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on 29 April 2010
I suspect the reviewers who gave this item just the one star, work for competitors to Polar because personally I am seriously impressed.

Lightweight and stylish and always attracts positive comments.

I use it not only for everyday wear but in the gym for strength training and aerobic activities such as rowing and running.

You can customise the training for your needs via the website and train against that, or you can set it to whatever type of training you're currently doing and monitor and record your progress. It even tells you when to start your next set.

The chest strap is comfortable and I am not aware of it even when playing tennis. The batteries can be replaced in both watch and strap by yourself now, but I've had it for 4 months and there's no sign of any battery problem. I honestly expect it to last at least 12-18 months like my other F60.

I have two minor issues with the watch however. Firstly the buckle side of the strap is significantly shorter that the 'holey' side which means the watch swivels round my wrist so that the buckle defaults to the middle. This means the watch also swivels accordingly and sits slightly off-centre on the outer side of the arm. I like to wear my watches loose and I have big wrists so maybe that's just me.
Secondly, the 'return' button on the lower left side is hard to push in. I suspect that it may be part of the design to prevent accidental resets, in any case, it's not a bother, just not so easy to press the button in.

Other than that, it's an excellent purchase. If you shop around it can be purchased for under the £200 mark.

ps. I just got the trophy avatar on the watch for a good week's training!
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on 29 March 2014
I had been researching several devices and chose this device after comparing Polar devices online. I wanted a device to monitor exactly how many calories I actually am using, as I didn't believe that I was actually burning 600 -800 calories in spinning as advertised. I am not, but I am burning about 350 calories (which I suspected anyway).

The device was easy to use and set up. I was very impressed with how the data from the watch uploads to the internet. I expected it to be advertised as easy, but frustrating if you don't feel confident with technology. But all I do is log in to my personal information on the website, put the watch face down in the USB "dish" and within a second the data is uploaded to the online calendar.

The device also links to the gym equipment so I can see what my heart rate is.

I've only just had the device and am getting used to it. I have been using the excellent website a lot as it does have a glossary and articles to help you monitor progress, set targets and get the most out of yourself and your device.

Would I buy Polar again? Definitely the device is easy and the website is very informative
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on 25 July 2012
I did a lot of research on Polar products before I purchased the FT80 from Amazon. I visited several retailers and compared the black and white faces side by side. Without doubt the black face is by far the better looking, it looks sexy and sleek whereas in my opinion the white face looks a bit tacky and reminiscent of old fashioned cheap digital watches. When my FT80 arrived (the day after ordering!) I immediately tested it inside and outside in normal daylight conditions and I have to say the dial was, if anything, easier to read than a standard white faced digital watch. Admittedly during low light conditions the dial is not so easy to read...but that is simply rectified by either pressing the backlight button, or bringing the watch into close contact with the belt transmitter so the backlight automatically comes on (which is a very pleasant luminous green colour).
Having worn my FT80 for over a week now I'm so pleased I chose the black face version, i've already had admiring comments about its looks.
But by far the reason why I'm so pleased with this product is because its actually saved my life. During exercise recently I noticed that the display was showing an abnormally high pulse rate, I set the display to show in graphical form how my heart was beating over the past minute or so and it showed my bpm had been remaining high....even after resting from exercise. After a couple of hours of monitoring how high my pulse was I contacted my doctor, who told me to call an ambulance. In hospital I was monitored over a 24 hour period and diagnosed with an atrial flutter which could have proved fatal if not noticed quickly and treated.
The Flowlink accessory which is supplied with the FT80 is simply a joy to use. I connected it to the USB port on my MacBook Pro, placed the FT80 face down on it and literally within seconds I was able to see in glorious full screen mode all my data...well done Polar for making this procedure work so well.
Just a couple of tiny niggles, firstly I really wish Polar would make their firmware updates user downloadable via Flowlink instead of having to send the product back to their service centre, I've not needed to update my firmware yet but if I ever have to I just cannot imagine being without my FT80 for a few days. Secondly, I'd love to have the option of a fabric strap because the existing plastic strap, although practical, is sometimes very fiddly to fasten, especially for those blesssed with less nimble fingers.
All in all, although a little more expensive than other similar products, its worth every penny.
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on 15 September 2010
I own one of the Polar FT80. I must admit that I only got it because it looked so cool, but once I started to use it I realized it was a serious bit of kit! What you get are all the normal heart rate functions I've come to expect from Polar but also a newer Star Training function. This gives you goals, feed back and advice all automatic. I'm a Personal Trainer and this could put me out of business!! Also other great features include a feature that tells you how many reps and when for weights, a relax feature that monitors your fitness when you have bown time and relax, Fitness Test, VO2max prediction plus a GPS speed & distance sensor option.
All these great functions make it a winner but as I said you may want it just because it looks cool!
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on 28 November 2011
I bought this device looking for a more advanced heart rate monitor. I had previously used a lower Polar model and was very pleased, I wanted to upgrade the version I had and was looking for a device which I would use for a significant time. I was happy to choose Polar as they had a reputation for good customer service.

When the device first arrived I was very pleased, it worked as described and I had no problems with connectivity. I used the device only as directed when I was working out in the gym and it worked without problem for the first three months.

After three months the monitor stopped working, there was no response when I pressed any of the buttons and the unit was effectively dead. As the unit was under warranty, I contacted Polar to see if the device could be repaired. Initially the service was good; I sent the product to them and expected to be notified when I could receive a replacement. However I soon received a call saying that they would not be replacing the device as they viewed that the device was water-damaged and therefore not covered under warranty.

