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Activity Tracker With Heart Rate Monitors

Activity tracker with heart rate monitor

An activity tracker with heart rate monitor has several advantages over devices without a heart rate monitor. For example, they can announce overloads during training sessions or improve calorie calculation. From our numerous reviews we know a lot of activity tracker with heart rate monitors. Based on the review reports, we know how to estimate the trackers and know their advantages and disadvantages.

Don't forget to check Amazon's Fitness-Tracker & Wearables Best Sellers including well-known manufacturers like Garmin, Fitbit, Polar, Mio and much more!

We have collected the best activity trackers with heart rate monitors from our point of view. A side-by-side comparison shows the modern wearables in a clearly arranged table with its strengths and weaknesses.

Here you will find the latest and greatest fitness bands with heart rate monitors, including:

  • Activity Tracker heart rate monitor from Fitbit, Garmin, Polar and more
  • Waterproof activity trackers with heart rate monitor, also suitable for swimming
  • Activity Tracker heart rate monitor especially for runners
  • Activity Tracker Heart Rate Monitor with GPS
  • and more…

We have reviewed them ourselves and are convinced of their qualities. Find in the following article your personal activity tracker with heart rate monitor…

Activity Trackers With Heart Rate Monitors

To get you started, we have summarized the best activity trackers with heart rate monitor, depending on the purpose of use.

The 4 Best Activity Trackers With Heart Rate Monitors in Comparison
ProductGarmin Vivosmart HR+Fitbit Charge 2Polar A370Huawei Band 2 Pro
ImageGarmin Vivosmart HR+Fitbit Charge 2 stepsPolar A370Huawei Band 2 Pro
Availability2016 (May)2016 (March)2017 (Jun)2017 (Sept.)
Battery (up to)5 days
GPS: 8 hours
5 days12 days
(24×7 Activity Tracking
+ 1 hours training per day)
21 days
GPS: 3,5 h
Activity-Tracker
(steps, sleep, calories
YesYesYesYes
WaterproofYes
5 ATM
splash-proofYes
WR30 (30 meter)
Yes
5 ATM
Inactivity reminderYesYesYesYes
24/7 HR-measurementYesYesNoYes
GPS-trackingYesYes
via Smartphone
Yes
via Smartphone
Yes
Resting HRYesYesYesYes
Accuracy heart rate measurement with running unitsGoodOkVery GoodOk
Hr-BroadcastYes (via ANT+)NoYes (via Bluetooth)not specified
Warning when leaving HR zonevisual
vibration
visualvisual
vibration
visual
vibration (HR-max)
Smartphone Notif.YesYesYesYes
Compatibility   

  • MyFitnessPal
  • Strava
  • TrainingPeaks
   

  • Too many to list, examples:
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Weight Watchers
  • Runkeeper
  • Endomondo
 

  • MyFitnessPal
  • Strava
  • TrainingPeaks
  • Nike+ Run Club
  • Google Fit
 

  • Up by Jawbone
  • Google Fit
  • MyFitnessPal
Evaluation of handlingGood

  • Intuitive and reliable
  • 1 button for handling activities
Good

  • Intuitive and reliable
  • Buttons for handling activities
Good 

  • Intuitive and reliable
  • Buttons for handling activities
Ok

  • Partly not intuitive
Evaluation Display & ReadabilityGood

  • Medium to large, easy-to-read display
 Good

  • Medium to large, easy-to-read display
Very good

  • Large, easy-to-read colour display
Less good

  • small, partly difficult to read display
 Evaluation AppGood

  • Very informative
  • Many sophisticated functions
  • Partly confusing
Very good

  • Very intuitive handling
  • Many health tips & infos
  • Very clearly arranged
Ok

  • Many health tips
  • partly complicated
Ok

  •   Good tips for sleeping
  • Complicated
  • 2 apps required: (1 for the device, 1 for the fitness data)
Web PlatformYesYesYesNo
Further Pros
  • Easy handling
  • Weather forecast
  • cardio fitness level
  • be more active
  • resting heart rate
  • comfortable
  • style customizable
  • very good color display
  • wiping gestures
  • be more active
  • training app Polar Flow
  • battery
  • running coach
  • wiping gestures
  • breathing coach
  • be more active
  • battery
Buy
Shopping Logo
LinkLinkLinkLink
Link to ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

Activity Trackers With Heart Rate Monitors – Guide

Learn everything you need to know to choose a suitable fitness band with heart rate monitor and what advantages smart wearables have over devices without a heart rate monitor.

