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Polar Grit X Pro | Full review and opinion

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The Polar Grit X Pro is the new premium bet of Polar. The Finnish manufacturer has sought to have a model in the range of which they can boast for its design and build quality, a watch that not only serves you to train but is not out of place in the office or even dressed in a suit.

That sleeker look comes thanks to a new bezel (which is what sets it apart from the regular Grit X), a higher quality strap and sapphire crystal. And there's a second twist with the Polar Grit X Pro Titan, which swaps out the steel bezel for titanium and adds a vegan leather strap. Polar wanted to make an eye-catching watch, and they've certainly succeeded.

But the Grit X Pro is not only appearance, it has also come with new software features. New screens with "outdoor" information, changes in the interface, more possibilities in navigation... in short, it is a more complete set.

The test of this watch began in Girona, within an event organized by Polar to present the new model to the press. An ideal environment to start testing an adventure watch.

Event Polar Grit X Pro

That event consisted of a gravel route, some kayak paddling and ending with a race back to the starting point.

Event Polar Grit X Pro

Let's just say that the gravel and the race didn't taste like much, but how it's noticeable when you're not used to practicing a specific sport... 😁

Event Polar Grit X Pro

That day was just the beginning of the test, then we have been getting to know each other much more calmly and I have been doing the usual tests that I submit to all the devices that pass through my hands. 

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In this 1TP10 review you can see all the details and features about the Polar Grit X Pro, but if you prefer the quick version you can press play below or go directly to YouTube.

And without further ado... with all of you, the Polar Grit X Pro.

Polar Grit X Pro

Overall - 9
Training possibilities - 7.5
Platform and applications - 9
Battery life - 8
Finishes and comfort - 9.5
Price/performance ratio - 7

8.3

TOTAL

The Polar Grit X Pro stands out for its aesthetics and use of premium materials, a step up from the original Grit X and puts it at the top of the Polar range. The new navigation features are a necessary upgrade, now offering the basic functions that are required of an adventure watch.

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The good

  • Aesthetically it is very nice
  • Sapphire glass
  • High-quality straps in both normal and Titan versions
  • Generously sized buttons with good tactile feel
  • Finally covers the basics of route navigation.

The bad

  • It is somewhat slow when scrolling through the menu, especially when compared to the competition.
  • It still has an irregular response to wrist turning. Particularly uncomfortable for viewing notifications.

Polar Grit X Pro, what's new?

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Polar Grit X Pro

The Polar Grit X Pro is an evolution of the previous model, it is not a watch that replaces it. But more than evolving in software features, it evolves in appearance and quality of materials. Yes, there are new functions, but the Polar bet has been to make a watch with a more premium look, higher quality.

Perhaps this concept was not well understood at the time of its presentation, but after spending a few weeks with the watch is something that is clearly appreciated. The detail that Polar has put into the design (especially the bezel) and the quality of materials is remarkable. In fact, I can say that it is by far the best watch Polar has ever made.

But let's take a look at all its features:

  • 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 altimetry profile when 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)
  • Widget with altimetry profile information, compass and location coordinates directly in standby mode
  • Widget with sunrise, sunset and twilight time indication
  • 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

In terms of performance, it is at the same level as the Polar Vantage V2. In fact the new features that were announced with the Polar Grit X Pro have now officially arrived in the Polar Vantage V2.

What about the original Polar Grit X? Well, for those of you who already own a Grit X there is also good news, as there are new features coming to the watch before the end of the year. Not all of them are present in the Grit X Pro, but quite a few of them. You can see what Polar will include in the original model in this other article.

But since this is the full review of the Polar Grit X Pro, this is the one to talk about.

A quick look at the Polar Grit X Pro

I start by talking about the basics of the watch. The presentation of the watch is "very Polar", the user interface and functions are what we are already used to since the arrival of the Polar Vantage a few years ago.

We have 5 control buttons. They are metallic and with small protuberances, so it is perfectly noticeable when we are passing our finger over them.

Polar Grit X Pro - Buttons

Although the buttons are the main method of control, the watch's screen is also touch-sensitive. The use made of it is quite sporadic, first because it is not necessary (with the buttons you can control everything) and also because it is a somewhat clumsy experience.

While I'm on the subject of the display, something to note is that all Polar Grit X Pro offers sapphire glass, much more scratch resistant than the Gorilla Glass lens of the original model. It also has an anti-fingerprint coating that works really well, it is not the typical screen that is always full of fingerprints as soon as we touch it.      

