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Polar Grit X2 Pro review
7:58 pm | June 18, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Fitness Trackers Gadgets Health & Fitness | Tags: | Comments: Off

One-minute review

The Polar Grit X2 Pro is the brand’s attempt to introduce an outdoor sports watch that can compete with both long-term rivals and those brands that are new to the space.

The Grit X Pro was launched two and half years ago, and while it offered improvements on Polar’s first Grit watch, it was still lacking some big features to compete with the best running watches out there.

That changes with the Grit X2 Pro. By adding features such as free topographic maps, dual-frequency GPS, new biometric sensor technology and an AMOLED color screen, Polar is hoping to level the playing field somewhat and better compete with top-end rivals.

What we get with the Grit X2 Pro is an outdoor watch that definitely feels more in line with models such as the Garmin Epix Pro, the Suunto Vertical and the Apple Watch Ultra 2; but in many respects, it isn't a better watch than any of these.

Polar has definitely made moves in the right direction in terms of mapping and navigation to make the device a great outdoor companion, while adding a color screen and innovations such as dual-frequency GPS also heighten its appeal. Crucially, the software that wraps this all up has also improved.

The Grit X2 Pro is absolutely better than the Grit X, and also steps up on the Grit X Pro; but its price, along with the rival watches and features available around the same price, means it doesn’t quite stand head and shoulders above other outdoor watches right now.

Polar Grit X2 Pro: Specifications

Polar Grit X2 Pro watch worn on the wrist with clock face and step count

(Image credit: Future)

Polar Grit X2 Pro: Price and release date

The Polar Grit X2 Pro launched in March 2024 and is available to buy directly from Polar. It’s also available from watch-specific outlets such as First Class Watches. Priced at $749.95 / £649.99 / AU$1,099.99, it’s significantly more expensive than the Grit X Pro at launch.

Compare that to rival outdoor watches – the obvious comparison here is the Garmin Epix Pro (47mm edition), which comes in at $899.99 / £829.99 / AU$$1,529. There’s the Suunto Vertical (from £545), too, although unlike the Grit X2 Pro and the Epix Pro, it doesn’t include an AMOLED display. Also in this company is the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Value score: 4 / 5

Polar Grit X2 Pro: Design and screen

  •  Attractive, rugged design with nicely textured buttons 
  •  Bright and vibrant AMOLED screen 
  •  Built with military-grade durability 

Polar Grit X2 Pro watch on a log showing clock face and step count

(Image credit: Future)

You certainly can’t accuse Polar of trying to model the Grit X2 Pro on other outdoor watches; you won’t mistake it for an Apple Watch Ultra 2, Garmin Epix Pro or a Suunto Vertical, that’s for sure.

While the look is in keeping with its predecessor, the case size has grown from the 47mm of the Grit X Pro to the 48.6mm-sized case here. It’s slightly thicker (13.4mm compared to 13mm) and heavier (57g up from 47g), too. The Grist X2 Pro definitely has the stature and feel of a watch such as the Garmin Epix Pro. It isn’t the smallest watch that you wouldn’t think twice about wearing to bed, but neither is as hulking as the Coros Vertix 2S, for example.

The rear of the case is made from bio-based plastic, while you have a choice of either a stainless steel or titanium front case, with the latter pushing up the price. Both include the 5-button array of nicely textured buttons that are easily located and responsive when your hands are sweaty or you’re wearing gloves.

Polar Grit X2 Pro watch on the wrist showing bezel thickness

(Image credit: Future)

These are joined by a new 1.39-inch, 454 x 45 resolution AMOLED touchscreen, which delivers a step up on the Grit X Pro display for both screen estate and screen colour. The display is protected by Sapphire glass and is one you can keep on at all times, which you may well wish to do since the raise to wake support isn’t always reliable. There’s a new flashlight mode, but it’s of the kind that illuminates the screen as opposed to a unit that’s built into the watch case. A high-quality AMOLED, it displays a decent top brightness, accurate colours and offers excellent visibility both outdoors and indoors.

Holding that screen to your wrist is a very comfortable silicone strap with a stainless steel buckle; the strap is designed to help improve the reliability of optical heart rate tracking. You do have the option of a leather band, too, although you’ll have to pay extra for that luxury.

In terms of durability, the Grit X2 Pro retains the same MIL-STD-810H military standard of durability as the Grit X Pro, and arrives with the same waterproofing rating. This means it will happily handle being submerged in up to 100 meters of water, and the watch does offer both pool and open water swimming modes.

Design score: 4.5 / 5

Polar Grit X2 Pro: Features

  •  Dual-frequency GPS 
  •  Free offline maps 
  •  Elixir sensor brings ECG measurements 

Polar Grit X2 Pro watch on the wrist showing offline maps

(Image credit: Future)

The addition of a few significant features see the Grit X2 Pro take a sizeable leap ahead of the Grit X Pro. The first is the addition of the free, topographic maps, with Europe and US maps already preloaded onto the watch. The Grit X Pro only offered the ability to view simpler breadcrumb trails via third-party app Komoot, so this is a massive change on the mapping support front.

This brings improvements on the navigation front, too, with support added for importing routes from Strava (if you have a premium subscription) – although this has also been rolled out to the Grit X Pro.

On the tracking front, much of what we’ve already seen introduced on Polar’s Vantage V3 watch has been added on the Grit X2 Pro. There’s new swimming metrics, the ability to view your vertical and 3D speed, and Polar’s new Work-rest-guide for indoor training, to prompt you when to rest and resume sets during workouts.

