Polar Vantage V hands on review

    We’ve been ready for a successor to Polar’s V800 multisport look ahead to some time and it’s lastly right here within the type of the Polar Vantage V, a brand new multi-talented machine focused at anybody who cares about efficiency, from the elites right down to the weekend warriors. 

    Along with a snazzy new design, the headline options consists of improved optical coronary heart charge monitoring that Polar claims is it’s most correct but.

    There’s additionally working energy monitoring from the wrist – that is the primary watch on the planet to supply this – a broad vary of in depth coaching load and restoration monitoring options which are tailor-made to every particular person athlete.

    From critical sports activities monitoring proper right down to sleep and exercise, there’s an incredible deal packed in right here and loads to excite athletes of all ranges. We acquired our fingers on an early beta model of the Polar Vantage V and listed below are our first impressions.

    Polar Vantage V worth and launch date 

    On the subject of worth, the Polar Vantage V positively sits on the increased finish of the spectrum. The watch-only bundle is priced at £439 / $499 (about AU$800) whereas you may as well purchase it with a H10 chest strap – which you’ll must unlock the entire restoration options – for £479 / $549 (about AU$870).

    The on-sale date is but to be confirmed however we will actually anticipate it within the final quarter of 2018.

    Polar Vantage V design

    The very first thing you discover once you decide up the brand new Polar Vantage V is how rather more refined and complex the design is in comparison with its blockier, rectangular-faced predecessor the Polar V800. We’d go so far as to say that is Polar’s finest wanting watch ever. 

    What you’ve acquired here’s a watch which you could put on all day with out screaming to the world ‘I’m an IronMan competitor.’ A lot of that is right down to the very fact the Polar Vantage V has a extra conventional spherical watch face that’s complemented by a skinny modern chrome steel bezel and body that surrounds a pointy touchscreen colour show. 

    In our very early runs with the Vantage V we discovered the touchscreen to be a bit laggy now and again, it didn’t at all times scroll with every swipe. Although it’s necessary to level out that we had been utilizing a beta model of the software program on the watch and had been informed to anticipate some points that will likely be ironed out earlier than the total launch.

    There are 5 refined, textured chrome steel facet buttons that give a second approach to navigate the watch, which we discovered significantly helpful on the transfer.

    At 66g it’s 13g lighter than the V800 and one thing just like the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus that is available in round 86g. On the subject of all-day put on and even sleep monitoring in a single day that is prone to be an enormous enchancment. 

    The identical goes for the silicone strap which is softer, extra versatile and extra snug than these we’ve had on earlier Polar units. Out of the field the Vantage V is design to suit medium and huge wrists with 22 well-spaced notches that ought to accommodate most wrists. 

    Nevertheless, these with small wrists have been penalized considerably as they’ll must buy a small measurement wrist band individually for $9.90 (about $7.50, AU$14).

    The watch itself is 46mm extensive and 13mm thick, the latter on account of fairly a pronounced optical coronary heart charge bump that we’re informed is critical for the most effective pores and skin contact and delivering probably the most correct optical coronary heart charge readings. 

    On the again you’ll additionally discover there are 9 optical LEDs in two colours (four crimson and 5 inexperienced) in addition to 4 bio-impedance sensors that detect when there’s good pores and skin contact for taking the guts charge readings. 

    These 4 electrodes are additionally used to cost the watch together with a spherical USB cradle dock. 

    As you’d anticipate from a multisport watch, the Vantage V is waterproof. The Polar Vantage V is available in three acquainted Polar colours, black white and orange. 

    Polar Vantage V options

    Let’s begin with the fundamentals. The Polar Vantage V helps 130 completely different sports activities with particular person sport profiles and algorithms to trace every sport. 

    As you’d anticipate working, swimming and biking characteristic prominently, and there’s a devoted triathlon mode however there’s additionally the whole lot from crossfit and power coaching to mountain climbing and mountain biking. 

    We didn’t get the prospect to check all of those however we’re informed that Polar has labored onerous to tailor the algorithms for every sport enable for extra correct coronary heart charge readings. 

    Improved optical coronary heart charge?

    Talking of coronary heart charge, one of many Vantage V’s large claims is that it’s probably the most correct wrist-based optical coronary heart charge watch in the marketplace, because of what Polar calls its Precision Prime sensor fusion expertise. 

    This combines optical coronary heart charge measurement tracked with 9 LEDs in two colours that may attain deeper into the tissue, with 3D acceleration knowledge that and pores and skin contact measurement that acknowledges when losses in readings is likely to be attributed to motion or the lack of contact – not the very fact your coronary heart out of the blue stopped. 

