Friday, 21 March 2014

[Review] Polar H7 Heart rate sensor

Now what on earth is this?
Androidistica doing heart rate sensor reviews now??
Yes, as you might have noticed in earlier posts we're looking into the booming wearables market where android compatibility is happening.
As is the case with Polar H7.
In the package we get an elastic adjustable strap, the actual H7 sensor and a multilingual manual booklet.
Included in the H7 is also the battery doing all the sensoring of your heartrate.
To fully enjoy the H7 you need the app that goes with it,Polar Beat, although it might be compatible with other apps too , this review was dont with the original app.
Available for both iOS and Android devices this is where the magic starts happening.

The H7 sensor is fitted just below solar plexus via the strap, which has to be moisted with water to enable the "circuit" to be closed. (It's all in the manual)
You then attach the H7 with two buttons onto the strap on your chest.
Start the Polar Beat app on your smartphone and heart rate stats are shown on your screen.
You can choose between a variety of workout types, GPS enabled running , cykling and others,see below for screenshots from the Polar Beat app)

For this review the H7 was worn while doing some cykling outdoors and a gym pass with barbell.
Wearing a strap over your lower chest feels odd at first, at least in our part of the world where we still have late winter/early spring and a bundle of clothes to prevent freezing when outdoors.
This means a few layers of clothes ontop of the H7 sensor.
Not the most comfortable feeling but this is surely a question of getting used to wearing the H7.

The other part of the review was done in a gym.
Doing barbell excerices worked pretty good.
Only once did the H7 get dislocated from one of its attching buttons due to the fact that i lowered the barbell in front of me knocking the sensor.
The strap sat where it was placed originally , firm and in place for the whole workout.
The Polar Beat app presented the results in high detail and the design is intinuitive.
It's easy to see where your peak heart rate has been with beats per minute displayed and an estimate of calories burned.
Pretty standard stuff for any workout data gathering in other words.

Countdown when starting a workout.

Remember to pair your H7 before working out.

Select your chosen workout.

A nice option, you dont need to create an account to be able to use Polar Beat.

Main screen of Polar Beat.

Summary screen.

Set your targets.

In app purchases.
The Polar H7 really a serious piece of workout equipment.
Solid casing, exchangable battery and good attachment strap shows build quality and durability in the hardware department.
After each workout you just rinse the strap in water and hang it to dry.
The Polar Beat app works as intended too.
Personally i think the In-app purchases for extended capabilities could be left out and included in the app itself.
The price for each upgrade is 22 SEK which is not a lot of money but a demo option would have been nice just to make sure you can test the upgrades before doing a purchase of them.
All in all the H7 Heart rate sensor is a worthy workout partner if you are into keeping up with your heart rate stats .
Compatibility with a number of devices is also in place as you can see in the the list below:
H7 compatibility list :
iPad (3rd & 4th generation)
iPad mini
iPhone 4S
iPhone 5
iPhone 5C
iPhone 5S
iPod touch (5th generation)
Samsung Galaxy S3 with Android 4.3 or later
Samsung Galaxy S4 with Android 4.3 or later
Samsung Galaxy Note II with Android 4.3 or later
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with Android 4.3 or later
LG Nexus 5 with Android 4.3 or later

A big bunch of sunny thanks to the Polar team for having Androidistica doing this review.

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