524 of 546 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2012
Received the Polar H7 today. I have a Motorola Droid RAZR, running Ice Cream Sandwich. I wanted to use this device with Noom Cardiotrainer app, but it would not recognize the Polar H7, even after pairing the device with my phone in the Bluetooth settings. Thought I was doing something wrong, so I followed the instructions to a T -- I wet the section of the strap where the electrodes were located, I applied Buh-Bump electrode conductive cream to the strap... nothing.
I searched for some time around the Internet and found other users having the same problem. Tried a few different apps - Endomondo, HRNavi, etc. Nothing worked. I tried searching the forums on Polar's website (which I have other issues with, by the way) and found nothing. A bunch of other users with the exact-same problem.
So, I searched Google Play until I found an app that finally worked - MapMyRun. Its heart rate monitor settings picked up the H7 the first time with no issues. Then, I found that the developer that created MapMyRun had also created a set of apps such as MapMyWalk, MapMyFitness, MapMyHike, etc. They ALL work with the H7. So, I fired up a Shaun T Insanity video, strapped on the H7, launched MapMyFitness, and the app tracked my peak heartrate during my workout, the average heartrate, and even a calculation of calories burned. Worked flawlessly.
So, the issue is not my phone. The issue is not the H7. The issue is the apps that are not fully compatible with the H7. If you check the Google Play descriptions for the apps I tried above, they all say to use their apps with the Polar Wearlink+, not the Polar H7. Funny... it would have been nice to find this information BEFORE completing my purchase. But, you know... I searched on Amazon's website for "polar wearlink+" and every device that came up in my search results was not what I was looking for - either I found the "Coded" model, or the "Nike+" model, but no model that specifically said "Wearlink+". So, I bought the H7.
Well, I'm stuck with the H7 now. So, yes, I will chalk this up to me not doing my research fully. The device works GREAT with my Droid RAZR and the MapMyFitness suite of apps, so I rank it FIVE STARS for that reason. It will not work with the apps I wanted to use it with - specifically, Cardiotrainer - but I will not downgrade my rating just because I did not do my research.
For those of you looking to purchase the H7, if you have an iPhone 4, this is the device for you. If you have a Motorola Droid RAZR and want to use this with the MapMyFitness suite of apps, this is the device for you. However, if you have any Android device and want to use any other HRM-compatible app, I highly recommend you search for the Polar Wearlink+.
231 of 250 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2012
Once I managed to hack my way into the package (I hate those plastic packages that everything comes in now) I had it synced up and working with Strava on a iPhone 4s in just a few seconds. Also worked fine with Endomondo app. Used it while cycling with iPhone in back jersey pocket - not problem staying connected and supplying the app with heart rate info during the ride. The battery life of the iPhone wasnt impacted - I get about 4hrs while using a GPS tracking app.
I've got about 150 miles in with this strap - no issues with connectivity, battery life or comfort. The strap connector is a small metal hook that fastens into an elastic loop. I haven't had any issue with it, but in general its not as nice as some other straps that I have used that had a more robust belt-like plastic buckle.
The native support, no dongle or anything else to plug into the phone, makes this really nice.
UPDATE: Bluetooth connection remains after you are done with your work-out. After stopping the recording of Strava or Endomondo, the Bluetooth connection remains b/t your phone (iPhone 4s in my case) and the HRM. I burned one battery before I figured out what was going on. When I'm done now I try to remember to actually kill the app.
UPDATE2: I have had a lot of trouble getting this thing to sync with my iPhones. I ran across a review that said you need to wear it for a few minutes without the battery in it to fully reset it. That worked wonders. I also think that when its really sweaty/wet after a workout its worth unclipping it to get the unit to shut off sooner and save the batter
291 of 327 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2013
I bought this unit to work with my new Ipod Nano 7th generation. I tried very hard to get it to be recognized by the Ipod. I could not do it. I called Apple and they said they did not know how to make it work with the Polar Unit but they advertise it wll; JUST LIKE POLAR does! So we did a conference call with Polar who then said they DO NOT KNOW HOW to make it work with the Ipod either. I was amazed that all the marketing says they will sync with each other but neither company know how to do it! I was then referred to the head of U.S. marketing for Polar and he didn't know how to use it either so he contacted GLOBAL marketing for Polar. Today I received instructions on how to sync it. Here they are:
Below are detailed instructions that our global help desk provided on using the H7 transmitter with the 7th generation iPod:
- Wear the Polar H7 hear rate sensor
- Go to iPod Nano Settings and check that Bluetooth is On. Note! iPod does not show H7 in Devices list.
