Polar F6 Heart Rate Monitor Review

Polar F6 heart rate monitorThe F6 heart monitor is one of the most popular of the general fitness heart rate monitors from well known and respected manufacturer Polar. The Polar F6 heart monitor consists as with most heart rate monitors of a wrist receiver and a transmitter with chest strap.

But the Polar F6 monitor offers so much more than a standard exercise heart rate monitor that it easily justifies its popularity and many think it is the best heart rate monitor in its price range.

Polar F6 Features

The F6 Polar heart rate monitor watch has the following features including one or two which just a few years ago you might only see in a scientific heart rate monitor in a lab.

  • time of day, daily alarm and stopwatch functionality
  • accurate wireless heart rate monitor with continuous heart rate measurement
  • very clear display with large digits and backlight
  • elasticated heart rate monitor strap incorporating transmitter
  • heart rate display which shows beats per minute or percentage of maximum heart rate
  • optional target heart rate zone training alarm which will sound when your rate rate is either under or over the guidelines you have set. This can be set for either beats per minute or percentage of maximum heart rate and can be set to be loud or quiet. Using Polar Own Zone this can be easily set to various exercise intensities and changed during exercise.
  • calorie expenditure and percentage of fat burning calories via Polar Own Cal technology
  • coded transmission prevents cross talk with other heart rate monitor users during group exercise
  • data recall feature so you can access the data from your last 12 fitness sessions (duration of exercise, calories burned, percentage of fat calories, maximum heart rate, average heart rate and time in heart rate training zone) and see the past week as an exercise diary
  • ability to send data to and from Polar’s fitness trainer website via Polar Uplink and Weblink features. This interface is free of charge and can be obtained from the Polar website
  • motivational information to keep you going
    • fitness bullets – one appears on the watch display for every 10 minutes you exercise within your target heart rate training zone
    • real time display of the total time inside the fitness zone while you are exercising
    • real time display of calories burnt (when every calorie counts)
    • total exercise time with average heart rate
  • water resistant to 30 metres
  • choice of colors

You can see that the Polar heart rate monitor F6 is a fully featured sports heart rate monitor great for all kind of sport and general fitness. It is an ideal running heart rate monitor and for cyclists the F6 HRM can be fitted to handlebars via a bike mount.

Having reviewed a whole heap of watches of all makes and models for this site, the F6 is the one I chose as an inexpensive basic model my own use – a balance of great features without being overly complicated to remember the main functions during a fitness session. It’s great that it works with most standard gym equipment too without the transmission getting mixed up with those on the other machines.

Strapless Polar F6 Heart Rate Monitor?

If you are looking for a strapless Polar F6, you’ll be waiting a long time. Polar are careful of their reputation and have resisted manufacturing a strapless heart rate monitor watch as these are not accurate enough for serious athletic measurement and they do not give continuous readings.

F6 Suitable for Women?

As Polar have produced the watch in coral and pink as well as more traditional male colors such as black they are obviously thinking of this as a womens heart rate monitor as well as a mans!

Just one thing – the Polar F6 watch receiver is designed to fit an average wrist for both men and women. My only concerns would be if you had very narrow wrists. The daintier Polar F4 is specifically designed as a heart rate monitor for women but does not have all of the features of the Polar F6 monitors. If you are an average woman I would stick with the F6.

UPDATE (10/07) : Polar have now added to the F6 range and produced versions specifically for their female customers – the F6F. The F6F comes is a number of colors and has a neat design on the monitor face.

Any problems?

Like all polar heart monitors the batteries need to be replaced by a qualified service center. This means about once a year for the wrist receiver. Although the batteries in the chest strap are likely to last longer (2500 hours of use) it is advisable you get these checked at the same time.

Professional battery replacement wasn’t enough to put me off the F6. The Cardiosport heart monitor I owned before the F6 could have the batteries changed locally in theory but none of my local stores knew how to do it – so I have a dead heart rate monitor lying about – and nowhere to send it. Contrast this with a wide network of service centers and a smooth battery replacement process for Polar Heart Rate Monitors – it’s actually easier just to leave it to the professionals.

Anything missing?

The F6 is a pretty basic model meant for general fitness purposes and not for serious elite athletes. It will be suitable for most people who just want to get fitter without too much fuss. If you want more features you could look at the more sophisticated models featured on our best buys page which offer additional data measurements and features – at a cost

The F6 is not fitted with GPS (Global Positioning System) which helps determine the distance you have covered (and is particularly useful off-road) nor does it have the capability of using the Polar Foot Pod or Bike Pod sensors. If you are looking for a Polar GPS heart rate monitor, there is the top of the range Polar RS800G3 Multisport GPS Computer Heart Rate Monitor Watch otherwise take a look at the heart monitors best buys page for alternatives.

Our Summary


Polar F6 Heart Rate Monitor – an accurate heart rate monitor with many features – one of the best general fitness heart rate monitors in its price range


Where to buy Polar F6

You can’t buy Polar from just anywhere online. Polar allow just a small group of retailers to sell their products over the web and do not sell heart rate monitors directly themselves from the Polar USA and Polar UK websites.

In the US the best place to buy is Amazon.com. Here you will get the best price from a well-known and trusted retailer and most will be able to take advantage of free and fast shipping options. See the Amazon Polar F6 reviews and offers page for further details