But if there is one thing that stands out about the Grit X Pro is the bezel. It's really nice, especially on the Titan version which is the one you see in the pictures.

Polar Grit X Pro - Bezel

This Titan version, in addition to having the titanium bezel, includes an additional strap. In addition to the FKM rubber strap of the normal Polar models, it includes a vegan leather strap that suits it fantastically well.

Polar Grit X Pro Titan - Leather Strap

I have used the watch with both straps, although I have always tried to use the rubber one for sports, and leave the leather one for daily use. Although what usually happens is that I end up leaving the rubber strap directly on the watch because I don't want to change straps.

These straps are standard size, 22mm in particular. That means that if for whatever reason you want to replace the strap of the pod watch, you can do it quickly with any strap of this size, original or from any other manufacturer. But I have to say that Polar straps are frankly good.

The rear has been modified from the original model to try to solve the altimeter problems that arose in the original model over time. The opening for taking barometric records is different.

 

Polar Grit X Pro - Barometer

The optical sensor is the same as the one found in the Polar Vantage V2 and the original Polar Grit X. It has a total of 10 LEDs of different colors (five in red, four in orange, one green) and also electrodes that serve the watch to know that there is contact between the watch and the skin. These same electrodes are used by the watch for charging and data transmission by cable.

Going back to the front of the watch, the display is the same as on the other models, 1.2″ (remember, what changes is the lens that goes on top). By today's standards it may be considered slightly small, but it is perfectly sufficient for normal use.

There are also no changes with respect to mobile notifications, and their behavior remains the same as before, which seems to me to be very improvable.

When we receive a new notification the watch vibrates, but only shows it if we raise and turn the wrist. The problem is that the Polars are not the best watches at detecting the turn of the wrist, to which we must add the time it takes for the watch to react. 

Polar Grit X Pro - Notification

This would be partly solved if the watch would display the notification directly on the screen as with other competing models. I understand that for privacy reasons Polar does not want to do this, but there should be an option and leave the user free choice. Similarly it also does not show notifications during training, something that I know is also annoying to many users of Polar.

A red dot appears at the bottom of the screen when notifications are pending. 

Polar Grit X Pro - Notification

To poder see it we have to use the touch screen and swipe from bottom to top. But since the screen response is not the best in the world either, it all ends up in a rather frustrating experience. The result is that in the end the watch vibrates and you go to look at the phone screen to see the notification.

With respect to clock settings, as usual in Polar watches, the vast majority are made from the application. There are few changes that pod we can make in the watch menu itself.

In terms of watch autonomy, with the Grit X Pro we have up to 40 hours with GPS use with 1 second recording, in addition to some battery saving modes.

  • Up to 40 hours: GPS recording at 1 second, optical sensor on, screen protector off.
  • Up to 60 hours: GPS recording at 1 minute, optical sensor on, screen protector off.
  • Up to 65 hours: GPS recording in 2 minutes, optical sensor on, screen protector off.
  • Up to 100 hours: GPS recording in 2 minutes, optical sensor off, screen protector on.

It is true that there are watches with more autonomy (with much more), but I think that with 40 hours the 95% users' needs are covered, if not more. 

Of course we have the new features that were released with the Polar Grit X: Hill Splitter, FuelWise and Power Sources. And also Training Load Pro, Recovery Pro, Sleep Plus Stages, Nightly Recharge, and Fitspark..

It is the full suite of metrics in the Polar platform that sets their products apart from the rest of the competition. The great thing about all of these features is that they are all intertwined and one feeds into the data of another. For example, Fitspark will give you workout recommendations based on your cumulative load (Training Load Pro) and how rested you are (Recovery Pro or Nightly Recharge). And now, as we will see later, the FuelWise recommendations based on the route we are going to run.

As part of the high-end Polar range, we also have the tests that debuted with the Polar Vantage V2: Running Test, Cycling Test and Leg Recovery Test.

  • Running TestGuided test to obtain VO2Max, maximum heart rate, maximum aerobic speed and maximum aerobic power.
  • Cycling TestFTP Test
  • Leg Recovery TestBy making three jumps and measuring the height reached in each one of them, the watch will indicate our recovery level.

In short, we have all the advantages of the Polar Vantage V2, so if you want to have more details of each of these features I recommend you take a look at the Vantage V2 review.in case you have any doubts about each of these functions. In this analysis I explain them in more detail, so I avoid repeating myself with the same thing.

