The stage is set for a sibling rivalry like no other: the fresh-faced Polar Vantage V3 is stepping into the arena to challenge its seasoned predecessor, the Vantage V2. Who will emerge victorious in this family feud?
For years, the Vantage series has been the secret weapon of athletes and fitness connoisseurs, offering a seamless blend of style and high-octane functionality. The V2 has been the reigning champion, setting a gold standard in features and user experience. But now, the V3 has entered the scene, and it’s not here to play—it’s here to conquer.
Ready for a showdown? We’re dissecting every feature, from sensors to style. Battery life? Check. Training tools? You bet. Let’s see who truly rules the Vantage kingdom.
Check out the watches on Polar’s website. Vantage V3 availability starts on October 25th.
Polar Vantage V3 vs V2: Hardware
When it comes to design, both the Vantage V3 and V2 offer a sleek and stylish aesthetic. However, there are notable differences that set them apart.
Starting with the case, the Vantage V3 measures 47 x 50.8 x 14.5 mm, making it slightly larger and thicker than the V2. That one comes in at 47 x 47 x 13 mm. The V3’s larger dimensions accommodate its high-resolution AMOLED touchscreen display (brightness level of 1,050 nits), which is a significant upgrade from the V2’s MIP (Memory-In-Pixel) display.
The V3’s display comes in at 1.39 inches with a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels. It offers a more vibrant and crisp viewing experience compared to the V2’s 1.2-inch display and the bezel is smaller.
The Vantage V3 also introduces a new Nordic-inspired design, which adds a touch of elegance to its sporty look. This is complemented by an aluminum bezel, which not only looks premium but also feels light around the wrist. The V3 is the first in the Vantage series to be fully compatible with standard 22mm wristbands, offering users more customisation options. The V2, while not lacking in elegance, doesn’t offer this level of wristband compatibility.
Water resistance is another area where the two models diverge. The Vantage V3 actually takes a step back with its WR50 rating. This means it’s suitable for swimming but not deep-water diving. On the other hand, the Vantage V2 boasts a more robust WR100 rating, making it more versatile for water-based activities, including snorkeling. It’s worth noting that the V2 is also tested against military standards for durability, a feature absent in the V3.
When it comes to color options, both the Vantage V3 and V2 offer a range of choices to suit different tastes, but their palettes are distinct. The Vantage V3 comes in three vibrant options: Sunrise Apricot, Night Black, and Sky Blue. On the other hand, the Vantage V2 opts for more traditional and subdued tones, offering Silver & Gray Lime as well as a monochromatic Black option.
Under the hood
As far as the internal workings, the Vantage V3 and V2 offer a range of features designed for high performance. However, the V3 takes several leaps forward. One of the most significant upgrades is in the processing speed. The V3 boasts a CPU speed of 275 MHz, a substantial increase from the V2’s 120 MHz. That’s 129% faster, in case you were wondering. This ensures smoother performance and quicker data processing. This is crucial during high-intensity workouts or when using multiple features simultaneously.
The Vantage V3 also introduces Polar Elixir, a next-generation biosensing technology, which is a significant upgrade over the V2’s sensor suite. This new platform can measure a wider range of physiological and mechanical data points with high accuracy, including GEN 1 ECG, SpO2, and skin temperature sensors. The V2, while robust in its sensor offerings, including Precision Prime for heart rate monitoring, doesn’t match the breadth of metrics that the V3 can capture.
Another noteworthy feature is the Vantage V3’s advanced multi-band GNSS chipset. This dual-frequency GPS technology is considered the pinnacle in location tracking. By utilizing two separate frequencies, it enhances accuracy and minimizes disruptions, as it can connect to a greater number of satellites. With the Vantage V3, users have the flexibility to choose between full dual-frequency GPS or opt for single-frequency settings.
Battery performance is another area where the V3 shines. It houses a 488 mAh battery, compared to the V2’s 346 mAh. This translates to up to 53 hours of training time on the V3, as opposed to 40 hours on the V2. In watch mode, the V3 can last up to 192 hours (8 days), outlasting the V2’s 168 hours. Even in power-saving mode, the V3 offers 140 hours, compared to the V2’s 100 hours.
Polar Vantage V3 vs V2: Technical specifications
Navigating the technical specifications of multisport watches can often feel like a maze of numbers and acronyms. To simplify your decision-making process, here’s a comprehensive comparison table between the two watches.
Polar Vantage V3
Polar Vantage V2
Dimensions and Weight
47 x 50.8 x 14.5 mm
47 x 47 x 13 mm
Weight Without Wristband
454 × 454
240 × 240
Elixir biosensing technology
488 mAh Li-Pol
346 mAh Li-Pol
Training (up to)
Watch Mode (up to)
Power Save (up to)
Sunrise Apricot, Night Black, Sky Blue
Silver & Gray Lime, Black and Black
Polar Vantage V3 vs V2: Features
The Vantage V3 introduces a host of new features that significantly enhance its functionality compared to the Vantage V2. One of the standout additions is the offline maps feature, made possible by the watch’s substantial 32GB of storage (up from only 32MB). This allows users to navigate their training routes confidently, even in areas with poor or no network coverage. It includes features such a track-back, turn-by-turn navigation powered by Komoot and Hill Splitter.
Another innovative feature is the virtual flashlight, a first for Polar, which can be particularly useful in low-light conditions or during nighttime activities. This adds an extra layer of safety and convenience for users who find themselves in less-than-ideal lighting situations.
The Vantage V3 also takes heart rate monitoring to the next level with with more accuracy and its new ECG-capable sensor. While the watch provides a 30-second trace that shows average heart rate, heart rate variability, and beat-to-beat intervals, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t offer Afib detection analysis. Nonetheless, the ECG readings can offer valuable insights into your cardiovascular health. Plus you can share the reading with your doctor.
In addition these features, the V3 is equipped with a skin temperature sensor (works while you sleep) and a blood oxygen sensor, both of which are new additions to the Polar lineup. These sensors provide a more comprehensive view of your overall well-being, offering valuable data that can be particularly useful for high-altitude training or monitoring sleep quality. For women, the skin temperature sensor can offer deeper understanding of the specific stage within their menstrual cycle.
The multi-band GNSS chipset is another noteworthy feature, enhancing some of the watch’s 150 built-in sports profiles. This dual-frequency GPS technology not only improves location accuracy but also minimizes disruptions from obstructions or interference.
Polar Vantage V3
Polar Vantage V2
Nightly Skin Temperature
Outdoors and Activity
Polar Vantage V3 vs V2: The bottom line
When weighing the options between the Polar Vantage V3 and its predecessor, the V2, the additional $100 for the V3 appears to be a justified investment. The V3 brings a multitude of new features to the table, such as offline maps, a virtual flashlight, and an array of advanced sensors including ECG-capable heart rate monitoring, skin temperature, and blood oxygen levels. These enhancements not only add layers of functionality but also offer a more comprehensive health and fitness tracking experience.
While the Vantage V2 remains a reliable choice with a slightly lower price tag of $499.95, the additional features in the V3 make it a more future-proof option. The V3’s superior GNSS chipset and faster CPU also contribute to a smoother and more accurate user experience, which alone could be worth the extra cost for serious athletes or health-conscious individuals.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
If you’re looking to get the most out of your multisport watch and are willing to invest in advanced features and improved performance, the extra $100 for the Vantage V3 seems like money well spent. This model represents one of the most significant advancements in Polar’s recent watch lineup.
Check out the watches on Polar’s website.
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