Polar Grit X: a complete outdoor watch

Summary:

  • Features of the Polar Grit X
  • Polar Grit X in brief and what's new
  • Detailed review of the Polar Grit X
  • Our opinion on the Polar Grit X: should we buy it?
  • Price and availability of the Polar Grit X

Buy the Polar Grit X

Trader
Price (from)

Pope
€ 429

i-Run
€ 429

Commercial links. Non contractual prices. Please consult the merchant website.

Features of the Polar Grit X

Weight
64g


Dimensions
47 x 47 x 13 mm


Screen
Touch, color, 240 x 240 px, 1.2 "


Autonomy
40 h / 120 h / 30 d
(GPS / Eco / Watch modes)


GPS
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo


True multisports
Yes


Recommended activities
Outdoor, trail, hiking, adventure, running, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, (20 on-board profiles, 130 available)


Connectivity
iPhone, Android. Bluetooth wireless data transfer


Heart rate monitoring
Yes, optical on the wrist


Topographic maps


Music player


Payment system


Telephony / 4G


Barometric altimeter
Yes


Barometer
Yes


Compass
Yes


Thermometer


Weather forecast
Yes


Waterproof
10 ATM (100 m), usable for swimming and diving


Other
Running power without external sensor, training tools (Training Load Pro, Race program, FitSpark), route planning and guide, real-time hill analysis, refueling assistant, battery manager, weather, interchangeable straps without tools , interface with Komoot


Other models
Polar Vantage V (high end)


(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGcgtqm7CV0 (/ embed)
Polar Grit X is a multisport outdoor and triathlon watch perfect for trail running, hiking, exploring, triathlon. It offers powerful tools for training beginners to pro and up to 100 hours of autonomy.

Polar Grit X in brief and what's new

The new Polar Grit X is an outdoor multisport watch particularly well suited to trail running, mountain (hiking, etc.) but also to triathlon. It is not an improvement on the Polar Vantage V but rather a model supposed to complete the range.

If the outdoor was not until then the strong point of the brand, Polar, with this new model, managed to place itself on the same level as Garmin, Suunto or Coros in this sector but at a more attractive price: 429 € only against € 599 for the Fenix ​​6 (the standard model), the Suunto 9 or the Coros Vertix. Or 170 € difference! Or 429 € against 499 € for the Coros Apex Pro, or 70 € difference.

It is light, robust (military standard), better ergonomics than the Vantage series, greater water resistance (10 ATM versus 5 ATM) and very long autonomy (up to 100 h). It is well equipped in terms of sensors (GPS, optical cardio on the wrist operating underwater and for the fractional, barometric altimeter, compass, accelerometer). It offers complete functions for sport, including training assistance with a sports coach and running power without an external sensor. It includes new functions such as HillSplitter hill analysis, a FuelWise refueling assistant, route planning via Komoot and turn after turn guidance.

It is, in a way, the culmination of all Polar watches. It is the most complete, the most autonomous, probably also the most reliable thanks to its technical improvements. All for a rather competitive price. It's hard not to crack if you're looking for an outdoor watch for performance. The trailers will also appreciate triathletes looking for a complete and not too expensive triathlon watch.

Mountain biker wearing Grit X
Polar Grit X includes features that will appeal to mountain biking fans, whether for Sunday outings, training or competition

Comprehensive outdoor functions

If the Vantage V was designed for runners and triathletes aiming for performance, the Grit X and its new functions can now also be used for outdoor outings in the mountains and off the beaten track.

As we wrote above, it is perfect for trail running but also hiking, exploration and that thanks to the many tools it offers: barometric altimeter, real-time analysis of the coasts, navigation along a route with turn by turn guidance (turn after turn), power and hydration management, 2-day weather forecast, huge range.

Functions that add to those already numerous offered by the Vantage V (programmed workouts, running power on the wrist, Training Load Pro, FitSpark, Nightly Recharge in particular). Polar Smart coaching also offers personalized training assistance to provide the perfect balance between training and recovery.

News in brief

The Polar Grit X includes all the functions of the Polar Vantage V (with the exception of Recovery Pro and the orthostatic Review) as well as the following new features. You will find all these functions described in detail later in the article.

