May 252012
 

A few of you who are new to training have written in and asked if there is a good heart rate monitor training watch that doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars. I thought I would pop up a quick post that covers the most popular watches under $100.00. Actually, the highest price for the watches shown below is $129.99, but this is the retail price of the watch. If you look around, you should be able to find them cheaper.

 

 

 

Here is the short list:

Polar FT1 – In depth review here

  • Retail price $69.95
  • For the first step into heart rate-based training.
  • Shows heart rate on large and easy-to-read display
  • Helps improve your fitness with manual heart rate target zone
  • Displays a summary of your latest workout
  • Simple one-button start and coded heart rate transmission to avoid cross-talk
  • Safely exercise within your target zone
  • Records average and maximum heart rate

 

Polar FT2 – In depth review here

  • Retail price $89.95
  • For recreational exercisers who want an easy start to fitness.
  • Shows heart rate on large and easy-to-read display
  • Helps improve your fitness with automatic age-based heart rate target zone
  • Displays a summary of your latest workout
  • Simple one-button start and coded heart rate transmission to avoid cross-talk
  • Records average and maximum heart rate

 

 

Polar FT4 – In depth review here

  • Retail price $99.95
  • For those who want basic heart rate-based features to keep their fitness training simple.
  • Shows when you’re improving fitness based on your heart rate
  • Displays calories burned
  • Comes with comfortable fabric transmitter and coded heart rate transmission to avoid cross-talk

 

Suunto M1 – In depth review here

  • Retail price $99.00
  • Real-time guidance: heart rate and calories burned
  • Automatically switches between three heart rate zones to help reach personal exercise targets
  • Suunto M1 comes with comfortable Suunto Basic Heart Rate Belt, compatible with most gym cardio equipment
  • Easy to use
  • 9 languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish and Finnish
  • With easy and comfortable monitoring of real-time heart rate and calories burned, Suunto M1 is equipped with the essential tools you need to reach your fitness goals.
  • It monitors you while you exercise to ensure you stay within the most effective training zone. If you’re going to burn those calories, make sure every move is a smart one.

 

Suunto M2 – In depth review here

  • Retail price $119.00
  • Real-time guidance: heart rate and calories burned
  • Automatically switches between three heart rate zones to help reach personal exercise targets
  • Suunto M2 comes with Suunto Dual Comfort Belt: comfortable textile belt, compatible with most gym cardio equipment and Suunto Fitness Solution
  • Easy to use
  • 9 languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish and Finnish
  • With easy and comfortable monitoring of real-time heart rate and calories burned, the M2 is equipped with the essential tools you need to reach your fitness goals.
  • It monitors you while you exercise to ensure you stay within the most effective training zone. If you’re going to burn those calories, make sure every move is a smart one.

 

Garmin FR70

  • Retail price $129.99
  • Tracks your time, heart rate and calories burned inside or outside, while running, cycling or during other fitness activities
  • Calculates speed and distance when paired with our optional foot pod
  • Includes ANT+™ technology, which allows it to connect to other ANT+ compatible devices, such as the included heart rate monitor, optional foot pod or ANT+ compatible fitness equipment, and then share data wirelessly with your computer
  • Offers advanced training options, such as workouts, intervals and Virtual Partner®, when paired with our optional foot pod
  • Tracks weight, body fat, body water and 6 other measurements when used with the Tanita BC-1000body composition scale
  • Features 2 time zones, alarms, 20 hrs/100 lap memory, configurable training pages with Auto Scroll, Auto Lap®, 5 heart rate zones and alerts
  • Transfers data to your Windows® or Mac® computer wirelessly when in range. You can then use Garmin Connect to analyze, categorize and share in our online community

 

So what do you get in a watch in this price range? Here is a quick comparison of the watches:

FT1 FT2 FT4 M1 M2 FR70
Heart Rate x x x x x x
Average Heart Rate x x x x x x
Max Heart Rate x x x x
Heart Rate Zones x x x x
Calories Burned x x x x
Multiple Stored Workouts x x x
Display Backlight x
Optional Foot Pod x
Wireless Transfer x
Vitual Partner x
Bike Speed/Cadence Sensor x
Interval Training x
Customizable Screen x
High End HRM Strap x
Training Alerts x
Price $69.95 $89.95 $99.95 $99.00 $119.00 $129.99

 

 

 

Standout Features and things to look closer and check out 

  • I really liked the Suunto M2 comfort strap. It is definitely comfortable
  • I also liked the Polar FT4 comfort strap
  • I like the look of the Suunto  watches the best
  • They are all easy to use
  • The Garmin FR70 has the most features. I particularly like being able to download and connect to Garmin Connect, and I also really like Virtual Partner, and the capability of connecting an optional footpod. Of course, this watch is also the most expensive of the group.  If you don’t know what Virtual Partner is, check out the video below

Overall, if you are just starting out training, you can’t go wrong with any of these watches. Look closely at the features, and make sure you get the features that you really care about. You can also check out our more in depth reviews on these watches.

I hope this is a quick answer to your question.

Happy Training!

 

Here are a few videos of some of the watches:

Polar FT1:

Polar FT2:

Polar FT4:

Garmin FR60/FR70 Stup:

Garmin FR60/FR70 Heart Rate Monitor Strap Use:

Garmin Virtual Partner:

Suunto M2 – First Settings:

Suunto M-Series Exercise:

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  2 Responses to “What Heart Rate Monitor Watches Can You Buy For Under 100 Bucks?”

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  2. […] What Heart Rate Monitor Watches Can You Buy For Under 100 Bucks?(fitnesselectronicsblog.com) […]

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