polished. The rhythm shown on the screen while running is equally valid and matches what other watches show, my only regret about it is a kind of bug I had in the first version at the end of a manual lap in which it shows less than a second a different rhythm than the one shown for the rest of the interval. But that's it, a failure in the presentation of the information.

The accuracy of both Vantage models can - and should - still be improved, but I find this quite acceptable.

Route navigation

When Polar presented the Vantage there was a variety of criticism, but the vast majority was around the absence of route navigationThis is inconceivable, especially in the case of the Vantage V, a watch that was meant to replace the V800 that did offer this functionality.

What's more, we were looking at clocks that boasted a extended range and yet they did not allow mountain routes to take advantage of all that autonomy. And not only that, but there was also no possibility of going back to the beginning in case you got lost. Inconceivable.

In the face of a barrage of criticism, Polar announced that route following would come later, at least on the Vantage V. The Vantage M is left with the return-to-begin function only.

With the latest update to version 3.0 navigation is now a reality, the Polar Vantage V is already capable of tracking routes. However it is not possible to make the route directly in Polar Flow, it is necessary to create it in another utility and import it (or download it and upload it to Polar Flow).

Polar Vantage - Import Routes

The file has to be in TCX or GPX format and less than 25MB. Virtually any path you download from sites like Wikiloc meets these conditions, so there's plenty to choose from. Or create it from any of the many free utilities out there, even with Google Maps.

These routes are saved in the "Favorites" section, which also includes the workouts you have saved.

Polar Vantage - Routes

In addition, it is also possible to bookmark an activity you have already done and turn it into a navigation route. You would simply have to add it to "Favorites".

Polar Vantage - RoutesAfter synchronizing the clock, you will be able to find the marked routes so that you can travel them. You will find them in the options of each sport profile.

Polar Vantage V - Navigation

Polar Vantage V - Navigation

You have several options to go through it:

  • Go to the starting point of the route
  • Start the route from the nearest point. For example, if you are near the middle of the route and you want to start from there and not from the beginning, the clock will direct you to the nearest point to follow the route from that moment on.
  • Either of the above, but in reverse

Polar Vantage V - Route start

With the route selected, you will now see a small square on the sport's home screen that looks like a map, to let you know that you have selected a route.

Polar Vantage V - Selected route

When you start the exercise, a new navigation screen will be added. The first thing that will appear is the distance to the point you have selected (at the beginning, end or mid-point) and the direction you have to follow to get there.

Polar Vantage V - Navigate to home

There is no magnetic compass in the watch, so in order to know which direction to take you must be moving so that the watch knows which way you are moving. This is called a "GPS compass".

Once you have reached the point where you will start your route, you will see the route to follow on the screen.

Polar Vantage V - Navigation

The information is quite simple, as you can see we only have the route to follow (in fairly straight lines defined by the points) and the distance to complete the route, which in this case is 3.61km.

During the navigation there is a trip departure (or return) warning, but there are no early turn warnings. There are also no altitude profiles. The navigation offered is quite simple and is more oriented to a sporadic use of the function than to something more intensive, but it is still what was offered in the Polar V800.

Both Garmin and Suunto offer more possibilities in this regard such as marking and displaying points of interest, navigating with maps (in the Fenix 5 plus) or see the route not as a map to follow but as a height profile to know how much we have left to suffer.

All this is available exclusively on the Polar Vantage V; the Vantage M only enjoys the option of back to top (also present on the Vantage V) that, in case we get lost at any point on the route, we can activate so that the clock marks which direction we should go and how far we have to go to find the place from where we started.

Polar Vantage M - Back to top

It is a straight line indication so if you have to overcome obstacles such as mountains or rivers you will have to find your way around, but the clock will not indicate solutions.

Polar Vantage M - Back to top


Another absence in the Vantage launch was the absence of smartphone notificationsYes, these are mainly sports watches, but there are already certain smart watch functions that are presupposed for all of them. And displaying mobile phone notifications is one of them.

However, it took a few months, until the 3.0 update, for it to become a reality in the Vantage. Something strange since it is not new to Polar, as previous models already incorporated this function. It is true that the operating system is completely redesigned, so you have to program from scratch. Better late than never.

However, there are some things that change from the typical operation that I will go on to detail below.

By default the notifications are off, you need to change the setting in the clock options in Polar Flow, this can be done from the web or from the mobile app.
Polar Vantage - Notifications

There are also other settings for notifications on the clock, which makes it slightly confusing, because even if notifications are activated in the menu, you need to activate it first in the settings indicated above. What you can do is have them activated in the app and then select on the clock whether or not to do so.

Also note that notifications are only displayed if you are not training, no chance to be able to say that I show you notifications during an activity.

When you receive a notification on your phone, the clock will vibrate, but will not display anything on the screen for privacy, so as not to show notifications to everyone.

If you turn your wrist within 10 seconds of receiving the notification, then it will appear automatically.

Polar Vantage - Notification

Mind you, the spin has to be pretty sharp. What happens if you want to see the notice after those 10 seconds? You'll have to access the notice section.

This is different for the Vantage M and Vantage V due mainly to the absence of a touch screen on the M.

When you have a notification to review, you will see a red dot on the clock screen. In the case of Vantage M this dot is above the lower left button.

Polar Vantage - Notification

You'll have to click on the button and access the notification menu to see them all, and you'll be able to scroll through them with the three buttons on the right side.

Polar Vantage - Notification

In Vantage V, on the other hand, the red dot appears at the bottom of the screen, and the menu in the above picture does not exist.

Polar Vantage - Notification

In this case you simply have to slide with your finger to access the notifications and again you can operate it with the buttons or the touch screen of the clock.

Polar Vantage Upgrade Calendar

Clearly, there is an elephant in the room, there are things that should be there that are not yet there. These include notifications and route navigation, two things that have become basic functions of any high-end clock. They are not things you ask about because you simply assume they will be there. 

That's not all that's missing, there are other things we're waiting for too. Suunto suffered enough from the same thing when the Spartans came to market and, just like its neighbours, Polar has also set up an update schedule.

The first step is to put it in writing, the second step is to fulfil it and that is what we have to see. At the moment Polar has fulfilled the first step and at the beginning of December it launched the first update including the functions promised by that date, let us hope that the other functions will continue to respect the promised deadlines.

These are the scheduled updates and their schedule.

Upgrade 3.0 - Beginning 2019
Polar Vantage V 

  • Notifications cellular phone
  • Tracking of routes with return to the start and route navigation highway
  • Enhancements to existing functions (basically, bug fixes)

Upgrade 3.0 - Beginning 2019
Polar Vantage M 

  • Notifications cellular phone
  • Tracking routes with back to top (but without full route navigation, that's just the Vantage V)
  • Enhancements to existing functions (basically, bug fixes)

> Update 11 February

Polar has already released Update 3 with all the new features promised for this version and some more improvements. These are its new features:

  • Night watch dial indicating sleep statistics from the previous night
  • Do not disturb mode
  • Mobile phone notifications on the clock
  • Route navigation on the Polar Vantage V and back to home on the Polar Vantage M and V
  • Quick access menu before starting your workout to select favorites, routes or timers

> Update 26th June

New extended calendar from Polar

Update 4.0 - October 2019

  • Satellite support Galileo/QZSS/BeiDu, along with GPS and GLONASS enhancements
  • Fitness Test 
  • Zone Lockout
  • Lap details in the training file: time, distance, average pace, etc.
  • Possibility of manual calibration of footpod
  • Sleep Plus Stages
  • Nightly Recharge
  • Serene
  • Possibility to leave the lighting active during training
  • Inactivity alert
  • Other improvements

Update 5.0 - December 2019

Buy Polar Vantage M : Polar Vantage V

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Review of Polar Vantage M and Vantage V

I think Polar has done a good job with the new Vantage, especially because of the new metrics they include that are specific to these models. Training Load Pro is a function that can be very helpful in assessing what intensity you should apply to your daily training and how to play with the loads.

