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on December 14, 2016
Purchased in August of 2014. The polar FT7 is a good basic HR monitor. It doesn't sync to a phone or computer and I'm fine with that. I prefer a simple uncluttered display. When in HR display mode, the HR number is large and easy to read.

I wear a heart monitor pretty much every time I workout - both for cardio and weight training. - anywhere from 1 - 4 hours at a time. For me this represents 5-6 days per week. I find the calorie tracking to be pretty accurate. I've used the calorie data in conjunction with the Tracker on livestrong.com to control my weight. I've been able to reach the weight goals I'd set myself.

Both the watch and heart rate sensor allow for battery replacement by the user. I've replaced the batteries in HR sensor 4 times, and in the watch times.

For the first 2 years, the FT7 worked great. The connection between sensor and watch had been rock solid. About 4 months ago that changed. At first this happened only intermittently. However the issue got steadily worse over the last 4 months. At this point, the connection will only hold for about 2 minutes before failing. My first attempt to address the issue was replace the chest strap. This didn't address the problem. Although not needed, I replaced the batteries in both the HR sensor and watch.

My initial suspicion was that the HR sensor was at fault. But now I realize that the it's the receiver in the watch that's failing, since the readings from HR sensor are still steady and accurate on cardio machines that track heart rate.

I rate the FT7 5 stars for accuracy and features. Knocking off 2 stars for the watch failing after only 2 years of use.
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on December 18, 2016
The makers of this product got a few things right, but in the end, it lasted a little over a year for me. Paying close to $70 for a product like this for me means that I will keep it for a while, and now I'm pretty disappointed with it. I like its overall simplicity and design. But it went through batteries quickly - much quicker than my previous system, and then it just stopped working. I replace both batteries, and the sensor kept sending out seemingly random data.
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on January 15, 2014
I'm admittedly a new user, having purchased the Polar FT7 a couple of weeks ago. So far I love it. The biggest benefit I've realized is when I'm doing strength training. Before now I didn't have data on my heart rate, calories burned, or even the specific amount of time I spent lifting. Now I have all of that information, and it's improved my ability to track my entire workout routine. This is great on the cardio side as well. I find that the calorie data in particular tends to differ slightly from what's provided by the machines at the gym. The count comes up lower, but I want an honest accounting of my workout. As an added benefit, the heart rate data automatically syncs up with the machines I use at my gym.

The one downside so far is that the display itself is pretty dim when you don't use the back light. Perhaps this is something you can change in the settings, and I haven't located how to do it. It doesn't affect me at the gym, so it's not a major issue by any stretch.

I can't speak for the serious runners and marathon types, but as someone who does cardio and lift weights at the gym throughout the week, this heart rate monitor has enhanced my experience and provided data that I can use to improve what I'm doing.
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This is my first HRM. I'm very happy with it. I use it to track all my work outs whether its walking, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, kickboxing, body building or biking. Then I upload it to the Polar website. It keeps me motivated to see how much (or little) I work out week to week. It tracks calories burned too so you can see if you have to work harder to burn more calories. This is a pretty basic model but it's all I really need. I use a program on my phone to track distance for my walks and rides since I keep my phone on me anyway.
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on June 3, 2016
after a year of service its still chugging along with no problems,i,am not doing fitness research so i find having having HR ,fat burn to cardio zone,avg HR ,max HR,session time and calories to be more than enough information.i just put electro gel on back of sensor strap ,hold the watch to my chest till i,am sure its got my heart beat and i,am off.unless your doing fitness research there is no reason for all the bell and whistles.when at the gym the cardio equipment shows my HR constantly .HELPFUL hint:take a sheet of aluminum foil thats big enough to fold in half both ways till you have a nice little pouch to drop the chest sensor in when finished,this will block the signal so you can get more battery life.i really love this little gadget:)
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on November 29, 2014
I can't believe I haven't written a review for this product! I've had my watch and chest strap for THREE YEARS! Here's how it goes...

First off, I am a female and it's no problem that this says "Men's". I'm a small gal and everything fits just fine. Personally, I hate the color choices for the female versions of this product, so that's why I bought the men's.