Changes in the user interface 

The Polar Grit X Pro has taken advantage of some of the changes that came to Polar with the Vantage V2. For example the watch face selection menu that allows us to choose whether we want to show them all or hide some of them.

Polar Grit X Pro - Dashboards

Undoubtedly something necessary because these spheres or widgets are growing, and if you are not interested in any of them poder is grateful to hide it and not force us to go through it.

In fact the Grit X Pro adds two more to the collection. The first one with the sunrise and sunset times. Like all the other dials, if we click on the display or on the main button we access the extended data.

Polar Grit X Pro - Sunrise and Sunset

The second dial is the location dial, with altitude, compass and coordinate information.

Polar Grit X Pro - Dashboard location

And also inherited from the Vantage V2 a dial to control music playback (or multimedia in general) of the paired phone.

Polar Grit X Pro - Music Dashboard

Remember, it is to control the multimedia playback of the watch. The Polar Grit X Pro has no independent music playback capability and no memory to store music.

But where most changes have been made is when loading a route. Now the screen presents much more information and FuelWise allows you to add a nutrition strategy directly, but if you like that we see it below in the section corresponding to navigation.

New navigation functions

It is in navigation where the Polar Grit X Pro presents more novelties. It is logical, since it is where the watch was more lame compared to the competition.

The new features start directly on the sport profile screen itself. First we must select the profile options with the upper left button. Here we will find the route options. For them podemos use those that we upload to the platform of Polar through .gpx file or, preferably, through the web of Komoot. Why do it with Komoot? Because the routes that we synchronize from this platform will allow us to have a turn warning before reaching a fork or turn.

Once the route is selected we will find a new route selection screen. The name of the route, the distance and the possibility of starting it will appear directly.

Polar Grit X Pro - Route Navigation

But if we slide down on this same screen we will find the rest of the options. First of all a complete map of the route.

Polar Grit X Pro - Image path

And below the map, the altimetry profile we are going to have. At this point a reminder of how many accumulated meters we have ahead of us would be appreciated, but it is a start and is something that Polar can add later.

Polar Grit X Pro - Route Altitude

Lastly, pod can add a FuelWise nutrition and hydration strategy. It is good that Polar has integrated it directly into this screen, because previously we would have to go back into the options and configure it separately. This way everything is integrated and podemos manage everything faster. 

When starting a route it will ask us if we want to start from the beginning or from some point of the route. If you have very clear that you are at the beginning you can choose this first option, otherwise my recommendation is to opt for the second option because if not the clock will stay waiting for you to go to that first point. Joining at any point of the route will allow you, if you are a little more advanced, poder to start directly.

The routes are presented on the screen in a very simple way, as a dotted line. Our mission is simply to follow that line and be aware of making a turn when the clock alerts us.

Polar Grit X Pro - Turn Warning

There is a new data page that shows the complete altitude profile of the route along with our position on the route. It is a function that serves as a great help because podremos know if we have little to suffer or much to suffer. Because what is clear is that you are going to suffer...

Polar Grit X Pro - Altimetry Profile

There are no zoom options, so if it is a very long route you may be missing some detail for certain climbs. However here we have another solution with the new implementation made by Polar.

During the 1TP10 activity you can change the route at any time without stopping the activity. Before you would have to stop, save the training, start a new one and load the new route. Now you simply pause the activity (with the lower left button) and access the options.

The "Routes" option is crossed out, but we can access it.

Polar Grit X Pro - Change of Route

When selecting it, it will ask us if we want to change the route. We answer affirmatively and we find again all our synchronized routes.

As I say this opens the door to many more possibilities. As I said before you can create the route by fragments and thus have more detailed ascent profiles (as if it were the Climb Pro function of Garmin). Or have different options, for example if the weather breaks down and we want to have a quick exit route or depending on how long it has taken us to complete the route in a different way.

There is another possibility that is added to the navigation, which is to return to the beginning by retracing the route that we had done. If we select this option, a track will be loaded with the route we have done so far. But keep in mind that if you have deviated 15km to go to buy torreznos, you will see that detour again when you retrace the route. It is not the fastest way.

Polar Grit X Pro - Back to top

Additionally, there is also the option to return in a straight line, which is what was available until now. An arrow will indicate the direction to the starting point together with the distance in a straight line (passing rivers, mountains, seas, etc.). 

