Garmin FR 945 vs Vantage V (take two)

During September, I’ll be one of the weird ones wearing two sport watches during my runs, just because I started my training with Garmin 945 and Training Peaks and they are better integrated but also I’m interested how Vantage V compares to 945, since I plan to switch to Polar if the promised firmware update in October will deliver the expected results.

So…new day, new fun facts.

Today I used the 945 paired with a Polar OH1 and Stryd and the Vantage V with the own oHR. Using the Quantified Self (, I compared the results and I’d say that the Vantage V did a very good job.

Garmin 945, Stryd,
Polar Vantage VDifference
Distance8.09 km8.06 km25 m (0.3%)
AVG HR152 bpm152 bpm0 (0%)
Min HR80 bpm81 bpm1 bpm (1.2%)
Max HR173 bpm173 bpm0 bpm (0%)
Energy610 kcal647 kcal37 kcal (5.9%)
AVG Cadence92 rpm93 rpm1 rpm (1.5%)

Looking at the HR, you’ll say that we are comparing two oHR from Polar .. but since OH1 has a very good reputation, I’d say that Polar Vantage V oHR is very reliable – a bit late in the beginning, but catching up and being consistent over the workout. If you can see in the graph exported below (not very clear, on dark background), the blue is the Vantage oHR and red is Polar OH1.

Blue (Vantage) – Red (OH1)

The GPS track looks fine, not extraordinary – with pluses and minuses for both, a bit of edge for Garmin I’d say. Garmin had 1 sec tracking with GPS, Polar the implicit best setting.

Orange (Garmin 945) – Blue (Vantage V)

As a summary, I’d say that Vantage V is a worthy training mate, managing to measure the distance properly, even against Stryd and having a very good HR measurement.

Is Vantage V better than 945? No, I couldn’t say that, but it’s usable and you can do your training and use it daily without any real issues.

If I miss something from 945 when looking at the daily use, that would be:

  • multiple alarms
  • longer battery life (4 days Vantage V – 7+ days Garmin 945)
  • far better back light, easier to see in low light and dark [training early in the day raises some challenges with Vantage V]
  • better notifications when connected with the phone (you can select only phone calls notifications, for Vantage is all or nothing – which forces me to nothing)
  • Sunrise/Sunset moments as widget (it’s a nice to have, I don’t depend on those)
  • easy to change bands – a huge variety of bands

What I enjoy with Polar Vantage V daily:

  • slick look and comfortable with shirts
  • Polar Flow (particularly the web version) which is more intuitive and actionable

I’ll continue my journey with Polar Vantage V as a daily watch and training partner and keep posting about it.

Polar Vantage V - FW 3.210
Garmin FR 945 - FW 2.8.0
Polar OH1 - FW 2.0.11
Stryd v2 - FW 1.2.0

Author: Liviu Nastasa

Passionate about software development, sociology, running...definitely a geek.

2 thoughts

  1. Hi,

    Regarding notifications “all or nothing” on Vantage your statement is incorrect. In Flow app one can choose to “block apps” and those apps won’t be able to send notifications to the watch. For my personal taste I’d like it to be opposite, i.e. to select apps I’d wish to receive notifications of, but in a long run I have customized what’s important.

    Nice comparison with OH1. I’d like to ask, how did you wear both, OH1 and Vantage V? I understand it’s an old post, but nevertheless?

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the feedback. I’m aware that the mobile Flow app allows some customization on Android, I should have said that I’m using the iOS version which doesn’t enjoy the same level of flexibility unfortunately (more due to iOS than Polar). It also may be said that Garmin faces the same challenge, but chose to split notifications into three areas: calls, SMS, others and you can have a bit of notification without having them all. Actually, that’s one of the big disadvantages that I see when wearing Polar Vantage with my iPhone – I’m turning off all notifications just not to be annoyed by the blast of notifications. Also, the special character support (like for example Romanian characters) is better on Garmin 945 than with Vantage which support a smaller set of languages. You can live with that, but still…not complete.

      Regarding OH1, I wore it with Polar Vantage V as well, though I haven’t focused that much on a comparison. OH1 works fine for me in the winter time, because is convenient to wear (no issues with dry skin like Polar H10 or Garmin’s HRM) and pretty responsive (maybe a short delay of reaction, but anyway HR doesn’t move as fast as power doesn’t when you’re changing the pace or terrain).

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