Likes & Dislikes: Polar Vantage V

As usual, this is not a review or recommendation. It’s simply an ongoing list of the features and capabilities that I like and dislike on the Polar Vantage V. Your mileage may vary…

What I like…

  • Physically, it’s definitely a high quality device. Comfortable with a nice display.
  • Great battery life.
  • As you see below, pool swimming is severely lacking. However, the optical heart rate actually seems to be pretty good.

What I Dislike…

  • Difficult to get activities from Polar Flow over to Garmin Connect. You can export the activity as a TCX file but you then have to delete a couple of blocks (Author and Creator) before Garmin Connect will accept it. And there’s no export for FIT files.
  • GPS accuracy seems to be hit-or-miss. There are folks that never seem to get a decent track while others are always spot-on. I’ve had missed results but, generally, I’ve found it be at least acceptable.
  • Difficult to get structured workouts from TrainingPeaks to device (nothing comparable to the TrainingPeaks Daily Workout CIQ app)
  • Although it’s a N=1 sample, pool swimming seems practically useless. Doing a 1500 meter workout (62 lengths), the watch registered about 450 meters (18 lengths). The watch does seem to automatically recognize when you stop and starts displaying a “rest time” but it’s not clear whether or not you should actually pause the activity or hit lap at the completion of each leg of your workout. I was going to create a structured swim workout and have it loaded in the watch but gave up once I realized I was going to have to convert each interval distance to miles. Entering 0.248 miles for a 400 meter swim interval is just nonsense. It’s as if the pool swimming activity was never reviewed by somebody who has actually trained as a swimmer.
  • Can’t set manual calibration for footpods (ie: Stryd). And although it does utilize the power data sent from the Stryd, none of the other running metrics are recorded.

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