Garmin Forerunner 965 vs. Polar Vantage V3: Which Is Best For You
In the fast-paced world of wearable fitness technology, the Garmin Forerunner 965 and Polar Vantage V3 stand out as formidable contenders, both vying for a coveted spot on your wrist.
Launched in March and October of 2023, respectively, these two timepieces represent the pinnacle of innovation, pushing the boundaries of what wearable tech can achieve to enhance your training and performance.
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Design and Build:
The Garmin Forerunner 965 and Vantage V3 share a sleek circular design, featuring five physical buttons for easy navigation. This layout ensures a seamless user experience, especially during intense workouts where touchscreen functionality might falter due to sweat or the elements. While they are identical in price, key differences emerge in their construction.
The Forerunner 965 boasts a fiber-reinforced polymer case with a premium titanium bezel, achieving a perfect balance between durability and elegance. In contrast, the Vantage V3 opts for an all-aluminum case with an aerospace aluminum bezel, providing a slightly lighter feel without compromising toughness. Both watches, however, maintain a neck-and-neck size, ensuring a strong and comfortable presence on your wrist for both everyday wear and intense workout sessions.
Both devices feature upgraded Amoled displays, a significant improvement from their predecessors. The Forerunner 965 boasts a slightly larger 1.4-inch diameter screen compared to the Vantage V3’s 1.39-inch.
Despite this difference, the display resolution remains identical at 454 by 454 pixels. Both watches offer an always-on screen option, ensuring crucial information is just a glance away, regardless of lighting conditions.
The Forerunner 965 caters to classic tastes with options in black and a refined stone powder gray. This classic look seamlessly transitions from the track to the boardroom. On the other hand, the Vantage V3 introduces a vibrant palette with options like Sunrise Apricot, Night Black, and Sky Blue, catering to those seeking a pop of color and a more expressive style.
In terms of water resistance, the Forerunner 965 is rated at 5 ATM, equivalent to a depth of 50 meters. The Vantage V3 shares a similar WR50 rating, making it suitable for swimming, although not recommended for high-impact water sports or diving. Whichever watch you choose, rest assured that you’re covered for most water-based activities.
Sensors and Connectivity:
Peeling back the layers and diving under the hood reveals a treasure trove of sensors and connectivity options. Both watches are equipped to cater to the modern athlete’s needs, but notable differences exist.
The Forerunner 965 comes with Garmin’s Elevate wrist heart rate monitor, a spo2 monitor, and a suite of navigation and environmental sensors, including a barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, and ambient light sensor. On the other hand, the Vantage V3 shares some sensor capabilities but steps up the game with Advanced Health tracking, incorporating Polar’s Elixir bio-sensing technology, featuring a first-generation ECG sensor and a skin temperature sensor.
In terms of connectivity, both watches offer Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity, allowing them to pair with a wide range of devices and sensors. The Forerunner 965 goes the extra mile with Wi-Fi, facilitating faster data transfers and enabling features like automatic uploading of workout data to Garmin Connect.
Satellite connectivity is on par, with both watches featuring dual-frequency GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo support. The Vantage V3 edges ahead with additional support for Beidou and QZSS, potentially enhancing coverage and accuracy in challenging environments.
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Now, let’s break down the nitty-gritty of functionality. The Forerunner 965 emerges as a comprehensive fitness companion, offering Elevate wrist heart rate monitoring, Pulse Ox for tracking heart health, advanced sleep and stress tracking, and a plethora of performance metrics.
On the flip side, the Vantage V3 focuses on detailed recovery stats, featuring an ECG sensor, spo2 monitoring, and precision heart rate tracking. It introduces offline map storage and a unique virtual flashlight for adventurers.
When it comes to smart capabilities, both watches are primarily fitness-oriented, not full-blown smartwatches like the Apple Watch. The Vantage V3 boasts a zippy CPU for responsive performance. The Forerunner 965 caters to music lovers with onboard storage for 1,000 songs and Garmin Pay for on-the-go transactions. In contrast, the Vantage V3 relies on smartphone music control and lacks a payment feature. Pros and Cons, and reasons to buy each of them on the NEXT PAGE…