One might think that with optical heart rate sensors getting better on the best running watches (opens in new tab) and fitness trackers (opens in new tab), heart rate monitors will soon go out of fashion but that couldn't be further away from the truth. The very best heart rate monitor (opens in new tab) is the T3 Awards 2020 winner Polar H10, and it has features that rival more expensive running watches, not to mention more precise heart rate tracking and extremely long battery life too.
What's the advantage of using a heart rate monitor over a running watch or even a fitness tracker? To summarise, if you are after precise heart rate readings, advanced running and cycling metrics, long battery life and you are also on a budget, you should most certainly choose a heart rate monitor over a running watch (and definitely over a fitness tracker).
The Polar H10 heart rate monitor is definitely precise: according the Polar, the H10 is the "most accurate heart rate sensor in Polar’s history". From what we can tell it is pretty accurate, although we tested it in non-laboratory setting. But we highly doubt anyone will so it's fine.
Polar's top heart rate monitor has built in memory for one exercise, so you can put on the heart rate monitor, start the exercise in the Polar Beat app and leave the phone behind as you go for a run or a cycle. The strap will sync with the phone once you are back home.
When it comes to connectivity, the Polar H10 works with the aforementioned Polar Beat app but you can also use it as an external heart rate monitor with running watches and ANT+ capable home gym equipment (opens in new tab) too, such as turbo trainers (opens in new tab) and treadmills (opens in new tab), just to name a couple.
Better still, the Polar H10 can track heart rate under water, although it is worth mentioning that nor it is pool chemical-resistant, neither hyper-accurate under water. However, wearing a tri-suit or wetsuit (opens in new tab) over the heart rate monitor can enhance reading precision.
The Polar H10 heart rate monitor supports Polar's Orthostatic test that records your heart rate variability and "equips you with knowledge about your recovery as well as tools to optimise your training." You will need a Polar Vantage V (opens in new tab) or Vantage M to do this test, mind.
• All the news and winners from the T3 Awards 2020!