Polar Grit X2 Pro watch showing nightly skin temperature reading

(Image credit: Future)

However, the big one here for outdoor lovers is the dual-frequency GPS mode, which seeks to improve outdoor tracking accuracy when in deeply wooded areas, during adverse weather conditions, and when in the vicinity of tall buildings. While not new to outdoor and sports watches in general, it means the Grit X2 Pro joins the Vantage V3 and the Ignite 3 in benefiting from the latest positioning technology innovation.

Another promised advancement concerns the change in the sensor technology Polar includes in the Grit X2 Pro. Polar’s new Elixir sensor setup is designed to sit closer and more comfortably on your wrist. It packs in Polar’s latest generation optical heart rate sensor technology, along with the ability to track SpO2 levels and skin temperature at night. It also adds ECG measurements – although, unlike Apple or Samsung’s inclusion of an ECG sensor on their smartwatches, it isn’t designed for medical use. Instead, it’s there to help make the most of Polar’s fitness tests, which previously required an external heart rate monitor.

Polar also wants the Grit X2 Pro to be a better smartwatch, so the notification and music control features included on the Grit X Pro remain, with the added colour touchscreen now making what was pretty basic smartwatch support more engaging to use.

Features score: 4 / 5

Polar Grit X2 Pro watch elixir sensor

(Image credit: Future)

Polar Grit X2 Pro: Performance

Polar Grit X2 Pro watch showing hiking mode

(Image credit: Future)

Getting the watch setup with Polar’s Flow companion smartphone app can typically be a little hit and miss in terms of pairing watch to app, though thankfully it was straightforward here. Like the Vantage V3, the Grit X2 Pro does have a tendency to disconnect itself from the paired smartphone, which can at times be irritating if you’re relying on the notifications feature, for example.

When it’s time to get tracking, there are more than 150 sports profiles from which to choose, and you can control which ones show up on the watch from the Flow app. Polar has essentially taken what it offered on the Vantage V3 and presented them here in a more rugged frame.

Most notable over the Grit X Pro is the dual-frequency mode offered here, which in testing proved a strong example of how such a feature can boost outdoor tracking accuracy in problematic areas. It was certainly a cut above the Grit X Pro, holding up well in testing against watches offering similar support such as the Garmin Epix Pro and the Apple Watch Ultra 2. The Grit X2 Pro isn’t the very best in class for this type of support, and does still have a habit of smoothing out corners like the Vantage V3, but overall it performed very well in our tests.

The Grit X2 Pro makes improvements to mapping and navigation support, too, which brings Polar’s outdoor watch much closer to Garmin, and now Suunto, in this regard. Having a splash of colour on-screen also makes using those features more pleasing.

Polar Grit X2 Pro watch navigation feature

(Image credit: Future)

Maps are easy to read, nicely detailed, and you can use both the touchscreen and physical buttons to interact with them. There’s support for turn-by-turn guidance – although, like the Vantage V3, it’s accessible only through third-party app Komoot; this isn’t the case for using Garmin and Suunto’s outdoor watches. Is it the best mapping and navigation support available on an outdoor watch? No. Is it a huge step in the right direction for Polar? Absolutely.

In terms of the other components that make up Polar’s sports tracking, such as its FitSpark suggested workouts, and its Training Load and Recovery Pro insights, features are certainly easier to engage with and metrics to absorb than elsewhere. The presentation of some training insights could perhaps benefit from being more simplified, because there are absolutely some useful insights here.

Sleep tracking is a standout feature for Polar’s watches, and that doesn’t change with the Grit X2 Pro. Nightly recharge measurements and being able to view your general energy boost from sleep are useful added sleep insights, that’s crucially underpinned by sleep tracking that beats what you’ll get from Garmin and Polar for accuracy.

Polar Grit X2 Pro watch showing cardio load status

(Image credit: Future)

Polar’s heritage is built on heart rate, yet the heart rate tracking performance on the Grit X2 Pro appears to fall in line with our experience of the Vantage V3. That new Elixir sensor array didn’t show any notable signs of improvement from Polar’s previous Precision Prime sensor sensor technology. It’s generally fine for steady-paced workouts, but even on easier runs, the maximum and average heart rate readings seemed a little off at times against both Polar and Garmin heart rate monitor chest straps at times.

Thankfully, Polar has addressed some issues regarding how smooth its software runs on its watches. It has boosted CPU speeds (from 120MHz to 275MHz) and ramped up the memory, all while keeping storage at the 32GB of the Grit X Pro. As a result, swiping through screens is a smoother experience, and performance doesn’t labor in the same way it did on previous Grit watches.

In terms of battery life, the Grit X2 Pro will get you through a week with features such as dual-frequency GPS mode and sleep tracking engaged. Polar quotes up to 10 days in smartwatch mode and 43 hours of GPS battery life. Those are the same numbers attached to the Vantage V3. If you decide to use those features regularly and turn the screen to always-on, battery life will drop to a maximum of five days. As such, if you can live without a 24/7 screen, the Grit X2 Pro will last noticeably longer between charges.

There’s a slight change with the charging setup here, too: the proprietary cable remaining the same as Polar switches from a USB-A to a USB-C connection when you want to power up that watch again.

Performance score: 4 / 5

Polar Grit X2 Pro watch showing 'fueling' feature

(Image credit: Future)

Polar Grit X 2 Pro: Scorecard

Should I buy the Polar Grit X2 Pro?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

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First reviewed: June 2024

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