The Timex Personal Trainer is a basic model, providing little more than a continuous pulse reading. Other similarly priced heart-rate monitors offer much better reliability.
Accurate, when it works. The Timex Personal Trainer T5G971 is one of the least expensive heart-rate monitors on the market, and most user reviews call it accurate and testify to its simple genius. The most common user complaint concerns the chest strap's sensitivity; many say it doesn't pick up their heart rate. One Amazon.com poster says, "What no one told me ahead of time is if you have chest hair, the sensors will not work and the watch is useless." He even bought the electrode gel and still can't get a consistent reading.
Another typical gripe is that the chest strap doesn't send a heart-rate reading to the wrist unit unless it's in very close proximity. Some reviewers had no luck at all, and couldn't get their Timex monitor to work in any capacity other than a wristwatch.
As expected due to its low price, the Timex Personal Trainer doesn't come with a stopwatch or lap timer feature, and you can't upload workout results to a computer or website.
The manual doesn't help. Owner reviews unanimously agree that the Timex's instruction manual is useless. One frustrated user couldn't figure out how to input his weight for more accurate calorie calculations and received better help from a fellow user than from the manual.
However, user feedback indicates that the monitor is simple to set up and easy to use. One owner was excited to learn she could view time while exercising by pressing the set button.
A major disappointment to some is that if the wrist unit loses connection with the chest strap, it ends the workout completely rather than simply pausing it. "This is a real drag if you have it mounted on your handlebar and you need to stop to refill your bottles or fix a flat, or walk away from the bike for any reason," explains an avid biker at Amazon.com.
Durability a concern, customer service a disappointment. The Timex Personal Trainer's strap is rubber and comfortable, but numerous wearers say the wrist strap broke after several months of use. Timex protects this model with a standard one-year limited warranty. Most owners find customer service to be responsive but unhelpful, with generic responses that don't resolve issues.
Review Credibility: Very Good The Timex Personal Trainer gets 3.7 stars out of 5 from more than 825 users at Amazon.com. Although happy owners like its value, common complaints revolve around durability, saying the unit died or broke too soon.
Review: Timex Personal Trainer Heart Rate Monitor, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Good About 50 owners post reviews of the Timex Personal Trainer on Overstock.com, giving it an overall rating of 4.3 stars out of 5. Users say the heart-rate monitor is very basic but works well.
Review: Timex Unisex Health and Fitness Personal Trainer Analog Watch, Contributors to Overstock.com, As of March 2013