If you have followed this blog for some time, then you know I am hard on heart rate monitors. I burned through 2 in a single year and realized they just weren’t the quality I needed. I was scouring some other fitness blogs and Instagrams and kept seeing the Polar FT4 pop up so you I just had to check it out. Polar already had a good name in my book but I take nothing for granted. I did my research and decided to purchase one of my very own last March 2013.
Where To Buy:
Polar site directly
Features (directly from Polar site):
- Manual target zone – bpm / %
- HRmax (user set)
- Polar OwnCode® (5kHz) – coded transmission
- Polar OwnCal ® – Smart calories
- HR-based target zones with visual and audible alarm
- Average and maximum heart rate of training
- Automatic age-based target zone – bpm / %
- Heart rate – bpm / %
- HeartTouch – button-free operation of wrist unit
- Graphical target zone indicator
- Date and weekday indicator
- Display text in English, German, Finnish, Swedish, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian
- Dual time zone
- Button lock
- Low battery indicator
- Time of day (12/24h) with alarm and snooze
- User replaceable battery
- Water resistant – 30m
I purchased my Polar FT4 HRM at Best Buy for about $89.99 before taxes. They only carried pink so that is the one I picked up. Now, $89.99 is a bit expensive for some, but in my experience with heart rate monitors, you get what you pay for. So far I have only had 1 bad incident with my HRM.
How I use it
When I first opened my package I followed the easy to use guide and set it up. Set up is very easy. You put in your demographics so it can give a more accurate reading such as your gender, age, etc. One and done – no need to go back there again.
It comes with a chest strap which is easy to adjust to your chest size. I typically place it just underneath the bottom of my sports bra so it is secure. I typically wet the leads with a damp finger briefly run under the faucet to ensure my watch will get a clear reading. The chest strap is one of the easiest to put on. You simply hook it on to the opposing end like a bra strap. I know that sounds simple but I have had others where it was some complicated matrix of intermingling the two opposing ends which did not always work so easily for me. I know – I just can’t handle complexity.
I then put on the actual watch and click START. This tells the watch to try and pick up your heart rate. Otherwise it will just act like a regular watch and tell time. Click START again once your activity begins and it will begin reporting your heart rate and counting your calories. There is a forward and backward button at the top right and bottom left respectively and it lets you cycle through the menu so you can view your heart rate, calories burned, time passed plus total calories burned. It is all very easy to follow.
Point blank this heart rate monitor gets the job done. It is accurate and gets the job done. If you follow my Instagram feed @Femmefitalefitclub you will see a bunch of posts with my wrist and this trusty/dusty HRM. It doesn’t stop working in the middle of the workout, it accurately calculates my heart rate, it has never given me false reading and if it is having trouble reading my heart rate it gives me aWARNING. The other heart rate monitors do not do that. They continue to provide bad readins.
Recap of Pros/Cons:
- Easy to use
- Provides different aspects of your workout – calories burned, heart rate, etc.
- Limited color selection
- Doesn’t provide other features such as timer, intervals, etc. Wasn’t meant to –this is a bare bones, get’er done heart rate monitor
Overall I give this heart rate monitor a 10 out of 10 stars. I did not give it a lower rating due to the limited color options because in the end, it does what it says it will do. It is dependable, hearty and durable. I throw it around in my gym bag all of the time and it keeps on ticking (and it has almost been one year).
Purchase Your Own (affiliate link):
If you would you like to purchase your own, click the image below and shop around.
Leave me a comment and let me what you thought of this product review.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I have not been compensated in any way for this review. The views and opinions expressed in this review are my very own.
14 Replies to "Product Review: Polar FT4 HRM"
Amanda H January 30, 2014 (4:46 pm)
I love my Polar FT4! Had it for over 6 months and it’s still going strong! 🙂
DSTPRL January 30, 2014 (4:50 pm)
Mine too Amanda.
September 3, 2014 (8:04 am)
Ok, ok, I told you about the Flip Belt and now I think you sold me on a HR monitor! I’m telling myself to wait until I get my HR training book though. I want to learn more about how it can help my running before I get one. I’m not as interested in calories burned. I hear people train by HR, not pace. I want to learn more about that. But thanks for the review. I’m considering either this or the FT7. #wowlinkup
September 3, 2014 (12:51 pm)
I got my Polar FT4 from heartratemonitorsusa.com on sale with free shipping so it was a pretty good deal. I loved mine, but it recently went on the fritz after about a year. Need to try to get it fixed so I can control my training intensity again! #wowlinkup
September 3, 2014 (1:46 pm)
Wow really? Mine has been hanging in there. I check it after sprints.
September 4, 2014 (10:58 am)
I’ve had my FT4 about a year (when I won it on another blog). Mine has issues too not wanting to always detect my heart beating. I guess it thinks I’m dead LOL
September 4, 2014 (2:07 pm)
LOL Cassi OH NO!!!! Make sure the leads are moist. I normally run my finger under water and then rub it lightly so it is moistened and then put the chest strap on.
September 4, 2014 (2:20 pm)
I drench it in water; my son laughs at me for the way I do it. I take the inner side 20 seconds in running water in one spot and move along to the next, all the way to the other end of the part that goes across your chest. Then I repeat on the outer side.
Some days it just doesn’t matter; my heart beat isn’t found or it stops reading me LOL
September 4, 2014 (2:28 pm)
Oh that’s too much. Light is more.
September 4, 2014 (2:36 pm)
I tried with one pass in the beginning but it seemed to dry out between the time I put the strap on and walked into the living room to put on the connector. I think my bra kept sopping up the water.
The Frugal Exerciser
September 9, 2014 (12:27 pm)
Years ago in the NIneties LOL, I was a Polar representative. I would get the heart monitors at a discount. I must have bought at least 20 for clients who requested them. This was way before affiliate programs. #wowlinkup
September 11, 2014 (1:03 pm)
I lovvvvve Polar! I have the Polar Loop now and I think it’s pretty cool. No stop watch, but great for keeping track of general activity and can link to my HR monitor 🙂 I should probably do a review of it!
September 11, 2014 (2:01 pm)
Yes this is my favorite by far.
frontageconsulting September 19, 2020 (12:53 am)
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