New from Polar is the Grit X, a watch aimed at those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, trail running, and more. This is a watch that hopes to live up to its rough and tough name and has the specs to do just that with military level build quality ratings. But the Grit X also has a lot of smarts under the hood for monitoring your health and fitness needs.
With a diameter of 47mm and thickness of 13mm it’s a large watch but a larger watch face will be appreciated when outdoors and when using navigational, turn-by-turn guidance on the trail. At 64 grams it’s lighter than the Garmin Fenix 6 and also not quite as thick. It’s also quite a bit more affordable in comparison with a list price of $429.95. The Fenix 6 is about $800.
The Grit X is also aimed at runners and endurance athletes by providing nutritional guidance. FuelWise lets you know when and how many carbs you need based upon your activities. It also has drink reminders to ensure you remember to stay well hydrated.
For outdoor activities the Grit X shines with route planning through Komoot or through Polar Flow. Routes can be downloaded directly to the watch for turn-by-turn navigation.
I’m a big fan of turn-by-turn navigation not because I do a lot of deep woods hiking but because I find it motivational and fun. It encourages me to go farther and to places I might not have been to before.
Something unique to the Grit X is Hill Splitter which focuses on elevation during your workouts or long hikes. This is a feature I’ll have to test out to give the full rundown on it but basically it will better understand your workout sessions by taking into account uphill and downhill portions of your session.
I’m glad to see that FitSpark is on board. I got to use this on the Polar Ignite and was impressed with the daily fitness guidance. If you follow the suggestions you will become more fit as it will challenge you.
The fitness level estimate is also brutally honest which any good human trainer would be as well. It’ll let you know where you stand and how to improve.
Of course sleep tracking is supported and it uses Polar’s Nightly Recharge feature that I also enjoyed using on the Polar Ignite. The fitness activities that are suggested through FitSpark are based in part upon how recharged you are. It’ll give you better individual guidance based upon this information.
Both pool and open water swimming are supported with a waterproof rating of 100 meters so it should be able to handle rainy weather just fine.
GPS sensors are also supported such as chest heart rate straps, cadence sensors, etc. For more intense workouts or those that involved a lot of flexing of the wrists a Bluetooth connected chest heart rate strap will provide the most accurate data. The Grit X has an optical heart rate sensor and an advanced one at that but some activities push the limits of wrist based HR sensors on any watch.
Over 130 different sports activities are supported so whether your activity is indoors or outdoors it’s probably supported. If not, you can create activities yourself and add them to the watch.
The Grit X has a stainless steel case, a glass fiber reinforced polymer back and smear resistance and crack resistance Gorilla Glass. The 1.2 inch display has a 240×240 resolution for fairly crisp rendering. The full color screen is also touch sensitive. 5 buttons also can be used for operating the watch which is ideal when you’re on the move.
The 346 mAh battery supports up to 40 hours in training mode which is pretty impressive. For regular daily usage you can expect up to 7 days between recharging.
Smartphone notifications are supported for both iOS and Android but you won’t be able to interact with notifications. Still it’s handy to see text messages and who is calling you on your wrist.
Initially the Grit X will only be available on Polar’s website but will be hitting retail stores shortly thereafter. I look forward to taking the Grit X out on the trails for an in-depth review.