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My comparison of Band and Polar H7 heart rate monitoring


New member
Oct 30, 2012
I recently read the article The Struggle for Accurate Measurements on Your Wrist and decided to do my own comparison of the Band and Polar H7 heart rate monitoring.

For the comparison, I wore both during one of my gym workouts. These workouts are mostly strength training with a short burst of heavy cardio. I wore the Band just north of my wrist bone (toward elbow) and strap just below my sternum. I used the Band in workout mode. For the Polar H7, I used Runtastic Pro in Basic Workout mode. I started both roughly at the same time and worked out for about 52 minutes.

The results surprised me a little. I knew the Band had pretty decent HR monitoring from my own use. I had compared it to a Fitbit Charge HR and an old Cardiosport HR strap. But I didn't expect the two to be as close as they were. For average HR, the Band's data resulted in an average of 129 while the Polar H7's data suggested it was 126. For max HR, they both concluded I hit 172 bpm. And then there were the graphs of my HR, which were surprisingly similar.

Here's the Band:

Here's the Polar H7/Runtastic:

The first 35 minutes or so were me doing various weights, mostly free weights. Then I did some leg exercises lying on my back and side without weights. And finally, I finished up with 6-8 minutes on the treadmill with incline set to 15 degrees and speed set to 3 mph.

The Polar H7 claims it is ECG accurate. The Band doesn't officially claim ECG accuracy and I have definitely observed some lag with rapid HR changes. Considering the Band is an optical monitor, I'm impressed with how close it was to the Polar H7.

Over the past nine months, I've concluded that my Band's HR monitoring is accurate enough for my needs. There have been times when it was flaky (e.g. on the treadmill). And it's a little slower to react to rapid HR changes. But I can get a pretty good idea of my max, average, and current HR during a workout. This is good enough to target the zones I want to hit without going beyond the max HR for my age. I continue to be impressed with what the Band can do. I'm looking forward to Band 2!

Nate Silver

New member
Dec 14, 2014
Absolutely agree. Other than the odd occasion when the Band just refuses to monitor correctly (yes, usually observed on the treadmill), it is remarkably close to my Garmin chest strap. A bit slower to react, but over the course of the whole workout, negligible difference. Same goes for my Mio Fuse, which works well other than occasionally becoming unresponsive to finger presses that are used to change readout or start/stop monitoring.