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Polar today announces the renewal of its mid-range model, which is now called Polar Vantage M2. It does not present too relevant changes with respect to the original model from which it departs (the Vantage M presented in September 2018), at least in terms of current functionality.
While it is true that there are no major differences with the current Vantage M, there are with the one that came to market at first, and is that Polar was adding a lot of functions to be the watch that is today.
In the case of the Vantage M2, pod is not a revolution; it is not even an evolution. It is a small update and the basis on which the new features of Polar will arrive, and it is natural that all the new features will be presented on the new versions of Vantage V2The Vantage M2 and the new Ignite 2, which was also introduced today.
Let's get straight to the new features and functions.
Polar Vantage M2, what's new
In size, aesthetics and materials everything remains very similar. As in the original Vantage M bezel, buttons and buckle are made of steel. The case is polymer and weight and measurements remain unchanged at 45 grams for 46mm in diameter. The thickness (12.5mm) is also the same.
As for changes that are present in the new model, I detail below the new features that are present in the Vantage M2, all of them inherited from models of the higher range such as the Grit X or the Vantage V2.
- FuelWise, a smart assistant that will makehydration and nutritionrecommendations during the longest outings. Alerts may be automatic or manual
- Information about the energy source used during your training, which we can see at the end of the workout (carbs/proteins/fats)
- Music control from the watch (the player is the phone, the Vantage M2 has no playback capabilities)
- Possibility to share heart rate with external devices via Bluetooth (apps, treadmills, gym, etc.)
- Weekly training summary visible both on watch and app
- Current weather and weather forecast for the next two days
- Battery life of up to 30 hours in 1s GPS mode, but now adds the ability to extend the battery up to 100 hours of GPS by lowering GPS accuracy or deactivating the optical sensor
- Depending on the battery options we have selected for a specific sport profile, before starting the workout we will have information about the maximum battery life for our activity.
- Available in 4 different bezel and strap colours
- Possibility to customize the watch face with different colors for the second hand.
- Slight price increase to 299,90€.
As I guess you'll also want to know, these are the main differences that exist from its older sibling, the Polar Vantage V2:
- Polar Vantage M2 has no navigation capabilities
- Without the specific Running Test, Cycling Test or Leg Recovery Test
- No barometric altimeter
- No Hill Splitter
- Without running power
- No magnetic compass
In short, the new model is small facelift, especially at the aesthetic level.
As for your software, we have the basic package of metrics and performance algorithms from Polar. They are undoubtedly the most important part of your product not only because of the information they offer but primarily because of how they all relate to each other. Here is a brief summary of what each one of them offers
Training Load Pro
Cumulative measurement of training load over time.
Sleep Plus Stages
Analysis of the different sleep phases.
Beyond the sleep phases, it tells us whether the rest has served to recharge energy.
Recommended workouts for each day based on load values of previous days, our night rest and the general state of fatigue.
These were already present in the Vantage M, and as the only new metric for the Vantage M2 has been FuelWise, which I will detail below in case you don't know all about it.
FuelWise is the name given to the new hydration and nutrition assistant that Polar first launched with the Polar Grit X and now also reaches the mid-range with the Vantage M2.
These are alerts to remind you when to drink and eat. The alerts can be manual, in the sense that you schedule the watch to remind you every X time what to drink and/or eat.
It also offers an automatic alert, and that is the interesting part, in which it is the watch that, depending on how the training is going, will tell you what to eat and when to do it.
To have these automatic alerts, before starting a workout you will have to tell the watch what you are going to do, because without that information it won't be able to show it. It's as if you're going to eat at your mum's house and don't tell her in advance that you'll be hungry after you've run 3 hours. If you don't want to stay hungry, you better warn in advance...
The information you should provide is estimated training duration, average intensity (e.g. training in Z3) and the amount of carbohydrates expected for each of the intakes (i.e. look at the composition of the gel or bar and see how many HC it provides). This information is entered directly in the watch, in the "Food" menu.
Based on the data you enter, FuelWise will tell you the total amount you will need for your workout. The calculation will be based on the data you know about your fitness and training history, which is what you have collected previously with the Training Load Pro feature. So when you go out to do your training you will know in advance how much water and gels or bars you will have to take, and also how many times it will alert you.
What if we entered that the intensity is going to be low, but the reality is that you start to compete with your training mates and increase the intensity? (Something that has never happened to anyone, has it?) FuelWise will vary the number of alerts and their frequency, constantly adapting to the actual energy consumption you are having. And the same if the intensity isn't as high as you thought.
Additionally, we will also be able to know what energy sources we have used in training, something that depends on the intensity of the exercise.
The watch will estimate the percentage of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, allowing you to know how it has affected you nutritionally and how to plan your recovery. This information will be on the watch at the end of the activity, but it will also be available in Polar Flow along with a graph showing the consumption by time of each of the energy sources.
Logically it is an estimate and not a laboratory test, although absolute data are not the important aspect but the relationship between them (more or less carbohydrates than fats, etc.).
This information will always be present, regardless of whether we are using FuelWise in the workout session or not.
New Polar Precision Prime optical heart rate sensor
As is natural when upgrading the product, Polar takes the opportunity to upgrade the optical pulse sensor in the new model as well. The new Polar Precision Prime in the Vantage M2 is the same as the rest of the new range, which debuted with the Grit X and later came to the V2.
While in the original sensor design we had 9 LEDs (5 green, 4 red), Polar has now added one more and changed its color. We now have 5 red, 4 orange and 1 green.
Does it make a significant change in optical sensor performance? In the tests I have done with the Polar Vantage V2 I have not found it to be so, offering very similar graphics and performance when compared to the original Polar Vantage M.
Polar Vantage M2, availability and pricing
The Polar Vantage M2 is available today through the Polar website, and will soon be available at all other major distributors.
As indicated above there are 4 colors available, all of them with the same retail price. But if you look at the image the color is not the only thing that differentiates them, also the engraving of the bezel.
Polar Vantage M2 opinion
There is currently a unit on the way for poder to undergo full testing, so I am still missing the feel and use factor.
The Polar Vantage M2 is a slight update of the model we have on sale right now, especially in terms of aesthetics. There is certainly not much to highlight in the new model except the inclusion of some metrics already present in higher-end models, such as FuelWise or energy saving functions.
I think the upgrade has been too conservative, I don't see too many reasons for a current Vantage M user to decide to buy the new model. And not only that, I also see no reason to buy the Vantage M2 at the introductory price instead of a Vantage M on offer. We are talking about almost twice as much money.
Yes, there are some interesting new features for the range such as FuelWise or the heart rate sharing feature. Probably no one can justify the price difference in those aspects, where the aesthetic change may take precedence more since in my opinion the Vantage M2 is a better looking watch.
Perhaps what I most expected and Polar has not included is the power estimation during the race. To have it the Vantage M2 would need a barometric altimeter, an element it still lacks. Considering that the PACE 2 CHORUS it does include power and costs 100€ less, I think it is a missed opportunity.
It should be noted that while the Polar Vantage M has already reached the end of its development and will not receive any new features, the Vantage M2 will. The what? Polar has not shared any update schedule or in which direction it may target its new features, but if you want to stay on top of everything it's something you'll want to keep in mind.
And with that... thanks for reading!