Polar has recently made its Grit X smartwatch official. This is a rugged device built for adventurers and those into multi-sports.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
The company now has a range of great devices on offer. Grit X joins Vantage V and Vantage M, also timepieces built for those into multi-sports. Polar has really stepped up its game. The latest crop of watches are the most advanced it its history.
If you’re looking for a great sports tracker, one of these watches might fit the bill. Read on to find out how they compare.
Polar Grit X vs Vantage V vs Vantage M: Specs
Polar Vantage V and Vantage M were launched in September last year. Vantage V is geared towards the serious fitness enthusiast. Vantage M is a slightly stripped back version that also comes with a much lower price-tag. These were not just iterative upgrades on Polar’s previous sports-watches. The devices are round, they are more lightweight, and they come with features you won’t find on the watches they replace.
Starting off with design, Vantage V and M both measure 46 x 46 mm, but the first is slightly thicker coming in at 13.0mm vs the 12.5mm of its lower-spec brother. At 66 grams and with a stainless steel front case it is also heavier (vs 45 grams and a polymer case). The more durable build is reflected in the water-proofing, as well. Vantage V is good down to depths of 50 meters and Vantage M to 30 meters.
Another design difference is to do with the display. While both timepieces have a 1.2 inch colour screen, only Vantage V is touch-enabled. You will need to learn to navigate the menus purely via the five physical buttons on Vantage V.
Throw in the Grit X and you get an even more robust device. Water resistant down to depths of 100 meters, this one also has an extremely high strength stainless steel case, but with a larger diameter of 47.0mm. The depth is the same as the Vantage V as is the display.
The larger case size allows Grit X and Vantage V to house bigger batteries. The 346 mAh Li-pol battery on Grit X is good for up to 40 hours in training mode and 7 days in normal smartwatch mode. You’ll get the same battery life with Vantage V’s 320 mAh Li-pol battery. Vantage M’s 230 mAh Li-pol battery keeps going a bit less – 30 hours in training mode and around 5 days in smartwatch mode.
Polar Vantage M
Under the hood there’s not much difference between the sensors. All of the watches come with Polar Precision Prime. This fuses three different methods to improve heart rate tracking.
The watches also come with GPS/GLONASS. In addition to an accelerometer, Grit X and Vantage V have a barometer, something you won’t find on Vantage M.
Here’s how the specs compare.
|Grit X||Vantage V||Vantage M|
|Material||Extreme high strength stainless steel case. Glass fibre reinforced polymer back cover.||Extremely strong stainless steel case. Glass fiber reinforced polymer back cover.||Glass fiber reinforced polymer case. Stainless steel bezel, buttons and buckle.|
|Dimensions||47.0mm x 47.0mm||46.0mm x 46.0mm||46.0mm x 46.0mm|
|Display size||1.2 inches (resolution 240 x 240 pixels)||1.2 inches (resolution 240 x 240 pixels)||1.2 inches (resolution 240 x 240 pixels)|
|Display||Always-on colour touch display. Laminated Gorilla glass lens with anti-fingerprint coating, protected with extruded stainless steel bezel with lugs.||Always on color touch display. Laminated Gorilla glass lens with anti-fingerprint coating.||Always-on colour display. Hard-coated PMMA laminated lens.|
|Battery||346 mAh Li-pol battery||320 mAh Li-pol battery||230 mAh Li-pol battery|
|Battery life||up to 40 h in training mode (GPS and wrist-based heart rate) or up to 7 days in standard watch mode. Power saving options available.||up to 40 h in training mode (GPS and wrist-based heart rate). Watch mode with heart rat: up to 7 days.||up to 30 h in training mode (GPS and wrist-based heart rate). Watch mode with heart rate: up to 5 days.|
|Water resistance||up to 100 metres (WR100)||up to 50 metres (WR50)||up to 30 metres (WR30)|
|Weight||64 grams||66 grams||45 grams|
|Sensors||GPS/GLONASS, accelerometer, heart rate, barometer||GPS/GLONASS, accelerometer, heart rate, barometer||GPS/GLONASS, accelerometer, heart rate|
Polar Grit X vs Vantage V vs Vantage M: Functionality
All three of these are watches built for ambitious goal-oriented athletes. They track over 130 different sports so will have you covered whatever you’re into. There’s also a multi-sport mode to keep tabs on different sports in the same session.
In terms of basic activity and recovery tracking there’s no difference between them. All of the watches have Serene breathing exercise, Nightly Recharge recovery measurement, continuous heart rate, sleep tracking, 24/7 activity tracking, activity goal, active time, steps and distance, activity summary, activity benefit and inactivity alerts.
They also come with a state of the art heart rate monitor which allows them to integrate a new approach to measuring your Cardio, Muscle and Perceived Training Load as a whole. The differences are mainly to do some of the training functionality. The table below shows a recap.
|Grit X||Vantage V||Vantage M|
|Running power from the wrist||Yes||Yes||via 3rd party sensor|
|Training Load Pro (Muscle load)||Yes||Yes||via 3rd party sensor|
|Strava Live segments||Yes||Yes|
Starting with Vantage V and M, the main differences here are the addition of Running Power from the wrist and Recovery Pro on the higher spec device. Vantage V also automatically measures your Muscle Load from running. You will need to opt for a third-party sensor if you want to measure Running Power or Muscle Load on Vantage M.
Recovery Pro provides a holistic understanding of the balance between training and recovery by measuring daily and long-term recovery, thus letting you know when its time to rest when to push hard. To measure you do need to connect Vantage V to a chest strap such as the Polar H10.
Running Power is a single digit for runners that accounts for terrain, form, and fatigue and tells them how hard to move. Simply set a power target and the watch will help you tweak your pace allowing you to go strong without hitting the wall.
Just like Vantage M, Grit X lacks Recovery Pro but it has Muscle Load and Running Power from the wrist. This is in addition to a few extras of its own including something Polar calls Hill Splitter and FuelWise.
The first lets you know with detailed stats how you performed on ascent and descent segments of your route. This is something those that like trekking will appreciate.
The second aims to address something many outdoor enthusiasts do not pay enough attention to – hydration and nutrition consistency. The functionality is both manual and automatic and makes sure you stay energised by delivering timely nutrition and refuelling reminders.
Polar Vantage V
In terms of non-fitness functions, there is not too much to write home about. The watches keep you connected on the go. But there’s no NFC, music storage or any other fancy functionality.
Polar Grit X vs Vantage V vs Vantage M: The bottom line
Polar has really stepped up its game over the past year. All three of these are state of the art devices that will have you covered no matter what sport you’re into.
If you don’t need all the bells and whistles and would like to focus on essentials, Vantage M is the obvious choice. It has most of the functionality of the other two, but in a less expensive wrapper.
The main differences between Grit X and Vantage V are the more robust design of the first and the inclusion of some features that will appeal to adventurers. Here we’re talking about the new Hill Splitter and FuelWise functions.
Polar Grit X
Vantage V is the most expensive of the three. It costs more than Grit X primarily because of the extra recovery insights that might appeal to some runners and cyclists.
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