Polar has made sports watches for a good while now. However, it’s always felt like they’ve lagged behind other brands in the space. With the new Polar Vantage V3, the outfit is closing the gap, bringing a GPS sports watch that’s fitted with all the advanced features people expect.
Now on its third generation, the GPS sports watch brings significant updates in both hardware and software, making for arguably the biggest improvements in the outfit’s sports watch line in a long time. Suffice to say, if you’ve felt Polar’s offering in the category a bit lacking, they’re definitely matching up here with what Garmin, Suunto, and the rest of the field have to offer.
The Polar Vantage 3 has a 47mm watch case housing a 1.39-inch AMOLED touchscreen dial with 454 x 454 resolution, 462 ppi, and a peak brightness of 1,050 nits. This ensures the screen is easily readable even in direct sunlight, while an always-on design lets you glance at it for the time, much like any traditional timepiece. It’s definitely a major upgrade from the MIP display of the last-gen Vantage. Heck, it’s so bright they even added a feature that lets you use the screen as a flashlight, while a curved Gorilla Glass 3 cover ensures the screen’s durability.
It also comes with a new multi-band GNSS chipset, so you get the cutting edge in GPS technology, as well as a new antenna design that, the outfit claims, enables better signal reception. There are biosensors new to the line, too, including an optical heart rate sensor that, the outfit claims, is their most advanced yet, a skin temperature sensor, a blood oxygen sensor, and even an ECG function that lets you capture a visual image of your heartbeat. Yep, these sports watches are turning into a standalone medical test devices.
The Polar Vantage V3 now comes with over 150 sport profiles, including advanced athletic activities like triathlon training, ensuring it covers everything from basic sports like running and cycling to watersports and alpine activities. There are also detailed metrics, such as Training Load Pro (which calculates the load training places on your cardiovascular and muscoskeletal systems), Energy Sources (how your body uses fats, carbohydrates, and proteins individually each session), and Recovery Pro (gives you a full picture of your recovery in relation to your training). It can also offer voice guidance while you train, essentially giving you a virtual coach to offer advice and motivation.
Another big change is the addition of mapping capabilities, with the device gaining offline maps that lets you see not just main points of interest in your location, but detailed topographic lines you can use in your outdoor adventures. This is, of course, on top of other wrist-based navigation functions such as turn-by-turn navigation, route guidance, automatic slope angle calculations, and more. Other watch features include 50 meters of water resistance, 129 percent faster CPU speed, 32GB internal storage, and a battery rated at 43 hours with the GPS running (140 hours without it).
The Polar Vantage V3 come out end of the month. Price is $599.95.