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Polar's new Vantage V and M fitness watches bring advanced running features to the wrist

Today, Polar took the wraps off two new GPS running watches that may give Garmin's Forerunner line a run (heh) for its money.

Published onSeptember 13, 2018

polar vantage v gps fitness watch
Polar Vantage V
  • Polar announced two new GPS running watches, the Vantage V and Vantage M.
  • The Vantage V is the higher-end model, with support for running power metrics and Polar’s Recovery Pro feature.
  • The Vantage M has many of the same features but costs much less.

Today, Polar took the wraps off two new GPS running watches that may give Garmin’s Forerunner line a run (heh) for its money. The Polar Vantage V and Vantage M might have a few differences, but they do share some things in common.

Let’s start out with the similarities. Both the Polar Vantage V and M are GPS running watches with built-in GPS units, heart rate sensors, and always-on color displays. They’re also both water resistant to 30 meters and support over 130 sport profiles.

Polar’s heart rate sensors are already very accurate, but both of these new watches have something called Precision Prime that will take it to the next level. Precision Prime uses a total of nine optical heart rate channels that deploy two different colors and wavelengths of light to extract data from different layers of the skin. It incorporates the 3D accelerometer, as well as new electrode sensors that will measure sensor-skin contact. This should all result in faster heart rate response times, more sensitivity for readings, and a more accurate reading. We’ll need to test this out to see if there’s a real improvement in readings, but it all sounds pretty great on paper.

They also both come with Polar’s Training Load Pro feature set, which brings together muscular load, perceived load, and cardiovascular load into one easy-to-understand training load view. Basically, it will help athletes recognize their limits by informing them that they’re overtraining, under-training, or on the right track.

polar vantage v gps fitness watch
Polar Vantage M

The Vantage V is the higher-end watch of the two, featuring running power data right on the wrist. Why is this so special? The Vantage V is actually the first wrist-based device on the market that can offer running power analysis. Other solutions require you to use an external device like a dedicated chest strap or a foot pod sensor, like this $200 foot unit from Stryd.

The other exclusive feature to the Vantage V is Polar’s Recovery Pro, which will give you a wholistic understanding of the balance between training and recovery. The watch will measure daily and long-term recovery and combine these two together to offer personalized guidance.

Finally, the other main difference between these two watches are their batteries. Polar says the Vantage V can las up to 40 hours with continuous training (that’s with heart rate and GPS turned on), while the Vantage M can last 30 hours.

You can check out more details on both watches in the videos below:

So, Polar’s Vantage V is definitely the more premium device and should be on your radar if you’re a serious runner. The Vantage M is a less expensive multisport variation that still manages to pack in a lot of the features.

The Vantage V is available for pre-order now for $499.90 in black, white, and orange colors. The Vantage M is up for pre-order for $279.95 and comes in black, white, and red colors.

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