best-heart-rate-monitor

Best Heart Rate Monitor

The heart rate monitor is a must have gadget in any home gym. This personal monitoring device allows users to find their ideal training pace and track heart rate during exercise. The point of heart rate monitoring is to make sure that one’s target heart rate is reached. There are two main types of heart rate monitors. The first type consists of two parts which include a receiver in the form of a wrist/arm band monitor and a wireless chest strap that acts as a transmitter.

The second type is a simple pulse monitor. Users must touch their finger to a pad to get a pulse rate. Both types are easy to use and are readily available on the market. Many can even be connected to an app to track and store data.

SUUNTO Quest

Convenience is never compromised in regards with timing, distance and calorie tracking. You can make the best out of every workout when you are able to track progress with Quest. Intensity of your activities can be measured correctly. The product is not a killer, but it does the job for price and advertising claims. SUUNTO and Polar have been the market leaders recently and their products have been most reliable.

By the looks of it, SUUNTO Quest is an old fashioned heart rate monitoring instrument, though it’s not entirely true. It looks more like a stop watch with more advanced options. Simplicity of the instrument reflects the given description. The effectiveness of the defined specification and features has been good. Let’s look at various aspects before considering the HRM watch for purchase.

Product’s specifications and features:

Stopwatch function with timers and laps is a useful addition in Quest. Date by date analysis and review can be crosschecked with web account. Data can be crosschecked with variety of compatible devices. Pace distance and cadence reading can be measured with SUUNTO Quest. Movestick mini helps data transfer to your home computer. Waterproof feature is never questionable within depth of 30 meters.

Customer support provided by SUUNTO:

SUUNTO has excellent customer support in place through their website. Tutorials, FAQ and manuals are provided in the product page. The brand offers two years warranty for core product. Customer representatives work ‘day in, day out’ from more than a dozen countries around the world to provide you with best support. Dealer locations are gettable from product page. Settings are customisable both in heart rate monitor and synched external devices too. Scheduling on time has been made easy in case of recreationist, thanks largely to SUUNTO Quest heart rate tracker.

 

User Experience and ratings:

Online exercise account that combines with Quest is seen as a huge bonus by athletes. Movescount helps create custom workout plans, which is unique to Quest. Superior functionality and transfer capability for data ranks Quest one among the best. Night viewing is made easy through strong backlights in use. The lack of necessity for recharging your 1 year potential batteries, delivers relief.

More on design…

Default screen has battery levels, time and day display. Quest comes in four different colours. 1.7 x 1.7 inch display and sleek strap forms the coolest Quest watch. Design supports battery replacements, while the batteries long one year and more. Chest strap relays heart rate readings to the watch like the way it processes in typical chest strap powered heart rate monitors. GPS pods and foot pods are available upgrades.

Recording and monitoring functions:

Movescount is responsible for software side functions to assist recording workout data. Movescount set-up is real simple and after registration you can have access to every information thorough internet. The watch is capable of storing up to thousand laps in one instance. Through web account you would be able to loop back into training archives. Training summary is played after end of each workout, in order to get a real-time feedback to denote the intensity.  SUUNTO USB movestick helps connect with PC without any wireless or Bluetooth technology. Being ANT compatible you can wirelessly transfer data from the watch as well.

Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor

Polar FT7 is a universal product that fits any fitness aspiring user. Polar’s devices have a good accuracy in readings. That’s one reason they are so expensive. The FT7 comes in different versions including a women and men-only installation. The FT7-M for men has been considered to lack even some of the basic features.

The FT7 heart rate monitor comes with full watch functions, not limited to Polar WearLink+ transmitter. FT7-M is designed as a men-only version. It doesn’t make much sense how FT-7 M is optimized for men though. Apart from limited features, there are not many differences between FT7-M and FT7. Lack of features makes FT7-M less pricey compared to the latter. Unlike low end versions, fat burning progress can be measured with this gadget.

