Polar Grit X Pro review: a fitness watch that matches your fit (2023)

While modern smartwatches have made health tracking a priority, there’s still a subsection of watches that are all about fitness. You’ve seen them. They’re the hulking monstrosities worn by your really outdoorsy friend who’s always posting pics of their latest hike, ski trip, or running route. These fitness-first smartwatches generally have battery life measured in days instead of hours, superior navigational features, and in-depth metrics at the expense of features like contactless payments or cellular connectivity. This describes the $499.95 Polar Grit X Pro to a T — and hey, it’s not an eyesore!

Usually, it’s all about the metrics and GPS accuracy with this kind of smartwatch. I’ll dive into that in a bit, but it’s a big deal that the Grit X Pro looks as nice as it does. A lot of that comes from the colorways and smaller design flourishes. While the Grit X came in black and silver and green, the Pro comes in black, “Nordic” copper, and “Arctic” gold. There’s also a premium version, the Grit X Pro Titan. For $599.95, that gets you a lighter titanium casing and a perforated leather band. You can peep the entire lineup here, but each option looks more sophisticated than its Grit X counterparts. My review unit is the gold version, and when I look down at my wrist, it doesn’t look as obnoxious as other rugged watches I’ve tested over the years. The bezel has compass-inspired etchings, which gives it a much sleeker vibe. Another nice touch is the textured fluoroelastomer strap. You get the look of a woven fabric strap, but it’s still sweat and waterproof.

The stylishness of the Grit X Pro — as well as its more recent watches — is a step forward for Polar. I remember the days of the M600, which, uh, definitely put style second. For a long time, Polar’s wearables were either blocky and aggressively neon or so boring it wasn’t worth commenting. It’s encouraging to see the brand put effort into flipping the script.

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Style doesn’t come at the expense of durability either. The Grit X Pro has sapphire glass over the transflective display and is water-resistant to 328 feet. It can also operate between -4 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s overkill for my daily life. In my three weeks of testing, I did not brave the Antarctic tundra, traverse the Saharan desert, or plunge deep into the Atlantic. But I did fall and bump into multiple objects, wear the Grit X Pro in the shower, and ran in freezing temperatures. The Grit X Pro did fine and has nary a scratch on it.

But while the Grit X Pro is a handsome and sturdy watch, it’s not the most comfortable option for smaller people. On the wrist, it looks a bit smaller than you’d expect from a 47mm stainless steel watch that measures 13mm thick. Don’t be fooled. It still snagged on too many sleeves and jacket cuffs. Rugged watches like the Pro are also much heavier than something like the Apple Watch Series 7. The Pro is hefty and dwarfs my wrist at 79 grams compared to my 40mm Series 7’s 38.8g. It’s more on par with other fitness watches. The 47mm Garmin Fenix 7, for instance, is the same size and weighs between 73-79g, depending on the model. Even though I expected the big size, as a petite person, it presents challenges. I have to strap big watches like this tighter to get accurate sensor readings during workouts. That meant the Grit X Pro leaves marks on my skin, especially if I wore it for sleep tracking. If I wanted this to be my daily driver, I’d have to make an effort to periodically take it off to let my wrists breathe.

My six-foot colleague Thomas Ricker was able to test the copper-colored version for a few weeks back when it was announced. As a self-described fan of vintage dive watches, he liked the color and weight and is more willing to overlook the large bezel, which is often seen as a status symbol in his circle of multisport fanatics. Like me, he still has to wear the Grit X Pro tighter than fashion-focused watches to ensure accurate heart rate and blood oxygen measurements, the same as he does for the Garmin Fenix 6 he regularly wears.

Although we both enjoyed the design, our differing experiences with comfort show why Polar — and other fitness watchmakers — really ought to make their products available in multiple sizes.

Polar Grit X Pro review: a fitness watch that matches your fit (1)

(Video) Polar Grit X Pro - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Polar Grit X Pro review: a fitness watch that matches your fit (2)

Besides comfort, I have a few gripes with the display. The transflective screen is way too dim for indoor use. I have terrible eyesight. It was fine outdoors on a sunny day, but while running on a shady day, I had to squint to see my stats. Side-by-side, the Garmin Fenix 7S’s transflective screen was much easier for me to read. The Grit X Pro’s backlight helps, but not as much as I’d like. The touchscreen was so laggy, you’d think it was an Android Wear watch circa 2015. Thankfully, you can bypass it via the Grit X Pro’s five physical buttons.