    It has additionally launched the flexibility for post-workout cleansing of the guts charge knowledge whereby it identifies anomalies within the knowledge retrospectively and alter your stats within the Polar Movement and and net instruments to present a more true image of your knowledge throughout a session.

    We examined the guts charge on one run towards the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus optical coronary heart charge and our common coronary heart charge was 103BPM on the Garmin versus 108BPM on the Vantage V whereas our max on Garmin solely hit 141BPM towards a 168BPM on the Polar. Primarily based on the session we did, which concerned two units of 600m all out, we’d counsel the latter feels extra correct towards our perceived effort. 

    For swimmers, the Polar Vantage V’s optical coronary heart charge will observe your BPM within the water whereas there’s additionally GPS-support for open water swimming. 

    Operating energy

    Maybe the largest headline will go to the truth that the Polar Vantage V is the primary watch to supply working energy monitoring from the wrist. We’ve seen footpods such because the Stryd sensors providing energy monitoring for some time however that is the primary time you are able to do it with a watch. 

    Lengthy utilized in biking as a extra constant approach to measure the true output and workrate of an athlete, energy will likely be a brand new metric to many runners. Measured in Watts, in a nutshell it gives a brand new approach to observe efficiency that’s extra helpful than coronary heart charge or tempo alone. 

    Why? Effectively whereas coronary heart charge is affected by many exterior elements corresponding to stress, sleep, caffeine – and has a lag throughout exercises – energy responds in actual time. Whereas tempo as a metric is troublesome to make use of when you’re working on hilly or blended terrain, energy can be utilized to offer a constant effort degree. 

    Polar’s energy is predicated on an algorithm that takes readings from the built-in barometer and GPS velocity to estimate your energy output. In our very transient check the place we additionally ran with the Stryd energy footpod for comparability, Polar’s energy was usually as much as 100 watts increased than the Stryd sensor. 

    Stryd put our common energy for the session at 159.5 watts in comparison with the Vantage V at 196 watts. Stryd had our max energy as 494 watts in comparison with Polar’s 698 watts.

    Coaching Load Professional and Restoration Load Professional

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    If you’re executed coaching, the Polar Vantage V has a collection of instruments that will help you assess the influence that session has had in your health and when it’s time to go once more. 

    Coaching Load Professional now offers you particular person readings for the several types of load you may put in your physique throughout coaching. This consists of muscular load, perceived load and cardiovascular to present you one, holistic view of coaching load. You may as well see at a look how onerous your session was compared to the typical of your classes from the previous 90 days. 

    When it comes to restoration, the Vantage V analyses your current coaching knowledge and can let you know whether or not at the moment is an effective day to coach onerous or whether or not you may think about backing off and do a lighter session. 

    To unlock the entire Restoration Professional options you could do an orthostatic check at the very least 3 times per week and meaning utilizing a Polar H10 chest strap as that is solely correct approach to take the mandatory Coronary heart Fee Variability readings wanted.  

    There are additionally two new readings Pressure – which roughly equates to fatigue – and Tolerance – which appears on the common coaching load over the previous 28 days. What’s actually sturdy right here is that the V doesn’t simply provide the numbers, it interprets them and makes suggestions on the way to reply. For instance, if the ratio between pressure and tolerance goes above 1.5 that’s once you’re at increased threat of harm and the V may counsel taking a relaxation day. 

    Monitoring coaching load and restoration isn’t new however first impressions of what Polar gives within the Vantage V is that this takes it to a brand new degree, significantly as a result of it separates out the several types of load and partly since you get correct recommendation on what to do with that knowledge. 

    Battery life

    Lastly there’s the extremely lengthy battery life that Polar claims will supply 40 hours of steady coaching utilizing the optical coronary heart charge and GPS monitoring. We’ll make sure you put this to the check totally in our full overview. 

    Early verdict

    By far Polar’s finest wanting and most succesful watch up to now, when you’re critical about your sport and also you’re into delving deep into your knowledge in quest of improved efficiency then the Polar Vantage V is an thrilling prospect. 

    There’s a characteristic set right here that’ll provide you with a near-complete image, not simply of your coaching classes however the whole lot that impacts how properly you prepare and carry out, corresponding to managing coaching load, restoration and sleep. 

    For runners the flexibility to trace energy – a brand new approach to information and assess the effectiveness of your coaching and tempo your races higher – is an enormous deal, significantly because it’s executed with out the necessity for a foot pod, although we’ll must see how the accuracy compares to different foot-based merchandise.  

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