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A look at the new Polar Beat Bluetooth Smart app with H7 Heart Rate Strap

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Late last week, Polar released their first iPhone App – Polar Beat.  The app aims to bridge the gap between their dedicated devices and the phone market.  Most importantly however, it’s actually the first Bluetooth Smart compatible offering from them.  This is somewhat ironic in that it’s now the only offering that can take advantage of their own Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart heart rate strap via Bluetooth 4.0.  Nonetheless, it’s a pretty cool first step.

I rarely ‘review’ phone apps.  And this is for two specific reasons.  First, the apps change near weekly.  I’m sure within a few days or weeks  Polar will have updated the app to do more things, thus, this post would become less relevant in than last nights dinner in my fridge.  Second, there are so many apps out there that app companies get all bent out of shape that I review one app and not another.

In this case though (and in some previous cases like the Garmin FIT app) – I’m specifically looking how the app fits into their overall product offerings.  And more specifically, does this app serve as a replacement for their multi-hundred dollar watches.

Installation/Pricing:

The Polar Beat app is free, no cost at all.  Well, mostly.  The base app itself is free, as you can see below:

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However, they offer the ability to buy two additional ‘Smart Coaching’ packs, for a total of $3.99US.  These packs mimic their Smart Coaching features found on their wrist watches and other cycling units – which is one of the main differentiators that Polar focuses on in their lineup when comparing their units to competitive offerings.

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Both of these do require utilizing a Bluetooth Smart heart rate strap like the H7 though – since both of them focus on heart rate metrics.

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Once you’ve completed the update, you’ll then see the offerings sprinkled throughout the app in either the in-activity screens or the summary screens.

Before we begin the app will ask for your location information.  This is required to get speed/distance information via the GPS.

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Next up is your settings.  First, you can connect to your existing PolarPersonalTrainer.com account.  This is like Garmin Connect (for Garmin device users).  Same concept – a web based training log that their devices upload to.  The app will also automatically upload your workouts to it upon completion.

You’ll also be able to set whether you see units in miles or kilometers.  Additionally, you can connect to both Facebook and Twitter and authorize the app to post summary information (more on that later).

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And finally, you can specify your personal settings which is fed into calorie calculation information.

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With that, let’s get onto the pairing of the heart rate strap, the last piece in the settings menu.

Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Strap Compatibility

The Polar Beat app supports their H7 Bluetooth Smart strap.  As I noted above, up until this point there’s actually been no Polar device that could support their own Bluetooth Smart heart rate strap (which came out last winter).

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The H7 heart rate strap is different from their non-low energy Bluetooth unit in that it uses Bluetooth 4.0 instead of legacy Bluetooth.  Due to this, the battery life is significantly longer – likely in the range of a year.  However, that also means that it requires a Bluetooth 4.0 compatible device to connect to it.  Today, on the iPhone world that means an iPhone 4s or iPhone 5.  Or, one of the latest generation iPad’s.  Bluetooth 4.0 is in virtually every new phone/tablet device on the market since roughly last spring, though as of today Polar has only released an iOS app.

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Within the App you’ll dive into the settings menu, which allows you to pair a heart rate strap.  Simply put on the HR strap and then select pairing:

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You’ll then be able to select the Polar strap in question and pair to it.  One interesting thing to remember about Bluetooth Smart is that you can’t pair multiple devices to a single sensor.  In other words, you can’t have both a Bluetooth Smart watch (like the Metawatch) and a Bluetooth Smart app (like Polar Beat) connect to the same HR sensor at the same time.

Once paired, you’ll see the pairing show up and the option to remove the pairing down the line.  Further, you’ll see the battery level displayed.

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Now, that’s really interesting here though is that this is one of the first non-Motoactv times I’ve had a chance to really check cross-compatibility of the Bluetooth Smart HR straps.  You may remember the Motoactv had (actually, still has on certain firmware versions) issues with different Bluetooth Smart straps.

In theory, if the app and the straps complied to Bluetooth SIG specs, they would both work together – despite me having these straps since last winter with no firmware updates since.   So, I grabbed the only two Bluetooth Smart straps I had:

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And then I put them both on and went into the pairing menu:

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Sweet, it worked!  Both showed up!

And then I was able to pair to the Wahoo Fitness BlueHR strap just as easily:

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I did notice that the Blue HR strap doesn’t transmit battery state information.  Though, quite honestly since the battery lasts a year and only costs a couple dollars, I’m not terribly worried about it.

Both heart rate straps displayed HR data on the app without any apparent issues.  Good deal.  Also, both HR straps are interchangeable between the strap itself and the transmitter pod.

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Ok, let’s get onto using the app.

Use of the app:

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To start using the app, you’ll want to first select a sport.  In my case, I went with running.

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Then you can select a ‘target’.  This is where you can select a goal for the given activity.  In my case, I went with a simple distance run of 6.2 miles (10K).  But, you can see the ‘Benefit Target’ option that was purchased earlier as well.

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From there you’ll go ahead and hit the big start button to begin the session.  It’ll give you a 5-second audible count down, and then begin recording.  As it’s recording, it’ll display the below screen showing the current activity metrics:

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You can tap along the top where you see Map/Running/Target to change the view.  For example, pulling from a cross-town ride I did earlier in the evening with it (doing errands, hence the slow speed), you can see my map:

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The one challenge with the map is that you can’t do a normal pinch, zoom and pan while actually running.  Only afterwards in summary mode.  While in an activity you can zoom by double tapping.  This becomes a bit of a problem as you see above where I ride ‘off the map’ and I can’t pan the map to include that.

Speaking of minor things that were problematic, we’ve also got the pause/stop combination.  Most times my phone is locked and the display off.  Normal in a  running armband or my pocket.  So, after I swipe to unlock it, the app itself offers another swipe if I press the pause button.  So first I get the screen below to the left, and then I get the screen below to right.

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Then, after that’s done, I finally get the button to stop.  But sometimes the button doesn’t stop.  It just seems finicky.  I understand the concept of the secondary swipe.  But in execution, it’s annoying and takes too long.

Since we’re on cycling screenshots – I’ll point out that the app works just fine cycling as well.  Same concept as running.  It’ll record speed/distance/calories and heart rate information.

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In both cycling and running you have somewhat limited options for changing data fields.  For example, anytime there’s a little red corner in the lower right corner of a data field you can change the metric.  See below for two examples in the lower right where I change between heart rate BPM and heart rate % Max.

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Once I’ve finished up a given activity and pressed stop, the app will give me a slew of data summary pages:

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I like that on the map page I can slide that little white box with my finger and highlight a different section of the heart rate profile on the course.  Kinda cool nice little touch.

Once I’m done with my analysis and want to share, I simply click the ‘Share’ button to go ahead and post it to Twitter or Facebook.  If you previously forgot to set up those integration aspects, it’ll walk you through it.