Battery life is long compared to an Apple Watch, but on the lower side for a watch with no OLED screen or always-on display. I got about a week on a single charge, with roughly 30-60 minutes of activity per day and backlight on low at all times. You can save some battery life by switching backlight brightness to “with light button only,” but for me, it wasn’t worth the decreased visibility. In my testing, 30-60 minutes of GPS activity drained the battery by about 3-5 percent.

Polar Grit X Pro review: a fitness watch that matches your fit (3)

Polar Grit X Pro review: a fitness watch that matches your fit (4)

(Video) POLAR GRIT X PRO: a full review of Polar’s newest and best multi-sport watch!

I’ve complained a fair amount, but the Grit X Pro is still a good sports watch. It’s just not the best smartwatch. You won’t get NFC payments or cellular connectivity, and there’s no voice assistant to set your timers, either. You do get media controls but no onboard music storage or headphone pairing — so you need to carry your phone along. Push notifications are basic, though you can decline calls. If you want something that’s got more smarts, Garmin has better options in watches like the Venu 2 Plus. In lieu of smart features, the Pro opts for things like the ability to switch between GPS types like GLONASS and Galileo. You can clearly see where its priorities are.

While this isn’t the smartest watch, it’s got a nice mix of fitness tests, recovery and training data, and navigation options. Polar’s added new watch faces, such as an altimeter, compass, and dusk / dawn times. These are great if you love hiking (and they look nice too). There are also new options to view your route, altitude, and add fueling reminders right from the Route selection menu. For the spontaneous among us, Polar’s also added mid-workout options. For instance, you can view elevation, switch routes mid-way, and access alternate ways to get back to where you started an activity. You can either reverse your route or pick the “via beeline” option, which finds the fastest way back. There’s also the option to link up with Komoot to load pre-planned routes and get turn-by-turn navigation on the wrist.

Polar Grit X Pro review: a fitness watch that matches your fit (5)

Polar Grit X Pro review: a fitness watch that matches your fit (6)

These are appealing if you, like me, are prone to getting lost. To test the turn-by-turn directions, I loaded up a new Komoot route. My wrist buzzed with directions pretty much in real-time. At one point, I purposefully went the wrong way and got a friendly buzz telling me I was off track within a few feet. Reversing the route also worked well, though I disagree that beelining it got me there faster than my usual preferred way. Still, I was impressed and, after trying it, was more inclined to explore new areas. What I don’t love is it’s a finicky feature to set up. You need to have the Komoot app, and the linking process between both apps was tedious. (Trust me, the bored guy in this tutorial video could’ve been my doppelganger during setup.) Syncing was slow, and it also takes longer to get an activity started because you have to navigate to a special Routes menu before starting an activity. And in sub-freezing weather, I wasn’t a fan of the extra time needed — or the fact that I need two apps to make the most of this feature.

The fitness tests were neat, but only the most hardcore nerds will get the most out of them

(Video) Suunto 9 Peak vs Polar Grit X Pro In-Depth Comparison - Which one is right for you?

The fitness tests were neat, but only the most hardcore nerds will get the most out of them. There are four tests total: the orthostatic test, leg recovery test, running performance test, and cycling performance test. The Running performance test, for instance, is essentially a guided VO2 Max test to determine your best training zones and measure your progress over time. Altogether it takes between 30-40 minutes (about 20 of which are warm-up and cool down), and you basically run as hard as you can ‘til you feel like keeling over in a breathless heap. The cycling test is a functional threshold power test and measures the max power you can maintain for 60 minutes. (I didn’t test this because while I enjoy the occasional spin class, you can’t make me cycle for an hour.) The leg recovery test has you jump up and down three times to measure how well they’ve recovered from activity. The orthostatic test is the easiest. You lie down, link up with a chest strap, and measure your readiness based on heart rate variability. It’s part of Polar’s Recovery Pro feature, which gauges your cardiovascular system’s recovery based on the test, training load, and a few questions. These are all incredibly in-depth if you’re into data-based training — but it’s a little overkill.