I would like those messages I have indicated to be modified so that it is totally clear that we are talking about training intensity and not training itself, but once you've been here it sure helps you understand it perfectly.

Polar Vantage M - Polar Vantage V 32
The Recovery Pro option on the Vantage V may not be as useful, at least at first glance, because you need a little more data accumulated over time in order to see trends and understand what information the resting heart rate measurement gives you.

And of course to be the first watch capable of estimating the power in a race independently without external accessories that, as much as it is an estimate and not a real value, can be useful in many scenarios (and don't doubt it, it is something that is going to be more and more relevant, just as it has been in cycling). There are many other interesting things in the new Vantage, such as an optical pulse sensor that is working quite well and that I believe still has room for improvement. Or an outstanding autonomy. Or a low consumption GPS that despite being still a little green does not show important failures.

Vantage M and Vantage V may not be judged by the novel features it offers, and may be judged by the absences it still shows

Unfortunately, it is possible that the Vantage M and Vantage V are not judged by these functions, which is where they stand out against the competition; but by other shortcomings that they have and which Polar has considered to be less important or not necessary to meet its timetable for going to market. I am thinking mainly of the route navigation and in the Notifications And don't get me wrong, the only one to blame for this is Polar and no one else.

I agree with the manufacturer that both features can be considered secondary in a training watch (well, navigation a little less), but the problem comes with the comparisons. When your competition does offer route navigation and mobile notifications and you don't, you have a problem, because in the comparisons you have a limp.

It is true that Polar has already confirmed that all this is in the process of being solved, but the problem is that in many places users will see written that the watch lacks "so and so", because those media write something at the beginning and do not remember to check it again when it is already available -something that, as you know, does not happen in this page-. 

I hope these things arrive soon. At the moment the calendar of updates If they continue to fulfill these most notable absences, they will be resolved to early 2019

Apart from this, my opinion about both models is quite positive. Apart from the notifications, navigation and training zone blocking possibilities, the new features introduced by Polar are positive, both for the possibilities it offers and for the ease of use for the end user. 

I like that Polar is faithful to themselves and they have forgotten to chase Garmin in terms of performance. It is a race they know they cannot win and they are right not to chase it. Instead they are betting on what they have always known how to do, which is precisely what makes them stand out from the competition. And the truth is that despite these shortcomings, both watches have been accompanying me in the preparation of a marathon, and there has not been much I have missed. I guess that is a good sign, right?

Do you have any other questions? What's your opinion of the latest from Polar? You know, below you have the comments, use them. 

And with that... thanks for reading!

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. First!

    Thank you very much Eduardo, an excellent test as always.

    The truth is that I expected worse from what you say about the functions that are still to come, but it is interesting what it offers at the level of following the training and recovery.

    I had promised myself to wait for the new navigation and other updates... but I still take a chance and buy it now.

  2. They look very good, but the fact of not poder to follow routes... It seems to me a considerable strategic error. Although in the "near future" the V may have it. Today, with the competition that exists, and the level of demand of the typical user, it seems inconceivable to me.
    Anyway, I'm sure they've already analyzed the impact this can have on them.
    The proof, as always, is spectacular. Very good.

    1. Thank you.

      I don't know if the announcement of adding it later was already planned or if it was due to user pressure, but it is certainly what has been most criticized of Vantage V.

  3. Thank you Eduardo for another impeccable review!
    I have the Vantage V and in my comparisons with the suunto 9 I come to the same conclusions.
    One question, which I asked to polar without answer, do you know how you can edit the lap log screen to see other information than the lap time?
    Thank you very much!

    1. Thanks to you.

      There is no possibility to change the information that appears on the lap screen, it is the fixed data. At least this is the case at the moment, but I have no information that indicates that it will be possible to change it.

  4. Excellent review as always, I loved them especially for battery, sensor and functions.

    Although I do not understand how sometimes they take away features that for me are super useful as the end time calculator of the M430 or the race pace that has the V800. I understand that because not many people use them, but I see it basic when improving mark in a half marathon for example.

    1. Thank you Jose Angel

      These are not always functions that disappear. Polar has changed the software completely, so everything has to be done and programmed for the new system. That's why some things take longer, because it's not like going from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and reinstalling a program. There is no such compatibility and everything has to be done again. Of course, that takes time, resources, developers...

  5. Thank you very much for the review, very comprehensive. is there any hope for improvement on the pulsing issue underwater? I think on both the OH1 and M200 they were acceptable, right? On the updates page they have finalized the next one and it has moved from "early" to February. I read somewhere that Polar is giving discounts to V800 owners who want to switch, do you know if this is a false rumor or does it have any basis?

    1. Yes, the OH1 had a good result in swimming, but the location of the sensor is different and it is in a much better area for recording the heart rate. I don't see any easy way to improve the recording because the main difficulty is where we wear the watch and how it is affected by strokes and water, but what I do see possibilities is that you can download data recorded with the Polar H10.

      About the discount for V800 users, I haven't heard anything about it.

  6. Hello Eduardo, a question just as silly I have never had a polar can turn off the clock of some button or in some type menu the Garmin?
    And another question to run and train on asphalt which would be the best option the Vantage M or the forerunner 645 that I have seen that with some offer there is only 40 euros difference. I also do cycling but I have a Garmin edge. Thank you very much for the great work you do on the web

    1. No, it's not possible to leave a Polar bear off.

      Both will do the service perfectly, although perhaps in your case I would opt for the Garmin simply because you are already on the platform and it will be easier to have everything organized.

  7. Thank you very much for the review, impeccable.
    I would like to know between this Vantage V and a Suunto 9 baro, which one would you buy? Taking into account the difference in price and performance.
    Thank you very much.

    1. Well, they are quite different and the target user is quite different... The Vantage is just another triathlon watch with a very complete training platform while Suunto is more intended for the mountain. And the size of both is also very different, Suunto is much more voluminous. It's quite a personal choice.

  8. Hi, Eduardo.

    I've been with the M for 15 days and I'm a bit disappointed, I'm thinking of changing it for the Garmin 735.

    I miss training in the heart rate zone.
    Also, I don't know if it was my fault, but scheduling a workout and passing it on to the clock, which I did with the M400, didn't work out.

    What do you think? Go with the M or switch to the 735? Swim and run...

    Thank you

    1. Yes, the area blockade has yet to arrive, as Polar told me it should be in the February update.

      As for the training schedule, take a look at it, because I was able to do it without any problems. In fact, I synchronized an old training I had on the platform.

      If you're already a Polar user and have all your training on the platform, it's certainly the most comfortable. But you already know what's in Polar and what Training Load Pro has to offer. That and its optical pulse sensor are the most important aspects of the Vantage M, that's what you have to value about the 735XT.

  9. Hello, a consultation for running and middle distance triathlon (70.3), with which do you stay a Vantage M, 735xt or a Suunto Spartan Trainer?

    Thank you

    1. For triathlon, I'm not too happy with Suunto, mainly because there's no possibility of creating a duathlon profile and it's something we all end up doing sometime.

      As for the Polar and the Garmin, either of them is perfectly suited for the function. It's already a personal decision which one to go for.

      1. But do you know if the 735 will be discontinued soon, and should we wait for the new Garmin? to come out, or will this model still have updates?

        1. For 2019 I expect something new in the triathlon segment, but I am not sure if it will be to replace the 735XT, 935 or simply to complete it (as it happened with the Fenix range). Anyway, the 735XT is still in force today.

  10. Hello!

    Thank you very much for this great analysis! Even so, you imply that the Pola Vantage are not meant for mountain running (or so I understand at least, if not I apologize), could you please specify why? I would use it mainly for mountain running, but I am left with the doubt... Let's see if you can clarify this issue.

    Thank you again and a greeting!

    1. It's not that they're not intended for mountain running, it's just that other models are much more geared towards that use with specific functions and metrics that Vantages don't have.

  11. Hi, Eduardo,

    Thank you very much for this piece of analysis.

