Heart Rate Monitor

If you would like to supercharge your running or training, then it is highly recommended to go for a heart rate monitor. Choosing an innovative device like this could be piece of cake if you are well informed about each model available on the market today. However, you will find a top 5 best products we have reviewed for you so that you can find a lot easier making the right choice. Keep in mind that a high-quality product will be extremely accurate.

Top 5 Heart Rate Monitors Compared

1. Polar A360 2. Scosche Rhythm + 3. Garmin Premium Soft Strap 4. Polar H7 5. Polar FT4
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Brand Polar Scosche Garmin Polar H7 Polar FT4
Model A360 Rhythm + Soft Strap Premium H7 FT4
Dimensions (inches) 5 x 4 x 4 1.75 x 1.75 x 0.5 2.4 x 1.3 x 0.4 12 x 2 x 1 10 x 1 x 3
Weight (ounces) 5.1 0.0625 1.6 1 4
Color 4 4 1 3 3


Battery Life 14 Days 8 Hours 4.5 Years Several Mounths 12 Mounths
Battery Type Rechargeable 100 mAh battery USB Rechargeable User-replaceable size CR2032(3 volts) CR2025 CR1632 Lithium Primary
Charge Time 2 Hours 2 Hours Replaceable Battery Replaceable Battery Replaceable Battery
Heart Rate Sensor Wrist Wrist Chest-strap Chest-strap Wrist

Activity Tracking

Stleep Tracking
Clock Feature


Display LCD LED None None LCD
Bluetooth Syncing
Additional Features Advanced technology Optical Sensor Technology ANT+ Compatibility Gym Link Technology Polar OwnCode
Smartwatch Notifications Valencell’s Perform Tek biometric sensor technology Bluetooth Smart Technology Polar OwnCal
Vibration Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ HR-Based Target Zones
HeartTouch Button
Graphical Target Zone Indicator


Warranty Limited 2-year Limited 1-year Limited 1-year 2-year 2-year

1.Polar A360

The Polar A360 is an incredible fitness tracker that features its own built-in monitor technology. Unlike other products, this one can be used for dedicated heart rate based training and it can deliver on the spot beats per minute readings. Additionally, it can record steps, burnt calories, distance, active time and automatic sleep tracking. With a claimed 14-day battery life, this unit is intended to be worn 24/7. However, it’s important to know that this model doesn’t have GPS, so it is not a unit for tracking your runs and rides. It features a touchscreen that is meant to come on when you twist your wrist to look at it and it has a silicon strap that keeps the watch firmly in place. Being waterproof up to 30 meters, the Polar A360 can be worn while swimming. However, keep in mind that the HRM rarely works in the water. Generally speaking, this is definitely an advanced activity tracker rather than a standard sports watch.

  • Touchscreen turns on when wrist turns
  • Water-resistant
  • Awesome battery life
  • Built-in heart rate monitor pairs with chest strap for accurate data
  • Very comfortable
  • Syncing is very slow
If you are looking to purchase an accurate fitness tracker that can be worn all day, the Polar A360 is exactly what you need. It is a water-resistant tracker which has a continuous heart rate monitor. Also, it is a good idea to pair the tracker with a polar chest strap monitor for improved accuracy during your workout. What we really like about this fitness bracelet is its large, color touchscreen which provides information throughout the day. Although it is more expensive than other fitness trackers, it is an option that worth taking into consideration.

2.Scosche Rhythm +

The Scosche Rhythm + consists of a square core and two velcro straps. It straps onto your arm and reads your heart rate through your skin with an optical sensor on the back. It features two green and one yellow optical sensors and provides superior measurements with all skin tones. The Scosche Rhythm + supports a single Bluetooth connection via Bluetooth Low Energy, as well as multiple ANT+ connections simultaneously. Keep in mind that after a full charge, it is able to last over 8 hours on a person with lighter skin and 7 hours on a person with darker skin. For charging, you should use the proprietary USB cradle. This model is IP67 sweat and waterproof, so it can be used in both dry and wet conditions. However, it can be submerged up to 1 meter, so it’s not recommended to swim with it, though. This is only an HRM, so it won’t monitor your steps, burnt calories or anything of that nature. It doesn’t have its own app, working with the most popular fitness apps through. Plus, it is ideal for use with smartphones, laptops, smart and sports watches and many other devices that support Bluetooth Smart or ANT+ data.

