Polar FT7 and FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Comparison and Review
Most wearable fitness tracking devices generally check your heart rate once every minute or once every five minutes. Over the course of the day, that gives you an insight into how your heart rate changes depending on your activities. Now when you are working out, you generally need what’s called a continuous heart rate monitor. The continuous heart rate monitor samples your heart rate several times a second and this gives you a whole host of cool information. This is very helpful especially with interval training or if you are trying to tune your workout based off what it’s doing to your heart.
Polar FT4 vs FT7 Comparison Table
|Product||Polar FT4 HR Monitor||Polar FT7 HR Monitor|
|Colors||Silver / Black, Purple / Pink, Blue / Orange, Green||Pink, Blue / Lilac, Red / Silver, Black / Silver, Black / Red, Red / Orange, Lilac / Pink, Black / Gold, Blue / Black|
|Smart Coaching Features|
|Body Measurement Features|
|Manual Target Zone (bpm)||Yes||Yes|
|HR Max (user set)||Yes||Yes|
|Polar Coded Transmission (OwnCode)||Yes||Yes|
|Polar Smart Calories (OwnCal)||Yes||Yes|
|HR based target zones with visual / audible alarms||Yes||Yes|
|Average and Max. Heart Rate||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic age based target zone (bpm / %)||Yes||Yes|
|Heart Rate (bpm / %)||Yes||Yes|
|Graphical Target Zone Indicator||Yes||Yes|
|Training History||Up to 10||Up to 99|
|Data Transfer||No||Yes (Compatible with Polar FlowLink)|
|Date / Weekday Indication||Yes||Yes|
|Water Resistant||30 m||30 m|
|Battery||CR 2025 User Replaceable||CR 2025 User Replaceable|
|Low Battery Indicator||Yes||Yes|
|Battery Life||Average one year||Average one year|
Polar H1/H7 Heart rate sensor – Used with Polar FT4, FT7 wristwatches
The Polar H1/H7 Heart rate sensor works similarly to an EKG sensing the electrical activity continuously through the sensors in the chest strap. The sensors need a little bit of moisture to activate the unit and get a good reading. The module on the front snaps in the strap so you can replace the strap if it gets damaged. It contains the battery, Bluetooth transceiver as well as the original Polar type transmitter. The unit itself is very durable and is basically waterproof and shockproof. The battery life is awesome at 350 hours and is easily replaceable with a standard CR 2025. The Polar H1/H7 sensor is compatible with FT series of heart rate monitor watches.
Polar FT7 review
The Polar FT7 heart rate watch monitors your heart rate using the H1/H7 sensor with chest strap. The transmitter always talks to the watch using a coded signal. This means that if somebody next to you is also wearing a Polar device then there will be no interference in the signal. The Polar H1/H7 transmitter will also talk to the equipment you are using. Therefore, if you are sitting on an exercise bike, working on a treadmill or using an elliptical that is compatible with Polar, the sensor will transmit the data to that training equipment and you can see your heart rate on that machine as well as on the watch.
The watch is standard size with a rubber strap that is sturdy and durable. The watch has five buttons – Three on the right side and two on the left. On the right, we have the centrally located select button, the up and down menu buttons. On the left there is a cancel button and back button. At the back, you can see the visible battery cover with a replaceable battery inside.
The features of Polar FT7 are limited and well below the features of Polar FT40 and Polar FT60 watches. It displays your heart rate and you can set your maximum heart rate and fat burning heart rate. Of course, you can set and display the time as well.
From the main menu, you get the settings and data sub menus. In the settings, you can set the language, date format, time format, set the unit system, etc. The ‘data’ submenu contains the last ten exercises / workouts that you have completed. When you are working out, you can view your heart rate in real time, the calories you have burned and the time you have been working out. If you want a simple heart rate monitor watch without complicated features then this is the one for you.
Connect the H1/H7 transmitter to your chest belt and wear it according to the instructions given. Once ready, you can click the right side center button on the watch, which will display “start”. Click the button again and it will display your heart rate. The display will also show your set max heart rate and fat burning heart rate. Once you start training a little heart icon will show up. Below the heart icon, there is a line, on which the icon moves as your heart rate increases. You can watch the display for your entire workout to see if you are working out effectively or not, depending on what your goals are. If you press the right side down button, it will display your heart rate without the graph. Press once again and it will display calories burned in your workout. Another press will show you the duration of your workout. To stop the recording, press the back button. Press once to pause and press again to stop.
The downside of Polar FT7 heart monitor watch is that the display glass is prone to wear and tear, as the glass is not toughened. The buttons on either side are tiny. Other than that, it is a nice light watch and does what it is supposed to do.
Polar FT4 review
The Polar FT4 heart rate monitor watch is designed for those who want basic heart rate features to keep their fitness training simple. It also comes with the Polar Heart H1 chest strap sensor / transmitter that monitors your heart rate in a continuous mode. The chest strap is adjustable and the transmitter can be detached so that you can wash the chest strap. Polar FT4 keeps track of how long you worked out, your average heart rate, your maximum heart rate and the amount of calories you burned.
There is not much difference in the appearance of Polar FT4 from Polar FT7. The placement of the five buttons is the same with similar functions. The center button on the right side helps to navigate the main menu where you select different options. It starts monitoring your heart rate when you are wearing the chest strap transmitter properly and the watch has detected the sensor. The top button on the left side can light up the display at night. The bottom left button helps to stop or pause the heart monitoring as well as go back in the menu navigation. The up and down buttons on the right side of the watch help you scroll through the settings.
The watch is available in many different colors. Pink and purple colors look pretty and are very popular with women. If you are not using it for working out, you can simply wear it as a watch as it has an always-on display. The soft grip rubber watchstrap has many adjustment holes and can fit wrists of all sizes.
Features & Usage
Before using the Polar FT4 for the first time, you will need to adjust some settings like date, time and user information (age, weight, height). The watch is easy to use and operate. It keeps track of your last 99 workout sessions and offers you the smart coaching feature OwnCal, which displays your calories burned. The training files are stored under the ‘data’ menu. To navigate through previous training sessions press the up and down buttons on the right side. You can also see the total calories burned since a particular date. You can delete the training files or reset the totals. The battery is replaceable just like in the Polar FT7. For a detailed guide read the Polar FT4 User Manual.
Polar FT7 vs FT4
The Polar FT4 is fashionable, does not consume too much battery and has an easy to read display just like the Polar FT7. The calculation of the calories burned based on your heart rate is quite accurate. Polar FT4 also allows you to track your workout online. However, unlike the Polar FT7 that can download the data directly to the computer, you will need to enter the data manually for FT4. Both Polar FT4 and FT7 automatically calculate your target heart rate zone based on your age. The upper and lower limits for your target heart rate can be adjusted manually. Additionally, Polar FT7 includes the EnergyPointer formula, which lets you know whether you are in the fat burning zone or in the fitness improvement zone while working out. The smart calorie calculator OwnCal is common to both Polar FT4 and Polar FT7. You can view your last ten training sessions in Polar FT4 while in FT7 you can view up to 99 previous training session’s data in the form of weekly or daily summaries. Both heart monitor watches have the basic functions like backlight, alarm, date / time display, battery indicator and are water resistant up to 30 meters.