    I'm thinking of buying a heart rate monitor around the price of the Vantage M and I'm hesitating especially between the Vantage M itself and the Vivoactive 3.

    I will use it mainly for running. I would like to be able to set up at least free running, series and heart rate alerts. I will also use it for occasional swimming in the pool. After reading your analysis, I have the idea that both offer similar quality in terms of GPS and heart rate, but the Vantage M is a bit more oriented to the sport itself (with the Training Load Pro, open water swimming, triathlon mode...) while the Vivoactive 3 is a bit more oriented to smartwatch/fitness tracking (with the NFC, music, stress monitoring...). Do you think this is a good idea?

    I'm attracted to smartwatch features but I wouldn't sacrifice sporting features (especially running) for them.

    What would you recommend?

    Thank you very much in advance.

    1. Yeah, you basically got the concept right.

      The race performance is quite similar, but what differs is the part of Training Load Pro you have in the Polar that is not available in the Garmin. That is the most noticeable difference.

      1. Hi, Eduardo,

        First of all, congratulations on the Reviews, incredibly detailed, great work!

        I'm a little bit in the same doubt between the Vivoactive 3 and the Vantage M. On the one hand I'm called the Training Load Pro metrics of the polar, and the Vivoactive its versatility for other sports and with connect IQ. I've seen that in the Garmin you can get TRIMP metrics through some app, but I guess it won't reach the level of the Training Load of polar. If these apps were reliable I would still go for the Vivoactive 3.
        I also wanted to ask you about screen visibility, which one would you say looks best?
        I've read some reviews about the screen visibility of the Polar, I don't know if it has visibility problems all the time or it's only at night because of the low brightness of the screen. From the pictures, in full light I would even say that you can see the Polar better (with a very black and high contrast), but I haven't had the chance to see it live. What do you say about this?
        Thank you very much!

        1. In the first version of the Polar firmware the automatic lighting was not at its maximum, this was corrected in the second version. I have no visibility problems with either, although it is true that the Garmin font is perhaps a little more readable than the Polar one.

          As for your doubts, if training analysis values are important to you, Polar is certainly a better choice. In that sense the Vivoactive 3 is more limited.

  12. Hi, Eduardo.
    Congratulations on the analysis, very good.

    My question is whether the Polar Vantage M is compatible with the H7 chest strap sensor?

  13. Hi, Eduardo,

    I recently acquired a Polar Vantage M, and I don't know how I can go forward
    manually between phases and/or intervals of a training created by
    That is, yesterday for example, I created a phased career training and
    I wanted to skip some of the warm-up, but I couldn't do it.
    manually, I had to wait for the goal I created to be accomplished.
    Is there any way that we can end a phase and continue with the
    next by hand?

    Thank you, a greeting.

    1. No, you'd have to set it up for a manual step, but if I set up a target you have to meet it

  14. Hi Eduardo. Great analysis, thanks and congratulations!

    The million dollar question: Garmin Fenix 5 (which can now be found for $365) or Polar Vantage V, which would you buy.

    The activities I would use it for would be running, trail running, hiking and biking.

    Thank you and a greeting.

    1. Without detracting from the Vantage V (which I think is a good watch and that Polar has done a great job with Training Load Pro), it is clear that the Fenix 5 offers many more features. Without seeing what Polar has thought of for route navigation, Garmin fits the profile of trail running and hiking use better; not only for navigation but for all other functions intended for use in the mountains. And if it is also cheaper...

      But whatever you choose... remember to buy through the Amazon links to collaborate with the site!

  15. Excellent article, I just have a doubt that neither reading the manual, nor writing to polar I can solve, I can not find anywhere the interval timer and how to enter the timer in the training views, I would appreciate very much if you could help me with this issue, as much as I look in edit sport profile, in the clock and in the whole app I can not find. Greetings and thank you

  16. Hi Eduardo, first of all congratulations for the review, excellent, as for the pulse sensor it seems that there is a big difference between the polar V and the fenix 5 or suunto 9 that score on a scale of 10 would be these three models. Thank you

    1. The optical sensor is somewhat superior on the Vantage, but it's not a huge difference either. They're all very similar, but the one on the Polar is a little further away.

  17. First of all congratulations for the review, impressive the amount of details you provide, until I read it I didn't have a clear idea of everything. I would like to ask your opinion to buy a new watch. I have the Polar M400 and I hesitate between suunto apartan trainer, Garzon 735xt and Polar Vantage M. I use it mainly for running but I want it to be useful for cycling and spinning. I am a popular runner up to 21k both on asphalt and in the mountains, with the idea of doing a 42k on asphalt soon. Thanks in advance and keep up this impeccable work you do.

  18. Thank you very much! That's how you analyze a watch, yes sir.
    Not like others, saying only what the brand advertises.
    A 10.
    I would suggest an analysis of this style of Apple Watch 4.
    I am also a geek of these devices, I had 3 Polar, 2 Garmin, 2 Suunto, a Nike and now I see how bad they are all and that I train much less I have caught the Apple and there are ridiculous things, I would lend me q detect, as well as the "super" App Nike to run ...

  19. The truth is that everyone has problems... Suunto, with the Spartan, was very nice, but very bad.
    This one gives the impression that it imitates the Garmin, with its super wide useless crown, I don't understand, after so many years, without taking anything out like the V800, how they take out this watch and don't take advantage of the whole face, that crown, and then the data cut in the circumference...
    I still buy it, because I think q at the level of training analysis, they are more reliable q Garmin and Suunto. They tend not to give data and nonsense. I will stay with the Apple because for the day to day is faster and with iphone goes very well ... except updates with failures, like the last one, q have left the clock, lame.

  20. Hi Eduardo, the best review I've seen on the Internet about this polar. I have a v800 polar and the truth is that I have healthy to take the vantage polar, I like a lot its aesthetics, power measurement and not having to put the band to run or measure the pulses 24 hours, but I think that can not put band because I swim a lot and another doubt I have is that when I ride a bike I put the clock on the handlebars and I see the speed, pulses ... Now with the vantage but I can moner on the handlebars because I would not give me the pulses I see a delay ... I do not know the same solution that escapes me.
    By the way, what do you think of the Garmin Forerunner 235, it would be a gift for my father who would use it to walk around town and hunt. You tell me. (I'd like a cool aesthetic)
    I insist again, congratulations for a job well done, the mouth or mouth if you continue with these reviews will make it a reference.

    1. You can use the chest strap - and you should - for the bike. The same H7 on your V800 works for you. The only thing it doesn't have is the analog band for transmitting heart rate data underwater. I still think Polar will end up using the memory of the H10 to synchronize data after activity, just like Garmin and Suunto do, but they haven't made up their minds yet.

  21. Simply brutal and super complete the comparison... right now I find myself in that doubt, first of all if to buy the Vantage V or the Fenix 5 Plus or the Forerunner 935... I just run, I don't do triathlon, I don't know which one you would recommend more. And if it were Polar, I had the doubt if I needed the V or with the M it was ok but it is definite that between Polar I prefer the V... but I have the doubt vs Garmin... any suggestion?

    1. By the way I currently use the Polar M430 but I feel it is too basic and aesthetically the same. Thank you, I look forward to feedback and once again thank you very much and congratulations

  22. Without a doubt the best analysis I've seen, congratulations!

    I practice all three modes and so far I've been driving the v800 until I got to roto???? and I have to change. My candidates are the vantage M and the garmin 735xt. I see them quite similar. Which one would you take?

