Polar's big software update brings sleep features and more to Vantage watches

FitSpark is also coming to Vantage watches in December
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Polar has rolled out a very big firmware update for its Vantage V and Vantage M watches that brings a host of new features including improved sleep tracking and better satellite mapping support.

The update (which should start becoming available now), is adding features that first debuted on Polar's Ignite watch. These include Sleep Quality Insights and Sleep Plus Stages insights that will now let you see the quality of your sleep and will show you how long you spent in each sleep stage.

Essential reading: Best GPS running watches to buy

This kind of sleep information is used to aid recovery, help minimise risk of injuries and and prevent illness by ensuring you get the right kind of recovery time.

On top of those sleep features, you're also getting Recovery Insights and Nightly Recharge insights that tells you how well recovered you are from your previous day's exertions. This how we broke it down in our Ignite review:

"Nightly Recharge data is generated once you've tracked sleep for at least three nights in a row. It collates data related to how you slept (that's called Sleep Charge) along with insights into how well your automatic automatic nervous system (ANS) has calmed down during the early hours of your sleep (ANS Charge). That ANS data is based on heart rate, heart rate variability and breathing rate data and is taken from the first four hours of your sleep."

Polar is also bringing its Serene guided breathing features over from the Ignite too letting you de-stress by following exercises on either of the Vantage watches.

Read: Guide to Polar Flow

Away from the sleep and mindfulness features, Polar is also upping the Vantage's mapping skills by adding Galileo and QZSS satellite system support. Other notable highlights include a manual stride sensor calibration as well as Zone Lock, which supports heart rate, pace, and running and cycling power.

Other notable update highlights include inactivity alerts, a constant backlight during training, and a fitness test that can be performed using Polar's onboard heart rate monitor.

Polar's not done with the feature additions either. In December it'll be rolling out a 5.0 update that brings Strava Live Segments on the Vantage V. It's also bringing Race Pace and FitSpark (one of our favorite Ignite features) to both Vantage watches too.

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Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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