Polar Verity Sense review: Heart rate monitor armband tested by three runners
Monitor this is the polar verity sense. Now the variety sentence is for someone who doesn’t really get on with wearing a chest, strap monitor but doesn’t trust, uh, the wrist or the monitoring that they’re getting from their watch on their wrist, and so essentially the sense will live higher up in your arm. Um improve that reliability in terms of data and that accuracy and the promise is to get you something comparable to what you get on a chest. Strap monitor. So myself, nick and kieran have been using the verity sense kind of looking to it to the sessions that we would normally use, um or look to for heart rate monitoring and that reliability and data to see how it gets on and really to see. Whether you should buy it and so yeah here’s our take on the polar verity sense. Okay. So what is the polar verity sense um? How does it work and where does it sit in polar’s existing range of devices? Now the vertices is very similar to what we got on the oh1 and oh h1, plus that has launched um the last couple of years from polar um you’re. Getting this kind of small sensor that sits inside of this strap that you kind of wear higher up on your kind of arm or on your bicep, and it uses um obstacle based uh light based uh sensor technology so similar to what um you can get from Your watch um and what uh they had in the oh1 and h1 plus um.
Now the idea and the kind of science behind moving it further up the arm is that um you’re, creating an environment where you can improve that accuracy and get something closer to what a chesstrack monitor can deliver um now polar does recommend that when you’re using this, That you wear it on your less dominant arm. So if you’re left handed wear it on your right arm and essentially that you know that’ll give you the best opportunity, the best environment, to make sure you get the most reliable accuracy. So in terms of features, you’ve got bluetooth and amp plus connectivity, which kind of opens the array of devices you can connect. The verity sense to um you’ve, got 20 hours of battery off a single charge and 600 hours of internal memory to kind of store. Your training sessions on the device itself um a couple of things to highlight on the strap itself. It is machine washable, which is a nice thing. You can chuck it in with your running clothes um. The little piece of plastic here that holds um the sensor on your arm essentially in place now polish says that this can actually work as an antenna for bluetooth, ultimately to improve the kind of transmission of that connectivity, and you know the range of it. So it says 150 meters improvement with that casing, which you didn’t have on the oh1 so yeah. Those are the kind of key headline features with the verity sense Music.
I found it perfectly comfortable to run with once it was on. That said, there is one thing i wasn’t really keen on and that modification of the strap is basically makes it very hard and fiddly to get this thing on your arm. What you’ve got here is a little clasp that hooks through and there’s a velcro attachment here, but this bit here has to stay in place. You can’t, as should be sort of done, in my opinion, wrap that round and velcro it there. So when you’re putting it on, you almost have to use this slider to work out exactly how big your forearm is, or your bicep then put it on close. It and you’re kind of working as a bit of guesswork, and that makes it a really really fiddly thing to do. To put it on. You can’t then sort of slide this kind of um. This thing the cincher when it’s on your arm, because you need two arms to do that two hands so you’re guessing and it makes it very, very fiddly to put it on the other thing to say. I think this is just a form factor thing in around the the oh1 and the verity sense it’s very hard to wear it kind of under base layers and under jackets. So you’ve got it on your forearm. You’Ve got your jacket on you know. Some jackets got tight sleeves; they don’t sort of roll up very easily.
So once it’s, you sort of put this on, put your layers on and then you’re stuck with it. That means that the other thing that comes into play here is switching it on. So you switch it on, so you can pre, you can get heart rate or you can change the mode here, swimming heart rate paired to a watch or tracking on its own. That makes it infinitely more easy than the oh one, where you’re sort of guessing you were using this light and a series of colored beats of the light and colors to work out which mode you’re in that is. A vast improvement makes it so much easier to work out which mode you’re operating in, but then you’ve still got to flip it over put your bass layers on and go and run what that means. Actually, in terms of sort of getting prepped for a run is you’re often putting this, especially in winter. It means that this starts to track before you actually go out for the run so you’re going to get segments of data that aren’t part of the actual performance data you can edit them in polar flow. But that is also a little bit of a sort of downside compared to something like a chest strap which obviously fires. Once you start the tracking on the watch. Overall, i think sort of comfortable enough. There are some sort of the strap isn’t nicely designed in terms of you know the fabric’s, nice and soft, and i found that very comfortable on the wrist.
