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Which sports watch to buy??


Henley 1

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OK, I realise this is a massive question, so zooming in on my specific needs:

I need a swim and bike and run facility (separate is ok). Bought a Garmin FR 910XT in 2012, to be replaced in 2015. Got used to its ways and can live with the shortcomings (meaningless open water readings, issues with HRM, ….)

I do not need “the best”, just what can optimally provide for my training and racing needs

Wot you sink?

 

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Depends what your racing is?  Look at battery life with regard to a watch, especially if you are doing endurance events/races as you don't want the watch dying on you.

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Got this one just before xmas, its growing on me.

 

Super battery life! Polar planning lots of new features via firmware updates. So far a solid choice.

 

Could not justify the extra to buy the V.

 

https://www.polar.com/za/vantage/m

 

https://www.sportsmanswarehouse.co.za/product/polar-vantage-m/5923

 

Product Information

Challenge your limits with Polar Vantage M, an all-round multisport & running GPS watch for anyone who loves setting new records. This slim and lightweight training companion provides you with all the data you need to improve your performance.

 

  • Battery Life: Up to 30 hrs in Training Mode (GPS and Wrist-Based Heart Rate).
  • Display: Always on Color Display
  • Screen: Size 1.2", Resolution 240 x 240.
  • GPS: Integrated GPS & GLONASS, assisted GPS for fast fix times.
  • Weight: 45g
  • Swimming Metrics: Polar Vantage M automatically detects your heart rate, swimming style, distance, pace, strokes in open water and pool swimming .
  • 24/7 Activity Tracking
  • Sport Profiles: Polar Vantage M supports over 130 different sports.
  • Smart Calories: Know exactly how many calories you have burned based on your weight, height, age, gender, your individual maximum heart rate (HRmax) .
  • Running Index: Find out your running VO2max and follow how your running performance is developing.
  • Sleep Plus: Polar Sleep Plus automatically detects the timing, amount, and quality of your sleep.
  • Running Program: Get a personal and adaptive training plan that fits you and your goals.
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth Low Energy. Custom USB cable for charging and data synchronization.
  • Sensors: Compatible with all Polar Sensors.(Cadence Sensor, Speed Sensor, Stride Sensor)
  • In the Box: Polar Vantage M Multisport Watch, Charging cable, Polar Vantage M user manual.
Edited by jlrscott
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I would love to get the new Garmin Instinct, only catches is that it's not the proper multi-sport (when you can do one activity and switch between bike/swim/run), not that it bothers me. Other shortcoming is no cycling power meter support, again not going to get anything like this soon.

 

Problem is that it's R6200 and I regularly see Fenix 5 for R7000. If the instinct was closer to R5000 it would be easier to justify (but then again, there may be some specials coming up when most retailers starts stocking it)

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Henley if you are into Tri-athlons or Ironman the list of watches becomes very short .... especially if you are looking at something with more than 12 hours of battery life !!

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Henley if you are into Tri-athlons or Ironman the list of watches becomes very short .... especially if you are looking at something with more than 12 hours of battery life !!

There is  a way around that with the Fenix  watches.Go to settings scroll to USB mode-change from mass storage to Garmin. You can now charge the watch without stopping the activity. You could charge it on the bike ride.

Edited by Starvin' Marvin
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I use Polar V800. Good battery life of around 30 days including frequent use when new. Now that mine is a few years old, I need to fully charge weekly at least. What I have noticed though, today again, is that the barometric altimeter does not seem to be working all that precise anymore on mine. As I was ascending to the Hillcrest Mast, even though at one stage I was going down a slight decline, it kept increasing the elevation gained. And when I stopped briefly, it still kept ascending. Ultimately I ended up 200 odd meters higher than the actual altitude at the top? I am not sure if this is software or hardware related.

 

My 2 cents for what its worth.

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I would personally stick with the 910xt. For open water swimming place your watch underneath swim cap for consistant gps signal.

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<p>

 

Got this one just before xmas, its growing on me.

 

Do you know if The M model he getting Live Segments?

 

Also, why do you say it is growing on you? Did you not enjoy something about it at first?

 

Agree on the V price.... Heft. Likely rather get a Phoenix at those prices.

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I hesitated on buying the previous Fenix 5X from takealot for 8500 amd now its sold out. The new 5 plus series is overpriced. I am most likely gna buy the new Garmin Instinct. Military standard, shockproof, rugged, 14days in smartwatch mode, 18hrs in gps mode. Punted as an older Fenix 5X in polycarbonate case. No music or Garmin pay though. Price is basically 6200 at all retailers.

