Polar’s new Grit X outdoor watch can track the ups and downs of your workouts

Polar has announced its latest fitness watch, called the Grit X, and it’s made for the outdoors. The company claims that this is the ultimate outdoor watch, taking every feature (along with a few design cues) from its 2018 Vantage lineup of watches and adding even more utility to help athletes get more out of their workouts.

One of those new features, called Hill Splitter, will appeal to those who like to hike. It tracks stats on how many ascents and descents you’ve taken during your run, walk, or hike — anything with an incline. This could be a fun way to track your performance if basing your workout on distance metrics alone doesn’t motivate you.

Most people know that it’s crucial to stay hydrated and fueled-up if you want to meet your fitness goals, but it’s tough to remember to do it sometimes during a workout. Another new feature arriving in the Grit X is called FuelWise. It aims to help those who want to be nudged to take a food or water break. You can manually set it to alert you to fuel up on whatever the watch thinks you need (be it water, food, or gels), and it can automatically determine the best time to remind you to put some nutrition into your body.

The Grit X is MIL-STD-810G-certified to withstand extreme temperatures, humidity, and drops. It has turn-by-turn GPS (powered by Komoot) built in, and Polar claims that it can deliver up to 40 hours of continuous use with the navigation mode switched on, which is an impressive figure. That life span also includes its wrist-based heart rate monitor taking frequent readings. If you utilize some of the watch’s power-saving features, you can stretch the battery life to up to 100 hours — long enough to last all weekend if you go camping. The watch also delivers updates on the weather to your wrist without the need for a phone, so you can adjust your workout according to the conditions.

High-end fitness watches like this one tend to be stuffed with features, and the Grit X is no exception. As you’ll find in some of Polar’s Vantage watches, the Grit X includes support for several Smart Coaching features to track other aspects of your life that can make a positive impact on your workout performance. For instance, the watch can analyze your sleep stages, how well you recharge after each night, and it can provide breathing exercises to help you relax.

Polar’s Grit X is available starting today for $429.95 through the company’s site. It plans to open up availability to select retail partners in May 2020, though it hasn’t yet confirmed any additional details. If you want a different look, Polar is selling silicon bands for $29.95 each. If you want to go for a classic option, it also has leather bands available for $49.95.

It’s a strange time to be releasing a product that’s best used outside, since everyone is encouraged to stay inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Polar’s president Tom Fowler thinks that this watch will help people train indoors, so they can hit the ground running, so to speak, once it’s safe to roam about freely again.