I have had the Polar Grit X for almost a year now after replacing my trusty Garmin 235 which was starting to give up the ghost on it’s battery life. After a bit of research, I went for the Polar Grit X (was new at the time) which I thought was the perfect watch – long battery life (great for if I ever run 24 hour ultras). Good for mapping (don’t want to get lost. And it looked great. I managed to get a good deal on the Grit X so was so happy when it arrived.
After almost 12 months of use, I wanted to give you my thoughts – it’s not really a review (there are a lot of blogs and youtube videos for that) but my real opinion on whats bad and good about the Polar Grit X. Some you may not really care about – but some may be deal breakers for you – and before you shell out £300+ it’s really worth knowing all you can about the watch
What I Hate about the Polar Grit X
- Heart Rate – this is a big one – see the images below, but I have never really got any accurate heart rate from the watch once I have started running. It either runs directly up to 180+ BPM (the image was easy pace so around 135ish) or randomly spikes. I have hardly ever had an “accurate” reading. So much so, I have purchased a seperate chest HR monitor (Polar 10 for anyone asking) which, for a £350 watch, shouldn’t be a necessary purchase.
- Barometer – This is a known issue (a lot of people are complaining in the facebook groups) where the altitude is not “fixed”. Take a look at the comparisons from Polar Flow and the corrected altitudes via Strava, each and every run shows a “downhill”. This is definitely a software issue and its a shame it’s not getting fixed via firmware.
- App – The Polar Flow app on android is pretty useless (especially in comparison to the Garmin app) and not too much can be done with it (lots of data to view – but a really poor UI) but a lot of the changes – creating training sessions for example needs to be done via the web.
Had I known about those above (especially the heart rate and Barometer) I would pretty much not have purchased the Polar Grit X. However – for some this may not be a big deal. So for a bit of balance – here are the great things about the Grit X.
The 5 things that are great about the Polar Grit X
- Looks – yes, the asthetics of the watch are great. I really like the small touch of the redmain function button and the redpolar logo as colour accents.
- Battery Life – One of the main reasons I bought the the watch. States it lasts over 24 hours with HR and GPS on. Although I haven’t tested it for that long, I have done several sessions across multiple days without the need to recharge. The longest session I have done so far is an 8hour session and it did come in at around the 30% of battery so pretty much on schedule.
- Activities – Plar has over 100 activities synced to the Grit X including various running, cycling, Les Mills sessions and so forth. I am really not sure what this means to your sessions overall – but its good that you can personalise your training.
- Mapping – Using the Komoot app and syncing it to the Polar Flow, you can create routes with the watch guiding you through the session. There is also a “route back” feature should you need to return from getting lost.
- Polar Flow – The app on the phone is pretty useless, but Polar Flow on the web is much better (still a pretty poor interface) but at least you can create bespoke training sessions and sync them to the watch – you cant do this on the app
Honestly, if I knew about the HR and Barometer, I would not have purchased the Grit X. These could possibly it will get fixed with another firmware update (very much lacking), The app isn’t great, but that isn’t the deal breaker. Big fan of the looks of the watch – but thats pretty shallow. Lots of things I like about the watch, but for £350, I expected much better.
Would I recommend the Polar Grit X as a purchase? Nope. Stick to Garmin.