Polar’s adventure watch now packs a bright AMOLED screen and upgraded GPS tracking accuracy.  

The Polar Grit X2 Pro is Polar’s top-end, toughened, adventure-ready GPS sports watch. It’s built to handle all your training, racing and exploring endeavours on and off the grid. This latest upgrade adds a punchy AMOLED display, accuracy-enhancing dual frequency GPS, Polar’s latest biosensors and a snappier performance. Throw in new navigation skills with offline maps, Strava route sync and breadcrumb nav and you’ve now got one of the best running watches that’s a much stronger rival for the Garmin Fenix. But is it better? I’ve put it to the test to find out. 

Men’s Fitness verdict

The new Polar Grit has all the tracking modes, insights and accuracy you could need for training, racing and off-grid adventures. It’s just a little lacking in smartwatch features.
  • Stunning bright display
  • Comprehensive navigation tools
  • Long battery life
  • Flaky app connectivity
  • Low on smartwatch features

How we test the best running watches

I used the Polar Grit X2 Pro for six weeks while training for – and racing – the adidas Manchester Marathon. That includes racing a half marathon and 10km plus running two solo marathon test runs. For comparison, I put the Polar Grit X2 Pro up against other AMOLED and dual-frequency GPS devices including the Polar Vantage V3, the Garmin Forerunner 965 and COROS Vertix 2S, looking at battery life, GPS and heart rate accuracy, along with the design, features and training insights. 

The Grit X2 Pro is build to withstand some serious abuse

Polar Grit X2 Pro vs Titan: What’s the difference?

The Polar Grit X2 Pro comes in two models, the Polar Grit X2 Pro (RRP £649.99 / $749.90) and Polar Grit X2 Pro Titan (£749.00 / $869.90). Besides using different materials, they offer identical hardware and features. 

The regular 79g Polar Grit X2 Pro has a stainless steel bezel and case while the 64g Polar Grit X2 Pro Titan has a titanium chassis that makes it lighter on the wrist. As such it’s £100 / $120 more.

Polar Grit X2 Pro design

The Polar Grit X2 Pro is a good looking watch – probably Polar’s most stylish tracker to date. Like the Garmin Fenix and COROS Vertix adventure-ready GPS watches, it’s big and comparatively chunky. It’s perhaps not the best 24-7 option, but it’s generally comfortable.

The Grit X2 Pro has a 1.39-inch, 326ppi resolution AMOLED touchscreen display. It’s 15% bigger than the previous Polar Grit X Pro. It’s bold and bright, snappy and responsive – helped by a quicker processor. With plenty of room for your vital stats and full technicolour, diving into the broad array of training, performance graphs and recovery data is an easy, pleasant experience. A clear step up from the original Grit X Pro. 

Under the hood, there’s now accuracy-boosting, dual frequency, all-systems GPS and it sports the same upgraded biosensors as the Polar Vantage V3. These pair Polar’s Elixir technology with the new fourth-generation optical heart rate sensor, plus ECG, nightly skin temperature and blood oxygen monitors.

The quick-release, swappable strap is also fuss free and easy to get a good fit. Though I wish it shipped with a nylon option like the new COROS Vertix 2S

The Grit X2 Pro is Polar’s first watch tested to MIL-STD 810 standards. It’s waterproof to 100m and overall feels strong and robust. There’s also a toughened scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass lens that’s survived unscathed so far. 

Garmin torch fans will also enjoy the fact the Polar Grit X2 Pro’s screen turns into a torch that’s strong enough to light up a room. Though it’s harder to aim the beam than Garmin’s front-facing torch.

Heart rate monitoring is on a par with the Polar H10 strap

Polar Grit X2 Pro features 

You get the exact same feature set on the Polar Grit X2 Pro as on the relatively new Polar Vantage V3. These two watches offer Polar’s most comprehensive suite of health, training and performance tools, along with improved navigation tools and some new features designed to add precision to your insights when you’re tackling steeper terrain. 

