- Light and comfortable
- Accurate readings
- Functions with smartphones and 3rd party apps
- Fantastic buddy app
- A little tough to loosen back to access battery
WHAT IS THE POLAR H7 HEART RATE SENSOR?
The existing trend may be to move heart-rate monitoring away from the chest and over to the wrist however precision at these new areas is still questionable. The Polar H7 heart-rate screen takes the traditional chest strap and adds Bluetooth Smart support offering you heart rate data on sports watches, suitable health club equipment and phone app.
By the way, we recently updated our review of the best fitness trackers for heart rate.
Priced at ₤ 40, it’s a more inexpensive choice than spending for something like the TomTom Runner Cardio watch or the Fitbit Charge HR, as long as you’re pleased to still carry your phone around. You’ll still have to wet the electrodes and strap it beneath your gym t-shirt, but if you can cope with that, the H7 is comfy, reliable and provides the necessary data without issues.
POLAR H7 HEART RATE SENSOR- DESIGN AND FEATURES
Polar doesn’t spring any big surprises with the method the H7 works or looks. In the box you’ll get the small, lightweight clip-on transmitter and the adjustable material chest strap. The flexible strap comes in XS-S or M-XXL choices so it must fit most chest sizes and uses a simple clip and loop system to protect the H7 in place. It does not budge as long as you’ve secured it properly simply below the chest muscles and when it’s beneath a shirt, there’s no discomfort or irritation. This is frequently among the greatest problems associated with chest straps, however you do not have to stress over that here.
Hidden behind the back of the small transmitter lies the CR2025 coin battery which should lasts for month as long as you disconnect it from the strap when not in use. That’s important since the sweat and moisture from a workout can activate the transmitter and drain pipes the battery. This is the sort of battery you ‘d discover within a watch and it just costs a few pounds to replace. A coin should be enough to loosen the back to replace, nevertheless it’s pretty stiff and we discovered keeping a screwdriver close-by convenient.
The H7 is waterproof so you can wear it for swimming although the Bluetooth connection will not work. If you wish to get heart-rate information underwater you’ll have to use on of Polar’s watches, which use GymLink connection. Using it under a swimwear is the most recommended alternative simply in case is not completely protected however it’s certainly nice to have the option.
Polar uses an ECG (electrocardiogram) heart-rate sensing unit so unlike the light-based optical sensors used in the TomTom Runner Cardio and the Jabra Pulse earphones for instance, it determines the electrical activity of the heart to deliver constant and idle heart rate data. While it’s not 100% accurate, it’s still considered as more reliable than optical sensors, which on the other hand, spots changes in blood volume.
The H7 uses Bluetooth Smart so it’s compatible with iPhones operating on iOS 7 and above as well as Android smartphones on Android 4.3 or later. It’ll work with apps such as Runkeeper or Strava and Bluetooth Smart sports watches such as the TomTom Runner Cardio. It also supports 5kHz transmission or GymLink as it’s better understood which can be discovered on a lot of Polar’s sports watches and the Polar Loop activity tracker.
POLAR H7 HEART RATE SENSOR-APP
As discussed, the H7 has quite decent app compatibility. Additionally, Polar provides its own Polar Beat app, which is totally free on Android and iOS. It’s largely concentrated on running but it can be personalized for cycling, skiing, strength training and a whole host of other activities.
You can likewise pair it with stride sensing unit plus customise training by distance, period or merely totally free training. In the settings, there are options to add voice assistance, conserve body measurements and decide whether you wish to share your exploits on Facebook or Twitter.
There are extra in-app purchases offered to add a physical fitness test and gain access to a running index. At a cost of ₤ 2.29 and upwards, they don’t come inexpensive and you should be able to discover similar details in free fitness apps offered on the App Store or Google Play.
Most significantly, sessions are broken down into easy-to-digest areas showing details on paths and analysis of heart rate. This reveals the variation of the heart rate during a workout and the time spent in various heart-rate zones.
As a buddy app, it’s one of the much better ones, especially in comparison to Garmin’s offering. You can invest money to improve the experience, but we ‘d state it’s not that vital unless you’re seriously training for an event.
POLAR H7 HEART RATE SENSOR-PERFORMANCE
In contrast to the reliability issues we’ve experienced with smartwatches and activity trackers, heart-rate monitoring with the Polar H7 has actually been above reproach
After strapping it around the chest, we synced it with the TomTom Runner sports watch and a choice of iPhone apps consisting of Runkeeper and the Polar Beat application. There’s little-to– no waiting time for the smartphone or the watch discovering the Bluetooth signal and start communicating the data in real-time.
Using it during a gym or running session is not as obtrusive or uncomfortable as we ‘d believed it might be and thanks to the safe and secure fit, does not suffer any signal drop-outs. We compared it to the Adidas MiCoach Fit Smart and the Mio Fuse, both which are based upon the same optical Mio heart rate sensing unit technology. We likewise ran it against the Fitbit Charge HR and the Jabra Pulse heart-rate tracking earphones.
The screenshots listed below highlight how well the Polar H7 does versus the Mio Fuse sportsband, which uses the same accurate Mio optical heart rate sensor as the Adidas MiCoach Fit Smart:
Polar Beat app with the H7 (left) and Mio Go app with the Mio Fuse (right).
While all three of the wrist-worn devices were typically precise, all have their minutes when the signal leaves. Those problems seem affected by how securely the sensor sits versus the skin. With a chest strap display like the H7, you don’t have those problems.
SHOULD I BUY THE POLAR H7 HEART RATE SENSOR?
If you desire a reliable heart-rate display and can deal with strapping onto your chest, the H7 is an outstanding alternative and well worth the money. There’s already extensive app and sports see support available to combine it with. Most importantly, it simply works without problem.
Even at ₤ 40, it’s not an unreasonable financial investment if you plan to use it frequently. As along as you keep in mind to unclip the transmitter when you’re done, it must last for quite a while too.
If you are dead set against wearing a chest strap heart-rate sensing unit, then the cheapest activity tracker with the innovation built in is the Mio Fuse. It’s an activity tracker that provides precise heart-rate tracking, however it’s not without its problems in other places. The heart-rate-monitoring Jabra Pulse earphones and TomTom Runner Cardio sports watch are good alternatives, however substantially more costly.
We still state this is the most reliable way to keep track of heart-rate activity, however as wrist-based monitors enhance, it might not be long prior to they are a thing of the past.
If you’re not encouraged by the growing legion of heart-rate monitor-packing watches, the smartphone- and sports watch-friendly Polar H7 is among the best chest-strap displays we’ve trained with.