June 29, 2022

Likes & Dislikes: Polar Vantage V

2 min read

As usual, this is not a review or recommendation. It’s simply an ongoing list of the features and capabilities that I like and dislike on the Polar Vantage V. Your mileage may vary…

What I like…

  • Physically, it’s definitely a high quality device. Comfortable with a nice display.
  • Great battery life.
  • As you see below, pool swimming is severely lacking. However, the optical heart rate actually seems to be pretty good.

What I Dislike…

  • Difficult to get activities from Polar Flow over to Garmin Connect. You can export the activity as a TCX file but you then have to delete a couple of blocks (Author and Creator) before Garmin Connect will accept it. And there’s no export for FIT files.
  • GPS accuracy seems to be hit-or-miss. There are folks that never seem to get a decent track while others are always spot-on. I’ve had missed results but, generally, I’ve found it be at least acceptable.
  • Difficult to get structured workouts from TrainingPeaks to device (nothing comparable to the TrainingPeaks Daily Workout CIQ app)
  • Although it’s a N=1 sample, pool swimming seems practically useless. Doing a 1500 meter workout (62 lengths), the watch registered about 450 meters (18 lengths). The watch does seem to automatically recognize when you stop and starts displaying a “rest time” but it’s not clear whether or not you should actually pause the activity or hit lap at the completion of each leg of your workout. I was going to create a structured swim workout and have it loaded in the watch but gave up once I realized I was going to have to convert each interval distance to miles. Entering 0.248 miles for a 400 meter swim interval is just nonsense. It’s as if the pool swimming activity was never reviewed by somebody who has actually trained as a swimmer.
  • Can’t set manual calibration for footpods (ie: Stryd). And although it does utilize the power data sent from the Stryd, none of the other running metrics are recorded.
  • Can’t turn it off. If you only intend to use the watch for activities and don’t wear it full-time, it would be nice if you could power it down and have a reasonable expectation of a full charge when you do decide to use it. It’s got very good battery life, but you can bet it’ll be completely dead the moment you decide to grab it and go for a run.

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