  • Hill spliter : real-time analysis of coasts (ascents and descents)
  • Route planning and Turn by Turn guidance to follow a route proposed by the Komoot application and be guided in detail
  • Battery manager for an adjustable autonomy from 40 to 100 h
  • FuelWise, a refueling assistant (food and hydration) with alerts and an evaluation of expenses during the journey
  • Sources of energy : information on the distribution of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins consumed during the activity
  • Weather forecast over 2 days
  • Compass
  • Water resistance 10 ATM (100 m)
  • Interchangeable straps without tools

Who is the Polar Grit X for?

This new watch will therefore particularly interest fans of trail running, mountain outings but also running, cycling, mountain biking, triathlon (it is more complete than the Vantage V and cheaper!).

Detailed review of the Polar Grit X

Design and technical characteristics

Fine outdoor watch Grit X
A thin and light metal case and new buttons

The Polar Grit X is a pretty, light watch (64 g versus 66 g for the Vantage V), robust and waterproof up to 100 m (versus 50 m for the Vantage). It measures 47 mm in diameter and 13 mm thick (46 x 13 mm for the Vantage V). It is available in 3 colors (black, white, khaki green) and with 22 mm bracelets interchangeable without tools (new) available in silicone, braided fabric and leather.

The new Polar is presented in an ultra-resistant stainless steel case, with amorphous carbon coating for the black version, and a reinforced polymer base. It has an anti-scratch Corning Gorilla Glass treated anti-reflective and anti-fingerprint and protected by a stainless steel dial. This model, like the Vantage series, is robust and certified to military standards (MIL-STD-810G).

Its transflective color screen is tactile and a little brighter than that of the Vantage series. It offers the same size and definition as the Vantage V: 1.2 "or 30.5 mm in diameter and a definition of 240 x 240 pixels.

The watch has 5 round steel buttons with a non-slip surface.

Sensors: power on the wrist and an improved optical sensor

We find on this new Polar model all the sensors already offered on the Vantage series with some improvements and greater compatibility with external sensors. The watch has a GPS, GPS, GLONASS and Galileo compatible, an a priori more precise optical heart rate monitoring, a barometric altimeter, an accelerometer, a gyroscope and the possibility of connecting external sensors via Bluetooth.

Power screen

We find the instantaneous power measurement for running, already present on the Polar Vantage V. The measurement is made from the on-board sensors of the watch (GPS, accelerometer, barometric altimeter).

As on the Vantage series, the optical heart rate monitoring has 10 LEDs and 4 sensors detecting the good contact of the watch with the skin. Unlike the Vantage, this model has orange LEDs for even better adaptation to different skin types. Remember that the optical sensor works underwater and can be used for fractional exercise, unlike most optical heart rate monitors today. Correction of inconsistent data is also ensured during the transfer.

Polar now offers the possibility of connecting numerous sensors provided, however, that you use Bluetooth (no ANT + compatibility): cardio belt, power, cadence and speed sensor for cycling, footpod, etc. But Polar goes further by allowing several sensors of the same type to be smart health connected, for example 2 cardio belts or 2 cadence sensors. We can thus use 2 bikes (indoor and road bikes), each with its own sensors (cadence, speed, cardio belt), which avoids complications especially for multisports activities.

Autonomy: up to 100 h but with certain constraints

The interest of Polar Grit X is also to offer a very long autonomy, up to 100 h, which makes it usable for long-term races (ultrafond, ultratrail). In comparison, the Polar Vantage V only offers 40 hours in GPS mode, the same autonomy but without the possibility of extending it if necessary (no Ultra mode). In comparison, the Fenix ​​6 offers 25 to 60 hours depending on the model and 50 to 120 hours in Ultra mode. Suunto 9 offers 25 hours and up to 120 hours in Ultra mode but with intelligent data extrapolation to improve data quality.

