Polar H7 and H10 Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitors Review

Polar H7 Heart Rate Monitor and App
Polar H7 Heart Rate Monitor and App. Courtesy of Amazon.com

Polar pioneered heart rate monitor chest straps and they continue to improve the technology with the H7 and H10. While LED-based wrist and arm heart rate detectors are getting better, none can match the accuracy of a chest band sensor.

The Polar H7 and H10 are heart rate monitor chest straps that transmit data via Bluetooth to compatible devices (including iPhones and Android phones) and Polar fitness watches as well as via GymLink to older Polar heart monitor display devices. The H10 debuted in 2017 and the H7 has been discontinued.

The H10 can store your workout data to sync with the app later if you don't want to bring along your mobile phone. If you carry your mobile device on your workout, you can get audio updates at set intervals and check the app for full details of your workout. Your workouts also sync with the Polar Flow website for even more details and training programs.

What You Need to Use Polar Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitors

The Polar H7 and H10 are just the heart rate sensor and transmitter on a chest strap. To see and review your heart rate data, you need to be able to link them with a compatible mobile device (iOS or Android, but not Windows) or Polar display unit.

You don't need a Polar wrist display as you can just use it with the mobile app. But if you already have one, check their compatibility chart to see if it works with the H7 and H10. The H10 firmware updates wirelessly for no charge.

Wearing Polar Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitors

The sensors run on user-replaceable coin batteries. You just snap the connector onto the band, and off you go. There is no turning it on or off. However, you need to remove the connector from the band after use, rinse the band, clean the connector, and dry and store them separately. Otherwise, if they stay wet and salty from your sweat, they may keep transmitting and reduce the life of your batteries.

If you are using a mobile device, pair it with it under the Bluetooth settings. Now just open the app and you will be able to see your heart rate and start recording exercise sessions. You can use it with compatible Polar training watches and view your heart rate on those devices. The H10 will pair with two separate Bluetooth-enabled devices, so you can connect to your phone and to a bike computer, training watch, or gym equipment such as a treadmill.

Polar recommends that you wear your receiving device in front of your body to get the best data stream. They specifically say not to put your phone in a backpack and expect to get a good data stream.

Besides the Polar Beat app, these sensors are compatible with Endomondo, Cardio Mapper, Runtastic, iSmooth Run, and more. If you are using a different brand of activity monitors such as Fitbit or Garmin, these apps may be used to pair the data from the H10 with your workout from those devices.

Using the Polar Beat App

With the Polar Beat app, you can track your workout sessions for time, distance, speed, heart rate, and heart rate zone. Using GPS, you can also see your workout on a map, and use the map to help navigate or retrace your steps.

You can choose walking, running, hiking, cycling. treadmill and several other types of workouts. The app also pairs with the Polar stride sensor. Start a free training workout or one that has a goal for distance, duration, or calories burned. Upgrade the app for a few dollars to add benefit target workouts and an energy pointer that will tell you which zone you are in.

The app has a clear display of your time, distance, heart rate, pace, and calories burned. It is easy to pause and resume your workout or switch to map view. You can select audio guidance and pick how often you want to be updated based on distance.

When you finish, you can review your workout in detail and send it out to your friends via Twitter or Facebook. It has a simple analysis of how much time you spent in each heart rate zone, but also you can dive into the details of your heart rate throughout the workout. The map detail view tells you your average heart rate on each mile and your lap time for each mile. You can switch to metric units if you prefer kilometers.

Using the Polar Flow Web Site

If you use the app or your Polar display device communicates with the Polar Flow website, you can view your workouts in detail. If you track your workout with the GPS on your mobile device, you can see your workout on a map and even "relive" it in an animation. You can see automatic splits for half-mile, mile, and more, including average speed, average heart rate, and split duration. It shows a graph of your heart rate vs. speed and time in the five heart rate sport zones.

The Polar Flow site also tracks your progress over time, with analysis, personal bests, and more.

Bottom Line on the Polar H7 and H10 Heart Rate Monitors

These bands and app excellent for simple recording of your workouts and heart rate. This system doesn't require you to wear yet another device, yet you get excellent heart rate recording and analysis of your workouts. The H10 is a very good option for a heart rate monitor under $100.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.

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