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Heart rate monitoring watches make life easier for anyone wanting to monitor their heart health or track their heart rate for maximum benefit during exercise.
- For running with music: Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
- For coaching insights: Polar Vantage V
- For a lightweight watch: Garmin Forerunner 45S
- For rural running: Suunto 9 Baro
- For connectivity to smartphones: Fitbit Ionic
- For blood pressure monitoring: Omron HeartGuide
- For menstrual health tracking: Fitbit Charge 4
- For a range of outdoor activities: Garmin fēnix 5
- For a long battery life: Polar H10
- For replaceable batteries: Lezyne HR Flow
Please note, the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.
For runners who wish to track their heart rate, the following watches could be suitable options.
The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music offers accurate heart rate tracking, GPS tracking, and a variety of other features for runners. The device can also store and play music, meaning people can leave their phones at home while running.
According to Garmin, the battery offers 6 hours of continuous music playback. It also logs a range of fitness data for other workouts and can calculate someone’s fitness age via the app.
At the time of publishing, the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is available online for $349.99.
The Polar Vantage V monitors heart rate and is waterproof, making it ideal for swimmers. In addition, the watch can:
- track VO2 max
- monitor running intensity
- monitor swimming exercises
- offer coaching insights
- provide GPS tracking
The battery also lasts 7 days in normal mode or 40 hours in training mode.
At the time of publishing, the Polar Vantage V is available on Amazon for $499.95.
The Garmin Forerunner 45S provides continuous heart rate monitoring. The manufacturer states that this lightweight and water-resistant watch features built-in GPS and compatibility with Garmin Coach. The battery lasts 13 hours during exercise mode or 7 days in normal mode.
At the time of publishing, the Garmin Forerunner 45S is available online for $199.99.
The Suunto 9 Baro is a GPS-enabled watch that provides up to 120 hours of continuous exercise monitoring.
In addition to on-wrist heart tracking, a compatible chest sensor is also available to buy.
The watch offers breadcrumb tracking, a built-in compass, GPS navigation and tracking, and other features for runners who wish to explore rural areas.
At the time of publishing, the Suunto 9 Baro is available online for $499.
The Fitbit Ionic is a basic smartwatch suitable for running and other exercises. It contains a built-in GPS and can store and play music via wireless headphones or speakers.
The Ionic is waterproof and can track a variety of exercises, including biking, running, walking, and swimming. The watch connects to the Fitbit app via smartphone, computer, or tablet, and it allows users to track and sync several health-related stats.
At the time of publishing, the Fitbit Ionic is available on Amazon for $249.95.
The following watches may suit people who wish to monitor their heart rate for health reasons or see how environmental factors affect their heartbeat.
According to Omron, this watch is the first to offer a clinically accurate blood pressure monitor. It can also track movements and exercise and measure sleep quality. Additionally, the app can sync with other data for extra health insights.
People can expect to charge the watch 2–3 times a week.
At the time of publishing, the Omron HeartGuide is available online for $499.
Although the Fitbit Charge 4 classifies as a tracker, people wear it on the wrist as a watch. It features GPS connectivity, sleep tracking, and 24-hour heart monitoring. The device also connects to the Fitbit app via phone, tablet, or computer.
The battery lasts up to 7 days, while the watch features secure contactless payment technology. This means a person can pay for items with the device without needing to take out a bank card or cash.
At the time of publishing, the Fitbit Charge 4 is available online for $129.95
A monitor for those looking for style and features within a watch. The fēnix 5 offers built-in GPS, accurate heart rate tracking, and a range of activity trackers.
According to Garmin, the battery lasts for up to 24 hours in heart rate and GPS mode and up to 60 hours in GPS-only mode. In smartwatch mode, the battery could go as long as 2 weeks.
At the time of publishing, the Garmin fēnix 5 is available online for $499.99.
There are several other heart rate devices available to buy online, including:
The Polar H10 is a budget watch and accurate heart monitor, suitable for people who do not need additional features.
This chest strap can connect to its custom app or other fitness apps. People can also wear it while swimming, and it offers up to 400 hours of battery life.
At the time of publishing, the Polar H10 is available online for $89.95
The Lezyne HR Flow is another option for those looking for a basic but accurate heart rate monitor.
The HR Flow comes without GPS or features that other heart rate monitors might include. However, this device is among the cheapest monitors on this list.
At the time of publishing, the Lezyne HR Flow is available online for $44.99.
The table below summarises the main features of some of the best heart rate monitoring watches.
|Garmin Fore runner|
|Polar Vantage V||Garmin Fore runner|
|Suunto 9 Baro||Fitbit Ionic||Omron Heart|
|Fitbit Charge 4||Garmin fēnix 5||Polar H10||Lezyne HR Flow|
|Battery life||Up to 24 hours with GPS||Up to 40 hours with GPS||Up to 13 hours with GPS||Up to 170 hours with GPS||Up to 4 days||Up to 2 days||Up to 7 days||Up to 60 hours with no heart rate tracking||Up to 400 hours||Uses a standard CR2032 replaceable battery|
|Water-resistance||Water-resistant up to 50 meters||Water-resistant||Water-resistant up to 50 meters||Water-resistant up to 100 meters||Water-resistant up to 50 meters||Not water-resistant||Water-resistant up to 50 meters||Water-resistant up to 100 meters||Water-resistant up to 30 meters||No information available|
|Music||Can play music||Does not play music||Does not play music||Does not play music||Stores and plays over 300 songs||Does not play music||Links to Spotify profiles||Does not play music||Does not play music||Does not play music|
|Exercise and health profiles||Running, cycling, and swimming||Running and swimming||Running and cycling||Running, cycling, and swimming||Running, cycling, and swimming||Monitors blood pressure during rest and activity||Monitors all exercises and menstrual health||Running, cycling, outdoor activity, golfing, menstrual health||Compatible with other devices that track fitness metrics||No information available|
Many smartwatches can track heart rate at rest, during exercise, and at night. While there are many options and styles, people may wish to choose theirs based on personal preference and the features they want, such as long battery life, GPS, and water resistance.
Runners and exercise enthusiasts may wish to consider more expensive watches that can track various physical activities. In contrast, people who simply want to monitor their heart health may opt for a simple watch they can wear every day that tracks their heartbeat.
Please note: Medical News Today does not imply warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or endorse any of these applications. Nobody at MNT has evaluated these apps for medical accuracy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them unless otherwise indicated.