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aramis

Heart rate tracker - chest strap or fitness band?

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I'm thinking on getting one to up a notch quality of my running and other cardio training. I want to keep budget as low as possible, because I don't know if I'ii really use it.

 

My question is - which would be better in terms of heart rate monitoring:

Decathlon watch with chest strap

Xiaomi MiBand 3 (or 2)

 

I give this two, as they are accessible easily for me, and in similar, acceptable price range.

 

I plan to use it exclusively for cardio training, so pedometer or other band options are negligible. I wish for review of sole heart monitoring quality - anyone had tested one or other product?

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On 1/25/2020 at 4:42 PM, aramis said:

I plan to use it exclusively for cardio training, so pedometer or other band options are negligible. I wish for review of sole heart monitoring quality - anyone had tested one or other product?

 

I haven't tried either product. That being said, chest straps consistently outperform wrist bands for accuracy (here is a link with links). So (in my opinion), your choice needs to depend on a few things:

  • How much accuracy are you going for? - Chest straps are consistently more accurate. 
  • How much are you paying attention to heart rate zones? - if you aren't working on spending time in certain zones, the accuracy becomes less of an issue. Also, if you don't have issues where you have to watch heart rate, this might not be as big of an issue.
  • How likely are you to remember a chest strap? - particularly if you have to travel to where you would use it? The nice thing about wrist bands is that you (generally) wear them all the time, so they are much harder to forget.
  • How likely are you to wear the wrist band correctly? I know for my Garmin, it came with instructions on where to place the band for the most accurate reading, and it was higher up on my wrist than I thought. Additionally, having it tight enough to register more accurate readings can take a good bit of getting used to.
  • How often are you going to be exercising at a high intensity? Wrist bands are even less accurate at high intensity. 

I started by using a Garmin wrist monitor just because I also was not sure how much I would use it. Now that my programming involves a lot of time in specific zones, I've purchased a compatible chest strap to keep me where I need to be. I find that going cheap may not be the best option (it wouldn't have been for me), because if the product doesn't work as intended, it's not really going to be helpful to make sure you are going to keep up with it (at least with the Decathlon, there were a lot of negative reviews specifically around the heart rate monitor pieces). 

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