    Thank you and a greeting

  23. I have bought it, I have gone out 3 times to run, twice where I always run, and where I do 10 km.
    Distance measured hundreds of times, the first day was 9.72 km, today 9.67 km.
    I've never had a watch with such little accuracy, 6.5 miles, 6.5 miles, most of them were around.
    But with this error, not even the Apple Watch 4. The Apple without mobile phone gives 10,175 km, with the mobile phone, it doesn't reach 10 km...a chaos, tb.
    Honestly, a watch that you can't even buy as a joke..., to spend so many years preparing a watch to replace the V800, and to take this out... AMAZING!
    And I was criticizing SUUNTO and GARMIN... but POLAR has done well.
    It's clear that it sells a lot, to get the power running on a wristwatch, but if the rest is absurd...
    I don't want to hurt POLAR, in fact, I would have loved this to be the watch I was going to wear for years, but I kind of don't...
    The but with difference, the POLAR RC3 GPS, much more precise, and the V800, much more too...
    The M400, more basic is better than this...
    I don't see how to add photos in the commentary, so you can see that the data I'm saying is not a lie.
    A salute,

  24. I forgot, I synchronized satellites, before I went out, I checked that the satellites were valid until 28/02..., I thought that the first day, I didn't know where I was training..., and it was possible to get lost, and triangulate with satellites that didn't give precision..., but today I checked it before I went out, it took me a while to go out, so that I could center the coverage..., but nothing..., water.

  25. Hi! Good afternoon and congratulations on the article! It's a blast.

    I have a doubt. I've had it for two weeks and I've gone out for a run about 7 times. The problem I have is that the app and the web tell me a different state than the clock. For example, in the app it tells me that today Wednesday and the next few days I'll be in overload, but in the clock it tells me that I'm in production. It's as if the clock and the app were each on its own. What can that be?

    1. Well I can't tell you, in my case it has always indicated the same thing and it should if it's synchronized

  26. Hello, an excellent comparison of the products, there are few analyses in which so much detail is given. Excellent.
    I currently have the Polar V800 and I want to upgrade it. The only problem I have had with the V800 is the GPS signal, I live in a mountainous area and the GPS signal is constantly being lost. I have several friends who use Garmin and they suffer the same thing but with much, much less frequency.
    My basic question would be, if we compare only the GPS to this new version of the Vantage V GPS, would we recommend purchasing the Vantage V or the Garmin 935?
    Thank you.

    1. If there are signal problems due to the difficulties of the terrain you will be in the same with any clock, maybe not that it marks disconnection but irregular data.

      Maybe more than focusing on the clock, I would recommend combining it with a footpod, both rhythms and distances will be much more stable.

  27. Hi Eduardo, thanks once again for this hard-working review.
    Currently I am preparing for a marathon and so far I have done all the training with my apple watch S2+stryd+polar H10 and the truth is that I am very happy. I know that many of you will tell me that the apple watch is not a sports watch, but in the end... in this case the S2 becomes a reader and centralizer of external devices (stryd+polar H10). The only problem and that is why I am looking to change the battery, I am afraid that it will hold the 3.5 or 4 hours that I have planned to run.
    The truth is that I use an app "iSmoothRun" in which you can program trainings, series, etc. And use Siri to tell you through the headphones (and always reading stryd +polar H10) if you're doing well or out of time, watts or whatever you want to dial in real time. It's like if you have a trainer that is telling you in your ear, Steady, Faster or Slower jejej.
    I have an option to get the Vantage V at a good price, and I don't know what to do...

  28. Yesterday I got the Vantage M, after returning the V. I did not dare to buy the V again, in case it was still as bad, I had to keep it...with how "cheap" it is, since returning it again .... as I do not..., I get kicked out of the store. I was hoping with great excitement that the previous one was defective..., and that this one would be fine.
    But I configured it, connected it to the pc, updated satellites, went for a run and the distance that should be 10 km, has been 9.76 km.
    0:47:38, 143 ppm 719 kcal..
    If you see it right that a watch loses 250 m in 10 km, buy it... but in a marathon, it would lose 1 km, only..
    POLAR's breakthrough. After all these years to come up with something to replace the V800...
    And I repeat, I would be delighted if this were my watch for years... I get tired of changing every little watch...
    The Apple Watch 4 dialed on Sunday 9.91 km with the mobile phone connected, without the mobile phone connected on 24/02, it dialed 10.20 km
    I have written down every start, I have 968 starts, more than 10,000 km, the 80% in this section....and NEVER gave, no other clock, that error.
    And these are all the ones I've tried:
    GARMIN 620
    Polar V800
    GARMIN 235
    I'm going to try my best to make this one work..., I'll try it anyway to see if I can find out what needs to be done to get it to give normal data.
    A salute,

  29. New start, same route:9.80 km. 47:55, snail mode..144 ppm, 714 kcal
    200 m less.
    Today I put on my watch, I activated the run option, and I kept it like this while I was taking the dog out, you could see the satellite reception in green..., before I also synchronized with laptop the satellites... and after 10-15 min, I went out.
    But pretty bad...
    I don't know if the problem is the GLONASS option, I have no idea, but in another watch there was the option to inhabit it or not and it improved without GLONASS..., I don't know if it is q in Asturias, it is worse..., I don't know, but the data is that, 200 m of loss.
    On the other hand, the Apple Watch 4..., without a mobile phone connected, gives 10,150-10,200 km, always, today I didn't put it.
    It's a shame, really, that Polar brought this to market..., after the prestige it had with the V800..., it makes you think.
    I have to eat it with potatoes, because I do not dare to return more watches, but I will sell it in 5-6 months, fixed, this is not a watch to train rhythms.., 200 m to 5 min/km, is 1 min...of loss...a minute running...
    PER DI DOS on GPS accuracy, they're on POLAR..

  30. Good things, being able to mark your lap with the right hand button, a good idea..., you can see all the data of that lap you have marked, rhythm, distance, time, and then you see it on the web page, the data of those manual laps.
    It's pretty cool that I color-coded the heart rate... too bad about the GPS.
    Taking advantage, a question..., the STRYD, measures distances... I understand... since if the power goes by speed..., it has to have somehow the data distance and time..., and if in addition it has barometer, that if I have seen that it has it..., the precision of the STRYD in subject GPS, goes well? Because I see that the clocks the subject GPS, are getting lost...
    Don't tell me look at the Stryd article, I already read it, but it wasn't clear to me, what I'm asking, thank you. ????

  31. Good news!!! Finally!!!
    I got a STRYD, and a pass.
    Linked to the Vantage M and perfect. First day, 10.01 km. Second day, 9.99 km. Amazing.
    So personally, I think it's more interesting the M than the V., you get the STRYD, and bestial!
    So you can see I had nothing against POLAR.
    What I do miss are the little messages it says, like that I'm over training, and I run twice a week, 10 km...I don't know...hopefully in time I'll know that I'm training very little.
    How do you train for a marathon? Something doesn't add up, if you have to train almost every day?
    The STRYD, at first glance looks like a plastic from the Chinese..., the one there is now does not have a wireless charge..., it does not have instructions in Spanish, a detail, the hook to the T-shirt..., if you open and close it every time you put it..., made of plastic..., let's hope it is well thought out... because otherwise one day it will be left for plant fertilizer..., on the way.
    Well, that's a 10 now, in terms of distance accuracy. Good thing, because another one that didn't go... but we're going in a V, I don't think it gives accuracy like this, not even as a joke. And it's even cheaper.
    I was a bit hallucinated, because where I run, the half km are marked, and we go beastly... and in the area of curves and trees, the same...

  32. Hello
    I want to change my V800.
    All I need is a good range, a good integrated optical pulse sensor, x km running rhythm for athletics and integrated music.
    Is there anything on the market today that meets these requirements?
    Or I wait for Garmin 245.
    Greetings and congratulations on your tests

    1. To get your music integrated you have to go to one of the Garmin models. You can take a look at the Vivoactive 3 Music or wait for the Forerunner 245 Music

  33. Hi, Eduardo!
    I am surprised that having improved the sensor, I have so many problems with the HR record in training. I have a Polar M430 and I wanted to make an upgrade, I really like the polar platform and I am used to it. Do you have any idea if with this year's upgrades these problems could be solved? I don't really care about the GPS, but the issue of a good HR record.