In practice, the watch displays the remaining autonomy time. If it is insufficient for the intended route, the battery manager can extend it at any time up to 100 hours. For this, the user can act on 3 parameters:

  • GPS recording frequency: it defaults to 1 second for optimal recording. It can be changed to 1 minute or 2 minutes. Obviously, the accuracy will be greatly reduced and the angles of the recorded track well rounded, especially for speed sports. Because unlike its competitors, Polar does not extrapolate missing data from the other sensors in the watch. The degraded GPS mode cannot be used for route guidance and Strava Live Segments. For other functions, and depending on the sport profile and the sensors used, power on the wrist, speed / pace conversion and a few other functions may also be affected (power on the wrist uses GPS to estimate the speed of movement and calculate the kinetic energy of the runner).
  • The heart rate monitoring: very energy-hungry because of the LEDs, it affects autonomy a lot. It can be deactivated for a substantial gain in autonomy. To continue to benefit from the exploitation of the heart rate, one will be able to use instead a thoracic belt smart health connected in Bluetooth (the electric consumption is clearly lower).
  • The refresh rate of the display: the displayed data will be refreshed less often, which can be a disadvantage if we regularly look at the displayed data (for fractional for example!). But for trail or hiking, this is not necessarily a big disadvantage.
use Autonomy
Training mode(*), GPS 1 second 40 hrs
Max energy saving mode (GPS 2 minutes, FC monitoring deactivated) 120 h
Watch mode with HR tracking 7 days
Watch mode without HR monitoring 30 days
Polar Grit X battery life
(*): GPS recording 1 second, optical wrist sensor activated, normal display refresh

Functions: new features that make it a competitor and a serious alternative to Garmin, Suunto and Coros

The Polar Grit X watch firstly embeds all the functions already offered by the Polar Vantage V, the multisports and triathlon watch for Pros, with the exception of 2 functions which are not necessarily essential: the Recovery Pro function and the orthostatic Review.

We thus find the following functions which you will find a more detailed description in our detailed review of the Polar Vantage V:

  • 130 sports profiles 20 of which are available on the watch. The Polar Grit X allows you to associate the external sensors with each profile and can manage several sensors of the same type. We will be able to get on a bike with its own sensors and then a health home trainer with other sensors without having to reconfigure the watch.
  • Instant power measurement on the wrist for running, a function exclusive to Polar which does not require any external sensor (Stryd, etc.). The watch uses the accelerometer, GPS and altimeter to assess power.
  • Training Load Pro assesses the fatigue generated by training from the cardiac load (training effort), the muscular load (calculated from the power at the wrist) and the load felt (evaluated by the athlete).
  • Nightly Recharge screen
  • Nightly Recharge assess recovery at night. It is used in particular in the FitSpark ™ function (see below) to offer personalized daily training.
  • Race program offers personalized and complete progressive training over several weeks for a race objective to be reached (5 km, 10 km, half-marathon or marathon) and a given date for the race.
  • Training benefits is a function giving, just after an exit, an indication of the benefits of the training performed (for example: maintenance or improvement of aerobic capacity, optimal training, recovery) as well as a motivating summary of these benefits.
  • Running Index assesses VO2max, an athlete performance indicator
  • FitSpark screen
  • FitSpark ™ offers a personalized daily training program based on night recovery. The idea is to encourage the user to follow the WHO recommendations for staying healthy: perform a weekly activity of 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of sustained intensity as well as muscle-building exercises 2 times per week.
  • Sleep Plus Stages for detailed sleep analysis, one of the best analyzes currently on the market for sports and smart health connected watches
  • Serene, breathing and heart coherence exercises to relax, eliminate stress and benefit from positive health effects
  • smart health connected functions: Smartphone notifications, Strava Live segments in particular. These functions, which were not present on the first version of Vantage V, were added in the following versions of the software.
Man practicing Trail with Polar Grit X
This new model is particularly well suited to Trail, both in terms of design, weight, autonomy and the functions offered

In addition to these functions, the following new functions are added:

Hill Splitter ™: real-time coast analysis

Hill Splitter screen

Hill Splitter ™ is a new function proposed by Polar to analyze the terrain covered in real time. The watch analyzes the route, detects the hills and displays data concerning them, such as the distance traveled, the ascent / descent time, the vertical speed, the elevation, the number of ascents and descents carried out.

