The Vantage V2 is Polar’s new flagship multisports GPS watch. It’s the successor to the original Vantage V and follows hot on the heels of the more outdoorsy Grit X.
As the most fully-featured watch in Polar’s line-up, it’s aimed squarely at serious performance chasers who run, bike and swim – or all three – and want deep-level fitness, training and recovery insights.
If you’re considering making the upgrade from the Vantage V to the Vantage V2, or you simply want to know whether the Polar V, V2 or the Grit X would make the best option, we’ve here to help make that decision easier for you.
We’ve tested and compared all three – from heart rate accuracy and battery life to design, durability and sports tracking smarts – and here’s everything you need to know before you invest in one of Polar’s top GPS trackers.
- Polar Vantage V2: £449
- Polar Vantage V: Under £350
- Polar Grit X: £379
When it comes to pricing, the Vantage V2 comes a touch more expensive than the V’s original price; although the V is now officially discontinued you will find it for around the £350 mark if you shop around online.
- Vantage V2 offers everything you find on the Grit X.
- Vantage V2 GPS battery life matches the 40-hour Grit X, also offers 100-hour low-power mode that’s missing on the Vantage V.
- Recovery Pro, running performance, cycling and leg recovery test only on V2.
- Music controls only available on the V2.
- Route planning and turn-by-turn navigation on available on all three.
- Weather missing on original V, now added to V2, also on Grit X.
- V2 is lightest at 52g vs Vantage V 66g and Grit X 64g
- Vantage V2 is pricier than V, and even more expensive than the Grit X.
The Polar Vantage V2
Polar Vantage V2 vs Vantage V vs Grit X: Design
The Vantage V2 looks a lot like the Vantage V but is slightly more refined with a sleek, almost-one-piece aluminium alloy and reinforced glass fibre polymer casing.
It’s 14g lighter than the first generation Vantage V, dropping from 66g down to 52g and is also 12g lighter than the Grit X. That makes it one of the lightest devices in the £400+ premium tier. Considerably less hefty than an 83g Garmin Fenix, for example.
It’s marginally more comfortable on the wrist for all-day wear than the V and the Grit X, thanks to a new smoother, swappable silicone strap. That makes it better for maximising its detailed 24-7 sleep and recovery tracking smarts.
If you want a more rugged-looking watch with outdoors styling, the Grit X is it. It’s not quite Garmin Fenix robust but it’s moving in that direction.
The V2 packs the same size 1.2-inch, 240 x 240 pixel colour touchscreen display as the original Vantage V and the Grit X, in a 47mm case that’s 1mm larger than its predecessor. Not that you notice.
The new Vantage V2 now comes with an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness to make the always-on screen easy to read in all light conditions. Neither the Vantage V or the Grit X have this and there are occasions when the screen is noticeably brighter.
The stiff, unresponsive buttons and a somewhat laggy touchscreen, we hated on the Vantage V have been fixed on the V2. The buttons now work well and the touchscreen, while not Apple Watch slick, is better.
These upgraded controls are a really crucial improvement and we’d put it marginally ahead of the Grit X too.
Polar Vantage V2 vs Vantage V vs Grit X: Features
When it comes to sports tracking, the Vantage V2 arguably now has more in common with the Grit X than the Vantage V. In fact they’re so similar, we’d question whether Polar really needed to launch two watches rather than one.
It comes with Hill Splitter, offering automatic splits and insights for climbs and descents; FuelWise endurance fuelling recommendations and Komoot-powered turn-by-turn navigation.
Like its predecessor, the Vantage V2 also comes with Polar’s most powerful recovery tool, Recovery Pro. But the new tests for running performance, cycling performance and leg recovery don’t appear on either the Vantage V or the Grit X. And Polar told us it has no plans to roll these out to those watches.
The original Vantage V
Beyond those key differences, the sports performance tracking is the same across all three watches. You can expect largely the same swim, bike and run features and metrics, including running power on the wrist, Training Load Pro, Running Index, VO2 Max estimates, Strava Live segments and fitness testing.
