Polar brings new watches today. A new watch (the Polar Grit X Pro) and new versions for the Polar Vantage V2.
The Polar Grit X Pro is a version that comes from the original Polar Grit X, with some software updates and minor hardware and design changes. It includes features that were introduced with the Vantage V2 (performance and recovery test), new widgets, and somewhat broader navigation features.
With regard to the Polar Vantage V2, there are two versions that are added. First of all a Red Edition and SHIFT Edition with the possibility of mounting standard 22mm straps.
But don't worry, I'll detail what's new in each of them.
New Polar Grit X Pro
The new Polar Grit X Pro is an evolution of the previous model, it is not a replacement watch. In fact, the basis remains the same although there are changes in aesthetics, materials and software. Here are the main developments compared to the model that was already on the market:
- Two versions: Polar Grit X Pro and Polar Grit X Pro Titan
- Slightly heavier than the original: 79gr for the Grit X Pro (15gr more than the Grit X). Titan with titanium bezel stays at 72 grams.
- Sapphire crystal and anti-fingerprint coating on all Grit X Pro models (Gorilla Glass on Grit X)
- Redesigned bezel with cardinal dots inscriptions
- FKM (fluorinated rubber) strap with better premium feel and quality than silicone
- Performance test for running and cycling (those that were released with the Vantage V2)
- Recovery test, mainly Leg Test that came with the Vantage V2 but also the orthostatic test and Recovery Pro
- Route profile when we are using navigation
- Possibility to load a new route without having to stop the activity
- Trackback to retrace the route you have taken (back to start)
- New widgets with altimetry profile information, compass and location coordinates directly in watch mode
- Display of sunrise, sunset and twilight times
- The Polar Grit X Pro costs €70 more than the previous Grit X. For its part, the Grit X Titan, in addition to the titanium finish, includes an additional leather strap and costs €100 more.
Those are the changes that there are compared to the original model, of course it still has the rest of the features that we already knew from the rest of the range:
- 47mm in diameter and 13mm thickness
- 1.2″ screen
- Hill Splitter with automatic up/down detection
- FuelWise, to calculate nutrition strategy and receive alerts for eating and drinking
- Running power estimation
- Training Load Pro, Recovery Pro, Sleep Plus Stages, Nightly Recharge, Fitspark
- Compatible with Strava segments
- 40 hours of battery life when using GPS with different power saving modes, offering 60/70/100 hours according to the settings.
- Up to 7 days in watch mode
- Navigation with turn notifications when using routes synced from Komoot
- Exceeds MIL-STD810G military-grade standard
- Water resistant up to 100m
- Control of music playback on the watch
- Phone notifications on the watch screen
- Weather info
Aesthetic changes in the Polar Grit X Pro
The first thing that catches the eye are the aesthetic changes present in the new Polar Grit X Pro. The bezel is the same as on the Grit X, but it has the cardinal points engraved on it. In this image you can see both compared.
As you can see the size of the watch is exactly the same, as are the display and buttons. The only change is the inscription on the bezel. In both cases the bezel is made of steel. It does change the glass, whereas the Polar Grit X was satisfied with a Gorilla Glass glass the Polar Grit X Pro has a sapphire crystal.
In terms of weight there are 3 grams of difference in the watch, which can be attributed to the sapphire crystal. However, the rubber strap is considerably heavier than the silicone strap (12 grams more).
That's for the regular versions, the Polar Grit X Pro Titan changes the steel bezel to titanium (and keeps the sapphire crystal) and in addition to the fluorinated rubber strap it includes a leather strap.
In short, these are the weights of the different versions:
- Polar Grit X – 44 grams
- Polar Grit X Pro – 47 grams
- Polar Grit X Pro Titan – 41 grams
Watch with strap
- Polar Grit X – 64 grams
- Polar Grit X Pro – 79 grams
- Polar Grit X Pro Titan – 53 grams with the leather strap, 73 grams with the FKM strap
New software features on the Polar Grit X Pro
Many of the new features we see in the Polar Grit X Pro were already present in the Polar Vantage V2. You can read the Vantage V2 review for full details about them.
- Running test: It is a guided running test that at the end gives us data such as an estimate of VO2max, maximum heart rate, maximum aerobic speed and maximum aerobic power.
- Cycling test: 20-minute FTP test and VO2max estimate.
- Leg recovery test: Evaluate your recovery status based on jump height.
These tests are not present in the Polar Grit X, and are therefore reserved for the Grit X Pro and Vantage V2.
What's new in the Polar Grit X Pro? Those that have to do with outdoor and route navigation. To begin with it will now be possible to view the profile of the route. Obviously it will be necessary that you have created and synchronized this route before, because the watch has to know where we are going and where we are coming from.
On this screen we will have a graph of what we have already suffered and what we have left to suffer. Other information that appears is the current slope, altitude, positive and negative meters exceeded and those that we need to overcome.
As for other navigation features, basic functions are added that should have already been present. You will be able to change routes without having to stop the activity. Right now, if you want to go to a different place in the middle of your workout you must save the activity and start a new one with the second route you are going to follow. That now changes and allows you to select a new route directly, without having to finish the workout.
