Polar has unveiled the $500 Grit X Pro. An incremental upgrade over last year’s device, it adds a slightly better build, a compass, support for Galileo & QZSS satellite systems, new dashboards and additional navigation features.
Polar Grit X can be characterized as a reasonably priced, rugged, multi sports watch for the outdoorsy types. The device offers great battery life and some innovative features.
A testament to its build quality is the US military-grade standard (MIL-STD-810G) certification it boasts. The high strength stainless steel case and glass fibre reinforced polymer back cover can withstand extreme temperatures and environments. Nevertheless, Grit X is very lightweight at a mere 64 grams (44 g without the wristband).
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Another highlight is its battery life. The device keeps going for 40 hours and that’s with GPS and all the other functionality switched on. In pure smartwatch mode, battery life is about a week.
Some innovative features for the outdoorsy types and trail runners include Hill Splitter, Fuel Wise and the ability to plan routes in detail using Komoot. Plus there are the advanced coaching features from the Vantage series and Polar Ignite range, such as FitSpark, Nightly Recharge, Training Load Pro, Sleep Plus Stages, Running Power and more.
Polar Grit X Pro vs Grit X – what’s new and different?
Polar Grit X Pro is not all-to-different from its predecessor. Of course, it retains all its features such as detailed performance metrics and recovery data, and slaps on a few new ones.
Although the watch still has the same 1.2 inch display with thick bezels, there’s new Sapphire glass for extra durability. This should make it a bit sturdier outdoors. The overall weight is up by some 15 grams.
The only sensor that has been added is a compass. We were hoping for an SpO2 sensor as this is something that is missing on Grit X. Keeping tabs on blood oxygen via a pulse oximeter on the wrist is something that would be useful for those going out and hiking or running through the mountains. Most sports watches these days have an SpO2 sensor.
Grit X Pro comes with two new dashboards. One of these shows sunrise, sunset and daylight times. The other one displays info from the barometric-based altimeter, GPS coordinates, and a compass.
Sattelite positioning should be slightly better as the Pro version slaps on support for Galileo & QZSS systems. This is in addition to GPS and GLONASS.
The other upgrades include some new navigation features, heart rate broadcasting, music controls and Recovery Pro. Grit X will be receiving some of these features via a firmware update. But it will not get the orthostatic test, leg recovery test and cycling test and all the new reverse route features.
Battery life is unchanged despite the new features. The watch also has power saving options you can switch on.
The $500 Grit X Pro is offered in a choice between coper, gold and black options. There’s also a fancier Grit X Pro Titan model that runs an extra $100. For that you get a case made of ultra-strength, aerospace titanium. This shaves some 12% off the overall weight and you’ll also get an additional perforated leather band in the box.
Other product announcements
Polar has worked hard in recent years to position itself as a diverse manufacturer of smartwatches. They now have a health range of devices for fitness enthusiasts, as well as serious runners and the more outdoorsy types.
Accompanying today’s launch is news on some other products. The company has also announced a $550 Vantage V2 Shift Edition that is offered in a Black and Silver variant. Both offer the above mentioned perforated leather wristband and a waterproof FKM wristband. Basically, these are just some styling upgrades over the original Vantage V2. The company is also offering a new Red edition that comes together with a H10 heart rate strap. Polar Unite also gets some new colors, including Teal and Red.
Later this year Polar will release a firmware update to its existing watches, including the Vantage V2 and Unite. The first gets some always on dashboard features, new route and elevation profiles, and navigate back to start using the new Track Back feature. It will also get the ability to broadcast heart rate. Polar Unite will get weekly training stats, energy source info and heart rate sensor mode.
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