Polar Grit X Pro - Straight line start lap

We can switch between both options at any time along the route, depending on what helps us more at any given moment.

Finally, within the navigation itself, it is possible to select the route in reverse. It will simply reverse the direction of the route as planned, making the end the start and vice versa.

Polar Grit X Pro - Reverse Route

It can be useful because we want to do the route backwards, or to activate it in the middle of the route if we want to return to the beginning and avoid the detour of the torrens that I mentioned above.

In short, they are all new features that podemos find in many other competing watches, but were not yet available in Polar. It is undoubtedly good news because Polar already covers the basic aspects that we all need in a watch focused on the mountain and the outdoor world.

Until now it had always been their weak point and it has finally been solved. These are small steps, but they are on the right track.

GPS and optical HR sensor performance

In principle there should not be much difference in performance between the Polar Grit X Pro and the Grit X or Vantage V2. All these devices are very similar in design and features, but there are changes in materials and weight, which may mainly affect the optical pulse sensor.

The GPS comparisons are made in the same way: with the watches accompanying me in my usual workouts. Wearing both the Polar Grit X Pro and other models, and checking where the problems appear.

I do not have any defined path to establish a score for the simple reason that there are other external factors that we should never forget. Things like clouds, leaves on the trees or simply the position of the satellite can alter the GPS results from one day to the next.

This is why I prefer to make this type of comparison instead of having a predefined route and assess it from this one.

As for the optical sensor, you should keep in mind that a wrist heart rate monitor does not work the same way on every body. We are all different, and if we add into the equation things like skin tone, tattoos, body hair... the difference from person to person can be quite large.

In my tests it is not that the spectrum of users is very broad: it is me, myself and I. So what works well for me might not do it for someone else, or it might be better.

But the most important thing to keep in mind is that you have to follow some guidelines to wear the sensor. It should be tight (but not cut off your circulation), enough to keep the watch from moving freely on your wrist, leaving a separation of approximately one finger from the wrist bone. By following these details you will ensure that you get the best results that your conditions can offer.

After the "disclaimer" that I do in all my reviews, let's go to the tests themselves. I will try to be brief and concise because this section is always a bit tedious both for you to read it and for me to write it. 

I'll start directly with this interval training. In addition to the Grit X Pro, I'm also using the Grit X Pro with a Garmin Forerunner 745 with the sensor Polar H10 together with the external optical sensor Polar Verity Sense

Polar Grit X Pro - Optical Pulse Sensor

After a somewhat erratic start by all three (I guess the Verity Sense has been the best behaved at the beginning), the warm-up period at a smooth and steady pace is good by all three devices.

The intervals come after 15 minutes of warm-up and this is where slight problems can be seen on the part of the Grit X Pro. 

The first of them starts late, although the remaining ones nail the start with respect to the other two sensors that I have with me. But where you can see a consistent behavior is at the end of the interval, where the Grit X Pro has a tendency to take a little longer to make the pulse drop than the other two sensors.

Reviewing the GPS track of this training, nothing strange can be seen. I did quite a few laps doing the intervals, as it was a windy day and I was trying to make sure that the work periods coincided with the wind in my favor.

Polar Grit X Pro - GPS

In the first descent towards the promenade there is some small difference, but once the GPS has "warmed up", both tracks coincide completely one over the other.

Let's go with another workout, also intervals but longer. Here I also add the Polar Vantage V2 to the comparison.

Polar Grit X Pro - Optical Pulse SensorHere we have a more erratic performance from the Polar H10 that I have synchronized with the FR745. At the start of the workout both Grit X Pro and Vantage V2 are in full agreement, but the Polar H10 on the chest ramps up the measurement too much. This is because with the cold and dryness of the environment, until I start sweating there is no good transmission for the sensor electrodes. This is common with chest sensors at this time of year.

This strange behavior is repeated later in the third interval, possibly caused by unwanted sensor movements. But as for the two optical sensors (those of Vantage V2 and Grit X Pro), there is almost absolute agreement between them. Only one error can be perceived at the end of the second interval, on the part of the Polar Grit X Pro.

On the GPS side it is similar to the previous example.

Polar Grit X Pro - GPS

With the naked eye and without zooming in, the three tracks coincide fully, there is no glaring error that draws direct attention. 

That's not to say that there aren't occasional moments where there's a one-off error. For example in this turn, where the Vantage V2 moves slightly off the actual path, but quickly returns to the correct path.

