Polar announced two new workout trackers today: the more expensive Vantage V and the cheaper Vantage M companion. Lets start with the bigger, more expensive watch. The Vantage V costs $499.90 and includes a new optical heart rate sensor with nine LEDs along two different wavelengths (green and red). This, the company says, should make its heart rate readings more accurate. The biggest addition to the watch is its power measurements for running. This is a relatively new metric, but you might recognize it because of products like Stryd. It essentially measures a wearers work output, similar to how cyclists measure their watts generated. Runners likely will appreciate this for training purposes. It doesnt support LTE, although it does have a built-in GPS. It charges over a custom charger and should last for 40 hours of sports activity time, Polar says. Its also water and swim-proof. The watch features a 1.2-inch, 240 x 240 touchscreen thatll turn off once wearers enter their workout mode. Its available in white, black, and orange. The cheaper Vantage M costs $279.90 and features a lot of the same technology, except for the touchscreen and running power detection. Unlike on the Vantage V, you can actually change the bands on the Vantage M. The watch also doesnt include one of Polars signature software features, recovery mode, which analyzes wearers previous workouts to determine how long theyll need to recover. Both watches are available for preorder today through Polars website and will ship in October.
They also tout more accurate heart rates and measure your running power. Polar has a way to compete against ever more fitness-savvy smartwatches: offer exercise tracking that's difficult to match. It's launching two fitness watches, the Vantage V (above) and Vantage M (below), that promise more insights for particularly committed athletes. Both include a Training Load Pro system that melds cardiovascular, muscular and perceived loads into a single metric that gives you a sense of just how effective your workouts are. You'll have a better sense of whether you're overreaching or need to ramp up the intensity. The pro-oriented Vantage V adds a Recovery Pro system whose daily and long-term tracking help you understand when your body has had enough rest. The two watches also tout more more accurate heart rate monitoring that uses multi-layer optical sensing, electrodes and accelerometers to get both faster and more accurate heartbeat readings. Spring for the Vantage V and you'll also get running power data (a first on the wrist, Polar said) that helps you pour more work into every stride. Polar is taking pre-orders for the wristwear today, although you may need to brace your wallet for impact depending on what you're buying. The more mainstream Vantage M sells for $280, but the Vantage V will set you back $500 ($550 with an external heart rate monitor). The V's cost is easier to swallow if you're a serious competitor -- just know that it's likely overkill if you aren't chasing a place on the podium.