Polar Grit X Pro review: a fitness watch that matches your fit (7)

Polar Grit X Pro review: a fitness watch that matches your fit (8)

Accuracy-wise, the Grit X Pro held up well against the Apple Watch Series 7, Garmin Fenix 7S, and the Runkeeper app on my phone. A 5K (3.1 miles) route planned on Komoot registered as 3.01 miles on the Grit X Pro, 3.1 miles on the Fenix 7S, 3.03 miles on the Series 7, and 3.04 miles on Runkeeper. These are all consistent results, and the Fenix 7S recorded some extra distance as I initially botched ending the workout. The GPS maps produced were also nearly identical, with only one small section that all four struggled with. For heart rate, the Grit X Pro struggled a bit with sharp intervals but not in a major way. Think a 1- to 2-second lag behind the Series 7 and Fenix 7S. Otherwise, mid-run checks were all within five beats per minute, and the activity max and average rates were all on par.

I also dig how granular Polar gets with its data. It’s most similar to what Garmin offers, but I’d say with an extra focus on building baselines, evaluating cumulative training loads, data-based testing, and fueling. But the one thing I don’t love is the Polar Flow app. Polar prefers to bombard you with as many data points as possible but doesn’t always think about the presentation. Charts, for example, take a lot of reading to understand. Actually, all Polar metrics require you to do a decent amount of reading. I’ve tested multiple Polar devices over the years, so I’m familiar with the app’s quirks, but it’ll take newbies a while to get used to the mess. The one saving grace is you can rearrange which information you see first.

Polar Grit X Pro review: a fitness watch that matches your fit (9)

Polar Grit X Pro review: a fitness watch that matches your fit (10)

(Video) Polar Grit X Review: 11 New Things To Know!

All in all, the Grit X Pro is a mixed bag. There’s a lot I like about it, but there are also the many quibbles I’ve detailed throughout this review. But the thing that gives me the most pause is the price. The Grit X Pro’s steep $499.95 price tag makes sense in the category until you look at the $429.95 Grit X. Thanks to a very recent firmware update, it has the vast majority of the same features. It’s confusing enough that Polar had to put out its own blog about the differences between the Grit X, Grit X Pro, and $599.95 Grit X Pro Titan. I’ll save you time. Most people would be perfectly happy saving the extra $70 with the Grit X. Anyone looking for a better smartwatch experience or preloaded maps will be happier with a Garmin. But if you’re that person who loves fitness testing and could use a little extra navigational help? The Grit X Pro will at least make sure you look good while you crush your fitness goals.

Photography by Victoria Song / The Verge


Every smart device now requires you to agree to a series of terms and conditions before you can use it — contracts that no one actually reads. It’s impossible for us to read and analyze every single one of these agreements. But we’re going to start counting exactly how many times you have to hit “agree” to use devices when we review them since these are agreements most people don’t read and definitely can’t negotiate.

To use the Polar Grit X Pro, you must pair it with an iPhone or Android smartphone. That includes the phone’s Terms of Service, privacy policy, and any other permissions you grant. You must also create a Polar Flow account to use the app.

By setting up the Polar Grit X Pro, you’re agreeing to:

(Video) NEW Polar Grit X Pro vs Vantage V2 Review for CrossFit Training

You must also grant the Polar Flow app certain phone permissions for notifications. Additionally, integrating with other services, like Strava, Apple Health Kit, or Komoot, also requires you to agree to those individual terms and policies.

Final Tally: Whatever your phone requires, plus two mandatory agreements. There are also optional phone permissions and third-party app integrations.


How accurate is the Polar Grit X Pro? ›

These are all incredibly in-depth if you're into data-based training — but it's a little overkill. Sensors galore! Accuracy-wise, the Grit X Pro held up well against the Apple Watch Series 7, Garmin Fenix 7S, and the Runkeeper app on my phone.

Does Polar Grit X play music? ›

Music Controls on Grit X/Grit X Pro

You can control music from the training display, from the watch face, or both. Set the music controls on from Settings > General settings > Music controls.

When did Polar Grit X come out? ›

Polar announced the Grit X 2.0 software update for the Grit X smartwatch in October, but it has taken until now for the company to deliver it. Now called firmware 2.0. 12, the update brings several new features and customisation options to the Grit X, which Polar released in April 2020.