On the other hand, the watch does not anticipate the route from a programmed route, as does the ClimbPro function of Garmin. The algorithm here is much less elaborate but it has the advantage of operating in real time without having to program a route. This function is similar to Garmin's Auto Climb function.

Hill Splitter is an interesting function for loop courses with hills to count, compare, estimate progress, have information on the current slope. Its interest is less when it comes to making a long ascent with many ascents and descents (mountain biking or hiking for example) because the interesting statistics are those concerning the whole of the ascent rather than the information of each climb and descent. If you climb the Col du Galibier from Valloire, Hill Splitter will detect 2 passes and display the data in real time, which is already very good. ClimbPro, much more sophisticated, will go further by anticipating the 2 climbs and by displaying information on the elevation and the distance remaining to be covered, the estimated duration, on the other hand provided that you have previously programmed the route and follow it with the watch.

GPS navigation: route planning and turn by turn guidance but no mapping

GPS guidance

Polar still does not offer cartography but adds to its watch the possibility of planning and following a route with turn-by-turn guidance directly on the watch and without the need for a nearby smartphone. Just choose your route from the thousands available or build your own route, load it into the watch and follow the guidance instructions. The watch then displays the distance to be traveled before the next change, indicates the direction to take and gives an alert if we deviate from the programmed circuit.

For this new function, the Finnish firm has partnered with Komoot, a company proposing an application for Smartphone which makes it possible to plan and follow a route (excursion, VTT, Trail), among thousands available, directly on its telephone. The app displays the route on a map and gives voice instructions to follow it as well as practical information (surface, type of terrain, elevation, photos of users). The user can then share his experience with the Komoot community by posting and sharing a new route, photos and the story of his adventure. The Komoot app is increasingly used on smart health connected watches (Apple Watch, Samsung Gear) and bike GPS (Garmin, Wahoo).

The use of Komoot is free for use limited to one region (in France, the region corresponds to a department) and paid if you wish to explore several regions or the whole world.

Polar warns that in order to function, guidance requires a GPS recording frequency of 1 second. It cannot therefore be used in energy saving mode.

FuelWise ™, the refueling assistant

FuelWise

Like Garmin, which offers hydration monitoring, Polar in turn innovates by offering FuelWise ™, a refueling assistant. FuelWise takes into account the type of refueling and the calories brought in and sends out reminders to eat and hydrate when necessary. The idea is to maintain, throughout the course, an adequate level of energy. We can thus learn to refuel regularly and according to the intensity of efforts and avoid cravings. Unlike Garmin, Polar only takes into account the effort made without taking into account the external temperature (we drink more in hot weather than in cold weather).

Sources of energy

This function indicates the proportion of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins consumed during exercise. We can thus assess his expenses and better balance his diet according to the type of outing and effort.

Battery manager

Autonomy is the workhorse of sports watch manufacturers. It constitutes one of the main eliminatory criteria in the choice of a sports watch. For a watch that wants to be outdoor, it must be as large as possible. Polar offers here a simple battery management solution with display of the remaining time and the possibility of playing on 3 parameters described above (GPS recording frequency, deactivation of the optical cardio, refresh of the display) for a range of up to 100 hrs.

Compass

The watch displays a compass in the navigation screen, an essential tool for orienting a map and finding one's way.

Weather forecast

This useful function for outdoor outings displays the weather forecast for the next 2 days. This requires a smartphone nearby and network connectivity. Data is transmitted to the watch via Bluetooth.

Our opinion on the Polar Grit X: should we buy it?

Polar offers here a complete outdoor watch, better supplied than the Vantage V and for a cheaper price! The functions that we expected on the Vantage V, such as battery management, importing routes or even navigation with guidance, were finally integrated into this new model but will not be on the Vantage. We can therefore expect the Vantage V to disappear from circulation in favor of the Grit X.

Trailer wearing a Grit X
The Polar Grit X is a good choice for Trail, mountain biking, hiking, exploring but also Vantage V sports (running, triathlon, etc.)

