Do away with your chest strap and go with the Polar OH1 instead


  • Lightweight, water-resistant design
  • Accurate
  • The ability to choose where to wear it
  • Bluetooth transmission enables compatibility with a wide variety of devices.
  • The long life of the battery


  • The LED status messages can be difficult to decipher if the physical button is very small.

Heart rate monitors typically take one of two shapes, depending on the manufacturer. The style with the chest strap and the version with the wrist band The issue with chest straps is that they are not the most comfortable piece of equipment. There are other options available. Putting one on is likewise a very difficult and cumbersome process. When it comes to activities requiring a high level of intensity, the accuracy of the wrist band style can be problematic.

It is at this point when the Polar OH1 is utilized. The portable device is an optical heart rate monitor, but it is not designed to be worn around the chest or on the wrist. There is, therefore, a solution that falls somewhere in the middle. You should instead wrap it around the upper or lower part of your arm. Polar claims that their small gadget makes monitoring one’s heart rate easier than it’s ever been.

I decided to put one on to get a better understanding of how accurate and practical it is.


The OH1 comes with a circular optical heart rate sensor, a proprietary charger, and a washable wristband made of a soft textile material that can be machine washed. The main unit slides in and out of the plastic holder that is fastened with Velcro with relative ease, and it remains safely in place once it is there.

This is not a cumbersome piece of equipment. The diameter of the core is just less than 30 millimeters, and its total mass is only five grams. It is about the size of a penny. The strap contributes an additional 12 grams to the total weight.

Do away with your chest strap and go with the Polar OH1 instead.

The OH1 monitors your heart rate by attaching to your arm and reading the data transmitted from the six optical green LED sensors located on the bottom of the main device. On the Polar M430, you’ll find technology that is very similar. Because of the high frequency with which the lights strike your skin, the results are quite accurate. The majority of alternative optical heart rate monitors employ anything from one to three LEDs.

In a manner that is analogous to that of its primary rival, the Scosche Rhythm+, all that is required of you to get started is to slide the armband on either your upper or lower arm. The sensor has to be attached to the inside of the armband, where it will be in close contact with the wearer’s skin. It is recommended that you put on your OH1 and let it settle in for a few minutes before beginning a training session. This will help you get accurate readings right away.

Do away with your chest strap and go with the Polar OH1 instead.

I have utilized the little device without encountering any sort of issues in each of the two locations. After it has been properly adjusted, the armband is not only comfortable but also stays in place. If you wear it on your upper arm, you’ll be able to conceal the tracker entirely by rolling up the sleeve of your shirt. When you are actually wearing it, the green LEDs shouldn’t be seen, which is another factor that contributes to its discretion. When compared to bulkier chest straps, the strap in question offers a significant gain in terms of comfort.

The Polar OH1 works right out of the box with any Polar sports watches, trackers, and cycle computers that are compatible with it. It is compatible with third-party devices and can connect to smartphones thanks to the fact that it sends your heart rate data using Bluetooth Smart. An upgrade to the firmware that was long awaited and released in April 2019 offered an ANT+ connection.

Those individuals who like to exercise without wearing a watch or using a phone will be pleased to learn that the OH1 has 4 gigabytes of memory built right in. This is sufficient for storing up to 200 hours’ worth of data for training purposes.

When it comes to the lifespan of the battery, you can anticipate receiving up to 12 hours of continuous use, which is sufficient for even the most intensive of workout sessions. The cradle for charging it, which is included in the package, looks like a miniature USB stick. Simply insert the little sensor, connect the charger to a USB port on your computer or a USB power converter, and the 45 mAh lithium polymer battery will be fully charged in a couple of hours. According to Polar, the battery may be charged and discharged more than 300 times before there is a discernible loss in its capacity.

Because it has a water resistance rating of 3 ATM (which corresponds to a depth of 30 metres), the Polar OH1 can be used in both dry and wet environments. Which means you don’t need to worry about getting wet if you decide to go for a run in the rain. In addition to that, you can even go swimming there! When you use the Polar OH1 in the water, the sensor’s internal memory will be updated with the data from your swim session. Because Bluetooth transmission is not effective when used in wet environments, you won’t be able to see your heart rate in real time when you use it in conjunction with a Bluetooth wrist device.

The Polar OH1 eliminates the need for a chest strap; review of features

The most important thing to understand is that this is merely a heart rate monitor; as such, you should not anticipate that it will also count your steps, calories, or anything else of a similar sort. Don’t bother looking for it because it isn’t in that location. However, you should look for a device that will provide you with reliable readings of your heart rate.