Prerequisites: On gadget.fitness we usually look at modern activity trackers, fitness trackers, sports bands, GPS watches and so on. This means that the devices can be connected to the smartphone and are therefore enriched by one or more app(s.) This allows you to evaluate activities and personal workout statistics using a smartphone or current browser. The device is connected to a mobile phone, computer or app, but can be worn independently on the wrist. A smartphone, tablet or computer is therefore necessary for optimal functionality. The collected fitness data usually ends up on the servers of the manufacturers or app vendors.

The activity trackers featured here with heart rate monitors usually have more than the above features, other helpful features such as a sports mode or automatic activity detection. Automated sleep monitoring and smartphone notifications.

When is an Activity Tracker With a Heart Rate Monitor the Right Choice For Me?

An activity tracker with a heart rate monitor is the right choice for you if one or more of the following conditions are important to you:

  • Recording of heart rate during workouts (usually every second)
  • Training by heart rate zones
  • Record heart rate all day long
  • Determining the resting heart rate
  • More precise calculation of calorie consumption or daily activities
  • Small, mobile design

From an activity tracker with a heart rate monitor, you can expect it to evaluate your activities and sleep phases, calculate calories burned based on your personal daily activity, or record fitness workouts of various kinds in a special sport mode. All data can be digitally stored and read out via app. In the app, motivating trends can then be identified over several days and weeks, enabling you to build on successes or counteract them if you notice that you are not moving enough.

Activity Trackers motivate people to exercise more in their daily lives, earn points and rewards, and some of them even adorn their wrists to match the outfit.

If additional functions of a Smartwatch or GPS training watch are not so important to you and mobility as well as health specific functions are in the foreground, an activity tracker is the right device for you.

Here you can see the outer differences between a fitness band (center) and a Smartwatch (left) and a GPS watch (right):

All three wearables offer activity tracking. The activity tracker with heart rate monitor, however, is the device of your choice, for everyday life and sport. It is discreet, inconspicuous and delivers data via app.

Activity Tracker

If the above mentioned aspects or a heart rate monitor are not so important to you, we recommend our Activity Tracker guide and comparison.

Step Tracker

If you need fewer functions, we advise you to consult our step tracker review and advice. These devices usually offer a little less functionality, but are smaller and easier to use.

Heart Rate Monitors Without a Chest Strap

If you are looking for devices that can record your heart rate without a chest strap, we recommend that you check our heart rate monitors review without a chest strap. It contains heart rate monitors, sports and fitness watches suitable for everyday life or sport.

Activity Tracker With Heart Rate Monitors Functionality

An activity tracker or sports band is basically an electronic wristband that records your activity during the day and at night by means of sensors. You just wear it on your wrist, just like a classic wristwatch. It communicates with the smartphone via a Bluetooth connection and exchanges data. Direct contact with your wrist – especially for activity trackers with a heart rate monitor – is necessary for the device to function optimally.

An integrated optical sensor measures changes in blood volume in the blood vessels per heart cycle. From the changing amount of blood, it is possible to deduce from the recurring signals of the heart rate. In this case, on the underside of the wrist.

All activity trackers feature an acceleration sensor that detects accelerations or movement patterns. Therefore, steps, rest periods or the type of sport performed can be recorded automatically. The acceleration sensors and other sensors and components can collect and record various data.

The settings of the device are conveniently made in the App. When you connect your device to your app, current data is displayed and can be evaluated by you. Apps for activity trackers are provided by their respective manufacturers and are available for popular operating systems such as Android or Apple iOS. Some manufacturers also provide small programs for the desktop PC. However, a current browser is sufficient to operate the training platform of a manufacturer.

The integrated heart rate monitor also improves the calorie calculation, because it records the heart rate in the regular second in sports or training mode. This applies to activities such as running, hiking, indoor running and much more.

Other Important Functions

The most important features of a fitness band with heart rate monitor include:

  • Step tracker: Measures distances traveled and number of steps.
  • Calculation of calories: The activity tracker calculates the calorie consumption based on individual health data and daily activities. An activity tracker with integrated heart rate monitor is able to calculate calorie consumption even more precisely.
  • Daily goals: Define goals you want to achieve every day. Depending on the model, these can be, for example, steps, calorie consumption or sleep times. The goals can be used to collect motivating points and rewards.
  • Inactivity reminder: If you rest or sit for a longer period of time, the activity tracker usually reminds you to move again by means of an inconspicuous vibration alarm. This can stimulate the circulation in the office, for example, if you sit in front of the monitor for too long.
  • Heart rate measurement: In sports mode, usually every second, in normal mode, dynamic or at fixed minute intervals.
  • Training and workouts: Most fitness bands offer a sports mode with different sports profiles. These improve the calculation of calorie consumption and allow a clear separation between activities in the app. In the review, we also have equipment that supports the user in sports mode when performing exercises and records even more profile-specific data. For example, the GPS route while running.
  • GPS Routes: GPS routes traveled during training, distances and speed.
  • Sleep Tracker: All activity trackers in the review record sleep times and phases. This is now working quite well for all manufacturers. If you wear the device regularly at night, trends can be seen. These trends can be used to build more structure into sleep patterns, so that you can be fitter and fresher in the morning.

Activity Tracker with heart rate monitor – Pros & Cons

Below we explain the advantages and disadvantages of an activity tracker with heart rate monitor.

  1. HR zones: The most important advantage compared to devices without heart rate monitors is, of course, the possibility to create activities based on HR zones. Therefore, make sure that the fitness band displays current HR zones. In the best case, the change to other HR zones is also pointed out, so that you can adapt your training quickly.
  2. Price: Compared to a Smartwatch or GPS sports watch, the activity tracker with heart rate monitor is comparatively inexpensive. Depending on the model and equipment, the price of a fully developed activity tracker is between 75 and 200 euros.
  3. Dimensions and weight: The activity trackers from our reviews are very light and compact. They weigh only a fraction of a Smartwatch or GPS sports watch. With good comfort, you won’t even notice after a short time that there is an activity tracker strap on your wrist.
  4. Inconspicuous and simple: An activity tracker contains a lot of technology and sensors. Nevertheless, its appearance is unobtrusive and simple, so you can wear it on any occasion.
  5. Battery life: Where most Smartwatches need to be charged daily, the battery of an activity tracker lasts much longer. As a rule, a band needs to be charged once a week. Some devices can last more than 12 days without having to forego the most important functions. However, GPS training watches are usually not able to keep up with the devices, because they often last much longer in normal and training mode.
  6. Dependency on mobile phone and computer: A smartphone with an appropriate app or a computer is required for data evaluation. Without it, an activity tracker is useless because you can’t access your data.
  7. Waterproofing: Make sure that an activity tracker is waterproof if you care about it. Some devices are only resistant to sweat or water splashes. Depending on the type of sport and the area of application, this is of course not enough. Manufacturers often display this characteristic prominently. Examples: Garmin Activity Tracker are generally waterproof up to 5 ATM (approximately 50 meters). Polar Activity Trackers up to WR30 (Water resistant 30 meters). However, you should not dive with the waterproof activity trackers. The information does not refer to how deep the device could be submerged, but rather to the water pressure at a certain depth. This water pressure can also occur on the surface of the water, for example when you jump from the edge of the pool into the water.

Activity Tracker With Heart Rate Monitors Accuracy

Most of the activity trackers with heart rate monitors presented here achieve different good measurements in the training mode. The accuracy of heart rate measurement often depends on the price of the device and the activity performed. Our individual reviews show by means of running units how exactly the devices measure the heart rate. In which cases it makes more sense to train with the help of an HR chest strap, our separate article on optical heart rate measurement explains.

Most of the presented devices are good at measuring constant running units or similar activities. Interval training, for example, should not be carried out with optical heart rate monitors in activity trackers. Most devices are too slow and inaccurate for this.

Compared to devices without heart rate monitors, the calculation of calorie consumption and recording of daily activities is more accurate. The Polar A370, for example, has an intelligent 24/7 heart rate measurement and also recognizes activities in which the arms are moved less, but the heart rate increases. These include cycling, pushing a shopping cart or  pushing a buggie and so on.

Activity Trackers With Heart Rate Monitors for Runners

We can recommend the following activity trackers specifically for runners, as they have extended running functions:

  • Garmin Vivosmart HR+ (our Vivosmart HR+ single review)
    • Like the Vivosmart HR, but with integrated GPS receiver, Move IQ for automatic activity detection and extended running functions. These include a Virtual Pacer and a Run/Walk timer.
  • Huawei Band 2 Pro ( our Huawei Band 2 Pro Single )
    • The Huawei Band 2 Pro, which is waterproof and suitable for swimming, has many highlights for a particularly attractive price: Among them are an integrated 24/7 heart rate sensor, and of course an activity tracker for recording steps, distances, calorie consumption and sleep. The GPS receiver keeps track of running tracks and records speed, movement and distance. It is also possible to create individual or predefined training plans for the preparation of competitions (5 km, half marathon, marathon,…) and adds to its value.
  • Polar A370 (our Polar A370 single review)
    • The A370 is particularly good for heart rate measurement during workouts, especially when running. In addition, the A370 can also use the smartphone’s GPS receiver to record tracks. For runners, it is even more interesting to transfer the new option of transferring individual running programs from Polar Flow to the activity tracker in order to prepare for a competition. Another highlight is the very readable high-resolution colour display with support for typing and swiping gestures.
Activity Tracker with heart rate monitor for runners
ProductWhy?Link Amazon Logo
Garmin Vivosmart HR+
  • Integrated GPS receiver
  • Virtual Pacer supports running with configured pace.
  • Can signal an alarm when the heart rate is above or below a target range or custom range.
  • Very good app and web platform for data analysis in the browser
Product Page
Huawei Band 2 Pro
  • Integrated GPS receiver
  • Structured run programs
  • for example 5 km, 10 km, half marathon or marathon
  • Inexpensive
Product Page
Polar A370
  • GPS via Smartphone possible
  • Personal and adaptive training plan for competition preparation or targeted fitness development
  • for example 5 km, 10 km, half marathon or marathon
  • Use Polar ZonePointer to train in a preset or desired HR target zone
  • Very good web platform for data analysis in the browser
Product Page


Note on running training programs/plans:
Support for training for a running event with a personal or adaptive training plan. The programs take into account the individual fitness level and propose a training program and dates accordingly. Often you choose from destinations such as 5 km, 10 km, half marathon or marathon and can thus prepare for competitions or build up your fitness slowly.

Activity Trackers With Heart Rate Monitors

Here activity trackers and heart rate monitors without chest strap are presented, which have an activity tracker. The Activity Tracker provides 24×7 activity measurement. These include, among other things, steps, calories, sleep activities and similar characteristics.

Fitbit Charge 2

Fitbit Charge 2 Fitness Band

Fitbit Charge 2 Activity Tracker

All details can be found in our Fitbit Charge 2 review. The successor to the popular Charge HR has been improved in many ways and equipped with additional features. Highlights include integrated heart rate monitoring, cardio fitness level functions and various sports profiles. For runners, there are also options available: the GPS of the smartphone can be used to record distance, speed and average speed. Furthermore, the Charge offers 2 motion reminders, smartphone alerts and interchangeable wristbands.

The Charge 2 has a display with a typing function, records steps, daily target, calorie consumption, distance, date and time. As one of the few devices on the market, it supports breathing exercises with which you can get down a little bit.

Charge 2: Application scenarios and operating modes

Fitbit Charge 2 can be operated in two modes:

  • Normal mode: the activity tracker is active, the heart rate sensor scans the heart rate every few minutes. The resting heart rate is also detected.
  • Training mode: Heart rate recording during various training sessions, for example
    • Running
    • Cardio
    • Strength training
    • Cycling

Charge 2: How are heart rate zones (change) indicated?

When changing the heart rate zone, the user is visually alerted on the clearly legible display.

Charge 2: Fitbit App

The data can be wirelessly synchronized with the smartphone and is then available in the Fitbit app or web browser for more detailed data analysis.

Fitbit Charge 2: Reviewing, Buying, Special Features

  • Steps, route, calories burned, active minutes, daily goals
  • Sleep (hours, light and deep sleep)
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Sporty, lightweight and comfortable
  • Supports numerous sports activities
  • Helpful tips for achieving your goals
  • Inactivity and wake-up alarm
  • Supports iOS, Androidm Windows
  • Good battery life

Polar A370

Size: three sizes: S, M, L | Weight: 31.7g | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Battery: 12 days | Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0

Polar A370

Polar A370

Our extensive Polar A370 Review presents the activity tracker with integrated activity tracker and optical heart rate sensor in detail. This section contains all important information about the device.

The successor to the A360 also has an integrated heart rate monitor and supports many sports profiles, fully automatic sleep analysis, steps, calories, distance and daily goals as well as helpful hints on training benefits and tips on how to achieve your goals. The A370 can now also use the GPS receiver of the smartphone for route recording and 24/7 heart rate measurement. Another highlight is the high-resolution color display with support for typing and wiping gestures.

A370: Application Scenarios and Operating Modes

The Polar A370 can be operated in two modes:

  • Normal mode: the activity tracker is active, but not the heart rate sensor
  • Training mode: Heart rate recording during various training sessions, for example
    • Running
    • Group fitness
    • Cardio
    • Strength training
    • Cycling
    • Swimming

In normal mode, the A370 records activities all day long. In training mode, the device is set to a workout mode in which the heart rate sensor performs its work. Numerous sports profiles are available for training and workouts, which allow a more precise calorie calculation.

It is not necessary to carry the smartphone with you at all times, because the activity tracker has its own memory on board, which stores the movement data in detail.

A370: How are heart rate zones (change) indicated?

In the event of a range alarm, the user is notified visually and color-wise on the clearly legible display or via its vibration feedback if the device detects a value above or below a certain range of values.

A370: Workouts

For runners, the new option of transferring individual running programs from Polar Flow to the activity tracker is an interesting one, in order to prepare for a competition. The accuracy of the heart rate measurement was particularly convincing in our Polar A370 single review. At least with constant running units, it held up equally well with a heart rate chest strap:

Polar M430 vs Polar HR10 vs Polar A370 – Heart Rate

Polar M430 vs Polar HR10 vs Polar A370 – Heart Rate

Polar A370 Reviewing, Buying, Special Features

  • GPS via Smartphone
  • Steps, route, calories burned, active minutes, daily goals
  • Sleep (hours, light and deep sleep)
  • Good colour touch display (also in sunlight)
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Supports numerous sports activities
  • Helpful tips for achieving your goals
  • Inactivity alarm and alarm clock
  • Supports iOS, Android
  • Long battery life

Garmin Vivosmart HR

Our extensive Vivosmart HR Review presents the activity tracker with integrated activity tracker and optical heart rate sensor in detail. This section contains all important information about the device.