The shiny new tools include new VAM and vertical speed for tracking the rate at which you climb or descend. There’s also a new 3D speed readout to calculate your true speed as you tackle those ascents. The aim: to serve up more accurate information when you’re battling lumpier terrain. 

The Grit X2 Pro is an excellent all-round training tool. It packs more than 150 sport modes – including a triathlon multisport mode – along with familiar tools including Training Load Pro, Recovery Pro and Nightly Recharge recovery insights, Sleep Plus Stages and SleepWise sleep tracking. There’s also FuelWise fuelling recommendations and FitSpark recovery-based workout recommendations. 

Gym goers will also appreciate the new Work-Rest Guide that guides your resting periods between sets based on heart rate. 

You can also now take non-medical ECG tests, ideal for intentional HRV readings and monitor SpO2 blood oxygen levels and night-time body temperature. I’d like to see more done with the latter in terms of women’s health monitoring though.  

Navigation is much improved over the OG Grit Pro. The watch now comes pre-loaded with offline TOPO maps for North America and Europe (you can download other regions for free with up to 32GB storage). There’s also breadcrumb navigation, support for Komoot (with turn-by-turn navigation) and Strava routing which is wonderfully simple to use. That’s added to Hill Splitter automatic climb and descent detection.

It’s somewhat short on smartwatch skills, however. There’s music controls but no offline music, no contactless payments like you find on most Garmin watches and you’re kind of limited to the basic smartphone notifications. It’s also not as customisable as a Fenix 7.  

Polar Grit X2 Pro performance

In testing, I found the GPS accuracy pretty impressive. It generally clocked distances within an acceptable 10% margin on my regular known-distance routes. 

At the London Landmarks Half Marathon, the Grit X2 Pro came up slightly short at 13.03 miles – usually you’d expect 13.2 miles to account for weaving. 

At the adidas Manchester Marathon, the Grit clocked 0.2 miles over the official distance and matched the Polar Vantage V3 and Garmin Forerunner 965 dual frequency modes within 0.1 mile. So a solid performance.  

One word of caution: The reliability drops significantly in the power-saving Every 2 Minutes mode. In my tests it was more than half a mile out on shortish runs. That might become too unreliable to be useful over an ultra distance.

The optical heart rate performance was surprisingly good. During my race test at the adidas Manchester Marathon, the Grit X2 Pro matched the Polar H10 chest strap almost beat for beat with identical max and average HR. 

It occasionally struggled with high readings at the start of runs but many optical sensors suffer this fate. 

Polar Grit X2 Pro battery life

The Polar Grit X2 Pro battery life packs marginally better staying power than the Polar Grit X Pro and identical endurance to the Vantage V3. 

On paper you get up to 43 hours in the highest accuracy, dual-frequency Performance mode and 140 hours in power-saving mode. 

In Smartwatch Mode (with no GPS training) the Grit X2 Pro should last up to 10 days. The original Grit X Pro only lasted six.

In my tests, the staying power wasn’t quite at Garmin Enduro 2 or COROS Vertix 2 levels – that’s the sacrifice you’re making for the big AMOLED screen. But it still impressed. 

My 2:54 marathon test in Performance Training Mode (all systems + dual frequency, every 1 second) burned just 7%. 

On one full charge, I clocked 13.25 hours run time over 11 days before needing to charge. Overall, I’d estimate you’ll get an average of 7-10 days usage on a single charge with approximately 10 hours training. 

The other improvement here is the overnight battery burn. That averaged just 3%. Past Polar devices have eaten through the battery much faster while you sleep. 

Polar Grit X2 Pro verdict

There’s a lot to like here. A great looking watch with most of the top-end tools and features you need in a rugged adventure watch. A punchy display, snappy performance, good accuracy and more comprehensive navigation skills. It’s still not quite as capable as a similarly-priced Garmin Fenix 7. But the biggest competition actually comes from its stable mate, the Polar Vantage V3. If you’re not bothered about the beefed-up Grit design, you can get identical tools and performance from a watch that’s £100-plus cheaper. 

DisplayColour AMOLED touchscreen
Resolution454 x 454, 326ppi resolution
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.1