  • Great lightweight design
  • Very accurate
  • 8 hours battery life
  • It pairs with most devices
  • Band can get soaked with sweat

The Scosche Rhythm + is one of the most efficient trackers available on the market. It is not an activity tracker that count your steps. It is only an HRM tracker. In comparison to a traditional heart rate strap, this model is more convenient and comfortable. It can sit on the forearm just below the elbow. In what regards the compatibility, keep in mind that it supports both ANT+ and Bluetooth, which means that it is compatible with the majority of phones and devices. However, there are also a few downsides. For example, unlike the traditional models where the battery will last for months, the Scosche Rhythm + battery will last only 8 hours.

3.Garmin Premium Soft Strap

The Garmin Premium Soft Strap is an efficient chest strap tracker that wirelessly transmits your heart rate to your compatible device for instant feedback on how intense your workout is. It is a comfortable strap, being made of a soft fabric that can be adjusted to your body for secure fit during your activities. It can be submerged up to 30 meters, so it can be used in extreme weather conditions. However, it doesn’t transmit data to your unit while swimming. Also, it’s important to know that the Gamin Premium Soft Strap uses an user-replaceable size CR2032 battery which can last more than 4 years, based on average use of 1 hour per day. This is a great HRM that will surely meet all your requirements. However, keep in mind that it is only an HRM and it doesn’t monitor your distance, steps or burnt calories.

  • It only needs to be paired with your compatible device once
  • Very accurate
  • Soft and comfortable chest strap
  • The battery can easily be changed by yourself
  • It only communicate with your head unit using the ANT+ protocol

The Garmin Premium Soft Strap is another option you should take into consideration when looking to purchase an activity tracker. It wirelessly transmits your heart rate to your compatible devices such as smartphones or laptops for instant feedback. Its soft and comfortable strap provides a comfortable fit. More than that, you need to know that it is more affordable than the models above and it comes with a 3-year battery life.

4.Polar H7

The Polar H7 is a chest strap tracker that feature flexible electrodes along the inside that look like a thin strip of rubbery plastic and two snaps where you can connect the heart rate sensor. It uses Bluetooth instead of ANT+ to connect to devices, which means that it is more versatile than other products. Plus, it can support 5kHz transmission or GymLink as it’s better known which can be found on many of Polar’s activity trackers. The battery of this model is a standard coin cell CR2015 that can get several months of use before you have to replace it. Furthermore, it’s very important to know that it uses an ECG (electrocardiogram) heart rate sensor that measures the electrical activity of the heart in order to deliver continuous and resting data. While it is not 100% accurate, this product is still regarded as more reliable than other models, which in contrast detects changes in blood volume.

  • Light and comfortable
  • It provides accurate readings
  • It works with smartphones and third party apps
  • Clarity of instructions
  • Slightly difficult to unscrew back to access battery
The Polar H7 is a chest strap tracker that uses an electrocardiogram (ECG) heart rate sensor to measure the electrical activity of the heart. As compared to other trackers that use ANT+ to connect to devices, this model uses Bluetooth. This factor makes it more versatile than other trackers. Although it is not the most accurate activity tracker out there, it still provides you with useful information about your health and physical condition. Also, it is very easy to use for all or most sports.

5.Polar FT4

The Polar FT4 is an incredible HRM with numerous features. It can be worn as a modern watch, but it also performs all the functions of an HRM. It comes with a comfortable and durable strap that offers accurate data. Additionally, it comes in various color being suitable for both women and men. The Polar FT4 comes with a wristwatch and a chest strap monitor which is considered more accurate. However, the product transmits data from the chest strap to the wristwatch in coded form, preventing any kind of interference from other items. This unit features a graphical target zone indicator which helps you maintain desired intensity zone. Furthermore, it comes with a HeartTouch feature that will make your life easier. Therefore, if you want to visualize the current time and readings, you don’t have to press any button. You just have to bring the watch near the chest strap and for few seconds the current time is displayed. All in all, the Polar FT4 is a great device that will surely fulfill all your needs.

  • It gives accurate readings of all activities it monitors
  • Since it is hands free, it does not require the press of a button
  • It comes with an easy to read display
  • Water-resistant
  • There is no application for wireless transfer of data from the watch to either your smartphone or PC
  • For accurate heart rate readings, it is recommended the use of a chest strap
The Polar FT4 is a gadget that delivers exactly what it promises and much more. It measures fitness data during walking, running and jogging and monitors the individual target heart zones and BPM during workouts. Also, you should know that it a waterproofing device, suitable for underwater use. Overall, it is an accurate and convenient HRM tracker which comes with a one-year battery life.

