Polar launches Grit X2 Pro rugged smartwatch to take on the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Garmin Epix Pro – Tom’s Guide

Meet the new Polar Grit X2 Pro rugged smartwatch.
(Image credit: Polar)

Move over Apple Ultra 2 and Garmin Epix Pro, there’s a new rugged smartwatch set to hit the trails, mountains, rivers, and oceans. The new Polar Grit X2 Pro is the brand’s flagship adventure-ready smartwatch, with comprehensive activity tracking and navigation features and built to military 810H standards.

It also boasts Polar’s premium health monitoring tech, borrowed from the similarly top-tier Vantage V3, a bright AMOLED touchscreen, dual-frequency GPS, stainless steel case and bezel, and impressive battery life.  

Polar Grit X2 Pro – price and availability

The Polar Grit X2 Pro is available for preorder from March 20 for $749 and will be available in-store beginning April 3, 2024. You can choose from two colors; Night Black or Stone Gray

Additionally, the Polar Grit X2 Pro Titan edition will be sold for $799. This model is lighter than the standard edition (2.26 ounces) as it uses titanium for the case and bezel instead of stainless steel. It also comes with two straps, including a standard black silicone affair and a classy brown leather one with antimicrobial properties. 

(Image credit: Polar)

Polar Grit X2 Pro – design and battery life

The Grit X2 Pro sports a 1.39-inch AMOLED touchscreen with scratch-resistant sapphire glass. The screen is 15% larger than that of the original Grit X for those considering an upgrade. 

Both the bezel and case are stainless steel, except for the Titan edition, and water resistance is a respectable 100 meters. The watch has a flashlight feature that uses the screen but not a separate LED flashlight, like some other rugged smartwatches.

Battery life is a solid 10 days in standard smartwatch mode, up to 140 hours in Eco Training mode — with somewhat reduced tracking capability — and 43 hours in Performance Training mode. 

Polar Grit X2 Pro – adventure features

(Image credit: Polar)

The Polar Grit X2 Pro is loaded with features for navigation including a dual-band GPS antenna with a new signal-booster under the bezel. You also get 32GB of storage for saving offline maps, training data, and routes. 

Speaking of routes, detailed maps with topographic views come preloaded on the device for both North American And European regions. Plus, you can download additional and save regions. 

The device also supports turn-by-turn directions, via Komoot. And Polar says support for Strava Routes is in the works and coming soon. Finally, a new breadcrumb feature, similar to Apple’s Backtrack, allows users to retrace their steps during an adventure, or save their favorite routes for future enjoyment. 

Polar Grit X2 Pro – fitness and health features

(Image credit: Polar)

As one might expect from a flagship Polar device, the Grit X2 Pro is jam-packed with health tech, including optical heart rate, SpO2, ECG, and skin temperature sensors. And like the Vantage V3, it supports 150+ sports and activity profiles.

For vertical training or activities that involve a lot of elevation gain — including hiking, mountain climbing, cycling, etc. — the Grit X2 Pro offers several new handy metrics, including Vertical Speed, Ascent Speed or VAM (Velocity Ascended in Meters) and 3D Speed. The latter is a calculation of one’s true speed when moving up or down an incline. 

Polar Grit X2 Pro – outlook and competition

(Image credit: Polar.)

I’m not going to sugar-coat it, the Polar Grit X2 Pro is up against stiff competition, including many of the best smartwatches available today. The Garmin Epix Pro and Fenix 7 Pro both give it a run for the money, though the former is more of a direct competitor to the Grit series.

The Epix Pro notably comes in three sizes, compared to the Grit X2 Pro’s one size. Battery life on the smallest Epix Pro is comparable to the Polar, but the larger sizes far surpass it. On the other hand, the Grit X2 Pro offers tech not found in the Garmin, like a skin temperature sensor and more advanced vertical training metrics. 

Priced at $799 and built for the extreme, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is another natural comparison, even if it’s more smartwatch than fitness device. Battery life, training, and recovery metrics are more advanced on the Polar. Activity and health tracking tech is largely a match. The Apple watch has the advantage of optional cellular connectivity. Then again, it only plays nice with iOS. 

Ultimately, I look forward to getting a Polar Grit X2 Pro on my wrist and hitting some mountain trails, as I’m especially keen to learn more about my vertical training stats. Look for a full review soon.

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