FT7 got enough flair and comes with four different colours. It’s your bag even if you want to include it for swimming activities. FT7-M is a good alternative for ladies too, if you are looking for cheaper option. However women’s version lacks in functionalities and variety in colours. The women’s version would be your automatic choice if you are not hurt on budget and prefer comfort over price. FT7 has better fit and comfort than FT7-M

 

Insight on specifications and functionalities:

Water resistance cover 30 meters of depth under water. Time of the day can be displayed along with alarm and snooze functions. Dual time zone is an available additional option for travellers.  Button lock and low battery alarm have been added to make it more user-friendly. Backlight helps see readings in the dark. Multilingual support encompasses English, French German, Swedish, Finnish, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish. Display shows number of calories burned for the day. The gadget comes with fabric transmitter coupled with coded HR transmission to eliminate cross talk. H1 heart rate censor and a user manual are attached in the box along with FT7 trainer.

How it fares amongst competitor products:

Polar has made a reputation of being pricey yet superior in quality. Garmin Forerunner has been the close second to this top gadget. FT7 women’s gadget has met with mostly positive reviews. It’s more of a simplified gadget that reviews calorie count more effectively. Garmin Forerunner would be beaten by accuracy produced by FT7 through calorie counter, pace checker and heart rate monitor.

User Experience:

Heart rate readings have been accurate, expect when used in swim mode. Calorie counter seems to be accurate in every case. When tested across several sports and activities, calorie reading seems reasonable. Graphical representation has been applied to display heart rate, which looks quite pleasant on the eye. Looking at manual wasn’t necessary at all, for setting up the HRM watch. Weekly summaries are emailed after reviewing your weekly activity data. Storage files are large enough to contain all information in regards to training, heart rate and calorie count. Heart touch menu have been an attractive addition to the Polar HT7 series. Fit and comfort has been above par in comparison to the brand and market standards.

Bottom Line:

FT7 is your ticket to maintain your desired fitness level. The guides provided and easy-to-use functions help you increase fitness levels slowly by steadily.

Polar RS300x Heart Rate Monitor

An excellent sports watch to help with portability for a recreationist. This can’t be the go-to tool for a pro-athlete, but the gadget isn’t for a passive person either. The tool fits somewhere between a pro athlete and a weekend recreationist preferences. Heart rate monitoring and speed calculations are the prime functions offered by this compact tracker.

Polar has been a reputed fitness equipment company for last three decades. Their handy heart rate monitors never fell short on performance. With RS300x they have worked out a device for budding as well as pro athletes. It comes in mould similar to a wrist watch. Heart rate monitoring and timing features are focussed this time. Speedometer is contained within this simple device. Calorie data for the day comes as useful output. It is possible to create custom intensity levels to help your training.  Recreational athletes are prospective consumers, since most features are focussed around them. Measuring aerobic fitness during test is a real possibility with RS300x. Though it helps recreationist, the product is not strictly a sportsman wear.

Polar Flowlink makes the device compatible with mac, pc and web. Like other wrist wear heart rate monitors, this could replace a watch. If you have been novice to Polar products, you ought to know Polar precisely measure heart rate during activity period. This is one feature which makes Polar brand stand apart from the rest. RS300x also have an upgraded GPS version for GPS tracking, but it comes at doubled the original price. More customization comes in the form of supplementary accessories for jogging, outdoor activities and many more. Compatibility with GPS, foot pod and Flowlink makes the variety of customization possible. However, the compatible devices could be brought only from Polar, which stands as a roadblock to extreme recreationist.

Some frequent complaints include loss of signal, incorrect readings and lack of ease during activity. Bluetooth signals seem to be losing strength more often than not. The display can’t be seen clearly during workouts. Precision of heart rate tend to get bad, if you don’t switch over intensity modes correctly. The compact shape of this wrist wear results in difficulties of monitoring during activity. Though this is not an entire flop model, being harsh on the eye is not quite a desired quality. H1 heart sensor is contained in the box. Training computer is properly packed with all the necessary accessories to free you of setting up troubles.

The device serves the best for weekend and casual athletes. For pro and extreme athletes some features can be lacking. There is no function for time splits or laps. It requires you to manually do the math to calculate the total time of your workouts. Though it has a few negatives, the positives of this product easily overshadow undesired limitations. Any average user would find this product a good beginner heart rate monitoring watch at the least. This decent starter isn’t the bag, if you look out for accurate stats on every workout as a pro-athlete.

