Heart rate monitoring was once an exotic feature that was saved for high-end devices and serious athletes. Now a fitness tracker or a smart watch is not complete. Here are the best options on the market.
Most readers will probably be best served with our first choice, which is affordable and accessible, and works with FitBit's highly popular cross-platform network. If this is not what you want, we also have a $ 1
Best HR Fitness Tracker: FitBit Inspire HR ($ 100)
At just $ 100, the FitBit Inspire HR is an excellent introduction to FitBit's popular and holistic fitness system. The band-style tracker is unobtrusive and features a black and white OLED display that allows you to manage and track workouts manually as well as with automatic detection.
The heart rate monitor is on at all times and monitors the entire day to track your activity and sleep cycles throughout the night. The small tracker can handle basic smartphone notifications, but leaves apps and music controls in favor of a battery life of 5 days.
Best Budget HR Fitness Tracker: Garmin VivoSmart HR ($ 72)
If you're looking for more fitness or health information for as little dough as possible, check out the Garmin VivoSmart HR. This wearable is a bit dated (hence the price of $ 72 at the time of writing), but it is the most cost-effective option of a reputable supplier with built-in heart rate monitor.
Still, the design still has a complete display Manage workouts and notifications from your phone and sync tracking data with the Garmin app. It is neither the smoothest nor the nicest option on this list, but it can still perform all the usual fitness tracker tasks with flying colors.
Best HR Fitness Tracker with dedicated GPS: Garmin VivoSport ($ 175)
Need something more powerful that does not lean on your smartphone for wired GPS tracking over Bluetooth? Then the VivoSport is just right for you. This design is similar to the VivoSmart HR (see above), but does upgrade the electronics with a color display and a GPS radio integrated into the wrist tracker (which is quite rare for gadgets under $ 200).
Note that this is a rather battery-intensive option: If you frequently use GPS for running, swimming or cycling, you expect significantly less than the tracker's otherwise 7-day battery life.
Best HR Fitness Tracker for Apple Fans: Apple Watch 4 (from $ 400)
Most wrist-based fitness trackers work well with the iPhone, but for those who are committed to the Apple lifestyle, there is no substitute for a true Apple Watch. It's not the cheapest option if you really only want to have a heart-tracking, but the Apple Watch's ability to run iOS apps and notifications can not be beaten.
The latest model includes heart rate tracking and a sensational electrocardiogram. This feature allows you to monitor heart health at a much deeper level, as well as GPS on the wrist and water-repellent water resistance. The non-cellular version of the Model 4 starts at $ 400 and is rising rapidly, although older models (without ECG feature) are available for less than $ 300.
Most Accurate HR Fitness Tracker: Polar H10 (US $ 89)
If you are looking for the highest accuracy for heart rate measurement, there is no substitute for a special chest strap. These devices go around the chest with the central tracker near your sternum to produce the heartbeat at the source.
The Polar H10 is a basic version that is just as accurate as more expensive models and connects to the Polar App (or your fitness equipment, fitness tracker, bike computer (all with ANT + Bluetooth capability) to send training data to other fitness Software platforms to export.