- Enter Fitness Nike+ application and tab the "i" icon.
- Enter Nike+ iPod Sprot Kit and choose Heart Rate Monitor
- Check that Heart Rate Monitor is ON
- Choose Link from the list and tab the heart symbol.
Now the application starts to link the H7 sensor. When the sensor is linked press the iPod button to return.
- Enter Fitness Nike+ application and choose Sport (e.g. Run)
- Choose Heart Rate from the List
- Scroll to choose your sport and press Done
- Choose None (or other settings)
- Now you will see a heart symbol until iPod has found your heart rate signal.
- When heart rate signal is found, iPod will automatically change the display info. Now you can see your heart rate and you can Start the exercise recording.
As you can see this is virtually impossible to know all this with NO instructions. I must say Polar was always in contact with me and actually shipped me new devices to try along the way. Now I am very happy with my purchase.
86 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2013
Pairing issues, battery life and abysmal support from Polar keep this from being a 5-star product. Of these the battery life and pairing are the most annoying - leave the HMR on the strap and/or Bluetooth turned on on your phone and the battery will die quickly. Once it does so you probably won't be able to re-pair the unit after replacing the battery. Here is the secret that even Polar customer support apparently doesn't know:
To factory reset the H7 so that it can re-pair with your phone properly take out the battery and take a paperclip to short the two battery tabs on the unit for 1-2 seconds. One tab is the copper colored center one and one is a very small silver one on the side. Simply take a paper clip and short these two for a couple of seconds, replace your battery and voila - it will show up again to pair with your phone.
I hope this saves someone the several trips to gym I had to do without it, the couple of hours trying various combinations of apps, battery swaps, phones and straps and the hour wasted with Polar customer support.
Then remember to take it off the strap when you're not using it to keep it from running down the next time (hence the other part of my 3 star review).
Other than that it works as advertised, is convenient in that it doesn't required a dongle and is compatible with every fitness app I use.
57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2013
I recently decided to take my cardio training up a notch with the latest technology, Bluetooth 4.0. So far, I've been mostly delighted with the simplicity of the H7. It's nice to have no interference at the gym from non-digital HRMs--with the H7, I know I'm looking at my heart rate, not my treadmill neighbor. In the package, you get a strap (it hooks), the HRM unit snaps on via buttons on the strap, and the owner's manual.
When using the H7, you've got to lick the strap before you put it on, prior to your workout. If you don't, you may get wacky readings until you start to sweat a little. I forgot to do this once and my HR rocketed to 220 and back down to 30 bpm within the span of a few seconds. Once I figured that out, the H7's been fantastic.
This product works with the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, though I'm not sure what the compatibility is for Android devices. To start getting your heart rate, you'll need to download an app to your phone. Unlike other Bluetooth devices, you do not connect the HRM via the phone's global Settings menu--the H7 connects from within the HRM whatever app that you choose. There are many choices re: HRM apps that I'll summarize:
1) Polar Beat - Nice basic app, but you've got to pay for it (it's ~$8 for everything). I didn't feel like I got my $8 worth with the app. The data does upload to Polar's website where you can view it after your workout.
2) Endomondo - I can see how runners would love it, but I'm a treadmill/weight guy, so it doesn't appeal to me.
3) Digifit - I've had the best luck using the H7 with Digifit's app. Digifit will prompt you for your age, weight, height, and gender. With that data, it will create heart training zones for you. There are some "fitness tests" within the Digifit app that will gauge your health and enable you to make tweaks to your "zones" based on your fitness test performance.
That's where the H7 gets fun. Once you've got your zones customized for you, Digifit lets you set up routines (ex. 5 mins in Zone 1, 50 in Zone 3, 5 in Zone 1, cooldown) and will coach you based on the information transmitted from the H7. If you're not going fast enough, a nice lady will say "Below target zone" and she'll tell you when you get to the zone you've got set.
You can also set up your app to just record your heart rate, but not coach you. It will periodically audibly notify you how long you've been working out, calories consumed, etc. When you're done working out, Digifit will upload your workout data from the H7 to Digifit's website, which also integrates with MyFitnessPal, a calorie tracking app.
Using the Polar H7 with Digifit and MyFitnessPal has changed the way I eat for the better. Digifit computes calories burned during my workout using the data from the H7. After workouts, I have my Digifit account linked to my MyFitnessPal account to update my caloric intake for the day. MyFitnessPal will tweak your fat & carb intake to account for fat & carbs burned in different heart zones (lower zones burn more fat, higher zones burn more carbs).
I would recommend that you get a pair of bluetooth headphones, while you're at it. I've had great luck with Kinivio's BTH220 headphones.
