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 ReviewYou 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

 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 some deals below but you will find the best deals at New Running Gear and Power Meter City. New Running Gear (NRG), below, were also bundling in GBP50 of running freebies.

  • Power Meter City (USA) with the coupon code ‘the5krunner10’
  • New Running Gear in the EU/UK with the code ‘the5krunner10’
Polar Vantage 10 % off discount coupon promotion code
http://geni.us/PolarVantage to buy in UK/Eu/USA
Best REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices could fall below existing level from 2019 onwards £249/$259/Eu279. .
Best REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices could fall below existing level from 2019 onwards £439/$499/Eu499. .

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23 thoughts on “Polar Vantage M, Polar Vantage V – What’s New

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. What a shame! I was getting quite excited about the Vantage, but route navigation is a deal breaker for me. Is there ANY Polar model that supports it?

        ETA: Just saw your feature comparison post and learned that the V800 does, but at the cost of NOT having WHR. I guess that means it’ll have to be a Suunto for me…

      2. What would you recommend? My needs: running only, priorities GPS accuracy, WHR, and route navigation, don’t want music, don’t care about smartwatch features. Seems to me that with a Garmin I might be paying for a lot of non-sports features I’ll never use, and possibly have less accuracy in the features I do care about, but I’m open to advice.

      3. Any more specific tips to navigate the bewildering multiplicity of available Suunto models? The Spartan Trainer WHR would probably do fine if the WHR is good enough, which your review from last August suggests it might not be. (I know WHR isn’t as good as chest/upper arm straps, so all I want is a WHR sensor that isn’t poorer than it needs to be.) Price-wise I’d be willing to consider anything up to the Sport WHR Baro if sensor accuracy warrants it.

      4. my personal preference is the SPORT non-WHR or BARO and use a chest strap – both have good gps. TRAINER is compelling but i prefer looks of the larger ones.

        WHR – it’s apersonal thing. all down to how it works on you. buy from amazon. send it back if results poor.

      5. That’s very helpful, thanks! Sadly I don’t get on with chest straps (two words: sports bra), but I’m getting pretty plausible-looking readings from my current WHR so it’s probably worth taking a chance on the Suunto WHR models.

  2. 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

    1. hopeully you din’t cut and paste tfk into a question for ray 😉

      you mean on the app? i am looking at that over next few days but will not be able to post for 2 weeks (bike trip)

  3. 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.

  4. https://tech.nikkeibp.co.jp/dm/atclen/news_en/15mk/020900363/?P=1
    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. “

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

  6. 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….

    1. yes the beta app on ios is closed and the latest flow version should have everything in it (more than before at any rate)
      i dont have ios (i borrow it) and have only just see the new flow stuff so you probably know more than me there.
      i’m assuming you are saying you can’t see the running power and MAP stuff?
      some of the functionality might be triggered by the use o a VANTAGE device
      or it could be triggered by flowsync: try this http://www.polar.com/flowsync-beta (note the word beta)

    2. adaptive training is a somewhat peripheral feature in the market. i cant see anything new coming there YET. although i think its inclusion is a strategic play for any serious running platform

      Polar Running Program is an adaptive plan…i’d use that.

      suunto Fitness3: i didn’t follow the plan as it wasn’t right for me but i looked at it a fair bit and it was better than i expected and much better than garmin’s adaptive stuff. i used the garmin one a fair bit too. the suunto was able to cope with much better running abilities than the garmin one which only supposedly worked up to 25:00/5km people…people at that level should only be really be doing aerobic work/mileage most of the time IMHO
      or look at elitehrv/ithlete to see if you are ready to train that day. most likely it will say you are ready most days for whatever a stnadard plan throw at you (i’m not sure of your level)

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