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Polar Vantage V hands-on review : First look – V800 successor brings the power and upgraded HR skills

Polar Vantage V first look: V800 successor brings the power and upgraded HR skills

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Critical athletes want solely apply for this supercharged sports activities watch

We’ve spoken to plenty of skilled athletes and one query we all the time ask them is what tech they use to coach with. Whether or not it’s ultrarunners or triathletes, there’s a sports activities watch that will get talked about extra typically than most and that’s the Polar V800. That beast of a sports activities watch is a well-liked selection for many who have to coach a number of occasions a day and take part in occasions that may final various days. It’s received that mammoth battery life, sturdy design with an enormous display to cram in an entire lot of knowledge, and these teaching instruments that will help you practice smarter.

The V800 launched in 2014, which doesn’t really feel that way back, however in tech phrases, it feels prefer it’s properly due a refresh. Since then, Polar has prolonged the lifetime of the look ahead to execs by means of quite a lot of software program updates, including options like its adaptive operating program, GoPro help and even 24/7 exercise monitoring. Polar says it didn’t need to supply a follow-up to the V800 till it had one thing actually progressive to point out off that may blow its rivals out of the water.

Now the Finnish firm believes the time is true and that’s why we’ve the Polar Vantage V. That is now its premium multisport GPS watch and pure successor to the V800. It’s joined by the Vantage M (successor to the Polar M430), however it’s the V that V800 house owners will now be casting an envious eye over.

We have been amongst a lucky few that obtained check out a beta mannequin of the Vantage V to seek out out what it’s bringing to the sports activities watch get together and the way it might give Garmin and Suunto one thing to fret about.

Design and options

Polar Vantage V first look: V800 successor brings the power and upgraded HR skills

Polar Vantage V specs and options

  • 46mm spherical watch design, 13mm thick
  • All the time-on shade show
  • 130 sports activities profiles
  • 40 hour battery life (with steady GPS/HR)
  • Weighs 66g
  • Tracks operating power from wrist
  • Polar’s new Precision Prime HR tech
  • Works with Strava (not Reside Segments)

The V800 was a sports activities watch constructed to face up to critical carnage on land and in the water with its 12.7mm thick chrome steel physique and rugged silicone strap. Should you put it up towards a Fenix 5 Plus or the Suunto 9, it’s an enormous as compared. Fortunately, issues have modified radically on that entrance with the Vantage V. The oblong display is gone (which I’m positive will please most), and is changed with a 46mm, round physique that provides it a stature that has extra in widespread with a Fenix or a Forerunner watch. It’s truly thicker (now 13mm) than the V800, however you actually don’t discover that additional heft. It’s a considerably nicer wanting watch and one you’d truly need to put on all of the time.

Regardless of the look change up, that is nonetheless constructed with rugged use in thoughts. You’ve acquired chrome steel casing and even the silicone strap has a softer, extra versatile really feel that makes it sit extra comfortably on the wrist. These straps usually are not interchangeable sadly and whereas they do are available two sizes, these two straps aren’t bundled collectively.

The brand new display has an always-on color touchscreen show that’s properly responsive and doesn’t lag once you’re swiping via the screens. For those who’re anticipating the type of touchscreen you get on an Apple Watch or a Samsung Galaxy Watch, properly, you’re out of luck. However that’s no actual shock when Polar has tried to strike a great stability between providing a show that’s extra vibrant than its predecessor, however nonetheless provides good visibility and shouldn’t demand an excessive amount of of the battery.

Polar Vantage V first look: V800 successor brings the power and upgraded HR skills

Together with touchscreen navigation, you additionally get 5 bodily chrome steel buttons dotted round the show. Understanding precisely what every of those buttons does take a little bit of time, however the textured end means even should you’re sporting a pair of gloves, you should not have any issues attending to that knowledge display you shortly have to see.

Earlier than we get into the huge headline options, we do want to speak about the Vantage V’s sports activities monitoring skills. They usually’re plentiful. There’s 130 sports activities profiles, which incorporates operating, treadmill operating, biking and swimming (indoor and outside). You’re additionally getting health monitoring too together with sleep monitoring, though seeing your sleep knowledge on the watch isn’t supported simply but. We’re informed it is going to be added in an upcoming software program replace.

Precision Prime HR

Polar Vantage V first look: V800 successor brings the power and upgraded HR skills

As an organization, Polar’s heritage is constructed on advances it’s made with coronary heart price know-how. With the V, it’s making an attempt to do what most different wearable makers have failed to take action far and that’s to make an optical coronary heart price monitor that you could really depend on.

