Heart rate monitor specialists release first iPhone training app. Works with compatible heart rate strap

Finland's Polar is one of the most recognisable names when it comes to heart rate watches and computers, and it was only a matter of time before they released a smartphone app.

Everyone who is everyone has an app these days. Garmin's Fit, Strava, Biologic, Minoura. Polar's Beat is a free training app aims to separate itself from the competition by giving you tools to train smarter, bringing intelligence to your training data. The key to using data when training is knowing what the data is telling you about your body.

Tapping into Polar's 35 years of expertise, the Beat app can plan a training target, help you train at the right intensity, understand the impact of your workout and accurately tracks calories consumed. It can also provide training targets and training session data for time, distance and calories; maps and music; training history and personal bests. It’s also social so you can share/show-off fast rides to friends.

While Beat is free to download, to access the advanced features you'll be wanting to purchase the new Bluetooth Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor which costs a chunky £64.50. The heart rate sensor is the first from Polar to use Bluetooth 4.0 (existing Polar products use legacy Bluetooth heart rate monitor sensors) and isn't compatible with any of their other products. So if you're already a Polar user and interested in using the app, you won't be able to use an existing heart rate strap. You'll have to buy this new H7 strap. The iPhone 4/5 both have Bluetooth 4.0 installed

The Beat app does work with their existing PolarPersonalTrainer.com however, so if you have an account there you can easily connect up to it. That means you can use this app alongside any other Polar products you already have. If you've already spent a couple of hundred pounds on a Polar watch then it's unlikely you'll be that interested in the app. Will you?

As a product to tap into the massive popularity of apps it's clearly a smart move and is an affordable way into the Polar universe (and all that clever heart rate analysing stuff). But for as long as the H7 sensor isn't compatible with any other Polar products it appears to be a standalone product and not a stepping stone into the Polar world. Which seems a shame.

Polar Beat can be found on Apple’s App Store from today at no cost. An in-app feature upgrade for £2.49 is also available, providing advanced target setting and deeper real-time workout analysis. Beat is compatible with the iPhone 4S and the new iPhone 5. And an Android version? Word from Polar is that there won't be one which does seem to be missing a trick but then Polar has only supported Macs since 2010.

More at www.polar.fi/beat

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.


Sascha [8 posts] 5 years ago

The iphone 4S was the first iphone to support BTLE aka Bluetooth 4.0 aka Bluetooth smart. Not the iphone 4 as stated in the middle of the article.

Tony Farrelly [2919 posts] 5 years ago

Thanks for that Sascha, nobody around here has got an iPhone which probably explains our ignorance on the subject

mrmo [2096 posts] 5 years ago

Polar supporting Mac? i know there are third party apps by wasn't aware Polar had bothered?

Farky [183 posts] 5 years ago

If this was backed up with a range of accessories for cycling, id say it would be worth it, cadence & speed at least.

Otherwise, its a gimmicky start out for runners and occasional/leasure cyclists looking to step up and its a pretty damn effective product for doing just that.

I hope they do add in a range of sensors for the bike as it would challenge garmins offerings at last.

Im currently looking at replacing my CS500 Cad as I have to use the phone for tracking and the computer for cycle specific data and then add the two together manually which is a pain in the a##e.

It could do with being Strava compatible also.