Earlier this year I posted the full review of the Polar Vantage V and found it to be a very compelling GPS sports watch. A couple of months ago, the Polar Ignite was released and I found its FitSpark training guide, advanced Sleep Plus Stages, and Nightly Recharge features to be worth leaving the high-end Vantage V behind.
Today, the Polar Vantage V and M firmware upgrade are available that bring a massive number of updated features and enhancements. According to the Polar support site, these updates include:
- Galileo/QZSS satellite system support. This update improves GPS functionality in specific areas.
- Fitness Test: You can do it both with a wrist-based heart rate and chest strap heart rate sensor.
- Zone Lock: You can lock a training zone during your workout.
- Lap details: time, distance, average pace, etc., in the training file on your Vantage watch.
- Manual stride sensor calibration.
- Sleep Plus Stages: Deeper information on your sleep with sleep cycles and sleep score.
- Nightly Recharge: A recovery measurement that shows how well you recover from stress and training during the night.
- Serene breathing exercise: Relax your body and calm down your mind with the new Serene breathing exercise.
- Constant backlight setting for training: you can choose to have the backlight always on during training sessions.
- Inactivity Alert: When you've been sedentary for an hour, you get an alert so that you know it's time to get up and take a little walk.
- Enhancements for existing features.
While the Vantage V and M have had sleep tracking capability, the updated Sleep Plus Stages offers more details for better understanding your sleep cycle and patterns. Sleep also impacts the Nightly Recharge metric that measures recovery and helps you train more effectively.
Polar has done an excellent job of releasing regular features to improve its products and instead of releasing new hardware with incremental software improvements, frustrating those who purchase its products and find out a few months later another hardware purchase is required, it makes sure existing customers can enjoy hardware for years. The Vantage V is available now for $499.95 while the Vantage M is available for $279.95. The Vantage V and M also have a new blue band color option. A black copper version of the Vantage M will also be available starting tomorrow.
In December, Polar will release the version 5.0 update that includes Strava Live Segments support for Vantage V, as well as Race Pace and FitSpark for Vantage V and M. FitSpark is one of my favorite features on the Polar Ignite because it provides various workout recommendations to help you change up your training regime while also guiding you through new exercises.