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In the case of the above, you can see the default tweet it wants to put out for this particular workout, complete with the hash tag.  And below, you can see the default Facebook post.

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On my timelines they look like the below (I changed the Twitter text before posting, which you can do for both):

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GPS Accuracy:

Last but not least, a quick look at accuracy.  Accuracy of the app is based on two factors – first, the GPS sensor within the phone. And secondly (more importantly actually), how much work the development team did around GPS noise in the app.

I went out for a run with both a Polar RC3 and the app side by side (even on the same arm), and here were the results.  You can see the RC3 came in at 6.26 miles, whereas the app came in at 6.34 miles.  That puts them with a difference of 1.2% – which is actually pretty solid (even solid for typical GPS unit differences).

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In my test I didn’t modify any WiFi or GPS settings (such as turning off WiFi) as I’m not a fan of doing that.  In my view either the app deals with the GPS-A noise, or it doesn’t.

My route was actually pretty difficult for a GPS unit to follow, with numerous underpasses, bridges, overpasses, and right up against some rather big concrete buildings.  So I’m fairly happy with the fact that either were close to each other.

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Integration with Polar Personal Trainer:

Last but not least, the app integrates with the online PolarPersonalTrainer.com site.  The app automatically will upload your workout to the site upon completion, such that it’s there waiting for you.

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Interestingly, it doesn’t actually see the Polar Beat app as a ‘product’ or device in use on the left side, it just sees the other products I have.

In the middle though, you can see my uploaded workout in the activity feed:

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I can go ahead and click on ‘Training Result’ to crack open the full activity:

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In doing so you can look at the map data, the heart rate data (in curve), as well as the summary data along the top.

If you dive into some of the tabs like ‘data’, you can get a bit more information, though not a ton.

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This is the point where the Polar Beat app becomes hamstrung by the likes of PolarPersonalTrainer.com being so far behind the technology and user interface design curve compared to virtually every other fitness tracking website.  Though, that complaint of mine is nothing new.

Regrettably, there’s also no method to get the data out to any other site – like TrainingPeaks or similar.

Summary:

For a first attempt, the Polar Beat app is fairly solid.  It’s got a well designed UI that looks pretty, and the functions work easily.  On the free fitness app side, it’s essentially another fish in the side of hundreds of other apps.  The key differentiator at this point is the Bluetooth Smart support (there are other apps that have that too though).  Additionally, for the paid $4 portion, the additional Polar Smart Coaching metrics are there.  For those that use the Smart Coaching metrics with their other Polar devices, this does help to give you another option to get data into your Polar web account when you don’t have a device handy.

There are areas I’d like to see improved. First, Polar routinely notes that they’re ‘all in’ when it comes to Bluetooth Smart.  Thus, I’d like to see it support the Bluetooth Smart speed and cadence sensors (which are available today from Wahoo Fitness) as well as the power meter (specification essentially finalized, units trickling out now).  Since it’s a phone app, there’s little risk if the specification changes, as it’s easy to update.

I recognize that Polar doesn’t yet make sensors in either of those two categories…but that’s kinda the point of ‘an open ecosystem’ and not just another propriety W.I.N.D. sensor.  Plus, that would significantly differentiate it from the hundreds of apps out there (especially those with better web platforms).

Additionally, I’d like to see them introduce live tracking like we see on the Garmin Fit app.  I continue to see significant interest in live tracking, and would love to see an app deliver that with Bluetooth Smart sensors like the Polar Beat.

Finally, for those that ask how I carry my phone, I just use a simple Wahoo Fitness iPhone case.  I’m sure there are better ones out there (probably more durable and easier to use), but it’s just one that I picked up a couple years ago and it keeps on ticking.

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Bluetooth Smart Strap Sidebar

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As a brief side note, both Bluetooth Smart Straps (aka Bluetooth Low Energy aka BTLE aka BLE aka part of Bluetooth 4.0) that are out on the market today (the Polar H7 and the Wahoo Blue HR) are priced the same at $79.

A number of you have asked which one is better.  And honestly, after using both of them on and off since last spring – I’m putting them both in the category of being essentially ‘the same’.

They may have tiny little pros and cons over each other.  For example, you can see above earlier that the Polar H7 strap is reporting battery levels to the app.  Whereas the Wahoo one isn’t.  That’s not to say that it’s a Wahoo issue or a Polar issue, could be either.

Meanwhile, I know that the Wahoo folks spent considerable time removing any chance of false spikes or dropouts on their strap, which I saw in my review of it last year.  And that’s awesome.  But, I haven’t seen any issues in the Polar strap either.

The only catch I know of is that on the latest Motoactv firmware, the Polar H7 strap will crash the unit, whereas the Wahoo Fitness one doesn’t.  Of course, that’s likely a Motoactv spec-following issue more than a Polar one.

Now, one additional benefit of the Polar strap is that it will work with older exercise equipment in gyms via 5kHz.  And, some (but not all) Polar units.  This is important because many of the newer Polar units – like the Polar RC3 seen above – do not receive 5kHz signals.  Personally, I would have preferred the H7 strap be dual WIND/BLE than dual with 5Khz/BLE.  Especially given that if you’re using a Bluetooth Smart strap, you’re at this point using it with a smart phone.  And most folks take their smart phones to the gym.

So, essentially, I’m seeing them as the same.  There just isn’t enough difference at this point to recommend one over the other (unless you want display of HR data on your treadmill/gym equipment, if supported, in which case go Polar).  Otherwise, pick whichever one you think looks prettier.

You can pickup both the Polar H7 and Wahoo Fitness Blue HR via Clever Training and get the usual 10% off your entire order using those links with coupon code DCR10WHP, and in doing so you’ll support the site.

As always – thanks for reading, and feel free to drop any questions below in the comments.

Found this review useful?  Here’s how you can help support future reviews with just a single click!  Read on…

Hopefully you found this review useful.  At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device.  The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love).  As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers an exclusive 10% discount across the board on all products (except clearance items).  You can pickup the Polar H7 below. Then receive 10% off of everything in your cart by adding code DCR10WHP at checkout.  By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get a sweet discount.  And if you happen to spend more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.

Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart & Legacy Transmission Strap
Polar H6 Bluetooth Smart Only Strap

Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit (though, no discount).  Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells).  If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top.  Though, Clever Training also ships there too and you get the 10% discount.

Thanks for reading!  And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.  And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below.  Thanks!

Finally, I’ve written up a ton of helpful guides around using most of the major fitness devices, which you may find useful in getting started with the devices.  These guides are all listed on this page here.

149 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Hi there Ray,
    and thanks for your review.
    One addition to H7

    ***
    Uses Bluetooth smart technology and coded 5 kHz transmission, providing ECG-accurate heart rate to any Bluetooth smart ready device and compatible Polar training computers + fitness equipment

    Reply
    • Timon replied

      Finally a review that spells it out thanks so much!