What size is the Polar Grit X Pro watch? ›

1.85 x 1.85 x 0.51 inches

Is Polar more accurate than Fitbit? ›

Display and Tracking – Winner Polar

Both Polar and Fitbit watches display customizable real-time data, such as pace, time, distance run, calories burned, and heart rate, plus more if you desire. But Polar is able to show you a lot of other data like average pace, stride count, cadence and elevation gain.

Why Polar is better than Garmin? ›

Polar trumps Garmin when it comes to recovery features. Training Load Pro, Recovery Pro, Sleep Stages Plus, and Nightly Recharge are a few features proving how much Polar value helping athletes to sufficiently rest and repair between runs.

Which Polar watch has maps? ›

Polar is yet to introduce full maps to any of its watches, but the Grit X Pro does offer breadcrumb trails with turn-by-turn directions. You can create routes on Komoot that are imported to your watch automatically or you can upload routes manually to the Polar Flow website.

What is the price of XPRO smartwatch? ›

Truee Gen-X Pro Smartwatch price in India starts from ₹1,499.

Which Polar watch is the smallest? ›

Polar Ignite is smaller with a screen that is 43 mm in diameter and 8,5 mm in thickness. Polar Vantage M's screen diameter is 46 mm with a thickness of 12,5 mm.

How much does the Polar Grit Pro weigh? ›

Weight0.2 kg
Shipping Dimensions14 × 10 × 10 cm
SizeMed/Large, Small

Which is better Polar or Apple Watch? ›

Results of the present study indicate that the Apple Watch 6 was the most accurate for measuring heart rate across all 5 activities, whereas variable levels of accuracy for heart rate measurement for the Polar Vantage V and the Fitbit Sense were observed depending on the activity.

Which is best Garmin or Polar? ›

Polar Vantage V2 vs Garmin Fenix 7

Polar's Vantage is one of their best performing ranges and the Vantage V2 is the cream of this very stacked crop. On the other hand, Garmin's Fenix range is arguably the best in the business.

Is there a better watch than Fitbit? ›

The Garmin Venu Sq 2 is a great replacement for a Fitbit smartwatch. Not only do they look similar, but the Venu Sq 2 has way more fitness features, long battery life, and no subscription.

How long do Polar watches last? ›

Up to 50 hours in training mode with wrist-based heart rate and connected GPS, or. Up to 4 days in watch mode with continuous heart rate tracking.

What is the top of the line Garmin smartwatch? ›

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is the company's most capable smartwatch. Not only can you take calls and use your phone's voice assistant, but it now supports FDA-cleared EKGs. Plus, it gets long battery life even with an OLED display.

Can you answer calls on a Polar watch? ›

Whenever you receive a notification your watch will vibrate and a red dot will appear at the bottom of the display. When receiving a call your watch will vibrate and show the caller. You can also answer or decline the call with your watch.

Do Polar watches have ECG? ›

Polar H10 is an ECG heart rate sensor that measures the heart's rhythm and electrical activity with unrivaled precision, giving you an accurate view on your training intensity during any activity, especially during high-intensity exercise.

Which Polar watch has ECG? ›

To sum up, Polar H10 can be used as a means for continuous monitoring of ECG, evaluation of rhythm and screening of atrial fibrillation.

What app do I use with my Polar watch? ›

Polar Flow is a sports, fitness, and activity analyzer to be used with Polar GPS sports watches, fitness trackers, and activity trackers.

Does Polar watch have an app? ›

My vantage m and the polar app have some great features. I like seeing my progress and the ability to gauge overreaching mixed with poor sleep. I enjoy the sport profiles and being able to set heart rate monitored activities and non heart rate activities.

How much is the best smartwatch? ›

What is the best smartwatch?
SmartwatchPriceBattery life
Apple Watch Series 8$39918 hours
Apple Watch SE$24918 hours
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro$18072 hours
Garmin Forerunner 255$35012 days
1 more row
Apr 25, 2023

What is the 500 smartwatch? ›

Ken T500 Smartwatch with Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Monitor for Men & Women, Bluetooth Calling, Sleep Monitor, Oxygen Monitor, Fitness Tracker, Pedometer and Breathe Monitor (Black)

How much is the Movado smartwatch? ›

The Movado Connect 2.0 watches start at $495, compared with the Apple Watch Series 5's $399 price tag. "These are beautifully designed smartwatches enhanced with Google's cutting-edge technology," Efraim Grinberg, CEO of the Movado Group, said in a statement.

