Polar Vantage M, Polar Vantage V – What’s New

Polar Vantage V Review, Polar Vantage M ReviewWe have two completely new and different watches both branded Polar Vantage.

The Polar Vantage V is the top-end model and effectively replaces the V800. I would call it a triathlon watch and a pro running watch.

The Polar Vantage M is still a ‘pro’ running watch and it’s still a triathlon watch too. In a nutshell the Vantage M differs from the Vantage V because it has: a shorter battery life; no onboard running power meter; and less of the less usual stuff that is peripheral to some and a key pro feature to others. Let me explain…

The Polar Vantage M probably sits a little higher than both the M600 + M430 in Polar’s range and is possibly intended to replace them both. Although it is also possible that a cut down M model could later be introduced.

The Vantage V and Vantage M are themselves similar and, other than strap colours and interchangeable straps the Vantage V has everything that the Vantage M has … and more.

Polar Vantage V Review, Polar Vantage M ReviewMORE  INFO: You can find all related posts listed in this tag as I add them https://the5krunner.com/tag/PolarVantage.

I’ll give an overview here but the logic and execution of the V and M models looks sound to me. Part of  Polar’s way forwards to compete with Garmin is through ‘accuracy‘ – I can’t give an opinion on that yet – and ‘pro features‘.

  • 40 hour battery life for the Polar Vantage V and 30 hours for the Polar Vantage M – more than enough for an Ironman. Perhaps enough for most ultra runners? And yes that is full GPS and per second recording with oHR.
  • The Vantage V has a barometer and a touchscreen. The barometer is used as an input into the onboard running power meter #NoMoreFootpods ? Buttons can do everything (almost) that the touchscreen can.
  • Running Power – STRYD/RunScribe compatibility is continued IN BOTH VANTAGE MODELS. BUT, to save you buying one of those 3rd party units, Polar can instead give you a power figure from their own algorithm. Polar say that the results will trend in line with other devices but the magnitude of their algorithm is more like RunScribe’s (with STRYD’s being lower and Garmin’s being higher). My understanding is that there is no change in how power is tagged in exports to other systems. eg a TCX file exported from  FLOW contains ‘POWER’ and not ‘RUNNING POWER’ 0 the recipient has to discern what it is (unlike FIT files) …more info here
  • New GNSS chip. The new chip is GPS+GLONASS and made by Sony ie probably either the CXD5603GF or CXD5600GF model. The Suunto 9 also uses one of those two chips and so the two probably use the same chip. The CXD5603GF is the super low power one and probably the one used by the Polar Vantage and Suunto 9. The low power is one of the things that enables a good battery life without having a massive physical battery.
  • There is new COACH functionality which is free. And enables coaches to schedule athletes’ workouts and view results.

Polar Vantage V Review, Polar Vantage M Review

  • Polar Precision Prime is not one of the Antarctic Transformers (Kids’ series) but rather a super-impressive looking optical heart rate offering. There are lots of multicoloured LEDs. These are combined with 4 charging sensor posts that essentially check for correct positioning of the watch. I would assume that this then gives degrees of confidence to the algorithm that manipulates the optical HR sensor data. BUT Polar claim to do a super-clever thing here and post-process the HR data during the workout. The data is recalculated every minute or so in order to make what is recorded more correct. So what is recorded COULD be different to what is displayed live. Or you could just use a chest strap and indeed you will NEED a chest strap like the Polar H10 for the Orthostatic (waking HRV test) that feeds into the recovery algorithm….more info here
  • Specifically, the optical HR algorithm behind Precision Prime will treat different sports in different ways if required – for example during strength training, when good oHR readings are notoriously difficult to get right.
  • Polar have NOT introduced a custom multisport profile. If you do not use the duathlon or triathlon profile then it’s easy enough, in training, to switch from one sport to another on-the-fly
  • ANT+ is NOT supported and probably never will be. With most new sensors (HRM, power meters, etc) being multi-band (BLE+ANT+) then the need for Polar to support ANT+ is becoming less and less. Additionally Polar DO have a BLE sensor pool and, in any case, many sensors themselves can be simultaneously paired to many watches/head units – although only one can be active at a time. You knew that.
  • The V has Recovery Pro which looks at daily recovery as well as well as your balance between training stress and the recovery from it. (Polar H10 required)
  • M & V both have training Load Pro. This looks at: the load from your workouts based on HR (Cardio load using TRIMP); the sports-specific physical loads placed on your muscles during workouts (Muscle Load – measured by power in running and cycling); and your Perceived Load (like RPE). I’ve used TRIMP for years and it’s mostly a good estimator of load IMHO. However there are scenarios, such as when performing weights or competing in team sports, where the true load is not picked up from heart rate alone, so in these special circumstances RPE is used (I know there is a RPE based TRIMP formula but I don’t know if Polar use it)
    • Training Load LEVELS are also produced and it looks like these are used in an adaptive way still based on TRIMP but also on your recent workout performances.
    • Some of the new metrics introduced are comparable with those from Firstbeat eg Cardio Load Status. However other insights like Injury Risk look genuinely innovative and useful

