Whether you’re just starting a fitness routine or are already well on your way to achieving your fitness goals, a heart rate monitor is a great investment. While some athletes prefer a simple strap, usually worn around the chest, others want a little bit more. These Polar heart rate monitors provide an array of features to help you build up your fitness level. Some examples include a water resistant material, programs that help count calories, distance, and pace, and comfortable chest straps that adjust to various body types. These Polar heart rate monitors stand out for their performance and features, especially for the price.
1. Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor
If you’re seeking a heart rate monitor that only keeps track of your heart rate — not foot steps — this model is a good choice. Its primary goal is to provide accurate and consistent heart rate readings during your workouts. However, it offers other features as well, including a Smart Calorie program that provides an accurate number of calories burned using personal information. For added comfort and convenience, the heart rate chest strap is made from soft material and is designed to adapt to your body shape. This monitor is also water resistant up to 30 meters and comes with a user-replaceable battery.
Price: $54.99 (45 percent off MSRP)
- Includes Smart Calorie program
- Chest strap adapts to body shape
- Water resistant up to 30 meters
- Heart rate number on screen could be bigger
- No stopwatch feature
- Plastic material feels a bit cheap
2. Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor
You’ll get continuous and accurate heart rate monitoring with this watch, which includes a chest strap that automatically adapts to suit your body shape. If you’re trying to lose weight or just want to count calories, you’ll appreciate the Smart Calorie feature. With this feature, your personal data will give the most accurate assessment of calories burned. An Energy Pointer feature lets you know whether your training is primarily burning fat or improving fitness. The water-resistant watch can connect to compatible gym equipment using Gym Link.
Price: $74.32 (38 percent off MSRP)
- Tracks calories
- Indicates whether you’re primarily burning fat or improving fitness
- Compatible with Gym Link equipment
- Alarm could be louder
- Buttons are flimsy
- Backlight doesn’t stay on long enough
3. Polar FT60 Heart Rate Monitor
You don’t have to worry about possible interference with other devices when you’re wearing this heart rate monitor, as it’s equipped with a coded heart rate transmission to avoid cross-talk. A personalized training program provides training programs suitable for your fitness level and even rewards you when you complete them. Men and women can comfortably wear this watch thanks to its unisex design. Simply wipe the silicone wrist band clean when you’re done using the watch. This monitor displays calories and a fat burn percentage to help keep you on track with your fitness goals. It’s also compatible with the optional speed and distance sensors.
Price: $103.00 (43 percent off MSRP)
- Unisex design
- Displays calories and fat burn percentage
- Wrist band wipes clean
- Display can be hard to read in low light
- Lacks a stopwatch/lap timer function
- Occasionally loses contact with transmitter
4. Polar Ft1 Heart Rate Monitor
The FT1 is more basic than many newer Polar heart rate monitors — but that’s exactly what makes it appealing to consumers searching for a no-frills watch. While it caters to recreational exercisers seeking an easy and stress-free introduction to fitness, this Polar heart rate monitor is suitable for athletes of various levels. A manual heart rate target zone makes it easier to monitor and improve your fitness. As an added bonus, you’ll also get a display of your last workout. Getting started is simple thanks to a one-button start. Tired of squinting to see words and numbers on small screens? You’ll particularly enjoy the large display, which is easy to read. An audible and visual alarm sounds when you’re exercising out of your heart rate zone.
Price: $35.95 (46 percent off MSRP)
- No-frills design
- Large, easy to read display
- Gives summary of latest workout
- Battery is difficult to change
- Single button operation can get tedious
- Chest strap is a bit uncomfortable
5. Polar M400 GPS Sports Watch & Activity Tracker
The Polar M400 offers a number of features to help you with your fitness goals. For example, it can track your pace, distance, and altitude using an integrated GPS. It’s also outfitted with a back to start feature that makes it easy to explore new routes. A 24/7 activity tracking feature displays information such as steps, daily goals, and calories. There’s also an inactivity alert that lets you know it’s time to move if it senses inactivity. Target heart rate zones, which are included with the heart rate sensor, make it easier to train at the ideal intensity level. Other highlights include a rechargeable battery, water resistant material, and a wristband geared towards females.
Price: $228.57 (1 percent off MSRP)
- Integrated GPS tracks distance, pace, altitude
- Back to start feature explores new routes
- Inactivity alert
- Alert beep is hard to hear
- Frustrating lap feature
- Can take awhile to sync with mobile devices
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