Today we review the Polar H7 heart-rate sensor. While current developments in smartwatches and fitness trackers move heart-rate monitoring more often than not from the chest to the wrist, the traditional chest strap still gives the most accurate measurement. Polar’s H7 adds Bluetooth Smart support, so you can use this heart-rate monitor not just with Polar devices, but also with compatible gym equipment or your smartphone.
While it doesn’t work standalone (you’ll need to take your phone with you), it’s one of the most affordable options for reliable heart-rate monitoring at around € 60. Even though it’s slightly more work-intensive than a wrist monitor (you’ll still need to wet the electrode and strap it around your chest), the H7 is comfortable, reliable and works without issues.
Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor – Design and features
The H7 has a straightforward design. The box contains the (small and light) transmitter and the adjustable chest strap. The transmitter clicks onto the strap in the center of the strap (which also contains the electrodes). The chest strap uses a simple clip mechanism to close the strap around your chest and can be adjusted. The strap does however come in either a XS-S or M-XXL option, so make sure you pay attention to the size you need when shopping for the H7.
The transmitter and chest strap are comfortable and give no discomfort or irritation while being worn. This is often a problem with chest straps, but rest assured, not with this one.
On the back of the transmitter is a small circular opening which contains the CR2025 battery. As long as you disconnect the transmitter from the strap, it will last many months before needing replacement (specs say 200+ hours of battery life). These batteries are also used in watches and only cost a couple of euros to replace.
The H7 is also waterproof, which means you can use it while swimming as well. The Bluetooth connectivity however won’t work underwater. If you want to use the H7 while swimming, you’ll need to use one of Polar’s watches that support the GymLink 5KHz transmission technology.
It’s worth noting that the H7 doesn’t work with ANT+ technology. Make sure to check this when looking for compatibility with your current devices.
Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor – App
The Polar H7 comes with it’s own companion app Polar Beat, which is quite comprehensive and offers a great overview of your cardiovascular performance. During workouts you can view your heart-rate in realtime. The app combines the data of the H7 with your phone’s data (for example distance ran using GPS data). it also generates nice graphs of the intensity of your workout.
Aside from the Polar Beat app, the H7 is also compatible with most fitness apps, including popular apps like Runkeeper, Endomondo and Runtastic and will integrate flawlessly into your workout recordings with these apps.
Screenshot of a workouts results and heart-rate levels in the Polar Beat app (Dutch language).