Chelseawrote a review of Polar OH1 Optical Heart Rate Arm Band on December 3, 2018
Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I've been using the Polar OH1 Optical Heart Rate Arm Band for about 4 months now and really wanted to get a good feel for it before diving into a review. Overall, I really enjoy having this product in my arsenal. I love that it's essentially weightless and non-invasive while being active; I usually forget that I'm even wearing it. I've been using the armband while running, biking, and circuit training at the gym, planning on taking it skiing this winter as well. I've never used any kind of equipment before to gather data on my activities, and now that I have, I get upset if I forget to put it on before doing anything active.
My favorite use is while running. It tracks my distance, time, and gives me updates every mile. I never thought that getting stats would change my behavior while running, but it does! I've found that I'm running longer distances and improving my fitness and am shocked that it has had that effect. While it keeps me up to speed with my pace and distances in real-time, it doesn't make me feel anxious or like I haven't accomplished enough, and I find myself more motivated to go an extra mile at whatever pace I'd like. I'd call myself more of a casual runner averaging anywhere from 3 to 8 miles. One thing I've noticed though is that this heart rate monitor works best for me when I'm using it with my phone connection and earbuds because it needs the connection with both your phone and headphones in order to gps your route and feed you audible information at the same time. This is fine with me since I really need to be listening to music to enjoy a run so I always have my phone on me anyway. If you don't have a wireless connection it will still capture your heart rate stats and overall time, but it's not able to give you distances or track your route. This is no problem at the gym or doing any activity where you don't necessarily need/want to get a full picture of your route/distance though.
Another awesome feature are the Polar apps. I exclusively use the Beats app and love that it gives me an extensive summary of my workouts. The graphics do a wonderful job of visualizing your heart rate spikes, pace, and fat burning data and providing you with a map of your route. It also saves them so you can look back at previous your previous workouts.
My only hesitation on giving this 5 starts is the fact that it really needs a wireless connection to be fully functional, also I was never able to get a hang of the