Smart coaching program that comes with the box is a useful addition. The ‘fitness test’ feature measures development progress of your fitness. It can be your go-to tool in measuring the success of recent fitness program you have subscribed to. The ‘Training load’ feature helps demonstrate how trainings effect changes in your body and metabolism. ‘Own Zone’ features help define your customized intensity levels. ‘Smart Calories’ features make it possible to know how many calories are burned on day to day basis.

Bottom-line: One of the best beginner level tools which could suit a regular runner too.

MIO Alpha

MIO Alpha is another heart rate monitor gadget which doesn’t need a chest strap to function. The digital light at the bottom of the watch displays heart rate when it comes in contact with skin. Bluetooth connectivity is used to connect with your handheld devices. It’s suited for smartphones, mainly iPhones, with variety of apps for assistance.

What’s special?

It’s one among the best strapless and continuous heart rate monitor. MIO Alpha edges more than par with industry standards. Data review and audible alerts are the exclusive features offered by this gadget. MIO global claims the product’s concept is an innovation adapted from medical technology.  Light beams coupled with an electro-optical cell sense volume of blood under skin layer. Improvised algorithms are in place to detect heart rhythm from pulse signals. These calculations can happen even in case of extreme activate. The tracker would suit runners, athletes and cyclists. Accuracy is optimized with advanced calibration to work in any performance speeds.

More specifications:

The gadget is around 4 inches in any dimension. It’s a lightweight wrist wear weighing around 8 ounces only. Bluetooth 4.0 technology helps seamless connectivity with your smartphones. Silicon soft trap feels good on the skin and helps make this product more adorable. Heart zones are marked through tricolor led.

Modus Operandi of the gadget:

MIO Alpha, USB charger, Quick Start Guide and Warranty cards are contained in the box. Remove MIO Alpha watch from box and peel off protective layer. Press and hold + button to activate watch. You would be prompted to set time on display. These steps help activate the watch. It’s easier and faster than it looks from the length of instructions you see here.

Compatibility with other devices:

MIO Alpha can be linked with iPhone 4S or higher to analyze speed, GPS information and distance covered. Bluetooth 4.0 helps connectivity, characterized by smart and high speed transfer. There are several iOS apps available to help review the data feeds from Alpha. Mapmyrun and Mapmyride work the best, though they require a minimal charge. Since the gadget has the ability to review a variety of data and make inferences, it is essential to put your smartphone to use. Android phones that can’t support BLE for Bluetooth 4.0, won’t be compatible.

User experience:

The watch feels comfortable on the wrists. It looks a normal wrist wear which has GPS enabled. Nice fit is guaranteed through the conventional strap with holes design. It fits any sort of fashion statement you wish to make and does well for day to day use. The gadget locates heart rate almost instantly. Hairy forearms or excessive sweating doesn’t seem to deter the precision in readings. Android users would not find many apps to help connect to watch. The accuracy factor tends to slack, when compared with industry competitors like Polar. Battery stands for a pretty long time, even while doing continuous monitoring. 20 hours of guaranteed battery life is in your bag in case of continuous use. Water resistance works in higher depths, though the upper limit for depth specified by the brand is only 30 meters. Missing out on ANT+ features accounts to few limitations. The gadget only has one custom zone, thus making it vital to define the sole zone perfectly.

Final verdict:

Surely, the gadget is going to worth its price for some time now. With some excellent features for taking, MIO alpha is one of the hottest fitness gadgets for now. Improvised data review is what makes MIO alpha stand out from the rest. Flex wireless wristbands makes excellent combination with this watch. The bottom line reads this product is the trendiest item in its kind.

Polar Loop Activity Tracker

This is a coolest version of invent of handy technological assistance in tracking day to day physical activities. You won’t mind wearing it for its size of a watch. On top of it, the device is affordable for everyone. The tracker has covered every possible dimension with its ability to measure activity during swimming sessions, thanks largely to the waterproof feature of the small tracker. Heart rate monitoring is going to be absent during swimming sessions though.  The compatibility of the device is going to bring a few limitations. The wristband tracker is only compatible to polar H6 and Bluetooth powered smart heart rate sensors.