You also get Nightly Recharge, Sleep+ Stages tracking, FitSpark recovery-linked workout recommendations and Serene breathing exercises on all three.
Polar Vantage V2 vs Vantage V vs Grit X: GPS, maps and navigation
Satellite systems support is identical across all three with GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and QZSS, along with Assisted GPS, Polar’s method for getting a faster and more reliable first fix. In our tests there was nothing to choose between them.
You get a compass on the V2 and the Grit X, a barometer on all three and all three offer Komoot route planning and turn-by-turn navigation. You can also load routes from other sources via Polar Flow web tools and there’s Back To Start to help you retrace your steps.
In terms of GPS accuracy in full GPS mode, they all performed equally well. In low-power mode the Grit X was a closer match for a Stryd footpod and we had one marathon test where the V2 clocked an extra 7 miles against a Garmin Fenix in regular GPS mode.
That’s a lot and it definitely made us question the use of the low-power mode on the V2.
Vantage V / Vantage V2 / Grit X
Polar Vantage V2 vs Vantage V vs Grit X: Heart rate accuracy
When it comes to the accuracy for the Precision Prime optical heart rate technology, in our tests there was little to choose between them.
The Grit X and the V2 were prone to spikes and high reads against a H10, particularly during interval sessions. If you really want to make the most out of the training insights, you’ll need a chest strap and overall heart rate accuracy isn’t going to be a deciding factor on which you should buy.
Polar Vantage V2 vs Vantage V vs Grit X: Battery life
On paper, the Vantage V2 battery life is on a par with the Grit X. You get the same 40-hour full-GPS battery life as the original Vantage V but with the added ability to use low-power GPS settings to extend that up to 100 hours. Something you don’t get that on the original Vantage V.
However, our comparative tests raised some quite big question marks. The most general usage we squeezed out of the V2 was 5 days, compared to Vantage V that lasted 6 days with 6 hours running thrown in and the Grit X which lasted beyond the seven days smartwatch usage claimed by Polar.
The V2 only managed 25 hours runtime in full GPS – that’s in line with the V – whereas the Grit X got much closer to the stated 40 hours run time.
It was a bleaker picture in low-power mode, with the V2 and the Grit X a long way off that stated 100 hours. A 6.5 hour marathon drained the Vantage V2 battery by 22%, suggesting a low-power battery performance of around 35 hours.
In another test, the Grit X in low power mode, drained at roughly the same rate as the Vantage V in full GPS mode. So when it comes to battery life, the difference that extendable battery life makes on the Grit X and V2 isn’t quite as pronounced as you’d think.
Polar Grit X
Polar Vantage V2 vs Vantage V vs Grit X: Smartwatch skills
Smartwatch features aren’t Polar’s strongest point.
All three watches offer basic read-only smartphone notifications while both the Grit X and the V2 offer a 3-day weather forecast.
But only the Vantage V2 currently offers music controls that work for all the main media sources including Spotify and Deezer.
Verdict: Which Polar watch should I buy?
The Vantage V, Vantage V2 and the Grit X all offer good quality sports tracking. Choosing between them ultimately comes down to a few key factors.
Choose the Polar Vantage V2 if…
You want all the features Polar has to offer in a sleek, lightweight design. The V2 is undoubtedly a decent improvement on the first generation.
At full price, it’s a no brainer that this is the device you should invest in.
Choose the Polar Vantage V if…
If you can find the original V for a knock-down price – say sub-£350 – and you’re desperate to have Polar’s Recovery Pro tool.
The first-gen offers a lot of watch for your money if you can forgive some stiffer buttons and a few missing features.
Choose the Polar Grit X if…
The choice between the V2 and the Grit X is less clear cut. If you’re not too bothered by the new running and cycling performance and leg recovery tests, Recovery Pro and music controls, you can save yourself a bit of cash investing in the Grit X.
Though you’ll also have to want that slightly chunkier outdoors design.