best polar heart rate monitor

Polar Heart Rate Monitor: Test & Reviews

Author: Manuel Heitmann

Coach & Fitness Expert

Heart rate monitors have proven to be a fully-fledged training partner over the years. They have functions to support you every day and to give you the information you need about your health. They are especially popular with their users, as experience has shown that they can improve their own training performance and a person’s health.

Polar is one of the leading manufacturers of heart rate monitors and impresses with every new generation of their products. Polar stands for high quality and unique functions to improve your training and your health. With step counters, calorie counters or new training units, Polar heart rate monitors help you to achieve your training goals.

In our big Polar heart rate monitor test 2020 we will explain to you which criteria you should pay attention to when buying a Polar heart rate monitor. We’ll also show you which Polar heart rate monitor is best for various sports. This should make it easier for you to find the right Polar heart rate monitor for you.

  • Polar heart rate monitors are high-quality sports watches that put a special focus on your sports activities and your daily movement. They recognize your pulse through optical sensor technology on the wrist.
  • These fitness watches are suitable either for running, cycling, fitness training or for multiple sports such as a triathlon. All watches have GPS and are waterproof in order to function optimally in every training situation.
  • Polar heart rate monitors can be connected to various training apps so that you can create, compare and expand your own training plans. Polar also offers its own apps, so that you can better control your training.

Best Polar Heart Rate Monitors

Best Polar heart rate monitor for multisport

The Polar Vantage M is an absolute all-rounder. This fitness watch has functions for over 130 sports. In addition, the heart rate monitor measures your heart rate using state-of-the-art sensor technology for all types of movement. Integrated GPS and water resistance ensure multiple uses.

Polar has developed this heart rate monitor for everyone. This watch can be optimally used by professional athletes, amateur athletes or beginners. In addition, their design can be adapted to impress with their looks on every wrist. If you need a heart rate monitor that supports you during training every day, the Polar Vantage M is just right for you.

Best Polar heart rate monitor for running

The Polar M430 GPS running watch is especially good for runners. This watch has additional training units for running. Your speed and distance of your running routes can be analyzed by integrated GPS. In this way you can optimally examine the effect of your training.

This sports watch was specially developed to support exercisers who have focused on running. If you attach particular importance to your runs and want to improve your performance, then you should choose this watch.

Best Polar heart rate monitor for fitness and weight training

For training in the fitness center or outdoors, the Polar Ignite is the perfect choice. This heart rate monitor is designed to record your training session and provide you with a detailed summary after exercising. In addition, it provides you with additional training instructions to adapt your training to your day and your condition.

The Polar Ignite is particularly popular with strength and fitness athletes because it is quick and easy to adapt your training plan. If you often train with different training units or if you like to split your training plan, you should choose the Polar Ignite for you.

Questions to Consider Before Buying A Polar Heart Rate Monitor

Choosing the right heart rate monitor can be complicated. We answer all the important questions here to make your choice easier and to give you enough information. After reading this guide, you will know the most important things about these sports watches.

What distinguishes Polar heart rate monitors from other manufacturers?

Whether man, woman or child, Polar heart rate monitors are suitable for everyone who wants to take care of their health. Polar make heart rate monitors of very high quality in order to offer customers the best possible product on the market.
Polar heart rate monitors are special in terms of:

  • Design
  • Heart rate
  • Measurement
  • Unique features
  • Focus on the needs of athletes
  • Water resistance

The design of the Polar heart rate monitors has always been unique. Very light material and a modern appearance help the watch to appear as an accessory on the wrist. In addition, you can choose the material of the strap and the color of the watch for different products.

Since Polar is primarily intended for athletes, accurate pulse measurement is essential. Polar innovates new pulse measurement methods with every new generation. Polar heart rate monitors offer a very precise measurement of the heart rate on the wrist thanks to their latest sensor technology.

In addition to this, these watches have unique features. They can be used either for sports or for everyday health monitoring. For any health-conscious person, there are a huge number of useful functions in these watches.

But what has always made Polar a favorite for sports watches is the focus on the needs of athletes. The heart rate monitors of this brand are designed to break your own limits. Regardless of whether you are a high-performance athlete or a strength athlete in your home fitness center, you can improve your performance with these pulse monitors.

Polar heart rate monitors are the favorites of many professional athletes. Polar even points out professionals who use a polar watch for their training sessions in order to improve their results.

