The Polar FT7 vs FT4 comparison is one of the most searched Heart Rate Monitor Comparisons on the Internet. If you have come to this site to find out what the difference between these two Pulse Watches are you have definitely come to the right place.
We start out exploring the key differences between these two models and then move on to further look into a direct comparison between various essential categories.
If this still does not help you to make a confident decision I invite you to scroll through a feature-by-feature analysis.
However, before you decide on buying any of these Heart Rate Monitors I ask you to have a look at the ‘Find my Heart Rate Monitor’ section. You might be surprised to find out that there are other Pulse Watches out there that might better need your training needs.
There are six key differences between the Polar FT7 and the Polar FT4, ranging from Uploading Functions to Memory Capacity.
As you can see from the above table the key differences between the Polar FT7 and the Polar FT4 are mainly differences in storage and uploading functions.
With the Polar FT4 you can’t upload your training data and it stores only 10 Files/Training Sessions.
The Polar FT7 on the other side allows you to upload training data if, and this counts for a lot of surprises when opening the FT7 box, you purchase the Polar FlowLink.
The Polar FT7 and the Flowlink Issue
If up to this stage you thought the FT7 was your Heart Rate Monitor you might be not so sure now.
The Polar Flowlink costs you around $50.00 (see current Amazon Price) which brings the total cost of this Heart Rate Monitor easily over $100. Now, if you are willing to spend that money I believe there are better options out there.
I am still amazed that there is NO(!) reference made whatsoever in this Amazon Advertisement of the Polar FT7 that you will need an additional device to upload your data (at least I haven’t found it). And even in the ‘Frequently bought together’ section the FT7 is currently linked with an Electrode Gel!?!
No wonder lot’s of customers get, aehm, slightly annoyed when they find this out like this guy who did not see the sense of spending another $50.00 just for uploading his training data.
The way around this issue is that Polar allows you to manually add your training data at www.polarpersonaltrainer.com. Just sign up for a free account and start adding data. And, as a matter of fact, the Polar FT7 does not accumulate that much data so manually transferring should not take long.
Let’s now compare some of the Heart Rate Monitor’s key categories and see who comes out ahead.
|Reliability||On the whole the FT4 is a bit more reliable. Compared to the FT7 there are far fewer complaints reported after a battery change in the transmitter. To further understand this potential issue in the FT7 please read this Customer Review about Polar FT& Reliability Issues after a Battery Change.|
|Look and Feel||With regards to Look & Feel the only difference between the Polar FT4 and the FT7 is the choice of color.
Both pulse watches are also suitable for women (even the men´s models are fine) and come with the ultra-comfortable H1 Transmitter Chest Strap .
However, there is one FT7 Color scheme that you should be careful with. Unfortunately it is by most accounts the best looking one–the black/red FT7. If you are thinking of buying the FT7 with this color you should read this Review of a Customer regarding the display on the Black/Red FT7 to get an idea of this issue.
|Body Measurements||Both Heart Rate Monitors measure essentially the same. Most importantly they allow you to manually set your Maximum Heart Rate in case the automatic calculation is off the mark. Just be aware that neither the FT4 nor the FT7 allow you to set a lower limit for your Heart Rate.|
|Training Features||Again, both models are very similar. But the FT7 has on top of it a 'ZoneLock' function which means that with a push of a button you can lock yourself into the "Fitness" or "Fatburn" Zone and receive an audio alarm if you are either above or below the required Heart Rate. Important: Both, the FT4 and the FT7 are known to have a very low audio alarm volume....find out more about the low Volume issue|
|Watch Features||When it comes to 'Watch Features' both Pulse Watches have a backlight and allow you to change the battery in both, the watch and the transmitter yourself.
However, both watches also have 'design error' the way your training information is shown on the display. The following is the Number 1 complaint for both Heart Rate Monitors:You can't see your Heart Rate and Exercise Duration on one screen .
Also, both watches lack any kind of interval/countdown timer - hence only 2.5 Stars.
|Recording Features||When it comes to 'Recording Features' the Polar FT7 has clearly more to offer:
1. You can store 99 Files compared to only 10 Files with the FT4.
2. The FT7 shows you in your Training Summary not only how much time you have spend in your 'Fatburn Zone' but also how much time you spend in your 'Fitness Zone'.
