Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitors For Smartphones

 

With smartphones like the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy and other Android based devices, a Bluetooth heart rate monitor without a watch has become a very popular alternative. Setting up an iPhone heart rate monitor is very simple and there are very good free apps available. But even the more advanced features are available at very reasonable prices, especially when you compare the price tags to the advanced HRMs available on the market.

 

If you own a Bluetooth enabled smartphone (and most are these days), then you can potentially save a lot of money by simply buying a compatible heart rate sensor and hooking it up to your phone. 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.

 

PolarPolar have a fantastic sensor called the Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Strap which is also compatible with iPhone 4S to 6, iPod touch (5th gen and up), iPad (3rd gen and up), iPad mini and iPod Nano (7th gen). At under $60 it is very affordable and Amazon buyers have given it 4 out of 5 stars. It is compatible with the Polar Beat app which is available for free with some additional features available for less than $10 within the app. Smart Coaching, Polar Fitness Test, Running Index, Benefit Target and Energy Pointer are all features available on Polar HRMs, and now you can have them for a lot less money than some of the more expensive models.

 

 >> Click Here for Pricing, Ratings, and Reviews on Amazon <<

 

ZephyrIf you are looking for an Android heart rate sensor, then you should consider looking at the Zephyr HxM Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor for Android. Since all iPhones and most other smartphones also come with GPS built in, you will be able save even more money as the GPS enabled HRMs can cost you several hundred Dollars. You also do not need to decide up front whether you need GPS or not, you can simply use different Apps in the future with the same Bluetooth HRMs.

 

 >> Click Here for Pricing, Ratings, and Reviews on Amazon <<

It can be paired with phones that have Android 2.0 or later, and is compatible with many of the apps available, including SportsTracker Pro and Runtastic Pro, giving you great flexibility and choice. 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.

hrm for smartphone

 

Athletes looking for an iPhone HR monitor should take a look at the Wahoo Fitness Blue HR Heart Rate Strap for iPhone. This device can be configured to work with your iPhone using Apps such as Runmeter, RunKeeper, Cyclemeter, Strava or MapMyRun. At a price of $80 you can end up with functions that are only available on some of the highest end HRMs that could cost you a lot more than $200.

 

 >> Click Here for Pricing, Ratings, and Reviews on Amazon.com <<

 

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. There are probably still ways to set up an iphone heart rate monitor by putting the phone in a waterproof container, but this really isn’t particularly practical.

 

One of the latest devices to make it onto the heart rate monitor market is the Beets BLU chest strap sensor. Using the later Bluetooth technology it will send the data about your heart rate to a compatible phone. You have a great deal of options available when it comes to apps giving you significant flexibility to find a free or paid app that suits your personal needs.

BeetsBluThe great thing about the Beets BLU is that it is compatible with a large range of the latest iOS and Android devices. You simply get the strap, fit it around you chest and then pair it up with your phone. Start your favorite app and you are ready to go training. And with the large list of compatible apps you will not be limited in how much you analyze your training sessions. Overall this is one of the best and cheapest solutions that will give you features that traditional HRMs would cost you over $200.

 >> Click Here for Pricing, Ratings, and Reviews on Amazon <<

Many of the HRMs reviewed on this site come with marketing material that states that they are water resistant, but when you take a closer look at the instruction manuals you find that quite a few of them are not suitable for use under water. It is very important that you check these details when trying to find the right swimming heart rate monitor. If you are going to be using the HRM for swimming then you should make an adequate decision, but be aware that you will not have the same selection to choose from.

 

Choosing the best heart rate monitor does involve many factors to consider, but as this article has shown, there are very useful alternatives to the standard heart rate watch. And the best thing is that you are not tied to expensive software apps. You can simply buy a bluetooth chest strap and then experiment with all the available free apps until you find one that you like the most from a feature and usability point of view. Because we all have different tastes there are so many apps available to choose from and you will definitely find one that you like.

 

photo credit: lululemon athletica via photopin cc

GPS Running Heart Rate Monitor

The best heart rate monitor you could possibly buy is one that has a built in GPS chip that tracks your movement, tells you the speed you are moving at and the distance you have travelled. For most people it will not be something they really need but many people still buy one as a gadget with built in GPS.

Where such a HRM comes in very handy is if you want to keep track of the routes you have run or hiked. Pretty much any GPS heart rate monitor can be linked up with a computer to upload its data to a tracking application that can display all your past workout data and the routes you took.

For a serious athlete this can be incredibly useful information as you can better plan running a specific route to achieve a certain average heart rate.

best heart rate monitor 1For example, lets say you are planning a run where you want to achieve a higher than normal heart rate, and you know that you have had a few workout sessions in the past that achieved this. You can then look at your training history and check which routes achieved higher average heart rates, maybe because they involved more hills. Or periodic inclines.