No problem with that it’s just a bit fiddly to put on i think polo’s got it a little bit wrong with this fold over velcro strap. I wish it sort of just velcroed to the whole strap, so you could tighten it when it’s on the arm. So a couple of other things i really liked. I love the fact that it pairs direct with polar flow, so you can track a workout just with this, without taking your phone or using a watch and it will pair directly after the session with polar flow, and you get your heart rate stats there. Obviously you won’t get any distance or any gps information as that it just does heart rate, but that’s a step forward. The other thing, i’m, not so sure about, is it’s very hard. I can’t see where you get the battery life indicator from so that’s, something that you’re never really quite sure how much batteries left on it. That was for me anyway. I haven’t sussed it out michael the other boys might have so when it came to running starting with the design. I didn’t really have any complaints about the verity sense. It’S a you know, it’s a comfortable tracker um. I found this adjustable strap a little bit confusing, but that’s probably just me being a bit thick and it turned out to be rough, pretty much the size to fit on my bicep anyway. So i just pulled it on and have done so ever since so far.
I’Ve paired it to my apple watch, which is on the same arm and it paired very easily um, even though i was you know, messing around with the different modes but yeah it pairs. Fine – and you know, even under a couple of you know a base layer and a jacket, i had no problems with connectivity on my long run, um so far, i’ve done four activities with very sense uh. The first thing it was a hill session where i was doing kind of long hill, reps, so kind of three minutes, um uphill and then obviously jog back down. And i was really impressed. I was just doing spot checks against a uh garmin phoenix connected to a garmin hrm pro chest, strap and throughout that session my spot check showed that the verity sense was within a couple of beats actually of the um chest. Strap. Even you know when really pushing uphill and hitting kind of max hr, then coming back down quickly and the grass matched up quite nicely um afterwards as well, then, on the long, steady run, i did again just regular spot checks always was very close to the reading. From a chest, strap and graphs are fine, average and max. You know very close to each other, really good enough. That i’d be happy using it. As my main training hr monitor, and today i used it for a kind of strength, workout and then indoor cycling session and it wasn’t quite as good.
There were a few more. I was really going up and down with heart rate in the strength session, depending on the exercise, i was doing, i wasn’t doing hit by any means, but um you know i was some exercise is harder than others and it was, you know, spiking a little bit And coming down a little bit more slowly than a chest strap. But overall again the graph was pretty good. Average is pretty good uh and in the cycling again was a steady session where it was absolutely fine right next to a chest trap reading. But when i um just pushed for a you know, a quick sprint interval just to see how quickly it rose um. In line with my heart rate, you can see very noticeable lag from the verity sense compared to a chess strap, which is just optical heart rate, monitors they’re, not as fast at catching that kind of sudden spike um as a chest. Strap is, but you know it. Wasn’T too far behind again, overall, the actually was there. You know matched up with the readings from a chest, strap in terms of the max and average more or less. I wouldn’t have any problems really using this, as my main heart rate, monitor, as guess is what i’m saying um, despite the fact it’s still not quite up there with the chest strap for my run test. I did a one hour, slow and steady, very, very low and slow sort of paced run and put that to the test.
I also did a sort of combination of half an hour progression run with three miles where every mile getting slowly faster and also a bunch of half an hour bunch of sort of intervals. I did sort of five times 400 meters with a couple hundred meters jog recovery between just to test out how it reacted to nice, slow, steady and also those quick changes in pace. I put on my on my uh forearm and i were up against a garmin hrm pro chest strap overall, the averages came out pretty much bang on the garmin read about two beats higher in terms of the top spike and the averages overall. So the verity sense did really well on that front. It matched it sort of close beat to beat to beat, and then, when you look at the sort of charts and the breakdowns actually in terms of those sort of surges and spikes, the 30 sense was really good on picking up those sort of quick changes in Pace as good as the hrm pro there was none of the sort of lag or delay that you might get i’ve seen with actually some of the polar sort of wrist based optical heart rate, sensors that come in some of the watches it was nicely responsive and That is a good thing. Actually, okay, so running performance. For me, um, it was generally fine. You know i tried wearing it um both kind of areas say on the forearm and up on the bicep, and i didn’t have any really majority in terms of it being uncomfortable um.
I think similar with what kieran said in terms. I think this velcro part needs to kind of come around a little bit more and give you a you know more of a range of a fit, but generally the fit was okay for me, but that’s, something to keep in mind in terms of uh the accuracy. Now um, i did a few runs and i also did just kind of a home workout as well to see how it sat were there and that from that point of view, and those runs now because you have to kind of set this up and before you You know before everything else and when you’re tracking you know it would pick up a little bit of your session and before you start getting moving or running um, but the session that it did um capture so like a long kind of run. For me, sunday run um the data. You know wasn’t identical, but it was kind of you know within the kind of margin of error that i would be happy with and the graph seemed to match up as well. I did some shorter runs as well um. I also did kind of a home workout and that compared to a chest, strap a garmin hrm pro chest strap, which i use for the run testing as well um. It was pretty much spot on actually in terms of accuracy so generally. For me, it was really um kind of solid across the board, really in terms of the data in terms of the fit and the comfort and yeah i you know, was generally pretty impressed with what i found with the verity sense Music.
