Tag Archive | Polar Vantage V

The New Polar ‘Ignite’ & My Garmin ‘MARQ Expedition’ Side-By-Side On My Wrist.

by Anura Guruge


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I was sent an ‘Ignite’ — Polar’s latest smartwatch — for evaluation. I just this very minute started wearing it after putting away my Garmin ‘MARQ Expedition’ (carefully wrapped in soft cloth). I have been wearing the MARQ non-stop (bar when charging it) for 43-days since getting it on May 20, 2019.

The back of the ‘Ignite’ if nothing else is ‘busy’. The four shiny contacts are used for charging. But, I am not sure whether they also play a role in heart rate (HR) monitoring per Polar’s supposedly innovative ‘Precision Prime sensor fusion technology‘. I am curious whether Polar does a better job at HR monitoring than Garmin. I will endeavor to find out.


November last year I did try out a Polar Vantage V for a couple of weeks. That supposedly had the same HR technology and I can’t recall seeing any HR data that was that far different to what I was used to with my Garmins.

The Ignite looks like a diluted Vantage V. We will see. Stay tuned.

Always fun to try out news watches. Yes, I am lucky being able to do so.


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by Anura Guruge

My ‘Garmin Fenix 5 Plus’ Is Back On My Wrist After A 20-Day Flirtation With An ‘Amazfit Verge’.

by Anura Guruge


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20-days ago when I strapped on a Amazfit Verge for evaluation.



The final watch face I was using on the ‘Amazfit Verge’.


I have had my Garmin Fenix 5 Plus since October 9, 2018 (i.e., for 123-days). Prior to that I owned a Garmin Fenix 5 for 158-days.

During the 123-days that I owned the Fenix 5 Plus I have taken it off and put aside on two occasions. Once, for 10-days, when I was evaluating a ‘Polar Vantage V‘ and now for 20-days when I flirted with an ‘Amazfit Verge‘. I had very different reactions to these two watches. I was glad to get rid of the ‘Polar Vantage V’. It was a very boring, insipid watch. Not so with the Verge. I like the Verge. I returned the Vantage V though I had the option of keeping it (for free). I am keeping the Verge!

The Verge still has some ways to go. Floors climbed is a joke — a very bad joke. That was the one big flaw I found, other than the Amazfit APP not working with Android 9.

The AMOLED display on the Verge is an absolute joy. I can’t wait for Garmin to start using AMOLED displays.

Well, it is still kind of nice to have my Fenix 5 Plus back on my wrist. I have got used to its feel and I do like all the widgets.


Me and My Trackers.

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by Anura Guruge

‘Amazfit Verge’ Is GREAT Running Watch — Better Than A Garmin Fenix 5!

by Anura Guruge


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Just in case you are thinking that this is sour grapes on my part and that I wish I could afford a Garmin Fenix 5 — please let me tell you that I own a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus. So, this is an objective and considered opinion.

So, why do I like the Amazfit Verge better. Very simple — and I have talked about it before. The very bright, colorful and cheery AMOLED display. Makes all the difference. All your stats are displayed buch bolder and brighter. They really pop out. Plus, the use of vivid color, when showing heart rate zones, makes it easier to digest and register — on the run.

In terms of data collected and displayed they are on a par. So, you can’t fault the Verge on that. Yes, this has been said before by others and it is very obvious. Those that developed the Verge studied the Fenix 5, in depth, and set out to match the functionality and presentation — albeit with the better AMOLED display.

Yes, the GPS might be a tad off, but not that different to say the Fitbit Ionic or the new Polar Vantage V. I much prefer the Verge to the Polar Vantage V.

Yes, I am impressed. I like it. Yes, it has some faults. ‘Floors climbed‘ is erratic beyond belief and the erraticness varies with watch face! More on that in another post.

I have only done 3 runs with the Verge so far. But, I plan to wear it for at least another week. So, I will provide more feedback in the coming days.


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by Anura Guruge

Deciding Between The New Polar Vantage V & The Venerable Garmin Fenix 5.

by Anura Guruge


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‘Polar Vantage V’ & ‘Garmin Fenix 5 Plus’ Side-By-Side On My Wrist.





Price-wise they are $50 apart at Amazon (today), the new Polar Vantage V at $500 and the Garmin Fenix 5 at $450. [The Fenix 5 Plus is more expensive.]

In November 2018, when the Polar Vantage V came out, I was lucky enough to be given one to evaluate. I kept it for two weeks and wore it, ’24×7′ (bar charging time) for 11-days straight. Since I own a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, and upgraded to that from a Garmin Fenix 5, I am pretty qualified to compare the two.

