Polar FT7 Watch Review

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If you are in the market for a smart-affordable heart rate monitor that can provide not only calories burned, but also tell you weather you are burning fat or increasing your overall fitness, then the Polar FT7 may be for you. The FT7 is new to the Polar line of training watches and costs a mere $119. The FT7 can store up to 16 weeks of training and up to 99 separate training files; which is an amazing amount of storage packed into an attractive watch. Our testers liked that the watch is smaller than previous Polar models and found themselves wearing it as an everyday watch because it can blend with casual and sporty clothing. The FT7 is incredibly user friendly and takes only 5 minutes to input your data, such as date of birth, height, weight, and heart rate goals. If you have a tough time getting started with the watch, the user guide is available online (also in print) and there are forums to bounce ideas off other users and the pros from Polar.

When the watch is in training mode, the user can toggle between displays using the up/down buttons on the side to see the duration of their activity, actual time of day, heart rate range, current heart rate in a larger easy to see font, and calories burned. The FT7 is equipped with Polar’s EnergyPointer program, which calculates and displays whether the user is within the fitness improvement zone or fat burning zone, based on your heart rate. This tool makes it easier to achieve one’s fitness goals. We liked the addition of a pause button and its location on the left side, making it harder to hit by accident during your activity. To stop the training session, one simply has to press and hold the pause button and a workout summary is displayed and stored within the watch. If you are a real numbers’ cruncher, then you may also like Polar’s FlowLink, which allows you to seamlessly import workout data to your computer via a USB port.

New additions that our testers also liked about the FT7 included the increased flexibility of the transmitter. Our testers wore the transmitter swimming and reported that they quickly forgot that they were wearing the strap. The transmitter also seems to stay put better than previous models and transmitted HR data even in a heavily chlorinated pool. And last but not least, each transmitter is coded to the watch, which will prevent you from picking up others’ heart rate transmitters; which can be a problem while racing. Overall, the Polar FT7 is a great timepiece for those seeking a little help reaching their fitness goals. For more information on the FT7 and other Polar products, please visit www.polar.com or www.amazon.com/polar.

Included features on the Polar FT7

  • Average and maximum heart rate of training
  • Heart rate
  • HR-based target zones with visual and audible alarm
  • Manual target zone
  • Polar EnergyPointer
  • Polar OwnCal® – calorie expenditure
  • Polar OwnCode® (5kHz) – coded transmission
  • Totals
  • Training files (with summaries) – 99
  • Weekly history
  • Graphical target zone indicator
  • HeartTouch – button-free operation of wrist unit
  • Backlight
  • Date and weekday indicator
  • Display text in English, German, Finnish, Swedish, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian
  • Dual time zone
  • KeyLock
  • Low battery indicator
  • StopWatch
  • Time of day (12/24h) with alarm and snooze
  • User replaceable battery
  • Water resistant – 50m
Shannon: Shannon, our fabulous female tester, takes gear testing to a new level for women. When not at work or school, she is most likely training for a marathon, climbing one of Colorado’s tallest peaks, riding her road bike, or skiing down a mountain slope. Like many women, Shannon gets cold easily, therefore, we try to test the best all weather gear to help her stay warm and dry during all day outdoor pursuits. In the warmer months, Shannon enjoys exploring the Colorado backcountry with her friends and dogs and attempts to escape for as many trail runs as her schedule allows. Shannon is a great women’s tester because she gives readers true insight into how a product may perform for an active woman.

View Comments (9)

  • The watch also tells you "Happy Birthday" on your big day...it is not only a smart watch, but also a very friendly one too!
    We also forgot to mention that the battery can now be replaced by YOU and no longer has to be sent to Polar.

  • Ruth,
    Thanks for the question. Yes, you can use this is in the water, up to 50 m in fact. I have used it many times in the pool and shower with it on every day. The HR band is also extremely comfortable under a suit b/c it is soooo flexible (the old one's weren't as great!).
    Keep up the great work with your aqua classes!
    Shannon

  • I need help, I bought the watch but how can I know if i'm in a ood loosing weight area if the watch doesn't sound the alarm when you are doing exercise to slow?
    I just bought it to loose weight, how can i do that?

  • Hello, I just bought this watch today after owning the polar f6 for a couple of years. On the f6 it was necessary to do a short "fitness test" for own zone calculations which I'm guessing gives a more accurate calorie count. The ft7 does not appear to have this test and I am concerned about the calorie burned accuracy. Is the ft7 calorie count accurate?

    Thanks!

  • Hi all
    I just thought I would share the following with you. By the way thank you for a great review. Today I went to look at the monitors at my local sports shop here in south africa, "shopping" crime capital of the world :) Any way guess what they cost here in sunny south africa?
    $212 at todays exchange rate!!!!! So it just goes to show that not only is this country bottom of the ranks in terms of crime but its top of the list for ripping off its shoppers! If you ask polar why you wont get an answer. Absurd but sadly true. Also Polar south africa will NOT honor any warranty or service any watches purchased on line so we cannot even get them on Amazon. By the way the ZAR Price was R1699.00 which is typical of the extortionate prices the country is renowned for.

  • Be careful when you buy! Not worth it.

    I bought the device from one of the retailer and nowhere there was any indication that when you buy this item you actually have no means to connect it to your computer. Only later, once you open the Polar Box and read the instruction - you learn that you need to purchase yet another piece of equipment called Polar Flow Link in order to transfer data from your watch into the computer. When I realized that - I felt cheated into buying an expensive device which is incomplete. A very deceiving approach from Polar which tricks you into buying additional pieces of equipment in order to take full advantage of the functions provided by the device. There are other devices present on the market that do not take such approach and you will be better off if you buy an alternative products.

    Having experienced their customer care (with very much of 'I do not care approach') - I would not consider ever buying anything from Polar - waste of money.

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