One thing to keep in mind with GPS based devices is that a GPS chip requires an awful lot of energy. This has two impacts. Firstly, GPS chips use up a lot of energy, which drains the battery quite quickly.  Despite having quite large rechargeable batteries you will find that you have less than 24 hours of power. Make sure you remind yourself to recharge the watch very regularly.

Secondly, the watch will be quite a bit bulkier than many other monitors you can get, because of the size of the battery and the chip. This may not be an issue if you really do need such a watch, but if you are getting it just as a gadget, then you need to factor this in. This also does not make it the most suitable watch for everyday use.

Alternatively you can use a GPS enabled smartphone and simply buy a compatible heart rate chest strap. This will give you the same functionality without needing to buy an expensive separate HRM. What you will need is an App installed that can read the data coming from the chest strap. There are some free apps available with limited functionality, but for a couple of dollars you can get an App that has some additional features and links up to Google maps to track your route.

Timex Ironman Global Trainer With GPSThe options with a smartphone are quite extensive, but many people prefer to have a separate device. If you are looking for some information on available devices then take a look at the ones reviewed on this site. Our very convenient comparison table can be sorted by GPS functionality giving you a quick way to see some of the most popular devices. It makes it much easier to compare different models and makes, so you can choose the features you want and then decide on a price you are willing to pay.
photo credit: thomas_sly

Best Heart Rate Monitor For iPhone

Heart rate monitors are a fantastic way to improve your fitness while being able to measure you personal progress over time. HRMs come with large ranges of features, and the more functionality implemented the more you can expect to pay. But since the advent of the Smartphone there is an alternative by buying a heart rate monitor for iPhone.

Most heart monitors came with two parts:

1) A chest strap that measures and sends data about your pulse rate

2) A watch that displays the heart rate along with a lot more information

While the chest straps generally differ in their level of comfort and the wireless technology used, it is the watch that contains all the data analysis and display functionality.

 

Generally speaking you will find varying levels of features in the watch and you essentially pay more for every extra feature. The most high-end devices will cost in excess of $200, but for this you will get an awful lot of functionality. In many cases you will be able to store data for many workout sessions, display averages and maximum values, calories burned and even GPS tracking.

The great thing about a heart rate monitor for iPhone is that you really only need to focus on getting the chest strap and an app for the iPhone. As all the functionality is based on the app, you can spend as much or as little as you wish, with many apps available for free. And with every iPhone equipped with GPS chips you can go all out and have the iPhone track your route as well.

 

->>> Click here for the top rated heart monitors for iPhone available at Amazon

 

heart rate monitor for iphoneThere are a lot of apps available on the iTunes App Store that will help you display your heart rate and the training zones. There are a lot of free apps available and we would suggest you try some of these until you find one that suits your needs. Some of the paid apps may contain features you specifically want, so you can always opt for one of those if need be.

 

The Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Sensor is probably one of the best chest straps you can buy. With an average 4 Star Amazon buyers rating from over 350 buyers there is a very good perception of this device. The great thing is that Polar offer the Polar Beat app for free with the main features available.

 

There are several upgrades available in the app, which include Smart Coaching, Fitness Test, and Running Index. These are all features that are available Polar’s top rated watches, which would cost you several hundred Dollars. For less than $10 you can get all the above features and have GPS route tracking built in as well.

 

heart rate monitor iphone wahooAnother great option is the Wahoo Run/Gym Pack for iPod/iPhone, which is compatible with many of the most popular iPhone exercise apps. The apps range from free to a couple of Dollars dependent on the features. The main drawback is that it does not work with Bluetooth and therefore requires a small wireless signal key to be attached to the iPhone. Other than that it functions very much the same as the Polar.

 

A heart rate monitor for iPhone is fast becoming a very popular alternative. Because most people carry their iPhone during a workout session to listen to music you might as well hook it up to a Bluetooth chest strap and get readings of your exercise data. If you are an Android user then you should check out this page on general Smartphone heart monitors.

Suunto M2 Heart Rate Monitor

The Suunto M2 heart rate monitor is a mid-level HRM that comes with all the basic features needed, plus some very handy additions that make it easier for you to adjust your training intensity during a workout session. The more flexibility you have the better your outcomes will be.

This is done by giving you feedback about which one of three heart rate zones you are currently in. Based on this feedback which is given both visually and through sounding a beep, you can either increase or decrease the intensity at which you are training. This allows you to optimize your progress to higher fitness levels.

Continue reading

Polar FT80 Heart Rate Monitor Review

The Polar FT80 heart rate monitor is one of the company’s mid-level HRMs falling into what Polar call the Improve Fitness category. It certainly is more expensive than an entry level device and currently will cost you $195. But for this price you do get an awful lot of features that will seriously help improve fitness levels.