I have to say I was excited to get the Polar Vantage V. The early promotional matter made it very compelling. I was fairly convinced that I was going to ‘buy’ the evaluation unit and keep it.


The Polar Vantage V, with its bright, multicolor, touchscreen, 4-field display, is the perfect training watch. It really enhanced my running experience. I could see my heart rate, color-coded, at a glance, relative to its expected range – along with my pace, distance and time. Then using the up/down buttons I could quickly get altitude, ‘power’, heart rate data as well as the time-of-day. At the end of an activity (in my case a run), I was treated to a chock-a-block ‘training summary’ which included: distance, calories, heart rate zones, cardio load, pace/speed, speed zones, altitude change, power zones, cadence, etc. etc. It was like having a training COMPUTER on your wrist. And all of this on the watch – independent of the phone or computer APP.

It was pretty awesome. A level of (shareable) training data unmatched by any other watch I have used and I am no stranger to high-end Garmins, Fitbits and Samsungs.

As a sport watch the Polar Vantage V, in my experience, is in a new, crème de la crème, class of its own. Its GPS and heart rate data is consistent with what I have seen with my other high-end GPS watches – though its overall ‘step count’ appears to be about 20% too generous (probably because you can’t customize your actual stride length). That said, if you are a serious, dedicated athlete training for competitions, marathons, triathlons, Ironman or the Olympics, this very well might be the perfect watch for you.


The Polar Vantage V has two very different personalities – a ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ watch!

When in training-mode it is superlative. Probably peerless. THE watch to have. Period.

But, when in pre-training mode, i.e., when you are not training, it is a pretty pedestrian watch! In pre-training mode it is a pretty basic, uninspiring watch that does not tell you much. That is the rub. Hence, the need for very careful consideration. When not in training-mode it is a very boring watch!


That Polar does not call it a ‘smart watch’ is no accidental, oversight. The Vantage V is not a smart watch even by 2017 standards – let alone those of 2018 or 2019.

In pre-training mode it is insipid! There are no customizable, third-party watch faces with ‘bells-and-whistles’, nor widgets or APPs. There is no ‘ABC’ (i.e., altitude, barometer, compass), weather, sunrise/sunset, temperature, calendar or smart notifications from your phone. And I won’t even mention maps, music or credit/debit card payments. Oh, it also does not count/report floors climbed (i.e., altitude changes) when in pre-training mode.

While it does measure sleep time, there is no analysis in terms of whether it was REM or Deep. That is frustrating since I am used to getting that from Garmin and Fitbit. It is possible that Polar might add this ‘deep analysis’, at a later date, with a firmware update.


I thought about this long and hard.

On a scale of 1-to-10 determine the role and importance of training/fitness in your life. If you rate training/fitness at 7.5 or less, the Polar Vantage V might not be the right watch for you. If on the other hand, training/fitness figures as an 8.5 or above, definitely think about getting the V V. It would be a marriage made in heaven.

Another way to approach this is to determine your ‘training’ vs. ‘pre-training’ ratio, in terms of waking hours. If the ratio is greater than 50:50, in favor of training, the Polar V V very well could be the watch of your dreams. If on the other hand, training only accounts for 20%, or less, of your waking hours, you might want to consider a different watch — i.e., the all-round Garmin Fenix 5 (Plus).


The Polar Vantage V is possibly the ultimate sport watch currently on the market for pro athletes. Therein, however, lies the rub. If you are not a pro athlete this might be overkill for you. Get the Fenix 5 instead and you will be very happy.

So, the choice is straightforward. If training/fitness is a dominant feature of your life check out the Polar. On the other hand your life is more balanced wear a Fenix 5 with PRIDE.


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by Anura Guruge

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus: ‘Auto Pause’ Messed Up My GPS + Glonass Distance By About 0.25 Mile!

by Anura Guruge


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Compare with map below. Same route.



Today for the first time I had ‘Auto Pause’ enabled on my Garmin Fenix 5 Plus. I went for one of my usual runs — with my two dogs (Golden & Harrier) who do like to stop OFTEN. So, yes, auto pause was kicking in and off — quite often.

This is a run I do, on average twice a week, and have done so for nearly a year. I have run it while wearing: Garmin Vivoactive 3, Fitbit Ionic, Garmin Fenix 5, Garmin Fenix 5 Plus & Polar Vantage V. So, I know what the distances are and do so across multiple watches. I also do this run most of the times with the dogs.

Thus, the only change today was ‘auto pause’. I get to the driveway of my friends’ — and you can see the little squille (top right) when I detoured to see them on a prior run. The GPS reading should have been around 1.6 miles. Today, it was not. Close to 1.5. That was wrong. I ran to my usual 1.75 point. It read 1.6! I ran further. This was further than I have ever run on this route before. I got to 1.65 miles. I gave up. Turned around. I knew I had done 1.75+ miles.

