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First look: Polar Vantage V2

The Finnish fitness tech company says the Vantage V2 is "where design and science come together"

Photo by: Polar

On Wednesday, Polar released the Vantage V2, the brand’s latest watch, which is designed to help users train smarter and recover better. This watch can not only tell you how far or fast you’re running, but also how much you should be running on any given day. Following the Polar Vantage V, which was released in 2019 as the company’s first major watch upgrade in half a decade, the V2 has all of its predecessor’s best features and more. The Polar Vantage V2 is available for pre-order today, starting at $689.99. 

Photo: Polar

Features you’ve seen before

There are several features in the Vantage V2 that users might recognize from previous Polar products, such as the Grit X and Vantage V. As with Polar’s last few watches, the Vantage V2 can measure running power. This wrist-based power monitor can help you plan your workouts and improve as a runner. Using the watch’s power meter, heart rate monitor and GPS, you’ll know exactly how hard you’re pushing and whether you should kick up the intensity or scale it back a bit. 

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As seen in the Grit X (Polar’s first watch targeted specifically to outdoor athletes), the Vantage V2 has the FuelWise feature, a “smart fuelling assistant.” FuelWise lets you know when you should take a water or fuel break, which is especially helpful on long training runs. It also determines your optimal caloric intake based on the activity you’re doing and the intensity of your workout. This takes the guesswork out of fuelling, and it can help you dial in a plan ahead of races and other big training sessions. 

Polar athlete Valtteri Bottas trains with his Vantage V2. Photo: Polar

Weight-to-battery ratio

The Vantage V2 weighs in at just 52 g, 21 per cent lighter than the Vantage V (which was already a lightweight watch), and the weight-to-battery-life ratio of the Vantage V2 is ridiculously impressive. Athletes can get up to 40 hours of continuous training without needing to recharge, and that’s with the GPS and wrist-based heart rate systems running nonstop. Using the watch’s multiple power-saving options, users can get up to 100 hours on a charge. 

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Run and leg recovery tests 

The Vantage V2 also has a couple of tests it can run for users. First is the run performance test, which can be done in a couple of ways. With the first option, you will run until exhaustion, ultimately reaching your max heart rate. The second option has you stop the test just before exhaustion (at about 85 per cent of maximal performance). Either way, the Vantage V will give you estimates on your VO2 max, max heart rate, maximal aerobic speed and maximal aerobic power. Plus, it will update your heart rate, speed and power training zones accordingly. All of this info and these stats can be used to help plan your future workouts and training. 

Photo: Polar

The leg recovery test is “a quick and easy way to test how well your leg muscles have recovered and whether you’re ready for speed or strength training.” This test is much simpler (and less tiring) than the run performance test. With your hands on your hips, you jump as high as possible three times in a row. The Vantage V2 measures these jumps, and with that data decides how well your legs have recovered from recent workouts and what they can take on the day. As runners, we can sometimes push too far too many days in a row, which often leads to injury. Thanks to the Vantage V2, that will be less likely. 

RELATED: Polar unveils affordable new heartrate monitor

Smartwatch features 

The Vantage V2 is a great fitness tracker, but it doubles as a smartwatch. From controlling your music to receiving weather notifications or text messages and calls, your watch will let you take care of these matters without forcing you to pull out your phone and disrupt your workouts.

To learn more about the Vantage V2 and to pre-order it now, head to the Polar website