Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Review

I got the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor for my Birthday in April so I guess it's about time I did my review.  There are more features on it then I actually use or know anything about.  I can't help you out by breaking down all the features because honestly, I'm sure I don't know what all of them are but the main take away here is that if I can figure this thing out well enough to calculate my calories during work outs then so can you.

The first Heart Rate Monitor I ever had was a Mio strapless.  I'd heard that the ones with chest straps are more accurate but I was afraid of the strap. I was worried that it would be uncomfortable, bulky and a pain in the butt to put on.  I couldn't even find pictures of what it looked like.  It so turns out that having to hold down a button to test my heart rate every 15 minutes is more of a pain in the butt then any chest strap could ever be.  The strapless totally interrupted my work out.  Sometimes I couldn't get it to read my heart rate at all and other times I would get a very obviously inaccurate reading which would totally ruin my calorie count for the entire work out.  It's inconsistent.  I wore the Polar and the Mio at the same time for a few days to test the difference. The majority of the time that I had the Mio it was grossly over calculating but then for some reason all my settings got erased after I got the Polar and after I re entered them then it started grossly under calculating.   
Chest Strap // HRM calorie burn = 543 // Machine calorie burn = 598

Do not be afraid of the strap.  It's not uncomfortable at all.  I mean, if I was going to sleep I wouldn't want to wear it but I'm going to move and sweat.  It feels the same as the elastic on the bottom of my sports bras and sits just under it.  If I'm wearing a very fitted top and you look real close you might see a small bulge but for the most part it's not very noticeable.  I run my fingers under the faucet while im already wearing the strap and then stick them under the strap to wet it. It's not weird or gross like I thought it would be. The unit that measures my heart rate snaps on and off of the chest strap so I can easily wash the strap.  The directions tell you to put it in the washer about every 5th wear so I rinse it with soap and water after work outs and let it dry out.  The functions on the watch are pretty simple to navigate and the set up was easy.  I can pause it mid work out if I need to.   The  numbers on the watch are big which is helpful for practically blind people like me.  I  can push a button to scroll between heart rate, calories burned and duration very easily as I work out.  It determines your target heart range based on your input and will tell you when you are out of range.  There is some beeping that goes on that I haven't totally figured out yet but I think it has to do with that.  And you will get the beep of doom if your strap becomes disconnected from your body and stops reading.  Trust me, you will know this one when you hear it.  It's only happened a few times.  Without me having to do a thing if I'm working out on a machine at the gym it syncs and my heart rate show up on the machine like magic.  I didn't even know that was a feature. It also wishes you a Happy Birthday with a Birthday cake on your birthday.  How sweet is that? And of course I love it that it comes in Pink.

I knew that machines over calculate calories even when you enter your age and weight and now I know exactly how much.  The average is about 55 calories over what I'm actually burning based on the Polar.  It's nice to have a number that I can rely on to be accurate.  I count the calories that go in and I like to count the ones I burn too.


The Sweetest Thing said...

I honestly think that if I used one of these - I would do a more thorough job working out and I may even become addicted to exercise... not! But really - i am a numbers person so if ever I become an active worker-outer.... I will be wanting one of these bad boys!

Profesora de español said...

Have you been using your HRM since April? I bought the exact same one on Amazon earlier this year, and within two weeks it was not functioning correctly. (I think it was just a bad one because I followed all of their directions to a T.) I was really disappointed because every other review I've read about this has been great. I hope yours continues to be awesome for you!

I now have a less expensive, relatively accurate different brand (not worthy of mention) HRM, and despite the fact that it sometimes is glitchy, having one on definitely does make you want to work out longer and harder!

Miss Monica said...

Good review! I have been thinking about getting a polar watch.

Real College Student of Atlanta said...

this is beyond cool! i'm always interested in new health products & i'm glad to hear it's comfortable too!

Kelsey Bang said...

i had no idea machines gave extra calories :( bummer! I have been wanting to try one of these!

Rebecca Harasym said...

Looks like a great monitor and a great gift! I would love to have one of these! Thanks for the honest review!


Janna Renee said...

Holy cow! That's a lot of over-calculation! That makes me sad. Haha