One of the great features of this heart rate monitor is that you expand its functionality by getting either a foot pod or a GPS sensor. The foot pod will then allow the watch to track your speed and distance, which is especially helpful for runners. The GPS sensor will also allow you to track your speed and distance, but also the route you traveled.

Continue reading

Polar FT1 Heart Rate Monitor Review

The Polar FT1 heart rate monitor is the most basic entry level HRM from Polar and comes with a price tag of less than $50. It really doesn’t have many features to talk about but it does the basic function really well. The display is large and features a backlight, so it is very easy to see your current heart rate and zone. It also looks pretty cool so will appeal to the fashion conscious sports person.

Heart rate zones can be manually set to suit your needs and fitness level. This allows you to progressively increase the zones and change them from workout to workout. The Polar FT1 then shows you what zone you are in and it also sounds an alarm when you move from one zone to another. This is extremely convenient especially when you are just getting used to heart rate training. Continue reading

Polar RC3 GPS Heart Rate Monitor

The Polar RC3 GPS heart rate monitor is one of the more advanced HRM available by one of the top manufacturers in this industry. At a price of under $250 it certainly is aimed at performance and professional athletes that are very serious about their training optimization. There are features on this model that you will not find on entry level devices and beginners will probably be overwhelmed by the functionality.

For most people there will be very few if any features that are missing, and with the online services available you will be able to do some pretty serious tailoring of your training regime.  Polar call these features Smart Coaching and two of the best ones are Fitness Test and Endurance Program. It is like having the expertise of a personal trainer with you all the time to tell you how well you are actually doing.

Continue reading

Polar FT40 Heart Rate Monitor (Men)

The Polar FT40 heart rate monitor is a mid level HRM that goes beyond the basic features of the entry level devices. With a price tag of just over $109 it is still quite affordable, but quite a step up from the $50 and $60 prices common with entry level ones. These extra features definitely justify the higher price and if you think you are going to be serious about heart rate based training then this model is a very likely contender.

You definitely get a whole lot more for your money and here you find out some of the great features. First to mention is the really cool function of what Polar call Fitness Test. What you do is wear the chest strap after exercising and while you are at rest in order to record your resting heart rate, or your OwnIndex. This is similar to a VO2max index which is a good measure of your aerobic fitness level. By saving multiple results you can easily track how your fitness is improving over time. The watch automatically computes these values making it very easy for you to see your improvements.

Continue reading

Polar FT40 Heart Rate Monitor (Women)

The Polar FT40 is a mid level HRM that goes beyond the basic features of the entry level devices. With a price tag of $100 it is still quite affordable, but quite a step up from the $50 and $60 prices common with entry level ones. It is very suitable for athletes that have some experience or are certain that they want to take their training to the next level. This model is designed specifically for women, which is great as so  many devices do not come in colors that would appeal to female runners.

However, you do need to consider that you get a whole lot more for your money. Firstly is the really cool function of what Polar call Fitness Test. What you do is wear the chest strap after exercising and while you are at rest in order to record your resting heart rate, or your OwnIndex. This is similar to a VO2max index which is a good measure of your aerobic fitness level. By saving multiple results you can easily track how your fitness is improving over time.

Continue reading

Suunto T6D Heart Rate Monitor

The Suunto T6D heart rate monitor is one of the high end models made by Suunto, and comes with a price tag of $400, dependent on color and any extras. With a price like that it does have functionality that would only be relevant to very serious athletes. But if you are serious or very competitive, then you would really do yourself a favor with this HRM.

Continue reading

Polar RS300X Heart Rate Monitor Review

The Polar RS300X heart rate monitor is an entry to mid level device from one of the biggest makers of HRMs. While this is classed an entry level monitor, it does come with some features that go beyond the most basic devices available, which is why we refer to it as tending towards mid level.

For less than $90 you obviously get heart rate monitoring, but the watch doesn’t just display the beats per minute. It can also display a percentage of maximum heart rate or an average for a particular work out session. This is very handy if you want to trigger and a certain average on a given day, or vary between certain percentages during one training session.

Continue reading

Suunto M4 Heart Rate Monitor

The Suunto M4 heart rate monitor is a mid-level HRM which packs quite a few features that are not what you would  find on an entry level device. This warrants the price of $140 compared to more basic models that retail for about $60, along with the fact that it has an incredible cool design. Suunto are definitely the standout designers in the whorl of sports watches.

The first feature to note is that the watch comes with 3 target zones and an alarm function that informs you when you move from one into the other. This is of great help as you do not have to constantly look at your watch to see if you are in the ideal zone. once you get used to heart rate training you will appreciate this function as you can just focus on your pace and will be warned when your pace increases or decreases too much.

Continue reading

1 2 3 5