Pros: Accurate pulse readings. Crisp display. Comfortable chest strap.
Attractive style in the size of a regular watch. Easy to setup and use
Affordable price. Includes the essentials of a more expensive Exercise Heart Rate Monitor
Cons: Lacks functionality for uploading, downloading and storing exercise data
Introduction to the Timex T5G971
The T5G971 is a Timex Heart Rate Monitor. The T5G971 looks like a regular sports watch, yet in addition to keeping time, serves as a full-featured Exercise Heart Rate Monitor. The T5G971, with the use of the included Chest-Strap, will accurately display a digital reading of your pulse while you workout, jog, run, walk, or simply type on your computer, as I am doing now. Unlike other heart rate monitor watches in the entry level price range, the T5G971 includes a chest strap with built-in sensors, meaning that you do not have to place your finger on a heart-rate sensor to get a reading of your pulse. Judging by the price, the T5G971 is obviously not the best heart rate monitor you can buy. One of the more popular ones is the Polar F4 Heart Rate Monitor which costs about $20 more, but has a few more bells and whistles. As a previous owner of one of the Timex finger-sensor models, I can tell you that the chest-strap is the only way to go. My previous watch was never of much use to me, as I had a difficult time getting it to recognize my pulse through the finger sensor. What’s worse, the movement during an actual workout made it impossible to use during an exercise session without stopping first to steady my finger on the sensor. Unless it has a chest strap, I have concluded it cannot be a worthwhile exercise heart rate monitor. While I was skeptical of trying another Timex Heart Rate Monitor watch, I received this from my daughter as a Father’s Day gift, and the chest-strap has made all the difference in the world. It really works, and works quite well!
The T5G971 Timex Heart Watch feels sturdy and well-built. The wrist strap comes with several adjustment notches for fitting any-size wrist. The Chest Strap is a flexible rubber band with sensors underneath which fits comfortable underneath your sternum and fits into an adjustable-sized snap in front. There are five buttons for operating the watch: On the left hand side is a setup button for programming the watch, and a Recall button for displaying workout information. Along the right hand side, is an Indigo Light and Heart Rate Recovery button. The fifth button, on the bottom of the top bezel is for turning the pulse display On/Off, as well as toggling an audible timer.
In addition to keeping your current pulse and time, the Timex T5G971 keeps track of and records your average heart rate, maximum heart rate, calories burned, and Target Heart Rate zones. Supplemental exercise instructions are included for helping you determine your heart rate zones. Your maximum and minimum heart rate zones are easily programmed into the watch, along with your weight for determining the number of calories you burned during a workout. By far, my favorite feature is the 1-Minute Heart Rate Recovery function, which through the press of a single button, will measure how many beats your heart rate slows down when you’ve stopped exercising. This is a great way to determine the level of your cardio fitness, without having to look at a watch or clock to determine when a minute has passed by since you stopped exercising. The built-in timer does it for you and records the number of beats per minute that your heart recovers after you’ve ceased exercising. Target heart rate zones are programmed by holding onto the Set Button, while the watch is tracking your pulse, and then choosing your minimum and maximum heart-rate zones, as well as your maximum pulse. You will also be able to enter your weight for tracking calories. The watch will begin recording information about your work-out, upon the moment it first begins to track your pulse. When you have finished your work out, you can press the recall button and continue tapping on it to scroll through your fitness data; Workout-Time, AVG Heart-Beat, Recovery Rate, Time in Rate Zone, Peak Heart Rate, and calories burned. It’s really that simple.
While more expensive watches such as the Polar F11 (selling for about $90 more) have the ability to record and upload data to and from a PC, the Timex T5G971 does a great job at doing what it’s intended to do – that is, keeping accurate track of your pulse and providing you with the most vital cardio workout data. I found the watch fairly tricky to setup for the first time, but this is pretty much true of all watches which use a limited number of buttons for programming them. Also, I’ve had some trouble from time to time, getting a pulse reading when the Chest Strap is first installed. Once the pulse is detected, it never fails to continue working even under very vigorous exercise and movement. I’ve tested the watches accuracy by timing my pulse with a 2nd-hand and comparing. The results are identical, so I am confident that the Timex is always giving me data which is 100% accurate. For it’s low-price, accuracy and essential features, I highly recommend this watch to anyone who doesn’t need or care about interaction with their computer.
Other Heart Rate Watch Monitors
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