Friday, February 8, 2008

Review: Polar F6

As promised, here's my review of my shiny new toy: a Polar F6 heart rate monitor. In the box there is the watch, a transmitter band, and an instruction/warranty booklet.

There are two styles of the F6 - men's, and women's. Mine is a women's style though the thing is still really big. Reminds me of those old calculator watches. Despite its size, it's still pretty with a floral design around the watch face. It also comes in pink and black for women and just black for men.

Setup was easy. First, you enter your details into the watch as per the instructions. Next, you strap on the transmitter, making sure you moisten the contact strips. Then you press a button on your watch and bingo! Your heart rate will appear within 15 seconds and will stay that way, giving you real time updates to it.

With a few more button presses, it'll start to record your heart rate, calories burned, and duration of the workout until you stop it. After stopping it, it'll give you a summary of these figures, with an average and a maximum heart rate.

I was worried that the transmitter wouldn't stay put or that it'd be uncomfortable. However, it stayed where it was supposed to and after awhile, I forgot about it.

There's a lot more settings to it than I've tinkered with so far. I know that you can switch it from beats per minute to heart rate percentage (the latter being most useful to us WWers in calculating intensity levels) and that it records up to 12 of your workouts that you can review. If you want it to alert you when you've reached a particular heart rate zone, it can do that as well.

You can also download software to your computer that enables you to change the watch settings (including the logo on the front) or to upload your exercise data to an online tracking program. You will need speakers or a microphone to do it, but it's pretty nifty - it transmits info using bleeps and bloops from your speakers or your watch.

The first thing I did was install a new logo from Polar's logo gallery. That's my new watch face on the left; it's just too darned cool. I've also played around with uploading my exercise file from the watch to the online program. There was some trial and error (on my part), but once I got it working, it worked like a darn. The tracking program looks like it'll be very useful in recording my exercise. I like that I can go in and see info about each of my exercises, including calories, and heart rate percentage.

As to price and where I got it: I ordered it from the Running Room and it was $125 plus tax. The US retail for this watch is $119, so I think it was a pretty good deal. You can also find F6s at any of Polar's dealers, Mountain Equipment Coop (men's only), or Sport Chek.

Highly recommended for anyone who wants to take the guess work out of calculating calories burned during a workout. Thanks to this lil' baby, I now know how many activity points I should be recording...and eating!


Heather said...

ooooooooo....purdy :)

I love shiny new workout toys too, and in 2 years when I'm no longer a poor student I will get to enjoy such things

Lisa aka water_nymph said...

that does look like fun!! good for you! said...

Hi Tiny Trim,
I've finished reading your archives - congratulations, I believe you have less than 20 pounds until your goal!!!
You have inspired me in: 1. wanting to try a bootcamp 2. Try spinning class again (both times my rear and hamstrings hurt so much I could barely walk the next day) and 3. perhaps upgrade my heart rate monitor (I have the FS1). What good is exercising if you can't chart it? ;-)
Congratulations on your steady and sensible journey - I'll look forward to continuing to cheer you on!

Big Pumpkin said...

Hi! I've just bought myself the F6 too but cannot understand the instructions in the manual.....are you able to help me set mine up? I've managed to get my details down but I have no idea other than that! If you could email me, I would be most grateful!

By the way, your weight loss journey is so inspiring.....I hope I can do as well as you :-) I have 25 kg to lose :-(

Brittney said...

Hey there, I was searching around for info on the F6 when I came across your page. I was wondering if you could measure the chest band for me? I'm a little concerned about buying the monitor because I have a rather large build. It would be super helpful! :) Thanks, -Britt.

PS: If you do, please send it to! :D

Merry said...

I am going to have a Polar F6 watch soon and I was searching some information about it. Then I got your article and I got what I was looking for. Thanks a lot dear.

mocomoney said...

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