Funny (or not) software glitches with Polar Vantage V2

During the recent weeks I switched (once again) to wearing my Polar Vantage V2 as a daily watch, so I enjoy all the good and the less good aspects of my decision.

Since it happened me for the second time, I couldn’t miss the fact that the Polar display of battery percentage is sometimes playing with you. Actually, even the display of the battery charge with the Vantage series is somehow funny (not in the most positive way for customers) since it took a while until Polar decided that you can actually see a percentage of the battery charge on your watch – initially that was something that you could only see when connecting your watch to the charger and in the mobile app after sync you’re seeing Low – Ok – Full qualitative labels regarding the watch battery.

The battery life of the Vantage V2 with my lifestyle is about 4 days, with 24/7 activity tracking and no phone notifications. During a week I use the GPS for outdoor activities (run, walk) for 5-6 hours. So, the battery life it’s not outstanding .. at least not compared with the Garmin Fenix 6X I also own, but then again that’s not maybe a fair comparison considering the size of the watches. What saves the situation is the fact that the battery charges reasonably fast (if you’d be to believe the percentage displayed on the watch) – for example, it went from 38% to 64% in 16 minutes – with this rate, assuming that would be constant for simplifying, the full charge from zero would happen in 61.5 minutes, which is way better than the Fenix 6X for example and comparable to the Apple Watch.

Now, coming back to the glitch I saw .. when I woke up today I saw the battery percentage being 40%, I went for a run for 1 hour and 10 minutes and when I came back the battery percentage was 29% .. a bit weird, as usually Polar is very efficient when using in GPS mode – I would have expected something more like 7-8%, but anyway .. I didn’t care that much, I was planning to charge it nevertheless. Some minutes after, when looking at the watch again, I saw that the battery percentage was 30% … hmmm, what’s going on, is this charging from my energy, is this some rounding effect or what? After a while, I noticed that the value increased to 89% (!!?) and then I decided to document this somehow, so I took some pictures.

The values went down from 89% to 80% fast and then continued until they reached a stable value closer to what I presume was the real one (mid thirties).

First picture I took was with 87%
The second picture, 3 minutes after, 81% – no other changes in my usage
It took a while, but it became stable at 34%

I took the watch off, connected to the charging cable plugged in my computer which triggered a sync with FlowSync and started charging.

The charging started with sync, 38% was the first value after the sync was completed

The battery life is one of the most discussed subjects about sport and smart watches, with people obviously trying to get as much battery life as possible but still using most (if not all) of the features of the watch. When a product has issues displaying a value that’s trustable, that creates a bad perception about the product. I’m not saying that this is more important that measuring heart rate or GPS position, but .. sometimes is even more important, because if the battery charge value is not to be trusted you may end up with abruptly ended workouts or some other unpleasant situation which may drive you away from that particular watch.

Some may stay a restart/reboot may solve the issue, some may say that a sync could help .. and I’m sure this situation won’t continue in the next hours, days.

This situation only happened me twice, so it’s not that often to become annoying, but it doesn’t help a lot Polar, because it adds to the list of things I’d love to see improved among other features (and I’m not talking about adding music or maps on the watch).

Be well and enjoy your active life (and gadgets)!

PS: in the meantime, while I was typing the post, my watch completed charging – now it shows 100% so it took 46 minutes to charge from 38% to 100%, which is decent.

Author: Liviu Nastasa

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

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