      Reply
    • tom gringo replied

      Great H-7 review, comments and questions as follows-

      1. Polar F6 Compatible.
      -I am testing the H7 after purchase, it works seamlessly with my old Polar F6.

      -That's good news because I don't want to run with an I-Phone attached to my arm..and the last Polar heart rate strap broke.

      2. Syncing Two Devices
      -Can the H7 sync a Polar Watch and a I-Phone simultaneously?

      3. I-Phone Applications.
      Will the following standard applications enable BPM with out premium.
      -Digifit
      -Endo
      -Polar Beat

      Cheers,

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, it can sync to a legacy Polar device via analog and a Bluetooth Smart phone concurrently.

      As for the apps, the Polar Beat app works just fine, but I haven't played with Digifit in a log while (I believe it does, and the same for Endomondo). As long as they support Bluetooth Smart straps, your good.

      Reply
    • tom gringo replied

      TESTED several devices concurrently with H7:
      1. F6 (perfect)
      2. Polar Beat
      3. DigiFit
      4. Polar Gym Equipment

      Criteria to Evaluate Performance (1-55 being excellent performance)
      a. Compatibility: 5
      b. BPM Accuracy: 2.5
      Note:
      -Accuracy between the Polar Beat Application on the 4S and the Polar F6 was variance of 10 percent, transmission delays were as long as 4 seconds.
      -Accuracy between Polar F6 and Digifit was extremely variable, Digifit was had a variance of approximately 25%.
      c. Speed and Distance Accuracy
      Note: Considering I was on a treadmill there is not ability to test speed or distance today between the various applications concurrently, e.g. Digifit, PolarBeat, F6.
      d. Charge Time
      Note: Based on a limited 40 minute test yesterday Hiking, it appears locations services on the IPhone 4s consumed over 60% within fifty minutes.

      QUESTION:
      i. Rainmaker have you tested the H7 for accuracy between the aforementioned applications, e.g. PolarBeat, DigiFit vs Polar Wrist Watch Compatible (4KHZ)?
      ii. Battery Consumption with Location Services.
      Have you specifically tested the Charge time of the H7 utilized with iPhone 4s or 5 linking to Polar Beat or Digifit WHILE location services is activated?

      *Accuracy issue is killing me.

      **It seems I may be able to optimize settings but location services is eating my charge time significantly, where holding a charge time for mountain biking of 2 hours MAY never be realized?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I haven't tested accuracy against the F6, Digifit or Polar Gym Equipment, since I don't use those. I did test it against secondary HR straps though and found them consistent.

      You'll always see slight variations in straps and apps as each app/strap tends to implement some level of smoothing in an effort to fight against abnormalities.

      The same largely goes for speed/distance calculations, which vary based GPS or footpod or other technologies used, as well as smoothing, etc...

      As far as battery, what you're seeing isn't normal. I can typically go for 3-5hrs with GPS on for apps that utilize it (with the screen off). With the the screen on, all bets are off.

      Reply
  2. Good point, meant to include that. Just updated.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Alan K (Paris)

    Hi - thanks for the review. Do you actually use your Motoactv much? I broke my iphone (on which I used Adidas' Micoach with a heart rate monitor for running. I liked the various running coaching program levels and the in-ear coaching for intervals and the like) so looking for a new system. I'd read your review of it and wrote off Motoactv because it sounded like it wouldn't last and that Google is dropping it. Perhaps I should reconsider? thanks!

    Reply
  4. Ray....take the photo with your birthday off. It is a identity fraud threat.

    good post though.

    Reply
  5. Nice review. In regards to live tracking. The Endomondo.com app supports Blutooth 4.0 AND offers live tracking. Its added security if you are out on your own off the beaten path.

    Also, the Polar H7 has been getting beat up in Amazon reviews. I believe this is because a.) people are trying to use it with non 4.0 compatiblae phones. b.) they are not syncing from within the app itself.

    Reply
  6. Having been burned by the 910XT erratic reporting of current-pace data, I would like to know how this app scores in current-pace stability/accuracy.

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Do you know the eta of the 4iiii viiii ble+ant+ strap? I'm tempted to wait for that one...

    Reply
  8. I asked yesterday on it, pending an answer...

    Reply
  9. Big plus of this app is how fast my H7 connects, and how solid the connection is!

    Massive negative is the inability to export, means I have to run two apps simultaneously. The charts are good and clear, though more detail/landscape view would be good.

    Bit too much emphasis on the fat burning zone when it comes to training metrics, as most of us know this is kinda misleading just looking at % of fat burned, rather than overall calories burned, and is too simplified an approach to base your training around.

    It's a basic app for beginners in my opinion, but the interface is uncluttered and stylish and so makes it a nice addition to my ever expanding suite of apps! (most of which are god awful!!)

    Refreshing to see they haven’t tried to bundle in interval training etc as so many apps have done so in a bad/incomplete way recently.

    PS yes also interested in the 4iii HR strap, couldn't find much through google...

    Reply
    • Arnaud replied

      You can export as .xml file at home via the polar website polarpersonaltrainer.com

      Reply
  10. oh and needs iphone 5 screen support!!

    Reply
  11. Ray - any experience with converting the XML that polar personal trainer does export, into TCX for garmin connect??

    link to sourceforge.net

    Reply
  12. Bonjour DC ;-)

    I just discovered you web site a few days ago ... is it superbe (as we would say in french) ;-) Wondering where you take all the time to do that and ... trained ;-)

    Quick question ... Have you tested the runtastic watch ?

    link to shop.runtastic.com

    I have the apps on my android phone, the apps is awesome, but what about the watch ?

    Thanks a bunch ;-)

    Reply
  13. You say Bluetooth 4.0 has been in virtualy every smartphone since the spring. Unfortunatly under Android there is no direct OS support and hence no unified API to code against for 4.0. There are various propriority apis availible from different chipset vendors but that's hardly a good situation and my understanding is that even that is not working with the most popular new phone the S3...

    Reply
  14. Indeed, it is a problem and it's hurting the ecosystem there for sport device integration. It's partially one of BT's fault, partially of Google's fault, and partially of Apple's fault (oddly enough). Apple gets pulled in due to their virtual ownership of the BT SIG when it comes to BT4.0. All roads lead through them, and I'd be willing to be that if they pushed a bit more across the ecosystem, it might help elsewhere.

    Again, just my two cents.

    Reply
  15. Hi Ray
    Just seen your post on the polar beat app, just tried it and i think its great, i used a polar ht7 watch and loved it but didn't like the fact that the transmitter showed my heart beat on other peoples machines in the gym so took it back to the shop, this app is perfect for me with the wahoo blu hr strap that i have, anyway just to let you know that my heart rate transmitter is v2.1 and this shows how much battery is remaining in the app

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    Apple has been a greater supporter of Bluetooth in the SIG and done a lot of good things for SMART.

