Polar revamp two of their popular multi-sport, GPS-tracking smart watches – the Vantage M2 & Ignite 2. The two pack in much of the key training capabilities and built-in heart rate tracking of Polar’s top-tier smartwatch, but at a fraction of the price. For cyclists looking to cross-train, track overall fitness, sleep, and recovery both the Vantage M2 & Ignite 2 offer more affordable and lighter options than Polar’s flagship Vantage V or Grit X watches.
Polar Vantage M2 & Ignite 2, affordable multisport smart watches
Polar justifiably likes to hype the $550€ Vantage V2 and $430€ Grit X GPS smart watches. I mean seriously, those two watches will guide you into (& out of) the backcountry across many sports, predict the weather, make sure you eat properly along the way, see that you get the most out of your training time all the while, and ensure you optimize recovery once you get back home. But not everyone has that much money to spend on a watch.
And really, for as little as half the price you can likely get much of the same functionality in either an Ignite or Vantage M watch that might are between 15-45% lighter than those premium watches, not to be underestimated on a device you plan to strap on your wrist 24/7 including while you exercise on & off-road.
Polar calls the new Ignite 2 their every day, ready-to-wear smartwatch and the Vantage M2 their smart, all-in-one multisport watch. Both are iterative improvements of the first gen Ignite & Vantage M, but both are more useful than ever.
Updated Polar Ignite 2 smartwatch – Tech details & pricing
The new Ignite 2 is a sleek & simple package for 24/7 tracking and fitness training. It’s the more style-focused of the two, with a color touch screen and just one physical button. But it still builds-in accurate GPS tech and Polar’s top Precision Prime optical heart rate tracking for cycling, running & more.
It’s also the lightest of the group at 35g, with 20hr of activity tracking and 5 days in standard watch mode.
Now it adds more core smartwatch essential like wrist-based music controls, weather reports, and carries over push notifications. It also adds color customizable watch faces and an Energy Sources tool to help gauge how you burn carbs/protein/fats.
It even gets a unique heart rate sensor mode to let you sync with other apps & devices for fitness tracking cross-platform.
It also has Sleep Plus Stages & Nightly Recharge to gauge quality of your sleep and your recovery, guided Serene breathing exercises, FitSpark personalized daily workout suggestions. It supports pretty much every sport type, plus automatic swimming metric and adaptive running training.
The Polar Ignite 2 is available to buy direct from Polar starting at $230 / 230€ in a number of color options. And yes, you can get one with Swarovski crystals in its band.
Updated Polar Vantage M2 smartwatch – Tech details & pricing
The new Vantage M2 builds on the Ignite (and original Vantage M) with more of a focus on active sport training. Instead of a touchscreen you get a slightly brighter display with 5 crown buttons to guide you through all its functions.
The new M2 is actually five grams heavier than the first gen Vantage M, but at 45g it’s still noticeably lighter than the Grit X (64g) or V2 (52g). The M2 retains its standard 30h training time tracking & 5 day watch mode life. But it also now adds a GPS power saver mode option that reduces recording frequency to stretch out to 100 hours of activity training tracking.
It also now adds FuelWise that helps keep you fueled and hydrated on longer efforts (plus the Energy Sources post-analysis), new Running Program adaptive training plans, and adds detailed Training Load Pro insight to target your efforts & recovery.
It also now gets more smartwatch functionality like the Ignite, adding music control to your watch and weather forecast, plus all the push notifications (which get silenced when you are exercising!)
It still has the same precise GPS & optical heart rate tracking as the Ignite, Vantage V2 & Grit X, plus the Sleep Plus Stages, Nightly Recharge analyses, FitSpark personalized cross-training suggestions. Running power, cadence, speed, stride Bluetooth Smart sensor connectivity, power zones, multisport training activities & manual laps also carry over.
The updated Polar Vantage M2 is available now from $300 in a more conservative color palette.
Why buy a Polar Vantage V2 or Grit X? More money means more features!
Much of the difference comes down to more detailed training capabilities, more built-in tech, longer run times, and more navigation capability. If that sounds like what you are looking for – look to the Grit X for more adventure off the beaten path and to the Vantage V2 more regimented fitness training.
Additionally, Polar says they’ll bring even more features to their premium Grit X & Vantage V2 this summer via software/firmware updates, including the new heart rate sensor mode to pair with other devices (like your cycling computer), full music controls from your wrist and the weekly training summary.