35 hours GPS battery life
Fast and reliable satellite lock
Impressive spread of data points for the price
Staying power is a big selling point on the upgraded V2. On paper, its battery life is virtually unrivalled on watches under £500. Only the Coros Apex Pro and Polar’s own Grit X get near its 40-hour GPS run time – extendable up to 100 hours in low-power mode. And though it didn’t quite live up to that billing in our tests, it still packs more than enough endurance to suit most runners. Even 100-mile ultra fans.
We got around 25 hours runtime in full GPS, 35 hours in low-power mode and only needed to charge it once during a regular training week.
The full power GPS accuracy was solid with reasonable real-time pace responsiveness. However, in the lowest-power GPS mode – pulsing satellites less frequently – we found the accuracy frustratingly wild. It clocked 33.5 miles on one trail marathon.
We enjoyed the updated design. It comes in 14g lighter than the V and the sleek, almost one-piece casing and slightly softer silicone straps make it comfortable to wear 24-7. That’s essential for maximising the detailed sleep and recovery tracking.
The controls are vastly improved too. The buttons and the 1.2-inch colour touchscreen are far more responsive than the first-gen V while the addition of an ambient light sensor that reads the conditions and automatically tweaks the brightness, makes the screen easy to read mid-run. Although that display picked up a couple of worrying nicks just from general use.
Track and trace
The V2 tracks everything any sane runner could want. You get running power on the wrist, a Hill Splitter feature that breaks down your climb and descents stats – great for hill reps – plus a heart-rate-intensity-based bonk-avoidance fuelling tool that tells you when to scoff carbs during longer runs. We also loved the route planning, turn-by-turn navigation and back to start guidance.
Beyond the run, the recovery and sleep insights are the most detailed you’ll find and we found the recovery-linked FitSpark workout recommendations really handy.
Simply the test
The V2 comes with two new useful tests to help you tailor your training more effectively.
The Running Performance Test recreates a lab-style, lung-busting maximal effort fitness test. You run for 20 minutes, guided by the watch to gradually increase your pace until you hit your limit. Post test, the V2 reveals your estimated VO2 Max, your maximum heart rate and your important training threshold zones, updating them on the watch automatically. It relies on GPS for pacing and it’s by no means perfect but for regular runners without access to lab tests, it’s a useful fitness benchmarking tool.
We were impressed to see the V2 become the first tracker to offer recovery beyond cardio too, with a watch guided Leg Recovery Test that reveals if your muscles are as recovered as you might think they are, from just three standing jumps. A really useful second opinion that helped us decide when to run again post-marathon.
Incredibly capable. This run tracker sticks some unique fitness, fuelling and recovery tricks up your sleeve. FuelWise fuelling recommendations are fantastic for marathons and ultras and the new running and recovery tests offer ambitious runners insights usually reserved for elites.
The battery life isn’t quite up to the claimed 40 hours but remains still solid. Music controls and weather are welcome additions to the smartwatch skills though there’s still no offline tunes or contactless payments. Overall, at £450, this is an excellent training partner that offers good value. Particularly if you care about your recovery, sleep and wellbeing beyond the run.
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