In this post
- New to the Polar Vantage range
- Polar Vantage M vs Polar Vantage V. Differences
- Configuration possibilities
- Use in training and sport
- Training Load Pro (Vantage M and Vantage V)
- Recovery Pro (Polar Vantage V exclusive)
- Measurement and power training (exclusive to Polar Vantage V)
- Polar Precision Prime Optical Pulse Meter
- Route navigation
- Polar Vantage Upgrade Calendar
- Buy Polar Vantage M : Polar Vantage V
- Review of Polar Vantage M and Vantage V
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.
Remember that if you like the content I offer and want to collaborate by supporting the site, you can do so by buying your new Polar Vantage (or anything else, like a bacon-scented air freshener) through the Amazon links that I provide. That way I will receive a small commission which is what supports the page and the many hours needed to perform all these tests.
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
But since we're talking specifically about Vantage, here are the functions you can set up for each of them. First, the Vantage V.
The Vantage M? Couple of less choices.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
In the mobile app you'll see the same information, just the presentation changes to fit a smaller screen.
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.
And if you press the main button we can go into more detail.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'm extending one of those random intervals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Does 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.
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.
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.
One last example simply as a curiosity and not as a comparison (he only wore two watches): Malaga Marathon 2018.
Total distance marked by each of the devices?
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.
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.
Of course, in the open everything is perfect and there is no strange situation.
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.
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).
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.
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".
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Possibility to leave the lighting active during training
- Inactivity alert
- Other improvements
Update 5.0 - December 2019
- Strava segments (only Polar Vantage V)
- Running rhythm
Buy Polar Vantage M : Polar Vantage V
I hope that this complete analysis has helped you to decide if it is a valid device for you or not. All the work I do you can consult it without any cost, but if you want to support the web and with it the work I do, the best way to do it is to buy your new device through the links I provide below. And if you don't buy it today, remember to stop by when you are going to do it!
Through these links not only will you get a very competitive price and the best customer service, but I will also receive a small percentage without costing you any additional outlay, which is what allows me to continue offering you proofs like this on the page.
You are not going to buy it, you already have it or Amazon is not an option; but you like the reviews I perform and you want to show your support for the site? Then consider signing up for a VIP membership. Above all you will be helping to support the site, but you will also enjoy unique benefits.
If you have any questions, remember that you have the comments section at the bottom, where I will try to answer all your questions.
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.
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!