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Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Review

Polar FT4 Pink
One of the first heart rate monitor watches that people tend to come across is the biggest selling on the market, the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor that we are reviewing today.  Its popularity is due to three simple facts, this is one of the lowest cost Heart Rate monitors, it looks great and it is incredibly simple to use.

Features of the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor:

As an entry level heart rate monitor, Polar have stripped this right down to basics.  By putting the needs of the user first they have developed an incredibly compact and light weigh watch that is comfortable and discrete to wear.

Feedback

In its default mode it will save you counting your heart beats by constantly showing your heart rate in the HeartTouch display.  Also on screed is the target zone alarm.  This means that you can see your heart rate with just a glance at your wrist.  If you are deviating from your target zones the monitor will give a bleep, short and slow for a slow rhythm, and faster if you are going to fast and out of the top of your heart rate zone.

Chest Strap

As this monitor detects your heart rate via a chest strap there is no need to worry about the position of the monitor on your wrist. This keeps the wrist weight down (good when running), and provides a more accurate reading than all but the most expensive monitors.

Calorie Counting and Heart Rate Tracking

When you first start up the Polar FT4 there are a couple of tasks to do.  You have to enter your weight, height and age.  This allows the FT4 to workout the most optimal heart rate for your body, and will set a training zone for you to keep your BPM in while working out.  The height and weight is needed to give a reasonably accurate feedback on your calories burned during the workout.

Different Colours

You can choose from a number of different colour options: Green, Pink, Black, Blue and Grey

Gym Link

Probably the reason most users come to the polar FT4.  The chest strap is compatible with nearly all fitness equipment in the gym.  Its the one that most personal trainers recommend.  The big advantage with the polar FT4 is that the price (About $60) includes the chest strap.  If you were to by the cest

Other features of the FT4

Also includes is a good quality backlight that allows the watch to be used in low light conditions.

The battery life is an excellent 12 months long, Although I found that the chest strap needed the battery changed more often than the wrist monitor.  Its easy to change the battery, they are the size of a small coin and a twist of the back section will expose the battery.  There is a low battery life indicator for the wrist monitor, one feature that we would like to see is a battery life indicator for the chest strap.  Often I would find my chest strap not connecting because the battery is out!  I keep a spare in my kit bag.

Memory

There is a built in memory, which allows the past ten workouts to be tracked.  If you need longer term storage then you can buy an additional data connection for a PC/Laptop.  If you are needing a pc link we would look to buy a more expensive model with bluetooth built in as you will be spending the same on the data link.

Water Proof

The wrist monitor is waterproof up to 30 meters.  This does not mean that you can swim with this watch!  Tested upto 30M means that it is suitable for everyday use. Splash/rain resistant. NOT suitable for “showering, bathing, swimming, snorkelling, water related work and fishing.”

Pros and Cons of the Polar FT4

Pros
Simple and easy to use, displays the Heart Rate clearly without having to push any buttons.

Low cost entry into heart rate monitoring.

Cons
No Stop watch feature,

Cannot be used swimming

Our Verdict on the Polar FT4

Its clear to see why this is one of the most popular heart rate monitors on the market.  The Polar FT4 is simple to use and won’t overwhelm new users.  We like the touch free monitoring, comforatable wrist position and of course low price!

Polar FT4 Video

Polar FT4 Video