Multisport watch Polar Grit X in the test
Outdoor multisport watch Polar Grit X in test
Overview: What the new Polar Grit X can do
Polar Grit X plays in a new league and breaks the previously valid dimensions at Polar: the Grit X is more robust as a GPS multisport watch and smarter than previous models when it comes to smartwatch functions; it has a better battery and delivers new training functions. It has GPS, compass and altimeter. Nevertheless, the Grit X is hardly bigger than a Polar Vantage, but it looks more sophisticated.
Order here: Polar Grit X (from 429.95 €)
Polar is considered a pioneer of
Heart rate measurement, and of course the Grit X also measures the pulse: Ten small LEDs on the underside measure it on the wrist. Works very well at rest. And what the watch can read out of the heartbeat is remarkable. For example, with the Training Load Pro function, which not only measures the completed training units, but also the current condition of the runner in a Training recommendation INCLUDE (rested? Stressed? Little sleep?). This is very practical for everyday running. Sleep quality determined. Measured against own average values. Route in "Komoot" is planned online. Then via Polar Flow software is transferred to the watch. That is sometimes a little bit clumsy. And also in other software areas it is still a bit jerky. On the other hand, the basic functions can be easily operated via touchscreen or push button. This is what the Polar Grit X does with its wide range of functions. The good ergonomics to an attractive overall package – for different running levels. In addition, the Grit X has a design that is somewhere between a smartwatch and a watch. Outdoor watch also aesthetically independent.
The Polar Grit X in detail
The Polar Grit X is a watch for outdoorsmen, that's how Polar advertises it. But it's not as clunky on the wrist as many classic outdoor watches. That wouldn't suit the brand either, because Polar, so much for its history, has so far made a name for itself in the sporty, ambitious endurance sector – and that primarily with initially high-quality heart rate watches, and finally also with GPS and smartwatch technology. Design-wise, the Grit X is reminiscent of existing Polar models, namely from the Vantage series. And, this should be said in advance, whoever has had a Vantage or another model from the Polar family on their arm, can very quickly become friends with the Grit X, ergonomically as well as functionally.
Of course, with a top model like the Grit X, you look at: What can the watch do?? But before I get into that and look at the features of the watch from a runner's perspective, one thing stands out right away: The function logic and operating scheme basically follow the Polar logic. Also, who wants to use only four or five functions of the watch (actually a sacrilege), quickly gets to grips with the operation. This is – to draw this conclusion in advance – perhaps one of the biggest advantages. Because experience shows that even the runners who own a top model from the watch manufacturers use only a fraction of the available functions.
That's why I'm going to talk about some of the most frequently requested features – and those that are new to the Grit X and potentially interesting for runners.
Before the run comes the theory: Time-consuming getting to know each other
First of all, getting to know the watch and setting it up: To take advantage of the range of functions, it is essential not only to deal intensively with the watch and the more than 160-page user manual, but also to delve into the depths of the Polar Flow app and FlowSync software dive in. Last but not least, you need a few runs and quite a few test kilometers – plus the time to evaluate the training data – to optimize the personal settings. The clock is set up on the computer or via smartphone app. In the process, one encounters many functions that can be left aside for the time being.
Pulse measurement at the wrist or with a belt
The Polar Grit X can measure the pulse at the wrist, but this measurement has its pitfalls. For exact measurement, the watch must be fixed exactly behind the wrist bone, i.E. Sit correspondingly firmly on the skin. With the Grit X, the pulse measurement works very well in everyday life with quiet movements or also for sleep analysis, the ten LEDs on the bottom of the housing have been further developed by Polar so that here the pulse measurement in the text appears more accurate than in previous models. The values are also closer to reality when running – however, there were still unsatisfactory deviations in the test mean, so that the watch can only be used to a limited extent for ambitious pulse-oriented training: Anyone who wants to use the Grit X for this purpose should definitely rely on the classic chest strap H10, which is worn on the upper arm. Then the full range of functions. Exhaust the quality of pulse-oriented training analysis.
Order here: Chest strap H10
One of Polar's major innovations is the ability to route navigation. One disappointment in advance: The Grit X does not reach the standards of a car navigation system or even those of a smartphone; there is no map display on the screen. Instead, Polar is a Cooperation with Komoot received, one of the most widely used route apps among outdoorsmen, cyclists – and, to a lesser extent, runners. Komoot gives for a desired region route suggestions of other users, or one creates oneself a running round. This can be loaded onto the watch. The display points the way with thread navigation. Turns are announced in advance, visually and additionally by a slight vibration of the watch on the wrist. This works after a short familiarization excellent -. One hardly misses the lacking map display. However, the system is sometimes susceptible – for example, if you leave the specified route or take a shortcut; then the clock sometimes confuses the direction. So if you use route navigation, you also have to stick to the route shown. And you have to register with Komoot for a fee, to benefit from the full route function.
