You essentially save on not needing the watch to calculate and display your heart rate and other information. AS you already spent money on the phone, you can simply use this as your monitoring device.
It can be paired with phones that have Android 2. But there are so many apps to choose from and pretty much all of them com as a free version with some advanced features disabled. Try them all out until you find one that you like best and then get the advanced features. One thing you do have to keep in mind is that if you plan on tracking your heart rate in multi discipline events, like a triathlon, then a smartphone based Bluetooth heart rate monitor will not be suitable.
You will need a swimming heart beat sensor that is not only water resistant, but also certified to be suitable for use under water. Optical technology is what's used in many Fitbit devices, the Apple Watch, and other wrist-based activity trackers. It's also typically used for in-ear measurements in the case of sports headphones that read heart rate. Without getting too technical, chest straps read the small electrical signal your body creates to make your heart constrict. Optical technology sends light into the skin and reads the light coming back.
Based on that information and what we know about how light scatters when it hits bloodflow, the data is translated into pulse. Valencell, a company that makes HRMs and parts, has a detailed description of how optical heart rate sensors work. Electrical technology tends to be more accurate.
Taking a measurement from the arm or wrist is more difficult because it's a part of the body that can swing rapidly during activity, creating more data noise that must be accounted for when computing the final reading. In-ear optical HRMs tend to be better than wrist-based ones because the ear doesn't move nearly as much. The skin of the ear is better suited to optical readings than the arm, as well. Now that you know a little about how different HRMs work and why some are more accurate than others, it's important to address the issue of how much accuracy matters. There are generally two reasons consumers i.
To get to know their resting heart rate, and to use heart rate data for exercise and training. Resting heart rate is easy. You can read it by feeling your pulse with two fingers and counting it. You can also read it using a free app and a smartphone camera. It's easy to read resting heart rate with or without a device, and it's easy to check any reading against one collected from a different method.
More importantly, ask your doctor whether they care if your resting heart rate is, say, 58 versus The answer is probably no. It's more important to know whether your resting heart rate is within a healthy range. So, your doctor will care if your heart rate is 80 when it should be closer to My point is a very fine degree of accuracy isn't important for any practical reason for most consumers. Similarly, when people use heart rate for training and exercise, the exact number of beats per minute matters less than the heart rate zone. Many fitness apps that pair with HRMs either estimate or calibrate custom heart rate zones for you, and show them on a graph with the zones blocked out in different colors.
The point, again, is that knowing the exact number of beats per minute isn't as important as knowing the reading within a general range.
There is one more use of heart rate data, and here, accuracy does matter more, but it's a different kind of accuracy. Heart rate recovery, or how quickly your heart rate decreases after intense activity, is a great measurement of one's health and fitness. In my experience, chest straps are much more accurate than optical heart monitors for this kind of reading.
Optical monitors tend to lag slightly behind when it comes to detecting rapid heart rate change. Is it enough of a difference to matter to the typical consumer? Probably not. But if you use heart rate seriously for fitness, you might care more about this issue. Heart rate monitors that use Bluetooth are much easier to connect directly to your phone.
In terms of comfort, chest straps will never get a thumbs up across the board. Chest straps wrap snugly around the chest at the sternum, and if they're not tight enough, they can slide down or wiggle out of place. Repositioning them while you're in motion is tough. A bad one can chafe your skin, too, and they're poor at providing visual feedback because you can't see them.
I tend to prefer arm bands over chest straps. They're much easier to wear, you can adjust them quickly even while you're in motion, and they don't cause chafing. The Suunto Ambit3 features Bluetooth connectivity along with a number of more advanced features for serious outdoor adventurers and explorers. Some examples include an altitude profile with ascents and descents during activity, along with detailed weather reports. However, it also functions as a more basic heart rate monitor.
The watch is specifically designed for running, swimming, and cycling. You can use it to track your running performance as well as recovery. Find more Suunto Ambit3 information and reviews here.
This heart rate monitor works with a variety of popular apps, and can store over hours of data from your training sessions. The rechargeable battery gets up to 12 hours of run time per charge.
This sensor is waterproof up to 30 meters. Whether you're just getting into a fitness routine or you're an experienced athlete looking for a tool to enhance your training, a heart rate monitor is a smart investment. If you want to use your smartphone during your workout to keep track of your heart rate, a Bluetooth heart rate monitor is a must.
Many of today's heart rate monitors offer wrist-based heart rate monitoring. The advantage of wrist-based monitoring is that you don't have to deal with a bulky chest strap. In many cases, all you need to do it secure the device to your wrist and begin your workout. However, you can still find several heart rate monitors with chest straps. Some fitness enthusiasts believe that chest heart rate monitors are more accurate than wrist-based devices.
Basic heart rate monitors usually keep track of your continuous heart rate data, along with highs and lows that occur during a workout. If you're looking for more features and don't mind spending a bit more, you can find monitors with extras such as target zones and time spent in target zones, speed and distance monitoring, and the ability to wirelessly transmit data to your smartphone. Battery life is an important consideration for many athletes.
In general, the more features a Bluetooth heart rate monitor has, the more power it will use during a workout. In turn, it may need to be recharged more than a basic model. Many heart rate monitors are USB rechargeable, while others have a user-replaceable coin battery. Heavy, Inc. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.
Usually with chest straps you have to rely on a connected tracker to see your heart rate numbers. There are generally two reasons consumers i. This technology also provides real-time intensity feedback during workouts. So, your doctor will care if your heart rate is 80 when it should be closer to Good battery life. Polar OH1 Review.
By Kate Halse. Updated Jan 3, at 3: Polar M