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The Polar Vantage V3 is a really likeable sports watch that finally brings the Polar flagship more in line with the competition and addresses some of the biggest gripes with its software.


  • Welcome addition of colour display
  • Smooth running software
  • Good all-round sports tracking


  • Not the best smartwatch/sports watch hybrid available
  • Heart rate tracking still not flawless
  • Odd connection quirks

Key Features

  • Heart rate, blood oxygen and skin temperature trackingPacks all of the required sensors to monitor your heart rate, blood oxygen and skin temperature from your wrist.
  • AMOLED touchscreen displayCapable of vivid colours and deep blacks thanks to the AMOLED screen technology.
  • Up to 12 days battery lifeCan last up to 12 days with general use, and 61 hours of GPS tracking.


The Polar Vantage V3 sees Polar embrace colour for its latest multisports watch, as it plays catch up with Garmin who’s been rolling out the AMOLED sports watches recently.

Adding a splash of colour isn’t the only way Polar is trying to avert your eyes away from watches like the Forerunner 965 (£599.99/$599.99) and the new Suunto Race (£389/$449). It’s now added its own mapping support, introduced a new sensor setup that can track more than just heart rate, and is also promising to track your indoor and outdoor workouts in a more reliable fashion.

The last few Vantage watches have been solid performers and the V3 on paper is a bit of a tracking powerhouse. I’ve been testing the Polar Vantage V3 over a month to find out if this is a great multisports watch to own. Here’s my verdict.

Design and screen

  • Comes in three colour options
  • Weighs 57g
  • Good quality AMOLED screen

The Polar Vantage V3 is a fully round watch that measures in at 14.5mm thick and comes in just the one 47mm size, so that’s the same case size you’ll find on the Garmin Fenix 7.

It does come in three colour options, so you’ve got your pick of night black (which I tested), sky blue and sunrise apricot.

Polar Vantage V3 viewed from side
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It’s not an overly thick watch and at 57g doesn’t weigh heavy either. There’s nothing particularly standout about the look of the Polar Vantage V3, but it’s a pretty streamlined, sleek-looking sports watch that overall I’ve really enjoyed wearing.

There’s five physical buttons in total, all with a nice textured finish and Polar has moved from a 1.2-inch, always-on colour touch display to a larger, 1.39-inch, 454 x 454 resolution AMOLED one.

The Vantage V2’s screen also offered a splash of colour, but this is a step up in pretty much every way. It’s a high quality screen that I’ve had no problems viewing my stats on, and you do have the option to keep that screen on at all times.

Polar Vantage V3 clockPolar Vantage V3 watch displaying heart rate monitor LEDs.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

That case is attached to a silicone strap that is removable and does have a good-sized watch buckle to make sure it stays put. I’ve found the strap did initially pull at the hairs on my wrist, but that seems to have subsided over longer term use.

In the box, Polar includes a pretty dinky charging cable that clips onto the bottom of the case. It doesn’t clamp especially tight to the watch and it does mean adding another proprietary cable to your life.

Software and smartwatch features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • CPU boost from Vantage V2
  • Good music playback controls

Polar’s software, and creating more of a smartwatch feel with that software, has come a long way over the last few years.

Polar Vantage V3 fueling
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

While Polar doesn’t throw as many features at you in this department as Apple or Garmin, what it does is try to improve the simpler experience in the right way.

That starts with the more noticeable zip you get swiping and tapping around the watch UI. The lag of previous watches seems to be a thing of the past. You’ve got nice, big watch widgets to show off your stats and they are elevated by that AMOLED display.

Polar Vantage V3 notification
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Polar will display notifications from both Android phones and iPhones, you just can’t act on them. There’s a dedicated screen for controlling music playing on your phone and that works with native and third party apps like Spotify. They work well and while the notification support is basic, it works well enough.

If you like watch faces, there’s a few to pick from here that are customisable, but the collection to choose from isn’t massively extensive.

Polar Vantage V3 playing Spotify
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Unfortunately, the V3 has the odd quirk of disconnecting itself from my phone during the day. I’m not sure this is done as a measure to boost battery, but if you’re relying on features like weather updates throughout the day, it’s not exactly ideal.

I can deal with there not being loads of smartwatch features if what does make the cut works, and you can definitely say that here on the Vantage V3.

Fitness tracking

  • Added offline maps
  • Dual-frequency GPS delivers accuracy boost
  • New Elixr sensor doesn’t bring heart rate improvements

Polar’s credentials to make great multisports watches has never been in doubt, and whether I’ve run, gone for a swim or hit the gym, the Polar Vantage V2 has held up well. The problem is that Polar had to deal with the fact that its biggest rival was offering a better all-round package.

Things feel different on the Vantage V3, and while it’s not perfect, there’s definitely reasons to be cheerful about what Polar offers here.

