Heart Rate Monitor Reviews
We started selling Heart Rate Monitors online in 1999. In 2013, Louise and Tristan decided to focus on reviewing and testing rather than selling the products ourselves online. To help you make the right choice we have categorised all these fitness watches by activity type and brand. The main activities are split in to Fitness, Running, Cycling, MultiSport and Swimming. If you do a bit of everything, at a fairly competitive/serious level we’d suggest looking in the Multisport area for the best running, cycling, swimming training watches with varying degrees of navigational functionality.
Impartial Tests & Lowest Prices (UK and USA)
The primary aim of this site is to give you impartial advice when buying a heart rate monitor online. Our preferred online shopping partners deliver to the UK and the USA. Click on the “PRICE CHECK” buttons to visit our partners website and browse the lowest online prices.
Expert Opinion from Experienced Testers
Our aim is to give you the clearest, most accurate reviews of some of the best GPS sports watches, fitness trackers and heart rate monitors on the market. Each month we get our hands on some of the latest and great GPS sports watches and fitness monitors. For the next 3 or 4 weeks we test those products and then we pop the review on the website. If you are new to HRM training then please take a minute to review our HRM FAQ section and also our sample of recommended HRM Training Guides.
WIN our Test Products – Every month we invite you all to LIKE & SHARE our Facebook posts. Each month we then pick (100% at random) a winner to take ownership of the demo unit. Please pop over to our regular competition page and get involved. We’ve given away everything from a Polar A300 to Fitbit Blaze and TomTom Spark !
Fitness Bands with built in Heart Rate – The choice of Fitness Bands / Activity trackers with built-in heart rate sensors is growing every month. Polar have their first ever OPTICAL heart rate monitor / activity band, the Polar A360. Featuring built-in off the wrist heart rate sensor, smartphone notification alerts, sleep tracker, step counter and much more. We also have the brilliant Fitbit Charge HR with very similar functionality but a more basic display. Let’s not forget the Garmin Vivosmart HR which also incorporates a barometric pressure sensor to monitor equivalent “stairs climbed” on a daily basis. Decisions, decisions!
HRM CALCULATORS – We are pleased to announce the release of our own online calculators to help you get the most from your HRM. We have a Maximum Heart Rate calculator for theoretical estimate of your MHR and we also have a Training Zone calculator based around Polar’s 5 x Sport’s Zones.
RUNNERS – We think you might be very interested to know that Garmin now have a strapless GPS sports watch. Welcome the Garmin Forerunner 235 with optical HR sensors (off the wrist heart rate) 24/7 activity tracking and smartphone connectivity for notifications and wireless data upload. If you like running with MUSIC then please also take a look at the TomTom Runner 2 Cardio + Music
CYCLISTS – It’s been a busy few months at Garmin and Polar. We have the Garmin Edge 520 with the inclusion of Strava segments, recovery analysis, smart alerts and basic mapping .. and don’t forget the perfectly formed Edge 20 / 25 one of the smallest GPS bike computers on the market (but bursting full of features). Hot on Garmin’s heels are Polar with the BRILLIANT mid-sized Polar M450 and the full size V650 with FREE OpenStreet mapping
Shortcuts to the BEST Heart Rate Monitor by category…
The Garmin Forerunner 235 is a joy to use and has everything a runner will need from colour coded heart rate zones, personal best alerts, Bluetooth synchronisation to Garmin Go APP and, best of all, STRAPLESS heart rate via built-in HR sensor on the back of the watch. However, the value for money and comprehensive list of features make the Polar M400 a very highly recommended alternative.
Another hard category and one that is VERY competitive at the moment. We’d recommend the Edge 25 for it’s micro size, ease of use, connectivity to smartphone. It’s got everything 95% of cyclists will ever need. If you’d like my training feedback then there’s Polar M450 for it’s brilliant interface, built in fitness tests, training load indication (recovery time) and emergency front light.
This is another shared title. We’d be happy to tackle any triathlon with either the Polar V800 or the Garmin Forerunner 920XT. The Suunto Ambit3 Sport also has to get a highly recommended mention. They all offer single button transitions, smartphone alerts and notifications, customisable display options, swim-metrics, optional pedal power monitoring and much more.
