Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor

The Polar FT4 is a just-above-basics heart rate monitor with all the essential features, plus a couple of extras you won’t find in the very basic monitors. If you’re thinking about buying the FT4 then you’re probably in the market for your first heart rate monitor, but you want that little something extra above “just the essentials” features. In that case, read on and we’ll discuss some of the features of the FT4 and how it performs in an actual training session.

Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Price

The following are the current prices for the Polar FT4, we update these prices daily to ensure you always see the best possible price.

Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Features

During your training session the Polar FT4 will display your current heart rate, as well as a graphical indication of where your heart rate sits in your current heart rate zone. If you drop below, or go above the minimum and maximum in your heart rate zone then you’ll hear a loud beep alerting you that you need to either increase or decrease intensity.

You can setup your heart rate zone in multiple ways. You can manually input the maximum heart rate you want to create your own custom heart rate zone, you can enter your age and have it calculate it automatically based on the age-based maximum heart rate calculation, or you can enter both your age and resting heart rate and have it calculate the more accurate zones from your working heart rate zone, also known as your heart rate reserve, which is your resting heart rate subtracted from your maximum heart rate.

The best feature of the FT4 and what sets it apart from the very basic heart rate monitors like the FT1 and FT2, is the session recording feature. Yes, all the basic ones will give you a summary of your workout, but they won’t record your previous workouts for you to analyse your progress. The FT4 will record your average heart rate, maximum heart rate, time in heart rate zone, the target zone limits you used for that workout, the number of calories burned, the time and date of the workout, and it’ll even do a calculation to tell you how much fat you based on those calories. It does only have the capacity for the previous 10 workouts, but it’s still enough to show you your progress, and in the early days of training you’ll probably only be going out once or twice a week which means you’ll have a record of the previous 2 months.

All the essential features are there like the time, day of week, date and a backlight. As with all the Polar heart rate monitors it has its own communication frequency so it doesn’t pick up other training devices in the gym. Like the FT1 and FT2, it’s water resistant to 30m making it one of the few entry level watches you can use while swimming. It’s got some extra features above and beyond the basics like dual time zones, multiple display languages, a stop watch and an alarm.

Using the Polar FT4

The Polar FT4 looks great and despite having a plastic wrist strap, it’s extremely comfortable on your wrist while training. The heart rate strap is also a good size and comfortable for both men and women. Like the other Polar heart rate monitors it has the fantastic HeartTouch feature which allows you to change the display by moving your watch hand towards your heart rate strap. It’s also got a key lock so once you begin your workout you won’t accidently push the wrong button and wipe your information.

I particularly love the graphical heart rate zone as opposed to just the beep you get on the more basic watches. It lets you actually see at a glance where you are in your heart rate zone which I’ve found is really helpful, since I like to try to sit just in the middle. After my workout I’m able to view a lot of helpful information such as how much time I spent outside the target heart rate zone, and my personal favourite, how many calories burned, after the training session.

Comparing the Polar FT4 to the Polar FT2 and the Polar FT7

Upgrade Model: the Polar FT7 The Polar FT7 heart rate monitor contains the EnergyPointer feature which tells you whether you’re currently in fat burning or cardiovascular heart rate zone, and the main difference is that the FT7 allows you to upload your training results to your computer for full historical workout data and long-term post-workout analysis.

Downgrade Model: the Polar FT2 The Polar FT2 Heart Rate Monitor doesn’t have the ability to record your past 10 training sessions and will only show you the summary of the current workout.

Conclusion

The FT4 is a very good heart rate monitor at a reasonable price for the features. It’s ideal for those looking to get their first heart rate monitor, but looking for those extra features, specifically the ability to record your previous 10 workouts.