Polar launched its Vantage series back in 2018 receiving mostly positive reviews with the Vantage V offering an industry-first running power from the wrist.
Now Polar is back, with the Grit X, it is not so much a successor to the Vantage but a new high-end watch much the same as the Vantage series but with a bit more of an endurance and rugged edge to it.
Polar Grit X vs Vantage V vs Vantage M
Cleverly, or annoyingly, Polar have differentiated the models so that the Grit X is not a complete upgrade to Vantage V.
While they have added features compared to the Vantage V, they have omitted Recovery Pro and the Orthostatic Test.
However, it is then an overall upgrade to the lower specced Vantage M.
- Hill Splitter: Counts your hill ascents/descents automatically mid-workout and in app afterwards
- FuelWise: Gives nutrition alerts mid-workout for carbs and hydration (separately)
- Energy Sources: Shows breakdown of carbs/fats/protein usage post-workout on watch/app
- Weather: This is a widget of sorts that shows current weather on the watch
- 100-hour GPS tracking mode: This power-saving mode reduces track points to increase activity length (as well as via a new ‘Screensaver’ feature)
- Komoot route integration – essentially turn by turn navigation
- New metal buttons
- New optical HR sensor with coloured LEDs
- Uses standard 22m wrist strap: The Vantage V was custom, but the Vantage M used a 22m standard strap
- Increased waterproofing from 30/50m to 100m
- Compass – a new magnetic compass sensor and a compass display that’s only available during exercise.
- Recovery Pro – Only on the Vantage V
- Orthostatic Test – One both Vantage V and M
What else has changed?
The above covers most of it, but there are some aesthetic changes. This also includes a new weight of 64g whereas the Vantage V is 59g and the Vantage M is 45g.
What about the Garmin Fenix 6?
I can’t really write about a multi-sport watch without mentioning Garmin. Garmin has a lot of watch models so the Fenix 6 isn’t necessarily the only choice, but it is certainly a popular one.
The Garmin Instinct would be the obvious other alternatives, but that is a little different.
The Garmin Fenix 6 is undoubtedly a more feature-rich watch, and an excellent choice if you want something offering more smartwatch feature as you have options for Music and Garmin Pay too.
Apart from the smartwatch features, Garmin has a big advantage with the Ant+ support, giving you a bit more flexibility with accessories, especially indoor trainers.
With the metal bezel and buttons the Polar Grit X is reminiscent of my old Fenix 5S – which is not a bad thing, they both look great.
The Polar Grit X weighs in at 64g, making it around 30% lighter than the Garmin Fenix 6 (83g).
It also has a touch screen as well as its 5 buttons whereas Garmin is just buttons.
Garmin has PacePro which offers dynamic, grade-adjusted pace guidance throughout your activity, based on elevation and your personal pacing preferences. This helps you plan the ideal pacing strategy for your activity — and maximize your performance.
But Polar has Hill Splitter, FuelWise and Energy Sources. It also has weather forecasts, and Running Power is built into the watch, just like the Vantage V.
The Fenix 6 Pro has up to 36 hours GPS, but the new battery saving modes allow you to push that to 72 hours with max battery GPS mode, or expedition GPS is 28 days (it takes a recording every 60 mins). Smartwatch mode is stated at up to 14-days (I get less than 5, including sports tracking).
Polar claim a 40h battery life for training, which I assume is the default GPS mode. It then gets 7-days watch mode plus a claimed 100-hour GPS tracking mode.
If you are strictly looking for multi-sport tracking, rather than a do-it-all watch, the Polar Grit X does look very appealing compared to the Fenix range.
Interestingly, Polar has positioned this beneath the Vantage V with an RRP of £379 vs £439 then the Vantage M has an RRP of £249.
In reality, the reason for that is likely due to the reduced prices you can get the Vantage models for.
Currently you can only order the Polar Grit X from Polar for £379
That does make your choice a bit difficult, with the Vantage V being £70 cheaper when the Grit X becomes available.
Polar Gritx X vs Vantage V vs Vantage M Specification Comparison Table
|Polar Grit X||Polar Vantage V||Polar Vantage m|
|Price||£379||£307 (currently)||£194.4 (currently)|
|Serene breathing exercise||•||•||•|
|Nightly Recharge recovery measurement||•||•||•|
|Continuous heart rate||•||•||•|
|Sleep tracking||Sleep Plus Stages||Sleep Plus Stages||Sleep Plus Stages|
|24/7 Activity Tracking||•||•||•|
|Steps and Distance||•||•||•|
|FitSpark training guide||•||•||•|
|FuelWise smart fuelling assistant||•|
|Training Load Pro||•||•||•|
|Muscle load||•||•||via 3rd party sensor|
|H9/H10 heart rate sensor required||•|
|Running power from wrist||•||•|
|via 3rd party sensor||•||•||•|
|Speed and distance from the wrist||•||•||•|
|Running cadence from the wrist||•||•||•|
|Wrist-based heart rate measurement||•||•||•|
|Heart Rate zones||•||•||•|
|Strava Live Segments||•||•|
|H9/H10 heart rate sensor required||•|
|Polar Fitness Test||•||•||•|
|Polar Fitness Test with wrist-based heart rate||•||•||•|
|Back to Start||•||•||•|
|User-adjustable training displays||•||•||•|
|–CADENCE SENSOR BLUETOOTH® SMART FEATURES|
|–SPEED SENSOR BLUETOOTH® SMART FEATURES|
|–STRIDE SENSOR BLUETOOTH® SMART FEATURES|
|Average stride length||•||•||•|
|Setup via mobile||•||•||•|
|Colour touch display||•||•|
|Date and weekday indicator||•||•||•|
|Time of day (12/24h)||•||•||•|
|Bike settings for three bicycles||•||•||•|
|Running Index analysis||•||•||•|
|Instant activity and training analysis||•||•||•|
|Advanced activity and training analysis||•||•||•|
|Sport profile settings||•||•||•|