• Amazon.com
  • Clever Training

Polar OH1 Plus Optical HR Sensor In-Depth Review


And just like that, Polar now makes ANT+ devices. The Polar OH1 is one of two devices today that Polar has announced that are getting ANT+ compatibility. The other being the H10. But I cover that (and thoughts around possible Vantage series ANT+ support), in this separate post.

This review is focused on the Polar OH1 Plus, but the good news is that Polar OH1 owners will soon find a firmware update that also gives their existing OH1 units the ability to broadcast via ANT+. However, if you can’t wait for that, the new OH1 Plus units start shipping later this week and are already en-route to retailers.

Note that if you are looking at buying an OH1 (non-Plus), you can use this review as well. In fact, for this review I used a few devices. First was my own Polar OH1 that I bought and then had the firmware upgraded to effectively make it an OH1 Plus (hardware-wise there’s no difference, the Plus just comes with a goggle strap for it too). In addition, Polar sent over some loaner OH1 Plus units that had the little ANT+ logo on the outside. But again, exact same hardware. I’ll send those back to them shortly.

Oh – if you’d like to skip all the textual stuff and just get the entire lowdown in a few minutes, hit up the video for all the demos and OH1 goodness:

As always, if you found the review useful – hit up the links at the bottom to help support the site.

What’s in the box:

The Polar OH1 Plus has almost the exact same box contents as the previous OH1. Only difference is this now comes with a little swim goggle clip. Here’s the box contents, once transformed into a plastic baggie because the final boxes hadn’t quite arrived yet:


I’ll update this section likely tomorrow when the final exterior box arrives here, but the contents are final. And honestly, the contents are exactly the same as before internally. Here’s the pretty top-down shot of all the parts:


Here’s a closer look at the pod and charging cradle:


Then, there’s the one new thing – which is the small swim goggle clip. I’ll talk about that later on, but essentially it allows you to clip the pod to your swim goggles and then use the optical HR sensor against your temple.

DSC_7835 DSC_7836

And…that’s the box contents. I suspect in the final paper cardboard bit I receive there’s the final instruction manuals and safety stuff. But frankly, neither you or I will read that anyway.  So let’s get right to using it.

The Basics:


Actually, it’s about now many of you might be wondering if there’s any differences to the pod itself. Internally Polar says they’re identical, and that makes sense given that the existing OH1 pods will get a firmware update to make them identical in functionality to the OH1 Plus. However, on the exterior someone got out their stamper and stamped the little ANT+ logo onto the new OH1 Plus pods. You can see that here side by side:


Everything else Polar says is the same. And that makes sense – no company wants to rev the internals of hardware if they can avoid it.  As noted above, the one other bit that comes with the OH1 Plus is the new swim goggle clip. You can see this here:


This is actually a smart move by Polar. The temple is a great place to measure optical HR, as there’s no whacking going on there like your arms do. As such, there’s far less external forces that are going to reduce accuracy. And in fact, there have been other HR sensors that have leveraged your head before for measuring HR. So that is interesting. I’m looking to do more testing here in the pool in the near-future, though again, there’s no change to the existing OH1 (which I’ve used on my arm in the pool with pretty good success lately).


From a charging standpoint, the unit comes with a small USB charger that plugs directly into your computer or any other USB port you find:


You just pop the pod into it and you’re good to go. Additionally, this allows you to sync via Polar’s Flow Sync desktop app. Fear not, you don’t have to use the desktop app, it’s just another option for sync and/or firmware updates.

You can instead use Polar’s Flow app on your iOS or Android device. To do that, you’ll simply bring the pod nearby while you’ve got it powered on, and it’ll go through the pairing process. It’s quick and easy:

IMG_2712 IMG_2713 IMG_2714

You may be wondering why you’d need to sync at all – isn’t this just a HR sensor? Well see, the OH1/OH1 Plus has internal memory in it, so it can record your sessions in the event you either don’t have a watch handy, or, if in a sporting situation like swimming where signal can’t broadcast to the watch.

To start a recording, just double-tap the outside power button twice after you’ve turned it on:


This will then trigger the status LED on the other side to blink rapidly twice, indicating it’s in recording mode.


This works well enough, except when it doesn’t. My complaint on this has always been that it’s flaky. Not because the hardware is flaky, but because me as a human is. Specifically in that usually this is just under the edge of your clothing, and can be awkward to catch whether or not the button press registered (as the button is well designed to be protected from accidental presses).  So if you missed the double-blink (as it’s super quick), then you have no idea if it’s recording or not (Edit: Looks like the status light will change the blink pattern slightly when in recording mode, though trying to remember twice-blink vs blinking every two seconds is kinda a weird differentiation.)

I’d love Polar to simply allow me to press the button again and then have the light illuminate some unique recording color. Purple, red, really, anything to indicate it’s recording. Scosche does a bit better job at this, making it far more clear you’re in recording mode.  Again, I know it’s a minor thing – but I’ve lost two swim workouts and a ride in the last few months where I thought it was recording but wasn’t. In all cases it’s likely 100% my fault, but since there’s no way to double-check, you just have to trust.

After the workout, you’ll power back on the sensor and it’ll automatically connect to the Polar Flow app and start the sync process via Bluetooth Smart, which you can see below on the left. On the right is the completed workout:

IMG_5888 IMG_5885 IMG_5887

You can then dig deeper into the completed workout. Note that I don’t believe you’ll see the Training Load Pro details if you just have the sensor, that’s because I also have a Vantage V in my account.


Now, in this distraction of cached workouts and all we got distracted from the obvious: To turn it on, you simply press the button.  Once on, it illuminates the green LED’s on the back, which allows the optical sensor to measure your blood flow:


The pod is then placed in the strap (or you can do it before) and slide up onto your arm. I prefer the upper portion of my arm near my bicep, as that’s usually covered by a shirt or what-not.


At this point, the sensor is on and transmitting your heart rate, which is now a good time to talk about how it does that.

Pairing and Compatibility:


The original Polar OH1 has always transmitted your heart rate over Bluetooth Smart to compatible devices. It uses Bluetooth’s heart rate sensor profile, which means virtually every fitness/sport app and device out there is compatible with it. Even most Garmin devices made after Jan 2017 are also compatible with it as it previously stood.

However, what the OH1 Plus (and the firmware update for the original OH1) add is the ability to also now broadcast over ANT+.  So what you get is the following concurrently:

A) Unlimited ANT+ HR Connections
B) A single Bluetooth Smart HR connection

I note this singularity bit on the Bluetooth Smart , because the Polar H10 strap actually gives you two concurrent Bluetooth Smart connections (as well as ANT+), as does the new Garmin HRM-DUAL.  When I asked Polar about this, they noted it’s something they may be able to address. Both units use the same Nordic chipsets, so there really shouldn’t be a reason one is more limited than the other.

Speaking of which, I go through the entire history of how and why ANT+ came to be on Polar in my other post here, you may want to read there.

So what does two concurrent HR streams look like? This. Below is an example from Zwift showing both the ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart side of an OH1 Plus sensor:

Screen Shot 2019-03-19 at 10.44.49 PM

Sometimes, like above, you’ll get slight 1-2 second latency difference between ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart signals. That’s normal for all sensors.

Where it becomes even more interesting though is on Garmin gear that doesn’t support Bluetooth Smart sensors. Take for example the Garmin Edge 520 Plus, released less than a year ago. That unit was built atop the Edge 520 platform, which Garmin elected to not upgrade to support Bluetooth Smart sensors. As such, it’s ANT+ only sensors there. But now with the update, you can pair to the OH1:


For dual-capable head units like the Wahoo BOLT, or others in the Garmin range (such as the Edge 1030), it leaves you with just a case of which side you’d prefer. Though, I’d recommend using ANT+, as to not use up the single Bluetooth Smart channel. Here’s how the data looked yesterday on my ride, with the Polar OH1 streaming my HR to the Edge 520 Plus (lower unit), while the Polar H10 strap was showing HR on the Edge 1030 (upper one) also using ANT+:


(Heart rate on the upper unit is the biggest data field at 135bpm, whereas on the lower unit it’s in the lower right corner at 135bpm)

One interesting tidbit is actually going back to the swim bits here, in particular for team scenarios. Currently they’ve got coaches that want to monitor the HR of athletes in real-time in the pool. The challenge with Polar’s existing solutions is that they all require the athlete get to the wall and then wait for transmission to pick-up. That delay/latency for swimming HR…basically sucks. It’s just not super useful.  But with the goggle strap attachment, the pod stays above the waterline enough to keep a near-constant stream of HR data back to a coach using an iPad on the sidelines. Here’s a screenshot from that video:


That’s brilliant. Note that Polar says it won’t backfill/cache data to the coach’s app for cases where the pod is underwater for extended periods of time. So there is that limitation. Still, this is by far the best solution out there for real-time monitoring. The iPad app can monitor up to 40 athletes concurrently.

Ultimately, I haven’t had any issues with connectivity to any device I’ve tried with the OH1 Plus (or OH1), on either ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart. I’ve personally used it for workouts via ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart with Zwift on Mac, iOS, and PC – as well as the Polar Vantage V, Garmin MARQ, Garmin FR935, Garmin Edge 1030, Garmin Edge 520 Plus, and probably more that I’m forgetting. Oh, like the Wahoo BOLT.

