Polar FT1 Review – A Hugely Successful HRM?

At a Glance: Quick Ratings

Heart Rate Functions


Fitness / Sport Features


Ease of Use


Battery Life


Where To Get It

A Deep Dive Into Polar FT1

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 …

  • Who Is It For?

  • Video Review

  • Pros

  • Cons

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

Main Features and Functions

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

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

Additional Features

Body Measurement Features

Training Features

Recording Features

Watch Features

In the box

Top Alternatives

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.

Review Summary

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…

But if you're looking for something a bit different, check out the Polar A370 here: cardiocritic.com/fitness-watches/polar/a370-review/

Andrew Wyatt

Andrew Wyatt

Andrew Wyatt has been a tech geek for as long as he can remember. Whether it's laptops, cameras, or projects, he's obsessed with it all. When he's not researching the latest tech products, he likes to go on long hikes with his dogs.

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