So my verdict on the verity sense then well, i think this is like the oh1. This is a really versatile alternative to a chest. Strap. If you really don’t like chest straps, then this is a viable option. You are getting pretty accurate data from this, although i you know again, i if you want full sort of confidence in your accurate data. I’D still go chest strap. But if you can’t abide a chest strap, then this is a good option. Uh. It runs sort of well on the wrist it feels sort of comfortable. I love the fact that you can move it between sort of zones. If you, if you dip into the waters where you go for a bit of swim, you can move it to the goggle. Strap as well and get heart rate readings from the temple, so you’ve got extra versatility there. I do like the fact that they’ve improved this kind of lighting system on the back, so you can see which modes it’s in it makes it much easier to record a workout with just the verity sense. No phone, no watch knowing that that’s actually happening and you’re not running and not getting data, which did happen a few times for us with the oh one. It is a bit fiddly to put on. I think polo has got it wrong with the strap here. I think if they change that it would actually be much better. You just want to be able to pull it and tighten it on the arm and on the on the bicep as well on the forearm and the bicep just to make that nice and simple in general.
I don’t really have any problems wearing a heart rate. Chest strap, but i do like an arm strap. I do think they’re a little bit more convenient, mostly actually in the spring summer and autumn in the winter right now, i’m, obviously putting on a base layer with like a long sleeve and if i forget to put this on it’s, obviously a bit of a fast Take that off again and then put this on also, if i forget to turn it on and connect it before. I put that base layer on i’m kind of guessing pressing the button, whereas with a chest, strap actually it’s easier to lift up the top and put it on if you have forgotten it, but in general i do like an arm strap. I find they’re very comfortable. I don’t really get on with wrist heart rate, monitors they’re. Never that accurate for me so inaccurate enough for what i want from my training so yeah. This is a really good option and it’s. You know it’s a little upgrade on the oh one, presuming it’s. You know got a similar price to the oh one, then it’s worth paying um for the verity sense. Just for those extra features, things like the lights, the you know the better battery the better range it’s. You know it’s a very good little tracker, it’s comfortable it’s nice because of other armbands i’ve tried. I like this more than the wahoo ticker arm, which has not a very nice, strap that i found started to degrade and you know didn’t really get on with being used regularly for running.
I found even after a few months, although it was pretty accurate and then the only other one i’ve tried is the whoop, which obviously is a slightly different purpose. But you can just use it as an arm as an arm heart rate, monitor and connect it to your garmin, which is what i have been doing to test its accuracy and the weak business accurate. Is this it’s had some real problems for me so yeah? This is a pretty accurate device, it’s better than the wrist monitor it’s, not as good as a chest strap. But if you don’t like chest, straps a lot of people, don’t um it’s a more convenient option, that’s going to give you almost as much accuracy so and it’s, probably i’d, say the best arm, strap that i’ve tried. Okay, so my verdict on the uh polar verity sense. Now i have tested all of the heart rate monitoring arm bands over the last few years and i would probably put the variety sense, probably at the top actually, and i would say that for a few things, um the form factor for one. I like the fact that it’s a little bit smaller than what you get on the wahoo and um uh heart rate monitoring arm bands. I prefer this strap, i think it’s kind of like you know, nice it’s. Definitely an improvement on what we’ve got on the oh10h1 plus um the new kind of ui elements where you can kind of see what modes you’re in is a really nice touch, um from an accuracy point of view, i think it’s pretty similar to what i’ve got On those other armbands um, which mean you know, they have been better than what i’ve got from a watch um.
I don’t have a problem wearing a trash trap, a bit like nick um, but i think if you want an armband and you wanted one for actually for running, this would be a good option. Um to look at now, if you’re thinking about whether you upgrade to the um from this to the uh from the h1 plus um, you know it’s things like you’re, getting extra kind of memory, you’re getting a little bit more in terms of battery life you’re. Getting that kind of um dual kind of uh bluetooth, connect and connectivity support and that extra antenna kind of uh range as well, and i think for the extra 10 pounds um that you’re kind of paying for the very sense i think it’s worth paying. That extra bit of money and just for a nicer design, a nicer, a kind of fit and you’re still getting that same kind of reliability that you will get on the oh1 and h1 plus okay. So there you have it. That is our take on the uh polar variety sense. Um.