6. Wahoo TICKR X

With the help of this fitness tracker, you can monitor your heart and other metrics with minimum effort. The dual technology, Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+, enables the device to connect to both iOS and Android operating systems, as well as to GPS watches. Besides the heart rate, this model can also tell you the burned calories, the running analytics, as well as indoor running and spin cadence. What is quite remarkable about this particular device is the fact that it features internal memory to record your workout, so you don’t necessarily have to take your smartphone with you. Also, apart from the Wahoo RunFit App and 7 Minute Workout App, the device is compatible with various other applications, which is a great advantage. In conclusion, when it comes to accurate fitness trackers that can provide you with useful information about your health and physical condition, you can choose this model and you won’t be disappointed.

  • It gives accurate heart rate measurements
  • Useful running analysis
  • 12-months battery life
  • Syncing capability with other apps
  • Affordable
  • Android app could be better presented
  • In-app guidance is lacking
The Wahoo TICKR X is a quality fitness tracker which helps you monitor your workout. It allows you to monitor your heart rate and other metrics with minimum effort. The fact that it uses dual technology, ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0 is a major perk because it can connect to both iOS and Android operating systems. As compared to other similar trackers, this model also provides information about the burned calories, the running analytics and spin cadence. Even though it has a few downsides, it is a great tracker that will surely meet your requirements.

7. Letsfit Fitness Tracker HR

There are plenty of factors to consider when shopping around for an activity tracker for the first time. The best part here is that the Letsfit Fitness Tracker HR combines all features you could want in a rate monitor. It features a multi-sport tracking system that brings 14 exercise modes specially designed to help you understand every activity data. Also, thanks to its Auto Heart Rate and Sleep Monitoring it is capable of tracking real-time heart rate automatically and continuously. It comes with many interesting features but what we really like about this device is that you cannot miss any call or massage while wearing it. It sends you notifications on your wrist even if your phone is in silent mode. It is available in 10 colors and patterns, so if you will get bored of a color, there are options to choose from. Although it is one of the most affordable options, it still is a great model to consider when making a purchase.

  • 14 exercise modes
  • Very accurate
  • Auto Heart Rate and Sleep Monitoring feature
  • It sends notifications so you cannot miss any call or message

If you are on a limited budget, the Auto Heart Rate and Sleep Monitoring is the best choice you can make. It has so many features that it is quite difficult to find something better than that at this price. Its features include sleep monitor, camera control, alarms, heart rate monitor, wrist sense, full-day activity tracking, as well as a sedentary reminder. Overall, it is an option worth taking into consideration.

8. hocent Fitness Tracker HR

Looking for a new fitness tracker with heart rate monitor option? If so, we are glad to provide you with information about this activity tracker by hocent. First of all, it is important to know that it is an all-day tracker that tracks various activities including running, walking, swimming, cycling, football and basketball. This is the 7 Sports Mode. Additionally, it tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, blood pressure as well as heart rate. It provides a comprehensive analysis and sends you notifications if you use the WearHealth app on your smartphone and pair the tracker from it. Don’t worry about the bands as they can be adjusted from 5.7 to 8 inches. Plus, it comes with interchangeable bands that fit most women, boys, girls or men. The tracker is powered by an 85mAh battery and features an IPS display. It is an IP67 waterproof model that can be paired with android 4.4, iOS 8.2 or other advanced versions.

  • 7 sports mode
  • Extremely accurate
  • Easy to use
  • Multi-functional tracker

The hocent Fitness Tracker HR is a multi-functional watch. Aside from being used as a tracker, it also works as a remote photo, alarm clock, reminder and more. It is very easy to use and comes at a very attractive price.

You Should Know

Working out harder is not necessarily better, even if you might feel great after an intense workout.
Therefore, in order to achieve your health and fitness goals, you need to find the heart-rate zone where your workout yields efficient and safe. A quality HRM can measure ”intensity” and help you reach your target heart rate without leaving your safety zone. These activity trackers can be worn as a device on your wrist or as a chest-strap. As such, before purchasing a monitor you need to consider where you want to wear it and how many features you need because the model you select should be able to suit your workout routine. Features include a calorie counter, distance calculators, timers, connectivity to your smartphone or laptop and multiple heart-rate zone readouts.

