Polar Grit X vs Vantage (M, V): Important Differences Compared

Polar Grit X or Vantage V? Or the cheaper and less equipped vantage M? We have been reviewing these sports watches for some time now and know what important differences lie between them, and why the Grit X is ahead in so many ways.

You can’t figure out all the differences so quickly, even on the manufacturer’s website, but many features are different and should be taken into account before a purchase is made in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. For one or the other, they will certainly be decisive for the choice of the model. We help out if you are not sure which model to choose.

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Polar Grit X vs Vantage M vs Vantage V

If you are interested in all the details, here are our detailed individual reviews:

For example, there are prices and purchase options here:

 
ProductSuitable forLink*
Polar Grit XOutdoor multisport alumni (from  $409.95)
Polar Vantage MAmbitious athletes (from  $269.95)
Polar Vantage VAmbitious to professional athletes (from  $499.95)

 

Casings, Materials, and Wristbands

Let’s start with the feel and look. All three sport watches are shipped from the factory with exchangeable (silicone) wristbands suitable for sports, however, the following important differences should be known:

Grit X and Vantage M wristbands designed as so-called quick release bands. These are more flexible and can be exchanged for almost any watch strap with 22mm spring bars in no time at all. The Vantage V is a bit at a disadvantage here, because its wristbands are also interchangeable, but only with the help of the supplied tool. So the owner of a Vantage V is dependent on Polar replacement wristbands. In addition, the Vantage V feels a bit stiffer, as the wristband is attached directly to the case and is immovable in that place.

As expected, the Grit X and Vantage V come with the best material equipment, namely an extremely robust stainless steel housing and glass fiber reinforced polymer back cover. This makes these two models more suitable for intensive outdoor activities. The buyer can feel this in their wallet because the material used naturally also affects the price.

The Vantage M consists of a glass fiber reinforced polymer housing. Only the edging, buttons, and buckle are made entirely of stainless steel. the choice of material means that it is the lightest of the three sports watches at 45 grams including the band. At 64 grams, the Grit X only beats the Vantage V (66 grams) by 2 grams.

Overall, the Grit X wins the quality duel. Because while the Vantage M is waterproof up to 30 meters (WR30) and Vantage V up to 50 meters (WR50), the Grit X is waterproof up to 100 meters (WR100). That speaks for the housing of the Grit X, which is very high quality and yet very light and pleasant to the touch.

Display and Operation

The display resolution of all three models is 240 × 240 pixels, the display size is 1.2 inches. In all models, the display feels right at home outdoors and in bright surroundings, where it is very good and easy to read. Furthermore, it is permanently switched on (Always-On Display) and is supported by an activatable background lighting for darker surroundings. The automatic switches on the backlight quite reliably when the arm is moved accordingly.

In general, the display of the Grit X appears sharper and brighter. When comparing the displays directly, there also seem to be differences in terms of the backlight. Because this now seems stronger, especially in darker surroundings. It should be known that the background lighting activated by the automatic system is significantly weaker compared to the lighting that can be activated manually using the upper left button. However, it is usually sufficient for reading the time. This weaker background lighting saves the battery and avoids feeling bothered by it, for example in the bedroom. If it is not sufficient, the button mentioned increases the lighting considerably.

The Vantage M has an always-on color display made of PMMA laminated glass with a hard coating without touch support. There are 5 mechanical buttons on the case with which the watch is reliably controlled.

Grit X and Vantage V also have 5 buttons on the housing and a touch-enabled display. This consists of scratch-resistant Gorilla laminated glass with an anti-fingerprint coating. In the case of the Grit X, the manufacturer even speaks of a laminated Gorilla composite glass. In fact, due to the anti-fingerprint coating, only a few smudges can be seen on the display.

Because of the touch display, a second operating option is available. It is particularly helpful and more pleasant when using the watch in everyday life, especially when navigating through the menus for a long time. Because this helps, even if sometimes only on the second attempt, to swipe through the ads faster.

On the other hand, it is less helpful during sports activities. The keys should always be used as reliable means of operation. The 5 buttons are also grooved. Because of this, they are easier to feel and stick better to the skin when they are operated.

Battery Life

The battery runtimes differ significantly in some cases. The Vantage M manages up to approx. 5 days in watch mode (including 24 × 7 heart rate measurement, every 2 to 3 days training for approx. 30-45 minutes, smartphone messages), in pure training mode with a fully charged battery with active GPS and optical heart rate measurement 30 hours.

The Vantage V lasts around 7 days in watch mode and 40 hours of training with GPS and optical heart rate measurement in pure training mode.

The Grit X is similar to the Vantage V in watch mode, however, in training mode it is clearly ahead. This is because it is the only one that has several configurable energy-saving options to extend the battery life to up to 60, 65, or even 100 hours in training mode with GPS. The energy-saving options that can be influenced include settings for the GPS recording rate and the integrated heart rate monitor. In addition, a kind of screen saver can ensure a minimum of display activity by only showing the time during activities.

