Polar, which developed the first accurate EKG wireless heart-rate monitor in 1977, has long been the most recognized name in personal heart-rate monitors. Today, monitoring training intensity with a heart-rate monitor is a common practice among athletes and recreational exercisers alike.
The basic functions of the Polar F6 are easy to set up and use, but it may take users some time to be able to take full advantage of all the available features. Like many heart-rate monitors, the F6 utilizes a chest strap and watch that displays heart rate, elapsed time and estimated calories burned. The length and intensity of each workout can be recorded and downloaded to the users computer with a sonic link and then analyzed online at Polar’s Personal Trainer Web site.
The chest strap is fully adjustable and is slightly smaller than older versions. Even so, some people may find exercising with a heart-rate monitor uncomfortable. The watch itself is stylish and features a large display, and the side buttons are large and make it easy to transition between settings and programs. An alarm may be activated to warn users when they are exercising outside of their target heart-rate zone, which eliminates the need to keep checking, which is particularly helpful for cyclists and group fitness participants.
The biggest drawback to the Polar F6 is the relatively short battery life, which is estimated at one year, and the company recommends that batteries should only be replaced by an authorized Polar Service Center.
What we liked:
- Accurate heart-rate monitor with numerous features
- Easy to set up and use
- Ability to track workouts and download data to analyze online
What we didn’t like:
- Advanced features require practice and training
- Short battery life; battery must be replaced by manufacturer
November 10, 2009