HR Accuracy:


Before we move on to the test results, note that optical HR sensor accuracy is rather varied from individual to individual.  Aspects such as skin color, hair density, and position can impact accuracy.  Position, and how the band is worn, are *the most important* pieces.  A unit with an optical HR sensor should be snug.  It doesn’t need to leave marks, but you shouldn’t be able to slide a finger under the band.

Ok, so in my testing, I simply use the sensor throughout my normal workouts.  Those workouts include a wide variety of intensities and conditions, making them great for accuracy testing.  I’ve got steady runs, interval workouts on both bike and running, swimming, as well as tempo runs and rides. Basically, most everything a typical triathlete would do. While I’ve been using the OH1 in swimming workouts, I haven’t had a chance to get to the pool with the OH1 Plus yet. Though again, it’s the same sensor/internals/etc, so I wouldn’t expect any issues there. If you want to see some swim data from it, check out my most recent COROS APEX In-Depth Review, which shows some data sets there.

For each test, I’m wearing additional devices, usually 3-4 in total, which capture data from other sensors.  Typically I’d wear a chest strap (lately that’s been the Garmin HRM-DUAL and Polar H10), as well as two watches using optical HR sensors and often finally another optical HR sensor on the other arm (most recently the Scosche 24). I never wear more than one watch per wrist, and never more than one optical HR sensor per upper arm side.

Note that the numbers you see in the upper right corner are *not* the averages, but rather just the exact point my mouse is sitting over.  Note all this data is analyzed using the DCR Analyzer, details here.

We’ll kinda work our way roughly backwards with some of these data sets. First is one from Sunday night, a reasonably hard structured workout indoor ride on Zwift. Comparative data from this particular set includes the Polar H10 (over ANT+ no less), as well as the Garmin MARQ optical HR watch, and the Scosche 24. Here’s the data set:


Well damn. That’s boring. Everything just worked. Perfectly. Seriously, when’s the last time that’s happened around here?

Ok, I suppose technically at the 17:42 marker the Garmin MARQ watch did briefly bobble slightly for a few seconds, but seriously, everything else is spot-on perfect across four different optical HR sensors. Next thing you’re going to tell me all the power meters matched too. Oh good, they didn’t.

Next, here’s another cycling activity – this time outdoors. This one from a nice loop out on open road. I had it paired this time via ANT+ to an Edge 520 Plus. There’s also comparative data against the Fitbit Inspire HR, Garmin MARQ Athlete watch, and Garmin HRM-DUAL chest strap. Here’s that data set:


Now there we go –that’s the kind of optical HR sensor messiness I’m talkin’ about!

We can see the Garmin MARQ and Fitbit Inspire are having a rough go of things. Now technically the MARQ was still in beta during this ride. Meanwhile, if we manage to dig through all that we’ll see that the OH1 and Garmin chest strap agree most of the time. Except, when they don’t. For example, let’s take a look at this earlier section:


To the left of the yellow line is a bunch of stop and go as I exited the city. We’ll ignore that for the moment. Instead, I’m most interested in the section just to the right of it as a start a long threshold section. You can see the Garmin chest strap catches it first, then somehow amazingly the Fitbit Inspire HR wakes up too and notices. But it’s almost two minutes later that the Polar OH1 catches on (but then yet another two minutes further for the Garmin MARQ). None of that’s ideal. Though, at least they figure out recovery together, all declining at the same time.

Now if we use your best rainbow decoder glasses and focus in on the red and green (just like Christmas), you’ll see those two entities near perfectly overlay each other the entire time. That’s what I’m looking for!


Next, switching over to running, I’ve got this interval session around Vondelpark. In this case, I paired the OH1 to the Garmin Fenix 5S via ANT+, but I also recorded it internally on its own memory too. There’s the same assortment of other comparative sensors as the previous set. Here’s the data set.


There’s a lot going on HR sensor wise in this graph, so I want you to focus on the green line (that’s the Garmin chest strap), and the blue line (that’s the OH1).

I’m going to zoom in to show the last few longer intervals and first few shorter intervals:


What you notice here is that the chest strap and OH1 are super close to each other the entire time. The chest strap leads the way on recovery just slightly by a few seconds, but the OH1 isn’t far behind. We know there’s actually no time drift here since the way the Analyzer tool accounts for that – also, in a second I’ll show you how I recorded it two different ways.

Again, the slight latency here is hardly an issue for most. Also – the fact is this $70 sensor easily outperformed the optical HR sensor on the wrist-based $1,500 Garmin MARQ watch and the $99 Fitbit Inspire HR activity tracker.

Now before we leave this set, there’s one thing to note: I actually recorded the OH-1 also internally. And in fact, what you saw above was the internal side of the equation. Whereas below shows the purple line of the ANT+ side from the Fenix 5s. You can see the two Polar OH1 tracks match perfectly atop each other, except at three points where the signal drops out momentarily. It’s not clear who’s fault this is, though, the Fenix 5s (non-Plus) does have some substantial history with 3rd party sensors and dropouts. I haven’t seen dropouts in other workouts be a problem, but it’s important to note.


Finally, another running session – this time a giant rectangle. Because the shape of my running route most definitely matters to optical HR accuracy. In this case I simply used the OH1 without any watch at all. I just used the internal memory to capture my run and then sync’d it later to the Polar Flow app. Here’s that set:


In this run I basically did half of it at a relatively even steady-state intensity, followed by the last half or so doing constant 60-second on/off intervals of hard running. The Polar OH1 is in teal, while the Garmin chest strap is in red.

Once again, just like above we see the OH1 mirror every interval spot-on. However, like before there’s a few seconds of lag compared to the chest strap.


Again, the other contenders all struggled here. Which I suppose makes things a bit of a boring accuracy section when the sensor being reviewed just works.

If one wants even more accuracy data, there’s tons more OH1 sets available in both my recent Polar Vantage M In-Depth Review as well as my COROS APEX GPS Watch In-Depth Review.

Ultimately though, from an accuracy standpoint, I think the specific optical sensor inside the OH1/OH1 Plus is probably either the best, or equal with Scosche for their implementation in the R24 or Rhythm+. Though I think in general there’s probably a slight accuracy edge to Polar, at least in my tests over the course of 2019 thus far.

I’d also argue that in most cases, I get better performance from the OH1/OH1 Plus than traditional chest straps. The reason is simple: With most optical HR sensors on the upper arm, you don’t have to deal with the reality of cool/dry chest straps in cooler/dryer winter months. That often manifests itself as issues early in the workout with drops/spikes, as well as static electricity discharge. Things I used to write annual posts about. With wrist based optical HR sensors, you can still run into blood flow issues on cooler days at the start of a workout. But for the upper arm, that’s rarely an issue – and thus, accuracy is usually really really good. Just like I saw here.

(Note: All of the charts in these accuracy portions were created using the DCR Analyzer tool.  It allows you to compare power meters/trainers, heart rate, cadence, speed/pace, GPS tracks and plenty more. You can use it as well for your own gadget comparisons, more details here.)

Product Comparison:

I’ve added the Polar OH1 Plus into the product comparison tool within the heart rate sensor category. I’ve compared it against the Scosche Rhythm 24 as well as the Wahoo TICKR FIT, which are basically the only other upper-arm options in this category. Of course, there’s plenty of chest straps, so if you want to see how this compares against those and make your own comparison charts, hit up the comparison tool and do some comparing:

Function/FeaturePolar OH1 PlusScosche Rhythm 24Wahoo TICKR FIT
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated April 3rd, 2020 @ 2:31 pmNew Window
Product Announce DateMar 20th, 2019Jan 9th, 2018Jan 3rd, 2018
Product Availability DateMar 22nd, 2019Late April 2018Jan 3rd, 2018
Measurement TypeOpticalOpticalOptical
Typical PlacementUpper ArmMid/Upper ArmMid/Upper Arm
Battery Life12 hours24 hours+30 hours
Battery TypeUSB RechargeableUSB rechargeableUSB rechargeable
NFC CapableNoYesNo
HR TransmissionPolar OH1 PlusScosche Rhythm 24Wahoo TICKR FIT
ANT+Yes (with firmware update)YesYes
Bluetooth SmartYesYesYes
Dual concurrent ANT+/BLEYesYesYes
Analog for gym equipmentNoNoNo
Usable HR data underwaterDEPENDS: IF ON SAME WRIST, YMMV.Depends: If on same wrist, YMMV.Depends: If on same wrist, YMMV.
Bridging ANT+ to Bluetooth SmartNoNoNo
Can record activity in memoryYesYesNo
Additional DataPolar OH1 PlusScosche Rhythm 24Wahoo TICKR FIT
Run PaceNoYesNo
Run CadenceNoYEsNo
Run Economy/MetricsNoNoNo
Cycling CadenceNoYesNo
Cycling Power Meter EstimationNoNoNo
Valid HRV/RR dataNoAt rest onlyNo
Configurable Sport ModesNoYesNo
Displays HR ZonesNoYesNo
Requires Bluetooth Smart Phone for ConfigurationNoYesNo
Firmware UpdateableYesYesYes
AppPolar OH1 PlusScosche Rhythm 24Wahoo TICKR FIT
Can show workout afterwardsYesNoN/A (No recording)
Can sync files/workout to 3rd partyYesYesN/A (No recording)
Amazon LinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training Link (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkLinkLink
Clever Training Europe (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkN/A
Wiggle LinkLink
More InfoLinkLinkLink

Again, don’t forget you can make your own comparison charts in the product comparison tool here.