Quality: I've used this almost everyday for 3 years straight and am only now starting to consider getting a new one. The band is finally getting pretty stretched and worn out, though no detectable wear on the metal sensors. The transmitter that you clip into the band and the watch have had their batteries changed at least 4 times in the last 3 years. The plug that holds the battery into the watch has gotten rough from opening and closing so often so I've put electrical tape over it so the plastic doesn't scratch me. Other than that, each item is definitely high quality to have lasted this long.

Why I'm going to get a new one: Over the last couple of months, despite changing the batteries, cleaning the old strap, and ordering a new strap, I am starting to get inconsistent or nonexistent readings! I figure after this amount of use, it isn't insane and I've certainly gotten my money's worth.

I'm probably going to buy the exact same product because I've loved this one so much. I like having the watch to look at, I don't need another reason to keep my cellphone on me (not getting the newer Bluetooth H7 or H10) So there you have it. There is a reason this product has so many high reviews, it's actually really great.
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on August 14, 2015
I have been using Polar sports watches for a really long time. I used to be a professional athlete, and I wish that I had one of these back then.

This is my second FT7 (my first one was stolen by my ex). The interface is easy to use and pretty self explanatory. The battery lasts for over a year, even with every day use (I'm no longer a pro athlete but am still active in competitive sports as a college student). The band is plasticy so to not absorb sweat. It also fits really well, whether on my wrist or forearm, and is easily adjustable at small increments.
The sensor has always worked for me without lubricating the electrodes. I fit the strap right under my boobs, and tucked under the band of my sports bra, which also keeps it from moving around. It helps if the strap isn't too tight or too loose. I would not recommend sharing chest straps.
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on February 19, 2014
I purchased this item as I am on a constant on again off again workout regime. I have been going to an endocrinologist for years as I have a thyroid problem. Exercise is not my friend because I can work out 4-5 times a week for an hour at high intensity for 3 months and not lose 5 pounds on a fair diet (I will be honest and say it could be better, but it isn't bad!)...hence the on again off again. Its hard to keep going when you have very little pay off. This heart rate monitor has helped me keep going when I want to quit. I like knowing how high my heart rate gets. I like the target of going for a 600-800 calorie burn, keeps me going when I want to throw in the towel. So this has been well worth it. It has also helped me target certain workouts that make me work more when before I couldn't tell the difference. I still haven't lost weight :( but have enjoyed some more muscle tone in some areas because of this. So conclusion, it has helped me squeeze in a little more pay off. The only downside I have is I cannot use this while during Yoga...the chest strap is ill suited for ground work. I would like to see the full calorie burn for a hour + of Yoga.
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on September 4, 2014
I am not all too pleased with this watch. Both the product and Customer Service has failed. Please do not perceive this as a general statement of the product as I may have received a defective product.

I workout 4 to 6 times a week doing Cardio Kickboxing and Bootcamp. Within first 3 weeks I've owned and used the watch I've averaged 5 times a week at the gym working out for an hour for each session. The watch has frozen on me twice and sensors stopped detecting my heart rate 4 -5 times all within the 3 week duration.

As I determined that there may be something wrong with the watch and sensor, I contacted Polar within the 30 day window. Due to the issues I have encountered for a brand new watch, Polar Customer Service expressed that they were going to send me a brand new replacement. It took 3 weeks for the entire return shipping to Polar and replacement receipt back. Once I received the package, I find out that they simply returned the same product "repaired". Even after confirming the status of the new replacement the week before I received the "repaired" watch.

Upon receiving the "repaired" watch it again stopped detecting my heart rate. I am not too happy about my experience with the Polar device and especially Customer Service.
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on September 10, 2015
I bought the FT7m just under a year ago. About two months ago after about a half an hour of use while working out, cycling or running I would see a notice that I should check the transmitter. My heart rate was not being picked up. This became more frequent over the next few weeks and I finally sent the unit back to Polar for repair. Since it was within a year of purchase and still under warranteeI didn't expect a charge other than for shipping. I just received an email with a charge for a new strap for $19.95 plus shipping and tax. When II called customer service the representative said that the unit was under warranty but the strap is only warranteed for only six months. Obviously they are selling a defectve chest strap and don't stand behind their product.
This will be my last Polar purchase.
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