Is The Polar Heart Rate Monitor accurate? ›

Yes, if you want accurate heart rate tracking via Bluetooth or ANT+ The Polar H10 gives you accurate heart rate readings and can be paired to any equipment that uses Bluetooth or ANT+ for heart rate monitoring.

Are Polar fitness trackers accurate? ›

Polar is one of the lead manufacturers of dedicated heart rate readers and, based on my experience of using the Polar Grit X over the last week, its wearables' stat accuracy is on-par with that of Garmin's higher-end watches.

How accurate is the Polar Flow fitness test? ›

Thus, the Polar fitness test can be considered an appropriate tool for assessing VO2max. The Polar fitness test did tend to overestimate an individual's aerobic fitness level. The mean from the Polar test was 47.67 ml/kg/min, which was 3.58 ml/kg/min greater than the results obtained from the metabolic cart.

Is Polar heart rate accurate? ›

Polar H10: Performance

The bottom line is, they generally provide very accurate results as they feature an electrocardiography (ECG) heart-rate sensor, usually with a 99.6% accuracy.

What are the common problems with Polar heart rate monitor? ›

The most common error in the wearing of the monitor is not having the elastic strap that holds the transmitter on tight enough. Most people think it is tight enough if it is just snug and keeps the transmitter from sliding down.

What is the most accurate heart rate monitoring? ›

Best heart rate monitors available today
  1. Polar H10. The best heart rate monitor for data accuracy and comfort. ...
  2. Wahoo Tickr. Best budget heart rate monitor. ...
  3. Polar H9. The best all-rounder if you want a basic-function heart rate monitor. ...
  4. Garmin HRM Dual. ...
  5. Wahoo Tickr X. ...
  6. Garmin HRM Pro. ...
  7. Whoop 4.0. ...
  8. The smartwatch you already own.
Jan 30, 2023

What is the most accurate device to measure heart rate? ›

Best overall heart rate monitor

The Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor uses electrode sensors to accurately track heart rate, making it an excellent option for serious athletes who want precise and reliable readings. It's also Healthline's pick of the best heart rate chest strap for the Peloton Bike users.

What smartwatch is the most accurate? ›

The best smartwatches, according to fitness experts and marathon runners
  • Apple Watch Series 8. Best smartwatch overall. ...
  • Apple Watch SE. Best value Apple Watch. ...
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. Best Samsung smartwatch. ...
  • Garmin Forerunner 255. Best smartwatch for advanced health tracking. ...
  • Fitbit Sense. Best budget and basic smartwatch.
Apr 25, 2023

What is the most accurate fitness tracker study? ›

The Fitbit Charge 5 is among the most accurate for measuring steps and heart rate (although accuracy isn't everything). It reliably detects, nearly always correctly identifies, and automatically begins to record workouts—running, walking, biking, swimming—after about 10 minutes of activity.

Is Polar watch a good brand? ›

So why choose Polar? Polar watches are particularly great for runners. The company couples useful training and recovery tools with some of the most accurate wrist-based heart rate sensors you can find. Polar watches also feature excellent build quality and competitive pricing.

What is a good VO2max by age? ›

VO2 Max Percentiles: Men
Age Group5th Percentile75th Percentile
50- 5920.939.7
2 more rows
Nov 17, 2022

What is a normal resting heart rate? ›

Your pulse rate, also known as your heart rate, is the number of times your heart beats per minute. A normal resting heart rate should be between 60 to 100 beats per minute, but it can vary from minute to minute.

How can I increase my VO2max? ›

You can train your Vo2 max most efficiently by working at a high intensity. Many running coaches recommend training at around 90 to 95 percent of your maximum heart rate. Working near your max heart rate helps strengthen the muscles in your heart and increase the volume of blood it can pump with each beat.

What should my resting heart rate be on Polar Grit? ›

A typical value for an adult is 55–75 bpm, but your resting heart rate can be significantly lower than that, for example, if you're very fit. It's best to measure your resting heart rate in the morning after a good night's sleep, right after you wake up.

Can you use a Polar heart rate monitor without the watch? ›

You can use the Polar H10 heart rate monitor without your phone or your watch when you are running.


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