Overall the OH1 Plus is exactly the product it honestly should have been when it launched nearly two years ago as the OH1. The good news is that water is under the bridge and Polar now has an incredibly competitive offering on its hands, even more so if they decide to enable the 2nd Bluetooth Smart broadcast channel – in which case it’ll easily sweep the category.

Though honestly, pitted up against the Scosche Rhythm 24 and Wahoo TICKR FIT, it’s hard to see how it’s not already the winner. The TICKR FIT lacks offline caching that both the Scosche and Polar have. However, Polar edges ahead of the Scosche when it comes to their app/platform ecosystem – which is full-featured, rather than just being a somewhat clunky conduit. Of course if Scosche pulled out the stops and allowed things like the long talked about swim-sync to Garmin watch capability, that might definitely change things. At present, none of these sensors can transmit your swim data to any watches directly (an oddity for Polar especially).

There are very few things to nitpick on the Polar OH1 Plus (or OH1 post-firmware update). As I noted earlier, I really wish they’d figure out something for the status LED light to re-confirm you’re in recording mode when tapped. Additionally, there’s really no excuse for Polar not having OH1 to Polar Vantage M/V offload capability like Garmin has (whereby for swimming it’ll sync post-work automatically and merge the data together on the watch). But I suppose that’s honestly more a Vantage M/V complaint than an OH1 complaint.

Anyways, as I said earlier – if you’re in the market for a standalone optical HR sensor, there’s little reason at this point to not choose Polar OH1. I’ve really picked up my usage of it since earlier this year, and now with ANT+, it’s pretty much going to be my go-to upper arm optical HR sensor – mainly because of just how clean the sync is post-workout and because the accuracy is so good.

With that – thanks for reading!

Wanna Save 10%? Or found this review useful? 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 pick up the Polar sensors (or any accessories) from Clever Training. Then receive 10% off of everything in your cart by adding code DCR10BTF 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, since this item is more than $49, you get free US shipping as well.

Polar OH1 Plus
Polar H10 with ANT+

Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit (all colors shown after clicking through to the left) or accessories (though, no discount on Amazon).  Or, anything else you pick up 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!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture



  1. Wolf

    Somehow the OH1+ is missing in the comparison table…

  2. Eric

    Hi Ray,

    Great review.

    I have a question that may seem silly but I’m a neophyte: can this device be used to record heart rate data while recording a swim session with an Apple Watch, and have its heart rate data replace the watch’s heart rate readings for the duration of the session?

    Thanks in advance.

    • No, unfortunately no way to do that for swimming on the Apple Watch. Your best bet is to do something Akin to what Circe noted below, which is admittedly sorta cumbersome.

    • Eric

      Thank you very much for clarifying that for me, I appreciate it.

    • Timo Lehtinen

      How about using OH1 with Suunto Ambit3 when swimming? Suunto’s own hr sensor does the same, it records hr-data and syncronises it after the swim. But would that work also between these two? Would prefer other thatn chest strap while swimming.


    • Same story there. There’s no specific standard for how BLE offloads HR data to watches after the fact. So that’d take Polar/Suunto working together. Given Polar hasn’t even implemented in their own watches, that’s a tough gamble.

      (Now: Funny tidbit – if you look at my other post, Polar has implemented an SDK today for their OH1. So technically speaking someone could actually do that offload bit themselves.)

    • axelquass

      Hopefully you will finished your Garmin 945 test before it gets announced 🙂

    • anonymous

      There is a BLE standard for transferring files (object transfer). The only thing to do is settle on a data description.

    • Correct, but as noted, no standard for HR data specifically. Hence the challenge.

  3. Circe

    I usually use my oh1 during my swim session in the forearm; record Hr then export tcx in Polar Flow and merge it in sportracks(desktop) and TrainingPeaks. HR tracks seems plausibile with my effort; also i can see Hr live with Connect iq datafield and oh1 near the wrist (opposite side pf the watch where there a better vascularization)

  4. Karel

    Great review, as always.
    The only downside of the (my) OH1 is its batterylife. And the fact the battery drains fast while not in use.

  5. Fredrik

    Curious about the OHR accuracy when placing it on the temple. If it´s more stable than upper arm then why not use it for other activities than swimming?

    You could put the OH1-sensor under a sweatband OR attached to a cap/visor/sunglasses that many runners use to shield themselves from the sun.

    Do you plan to test the OH1 positioned on the temple and compare it to the upper arm? Or have some data from Polar regarding accuracy in that position? Thanks.

    • I’ll be doing some temple swim testing for sure. I’ve got all next week slated for various product tests in a warmish destination with both pool and OW swims.

    • Matt

      I had the same thoughts about using against the temple for all sports running, cycling, yoga, gym etc a bit like the moov products do

    • Kelly

      Curious about this too – if you could wear it on a headband where presumably there is little chance of a cadence lock problem, then it might be handy for other sport applications.

  6. Andrew

    The OH1 has a different blink rate when used as independent training device.
    The Green LED blinks rapidly twice when HR is detected and recording internally.
    Otherwise the Green LED blinks once every two seconds when HR is detected and transmitting to another device.

    My only complaint with the OH1 is the tiny size of the button.
    Any chance existing OH1 users will be able to acquire/purchase the swim google clip?

    • Hmm, there’s a different blink rate after the initial two blinks? My challenge is missing the initial two blinks sometimes. So, like 5 minutes later – how can I tell its still recording?

    • Andrew

      When used as a sensor Green LED blinks once every two seconds.
      When used as an independent training device Green LED blinks quickly twice.

    • Huh. Learn something new every day:

      Used in sensor-only mode:
      Heart rate detected: Green LED blinks once every two seconds
      Heart rate detected: Green LED blinks quickly twice

      I’d argue that’s still Confusing AF, since basically it’s still green for both and variants of two’s. Twice or every two seconds. But it’s something.

    • Andrew

      LED can also blink Yellow, Red, White, Blue or Purple so remembering what they all mean is unlikely?
      So for everyday use I can remember that Green is good and Red is bad.

    • Roman

      You lucky guy.
      For me it’s green good, except it’s actually red, then it’s bad.

      I welcome white/blue status LEDs, at last a noticeable difference.

    • Happy Runner

      I remember it as:

      Slow blink…. read … read… read..
      Quick double blink…. read/write….read/write…read/write

      Hope that helps someone!

    • Ok, I’d agree that now after knowing the double-blink and using it daily, it’s working out mostly pretty well for me.

      Also – randomly interesting: I learned that if the battery is in critical, it won’t seem to create a recording (but will seemingly keep transmitting till it dies).

  7. Dembo

    I like the temple placement during the swim – that is really clever. One thing that isn’t clear to me, Ray: Does the OH1+ provide the cached HR data post workout via ANT+ like, for example an HR SWIM?

    If so, it would be a great replacement for the HRM-SWIM and I wouldn’t have to answer the why-are-you-wearing-this-chest-strap question all the time.

    • No cached workout to the watch for BLE or ANT+.

      Polar would have to implement ANTfs for ANT+ to work with Garmin watches for the post-swim caching. It’s something Scosche has been saying they’ll do for some 15 months now, but haven’t done yet. In theory it’s totally open standard, but in practice it’s unclear if there’s some catch that’s causing Scosche to stumble.

      For BLE, there’s no standard there for sports-offloading that I’m aware of. But, Polar could easily implement their own thing in their watches.

    • Dembo

      Thank you Ray for clarifying this. It’s a shame, would’ve loved to use this instead of the HRM SWIM, oh well, maybe Scosche or the OH2 will be able to pull this off.

    • James

      +1 on this.. It is a shame it won’t work with Gamin watches on the post-swim caching. I was just about to click the link to Clever Training until I read this detail.

    • Yeah, it’s definitely something Polar could theoretically implement. Though honestly, I wish they’d implement it on their own watches first (for both OH1 and H10).

    • Paul

      This is something that would also get me to buy this (or the Scosche). I use the HRM-Swim and would definitely prefer something like this to wearing a chest strap in the pool.

    • Nate C

      If anyone from polar is reading this (hi!)I would buy this yesterday if it had ANTfs support to replace my Garmin HRM Swim and download HR data to the Garmin 935 after the workout!

  8. Lisa

    2 questions here:
    What’s the sizing of the armband like? The OH Plus sounds great, but I have really skinny arms. I mean like 10-year old kid-sized.
    Did you test it against the Apple Watch 4 HR sensor? (which is usually within 1-3 beats of my Garmin chest strap).

    • Hmm, it gets super small. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone have any issues there in the last year and a half, though perhaps I missed it.

