Polar Grit X in test: Robust and light, multisport watch with Komoot integration and long running time
Features - Sport watch with robust case
The first impression is mixed: While the bezel, lugs and the five buttons made of forged stainless steel express value, the silicon strap with woven pattern looks verysimple despite the stainless steel buckleand does not do justice to the top sports watch: The Polar Grit X is extremely robust and withstands the test procedures according to US military standard MIL-STD-810G regardingtemperature, shock and moisture resistance. It is also water resistant up to 100 m according to ISO 22810. This means it can be worn for long periods in the water and when snorkeling, but it is not suitable for scuba diving.
Corning Gorillaglass protects a colored MIP (Memory In Pixel) display that uses little energy due to its reflective technology. The question of an always-on display does not even arise here: it is always on and can be illuminated if required; however, it does not need its own light in the sun and can often be seen in buildings without backlighting. Many of the screens in the test were created without backlighting.
On the back side there is a PPG sensor for heart rate detection and the connectors for the magnetic charging port. Polar does not give any informationabout processor and memory size. Polar only uses the memory internally for recording up to 90 training hours including heart rate and GPS data. Polar does not allow room for user data, such as music: The Grit X neither has its own player nor does it control the media player on the smartphone.
Setup and operation - coupling with more than one Smartwatch
If you use the Grit X solo, which is possible, you do without firmware updates, some planning and analysis functions and you cannot change the preset sports.
If you set it up via a computer or smartphone, you need the Polar flow app and a user account that also gives access to the web services on flow.polar.com in thebrowser. Connecting and setting it up via a Google pixel worked without any problems. However, there were problems with synchronizing via Android, which also reflected forum posts on the web.
The test therefore started on the iPhone. With the next Android update not only the synchronization worked there, but also the switching between two Polar watches for the parallel test ofthe Polar Unite on both platforms. The smartphone only connects to one watch at a time and forwards the current notifications to that watch only; the app switches between the two watches at the touch of a button. Two setup menus in the app allow you to set up your watch and connect your Polar account to other web services such as Strava
If you swipe up or down on the watch, the notifications or a quickpanel for quick access to the alarm clock, flight and no-disturbance mode appear. All other functions can be operated alternatively to the touch screen via the five buttons of the Polar Grit. Tobrowse between the different information displays of the Smartwatch, swipehorizontally across the display or press the upper or lower button on the right side. Tap the screen or the middle button to open further details such as a several day forecast in the weather display. The lower button on the left side causes a step backwards within the menus, the upper one switches the illumination on.
Health and Fitness - Multisport watch with health analyses
In addition to the time display, the 6 information displays are also the start screen for the watch's functions. In addition to weather and heart rate (with history), they are all dedicated to physical fitness:
- Activity display with steps and calorie consumption
- Call up the last training units with the respective details
- Cardio Load Status: Polar compares the current workout with the previous ones to classify it as under-challenging, maintaining, building or over-challenging
- Nightly Recharge: An advanced sleep analysis with conclusions about physical recovery
- FitSpark: Training suggestions based on the current fitness level determined by Polar and taking into account the nightly recovery
The FitSpark program's proposals in the areas of cardio, strengthening, mobility and core (strengthening of body stability and coordination) suggest a duration for the workout that is appropriate to the physical fitness determined. As long as the workout is not a run or special training, the Grit X shows small animated instructions before the start of the workout. Theapp records the daily activity and nightly recovery in protocols.
Sports - Route planning with Komoot and GPX tracks
In its own portfolio, Polar ranks theGrit X in its most powerful category, multisport and triathlon. Besides the possibility to create individual training units and to schedule them, the special functions include a hill splitter. It not only determines differences in altitude but also the distance of the overcome slopes and ascents, as shown here in the protocol of a bike tour.
When swimming, Polar uses the sensors to determine, among other things, the swimming style and the number of swim strokes. In several tests on different days, however, the watch missed a few lanes each time. In the protocol included here 3 x 50 m are missing.
Now the author can only be found in the fun pool and for the test she climbed into the pool for the first time to meet the athletes. According to expert observers, the lengths were swum cleanly through in the end, so that no plausible explanation for the missing lanes is known to us.
At the time of testing, the Grit X is the only polar watch
that connects to Komoot. However, the import of a Komoot route is only possible via the browser. Even if you use the Chrome browser on your smartphone for this, the process remains complex: After the import in the browser, the app must also first synchronize with the web server, only then the transfer to the watch takes place.
After selecting the Komoot route for the hike or bike tour, you choose for the navigation between the route starting point or the spatially closest point of the route.
Surprisingly, after importing the same route as GPX track, two more points appeared as GPX track, which were not available for selection via the Komoot interface (which is delimited by its own symbol): Navigation in the opposite direction, again either from the end point or a nearby point on the route.
Depending on the selected setting, the Grit X connects to the GPS satellite system and either GLONASS, Galileo or QZSS. For faster positioning, the Grit X optionally uses the GPS of the smartphone (A-GPS).
The quality of the navigation ultimately depends on the pre-planning: Some publicly provided routes only signal waypoints with a change of direction, others record every field path, even if it continues straight ahead. The GritX announces waypoints in time and reports when you have reached them. In case of deviations, it shows the direction to the nearest route point. In such a case, Grit X has twice shown the way back to the route, but has not resumed it. This could be remedied by stopping and restarting, but the recording of the tour was then interrupted.
Battery and runtime
The 346 mAh battery lasts according to Polar up to 7 days including continuous heart rate monitoring and even with permanently active GPS up to 40 hours. To extend the battery life, you can limit the measurement to night or switch it off completely, suppress the notifications or activate the flight mode.
In the test, it had to be connected to the network every 4-5 days, with GPS usage ranging from 1 to 3 hours on approximately every other day.
Polar gave us a lot of time for the test. For several weeks, the Grit X was a valuable companion on several hikes and, attached to the bike via the smartphone mount, it also pointed the way unerringly on bike tours. Not a single stop for orientation was necessary, and by the way, there is also a bike mount for Polar sports watches
The Grit X is an all-round talent with a high potential for use. Especially - but not only - for active athletes.
At just under €430, however, the fun is much more worthwhile if you as an active athlete also benefit from the analyses and can use them for your training planning. Problems arose in the test both with the route guidance and with the recognition when swimming. We therefore recommend athletes to look at the results in a testing manner. On the other hand, Polar faces highly complex tasks that not many sports watches can even master.