This Version 4 release has been broadly publicised in advance for several months on Polar’s roadmap page. A quick look there will show you that Version 5 has plans to introduce STRAVA live segments (V), Fitspark (V+M) and Race Pace (V+M).
Generally, we are seeing a continuation of the theme to improve the accuracy of the onboard sensors, particularly with Galileo satellites (to be tested!). Then we are seeing sleep and relaxation related features from this year’s earlier Polar IGNITE release. Then there are the more ‘pro’ features including zone lock which supports variable-zone based pacing (unique to Polar), manual footpod calibration and Polar’s fitness test. The absence of many of these features has been mildly annoying some Polar users for over a year. Hopefully, now everyone will be happy and they certainly should be when v5 is released later this year.
Here’s what you get right now:
- Sleep Plus Stages: Deeper information on sleep cycles and sleep score which was first released on the Polar Ignite in Jul 2019. This is a major piece of functionality in itself, covering many additions to both the Vantage and to the FLOW platform
- Nightly Recharge: A recovery measurement that shows how well you recover from stress and training during the night. Again this was introduced to the Polar Ignite earlier this year and Nightly Recharge also sets the stage for the introduction of Fit Spark adaptive training later this year.
- Galileo/QZSS satellite system support. This update improves GPS functionality in specific areas GPS+GLONASS, GPS+GALILEO or GPS+QZSS. GPS+GLONASS remains the default setting. It remains to be seen if we will see further GNSS accuracy improvements
- Fitness Test: You can do a VO2max test both with wrist-based heart rate and chest strap heart rate sensor.
- Zone Lock: You can lock a training zone during your workout for HR, pace and power fro either running or cycling (yes it includes STRYD support)
- To make this work press and hold the ENTER/middle-right key whilst on a full-screen page eg the power page. You’ll need to enable it (power, pace) for the sports profile on FLOW first.
- HR Zone Lock works on most screens
- If you have a dial metric on display eg a HR dial at the top of the screen then zone lock seems to zoom in on the dial to only display the target zone.
- How to use ZoneLock (Vantage M/Vantage V)
- Lap details: time, distance, average pace etc., in the training file on your Vantage watch.
- Manual stride sensor calibration. The Vantage sports watches can automatically calibrate speed/distance sensors such as STRYD however the new feature allows a manual override.
- Serene breathing exercise: Relax your body and calm down your mind with the new Serene breathing exercise – again, I covered this on the Ignite earlier.
- Constant backlight setting for training: you can choose to have the backlight always on during training sessions. This setting doens’t seem to be permanent? ie for the enxt workout you might have to go and set it on again. grrr if true
- Inactivity Alert: When you’ve been sedentary for an hour, you get an alert so that you know it’s time to get up and take a little walk.
- There are minor enhancements for existing features as well as some new watch and strap colours
- eg Quick Settings can be dragged down from the top of the Vantage V to reveal DND/Alarm/airplane mode.