Polar Vantage V3 running stats
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

I’ll start with the good and that’s the addition of a new dual-frequency GPS mode to bring Polar in line with the competition, as far as tapping into new technology designed to give outdoor workout tracking a big accuracy boost.

I’ve used this dual-band mode across a host of other watches from Apple to Suunto and this is a good example of seeking to boost accuracy when you’re near tall buildings or in built-up, wooded areas that can impact on grabbing a reliable signal. It’s not the best version I’ve used, but it’s not far off what I’ve experienced with Apple and Garmin on this front. It’s a step in the right direction.

Another big plus is mapping. Previously, Polar relied on third-party apps to offer the ability to follow maps on the watch. The problem is you had to pay for complete access. Now Polar offers its own mapping support, which frustratingly can only be synced over from the Polar Flow web and desktop app. There’s no native point-to-point navigation here either, but the addition of maps in general puts it more in line with Garmin’s mapping support and it’s another smart move from Polar – if not a move they should’ve made a long time ago.

Polar Vantage V3 mapping
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Polar’s ability to track your daily activity might not be a huge reason to grab it, though its sleep tracking skills are arguably more reliable than its rivals.

It captures a lot of sleep metrics, including its own nightly recharge measurements to let you know how well recovered you are from the previous day. I’ve been using it alongside an Oura Ring Gen 3 smart ring and found the core sleep data to be nicely in line on most days.

Then we get to the not so great, and I’ll start with Polar’s new Elixir sensor, which can track heart rate, blood oxygen, skin temperature plus there’s also an ECG sensor to take on the spot ECG measurements when holding the top-left button.

Polar Vantage V3 ECG
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

During exercise I’ve found heart rate performance not that different from Polar’s previous sensor setup on the Vantage V2. I’ve used it against watches paired with Polar’s own H10 heart rate chest strap monitor and Garmin’s HRM Pro+ chest strap and generally found that heart rate graphs didn’t typically match even when not tackling high intensity-style exercise sessions. It wasn’t terrible, but it also didn’t feel like a huge step up on previous watches.

Those additional metrics Polar now offers aren’t designed for medical use and are there to fuel insights, particularly around recovery and making sure you’re in good shape to train. That adds to Polar’s already pretty impressive suite of training and analysis insights that offer something for newcomers and loyal Polar fans. So something like FitSpark, which suggests workouts based on your workout history, is a great feature for beginners. Polar’s Training Load and Recovery Pro insights let you delve a little deeper for those that take their training on a more hardcore level.

Battery life

  • Up to 12 days
  • Less than 5 days in always-on mode
  • 61 hours GPS battery life

The battery life on the Polar Vantage V3 is very good when you’re using it without the screen set to always-on mode.

Polar states that the Vantage V3 can run for 12 days and offer 61 hours of GPS tracking. If you do enable the always-on mode, that’ll drop from 12 days to less than 5 days depending on the level of tracking you do during that time.

Polar Vantage V3 rear

I’ve used it with a mix of keeping the screen off 24/7 and turning it on, and the battery life in general is pretty solid. I got a week relying on using the not so great raise to wake support, and it was less than a week when you go all in. 

Basically, if you’re willing to sacrifice being able to stare at the screen all the time, the Polar Vantage V3 definitely offers an improvement on battery from the V2, even with that colour display now in play.

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Should you buy it?

You want a feature-packed, multisports AMOLED watch

The Polar Vantage V3 offers overall a great tracking experience and brings AMOLED and a performance boost to make it more desirable than previous Polar watches

You want the best smartwatch features on a sports watch

While the Polar’s smartwatch powers are certainly improving, it’s still no match for Garmin on this front if you care about features like music, payments and having access to an app store.

Final Thoughts

The Polar Vantage V3 is Polar’s most likeable watch to date and it’s not just because it’s got an AMOLED screen now. The performance is there too, in most departments, and the software both in looks and performance is where it’s needed to be for a while.

The obvious competition is the Garmin Forerunner 965, which is the same price as the V3 in the US and is cheaper in the UK. The 965 will give you more in the way of smartwatch features, however. There’s also the Suunto Race, which is another premium multisports watch that comes in less, but its software isn’t quite up to scratch as Polar’s. 

If you’re looking for a high-end, multisports watch that runs slick, delivers a good performance on most fronts and a rich array of tracking and training features, then the Polar Vantage V3 is well worth checking out. Check out our Best Running Watch guide for more options.

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How we test

We thoroughly test every smartwatch we review. We use industry-standard testing to compare features properly and we use the watch as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Worn as our main watch during the testing period

Thorough health and fitness tracking testing


Does the Polar Vantage V3 have maps?

Yes, the Polar Vantage V3 does offer free offline maps, which can be downloaded from the Polar Flow web app.

Does the Polar Vantage V3 play music?

No, the Polar Vantage V3 doesn’t let you play music but will let you control music playing from your phone.

Full specs

Screen Size
IP rating
Size (Dimensions)
Release Date
First Reviewed Date

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