I'd give the H7 5 stars if I didn't have to shell out for Polar's app and if the strap weren't occasionally flakey at the beginning of workouts.
109 of 126 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2013
Bought this to track my HR on Strava. It worked great for about 3 rides. Now it will not pair with my phone. Washed the strap, changed the batteries, reset bluetooth, reset application, restarted phone, tried to pair on three other phones. No luck. Will see if they will take it back.
A comment on another review mentioned that shorting out the battery connectors for a few seconds reset the unit. I tried that with a paper clip and my unit is up and running! Strava is able to measure my HR and shows that the unit is connected but there is no paired device listed in the bluetooth settings. Shame on Polar for not mentioning this in its trouble shooting guide.
Full disclosure: User Mark Love made a comment on one of the two star reviews on the battery shortage solution.
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2014
I read some of the bad reviews about this and was a little worried but ordered it anyways because overall the rating was around 4/5. And all I can say is that it was a great purchase and I should have never hesitated. This is my first HRM and first Polar product. I read a page or two in the manual which is basically all I needed. It said to turn on my Bluetooth and then open the apps I wanted to use the HRM with. First I downloaded and opened the Polar app. I told it to connect to the HRM and it connected but then a popup said "connection lost" About 30 more dialog boxes of "connection lost" came up over the next few seconds. Finally behind all of those I saw that it had successfully paired with the app. I had to click "ok" on all the "connection lost" boxes but I finally got back to the app and saw my heart rate being displayed. Yay! This is the only time the sensor/app had connection "jitters." All the additional times I've used the HRM with the Polar app or any other fitness apps there have been no issues at all. I only had to pair it once, not every time I use it like other users have reported. I just put on the monitor, turn on bluetooth on my phone, open the app and I'm good to go.
I tested pairing it with Runtastic and Wahoo fitness apps; both picked up the sensor just fine, no issues. I was afraid that I'd have to pay money to "upgrade" the Polar app like other people have said they had to do, but honestly for HR monitoring the "free" version is awesome. It shows your current heart rate, the zone you're in, your average HR and max HR and you can display these a couple different ways depending on what is important to you. A tap on the screen lets you change the display on the fly. At the end of the workout it tells you how your time in a zone is affecting your fitness. Also you can sync it with the free Polar Flow website, this allows you to keep track of all your training. Currently I'm using the Polar app along side the Nike Running app. Even though the Polar app does GPS tracking/mapping, timing, etc I use the Nike app because all my old runs are on there. But having both open at the same time and with both using GPS is a non-issue, surprisingly it works great! So if you want to use the Polar app for the heart rate only and keep your old fitness app that is not a problem.
I had no issues with dropout/spikes in the heart data and I barely used a few drops of water on the conductive strap as it said in the manual. I have not had any battery issues like other people reported. I think they forgot to unclip it from the strap when they were done working out and as a result drained the battery. It uses a CR 2025 button style battery that is user replaceable. The manual states that it has a 200 hour battery life. Also another reviewer said that there must be a problem with these because amazon stopped selling them for a short while. I looked at the used section and saw about six "amazon warehouse deals." They all had minor cosmetic issues I believe. I think the problem was that amazon was sending these in padded envelopes and they'd been mangled and returned. Amazon started selling them again this week which is when I ordered mine. It came in a sturdy box and arrived in perfect condition.
All in all this is an awesome piece of tech that is easy to setup and does exactly what it promises. The Polar app is great for HR monitoring even without paying for the special "training" upgrades. I've only had this unit for about a week but I love it and have used it during multiple runs without any issues. I'll update this review and report how it's working out after a few weeks. I'm sure it will be performing great. And if you have any questions just comment and I'll try to answer them if I can. If you found this review helpful please click the button.
43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2013
I bought the Polar H7 Bluetooth HRM to have better awareness of what is happening in my body during workouts. Not having used an HRM ever before I wasn't sure what to expect, but from reading on web sites and magazines I was becoming increasingly aware that I was training blindly, and I needed to get better control of my workouts to get the maximum effect.
After some research I settled on the H7 primarily because I wanted a wireless sensor, and the ability to use my Apple iPhone to track my workouts, and also because it has Bluetooth Smart. Since I often use the Life Fitness and Precor exercise machines in the gym, which support Bluetooth Smart, it seemed like a good feature to have.