Why you should pay attention to the Polar Grit X

If this new Polar watch does not ultimately bring any real innovations compared to the competition, Polar has the merit of catching up on key functions. In addition, the firm did not offer any model worthy of outdoor use to date. For this use, it was rather necessary to turn to Garmin, Suunto or, recently, Coros. With the Grit X, we have a complete watch for this activity.

This watch seems interesting to us for several reasons. Let us first remember that Polar was the pioneer in the field of cardio watches and the exploitation of the heart rate and its variability. Since the release of the first cardio watch in 1982, the brand has known how to innovate and offer watches with reliable measurements. The Polar Grit X is the brand's best watch today and its heart rate analysis is one of the best on the market.

Then, it has all the characteristics of an outdoor watch, in particular the trail: robustness (military standards) but also lightness and comfort, barometric altimeter, compass, guided navigation and thousands of routes available, weather, water resistance 100 m, slope analysis tool, monitoring of refueling, great autonomy. As a result, it rivals high-end watches from Garmin, Suunto and Coros but for a significantly lower price (70 to 170 € or more). Admittedly, it does not offer cartography but at this price level, this is normal and the route guide seems sufficient to us.

In addition, it is not outdone with regard to sports functions. It offers a sports coach with advanced training functions intended for both beginners and professionals, whether for trail running, running, cycling, mountain biking and even triathlon, not to mention the many others. outdoor possibilities (hiking, exploring, etc.). This watch is designed for performance and is suitable for all athletes, including professionals.

Its autonomy allows very long races (ultratrail).

It is suitable for triathlon. Finding a triathlon watch at this price is not easy. We can turn to more specialized watches, like the Coros Pace (less than 200 €), but there is no outdoor function and the training tools are less sophisticated.

What's missing on the Polar Grit X

Polar could have offered a screen of better definition than the 240 x 240 px already offered on the Vantage V. That said, without mapping, the current definition seems amply sufficient. Garmin and Coros do not offer better or barely (240 x 240 to 280 x 280 px on the Fenix ​​6 depending on the model, 240 x 240 px on the Coros Vertix). Only Suunto stands out with 320 x 300 px on its Suunto 9 Baro.

The HillSplitter function is quite basic and seems to us of little use, in any case not advanced enough compared to the PacePro function of Garmin (analysis on a given segment) or ClimbPro (analysis of the future slope on a programmed route). Polar will likely suggest improvements in the future.

The watch is not compatible with ANT + sensors, which can lead to spending more to acquire new sensors or even to pose compatibility concerns for use on certain devices operating with ANT + (health home trainer, etc.).

Polar does not offer additional watchfaces or widgets to install, even less sophisticated smart health connected functions (mp3 player, contactless payment, monitoring on the Internet, assistance in the event of an incident, fall detection, etc.). But these aren't necessarily the most sought-after features and at the price that the watch is worth, you don't expect to see such gadgets either.

We also regret that Polar has not planned an extrapolation of GPS data, in Ultra mode, to compensate for the loss of data, as Garmin, Coros (Intelligent Stride) and Suunto (FusedTrack) do. Note also that the degraded mode cannot be used if you use guided navigation, power on your wrist or even Strava Live Segments.

Verdict

In view of the outdoor features and sports functions offered, we are dealing with a rather attractive Polar watch at a more than reasonable price. We rank it among the best watches on the market for outdoor activities, including trail running and triathlon, on the same level as Garmin, Suunto and Coros. We recommend it!

We liked
  • The design (light, robust, elegant)
  • Measuring running power without sensor
  • Training tools (Training program, Training Load Pro, FitSpark)
  • New outdoor functions (HillSplitter, route planning and guide, FuelWise)
  • Excellent autonomy (40 to 100 h) and manual management
  • The excellent sleep analysis
  • The price
We liked less
  • No mapping
  • No downloadable widget or watchfaces
  • No data extrapolation in energy saving mode

Price and availability of the Polar Grit X

The Polar Grit X watch is available for sale in specialist shops at the recommended price of € 429. Discover it with our partners.

Buy the Polar Grit X

Trader
Price (from)

Pope
€ 429

i-Run
€ 429

Commercial links. Non contractual prices. Please consult the merchant website.

Philippe Baudoin
Reproduction prohibited – Copyright © Sport Passion
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