Home > Running Gear

WATCH REVIEW: Polar Vantage V2

The latest wearable from the Finnish tech company is pretty much a coach you can take with you on the run

Photo by: Polar

In late 2020, Polar released its newest watch, the Vantage V2. The second iteration in the Vantage V series, the V2 improves on the original watch with many features that Polar included in the GritX, a wearable geared toward off-road and trail athletes that the company released in April of last year. This lightweight watch is reliable and fun to use, and it can help wearers take their training to the next level with built-in fitness tests and workout tracking technologies. The Vantage V2 is available to order now on the Polar website, starting at $689.99.

Tremendous battery life 

The original Vantage V weighed 66 g, which was super light for a GPS watch. Polar managed to cut even more off the already lightweight design for the V2, and the new-and-improved watch weighs just 52 g. While the design team at Polar removed any excess weight from the watch, this decision didn’t cost the V2 in terms of battery life or other capabilities. A full charge can last for up to 40 hours of continuous training using the GPS and wrist-based heart rate systems. The watch has several power-saving settings, though, which can push the battery life to up to 100 hours per charge. Plus, on the rare occasions when you find your V2 dead or running low on battery life just before you head out the door, all it takes is 15 minutes to get enough of a charge to last through your run. 

RELATED: Polar unveils latest watch, the Unite

Features for runners

The Vantage V2 has a decently accurate wrist-based heart rate monitor, but if you would rather monitor your heart rate closer to the source, consider Polar’s H10 heart rate chest strap, which is available for purchase with the V2 for an additional $70. 

Photo: Polar
ADVERTISEMENT

There’s also the power monitor, which Polar has included in several previous watches. Like heart rate, power output (in watts) is a great way to monitor the intensity of your run and can be especially helpful during hill and interval training. With the power and heart rate monitors, guessing your effort becomes a worry of the past, and you can see all the pertinent stats on your wrist mid- and post-run. 

RELATED: Polar unveils affordable new heartrate monitor

Training load and fitness tests 

Another helpful feature of the V2 is Polar’s Recovery Pro system. Without prompting, your watch will alert you if you’re at risk of overtraining. This can admittedly be annoying at times when you want to go for a run and your watch asks you if you’re sure, but the slight annoyance is worth it. After all, if you feel OK physically, why would you think to check on your training load? That’s why Recovery Pro has the potential to be so helpful, as it tells you when you might be overdoing it. 

Working alongside Recovery Pro, Polar’s FitSpark feature recommends appropriate recovery workouts. You might have a run planned for the day, but your watch will suggest something else (like a bodyweight strength routine that it will walk you through). With these features, you won’t go through training blindly, hoping that you’re doing everything right, but you’ll instead be guided by the polite nudges from the portable coach on your wrist. 

RELATED: New Polar Grit X designed for outdoor athletes

Lastly, the V2 offers performance tests. There is a run performance test that estimates your VO2 max, max heart rate, maximal aerobic speed and maximal aerobic power. Once it has these estimations, it will update your heart rate, speed and power training zones, which will all be used to help in the planning of your future workouts and recovery. Another test is for leg recovery, which will let you know if your legs are ready for more speed or strength training or if another rest or easy day is necessary. Again, this is a coach on your wrist, designed specifically to give runners (and other athletes) the best training advice possible. 

To learn more about or order the Vantage V2, head to the Polar website.