Customer Review

99 of 105 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice, but I Prefer the Polar H7, October 25, 2012
This review is from: Wahoo Blue HR Heart Rate Monitor for iPhone and Android (Sports)
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Summary: This is a nice bluetooth heart rate monitor that uses the low energy bluetooth standard to communicate with the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or 3rd generation iPad. It's a great choice, particularly if you like Wahoo's free fitness app. However, after trying this unit and the similar Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Sensor, I personally prefer the Polar. I'll break down some of the similarities and differences so that you can make your own choice.

1. Fit: The Wahoo unit is an elastic belt with a snap on each side, plus a small transmitter. You dampen the contact points on the belt, wrap it around your chest, then snap each side into one side of the transmitter, which then holds the belt closed. (It's hard to describe, but the belt doesn't literally connect - it as a gap which is bridged by the transmitter.) The belt has two slides that let you size it to fit, and is comfortable. I like that you can unhook the transmitter to turn the belt off, which saves power -- in older HRMs, the transmitter was built in and did not turn off until the belt lost contact.

The Polar unit is similar, except that the belt has a hook that holds it closed, then you snap the unit onto the belt after that. (Again, it's hard to describe, but with the Polar, the belt itself goes all the way around your chest and connects with a bra-strap style hook on the side. The transmitter then clips on top of the belt.)

Result: Tie - both units are comfortable and work well.

2. Compatibility: Both units use low energy bluetooth, which saves power, but is only built into the newest generation of devices. They both work fine with my iPhone 4S and my 3rd generation iPad, and are both rated compatible with the iPhone 5. (Some of the reviewers have complaints about the Polar's compatibility with some iPhone uses, but I've never had a problem).

Unfortunately, neither one is rated as compatible with android or windows devices, even if those devices have low energy bluetooth built in. That's unfortunate, and I hope that it gets resolved soon. (A few people have reportedly gotten the Polar to work in limited cases, and the Wahoo might too, but I would not count on it without a lot of research.)

The Polar does win on one compatibility issue -- it also transmits standard HRM data on a 5 gz band. As a result, it will show your heart rate on gym equipment that accepts standard HRM data, and works with my basic Polar watch, my rowing machine, etc. (In fact, maybe it works too well -- last week at the gym, it put my HR on my machine AND on my neighbor's!) I haven't been able to get the Wahoo monitor to show up on any of my non-bluetooth receivers, so if backwards compatibility is important to you, take a look at the Polar.

Result: Slight advantage to the Polar on backwards compatibility.

3. Apps: In my tests, both the Wahoo and the Polar work with Runkeeper. I don't have Endomondo, but understand they both work with that too. If you prefer one of those apps, then it's a wash. However, Wahoo's app works with Wahoo (obviously), and Digifit currently works only with Polar. (Update - according to the comments, the Wahoo is working with Digifit, so I'd give this one a wash unless you love the Wahoo app). I like Digifit a lot, so I prefer the Polar on this element, but your preference will obviously affect your vote. (Note that it costs a few dollars to activate cardio monitoring in Digifit, while the Wahoo app is free, but IMHO it's worth it).

Result: Depends on your app preference.

4. Price: The price of both units is likely to vary over time, so I'll let you do the comparison. As of the time of this review, the Polar is slightly less expensive, even if you are going to buy the full version of Digifit, but definitely check before you make your decision.

Summary: This is a great unit for a user with a newer iOS device, especially if you like the Wahoo app. The Polar H7 is a very close competitor though, so your choice will probably come down to which app you like better.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 8, 2013 9:25:28 AM PST
Aminta says:
Just the review I was looking for Polar versus or in additional to apps. Thanks for writing.

Posted on May 11, 2013 5:22:23 AM PDT
I use the Wahoo with Digifit on an iPhone 5 with no problem. It is not listed, but will pair easily. I've done this twice and each time it was easy.
My wife uses the Polar HR7 and likes it too.

Posted on Jun 8, 2013 2:48:33 PM PDT
Very helpful review. Thank you for doing it

Posted on Sep 29, 2013 5:53:16 AM PDT
iSeeker says:
Basically, you believe the Polar one is better b/c of the 5 khz coded transmitting that allows you to connect it to some gym equipment. I think that is cool, although if you have a bluetooth HR strap you will most likely have your iphone as well which would allow you to display all you wanted on that. So, probably not a great benefit. They should all work with the same apps since the bluetooth protocol is the same and really depends on the app maker if they have built in the code to support the bluetooth.

If you want a really cool strap see DC Rainmakers review of the 4iiii's Viiiiva which does both the ANT+ standard and Bluetooth. Very cool! I'm still deciding, but leaning towards 4iiii's.
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Joseph "jck09"

Location: Cincinnati, OH USA

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