Out of the box it was not clear how to pair the H7 with my iPhone. My iPhone could not see the H7 in the Bluetooth configuration, and at first I thought it was broken. But then I discovered you need to install the Polar Beat app on the iPhone and pair the H7 through the app, not through the iPhone Bluetooth settings. This was not really apparent in the documentation. Even after pairing via the Polar app, the H7 does not appear in the iPhone Bluetooth settings, but the app does pickup the heart beat. Once paired via the Polar Beat app, other heart rate apps, such as Endomondo, will also see the heart beat, so you don't have to use the Polar Beat app to track your workouts if you prefer another app.
The chest softstrap included with the H7 sensor is adjustable and can be made to fit comfortably. The sensor plugs into the strap securely and stays in place even during moderately vigorous exercise, but it can shift around a bit if you are stretching and jumping around a lot. When you plug the sensor into the strap you have to wet the back of the strap behind the sensor to make good contact with your body. Positioning the sensor is a bit tricky for me because I have a bone that protrudes a bit from my chest cavity, so the sensor won't sit flush. The best position for good contact and consistent heart beat feedback seems to be just below the breast muscle, on top of the rib plate, near the middle, slightly to the left of the chest cavity. It needs to sit flat and flush with the chest, and preferably right over bone, not muscle. When you have it positioned right, the heart rate appears to be normal, when it is positioned incorrectly you get erratic numbers, jumping from 50 to 130 beats, and drop-outs.
The sensor is relatively small and unobtrusive, and it is not visible under my shirt. The battery that came with it seems to still be working after two months, but from the start the battery was registering as half drained in the app. I don't know if the battery they included was weak or old, or if this is just the normal battery level. I haven't had to replace the battery yet, so I'll check it again when that time comes.
The Polar Beat app is okay, but I'm sure there are better apps. I paid the optional $7.99 for the premium version, which lets you do fitness tests, and you can use target workouts that give you audible feedback, telling you to "slow-down" or "speed-up" to keep within the prescribed heart rate during your workout. I was surprised that I had to pay for the premium upgrade after spending $70 on the monitor, and didn't find the upgrade worth the $7.99. After a while I reverted back to using the basic Free Training (which is included in the free app), and didn't find much use for the upgraded features. I took one star off from the rating for this. YMMV.
What is most disappointing about the Polar Beat app is there is no export or reporting capability. It keeps a weekly summary, but you can't export your workout details to any other app, such as Lose It! or export the data via email so you can import it into Excel for trending and long-term tracking. Subsequently, I have to manually input my working summary into my other apps, and I have to manually track my workouts in Excel. I could have taken another star off the rating for this, but I didn't since it is not directly related to the monitor.
Since acquiring the H7 I have gained much better insight into my workouts and feel much better and more aware of the benefit and effects from my training. I feel much more in control and able to tune my workouts for best results now, and I find I am getting better physiological results because I'm able to keep my heart rate in the appropriate zone. Now I can accurately intersperse my maximum intensity workouts with lighter fat burning and aerobic workouts, and as a result I'm gaining more lean muscle and I've lowered my fat ratio to a level I want.
As far as heart rate monitors go, the H7 is very good, but the the Polar Beat app could be improved and the premium version should be included free with the purchase of the H7 HRM.
78 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2013
I've been using Polar devices for 10+ years and never had a problem. However with their new bluetooth H7, they blew it. I read other reviews that warned of failures and horrible customer support -but thought that wouldn't happen to me. I used the device exactly as described, unplugging/unsnapping when not using and closing apps when done using on my iPhone. However, it only took about 60 days for the unit to fail. Changed batteries, rebooted phone, tried the Polar iPhone app, nothing worked. Couldn't get a rep on the phone after 30 minutes of holding, but did get a rep via online chat. Thought they'd send me a new one with a package to return the old one (standard customer service), but was shocked when they said no - I have to buy an envelope, send it to them, and they'll evaluate the unit. You can imagine my faith in a timely response. Meanwhile, they have my money and I have nothing to measure heart rate for my workouts. Nice one Polar.
69 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2012
If I'd written this review at any point in the first 5 weeks I owned it, I'd have given the H7 5 stars. It worked perfectly with Digifit on my iPhone 5, and simultaneously transmitted on 5KHz to my Polar 725. A week and a half ago, however, it quit transmitting on Bluetooth in the middle of a workout. I've emailed Polar support and gotten absolutely no response - not even an acknowledgement of the email. It's still happily transmitting on 5KHz, but neither Digifit nor Polar's own app will talk to it anymore. I've replaced the battery.
The product is great when it works, but both from my personal experience and the negative reviews here Polar obviously has severe quality control and reliability issues. Their support is pretty much nonexistent, which came as quite a shock after over a decade of using their products. I'm extremely dissatisfied. At this point I wouldn't recommend any Polar product to anyone.