Polar Vantage M and Vantage M2 Compared

What are the differences in between the M and M2?

With the announcement of the Vantage M2 the immediate question is: So what’s new?
If you’re wondering if your next watch should be a Vantage M or M2 I’ll try to help you decide in this article, putting the differences side by side and explain why they could matter.

Differences Vantage M and Vantage M2 in short

Not beating around the bush, here are the actual differences in a concise list. The features you’ll find on the M2 but not the Vantage M.

  • New Colours (of not a ‘new feature, but you understand..)
  • New straps
  • Watch Face customisation
  • Music control (no storage)
  • Weather forecast
  • Weekly Training Summary
  • Energy Sources
  • FuelWise
  • up to 100 hours training time
  • HR broadcasting over BLE (“in 2021”)
  • Small $/€20 mrsp price bump, from 279 to 299

Visual

Visually the watches are very similar. What you’ll notice is that the new Vantage M2 has a bit of a texture to the bezel, giving it a more refined and premium look.

Strap

There’s also a change in straps, not only are there more colour options, it is still an industry standard 22mm quick release strap that you can easily replace yourself. The new strap also allows you to place the watch flat on its back, which is great when it’s charging. And not only the colours have changed, the material has changed too. It’s a more flexible, stretchy silicone. Sadly the Ignite 2 straps are 20mm so you can’t pop that wristband that’s embedded with Swarovski crystals on.

New Features on the Vantage M2

On the inside not much has changed, I didn’t see any improvements or additions listed. And interestingly a lot of specs are almost exactly the same. The M2 is half a gram heavier. I mean, half a gram. Props for Polar on listing that. But battery, screen, dimensions, everything is the same. But there are some notable differences, on the software side that is. Almost all these features we’ve seen appear on the Vantage V2 and Grit X last year apart from ‘Energy Sources’ and ‘Weekly Summary’, but those will be added to those watches ‘this year’. So here is the same list as above, but a bit more in-depth.

Vantage M2 Music Controls

Music control

With the M2 (and soon on de Grit X) you’ll have a music control option. This is not music stored on the watch, nor connecting a headset to your watch. You can simply control whatever music app you’re using on the watch using the buttons . The M2 does not have touch.

Weather

A nice feature which I’ve enjoyed on the Vantage V2 and Grit X already, the weather information watch face is a simple representation on the upcoming weather. Going into the details you get more than just sun, clouds, rain, snow, etc. Upcoming temperatures, wind direction and intensity, the works. Really usefull when you’re out and about. It is periodically sync’d from the watch for today and the upcoming two days, with less and less granularity. Like any forecast.

Weekly Training summary

A watch face that shows the total effort of your work in the past week. The detailed view will give you more about the HR zones and activities, but also calories burned and distance covered.

Polar Energy Sources
Energy Sources Insight (click for large)

Energy Sources

This is a really interesting one and is directly available on the polar flow app. The Energy Sources gives you insight in what your body uses as fuel to give you energy. Fat, Carbs or Protein. This will give you insight in the results of your workout if you are aiming for burning fat for example. As a last resort, your body will start burning protein. In the screenshot you’ll see a run where I ended up using a little bit of protein towards the end. But I was quite fatigued. What you can also see is that the two intervals I had were both carb burning.

FuelWise

Introduced with the Grit X FuelWise is a tool on your watch that helps remind you to take your carbs. At the start of your workout you give some information (carbs per serving) and FuelWise will calculate the right time to take your gel, candy, or what you brought so you never hit a wall. Together with the drink reminders, this can save your day.

Battery management

Battery wise the M2 is the same as the Vantage M. However, the Vantage M2 has a feature where you can set the recording interval of your data, so you can extend your training time to up to 100 hours. I don’t know which race lasts 100 hours, but I personally do not want to do it. Maybe if you want to do the Barkley Marathon. But you still sleep? I find these insane battery life management options are great, but more than 24 hours is just bragging rights I guess.

Watch face customisation

This is great, as you can move through the watch faces it’s also nice to be able to select which ones are there. Garmin calls these widgets. Polar calls them watch faces. The difference is that Garmin reverts to the actual watch face after a timeout. On the Polar watches you can ‘stay at it’.

HR Broadcast

This is a very welcome addition. A feature seen on Garmin watches and even Wahoo’s ELEMNT RIVAL, Polar will add the option to broadcast your heart rate from the watch. With the side note “later this year”. If you are using Zwift or a computer on the bike, you can use your watch as HR sensor or even while recording.

Conclusion

The Vantage M2 is a great watch for the allround athlete with a great multisport features. With its MRSP being slightly higher than the Vantage M the choice is easily made for the M2, but in real life the Vantage M has dropped in price considerably. Apart from more software updates you can expect (the Vantage M got a whole bunch of features through updates) the current feature set is worth the extra money, even it that’s $60. And while visually not a lot has changed, the M2 looks slightly more premium with the bezel textures.

Prices

Obviously, I can’t look in your wallet and the Vantage M is still a good purchase and I’ve seen this advertised for as low as $220 in January 2021. Currently it’s available for $237/€193 on Amazon or €234 on Wiggle.
The Vantage M2 is currently available on Amazon for $299 or directly from Polar themselves for $299 / €299.

US $GB £ EU €
Vantage M$237
$279
£186
£191
£249
€234
€243
€279
Vantage M2$299
$299
£269
£269
€299
€299

Sponsored Links

Just a note about the “links to buy” in this article, as they are sponsored. I do look for the lowest price I can find at the time of writing in a handful of stores, but by using the links I earn from qualifying purchases made through these links.

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