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Polar's new outdoor watch is taking on the Garmin Fenix line

The Polar Grit X multisport watch is taking aim at the baseline Garmin Fenix 6.

Published onApril 22, 2020

polar grit x outdoor gps watch 1

Polar, the fitness company most well known for its accurate heart rate sensors, today announced a new multisport watch that’s squarely aimed at the baseline Garmin Fenix 6. The Polar Grit X is billed as a lightweight, rugged multisport smartwatch for outdoor enthusiasts who value long battery life and helpful training features.

This is a multisport watch, so it’s one of those everything-but-the-kitchen-sink devices that should cater to a variety of athletes. The specs definitely help back that up. The Polar Grit X comes with built-in altimeter, compass, and GPS sensors, as well as Polar’s trusty Precision Prime optical heart rate sensor. It’s rugged, thanks to its MIL-STD-810G rating, and lightweight at 64 grams.

Battery life is supposed to be stellar, too. Polar says the Grit X can last 40 hours using the GPS and heart rate sensors (that’s four more hours than the Fenix 6), and up to 100 hours using the other built-in battery saver modes. Not worrying about charging your watch is huge for those who want to track everything while they’re outside.

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Polar is launching a number of new training features on the Grit X, but I’m most excited about two of them: FuelWise and Hill Splitter.

FuelWise is meant to remind athletes when to fuel up during workouts. I’ve personally had this problem — where I’m running for multiple hours and forget to replenish my body with the proper nutrients — so I can already see how this feature will come in handy. FuelWise will tell you exactly when you should be refueling and rehydrating based on your current activity intensity.

Hill Splitter is for hikers, bikers, or anyone who spends their time on trails or mountains. This new feature will automatically record uphill and downhill segments to deliver metrics on how well you did during each ascent and descent. Using Hill Splitter, the Polar Grit X will help you understand how much effort you should expect to output on certain types of terrain. This will certainly be valuable for those who want to keep a steady pace while running up a steep incline.

The Grit X also comes with turn-by-turn mapping via Komoot, as well as a new two-day weather forecast widget.

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Those are all the new features. This is a Polar watch, so you’ll also get access to FitSpark — Polar’s daily training guide for daily workouts — as well as nighttime features like sleep stages and Nightly Recharge. Running Power insights and Training Load Pro have also made their way over from the Vantage V and V Titan.

While I think it’s fair to compare this to Garmin’s flagship lineup, there are a few trade-offs if you opt for the Polar device. First and foremost, there’s no onboard music storage on the Polar Grit X — a huge downside for people who only want to bring a single device out for exercising. There’s also no pulse oximeter, so you won’t get SpO2 readings on the Grit X like you do with many other fitness watches out there.

The Polar Grit X slots in right under the $500 Vantage V price-wise and undercuts the $600 Garmin Fenix 6S. The Grit X will go on sale today, April 22 exclusively on for $429.95/€429.90. It’ll reach select partner channels in May 2020. The watch is available in black and green in the M/L size, while the S/M size only gets a white colorway. However, extra straps can be purchased on Polar’s website starting at $29.95/€29.90.

What are your thoughts on Polar’s new watch? Personally, I think the lack of music storage is a big oversight here, but the reduced price point does help make up for that. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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