Over the past few years, the sports smartwatches market has been dominated by Suunto and Garmin. In 2020, however, a newcomer blasted onto the scene to great acclaim: the Polar Grit X. Stylish, robust, and highly functional, the Polar Grit X poses a legitimate challenge to the reigns of Suunto and Garmin. Without further ado, read on to find out more about the Polar Grit X, including its specifications, price, and everything it brings to the table.
At first glance, the Polar Grit X might seem like any other sports smartwatch. It does not deviate far from what you would typically expect a smartwatch to be, with its futuristic-looking LED dial display and sleek all-black exterior. However, once you actually try this watch out, you will find that there is more to the Polar Grit X than meets the eye. Its polished case and smooth black strap not only look appealing but also feel incredibly comfortable against the wrist too. Furthermore, this watch also comes with a series of features that are straightforward and easy to navigate, making this the consummate adventurer’s timekeeper.
Case and Caseback
The Polar Grit X is presented in a 47mm “Extreme High Strength” stainless steel case. The case has also been well-polished, giving it a muted lustre that is sure to draw the eye. Aside from its suave looks, this case is also extremely robust. Its sturdy stainless steel build allows it to withstand all sorts of external impacts and damage. It has also been reinforced with a layer of DLC coating, which provides greater resistance against scratches while also giving the watch its stylish black hue. Finally, the case also has a solid 100m depth rating, so the watch can easily survive quick showers or even a dip in the pool.
Unlike traditional watches, the Polar Grit X does not have a crown. Instead, it has a series of pushers on both sides of the case. This is fairly standard for a smartwatch, as you can use these pushers to control the numerous functions the smartwatch has. The pushers on the Polar Grit X are textured with protruding dots, so you can easily feel for and press them without even looking down at your watch. The middle button on the right side of the case also comes with a bright red ring around it. This differentiates its use from the other two sub-buttons, while also adding a nice bit of contrast to the watch’s all-black exterior.
One downside to the pushers, however, is that they are not labelled. This can make them a little confusing to use at first since you might lose track of what each button is intended for. However, after a few days of use, you are sure to get more used to the Polar Grit X.
On the underside of the Polar Grit X, you can find a set of heart rate sensors that will continuously monitor your vitals, 24/7. Also located on the caseback is a charging port for you to recharge your watch. The caseback has been carefully waterproofed, ensuring that it is not vulnerable to any water or other wet elements that might damage the charging port and sensor circuits.
As a smartwatch, the Polar Grit X’s dial shows off a handy touchscreen LED display, so you can navigate through each application with just a simple swipe of the screen. One fun thing about the Polar Grit X is that its LED screen actually offers a diverse array of interactive display options, which the wearer can choose from at their own discretion. For instance, if you prefer an analog display, you can easily change it through the interface. If you enjoy more high-tech digital displays, the Polar Grit X also provides a number of interesting digital designs that are all easy to use and as accurate as can be.
The Polar Grit X uses a layer of laminated Gorilla Glass. This Gorilla Glass is chemically strengthened to provide greater resistance against scratches and hard impacts or shocks, so your watch screen will not easily crack. It has also been treated with anti-fingerprint coatings. This ensures that the screen will not get too smudged or dirtied by your fingerprints, so the display remains clear and readable at all times. The dial is further protected by a slightly protruding stainless steel bezel, which has also been given a layer of DLC coating for greater durability.
Moving away from its physical build, the Polar Grit X, as mentioned, is equipped with a ton of useful functions meant to make life easier for the average sports enthusiast or outdoorsman. It has many programs that wearers can indulge in, including meditation exercises for those who are not into overly physical activities. Having said that, let us go through some of the best features the Polar Grit X has to offer.
- Hill Splitter – This allows the wearer to monitor their performance data whenever they are going up or down a hill or mountain. With this feature, you can improve on your speed and endurance during mountain hiking.
- Route Guidance – This works wonders for those who frequently enjoy trekking, jogging, and cycling. It provides wearers with a map that shows either the fastest or the most optimal routes to take to safety.
