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Polar Grit X vs Garmin 745 Review

Polar Grit X vs Garmin Forerunner 745

Introduced by Polar in 2020 to compete with Garmin’s formidable lineup, the Polar Grit X is a fully-functional, all-terrain and attractive watch for triathletes, trail runners, cyclists, adventurers and swimmers. It is loaded with features for navigation, slope analysis, light to extreme training, and fuel and hydration notices (among others).

 

It is also waterproof to 100m and has been through military-standard testing to ensure it’s durability under stressful conditions. The price point is also appealing for a sports watch with so much value.

 

The Garmin Forerunner 745 is Garmin’s attempt to fill the gap between the 735XT (below it) and the 945 (above it). It has a smaller case than the 735X with many more sensors and additional goodies like a music player and payment features onboard. 

 

Garmin’s Connect IQ offers an impressive list of apps and sensors for all types of activities while tracking workouts and training circuits with great precision. Cycling, swimming, running and indoor rowing are just some of the activities handled by this watch.

Garmin Forerunner 745

4.5/5

Polar Grit X

4.5/5

The Basics

It is certainly a close race in this Polar Grit X vs. Garmin Forerunner 745 challenge, but we accept it without complaint! The Polar Grit X and Garmin watches are both formidable contenders for one of the top spots in multisports watches, so we’ll give you the best rundown of the facts and let you take it from there. Sound good?

 

The Polar Grit X is a revamped Polar Grit V with a more rugged and military standard ruggedness. Essentially this means it can take a lot more wear and tear than the original and look good doing it at the same time. Hard to ask for more, frankly. 

 

The Garmin Forerunner 745 stands true to the spirit of the Forerunner 735XT, but with fewer functions, in particular the mapping features. It’s also a bit less expensive, slightly smaller, lighter, and has less battery life than the Forerunner 945. It still supports triathlon training, which should come as a relief to those who train that way.

Polar Grit X

Main Similarities Between The Polar Grit X and Garmin Forerunner 745

  • Both have activity tracking
  • Both have advanced sleep-tracking and indoor/ outdoor running feature
  • Both have indoor and outdoor cycling, swimming, and rowing features
  • Triathlon mode is standard for both watches with Bluetooth connectivity
  • Both include an accelerometer, a compass, and a barometric altimeter
  • Guidance through routes and back to start feature included
  • They have watch straps that can be changed
  • Screen resolution (240 x 240 pixels) and screen size (30.4 mm diameter) are the same
Garmin Forerunner 745

Main Differences Between The Polar Grit X and Garmin Forerunner 745

  • The Polar Grit X has a touchscreen while the Forerunner relies entirely on push buttons to operate
  • The Garmin Forerunner 745 doesn’t have maps
  • The Polar Grit X has 130 sports and activity modes while the Forerunner comes in at about 35 preinstalled sport modes (users can change the order and number of modes displayed)
  • The Grit X doesn’t require an accessory to use the running power like the Forerunner. You can unlock this feature from the wrist
  • The Garmin Forerunner 745 has 4GB of storage while the Polar Grit X presumably has more but appears to be unspecified
  • The Polar Grit X has been through a series of military-grade tests (according to Polar), protecting it against extreme temperatures, shocks from being dropped, and humidity
  • The Garmin Forerunner 745 has a New Daily Workout suggestion feature based on recent training routines
  • The two watches share many of the sports modes between them watches with some notable exceptions like: “circuit training,” “cross trainer,” and “indoor climbing” (for the Grit X) vs. “cardio training,” “elliptical training,” and “stair-stepping” (for the Garmin Forerunner 745), among others.
Sensors on the Garmin 745 and Polar Grit X

The Grit X’s Tough Military Standard Technology

 

The Polar Grit X is a rugged multisport watch that can withstand military standard tests and won’t fail under increased use, abuse or shock. A great asset for people into extreme sports that expect their watches to stand up to anything they can dish out. Grit X is the most durable GPS watch made by Polar, a major advantage for extreme sports enthusiasts, and it is head and shoulders above the toughness of the Forerunner 745. 

From The Wrist Running Power

 

Garmin users must buy an additional accessory to access running power from the wrist, but the Polar Grit X offers this feature without an accessory. This advantage alone makes it an appealing watch for ease of use.