This is a handy wristband to track your physical activities for the day. Sure-fire smart guidance is assured with this sleek device. With the technological aid provided within, this activity tracker is in season. Fashion wise, the wristband got all chic without compromising on performance. It is your easy route to motivate yourself in achieving physical goals on day to day basis. The instant feedback helps a great deal in checking progress. The product enjoys a healthy reputation from the make or company itself. The best part comes in the form of 24-7 operability. The ability to help with tracking even while you are sleeping takes the device’s rankings to levels higher.

High level motion analysis technology of the device helps track your every move. The smartphone app and desktop support helps measuring how well you do with expected performance. Activity goals for any day can easily fit your to-do list. The device can digitally display the time of the day, thereby sending your watch to the least used shelf in your cupboard. The accelerometer in tracker helps monitor wrist movements and hap hazardous frequencies of day to day activities. Getting effective personalized guidance from the tracker is a real prospect. It provides with the best way to learn how your health habits help your wellbeing.

Before getting over board with the good stuff, let’s talk of possible worries.  The first trouble starts as soon as you unbox the Polar loop activity tracker. The tracker comes with a lengthy wristband for you to snip after you take your wrist measurements. It becomes irreversible with no fix, if you have cut it too short. In such worst case, you should rely on the company to replace your piece. Next trouble continues in the form of its tricky metal clasp. It’s never an easy experience with fitting your band into the metal clasp. For a relief, the software part is simple to set up. It takes no sweat to install the app and get an online account registered with polar. It would be tough to figure why Polar made wristband and metal clasp tasks this hard with no real necessity for that.

Tracking activity has been efficient like never before. Your activities falls under five different intensity classes with high, medium, low, along with sitting and resting. The red led display prompts you to increase intensity on idle days. Another coolest notification comes when you have been idle for too long. Your activity is not considered ample if it’s not spread throughout the day. On simple terms it means, if you sit idle for bulk of a day you would still be prompted to be more active. This is the reason why it’s called a loop activity tracker. Do not forget to activate sleep function to ensure precision of tracker on longer run.

Jarv Run BT Heart Rate Monitor

This is the most compact and simple heart monitoring device at such low cost. It charges as low as 35 USD approximately. IOS powered apple hardware and its Bluetooth devices are compatible with this Bluetooth heart rate tracker. The iPhone application serves as the operating program for Jarv Run BT. Jarv has earned a reputation in coming up with smart Bluetooth enabled mobile fitness programs. This product goes down as the top ten best products of their brand. Modus operandi of the product requires you to wear the strap around your chest and connect it to your iPhone app through Bluetooth. This simple process makes Jarv Run BT an ‘easy-to-use’ device for all users.

Apps you many need to know before using Jarv Run BT:

Third party apps save you from the pain of using a Bluetooth dongle to connect with your iPhone. Apps transform your phone into extreme mobile training program, thanks largely to apple product’s calibration. More than fifty IOS apps have been compatible with Jarv Run BT. Mapmyrun and Runkeeper tend to assist runners big time.

Internal battery keeps it powered:

A replaceable CR battery is present within the device to keep it powered up. The battery has a lifespan of two years if maintained in proper condition. No charging is essential to support the two year lifespan. Replaceable CR2032 battery comes in the pack along with waterproof chest strap, Jarv HRM transmitter and user manual. The battery has received a lot of negative feedback from various users who tested this product.

Steps for setting it up:

  1. Ensure you have a Bluetooth 4.0 supported handheld device. IPhones which are 4S or above are compatible with the HRM ware.
  2. Properly wear your HRM for accurate readings. Check for a proper ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ alignment. Strap must be worn not too loose or not too tight.
  3. Choose the compactible smartphone app to use it as tracking program. Ensure you keep your phone within 10 meters of proximity to the sensor.

Matters of concern:

Since it’s not a costly product overall, such is the quality of its materials too. The Bluetooth signals seem to disappear as soon as the device gets faulty. CR battery has defects and been reported in many cases. Lack of essential basic functions tends to worry even the budget shoppers. Apps have limitations for themselves and they charge a lot of cash. Paid apps alone could get you more tracking tools and controls, though free apps are still available.

