The best sports watches now go well beyond simply tracking your exercise, using the array of sensors they have on board to monitor your training load over time, help plan your recovery and even advise on the type of session to do each day to improve.
This approach has become one of Polar’s strong suits and its new Vantage V2 watch aims to be even more effective in shaping the training of its wearers for the better.
This starts with feeding the Vantage V2 more data about you using cycling and running performance tests. These set up personalised heart rate, speed and power zones that you can then use for your training. The cycling test requires a separate power sensor to gauge your FTP, while the running one can be done with the watch alone.
These aren’t the only tests on the Vantage V2, which can also monitor your recovery using a new leg recovery test. This involves a series of vertical jumps to see how much spring there is in your muscles and how well equipped they are to tackle more training.
The Vantage V2 also gets several features that appeared on Polar’s Grit X watch, which was released after the first Vantage. These include FuelWise, which can help plan your nutrition during long bouts of exercise, Hill Splitter, which tracks the uphill and downhill sections of your runs automatically, and turn-by-turn navigation via a partnership with route planning app Komoot.
Like the Grit X, the Vantage V2 also offers weather information and a power-saving battery mode that allows for 100 hours of training. In normal mode, you get 40 hours of GPS battery life.
The watch is lightweight at 52g and promises to be comfortable to wear at all times, which is important given the impressive sleep tracking Polar devices offer. The detailed analysis of your rest feeds into other features like your recovery and training load, and you get suggested workouts each day based on how well you’ve recovered overnight.
At £449 the Vantage V2 is the same price as its predecessor, and £70 more than the Grit X. It is also available in a bundle with the H10 chest strap heart rate sensor for £489. We’ll be testing the device shortly to see if it lives up to expectations – and expectations at Coach are high.
Buy from Polar | £449