Polar makes its watches as multifunctional as possible. In order to be prepared for all environments and scenarios, all Polar heart rate monitors are completely waterproof. They are equally good for swimming and diving.

What do I have to look out for when buying a Polar heart rate monitor?

Polar makes many different heart rate monitors. In order to be able to compare the different products, you should pay particular attention to these criteria:

  • Battery life
  • Sport
  • Compatibility
  • Display
  • Weight

In the following paragraphs we will explain what is essential for these criteria.

Battery Life

The battery life is particularly important with heart rate monitors, as with other electrical devices. Especially since various Polar heart rate monitors have functions that are useful for you throughout the day, such as a step counter or permanent heart rate measurement.

Depending on your preferences, you should choose a model that has a battery life that suits you. Polar heart rate monitors have a battery life of 8 to 40 hours, depending on the product selected.

The battery life depends on the active functions of your Polar heart rate monitor.

You should also be aware that the battery life also changes depending on the active functions. The Polar heart rate monitors all have an energy saving mode, which increases the battery life massively.

The battery also discharges more heavily in the cold. So if you train outside with the watch, you can wear it under your clothes and thus extend the battery life. In addition, the age or the number of times the heart rate monitor has been recharged is decisive for the battery life.


Polar offers heart rate monitors that are perfectly suited for various sports. This means you can optimally adapt the sports watch to your preferred sport. Depending on the model of the heart rate monitor, it has unique functions that are suitable for different sports.

In addition to the specific products, Polar also offers multifunctional products that are suitable for all sports and have uniform properties.

The multifunctional models have significantly more functions than the specific heart rate monitors. Nonetheless, all Polar heart rate monitors have essential functions that are required for at least one sport.

If you only need your heart rate monitor for one sport, you should choose a specific product. If you want a heart rate monitor that should also accompany you through the day and support you in everyday life, then choose a multifunctional product.


The aspect of compatibility plays a major role if you want to connect your heart rate monitor to certain apps. The apps offered by Polar, as well as other compatible apps, can be used on the mobile phone as well as on the PC.

In order to synchronize these apps with your heart rate monitor, the products must be compatible. In principle, all heart rate monitors are compatible with the most modern operating systems from Apple and Microsoft.

Furthermore, all Polar heart rate monitors have Bluetooth and can be easily connected to other Polar products or to smartphones and PCs. This allows training data to be recorded and evaluated quickly.


The displays on sports watches show various information about the training. That is why the displays of these watches should have special properties. The displays have different resolutions and different uses.

The newer products, such as the Vantage M or the Vantage V, have a better resolution than the older ones. So if resolution is important to you, you should purchase a newer product.

In addition, some of the displays on Polar watches have a touchscreen, which makes them easier and faster to use. If you want to quickly access your heart rate monitor during training, we recommend a sports watch with a touchscreen.


Unlike a normal wristwatch, the most important thing about a sports watch is that it is light. Since heart rate monitors are used during training, it is necessary that they can hardly be felt. This is to avoid potential changes in performance.

That is why such watches should hardly have any dead weight. Polar heart rate monitors are basically very light. The heaviest watch weighs 66 grams and the lightest 31.7 grams.

Since the Polar heart rate monitors have a very low weight, they are ideal for all different sports. The clocks can hardly be felt while exercising.

Why types of heart rate monitors are available from Polar?

Polar has existed since 1977 and has been constantly working on new models ever since. As a result, there are many different types of heart rate monitors that are offered. The different models should offer you a better opportunity to acquire the ideal heart rate monitor for you.

If you want to know which heart rate monitors are best for you, you can read through the following paragraphs and decide which are suitable for you.

Watches for multisport & triathlon

These watches are part of the latest generation of Polar products. Basically, they are suitable for all sports and are therefore particularly popular with multi-athletes.

All Polar watches have GPS so that you can record your training routes ideally.

These heart rate monitors are the most durable and tough in the Polar repertoire. They were tested for stamina under military conditions. This makes it possible to use them optimally under any conditions.

In addition, they support over 130 different sports thanks to the Polar Flow app. So you can adapt and edit your training plan with these watches regardless of the type of sport you are doing.

Watches for Cycling

Polar has developed these models for cycling. They are larger than the other clocks and attach to the bike for a continuous view of the screen.