      I did some Apple Watch testing against it back in February. I think that’s in my Polar Vantage M review actually. I’d say this is more accurate than the Apple Watch 4 – but it’s also in an easier location for HR too.

  9. James

    Ray, are you suggesting the optical HR algorithms have been improved in this firmware update as well? If so, I ought to give it another try.

    For info, I bought the OH1 for my wife who likes it but when I tried it ~1 year ago I wasn’t very impressed with accuracy. I tried the Scosche she had before that and wasn’t very impressed with that either. Tried it in different positions, different band tightness, I have white skin etc. Totally unconvinced by optical sensors for run efforts beyond jogging steady state to date. I’m sticking with my conventional chest strap H10… I’m so used to it that I don’t notice any discomfort, very, very rarely get any drops if I wet the band (spit is fine!) just before starting a workout, and it’s worth the extra accuracy. Excited to read your next post about the H10 being upgraded to dual BLE/ANT as that was it’s achilles heel…

    • I’m not aware of any algorithm improvements planned in this specific update, but I know they’ve been making them over time to it.

      I don’t offhand have a list of firmware updates for the OH1.

  10. David Kroter

    Both OH1 and OH1+ works emiting to a Garmin Edge 520?. Or only the OH1+?. Thanks.

  11. Alberto Sendra

    I am still looking for a solution so I can properly track swim workouts with HR in Strava. The ones I do with my 735xt and swim chest strap won’t sync correctly because Strava refuses to support them (it’s been that way since 2015, with hundreds of complaints in their support forum)

    Any suggestions Ray? It’s a joke how bad Strava supports triathletes imho.

    • Dembo

      That is a Strava issue. According to an interview given by Strava’s Paul Niemeyer to a German podcast Strava sees it’s main future revenue stream by monetizing the location data they are collecting. Pool swimming – which is that loses all HR data as opposed to open water swims AFAIK – doesn’t have any location information so working on this is probably really low on Strava’s priorities list.

      I’ve given up and started using TrainingPeaks for my main analysis platform.

    • Definitely a Strava issue. In a nutshell they don’t correctly follow the ANT+ spec for how to read the appended .FIT files Garmin generates. It’s comical really, this spec has been around like 3-4 years now at least. There’s really no excuse – everyone else support it just fine.

  12. Tom

    “OH1 has always transmitted your heart rate over Bluetooth Smart to compatible devices. It uses Bluetooth’s heart rate sensor profile, which means virtually every fitness/sport app and device out there is compatible with it.”. Tomtom runner 3 it isn’ t compatible device.

    • That would be surprising, and honestly, if so – would definitely be a TomTom bug.

      It’s a pretty standard spec, an in fact the first standardized Bluetooth Smart profile there was was the heart rate one. If there’s anything that works cohesively on Bluetooth Smart every time, it’s HR.

  13. Mark

    Is the goggle clip available separately today? I hope they sell it later too – someone’s going to lose that clip! I don’t see it on their site yet

    • Yup, you can contact customer support and they’ll get one to you. It’s not clear if it’s free or a few dollars, but either way, they said for now that’s how they’ll handle it.

  14. gingerneil

    Accuracy looks great, but two things are showstoppers here. Battery life would be acceptable 3 years ago, but not now – especially considering the competition; and i always found the OH1 too small and susceptible to flipping over or moving about too much. Trying to my arm into a compression top and have the OH1 stay in place was almost impossible!
    I get on very well with my TICR FIT, and nothing here will tempt me to move back to an OH1. Is local caching a big use-case outside of swimming ?

    • Yeah, I think it depends on battery life. For me I just kinda get into a rhythm (no, that that Rhythm), of charging every few days. Still, a valid point.

      As for caching, I think swimming is the main one. But there are also some sports that in certain scenarios prohibit watches (soccer/football comes to mind), so that’s the appeal there.

  15. Jens

    Hey Ray,

    Thanks for this piece of great news as I have the OH1 and want ANT+ too. Maybe since I post early after your publish I can get an answer from you 🙂
    You say the Fenix 5S has problems with 3rd party devices and get dropouts. In my experience this is not a 3rd party thing, it’s a BLE thing, but maybe I’m wrong. I’ve tried running with Fenix 5S as well as FR935 connected to OH1 but both Garmins have been terrible (except for TWO runs with Fenix 5S) with a lot of missed readings, like once every 1-2 mins or so. I never had this problem when using V800 or SSU or Vantage V with OH1 (I think). Then when I started running with F5S or FR935 with a Wahoo Tickr Fit ANT+ signal I have NEVER had any missed readings so I just assumed this was a BLE problem with Garmin. Any comments on that? Even my FR735XT works flawlessly with Tickr Fit.
    I have usually been running as well as XC skiing with a Polar or Suunto + OH1 on one arm/wrist and Garmin + Tickr Fit on the other and at times there is a lag in one of them, but I don’t know who’s right actually but I guess the OH1 is more correct.

    Please give me some comments about the reliability of BLE sensors from Garmin or at least with the OH1. Can’t wait for ANT+ now btw!!

    • Weird, I actually haven’t heard that. In fact, mostly the opposite.

      Most people that have had ANT+ issues with the 5/5S (not 5X, that’s different), have had better luck with BLE on it.

      I haven’t seen any issues with my FR935 with BLE sensors – so I wonder if there’s something else at play there. 🙁

    • Jens

      Thanks for the reply! 🙂
      I too wonder. There was recently a sensor hub firmware update for 3rd party sensors both for 5S and FR935 for me. Wonder if they made a difference. Have yet to test with OH1 but will later on.
      The placement for OHR is the most important I know, so it makes me wonder if that played a part for me but since it never seems to be a problem with VV, V800 or SSU I blame Garmin. Funny thing though, the Garmin app does not show these dropouts, only Garmin web connect. Strava doesn’t show it either. At first I thought it was a display error but it’s clear in the GC web that lots is missing. (sample picture attached)
      Sounds like I need a 5X as well lol. Kinda want a 5X plus but it’s so expensive.
      If you have time Ray, someone asked on the (harsh) SSU review page you posted, whether or not it is a good buy now that it’s at discounts. I said it was but I suspect he wants you to reply 😉 I feel the SSU is not buggy anymore with the 2.x firmware.

    • Yikes, that’s pretty bad chart ndeed.

      I’ll check the Spartan review, but in general some of the X-1 (previous gen) watches are great deals right now. We also tend to see good deals on wearables in the May timeframe as well.

    • Jens

      Two weeks ago I ran with my FR935 and OH1. Had similar bad experience as the one above with lots of missing values. Today I ran with my newly purchased Fenix 5X Plus (I had something to celebrate and I’m obsessed lol) with OH1 and had NO dropouts at all, zero, none, nada!! Worked like a charm! It could be a coincidence, but I kinda don’t think it was. I will do more running with OH1 BLE and FX+ from now on to see if it continues to work well. Guess ANT+ for existing OH1 users is still a while away, but we will see. Ok so it’s Friday, will check if your new Samsung review is up yet 🙂 With Garmin Pay on the F5+ I think I have no reason to try out a Samsung watch 🙂

    • Karl

      Hi Jens- any chance you can tell me what kind of training effect numbers are you getting using OH1 with your Fenix? Thanks!

    • Jens

      Hi Karl,

      Not sure if you wanted the good runs (F5X+) or bad runs (5S and FR935 i.e with or without dropouts), so I’ve made a pic with both. Seems the dropouts didn’t really make a difference. Is this what you wanted to see?
      Of course this all depends on the pace of my runs. I think these two 7k runs were threshold runs for me, so neither super fast, nor slow.

    • Karl

      Thank you, Jens. Much appreciated!

    • Jens

      So yesterday I got the ANT+ update for my OH1 and today I ran with my Fenix 5S using OH1 connecting with ANT+. No problems with dropouts today!! I will try with my FR935 on Friday to see that it works as well there too. Surely I can’t be the only one with this problem?? Today COULD have been a coincidence but I believe ANT+ did all the difference. Now I can even take out my FR735 and use the OH1, amazing development 🙂 Wrist OHR has been working pretty well with 735 for me though, but only possible in summer(less clothing) for me.

  16. marklemcd

    Ray, does the OH1 measure HR below 40bpm? Scosche doesn’t, and for someone like me with a daily resting in the low 30s that’s a dealbreaker for any HRM.

    • Hmm not sure off-hand. But what’s the scenario for using the OH1 (or Scosche) for all-day HR? It tends to be a workout device more than a 24×7 device.

    • marklemcd

      I get up and take my resting HR each morning, so whatever HRM I use needs to be able to handle that.

      Theoretically my Garmin 935 can, but for me I’ve found there optical unit to not work well on me (or any optical near my wrist). I’ll sit there and it fluctuates rapidly between the 50s and 90s and sometimes will eventually, after 10 minutes or more, settle to a plausible reading. And we know the Garmin way to telling someone their resting HR with the all day monitor is weird.

      I’ve been using the Wahoo Tickr, but when I use it for exercise I get chafed a lot. So a reliable optical HR would be nice.

    • MattH

      I have the same issue. My scenario is for morning HRV testing.

