Polar Major Release Day
Today is a big news day for Polar fans with some new watches, software updates and news of more to come this year.
Polar – Recent History
2020 saw Polar venture slightly further from its traditional customer base with the Polar Grit X adventure watch and then came one of my favourites, the Polar Vantage V2 triathlon watch. The pace hotted up this year with the market-leading Polar Verity Sense optical armband, the excellent Polar Ignite 2 Fitness Watch and the impressive Polar Vantage M2 Triathlon Watch.
Can we keep on adding superlatives with the new models and other announcements? Let’s see.
Polar Fall 2021 Announcements
On the surface, there is lots of news today
New Model: Polar Grit X PRO (3 colours)
New Variant: Polar Grit X PRO Titan
New Variant: Polar Vantage V2 RED
New Variant: Polar Vantage V2 SHIFT (2 colours)
New Colours: Polar Unite (2 colours)
New Features: for Polar Vantage V2 (October 2021)
New Features: for Polar Unite (October 2021)
Polar Grit X Pro
The Grit X Pro is the closest that we come to a genuinely new watch today.
Grit X Pro is highly durable to MIL-STD-810G standards and further boasts a sapphire lens. With WR100 water resistance and the ability to withstand extreme temperature, the Grit X Pro package covers all that the wilds will throw at you, even the premium FKM band adds extra heat & chemical resistance.
The more expensive Titan variant is differentiated from the 3 other colourways by a $100 premium to the price tag and a 12% lighter, titanium case.
All new Grit X Models boast these new features
- New Location Dashboard
- New Sunrise/Sunset Dashboard
- New Trackback Navigation Options
- New Elevation Profiles when following Routes
- New Tests from Vantage V2: Cycling, Leg Recovery, Running, Orthostatic
- New HR broadcast
- New Music Controls
- New Recovery Pro
- Some other minor changes
Polar Vantage V2 SHIFT Edition (Silver or Black)
This adds an adapter for the strap lugs so that the watch can take a much wider range of standard bands.
Polar Vantage V2 RED
This is the standard V2 version in yellow. Just kidding.
Polar Vantage V2 Software
All Vantage V2 models receive all the new features from the Grit X Pro
For reference: Detailed Polar Grit X Review
Polar Unite Software
The Unite fitness watch is the entry-level model from Polar with no GPS on the watch. It gets some trickledown features from other Polar watches.
- Fuel-Wise energy sources are now shown in the post-workout summary
- Weekly Summary widget
- Heart rate broadcast for gym equipment
Band Sizes + More
Check out this image for more subtleties, including the availability of different strap lengths.
Full Details At Polar.com
Polar Grit X Pro vs. Grit X vs. Vantage V2 – What are the differences?
The official specs from polar show these differences based on this comparison at polar.com
|Grit X Pro||Grit X||Vantage V2|
|Running power from wrist||Yes (specs say no)||Yes (specs say no)||Yes|
|Tests: Orthostatic, Running Performance, Cycling Performance, Leg Recovery||Yes||No||Yes|
|Watch face color themes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Weight without wristband||47g||44g||34g|
|Sapphire glass lens||Yes||No||No|
|Training history export (from polarpersonaltrainer.com to Polar Flow)||Yes||No||No|
|Straps||Options supplied||Standard fit||Custom (adapter exists)|
|Case||Materials & Design Changes||–||–|
|Back to Start||Yes, beeline+reverse||Yes||Yes, beeline+reverse|
|Route Elevation Page (in workout)||Yes||No||Yes|
|ABC GPS Dashboard||Yes||No||Yes|
|Sunrise/Daylight etc Dashboard||Yes||No||Yes|
|Route Selection (breadcrumb nutrition reminders, elevation profile)||Yes||No||Yes|
- Grit X Pro – $/Eu499, £439
- Grit X Pro Titan – $/Eu599, £519
- Polar Vantage V2 SHIFT EDITION – $/Eu549, £449
- Polar Unite is still $/EU149, £134.50
Polar’s marketing messages today are all about trust, reliability and the benefits of exploration.
New customers to Polar will appreciate the alignment of the software feature between Vantage V2 and Grit X PRO.
The technical excitement behind today’s announcement is that of new outdoor capabilities coupled with a premium and more robust design. That was entirely expected but the more surprising nature of today’s announcement is news covering 3 of Polar’s products, normally this would have been eked out over 3 smaller launches. Polar has clearly set out their stall for Christmas.
Polar cannot achieve higher margins from you and me solely from introducing new software features. Whilst Polar does have a great feature set, its sports platform trails Garmin in several key areas, maps being the most obvious. The easiest route to higher margins is for Polar to give us nicely designed watches made with premium materials….a la Suunto. I’m all for that and like what I see in that sense. I’ve always liked the Polar sporty aesthetic and have used their watches since about 2005 (s720i/620). Whilst Polar’s software features are fantastic for fitness and serious athletic types, they more urgently need to step up to the mark set by Garmin for openness, connectivity and for the more unusual sport-focussed features, otherwise Polar will progressively alienate their traditional customer base.
That said, the Polar Grit X Titan is a truly sweet outdoor adventure watch. I like it and Polar’s corporate performance is probably pretty good right now, so you guys like their products too. Review to follow…