The folks over at Polar recently sent me a few watches to test out. First up: the FT40 ($160, including chest strap). Being a woman, I was immediately drawn to its great color and design; it's much cooler than my other heart rate monitors of the past. I have even gotten compliments on it outside of the gym (big brownie points there).
The heart rate monitor does all the normal stuff that an average heart rate monitor does, such as showing your heart rate, calories burned, time, stopwatch, etc., but there are a few goodies that this watch also provides. The EnergyPointer calculates the point where training is turning fat-burning into fitness improvement. It also has a fitness test feature, which is able to measures your aerobic fitness at rest in just five minutes. Both features are very useful for someone who is looking to improve their own fitness without hiring an actual personal trainer.
With this watch, you can also upload all your workout information using a Flowlink (sold separately), which transfers data between the watch and PolarPersonalTrainer.com — a free site that allows you to track your workouts and progress and gives you access to helpful training tips and tools. My only complaint is that the software for the Flowlink is not Mac compatible as of yet. But all in all, I love this watch. It's easy to use and provides great information, making me focus on my workouts so I can fine-tune my training.