This was a surprise to me as I had never taken the device anywhere near water. I asked them how this was supposed to have occurred and was told that I would have had to have used it for swimming or have held it underwater. I had never done any such thing. I can only surmise that the "water damage" was actually caused by sweating through normal use. I find it unacceptable that a heart rate monitor can break when used for exercise and is therefore a very poor product. I explained the situation to Polar but they were not interested and returned the device to me.

I feel that the product is poor and that the level of service I received was even worse. Amazon were much more helpful and arranged a replacement, however I would have preferred a refund.
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on 6 June 2011
I've used the FT80 for over a year now, and so I decided to share my experience of this device.

The Polar FT80 is quite an expensive gadget, more so if you add the GPS and Foot pod units. Speaking from a male point of view I think it is a nice looking watch with a nice clear display.

In terms of the functions I've used it for running outdoors with the GPS unit, and this is quite a nice option to have. Seeing your speed/pace on the watch helps you hit your targets, or if you are training for HR zones you can see which one you're in. The one thing missing form the GPS unit is the fact it doesn't map your run, showing you the splits, so I use an iPhone app for that bit.
I've used the foot pod for indoor running on a treadmill and it seems pretty accurate once its calibrated.

I do a few different sports other than running and it works well for Badminton, Squash, Kayaking and general cardio workouts. I have done interval training using heart rate zones as a guide and that has proven quite effective for that.

I haven't mastered using the strength training function yet despite reading the manual. It tracks your heart rate data just fine, but I found the bit where its supposed to tell you to start the next set a bit hit and miss. I might just be using it wrong though.

I have set up the "Star Training Programme" for myself and that is quite a good way to aim for some targets. Getting a nice trophy at the end of each week when you achieve your targets is a great boost for motivation.

I've used the fitness test just to check my progress and it gives you a sense of progress, and the relaxation test is pretty similar.

I had no issue synchronising my data from the watch and I've used it on a PC and an iMac.

I quite like the Polar Personal Trainer web site and they've recently re-vamped it. It gives you quite a lot of data about your workout so you can get quite deeply into how you're progressing.

The GPS unit can use a lot of batteries up too, so I used rechargeable ones in the end. I also just change the battery on the watch unit and it retained all my data.

Overall this is a really helpful gadget because it lets you know if you're working hard enough or not. When the battery died on mine I felt totally lost not being able to check the data after the workout. I'm just so used to having it there now.
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on 31 January 2014
This is an excellent heart rate monitor. You can select weight training, it beeps at you and tells you when to start your next set, and shows your heart rate on a graph, which is a great way to monitor when you are ready to go again. Then you can also select cardio, and you can see your current heart rate easily with the large digits, and it also displays if you are in your upper HR zone, medium or lower. One other good thing is that you can program in your weekly goal to either maintain, improve or maximise your fitness, which you can easily check on during the week. This motivates you to exercise cause you want to achieve the target. Then it gives you a summary at the end of the week, all of which can be download and reviewed. All in all a great watch. Also compared to most HR monitors this one is sleek and futuristic looking. The only small negative would be in low light conditions the negative screen is a tad tricky to read, but that's what the backlight is for!
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on 19 January 2014
Bought this as I found myself working above my training zones and probably wasnt training properly. This has great inbuilt function with 3 levels of heart rate up to 85% of your max (220 - your age). I now find myself training smarter but occasionally let myself push it a little harder now and then. Comfortable to wear (both watch and HR band) and easy to use. My watch came with the Polar FlowLink so I download my progress onto my PC to track my progress. If you set a program with it you get a 'watch mail' notification on the watch telling your progress in the previous week and where you should concentrae your training for the coming week.

Very happy with it.
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on 31 July 2014
This is a really great watch for tracking the effort you put in during training. By calculating your VO2 max, and having your weight stored, it can give you accurate reading son how many calories you are burning in exercise.

I found that I was burning way more than I thought, and this game me a much more accurate picture of my training plan.

The online tool at the polar website, and the flow-link wireless connection tool are a nice touch, and superseded the tracking methods I was using previously,

The thing looks pretty cool too, I have to be honest.. and I found myself keeping it on away from training and using it as my main watch..

Build quality is great, if feels really solid, and the screen took a few scrapes on walls without marking at all. My only criticism here is that the pins in the strap came out once, detaching the strap completely. To be fair, this was while 'shadow boxing' during kick boxing, so no one should have been connecting with me, but they accidentally did. So it did take a bit of a whack, but still no more so than I would expect it to handle as a smorts device. Easily fixed, although a little fiddly with the springs and all.

The HRM is comfortable on the chest, although VERY cold to put on! soon warms up though. strap is adjustable and has a convenient flap so stop the clasp digging into you.

Bit of advice here, when you are not training un-clip the HRM from its band. This stops the battery running down necessarily.

The back light doesn't stay on very long, I would have preferred this to have a longer duration.

All in all, I like the product and would recommend it, but it loses a star for the strap pin issue and back light duration.

Hope this is helpful!
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on 9 December 2011
Now on my third polar model and the FT80 does not dissapoint. The style is beautiful and could be worn as an everyday watch if you liked with plenty of usefful functions.
This unit can be used in a pool but tighten up your strap good. If you are into weight training this model has a great function making sure you rest just the right amount.
The FT 80 has style form and above all great functionality. Highly recommended.
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