Simply pressing the one and only physical button that is located on the side of the sensor will turn it on. A single flare substantiates this theory. Simply pressing the button twice will take you into solitary training mode. This will be validated by the appearance of two lightning bolts. Simply pressing and holding the button will turn the device off. If there is no heart rate detected, a white light will illuminate, and a green light will signal success. When blue lights flash, it means that the device is synchronizing, while red lights indicate that the battery needs to be charged.

Do away with your chest strap and go with the Polar OH1 instead.

You will be prompted to specify where you wear your product and to fill in your physical settings when going through the initial setup for your device. The techniques and processing of the data are the same regardless of the position, so I’m not really sure why this is necessary in the first place. Maybe in order for Polar to have a better understanding of who their customers are.

When using the broadcast mode, data regarding the user’s heart rate is instantly transmitted over Bluetooth to any devices that are compatible with the feature. The OH1 is compatible not just with Polar Beat but also with a broad number of other third-party fitness apps like Strava, Endomondo, and MapMyRun, amongst others. When using the standalone mode, data on the user’s heart rate during training is saved internally and will be synced at a later time.

At the conclusion of the workout, all of the data is wirelessly transmitted to the Polar Flow app that you have installed on your smartphone so that you can review it at your convenience. In addition, the Polar Flow web service allows you to plan your workouts, keep tabs on your accomplishments, receive advice, and view in-depth analyses of the data collected from your workouts.

Do away with your chest strap and go with the Polar OH1 instead.

You will find that the OH1 is incredibly accurate, far superior to a heart rate monitor that is based on your wrist, and the results it provides are pretty close to what you would obtain if you were to wear a chest strap. During my practice sessions, I discovered that if there was a difference in the measured beats per minute, it was only by two or three. And only at the beginning of a session or when you are engaging in activities of very high intensity.

The following are the results of a run of three kilometers that show how the OH1 performs in comparison to a Garmin Forerunner 935 that has been coupled with a Scosche Rhythm+. The OH1 reading may be seen in the first picture. As can be seen, the two are virtually indistinguishable from one another.

Do away with your chest strap and go with the Polar OH1 instead.

As is the case with the vast majority of optical systems, the user may have to do some experimenting before determining the optimal location for the system in order to achieve the desired outcomes.

In addition, Polar offers the H10 chest strap for purchase. There are only a few key distinctions between the two devices, with the form factor being the primary one.

The OH1 shoots LED lights at your chest in order to determine your heart rate, just like other optical heart rate sensors. On the other hand, the H10 makes use of the electrical activity of your heart (ECG). Because of this, it is likely that the H10 will produce measurements that are more accurate, in particular when it comes to intense interval training sessions. Additionally, if you are interested in swimming or triathlon, the H10 is the best option for you because it can broadcast your heart rate under water at a frequency of 5 kHz. The H10 can run for up to six months on a single coin cell battery, but the OH1 will need to be recharged on a regular basis. This is another distinction between the two models.

However, the OH1 has a significantly better memory, whereas the H10 can only store a single training session, necessitating that it be synced after each use. Oh, and let’s not forget the benefit of not being required to wear the OH1 around your chest, which is a real time saver.

Do away with your chest strap and go with the Polar OH1 instead.


The verdict

The middle-of-the-road solution offered by Polar has an excellent design and provides a few different alternatives for how and where it can be worn. There is, in all honesty, not a whole lot to dislike about this. The accuracy of the readings is, however, what makes the greatest impression. It is comparable to the readings you would obtain from a heart rate chest strap, but it is a significant improvement over a heart rate monitor that is worn on the wrist.

As was previously noted, the Scosche Rhythm+ is its primary rival in this market. Both have the same cost, and the data they provide is of comparable quality. Because all of the lights are located on the bottom of the unit, the OH1 is advantageous in that it is more compact and stealthy. The Scosche does not have an internal memory, is not as waterproof, and does not have as long of a battery life as the other two.

Forget the chest strap, the Polar OH1 is the way to go.

There is a possibility that Polar OH1 Gadgets & Wearables will receive a commission.

Do away with your chest strap and go with the Polar OH1 instead.

The OH1 is not just lightweight but also pleasant and precise. The most recent heart rate monitor from Polar is an excellent choice if you are thinking about getting rid of your chest strap monitor.

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