Hi! When I needed a best heart rate monitor, I decided to dig into the market and research on the different available models. Though I did not want a HRM with a lot of features, I neither wanted one which would only give me my heart rate. So I settled on the affordable FT7, a model with a few extra features.
Despite the fact that polar FT7 has all the features that one can look for the best in a HRM, it barely features in most reviews. But you will find enough reviews for high price models such F6, F7, FT40 and FT60. Perhaps this is because FT7 Polar heart rate monitor is newer model or Polar are just more focused on selling the expensive models. But to me, it offered me all I was looking for at an affordable price.
Features of FT7 Polar Heart Rate Monitor (HRM)
Mine – a women’s model – is black with gold stripe down the centre of the band. I chose it because it is not flashy and it is hardly noticed as the other models.
Has a changeable battery: You can easily change the HRM watch batteries, so you don’t have to send it back to the manufacturers. However, the transmitter and the watch use different batteries.
Accurate: It monitors heart rates and the results are very accurate, save for its performance under water.
Water resistant: I have used it different swimming pools and noted that it is accurate when the transmitter works. However, the transmitter takes a little time to start working under water.
Its transmitter takes time to start in highly chlorinated water or seawater and sometimes it may fail totally. This means that the HRM may not be able to give you an accurate heart rate when swimming in highly chlorinated or sea water. This is very annoying if you are in endurance swimming laps. I suppose it may not work at all in ocean water.
Counts Calories: Apart from under water sessions, FT7 is quite accurate and gives fair calculation of calories burned during sessions. However, it is a bit difficult to get accurate results if the transmitter failed to start in time, especially under water. Generally, it is not the kind of HRM you would prefer for swimming sessions. It is best for walking, spinning and strength training sessions.
It has target Heart Rate Graph which is handy in analysing your performance. You can tell your current level, your minimum and the best fitness level you have achieved during a particular session.
User friendly: The HRM watch is easy to configure and I did not even require a manual to help me out. The settings are easy to adjust and you change it to reflect your current body weight. Nevertheless, it does not have any instruction manual on how to configure it. This may be very frustrating to people who often need detailed manuals.
It stores data: It saves the training files which includes session statistics such as duration, calories burned, and the Maximum and average HR. It also records the total time spent on the target HR range.
The watch also has weekly workout summaries. These summaries include the total duration of training sessions, total amount of burned calories, and the number of session.
The chest straps are comfortable and don’t slip.
The HRM can be used in areas with minimal light, thanks to the backlight feature.
How to Operate and Use the FT7 HRM Watch
The HRM is user friendly and very easy to operate. To access the quick menu, hold down the backlight button. The same button is used for button lock. To set time zone, you go the quick menu way or just hold on the “down arrow” button. The “up arrow” button is used to set the display of the watch to time & date, or time & time and logo.
It is advisable to wet the chest straps before you use them. I often wet my hands and rub them against the chest straps. I’ve not had any slipping issues and the straps are very comfortable. However, you might feel a little uncomfortable if you are not used to having things around your chest.
When training in my gym, I don’t have to constantly check the readings on my watch. The machines in the gym pick up the readings while I train so I can indirectly see my transmitter readings.
This watch is cheaper than most models and offers all the basic features you may need. Personally, all I needed was a convenient watch that can offer fairly accurate training statistics at a good price, and FT7 offers it all. Moreover, it has user changeable batteries. So if you need the best heart rate monitor HRM from Polar at a fairly good price, settle for this watch.