Polar Vantage V3

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After the Polar Pace Pro, I honestly didn’t expect the Vantage series to be continued. But here it is: the third version of Polar’s premium running watch.

Anzeige: The manufacturer provided me with the product for this review at my request. This had no influence on the content of my test report. The article is freely written and exclusively reflects my personal experiences.

First Impression

The watch is immediately recognisable as a member of the Vantage series: the high-quality aluminium case and the striking red pushers are instantly familiar.

The most obvious change is the new strap connector: the Vantage V3 now fits all standard straps with a width of 22 millimetres. Polar is thus saying goodbye to proprietary straps and also to the intermediate adapter step of the Vantage V2 Shift Edition.

I also immediately notice changes to the optical sensor: Polar seems to have optimised this.

When switching on, however, it is very clear what the highlight of the watch is: a bright AMOLED display awaits me under the Gorilla glass, which extends to the curved edge of the glass.

What’s new?

Polar has really updated the Vantage V3 in many areas. The most outstanding feature is certainly the new offline mapping function. Together with the AMOLED display, this really makes a big difference to other watches from Polar. Both features can now also be found in the flagship products of the competition, so Polar is now catching up.

In addition to the new strap connection, other innovations can only be found inside the housing: the optical sensor has been updated and is now of the fourth generation. It now also offers the option of measuring the blood oxygen saturation level.

Another new feature is the ability to measure skin temperature or record an ECG. This works without a chest strap and can also be used for the orthostatic test.

And last but not least, there is also an update for GPS recording: the Polar Vantage V3 now supports positioning via multi-band / dual-frequency GPS.



Polar is unfortunately not known for particularly bright displays. But this has now changed fundamentally with the Vantage V3: the AMOLED display is really bright, high-resolution and very easy to read.

It’s simply fun to look at – whether you’re doing sport or in everyday life. To compensate for the higher battery consumption of this display technology, the display of course always switches to dark when it is not in use.

However, a twist of the wrist reliably wakes the watch up again. You can also specify how long the display should remain active or even whether it should always be on – a function that none of the competitors have!


The days of breadcrumb navigation finally seem to be over. Anyone who has ever followed a route pre-planned on a computer in an unfamiliar area will really appreciate the map display.

Polar offers this really useful function for the first time with the Vantage V3. You simply load the map material of the desired region onto the watch and can then use it offline.

The maps come in two levels of detail and either only show streets and buildings or also provide topographical information such as contour lines. Unfortunately, the watch does not support routing or even re-routing. So you have to plan the route in advance and load the track onto the watch.


In my opinion, all watches are now doing pretty well when it comes to GPS positioning. Polar wasn’t always the front runner in this field, but with multi-band / dual-frequency in the Vantage V3 it has caught up noticeably in my test runs.

In direct comparison with my Suunto and Garmin watches, the Polar has always proved to be on a par – even in notoriously tricky situations.

Wrist Power

Thanks to the improved GPS performance, the (partly GPS-based) measurement of power on the wrist has also become more reliable.

Due to the different calculation methods, the Polar values are significantly higher than those of the Stryd – but they are very constant. You can work well with this.

Operation / Performance

This is perhaps a somewhat unusual criterion, but I found the operation of the Vantage V3 to be particularly responsive. There were no delays or hangs at any point – not even when switching and operating complex functions such as the map view.

According to the data sheet, Polar has installed a much more powerful processor here, which hopefully, in addition to smooth operation, also provides a certain future-proofing of the platform – for example, for updates or the expansion of functions (routing?) via the firmware.



Measuring my heart rate variability in the morning has been part of my routine for years. With Nightly Recharge and Recovery Pro, Polar offers very good and useful functions. And I had hoped that the ECG function would add a new dimension.

Unfortunately, however, progress has been very limited. You can now do the orthostatic test without the chest strap, which makes it much easier to use immediately after waking up. At the same time, I would not trade the proven accuracy and reliability of the chest strap for an optical measurement.

The actual ECG measurement, on the other hand, remains a gimmick because the values are only displayed on the watch and no trends can be tracked. In my view, this is a missed opportunity.

Battery Life

If you value a particularly long battery life, you shouldn’t go for an AMOLED watch. Although I didn’t have to plug the Vantage V3 into the charging cable every few days, I did have to do so more frequently than with the previous model.

However, this seems to be mainly due to everyday use, which certainly results in significantly more display time. In pure sports mode, the Polar has nothing to hide from its competitors: over 60 hours are promised in GPS mode, which is around twice as much as a Garmin Forerunner 965, for example, which also has an AMOLED display.


Polar Vantage V3
The best Polar watch!
With the Vantage V3, Polar has clearly released its best watch to date and has at least equalled its competitors in many important functions.

And I haven't even mentioned the Polar Flow platform, or the various recovery metrics, sleep tracking, cardio load... In my opinion, Polar still offers the most sophisticated and proven overall package.
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Hi! It’s me, the Harlerunner.

This is where Thomas Pier writes about running and (much more than just the necessary) equipment. I don't run particularly fast or far. But I like to share my experiences as an ambitious recreational runner, curious early-adopter and as my own trainer.

I am happy about every digital contacting - but even more so about every kilometer run together.

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