Polar says it has cracked it and believes it’s provide you with the greatest wrist-based answer out there. How has it accomplished that? Via what it’s calling Precision Prime know-how. It’s nonetheless utilizing an identical mild based mostly technique that the likes of Apple, Samsung, Garmin and others use, however it’s added further LED sensors that may penetrate the pores and skin deeper to get extra dependable readings. It’s now utilizing a 9 LED setup that features 5 inexperienced LEDs in addition to 4 pink LEDs. That is the first time that pink LEDs have been added into the combine. Nevertheless it’s additionally including electrode sensors for measuring the sensor’s contact with the pores and skin to make sure a studying is taken when the sensor is in correct contact with the pores and skin. This new sensor setup ought to be match for all sports activities and we’re informed it’ll even work for swimming, providing extra correct insights into points like coaching load and calorie burn.

Polar nonetheless regards its H10 chest strap as the greatest coronary heart price answer for critical athletes and continues to be required to hold out a lot of the training-centric exams obtainable on the Vantage V (like the orthostatic check). We’ll have to spend some extra time testing it to see if Polar has managed to nail it on the accuracy entrance. What we will say is that in contrast to our preliminary testing with the Polar M430, it did efficiently produce a studying on darkish pores and skin. So hopefully everybody ought to have the ability to profit from the new tech, too.

Operating power

Polar Vantage V first look: V800 successor brings the power and upgraded HR skills

The opposite headline function of the Vantage V is operating power. A brand new coaching metric for runners we tipped to be an enormous deal in 2018. We’ve already been placing some wearables that ship operating power knowledge to the check, like the Stryd footpod and Garmin’s Operating Dynamics Pod. However that is the first time that a watch has inbuilt the potential to measure operating power from the wrist.

We’ve summarised what operating power is earlier than, however to elucidate briefly right here, it’s a coaching metric that has been utilized in biking for a while and is beginning to discover its means into the operating world. Just like coaching with coronary heart fee knowledge and even tempo, it provides you one quantity that tells you immediately, and in actual time, how a lot work you’re doing. It helps to measure and assess exterior work price extra reliably and ought to lead you to operating extra persistently and at your greatest.

Polar Vantage V first look: V800 successor brings the power and upgraded HR skills

To make this occur, Polar bases this power rating (in watts) on velocity, how briskly velocity is altering and your present altitude based mostly on knowledge from the onboard barometer. Whenever you begin a coaching session, the watch will present you particulars on common, max and real-time power scores. Publish race-session, it’ll additionally supply particulars on muscle load and power zones that resemble presentation of coronary heart price zones. On a few runs, we in contrast the real-time power knowledge to Garmin’s Operating Dynamics Pod (which you put on in your waist) and the V tended to show a better power rating. Once more, extra long run testing shall be wanted to find out with this power knowledge is dependable.

What’s extra fascinating is that the introduction of power is geared in the direction of optimising coaching periods, however not about taking that power knowledge right into a race state of affairs like you possibly can with Stryd. Certainly it might make sense to coach on power and then race on power too?

Coaching and restoration options

Polar Vantage V first look: V800 successor brings the power and upgraded HR skills

Together with the introduction of operating power for coaching, Polar additionally packs the Vantage V to the rafters with different options and metrics which might be designed that will help you optimise features of your coaching.

There’s now Coaching Load Professional that may collate muscular load, perceived load and cardiovascular load to point if you’re undertraining, overtraining or hitting the candy spot for coaching. It’ll additionally supply personalised coaching recommendation every day to assist maintain you on prime of your coaching. Restoration Professional measures every day and long-term restoration, whereas the Polar Circulate for coach on-line service gives will probably be a supply for coaching plans you’ll be able to comply with.

You’ll additionally discover help for Polar’s Operating Program, letting you comply with plans from the watch, and Polar’s newest Sleep Plus monitoring can also be on board too. All of this knowledge is in fact reviewable in the Polar Move smartphone or net app the place you’ll be able to dig a bit of deeper into what all of it means on your coaching and race day.

Preliminary verdict

It’s going to take an entire lot extra long-term testing to seek out out simply how good the Vantage V is of an improve on the V800. We’re speaking points like operating power and the new coaching and restoration options. If it actually has managed to nail wrist-based HR as properly, that’s an enormous coup for Polar. There’s additionally a good bunch of options that Polar guarantees nonetheless have to be rolled out over the coming months as software program updates too. Proper now, it’s not fairly the full expertise.

What we will say is that we’re loving the design modifications, the prospect of dependable coronary heart fee knowledge from the wrist and seeing what operating power can supply in the approach of coaching and race time. All the things that was nice on the V800 is onboard right here and that may solely be a superb factor. The £439 price ticket is inevitably excessive and places it up there with the greatest that Garmin and Suunto’s excessive finish vary have to supply. As soon as Polar will get all of the promised options rolled out, the Vantage V on paper has the makings of being a becoming alternative for the V800.

(wareable.com, http://bit.ly/2N9vPb8)

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