What's the best heart rate monitor for you?
Buying the best heart rate monitor is a great way to step up your exercise regime, and helps you take a more scientific look at your training. If you're looking to get fit in 2014, you've come to the right place.
Heart rate monitors have become a staple for many fitness fanatics, and will improve your cardio workouts no end. By monitoring you heart rate while running you can spend more time training at optimum performance, and it will help you get fitter in the right way.
However, are so many on the market from so many manufacturers at such dramatically different prices that choosing the best is a daunting task.
Thankfully, we've done all the hard work for you. Feast your eyes on the best heart rate monitors around.
Additional Words by Samuel Horti
Polar's H7 heart rate monitor is another competent bit of kit capable of keeping an eye on what your heart is up to. It is compatible with an iPhone 4S or later and various Android devices, while its ability to work while you swim is another bonus. Plays nice with the Polar Beat app, too, and other fitness app alternatives so you can really delve into your activity.
At under £80, it's affordable but by no means less capable than others on our list. Heart rate, distance, calorie consumption, feedback on your progress â it's all there. Download your data to the Movescount.com website and it will give you a more accurate insight into your exercise regime.
Motorola Moto 360
Motorola's attempt at a smartwatch is the Moto 360. It's circular so looks far less geeky than its competitors (ignoring the as yet released Apple Watch), capable of lasting a day without charging and is built to survive the rigours of the day. You can even ask it to perform a number of tasks using your voice. An optical heart rate monitor completes the show.
Yet another Polar offering. The WearLink+ sits on your wrist, keeping track of your ticker before relaying the information to Nike+ and other wearable devices. A 5kHz transmission is said to ensure it can find your heart rate without fuss and stay on it â even in water. Comes with a two-year limited warranty for added peace of mind.
HxM BT Bluetooth
Ignore the terrible name. The HxM BT Bluetooth heart rate monitor is more than capable of the task, as well as keeping an eye on your speed, distance and the intensity of a workout. It works with most, if not all, fitness apps and, thanks to Bluetooth connectivity, will play nice with Android and Windows Phone devices.
£79 | HxM |
Timex Zone Trainer
Timex makes a number of heart rate monitors and they all do their thing reliably, but it's the extra features of the Timex Zone Trainer and more modest price that help it stand out. It gives you a long list of stats to mull over, including calories burned and average heart rate during a workout. Works in water up to 30 metres depth and is able to take a knock or three.
£65 | Timex |
Samsung Gear Fit
Going further than your typical step counter, the Samsung Gear Fit has an in-built heart rate monitor. A curved AMOLED display makes it easy to read, although a little uncomfortable for anyone with thin wrists. It doubles up as a smart watch, too, although you will need a Samsung device to pair up with.
Samsung Gear 2
Above the Samsung Gear 2 Neo is the Gear 2, a metal smartwatch that plays the part. It can let you make and take phone calls, check various notifications and use various apps. In conjunction with the S Health app and in-built heart rate monitor, the Gear 2 is a versatile way to track your heart. Not a bad look, either.
Withings Pulse Ox
The Withings Pulse Ox follows on from the Withings Pulse, which is still an extremely capable heart rate monitor. The Pulse Ox can be worn on the wrist, unlike its predecessor, so it's more ergonomically friendly. It is capable of tracking blood oxygen levels, too. Not the best looking, but the lengthy battery life and feature list make it tough to beat.
Timex Easy Trainer Heart Rate
If you’re feeling old-fashioned then this analogue offering from Timex will do the job and goes easy on the bank balance. For under £40 you won’t get the fancy features you could get elsewhere, but you’ll get something that’s waterproof to 30 metres that gives you current, average and peak heart rate figures.
Polar WearLink+ transmitter Nike+
The Nike+ Sportband is a favourite of jogger’s everywhere, and this transmitter is the only heart rate monitor that will work with it. The dual-frequency transmitter adds heart rate to the Sportsband’s wealth of data, and it can sync with the iPod Nano for added functionality.
Runtastic Bluetooth Smart Combo Heart Rate Monitor
This monitor uses Smart Bluetooth technology to transfer information to Runtastic apps on all the latest Android and Apple devices. Using 5.3 kHz signals the monitor also works with most cardio equipment in the gym, and if you buy you’ll get a free upgrade to the fantastic Runtastic Pro App.
If the mere thought of wearing a chest strap while running makes you chafe, then the Mio Alpha has you covered, with an electro-optical sensor that measures your pulse at the wrist. It’s accurate and unobtrusive, and will sync with apps on iPhones above 4S.
Garmin Soft Strap Premium Heart Rate Monitor
This heart rate monitor will pair up comfortably with other Garmin products to display your heart rate during exercise, or with the Garmin app on your iPhone through an ANT+ adapter (sold separately). Once you’ve used it with a device once it will automatically recognise it, so you can spend less time setting up and more time tearing up the miles.
TomTom Heart Rate Monitor
The GPS giant brings you a monitor that’s designed to work wirelessly with other TomTom devices, such as the TomTom Runner. In combination, you’ll never get hopelessly lost on a run again and you’ll have a clear indication of your heart rate performance at your fingertips.
Wahoo Fitness Blue HR Heart Rate Strap
The world's first Bluetooth Smart heart rate monitor for Apple devices, this monitor will send data via Bluetooth 4.0 for up to 10 feet to your iPhone or iPad, and it’ll keep recording data even if communication is interrupted. The soft, sweat proof strap should keep discomfort to a minimum.