Came home. Didn’t make any detours. Straight back and you can see that. When I got home it read 3.53 miles!

Ah!

I had turned around 1.65 miles. 1.65 x 2 is 3.3 NOT 3.53.

So, obviously GPS was catching up on the way back.

NOT AMUSED. Turned auto pause off. Screw that for a game of checkers.


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by Anura Guruge

My ‘Garmin Fenix 5 Plus’ Is Back On My Wrist After A 11-Day Hiatus.

by Anura Guruge


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11-days ago when I strapped on a Polar Vantage V for evaluation.


I finished evaluating the Polar Vantage V. It is an exceptional RUNNING WATCH. So much real-time data when you are doing an activity. Meant for Pro-Athletes who spend many hours a day in strenuous training. The Polar Vantage V is OVERKILL for my hour-a-day of training.

I was sent the Polar for evaluation. I did write a 1,200-word review. So, I did my job.

Now back to my Garmin Fenix 5 Plus. It feels right. I am, by now, so used to Garmin. SMILE.


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by Anura Guruge

New Firmware For Polar Vantage V — v. 1.2.3 As Of November 8, 2018.

by Anura Guruge


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I got the download when I connected it to my Windows PC, via USB, to charge it up.

I can’t find anything about this update on the Web — BUT it is on my watch.

So, just wanted to give you a heads up.

Download and install was pretty fast. Had to restart the watch.


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by Anura Guruge

Fitbit Charge 3 Might Have A Synching Issue.

by Anura Guruge



I was sent a Fitbit Charge 3 for evaluation last week along with the Polar Vantage V.

I haven’t spent much time with the Charge 3 because I have had my hands full with the Polar Vantage V.

Did, however, pair it to an Android phone. Pairing worked fine. Then discovered that I can’t SYNC it!

So, removed it from the phone and paired it AGAIN. Still can’t synch.

A little bird has told me that this might be a KNOWN issue — at Fitbit!

I am a bit put out. I will, of course, keep you posted.

 


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by Anura Guruge

The Data You Get With A ‘Polar Vantage V’ On The Watch — Following An Activity.

by Anura Guruge


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I did my first activity, a run, with my new Polar Vantage V on Sunday morning — November 4, 2018.

It was one of my standard 3.5 mile runs, up a hill. I did take both my dogs with me which slows me down because they have to stop every few seconds! Honest.

At the end of the run all of these data screens were available by pushing the “OK” button and then scrolling through using the DOWN button. Pretty impressive. Overkill for I.

Just wanted to share them with you since this is still a new watch — that just became available last week.

GPS accuracy seems OK. The 3.5 miles was what I have got with my other watches. Heart rate also seems to be consistent with my expectations.


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by Anura Guruge

Setting Up A ‘Polar Vantage V’ On A Windows 7 PC With ‘Polar FlowSync’ App.

by Anura Guruge


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Polar gives you THREE options for setting up a new Vantage 5 Sports Watch:

  1. On a phone (iPhone or Android) with the ‘Polar Flow‘ App.
    ….
  2. On a computer (Windows or Mac) with the ‘Polar FlowSync‘ App.
    ….
  3. On the watch itself.
    ….

I had both Apps. loaded — on my Google Pixel 2 and my main Windows 7 Professional PC.

I opted to do the initial setup, USB-connected, on my PC because as Polar points out you can be charging the watch at the same time — and because I knew that the inevitable firmware upload that would be required would be quicker via USB. I was right.

When I had installed Polar FlowSync on Windows it claimed that it had downloaded and pre-installed the necessary USB driver. Nonetheless, when I plugged in the Vantage V Windows went through the process of looking for the requisite USB software online and installing it. Didn’t take too long and it installed, without issue, right-off-the-bat. That was good and reassuring. That said, the Vantage V does NOT show-up on my Windows USB-list. That means you can’t eject it. You just unplug it.

FlowSync had also installed without issue. I had invoked it before I plugged in the Vantage V. As soon as the USB software was activated it started to synch. It was pretty fast. Then, of course, as I had anticipated, it wanted to do a firmware update. Downloading that was pretty fast too. But, it failed to install the first time around. Suggested that I retry. I did. Installed fine the second time.

The watch was about 76% charged when I got it. To top it up to 100% took about 45 minutes.

But, overall, including that firmware install failure, it was fairly painless and fairly quick.

So, that was it. I now have the Vantage V on my wrist in place of my Garmin Fenix 5 Plus which is being temporary RESTED.


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by Anura Guruge

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