Apple isn’t the only one with a hot new wearable device designed to help athletes track their performance more accurately. On Thursday, September 13, Polar announced a pair of new multisport fitness watches that bring a slew of impressive features to the table, including improved battery life, better heart rate tracking, and an onboard virtual coach that can help improve workouts. Best of all, you won’t have to wait until next week to preorder one, as you can already reserve one today.
The new Polar Vantage V and the Vantage M share many of the same features, even though they are aimed at very different users. The Vantage V was built for elite athletes looking to track their performance as closely as possible, while the Vantage M is built for a more mainstream audience. Still, both models come with preprogrammed profiles for more than 130 sports, accurate GPS tracking, a lightweight, waterproof design, and continuous heart rate monitoring. Both also feature sleeping tracking and smart coaching features that can let athletes know when they aren’t training hard enough or could be overtraining. The two watches even offer compatibility with Polar Flow for Coach, a free online platform that allows coaches and trainers to custom build workout routines for their athletes.
When designing the Vantage V and M, Polar was looking for ways to upgrade its onboard heart rate monitoring system with the hopes of making faster, more accurate, and more reliable. To that end, the company has given both watches a proprietary new heart rate monitor called Polar Precision Prime, which it says sets a new benchmark for the industry. The system uses three different methods for tracking an athlete’s heart rate, including nine optical channels with multiple colors and wavelengths of light, an electrical sensor that measures the quality of contact with the skin, and 3D acceleration. The result should be much better tracking not only during a workout but throughout the rest of the day, too.
The Vantage V brings a few extra features to the table that set it apart from its sibling, including an always-on LCD touchscreen and longer battery life (40 versus 30 hours). The biggest upgrade however is the V’s ability to track running power directly from the wrist, something that was only possible through a separate, external sensor before. Polar says the watch is the first of its kind to offer this functionality, which could be a real game-changer for serious athletes. The V also includes a feature called Recovery Pro that allows athletes to take a more holistic approach to measuring their training and recovery programs in an effort to avoid injury and limit downtime.
Both the Polar Vantage V and Vantage M are available to pre-order now for $500 and $280, respectively.