    1. I totally agree with you Maria. After trying it out a lot and holding out to see if the updates would fix it, the disappointment has been great to see that they didn't fix it.
      I'm going to return it to my regret because it's a watch that I liked

      1. What a pity. It seems that the intentions were good, but they rushed to get it out before polishing all the details. For my part, I'm going to wait until there are signs of a solution. I tried to switch to garmin once and there was no way, I'm staying with Polar.
        Thanks Eduardo for the answer too.

    2. Right now there is no clear roadmap from Polar as to what new features they are going to include in the near future. Obviously polishing features is among the possibilities, but there is little else I can tell you about it.

  34. Good Eduardo, what surprises me about the test you published is that you have not detected the accuracy problems of these Polar, which I comment and I do not see that you give it any importance ... when any runner wants to improve, if the accuracy of the GPS is not within a margin, it is a useless clock!
    And as I said before, this pathetic GPS performance is like that! I've bought many watches and worse than this one, not by a long shot! And for Running a Marathon, don't you think it's CONCERNING? What if a brand like POLAR takes so many years to renovate the V800 and pull out this thunder?
    Surprising, really! Why don't you try it with measured distances? Just out of curiosity!
    I know, I don't know if I would buy it again, but seeing your proof, the doubt doesn't exist... it's all apparently perfect.

    1. Fer, I think you've skipped the part where the Vantage GPS is compared to all other devices. Or when I say it can and should improve. As for distance comparison, you also shouldn't have read the distance obtained in a marathon with the Vantage V and the FR935 (connected to Stryd). I don't think I ever said the watch was perfect and I'm pretty sure the test is not without its critics.

      In short, I can comment on WHAT I SEE in my tests, not based on the use that another user may have had.

  35. An 8.3 rating... seems no small thing...
    Seeing how pathetic GPS accuracy works, it's not even qualifiable anymore.
    With the error that gives is more useful a POLAR RS200 without GPS, but it gives me that you are not interested in confronting openly with POLAR.
    I've only seen this comparison and another one of the STRYD, the one of the marathon with Vantage V, I just looked for it and I don't see it.
    What is striking is that, analyzing a watch with so much detail, you have not highlighted this aspect, it seems to me a watch that does not meet a minimum of accuracy and without that to do sport, is not useful, and is not even an option to buy.
    If I had read what I put in, I doubt if I would have even thought of buying it...if you do that, I imagine that POLAR would get your attention!
    The truth is that you do explain in detail how it works, and that's what it does, but I'm disappointed by the lack of clear criticism, because it has it and it's beastly! It's not justifiable that a brand like POLAR takes so long to evolve the V800 and get this out, with so little precision!

    1. I insist, I think you read the test diagonally because you have a whole section dedicated to the GPS analyzing the tracks and errors found. A picture with the distance recorded in the Malaga Marathon. Comparative with another Suunto watch that equips the same chipset. And I repeat, what I value is what I find PERSONALLY in the watch, not what others can say about a model. Neither I know what they compare it with, nor how they perform the tests, nor where they are running.

      Confronting Polar? I have no problem doing so, not with Polar or anyone else. Every brand knows what it has in its house and a criticism based on real facts does not mean confrontation with anyone because they are able to accept their mistakes. In the past I have already criticized different aspects of all brands in very particular models, and I have passed it on to the brands. Confronting them? None, for the simple reason of not having lied about anything at all.

      You speak of a lack of clear criticism. I point out the GPS errors found, the problems with the optical pulse sensor in some situations, the lack of performance when comparing with other models, the loss of some performance with respect to the V800, the inconsistency of certain Training Load Pro messages... Do you find this uncritical? All this is reflected in the text, but I insist that I think you are reading the test diagonally.

      I admit any kind of criticism, no one is perfect, but what I do not admit or consent to is that no one should question my independence or objectivity.

      An average of 8.3, yes. Because the calculation is made with the average of 6 different sections. Isn't it true that it has a brilliant autonomy? Isn't it true that Polar Flow is a good platform? Isn't it true that the watch has good finishes? All of this raises the average. Or isn't it true that despite the shortcomings it may have, it also has very positive things?

    2. You're dumb, if you don't like the watch don't buy it, but at least respect the opinion of people who don't think like you.

  36. Hi, Eduardo,
    Thanks for your reviews: I used them to know where I am and where I want to go in this world of GPS watches.
    I was on a Suunto Ambit3 Peak and I went to Polar Vantage V, I'm still adjusting to the change but I already have some clear ideas: the Suunto Ambit3 was more accurate, more mountain oriented, more consistent but more rugged and I needed the user to know more about what the watch is capable of and to have the ability to understand the avalanche of data it makes available on Movescount. I got fed up with reading comparisons and reviews and they still take the Peak as a reference for other watch measurements...
    Polar Vantage V doesn't give everything it can give, it doesn't have the same mountain orientation as Suunto (hopefully!!) and it doesn't have that solid precision (sometimes it deviates and a lot) but I've gained in other aspects: simplicity of use and a complete ecosystem, focused on training and guiding you on that path. Suunto at the moment seems to have no idea where it's going: Movescount gives a review of Suunto App in EVERYTHING but they're going to discontinue it in a year and it seems that they're thinking of completing their ecosystem with third party applications like Training Peaks, coincidentally also from Amer Sports, which is a Polar Flow that would complete their Suunto App but paid for in a 500 euro watch.

    The result of this journey is that the watch I am looking for does not exist. To train I use the Polar and for mountain I use the Peak and so happy until they take away my Movescount and I lose the option to make routes from a computer with a big screen and having all the information. At that time we will see what decision I take... maybe Polar has put the batteries or it is time to try Garmin that if something has is a complete ecosystem, which does not vary and does not discontinue to the brava their products.


    1. Suunto is migrating all the Movescount functionality to the Suunto app, but it is true that it is taking a lot longer than desired. The integration is with SportsTracker (the platform owned by Amer Sports and has nothing to do with TrainingPeaks). The forecast is that everything you have in Movescount will be in the new platform.


    What I try to transmit is that the GPS DOESN'T WORK CORRECTLY, nothing else, with the STRYD, this fault is corrected, but without it it is PATHETIC!!, but buy it and you will see, I already bought both the V and the M and they both fail spectacularly, worse than ALL the watches I have had and more than 5 years ago, checked, because I run the 90% in the same place... but what I said..., I am stupid to say it to the people so that they know it.
    And I say that ANALYSIS SHOULD HAVE HIGHLIGHTED THIS, the rest is perfect!
    If a car has oval's NOT GOING TO DRIVE!
    That's why the 8.3 should have been a 0!!! and everything else?? CURRED, but it's a PAR TI CU LAR vision.
    Battery: yes, very good.
    Finished: dial with a contour without data and that does not take advantage of all the surface, it is a pity to have so many dials and not use them with data, and more than when you are passing the data it seems as if it is passing the paper tape of a register machine..., because you see them cut up and down with the circumference of the clock...
    This if they are my particular opinions that you can agree with or not, the GPS thing is like that!
    I have NOTHING against POLAR, I said it in some commentary, I expected it to be a watch for several years, and it is the worst of all I had, in GPS accuracy, by far.
    If I had done the analysis I would have highlighted this in the mime headline!!!

  38. Hello, you made a series with manual laps, I ask because in Garmin the laps 2 would be the rest after the series and again the 4, 6 and so on until the end of the series, without having to program the clock, in this Polar you can?
    Thank you

  39. Well, first of all, great analysis of the clock, with its pros and cons. There's only one question left in my head.
    What's the battery life in clock mode? I currently have a Phoenix 5, but due to battery problems (it has gone from 15 days with 3 workouts per week, to less than a week), I was thinking of buying the Vantage V.
    Can the OH1 band be used for swimming training and extrapolate the heart rate data to the training recorded on the watch?
    In the end it was two doubts.

    Thanks for the work you're doing, keep it up.

    1. Polar does not indicate the battery life without use, and given the variability of use of all users I can not make an estimate either ... First of all try to reset the Garmin.

