For most folks, simply tracking activity is enough for their fitness goals. Those looking to get a little more in-depth insights on their exercise might opt for any number of wrist-mounted devices with a HR sensor (like this one). Past that – or if you have a tracker you already like – you’re looking at something like a stand-alone heart rate strap. These – while offering great accuracy (because they’re, you know, right over your heart) – can tend to bring “pro” prices to the party. This is where the new Polar H9 is looking to shine.
On it’s surface, the Polar H9 looks just like any other heart rate strap. What Polar did was start with their H10 and repackage things a bit and adjust the capabilities. They didn’t short change it, though. For starters, let’s talk connectivity. Bluetooth? Yup, got it. How about ANT+ (something generally seen on fitness devices)? Yes, got that. It’s also got 5 kHz as an option, so you can rather get this talking to whatever you want. Including some machines at gyms, which I’m hoping to test out.
The Polar H9 is also able to communicate with a variety of GPS watches (see the full list below) as well as popular apps like Runkeeper (and others; again, see below). And, should you want on-the-spot coaching from your phone, the connection into the free Polar Beat app is there to help you hit your targets.
All in all, the Polar H9 is an interesting option for someone looking to add a heart rate monitor into their gym bag. The fact that it comes in at just $59.95 – and has the extended connectivity – I think will give this some legs. The Polar H9 heartrate strap is available now, and we’re looking to get a sample in, and we’ll see how it compares to the wrist-mounted HR monitoring. polar.com
- Multiple connectivity options via Bluetooth, ANT+ and 5kHz
- Connectivity with the free Polar Beat app, which provides real-time heart rate monitoring, lets users set training targets and receive live voice guidance, and provides a post-workout analysis. Users can also access the free Polar Flow app and web service to view long-term progress and go in-depth with data
- Compatibility with a variety of GPS watches as well as smartphone apps including Nike Run Club, MapMyFitness, Runkeeper, Zwift, TrainerRoad and The Sufferfest
- Connectivity for clubs and club members utilizing 5kHz and ANT+ gym equipment
- Extended battery life, up to one year when training one hour per day
- SDK compatibility, making H9 an easy-to-use solution for SDK and B2B partners