      Currently using the R24 for that, but i know its inaccurate in measuring my resting HR as my fenix 5+ shows a resting HR in high 30s, whereas R24 always shows resting HR of 42.

  17. Tom

    3-5 years too late. they’ll go the nokia way …

  18. Nic

    Hi Ray

    Do you think Garmin (I have the F5) will ever implement the OHR sensor for swimming on any of their range of watches, now or in the future? Whenever I have read about this previously its stated that being underwater kills the reliability of the data. That obviously doesn’t seem to be the case here, hence my question.
    I presume that you’ve covered this a million times but seems relevant anyway.


  19. Is there a way to get the goggle clip for an existing OH1 owner?

    • Polar says to contact customer support and they’ll get you all hooked up.

    • Andrew

      Polar Australia have quoted me $39 delivered for the goggle swim clip. This is just a piece of plastic right? The price differential online between OH1 and OH1+ is $10.

    • That’s nuts. Yeah, just a tiny piece of plastic not much bigger than two peanut M&M’s side by side.

      Somewhere either on this page or the other Polar ANT+ one someone got a quote for I think 5GBP from Polar.

  20. Ed I

    Any idea whether this will record a workout AND broadcast in ANT+?. I use a Garmin Edge 520 for cycling but prefer the recovery charts in Polar Flow so I usually also wear a Polar M430 with a Wahoo Tickr chest strap broadcasting to both units. If this would record and transmit to the Edge 520 I could leave the watch at home and replace the Tickr with the OH1.

  21. Amit

    Nice to additional functionality added – although not sure I’ll use it as I’ve set up everything to be BT based. Had my OH1 for a few months now, please with accuracy (in fact i got it because I liked the sensor on the M430) but the battery life….

    12 hours battery life is fine with me, but the fact that it drains when not in use so I actually only every get about 4/5 hours of use in a cycle spread over a couple of weeks is not helpful!

    Is there any news on sorting out the battery drain when off issue?

  22. morey

    “pitted up against the Scosche Rhythm 24 and Wahoo TICKR FIT, it’s hard to see how it’s not already the winner.”

    Well, other than the off-line storage thing, 30hr battery life (TICKR) vs 10hrs (OH1) is a big deal. Whether you’re an ultra runner or an IM distance triathlete. I had a setup with my Mio Link and Suunto Ambit2 where I could see real time HR during my swim. that was pretty cool. That said- I don’t miss it much and would rather have the battery life.

    • Yeah I think the battery life does definitely depend on which type of athlete you are. For an Ironman/Ultra/etc, then certainly – the 12hrs is cutting it too close for most (or not enough at all).

      But I suspect for anyone else, the 10-12 hours probably covers their weekly training demands without too much issue. Like I said, I prefer the form factor (and LED’s) on the Scosche, though I think the whole app situation is so much better on the Polar.

  23. Cris

    Maybe you should read the manual…

  24. Cris

    I mean … After reading you would have known about the different modes causing different status led blinking.
    You wrote that you have not read the manual at all in your article.

    • Yup, missed it in there.

      Though, given I brought this very item up to Polar’s product managers on a call a few days before and they didn’t mention the status modes either, sounds like it’s not well known (and I still stand it’s confusing that its implemented).

  25. Zeki

    “No cached workout to the watch for BLE or ANT+.”
    Oh no, I was just about to press “buy”.

  26. Alan Webb

    Hi Ray,

    Does the Polar OH1+ capture/record heart rate variability when paired to something like the Elite HRV app (via Bluetooth)?

  27. Robert

    Is Polar OH1 or OH1 plus working with Tacx Neo?

    • Robert

      And one more question if OH1 Plus works with Fenix 3?

    • Yes on the Fenix 3. In fact, it’ll work with any Garmin wearable/bike computer they’ve ever made – except for some of the later Vivosport/Vivofit products that no longer allow you to connect to HR straps for some odd reason (of any sort). But all Vivoactive are perfectly fine.

      As for the Tacx Neo, that trainer doesn’t directly connect to HR sensors of any sort. But the Tacx training apps can indeed connect to this strap as well.

    • Robert

      Thanks a lot. Of course. As You answered i understood that question was not quite clear. I mean with Zwift app with Tacx Neo. So if it can connect with TAcx training app so also it can be connected with Zwift. Thanks a lot for answers and Have a nice weekend!!

  28. Great review Ray. I have a Polar OH1 and looking forward to the firmware update to get ANT+ . There is one significant advantage to the Polar OH1 compared to the Polar chest straps and Garmin chest straps I have used in the past – not sure if this has been raised by others. I used to get a severe allergic reaction to something in the strap’s construction, along with many other people from what I have seen on the internet, resulting in nasty rashes that got to be so bad I stopped using the straps. No such issue with the Polar OH1, given where it can be worn.

  29. Roman

    Could you put the goggle clip on a helmet strap while cycling? Or is that a stupid Idea?

    • Mike@PolarUSA

      It is unlikely one would get meaningful data if worn as such. Goggle straps are tight to the head (which by default will hold the OH1 sensor/cradle securely) where as helmet straps would be too loose. -Mike@PolarUSA

    • Louis Matherne

      This could be useful for rowing as the pressure fluctuation on the arms makes getting a consistent reading with a optical heart rate monitor spotty. Seems that it would just require a head strap to keep the OH1 tight against the temple.

    • Louis Matherne

      Got my OH1+ today. Looks like it will work on the temple with an ordinary headband. This could be a great option for workouts like rowing that put lots of fluctuating pressure on the arms resulting in poor readings.

    • BillD

      Thanks for sharing. I wonder if this might work for running as well. However, in this case it seems that the unit might unclip itself due to all those jarring impacts from running.

  30. Sergio Fabbri

    When will you try the temple mount while swimming? Eager to see your results! Sergio

    • Yup. I did both a pool test and an openwater swim test in the last few days. I haven’t had the time yet to consolidate all that data and see how it looks.

      Functionally speaking the only caveat I’d note is that it’s sorta a pain in the ass if you take off (like put on your forehead) your goggles for a moment in between a set. That’s because the little pod tends to rotate and flip over. So sometimes it ends up facing outwards and you might not realize it. So you have to somewhat remember to double-check each time before you re-start your set.

    • Andrew

      Also interested to see the HR data from using the swim clip. I put my OH1 under my swim cap yesterday for 2 laps (100m) to compare with wearing on my upper arm. Only did 2 laps as I didn’t want to lose it although it probably floats?

    • Joaquin

      Very interesting product. I’ve been (pool) swimming since high school. I’ve used the Polar strap under a swimming shirt (otherwise it would move every time you push yourself hard from the end walls) but the OH1+ clipped to the googles seems like it could be a game changer. Quick question, can it transmit HR data in real time to a Garmin…say 945? I asume (I’ve read) that not while swimming, but if used in other sports, would it? What I would love to know is if the data from the OH1+ sensor would be recorded by (or imported into) the Garmin and then downloaded from the Garmin for analysis as part of the same exercise, or if not, how do I merge the HR data from the OH1+ into the distance and other swimming metrics taken by the Garmin. I’m sure you know what I mean. I thank you in advance for your comments.

    • Paul

      Hi Joaquin,
      I Have the same question. Ive already bought theOH1+ based on this review (Thanks @DCRainmaker!), but can’t seem to find HR after a swim. have tried all combinations I could think off:
      Start recording OH1+ then start a swim session. nothing found afterwards
      Start a swim and then start recording OH1+. again nothing.
      Start a swim in normal mode (not recording), it does see my HR continously but not when I sync to garmin connect.
      It just doesn’t seem to work for swimming when combined with a garmin watch (F5+). I do have the HRM swim strap. that connects almost immediately ehen I finish a swim. this OH1+just doesn’t do anything when it comes to recording and then connecting to garmin for analysis. So yes its a good HR device for contious ANT+ readings on a garmin Edge 820 for instance, or when running. But for swimming you can only read the saved data through the Polar app. Not as compatible as I thought it would be.
      Anyone interested in buying one? Ill stick to the HRM Tri and wait for Garmin to come up with something thats works with their range of products

    • Jens

      Hi Paul and Joaquin,

      The OH1+, just like any generic ANT+/BLE HR-device can only transmit HR under water in a very limited distance (like 2-3cms). No Garmin watch can receive HR data in POOL SWIM activity during the activity (under water). Workaround – which will not show distance – is to use indoor activity during swim and have the OH1 next to the watch but this is a very bad suggestion for accurate readings. For open water swim you will get realtime HR with this method, but it’s still not a good suggestion IMO since OHR is not very reliable under water.
      The only way to save recorded/cached HR data with OH1+ is through Polar Beat app. I suppose there is some way to get this into the fit file for a Garmin pool swim activity but I am sure it might be hard work.
      I tried to do pool swim using Mio Link next to a Suunto Ambit3 Vertical using BLE and that actually works, but it’s just because the Suunto watch can handle realtime HR in the pool. Only older Suunto models can do that I think.
      I think the OH1 is great with Garmin for non pool swim activity now that I got ANT+ in mine through firmware update anyway. It got disconnected for 1-2 mins last weekend while running however so not sure what that was about. Fortunately it wasn’t a race and not so long, but still alarming.
      Kind of off topic, but if you pool swim with Garmin with HRM-Tri or HRM-Swim, the HR data will not be shown in Strava due to an incompatibility with the format Garmin saves the HR for pool swim, but if you do open water swim, it WILL go to Strava! Kind of annoying.
      Hope I answered some questions?

