Polar has added two new models– the Grit X Pro and Grit X Pro Titan – to its Grit X watch range, and added adventure-friendly features to its current line, as part of a new dedication to helping people get out and about exploring.
Traditionally, Polar has focused on sports and fitness – the brand pops up regularly in our best running watch ranking. In April 2020, the brand first dipped its toes into the outdoor watch market with the excellent Polar Grit X, and its latest announcement reveals that it has decided to fully dive in. Alongside those two new Grit X models, it's also letting you add outdoors features to last year's Polar Vantage V2 multisport watch.
Despite that 'Pro' suffix, the Grit X Pro is still far cheaper than many of today's best outdoor watches. At USD $499.90 / GBP £439, the Grit X Pro undercuts the market-leading Garmin Fenix 6 range by £300 or more. So is Polar gearing up to become the next big name in adventure watches? The specs and feature list certainly looks promising.
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The new watches are designed to empower athletes to reach new peaks and explore new locations. The base model is the Polar Grit X Pro, while the Titan edition offers the same features but in a different design.
It's rugged: the design has been tested to military standards, it's water-resistant to 100 meters, and will withstand temperatures from –20 up to 50-degrees Celsius. It also offers a solid battery lifespan of up to 40 hours training time with full GPS and HR tracking, or up to 7 days in watch mode with 24/7 tracking.
On the subject of tracking, plenty of effort has gone into this new watch's GPS and map features, to ensure 'exploring new locations' doesn't turn into 'getting lost in the arse end of nowhere'. Alongside the built in GPS, the Polar Grit X Pro offers new route and elevation profiles, a barometric-based altimeter, location coordinates, sunrise, sunset and twilight times, and a compass. There's also turn-by-turn route guidance via Komoot, a Hill Splitter function to enable you to see your route's ups and downs, and a Track Back feature to let you retrace your steps if needed.
For hardcore adventurers who want to make sure they're pacing themselves properly and can keep their energy levels up over longer activity sessions, this watch makes the most of the brand's fitness heritage by offering ways to track your energy use and monitor recovery. It can deliver fuel reminders, offer physical recovery insights, and provide data on your overnight recovery based on how well you've slept.
There's also a bunch of standard features that mean you'll be able to wear it as your standard fitness watch too – for example, OHR tracking, wrist-based music controls, weather reports and push notifications.
For a slightly higher price (USD $499.95 / GBP £519, compared to USD $499.90 / GBP £439), you can also upgrade to the Polar Grit X Pro Titan. This is both lighter than the base model and slightly more heavy duty, thanks to its 'ultra-strength', aerospace titanium build. It also comes with a couple of wristband options: one waterproof FKM band and one more everyday, perforated leather band. The features are the same though.
In line with this new embracing of more adventurous pursuits, Polar Vantage V2 owners will now also be able to add a wide range of outdoor features to their watches, via a software update. This update will include the always-on altimeter, location coordinates, sunrise / sunset / twilight times and compass, alongside navigation features like elevation profiles and Track Back.
The shift into more adventurous pursuits, Polar says, is designed to reflect "athletes' changing relationship with exercise and the outdoors as we move to live with, rather than under Covid-19".
“What we've found through our own data, is that people’s desire to learn about or discover new places and sporting experiences is in decline," says Sander Werring, CEO of Polar Electro. "Yet, what many don’t realise is that going on adventures and trying different sports can have significant health benefits."
In a survey of 10,000 athletes over 2021, the top 20% of users who explored new spaces while exercising recorded 13% higher sleep quality and 16% more daily steps (perhaps when getting lost?). Those who mixed up different types of sport also recorded a slightly lower resting heart rate and elevated maximal aerobic power when compared to those who stuck to the same activities.
The research also found that more people were choosing to exercise in the same location in 2021 when compared to 2019, and there were fewer people mixing up different sports over that period, too.
“At Polar, we're committed to guide athletes across the spectrum – from first timers to the best of the best – towards a healthier life, by providing the tools and information needed to get the most out of their daily routine," Sander continues. "Our latest product news delivers just that - a range of devices and features to help more people than ever before spark their true spirit of adventure."
Find out more about the Polar Grit X Pro or Grit X Pro Titan at Polar.