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Polar FT1 Review

Polar FT1
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 5 stars
£29 to £40
  • 100%

  • Polar FT1
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: 2nd June 2018
  • Heart Rate Monitor functions
    Editor: 75%
  • Heart Rate Accuracy
    Editor: 99%
  • Fitness monitoring features
    Editor: 50%
  • Ease of Use
    Editor: 100%
  • Battery Life
    Editor: 100%

Thank you for looking at my review of the Polar FT1 Fitness Heart Rate Monitor. Please note. The Polar FT1 was recently removed from the current Polar Fitness products line up. It’s been around for many years and has proven to be a hugely successful HRM. Times have changed and we also recommend the Polar A300 or even just a Polar H7 heart rate sensor paired with your iPhone / Android smartphone running the Polar Beat APP. HOWEVER, it still remains a brilliant, easy to use, self contained, highly accurate heart rate watch for those looking for a more traditional solution …

Polar FT1 for Fitness training

New Product Warning.

Obsolete. Please also check the Polar A300 or simply pair a Polar H7 with your smartphone using the Polar Beat app.

HOWEVER …. if you simply want ACCURATE heart rate from a chest strap sensor (included) BUY ONE !!

Who’s it for?

The FT1 is for the user looking for essential heart rate training data plus a time of day watch. The Polar FT1 was the replacement for the popular Polar FS2C. With similar essential features and modern styling this HRM has always been VERY POPULAR. If you do NOT want to have to set-up your new heart rate watch via PC, MacBook or smartphone app then the FT1 is perfect. 100% self contained it does not rely on any other device for set-up or data recall. Polar started selling heart rate monitors in 1976. CardioCritic have tested the majority of Polar watches with heart rate monitoring – using them for the first time in 1996

Best features?

The Polar FT1 does everything the FT1 does, but adds CALORIES BURNT and the comfortable Polar Wearlink chest strap with self change batteries. The FT1 comes with the traditional T31 coded strap, which is comfortable, but it does NOT have self change batteries. The FT4 comes with the more modern Wearlink strap with a screw off (using a 2 p coin) back to change the battery. Simply… as it should be !

  • Shows when you’re improving fitness based on your heart rate
  • Displays calories burned
  • Comes with comfortable textile transmitter and coded heart rate transmission to avoid cross-talk (Polar T31 coded)
  • All self change batteries

Could have been better?

Again, just like the FT1 before it, this model does what it says it does. It looks good, it controls the intensity of your workout and it gives calories burnt data based on exercising heart rate…

Replacement Model

From the new line up of Polar Fitness models we’d recommend either the Polar A300 with activity tracker, HRM and smartphone connectivity, or, simply add the Polar H7 to your smartphone and make use of the Polar Beat APP.

Polar A300

Polar H7

Next model UP

From the original line up, the next model up is the FT2 which has an AUTO ZONE calculator which makes it easier to set your optimal heart rate training zone if you don’t want to calculate it yourself. HOWEVER, in all honesty, if you have a little bigger budget I’d strongly suggest the Polar FT4 with calories burnt feedback.

Polar FT4

>>> Back to Top

FT1 Video (Polar’s Official Video)

A short video from Polar themselves to give you an overall view of this fitness monitor.

Specification from the Manufacturer


Body measurement features

  • Manual target zone – bpm
    This feature enables you to define the target zone as you want and is suitable for your training. You can set the target zone for your training as beats per minute (bpm), as a percentage of your maximum heart rate, or as a percentage of your heart rate reserve (HRR%).
  • Polar OwnCode® (5kHz) – coded transmissionCoded heart rate transmission automatically locks in a code to transmit your heart rate to the training computer. The training computer picks up your heart rate from your transmitter only. Coding prevents interference from other training computers.
  • HR-based target zones with visual and audible alarm
    You can define your target zones for a training session based on heart rate to help define the right intensity. When you are out of the preset zones, the training computer will give a visual and audible alarm.
  • Average and Maximum heart rate of training
  • Heart rate – BPM. This is the measurement of the work your heart does. Heart rate can be expressed as the number of beats per minute or as percentage of your maximum heart rate. Heart rate can also be expressed as a percentage of your heart rate reserve, meaning the difference between your resting heart rate and maximum heart rate (HRR = HRmax – HRrest). In Polar software or during strength training, heart rate can be displayed as a graphical trend.

Training features

HeartTouch – button-free operation of wrist unit
When HeartTouch is on, different training information during training can be accessed without pressing buttons, for instance, when gloves make pressing buttons difficult, by bringing your training computer close to your transmitter.

Recording features

  • Training files (with summaries) – 1

Watch features

  • Backlight
  • Date and weekday indicator
  • Display texts in English
  • Time of day (12/24 h)
  • Water resistant – 30m

In the box

  • Polar FT1 training computer
  • Polar T31 coded transmitter
  • Getting Started Guide


  • Heart Rate Zone control
  • Self contained unit, no reliance on PC/laptop or phone
  • 18 month battery from CR2032 coincell battery
  • High HR Accuracy from T31 chest strap
  • Time of Day
  • Easy to Use
  • Cons

  • No smartphone connection (not necessarily a CON)
  • No PC / Mac upload support (which is also a PRO)
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