Image source: Polar

Polar Vantage V2 comes with a new performance metrics & music control

Polar has announced today the Vantage V2 sports watch. The second generation device comes with a more elegant design, new performance and recovery metrics, and music control.

To remind, the first generation Vantage V was released in September 2018 so it was due for an upgrade. Launched alongside the lower spec Vantage M, it is a fully fledged sports watch geared towards the serious fitness enthusiast.

Vantage V comes with an improved heart rate monitor, advanced performance metrics and smart coaching. It also benefits from a metric called Running Power. This is a single digit for runners that accounts for terrain, form, and fatigue and tells them how hard to move.

The next generation V2 comes with all this and more.


Polar Vantage V2 – what’s new?

Design

Starting off with design, the new sports watch looks very much like its predecessor. It comes with the same 1.2 inch (240 x 240 pixel) circular display, alongside the three physical buttons on the right and two on the left. You can use them in combination with the touchscreen to navigate.

The housing is made of aerospace aluminium instead of plastic, but at 51 grams the watch is still very lightweight. In fact it weighs 21% less than the 66 grams of the Vantage V. Another upgrade is water resistance. This goes up to 100 metres from 50 metres.

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New performance and recovery metrics

As far as functionality, the second generation device takes across the high quality heart rate monitor. This has 10 LEDs – 5 red, 4 orange and 1 green for different lengths of skin penetration. It also has a barometer and GPS for recording workouts with comprehensive analysis, with the addition of a compass.

Recovery metrics have been Polar’s strong point and they play a central role on the new device. Users will get a Nightly Recharge value, recommended recovery times and Training Load Pro which includes sleep in the analysis.

But now there are new performance tests designed to help runners and cyclists assess their fitness level and tweak their zones. The running test calculates Vo2max, or the maximum oxygen uptake. This consists of a maximal (run until exhaustion) and sub-maximal (run and stop before exhaustion option) allowing Vantage V2 to work out the maximum aerobic speed and power.

This is essentially the recommended training area where your body can convert oxygen into energy without relying on reserves. It should help you keep going longer without hitting the wall. Your heart rate zones are autimatically updated after the test.

The Cycling Performance test has a 20, 30, 40 and 60 minute option. It, however, requires a power sensor. The end result is your personal functional threshold power.

Finally, there’s a Leg Recovery test. To complete you’ll need to jump as high as you can three times in a row while keeping your hands on your hips. This lets you know if your leg muscles are recovered enough for a high intensity training session.

The daily workout suggestions called Fitspark are still there, along with the maps for turn by turn route navigation with the popular Komoot app. This last one was originally introduced on the Polar Grit X. Other improvements carried over from that device include FuelWise fuelling recommendations and Hill Splitter.

Music control and smart features

An interesting addition is music control. This is something that has been lacking so far from Polar. While the new smartwatch does not have built-in storage for music, you do at least have the ability to control smartphone music and Spotify. Users also get weather updates along with read-only smartphone notifications.

Battery life

Polar says on a single charge Vantage V2 will keep going up to 40 hours with GPS enabled which is the same as its predecessor. New power saving options, however, allow this to climb to 100 hours with GPS switched off.

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Image source: Polar

Availability

It’s fair to say 2020 has been off to a relatively decent start from Polar. This is despite the fact that the world has been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

We saw the launch of Polar Grit X in the spring – a rugged multi-sports watch for the outdoorsy types. The device offers great battery life and some innovative features. This was followed up with Unite – a lightweight and affordable timepiece designed to take the guesswork out of fitness.

Now we have Vantage V2, the company’s most advanced sports watch to date. It represents a nice iterative evolution on the first generation device. You can pick it up from $500 in a choice between Black, Green and Grey Lime on polar.com. In a bundle with the H10 heart rate sensor, this climbs to $550.

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