Additionally, it is important to know that there are three types of monitors, including chest strap monitors, touch-type wristwatch and continuous-reading wristwatch. Therefore, if you are using a chest strap device, you need to know that fact that your heart rate is displayed on either the iPhone or the wristwatch and they also allow you to move freely, being extremely useful for any workout from Zumba to basketball. Furthermore, compared to the wrist-only models that you have to touch to take a reading, these models provide continuous readings. The touch-type wristwatch models require you to either press a button to get the readings or touch the unit on its rim. They don’t require a chest strap, so it can be tough to use them during certain workouts, such as cycling or running. On the other hand, the continuous reading wristwatch gives continuous readings without a chest strap. They must be placed above your wrist bone to provide accurate readings.

As mentioned previously, it is very important to find the heart-rate zone where your workout yields safe and efficient. Therefore, it is good to know that there are three target zones for exercise, including the warm-up zone, the fat-burning zone and the cardio zone. The first zone is when you are getting some movements and your pulse rate stays within 50 to 60 percent of its maximum. In the fat-burning zone, your heart is working at 60 to 70 percent of its maximum level compared to the cardio zone when your heart is 70 to 80 percent of its maximum.

Which Are The Benefits

These units are extremely helpful during fitness workout for everyone from beginners to professional athletes. Furthermore, they are life-saving units for people with health conditions that put them at high risk of heart attack. Usually, these products have two pieces, such as a transmitter strapped to the chest that can register the heart rate and a watch-like receiver unit that displays the information. However, to find out more about the benefits of using an HRM keep on reading the following lines.

  • Accuracy

    Typical aerobic exercises include a five-to-ten minutes warm-up, 30 minutes of activity at your target rate and five-to-ten minutes cool down. HRM trackers accurately provide information about your target heart rate and whether you are maintaining it. Aside from being more accurate than manual pulse checks, these units do not require you to stop and start your routine as a manual check does.

  • Lose weight effectively

    If you are thinking about losing a few pounds then it’s time to use an HRM because it will surely help you achieve your goal. In order to lose weight, you need to raise your heart rate to as much as 70 percent of your maximum level for at least 30 minutes. However, you should combine this pace with short intervals of higher-intensity exercise in which your heart goes up to 90 percent of the maximum level.

  • Gauging safe exercise

    As you probably know the target heart rate should stay within 50 to 80 percent of the maximum heart rate. However, there are several factors you need to consider for a safe personal target rate as the exact number varies between individuals. If you are looking to exceed the target heart rate, this could be extremely dangerous, putting you at risk for both orthopedic and cardiovascular injury, while providing no additional fitness benefits. An accurate unit is useful for ensuring you are not endangering yourself by over-working.

Things to Consider Before Make a Purchase

The best devices can do more than just track your heart rate. Depending on your preferences, some apps are better suited to your fitness activity. Your preferences for product design, app connectivity and apps ease of use are important as they determine how easy and convenient your unit is to use.

  • Design

    Depending on your workout routine, the design of such a product is extremely important. For example, if you are thinking about wearing it all day, a wrist-based unit is the best choice, because it is very easy to wear as a watch. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more accurate product to wear only when working out, then a chest strap model is a better solution. Compared to the chest straps which are hard to wear all day but extremely accurate, the wristbands are slightly less accurate but much more convenient.

  • Apps and Connectivity

    The most quality products come with connected apps from the manufacturer. These types of apps display your data and keep track of your goals, motivating you to exercise more. Bluetooth trackers, either automatically or manually upload your data, allowing you to view your progress over time. Some of the best products available on the market also work with Android, iPhone and Windows smartphone.

  • Apps ease of use

    There are so many models on the market, that is quite difficult to find one which can satisfy your needs. Most of them come with an advanced technology and work in conjunction with free accompanying apps. Tracking your heart rate with an app is a great method to keep tabs on your progress over time. However, there are also lower-performing units that only allow you to record heart rate via an app, not the product itself. Moreover, they don’t record your heart rate all day long and don’t allow you to manual exercise entries.

Top 3 Brands on The Market

As you already know quality means brand. As such, if you are looking to purchase a quality model which provides performance, technology and durability, it’s important to know that there are several brands, including Polar, Garmin and Scosche that can meet all your requirements.

