Now, I am certainly in the post-lockdown group who may have gained a few pounds over the past year or so and now trying to find a way to get back in my jeans, so when I learned that Polar has extended its wearable sports watch family by introducing the new Polar Grit X Pro, plus added design and feature updates to the Polar Vantage V2 and Polar Unite, it could not have come at a better time!
The original Polar Vantage V2, was launched last year and it aimed to help athletes reach their goals and improve performance thanks to data and personalised guidance based on the body’s signals. This simultaneous launch across the three different product categories highlighted the brand’s commitment to addressing athletes changing relationship with exercise and the outdoors as we move to live with, rather than under Covid-19. Through Polar products and services, the brand aims to encourage athletes to pursue true adventure after research revealed that exploring different spaces and doing a variety of sports brings significant health benefits.
The ethos of Polar is to give sports enthusiasts the tools they need to go wherever their heart takes them and the focus of the launch on 6 October was the latest additions to their Grit X, Vantage and Unite families: Polar Grit X Pro and Polar Grit X Pro Titan plus the newly updated Polar Vantage V2 SHIFT Edition, which I was lucky enough to get my hands on to see what it could do.
I have mainly been using it for swimming for which it has been great; the workout watch face can be customised to show distance, heart rate, calories burned and many more options. I used the default settings to start with, which helped me understand the software and create a more bespoke option for my next session.
You can set up the watch with your phone or computer using the Polar’s data software – Flow. I found the UX on the desktop version better, although I could do most things I needed to on my phone as well. I have been exploring the in depth data provided by Flow which has really helped me concentrate on my key areas when exercising.
The sleep data is also very good – not only does it detail the type of sleep I am getting, but the nightly recharge data allows you to see how well your body recovers after a day of exercise (or not!).
For the rest of the time the notifications is very useful and stops me checking my phone as often – which can only be a good thing. However, I do find myself having to manually connect the watch to my phone more regularly than with my old watch.
Overall, this is an excellent watch and I would recommend. You can certainly see how the research has been used to develop the software. They commissioned research which analysed the habits of over 10,000 athletes. It showed that the top 20% of users in 2021 who explored new spaces during exercise recorded several benefits when compared to those who were most likely to stick to familiar routes, they were:
- Sleep quality was rated 13% higher
- 16% more steps were taken daily
- A slightly lower heart rate was recorded on average during running exercises
That said, the number of individuals exploring new spaces decreased in 2021 when compared to 2019 as more people exercise in the same location.
“What we’ve found through our own data, is that people’s desire to learn about or discover new places and sporting experiences is in decline. Yet, what many don’t realize, is that going on adventures and trying different sports can have significant health benefits. Those who explored new spaces alone, recorded better sleep and a slightly lower heart rate compared to those who stick to familiar routes,”
Sander Werring, CEO of Polar Electro.
- OUTDOOR FEATURES – Always-on features including an altimeter; location coordinates, sunrise, sunset, twilight times and compass.
- NAVIGATION FEATURES – Plan out every up and down of a route using new route and elevation profiles, and navigate back to start using the new Track Back feature.
- HR SENSOR MODE – Use Polar Vantage V2 as a heart rate sensor to view heart rate data via BLE on gym equipment or mobile apps.
In addition, existing Polar Vantage V2 owners can upgrade their device into their own Polar Vantage V2 SHIFTTM Edition, using the SHIFTTM Edition bundle. This bundle includes the SHIFTTM Edition adapters and a choice of any 22mm Polar wrist band.
Polar Vantage V2 SHIFTTM Edition
Colorways: Silver and Black
Price: £489.00 via Polar.com