    The main reason for the slow coming is long road maps and it takes a the time to do OS API development. During the coming years most platforms will get Bluetooth SMART support. It normally takes 2-3 years from a core spec release to become main stream. In this case the SIG is launching a new ecosystem with new radio and new set of protocols and this is even more complex and slow compared to a minor update. All major players are silently talking about supporting. RIM announced support last week. Microsoft windows 8 already has it and Windows Phone is coming at some point. iOS and MAC OS both support SMART. The only question is when Android will support SMART.

    Reply
  17. Anonymous

    Hi .. I just bought a Polar H7 which works with the Iphone 5 but my Polar RCX5 doesn't get the signal. I tried seeting it up as new sensor unders settings this didn't work either. Is there something I am doing wrong ??

    Thanks,
    NL

    Reply
  18. The H7 isn't compatible with the RCX5. It only broadcasts BTLE and the older standard, it doesn't broadcast WIND.

    Yes, confusing, I know.

    Reply
  19. Anonymous

    Hi Rainmaker ... yes now I am confused. Could you please take a look at this link from Polar where they state that the H7 heart rate sensor is compatible with it ... or am I missreading something ?

    Thank you,
    NL

    link to polar.fi

    Reply
  20. Hmm, odd.

    I'll dig up my strap in the morning (can't seem to remember where I stashed it in the last few days), and grab the RCX5 and test it out!

    Reply
  21. Anonymous

    Thank you ... I will be awaiting anxiously :)

    P.S. even when you read comments about the Polar H7 on Amazon people are using it with Polar RCX5. It's just me that is unable to make it work.

    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    Just wanted to know if the Polar Beat up support training plans. Individual one which you put up into ppt.com and ones you customize yourself.

    For example I would like to have an App which I can say. I want to do an Marathon in 3.30h - Train me! And then it takes me to a fitness test using HR and GPS and analyses me. Afterwards it sets up a 3 Month standard training plan and adjusts it to my current training if I'm not allowing it to have more time.

    In short I would like to have an all-inclusive!

    Thanks,

    Jan.

    Reply
  23. Hi Anon-
    RE: RCX5 & H7

    Ok, tested it - and indeed, it does work as advertised. Sorry for the confusion above. For others that are curious though, I couldn't get it to pair with the RCX3 though (RCX5 = Good, RCX3 = Not good).

    Reply
    • Carl replied

      The Polar H7 has the analog 5kHz transmission signal and the Bluetooth Smart (4.0) transmission signal. The Polar RCX5 will pick up the analog 5kHz transmission. The Polar RCX3 does not pick up the analog 5kHz transmission signal nor the Bluetooth Smart transmission. That is why you can swim with the RCX3 but it will not record your HR underwater because it uses the 2.4 GHz W.I.N.D. transmission signal which does not transmit underwater.

      Reply
  24. Rui Patinha

    Hi, just a heads up. In the personal trainer site, if you go to list view, you can export your training.

    Reply
  25. Anonymous

    Thanks for a nice review! I have a short question to
    which I can't find a short and simple answer:
    does adidas miCoach app on iPhone 4S support H7?
    Neither Polar nor Adidas is able to answer to this question which is frustrating...

    Reply
  26. Yup, just tried it out for fun. Tried both the Polar H7 and the Wahoo Blue HR, both on the iPhone 4S, and both with miCoach. Work great.

    Screenshot: link to sites.google.com

    Reply
  27. Anonymous

    Thank you for quick reply and test! I hope it will work
    with miCoach flawlessly - HR based training plans for e.g. marathon look very promising!
    So I'm buying H7 and starting training plan :)
    Best regards
    Mac

    Reply
  28. Deborah

    Does the app allow you to customize your sport zones like the watches?

    Reply
  29. josie

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for the comprehensive reviews!

    I was wondering if you could tell me whether the app when used with the H7 Bluetooth Smart strap actually uses the HR data from the strap in its forumla for energy burned in a workout? Or is energy burned just calculated based on distance and speed?

    Also, what do you think of the app and bluetooth strap for use indoors to track strength/weight traning?

    Many thanks in advance for your advice!
    Josie.

    Reply
  30. Tammi

    I just purchased a Polar FT7 watch with a normal Wearlink transmitter. But I also downloaded the Polar Beat app to my iPhone 4s. I love the app (so far) but now I know I have to buy the H7 transmitter. So if I do, would I really still need the Polar watch? And would I really need the Flowlink data transmitter to upload my workout's to the mypolarfittness.com website?

    Also, I swim on my off days. I have tested the FT7 watch and the Wearlink transmitter in the water and they seem to work. If I do buy the H7 transmitter, I wonder if the transmitter will still "connect" to Polar Beat (which I will leave on deck, of course) while I am in the water?

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    Reply
  31. Anhtony

    I love the reviews first of all!, and think they are great for newbies like myself who are trying to figure out what to buy. My question is this: would you recommend a RCX5 base unit & transmitter combo or the reviewed bluetooth transmitter coupled with an iphone 5?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, that's a bit tough. Mostly because they're entirely different. That said, I'd go with the BT strap for now, and see what shakes loose form the Polar tree early next year - specifically since they've hinted at a replacement for the RCX5 with GPS.

      Reply
  32. Thanks for the detailed review. I am taking my fitness to the next level and want to start tracking my heart rate. I have seen a lot of different reviews on using watches, bands, and bluetooth, that are mixed. This has confused me and kept me questioning the best root to go. The last time I looked into wireless technology ANT+ was the standard, but now I am intrigued by the H7 or Wahoo Bluetooth straps. I like the fact that the Polar H7 can work with equipment and I can add a watch, but can I do the same thing with the Wahoo strap? I am in my second month of P90 and will start riding my bike this spring. Would the Wahoo strap be the best choice for exercising at home? Any feedback, suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, the Wahoo strap is purely BLE, and not legacy compatible.

      For exercising at home, either strap is good - since you'd be pairing it to a phone. And same goes for outside, presuming that you pair both to a phone.

      If you're in a gym and pairing it to equipment, than the Polar strap is better.

      Reply
  33. LDB

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for another brilliant review. I bought a Garmin Edge 210 on sale for running and I 'm quite happy with it. I thought of using an app on my iphone 5 paired with the H7 or with Wahoo strap but I just can see myself running everytime with my iphone on my arm. When your phone is on your upper arm it s impossible to see your data or how do people solve this? I often run when it s raining so I guess this is not the best condition to run in with a phone. But the biggest problem for me is that there is no bluetooth footpod on the market for running indoors or am I wrong? Thanks for your answer

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      For me, I tend to use the app more to record data than visually see it (as you noted, being on an armband is tough). However, I do use audible alerts in the apps that support it. So for example, tonight on my long run I was using an app that announced each mile my pace for that mile. Most apps do that, and are pretty customizable.