  31. fred

    One thing I didn’t notice is once the battery no longer takes a charge, in about 3 to 4 years which seems to be typical time frame, how much will it cost to replace the battery? Polar is notorious for expensive battery replacements.

  32. Karl

    Does it give you all the metrics when connected to Garmin watches? I personally am mostly interested in the training effect numbers. Scosche does not and all what I am getting from their and garmin’s support is fingers at each other.

  33. Luccas Ruzzon

    When we will get the firmware update for the OH1? Has anyone already with it?

  34. Jarno

    Got my new OH-1 today at hands.. Connecting with Garmin 5X did not give another option to connect with ANT+ though which I needed for trainer use (leaving the Bluetooth for the Zwift device). Would be fixed with new firmware?

    My other use case would have been/ is to wear it with the watch while swimming but that would give the HR only during breaks, out from the water, right?

    • Jarno

      Apparently issues to connect were on Garmin’s side as after some restarts and removing Garmin belt from the connected devices it finally gave another option to connect OH1 via ANT+ too. Problems solved during one night 😉 – Will keep it!

  35. Konrad

    Your battery lasts for a couple of weeks!?

    Mine is dead within four to five days – without using it for a second! In fact it does not make much of a difference if I use it or not, I have to charge it about twice a week.

    Is this normal or is my OH1 defective?

  36. Tommy

    Can you turn off the broadcasting on the OH1 when in cached mode to save battery? I was thinking of using it for a 12+ hour event which will push the limits of battery life, but I do not need to broadcast HR, just store it. Is there a way to turn off the broadcasting completely to add battery life?

  37. Johny Nelissen

    Is the oh1 sensor also compatibel with suunto 9 or suunto ambit 3 peak?

    • Jens

      Johny I would say yes to that without actually knowing. I use my OH1 with my SSU without a problem so I could almost guarantee it works with both of those. Should work as any BLE HR sensor IMO.
      I’ve only had problems with Garmins, FR935 and Fenix 5S, getting lots of missed readings. Never happened with Fenix 5X Plus though(I just got a firmware update for BLE on 5X Plus so I hope that will not mess up anything!!).

    • Johny Nelissen

      Hi Jens, thanks for support! I have lots of problems with hr registration with suunto. Therefore i was thinking about the oh1 connecting with suunto

    • Mike Annett

      I’ve successfully paired with ambit 3 and have been using it for a few days. The heart rate data for the first 10 mins is so much cleaner than the “noisy” old chest strap. One side effect I’ve noticed; the “performance difference” metric on movescount is now always 0.0%

  38. David

    Will fenix 3’s VO2 Max and Recovery Advisor work with this sensor? Or am I correct to assume that needs HRV to work?

    • Jarno

      My recovery estimates and training effects get updated with fenix 5X when this one’s used. Did not try running 10km to try for vo2 update as have the run belt for more parameters.

  39. Xylem

    Hoping someone out there might have the same issue and have suggestions. My OH1+ will not maintain a solid bluetooth connection to my series 3 apple watch. This is not an issue with every other bluetooth HR device that I have. Typically for a ride, my HRM will connect to the watch and to my wahoo (via ANT+) and maintain a solid connection until I power off the HRM. With the OH1+, if I pull up the bluetooth settings on the watch and look at connected health devices, the OH1+ fluctuates between connected and not connected. The OH1+ is not connected via bluetooth to any other devices. While my iPhone sees it, I have not paired it with it. Again, every other bluetooth HRM I have does not have this problem. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions that might help me keep a solid connection between the OH1+ and my apple watch. As an aside, I am not using any workout apps on the watch, just simply having the watch use the OH1+ in lieu of the watches built in HRM. Polar was less than helpful when presented with the situation. Thanks so much.

  40. Jerome

    I am trying to pair the OH1 Sensor to a Garmin FR 920XT without success. Any tip?

    • Jens

      Jerome, did you update firmware so it has ANT+? I think 920XT needs that. Hopefully that is what is missing. Also hope you didn’t already get the OH1+ because then I am clueless.

  41. Jon

    Any have problems getting the oh1+ to provide HR to the Health App on an iPhone? I have the latest oh1 firmware and have done a factory reset of the oh1+ and have bounced my iPhone.
    My iPhone XR successfully pairs with the oh1+ but it doesn’t show up as a HR device in the Apple Health App.
    My Apple 4KTV pairs with the oh1+ and I have HR for Zwift.
    I can see oh1+ HR with the Polar Apps on my iPhone.
    The iPhone Health App will show HR with my old MiO wristband.

  42. I got the google clips thru the post for my OH1, Polar charged the following

    – OH1 # : SP – Spare parts sales

    HOLDER SWIM ASS OH1 1.00 5.00
    POST AND PACKAGING 1.00 3.50
    ************ 8.50 ************ 0 0.00
    BALANCE 8.50

    I appear to have got 2 clips, not sure when you’d chose one of the other?? I think I’m going to try the bigger one of the two today, for fear of loosing the sensor in the pool!!

  43. David Balfoort

    I just got an email notification from Polar that the original OH1 is now Ant+ through Power Flow app.

  44. Matt

    First run with the OH1 plus connected to via ANT to F5s (auxiliary heart rate IQ data field) also connected with HM-TRI chest strap normally via ANT. With 1-2 bpm diff throughout the run other than on the recovery from an interval, normal for optical, however instead of on my arm it was against my temple using the goggle connector attached to my glasses. Only a 10k easy run but something I would recommend if you are not getting on with chest strap or on the arm. On my left temple with Garmin F5s on my left wrist

  45. Matthew

    Would be the icing on the cake if Polar could incorporate the store and forward for ANT+ too – would be great for swimimng without a chest strap that everyone points at

  46. Jan

    Hi, does anyone know if there is a larger version of the strap? On the polar website you can order one that claims to be m-xxl. The one which came with my oh1 says „m“. Is that the same strap? It’s barely big enough for my forearm and I‘m not a bodybuilder.

  47. Roberto

    Hi.I have a S9 and I am looking for a new HRM. I hacer 3 questions: (1) The OH1 works with S9? (2) In a triathlon, how is it works? Because in water doesn’t send HR figures to the watch, but when you start biking automatically send the figures? (3) It is confortable to use with wetsuit? Thanks!

    • 1) Yes
      2) No swim data during the swim on the watch (however, you can put the OH1 into recording mode, but that data won’t merge to your Suunto data)
      3) It’s cumbersome only in that you need to ensure the pod is facing the right way once you get it on. It’s not impossible, but I find it mostly a pain in the ass to get right.

    • Roberto

      Thanks Ray!

  48. GaryV

    I just purchased the OH1+ and have successfully used it with my Concept2 Rowing Machine, Concept2 BikeErg and my Garmin VivoActive3 and Edge25 devices – all devices connected via Ant+. I also have it connected via Bluetooth to my iPhone 8 and like to use the Polar Beat and Polar Flow apps and the Polar Flow web interface.

    One question though … Having done a few workouts now all of which I see on Polar Flow, I’d like to be able to see my Recovery Status on the Polar Flow web site. However, that tab is missing under the Diary submenu for me. Is that because the OH1+ doesn’t support the Recovery Status feature and I’d only get that if I was using another Polar device?

    Has anyone else been able to see the Recovery Status using only the OH1 (no other Polar watch or device)?

    Many thanks in advance,

  49. Kristian I.

    When I try to use my OH1 for recording data. The following happens: I press the button two times, and the LED blinks red three times. It doesn’t start recording. On the Polar support site thay say this for three red blinks: “Training recording set on but first time use not done”

    So, what is this first time use? I have used it for a year now mostly for recording and some broadcasting and suddenly I can’t record anymore. I recently updated firmware but can’t remember if I used it successfully for recording after that.

    Can somebody help?

  50. Chano

    Hi there,
    I do a lot of sports, also muay Thai… Question if I place the sensor on the inside of my upper arm, where I normally don’t get hit, will the sensor read that accurate?

    • I wouldn’t expect any issues there. However, just beware of any rubbing that might occur (which could cause chaffing, or also, inaccuracy if it essentially makes a thump – since that might overrule a HR from an algorithm standpoint).

    • Chano

      Thanks for the quick answer. Love your site and your reviews!

    • Chano

      Last week I tested it at muay Thai training. I wore it at the upper arm with the sensor at the back of the arm where it is normally save from hits or kicks or whatever. Well, it worked perfectly great.