Polar Grit X Pro - GPS

The behavior of all members of the comparison is quite good, even in this area of Puerto Banús where reception is complicated by the buildings on both sides and the row of trees. 

Polar Grit X Pro - GPS

Here it can be seen that the performance is much more irregular than in the areas where there is perfect sky visibility, but within the most difficult conditions the result is still more than acceptable.

Regarding the barometric altimeter, here you can see a running workout in which I do constant ascents and descents.

Polar Grit X Pro - Barometric AltimeterNote that I have not done altitude calibration on any of the three devices, so the initial records are different as I let them each calibrate themselves. That is, with the GPS data they get at the start of the route and which is typically erroneous in the 3D domain (which is why we look for watches with barometric altimeters if we care about altitude data).

But the curves are parallel at all times between the Polar Grit X Pro, the Garmin FR745 and the Polar FR745. COROS APEX Pro. This is how it should behave, because it all depends on the initial registration, which I repeat, in case of not calibrating, will depend on the data you want to obtain through the GPS.

The original Polar Grit X had problems with the barometric altimeter, but that is something that arose over time. The Grit X Pro has the redesigned housing and in principle should be free of that problem (at least on a large scale), but it's something that can only be appreciated after many months of use anyway. 

All in all, there is not much to highlight about the Polar Grit X Pro, which is positive. In the case of GPS there are some occasional errors, exactly as can happen with any other model on the market. When those errors occur the corrections are quick and it immediately returns to the correct point.

The optical pulse sensor is generally good, although in intervals it tends to suffer especially at the end of intervals. This is a common tendency for optical sensors that are integrated in watches. But in constant and continuous efforts the record is just as valid as if we use an external pulse sensor.

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Polar Grit X Pro

Polar Grit X Pro Review

When Polar introduced the Grit X Pro, perhaps I didn't quite understand what the model's mission was within its range. It is a modest upgrade over the original Grit X, but it represents a quantum leap in terms of image and product quality. 

The Polar Grit X Pro is the best Polar watch in its history, there is no doubt about it. In terms of performance, materials, image and operation. 

I think Polar is right to include a watch with such a neat aesthetic. How many Fenixs has Garmin sold simply because its aesthetic appeals to the buyer? I see a lot of people with one on their wrist who probably have never worn trail running shoes in their life. That's not a bad thing, they simply want a watch that they can use to keep track of their activity and they are looking for a certain aesthetic.

But this is not to say that my initial considerations are not correct. You have to ask Polar to invest more in developing new attention-getting features; like when the Grit X introduced Hill Splitter or FuelWise, or Training Load Pro and Sleep Plus Stages with the Vantage.

The Polar Grit X Pro is a really nice watch, especially in its Titan version and with the leather strap. A watch that serves you perfectly to be in the office during the week and to fill it with mud on the weekend. And that's something the customer is also looking for and willing to pay for. 

The new features that the Grit X Pro has incorporated with respect to navigation were necessary, simply to bring its performance in line with the rest of the competition and to cover the user's basic needs. In this section it still does not stand out, but at least it is no longer lame.

And you know, if you have any questions or comments regarding the Polar Grit X Pro, you can find them in the comments below, thanks for reading!

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3 Comments

  1. I am amused by the POLAR GRIT X PRO.
    This is the GRIT X that POLAR should have taken out from the beginning, and from here on update it.
    This is my opinion, of course

  2. I think the 1.2 and 4 data/display penalizes it against competition. Also no barometer profile, barometric trend or storm alarm. I agree that it may be a great watch but in an outdoor watch is out of place to lack these data, data that offer their competition in price and quality. The truth is that I expected that at least match the competition but in outdoor is still behind and even more considering that Garmin will soon release the Fenix 7 and Suunto has been many years without renewing the 9 Baro (the 9 peak is a version of this) and should be close to renewal. I have been using polar for more than 10 years and honestly for me and in watches the most outstanding were; rs800cx (cs660 x on bike) v800 and m400. Currently if I still use polar is because since the s520 I have been using them and in training they are very very reliable and very good algorithms but although I would have liked to renew the v800 I do not see the point in doing so, especially when mountain biking and hiking is my thing and in that the competition is beating him ......en bike or talk, for now to continue with the m460 and maybe also look at a v650 for maps ....will have to wait if the 2022 bring something, if it does, I think so.

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