Polar Vantage V & M Smartwatches Promise Smarter Fitness Tracking

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In short: Electronics manufacturer Polar on Thursday announced the Vantage V and Vantage M, its latest smartwatches designed for athletes which offer up to 40 hours of intensive training time, new heart rate monitoring technologies, and a wide variety of other features meant to deliver a premium fitness tracking experience. The Vantage V and Vantage M are now available for purchase in Europe, priced at the equivalent of around $580 and $300, respectively.

Background: The three main selling points of the Vantage M are Polar Precision Time heart monitoring solution, Training Load Pro service for quantifying one's training regimes and the manner in which they affect the body, and the Polar Running Program, a highly personalized solution meant to prepare its users for specific running events. The Vantage V tries to take things to the next level by being the world's first smartwatch capable of tracking one's running power without any extra sensors. Both devices can also track recovery times, allowing you to ensure you're in optimal shape before attempting to put your body under a major strain once again. The Vantage V can deliver 40 hours of usage time with full heart rate monitoring and GPS capabilities enabled, whereas the Vantage M allows for up to 30 hours of use under identical circumstances. The two wearables also ship with an improved Polar Flow for Coach app that now offers seasonal training calendars and better performance.

The impact: While a supporter of Wear OS, Polar is still pursuing smartwatches outside of Google's wearable ecosystem, with the Vantage V and Vantage M signaling that strategy isn't about to change anytime soon. The two new gadgets both appear to be targeting "elite runners," a demographic Polar often spoke about in the past, naming it as one of its core audiences it's adamant to continue serving in the long term. The company's latest releases likely mark its final 2018 products designed specifically for runners, with their successors not being expected to debut until CES 2019 at the earliest.

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