Finally, the FT7 offers you a 'Weekly Summary' of your training. The Polar FT4 just displays up to 10 of its Training Sessions in a row.
|Data Transfer||This one is easy. The Polar FT7 has Data Transfer Ability.But, as mentioned above: You have to purchase an additional item to do so - the Polar Flowlink.|
|Customer Service||There are slightly more complaints about receiving appropriate help with the Polar FT7 than there are with the FT4.
The main long-term issue with the FT7 is erratic readings after battery change in the transmitter.
But, to put this into perspective: Of the 700 Polar FT7 Customer Reviews on Amazon only 12 cite a negative experience with Polar's Customer Service.
Considering that Polar is still the market leader this ratio is absolutely acceptable.
And don't forget: Both Heart Rate Monitors come with a two year limited warranty.
|Value for Money||The Polar FT4 is definitly better value for money. Considering that you have to purchase another device to use the FT7's Data Transfer Ability makes the Polar FT7 less appealing.
And even the additional features that the Polar FT7 offers do in my opinion not justify the higher Price.
|Currently over 1400 Polar FT4 Buyers rate the FT4 on average with 4.5 Stars and of these almost 1000 Customers gave the FT4 5 Stars.
On the other hand more than 700 Polar FT7 Buyers rate the FT7 on average with 4 Stars and of these more than 400 Customers gave the FT7 5 Stars.
|Editor's Rating||When 1,000 buyers rate a Heart Rate Monitor with 5 Stars you are probably not doing too much wrong buying the Polar FT4. It's easy to use and reliable.
As mentioned above, the Polar FT7's higher price is not justified by the additional features. If uploading data is important to you I believe there are better options out there (please see below!)
You have to purchase the Polar FlowLink if you want to upload your training data via the Polar FT7! So add another $50.
What should you do now?
Here is what I recommend you do:
Go for the Polar FT4 if you
- really like the design of the watch (I know, maybe this should not be crucial, but it might be for some)
- do most of your exercise on Cardio Machines
- don’t need any data uploading and
- just want a simple to use and reliable watch
The Polar FT4 is still very good value for money and as i said earlier, 1,000 Customers who rate the FT4 with 5 Stars can’t be all wrong.
Currently Amazon is offering the Polar FT4 at a 38% discount!!!
Go for the Polar FT7 if you
- really like the design
- do most of your exercise on Cardio Machines
- want more storage of Training Sessions and
- don’t mind paying $50 extra for the FlowLink
You can’t do much wrong with the Polar FT7 either. Heart Rate Monitors USA just voted it the No.1 Heart Rate under $100. So no fatal error done with choosing the Polar FT7.
Currently Amazon is selling the Polar FT7 at a 32% discount!!!
Neither of these watches offers you any decent timing functions!
And not being able to see your Heart Rate and Exercise Duration on one display can get really annoying after a while. Please see my recommendation below!
I think the best value for money watch out there today is the Polar RS100. It offers all necessary timing functions, has a lap counter and also comes with the comfortable H1 strap.
And best of all it is currently selling for just over $60 at Amazon.
The downside is that you can’t upload any training data.
If data upload is important for you and you are willing to spend a little bit more I believe the Garmin Forerunner 10 will be your best choice out there.
Garmin Forerunner 110
The Garmin Forerunner 110 is a GPS enabled Heart Rate Monitor which means it will accurately measure your speed and distance when running outdoors.
You will also be able to transfer your training data to Garmin Connect via your PC /Mac without having to buy an additional item.
It is a smillar lightweight and stylish Heart Rate Monitor that can also be worn casually as a sports watch.
You even have a Virtual Pacer that allows you to compare your current pace to your target pace.
Although the Garmin Forerunner 110 is more expensive than the Polar FT7 + Flowlink I believe it will be well worth the investment.
Currently Amazon is offering the Garmin Forerunner 110 at an 25% Discount.
I sincerly hope this review has helped you to make a better choice which of the two Heart Rate Monitors, the Polar FT4 or the Polar FT7 is best suited for your training needs.
Pleae rate this post:
In order to write this review I read through literally hundreds of customer reviews and extracted, in my opinion, the most important information you should know before you settle on the FT7 or the FT4.
However, I can not guarantee that all of the information is accurate and would advise you to contact Polar Customer Support if you need to clarify certain points.
Finally, I would be very grateful if you can comment below on any shortcomings in this review. Your opinions will help others to make a better decision when faced with the ‘Polar FT7 vs FT4 dilemma’.