Polar’s Grit X multisport watch goes Pro

Polar is making a number of updates to its family of sport watches today. This includes the launch of the Polar Grit X Pro for outdoor multisport enthusiasts, alongside feature and design tweaks to the company’s “premium” Vantage V2 multisport watch and Polar Unite fitness watch.

The Grit X Pro is an update to the Grit X launched last year. For an extra $70/€70, the $499.90/€499.90 Pro model adds a tougher sapphire lens and a durable yet supple FKM watch band. It also adds Track Back routing to help you return to your starting point on unknown trails, Performance Tests to measure your V02max fitness level, and quick access to altimeter, coordinates, and compass via always-on dashboards. Otherwise, you’re pretty much looking at the same specs as last year: GPS/A-GPS, waterproof to 100 meters, turn-by-turn navigation when linked with Komoot, and what’s considered to be one of the most accurate heart rate sensors available on any watch. Grit X watches will last for up to 40 hours of battery life in full GPS and heart-rate tracking modes, up to 100 hours by disabling some features, or up to seven days in watch mode. The Grit X Pro is available in copper, black, and gold.

If weight is a primary concern (rugged multisport watches are heavy!), then Polar is also selling a titanium version, which is 12 percent lighter for $599.95/€599.90 — a price that includes a second band made of leather. The watch plus leather band weighs 53g in total, or 73g with FKM band. The Grit X Pro Titan is now the most expensive sport watch in Polar’s lineup.

Polar sent me a copper-colored Grit X Pro review unit to test. Although I’ve only used it for a few days, I can already say that the Pro model, like the Grit X it builds upon, offers a respectable mix of features for the price. It lacks some capabilities like on-device topographic trail maps and local storage for music that you’ll find on other multisport outdoor watches, but Polar’s latest covers most of the basics nicely. Uniquely, Polar’s Fitspark workout suggestions are actually quite useful since they’re tailored to my current fitness level, goals, activity history, and nightly recharge score that takes into account how well I’ve slept.

I really like the weight, look, and textured buttons of the Grit X Pro, but I find the display to be less readable, both indoors and out, compared to class-leading sport watches like the more expensive Garmin Fenix 6 Pro. I also like the texture of the FKM rubber band, and the durability looks promising compared to the basic silicone bands often bundled with other sport watches (I tore one of Garmin’s while mountain biking, for example).

Polar’s $499.95 Vantage V2, launched last year, is the company’s multisport watch for those repulsed by the Grit’s chiseled aesthetic. Now, in addition to a new bright red colorway, Polar is giving the Vantage V2 the ability to quickly swap out bands to make this sport watch suitable for more occasions.

Today, the Vantage V2 is getting a $549.95 Shift Edition, available in silver and black, that ships with leather and FKM straps fitted with new quick release bars. Current Vantage V2 owners can buy a $49.95 Shift Edition bundle, which includes the quick-release adapter bars and choice of any 22mm Polar band.

Vantage V2 owners are also getting a 3.0 software update on October 20th that mirrors the latest additions added to the Grit X Pro. These include always-on dashboard features like compass and altimeter, navigation features to help you return to the start of your journey, and an HR sensor mode that uses Bluetooth to show your heart rate on gym equipment and mobile apps.

Finally, Polar is giving its lightweight (32g) $149.95 Unite watch new red and teal colorways alongside a software update. The update trickles down features like weekly summaries and energy source (carbs, proteins, and fats) consumption estimates available on other Polar watches, in addition to the same HR sensor mode coming to the Vantage V2.