      It was raining/slushing/snowing/icing tonight on my run, and I just use a little case that protects it. Works well.

      On the footpod, nothing on the market today. There are numerous companies working on them, but the limiter is actually the BLE Profile (lack thereof). Which, reminds me, I need to hit up the head of the Bluetooth SIG for Sports and Fitness and find out when that's ready...

      Reply
  34. LDB

    Thanks Ray! Does the polar app has audible alert? Which app do you use the most?
    Cheers!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I primarily use the Wahoo Fitness app (which works with the H7), simply because it has the most diverse set of data export options (they partner with everyone).

      Reply
  35. LDB

    Just one more thing on using a phone on your arm paired with the H7. What s the use of recording your heart rate if you can t see it while running or is the polar app telling you when your in your training zone? Can you run intervals with the polar app? Thanks

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, most apps do. The Polar Beat app will announce your average heart rate (along with pace/distance), based on preset intervals (as little as .1 miles). Most apps work roughly the same way - though the Polar app has probably less customization of audio alerts than some apps.

      Reply
  36. Wayne

    Hi Ray

    Do you know how to add in the distance for a treadmill run (Other Indoor/No GPS actvity) to the app activity. Can update the data on the website but it doesn't update the app activity. Can't get the indoor history to display distance.

    Cheers

    Wayne

    Reply
    • Wayne replied

      Just replying to own question. I have found in the Polar forums that you can't add indoor distances. It also doesn't send sport zone info to PPT. Can't add distance into PPT and have it sync back to Polar Beat. People have raised some of these issues with Polar since last year but still no app updates.

      Reply
  37. Kasper

    I am also not able to pair the H7 with my rcx5 been trying now for 2 weeks it pairs okay with iPhone but not rcx5

    Does anyone have any good ideas since I lost my original transmitter

    Reply
  38. Jack

    Hi. I was out on my bike for the first time today. I had bluetooth and locations (gps) switched on my iPhone using the polar beat app but the battery on my phone lasted only 40 minutes? Anyone else had battery life problems and any advice? Thanks

    Reply
  39. Reed

    Bought my Polar H7 last week, went to try it yesterday, and either I don't have a heartbeat, the 6 apps I tried to sync with it, my iPhone4s with full updates, the 3 different batteries I used, the master reset I done, and the 2 different straps I tried also, if NONE OF THOSE WORK, then I may have a defective device. Very disappointed in this, will be sending mine back and not getting another.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi Reed-

      Have you tried the Polar Beat app?

      I only ask because apps must be specifically coded to work with Bluetooth Smart straps - and many older apps aren't.

      Reply
    • Rony D replied

      I had the same first experience, until I pored plenty of water on the strap. Polar Beat connected immediately.

      Reply
  40. Sandra

    Hi Ray,

    I have a question. You mentioned that "you can’t have both a Bluetooth Smart watch (like the Metawatch) and a Bluetooth Smart app (like Polar Beat) connect to the same HR sensor at the same time.". Since I have a Polar FT40 watch which is not Bluetooth and is compatible with the H7, does that mean I can pair both my watch and iPhone 5 to the H7 at the time same time (I'm assuming that's what you did to compare the app results to your watch)? I like the features the Polar Beat app has to offer but I also like how easy it is to look at my watch to see my results at any given moment. If you could let me know I'd really appreciate it.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  41. MikeC

    I realize the Polar Beats is an iOS only app. But will the H7 work with an Android device? And some other Android apps? Does the device HAVE to be BT4.0? I thought BT4.0 is backwards compatible with BT3.0?

    Lastly, will it sync with Polar Beats (on iOS) and my FT7 at the same time? I'd like use the APP for the bells and whistles but just be able to glance at my FT7 to get my HR and Calories without having to whip out my phone.

    Thanks,

    Mike

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I've been doing some research trying to find ANY app that works on Android with a Bluetooth Smart HR strap (i.e. the H7 or Wahoo Fitness Blue HR). At present, I can't find any. This is mostly a platform issue, and will soon be resolved. But it's not clear if that'll be next week or next month.

      But yes, the device HAS to be BT4.0. The catch is that Bluetooth Smart devices (which is what the H7 is), is a subset of the Bluetooth 4.0 standard, and not available with BT3.0. Stuff like Jawbones and the like are legacy BT2/3 devices, and work upstream to BT4.

      I checked with the Polar guys and they confirmed that both the FT7 and FT40 will work with the H7, concurrently, while the Bluetooth Smart portion is also running.

      Enjoy!

      Reply
  42. Charlie

    I have the same question as Sandra and Mike.

    Reply
  43. Mando

    Same question as Sandra, Mike and Charlie!

    Reply
  44. Oleg

    Hi, thanks for very nice review.
    This morning I also started with Polar Beat Fitness test. However all it shows was just a "level", not max heart rate or whatsoever. Too bad for 3 euro.

    Reply
  45. Jim Cooper

    I very much liked your review. I don't know if you noticed but using the Polar Beat App, I couldn't find the zone information transferred to PolarPersonlTrainer.com. It's on the iPhone but doesn't get transferred to PPT.com. For several years I have kept my workout history on the PPT website rather than fill up the watch, or, now with the Beat app, my iPhone5. I called the customer service folks at Polar and they explained that was the design plan. I don't know about others but I'm a bit disappointed at this.
    What's your take on this?
    Jim C.

    Reply
  46. Marko

    As of Feb 25 2013 (whatever the current Polar Beat app version on iPhone), sensor pairing page has been redesigned and it no longer shows battery level. There appears to be no other way on the app to see this useful bit of info.

    Reply
  47. Cleve Waterman

    My H7 worked great for 3 months. I had ~40 hours of recorded workouts, mainly with DigiFit.
    Then the bluetooth died.
    The 5K frequency still works fine with gym equipment , so I don't think it is a battery issue. I tried 2 other phones ( 5 and 4S) and still nothing. The Amazon reviews are full of similar issues.
    I also own a Wahoo BlueHR. It works fine. At first I thought my H7 problems were due to some kind of battle between the Wahoo and the Polar. I think I ruled this out when the Polar would not work with other iphones that had never been paired to the Wahoo.

    Reply
    • Cleve Waterman replied

      I looked at the Amazon reviews for the Wahoo strap. They were even worse, but it looked primarily like DOA's rather than late failures. I guess it goes with the early adopter territory. A lot of the Polar poor reviews were from people expecting it to work with iphone 4 and androids.