As soon as a change has been made, the watch shows the effect on the remaining battery life. This means that athletes can quickly estimate how long the watch will last. Depending on the option selected, GPS tracking points are recorded less often (1 minute, 2 minutes or off), less data is shown on the display or the optical heart rate sensor is completely deactivated. Alternatively, a more energy-saving Bluetooth HR chest strap can be permanently integrated. If the screen saver has been activated, all training data can still be accessed for 8 seconds if necessary, before they disappear from the display again.

Especially with longer activities in which athletes move more slowly, the options listed above can lead to good GPS records and help the watch to hold out until the end.

Grit X exclusive Features and the Question of the Future

Compared to the well-equipped Vantage V, the Grit X is equipped with a significantly better feature set except for two features. In addition, it has important advantages that the Vantage series does not have and that one should be aware of:

On the one hand, Grit X offers some exclusive features and, on the other, it can be assumed that the vantage series will never get them, because we understand Polar’s Vantage update statement to mean that it will not receive any more features, and thus none of the newer features. It States that the vantage series received the last planned feature update on update 5.0. So there’s nothing left, except maybe Bugfixes.

The exclusive features of Grit X include:

  • Hill Splitter: Uphill and downhill analysis, which among other things enables a better comparability of intensive passages.
  • FuelWise: a configurable assistant that helps, especially during longer sports activities, to keep an eye on your energy reserves and to refuel calories and fluids in good time.
  • Komoot support: plan routes and use them for turn-by-turn navigation on the display.
  • Multiple battery saving options to extend battery life up to 100 hours in training mode with GPS.
  • Weather forecast: data on the current weather as well as a weather forecast for the next 2 days can be called up on the watch.
  • New type of pussensor with a higher number of LEDs and more red and orange LEDs. We assume that the red and orange LEDs provide better support for darker skin types, as they can penetrate the skin better.

The listed functions are explained and shown in detail in the Grit X individual review, in case you want to deal with them in more detail. Compared to the Vantage V, the only thing missing from the Grit X is Recovery Pro and the option for an orthostatic test. So if deeper recovery analyzes are important to you, you still have to resort to Vantage V.

Reasons for Vantage V?

We hardly see any reason to use the Vantage V. Except when the Recovery Pro features and the orthostatic test option are very important. These allow deeper recovery analysis and are currently only available on Vantage V.

Recovery Pro, in particular, can be a very helpful tool for athletes who push their limits and train often. Because recovery is just as important as training for athletic progress and the avoidance of nasty injuries. Recovery Pro helps to find the right balance at this point. There is currently no indication that Recovery Pro will be available on the Grit X.

Reasons for Vantage M?

The Vantage M is very interesting in terms of price. If the basics are enough and you want to watch your wallet, you are in good hands with Vantage M. Our comparison table below shows which features have to be avoided in addition to the features mentioned above (keyword update policy).

Heart Rate Sensor

All three models have an optical heart rate sensor, which usually delivers good results for constant running units, for example. For more intense activities, a Bluetooth HR chest strap can be paired to increase accuracy.

However, the Grit X is likely to have the most accurate heart rate sensor of the three models. This is because, on the one hand, it has more LEDs (10 active instead of 9) and the choice of LED color is different. While Vantage V and M have 5 green and 4 red active LEDs, the Grit X has 5 red, 4 orange and 1 green LEDs. Overall, this choice should also mean that darker skin types are better supported. The reason for this is that these colors penetrate the skin better, the light penetrates deeper into the body and thus the sensors can evaluate the reflected light more precisely.

Polar Grit X or Vantage V or Vantage M: Direct Comparison

Finally, we compare Polar Grit X, Vantage V and Vantage M directly with each other and look at the most important differences in table form (green: better):

Polar Vantage M vs Vantage V vs Grit X vs Ignite vs Unite
 Polar Vantage MPolar Vantage VPolar Grit XPolar IgnitePolar Unite
Buttons55 high quality buttons5 high quality rippled buttons1 button1 button
Weight (gram)4566643532
GPSIntegratedIntegratedIntegratedIntegratedConnected GPS via Smartphone
Heart rate sensor9 active LEDs: 5 green, 4 red9 active LEDs: 5 green, 4 red10 active LEDs: 5 red, 4 orange, 1 green (probably better overall for darker skin types)N/A10 active LEDs: 5 red, 4 orange, 1 green (probably better overall for darker skin types)
WaterproofWR30 (suitable for swimming)WR50 (suitable for swimming)WR100 (suitable for swimming)WR30 (suitable for swimming)WR30 (suitable for swimming)
MaterialsGlass fiber reinforced polymer housing, stainless steel bezel, buttons and buckleExtremely robust stainless steel housing, glass fiber reinforced polymer back coverExtremely robust stainless steel housing, glass fiber reinforced polymer back coverGlass fiber reinforced polymer housing, stainless steel bezel and buttonGlass fiber reinforced polymer housing. Stainless steel button.
Wristbands
  • Quick Release Wristbands

