Ever since my short term move to Shanghai, I've been spending some time in the gym doing some running. I still dont like gyms, but in Shanghai at night you have no choice.. the cyclists don't use brakes, the cars fight for the title "king of the road" and the parks (at least the ones with barricades) are closed at 5pm. Oh... and people walk backwards on footpaths so your chance of colliding with something while running is quite high. Just to keep the run interesting, I picked up a Polar S625X (check out www.polar.fi and look for the model under "Running" category) on my way through Hong Kong back to Shanghai yesterday. The only shop that I found that sells this model is a large sports shop called Gigasports in Harbour City Kowloon, and a few branches of City Chain around Kowloon. Gigasports got my business since they gave me 15% off the sticker price.
I've made some comparison shopping, as usual, and this time I compared the Polar with the Suunto T6. The T6 looks better any time but it looks like the screen real estate is not used optimally... you can cramp more information (at least when I was browsing the watches at the shop) into the Polar rather than the Suunto. However the T6 is a little more advanced since it measures interval between heartbeats as well... you're supposed to be able to predict more information about your fitness by doing that... but I'm not going to spend my free time pouring through VO2 graphs, etc.
You know what made my decision? The Polar was about 30% cheaper than the Suunto and still comes with a Footpod! Footpod goes onto your shoe, and it measures your run distance and speed. With the T6 the footpod is USD100 extra! That makes the T6 solution around 70% more expensive than the Polar. That seals it for me.
OK, the HRM is just a tool... back to regular exercises...