All three represent Polar heart rate tracking technology. All three use Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ to connect to a great variety of training devices, apps and Polar sports watches. All three have use cases in which they really shine.
But how do you know which one of these heart rate sensors is right for you?
Let’s start at the high level. One important factor that differentiates these three sensors is that Polar H10 and H9 are worn on the chest with a chest strap whereas Polar OH1 is an optical heart rate sensor that is worn on the arm.
While both chest strap and optical sensors measure your heart rate, they do it in two different ways, with two different technologies.
Chest strap measures the electrical activity of the heart, and it’s recognized as the most precise way to measure heart rate. The optical heart rate sensor measures changes in the size of blood vessels with the help of LED lights and a light detector – ultimately giving you your heart rate just as well.
Another practical thing is that the electrodes on the chest strap need moisture to work, meaning that you must have some water handy to get the chest strap sensor to function. Optical heart rate sensor doesn’t need any moistening so it’s in that sense quicker to put on and start training with.
Next, you could check out the feature comparison table – which might sound dry but actually gets you the abc quickly.
And then we can explore even further with the help of some basic use cases. Here’s the deal.
Choose Polar H10 for…
ULTIMATE PRO LEVEL ACCURACY
Polar H10 is the most accurate heart rate sensor in Polar’s history, and the choice of many pro athletes. Having said that, you don’t need to be a pro to want to enjoy pro level heart rate tracking: the price range we’re talking about here doesn’t require breaking the bank.
Complete with the Polar Pro strap and its extra interference-preventing electrodes and slip-preventing silicone dots, Polar H10 gets you maximum precision for heart rate readings, capturing all the peaks and lows your sessions entail.
ULTRA LONG SESSIONS
The battery on the Polar H10 lasts approximately 400 hours. As the battery life on the rechargeable Polar OH1 is approximately 12 hours, it’s easy to conclude that for those ultra long sessions, you should choose Polar H10.
It’s hard to beat Polar H10 when it comes to extremely accurate heart rate measurements in a fast-paced situation, such as a hard interval training session. The Polar Pro strap ensures secure fit and as little interference as possible.
Choose Polar H9 for…
GETTING STARTED WITH HEART RATE TRACKING
If you’re looking for a basic and affordable, yet high quality device to track your heart rate with, Polar H9 is an excellent choice.
AFFORDABLE PRICE, YET HIGHLY RELIABLE HEART RATE READINGS
Chest is the best place for tracking heart rate because chest strap gets the sensor as close to your heart as possible. Polar H9 comes with the Polar Soft strap that is easy to use and machine-washable.
MATCHING WITH POLAR BEAT AND OTHER FITNESS APPS
When you want to have one heart rate tracker that you can connect to your phone, but also to just about any Bluetooth and ANT+ devices, Polar H9 is for you. Use it with Polar Beat or any other of your favorite fitness apps.
Choose Polar OH1 if…
You need something to slip into Easily
Polar OH1 is easy to slip on your upper or lower arm. Group fitness class about to start? Slip it on. Ready to track that grueling climb on your ride? Slip it on. Cold morning jog? You get the idea.
SWIMMING IS YOUR NUMBER ONE SPORT
The Polar OH1 + product package contains a swimming goggle strap clip: you can wear your OH1 against your temple when swimming.
The Polar OH1 sensor has an internal memory that can store up to 200 hours of training data. Afterwards you can easily sync your data to the Polar Beat app.
wearing A Sports bra with a chest strap feels uncomfortable
If you find wearing a sports bra and a chest strap cumbersome, opt for Polar OH1.
What do Polar heart rate sensors have in common?
There you have it – the basic differences between the three Polar heart rate sensors.
Even though there are some distinctions, it’s good to keep in mind that all three sensors are versatile and work for lots of other use cases in addition to the ones listed here. The ultimate point of all three is enabling you to train smarter with heart rate.
Check out the heart rate sensors page for more info in other languages, should English not be your native language.
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.