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I hesitated on buying the previous Fenix 5X from takealot for 8500 amd now its sold out. The new 5 plus series is overpriced. I am most likely gna buy the new Garmin Instinct. Military standard, shockproof, rugged, 14days in smartwatch mode, 18hrs in gps mode. Punted as an older Fenix 5X in polycarbonate case. No music or Garmin pay though. Price is basically 6200 at all retailers.

Good reviews from DC Rainmaker, Desfit and Rizknows.

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I hesitated on buying the previous Fenix 5X from takealot for 8500 amd now its sold out. The new 5 plus series is overpriced. I am most likely gna buy the new Garmin Instinct. Military standard, shockproof, rugged, 14days in smartwatch mode, 18hrs in gps mode. Punted as an older Fenix 5X in polycarbonate case. No music or Garmin pay though. Price is basically 6200 at all retailers.

Problem with the Instinct is no power meter recording function.

 

For the same price is the Garmin 735XT and will do for most people as a multi-function sports watch unless you need the extra battery life for a full Ironman, Comrades or some of the ultra trail runs like Sky Run, then I would consider the 935XT of Fenix 5.  

 

I agree that the Fenix 5 plus seems over priced as much as I would like to upgrade my Fenix 5 to the plus.

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Problem with the Instinct is no power meter recording function.

 

For the same price is the Garmin 735XT and will do for most people as a multi-function sports watch unless you need the extra battery life for a full Ironman, Comrades or some of the ultra trail runs like Sky Run, then I would consider the 935XT of Fenix 5.

 

I agree that the Fenix 5 plus seems over priced as much as I would like to upgrade my Fenix 5 to the plus.

The titanium 5 plus seems like good option. I suppose the pulse oximetry on 5X is something only high altitude climbers would use. Best price for 5X and ti plus is Cape Union Mart at 14k currently and you get ebucks.

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Do you know if The M model he getting Live Segments?

 

Also, why do you say it is growing on you? Did you not enjoy something about it at first?

 

Agree on the V price.... Heft. Likely rather get a Phoenix at those prices.

Yes according to website will be live strava on V.

 

https://www.polar.com/en/vantage/updates

 

I didnt know Polar, used my trusty TOMTOM Spark 3 without any issues.

 

The Vantage V and M are VERY new and as such not all features are incorporated as yet. But i will patiently wait and see.

 

At first was very different to the TOMTOm and the main thing was to get used to setting the watch up on the app or phone. Tomtom most stuff was availaible directly on the watch.

 

Once getting to know Polar Flow it is actually very advanced, i had a fenix 3 also and i find that the Polar flow is more to my likeing then the Garmin app.

 

The Vantage V is the only wrist base POWER meter that i know of? eg no added sensors or pods needed to measure Watts, i unfortunately could not justify the cost between the M and the V but i do see the appeal.

 

Vantage have like 130 different sports modes, also phone notifications coming Feb 2019.

 

Vantage M and V are full triathlon watches, and i believe the M is the cheapest tri watch that i know of at R4999? And with super 30hrs gps battery. The V claimed 40hrs. Thats full gps not the power saving mode like garmin/suunto etc.

Edited by jlrscott
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I use a Polar on my commuter, and a Garmin on my MTB.

 

I MUCH prefer the Polar Flow way of presenting the data.

 

BUT, I really much prefer the Garmin for the way it works on the bike !  Certainly wont be buying a Polar again any time soon ....

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i have taken a slightly different tack to the norm here and gone with Garmin bike specific GPS units and a Vivo Active 3 HR watch. I do all the bike related stuff using my Edge 520 or if I need navigation I use the Edge Explore unit. I use the watch's HR device to record heart rate and use the watch for running and indoor swimming. When I do outdoor swims I log it as a walk then change the sport to swim in Garmin Connect and Strava. The swim distance however is not accurate but I "fix" it in Strava. Outdoor swims I don't do to often and being a strong swimmer I don't really care too much about this metric. I have now used this setup for multiple Ironman and half ironman events and it works well for me. Battery life on the Vivoactive is pretty good and I got it relatively cheap so for the price of the Fenix I have managed to score a Vivoactive 3 HR watch, Edge explore and Edge 520 GPs unit.

 

I stand to be corrected here but I think the Fenix 5 will be replaced soonish ,

 

Cant really go wrong with the top of the range units from any of the makes, they all work exceedingly well and do what they supposed to.

Edited by IceCreamMan
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