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Product review: Bluetooth Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor and Polar Beat

by Editor
Wednesday 5th December 2012
Tags  Bluetooth Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor   |   Polar Beat   |   Polar   |   iPhone App   |   running app   |   Kirsty Reade

Rhiannon Preston tries out the Bluetooth Polar H7 heart rate sensor with the Polar Beat app

I tried out the Bluetooth Polar H7 heart rate sensor with the Polar Beat app on my iPhone 4S. The app is free to download but you do need to purchase the H7 heart rate sensor strap, as existing Polar heart rate sensors will not connect to the app. The H7 heart rate sensor uses Bluetooth 4.0 (which is not incorporated into existing Polar heart rate sensors) and will only connect to a phone which also has Bluetooth 4.0 installed (such as an iPhone 4S/5).

Add intelligence to your training with new Polar Beat App

Getting started was straightforward. The app links to a video on YouTube showing you how to pair the heart rate sensor with the app. My heart rate sensor paired with the app on my first attempt and I was ready to go!

I first tried out Polar Beat with an interval session. This enabled me to use the feature on the app which informs you audibly when a specific duration or distance has passed. I used this feature on the one minute setting (which also provides a 30s notification) and whilst incredibly useful, I would like to see an advanced setting which enables the notifications to be set at different durations/distances e.g. every one minute alternating with every two minutes. The audible notifications proved invaluable as I find it incredibly distracting to attempt to view my iPhone screen whilst running.

Following a session, you view the data recorded in the History section of the app which incorporates a summary of your session, a map and a brief analysis of the data. PB data is also stored. Being a newbie to viewing this type of data, I found the analysis comprehensive and an incentive to learn more about how to use the data to plan effective training sessions. If you feel the need to share your session with social network followers/friends, there is also the option to post your data via Twitter and facebook.

Whilst I used the heart rate sensor and app as a running aid, the app is not solely dedicated to running. The app enables you to select a variety of sports from rowing to squash to cross-country skiing.

In summary, I found the app straightforward to navigate and as I am rarely without my iPhone, I appreciate having the data readily available to view. I have previously been put off the GPS watch market due to price, but the H7 heart rate sensor with Polar Beat is an affordable entry into the market which incorporates into a device I already own.


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