Developed as a better heart rate tracking solution for sports where a chest strap doesn’t always offer the best fit or performance (think: swimming or weight training), the new optical Polar Verity Sense upgrades on the capabilities of the previous generation OH1 optical sensor.
And it can probably be a great option for many cyclists too. Specifically, one of our own team has fought with conventional electronic pulse-based heart rate straps for years. We suspect that she often doesn’t sweat enough while riding to maintain sufficient conduction between the strap & her skin, often resulting in data dropout especially in cooler weather or on longer, lower-intensity endurance rides.
Optical heart rate tracking – Tech details
Verity Sense uses the same 6 LED optical heart tracking as the previous OH1, which placed securely against the skin promises accurate effort tracking. Polar sells it with the armband to secure to the upper arm or clip to secure under a swim goggle strap. But you can also just place it against the skin anywhere that tight-fitting clothing will keep it firmly in place.
Now with the addition of 4x as much internal memory storage, you can store up to 600 hours of heart rate data, before you even need to sync it back to your phone. One button activation starts it recording even though your clothing (and no licking the sensors required!) In the pool, it will apparently also track distance & pace automatically, in addition to heart rate.
And when you do want to connect it, it now builds in dual Bluetooth Low Energy (to connect to 2 BLE devices at once) plus ANT+ connectivity. Connect it to your smartphone or computer for real-time tracking of outdoor or indoor training sessions, while also logging data directly with your regular GPS cycling computer. It also gets double the Bluetooth connection range with a new omni-directional antenna, pairing with devices up to 150m away. It of course works seamlessly with Polar’s PolarFlow & Polar Beat free training apps, but also with just about any other system too.
The compact new heart rate sensor still weighs just 5g, plus either 12g for the armband strap setup or 2g for the clip to secure it to a pair of swim goggles. (Compare that to 60g for either Polar’s conventional H10 or H9 chest strap heart rate monitors.) Apparently, through optimization rather than an increase in the size of its rechargeable battery, it now runs 2/3 longer for up to 20 hour runtime.
All those feature updates come at a price hike of ten bucks. The new Polar Verity Sense heart rate monitor sells for $90 / 90€, including the sensor, gray armband strap, swim goggle clip, proprietary USB charger, and a mesh storage bag. Verity Sense is available now globally direct from Polar, or their regular retail channels.