Reviewed
January 2015
by ConsumerSearch

Best heart-rate monitor

Pros
  • Coaching program
  • Hands-free operation
  • Battery is easy to replace
  • 2 year warranty
Cons
  • Data uplink costs $35 extra
  • No interval timing or stopwatch feature

Bottom line

The Polar FT60 is accurate, feature packed and reasonably priced. It keeps tabs on your progress and gives you the motivation to stay on track., however, it lacks a chronograph function -- a must for interval training and a feature available on some competing heart rate monitors, such as the Timex Ironman Race Trainer (Est. $110).

Breaking it down

Performance

Highly accurate; many features. Reviewers have a lot of love for the Polar FT60's tracking features, which include calories burned and percentage of fat as well as heart rate. They also say they feel as if the heart rate tracking is much more accurate than other devices they have owned or used, such as activity trackers. This accuracy is much appreciated both by fitness buffs and by those who have other reasons to stay within a specified range. In addition to those monitoring capabilities, the Polar FT60 includes Star Training, which gives you the ability to choose your goals and have the monitor create a weekly workout routine based upon your user profile. Several reviewers say keeping their stats current motivates them to work out. One big hit with users is that you can wear this monitor while swimming, but that comes with a caveat. The manufacturer notes that pushing any button while underwater will undermine the display's water integrity. More about swimming with any heart-rate monitor can be found on the What to Look For page in our heart-rate monitors report.

Ease of use

Easy interface. Most users praise the Polar FT60's ability to track results on the watch itself in addition to the website; however, uploading your stats to a computer requires an optional uplink accessory, the Polar FlowLink (Est. $35). The FT60 saves your weekly history and up to 100 files, which reviewers say makes it convenient to track their progress. Setup is reported as easy-to-do using the buttons to input your weight, age and other personal stats; you then update your weight weekly. We saw no complaints of interference issues with the Polar FT60, and many users are thrilled that it can communicate with telemetry-enabled exercise gear -- such as the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Exercise Bike (Est. $500), profiled in our report on exercise bikes. The FT60 does not have an interval timer or stopwatch function.

Durability

Finally, user-changeable batteries. One of the most popular features of the Polar FT60 is that it uses replaceable batteries, unlike many other monitors -- including some Polar models --  that require the unit to be sent to a service center when the batteries die. However, some owners say the instructions are complicated and the battery compartment is difficult to open. We also saw some recent complaints about the FT60 failing to sense the user's heart rate after just a few weeks or months. . Several unhappy reviewers say they followed the troubleshooting instructions and replaced the batteries and it still did not work. The FT60 comes with a two-year warranty, but customer service gets mixed reviews for helpfulness. Other available accessories include a GPS module (Est. $105) and S1 Foot Pod (Est. $85) for tracking your speed and distance.

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Where To Buy
Polar FT60 Men's Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Black with White Display)

 (1,068 reviews)
Buy new: $239.95 $102.63   40 Used from $69.99

In Stock. Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping

 
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Polar FT60 Reviews

1. Amazon.com

On Amazon.com, the FT60 gets more than 930 customer reviews and an overall score of 4.2 out of 5 stars. Users say it's easy to use and they like the Star Training program. However, there are some recent complaints of the sensor failing.

Review: Polar FT60 Heart Rate Monitor Watch, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2015

2. The New York Times

Danielle Belopotosky tests the Polar FT60 for The New York Times' Gadgetwise blog, finding it comfortable, sturdy and reliable. However, she says it takes some time to set up and there's no lap timer.

Review: Marathon Tech Review: Watches, Danielle Belopotosky, Aug. 18, 2009

3. Bicycling Magazine

Liz Reap Carlson reviews the FT60 from personal experience, and likes its intuitive training functions such as weekly programs and progress tracking. Her review is informative, but reads more like a list of features than a hands on test.

Review: FT60 Training Computer, Liz Reap Carlson, January 2009

4. About.com

Wendy Bumgardner includes the Polar FT60 in her roundup of the top seven heart monitors over $100. The review is brief, and she bemoans the lack of astopwatch function, but notes that otherwise the FT60 has a good range of features.

Review: Top 7 Heart Rate Monitors Over 100 Dollars, Wendy Bumgardner, June 1, 2014

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