If you’re considering between a heart rate monitor and a fitness tracker, you can get both now. 2015 is the year of optical heart rate sensors and I’ve curated 8 best heart rate fitness trackers ; the crème de la crème.
These days it’s not enough to just buy an activity tracker that tracks steps and sleep. With technological advances bounding ahead every passing day, even the 2 years old Fitbit Flex is now considered mediocre by today’s standards. Throw in training programmes like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), P90X, Tabata and suddenly step count seem quite an inadequate measure to track activities; the gains from clocking 10000 steps in 1 hour and 10000 steps spread over a day differs significantly. Do yourself a favour and get an activity tracker that also measures heart rate.
The purchasing of a heart rate fitness tracker is a very personal matter akin to buying a pair of fitting running shoes. Do your research, crawl through the reviews and put your money on the one that suits you best.
This page is updated on a regular basis so check back once in a while!
Think Forerunner 225, then give it a larger screen display and top it off with Garmin’s Elevate optical heart rate sensor technology, you get the Forerunner 235. Quite simply, Garmin had me at the larger screen, audio and vibration capability and I gave it high points during review. Other than that, both devices are similar in terms of features. The Garmin Forerunner 235 is available in Black/Gray, Frost Blue, Marsala and there’s a Nike exclusive which is Black/Volt.
Fitbit Charge HR is one of the best selling fitness trackers on Amazon for 2 simple reasons. It’s not overly priced and it does what it measures heart rate along with other quantifiable stats such as steps and calories.
The only draw back is the lack of full smart notifications and a tiny screen that isn’t always on. There’s lack of GPS but Fitbit’s mobile app has that fixed by tapping on the smart phone’s GPS during workouts.
New updates early December 2016 promises automatic activity identification and better heart rate measuring experience. The Fitbit Charge HR is available at most online retailers.
Hands down the most advanced activity tracker on the market. Skin temperature? Perspiration? Heart rate? REM sleep tracking? Checked, checked, checked and checked. The on board Body-IQ technology senses when the user is walking, running, cycling and at rest.
Since release, firmware updates have brought about smart phone notifications, transmission of heart rate data to 3rd party apps and recently silent alarm. The company is making improvements to their crown jewel though it can be painful at times waiting for updates to arrive. Now if they would just improve the mobile app interface. Nonetheless, the Basis Peak is still an excellent activity tracker that measure heart rate to consider. The recommended retail price is $199.95 USD and you can usually get it at a slight discount if you get yours from Amazon.com.
Released in tandem with Fitbit Charge and Charge HR, Fitbit Surge is the first activity tracker from Fitbit to offer GPS and heart rate monitoring capabilities during rest and exercise. With 24/7 activity tracking, smart notifications and a stellar performing mobile app platform, the Fitbit Surge is geared towards the working crowd who has outgrown your run of the mill fitness trackers. The recommended retail price is $249.95 USD and you can usually get it at a slight discount if you get yours from Amazon.com.
The Garmin Vivosmart HR is the third device in Garmin’s stable to offer wrist based heart rate monitoring. Following in the steps of the original Vivosmart tracker, the Vivosmart HR features smart notifications with vibration alerts and tops it off with 24/7 activity tracking plus heart rate measurement from the wrist at a very attractive price of $149.95. It doesn’t have GPS but it should be interesting to see the accuracy of Garmin’s Elevate wrist based heart rate readings going head to head against Polar’s A360.
Polar’s very first wrist based heart rate monitor. The pressure is on Polar, whose name is synonymous with heart rate monitors, to set the benchmark in wrist based heart rate readings. The Polar A360 is supposed to ship in November 2015 and I’m keeping my fingers crossed I can get a unit for review quickly. Featuring smart notifications, heart rate zone training, activity tracking and even changeable wrist bands come 2016, it sure sounds exciting. The RRP is $199 USD and it is available on Amazon.com.
Microsoft’s second attempt at a wearable tracker hammers the original ill designed flat bangle to a curved form. New metrics tracked include altitude and VO2 max estimate. Partnership with Taylormade ensures golfers have more reasons than others to snag one. Like its predecessor, sample workouts can be downloaded from Gold’s gym, Shape and more onto the activity tracker where the Microsoft Band 2 can track your reps and workout. This is also one of the few trackers on the market that work on all 3 mobile device platforms; iOS, Android and Windows. The RRP is $249.99 USD but you can usually get a small discount if you get yours from Amazon.com.
About a year old now but still good and practical if you’re shopping for a wrist worn heart rate monitoring with activity tracking capabilities. Granted the activity tracking does not include sleep and the mobile app could use an overhaul, the Mio Fuse is still the one of the few wrist based heart rate monitor on this list that can transmit heart rate data via Bluetooth and ANT+. The RRP is $149 USD but you can usually get a small discount if you get yours from Amazon.com.