Sleep Tracking

 

The advanced sleep tracking feature in the Polar Grit X is far superior to the Forerunner’s. With Polar’s sleep technology, you get a much more accurate picture of all the sleep stages, including light sleep, deep sleep, and the most vital type: REM sleep. How long you engage in each sleep stage is fully revealed by the Sleep Plus Stages feature, and it also counts your sleep cycles.  

Side view of the Polar Grit X and the Garmin 745 - Grit X is on the outside in each picture

Garmin Forerunner 745

4.5/5

Polar Grit X

4.5/5

Built-In Energy Sources and FuelWise Technology

 

Long-distance runners and trail runners will appreciate the new features developed with them in mind. Both of them help keep energy levels at the optimum during extreme physical exertion. The Energy Sources feature in Polar Grit X monitors fats, proteins, and carbs (i.e., overall energy use) during training sessions.

 

FuelWise maintains proper hydration and energy levels during races and lengthy training routines. It advises you on how and when to keep your body appropriately hydrated and refueled during longer training sessions to avoid low physical performance.  

Polar Grit X Sports Modes and Hill Splitter

 

The watch has 130 sport modes, which is much more than the 30+ available sports modes in the Garmin Forerunner 745, beating it hands down in that respect. It’s ideal for open water swimming and triathlons as a result.

 

The Hill Splitter feature gives comprehensive data about uphill and downhill portions of training routines. A feature exclusive to the Grit X gives important information to bikers and runners during training itself and after biking or running to perform post-workout analysis. 

Polar Grit X and Polar Flow App as well as the Garmin Forerunner 745 and the Garmin Connect App

Major Advantages of the Garmin Forerunner 745

Although the Garmin Forerunner 745 lacks some of the features of the Forerunner 945 (most notably, golfing support and maps), it is still smaller and lighter than its older predecessor. Keeping all this in mind, the model has some major benefits that are covered below.

Top-Notch Connectivity with ANT+ and Wi-Fi 

The Garmin Forerunner 745 works with many third-party cycling accessories, whereby the Polar Grit X does not. Therefore, it’s a solid choice for cycling enthusiasts who will want these benefits more likely than not. 

Wi-Fi is usually faster and preferable to Bluetooth, making the Forerunner a better choice if you wish to transfer data between your watch, computer, and phone. The process is fairly efficient once you become connected to Wi-Fi. More often than not, this avoids considerable time and hassle.

Storage for Music and Apps

In contrast to the Polar Grit X (which has left out most non-sport and non-fitness related features in its model), the Garmin Forerunner 745 has enough space for 500 songs. It is compatible with various music platforms for enjoying your favorite tunes on the go. The difference couldn’t be starker in this respect: if you wish to have music on your sports watch during your workout routine, the Forerunner 745 is the clear winner in that regard. 

Advanced Running Dynamics  

The Garmin Forerunner 745 has many stats that will keep runners analyzing their routines until they reach the perfect balance of efficiency and efficacy. Features include cadence, vertical ratio, ground contact balance, ground contact time, etc. The abundance of features available to runners of all levels is simply staggering. 

Miscellaneous Features and Applications of the Forerunner 745

The Garmin Forerunner 745 can be customized and individualized to suit personal workout tastes and preferences with loads of add-ons. The choices are practically endless and include modifying workout display settings, watch faces, training fields, etc. 

Through Garmin Connect IQ, hundreds of apps available to you extend the device’s functionality to do whatever you want, fitness-wise. A few examples of the range of apps available to users of this device are Mediate and 7 Minute Workout, which, as their names imply, perform functions tailored to specific needs. 

There are so many training/ goal specific apps available with this sports watch you are certain to find something to suit your needs and goals with a thorough search. 

Design and Specs 

Below are some of the design elements and specifications for each product to compare yourself. Pay special attention to the sizes, design elements, and how each model interfaces with the user.

Key Features of the Polar Grit X 

The Polar Grit X comes in white, black, or green colors and can fit wrist sizes from 5.1 to 7.4 inches in the small to medium sizes and 5.7 to 8.4-inch wrists in the medium to large sizes. The small and medium sizes are found only in white, and the medium/ large sizes are in black and green. 

Navigation

The 1.2-inch color touch screen has a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. It has five buttons and most users found the features easy to navigate using the tools available. There is an OK button to select items after moving the up and down arrows to find what you need. There is also a back/menu/sync button and a light button on the watch’s left side that backlights the display for easy viewing. 

The light button lights up the screen for only a few seconds before turning off again, so if you forget to turn it off, there’s little risk of draining the battery. The screen usually needs extra light indoors, but outdoors it is quite clear without it. 