A new feature is the "FuelWise" assistant. Fluid quantity. Program time intervals. You may smile a little bit about the function at first – but on hot summer days. During long runs the function can be quite practical. Polar Grit X even analyzes different energy sources, from which the body feeds itself, divided into carbohydrates, proteins and fats. – These are quite interesting and informative values, which show clear differences after the training, depending on the intensity of the training. With training runs in the high pulse range the carbohydrate portions rise accordingly, with long, calm runs the fat portion of the energy consumption is higher. The clock measures that from body data. The individual pulse values. This creates a very detailed analysis of the delivered mileage.
Like the Polar Vantage V, the Grit X even displays wattage values – for the average and maximum wattage that the runner achieves during the run, or in the analysis after the run. Well, also these values are rather something for number freaks and training theorists or analysts; but they provide additional interesting values about the physical strain.
Barometric altitude measurement
Barometric altitude measurement is also included in the analysis. A practical function, which is also known from the Vantage V and has a high relevance especially for runs in the mountains; at the latest in the training analysis you are often quite surprised how many altitude meters were completed. For this purpose there is now the new "Hill Splitter" feature It essentially measures how many climbs and descents are completed and the time it takes to complete them. The data field appears automatically when you run a hilly course; on a flatland course in Friesland it shows nothing. However, when the first dike is climbed, the display comes on (or you select it). This is interesting for repeat runs on the mountain. For the next software update, one would of course also wish for the indication of the climbed altitude meters, possibly also the degree of incline – these values are missing so far. In any case, in combination with the very accurate GPS, the altimeter enhances the Grit X's trail running qualities.
The same applies to the barometer function: When the watch is connected to the smartphone, the weather display shows the forecasts for high and low temperature and wind data – and not only for the current day, but also as a forecast for the rest of the week.
Strong battery capacity
Polar advertises up to 100 hours of runtime per battery charge. This is of course a theoretical value, which can only be achieved by reduced GPS tracking, switched off pulse measurement and reduced display (screensaver); but you don't use the Grit X for this purpose. More relevant is that even at full function range, the battery lasts over 30 hours. So even on long alpine stages or stage runs, the battery lasts, even with GPS use. And also with repeated trainings the clock does not immediately flap, like so some Smartwatch. This is a clear progress for the training and daily routine – and altogether one of the relevant innovations with the Grit X.
A little patience is needed after the run when synchronizing with the smartphone. That takes quite a long time. And if another screen pops up in between – for example the request to update the software of the H10 pulse belt – then the synchronization breaks off. In general, communication with the smartphone takes an unusually long time. Also, for example, to change comparatively simple settings, such as turning smart notifications on or off. In the meantime, the smartphone is also blocked for other activities.
The watch's software is significantly more advanced (especially compared to the launch of the Vantage series), although minor bugs lurk in various places. In addition, some functions are not yet accessible -. Are then simply crossed out on the watch display.
Detailed sleep analysis
The sleep analysis is fully functional: basically, you get confirmation of what you know anyway, you might think, namely whether you slept well or not. For number freaks and under certain self-driving aspects – especially if one is on the road in a competitive way – the data are however interesting. The average resting pulse, the duration of the sleep phases and the breathing rate differ significantly depending on the previous day including the stress level, the moon phase or whatever else sleep may depend on. Over time, you get to know the individual factors that influence sleep, whether it's the private or foreign environment, a (too late) evening running workout, alcohol consumption in the evening or the geographical location: In thin high-altitude air, the nightly resting pulse is sometimes ten or more beats higher on average than in a suitable environment. The sleep analysis also provides information about the duration of the different sleep phases (light sleep, deep sleep and REM phase) and sleep quality (sleep tracking).
Many more functions
Otherwise, the watch is packed with numerous other features, from the Coupling with Strava live segments about guided Serenity breathing exercises ( Serene ) up to the guided Fitness test via pulse measurement. And of course Training recommendations let give, one create training plan or the Activity Tracking use.
Good ergonomics even on narrow wrists, configurable display
However, the ergonomic features are also very helpful for everyday use. The watch can be combined with different wristbands (also different colors), so it also fits on narrower wrists. The display can be configured as desired. During training, the displays are sometimes a bit small, or difficult to see in strong sunlight. Clearly noticeable are the pressure points of the pushers, which are also easy to reach and provide a high-quality haptic impression convey. They make the touchscreen – which is also sensitive – almost superfluous.
Conclusion: All-rounder with style and good ergonomics
The Polar Grit X with pulse measurement at the wrist, GPS, compass and altimeter offers extensive training and analysis functions, also for everyday life and at night, including detailed sleep analysis. Whether route guidance via Komoot, training recommendations based on the current state of exhaustion and completed training units or breathing exercises: Functionally, you can hardly miss anything in the overall package.
In addition, the Grit X scores with a high-quality finish, an independent design, good ergonomics and a strong battery. In addition, the operating scheme follows the previous Polar logic, which will be very convenient for all those who have already run with a Polar.
Points are deducted for the slow synchronization and teething problems: Smaller bugs still lurk in various places, some planned functions are not accessible yet. As with the previous models Vantage M. Vantage V must be improved here via software updates after the sales launch. However, this only slightly clouds the overall very good impression of the new Polar model.
Order here: Polar Grit X (from €429.95)
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