  • Exchangeable without tools against any other watch strap with 22mm spring bars

Exchangeable by delivered tools
  • Quick Release Wristbands

  • Exchangeable without tools against any other watch strap with 22mm spring bars

  • Quick Release Wristbands

  • Exchangeable without tools against any other watch strap with 20mm spring bars

  • Quick Release Wristbands

  • Exchangeable without tools against any other watch strap with 20mm spring bars

Battery life training mode (up to)30h40h100h17h50h
Battery life Watch mode
(up to , incl. 24x7 HR measurement)
5d7d7d5d4d
Battery saving mode configurableNoNoYes
up to 100 h Battery life in training mode incl. GPS extendable
(options to reduce GPS tracking points and display refresh rate and to disable the optical hr sensor completely)
NoNo
Display
  • 1,2 inch

  • Always-On

  • Color-Display

  • No touch screen

  • PMMA laminated glass with tempered coating

  • Harder to read in darker environments without backlight

  • Better readable in brighter environments

  • Resolution: 240x240 Pixel


  • 1,2 inch

  • Always-On

  • Color-Display

  • Touch screen

  • Gorilla laminated glass with anti-fingerprint coating

  • Harder to read in darker environments without backlight

  • Better readable in brighter environments

  • Resolution: 240x240 Pixel

  • 1,2 inch

  • Always-On

  • Color-Display

  • Touch screen

  • Gorilla laminated glass with anti-fingerprint coating

  • Harder to read in darker environments without backlight

  • Better readable in brighter environments

  • Resolution: 240x240 Pixel

  • unknown

  • Not Always-On

  • Color-Display (IPS TFT)

  • Touch screen

  • Dragontrail glass lens

  • Ambient light sensor (ALS)

  • Reflects easily in bright environments

  • Better in darker environments

  • Resolution: 240x204 Pixel

  • unknown

  • Always-On in Training mode

  • Color-Display (IPS TFT)

  • Touch screen

  • Asahi-Glas

  • Ambient light sensor (ALS)

  • Reflects easily in bright environments

  • Better in darker environments

  • Resolution: 240x204 Pixel

Manual lapsYesYesYesNo (only automatically)No (only automatically)
Running Index-AnalysisYesYesYesYesNo
Cadence on the wristYesYesYesYesNo
Vibrating alarmsYesYesYesYesYes
Acoustic alarmsNoYesYesNoNo
Swimming metrics
(Tempo, distance,
Swim style, swim strokes,
rest periods)
YesYesYesYesNo
Nightly Recharge Recovery AnalysisYesYesYesYesYes
Sleep tracking
(Sleep Plus Stages)
YesYesYesYesYes
FitSpark Training InstructionsYesYesYesYesYes
Serene breathing exerciseYesYesYesYesYes
Inactivity alarmYesYesYesYesYes
FuelWiseNoNoYesNoNo
Hill SplitterNoNoYesNoNo
Running Training ProgramYesYesYesYesYes
Multisport Training
(different activities as one
Record unit)
YesYesYesNoNo
Running Power on the wristVia third-party sensorsYesYesNoNo
Recovery ProNoYesNoNoNo
Performance zonesJaYesYesNoNo
Training Load ProYesYesYesNoNo
Orthostatic testNoYesNoNoNo
Back-to-StartYesYesYesNoNo
Route importNoYesYesNoNo
Route guidanceNoYesYesNoNo
Komoot Support (route planning/turn-by-turn
Navigation on the watch)
NoNoYesNoNo
Strava Live SegmentsNoYesYesNoNo
Weather/2 day weather forecastNoNoYesNoNo
Barometric altimeterNoYesYesNoNo
External Sensors (Bluetooth Smart)
  • Cadence sensor

  • Speed sensor

  • Running sensor

  • HR Chest Strap


  • Cadence sensor

  • Speed sensor

  • Running sensor

  • HR Chest Strap

  • Cadence sensor

  • Speed sensor

  • Running sensor

  • HR Chest Strap

  • HR Chest Strap

  • HR Chest Strap

ModelPolar Vantage MPolar Vantage VPolar Grit XPolar IgnitePolar Unite
RRP Preis$279.95$429.95$229.95$149.95
Shopping Logo
from $269.95

from $499.95

from $409.95

from $226.23

from $149.90

Choose Your Model

Were we able to illustrate the differences and help you select them? Here you come straight to your favourite:

 
ProductPrice from*Link*
Polar Grit X$409.95
Polar Vantage M$269.95
Polar Vantage V$499.95