Reviews

Polar Vantage V2 heart rate accuracy – GadFit Singapore

November 17, 2020

While I have given due attention to the Leg recovery test and Running performance test the past 2 weeks, the more crucial benchmarks of any performance wearables is the accuracy of the heart rate monitoring sensors. Specifically, Polar Vantage V2 heart rate accuracy.

polar vantage v2 heart rate sensors

Polar has hedged heavily on their Precision Prime sensors and rightly so. The measurements will go on to feed crucial data for cardio load pro, nightly recharge, fitspark, and even leg recovery test to a certain extent. Compared to the competition like Apple or Garmin, Polar has stuck to its guns and modeled their wearables for performance use.

Having used the watch for nearly a month now in sunny Singapore where it can be rainy and sunny on the same day, I like to think I have gotten a decent grasp of the Polar Vantage V2’s heart rate performance in our humid climate.

I did 3 types of activities which I believe most people who run will do.

Outdoor runs, intervals, and strength workouts.

You can read the first generation Precision Prime sensor’s white papers here. The benchmark for comparison was a Polar H10 which will be used for my comparison tests as well.

And here are the results of three separate outdoor runs.

  • polar vantage v2 heart rate accuracy 1
  • polar vantage v2 heart rate accuracy 2
  • polar vantage v2 heart rate accuracy 3

Not too bad for outdoors run though I did notice that the Polar Vantage V2 heart rate graph tend to exhibit HR spikes periodically, especially in the higher heart rate range. This is a common occurrence.

Next, we have the outdoors hill intervals where I would tackle a 300m, 18m elevation upslope repeatedly.

polar vantage v2 heart rate accuracy 4

Again, you observe the tiny HR spikes recorded by the Polar Vantage V2 versus the smooth blue graph recorded by the H10. The result isn’t bad but for a $499.95USD piece of wearable, I expected more.

This is not once-off and I have observed these spikes on other hills intervals runs which I have posted below. I wasn’t wearing a chest strap but the spikes are easily observed at the HR peaks.

Lastly, this is the strength workout which consists of 3 circuits of bicep curls, Romanian deadlifts, push ups, reverse lunges. In that order, with about 2 mins rest in between.

I usually have good experiences with lightweight wearables so I was surprised this time round to see those iffy HR spikes whenever I review my data after training. I can’t say I am impressed.

I’ll continue to update with more chest strap versus Polar Vantage V2 comparisons in the next few weeks and replace the screen grabs I posted above.

4 Comments

  • Reply tfk, the5krunner November 17, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    hey, nice charts. I think what you are showing there is pretty good performance for oHR. Many other people get WAY worse than that from various bits of oHR tech. I’m coming round to think that hot weather helps blood flow and then helps oHR. Have you ever tried V2 in colder climes than Singapore?

    watch out: if you have ever paired your H10 to the V2 then the V2 will automatically re-pair it on each synchronisation. for HR testing that can be bad news. solution: manually unpair it before each test.grrr. #sigh

    • Reply Michael S November 18, 2020 at 12:47 pm

      Hi tfk, thanks for dropping in. Like you pointed out, hot weather does help with the optical HR sensor readings, unlike colder countries. As such, I expected more from the V2 since those readings feed into the core performance readings which is what supposedly separates Polar from the competition.

      As for the appearance of the H10, this appears if the watch was synced to a computer instead of just the mobile device; the list of synced equipment will re-populate even if it was manually removed. This is a bug.

  • Reply roman November 18, 2020 at 4:39 am

    Thx for testing. And also thx for testing further. There are reviews at YouTube, where reviewers (fit gears hunter) find out that the V2 Heart Sensor struggles and get real problems after 4-5 weeks of using.

    • Reply Michael S November 18, 2020 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Roman,

      Thank you for reading the full post. It’s strange that if there are problems, it only appears after 4-5 weeks of use. Very strange indeed.

      I have seen the fit gear hunter reviews you listed. The reviewer was engaged in crossfit/ strength training/HIIT type of activities so a chest strap HR belt may be more accurate in those instances given the limits of optical HR sensors.

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