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Home / Reviews / Wearables / Smartwatches / Polar Grit X2 Pro review: rock fit man

Polar Grit X2 Pro review: rock fit man

This rugged watch is built for adventure

Polar Grit X2 Pro watch review lead

Stuff Verdict

The Grit X2 Pro is a super-tough, long-lasting and accurate sports watch – but Polar has some catching up to do on the smart side.


  • Impressively tough build
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Extensive running functions


  • Rivals have more smart features
  • Mapping could be more detailed
  • One size doesn’t fit all


Polar’s latest rugged watch is tougher than a well-done steak cooked by Anthony Joshua, working in all weathers down to -20º C and with a big enough battery to please serious endurance athletes. The Grit X2 Pro is essentially Polar’s answer to the Garmin Fenix 7 – one of the best running watches out there – with comprehensive fitness tracking and trail navigation.

It comes pre-loaded with offline maps for Europe and the USA (plus has free downloads available for everywhere else), dual-frequency GPS and turn-by-turn instruction. Polar’s extensive running regime is present and correct, as are all the usual daily health tracking tools.

But with the likes of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 redefining how smartwatches cope out on the trail, does Polar’s effort have enough smarts to keep up?

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Every smartwatch and fitness tracker reviewed on Stuff is worn 24/7 throughout the testing process. We use our own years of experience to judge general performance, battery life, display, and health monitoring. Manufacturers have no visibility on reviews before they appear online, and we never accept payment to feature products.

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Design & build: test of metal

The Grit X2 Pro is is as tough as it looks, with a case made from stainless steel and sapphire glass preventing most minor screen damage. It can dive down to 100m and aced the MIL-STD-810H gauntlet, so surviving a month on my wrist jogging through suburban streets was no problem.

It’s not as heavy as it looks, but this is an undeniably chunky watch, with a 47mm face and expansive outer bezel. I’m a fan of the military-inspired styling, but it can look a little comical on smaller wrists, and unlike Garmin, Polar doesn’t make a more petite version. The equally beefy buttons at the sides can basically perform every action you’d otherwise use the touchscreen for, which is great when wearing gloves during any cold weather workouts.

I like that Polar has kept the inner screen bezel to a minimum, unlike some smartwatches where it seems there’s more bezel than actual display panel. It’s not very recessed inside the outer bezel, but the sapphire construction should stop scratches in their tracks. I didn’t pick up any during my testing.

The silicone strap got through my sweatiest workout – but I didn’t find it especially comfortable to wear 24/7. A fabric band would be better for sleep and step tracking. The Titan edition includes a second leather strap that’s a bit easier on the eye during business hours, but costs £100 more. Quick release lugs at least make swapping straps a breeze, should you invest in any.

Screen: OLED upgrade

Polar Grit X2 Pro watch review in hand activity

Polar has ditched the MIP display seen on the first-gen Grit X Pro watch for a much more lively AMOLED panel, which is considerably sharper and brighter to boot. Even though the outer glass is super-reflective, I never had any issues seeing what was onscreen on even the brightest of days. Overall clarity is easily up there with the best fitness watches now.

There’s an always-on option available in the settings, which dims the screen when you’re not looking at it rather than turning it off completely. This isn’t enabled by default, in order to preserve battery life. I preferred to leave it off, and just activate the screen by flicking my wrist, although it didn’t always recognise the gesture at the first attempt during workouts.

The touchscreen was very responsive, too. Not perfect, with a little lag between swipes in certain parts of the proprietary OS, but not a dealbreaker either. I like that the large display gives the UI elements plenty of breathing space, too.

Interface: still simple

Polar’s watch UI majors on simplicity. The basics all have their own widgets (think training status, step count, weather, and sleep reports), with more details when you tap into each one. A swipe up shows any notifications from a paired smartphone; a swipe down shows quick settings for do not disturb, flight mode and the like.

Customisation is pretty limited. There are a few built-in watch faces to pick between, but no app store or way to download third-party alternatives. At least the interface responds quickly to touch inputs, and never kept me waiting around for long before starting a run while it got a GPS lock.

I like that it flashes up notifications and can control my phone’s music playback, but found it lacking in terms of other smart features. There’s no local music playback from the watch itself over Bluetooth, despite it having plenty of storage space left over from the pre-installed mapping service. There’s no contactless payment support, either.

Health & fitness: stick to the route

The Grit X3 Pro records cycling, swimming and over 150 other activities, but runners are catered to the most. The training, tracking and recovery options, which are all clearly presented on the bright, high-resolution touchscreen, are extensive. Couch-to-5Kers will see the Recovery Pro and Training Load Pro features as overkill, but marathon and trail runners will love them – as well as poring over their metrics in the Polar Flow smartphone app.

The Grit was as accurate as the equivalent Garmin for everyday health tracking, but its heart rate readings ran a little higher than a chest strap. They were at least consistent throughout testing, across multiple workout categories.

Polar’s watches only recently gained mapping and navigation skills. It shows. The compass needed calibrating more often than any rival, and the maps aren’t as detailed as Garmin’s. Turn-by-turn directions from your Strava or Komoot routes are slick, as long as you stay on the path; it can’t route you back if you go off-piste.

Battery life: a working week

Polar reckons the Grit X2 Pro should last up to ten days of ‘typical’ use, or as much as five with the always-on display enabled. That includes 24/7 step and heart rate tracking, plus some GPS-tracked activity each day. That was largely accurate in my testing, where shorter exercise stints brought me close to a week between top-ups.

With GPS location tracking and always-on heart rate measurement, I saw close to 30 hours of use over a weekend of hiking, which is on par with the latest Garmin Fenix.

I thought the USB-C charging cable could be a little fiddly; a small bar hooks magnetically onto the pins at the rear of the watch case, but didn’t always line up on the first go. It’s not the longest of wires, either, and you’re looking at several hours for a complete top-up. That said, a shorter stint at the mains was still enough for another full day’s wear.

Polar Grit X2 Pro verdict

Polar Grit X2 Pro watch review exercise suggestions

Athletes are spoiled for choice when it comes to tough fitness watches. Unfortunately for Polar, sapphire glass and a military-grade toughness rating only get the Grit X2 Pro so far. It might look the part, but I don’t think it’s quite expedition-ready underneath.

Simply put, rivals have more detailed navigation, smoother syncing though their more complete smartphone companion apps, and more smart features – at least right now. Even fitness fanatics deep in Polar’s ecosystem would be better served with a Vantage V3, which might not be as rugged, but has a near identical feature list for much less cash.

Stuff Says…

Score: 3/5

The Grit X2 Pro is a super-tough, long-lasting and accurate sports watch – but Polar has some catching up to do on the smart side.


Impressively tough build

Long-lasting battery

Extensive running functions


Rivals have more smart features

Mapping could be more detailed

One size doesn’t fit all

Polar Grit X2 Pro technical specifications

Screen1.39in, 454×454 AMOLED
CPU275MHz custom chipset
Operating systemproprietary
SensorsHeart rate sensor, barometer, magnetometer, accelerometer, ECG, SpO2, skin temperature sensor
Battery488 mAh
Dimensions48.6×48.6×13.4mm, 79g (with strap)
Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming