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Polar Verity Sense (Optical HR Sensor Band) In-Depth Review

Polar-Verity-Sense-In-Depth-Review

Polar has launched an updated version of their standalone optical HR sensor, taking the existing Polar OH1 and adding new features and capabilities, and re-branding it as the Verity Sense. For those familiar with my reviews & testing, you’ll know that I often use the Polar OH1 as a reference device in testing – and it is arguably the most accurate optical HR sensor in the market – usually out-performing conventional chest straps too (especially in cooler weather). Perhaps once the Scosche Rhythm 2.0 starts shipping in a month, that’ll change – as the early results here were promising.

The question is – does the Verity Sense retain that title? First up, are the improvements. They’ve significantly increased the battery life claims, from 8 to 20 hours. They’ve also increased the range from 75m to 150m – primarily targeted at field team sports that may have recording devices on the sidelines. They’ve also included a new swimming mode, and dedicated mode lights on the back, plus an entirely new strap design that minimizes the chance of a flip-over. In other words, they basically addressed the most common complaints of the OH1 series.

I’ve been testing the unit for a bit now, and have some good solid data to look at accuracy on, plus general usage. However, I’ll keep adding data sets to this, especially over the coming weeks as part of other reviews where I’ll continue to use this alongside other products to see how accuracy fairs longer term.

Finally, note that neither this post, nor any other post I write, is sponsored by Polar or anyone else in the sports tech industry. I’ll return this media loaner unit back to them and go out and buy my own. If you found this post useful, consider becoming a DCR Supporter which makes the site ad-free, while also getting access to a mostly weekly video series behind the scenes of the DCR Cave. And of course, it makes you awesome.

What’s new:

It’d be relatively easy to look at the Verity Sense, spit off a couple of battery and band changes and call it done. But in reality, there’s actually quite a bit more than meets the eye that’s different than the OH1 series – especially once you start using it. Here’s my bulleted attempt at capturing all of those (including the battery and band changes):

– Increased battery life from 8 hours to 20 hours
– Increased signal range from 75 meters to 150 meters
– Increased storage from 4MB to 16MB (thus up to 600hrs of data)
– Increased water resistance from 30m to 50m
– Added secondary Bluetooth channel (2x Bluetooth Smart + unlimited ANT+ connections)
– Added dedicated swim mode, which captures swim metrics
– Added three lights for the three main modes (transmission/standalone recording/swimming)
– Added gyro and magnetometer for SDK applications
– Added antenna signal amplifier to new strap design
– Changed band design to make it difficult to flip over
– Changed band design to allow it to detach strap (like a watch, versus single-piece band prior)
– Changed the swimming clip to make it more universally compatible
– Changed basic operations aspects, like how exactly you record an activity in standalone mode
– Price increased from $79/79EUR to $89/89EUR
– Kept the same optical HR sensor as the OH1 series
– Kept the same external design/size & charging/sync dock

Now, we’ll dive into all those details, but I know a bunch of you will be asking: Can you buy the new strap design for the older Polar OH1 series? And the answer is yes. The external pods are identical and Polar says they’ll offer the strap as an accessory you can buy. As for the antenna boosting properties, for the OH1 series it won’t boost the range any, but Polar says it also won’t hurt it either. It’ll just be a wash. But, it’ll keep it from flipping over, and make it far easier to put on your arm when you forget after putting on your long-sleeve shirt/coat (more on that in a second too).

With that, let’s get this unboxed.

Unboxing:

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First up, let’s get this thing unboxed. Once you slide the cover off, you’ll see the strap, swim goggle connector, and charging plug:

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Then below deck there’s a new pouch, designed for the pool deck, as well as some paper stuff.

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Here’s that swim pouch, with the strap and pod inside. Realistically you’d probably just put the clip on your goggles at all times, and then switch it between the strap and the goggles, but, do as you please.

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The swim strap connector has changed to make it more universally compatible, while the charging dock has stayed the same.

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Finally, here’s the strap itself – which is sporting a new ‘heather gray’ color scheme, and much wider band than previously.

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I like the coloring though – it’s very sharp and crispy.

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Oh wait – and the manuals – in case you need to read them or something.

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Ok, with that, let’s run through how to use it.

The Basics:

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To get started you’ll want to set up your Verity Sense with Polar Flow, which is their online training platform. You can do that via your smartphone or computer (or both). While you might use it just as an HR sensor, you’ll want to ensure it’s got the correct time and firmware updates. Plus, it’s required to activate it anyway. The setup process takes just a few seconds, and mainly walks you through what the different buttons and lights do/mean.

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Taking a look at the strap for a second, you’ll see that it opens up on one end, as well as can be adjusted for those with manly-man arms. I lack such a thing, so the stock medium band fits just fine.

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The biggest benefit of having a strap though is that when you forget to put on the sensor after putting on your coat or long-sleeve gear, you can simply reach down your sleeve instead and attach it. Arguably it’ll probably take you just as long to do it that way, but sometimes it’s the principle of it.

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Anyway, looking at the sensor, on one side you’ve got the charging contacts and text stuff. Nothing exciting there. Polar OH1 Plus at left, Polar Verity Sense at right:

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Then, flipping it over, you’ve got three little icons that indicate the three modes:

A) Heart Rate Broadcasting mode
B) HR Recording mode (standalone)
C) Swim session recording mode (standalone)

Technically, when in one of the standalone recording modes it also transmits too. Here’s those icons (again, Polar OH1 Plus at left, Polar Verity Sense at right):

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When you power on the device using the side button (hold for a second or so), it’ll then power on the optical HR sensor and show you which mode you’re in. You can tap to change between the modes. You’ve got a bit of a short period before it ‘locks’ that mode, and you cannot change it again without powering off (which, is sorta annoying). It’ll default to whatever mode you were in the last session.

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On the opposite side of the button is an LED. This gives you confirmation the unit is working, and a specific light color/pattern. They are as followsNyah-Nyah

Blue: Heart Rate Broadcasting mode
Green: HR Recording mode (standalone)
White: Swim session recording mode (standalone)

Now, sliding it into the strap it just snaps in place. It’s specifically designed to orient one of two directions. It doesn’t matter which direction per se, but in general you want the LED status light to face you (so you can see status easily). But that’s more of an ease of use thing than a technical/accuracy thing.

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The strap actually has a thin metal piece on the inside, which then ‘connects’ to the sense internally, helping boost the signal. It’s a simple old-school yet practical antenna booster type design. The reason Polar wants to boost signal upwards of 150m is that they’ve got a bunch of team sport packages/systems they sell where coaches can monitor athlete performance from the sidelines.

Polar-Verity-Sense-Metal-Strap

With everything all set, you’re ready to go and pair it up to another device (if that’s your jam). The Verity Sense doesn’t display your HR or zones on the unit itself. Instead, it either broadcasts to another watch/app/bike computer/whatever, or, it records it for later access. The main new thing on the Verity Sense is that it’s got dual Bluetooth Smart channels, compared to a single channel previously (plus unlimited ANT+ connections). That’s most applicable for Polar/Suunto/Apple users as their watches only connect over Bluetooth Smart. So for example, if you’ve got a Polar/Suunto/Apple watch and you want to pair it to the OH1 sensor for better accuracy, you wouldn’t be able to record the session on Zwift via Bluetooth Smart. Whereas with the Verity Sense, now you can do that with two concurrent connections.

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The sensor is smart enough to not try and connect to your phone, unless there’s good reason to (to offload data). Else, that’d take up one of your  Bluetooth connections.

And of course, there’s no issues via ANT+ either. Here’s connecting on a Garmin Edge device via ANT+:

Polar-Verity-Sense-Garmin-Edge

For platforms that support ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart concurrently (Garmin/Wahoo/Hammerhead/Stages/Peloton Bikes/etc…), my general recommendation is to use ANT+ first, since that doesn’t use up any Bluetooth Smart channels. Still, here you can see it paired up on a Peloton Bike using Bluetooth Smart, while below the pairing you’ll see the ANT+ ID listed for the same sensor, just connecting via ANT+ instead:

Peloton-PolarVeritySense

And sometimes, like on an iOS/Apple TV devices, you might only have Bluetooth Smart to work with. So for example, connecting to Zwift on my iPhone, you can see it pairs up just fine:

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During your workout, you’ll see the status displayed on the watch/device/app in real-time, as you’d expect from any other heart rate strap:

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What about recording mode? Well, in that mode it simply records the session to the device as soon as it powers up and confirms that mode. This is handy for sports where you may not be allowed to have a watch on. Once you’re done, just power off the Verity Sense, and then it’ll save the session. If you power it back on, it’ll then sync via your smartphone to Polar Flow (or, if you plug it into the charging cradle via USB on a computer).

You can then see your session on Polar Flow, either via smartphone app or on the web:

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The one downside to this recording mode compared to the OH1 Plus is there is no dedicated manual starting. Meaning that on the OH1 series, you could turn on the unit, and then double-tap to start recording. Whereas this just starts when you turn it on, if in the recording mode. Where this sorta matters is I usually turn on the sensor while I walk to my run/ride start point a few mins away. In this configuration it’ll capture that extra time, versus before with the OH1 Plus, I just double-tap when I’m ready to start my workout to record.

Now mind you, practically speaking, on the OH1 series I manage to forget to start the recording of the workout about 10% of the time. So…yeah, this is probably better overall. However, I could see that it would be handy to have a simple ‘trim’ option in the app/platform for the files, akin to what Wahoo has for their TICKR X straps. In fact, it’s my favorite feature of their straps – as the tool is silly easy to trim workouts, and even re-upload them to Strava/etc…

Speaking of which, your Verity Sense workout will upload to any platform that you’ve paired up with Polar Flow. That includes Strava, among others. Here’s a Verity Sense workout on Strava:

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One of the new features of the Verity Sense is the ability to capture swimming data in a new swimming standalone mode. While the Polar OH1 Plus added a new swim goggle strap, it didn’t capture swim distance – just heart rate.

To get in that new mode, you’ll tap the button after powering on, which shows the swimmer icon. And of course, place it in your swim goggle using the included swim goggle accessory.

Polar-Verity-Sense-Swim-Goggles

Meanwhile, before you do that, be sure on the smartphone app you’ve set the correct pool-size for your specific pool. You can do this pool-side, in case your pool switches between long-course and short-course configurations on the regular (e.g. 50m vs 25m). You can also choose any specific custom length too of course.

IMG_7302 Swim1 Swim2

In the pool, it’s just looking at the flip/open turns and figuring out sets based on that. It’s not going to give you exact stroke information, since it’s not measuring that. Nor will it work as well for drills, unless you likely push off hard enough to trigger the sensor (since most drills have you going slower).

Also, the Polar Verity Sense still works like the Polar OH1 Plus with the FORM Swim goggles/heads up display, so you can pull your heart rate from that if you want to:

Polar-Verity-Sense-FORM-SWIM

Now unfortunately due to a combination of COVID restrictions and the Great Netherlands Freeze 2021, all our pools are closed. While COVID has closed all the indoor pools here, I had planned to do an outdoor pool swim this week. But then starting this past weekend they closed those too, because the outdoor temperature was basically turning them into ice skating rinks or something. Maybe they’ll open again next week.

So I can’t demonstrate that right now. But I can at least show you what the data should look like. Below are some screenshots Polar sent over from one of their actual product team members swimming, and the exact data shown on the Verity Sense – which is essentially distance and heart rate:

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Of course, the gap here is that Polar still doesn’t enable pairing of the Verity Sense to their Polar watches  for swim data (such as the Vantage series or Grit X). It’s always been a weird quirk since the Vantage series launched. Sure, the Polar Vantage series can capture your swimming heart rate at the wrist, but for most people, that’s a crapshoot at best due to the whacking nature of your wrist on the surface of the water each stroke (and many other factors). Whereas the OH1/Verity Sense sensors tend to do a better job up on the temple as it’s a more stable area to measure heart rate. I’ve long been surprised that Polar hasn’t enabled the Vantage series to do direct offload from the OH1 Plus (or now the Verity Sense) – in the same way that Garmin does offload from the HRM-SWIM/HRM-TRI/HRM-PRO straps. Sure, it wouldn’t solve mid-swim accuracy issues (since Bluetooth can’t transmit more than a couple centimeters underwater), but it does solve post-swim accuracy analysis.

Now, I was curious about the distance increases, so I set out to (try and) test it. This is tricky because there’s really two pieces of the puzzle here: The transmission and the reception. Both devices have to not suck. For example, a wearable (like a watch) is going to reduce the communications strength to save batteries. That’s why headphones can sometimes struggle with watches for music playback. Whereas some fancy 3rd party field setup systems include dedicated antennas and such (like those from NPE). Polar’s Team system is based on an iPad.

In any case, I first went to the track and tested a basic scenario of a watch on the sidelines, and see how far I could go. I started in one corner, wearing only a t-shirt atop (so clothing didn’t impact it), and mostly trying to keep my arm facing the watch.

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I then ran the inside perimeter of the football field. Here’s roughly where it was good and bad. Again, this is just a one-off test, and most people would place it in the center of the field sidelines, rather than the end (but I wanted to test range, not normal usage).

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First off, this is a very imprecise thing to do solo, I’m trying to match-up time and location track points and then draw them on a map with other highlights. But the general pattern here was that when I stopped at each corner for a few seconds, it seemed to help – and would reconnect. I then do a long out and back on a straight shot across two fields (no barriers between). I had repositioned the watch further off-field first though, up about two meters. This seemed to go further on the return when it was facing the watch.

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So I then went and used my phone. I propped it up on some gloves on a bike saddle, and then used the nifty distance markers on a bike path near me. The sensor would have line of sight straight to the phone the entire time.

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I then cross-reference two files together to figure out where all the drops occurred. For this straightaway test, it dropped out as I walked past 99 meters, though interestingly, that was basically *not* facing the phone, but sorta off-set on my arm (like a normal person would wear it). When it was mostly facing the phone coming back, I ran (versus walked – I was cold) – but it didn’t pick it up till much closer (~60m out). Perhaps if I walked back it would have done better. Or, if I’d changed any number of things on the test. Frankly, this isn’t really an issue that impacts me – so I’m done freezing myself to validate it.

And finally, a mention of battery life. It’s a bit challenging to figure out battery life on the Verity Sense, as it doesn’t show an exact battery percentage anywhere. Thus, I basically have to try and burn it down over the course of multiple sessions. Which, I’ll do over time. Notably, Polar says they achieved the battery life increases through sensor and algorithm optimizations, not via increasing the actual battery itself. That always gives me pause when it comes to optical HR sensors – as usually that means lower power to the sensor and thus lower accuracy. Therefore, no time like the present to jump into the accuracy section than now.

Heart Rate Accuracy:

Polar-Verity-Sense-Review-Comparisons

Ok, so in my testing, I simply use the strap throughout my usual workouts.  Those workouts include a wide variety of intensities and conditions, making them great for accuracy testing.  I have a blend of interval and steady-state workouts on both running and cycling in here, both indoors and outdoors.

For each test, I’m wearing additional devices, usually 3-4 in total, which capture data from other sensors.  This sometimes included a second strap, usually the Polar H10 chest strap and the HRM-PRO, as well as usually two optical sensor watches on the wrists, and then some other armband optical HR sensors. 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 start with something relatively tame and then build up from there. First is a Zwift session that was mostly steady-state, minus a few intervals tossed in. Here it is compared against the Polar H10 chest strap, Scosche Rhythm+ 2.0, Whoop strap, and Polar OH1 Plus. Here’s that data set:

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The sense is in teal, though that’s virtually impossible to see since it’s identical to everything except Whoop (who is dancing to its own beat, like usual).

However, it’s not quite perfect. Very very close, but we see the very slight bit of lag like we usually see on most optical HR sensors. In this case, we’re looking at about 5 seconds of lag for significant increases in intensity, but almost no lag for decreases. Check out the below. There’s basically three ‘tracks’ here on this moderate sprint. The fastest to respond were the Polar H10 chest strap and Scosche Rhythm+ 2.0 optical sensor band. These were almost indistinguishable. Below that, with a bit of lag you then see the similar Polar OH1 and Verity Sense sensors – logical they’d act the same since they are basically the same. And finally, in last place on lag and incorrectness was Whoop.

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Still, we’re only talking a few seconds of lag, and that’s basically the only error casualties here. Look at this chunk of the set of steady-state intensity:

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Here again for this next sprint – the same pattern of slight delay as the first. In this case, the sprint was sharper, but the delay wasn’t appreciably different. However this time it did lag slightly on the recovery, which, ironically sorta made it all a wash if one were looking at total time in zones. The Whoop basically missed the sprint entirely.

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Still – while I can nitpick here, we’re talking very very similar tracks with only a tiny bit of delay.

Let’s head outside now and tackle a harder interval run in cold weather. Cold weather is mostly a nightmare for wrist-based optical sensors due to the cold impacting blood flow at the extremities (such as your wrists). However, for the Verity Sense, it’s going to be positioned much higher up and thus more protected against that – as well as being under my coat. This is compared against an Apple Watch SE on one wrist, and a Garmin FR745 on the other wrist. Plus a Polar H10 chest strap on my upper chest, and a Garmin HRM-PRO on my lower chest (basically one above/below the nipple). I then threw in the Polar OH1 Plus and Whoop bands for fun too. Here’s that data set:

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Now at a high level things look pretty good. One odd dropout in green for the HRM-PRO to the watch, but more notably, the Garmin FR745 really struggled this time on the 3rd interval. Not quite clear why, as that was a relatively normal interval. Also I think the first time in 6 months I’ve seen it actually struggle in any meaningful way. In any case, the Verity Sense was basically spot-on with the chest straps and Polar OH1 Plus, and of course, the Whoop was low/incorrect.

If we look closely at these four core 800m intervals (before the sprints later on), there’s virtually no lag at all this time. Why? Well, most optical HR sensors look at running cadence via the accelerometer as a supporting factor for figuring out intensity shifts. So in this case, it sees my cadence naturally increase as I increase intensity, allowing the algorithm to consider that a valid increase faster than on the bike, where it doesn’t have extra data. Thus, here things are basically perfect.

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In fact, if we then move to the 30-second sprints at the end, which are usually quite difficult for optical HR sensors in the cold, almost all of the units did well (minus Whoop, which was 10bpm low). We see some squiggles from the FR745 on the 3rd and 4th intervals again however, the others were fine entirely.

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In other words, for this outdoor interval run, the Polar Verity Sense was spot-on with the chest straps and other sensors, despite the challenging intensity shifts.

Next, and the last set for now – let’s go back inside for a beastly Peloton workout. This started off with a nice warm-up build, and then did some moderate intensity intervals up to Z3 power levels. However, what came after that was a string of a dozen 30×30 second intervals where my intensity was shifting from 80w to 500w every 30 seconds – dragging my heart rate along with it. There’s a boatload of sensors here including the Scosche Rhythm 2.0, Polar OH1 Plus, Whoop, and the Polar H10 chest strap. Here’s that data set:

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And you know what? At the high level – things look very very close for the first 2/3rds of the set. Heck, even the Whoop only made minor errors up until that point. You see everyone agrees nicely for the most part, making it near picture-perfect.

I mean…at least until we get to the 30×30’s, which look like a long set of speed bumps. Let’s zoom into that:

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The pattern we see here is almost identical to the first cycling workout, in terms of delay. The Polar H10 chest strap and Scosche are spot-on together with no lag, while the two Polar optical HR sensors (OH1 Plus & Verity Sense) are delayed slightly, however the delay is equal on the ups and downs – so overall things are basically shifted. For a workout like this, it’s more about power zone durations than heart rate durations. Meaning, we’re not using heart rate as the primary/leading indicator of success – so the delay isn’t an issue (versus for other types of workouts we may use HR as the leading indicator).

Notably, the Whoop strap entirely misses every interval – both the ups and the downs. It just plows through oblivious. And I know I’ve harped on it a lot – but a workout like this shows *precisely* why that’s so problematic. The training load from this workout is *ENTIRELY* these 30×30’s and those ups/downs, and missing all of that misses everything training load-wise about the workout. It vastly underestimates how hard this was. The other sensors don’t have that problem, despite costing a fraction of the price.

Now as I said at the outset, I’m going to be including many more Verity Sense data sets in the coming days and weeks as I publish more/other reviews, so be on the lookout for those. But for now – I’m seeing nothing of major concern, beyond the usual Polar OH1-style slight lag in cycling workouts. For running it’s spot on. Note that due to the winter storm conditions the past week, I’ve been unable to get out and do any proper outside road cycling workouts (which would introduce other variables). Hopefully it’ll warm up enough in a few weeks to get some of the roads cleared of ice to do that – as that’s an area that some optical HR sensors struggle (though rarely the Polar OH1 Plus).

Still – at this point, this looks just as solid as the OH1 Plus, despite the power consumption changes/optimizations that Polar made in order to gain the extra battery life.

(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 Comparisons:

I’ve added the Polar Verity Sense to the product comparison database, allowing you to compare it to various other heart rate sensors – both chest strap and optical bands. Now, within the optical HR band category, there’s basically two classes of optical HR bands: Those that can remember stuff, and those that can’t. In other words, which ones have workout storage:

No workout storage:

– Scosche Rhythm+ 2.0 (and earlier original edition)
– Wahoo TICKR FIT

With workout storage:

– Scosche Rhythm24
– Polar OH1/OH1 Plus
– Polar Verity Sense
– mioPOD
– Whoop (not main purpose, but hey…)

Most of the ones with workout storage also have other party tricks like heart rate zone display, or added sport tracking information like swimming or port detection, or even HRV features. Point being, it’s not just workout recording, but often other random things. That said, the prices aren’t all that different in some cases, so, I’ve tried to mix and match what I think makes the most sense below. But you can use the database to make your own comparison charts.

Function/FeaturePolar Verity SenseScosche Rhythm 24mioPOD
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated April 1st, 2021 @ 3:40 pm New Window
Price$89$99$99
Product Announce DateFeb 10th, 2021Jan 9th, 2018Oct 17th, 2019
Product Availability DateFeb 17th, 2021Late April 2018Fall 2019
Measurement TypeOpticalOpticalOptical
Typical PlacementUpper ArmMid/Upper ArmUpper Arm
Battery Life20 hours24 hours+24 hours
Battery TypeUSB RechargeableUSB rechargeableUSB Rechargeable
NFC CapableNoYesYes
HR TransmissionPolar Verity SenseScosche Rhythm 24mioPOD
ANT+YesYesYes
Bluetooth SmartYes (dual channels)YesYes
Dual concurrent ANT+/BLEYesYesYes
Analog for gym equipmentNoNoNo
Usable HR data underwaterUsing swim clipDepends: If on same wrist, YMMV.-
Bridging ANT+ to Bluetooth SmartNoNoNo
Can record activity in memoryYesYesYes
Additional DataPolar Verity SenseScosche Rhythm 24mioPOD
Run PaceNoYesNo
Run CadenceNoYEsYes
Run Economy/MetricsNoNoNo
Cycling CadenceNoYesNo
Cycling Power Meter EstimationNoNoNo
Valid HRV/RR dataNoAt rest onlyNo
Configurable Sport ModesNoYesYes
Displays HR ZonesNoYesYes
Requires Bluetooth Smart Phone for ConfigurationNoYesYes
Firmware UpdateableYesYesYes
AppPolar Verity SenseScosche Rhythm 24mioPOD
Can show workout afterwardsYesNoYes
Can sync files/workout to 3rd partyYesYesStrava/HealthKit/GoogleFit
More InfoLinkLink
PurchasePolar Verity SenseScosche Rhythm 24mioPOD
AmazonLinkLinkLink
WiggleLink

And again, you can use the database to make your own comparison charts. Oh – and yes, I’m gonna pop-out a review of the mioPOD here shortly. As any astute person will have noticed, it’s been in all my workouts the last month or two. My two-second mioPOD review would be that it mostly works fine, but seems to occasionally struggle accuracy-wise. I find the app both disappointing (it doesn’t always seem to record my workouts) and promising all at once (training load and related). And given it’s been out for some 15 or so months, the changes have basically stopped there app-wise. At $99, it’s the most expensive of the options.

Wrap Up:

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Overall, the Polar Verity Sense is simply a much improved version of the workhorse that is the existing OH1 Plus. They basically addressed almost every criticism of that product without seemingly impacting any of the goodness of it – I mean, aside from adding $10 to it. But I think most of us would pay that extra $10 compared to the OH1 Plus for those features. The anti-flip strap and the dual Bluetooth Smart channels being some of the bigger ones for me, but also simply having to charge it less.

About the only criticism I could wager at this point would be that I’d like to see some sort of activity cropping option via the Polar Flow smartphone app, to snip out the beginnings of a workout before I actually get started (such as waiting to start a run or such) – similar to what Wahoo offers for their TICKR X straps. But that’d be about my only real complaint. The slight bit of lag of a few seconds on indoor cycling workouts with high-intensity intervals doesn’t bother me too much for how I train indoors.

Finally, as for availability, pre-orders from Polar’s site will ship on February 17th, while all other retailers will begin shipping on February 24th. Stay tuned for my other strap reviews, as well as an updated/consolidated optical armband strap post including the Scosche Rhythm 2.0 and the Mio Pod.

With that – thanks for reading!

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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!

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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.

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208 Comments

  1. Peter

    “$79/89EUR to $89/89EUR”

    Is the price increase only for dollar or is this a typo?

  2. Jakub

    It would measure drill distance in pool?

    • Not likely well. It’s basically looking for the push off the wall comparative to the rest of your swimming being relatively constant. The gyro and such will help here, but I suspect if you’re doing slower drills with a less forceful push off, it may not catch. Whereas, if you’re more forceful in the pool on the push, it probably will.

      It’ll be something I test once pools open back up again.

    • Gustav Henriksson

      @Jakub: It is a pulse meter, and has no built-in gps chip. Just like a pulse chest strap.
      That would be taken care of by your GPS/Training watch.

    • Jakub

      So not better than watch on ur wrist in terms of accuracy ?

    • Will

      Upper arm is significantly better than wrist HR. More flesh, improved tightness of fit. It’s a worthwhile upgrade IMHO

    • Michal

      Arm and forearm based optical HR sensors are significantly better than wrist based ones.

    • Frank

      You are right, not very good for drills. But awesome for regular swimming!

  3. Eni

    Thank you for another great review. I’m quite interested in this since I’m on my second OH1 (had to have the first one replaced because of battery and accuracy issues, but the second one is actually worse on the accuracy front, no matter where I place it on my arm). I guess, there will still be no HRV reading with this?

    • Trying with the Elite HRV app doesn’t seem to work. It’ll pair, but won’t start any recording session. Not sure where the breakdown is there exactly.

    • Eni

      Thx for testing. Well, I guess better no HRV-Data than potentially bad HRV-Data.
      BTW, in the image is a screenshot from my HR-Data. Red is H10, Orange is OH1. That’s the best I’ve ever got from it (usually it’s worse). Am I expecting too much?

    • ChrisTexan

      Expecting too much (IMO). An H10 is using ECG-style electrical impulse detections across the heart to gather the data very precisely and without being subject to much interference (unless you are wearing a polyester shirt, and polyester vest, and wiggling around enough to make some static discharge to confuse it)
      Any OHR sensor, is “guesstimating” based on variations it can detect in the pulse, not much different than putting your finger on your wrist or neck to “feel” your pulse. In both cases, subtle variations are going to escape detection (obviously OHR sensor has digital timing accuracy versus “feeling” your pulse, LOL, but you get the drift)….
      You aren’t detecting the heart itself, you are detecting the “result” of the hearts beats, subject to a lot of noise by the time the blood is moving in the veins enough to be picked up by the OHR light sensors.
      You can get very good at HR detection (pulse rate) with OHR, certainly 1:1 in ideal conditions with a heart strap, but picking up the general heart rate (pulses per second/minute), versus subtle timing in the milliseconds range, as well as any impulse variability characteristics is where ECG is always going to be superior.

    • Eni

      Yes, I do know the differences between an OHR and ECG-Style sensor, and you are absolutely right. The problem is though
      1. The example above is the absolute very best. Usually it’s much worse, not getting the right trends/spikes and even has a lag/offset up to 30 seconds
      2. All test of the OH1(+) I’ve seen so far seem to me as if they track way more closely than in my own experience (even when compared with above example)

    • Eni

      This Screenshot s a more common example.

    • George Pajari

      I thought Elite said the device does not provide sufficiently granular signal data to infer HRV. As I understand it, this is a limitation of optical HR monitors in general, not the OH1 series in particular.

  4. Neil Meyerowitz

    Interesting that they keep the same sensor design as the OH1 and not move to the Vantage series optical sensors… that’s why I’ll stick to my M430 as I always get great HR from it.

  5. hey
    agree with all that
    are you sure about the 150m range? withOUT the new holder it’s 40m range yet the new holder/antennae boosts it by a further 110m (which is the claim on Polar.com). I thought I read in one place that the 150m came from 2x75m ie 75m in either direction…which is a 75m range by my calculations 😉 Then again, when I looked for that info again I couldn’t find it.

    • Yup, in four different documents I have they all list the increased range to 150m specifically, all specifically compared to a previous 75m range.

      Attached image of two pieces sorta overlaid.

    • yes, I saw the docs too.
      I’m unconvinced! 150m is a loooong way.
      the online specs for VS say 40m range without the new antenna.
      so the OH1 was 75m according to the image above and that’s fallen to 40m
      the word ‘Hmmm’ springs to mind

    • Yeah, my plan was to test it earlier this morning – but ran out of time. Will probably go out later today and give it a whirl.

      But four different documents I have all list the same, plus a longer discussion on it via phone call around the band boosting aspects. To be fair, 100m isn’t that long even for ANT+ in a regular setup, let alone an optimized one.

    • Dear lord I just spent an absurd amount of time testing signal range and distance, along with then consolidating all that information in the least efficient method possible (apparently).

      I’ve added it towards the end of this section – complete with photos of my freezing my @#$#@ off outside: link to dcrainmaker.com

    • tfk, the5krunner

      🙂 Well done, you deserve a medal for that one!

      So, you’re stationary and pointing the receiving device at me. My Verity Sense is facing away from you. I’m 150m away. There’s no way you will get a consistent, usable signal is there?

      I think Polar is talking about the broadcast range link to en.wikipedia.org which is 75m either side of the transmitter (2×75=150). Rather than 150m in one direction.

      I guess most people would think that range is the distance between transmitter and receiver.

    • Yeah, I’ll shoot them a note tomorrow to confirm, but every bit of writing I have specifies it increasing from 75m to 150m, but the key thing is the singular graph they have showing the transmitter, and then circles around it extending out to 150m (and the 75m line), with a direct distance insinuated between the person and the 150m (versus being 75m on either side).

    • Shian

      Found this on another reviewer’s website (link to endurance.biz):

      Verity Sense is an evolution from the Polar OH1 and H10 heart rate sensors:

      8-hour longer battery life on a single charge (20 hours of training)
      75m wider Bluetooth range with omnidirectional antenna (150m in total)

  6. Andy Banks

    Will the strap be available for purchase separately?
    I use the existing one on my FORM goggles for swimming and under my wetsuit for surfing; strap uncomfortable when laying on the board paddling and wrist HR from my Fenix6 would mean putting under my wetsuit in winter meaning no temperature reading and ability to tell the time etc.

  7. Nathan B

    Such a shame that they still haven’t implemented the ability to store and offload the HRM data for swims.

    I really don’t like wearing a HR strap in the pool, and the Optical HR data from my Fenix 6 sucks! If I could combine my swim file with the HR from this, so I have stroke data and HR, I’d be all over it.

    • Agree, I don’t really understand that stance. Especially since Polar’s long-term jam was literally swimming HR. Like, when everyone else had given up on it – Polar held that flag long and hard.

      Yet, for the simple offloading to watch as a cohesive activity/workout file, since the Vantage series…no love.

    • Jeremy

      Is this a flat “no offloading” situation, or would it work with a Garmin watch? I have a 920, and like to have HR when swimming (even though I don’t actually use it for anything). I like the idea of a arm-based sensor as I find my chest strap itches my back… Maybe it would be a case of using this for everything but swimming and stick with the Garmin chest strap for that (not ideal for a tri though)?

    • ChrisTexan

      Technically you CAN, it’ll just be a simple HR workout file though, not swim-specific, you can just on-device record the activity and offload into Flow, then change it to a “swim” activity. Just don’t get anything additional that way.
      Polar definitely could be more flexible in this regard, what I think is interesting though is a 3rd party could POTENTIALLY do this instead.
      Thinking like Stryd, with a Polar device, you record the running workout, you sync to Flow and allow Flow to also sync to Stryd, then from the Stryd pod, you sync the workout up, and their servers combine the two into one file with the Stryd, and Polar, data consolidated into one.
      No reason Polar couldn’t do this directly… but also no reason a 3rd party (with Polar’s API available) also couldn’t conceivably do this. The trick would be offloading the OH1/Verity data into Flow, without Polar trying to erase the watch-sync’d data (in my experience, with only a couple of attempts, Polar doesn’t like 2 workouts with the same timestamps from different devices and will sacrifice one, but I haven’t tried much honestly to see if it was just maybe something I was doing wrong).
      I may have to try again, if you can sync both the watch data (with swimming/stroke analysis, but without HR (disable HR data in Flow for the watch before using, assuming you can, I haven’t looked), and also sync the Verity/OH1, so both are in flow, then you can sync, or export, those out to another platform for combining/analysis.
      Thankfully so long as i can keep my v800s working, I can actually get reasonably good swim/HR tracking via H10/v800, but I know that won’t last forever, LOL.

  8. Henry

    Great review 🙂
    Quick question: does this always record your session to internal memory regardless of whether it’s connected to an external device? I ask because I really like the Polar Flow analytics, but I would want to use it with my Elemnt Bolt at the same time.

  9. Mike

    So this is strictly HR? No running dynamics? Seems it would be more competitive if they matched Garmin & Wahoo on features as well.

    • Correct, only HR.

      Though, Garmin’s HRM-PRO is $129USD, and won’t actually create standalone workout files with a device. Wahoo’s TICKR X is more competitive here – if you want a chest strap.

    • Mike

      For running, I would imagine most folks seldom head out without a device for GPS tracking.

    • ChrisTexan

      My wife does (I’m not generally happy about it, but…)… it’s why she left Polar and switched to a Garmin FR245 with on-board music, so no need to carry a phone.

      As Ray indicated though, Wahoo Tickr X isn’t an OHR device, so it’s apples and oranges to the Verity/OH1. And HRM-PRO, not only needs a recording platform as Ray said, but it’s also an “all-in-one” permanent device, so if/when the strap wears out, you are out another $129 to replace it, rather expensive (and wasteful).

      So, really, no comparison for either example. The one valid point though, is the lack of “Running Dynamics” in general in Polar, watch, or or no watch, chest/OHR sensor, etc, doesn’t really matter.

      Of course the follow-up argument is “is RD really useful, and if so, how exactly?”… a debate all unto itself.
      The data is INTERESTING (wife uses the stand-alone RD waistpod, it makes pretty colorful graphs at least), but have yet to find much meaningful use. I do know her balance is always roughly 49/51, so if suddenly that changed a bit, I might worry she’s injured, otherwise, it’s really just data, for data’s sake, without a detailed coaching analysis and other observational analysis to go with it, IMO.

    • ChrisTexan

      Actually, I guess I misspoke, she’s still using a GPS tracking device, ignore that part, sorry, I was thinking along the lines of a mobile phone, etc.

  10. AUN

    Thanks for the overview Ray. Can it do analog broadcast of the HR data to my treadmill? Don‘t understand why all of the arm bands so far lack this feature and only the H9 does it…

    • ChrisTexan

      Not “so far”, so much as it appears it’s gone for good.
      The chipsets inside all their OHR devices (and the M400) is totally different from the prior generations of ECG sensors, and do not include the radio transmission stuff related to the GymLink transmissions (chips or antennae). That goes back several generations before the OH1 even existed, if it’s an OHR product from Polar, it has no GymLink. (The v800 was the last “GymLink” receiving device Polar released I believe, back in 2014 I think was the release year, so it’s been 7 years, GymLink is probably not coming back even though massive amounts of gym equipment still support receiving it (simple and easy, “just works”, was a good thing)

      Basically they’d have to have updated/custom chips designed to re-incorporate that functionality, and/or bridge circuitry to a dedicated 5khz transmitter chip, and antenna, for the purpose, and they seem to have just dropped it like a hot potato when they changed over their resources into “all OHR-based receiving products, all the time”.

  11. Alex

    From an accuracy standpoint, would you choose this over a Garmin HRM-Dual? Which one should work better tracking mtb, road cycling and some runs?

    Thanks

    • Alberto

      Yeah, I was wondering the same thing.

      Is there any advantage to optical sensors besides confort (for some people)? The way I see it, they are more fiddly, have worse battery, and less accurate.

      I get the use of optical HR sensors for wrist based devices, easier por all day use like watches etc.
      But when I’m doing a workout, I always put on a chest strap.

    • Matthew

      I seem to struggle to get my chest sensor to work reliably – I don’t think my skin is very conductive ? but the oh1 works accurately from the second it’s switched on. It’s also brilliant for swimming on the goggle clip. Don’t need a watch but will record the cardio load from a swim.

    • ChrisTexan

      How old is your chest strap, and do you “wet” it or use any gel on it prior to wearing? (Depending on strap brand/model) if the strap is more than 1-2 years old, it’s probably wearing/worn out, and wouldn’t work well for anyone. Just something to keep in mind. But there are some users who they don’t work well for, and some (Wahoo) aren’t as good as others (Polar Pro strap), even though the sensors themselves are fine, the strap brand, model, age, and upkeep, all make a big difference (OHR does win on that convenience factor, if the sensor is wiped clean, it should work as well as it ever will, LOL)

  12. Craig

    I’m wondering what the battery life is actually like. My OH1 doesn’t seem to last as long as it should.
    And seems to lose charge while just sitting around. If I charge it, then don’t use it for a few weeks, it will probably run out halfway through my next run.

  13. Dan

    “Increased battery life from 8 hours to 20 hours”

    There’s no way I believe this. I had/returned three OH1 units due to the poor battery life. There was no way it was lasting even four hours of activity time and I was forever charging them.

    • Never really had issues with battery life on my flotilla of OH1’s. I’m not out doing super long activities. But I often use it for a number of workouts in a row before recharging

    • Eemeli Saarelainen

      That’s plain weird. I’ve finished roughly 7,5 hour trail run on oh1 with some warm-up and the sensor was still going at the goal line. Also, the thing charges very fast. You have had terrible luck. ?

    • Eni

      I never got 8 hour out of it. Also I experienced discharge when not in use. Seems like hit or miss for some people. Just like with the accuracy. I must admit, that I was a bit diasppointed with the OH1… I wanted to use it for my bike-commutes to work, since I didn’t want to wear a chest strap for that, but went back to the H10.

    • Dan

      Tell me about it. Paired to two different Garmin watches for testing (Fenix 6 and 945), all three OH1 units were using the latest firmware. Would charge it on a Sunday evening and by midweek – after about four hours running – it would say battery low, by which point I would be reluctant to use it any more without having to charge again.

    • david n

      In my case the charger was the issue. I have to tie the OH1 with a rubberband to the charger so that it fits firmly. Else it’ll charge forever/not really charge at all. Hence I’m surprised it’s the same charger. That thing is poorly designed.

    • James M

      I have exactly the same problem – goes flat seemingly overnight if not in use. I’ll try a little more pressure on the charger!

    • Andrew

      I have noticed different OH1 battery life depending on the settings available in the Polar Beat app. If I turn off ANT+ and visibility to other devices I can get close to 8 hours if HR is broadcasting to my M460 or M400 and not recording internally. I have had the device go flat once when not in use and this was with the previously mentioned settings all turned on. So I leave the ANT+ and visibility set to off unless required.

    • Joe

      If it dose have better battery I’d buy. But I do get 3-4 workouts on the other one before I have to recharge. A workout is roughly 70min + 10-20 min of turning it on/forgetting to turn it off after. So I’d estimate I get 6 hrs total or maybe 6-7.

      I’ve sort of gotten used to the fact but it at least usually lasts a workout when it starts with the low batt warning.

      I generally just charge every few days and don’t worry about how many specific hours I get though.

  14. Matthew

    Polar look so close to a whoop alternative with this. Good hr, small size and decent batter, then they have the platform in the background ready to go.

    Would be great if they could just add HRV, I struggle with chest sensors trying to get. Reading on elite HRV, but my OH1 is brilliant. The ANT+ offloading to garmins would be the icing on the cake though, I’ve used my oh1 for swimming a lot and it works really well in the goggles.

  15. Adam

    Nice post, thanks!
    A question: Finally, which sensor is the most accurate? Garmin chest pro, or Ticker X or this new optical one by Polar?

  16. Joonas

    My only issue with my OH1 is the occational flipping over issue when playing basket ball.
    So basically I could just purchase the Verity Sense strap (if available separately) and use it with the OH1.

  17. usr

    Goggles strap makes me wonder where else it could work. If it turned out that the sensor gets a reasonably reliable signal from a thigh it might be sufficient to just drop it in your bib (no, not there, off center!), resulting in instant comfort victory over any startup/belt ever used for HRM.

  18. gingerneil

    You wait for years, and then two come along at once…. almost. Looking forward to the Scosche update.

    • Yup! I’ve been using the Scosche for every workout lately (including that run above…where I somehow forgot to press start on the FR945 that was recording that Scosche workout data). Right now Scosche is saying early March for shipping, so once that’s solid (as in, they start shipping), I’ll publish that review.

      Heck, even the Mio Pod is making a comeback in my testing!

    • gingerneil

      Good news…
      The strap looks interesting, and an interesting idea to extend the antenna. I wonder if we will ever see that for watches? I suppose the GPS isnt much improved by extending into the strap as its pointing the wrong way, and you risk either ending up with a FR205 (I was too poor for the 305!), or a TomTom lookalike! They could extend the wifi/bluetooth/ANT+ antenna though if there is a need, and physics allow, eg if headphone dropouts continue to be an issue (I dont use watch based music.. so dont know).
      With the HR straps, chances are I wouldn’t use their band anyway. The most useful ‘accessory’ for my Scosche is the DIY elastic strap I knocked up – makes it so easy to just slide up your arm and no velcro life issues. 1″ elastic looped through in the same way as the proper strap, then stitched in place – works perfectly!

      (oh, and ps… on the shed quarantine corner… surely we need a demo of all those Hue lights you bought, and some colour?! 😀 )

    • Yeah, I think on watches we’re getting to the point where most newer watches seem to solve the connectivity issues internally – which is hopefully the right way!

      New Shed QC coming up! We filmed it this weekend, and then got distracted in the snow. A certain someone is about to start editing it in the next few mins…

  19. Chris

    Thanks for the review. Do you think Polar will release a firmware-update for the OH1 to improve battery life? If it’s only “algorithm optimizations” and still the same sensor, it should be possible. Maybe not 20 hours but a liitle more than the very poor 4 hours.

    • No plans that I’m aware of. My guess here is that they also slightly updated the Nordic chipset they use (to be able to get the dual BLE connections), and in doing so probably optimized for that specific chipset.

  20. Tina

    Will the old strap/casing remain available? I have no problem with it turning, and being smaller I really like small kit and don’t see the need for the new kit. The better battery is a totally great thing for me though. Big booh sout out for the charger! Throw that in your travel bag and the USB pin will bend. if you find the charger back at all.

    • Wait, you threw the laptop in your bag with the charging pod attached? Well, yeah, that’d break. This would roughly solve that: link to amzn.to

      However, just tossing it into your bag solo, I can’t imagine it’d break. I literally have 1-2 of them floating the depths of my backpack hell pockets for years, never an issue.

    • Tina

      Haha, no not with the laptop. But there are bound to be hiking boots in there and other not quite so soft and fluffy stuff. Or it ends up in hold luggage and the luggage handlers do very unpleasant things with my only one side hard-ish suitcase.

    • Eni

      Get one of these. They cost next to nothing on some popular asian online vending platforms. I’ve several of those for my cables/chargers. They come in different shapes too. Helped me solve my problems with small chargers, dongles, etc.

  21. Andy Rickard

    Curious RE: your Whoop. Where do you wear it? Bicep strap or wrist? I found it much more accurate on my arm than my wrist… it was worse than useless on my wrist…. intensity of the workout going up? Whoop would say my HR is decreasing.

    • Virtually always bicep, or sometimes on arm below the elbow. Over the course of hundreds of workouts I’ve tried every position in the book.

      Ultimately, it just sucks at accurately nailing high intensity activities – which…is arguably it’s only purpose in life.

    • Andy Rickard

      Yeah, I didn’t renew my subscription. I love the concept, but accuracy of the HR monitor just isn’t where it needs to be. I don’t trust the recovery score as far as I can throw it. I did everything “wrong” last night and my recovery score this morning was 97%. Oh well… appreciate your reviews as always…. which reminds me… need to throw some bucks your way….

  22. Pavel Vishnyakov

    Thanks for review!
    I wonder if Garmin has a patent for offloading heart rate data after the workout, as no other strap does it.

    • I’m not aware of anything there, as Suunto used to do it previously with their older straps.

      Heck, the ANT+ standard even allows it via ANTfs.

    • Rob F

      Given how many ANT capable straps (chest or optical) have some method of storage on the unit (e.g. a few Polar units, I think a couple Wahoo ones, etc.) why do you think no one other than Garmin has implimented ANTft on their straps?

  23. Nicole Thomas

    What do you expect if you swim with the sensor in the arm strap?

    • Probably mixed results, depending on how protected it is from the whack. Meaning, wearing it on on the outside/upper side of the arm will likely do better than the underside (since that hits the water first).

    • Ruben Philipse

      In order to get reliable real-time connectivity between a Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR and a Polar OH1+ during my swims I cannot wear the OH1+ on a goggle strap.
      Instead I wear it on the inside of my upper arm on my bicep, on the same arm as the Suunto watch, with the strap fairly tight.

      During both pool and open water swimming this has given me successful results for freestyle swimming, and I am able to monitor my heart rate on my watch during the swim. The Bluetooth connectivity is reliable and I never see gaps in the heart rate data.

      Interestingly when I try to swim in the same manner with a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus the connection using ANT+ (haven’t tried BT) isn’t so strong and is spotty.
      The connection issue is solved my moving the OH1+ to my lower arm, much closer to my watch. This setup isn’t great during freestyle as my lower arm is obviously pushing much more water whilst swimming, which can make the OH1+ flip over if not very tightly secured (much more than upper arm).

      The Polar OH1+ on your arm, instead of on the goggle strap, makes it much more useful to use in all three legs of a triathlon.

      For what it’s worth I’m mostly using the OH1+ on the Form goggle strap nowadays, works excellent in the pool with real-time heart rate.
      Open water swimming with real-time heart rate using both Form goggles and Polar OH1+ is still a bit of a trial-and-error, as all signals run to and from the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, as I need to wear the OH1+ on my lower arm….

  24. Brian

    I pulled the trigger and got an OH1 for Christmas, used it about 2 weeks and then promptly lost it. 🙁

    I am not a “lose it” kind of person either, I’ve been using my Scoschs HRMs for many years now, in fact I have 3 of them, the original model x 2, and then a Rhythm24 I’ve used since it came out.

    I actually think the OH1 is a bit too small and unobtrusive, which lead to my losing it. It’s also possible that its loop-only strap might have contributed too but since I don’t know where I lost it (duh) I can’t say that part for sure.

    In any event, it looks like they have “scoshe-ized” this new model, both from the strap unhookability, to the square-ish outward appearance not to mention all the little added features.

    Unless I somehow manage to find my OH1, I think I’ll just stick with my Rhythm24.

    • Oh noes!

      It’s funny, I think I said 3-4 years ago in my first look of the OH1 that I was 99% sure I’d lose the pod almost immediately. Somewhat astoundingly, I never did. I’m really not sure how. I managed to lose the Mio Pod (somewhere in the Cave I think) and recently bought another one.

    • Tina

      I’m on my third charger now. The first one got bend in luggage and needed lots of fiddling for it to charge properly – until I stumbled over it and it broke off (I have a socket extension with USB ports on the floor). I simply lost the second one. It’s still somewhere in my flat, but I have no idea where. Which is ridiculous considering I don’t have a lot of space to leave stuff, and not a lot of stuff to start with.

  25. marklemcd

    I’m always amazed by how poorly whoop works for you. Mine is always nearly spot on to my chest strap recorded on my Garmin. It’ll sometimes futz up the first 10 minutes, but otherwise it’s pretty much always within a beat or two when graphed.

    Then again, I can never get anything on my wrist to measure me correctly. So as usual with optical heart rate, it’s kind of a crapshoot.

  26. Katherine Tonks

    Would be interesting to know if you try these all on a rowing machine (like a Concept II) as it seems a not-uncommon problem that optical HRMs don’t work that well (possibly due to the greater arm/muscle movement). I have two Scosche R+ that work fine on a turbo but seem unable to detect HR while rowing (lower or upper arm). Garmin 945 similarly can’t. I have but not tried yet the OH1. So far the only reliable HRM for rowing seems to be a chest strap (I use 4iii) but this limits the output capture to one device by Bluetooth.

    • Hoot

      I use the OH1 with my Concept 2 Ergometer (or indoor rower) which has a PM 5 module. Both connect in seconds and it seems to transmit very reliably.

    • MJ Lowe

      Was going to be exactly my question! 🙂

      I have a 945 (which is WAY off for me in HR while exercising, but okay in life/rest) so have to use HRM or HRM Dual chest strap. But so uncomfortable as I have to cinch very tight. I’m now thinking of picking this up.

    • MJ Lowe

      Thanks for replying!

  27. Mark

    “But, it’ll keep it from flipping over, and make it far easier to put on your arm when you forget after putting on your long-sleeve shirt/coat”

    As yesterday I was standing in my living room with one sleeve of my jacket on and my other arm completely naked putting the OH1 on after forgetting it, the new strap is tempting 😀

  28. Reggie

    Sure would be nice to get an OH1 fire sale out of this.

  29. Nolan Barrios

    I noticed you paired with a Polar watch. Will the sensor report to Polar Flow if connected to a Garmin watch? I would not think so, but it is worth the ask considering GarminConnect to this day does NOT provide reporting on HR zones over time and or by exercise. While it reports on a single exercise – that is really useless. This is one of the cripes for those of us who started out with Polar Precision and Polar Flow. The only option I have found for “free” is Final Surge. But it is not Polar Flow.

    • Ruben Philipse

      Yes. I can confirm that when using the Polar heart rate sensors with Garmin łor any other brands like Suunto, Zwift, Concept2 etc) and also enabling the internal recording on the heart rate sensor, then the heart rate sensor will sync to Polar Flow and the watch to Garmin Connect.

      But.. don’t expect any other data besides heart rate to feed into Polar Flow. No distance (besides using the new pool swim mode), no cadence, no power, no laps, etc. Just HR vs time.
      But that should be enough to see time in zones over longer days/weeks/months!

  30. SomeOldGuy

    Looks like a nice update, especially with the 2x bluetooth for those that need it. I don’t understand why more people don’t switch to upper arm optical versus chest strap, so much less annoying. Once I used mine (scosche) the first week, I never went back to the chest strap.

  31. Frankwin Aerden

    Hi Ray,

    Can it be used for measuring HRV with polar vantage V1 or V2? So can you do the tests you normaly do with the H10 strap.

  32. Joseph B Clark

    For a guy that only cycles, is there an advantage to this over a chest strap?

    • Hunter

      Easier to put on/take off, generally more reliable in cold weather. That’s my take aways. I have the OH1 and got it so I can use it for swimming, too, even though I do it less than running and biking. But I’d like to swim more and it lets me do so without yet another tech fitness purchase.

  33. pavlinux

    Heart Rate frequency histogram. Verity Sense vs H10

  34. funkright

    Will this broadcast a code for fitness equipment that went with Polar’s proprietary radio frequency? We’ve got a Keiser M3i that has this ‘feature’, but other than that everything else in the house is Bluetooth.

  35. Christexan

    Maybe Polar will (finally) listen, to you? LOL, trimming workouts (especially “forgot to stop”, but now a good reason for “trimming start” also)… long missing, long needed, I’d be so happy if they’d add that to either/both the Flow app or website (you can alter/zoom into a duration in the Flow site, but it still keeps all the “total” metrics intact from the original recording, thus my 10 minute drive home after a workout skews the numbers badly (or the time I swam over-ground at an average 21mph pace, would REALLY love to be able to trim that out…)…

  36. Hunter

    Nice review! Question on the battery life. In your original review of the OH1, linked in your review here, you said 12 hours of battery life, which is the same as what Polar says in the OH1 manual, yet here you say 8 hours of battery life. Did you put 8 because it’s more the usage you get or was it just a slip up? I get a little less than 10 hours typically.

    • It’s funny, I noticed that last night while doing some product database stuff. I have a feeling they downgraded the spec from 12 to 8 hours at some point after release. I put 8 in this post as that’s the ‘current’ claim, but both your comment and my stumbling onto it in the database are going to have me circle back to Polar and ask what’s up.

    • Eni

      On the Swiss Polar Homepage, it still does state 12 Hours for the OH1(+). Also, on the Verity Sense Page, Polar states “plus 8 hours, 20 instead of 12” in comparison with the OH1.

    • Tina

      Mine certainly runs longer than 8 hours ( I ran it a few times over night to test something). 9 to 10 hours are fine. I’m not sure how long it really runs as it goes straight into the charger afterwards.

    • Eni

      I get 5 hours, 6 tops… Polar now offered me 30% discount on the Verity Sense. Which, with the shipping cost from Polar, will cost as much as when I buy it online somewhere else…

    • Hunter Zupnick

      Curious what info Polar’s reps give you. I double checked the OH1 manual before commenting and it definitely says 12 hours.

    • MJ Lowe

      I’m curious – did you wear it during sleep?
      (I’ve wanted to do that with my chest strap, but so not comfy and I figured I might dislodge it. The wrist OHR is okay during sleep, mostly, except when it’s not.)

      If you wore it during sleep, did it seem to work okay and did you get “good” data? Did you run it as part of an activity on a watch (e.g., Garmin GPS-off activity) or just use the onboard recording on the OH1?

      Thanks!

  37. ChrisTexan

    Saw a lot of “OH1 battery life issues” in the comments… I have an anecdotal observation of OHR in general that I think might be of interest to those with that situation (specifically those who say they’ve charged it, not used it for a few days, then found it low on battery the next time they use it, but anyone really)…

    First, already mentioned, it’s possibly bad charging contact(s), as a couple people mentioned using a rubber band or other method to “more firmly” press the pod into the charger… certainly possible, Polar’s charging contacts over the years have had more than their fair share of “needs help to make good contact” designs, LOL
    Now to my anecdote….

    My couch has a pulse… yep, you read that correctly… I was helping my wife with her (OHR) Garmin FR245 one day, and while looking up something, laid it across the arm of my couch…. (we were having reception problems, so had it in HR mode broadcasting)… I looked over to pick it up, and saw a reading… in fact, 124-125bpm (fluctuating slightly)…

    Picked it up by the strap (so free-air under the sensor), went to no pulse reading… lay it back on the couch, returns to 12x pulse (I stood up to make sure it wasn’t somehow detecting mine through the material even though I wasn’t really near it)…

    So took off my m430 and laid it on the couch in HR mode. And yep, sure enough, it started detecting a pulse also (not as consistent, but certainly was active)….

    I have video of this I keep planning to post, just don’t know where…
    Long story short, the m430 sensor is a relative of the OH1/Verity sensors. Thus, I have every reason to believe, if I had an OH1, and set it on my couch, it would also likely detect a pulse.

    So, now to theory… if someone left their OH1 “active” (or a device it’s paired with has a workout app running in the background paired to it,) and it’s on a surface (such as my couch, LOL) that it thinks has a pulse, it’s going to stay active, and run down the battery.

    Now, I don’t think they are SUPPOSED to work that way (pretty sure you have to activate with a button press, but I don’t own one, so don’t know for 100% sure)… but putting the story out there, to see if maybe, somehow, this is related and could cause this battery rundown. After “stopping” the workout on watch, or beat/phone, I’m assuming the OH1 “stays on” for some short period of time (to finish sync, etc).

    Maybe it isn’t fully turning off at that point, and if it still detects something happening, keeps running, or keeps an active connection to the phone/watch, etc instead of fully turning off. I know it SHOULDN’T, but… putting it out there as a “maybe”.

    (update – I just took off my m430, for grins, and bunched up a towel next to me that my cat normally sleeps on, so that I could “rest” the sensor on it security with contact on back… my HR when I took it off in “HR Mode” was around 59 (50s is my typical sitting and working range)…. laid it on the towel… it began to rise, finally setting at around 84-85bpm… I recorded video on this as well, and it kept on recording that rate for over 2 minutes, apparently that’s my towels HR…

    Just fun anecdotal stuff, I’d love it if some others tried this at home and reported in, to see what the pulse is on their various home objects, LOL.

    • Tina

      Wow, now that’s different! Maybe static electrical charge of sorts? At the moment the air here is very cold and dry, and I literally get zapped from everything I touch (don’t ask what my hair is doing). I really need to test the OH-1 on my sofa. It’s currently charging. Sometimes it sits in the charger and a usb port for days but doesn’t charge. i again forgot to check for the charging indicator lamp. D’oh.

  38. Alex JS

    Another top-notch hefty review of Polar’s great line. What interests me the most is the swimming metrics/data accuracy. Looking forward to when you get the chance to get wet with it. Any idea about Polar-recorded “Pool Swimming” sessions synching quirky info to Strava? My Vantage M/Polar Flow data is correct, when it uploads to Strava it displays avg pace as elapsed pace, and is two hours earlier than actual. Driving me nuts. Cheers, from Florida.

  39. Jon

    Anyone have any real accuracy comparison data between wearing an optical sensor on the wrist vs the upper arm? I have been using two MIO wristbands for years and they seem to do a pretty good job but I have never done any accuracy testing. My MIO’s batteries are getting old and I would like to get a simple wrist band HRM. All I care about is viewing my current HR while cycling. I don’t need or want a smart watch.

  40. Matthew

    Looking at the Polar website info about their SDK, it also shows the OH1 as having acceleration data available. Is anyone aware of any apps that use this? Also suggests it could be possible to include the swimming metrics through a firmware update.

  41. ironguy

    Hi Ray,

    It may be not directly related to this product but within the same family. Have you ever tested or any interest in the oura ring? I am curious how does that compare to Fenix 6 or FR945 in terms of sleep data, HRV and body temperature.

    • No, I haven’t tested it. I’m not really a big ring person, thus my excitement level for wearing one long term is pretty low.

    • Mark

      I’ve been using the Oura ring for over two years. It is consistently accurate and the app takes you deep into daily and historical data. HRV and temperature readings are excellent. It is critical to get the right size ring for your finger. Too loose and it will lose contact during the night if the ring rotates. I wear a 945 and Apple Watch 6, but I don’t like sleeping with a watch on, so the Oura is my go to source for sleep data. Interestingly, my Apple Watch 6 picks up the Oura sleep numbers, so I can get a quick read without opening the Oura app.

  42. Pavel Vishnyakov

    Hi Ray,
    in the video you showed that the pod sits very close to the electronics part of Forma goggles. Does it mean that the goggles will be able to receive the transmitted HR even underwater thus giving real-time HR or is it still not close enough?

  43. bookworm13

    I’ve got a OH1 Plus. What I really want is just a wrist monitor that shows what zone I’m in as I mostly train zone 2. It seems that the only monitors are units that have their own wrist sensor as well, like the Scosche Rhythm24.

    Does anyone know of a simple wrist monitor that, at the very least, just tells you your HR so that I don’t have to keep glancing at my phone? Hopefully something that doesn’t cost more than the OH itself. Thanks!

  44. Ryan

    Looking at this, it seems that the Polar H10 is still the “reference standard” when it comes to measuring heart rate. Or is there anything I’m missing on the current state of the art?

    • It’s a very strong option, but just like any chest strap – given the right (or wrong) circumstances, standard issue strap dryness issues can lead to inaccurate data early in a run, or even later in a cycling workout if things dry out (looking at fall type workouts). Which is an area that optical HR typically is more resillient against.

      But yeah, the H10 is a very strong strap and one I use alongside the HRM-PRO/DUAL (and sometimes the TICKR) as a chest reference. But I typically don’t see any real-world differences between the Polar and Garmin straps.

    • Eni

      Subjectively, I find Polar Chest Straps to be the most accurate, but objectively it won’t make a difference beteween Garmin, Wahoo or Polar. The only thing that in my oppinion will really make a difference, is the strap itself.
      The reason I love the H10 is the versatility. I have Ant+, 2x BT and even Gymlink, which means there is nothing out there I cannot connect to. Still, for running only I use my old HRM-Run, since I like the RD Data, especially the GC Balance, which helps me monitor some problems with my right leg. Though isince t’s getting old and I don’t like the sewn-on Pods on the Garmin HRM’s, I’ll probably have to buy the RD-Pod from Garmin…

  45. Mike

    Great review as always. Have you had a chance to test it with an Apple Watch? I’m curious if the Verity allows us to finally use Polar Beat without the iPhone nearby. I’m also curious if the heart rate works with other fitness apps on the Apple Watch (i.e. Apple Fitness, Nike Run Club, Strava, etc.) or if it has its own app to display HR.

    • So a quick desk test.

      1) Yes, it pairs to an Apple Watch (SE) without issue, as a Bluetooth HR sensor.
      2) It also pairs to Polar Beat app (iPhone)
      3) However, the Polar Beat app still appears to require the iPhone for tracking, unless I’m missing something. As when I killed off the Polar Beat iOS app, it killed the HR connection. :-/

  46. Andy Long

    > the gap here is that Polar still doesn’t enable pairing of the Verity Sense to their Polar watches

    Do you mean Flow doesn’t seamlessly merge an OH-1/Verity recording with a Vantage activity?

    OH-1 will certainly pair with a Vantage M – when I have it running for a Zwift session laptop is picking up HR from ANT+ and Vantage gets OH-1 HR – icon goes blue.

    It’s still a bit of a mess for swimming though. I was so sick of missed laps on my Vantage that now I don’t use the vantage at all for swimming – my laps/strava swim recording is OH-1 and Form Goggles, the OH-1 I put in record mode to upload the cardiac load to Flow, manually update the distance in Flow Web – and then that duplicate session I then immediately delete from Strava. sigh!

    • Correct, that’s what I’m referring to. Well, actually, I’m referring to the offline swimming aspect. Whereby you can link up a Polar XYZ HR sensor to a Polar XYZ watch, and then at the end of the activity it download the two pieces together onto the watch.

  47. F Chambers

    Whoop: More like “Whamp-Wah”, amirite?

  48. Yulio

    So it sounds like from reading the accuracy section that you’ve crowned a new winner of optical hr accuracy in the new Scosche sensor.

  49. CC

    “and it is arguably the most accurate optical HR sensor in the market”

    Really, after in your own review the Rhythm+ 2.0 is better every single time?

    • Yulio

      Yeah, seems a little weird. Hopefully he can explain.

    • For starters, the R2 isn’t in the market yet. It’s not going to ship for another month (hopefully) and we’ll have to see if the beta hardware/software I have now matches what comes out a month from now.

      Next, while I haven’t taken the Sense out on the road cycling yet, I suspect it’ll perform slightly better than the R2, based on my knowledge of those two sensors. I’ll be able to validate that by mid next week probably, assuming the ice melts as planned Monday or so.

      But ultimately, no, the R2 isn’t shipping yet, and till it does I’m not about to say a beta unit I have is the best out there. If and when it does – great!

  50. Alberto

    Hi there,

    I would like to know if there is a heart rate meter whose results are accepted as ECG. I’m experimenting problems with high points of heart rate in some of my workouts, I have had a 24-hour holter and a week holter too, but in none of these cases have I suffered the episode. The cardiologist needs results of the specific event, but of course, I cannot have a holter device at my discretion when it happens to me (sics).

    Do you know if there is any valid alternative?

    Thanks in advance!
    Alberto

    • ruva

      When I searched for something like your question, I found out that the POLAR Vantage XL, POLAR Accurex II, Cardiochamp, and the Cateye-PL 6000 heart rate monitors are the most accurate.
      They have been compared to ECG measurement and assessed heart rates (r ⪈ 0.90, SEE £ 5 beats · min-1) during rest and at moderate activity.
      But as you move faster the accuracy decrease

      I have the same need of yours in a more difficult context: swimming

    • One minor note on lab certifications and such testing: They are only done in a lab. It’s really the same problem we see with cycling power meters and lab testing – it’s highly limiting on where the real issues with accuracy come from: Outside.

      Sure, it’s great for things to work in a nice clean indoor lab, but most sensors these days fail when they’re dealing with outside elements (including cooler/dryer air for straps, or really cold weather on your wrist for optical HR sensors).

    • MJ Lowe

      Not a HRM but there is a company called Zio that makes a device that adheres to your upper chest and collects/stores up to 2 weeks of 24×7 data. You get a little log book to fill out (like with date/time/length of workout) and if you feel something odd, you can push on the device to “mark” that point in the data so they know you felt something. (sometimes one doesn’t) You can shower with it but not swim/submerge in bath. I’d suggest using waterproof medical tape to reinforce, esp before any sweaty workout/shower…some people find it comes off sooner than two weeks which would mean less data, but I’ve managed two weeks including multiple runs, using the tape. (The help line at the company unofficially suggested it – they are staffed 24×7 I think.) Your cardiologist/doc should be able to order/prescribe it, and it’s covered by some insurance. Usually put on at doc office (but could probably do it yourself if they agree and you follow instructions) At end of two weeks, you take it off and mail it and the log book to the company, which then analyzes and produces a detailed report for your doc (make sure to get a copy). I hope you and your doc can figure out what’s going on quickly and address it.

    • diego ruvituso

      For those interested in HR accuracy during swimming, I found an interesting article that validate the OH1/Verity sensor again chest strap reading.
      Accuracy is very similar, while wrist readings are inaccurate (Polar M600), test conducted on 26 competitive swimmers

      link to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

      Between a HRM Swim and an OH1 mounted on goggles, I definitely prefer the last one

    • Frankwin Aerden

      Hello Alberto,

      You could use a polar H10 with an ecg logger app. I’m using the “ecg Viewer & recorder (polar H10)” app.
      Works jus fine.

  51. ruva

    Ray,
    I need the most accurate heart rate tracking device for swim.
    Need to check accurately my heart rate, since my garmin 945 tells me I have 187bpm during a non-maximal workout. I am 48 and have hypertension…should I buy OH1/Verity or wait the Scosche ?

    • ruva

      I mean, if a chest-strap for swimming is most accurate, in comparison to a led device, I wouldn’t wait a second and run to buy one asap

    • Frankwin Aerden

      If you need accurate HR values on your watch while swimming (not after). There is only one option:
      Polar H10 or H9, with 10Khz transmission and an old Polar V800 to support this.

  52. Nagy György Krisztián

    the most annoying thing about OH1 is the filip up strap, as I can see the unit itself seems similar size, and the charger plastic unit also, does it mean the OH1 device can be put into this new design and hopefully flip-up-proof strap? will polar sell it spearately, only the strap? would be great, I have just bought two OH1 😀

  53. andrew

    thanks for the youtube video and report here

    had a few questions
    1. what is the the LED sampling rate?
    2. does it allow to collect PPG raw data?
    3. are other parameters than HR calculated?
    4. is it only green LED’s?
    5. what data granularity can be exported from the cloud?
    6. does it allow accelerometry raw data to be collected?

    am interested to find a multicolor PPG/acc raw data collection device with automated cloud upload for processing. seems to be hard to find.

    • 1) Sample or or recording? Recording is only 1-second, but internal sampling would undoubtedly much higher.
      2) No
      3) You can access other metrics via the Polar SDK.
      4) Yes, green only
      5) 1-second recording rate
      6) Via the SDK

  54. Alex

    Hey DCR, what do you reckon is next? An upgrade to H10?

    Thx for another great review!

    • I’d really struggle to know how they’d improve upon the H10 at this juncture. About the only thing they could do is follow Wahoo’s app trimming tool, which would be an app focused thing. Same goes for changing the firmware to auto-record activities like Wahoo’s does (versus Polar’s requiring you to manually trigger it from the strap).

      But neither of those would require new hardware.

  55. I have Rhythm 24. Do you think it’s worth upgrading? I don’t have any major issue with it but is this significantly more accurate do you think?

  56. Francisco Bastos

    Do you think it will be possible to switch the OH1+ sensor to a Verity Sense Band?

    • Yes, you can. As noted in the review if you do so (which Polar says is totally fine), it won’t get increased range (or decreased range), but it will make it harder to flip over. The replacement bands are already up on Polar’s site – and I think about 15EUR with some semi-absurd shipping fee.

    • I purchased the verity sense band to use it with my OH1+. Since switching the bands I have continuosly connection problems between the OH1+ and the FR945 as well as with the Edge 530. With the old band, this was never an issue.

  57. Avi

    Thanks for the great review. But why not simply use a chest strap?

    • Yulio

      Chest straps are super annoying and uncomfortable, they never stay in place, and for people who happen to have masses of fat on their chest (about half of the population) they are not a great place.

  58. James Nilsestuen

    I also had issues with the Whoop strap. As you stated is consistently undershoots the efforts HR, my other devices are within a few percent of each other. The odd issue I had was that my Zwift (on iPad 8) drops my H3 and other Bluetooth devices with the strap is in use. Even if I am watching the HR on my phone somehow it seems to interrupt my iPad’s bluetooth. It was very odd and happened several times.

  59. Ak

    Thanks for a great review, as always. Do you think it would be possible to mount the unit on a sunglass temple for cycling? I imagine that most glasses would not keep it squeezed firmly enough against one’s temple.

  60. Trent

    Been using Scosche rhythm + and the 24 since your first reviews back in the day. Have yet to see any reason to switch. But the new 2.0 with increased battery life has me intrigued. Simple, comfortable and looks to accurate from all early indications. When’s the full review coming?

    • I’m basically waiting for them to start shipping, which last I heard was early March. I’ll probably hit them up again today though.

      Thus far though, no major issues in testing. You can see R2 data sets in the Garmin Enduro & Polar Verity Sense reviews, plus likely other reviews I’ll publish over the next week or two.

  61. Steve Rudich

    I know that this is not your thing, but can you predict how good this device would be for strength training, not Crossfit. Does the device and/or app seem good for people who are just interested in obtaining metrics when moving iron??

  62. Rickard

    Hi DC! As always a great review. Is it possible to do the orthostatic test on the vantage v2 wearing the verity sense? Regards/Rickard

  63. Mike

    One thing I dislike about the OH1 is the regular and bright blinking status light while in use (flashing every 10 seconds or so), which can’t be disabled. Does the Verity Sense do away with this, or can it be disabled?

  64. Tina

    Ray, have you ever seen a sudden drop in HR after always roughly the same time with the OH-1/this one?
    It’s really freaky, and happens always when I’m nearly home after a very short run. I first thought my old fitbit charge 2 was too stupid to notice this. But my new Garmin watch doesn’t see it either. On this image it’s a drop from 182 to 166. the Garmin had some problems at the beginning. no problem. But the OH-1 at the end, and it’s so darm reproducable. It’s just weird.

  65. Toffee

    Great Review – But I’ll stick with my OH1+ for now. As a side – if I wore my heart rate watch on my forearm or bicep, would it get better / more accurate readings? or is the actual sensor in the Polar Band somehow different.

    I have a heart rate watch but have to use the OH+ in conjunction because the watch’s HR reading is so crap. Just feels stupid using 2 devices to get the information that 1 should provide.

  66. Anthony Tieuli

    Thanks as always for the great review! I had today (Feb 24th) marked in my calendar to order from Amazon, but it still only seems to be available from Polar. Any updates/changes on release from other retailers?

  67. MJ Bodeau

    I plan to purchase the Sense but have a purchasing question, and Polar hasn’t gotten back to me yet. Perhaps Ray or the hive mind can help me out.

    My upper arm is size M-XXL, but my forearm is size XS-S. I’m okay with buying a spare band in a different size, BUT it appears on Polar’s site that for both the Sense unit+band and the accessory band on its own, I can only buy an individual item in size M-XXL…in size XS-S, both the Sense unit+band and the accessory band are only sold in packs of 10. (who buys a 10 pack of the XS-S unit+band, kids teams??)

    I may go ahead and buy the M-XXL unit+band (and buy/kluge a smaller one later) as I’d like to start using it soon, but thought I’d ask here first.

    Thanks Ray the great site and info.

    • MJ Bodeau

      UPDATED Feb 25th 1730 US Eastern time

      Response from Polar:

      Unfortunately at this time the XS-S is currently not available for end users. We appreciate your feedback and will share it with our product development team to be taken into account when creating future Product availability updates.

      My thoughts: 1) So….there’s a whole group of people they don’t want to sell to? Those with XS-S arms? 2) Um, “end user”? Guess teams/groups aren’t “end users”? 3) Why show it on the “hey everybody” product page if it’s not available to everybody, why not just have a separate page/link for those folks who are able to purchase it? Not great customer relations to show me something, make me want it, then – after I’ve put in the “work” of reaching out to you and telling you I want to buy it – telling me I can’t have it.

      This type of response/situation would usually send me to a competitor’s product, but since Ray had such good things to say and there don’t seem to be competitors at the same level, I’ll hand over my money and kluge a smaller band if I need one (can’t promise I won’t be a bit grumpy about it though).

    • Glanche

      UGH! Thank you for posting this, I posted a similar comment below before seeing yours. I don’t use the OH1 on my forearm (I’m a gal) but the original OH1 strap quickly stretched out too much to really stay secure on the widest part of my bicep when swimming, much less anywhere else. I also contacted Polar, hopefully they will get enough nags from smaller/female/kid athletes who want a single device instead of 10 and take our money for their product–this is bananas!

  68. David

    It appears Polar has missed their launch on 2/24 for 3rd party retailers, it remains available today 2/28 by Polar only. Hopefully other vendors like Amazon get it soon, I have credit at some I’d like to take advantage of rather than buying from Polar directly.

  69. Ruben

    How does my RUNALYZE always show HRV data from Running activities logged with my Garmin Fenix 5 Plus (Settings -> Physiological Metrics -> Log HRV “ON”) when coupled to my Polar OH1+, if according to comments here doesn’t support HRV..??

    See the lower plot in the screenshot

    • Typically there’s a difference between outputting HRV values, versus outputting accurate HRV.

      For example, on the ANT+ Heart Rate Device Profile, companies are required to output *SOMETHING* over the HRV vaue, even if totally invalid. On BT though, they aren’t.

      I haven’t done a comparison of HRV values.

  70. MSD

    Anyone have trouble with placement on the goggle strap? I can’t seem to get it to line up on my temple (vs. over my sideburns/hair) with my current goggles.

    I tried to attach to a pair of Roka R1, but even cinched up right next to the lens, the sensor was still over my sideburn/hair. Tried to attach to a pair of Magic 5 goggles with similma issue because they have a rubber arm which extends from the lenses to the strap. I’m thinking maybe I need something with a smaller lens so I have some room between my eye and hairline for the sensor to sit on my temple.

  71. Michael

    Hi DC,

    Would it be possible to use the OH1 with the strap of the Verity Sense?

    My OH1 keeps flipping when I exercise and the new strap seems to solve that design problem.

    But then again my OH1 works just fine, so would prefer to save money and just upgrade to the new strap (if it works), than upgrade to a totally new device.

    Michael.

  72. Glanche

    My puppy just ate my OH1 so the timing of this is excellent. The only complaint I have is that on polar.com you can only purchase a single unit with the M-XXL strap; the XS-S straps are only available in a bundle of 10. The OH1 strap stretched out after a while (sweat + sunscreen = bad for elastic) and got to be pretty loose on my arms, so for smaller/slimmer folks they should make the smaller band an option for purchase.

  73. horseluke

    I am wondering if Polar Verity Sense can be used to continuous heart rate tracking, because the optical HR sensor intergrated in vantage v has been broken and can not use to track sleep recovery.

    Now Polar flow can be used to track sport standalone (without watch), so asking for the moon, I want to have a Polar Verity Sense + a Polar app that iuncludes all functions from POLAR UNITE, LOL. Maybe this is a small market for para athletics too.

  74. Great product. But I still miss a Polar optical sensor witch ECG accuracy like the Polar OH1, with a battery life greater than 24 h, as Garmin watches have when acquiring heart rate during an activity. This small update of the battery would make out of the Polar Verity Sense a medical and research grade device, which allows 24 * 7 high quality heart rate recordings.

  75. Mathijs

    I have a Garmin vivoactive 4 and want to use the Polar Verity Sense during my Boxing training. I plan to leave my Watch in a locker nearby and Transmit the HR signal to my watch (since I only want to use Garmin Connect).

    Therefore the range should be good enough through bluetooth, but how about the ANT+ signal. Is this also up to 150 meters. If not, can I connect my Vivoactive 4 through Bluetooth, do you know if Garmin supports this?

    Thanks!

  76. Can the Polar Verity Sense be used during charging? Why do sports sensors have to switch off automatically, when they are charged? They can be switched of manually. The Very Sense could be used 24*7 as a Firstbeat Bodyguard alternative, with more options than the Bodygard, for instance streaming with the Polar Logger app over MQTT to the real-time Influx Database.

  77. Gruss Gott

    Just got the verity sense, upgrading from the H10 and learned a few lessons

    (1.) The Polar Beat app is NOT the Polar Flow app … duh, right? But I’ve been using Beat which syncs to “flow” online for years so I forgot the name of the app. [not being used to flow I don’t like the UI near as much as Beat … maybe I’ll get used to it and this will change] … anyway, if you’ve only ever used the H10 (and H7 prior) you might only have ever used Beat like I was.

    (2.) On android, at least my moto X4 I use for workouts, the Beat app DOES NOT pair with the Verity sense – you must use Polar Flow (though Polar Beat will sync up with Polar Flow sessions)

    (3.) The standard strap is not large – I don’t have huge arms by any means, rather long and skinny, and my wrists are skinny (6.5″), but I’ve only got about another inch wearing it on my forearm – no way this thing would fit over my upper arm without being way too tight if it would even make it. I think there’s an XL band – you’ll need it if you have larger arms and want to wear it higher than your forearm.

    Speaking of that, I was nervous having it on my forearm for things like pull ups and anything fast motion as I didn’t want it too tight that it cuts off circulation if you grab a heavy dumbbell or whatever – so far though, no problems, I was surprised.

  78. Since I am doing 24*7 recordings, as Firstbeat does with the BodyGuard, to study the effect of practicing meditation on physiological parameters, I suppose I will use the Polar Verity Sense to replace the Polar OH1 in the future. With the Polar OH1, three sensor changes are needed to get a stable 24*7 recording. With the Verity Sense only two sensor changes are necessary.

    I reviewed what is possible with the Polar Sensor Logger app on the MQTT, Influx Database and Grafana path. This made me very happy. Make MQTT, Influx Database and Grafana support a standard for every sports sensor, and I will stop posting.

  79. xenis1987

    Hello,

    Is it possible to use it at wrist like a watch?
    Because i want to replace my MIO Fuse and I don’t find a good HR monitor at wrist compatible with garmin edge.

  80. Justin

    I received mine on Saturday and let it charge overnight. In the morning it displayed a solid red or orange light and was completely unresponsive to any kind of button press. I plugged it into my computer and it was recognized but could not sync. I factory reset it and it came back up with the solid light and could not sync or be turned off. My phone can’t pick it up in Bluetooth at all.

    I sent a request to Polar, but it looks like I may have taken a gamble and lost on this one.

    • Gruss Gott

      Maybe you tried all this stuff, but I’ll mention anyway as I had similar issues.

      (1.) Make sure you’re using the charging cradle right, the contacts are connected, and the USB slot in inserting right-side up, at least that’s what I had to do on my macbook pro

      (2.) Once the light turns yellow during charging, it’s starting to charge so wait until it’s green

      If you don’t get this far, return it – if you do then …

      (3.) Boot it up – DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PAIR – put it in record mode and wear it during a workout or for awhile, at least 15 min I’d say, then power it down.

      (4.) Download Polar Flow (not beat! I’ve been using beat forever and didn’t realize they’re different) and start it up, put it into the “start” tab but don’t press start – you should see a heart symbol in a circle in red at this point.

      (5.) Boot up the verity (I do it while wearing) and watch your app – it should pick up the verity and start the setup process – also the heart symbol should turn green and get replaced by a number.

      After that it should work. NOTE: YOUR PHONE’S BLUETOOTH WILL NOT PICK UP THE VERITY – it only works through the app … and on my android moto x4 phone, Polar Beat doesn’t work with it, only the Polar Flow app (which kinda sucks comparatively)

  81. Gruss Gott

    UPDATES
    • See the setup notes above, this thing was counterintuitive as a prev only chest H7/10 chest strap user, especially getting used to the fact that it doesn’t connect via the bluetooth control panel

    * I’m wearing it on the outside of my forearm with no problems – the inside was irritating, especially for body-weight training stuff. Easier to see / use that way too. (maybe is how you’re supposed to do it! I’m a noob). That said, the strap edges still have a slightly skin-irritating feel – this will hopefully wear off.

    * I’ve already scuffed up the metal shell pretty good, hitting it on stuff quite a bit – I like that it feels super durable that way, so no worries.

    * I wish the Flow App showed a running heartbeat track like Polar Beat – stupid that it doesn’t.

    Overall, I’ve been a 10 year fan of Polar products, but this product has convinced me to move on … not that it’s bad in any way, but – FOR ME – just much more annoying of an experience. I was looking for something that was less hassle than my chest strap and would easily pair with my phones and cardio machines. I ain’t no ironman: i do daily body weight exercises and use cardio machines 5x / week.

    Maybe I had too high of expectations for this thing and I should just get a watch, but I was thinking it’d be much more transparent with more features … instead it feels like I got a more annoying to device with a crappier app.

    Big picture, if you want to get away from chest straps, then this is probably as good as any and better than most as an arm strap, but if you were thinking the Polar ecosystem is on the constant improvement plan, well that’s where I’m left disappointed: the device+app experience.

    • Justin

      Thanks for the response, I tried everything I could think of, fortunately polar customer support replied to my request in a couple days and are going to swap my unit. Fingers crossed I just happened to get a random dud

    • Gruss Gott

      2nd update: I’ve now tried verity with multiple android phones including a new samsung a71 5g and it operates the same on all: will only connect via the polar flow app, not polar beat.

      I also can’t get it to connect to anything else including nordictrack or lifecycle machines (which my H10 does no problems)

      So unless I’m doing something wrong, I’d say this is a speciality device that will only connect to the polar flow app, nothing else.

      If I’m missing some config, someone please set me straight!

    • I’m not sure what to say there, but I’d recommend reaching out to Polar support. Attached a screenshot from a few seconds ago, showing the Verity Sense attached in Polar Beat, and then subsequently was able to start a workout no problems.

      Note, on your original comment you mentioned it not connecting via the Bluetooth control panel. No Bluetooth Smart HR sensors in the market do that. All sensors connect direct to apps.

      As for your NoridcTrack and Lifecycle machines, it works with the H10 because the H10 is broadcasting legacy analog signals, alongside the newer (10-year-old) Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ signals. The Verity Sense doesn’t broadcast the analog signals.

    • Gruss Gott

      Thanks DC! Here’s the latest after contacting support:

      (1.) After many uninstalls/reinstalls & unpairing/re-pairings Polar Beat works with the Verity Sense but not with multiple devices, i.e., when using Polar Beat it’s the only thing that can connect and if anything else is connected, Polar Beat will not connect (you get the error “the device is connected to another device”)

      (2.) Both of my machines are “bluetooth smart” and “heartsync” compatible so the analog thing seemed odd, well here’s the process that works to connect two devices to the Verity Sense:

      (a.) connect to the machine first, attempt to connect to the phone which fails
      (b.) disconnect from the machine, connect to the phone
      (c.) reconnect to the machine

      if I follow this specific path, the Verity Sense will connect to my phone and a machine … though as noted not with Polar Beat, only with Polar Flow.

  82. Polar Verity Sense: a sensor to record the verity. This is a great name. I am struggeling since a long time to find sport sensors which can also be used for scientific purposes. Due to it s accuracy, which is near to an ECG device. This has been demonstrated for the Polar OH1, and I don t have any reason why the Polar Verity Sense should be less accurate than the Polar OH1. The Polar Verity Sense is on top of my list, although I did not test it yet. It is difficult to get a grant for mediation research, therefore affordable scientific tools are required. Thanks, Polar.

  83. Haki

    Hi everyone and thank you a lot DC for your amazing reviews!

    I’m using a Garmin Venu for my workout, swim and run. I’m mostly happy with this device but now I’m searching something more accurate to improve my training. I never tried a chest strap, but I read that is a little unconfortable compared to an armband (but more accurate).

    The question is… For someone with a garmin watch is better to buy an chest strap or an armband like Verity Sense? Is there a really huge difference from optical-wrist band and optical-arm band?

  84. The Polar OH1 had a software update, which showed a flashing green light, when the sensor was measuring the heart rate. Unfortunately, this software update is missing with the Verity Sense. I syncronized the Verity Sense with the Polar Flow app on the PC. There was no update available, as far as I could see. Bring this software update to the Verity Sense, Polar. It is very helpful.

    Check also my blog about Linux AsteroidOS watches, which are still under developement, but with the aid of some progammers who love to code could become interesting:

    link to petergamma.org

  85. tom

    What does with Magnetometer and Gyroscope over the OH1 ?

  86. Frank

    I’ve been using the device for 10 days. Pairs well with Iphone with the Polar Flow app and Polar Beat (you still need to do the setup in Polar Flow.

    Pairs well with my Nordictrack treadmill and I’m able to use IFIT active pulse in my video trainings.

    Swimming accuracy is good for regular swimming. Not good for drills from the little I’ve experienced, but HR still accurate during those.

    Major issue with the strap. I wore the strap on my tiny upper arm (just above the elbow) for 10 days. no more than 75 minutes at time for running. Then this morning, the clasp section delaminated and broke. The strap is now unusable. I can’t imagine what it would be for someone with bigger arms. I sent info to Polar and will see their answer, but that’s a bummer!

  87. Patrick

    Did you ever have any issue with connection dropping on the Verity Sense? I’ve used it on my Peloton several times, and every time it will lose connection at least once or twice during a ride, one time for around 30-45 seconds. Most of the time it reconnects quickly, but I never had this problem with the OH1 Plus.

    • Frank

      No issue with my Nordictrack T7.5S so far (a month of daily usage. Works well with my old forerunner 310xt