I’ve walked over 10,000 steps with 3 sports watches – this one is the most accurate (and by a wide margin)


Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Key points of ZDNET

  • The Extreme Grit X2 Pro available for $749 or $869 if you buy the Titanium variant.
  • Rugged design, vivid OLED display, accurate GPS tracking, powerful Polar Flow training features, and long battery life make this watch a winner for athletes.
  • It’s expensive compared to its competitors, Bluetooth connectivity is inconsistent, and the user interface needs a bit of work.

GPS sports watches are cutting-edge wearables because people paying more than $500 for a watch are looking for more than a pedometer. That said, walking is one of the most basic forms of exercise accessible to most people, and the health benefits of walking cannot be overlooked. My grandmother walked two miles a day my entire life, and she lived to be 100 years old with very few health problems. She always believed that walking was the key to her longevity and quality of life. .

To test the pedometer function of some devices, I recently wore it Extreme Grit X2 Pro on one wrist, on the other a Garmin Enduro 2 with an Apple Watch Ultra 2, on one hand an Oura Ring and on the other an Amazfit Helio Ring. I then walked for 5 sessions, manually counting my steps out loud because I had seen recent articles where even a simple pedometer failed, for a total of 10,021 steps.

Also: One of the most accurate sports watches I’ve ever tested also has incredible battery life

The Extreme Grit X2 Pro was the champion with a total step count of 10,008 steps, followed by the Apple Watch Ultra 2 (9,930), Garmin Enduro 2 (9,887), Oura Ring (9,761) and finally the Helio Ring (9,530). It’s encouraging to know that you can trust the Grit X2 Pro to provide accurate readings when actively walking, but that’s not the whole story.

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After waking up, getting ready for work, and driving to the train station, I noticed that the Polar watch had logged more than 1,260 steps at the beginning of my day while the Garmin on my other wrist showed only 240 steps. . It then worked great when I was actively walking during my counting sessions.


Right side of Grit X3 Pro (top) and Vantage V3 (bottom)

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The Extreme Grit X2 Pro also showed the biggest increase in steps when I sat at my desk between walking sessions. Polar can convert non-step activities into steps, so while it’s extremely accurate for specific walking sessions, be aware that your daily step count will be overestimated. High.

I strapped on the Garmin Enduro 2, Oura Ring Gen 3, and Polar Grit X2 Pro for a busy morning of errands and yard work. The Enduro 2 showed 5,814 steps, the Oura Ring showed 6,473 steps, and the Grit X2 Pro gave me 12,134 steps. Indeed, you should use the Grit X2 Pro for specific activity tracking, not as a general daily step counter.

The Polar Grit X2 Pro is a watch that is almost identical to the Polar Vantage V3 with the same internal specs, heart rate sensor, and user interface. The Vantage V3 suffered from some heart rate sensor errors at launch, so when Polar launched the Grit X2 Pro, the company released an update to fix the accuracy and reliability of its heart rate performance. Aside from heart rate monitoring, the exterior case design is the biggest difference here, along with some GPS antenna tweaks optimized for the case design.


Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The Grit X2 Pro is designed for outdoor adventurers with the first Polar MIL-STD-810H certification that is also water resistant to 100 meters, compared to 50 meters for the Vantage V3. Personally, I like the rugged look of the Grit X2 Pro, but I’m not convinced that the good looks are worth the $150 price difference. It would be nice to have a Titan version with a titanium case, instead of stainless steel, and an additional leather strap, but that price is $120 more than the $749.95 price of the Grit X2.

If you buy a Polar watch you’re buying it for sports and activity tracking, areas where it excels. The Polar Flow website is fantastic and the smartphone app has improved over the past few years.

Also: The best sports watches

While Garmin and Coros also have useful websites, Polar Flow’s details and customization are the gold standard. I like to spend time looking at my workout reports, activity, running metrics, and cardiovascular load to check my progress and motivate me to do better. The free customizable training programs are also perfect for runners like me.

Since I live on a hill and every run includes hills, I love the Hill Splitter function and how the hills and my performance on them are represented without any required setup any from my side. Other watches require entering a route to track hills, but Polar uses GPS to detect uphill and downhill terrain. Polar was also the first to launch with wrist-based power, and it continues to use this metric in its programs.


Left side of Grit X3 Pro (top) and Vantage V3 (bottom)

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

While I love the Polar Grit Polar Lake for the long term.

Here are some examples. Pressing the bottom left button takes you to a section of the watch with options like Start Workout, Strava Live segments, Settings, etc. You can press the top and bottom right buttons to move up or down the list of options by infinite scrolling so that when you get to the top or bottom of the list, the user interface automatically moves back through the list.

Also: Coros’ Vertix 2S might be the most accurate, most durable sports watch I’ve ever seen

Let’s say you select Settings, press the center button, or tap the screen. When you’re in Settings, testing or Strava Live, you now have a different experience where the options stop at the beginning and end so you have to keep tapping to get back to the other end of the list. It’s not a great UX.

I also noticed that every two to three days I had to restart the watch to sync via Bluetooth with my iPhone. No other wearable I’ve used has had much trouble syncing reliably with my iPhone. I’m not sure if it’s the older Bluetooth 5.1 radio or a Polar software issue causing the sync to hang, but it’s annoying.


Grit X Titan, Grit X2 Pro and Vantage V3

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Sometimes the Polar Grit X2 Pro misses a night of sleep tracking, which then affects recovery and other guidance in the Polar ecosystem. You can slightly modify a night’s sleep, but you can’t add in missed days.

Another frustration is the frequent requirement to calibrate the compass. Most watches require you to occasionally do a figure eight arm rotation to calibrate the compass, but on the Grit X2 Pro you have to move a ball around the screen for some serious arm exercise . Not only did I see the calibration fail a few times, but I also had to calibrate every few days. I liked the map/compass home screen widget but stopped using it due to the calibration required.

ZDNET Buying Tips

The Extreme Grit X2 Pro is clearly Polar’s best GPS sports watch, especially if you opt for the Titan model which has a lovely leather strap included in the package. Accurate GPS positioning, consistent heart rate tracking in most situations, and the included capabilities of Polar Flow are hard to beat.

Given that the Vantage V3 offers similar experiences for $150 less, it’s hard to justify the Grit X2 Pro just for its rugged looks. I’d also like to see Polar spend some time on the watch UI to improve consistency and usability.

Polar’s Grit X2 Pro is the company’s best sports watch. If you’re looking for help with your training programs and tracking your activities to improve your health and fitness, this watch is an attractive option. The vibrant OLED display and rugged design look great, and the battery should last at least a week, even with regular workout sessions and nightly sleep tracking.


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