Since these watches are attached to the bike, you have to buy an additional heart rate sensor from Polar if you want to measure your heart rate while riding.

These products are perfect for marking your own routes and getting to know new routes using GPS. It is also possible to use routes from other Polar Flow app users.

In addition, these watches determine your speed, as well as the distance, altitude and gradient of your route.

Watches for Running

For these sports watches, Polar has created additional running functions to improve your training. With the running programs of these heart rate monitors, you can tailor your goals and training units to your needs.

These watches can also use GPS to show your speed, incline and distance covered very precisely. And even in closed rooms or without GPS, these watches can determine your pace based on the movement of your wrist.


They also offer a clear view of the calories consumed. So you can use these watches as a weight loss tool.

Watches for fitness and cross training

The heart rate monitors were designed to be able to create an optimal training plan. These watches are especially suitable if you need variation in your fitness training.

These fitness watches have an additional function to create or manage training plans quickly and easily. So you can adapt your training to your current situation within a very short time.

These watches can also be used for running training or cycling due to the available GPS.

Useful accessories for Polar heart rate monitors

There are various accessories to optimize the functions of your heart rate monitors. Polar also offers sport-specific, but also general accessories so that you can choose the right combination for you.

The different types of accessories are:

  • Heart rate accessories
  • Running accessories
  • Bike accessories
  • Wristbands
  • Heart rate monitors for horses

Heart rate accessories

These accessories are reflected in the shapes of chest straps. There are also additional gadgets to attach your heart rate monitors better. Polar’s chest straps are compatible with all of the brand’s heart rate monitors and can be used quickly.

Heart rate chest straps are the most accurate means of determining your heart rate. If you want to check your pulse very precisely, especially during very active sports, we recommend such a chest strap.

Running accessories

Polar running accessories include a Bluetooth stride sensor. This allows you to easily transfer your speed and your covered distance to a computer and evaluate it.

This device is attached to your shoe and recognizes your movements precisely. Your cadence and stride length can also be recorded to give you the opportunity to improve your running technique.

Bike accessories

Polar bike accessories include speed sensors, cadence sensors and additional mounts for your Polar products.

If you want to improve your technique and efficiency when cycling, a speed meter or a cadence meter is ideal for you. These two products recognize your cycling style exactly, which allows you to analyze and evaluate it afterwards.


Interchangeable wristbands are basically replacement wristbands for your product. These bracelets come in many different shapes and materials. So you can perfectly customize your combination of heart rate monitor and bracelet.

Can I change the battery in my Polar heart rate monitor myself?

Can I change the battery in my Pol? Whether you can change the batteries in your Polar products depends on your model. Basically, you can change the batteries of all heart rate monitors and older Polar products yourself.
For newer products from Polar, you should send your watch to the Polar service department to have the battery changed. This will check your watch and test it for water resistance.

Please note, however, that if you change the battery in your watch yourself, you no longer have the right to the guarantee. Polar Electro Oy is no longer liable if damage occurs through repairs yourself.

Can I use Polar heart rate monitors despite having a pacemaker?

In principle, you can use Polar products if you have a pacemaker or other implanted electronic devices. Polar states that there has been no interference with such products when using a Polar heart rate monitor.
Nonetheless, Polar would like to point out that there are many different models of pacemakers. Therefore it is never possible to promise that there will be no complications after all.

If in doubt, consult your doctor or the manufacturer of your electronic device. This is the only way you can be really sure whether your Polar product can be used without any problems.

How exactly does a Polar heart rate monitor measure my heart rate?

To know how exactly a Polar heart rate monitor measures your heart rate, it is important to understand how it works. Polar uses an optical heart rate measurement. This technology detects the blood flow under the skin and calculates the pulse.

Always keep your watch clean, as the smallest dirt can affect the measurement.

Since the optical heart rate measurement is very sensitive to movement, Polar heart rate monitors have an additional sensor. This sensor detects the movement of the hand. In this way, movement cannot affect the optical heart rate measurement. This means that the measurement is much more accurate when there is a lot of movement than with other heart rate monitors.

Nevertheless, the chest strap is the more accurate variant. The chest strap is particularly useful for extreme movements, when it is wet or very cold. These situations make it difficult to measure your heart rate on your wrist. The chest strap almost always detects the correct heart rate.

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