Garmin Vivosmart HR

Garmin Vivosmart HR

Vivosmart HR: Application Scenarios and Operating Modes

The Vivosmart HR can be operated in two modes:

  • Normal mode: the activity tracker is active, the heart rate sensor is active, but not as often as in training mode. The more active the user is, the more often she picks up the heart rate for a short time.
  • Training mode: Heart rate recording during various training sessions, for example
    • Running
    • Cardio
    • Miscellaneous

In normal mode, the Vivosmart HR records activities all day long, even counts floors covered with its altimeter.

In training mode, the device is set to a workout mode. Numerous sports profiles are available for training and workouts, which allow a more precise calorie calculation.

 

 

It is not necessary to carry the smartphone with you at all times, because the activity tracker has its own memory on board, which stores the movement data in detail.

Vivosmart HR: How is heart rate zones (change) indicated?

The user is visually notified on the easy-to-read display showing the current HR area.

Vivosmart HR: page with two data fields

Vivosmart HR: page with two data fields

Vivosmart HR: Garmin Connect App/Web platform

The data can be synchronized wirelessly with the smartphone or via USB cable with the computer (PC, Mac). They are then available in the app (Garmin Connect) or in the web browser for more precise data analysis. Garmin offers apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. The browser also provides even more convenient and detailed access to the data.

Vivosmart HR: Further Features

The Vivosmart HR is able to record the current heart rate as well as the average heart rate at rest for seven days. In addition, the display shows the heart rate of the last 4 hours graphically in the form of a diagram.

The device also records the intensity of activities and the time spent on moderate to high intensity activities. Moderate to high intensity activities that are continuous for at least 10 minutes are counted towards the weekly intensity minute target.

If the device is connected to the smartphone, the display also shows smartphone notifications such as calls, messages, calendar appointments and, if the GPS is switched on, weather data:

Garmin Vivosmart HR Testing, Experience, Buying, Testing, Features

  • Steps, route, calories burned, active minutes, daily goals, climbed floor counter
  • Sleep (hours, light and deep sleep)
  • Good display (also in sunlight)
  • Broadcast of the heart rate data to ANT+ devices (like sports watches and cycle computers)
  • Smartphone notifications, weather data
  • Intensity minutes
  • Versatile and extensive functions and settings
  • Sporty, lightweight and comfortable
  • Inactivity alarm and alarm clock
  • Supports iOS, Android and Windows Phone
  • Good battery life

Activity Trackers With Heart Rate Monitors – Conclusion

These were the best activity trackers with heart rate monitors that we know from our tests. We hope that with the help of the advisor we have assisted you in your decision. As you can see, there is something for everyone. Unfortunately, in our opinion, the perfect device does not yet exist. If you are not sure, you can go into yourself again and think about what is really important to you and decide accordingly. The content of this page will be updated when new activity trackers with heart rate monitor are discovered.

Below is an overview of the tested devices:

ProductClassificationCompatibilityLink Amazon Logo
Garmin Vivosmart
  • Versatile and with support for many sports
  • 24×7 heart rate measurement
  • smartphone notifications
  • Very good app and web platform for the browser
 
 
 
Product Page
Garmin Vivosmart HR+
  • Like Vivosmart HR, additionally:
  • Integrated GPS receiver
  • Specially for runners
  • Very good app and web platform for data analysis in the browser
 
 
 
Product Page
Fitbit Charge 2
  • Allrounder
  • 24×7 heart rate measurement
  • smartphone notifications
  • Very good app
  • Supports many sports profiles, including running
 
 
 
Product Page
Huawei Band 2 Pro
  • Integrated GPS receiver
  • Structured run programs
  • Inexpensive
 
 
Product Page
Polar A370
  • GPS via Smartphone possible
  • Personal and adaptive training plans
  • Numerous sports profiles
  • Very good web platform for data analysis in the browser
 
 
Product Page

Reviews for further reading

If you are not sure yet whether you have the right device for you or are looking for a device with more or less functions, we recommend the following articles for further reading :

By |2019-01-26T10:05:15+00:00November 17th, 2017|Categories: Recommendations|Tags: |Comments Off on Activity Tracker With Heart Rate Monitors

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