Fitness watch with GPS
Polar Vantage M2 Review: Love at Second Sight
By Sebastian Priggemeier
April 29, 2022, at 17.00
Anyone who runs regularly will at some point think of a gym. One option is the Polar Vantage M2, which showed marathon qualities in the test. Even away from the running track.
As they say, the first impression counts. Within seconds, people unconsciously form an opinion about everything and everyone. This is almost inevitable. And honestly: The first impression of Polar Vantage M2 was not ideal. Big, clumsy, stiff – this is how the fitness watch came to be when you first unpacked it and put it on. Very different from the Apple Watch, which otherwise has a fixed place on the tester’s left wrist. But as so often in life, it is worth looking into and focusing on the inner values. And they certainly convince with the Polar fitness watch.
Multisport watch with GPS and daily fitness tracking
According to the manufacturer Polar, the Vantage M2 should be an “all-round companion on the way to new records”. Especially for runners, but also for swimmers, cyclists and fitness guests who train with strength training. The waterproof multisports watch measures the wearer’s heart rate using optical sensors directly on the wrist, a heart rate belt is no longer absolutely necessary. But if you want to know exactly, you should still get yourself a heart rate monitor, because the optical heart rate measurement is not 100 percent accurate according to colleagues from Runner’s World.
On the other hand, the GPS technology used to measure the routes is very reliable. In the test, it took only two to three seconds before the GPS signal was established outdoors. Speed, distance traveled and heart rate are shown both on the watch’s display and in the Polar Flow app, which can be used to plan and analyze training in detail (training plans can also be accessed there for free).
Other features of the Vantage M2:
- Running index that estimates VO2max during running
- Personal training suggestions based on daily form and training history
- The interface for the smartwatch allows music control via the watch
- Nightly recharging of sleep tracking
- Weather forecast can be read on the display
- Guided breathing training program included
Polar Vantage M2 vs Apple Watch – win on points for Polar
Yes, the watch is visually not as sleek and sleek as its Apple counterpart. But with an online price of just under 230 euros, it is significantly cheaper than current smartwatch models from Cupertino. And: The battery performance of the Polar fitness watch is incredibly good compared to the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch needs to be connected once a day – and the Polar Vantage M2? In our everyday test, it only needed a new battery charge after 12 days, although it detected two jogging units, a city walk and two strength training units in the test phase and was used as a normal wristwatch in between. This was not expected in advance, for Polar indicates a battery life of up to 7 days (up to 40 hours in training mode with GPS). Scandinavian understatement?
This marathon battery performance is probably made possible by the screen’s low energy consumption, which is both a blessing and a curse. Anyone who normally wears the Apple Watch or other smartwatches is accustomed to bright, bright screens. The display on the Vantage M2 looks very dark in comparison, it reacts relatively sluggishly to tilt the wrist, and it reflects strongly. You have to get used to it. Or you can grab the new Polar watch, the Polar Pacer Pro, which has just hit the market and has a color display with improved lighting (with a similar battery life).
Return to the Vantage M2 screen. How was the second look? What initially seems clumsy turns out to be a clear advantage during training: Time, power ranges and heart rate are easy to read even at high training intensity because the display is so large. Not only that: The fiberglass-reinforced polymer housing with PMMA laminated glass is also easy to maintain. It can be easily cleaned under running water after training. It is strong.
Conclusion on Polar Vantage M2
Anyone looking for a reliable, unpretentious and robust training partner is well served with the Polar Vantage M2. Points are deducted for the slightly too dark display, but the battery’s internal values are convincing. For us, it was love at second sight. And it often lasts longer. If you prefer a bright smartwatch display when you run and in everyday life, you can use the new Polar Pacer Pro or Apple Watch 6 or Apple Watch 7, which won the test in the latest fitness watch comparison of Stiftung Warentest, but also costs almost 100 euros more than the competitors from Polar.