- FitSpark – For those who are just getting started on their active lifestyles, this is a training program that provides a total of 19 ready-made workouts for wearers to choose from. You can use this to train your cardio, strength, enduance, and more. Overall, it is simple, accessible, and highly effective.
- FuelWise – This is a program that notifies the wearer when he or she needs to rehydrate after going for a nice long walk or jog. In fact, FuelWise can notify the wearer even when they are stationary. It is a nice way to help cool down the body.
- Sleep Plus Stages – This helpful application provides the wearer with tips regarding their sleep data. If you are having trouble sleeping, this will guide you on which steps to take to ensure a nice, restful nap.
- Serene Breathing Exercises – After a long and extensive workout session, it is good to relax a bit and maintain consistent breathing intervals to cool down, which is exactly what this function provides. You can also use the Serene Breathing Exercises to meditate and keep your mind and body in tip-top shape.
- Phone Notifications – A smartwatch would not be complete without a phone connectivity feature. You can connect your Polar Grit X to your phone for better synchronization with the time, data, and secure updates from time to time.
The Polar Grit X is offered with three different types of straps. You can choose between a silicone band, a textile bracelet, or a leather strap, depending on your preferences. Each of these straps brings a certain style with it that inevitably changes the overall vibe of the watch.
If you want a more sophisticated smartwatch, the leather strap would be a perfect choice. if you want something more casual, for everyday use, the textile bracelet would be a better choice. And lastly, the silicone band is more neutral, providing a versatile design that is especially suited for those who dabble in sports.
The price of the Polar Grit X starts at $430 USD. This is quite a steal, as the Polar Grit X has a rather affordable price tag compared to other sports smartwatch alternatives from Suunto or Garmin.
Alternatives to the Polar Grit X
1. Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar Ref. 010-02157-24
If your budget allows it, have a look at what Garmin has to offer. For those who want a more rugged alternative to the Polar Grit X, the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar Ref. 010-02157-24 provides exceptional durability and utility that is perfect for outdoor adventures such as trekking and camping. The Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar does not have the same stylish case as the Polar Grit X. However, it makes up for it with highly functional features meant to make your life more convenient, such as its solar-powered lens, phone connectivity through Bluetooth, a power manager that allows the watch to last several weeks, and even an energy monitor called Body Battery.
The Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar Ref. 010-02157-24 comes in a 51mm fibre-reinforced titanium case, paired with a matching titanium bracelet. To ensure that this watch is as sturdy as it can be, Garmin incorporated a DLC-coated stainless steel exterior to keep the front of the watch safe. Although this Garmin watch looks big and bulky, it is actually a lot lighter than it seems, thanks to its lightweight titanium build. As such, you could easily tote this watch around all day without too much trouble. Finally, it also has a 100m water resistance capacity, which is more than adequate for the average smartwatch.
The price for this watch starts at around $1,049 USD.
2. Suunto 9 G1 Baro Black Ref. SS050087000
The Suunto 9 G1 Baro Black Ref. SS050087000 is another viable alternative if you are looking for another sleek and fashionable outdoor smartwatch. Suunto is undoubtedly an expert in creating stylish smartwatches that offer exceptional durability. Much like the Polar Grit X, the Suunto 9 G1 Baro Black has a brighter, more vibrant design that would not look out of place in your everyday life.
The Suunto 9 G1 Baro Black Ref. SS050087000 is equipped with a 50mm fibre-reinforced polyamide case, a black stainless steel bezel, and a matching black silicone strap. On top of its 100m water resistance capacity, this watch also comes with a total of 80 different modes for running, cycling, swimming, and more, making it the perfect companion for any sportsman.
This Suunto 9 watch retails at $919 USD.
Without a doubt, the Polar Grit X deserves a spot as being one of the best outdoor watches that you can find on the market. Effortlessly challenging the sleek style of the Suunto 9 series, the Polar Grit X has a nice balance of fashion and utility. With this watch as your outdoor companion, you are ready for just about any challenge.
Image courtesy of WatchShopping, unless stated otherwise.
Featured image courtesy of Polar.
If you are still left undecided, have a look at the 20 Best Hiking Watches in 2021—you might find the right one for you!