User Experience:

User experiences have been mostly more than decent for the budget product. With Jarv Run BT, you are guaranteed to get more than what you pay for. The 4.0 Bluetooth support has made lowest energy consumption a possibility. Android phones with latest operating systems and iPhones from 4s and higher are alone capable of working with Bluetooth 4.0. Heart rate is shown accurately expect in few odd occasions. The flimsy chest strap feels a lot lighter. Straps looks easily breakable, thought they feel good on the chest. Chest strap has been sized really well for average users. Chest strap hardly fits the rib cage for obese users. Overall, it’s a mixed experience with this superbly cost effective product from Jarv.

Bottom-line:

You get the quality for the cost you paid. The gadget works good, nevertheless do not expect the luxury of not having a few bugging features.

Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor

It’s another heart rate monitoring product from Polar in the mold of a wrist watch. The FT4 device is one among the cheapest options with Polar products or heart rate monitors in general.  It would be unfair to categorize the product into one kind with long list of similar devices. Let’s look at the features to address it better:

What’s unique?

Clever categorization of activity levels with defining and checking with custom zones. You get alerts when you get out of the zone you have defined. Display is adorably the best with befitting zone map of heart rate readings. Straps and the frame look best for its design and contain some chic. Trendy and stylish look of this watch is a huge bonus to add to your fashion kit.

Items contained in the box:

FT4 heart rate monitor is the main constituent in the mini kit. It comes with straps all fixed and done, which bring some relief from snipping the band. H1 heart sensor is provided with the box. It’s one among the few compatible devices for this tracker. ‘FT4 getting started guide’ comes as a mandatory addition for the product. With a few tracking tips, it more than a mere user manual.

Compatibility stays limited:

Compatibility with other devices and technology is not extra ordinary with FT4 heart rate monitor. Lack of compatibility with Flowlink, makes it a feeble presence even within Polar. The product is for people who don’t mind the least amount of access, but prefer simple training and workouts. Lacking few of the best Polar’s programs is another huge drawback.

A look into the programs:

The program is quite simpler with FT4 compared to other heart rate watches. Still, it remains the most cost effective option. Amazon listings sell this product for a mere 60 USD, whereas a basic watch would cost close to its price. Polar’s own ‘Smart Coaching’ training is adapted for its FT4 device. ‘Smart Calories’ menu helps you track the number of calories you have burnt in the day. However, there is no way to track fat burning stats.

Comparison with other Polar products:

Comparing with FT7 and FT60, FT4 have the least number of training files. Its 10 training files are no match to the ton training files provided with other Polaris products. Own Zone and Energy pointer functions are missing from the program files in case of FT4. Water resistance and watch mold is present in this tracker too. The compatibility with Flowlink is another feature which would be missed.

Pros:

  • The monitor is one among the cheapest.
  • Simplicity is assured with its fitness training programs.
  • Zone wise tracking alerts are preferable by all.

Cons:

  • Compatibility with other devices and programs is limited.
  • Precision of calorie readings are not reliable during continuous usage.
  • It’s incapable of uploading results to apps automatically.

Ease of access:

Ease of access cannot be questioned in case of FT4. The programs are highly simplistic with crystal clear display. The zone type tracking’s sorts out most of the complications. The display is readable even while you are busy in activities. Some difficulties still exists considering you need to wear the chest strap to get the readings. The instructions in ‘Getting started’ guide is definitely lacking in some aspects.

User experience:

The watch is reliably accurate for most part of the day. It is stylish enough to fit the trend and it goes well as fashion apparel easily. Calorie tracking functions provided by the heart rate monitor is the best feature of the tracker. The chest strap is comfortable for anyone, no matter how many pounds they weigh. Thought the watch looks like a woman’s kind in first look, its strap fits anyone with giving some room to spare.

Garmin Forerunner 310XT

Garmin Forerunner 310XT is worth every extra cent you pay for its superior features. GPS and triathlon support remains the key features of this Garmin gadget. Garmin’s software’s side support is unparalleled by industry standards. Some false advertising on this product by its brand is quite deceiving. Still it does the job for any buyer.

