Unbiased Review of the Polar Vantage V3: A Versatile Smartwatch for Every Sports Enthusiast

The Polar Vantage V3 smartwatch entered the market this year as the successor of the highly-regarded Polar Vantage V2. In an effort to enhance the limitations of the V2, the brand new V3 has introduced features, such as maps and nightly skin temperature sensing, to enhance functionality and track more aspects of your day-to-day health. 

The same can be said for many of our top smartwatches for cycling list, but it’s crucial to remember that they aren’t exclusively designed just for riding a bike. This is precisely why I tested the V3 in the gym, while walking, and during running sessions – in addition to when riding my bike, to form a comprehensive opinion. 

According to Polar, the watch comes “with an ensemble of biosensing instruments, AMOLED display, dual-frequency GPS, maps, and the most comprehensive suite of training and recovery tools on the market. Vantage V3 is the most powerful Polar to date.” So without further ado, let’s see if it lived up to the hype.

The Construction of Polar Vantage V3

Female cyclist holding the Polar Vantage V3 smartwatch

(Image credit: Charlotte Broughton)

Inside the package, you’ll find the Polar Vantage V3 smartwatch (47 x 50.8 x 14.5 mm), Polar Silicone Wristband 22 mm (plus a shorter wristband for those with smaller wrists), and a Polar Charge 2.0 USB-C. Not to mention the instructions, which I would strongly recommend reading. 

Right out of the box, the display was the first element of the watch that really caught my attention: the face is nice and wide (1.39in/35.3mm ) and the AMOLED display is very bright. As someone who wears glasses, I found it to be really easy to read straight away.

The watch itself feels like a solid piece of equipment. The screen is made from Gorilla Glass with the bezel material being ‘aerospace’ aluminium. The minimum and maximum temperatures for the watch are -20°C – 50°C / -4°F – 122°F and is water resistant down to a depth of 50 metres – making it a great option for swimmers and scuba divers. 

Female cyclist holding the Polar Vantage V3 smartwatch

(Image credit: Charlotte Broughton)

Altogether, this watch weighs in at 57g compared to the V2’s 52g – which is a weight increase, but then the V3 surpasses the V2 in all aspects except for water resistance. The V2 was rated for a depth of down to 100m and, as mentioned, the V3 is capable of half that. Nevertheless, for the vast majority of people, that trade-off won’t be an issue – and it certainly wasn’t for me.

Polar Vantage V3: The Experience

Set up

During set up, I had to create a Polar Flow account to connect the watch to the app on my phone, which was straightforward enough. However, the app wasn’t as user-friendly at first and I ended up watching some tutorials on how to perform certain tasks. But after a few navigations, setting up certain features and linking to my Training Peaks and Strava was easy. 

The set-up process was relatively simple and the package comes with instructions on exactly how to do it, which I found helpful – especially as someone not accustomed to Polar smartwatches. 

During set up, I appreciated the variety of layouts and colors that I could choose from for the main display. I felt that there was a decent range of choices to suit any individual’s needs or preferences. 

While setting up the V3, I also noticed the number of functions that I could swipe through from the home screen. This included my activity % with steps, my training recorded that week, sleep information, nightly skin temperature, cardioload status, training suggestions for the day, navigation, dawn-dusk timings, weather, and music controls.

All in all, the set-up was pretty straightforward and I didn’t encounter any major issues in doing so. This is mostly due to following the instructions provided and doing my own research if I got a little stuck or was unsure: which is mainly due to not being used to Polar watches.

Use during training

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