TrackBack or Return to Start is also included, so you can return to the starting point at any time. That is, you start your adventure and when you think you are lost enough, activate this feature and you can return along the same path you had followed. Incredible as it may seem, it is something that Polar watches did not have.
Other outdoor features we have are those related to information in watch mode and new widgets. At any time we can access those widgets where we will be able to see the altimetry profile, the compass or know the location coordinates at that moment, directly from the standby mode.
And also indication of times of sunrise, sunset and twilight.
I asked Polar if the current Polar Grit X will receive any updates with what's new in Grit X Pro and the answer is that by the end of the year there will be an update that will include some of the features released today, but not all.
Specifically, the Running Performance Test, power-based training targets, external HR sensor mode for other devices, weekly summary, change of route during training or music controls will arrive.
Polar Grit X Pro, availability and price
The Polar Grit X Pro will be available for purchase through the Polar website within a week, that is, starting October 13. The rest of the stores will have it available from October 20.
The price is €70 more than the Polar Grit X (at least official price). The titanium finish, on the other hand, is €100 more than the Polar Grit X Pro. This is the scaling of products and their prices:
- Polar Grit X — 429€, available in black/black and silver/green.
- Polar Grit X Pro — 499€, available in black, gold and rose gold. With more software features, sapphire crystal and a higher quality rubber strap.
- Polar Grit X Pro Titan — 599€. In addition to what the Polar Grit X Pro has to offer, it includes a titanium bezel and an additional leather strap.
New Polar Vantage V2 editions
The Polar Grit X Pro isn't the only Polar novelty today. The Polar Vantage V2 also gets some love as there are new versions. First of all, I'll start with the Red Edition. As you can guess, this is a new color for the Vantage V2, which you can now also buy in red.
And when I say red it's red... very red.
This new version accompanies those that were already present, in black and silver. This is not a limited edition.
Next we have the SHIFT Edition that comes with a little surprise.
As you may know (and if not I'll remind you), the Polar Vantage V2 (and V) make use of a specific strap, not being able to use a traditional strap. Polar has created an adapter that allows any standard 22mm strap to be used on the Vantage V2.
The Polar Vantage V2 SHIFT Edition, which is available in silver or black, includes two straps (like the previous Polar Grit X Pro Titan). One is made of FKM rubber for working out and the other is made of micro-perforated leather for everyday use.
The SHIFT kit will also be sold separately for all those who already own a Vantage V2. It will include the adapters and a strap, and prices start from €49.90.
New software update for Polar Vantage V2
The new software update for the Polar Vantage V2 is now scheduled. All the new features introduced today with the Polar Grit X Pro are coming to the Vantage V2 as well. The update will arrive via Polar Flow this coming October 20.
Polar Vantage V2 Red and SHIFT edition, availability and price
Availability dates are the same as for the Polar Grit X Pro. With regard to the price, the Red Edition has the same price as the rest of the range, while the SHIFT Edition is €50 more but includes two straps (and obviously, the SHIFT kit itself).
Just like I did with the Grit X Pro, here's how the Vantage V2 scaling looks like:
- Polar Vantage V2: €499 in black, silver or red (for €50 more you get a Polar H10 sensor)
- Polar Vantage V2 SHIFT Edition: €549, available in black or silver. Includes an FKM rubber strap and a micro-perforated leather strap.
Summary and opinion
With this Polar presentation today I have conflicting feelings.
On the one hand, I think that the improvement in the range is notable and does not make too much of a difference from the prices that existed before.
Take the case of the Polar Grit X Pro. For €70 more than the original model is worth we get more software features, a sapphire crystal and a higher quality rubber strap. I think it is a no brainer to opt for the Premium version of this model.
Of course, this is if we talk about recommended price, but we already know that one thing is the recommended price when the model is released to the market and quite another is the offers that are coming out as the model has been on the market for a long time.
The same applies to the Polar Vantage V2. For only €50 more the SHIFT comes with two straps, one made of rubber and the other in leather. Both better than the regular Vantage V2 silicone. It also seems like the logical option to buy.
To summarize these last paragraphs, I think that the price increase compared to the previous model is well justified (I do not enter to assess whether it is expensive or cheap compared to the competition, yet).
But now it's the turn for criticism. It's been a year and a half since the Polar Grit X hit the market. A year since the Polar Vantage V2 did it. Has Polar really only been able to make the altimetry profile, add the TrackBack feature (in the middle of 2021...) and add some basic altitude and compass displays?
In my opinion Polar should increase (quite a lot) the ability to create and launch new features, not only because its customers demand it, mainly because the competition is very tight. COROS recently launched the VERTIX 2 with maps, music, dual frequency GNSS, 140 hours of battery life, WiFi, sapphire, titanium... All that for €100 more than the Polar Grit X Pro Titan.
It doesn't mean that Polar has nothing to offer. I have been arguing for many years that they have the best training and rest monitoring and control platform (with Training Load Pro, Nightly Recharge and Recovery Pro), but you can't live on rents, and the Polar client already has all these features “amortized”.
In short, Polar needs to hit the table within what their skills and abilities are: workout tracking and physical performance. That is what Polar has always represented on the market and there have been no news about it for quite some time.
In any case, stay tuned for the full review of the Polar Grit X Pro. And until then... thanks for reading!