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Polar's newest GPS heart rate smartwatch lasts for 40 hours

The Vantage V and Vantage M want to be your marathon training buddies.

Lori Grunin/CNET

Most smartwatches don't last for more than a few hours of connected running with GPS. Dedicated GPS watches do much better. Polar's newest training watches could be ones to look for, based on their promised battery life alone: the new Vantage V lasts a whopping 40 hours with GPS and heart rate on, Polar says.

Both the Vantage V and the lower-end Vantage M have all-new heart rate sensors, using a green and red LED array and new metal contacts that use skin contact to help maintain heart-rate accuracy. Polar claims the improved sensors will work better across skin types, through hair and sweat, and even while swimming. The watch's heart-rate sensing isn't made to be EKG-accurate, but it's designed to work with multiple sports.

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The Vantage V has a touchscreen and physical buttons along with a fixed, bulky wrist strap for $500, while the $280 Vantage M has a more easily swappable strap and no touchscreen. The Vantage M's battery life while using GPS is 30 hours, but it's also significantly less expensive.


The Vantage V.

Lori Grunin/CNET

Polar's fitness platform has a few other features that trackers don't normally have. Trainers can use Polar's web tools and push customized workouts to Polar watch wearers, and a new Training Load Pro smart-coaching mode estimates cardio intensity and adjusts workouts to help prevent over- or undertraining.

It's definitely smartwatch and fitness tracker season. Stay tuned for impressions of the watches when they arrive in October.