Starting with 12th of September (a month ago), I started to use a Polar Vantage V as a regular daily watch, only during the training sessions I used at the same time the Garmin 945, because that was connected to the Training Peaks training program and also with the calibrated Stryd.
I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that distance accuracy was reasonable, when compared with the Stryd which provided the same values every time on the same course. Also the oHR was fine, but usually for steady workouts, I didn’t force it for HIIT.
Looking at the September (since 12th of September) running sessions, I run with Polar Vantage V and (Garmin 945+Stryd) for 164 km during 14 sessions. In the end, the total distance measured by the two devices had a difference of 500 meters or 0.31% – Polar had 164.76km and Garmin/Stryd 165.27km.
|Polar VV||945 + Stryd||Diff (km)||Diff %|
The watch is pleasant to wear, nice looking and the platform is also very attractive – even if it doesn’t offer the same level of details or customisation as Garmin.
I must admit, that I’m eager to see the new firmware update, based on the functionalities exposed by the Polar Ignite – it seams that we need a bit of extra patience, since the firmware is scheduled by the end of October. In the meantime, I’m using one of the half-marathon training programs to prepare for a race early December. Luckily, I started the program early in Flow, because otherwise you can’t define programs for event that are closer to today than 16 weeks which is a limitation – I understand you can’t prepare in 8 weeks for a half-marathon, but if you don’t have more than 10 weeks between events, then you’re stuck with no programs – if you’d follow Polar’s rules.
So, for those that are transitioning from Garmin higher-end to Polar, Vantage V is a nice watch if you don’t miss too much the maps, music (I don’t) and payments (I do, sometimes). You’ll get the nice looks of the watch, a very good and intuitive platform, not perfect though.
If you own a Stryd footpod, you can pair it seamlessly with Vantage V, it will record power and distance/pace from the footpod. But, until October firmware update, you don’t have calibration options for footpod, meaning that Vantage V will auto-calibrate Stryd based on the GPS signal – which is a shame. Also, you will get power/distance/pace, but you will not have the other data from Stryd stored in Polar Flow and you have to be a bit creative to get the data in Stryd Power Center, since Polar is not storing the data and syncing Flow with Power Center will not do the trick.
You won’t get more than 5 days of battery life, especially if you use the watch to record some workouts – if you want more than that, then go to Garmin Fenix 5X, 5X plus and 6X or Coros. During the GPS workouts, the battery consumption is ok, allowing you long sessions – I didn’t have ones longer than 5 hours … but I never felt that I would have an issue with battery life with GPS on.
I’d love to have more watch bands options, Polar released some but they are not available to purchase online in all countries and other third party options are scarce (at least when compared with the other standard 20-22-26 mm bands).
All in all, I’m wearing the watch now – I’m ok with it, I look forward to testing the new firmware and based on that I will decide if it stays on my wrist or I’ll go back to the Garmin 945.