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Polar Grit X Pro Titan first look: Premium materials, dashboards, tests and coaching

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Polar released its Grit X sports watch in early 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemicsent people home and into lockdown situations. The Grit X was advertised and designed as an outdoor multisport watch with rugged quality and features designed to help you tackle hills, long runs, and more.

The new Polar Grit X Pro builds upon that Grit X foundation while also rolling in some of the advanced features from Polar's Vantage V2 watch. We see the various performance tests from the V2 present on the Grit X Pro, along with music controls, Recovery Pro, and more. It nearly comes down to a design preference when it comes to choosing between a Grit X Pro and a Vantage V2.

A review unit of the Grit X Pro Titan, the titanium version, arrived at the end of last week, and I've been putting it through its paces. It will take at least a couple of more weeks of testing to publish my in-depth review. If you have any specific questions about the watch, however, please leave a comment below so I can address it in my review or reply to your comment.

See also: Best sports watch 2021: Garmin, Coros, Polar, and more 


Specifications

  • Display: 1.2-inch color touchscreen, 240 x 240 pixels resolution, sapphire glass
  • Materials: Titanium case, fiber-reinforced polymer cover, FKM and perforated leather bands
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth Low Energy, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS
  • Water resistance: 100m waterproof
  • Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer, optical heart rate monitor with nine sensors, vibration motor, barometer
  • Battery life: 346 mAh, for 7 days in watch mode with continuous heart rate tracking, up to 40 hours with GPS and heart rate enabled
  • Watch bands: Standard 22mm watch strap
  • Dimensions: 47mm diameter x 13mm thick, 53 grams (leather wristband)

Hardware

It's been a couple of years since I tested a Polar watch, and I never had a chance to try out the Grit X, so I went into this review with no expectations. I was very pleased to see Polar send along the Grit X Pro Titan model that is much lighter than the stainless steel model with attractive design features. It's $100 more than the standard model, and that increase covers the case material and extra band.

The retail model ships with both a FKM and perforated leather band, but my review unit just included the leather model. I had to find another standard 22mm silicone strap to take the Grit X Pro outside for exercise so I don't ruin the leather band.

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The Polar Grit X Pro is perfectly sized for me with a 47mm diameter shell and a 1.2-inch display that I can easily read in various lighting conditions. I turned up the brightness of the backlighting because my 52-year old eyes are starting to falter. The backlight only comes on when you need it, so I don't think it has much impact on the battery life.

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Image: Polar

There is a rather wide black bezel around the watch face, and this is one area I would like to see reduced or have solar charging included. The bezel has a compass, which looks attractive. The display is a touchscreen display that is disabled by default during exercises, which is exactly what I prefer. The touchscreen seems quite responsive, too.

There are five buttons around the edge of the watch. They are a different configuration and function than what I am used to on my Garmin watches. The buttons have excellent texture, so they are easy to manipulate. The center right button has a red dot in the center.

A large heart rate sensor, sporting Polar Precision Prime OHR technology, is centered on the back with a host of green and red LEDs to measure blood flow through your skin. Surprisingly, there is no blood oxygen saturation measurement capability on the watch. Given the outdoor focus, I expected to see SPO2 capability for those who climb mountains, run trails, ski, and exercise in higher elevations. We have also seen blood oxygen metrics as key indicators of COVID-19 infections, but I also understand that Polar is focused on athletic performance and its ANS calculation is advanced and worthwhile.

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Standard 22mm watch bands with quick-release pins fit right into the Polar Grit X Pro, which is perfect. I was never a fan of the proprietary Vantage V bands. I like to switch bands for work, play, and various exercises.

See also: Half marathon training with the Polar Vantage V: Detailed plans, reports, and coaching lead to solid results

Watch software

We will explore the watch software in detail as we spend more time with the Polar Grit X Pro Titan, but one obvious improvement is the new dashboards. Dashboards are called widgets by others and are quick, glanceable information on the watch face. You can either swipe left and right, or use the up and down hardware buttons on the right side, to scroll through these various dashboards. Dashboards currently available include an altimeter, coordinates, compass, weather, daylight times, heart rate, nightly recharge, performance status, and more.

Training Load Pro, FuelWise, wrist-based running power, Hill Splitter, Sleep Plus Stages, Nightly Recharge, Serene breathing exercises, performance tests, recovery tests, music controls, notifications, and more will be explained in more detail in the coming weeks.

Smartphone app

Polar has a smartphone app for iOS and Android that captures all of the data from the watch and provides various glimpses of that data. Sections for activity, training calendar, sleep, nightly recharge, weight, sport profiles, and more are found in the app. The smartphone application isn't my favorite, and it's the one area I would like to see improved in the future. We'll also cover this more in the full review.

See also: Polar Vantage V review: Advanced technology and coaching help athletes achieve their best

Polar Flow website

I described the Polar Flow website in my Polar Vantage V review, and it looks about the same after a few days of usage. I'll go into more detail when I post my in-depth review after I have worn the watch and gathered more data to analyze.

After using smartwatches from Apple and Samsung, I am personally pleased to see that Polar has a website where one can dive into all of the details for the data collected by the watch. Garmin also has a website for this type of data analysis, but Coros does not. I find that to be a limitation on some watches.

First impressions

You can purchase a Polar Grit X Pro Titan now for $599.95. The Titan model has a titanium case and is an amazing 24 grams lighter than the stainless steel model while also including a perforated leather band in the package. The Grit X Pro, stainless steel instead of titanium, is available for $499.95 in Black DLC, Nordic Copper, and Arctic Gold.

The Grit X Pro Titan is extremely well-made, and I still cannot believe how light it is for such a large watch. So far the GPS tracking, heart rate measurements, sleep stages, and more match up with other wearables I'm testing along with the watch. There is no onboard music, wrist-based payment systems, or advanced smartphone connectivity, but this watch is focused on helping you train and improve your performance.