Polar Vantage V Titan – First Runs & Swims

Polar Vantage V ReviewThe Polar Vantage V Titan is Polar’s top-of-the-range multisport watch. The Titan suffix does not denote any extra functionality when compared to the existing Vantage V model and instead reflects a more premium strap and casing, the latter of which is made of slightly lighter titanium metal (Polar Vantage V Titanium Spec info here).

  • Q: Why the “first run” post…when you’ve already run with the Vantage?
  • A: I wanted to revisit any updates to the Vantage’s GPS accuracy since launch. For example, SBAS has been introduced along with some other tweaks. Maybe also the titanium casing makes a difference to the GPS reception? That might sound strange but I found the Vantage M to have better GPS reception than the V at launch so, maybe, the case material does make a difference? Perhaps also a slightly lighter watch might improve the oHR?

Polar Vantage V Review

Polar Vantage V Review

The Vantage V Titanium is a great-looking device. I like how it feels when I wear and use it and I like the looks of this premium, yet sporty-looking watch. It’s got an excellent, wide-ranging sporty-feature set and, whilst it will never have Garmin’s PAY and MAPS, when you further consider the features offered by the FLOW ecosystem then the Vantage is a compelling SPORT-offering. The GPS and oHR accuracy of the Vantage I had at launch could have been better (see review below) but those aspects of the Vantage don’t bother me too much as I will always use a (superb) Polar H10 HRM and STRYD footpod. Unfortunately for me, I’m still waiting for the STRYD footpod manual calibration feature to be added to the Vantage and, along with STRAVA Live segments, that’s scheduled for later in 2019. [Existing Vantage Owners: I’ve heard a few rumours of unannounced Vantage features to be added before then].

Polar Vantage V ReviewFirst OWS Swim & Run

Here was a nice GPS track for swimming around Shepperton Lake with the Garmin 945. That track was certainly what it should be. The HR track wasn’t too great but it averaged the same as the Garmin HRM-TRI.

I followed that swim with a couple of running laps around the same lake and the GPS track looked good when zoomed out but it started to look like it meandered a little on the 3rd zoomed-in image (below) but it’s hard to say with two watches which one is correct.

Note: Polar Titan+Garmin 945 OWS Fail here.

Next is a quick run around the grid. This time I also used a Vantage V (non-Titan) as well as the Vantage V Titan and I then compared both to the Garmin 945+HRM-TRI on GPS-only – Garmin’s GPS should be stable whereas GLONASS and GALILEO are still being worked on.

This was mostly an easy, steady-state run and the HR tracks on this warm day were all awesome.

The GPS tracks are a little more interesting than the HR ones. The Vantage V Titan is definitely the better of the three on this day: the V Titan is notably more on-track than my original Vantage V, furthermore the Garmin 945 was >5m off the real track at several times and just about managed to stay within +/-5m most of the rest of the time. The 945 perhaps did handle the corners better by producing a nice, crisp 90-degree turn but that’s no good if you’re doing it in the wrong place.

Edit: I’ve added in some HR tracks from later runs/rides with the TITAN and they all look EXCELLENT…even better than the 945 (which I just wrote a review on and said it was the best I’d ever experienced from the wrist…#Sigh)

 

TAKEAWAY: Is a titanium casing better for GPS reception? I don’t think you can read anything into these results. I’m going to look some more at the accuracy of the Vantage V Titan as the results over the last week really seem to look better than my original Vantage V. I will, at some point, do a formal test of the Titan but my list of things to do is already on page 2…sorry.

Polar Vantage V Titan Review?

I will NOT be producing a Polar Vantage V Titan Review. Please see the links to the extensive VANTAGE BIBLE, below, which is a longform review that covers all the TITAN’s features and which I have summarised at the end of this page.

 

▷ The Polar Vantage Bible | Polar Vantage Review M V | Detailed Review

In Brief
Polar Vantage V Review

Product Name: Polar Vantage V Titanium

Product Description: Premium Multi-Sport GPS Watch

Price: 539

Currency: USD

Availability: InStock

  • Price - 85%
    85%
  • Apparent Accuracy - 85%
    85%
  • Sports Features, Including App - 95%
    95%
  • Build Quality & Design - 95%
    95%
  • Openness & Compatability - 90%
    90%
90%

Summary

With the Feb 2019 updates, both Vantage V & M models now have most of the features for most people. The feature set on the watch and support on the Polar FLOW platform is impressive and tailored towards the more serious athlete. On the whole, the watch itself works well as a training and racing watch.

GPS and oHR accuracy do not stand out from the competition.

Vantage M is priced competitively for the impressive feature set, yet the Vantage V’s pricing for even more features struggles when comapred to Garmin’s more expensive 935 or 945. The Vantage V Titan nicely compares to the sporty side of the Suunto 9.