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  • There is a new charging cradle. Somewhat similar to the Wahoo Tickr Fit charging disc.
  • The physiological algorithms are made by Polar (not Firstbeat) and the optical HRM is designed by Polar (not Valencell or anyone else)

So that’s JUST THE SUMMARY. There are lots more posts appearing today and, maybe tomorrow too, covering some of those aspects in more detail.

A Polar Vantage Review will not follow until late October and that will be with a proper production model not this beta unit.

MORE  INFO: You can find all related posts listed in this tag as I add them https://the5krunner.com/tag/PolarVantage.

Price, Availability & Discount

The Polar Vantage M retails at $260/GBP250/Eur280,

The Polar Vantage V retails at $499/GBP439/Eur499

The Polar Vantage now has general availability. There do not seem to be widespread discount yet in the EU. I’ve included the Amazon international link below but you will find a better deal at New Running Gear and Power Meter City. New Running Gear (NRG), below, were also bundling in GBP50 of running freebies. Help support this blog with the great deals below:

Polar Vantage 10 % off discount coupon promotion code

Click http://geni.us/PolarVantage to buy in UK/Eu/USA

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices could fall below existing level from 2019 onwards £249/$259/Eu279. Buying from my partners supports this site.

Best Amazon/REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices could fall below existing level from 2019 onwards £439/$499/Eu499. Buying from my partners supports this site.

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ThomasRiphRaphtfaMirko Surf&RunUmut E Recent comment authors
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Markus G
Markus G

Thanks for your info post.
I’m currently not really finding out how the navigational part of the watch looks like (e.g. breadcrump).
The official Polar product site is up, as well. They even mention OpenStreetMap but I don’t find more details about it yet.

Markus G
Markus G

To answer my own question, Ray list it as a feature that most likely will never be added:
“Following a downloaded route (navigation of tracks)”

So the watch is a no-go for me as a trail-runner.

active JR

Good coverage and details, looks like the windsor visit paid off. However I saw Gadgets and wearables had the details at 9am this morning, maybe jumped the gun

Luís Pinto
Luís Pinto

There is a official manual to see how screen customization and workouts works?

Luís Pinto
Luís Pinto

Ray, can you show us some pics about UI and customization of data screens?

Umut E
Umut E

Thanks for all the info! It is a bummer that navigation feature no more exists. If they are planning to bring the “Strava Segments” feature in the future, I see no reason why it cannot support loading routes. Maybe a running-only watch intended for trail and ultra runners is in the pipe. Based on other reviews, the initial GPS accuracy seems to be no where close to V800 either which is also quite disappointing.

Mirko Surf&Run
Mirko Surf&Run

The article “Sony Lowers Power Consumption of GNSS Reception Chip” of Tetsuo Nozawa says that the Sony GNSS chip is produced with a 28nm production process. Not 100% sure if it’s true.
Extract from article.
“Sony has two basic strategies for the reduction of the reception chip’s power consumption. First, the company reduced operating voltage to 0.7V. Second, it employed a 28nm FD-SOI (fully depleted silicon on insulator) transistor, whose operation efficiency is higher than that of conventional silicon (Si)-based transistors. The company announced those strategies in January 2015. “


“ANT+ is NOT supported…” why Polar (or Suunto) should support a proprietary since Garmin high jacked it?


I was hoping that there would have been an new adaptive training feature on the Vantage M kind of Firstbeats ”Personalized Training Plans: Cardio”.
But what about the new Polar “season planner” do you think that will make a better adaptive training plan than the one at the moment witch I’m not that impressed by.
If the “season planner” isn’t better, a solution could be to combine Jabra Sport Pulse edition app with Vantage M, or do you have a better suggestion if I insist on sticking to Polar? I tried Suunto 3 Fitness for 3 weeks but hated both the watch (nearly impossible to see the menus) and the app….