      As for the OH1, you cannot combine the activity data between the clock and the sensor, it would be recorded as two different activities.

      1. So the HR data from the clock optician would be kept.
        I have already restarted the garmin several times and in fact I sent it to the SAT twice already, it's time to send it a third time to see if they fix it, but the Garmin after-sales service has disappointed me greatly.

        Thank you for your quick response.

  40. Hi, everybody,
    I think it's worth pointing out that with the latest firmware update the accuracy of the GPS has improved a lot, at least in the 3 sessions I've been doing. There have also been improvements in the optical sensor, on Wednesday I nailed the pulses doing 10 series of 300m, something unthinkable until now.

  41. Hi Eduardo! I loved the review, thank you very much. I am weighing the option of buying the vantage m or the garmin 735xt. I do triathlon and some mountain running. I read in another comment that they were just different styles, but I thought I understood that the 735 gave some more data. What are they? Among my priorities, I want the optical heart rate monitor to work well (it seems that the vantage is doing well) and to give me data on recovery times and training intensity, in addition to what they all have (gps, glonass, etc). I'm put off by the 735 being an "older" model, and that the optical heart rate monitor doesn't seem to work as well. What would I "lose" by getting the vantage m instead of the 735? Which one do you recommend?

    1. The 735XT has route navigation, lactate threshold, possibility of connecting to more sensors (especially if you have ANT+) or FTP calculation (with power meter).

      But if training load information is a priority I think you'll find more than you're looking for with the Polar.

  42. Hi eduardo. Great review! I've read many and I find yours the most complete. I'm going to make the jump from suunto ambit 3 peak to vantage v, reserving the peak for training in the mountain as a complement, since selling it in wallapop doesn't compensate me. I have a doubt with the vantage v, in the web appear images of the polar vantage v with the word "polar" silk screened at 6 o'clock, but in social networks I haven't seen any yet. Do you know if they are sold? If they correspond to new series numbers that could bring some improvement? I understand that it's pure aesthetics, but I wanted to ask you. Greetings and thanks for the reviews.

    1. No, those images were made before the clock was launched and finally arrived without the logos at the bottom of the screen. None of the watches manufactured have worn them and in fact I think the last few boxes have come without showing it, except for the Vantage V Titan which seems to have it...

      I'm not sure if it was a first print run in which that component comes without the silkscreen, if it has been removed or what the difference is...

      1. Thanks Eduardo. It really wasn't that important, but I say what a curious thing. Yesterday I talked to them through the chat, and the support people don't know anything either. Thanks for everything! Greetings.

  43. Hi, I've read all the rewiews and comments about the vantage m/v fleece and all are doubts. hehe. I would like to retire my m400 fleece, since it has fallen short of what I need and so on... and I was considering buying the vantage m fleece, but from what I've read I don't know if I should do it, keep the m430, or buy another brand with the same budget. more or less the use I would give it would be for gym (crossfit), walks and some running on Saturday and Sunday. what do you recommend me to do? thank you very much for everything. greetings.

    1. If your main use is the Crossfit, I don't think you'll find anything new in the Vantage M that you don't have in the M400... If you need more range or a better display, yes, the jump is huge. And depending on how much you train, you may also get the benefit of Training Load Pro.

      Mind you, what I don't see is switching to the M430... it's more of the same and you'll still need the chest sensor to do crossfits.

  44. Hi! I'm a physical education graduate and an athlete. I think your analysis is excellent.
    Until a couple of years ago I used to compete at international level in heptathlon (100m hurdles/ high jump/ high jump/ shot put/ 200m/ long jump/ javelin/800m), but now I am more dedicated to work and train for "fun". I coach athletes in different disciplines and professional soccer referees, so sometimes I do short interval training with them, strength, jumps, speed. I rarely run more than 6km in a row.
    I want the watch that best suits that and gives me the most reliable measurements.

    I had thought about the Polar Vantage V, or the Garmin Fenix 5s (with the extra pod), or even the Garmin forerun 245 (although it is not compatible for some power measurements, lactic zone, etc so I have almost discarded it).

    What do you recommend?
    Thank you very much for your attention.


    1. To make very abrupt changes of intensity you will need a chest pulse sensor, yes or yes, so the measurement of the optical sensor of any model will not be up to the needs.

      If you're looking for more computer-based workout tracking (on your platform) rather than watch functions (navigation type, functions, etc.) I think Polar's is more complete in that regard. Garmin has very similar information, but perhaps lacks the ease and ability to show that Polar does.

  45. Hi, there.
    First of all my congratulations for the posts that are so helpful to us.
    I've been informing myself and reading all the analyses that you hang on the different models of sports watches for some time now, and I'm getting more and more indecisive.
    I'm looking for a watch that works well on all indoor and outdoor swimming, as well as being good with fitness work and spinning, running because of injury problems I can't practice it very much, so I don't think I need a watch with a thousand and one applications that I'm going to pay for and then not use. that calculates my calories, heart rate and so on.
    I'm between the vintage M and now with the new ignite fleece I'm already super indecisive, could you please guide me a bit and advise me, I don't know anymore what brand and model to choose.
    Thank you very much.

  46. Hi! Thanks for all the tests.
    My trainings are 3 days crossfit, one day track series, and two days shooting
    I had the m430 (I loved how it went, but I needed something more aesthetic for my day to day life) and I changed it for the vivoactive 3, but I find that it doesn't have a crossfit sport as such, and the instantaneous rhythm in track series is not at all reliable, it differs quite a lot and it takes too long to reflect that I have accelerated for example and the laps in the map are given by the street that you want while in the 430 I nailed them.
    I'm thinking of taking advantage of the first day and buying the vantage m, as you see? I've also seen the same price on the 735 and it makes me hesitate a little... What do you recommend?
    Greetings and thank you very much.

    1. The Vantage M doesn't have as fine a GPS as the M430 at the moment, you'll notice that. Otherwise it can give you very good results in terms of its Training Load function. The 735XT is a much more complete watch in every way compared to the Vivoactive 3, especially in training, but it might aesthetically disappoint you.

  47. Hi, Eduardo. Thanks for your analysis. I congratulate you, it's very helpful.
    They are really very complete and make you see in detail, the pros and cons that you can find in each section of the watches.
    I'm mainly a long-distance runner (10-20 km) and I go out into the mountains a couple of times a week, and I also swim in the pool a couple of times a week.
    My idea in the next months is to do some triathlon, and I also want to follow up my race training (which I will promote with fartleks, series, etc...). MTB also practice sporadically, especially now in the summer season.

    I'm wondering if I should choose the Polar Vantage M or the Garmin Forerunner 735XT? I think both can give me similar performance for what I want them to do...what do you think about it, what do you recommend?

    Greetings, and thank you in advance.

    1. The main difference is that the Garmin has route navigation, while the Polar Training Load Pro.

      If you want to do a good follow-up, you will surely find more possibilities in the Polar.

      1. Thank you for responding.

        There is a big difference between the Training Load Pro and the possibilities of the Garmin Conect?

        Thank you

        1. Garmin Connect has nothing like it unless the watch itself includes it. In the case of the 735XT it has no training load tracking.

  48. Hello,

    I just bought a Vantage M recently and this week I did my first tests of the GPS, I basically put it in to go from home to work to see how it looks, and I was really surprised when I saw the map that I had made and it turns out that I had been walking around inside buildings. I understand that this will be fixed when Polar adjusts the GPS, as you said in the analysis.
    I'd love to put a picture up for you to see because it's really funny, picture taken from the map in the Polar app, of course.

    a greeting,


    1. Keep in mind that in the city the performance of any GPS is considerably more compromised by the difficulty of receiving the signal when surrounded by buildings that not only block, but also bounce the signal.

  49. Hello
    I just got started in mountain racing and I'm having second thoughts about which device to buy.
    I'm hesitating between the Phoenix 5 and Polar Vantage V.
    I want something that is reliable and complete in terms of training measurement and analysis.
    Thank you!

