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Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor Review

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Overview of the Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor

Health fitness manufacturers have been moving their heart-rate monitoring devices away from the chest to the wrist. However, one problem that they have had to deal with is the accuracy of the devices when on the wrist.

The Polar H7 heart rate monitor is more than a traditional chest strap. This heart rate monitor has Bluetooth Smart support, which means you can get your heart rate data on your phone app, compatible gym equipment, and sports watches.

If you do not mind carrying your phone around, the Polar H7 Heart Rate monitor is an affordable device (check current price) compared to pay for something like the Fitbit Charge HR or the TomTom Runner Cardio.

While you still to strap it under the gym clothes and wet the electrodes, this device is comfortable and provides all the data you need without any issues.

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Design & Features of the Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor

Well Fitting Elastic Strap

The H7 looks and works in a familiar manner. The package box has chest strap made of an adjustable material and a lightweight clip-on transmitter. The elastic strap will fit most chest sizes as it’s available in XS-S or M-XXL options. The H7 is secured in place through the strap that has a clip and loop mechanism.

When secured properly in place just below the chest and underneath the shirt, this heart rate monitor does not budge. Moreover, you will not feel any irritation or discomfort, which is an issue that many people have with chest straps.

Small Coin Battery

At the back of the small transmitter is a small CR2025 coin battery. The well-concealed batter will last for months as long as you ensure the strap is disconnected when not using the heart rate monitor. Disconnecting the strap is important as the moisture and sweat from a workout can activate the transmitter and drain the battery.

The CR2025 battery is similar to what you would find inside a watch. Replacing it should only cost a couple of dollars.

You can use a coin to loosen the back to replace the battery. However, the back is a little stiff and you may need a screwdriver to get to the battery.

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Waterproof

The Polar H7 heart rate monitor is waterproof. Therefore, you can wear it when going swimming. However, when in the water, the Bluetooth connectivity will not work. If you would like to monitor your heart rate while underwater, you can use one of Polar’s watches that uses GymLink connectivity. We recommend the Polar H10 heart rate monitor.

When going swimming, wearing the H7 under a swimsuit is advisable as you can be sure it is well secured.

ECG Sensor

Polar heart rate monitors use an ECG (electrocardiogram). Therefore, unlike the Jabra Pulse earphones and the TomTom Runner Cardio that use light-based optical sensors, the Polar devices measure electrical activity of the heart to determine the resting and continuous heart rate data.

The ECG measuring option is not 100% accurate. However, it is more reliable than optical sensors, which provide heart rate data by detecting changes in blood volume.

Bluetooth Compatibility

The Polar H7 uses Bluetooth Smart. Therefore, you can use it with Android smartphones running on Android 4.3 or later and iPhones running on iOS7 and above. The technology works with apps such as Strava and Runkeeper as well as Bluetooth Smart sports watches such as the TomTom Runner Cardio.

The H7 heart rate monitor supports GymLink or 5 kHz transmission, which is found on the Polar Loop activity tracker as well as many sports watches by Polar.

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The Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor App

The Polar H7 is compatible with many apps. Apart from this, the app comes with Polar’s own Polar Beat app that is available for free for both iOS and Android devices. The app is mainly designed to record your heart rate while running but can be customized for strength training, skiing, cycling and other activities.

The Polar Beat app can also be paired with stride sensor and customize training by duration or distance. The app settings allow you to save body measurement, add voice guidance and connect to Twitter or Facebook to share your progress.

You can make in-app purchases for more features such as gain access to a running index and add a fitness plan. The in-app purchases are not cheap; they cost upwards of $3. You can find similar information in free fitness apps available both at Google Play and AppStore.

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The Polar H7 breaks down the sessions into sections that are easy to understand. For example, there is information on the heart rate, routes, and so on. The sections show how your heart rate fluctuates during workouts and how much time is spent in different heart-rate zones.

The Polar H7 is one of the best companion apps on the market and easily beats Garmin’s offerings. You can enhance your experience through the in-app purchase, although it really isn’t necessary unless you are a serious athlete.

Polar H7 Heart Rate Monitor Performance

The Polar H7 heart rate monitor works flawlessly. After strapping it on and syncing with various iPhone apps like the Polar Beat and Runkeeper as well as the TomTom Runner sports watch, you will start receiving your heart rate data in real-time almost immediately.

Wearing the heart rate monitor when running or at the gym is not uncomfortable or obtrusive. The device is securely held in place and does not experience signal drop-outs.

Check the screenshots below to see how the Polar H7 compares against the Mio Fuse sports band, which uses the same Mio optical heart rate sensor as the Adidas MiCoach Fit Smart.

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Unlike the Mio Fuse, the H7 does not experience any signal drops.

Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor Review

Pros

  • Excellent companion app
  • Compatible with smartphones and third-party apps
  • Provides accurate readings
  • Is light and comfortable

Cons

  • It is a little bit difficult to unscrew the back to access the battery

Bottom Line: What We Think of the Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor

The H7 is a good and reliable chest-strap heart rate monitor that is well worth the money. You can combine the device with the Polar sports watch and its extensive app. The Polar H7 works without any problem.

If you plan to use a heart rate monitor regularly, the H7 is a good investment. The device will last long is you unclip the transmitter after using it.

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If you do not like wearing a chest strap heart rate sensor, then you can go for the Mio Fuse. This is one of the cheapest activity trackers with inbuilt technology that accurately tracks your heart rate without any issues.

The TomTom Runner Cardio sports and Jabra Pulse earphones are good alternatives to the Mio Fuse but are quite expensive.

The Polar H7 is the most reliable heart rate monitor. However, as wrist-based monitors improve, it may not be long before the H7 is dethroned as the best heart rate monitor on the market.

Editor’s Recommendation

If you are looking for a reliable heart rate monitor, the Polar H7 will not disappoint you. The device does not lose signal during workouts, lasts long and is quite affordable.

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