A Review of the Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor

The Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor Review: Does This Deliver as Promised?

Polar is a popular brand, trusted for their high quality tech and gadgets. They primarily focus on gear for athletes and are one of the most common names in heart rate monitoring products. Polar has a few different heart rate monitors, with the H7 being known for it’s high accuracy and overall comfort.

While more and more fitness wearable watches are adding heart rate sensors into the wristband, there is still a large following for the more traditional chest monitors. The monitors still work well and are often far more accurate than wristbands.

They also work well for athletes that can’t wear wristband monitors for their sport. It’s also worth mentioning that wristband-style heart rate monitors can’t be used for swimming activities, while the H7 is right at home in the pool.

If you have hated chest monitors in the past because of their overly tight or rough feel against the skin, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with this model. Those who only have experience with old monitors that only work with a watch will be blown away at how this device works with their current smartphone.

Specs and Features of the Polar H7

The Polar H7 is an ultra-comfortable heart rate monitor composed of the actual sensor device which attaches to the band. It is used in training and general fitness monitoring. By giving you real-time heart rate you can get a glimpse into how much effort you are putting into your workout.

This is especially useful for those who are new to exercise and don’t yet have the personal knowledge on how to tell how hard their body is working.

Here is a rundown of the basics you need to know about the Polar H7:

  • Comes in 3 sizes – black, blue and pink
  • Band sizes available in XS-S or M-XXL
  • Ability to purchase additional bands for replacement in all colors (plus white and orange) and sizes
  • Compatible with dozens of fitness apps
  • Syncs via Bluetooth to most popular smartphones
  • Can be used for swimming when paired with Polar watch (sold separately)
  • Supports 5kHz transmission
  • There isn’t a lot to be said about the Polar H7 but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This device is fairly basic in what it does, but then again most heart rate monitors only have one purpose. This H7 essentially does exactly what it is supposed to, which is give you up to date insight into active and resting heart rate.

Advantages of the Polar H7

For the most part the Polar H7 has positive reviews, with customers finding these two advantages being the most impressive.

Compatible with Different Smartphones, Wearables and Apps

The Polar H7 uses Bluetooth to connect seamlessly with a variety of smartphones, as long as they are iOS 7 or Android 4.3 and newer. Another cool feature of the Polar H7 is the ability to sync it with most Polar sport watches.

This allows you to use this device without having your smartphone with you. It is also necessary if you plan on swimming with this chest monitor since using a phone would not be possible.

This device was designed to be used with the Polar Beat app naturally, but it also is compatible with a variety of other fitness apps. Some popular compatible apps include:

  • Strava
  • TomTom Runner Cardio
  • Runkeeper
  • GymLink
  • WahooFitness
  • Endomondo
  • iSmoothRun
  • Cardio Mapper
  • Jog Log
  • MapMyRide

There are even more apps than that which work with the Polar H7 monitor so chances are if you already use a fitness app, you can probably link it.

Accurate and Comfortable to Wear

The combination of accuracy and comfort is absolutely a win-win.First off, the accuracy of this device is excellent for a chest heart rate monitor. Polar designed this device with an ECG or electrocardiogram. This type of heart rate sensor isn’t 100% accurate but it far more reliable than others type of fitness sensors on the market.

The ECG device measures electrical pulses from the heart while other devices use optical sensors. When compared head to head the Polar H7 definitely comes out on top.

Accuracy aside, another impressive feature is comfort. If you’ve used chest monitors in the past you may have experienced discomfort with the traditional rough, web bands. This is no longer an issue, and you’ll find the Polar H7 to be exceptionally comfortable.

The band is very soft, almost similar to neoprene in the way it hugs the body with constricting and doesn’t  tug at the skin. Even after strenuous runs and exerting yourself you’ll find that band not only stays in place but remains comfortable.

Disadvantages of the Polar H7

Every fitness gadget out there has some downsides so it’s no surprise that the Polar H7 has two problems with it. If you’re considering this heart rate monitor you’ll want to keep these in mind.

Inconsistent Syncing with Phone

The major disadvantage of the Polar H7 involves syncing errors. Many customers have found this to be a recent problem, with it happening only with certain apps and after a recent Polar update. Majority of third party fitness apps continue to sync perfectly with the Polar H7 but Polar’s own Polar Beat app does not.

The Polar Beat app is awesome which makes this issue even more annoying. Customers that don’t want to use a third party app with instead be stuck with buying a Polar watch to get data from the chest band. There has yet to be word about when this syncing issue to Beat will be fixed.

Replacing Battery Every Couple Months is Difficult

Another common complaint has to do with the battery. While the battery does  have a good lifespan of about 3 months with regular wear, getting to said battery to replace it is difficult to say the least. The back of the device has a small door that opens to the battery compartment but many users have found it problematic.

Not only does it take some gentle prying to get it open, but repeatedly opening and closing the door weakens it. After a few times it’s common for the door to break completely, leaving the device useless.

With the way technology has developed, it shouldn’t be too difficult to have a charging system for the battery that would eliminate the need for replacement. This is nice for the customer and would eliminate the issue of breaking doors.

With these two downsides in mind, you should be able to make a decision about whether the Polar H7 is right for you. If you are someone that plans to use this with a Polar watch, you likely won’t have any issues. The same goes for certain apps.

But if you are planning on using this monitor with the Polar Beat app, you may want to reconsider until a new update arrives that remedies the syncing problem.

Overall the Polar H7 is an excellent traditional chest heart rate monitor. It is very comfortable, very accurate and reasonably priced at $79.95 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here). Tracking heart rate can give you better insight into how your body is working and how much effort you are really putting in.

If you are beginning a new weight loss journey or just trying to improve your health, a monitor like the Polar H7 will be an invaluable tool.