    1. For running in the mountains I consider the Fenix 5 or Suunto 9 to be the best choice. Both offer specific functions for this, while the Polar does not. And likewise, route navigation has absolutely nothing to do with either. I would only opt for the Vantage V if and only if you are going to get a LOT out of Training Load and Recovery Pro. That is, if your training is going to be guided by those metrics alone. In that case, take a look at the links on Amazon Italy which you can now get at a good price.

  50. Hi Eduardo, first of all I would like to congratulate you for this great analysis of the two Polar Vantage's. I have the M and I would like to ask you a question regarding the Training Load Pro data, and in particular the TRIMP. In your analysis you say that the TRIMP has nothing to do with the duration of a training session but searching on the Internet I found the formula of how to calculate the TRIMP and it is just to multiply the duration of the training session with a factor that is calculated based on the heart rate. In fact, in my case the TRIMP of my long runs (e.g. 30km) is much higher than the TRIMP of a series training session. There is something that I am not interpreting correctly? To me the usefulness of the Training Load Pro is not clear yet?

    1. Yes, one of the values used to calculate the TRIMP is the time, but what I put in the test is that the most important thing is the intensity (and of course, the time too). But the TRIMP values will be higher for a 10K run at 185 beats on average than for a smooth recovery training at 120ppm, even if it's past the hour.

      In the case you say, that long run is long-long, not the classic 18-20km run.

      In short, TRIMP is the total effort of the session. It can be higher because the intensity is higher even if the time is shorter, or because it is a training session of many hours even if you do it at a lower intensity.

      1. Understood, thank you very much! The 30km is part of the preparation for my next marathon... and there's also still a 32km to go... 😉

  51. Hi Eduardo, for someone who does sport on a regular basis (alternating weights, running, spinning...) without being a professional, and without taking into account the difference in price, would you choose the Polar Vantage V pro (with the chest strap) or the Garmin Phoenix 5 plus? Thank you.

    1. In fact, if you don't really compete with either of them, you have a majority of options that you won't use. At a basic level of these types of exercises, they both offer the same benefits.

  52. Hi Eduardo, how are you? First of all congratulations for the review, it's really excellent, and I decided to buy the M version.
    Now the problem I have is that I was training with the trainingpeaks platform and stryd for the power.
    The problem I have is that I can't create the routines on the polar page, with the power, it only gives me the possibility to choose the heart rate or rhythm zones! Do you have any idea if you can do this, as if you can do it in the garmin using the trainingpeaks or finalsurge? if not I think that unfortunately I will have to return it!
    I hope you can guide me and thank you very much for your help


  53. Good night, Eduardo:

    I have two questions ...
    1,- Is the Garmin HRM Run band compatible with the Polar Vantage M: see the keystrokes on the mobile in real time etc? (maybe there is a good offer and in case I go back to Garmin).
    Is the Polar H10 band compatible with the new Fenix (in case I go back to Garmin)

    A salute.

    1. Hello Alberto

      No, the HRM-Run is only ANT+, so it is not compatible with the Vantage M. Neither is it compatible with the mobile phone, unless it has ANT+. The HRM-Dual is.

      The Fenix can use both Bluetooth and ANT+ sensors, so you can use either the Polar H10 or Garmin's own.

  54. Good one.
    Congratulate you for the analysis and I came to ask you a question, I'm starting to prepare some competitions and the coach recommended me to get even a band of activity to control times and pulses (running), and put I would like something a little more complete to serve me to swim and ride a bike (which is what I like) and especially that can play music without carrying a mobile phone. What would you recommend?
    Greetings and thanks in advance.

    1. Thank you, Abraham.

      If you want music on your watch, you'll have to go to Garmin as Polar can't stand it, and for that you don't need to go to something like the FR945, unless you make a lot of use of navigation on your bike routes, which then you'll get the most out of the maps.

      A cheaper option than the FR945 is the Forerunner 245It covers all sports, has music, and is perfect for preparing for competitions.

      And another option could be the Vivoactive 4.

  55. Hi, I have a m400 that sometimes charges and sometimes not, since a couple of years ago I use it with the h10 polar band. I do varied exercise, body combat, pilates, I go for a walk in the countryside (running or I can't because my knee hurts after a while) and I'm thinking about spinning. I want to update myself, but with a watch that I can wear every day without it bothering me when I wear shirts and that is comfortable to sleep. What watch do you recommend? The vantage M, the ignite or change to garmin? My maximum budget is 300 euros, but if I spend less, better. Thank you very much ????

    1. The choice would be between the Vantage M or the Vivosctive 4. But being already at Polar I think it would be the most logical choice.

  56. Hi, Eduardo. How are you?
    I use Polar M400, I do mountain biking, I look to update that clock, with my budget and studied the Garmin FR235, the Garmin FR45 and Polar Vantage M, I also include the Huaweii GT2.
    My main interest is a good monitoring of the heart rate, with measurement at the wrist, what can you tell me? (I understand that the pectoral bands give better results, but, using the band more than 2 hrs enters to be uncomfortable)
    I appreciate your attention and also for your very sporty and technical analysis

    A hug from Concon, Chile

  57. Good morning,
    How's it going? Detailed reviews like this are welcome!!! Fantastic!
    Currently I have a rc3 gps polar but the next day 31st they close personaltrainer's website definitively and in exchange, to compensate for the inconvenience, they offer a 30% discount if you buy a new polar model.
    The 30% discount is a very juicy claim, but I wouldn't want to make a mistake in my choice as I'm currently hesitating between the Vantage M or switching to the competition and choosing the Garmin 245, to continue to face the challenges of the halfpieces and marathons.
    The topic of GPS is something that brings me to my head because with my current RC3 GPS I had some problems in taking the signal and measuring the distance.
    It seems that Vantage M had a complicated release in this regard, but they have gradually corrected it with subsequent updates.
    Depending on what I read and who I talk to, a few days I decide on one of the two models but the next day I change my mind.
    Any advice? The 31st is just around the corner and I'd like to decide as soon as possible.

    Thank you very much.

    1. They are both good watches (they are the ones I recommend as a running clock in the shopping guideThe FR245 has route navigation (and generally better looks and finishes), while in the Polar the cumulative training tracking metrics are superior. As for GPS, at the moment the Vantage is performing better, but this is something that is constantly being updated and is not bad in either case anyway.

  58. Good morning. I usually run several times a week, and I also do MTB, I'm changing my watch, a SUUNTO SPARTAN ULTRA and I'm considering the options of a POLAR VANTAGE V or equivalent GARMIN. On the bike I go with an EDGE, which makes me doubt whether to also carry a GARMIN in my hand and duplicate equipment. I would use it almost more for running than cycling. Thank you very much.

    1. For convenience and to keep all workouts on the same platform I think the most interesting thing would be to buy a watch of the same brand.

      As for the Vantage V it is a triathlon watch and is not focused on mountain use. For this it would be better any of the other options, or wait a bit for the new Polar.

      1. I guess by not mountain focused you mean trail running? Waiting for news. Are you going to release something new? If I see better the option of having it all unified. The Garmin Climb Pro is calling me. We'll see which way the balance goes. Thank you very much for your patience. Best regards.

          1. I guess it will have to do with the signings he is making in mountain runners.

  59. Hello Eduardo, first of all thank you for dedicating part of your time to make such a complete review.
    I had read that the gps of the vantage did not work very well (it had a great battery life in charge of the gps failure), do you know if polar has solved this aspect, as suunto did?

    I am in doubt to change my training watch, and my 2 options are the polar vantage V (because it is one of the newest models out there) or the garmin fenix 5 (it is a watch that already has its years and I do not know how it will go). Suggestions are also accepted around 300€.

    Thank you!

  60. After consulting with Eduardo I decided to go for the Fénix 5 and I'm very happy with it, even though the Polar aesthetically attracts me a lot, if they make something specific for the mountains I won't rule out buying it when I retire the Garmin (I hope it takes a long time).