Versatility and Functionality

You can wear the Grit X while swimming or showering because it is waterproof to 328 feet. The bezel and case are stainless steel with a glass fiber-reinforced polymer back along with a Gorilla Glass lens that is suitably laminated. A coating is even placed on the glass to resist fingerprints. 

Although the Polar Grit X has passed military tests for toughness, don’t expose it to temperatures below 14 degrees Fahrenheit because the battery may not run as expected. 

Bands fitting the watch are interchangeable and come in many colors. The standard bands are flexible silicone, but Polar offers other textile and leather bands for a change of pace should you want one. 

The Grit is 0.51 inches thick with a sporty and refined design suitable for casual events and dress other than strictly sporting ones. Great news for people who appreciate the freedom to show off their sports enthusiasm in venues outside the track, hill, or road.

Polar Grit X and the Garmin Forerunner 745 side by side comparision

Key Features of the Garmin Forerunner 745

 

The Forerunner 745 has a 17.28-inch fiber-reinforced case, which may be important to people with smaller wrists. It measures 5.24 inches in profile and weighs only 47 grams. The screen’s diameter stays the same as the Forerunner 945 at 1.2 inches, which should make your eyes breathe a sigh of relief. 

Battery Life

The battery life allows for one week of use in smartphone mode and six hours in GPS mode. The lens is Corning Gorilla Glass DX, and the bezel is a fiber-reinforced polymer. Just like the Polar Grit X, the strap is silicone, and the display is composed of sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) material. 

 

The music storage can store up to 500 songs, and you can use Garmin Pay to pay for things you otherwise couldn’t with the Grit X. 

Health Features

The Forerunner offers 24/7 fitness tracking, and the Elevate optical heart rate monitor works even while swimming. It has a noticeable LED light for Pulse OX data that helps you track vital heart functions during training. 

 

It also has many sports available to track and monitor your progress: running, biking, swimming, and other common workouts. Each has its individualized settings that can be tweaked to keep track of metrics and performance for a broad picture of current status and future goals yet to be reached. 

Versatility and Functionality

 

The 745 contains the New Daily Workout features, which suggests routines that may be in line with what you are already doing or wish to tackle in the future. This feature allows users to see where they are in their routines at any given time and imagine where they want to be in the near-term future. 

 

The Garmin doesn’t have maps, but it does have GPS waypoint navigation, which contains the basic features of navigation for users who don’t need anything else. Rounding out the list of features is the back to start feature that allows users to figure out where they started concerning their workout cycles. 

 

Other useful features include Training Effect, which displays how workouts aid in developing speed, power, and endurance. Recovery Time lets wearers know when is an ideal time to engage in new workouts. At the same time, Race Predictor helps you reach your race goal by evaluating your training history and fitness ability level. 

 

The Performance Condition monitors your pace and heart rate functions while Training Load keeps track of your weekly exercise volume, keeping you in the optimal range based on past stats. All useful features to keep you on the right track! 

Garmin Forerunner 745

4.5/5

Polar Grit X

4.5/5

Polar Grit X vs Garmin Forerunner 745 Conclusion

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this Garmin Forerunner 745 vs. Polar Grit X contest. So much so, it’s perhaps necessary to sum it all to make things reasonably digestible for the would-be purchaser. As always, it is an excellent idea to determine your priorities for training and exercising before shopping for the perfect smartwatch/fitness tracker for your needs. 

In summary, the Garmin Forerunner 745 is the best choice if:

 

  • You want a watch with dynamic smartphone features 
  • You desire the freedom and versatility of Garmin Connect IQ to utilize many apps 
  •  You are an avid runner and want advanced running dynamics
  • The ANT+ connectivity appeals to the cyclist in you
  • You believe doing your exercise routine to a wide range of musical choices is essential

The Polar Grit X is the better choice if: 

 

  • Having access to the maximum number of sports modes strikes your fancy
  • Tracking your precise progress through various training routines is of utmost importance to you
  • Have an extremely tough, durable, military-grade watch is something you need
  • Running power from the wrist (not an accessory) is a feature you can’t do without



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Robby McClung

Robby McClung

This article was written by the editorial staff of the Canaan Valley Running Company and Robby McClung. Robby is the founder of the Canaan Valley Running Company. You can read more in the about section of the website on Robby and the Canaan Valley Running Company.

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