The most popular category and with over 50 products to choose from it’s should be a hard one to call. It’s not – if you want the best activity tracking bracelet/watch with OFF the WRIST heart rate, smartphone APP support, training benefit feedback and more – Polar A360 all the way. Others that come highly recommended include the Garmin VivoSmart HR and Fitbit Charge HR
Product Reviews categorised by manufacturer / brand
Listening to your body is one thing, understanding what it is telling you is an altogether different story. A Polar Heart Rate Monitor helps you to get under the skin of your training. Polar put it down to a combination of expertise in sports, physiology and electronics, coupled with the best understanding of customer needs.
It’s no surprise then that they have been leading the way in technological innovations in heart rate monitors since 1977. The best Polar HRMs from the current range would have to be the Polar M400 and strapless HRM / activity tracker the Polar A360
Suunto has been at the forefront of design and innovation for sports watches, dive computers and instruments used by adventure seekers all over the globe. We’ve owned and tested dozens of their wrist computers and we’re pleased to share these Suunto sports watch reviews with you.
From the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, Suunto physically and mentally equips outdoor adventurers to conquer new territory. The best Suunto wrist computer from the current line up would be the Ambit3 Sport tested here
Garmin’s mission statement “to be the global leader in every market we serve, and our products will be sought after for their compelling design, superior quality, and best value”. We think they’ve exceeded that goal. We’ve been lucky enough to use most Edge & Forerunner products and want to share our these Garmin product reviews with you
The Edge and Forerunner have been the MUST HAVE fitness product since the Forerunner 101 in 2003. It’s difficult to call the best all round sports watch from Garmin, but the VivosmartHR and FR235 get our vote
Say TomTom to anyone you meet and they will probably think of in-car GPS navigation…. not anymore. We’ve reviewed the TomTom GPS heart rate monitors and we have been very impressed so far. We especially LOVE the strapless heart rate monitoring from the heart rate sensors on the back of these watches.
When you’ve been involved with heart rate monitors as long as we have there is one thing that everyone has been asking for since pretty much the day we started… STRAPLESS and CONTINUOUS heart rate monitoring. For decades you have had to chose between ON DEMAND heart rate, touching sensors to get a reading or CONTINUOUS with a CHEST STRAP
Thanks to Liz Dickinson and her team at MIO we now have CONTINUOUS heart rate monitoring directly off the wrist with optical sensors on the back of the watches. BRILLIANT ! We have completed several reviews of the Mio heart rate monitors and give them a strong 9/10. Our favourite is the Mio Fuse with off the wrist HR and activity tracker
FitBit burst on to the scene a couple of years ago and have blazed a trail of innovation ever since. Their unique style and close contact with their customers has turned them in to a World Leading brand. Their products not only give invaluable fitness tracking feedback but they also look great. A choice for the customer who wants their fitness monitor to look discrete & cool.
We have reviewed many FitBit products and are pleased to share our views with you. This is a company who have their finger placed firmly on the technology pulse and provide some of the cleanest and most easy to use APPS on the market. Charge HR and Surge are our favourites with BUILT-IN heart rate sensors
Epson… printers? Yes, but they were also have an excellent range of fitness monitor watches with continuous heart rate sensing. Using a similar technology to TomTom, Epson have thrown away the chest strap and integrated new strapless heart rate monitoring in to their range of watches. Epson have been very brave joining this party with world leaders like Garmin and Polar and other newcomers such as TomTom.
We’ve tested several of these new products and are pleased to share our Epson GPS & HRM reviews with you here. Please take a look at these new products from before following the herd. The Epson SF810 is a great all rounder with optical HR sensor (no chest strap) and built-in GPS
Timex have been one of our favourite brands since we started selling their range back in 2004. Timex have been innovators in the field of GPS and Heart Rate Monitors for over a decade now. They were the first company to have a truly digital transmission from the heart rate strap to the watch – to cut out interference.
Timex have some of the sleekest GPS running watches on the market with their new Move X20. This is a new range, so please visit our Timex GPS heart rate monitor reviews if you’ve not looked at Ironman watches for a while. Timex have been a bit quiet lately but we hope to see some innovative new products soon.