When I decided to write this Polar FT7 heart rate monitor review, I hadn’t yet realized the great number of color choices available. I simply knew the Polar name was a very popular, well-recognized brand in the market. This is one of the bestselling models because it’s easy to use but also has a number of very helpful features.
It also comes in different sizes for men and women so no one has to wear a band that is too tight or too loose. The more often you wear it, the more important size and fit plays a role in how well you like the monitor.
The Polar FT7 comes with multiple Tracking features and doesn’t just measure your heart rate.
- It Counts Calories : The Calorie counter seems to be quite accurate when used for walking, spinning classes, swimming, and strength training sessions.
- Target heart rate graph : The graph will assist you to evaluate where you are and if you’re within your minimum and maximum HR “fitness” ranges during a workout session.
- Stores Training Files : Polar PT7 include records of session durations, calories burned, average HR, Maximum HR, and the amount of time your workout HR was spent in the target range.
- Weekly Summaries : This basically sums up the total amount of time spent training, the total calories during each session, and how many sessions during the week.
- Most of the Settings are very easy to change in sync with any weight changes so you can keep an accurate count of calories being burned.
If you’re somewhere with minimal lighting then there is backlight, which is quite handy. The More you use Back Light function you will be exhausting your battery charge that much quicker. Overall Display is much clear and easier on your eye so you don’t have strain to read the Hear Rates and other parameters shown.
The wrist unit has 5 Buttons
- Top right : Scroll up the menu
- Bottom right : Scroll Down the menu
- Centre Right : Ok Start Button
- Bottom Left : Exit/ Back button
- Top Left : is for the Light
No matter where you are pressing the Exit button for a longer duration brings you back to the Home screen. The control button is quite easy to access and works well. When you are setting the watch up for the first time, have the manual in front of you. Once you get used to features of each button it will become fairly easy to operate.
Polar FT7 has a zone alarm which will beep when your heart rate exceeds the zone limit set by you. Overall Screen is much easier to read and after the completion of workout it gives you a simple summary of Total calories burned, how many minutes you spent in fat burn against fitness Zone with average Heart Rate.
FT7 can be worn when swimming. However to maintain water resistance do not press buttons when under water. Further, in some highly chlorinated pools and sea water the transmitter will not be picked up underwater. However, the watch will still give fair calculation of calories burned during swim sessions. It sometimes does not pick up signal when you are swimming in the ocean. As per Polar website, this heart rate monitor is water resistant up to 50Mtrs.
The sensor in Polar FT7 isa chest strap type and It seems to be designed for right handed people AS It only attaches on one side Unlike in Forerunner which had attachments on both sides of the strap to accommodate both lefties and righties.
The Strap is made of Rubber material and is quite comfortable when doing work outs. It is recommended to wet the straps a little either by water or by applying electrode gel. Usually just wet the hands a bit and rub against the cloth area and it’s good to go.
The Monitor and the Chest Strap are adjustable to different sizes and hence both fits very comfortably to varied size people.
The recording of your training sessions is exceptional – the manual said up to 99 training files will be saved. I know I’ve already got over 20 that are definitely in the watch.
Polar FT7 allows uploading of data to Computer with optional Polar Flow Link.
When you open the package you will have Wrist Unit, Transmitter, strap and User manual. However it is recommended that you also buy Parker Spectra Electrode Gel.
Polar FT7 uses CR1632 Battery Type and it comes with 1 Year Battery Life. One of the biggest advantages of Polar FT7 over the other models are the User Changeable batteries. Now, of late Polar FT7 takes regular batteries which you can replace without having to send the unit back to Polar support for a replacement. Polar FT7 also indicates Low battery indicator for convenience.
The shipping weight is approx around 6.4 ounces. Display is similar across FT7 units. There is a woman specific FT7 model released which has black with a gold stripe down the center of the band. The design is less flashy and colorful as the other models so you can wear it with your work clothes and it does not stand out much.
- Ability to change the Maximum Heart Rate setting : This is huge as similarly trained people of the same age in the same athletic endeavors, max HR can differ by as much as 40 bpm!.
- User Friendly : Polar FT7 is very intuitive and user friendly. You will tend to configure the entire setting without even referring to the Manual which cannot be said of other Heart Rate Monitors.
- Possibility to sync with most of the machines in your Gym : This eliminates you to constantly check your watch for the status of your workouts.
- Non availability of a Timer or Stopwatch function : To use any time you have to start training which then looks for a heart signal. If you continue without the strap, it will warn you there’s no heart signal, but once you acknowledge that, that warning disappears and you’ll see the timer again.
- Low Volume in some units : If you are biking against the wind – you hardly hear it. Which forces you to steady the hand while running, or let go of the handlebars while riding to see what the heart rate is which is not recommended.
- Non availability to alert : FT7 cannot alert when your HR dips below a target.
From what we have found across various online portals people have liked Polar FT7 simplicity at the same time the useful data which it displays. Amazon has more than 170 4 star reviews out of 216 reviewers which indicates that the majority of people have liked the product.
Comments from reviewer include that it is Excellent, easy to use with No complaints whatsoever. Some have nothing negative to say and say it has all the features promised.
One commenter stated that it is easier to use comfortable. You could read more about it here.
However not everyone has positive experience with Polar FT7. More than 29 people have left 1 and 2 star ratings on Amazon. Some of the complaints have been on FT7 been bulky and uncomfortable and the unavailability of Lower limit Heart Rate measurement and wrong readings.
One person went so far as to say it was nothing short of a disappointment
Overall irrespective of few negative reviews majority have liked the Polar FT7.
We have checked and reviewed pricing at major online retailers. As of now prices seems to be cheaper at Amazon ( click here to see the latest price ). However it is your choice to choose between Amazon door delivery and exceptional customer service or to buy from pick it up from your near by store. Both options are good depending on your choice.
In Summary If you want a simple watch that gives you fairly accurate heart rates, calorie burns, training records, and user changeable batteries then Polar FT7 could be the best fit. I am sure you will not be disappointed.