  51. Chano

    So I got a oh1+ and it works perfectly. Which polar GPS watch can you recommend? Could be an older one, too. It should have GPS accuracy and a decent battery life. Possibility to track sleeping, too. Normally I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the ignite, but the GPS isn’t accurate yet, as I read. Possible also to buy an older used one until the ignite GPS is fixed…
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks a lot in advance

  52. Carol Clements

    A question. It states for swimming you attach the clip to the side you breath on in freestyle – well I breath every 3 strokes, which means I breath both sides! Will it still register my heart rate correctly? Thank you

  53. Sabi2017

    Purchased a Polar OH1HR monitor last week. It paired easily to my Garmin Edge 1000; however, once paired the Garmin stopped working properly. When I started a ride it remained fixed at 14.8 mph, 0.26 miles distance for a 33 mile ride. Fortunately I had also started Strava so my wife could follow my ride and that recorded properly. I never experience this with my Scosche Rhythm 24 or any of a number of strap monitors. Needless to say I returned the Polar and am going back to my Scosche.

    • That seems like an unconnected coincidence. There’s no distance aspects at all of the OH1. Does the HR drop-out at the point that it stopped recording? And what does the GPS and speed tracks look like?

  54. Luke

    Hi Ray

    Soo Im finally gonna take the plunge and try optical… But I get an error on clever training… They wont accept your coupon 🙁

    I get an error saying that the OH1+ is not couponable. (if thats even a thing?)

  55. Anthony

    For anyone like me that lost the little charger clip within a week, Polar sells them (over the phone only) for $13 plus $5 shipping via slow boat usps.

    While I wait a week or two for it to show, I figured out you can charge it by applying +5v to the contact closest to the metal button with ground being the contact on the opposite side. I covered the two middle data contacts with non- conductive electrical tape. I then used metal tape to affix the leads from a wall transformer to the +5v & ground contacts. Charges like a dream.

    You may need to use a little pin push to get the metal tape to make contact through its adhesive.

  56. Fazhira

    Hi does anyone knows. If this can connect via ble or ant plus to garmin watches? Or only exclusive to polar watches?

  57. Gary

    I have successfully connected my OH1+ to my Garmin Vivoactive 3 watch.


    • Jens

      Yeah Gary and Fazhira, it connects to all Garmin watches after the latest ANT+ addition, even old Forerunner 225 that I have. I say ANT+ addition since I have an OH1 which didn’t have ANT+ until a firmware upgrade this year.

  58. Luke

    Sorry, one last question – Tried googling it but cant get a clear answer.

    1. Does the OH1+ broadcast in 5mhz (gymlink (?) too? Want to use it with a Kesier m3i
    2. Unclear too if the OH1+ will send swim HR data to a fenix 5 after a swim workout. Will it operate the same as a Garmin Swim?



    • Jens

      Hi Luke,

      About 1. I think it doesn’t but I can’t be sure. Sounds like an analog thing which I know it can’t handle.
      2. It will not send swim HR data. Only Garmin chest straps can do that to a Garmin.

  59. Bob Schraven

    I’d like to use this for volleyball. If my Garmin watch is a bit too far away somehow, will the HR sensor record data and sent it to the watch ones the connection is restored? Obviously I’ll not be wearing my watch while playing.

    • No, unfortunately not. There’s no ANT+ based offload to a Garmin device for post-connectivity.

      You can still save the workout on the OH1 itself, but there’s no (even remotely easy) way to get that onto your Garmin device.

      I’d honestly recommend something like the HRM-TRI for that, though it sorta sucks since that’s an ANT+ only strap and I suspect its days are limited.

    • Bob Schraven

      The problem is a chest strap is not going to work are at least is very uncomfortable. Jumping, driving, etc. My footpod data (synced to my Fenix 5S) does seem to have no or very little drop out. Can I expect this OH1+ should be able to cover a similar distance?

    • It might cover the distance just fine, I haven’t done a lot of distance tests with it. Generally speaking ANT+ in a clear-air environment can go dozens of meters easily.

  60. Boris

    Question: Does the OH1(+) meanwhile support two concurrent bluetooth connections (like H10 can do) or is it still limited to only one bluetooth connection?

  61. Peter St.

    I’ve switched to OH1+ from Rhythm 24 at the beginning of June and have never looked back. It has not failed me even once! Its HR readings are reliable during running, commute bike rides, roller skiing and even body weight strength training (all are areas where I’ve had issues – in some more, in some less – with R24). The only thing bothering me is battery life.

    Thus, the question – is this behavior normal or is it a defective battery? I get screaming blinking red lights from OH1+ after 8-8.5 hours of usage during 6 days (and that’s including the approximate time before / after activity). I use it in Bluetooth mode connected to my Garmin 945.

    • Bikeman

      I changed from the 24 to the OH1 when it got ant+. Much improved reliability. Battery run times are similar to yours.

    • Peter St.

      Thanks for your sharing your experience Bikeman and Chano! It’s a bit comforting to know that I’m not alone out there with such battery life 🙂
      Nevertheless, I’ve also sent a question about this to Polar support team and will post the reply here when I receive it.

    • Peter St.

      A short update. Thus far I’ve received 3 e-mails with nothing useful… This Saturday, I headed into the run after the OH1+ had been turned on for ~6:45 during the week period. Before the run I received low battery warning both from my Garmin and OH1+ (it had green-red light warning). The OH1+ lasted for 2:03 and then died. Thus the overall time switched on and unit’s battery limit was short of 9 hours (via Bluetooth connection). If we look at the max capacity of 12 hours, then it’s either 25% less or there was 25% discharge during 6 days…

      The latest Polar reply is as following (offering no solution; I’m skipping hello and best regards part and by comments in brackets):
      “There could be several answers:

      1. Battery lifetime was published before adding ANT+ connectivity mode. [I had ANT+ disabled via Polar beat app thus there should be no impact as the unit should not broadcast ANT+ signal]
      2. Polar gives info regarding their own products, meaning OH1 + Polar watch. Not Polar + Garming or Suunto. [Really? I presume that this has really minor impact as OH1+ is simply broadcasting a signal and whatever unit is receiving it makes no difference…]
      3. Yes, during standby period it can lose some energy.
      4. They have a tendency to overestimate battery lifetime. But this does not explain 25% shorter battery lifetime.”

  62. Chano

    Hi Peter. It works for me well for different sports, too. I use it standalone and battery life is about 9-10 hours, which is a bit disappointing. My sports sessions are never longer than two hours, so after the fourth, I charge to not destroy the next session record because of lack of battery like it happened at the beginning to me.

  63. Dave

    How accurate is it swimming by just using the armband? I have the regular version and it didn’t come with the goggle clip. Hard time finding just the clip for sale. I am swimming with just the arm band alone, wondering if the reading is accurate or am I just wasting my time?

  64. Danny

    I bought Polar OH1 band and noticed that it indicates detected heart rate (by green led blinking) even when band was taken off my arm. It will come to white blinking led only when I connect it to any device – beat app, Forerunner watches … Is device faulty or does is just work in a way, that whn using it as standalone device I cannot know if heart rate is detected (band might be worn too loosely …)?

  65. Tim J

    I ran with the OH1+ all summer and loved it. I got pretty much perfect data tracks every time. Although longer battery life would be nice, it isn’t a big issue for me. Recently, with the cooler weather, I’ve done a few runs in long sleeves and I’ve already had several problems with the sensor flipping over. This leaves big gaps in the data track until it gets noticed. My previous good feelings about this sensor are evaporating fast! I’m trying to think of ways to keep it from turning over with some sort of clip on the strap or some such. Anybody with a creative solution, please let me know. Ironically, if Polar just made the sensor a little wider, they could keep it from turning over and use the extra space for longer battery life. Two for one, solves both problems with the sensor. Polar, are you listening?

    • Bikeman

      I’m not experiencing this issue but i just tried cutting down a terry cloth headband and placing around the OH1, it holds it in place with no problems.

    • Tim J

      Good idea. I’ll give it a try.

    • Jan

      Are you wearing it on your upper arm (above the biceps)? If not, give that a shot. I’ve used it many times with long sleeves and have never had an issue with flipping (aside from when I’m first putting on the shirt—just have to be mindful that it’s in the right spot initially).

    • Danny

      It flipped over to me once or twice, but not while running, it happen to me when putting long sleeve base layer and jacket on. Now, I am more careful and make sure that its not flipped before start to run. Firstly, I was surprised, that it was showing hr even when flipped over, so I had no chance to find out, that i looked at fake hr. I am new with optical hr sensors, I have been using only chest straps for ages and when it looses contact with a skin, it stops to transmit, unlike optical sensor. I wear oh1, as Jan mentioned, on upper arm, found it more comfortable and easier to take it off.

    • Tim J

      Thanks for the reply. That’s interesting. I was wearing it on my upper arm above the biceps and that’s when I had the problems with it flipping over with long sleeves. Generally, this would happen mid-run, even though I had checked it prior to starting. I now am wearing it on my inner forearm, just inside and below the elbow. So far, this is working for me and I’ve had no more instances of it flipping over. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

  66. Danny

    It might be normal functionality, but when compared with cheststrap, there is hr delay with oh1+, which is still behind chest strap. When doing steady pace, oh1 lags always 3seconds behind garmin cheststrap and when doing interval, when hr changes rapidly, oh1+ is 7-10seconds behind chest strap. Is such behaviour normal, or is my new oh1+ faulty?

    • Jan

      Sadly, it’s normal, and that prevents optical from being the perfect solution for everything imo. It’s great for general use but not super useful when trying to keep HR at or under a target zone. So, I still use my chest strap for that type of workout.