      Reply
    • Cleve Waterman replied

      Got my H7 back from Polar Warranty Service. Quick Service. Works fine. The description of the problem was that the H7 needed a "reset". After more reading, I think that a "reset" is just removing the battery and attaching the pod to the belt, allowing it to fully discharge. I have seen some descriptions of using a paper clip after battery removal, but I think just attaching the unit to the belt will accomplish the same thing. The Polar Warranty people also threw in a new belt.

      Reply
  48. Erlend Thune

    Would you recommend digifit or polar beat? I am new to heart rate training and am looking for the best app to instruct me on how to get the best aerobic base training.

    Reply
    • Oleg replied

      Well, it depends what you do.
      For cycling and cyclotrainer Digifit is absolute winner, you can plan interval and heart based training easily (after purchasing in-app additions),
      While basic PolarBeat can track your training on elliptical or martial arts, as mine does.
      There is still long things to implement in PB, before it competes with such sophisticated apps as Runtastic or Digifit

      Reply
  49. Colin Davis

    Hi there, I have an HTC one-X phone. Can I use the bluetooth sensor and pick it up on my phone? As well, I have an older Polar watch (M32). Is it compatible?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, unfortunately not. There aren't any Android apps today that support the Bluetooth Smart heart rate profile. It's coming, but that's been said for months now. :-/

      Reply
  50. Heatherirene

    Can you use the h7 when swimming?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I just confirmed with Polar that the H7 will indeed connect via the Polar side of the frequency (non-Bluetooth) to those units that support it (i.e. RCX5).

      Reply
  51. Chris

    I didn't see it, but does it allow you to just set alarms for going outside a preset heart rate zone? e.g. above 160, below 40?

    If not, do you know of any apps do that?

    That was a very thorough review, thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, I don't see it either. The Wahoo App does this (free), with either the Polar H6, H7, or the Wahoo Blue HR strap.

      Reply
  52. Dobrin Kolarov

    Hi, thanks for the great review, as well as for all the other great reviews :)

    I was wondering if somebody has tryed the H7 with Suunto X6HR. The old Suunto is using the 5 kHz standard, and I suppose they should be compatible. Anyway, any help will be greatly appreciated!

    D.K.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Unfortunately I don't have the older Suunto watch - otherwise I'd test it out. Sorry!

      Reply
  53. Rony D

    I've been looking for the battery status indicator, and I just learned from the comments above that the indicator no longer exists in the Polar Beat app. Does anybody know what the minimum voltage is for the Polar H7 HRsensor to work correctly? The battery that came with the H7 already dropped to 2.97V out of the box, while a set of spare batteries measured 3.2V. Just wondering...

    Reply
  54. Ray Reynolds

    Hi, Do you know of any aps that give a realtime updated "time-in-zone" accumulation for heart rate data.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Have you tried the Wahoo Fitness app? I thought it does.

      Reply
  55. Beth F

    Thank you for your review - it is really helpful. I am debating between purchasing a new Polar Watch (RCx3 or other) vs. the H7 strap and using my iphone. Do you think this iphone app is an OK replacement for a watch? I plan to use it for monitoring heart rate, calories burned, etc while running/working out at home and possibly for cycling. I appreciate your advice. Thanks,

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It just depends a bit on whether you prefer to monitor the workout mid-run/ride, or mostly for post-ride/run. In which case, the app isn't bad. The good news with the H7 strap (or any Bluetooth Smart strap) is that you can mix and match apps. So if you find a different app you like better (for any number of reasons), it only costs $0 (or maybe $1).

      Reply
  56. cliff

    I have the polar beat app and a Mapmyfitness bluetooth strap. The strap pairs with the app fine and I can read heart rate during exercises and all of that. But when I try to use the extra fitness test feature it says that I need a compatible bluetooth heart rate monitor. How come it can pair with the app and the app obviously get data from it but it does not work with the extra features?

    Reply
  57. greg

    It seems like if I just raise my arms H7 will spike and/or drop. Have you experienced that? if so do you have any way of mitigating this? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I've definitely not seen that. it sounds like perhaps a defect strap or electronics pod.

      Reply
  58. OD

    Hi All,

    DC, thanks for the insights. Your info drove me to purchase the H7 and use Polar Beat to train with (I do a variety of different things like, tennis, biking, martial arts, so this app is awesome for multi-sport). I love the benefit training as it keeps me honest!

    A little more info for all: Anyone who was using Polar Beat and other apps at the same time started to experience either the PB app not working at all or dropped heart beats when they upgraded to V1.2. It was very frustrating as I was using this as a primary tool and it went on for a few long months.

    Here is the forum on it: link to forum.polar.fi

    Since the latest update for the app which was July 5: link to itunes.apple.com most people are stating that the app is working well and they now can go back to using multiple apps at the same time.

    Now if I could just get them to update the app with auto-stop I would be quite happy.

    If you use it and there is anything you want to see added you can request here: link to forum.polar.fi

    Main website is still dreadful, however :(

    Best, OD

    Reply
  59. Justin Berken

    Hello, thanks for the wonderful review!

    I just lost my H2 in the lake and would like to replace with H7. I use an RCX5 and want to make sure the H7 is fully waterproof but can't seem to find any information. Ray, have you tested H7 in water?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  60. TIU_Ash

    Great review! Thanks for all the great information!

    Wondering if you could comment on any "smart calories" features or % of Calories burned. Also does the app appear after your phone has locked or do you need to keep the phone unlocked.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  61. Derek

    There are now a number of HRV monitoring apps out there that rely on R-R interval transmission from heart rate monitors. Unfortunately, the Wahoo strap does not broadcast R-R intervals, whereas the Polar H7 and the 4iiii Viiiiva do. HRV monitoring seems to growing in popularity (how about a review!), so this may be a factor to mention when examining bluetooth 4.0 heart rate monitor straps.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I would also add that with the 4iiii's strap now on the market, that's really the best deal out there. It does both Bluetooth Smart and ANT+, and also bridges the two. All for basically the same price.

      Here's the review: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Reply
  62. Daniel

    simply to use and understand!!!
    All the question were answered or covered in one or other way.
    like a Pro-CNet review.
    Thanks
    pd: I'm going to buy the H7 H.R. Polar sensor to use it with my iPhone 5 to running and cycling!

    Reply
  63. Meg

    Does PolarBeat require the Stride Sensor in order to work on a treadmill? Or, will it use the phone's accelerometer like Nike+ Running?

    Reply
  64. Lucious

    Hi Ray,
    Thanks for the review. I do have a question regarding bout this strap. I was thinking of getting it to monitor my heart rate when I play outdoor sports (mainly is basketball), and the phone normally will not be by my side, which I will leave it at the desk, will it still be able to monitor my heart rate?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, it has to be at your side. Normally within a meter/3ft or so.

