I walked 5K+ steps with the G-Shock Move and Polar Grit X2 Pro— here's the winner

The G-Shock Move and Polar Grit X2 Pro smartwatches on the same wrist.
(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

If you're on the hunt for a rugged smartwatch that's built to survive life's hard knocks, there's a good chance you've come across the Polar Grit X2 Pro or G-Shock Move DWH5600

Both devices perform the fitness basics, like keeping tabs on heart rate, calories, steps and more. Both also monitor blood oxygen levels, track sleep quality and stress levels, provide insights into training recovery and sync with your smartphone to send notifications. 

Of course, the Polar Grit X2 Pro is slightly more than double the price of the G-Shock Move. With a built-in multiband GPS, altimeter and support for a huge number of sports profiles, Polar's device is a full-blown adventure-ready smartwatch.

The G-Shock Move, on the other hand, marries Casio's classic 1980s digital watch design with modern tech, making it a capable fitness tracker disguised as a retro-fabulous wristwatch.

Users can only track a small number of physical activities with the G-Shock Move — I'm still waiting on support for biking — and there's no onboard GPS or altimeter, you'll need to have a paired smart device (your phone) for that. Still, the G-Shock boasts 200 meters of water resistance compared to the Polar's 100 meters, supports solar charging and wears more comfortably — at least, on my wrist.

Polar Grit X2 Pro vs. G-Shock Move: Step count test

The G-Shock Move and Polar Grit X2 Pro smartwatches on the same wrist.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

With walking being one of the four physical activities users can track on the G-Shock Move DWH5600 —  the others are running, interval training and "gym workouts" — I decided to test its accuracy against the Polar Grit X2 Pro, which is the newest smartwatch to cross my desk.

In previous head-to-head step count battles, the G-Shock has proven to be a tough opponent — it even beat the Apple Watch SE. However, as noted, the Grit has a lot more onboard tracking tech than the Move. To make up for this, the latter pairs with your smartphone and borrows its location data.

Hardware aside, both of these devices are making use of Polar's software — Casio licenses the technology for its entire "Move" line of fitness-focused smartwatches. 

Polar Grit X2 Pro: $749 @ Polar

Polar Grit X2 Pro: $749 @ Polar
The Grit X2 pro is Polar's newest GPS smartwatch for outdoor adventures. It features a large, immersive AMOLED touchscreen and stainless steel case and bezel, making it tough-built and delightful to interact with. Moreover, the Grit X2 Pro is jam-packed with fitness-tracking tech and supports a huge number of physical activities. 

G-Shock Move DWH5600: $299 @ REI

G-Shock Move DWH5600: $299 @ REI
This tough-built, sporty watch looks straight out of the 1980s in all the best ways. However, it packs the features of a modern smart wearable, including basic activity tracking, blood oxygen saturation monitoring, smartphone notifications and more. It also boasts better water resistance than even the Apple Watch Ultra. 

So, which one more accurately tracks steps? To find out, I set off on another gorgeous Seattle afternoon and explored the sights, sounds and smells (the flowers are popping) of my neighborhood and those around it. I wore the Polar on my left wrist and the G-Shock on my right.

To keep track of my total step count, as always, I manually counted each and every step up to 100 before clicking my old-timey tally counter and starting back over at one. Here's how the results from these two watches compare after 5,800 steps.

Polar Grit X2 Pro vs. G-Shock Move: Step count test results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
G-Shock Move DWH5600Polar Grit X2 ProControl
Steps5,818 steps5,956 steps5,800 steps (manual count)
Distance2.72 miles2.96 miles 2.95 miles (Google Maps)
Elevation gainn/a340 feetn/a
Average Pace20 mins, 52 secs per mile19 mins, 20 secs per milen/a
Average heart rate130 bpm122 bpmn/a
Max heart rate171 bpm169 bpmn/a
Calories burned321 calories561 caloriesn/a

The G-Shock Move once again proved itself to be a supremely accurate step count tracker, missing my actual total by a mere 18 steps. The Polar meanwhile, also did a great job, overcounting by 156 steps, which I consider small potatoes. 

Both devices spat out similar distance measurements, too, though the Polar is closer to Google's. It's worth pointing out that this walk involved a considerable amount of ascent, which is not reflected in the G-Shock's data — 340 feet of elevation gain is roughly equivalent to 34 flights of stairs climbed, which ain't nothing. 

Moving down the chart, the Grit recorded a slightly faster pace than the Move, which makes sense given that the Polar thought I walked further than the G-shock in roughly the same amount of time. 

Judging by past walking tests, the Polar's average heart rate strikes me as a tad low, whereas the G-Shock's seems on the money. Regardless both calculated similar maximum heart rates, even if the Grit X2 Pro felt I burned more calories. 

Polar Grit X2 Pro vs. G-Shock Move: G-Shock wins

The G-Shock Move and Polar Grit X2 Pro smartwatches on the same wrist

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

For this step count challenge, the G-Shock Move DWH5600 beats the Polar Grit X2 Pro. However, that doesn't necessarily mean it's the better fitness tracker. Both captured fairly accurate data but only the Polar captured my ascent, which for this walk, was noteworthy. 

Ultimately, the best fitness tracker is the one you actually wear consistently. And, depending on your needs and desires, either of these devices might serve you well. 

The Polar is a better choice for those who want to track a wide range of sports and activities and dive deep into insights. The G-Shock is optimal for more casual users wishing to monitor physical activity and well-being more generally. 

For even more options, read our guide to the best fitness trackers and best smartwatches available right now.

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Dan Bracaglia
Senior Writer, Fitness & Wearables

Dan Bracaglia covers fitness and consumer technology with an emphasis on wearables for Tom's Guide. Based in the US Pacific Northwest, Dan is an avid outdoor adventurer who dabbles in everything from kayaking to snowboarding, but he most enjoys exploring the cities and mountains with his small pup, Belvedere. Dan is currently training to climb some of Washington State's tallest peaks. He's also a big photography nerd.