Garmin Forerunner 310XT is a high end heart rate monitor containing as many essential and advanced features possible. This is a better than average gadget for its price. Flexibility and functionality of the watch has ticked all boxes in calibration demands for an excellent multisport application. This gadget from Garmin has been rated the best on durability and portability. Ease of use has been perfectly optimized to make it look effortless even for a beginner. Waterproof feature and the GPS add up as nice bonuses. The compact watch rings bell of an advanced training device encompassing several features in its specification. Garmin Forerunner 310XT is a universal gadget for all ages, least on theory. Let’s analyze few key aspects of this HRM in middling price range.

 

Firstly the features…

The gadget is 100% waterproof until you swim at a depth of less than 50 meters. Any extreme swimming activity is hence supported with this heart rate monitor. Transitions between multiple sport activies can happen effortlessly. Log transition time menus helps track your activity from start to finish. Putting GPS tracking to use, Garmin Forerunner 310XT made it possible to precisely record speeds and monitor heart rate.  Calorie computation goes hand in hand with measuring heart rate ranges. You can train inside your comfort zone on defined range of heart rate readings. Garmin Forerunner 310XT can transfer data to your PC, courtesy of easy synchronization enabled by Garmin ANT+

 

Compatibility and Synchronization:

The gadget is compatible with foot pod, cadence sensor through ANT+ wireless technology. With the wireless technology in place, there is no need to hook through cables or cords. Garmin Connect helps you sync with web, pc and other tech gadgets. It is thus possible to create your workouts on PC and transfer them to forerunner.

 

Pros:

  • GPS feature is a huge plus.
  • Compatibility and connection with other devices have been excellent.
  • Related online tools have higher ratings.
  • Setting-up process is simplest.

 

Cons:

  • Lesser precision is expected while switching between activities.
  • It is still not the bag for a triathlete.
  • Swim accuracy could have been better.

Few more catch…

Apart from being pricey, forerunner comes with few other limitations too. It’s not really pleasant to get this watch at this price without chest strap and censors. The novel features do not come to use that often for weekend recreationist. Triathletes might not find this product totally satisfying for the lack of smoothness in transition between workouts. The device doesn’t work fine for marathons or even half marathons, if you need clear-cut calorie related data.  You cannot turn off the watch while recharging it for power.

 

User Experience:

The device possibly has the best design in the market. Not having a chest strap is a blessing in disguise. Portability has been real good yet durability is at its best. You can get started with the device without having to read the manual. Pairing with ANT USB stick is simpler than it sounds. The controls are clear with display being fine to the eye. The battery life lasts a steady sixteen hours almost always. GPS seem to work well in all conditions except underwater.  The zones defined are ‘run’, ‘bike’ and ‘ski’, though skiing is commonly misunderstood as swimming as a result of false advertising. Large screen and clear buttons forms the main display. Customizable options and screens are available in plenty. Display allows you to track speed, heart rate, time and covered distance in one screen with a little customization. Upload of data is quick and the wireless-connect got no issues at all.

Final verdict:

The forerunner is bit pricey but worth every cent in bill. Watch out for false advertising, especially in case of the non-existent ‘swim’ zone.

A heart rate monitor is a necessary addition to a home gym for several reasons. To start, monitoring heart rate is needed in order to maximize aerobic activity. Reaching the target heart rate zone during every workout conditions the body. This means the blood vessels, heart and lungs are better able to convert oxygen into ATP. When the body’s ability to convert oxygen to ATP increases, performance is improved and less stress is experienced. A heart rate monitor also helps determine individual training pace and prevents overtraining. In order to properly use a heart rate monitor, a target heart rate has to be determined. Using the equation method is an option but a more accurate number can be determined by strapping on a heart rate monitor and going out on a run or taking part in HIIT while performing at a maximum intensity. Max heart rate is the highest number monitored. Ideally a person’s target heart rate should be 50-70% of his/her max heart rate when working at a moderate intensity and 70-85% for vigorous exercise.

Overall, having a heart rate monitor on hand will improve training and help achieve better results. Determining target heart rate will make sure users maintain the level of intensity needed for proper conditioning. Without it, training within a target zone is difficult. In addition to that, a heart monitor can be quite motivational. Not only is a heart rate monitor a valuable addition to any home gym but it can be used as an effective source of motivation during exercise. Having something to strive for can provide a much needed push.

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