Polar Debuts Grit X2 Pro Watch: Top GPS Watch Ranks Grow

The new Polar Grit X2 Pro watch gets a larger watch face, an AMOLED screen, longer battery life, more accurate distance and speed measurements, as well as improved heart rate monitoring and additional biometrics. among other improvements.

By on March 21, 2024 | Comments
Polar Grit X2 Pro - array

The Polar Grit X2 Pro. All images courtesy of Polar.

In releasing the Polar Grit X2 Pro ($750) with a launch video this week, Polar aims to find a place among premium GPS watches for ultrarunners and outdoor endurance athletes. This second version of the Grit X Pro model sees the watch get a larger watch face, a gorgeous AMOLED screen, longer battery life, more accurate distance and speed measurements, improved heart rate monitoring, and additional biometrics, among other improvements.

Launched in 2022, the original Polar Grit X Pro served a similar market to the Coros Vertix line, but didn’t land with the same fanfare that has followed Coros the last several years. Since then, Suunto released its excellent Vertical, another very rugged running and multisport watch, Garmin released new Fenix and Enduro models, and even Apple has become a player in the space with the Apple Watch Ultra and its update. 

A commonality with these adventure watches is the massive screen size. It’s an aesthetic question whether you prefer it or not, but there is no denying it greatly helps with navigating maps — especially when touchscreen-enabled, which the Grit X2 Pro is — and interpreting the data these watches provide. The Grit X2 Pro is 15% bigger than the original. That gives it a screen diameter of 1.39 inches. For reference, the Coros Vertix 2 is 1.4 inches, the Suunto Vertical is 1.9 inches, and the Garmin Enduro 2 is 1.4 inches.

Most of these watches, including the Grit X2 Pro, land around $700, with the Enduro more like $1,000. This is very expensive for a running watch. But in each instance, you will get an extremely high-performing watch that will work for virtually every other activity type you can throw its way while being nearly unbreakable with sapphire glass and a titanium body, and extremely data-rich. And for endurance aficionados, battery life now commonly exceeds 40 hours in a high-performance mode, which generally utilizes the very draining trio of dual-frequency satellites, extensive biometric monitoring, and every-second GPS pings.

However, unlike those other watches at the same price point (save for Apple), the Grit X2 Pro differentiates itself with its new AMOLED screen. Suunto features a similar AMOLED display on its less expensive new Race watch, but the Grit X2 Pro is now the only watch in its class to offer this exquisite display. After experiencing the brightness and clarity of an AMOLED screen, many will find it hard to return to a watch with an OLED screen. 

Polar Grit X2 Pro - screen

The Polar Grit X2 Pro’s screen.

Polar claims 43 hours of battery life in performance mode, which is at the upper end of these competitor watches. In comparison, the Suunto Race might be the new best in class with around 45 actual hours. We aim to confirm Polar’s claim in the coming months during testing. Unlike the Suunto Vertical and Garmin Fenix 7S, there is no solar charging support in the Grit X2 Pro to extend its battery’s run time slightly. In a more limited smartwatch mode, Polar says you can expect 10 days of continuous usage. We would be surprised if the battery didn’t last for 30 or 40 days in its most conservative settings, like the competition. 

The original Grit X Pro did not have access to all five global satellite networks and didn’t use a dual-band GNSS chipset. The new Grit X2 Pro not only has dual frequency capabilities but it’s also augmented by the GPS Signal Booster, a ring antenna inserted beneath the bezel that helps reinforce the built-in GPS. These upgrades should lead to more accurate measurement of distance and speed.

Global mapping is available through separate downloads and turn-by-turn guidance is offered in conjunction with Kamoot. It was unclear whether the downloadable maps will be labeled.

Polar Grit X2 Pro - side

Another look at the Polar Grit X2 Pro.

The Grit X2 Pro also gets an updated optical heart rate sensor. With it comes the bio-tracking Elixir tech suite first introduced in the Polar Vantage V3, which includes biometrics such as oxygen saturation (SpO2), heart rate variability (HRV), and sleep tracking.

Finally, it’s notable that images of Karel Sabbe were plastered all over Polar’s pre-launch video and marketing imagery for the Grit X2 Pro. Few ultrarunners are as successful at long-trail fastest known times and the Barkley Marathons as Sabbe, so he’s a logical ambassador for Polar to place around its new premier GPS watch. 

In sum, the Polar Grit X2 Pro adds another full-featured GPS watch option for runners and runners who also ski, bike, climb, swim, and much more.

After testing it fully, we’ll aim to share a full review of the Polar Grit X2 Pro in the coming months. In the meantime, check out our extensive GPS running watch reviews, including a Suunto Vertical review, and Best GPS Running Watches guide.

Polar Grit X2 Pro - scenery

The Polar Grit X2 Pro in action.

Tagged: ,
Craig Randall

Craig Randall is a Gear Editor and Buyer’s Guide Writer at iRunFar. Craig has been writing about trail running apparel and shoes, the sport of trail running, and fastest known times for four years. Aside from iRunFar, Craig Randall founded Outdoor Inventory, an e-commerce platform and environmentally-driven second-hand apparel business. Based in Boulder, Colorado, Craig Randall is a trail runner who has competed in races, personal projects, and FKTs.