Heart Rate Monitor Reviews Timex Bestselling Watch

Amazon’s No.1 Bestselling Heart Rate Monitor

PRODUCT: Timex T5G971 Unisex Heart Rate Monitor, With Chest Strap, Water Resistant

Overall 4 star rating on amazon off 475 customer reviews – wow’s!

Get’s Me One From Amazon Straight Away, Sir!

Perfect for the everyday user and affordable enough for a noobie.

Keywords from Amazon Reviews:


  • “Works great even without electrode gel.” From Gut Monkey “Mark.”
  • “Has a recovery time feature that measures how many BPM your HR drops in one minute.” From Gut Monkey “Mark.”
  • “[…] I have 54″ chest and fairly large wrist […] also concerned […] pick up other heart rate monitor signals […] very satisfied with this purchase.” From J. Polinkas “Mr. Jay.”
  • “It works […] very easy to program […] replaceable batteries […] low cost.” From NBO.


  • “[…clasp] broke off when I was taking it off.” From A teacher man. “Other than that, the monitor worked great.”
  • “[…] didn’t work well at all […] even used special gel […] rate shown was very inaccurate.” From Robin W. Gates.
  • “[…] worst online purchase to date […] replace the battery in chest strap […] worked great…for 2 days!” From Fellix.
  • “I wear a 44 coat, and it [chest strap] wouldn’t fit around my chest.” From P.Muller.
  • “[chest strap did not work] I called Timex […] said it probably did not because it was an analog chest strap sensor and they are having problems with those […] Timex stated that they will test some other […] send me on that works. From SuzieQ “Flamingo 11.”

Top Tip from Amazon Reviews:

I noticed several reviews about having problems with the chest sensor sending signals to the watch. What I do is take a Kleenex and tear it in half. Fold each half into a square about 2X2. Soak it in water and place it under each of the sensors. Results are 100%. Thanks John Luciano.


So there is definitely mixed reviews for the watch on Amazon. The majority are positive! The minority has issues with the battery in the chest strap and difficulties picking up a proper, reliable heart rate. You can’t be sure, but I would put money on it, that the people that had these issues were the outliers and got a dodgy chest strap (covered under manufacturers warranty) and or were “eager beavers” and never read the instructions on how to properly use the chest strap.

When Timex designed this heart rate monitor they were thinking of themselves, their parents and their kids. The watch is perfect for everyone. It is the number 1 bestselling heart rate monitor on Amazon for a reason!

Are you someone who is quite fit, yet not too serious about training?

Someone who, more just wants a heart rate monitor instead of needs one? This watch suits you.

One of my favorite features for this entry level continuos monitoring watch is the ability to pre-set your target heart rate zones. Yes, it is a normal feature for a monitor with a chest strap but at $39 it seems like an over the top feature. Let me give you an example: You head out for a run but don’t want to leave your aerobic training zones (say 145-165 BPM). You pre-set those targets into your watch, chuck on the chest strap and head out for your run. When you enter your “zone” it beeps once to let you know you’re “in there.” Then if you leave that zone it’ll beep twice – meaning slow down or speed up.

How good is that. I can’t really see what else you would need from a heart monitor.

Are You Hairy Like a Real Man?

Like I said above this monitor has 475 customer reviews on Amazon. 75% of which are 4 and 5 star reviews. However, there is an alarming number of 1 and 2 star reviews worth talking about (that’s 20%). Since I am here to help you, I read most of the 1 and 2 star reviews and am back here to report. From past experience with heart rate monitors and heart rate sensing in general I know that “real men” with manly man chest hair can have issues with all heart watches with chest straps. James B James says:

I bought this because it was the top choice on Consumers Reports. What no one told me ahead of time is if you have chest hair, the sensors will not work and the watch is useless. I have even bought the electrode gel and still can not get a consistent reading. I might get a reading for a few seconds, then it stops. I am very disappointed, but it may not be unique to this product. Maybe all these heart rate monitors will not work if you have hair on your chest.

And of the 20 or so 1 star reviews I read this one most resonated. It got me to thinking, and when I think danger isn’t too far behind. How could this be? How could this be an oversight of such a well respected company?

Well, it probably isn’t.

Here’s the deal: Excessive chest hair (hey, I got it, and proud of it :)) weakens the electrical signal from your heart to the electrode incased within the chest strap. The instruction manual of the watch will tell you to either get electrode gel or wetten the chest strap (lick your finger and rub is usually enough) before putting it on. The gel or wetness will amplify the electrical signal making it easier to pickup.

But come on, how much chest hair does a guy need to have to render a sophisticated bit of technology useless? James B James? In all actuality these Timex people are pros. They test the bejesus out of these watches. In my opinion James B James probably has the strap too high on his chest and his pecs are actually whats blocking the signal not his chest hair.

Like you see in the Amazon keywords above the others that had issues were mainly with the battery in the chest strap. Like all modern day electronics these watches are made in China. Timex gets them for $2-3 a pop and you pay $39. Do the math. To me, it’s worth the $39 and if you have issues return it. And I guarantee Timex will have NO ISSUES AT ALL sending you a new one or two or three watches of the life of the warranty (1 year).

I’ll say it again: 20-30 people out of 475 had out of the box battery type issues vs. the 360 that were extremely happy…?

I’d also like to point out I own this watch. I liked it enough to buy it for my dad’s birthday gift 2 years back. I have what may be called “a manly chest” and aside from a few dodgy readings have had nothing but fun with the bestselling watch on Amazon.

Here is the link for its Amazon page.


The Watch

  • Suitable for men and women
  • Stop watch and alarm functions
  • Clock functions
  • Indigo light
  • Water resistant 30 meters (rain protection!)
  • workout review to tell you average and peak heart rates

In the box:

  • 1 bestselling Timex heart rate monitor watch
  • 1 chest strap
  • 1 lithium battery within chest strap

Here is the link for its Amazon page.


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