    1. And how is the phoenix 5 doing? I'm really pulled by the Garmin because it's the brand by reference, and it has a lot more profiles on the watch.
      However, the polar looks good and for running I can see that it is necessary.
      Thanks for the info!

  61. Despite being a model of a few years ago, it goes very, very well, for running training I completed it with a chest strap and it is a luxury, and the app is very complete.

  62. Hello!

    First of all, thank you very much for the extensive information you give about the watch. I was going to buy it right now but I have the doubt about what size to take. My wrist circumference is 160, according to the polar website:
    - size S is for wrist circumference 130-175 mm
    - Size M/L for: wrist circumference 140-210 mm

    My wrist is 150 mm (obviously, I do not want it to be tight ... ) What size would you recommend? I have read this on other websites: The perimeter of the size S bracelets is 130 to 135 mm, and that of the sizes M and L from 155 to 210 mm. -> the measurement of the wrist is not the same as that of the bracelet ...

    Thank you very much!

    Marta M.

    Marta M

    1. I would recommend you to opt for size M/L, for the simple reason that if in winter you want to use the watch in a cold area on top of the jacket, you will appreciate those extra cm. Anyway keep in mind that it allows you to use standard straps, so you can change to very different ones for very little money.

  63. Hi, Eduardo.
    Impressive work on the Polar Vantage.
    One value of the V model is its recovery valuation function. I think that's great. I have a facility for overtraining and such a tool would be great. But at the end of your paper it seems to be understood that it may not be really very useful.... Could you give some precision in this regard.
    Greetings and thanks

    1. Thank you, Javier.

      Like any algorithm, it is a guide to follow, but not an absolute value. That is to say, it is more important the sensations you have than what Training Load Pro may be indicating. I think it is a good help, but the training must be varied so that what it interprets is correct.

      In my case I was preparing for a marathon "in a hurry", so there was not too much variation of heart rate zones which confused the algorithm.

  64. By the way, I find it amazing the very complete reviews you leave, you have clarified many doubts.
    Thank you for your work!

  65. Good evening, I don't know if this is the place to ask this question but here goes.
    I bought a garmin 735tx and the following happens to me, inside the house sitting on the couch I give to the activity of running and being me still the watch marks me speed and goes up meters, and all this while I'm sitting.
    I would like to know if this is normal. Thank you very much.

  66. Hi Eduardo !

    Very nice review, thanks. Can you give me some info about battery life ? I have M430 and now with medium GPS accuracy from (batt saver/ medium/ high accurate) modes hold on battery 4 to 6 hours. with high acc. 3 hours. with batt saver longer but in the bike training gps take the coordinates 1x per minute and its not good.
    Question is, if the vantage M or L have the same modes, or have just one, and what is real usage during activity ? because 30/ 40 hours didnt give me any information how long I can run with highest GPS acc. for example. thanks for that info.
    Do u think that its possible to change battery in the future ?

  67. Good afternoon Mr. Eduardo.
    I know you don't receive any salary from Polar, but would you be so kind to tell me how I can use the Vantage M on the treadmill at the Gym?
    I tried with the 430 but gave up. And 70 % of my training is done at the Gym.
    I also understand that I am still using the app and the polar flow site just by adding the new device. In this case the Vantage M.
    Thank you very much in advance and I owe you a coffee when I see you.

  68. Good morning, Eduardo,
    I'm still hesitating between the Garmin Forerunner 735XT and the Polar Vantage M, both are about the same price right now and reading your analysis of them both meet "almost everything" I'm looking for. In the Polar Vantage M I notice the lack of route navigation and the Garmin Forerunner 735XT makes me a little back that it is already quite a few years old. Which one would you recommend?
    Thank you,

  69. Hi Eduardo, would you value upgrading to Vantage M, having already Suunto Ambit 2s?

    These years I have been happy with the suunto, but the recent change of movescount by the suunto APP has meant the loss of information, such as the km of my shoes that I had it with tags etc..

    Do you know if there is something in Polar that controls the Zapas?

    According to this post the last upgrades in Polar were a year ago, have there been any further improvements during 2020?

    Greetings and congratulations for these reviews.

    1. Thank you Fernando.

      Yes, you would gain quite a bit from the change, especially in terms of training control metrics, rest and workout scheduling possibilities.

      In Polar there is no possibility to accumulate distance with the material. You would find that in Garmin or TrainingPeaks (you can make a free account and export your workouts automatically).

      Here you can see all the updates the Vantage M has 2020 simply bug fixes. The last addition of relevance was FitSpark.

      By the way, here you have a summary of the best prices available now on Black Friday. Be sure to visit it.

  70. Good afternoon, great review, thank you very much.

    I am hesitating between Vantage V or continue with the V800, which I use for swimming, running and cycling (now I switch to a garmin edge 530). What I would not like is to be disappointed with the Vantage V and believe that it does not exceed the V800, it is clear that the Vantage V has more things but then there is the use ... so I have doubts.

    1. If you think you are going to use all the functions of training load and rest measurement do not hesitate ... The Vantage V in that sense is far superior, in addition to the measurement of power in race. And then another thing to evaluate is logically the autonomy, which has nothing to do with the V800.

      1. Yes, of course, I count on the reduction of autonomy of the Vantage V with respect to the V800...

        One thing I have doubts about is the visualization of the screen, they say that the screen is poorly visible and that the light is weak. What experience do you have with this, I think the M and V are equal in this.

        Thank you again.

        1. I don't know if I understood you correctly... but just to clarify, the range of the Vantage V is much higher than that of the V800.

          More than a light issue, it is the fact that the data is presented on a black background with white font. The watches that are the other way around (black font, white background) have more contrast. I have no problem with the display illumination, but it is true that I am used to the white background, I have to look a little more closely in the case of the Polar.

          1. Good morning, thanks again for your answer, I was wrong, I thought that the V800 had more autonomy than the Vantage V.

            By the way, I have read that the light can not stay on permanently during an activity, there was talk that they were going to put it in an update but I have not podido confirm it.

            On the other hand, I wanted to know if the pulse taking that is done during the day is also done at night and if it can be deactivated only at night, the light that has is a little annoying...

            Thank you again.

          2. Yes, the option to keep the light always on has been added.

            As for the sensor you can have it on or off, but do not turn it off during the night. Also keep in mind that for the rest metrics to work correctly, the watch must record the HR, it is a key element for the calculation.

  71. Great review Eduardo. Although I come from Garmin I feel like changing platform and I like the aesthetics of the Polar quite a lot. I am undecided between the Polar Vantage M and the Garmin FR 245. I read a lot of negative reviews about the Polar regarding the pulse measurement and the accuracy of its GPS that make me hesitate to make a decision. The same does not happen with the Garmin that most of the reviews and comments are positive, have these problems of Polar been solved with the updates, has its performance improved, has it been improved, and if so, what are the benefits of using it?
    What is your recommendation between these two?
    Thank you.

    1. Either one seems to me to be a good option, both have their pros and cons. In fact, both are on my list of recommendations.

      The most comfortable is to continue in Garmin because it is where you have everything and what you already know, although it will depend on your desire for adventure.

      With GPS + Galileo I get good results.

      1. Thanks for your recommendation. I have been using the Polar with the 5.1.8 update for a week now. The week's summary is very positive, once I got it right with tightening the strap to get correct pulse readings. I use it with GPS+Glonas as the pace readings are more stable than the GPS+Galileo combination. I find the Polar Flow platform more complete than the Garmin, although I still need to familiarize myself with some of the watch's functions. I only have one drawback regarding the visibility of the screen. I think it is a wise purchase if you can get it at a good price. Thank you.

  72. Good afternoon Eduardo, great Review.

    I am thinking of purchasing the Polar vantage M. After reading your review about the GPS performance my question is if today after all the updates received the gps errors still persist or on the contrary have been solved or improved.

    Thank you

  73. The plastic in the sensor area cracks after about two years (my wife has also had this happen to her and she got water in when swimming wit