 

Pros

  • Very good and extensive sport features & platform that are continually improved.
  • People generally like the aesthetics of this good-looking SPORTS watch
  • Great sport format – lightweight, easy to use and generally readable screen.
  • STRYD integration good – but Q4.2019 will see the final pieces of the running power jigsaw fall into place (ZoneLock and manual calibration)

Cons

  • oHR and GPS accuracy are improving from the levels noted at launch
  • RRPs are a little high but have already fallen to sensible levels (try the Wiggle & PMC links)

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19 thoughts on “Polar Vantage V Titan – First Runs & Swims

  1. (this review is not exact)
    With this Vantage the Polar is out of the professional sector.
    Ridiculous screen, llegible display unsuitable for training in the gym, suitable only for outdoor use with lots of light but unsuitable for everyday or sports use. Users pay a lot of money to act as guinea pigs.
    I had a fantastic Polar A380, then I took the Vantage but I had to return it right away because I couldn’t read the screen under my kickboxing glove … so totally unsuitable for all sports
    On the market there are more efficient watches with reliable electronics, Amoled display with long-lasting batteries .. Polar still holds up thanks to its excellent software, the Polar Flow

    • You have this backwards. “The professional sector” needs always-on displays that are viewable in bright light. In low-light situations, backlights are fine. The Vantage has one of the better screens among high end watches, and it’s better than anything Polar has had previously. No “pro” watch has an AMOLED display, and no AMOLED watch has a battery adequate for sports use. The A370 (the only A380 I’m aware of is an airplane) has a beautiful screen, no doubt, but it isn’t always-on by default because the battery doesn’t last if it is. Also, it doesn’t even have GPS.

      These watches aren’t made for “sports” in general or for the gym. They’re made for running and triathlon, with other sports modes thrown in. If you want something for kickboxing (you shouldn’t really wear a watch while kickboxing anyway) or general fitness activities, there are better options.

    • The fact, that you wear watch under kickboxing gloves already says, that your opinion shouldn’t be considered and you know nothing about professional sports.

    • “I couldn’t read the screen under my kickboxing glove.”

      How do you read anything under gloves? Why put any device under danger of impact and strikes. ANY watch would be in danger by using it this way. You know, if you’re using an external HRM you could just wear it and not the watch during an activity like this. Just have the watch nearby, read the screen for whatever pertinent info you need.

      As for readability and screen…it’s 240×240…like every high end “pro” Garmin device. I don’t know what you’re expecting here. I do plenty of indoor activities with my FR935; never had a single issue with the screen visibility. I even set the backlight to like 50% during activities indoors (probably overkill, I could set it to 0 and be fine).

      I think you are looking for a reason to complain for no better reason than to complain.

    • True …, I practice muay thai and weightlifting in the gym and it is not legible like my old Polar M600, when I can do triathlon but I give in to the fact that the Polar Vantage is only suitable for outdoor sports is not suitable for extreme sports.

  2. I was just wondering whether you had any update on the GPS accuracy of the Vantage V and Titanium? Are you still seeing better GPS results with the Titanium and is the V’s GPS performance still similar to the 935/945? Thank you

    • I am ‘on’ that at the moment and am using the vantage v titan regularly
      Vantage certainly seems to have notably improved and seems about the same on a like-for-like basis.
      I’m sitting on the fence for now tho as I haven’t got the time to sit down and go through lots of data
      I’ve half-updated my reviews to say that things are better. but have not clarified in detail

  3. Thanks for the great report. I have to decide whether to buy V or V Titan. In addition, is there a difference between the Titan V and the normal V in the readability of the display (brightness, contrast, sharpness, …) with artificial light or poor lighting or with active backlighting?

    Thank you,!

  4. I purchased a vantage V three weeks ago. I find the ohr tracking is much worse than my M430 (I estimate good tracking with my M430 at least 90% of the time). I verified I have the latest firmware and tried tightness and position differences to no avail. You noted ohr is much improved with the titan.. . I’m wondering if I should return the V and purchase a titan, but thought they are supposed too be the same hardware.

  5. I really like the look of this titanium model, and for someone new to the Polar ecosystem this watch with the Fall ’19 update is a very compelling entry. I cannot really justify the price when my V is working perfectly fine, though, and the used market is flooded with regular Vs, so selling a regular, and buying a Titan doesn’t make sense (yet).
    What I cannot tell from your pictures is whether the back of the watch was changed as well? I’d like to get the strap only, which is available from Polar but not if they changed the back as well to match the strap’s texture.
    Thanks

    • i like he look/feel of the vantage V’s.
      the watch body feels the same ad looks the same. so it now does NOT match the texture of the inner strap which is smooth

      • So just a silicone strap on the inside, like any generic strap? I really like the regular’s strap inside because it’s a bit rough and doesn’t stick to your skin like smooth silicone.

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