The Polar Vantage M2 is a more accessible multisport watch that delivers training and recovery data without overwhelming users — or their wallets.
This update to the lightweight Vantage M watch is for runners and athletes who want to better track their workouts, sleep, and recovery to gain insight into their performance.
Last year, Vantage M users benefited from some of the firmware updates to the Polar Flow programs. These new enhancements paved the way for the updated Vantage V2 model, which has always been the more feature-rich version of the two models.
Now, it’s the Vantage M2’s turn for more benefits, including access to new training programs and metrics, a crisper display, a stronger case, and improved battery life.
Polar Vantage M2: What’s New?
- Longer battery life
- Sleep monitoring with sleep stages
- Access to Polar Flow for test results to track and plan training
- FuelWise function estimates calorie intake needed
- Music playlist navigation and volume controls
- Customizable watch faces
We’ve mentioned that the watch displays important information, like heart rate and pace, during an activity. To compare your recent workout with past efforts and fully assess your performance data, you’ll want to use the companion Polar Flow app or website.
There are custom displays for the watch when not it’s not recording an activity. These displays can range from a traditional watch-hands display to one that shows the time, date, and your current heart rate. From there, you can swipe screens to see summaries of your sleep, weather forecasts, and whether you’ve recovered since the last workout.
The Running Program uses GPS tracking and heart-rate monitoring to provide time, pace, and threshold zone workouts. From there, the Polar Flow app can guide you toward the next workout as part of a larger training program.
Restful sleep remains the best recovery tool, and the Nightly Recharge function and related Sleep Plus Stages evaluate how long you slept and what kinds of sleep you got (deep, REM, etc.) and present that in a streamlined sleep “score” for a quick read. This can help you detect sleep interruptions that you might not remember and provide insight into how well your recovery is going.
Additionally, there’s FuelWise, which estimates the carbs needed for specific efforts to keep you from running out of gas during a workout.
How It Differs From the Vantage V2
The Vantage M2 has most of the same multisport training features as the flagship Vantage V2. It’s actually easier to point out what Polar left off from its bells-and-whistles model to express the return on investment at play in the Vantage M2.
Polar uses a barometer and compass for wrist-based tracking in the Vantage V2 to provide power metrics for runners, triathletes, and cyclists (if they use a power meter). The Vantage M2 forgoes the barometer and compass hardware as a means to cut the cost — and some weight. Even then, the Vantage M2 can provide power metrics by using a separate sensor.
The performance tracking, training load, and long-term recovery functions are absent, as are the benchmark tests (leg recovery, cycling, and running). Otherwise, the Vantage M2 offers the same training program and sleep tracking features in a lighter and more affordable package. (There’s even an extra watchband included.) You can compare the Polar models here.
Polar Vantage M2 Specs & Price
- Body: Stainless steel
- Battery life: 30 hours of continuous tracking and GPS in training mode
- Power save battery life: 100 hours
- Watch-only mode: 7 days
- Weight: 45 g
- Price: $300
Vantage M2 Fitness Watch: Who It’s For
The Vantage M2 offers new users the latest in GPS-based multisport watch with sleep monitoring. It’s also an upgrade for anyone already using the first Vantage M or earlier Polar sport watches. By releasing this model after the more tech-heavy Vantage V2, it inherits many of the same performance functions, the same display, and much more battery life than its previous model.
Polar adds the Vantage M2 to its suite of watches using the latest from Polar Flow at a lower price point. Hikers and athletes at elevation should also look at the Grit X, and, noted above, cardio junkies who want the most informed feedback may find the Vantage V2 more to their liking.
For $300, the Vantage M2 is a lightweight, data-rich fitness watch with everyday style. First-time smartwatch owners will find plenty of useful feedback among the different training functions like the Running Program.