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Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Polar Vantage V (Same Price Category)

The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 and the Polar Vantage V cost about the same but differ majorly in their intended consumer. Which suits you better?

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Polar Vantage V main screen

This is truly a battle of two watches from opposite spectrums of purpose (or as programmers say, “use case”).

When you buy smartwatches, just remember that when you see an orange strap, it means it’s a specialized smartwatch meant for sports. This is exactly what the Vantage V is.

And when you see a leather strap like the default Samsung Galaxy Watch3 strap? Chances are that it’s more of a general purpose smartwatch.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Watch3 Review | Polar Vantage V Review

Definitions of sports and general purpose

Smartwatches from Garmin, Polar and to a lesser extent, Fitbit, are more sports oriented. They have advanced sports tracking features. They have advanced vital stats trackers like blood oximeters.

General purpose watches focus on making your life easier. You can control your music while being away from your phone. You can use a voice assistant to reduce tedious tasks. You can reply to texts and emails with ease.

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Polar Vantage V heart rate sensor

So are we comparing apples to oranges?

Kinda. The two watches aren’t really meant for the same consumers.

But let’s not forget that there’s a bit of overlap between the two watches. The Galaxy Watch3 actually has an impressive suite of health and sports applications while the Polar Vantage V has some functionality as a productivity tool.

Let’s talk productivity

If you need a device that vibrates a lot, then you might be happier with the Polar Vantage V.

The Polar Vantage V on every notification it receives. No filter. So, if your Google Maps navigation tells you to turn, the Polar will vibrate. If your phone’s battery is low, it will vibrate. If you turn on Do Not Disturb on your phone, it will vibrate. After a while, it almost feels like it’s crying wolf.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 has a bit more discretion which is good because I don’t want to be vibrated multiple times and find out that the notification wasn’t very important.

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Polar Vantage V texts

Texting and emails

So, a notification comes in and you want to reply to it.

You can’t do that on the Polar Vantage V. Forget about it and reach for the phone.

Whereas on the Samsung Galaxy Watch3, you can reply using a few different methods. You can use the speech to text system, use some pre-composed messages, draw letters or use a keyboard.

The speech to text system is good, although it makes mistakes here and there. It’s also my preferred method of inputting text if the pre-composed replies do not cut it.

I find the other methods to be not worth the hassle.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 also allows you the convenience of accessing your email and text logs as if I were on my Samsung phone. It’s a nice feature to have, but I generally go straight for the phone if I needed to do this.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Polar Vantage V voice assistant bixby

Voice assistant

Some things are a pain to set up on the smartwatch. Luckily, if you can just ask the voice assistant to do the task for you, it will avoid a lot of unnecessary work.

What’s crucial here to note is that only the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 has a voice assistant, Bixby.

The Polar Vantage V does not.

And so, it’s a lot more inconvenient to get things done, such as starting a timer. You have to tap and scroll a lot more on the Polar Vantage V to start a four minute timer. Whereas on the Galaxy Watch3, you just need to long-press a button and tell Bixby what you want.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Polar Vantage V apps

Apps

You can’t download new apps on the Polar Vantage V.

You can on the Samsung Galaxy Watch3, and while the Galaxy Store for apps is small as compared to the Wear OS or Apple’s WatchOS, it’s still bigger than Fitbit or Garmin’s app store.

You can find interesting apps there such as a voice recorder, games and some navigation apps.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Phone calls

When a call comes in both smartwatches will vibrate to inform you that you have a call.

But only on the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 can you pick up the call right on your wrist.

I really like this feature. It’s really convenient to be able to pick up calls wherever you are.

Sound quality is good and I think most people will enjoy having this feature.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Polar Vantage V sports

Sports

OK, I am dedicating a big part of this review to sports. It’s time for the Polar Vantage V to fight back! Let’s start with battery life.

Battery Life

The Galaxy Watch3 can’t beat the Polar Vantage V in terms of its battery life. 

The Vantage V’s LCD screen uses ambient light to illuminate it and then a backlight if it gets too dark.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 does the reverse. 

That means the battery drain on the Watch3 is much more severe which explains it’s two day maximum battery lifespan.

The Polar Vantage V lasts and lasts. And this is pretty important when you do multi hour sports like marathons.

The Galaxy Watch3 has no issues for a few hours but we’re talking a few hours tethered to your phone for GPS. That is to say, a few hours not using its internal GPS. But even then, it’s drained by the end of it.

An hour with the Polar Vantage V, using its GPS, took my battery from 89% to 80%.

This is great because if I were going out for hours and hours, I’d bet on the Polar Vantage V to last for a long time.

Winner: Polar Vantage V

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Polar Vantage V sleep tracking

Vital stats tracking

The Galaxy Watch3 has some pretty advanced features. It can take your ECG, measure your blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) and has a fall detection feature. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find these features on my watch in Canada as of early October. But reports are that American users should have the update.

The Polar Vantage V can also track your VO2Max and all you have to do is to lie down and stay still. Interesting.

Both smartwatches also track sleep.

Winner: Tie

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Polar Vantage V exercise motivation

Workout tracking

The Galaxy Watch3 has a really good app — Samsung Health. Whereas the Polar Vantage V has the Polar Flow app, and also tools embedded in the watch which makes it an elite-level sports analyzer.

What do I mean by elite-level?

For starters, this smartwatch can tell you about your power output if you ran with it. A power meter in a smartwatch, how cool is that?

Other sports enthusiasts can also benefit from the FitSpark feature which gets to know you and creates a different exercise plan in the categories of strength, cardio and supportive.

After the Vantage collects enough data, it can tell you about your cardio load. This helps you judge whether you are advancing in your fitness goals by seeing whether your exercise load is strenuous enough.

The Polar Flow web app can also help you create a running plan. This is great if you have a race that you’d like to attend at a certain date. Put these details in and the app will create a calendar of training events catered to your abilities.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 has pretty good features too. 

If you’re a runner, you might appreciate the running coach feature that the Galaxy Watch3 has. It helps you pace your runs towards a goal. You can also track very useful data relating to your footwork (asymmetry, contact time, flight time, etc.) and it can estimate your VO2Max to gauge your fitness and whether you have improved over time. 

And since it has a speaker, it can tell you about your laps and other information. On the Polar Vantage V, you will have to view the screen.

For the purpose of becoming a better athlete, the Polar Vantage V’s tools are much more helpful and so it wins this segment.

Winner: Polar Vantage V

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Polar Vantage V watch face

Verdict

I can’t wait for Samsung to unlock the vital stats features on the Galaxy Watch3. As of now, it really isn’t that amazing in terms of vital stats tracking and while its sports analysis is better than the average smartwatch, it can’t beat the Polar Vantage V.

So I’d say this: if you are buying a smartwatch to improve your athleticism, then you need the Polar Vantage V. 

If you want a better balance between productivity enhancement and sports use, then the Galaxy Watch3 is a good compromise (and a very nice smartwatch).

=> Skip to the chase: Our Epic guide on the best smartwatches for different uses and devices
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