The Lamen

The $600 Polar Vantage V3 is a whole bunch of firsts

A bar graph for the breast cancer rates among women of different ethnicities.

The Polar Vantage V3 is the company’s more-premium fitness smartwatch that does much more than navigating through runs. And it even does the navigation part better.

Photo: Polar

Published on Oct 13, 2023

The Polar Vantage V3 is chunkier and heavier than 2020’s Vantage V2, but it makes the most sense in Polar’s current lineup of “mainstream” multisport smartwatches.

The most notable new feature of the Vantage V3 is the addition of dual-frequency GPS and offline maps — probably for when runners and cyclists lose track of trails. The company claims that powering better navigation is a 129 percent faster CPU, making it the “most powerful Polar to date.

Underneath the brighter and sharper 1.39′ AMOLED display (which also functions as a flashlight) lies Polar’s new bio-sensing setup called the “Polar Elixir.” This includes the company’s “most advanced” heart rate sensor, a blood oxygen saturation monitor, a wrist-based ECG, and a skin temperature sensor.

The electrocardiogram — a first for any Polar device — requires you to place a finger on the upper left button for about 30 seconds.

Understanding the skin temperature sensors on smartwatches

The current class of skin temperature sensors on phones and smartwatches don’t simply give you a temperature reading — at least not in the conventional sense.

They measure temperature variability, or the fluctuations in skin temperature. Different algorithms then use this data for sleep stage detection or tracking menstrual cycles.

An illustration for the symptoms of workplace burnout.
A press image of the Polar Vantage V3.

The Polar Vantage 3 comes with a significantly brighter and sharper AMOLED display.

Photos: Polar

Offloading maps gives you two options: a “Basic” or “Detailed” configuration — the latter showing the names down to small trails and streams. While convenient, V3’s 32GB of storage can take quite a hit with the often over 5GB detailed map downloads.

  The best feature of the Polar Vantage V3 is its new maps

The 41 percent larger battery allows for “up to 140 hours of training on a single charge when in power saving mode,” claims Polar. The watch also works with standard wristbands without the use of adapters.

Polar wearables had previously been targeting serious athletes, but the company has since released more mainstream models — probably in response to the pandemic’s running boom. While welcomed additions, most of the features here aren’t anything we haven’t seen on other smartwatches, even the fitness-oriented ones. It’s just a bunch of Polar firsts.

The Polar Vantage V3 is available for pre-order for $599.95. It can also be bought with Polar’s H10 chest strap heart rate monitor for $649.95.