  67. Peter Gamma

    I m using my GARMIN watches 24 x 7 always running. Still unhappy with it, since they cannot be used during charging. So I have to wear two devices alternatively. Is there an optical heart rate device in the same quality range of a GARMIN watch which can be used during charging?

  68. Steven Knapp

    Picked up an OH1+ from Amazon’s holiday sale (20% off).

    A few quick observations I’d not seen noted:

    – The OH1 is much more comfortable to wear than my Rhythm+ I suspect just due to the much smaller size.

    – The wrist band clip has a quick reference guide embossed into it, maybe an update based on Ray’s feedback?

    – The orange looks just plain orange in the pictures but is a weave of orange, pink, and yellow.

  69. scott jay

    I would like to be able to monitor my HR while I swim. This device seems to be able to measure it while swimming, not sure about other HRMs. Unless I am missing something, I don’t think it can transmit to anything I wear? Is there anything that does this, where I can see my HR on a watch (which has a HRM function, just not accurate while swimming). I thought maybe the FORM swim googles would be a great combo, HR could be an added field? I know it is almost impossible to transmit thru the water, but this device is not always in the water, neither is watch or head. If I got one update per lap, it would be enough.

    If there is a solution to viewing HR while swimming, I’d appreciate someone chiming in.

    Thanks again for the awesome detailed info.

    • Dave Ed

      Hey, I placed some comments on kofuzi recent review on the swimming with the armband. You can scroll to the bottom and read em below. I have a Fenix 5 and I swim with oh1. It does show your HR on the watch instantly, but doesn’t record it on Garmin connect. For that I record it on the device and upload it to polar beat to review afterwards.

      link to youtu.be

  70. baul

    Follow your recommend to buy the oh1 plus. Now have a question: Once turn on the oh1,then press long to turn off the oh1 ,will aways lead to firmware updating status that Blue continuously on. I now press long which go through power on status and finally the led is off, that mean it is power off.

    Does my oh1 is defect?

  71. James

    I bought one a month and a bit ago when my rhythm+ died from ingesting water through a crack in the rubber after 3 years of daily use.

    I hate it. It takes forever to react to HR changes. It completely misses intervals. I tried both forearms and biceps inside and out.

    If you need it to monitor your effort/pacing then don’t buy it. I am pale skin not to hairy (not where I wear it) not super lean or fat.

    If your muscles flex under it it just misses any changes.

    I’ll take any tips but for me this product gets 2 out of 5

    • Andrew

      It would probably help if you specified what activity you’re using the OH1 for? I’d guess running but you can also do intervals cycling on a trainer.
      I use the OH1 on my inner forearm approx 1 inch below the elbow crease. HR data is within 1-2 bps as my H7 strap however the OH1 does lag by approx. 4-5 seconds during intervals when HR increases rapidly.
      So for interval training I think the consensus is that a strap is still necessary.

    • James

      I’m using it predominantly for cycling with some running. And I’ll use it for swimming and surfing. My old rhythm+ worked brilliantly.

    • Andrew

      For cycling I always wear on my left forearm as it is used less for gear shifting/braking.
      Are you using BLTE or ANT+ as ANT+ dropouts are common if the devices are too far apart.
      Otherwise it may be the head unit that is not placing nicely with the OH1?

    • James

      I use an ambit3S which I never had a problem with (until the awful Suunto app replaced movescount)

      I think I may have had it too tight. Although it’s still really slow for the first 5 minutes

      It seems to work better on the aforementioned inch below the elbow crease. It still leaves a mark though

  72. According to this review:

    link to the5krunner.com

    the OH1 is the most accurate optical heart rate sensor tested by the reviewer and the accuracy of the OH1 is comparable to a chest strap. Battery life is between 11.5 – 12 h for a new battery.

    I miss a battery life which is comparable to a GARMIN watch which is reliable more than 24 for protocols with GPS off, and a miss the option that the OH1 can be used during charging. To make the OH1 the most suitable optical heart rate sensor for a high quality 24 * 7 heart rate recording.

  73. Dean G.

    So I got an Ambit3 Sport, it’s still going so I rather not update it with no reason. The HR Strap is rather dogshit though and can not be synched with my Garmin 530 or anything else really that I could use to monitor my HR on my Trainer.

    Would you guys still recommend it in 2020 ? The price seems fair.

    If I can not use it with my Ambit3 Sport, that’s alright. I just want some HR Monitor I can use when using my Elite Suito.

  74. Matty

    Hi Ray,

    We use a Kiosk with ANT+ installed which talks to a WASP and broadcast result for each HRM’s (Polar HO1’s), but the issue we have is all HRM’s registers and members details shows up on display but the HR data is stuck at 0%

    The kiosk is situated in a basement level but it is hardwired via LAN same with WAP on site.

    Does this have something to do with “privacy control for activities” on the Poalr APP perhaps?


    • That’s odd. Any chance someone toggle ANT+ off on them (via the app)? Do remember with the OH1 you do have to activate it once with the app in order for it to broadcast anything.

  75. Kevin in De Pijp

    Our OH1 has stopped turning on. I charged it normally (LED was green) but then it will not turn on when I push the button. I’ve been using it without an issue for a couple of months (got it new at the DC Rainmaker paincave event in Nov.). After this problem developed I downloaded the FlowSync app, updated the firmware, and also did a factory reset. Still can’t get it to turn on after it’s ejected from the computer. The LED lights seem to function normally when I was doing the reset (blinking purple), then went back to green, but it won’t turn on when out of the charger.

    Any suggestions?

  76. Gustavo Albuquerque

    Does the OH1 + Worls like the Garmin HRM Swim, Collecting the HR data and transmitindo it to the Garmin Unit when you Complete your workout? I’m looking for a better option to measure my HR while i swim.

    Tks a lot

    • Jens

      Hi Gustavo,

      Unfortunately (to my knowledge), only Garmin’s own chest straps work for getting HR data when swimming. No other HRM will be able to cache and after swim transmit the data. I think this is the same for most brands, they require the own brand’s chest strap for this.

  77. Frank

    I’ve just got the Polar OH1 and used it for a run with the Garmin Fenix 5S, but some odd thing shows up on garmin connect. When I look at the HR graph on garmin connect, the resolution of the Polar OH1 looks terrible (recording interval). The other graphs of the same run (pace, elevation) have much higher resolution. Previous runs with the Fenix’ built-in wrist HR also have high resolution HR graphs.

    Left part is Polar OH1, right is Fenix wrist HR.

    • Mike Annett

      I’m not an authority on this but I think the 2 devices work differently. The HRM is monitoring the electrical signals from the heart and these have micro variations which if taken literally will look like fine grain spikeyness… whereas the optical devices are measuring something equivalent to a “pulse” which they will smooth out into something that looks more “rampy”.

      I’ve been told that the micro variations detected by HRMs are used by Suunto watches to calculate “Performance Difference” metrics. So on one level that is a tick in the box for HRMs. However from a consumer point of view, I don’t use this feature. I personally find about 40% of my runs with an HRM have garbage data for the first 10 mins. I know there are work arounds for some of this, but its all very dull. Based on a few weeks use I’ve become a bit of a groupee for optical. You can just put it on, run and get a clean meaningful line. I think if the devices had been invented the other way around that HRMs would be a difficulty sell and you’ve be asking “why is my HRM so high res (noisy)”

  78. Peter Gamma

    I sent this message to the Polar Support. They answered me to contact the repair departement. This is not a repair, this needs an update:

    Polar OH1 flips around and looses data

    I use the POLAR OH1 24 * 7 now, and I love it for it s accuracy.
    Unfortunately, I regularly have the problem that the POLAR OH1 flips around
    and looses data. I use a textile plaster to fix it. But I miss a more
    professional solution for the POLAR OH1.

    • Matt

      I had a few issues with flipping over i the past so I’ve changed my approach. Now I just use one of swimming plastic “cages” and connect it to watch wrist strap (much like you would do to your swimming goggles). It sits perfect between the bone and the watch bucket will no/minimal movement. I’ve not had any issues with cadence lock or inaccurate reading (when compared to chest strap).

      I’ve also connected to my (Sun)glasses and ran with the OH1+ at my temple but was too afraid of losing it, again it worked great for running when comparing to a chest strap.

    • Peter Gamma

      You had problems too with flipping? Ray described this problem also in his video:

      link to youtube.com

      I sent once more a e-mail to the cosumer service. They said they send it to the developer. I fix it now with textile plasters, but it’s not so comfortable. I thought about a broader band for the OH1.

    • Tim J

      I had problems with it flipping over also, especially when wearing long sleeves in colder weather. It would actually be better if the device was a little wider. They could use the extra room for more battery too. Anyway, I stopped wearing it on my bicep and started wearing it on my inner forearm just about an inch below the elbow. I’ve had much better success with it in that position.

    • I wear 24 * 7 a POLAR OH1 using two devices alternatively. To change the device, it is more comfortable to wear it on the lower arm. But the problem is, when I remove my coat, the Polar OH1 gets lost in my coat. So I have to put it on the upper arm when wearing a coat. But I think a broader band could solve the problem.