  • Polar

    Polar Electro Oy, also known as Polar is a great manufacturer of sports training computers, especially known for designing the world’s first wireless HRM. The company was based in Finland and it produces a wide range of activity tracking units and accessories for aerobic and fitness training. In 1981 there was no way to accurately record heart rates during a training, so one year later, Polar field its first patent for wireless heart rate measurement, changing the way athletes trained forever. From basic models that motivate and help beginners to complete training systems for world champions, this manufacturer has developed plenty of incredible devices.

  • Scosche

    The Scosche Industries was based in Southern California. Initially, the company was focused on car audio, its work is considered by many the ”bible” of the car audio industry. With a solid footing in the technology market, the company was situated to take advantage of many other opportunities in order to innovate. Therefore, it starts developing and designing several products, including chargers, adapters, headphones and even products to track fitness activity, such as the Rhythm+ Armband monitor, which is the world’s most accurate unit of its type.

  • Garmin

    Garmin Ltd. is one of the largest companies in the world. It provides a range of products designed for use in outdoor activities, including for automotive, aviation, marine and sports that are an essential part of our customers’ lives. When it comes to fitness and activity tracking, their products include Cycling Computers, Cycling Power Meter, Running/Multi-Sport Watches, Cycling Safety devices and more others. Additionally, they offer training watches for athletes that provide time, distance, speed, pace and other data. Also, Garmin offers a heart rate monitoring solution Garmin Premium Soft Strap that allows runners to upload their data to Garmin Connect, where they can store, analyze and share their workout data.

How We Grade our Ratings

The calorie counter and the distance monitor of a unit are all important to a purchasing decision. However, there are also some other features that a buyer should take into consideration when purchasing such a unit.

  • Calorie counter

    The calorie counter estimates the calories burned during your workout. Usually, a calorie counter is kind of a journal that will help you easily count calories, carbs, fat, protein, cholesterol, fiber, sugar and dozen of other nutrients. This feature can be extremely handy if your workouts are parts of a weight-loss program.

  • Distance and speed

    Distance and speed monitor measures the distance covered in a particular workout and calculates the speed. Usually, this is done via a GPS receiver for outdoor use or a food pod for an outdoor area with limited satellite reception. The foot pod uses an accelerometer to measure the length of each stride.

  • Digital interface

  • The digital interface can be wireless or require a separate computer connection. It connects your unit to your home computer or smartphone so you can download training statistics for analysis, sharing and storage.

  • Battery

    Some HRM devices use consumer-replaceable or rechargeable batteries in order to simplify maintenance. Some items come with batteries that last a minimum of eight hours if used according to the manufacturer’s specifications, while others can last more than 4 years, based on average use of 1 hour per day.

  • Waterproof

    A waterproof HRM can be used while swimming, during rainy weather or if you tend to sweat a lot. Some of them are water resistant to 1 meter, while others be submerged up to 30 meters. However, water resistant doesn’t mean that you can use it while diving so you cannot press any of its buttons while the watch is in the water.

If you are one of those fitness enthusiasts who want to track every movement, this is the right place to be. With a quality fitness tracker, you will be able to do this and more. These gadgets are extremely useful is you know how to use the information they provide. Since every exercise has different effects on the body, it is important to be well informed about what a heart rate monitor can do. As you have probably noticed there are so many models available for sale that choosing the right one for your needs could be a back-breaking task. For this reason, we have made this comparison table, to help you decide which of the above models is best for your needs.

Even though it has some drawbacks, the Polar A360 is our top recommendation. It is extremely accurate and astoundingly easy to use. It has a built-in monitor technology thanks to which it sends certain notifications to your smartphone. As compared to the Scosche Rhythm + which comes with a 8-hour battery life, the Polar A360 battery lasts for more than 14 days. However, each model has its pros and cons. That’s why it is so important when making a purchase to compare various models and choose the one that fulfills your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1 Will any of the above models cause skin irritation?
Each one of the above models were developed using materials that were tested against a variety of conditions so they shouldn’t cause a skin disorder.

2 What are the most important features of a heart monitor?
Nowadays, fitness trackers are pretty amazing. While some are equipped with a plethora of impressive features, such as memory function and downloadability, others come with programmable alarms and timers which are no complicated features to confuse you.

3 What happens when the display shows a T symbol?
The T symbol is the Memory indicator. Usually, it is displayed when more than 8 hours of data have been stored in the memory and you have to transfer your data.

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