      Reply
    • Juan Pablo replied

      Actually I used the H7 while playing indoor football (soccer) the other day. I left the iphone with the app running on my backpack one meter from the side line. It registered the HR for the whole match. It only lost connection at half time when I went to the rest room. I saw that on the graph at the end of the match. I didn't have to reconnect manually for the second half.
      So I will say the connection works at least 15 meters away.

      Reply
  65. scott alexander

    May I ask a question and btw thank you for your reviews they are very helpful.

    a. Can I use the H7, the loop and the polar beat application? my requirement is for cycling, running and paddle boarding. Mostly the phone will be with me except when im in the water. Also I notice that there is an app for the Samsung S4. Can you confirm this will work?

    Or if not possible

    b. Can i use the H7, the RCX5 and polar beat app. to meet my water requirements. Will this work with the Samsung S4.

    Thanks for your help.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi Scott-

      A) Yes, the H7 works with both the Loop and Polar Beat. As you noted, they just released the Polar Beat app on Android last week - pretty sweet to see! Note however, that the H7 can only concurrently broadcast via Bluetooth Smart to one device at a time (either phone or Loop).

      B) Yes, with your water requirements, the H7 will broadcast in the water via analog to the RCX5, and concurrently can indeed broadcast at the same time to one other device (the Loop or phone) via Bluetooth Smart.

      Enjoy!

      Reply
  66. Allen

    Hi Ray, in your last post, you noted that an Android App was just released. I was on the phone with Polar Tech Support yesterday and they indicated that Polar was "working on that app"? I want to use my H7 with my Nexus 7 for treadmill activity. More info please.
    Thanks

    Reply
  67. Liam

    Ray
    Thanks for keeping this thread going. Great summary of the evolution of BLE.
    Having recently migrated to Android and purchased a H7, which app would you recommend that will allow gpx data to be subsequently output for the workout; enabling Strava use.
    I have previously been using Sports-Tracker, but this hasn't incorporated BLE as yet, nor has Strava itself from what I have noted.
    Thanks Liam

    Reply
  68. faron

    Do you have any recommendations on BT Smart HRMs that work with the Nokia 1020 phone?

    thanks

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Any BT Smart strap would work the same. The trick is getting an app on Windows Phone that supports it. Today, the Adidas app supports it.

      Further, my understanding is that the 1020 isn't getting BLE support: link to wpcentral.com

      Reply
  69. Alfred Lau

    Hi, I just bought the Polar H7 and works perfectly with my Runtastics Pro in Android 4.3 Smart Phone. I am also planning to buy the Polar Watch (probably POLAR RS300X), which is compatible with Polar H7

    Now I am just wonder whether the Polar H7 can connect to my SmartPhone and Polar Watch simultaneously during the workout?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The Polar H7 connects on both Bluetooth Smart and 5khz. I don't know offhand if the RS300X uses WIND or 5khz though (I haven't tested it). If it uses WIND, then no luck with H7. If it uses 5khz (like treadmills at a gym), then you're golden to use both concurrently.

      Reply
    • alan replied

      Have u used the RCX5 with the H7. Can i use it simultaneoysly paired to polar beat?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, you can.

      Reply
  70. stephano

    Hello, Salut,
    just sharing my experience with my devices...
    I started with Runtastic App on my iPhone then bought their Bluetooth HeartRate strap.
    It works really fine with Runtastic App on my iPhone BUT IT ALSO WORKS with PolarBeat App => sync/pairing is immediate.
    NB: it's mandatory that your iPhone is a 4S or plus advanced (iPhone 4 does not implement bluetooth v4 so it is not compatible with any Bluetooth HRM).

    Ad'ciao

    Reply
  71. Andreas

    Is there any possibility to combine the GPS data from the polar beat app with the data from the RCX5? I often take my iphone with me while running, so it would be a good option instead of the (out-of-date external) gps sensor

    Reply
  72. Ben

    Hi,
    What a great review.
    I have one question which I hope someone can answer.
    Will the App run in the background, will it capture heart-rate and exercise time if I jump in to a music app or other app such as camera?

    Many thanks

    Ben

    Reply
  73. Tomislav Nesovanovic

    what about climbing distance? ascend descend?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Generally speaking you won't want to use phone data for altitude/elevation data, it doesn't tend to be too accurate.

      Reply
    • Jason replied

      Is that why there is no elevation data available in the Polar Beat app? Kind of limits it's use for cycling!? (Even Map My Run shows basic elevation graphs). Might this be a future update for the app or do we have to wait and purchase the V650?

      Reply
  74. Guillaume

    If running outside with the stride sensor, is the app clever enough to combine both the GPS and accelerometer data? In other words, do you get the benefit of the trace on the map and the accuracy of the pace? With just the GPS on an iPhone 4S speed varies a lot over time because of the inaccuracy of location.
    Thanks for your help and congrats for the amazing blog.

    Reply
    • Guillaume replied

      [EDIT] just saw the stride sensor review... And the answer to my question. Will think about it though. Price of sensor is still very steep!

      Reply
  75. Sebastian

    Hi,

    I purchased the H6 and the polar loop. I used to train with the H6+Polar Beat app (for GPS + Benefit target) and I found it very efficient.

    The problem is, despite the synch of polar beat with the polar flow website, the benefits of the exercise done with beat does not count toward the polar loop daily target !!!

    Any idea on how to make it work ?

    Reply
  76. Kris Johnson

    Cannot get this to pair regardless of the app .. Polar beat will not find it, or Wahoo .. Sad they were in such a rush to put out junk. Have tried all of the above to get it to work will NOT PAIR

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      What phone do you have?

      Have you tried swapping out the battery just in case in for some reason it's dead?

      Reply
    • Kris Johnson replied

      Will pair with the OLD polar stuff just NO BLUETOOTH ..

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      And which phone do you have (exact model)?

      Reply
    • Kris Johnson replied

      I'm using a 4s .. It paired when I bought it just won't find it now

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Try closing out all (killing) the apps that may talk to it on Bluetooth. It can only talk to one at a time, and perhaps one has the connection open. Once you've done that, flip off Bluetooth for a minute, then turn back on and open just one app and try to pair.

      Reply
    • Kris Johnson replied

      Ray, I powered off the phone, powered off the bluetooth, deleted the bluetooth ear buds, changed the battery, soaked the strap, powered bluetooth back on, keeps say cannot find.

      Very frustrating .. Especially since it did work for two workouts

      Reply
  77. John Kilpatrick

    This unit is prone to failure. Amazon has even stopped selling it due to this problem. I'm going to send mine in to see if they'll replace it, but I also don't trust it. I'd give the TICKR X a try but it's (obviously) not out yet.

    (And yes, I did the dance. It's showing up on my Polar F11 just fine. Deleted the app. Tried to re-pair in the app on my iPhone 5. Downloaded the app for my Galaxy S4. Tried to pair there - no dice as well.)

    Reply
  78. Jerry

    Hi, can I use Polar H7 with RC3 GPS and with an Iphone 5 at the same time?.

    Reply
  79. Vladimir

    Hello Rainmaker,

    Since H7 supports both Bluetooth and 5khz simultaneously, for the past 5 months I've been using the Polar H7 paired with iPhone5 and the Runtastic app (to record it and get voice feedback for pace, heart zones, ...) , and I also wear a Polar FT7 watch (to be able to see the heartrate at anytime without operating the phone).

    I am only missing the Pace in the watch, so I am thinking about upgrading my Polar watch to a GPS model (keeping H7, just changing the Watch), just to be able to look at Pace, Speed, Distance, and Heartrate on the watch.
    I believe I can get any Polar GPS watch and make it work with H7, right?
    But most of my friends that run use Garmin watches, though...

    Is there any Garming GPS watch that is compatible with Polar's 5khz standard?

    In other words, is Polar H7 compatible to any Garmin GPS watch?

    That way I can continue to use H7 with Iphone+Runtastic and join Garmin community.

    Thank you!!!
    Vladimir

    Reply
    • Vladimir replied

      I googled a little bit more and confirmed that H7 won't work with Garmin.
      So I thought about buying a Polar GPS Watch, but looking at their website I didn't like it and prefer Garmin's.

      Just saw that review:
      link to dcrainmaker.com

      I believe Wahoo Tickr Run will be the solution I was looking for!

      Since it is dual band it means I can BLE to iPhone+Runtastic and ANT+ to a Garmin watch simultaneously, correct?

      Thanks again

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, that's correct.

      Reply
    • Vladimir replied

      Thanks for the quick reply!

      Just like to mention that I've also tried Pebble Watch integration to Runtastic. The problem is that Pebble API currently doesn't show Heart Rate, and its screen is fixed with 3 fields Duration/Distance/Pace which it reads from the Runtastic App.

      Reply
  80. Andrew

    I also experienced the odd bluetooth shut down.

    I use the strap every morning to measure HRV, this morning the device was not detectable by either of my phones. I was looking around and saw the Amazon reviews that mentioned "resetting" the unit by shorting out the battery terminals. I did this with a paper clip, saw a tiny spark, put the battery back in and powered up. Now it works again!

    So odd, but at least I don't have to buy a new strap, yet.

    Reply
    • Kris Johnson replied

      I had to try it since I was not having any success with the H7 .. Shorting it out WORKS.. It paired an is actually working. THANKS for sharing ..

      Reply
  81. AlexMonteiro

    Hi Ray,

    Do you know how can i enter in contact with the developers of the Polar Beat?
    I have a few questions for them and i only see a general contact for all Polar Produtcs.

    Sincerely,
    AM

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, support would really be the best bet. Else, if there's specific questions you want to post here someone might be able to help.

      Reply
  82. EstiCorre

    I am deciding between a polar HR monitor watch and the H7. I like to run with music and track my workout, and want to avoid carrying around another device, so I thought the H7 was a good option. I am reading reviews about having trouble pairing the H7 with a smartphone ( I'm planning on using it with an iphone5) and Amazon dropping the product as it is prone to failure. Is this the reason why the only H7 I can find has a date of May 2012?, by any chance do you know if Polar will be releasing a newer version of the H7 soon, maybe fixing this issue? if this is the case then I would rather get the watch that works for now.
    Thanks for your help, and for a great review.

    Reply
  83. Art

    Awesome reviews! Am just starting to get back into a proper fitness regime and have really appreciated your insights.

    Am having issues with the music function of my phone using a Bluetooth headset and the H7 strap on my iPhone5. It seems that despite having coaching on or off, the music is very muted. Is there a workaround or setting that I am missing?

    Reply
  84. LRA

    Since the Polar H7 only transmits to one device, if I wear the Loop as my main tracking device, can I not use Endomondo or another fitness trainer and get HR 'credit' for both. Is there a workaround to use the H7s smart BT for one and the gymlink for the other?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, the gym piece will only go analog, so the phone can't really talk to that even if it wanted to*. For some of Polar's newer device (V800/V650), they're using a new chipset which will rebroadcast the BLE signal from the H7 back out again, so your phone can talk to it.

      *Well, technically you could use a little 3rd party add-in like Runalyzer to bridge it in.

      Reply
  85. John Beam

    Just started using the h7 hrm with the polar app for android.
    Does anybody know if training programs can be downloaded to the Polar Beat app? I have the benefit target add-on but you're limited to set templates.
    Basically I would like audio coaching for the training programs I've setup on polarpersonaltrainer.com

    Reply
  86. Cheryl Carlson

    Hi.hope you can help me here, and understand what i want. i have the Polar Ft4 which im currently using, I have a Samsung Galaxy S3, and would like to go wirelesss/bluetooth with my HRM, im a little confussed about which one to get. Looking toward staying with Polar.
    Is the Bluetooth Smart Strap the same as the Wear link Strap?
    Do i stay with a watch system(which i do like, as i can see as i go)
    Is the Wear link/Smart strap just a transmitting strap? No watch? How do you enter information? Though the app?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The strap portion is the same, it's the transmitter pod that's different. I believe the FT4 is compatible with the H7, but you'd want to verify that.

      The strap merely transmits HR, that's all. Everything else would be done via the app (or watch).

      Reply
  87. Massiel Pérez

    CALORIES BURNED VS ACCURACY - I used my app in my iPhone 5 with my polar H7 monitor on Sunday for an outdoor bike ride. I found the map & mileage to be fairly accurate. However, it said I burned 1,000. I'm 5 feet 3 in he's, 110 pounds and had the settings at works out 7 days a week. There is no way that's accurate. My friend wS with me who is a better cyclist and overall athlete and used his Garmin. He's 6 feet one in h tall and 160 pounds. It said he burned 285 calories. So, what the heck?

    Reply
  88. Patrick

    Can you please help me with an H7 issues.
    When connect to the polar beat or wahoo fitness iphone app, the V800 doesn't display anymore my heartrate.
    It is only when I close the app completely that the V800 receives again the HR.
    Also if I first launch the V800 and then the app then it is the V800 that receives the value and not the app.
    Before the FT80 did,'t have that issue.
    Do you know how I can make them work simultaneously.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  89. Hank

    Hi Ray,

    Does H7 HRM compatible with Nike+ SportsBand since H7 also uses 5kHz signal?

    Thanks,

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, I don't know about the sportband, but definitely not the Nike GPS.

      Reply
    • FRiC replied

      The Nike+ SportsBand only works with the special "Polar WearLink + Nike+" HRM.

      Reply
  90. PolarQs

    Great forum.

    I am not sure if this was asked by anyone. Is it possible to create your own training programs in the Polar Personal Trainer web site and then download them to the Polar Beat app on an iPhone?

    Reply

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