Polar Verity Sense Review: Verdict
The Polar Verity Sense is an accurate, versatile, feature-rich and well-priced heart rate monitoring strap that boasts some impressive features for its price. However, its let down massively by a badly designed and confusing companion app alongside a fiddly design that is bound to cause some frustration.
Still, once youve got your head around it, Verity Sense does work very well. It’s certainly worth a punt if youre over smartwatches and looking for a better way to track key workout metrics.
Polar Verity Sense Review: Price And Availability
The Polar Verity Sense is available to buy now at Polar UK , Polar US and Polar Australia for a reasonable £79.50 / US $89.95 / AUD $129. It ships with a sensor, swimming goggles strap clip, a USB charging adapter, an armband, and a small mesh carrying case.
In terms of colourways, there only seems to be one flavour available here, and thats a melange charcoal strap with a black plastic casing. However, there are two strap sizes available: M-XXL, which covers limbs 22-34 cm in circumference, or smaller XS-S size at 15-22 cm.
Polar Verity Sense Battery Life
- 20 hours on a single charge
- Uses USB charging adaptor
Polar doesnt specify the capacity of the battery packed into the Verity Sense but does say it should be good to track 20 hours worth of training. Thats up from the 12 hours promised on Polars OH1+ armband monitor.
On the device itself, the LED lights on the back of the sensor will blink red slowly when theres roughly 15% of battery life left and blink quicker when you have roughly 8% of battery left. Polar will be adding a battery level status indicator in the Flow app in a future software update.
That 20 hours means if youre working out around an hour a day, you can expect a couple of weeks of battery before you need to charge it and thats pretty much what weve found in our experience. Theres no horrible drop-off whether you pair it with another device or use it on its own.
When it is time to charge, theres an identical USB cradle to the one bundled with Polars OH1 and OH1+ sensor that builds the USB charging port into the cradle. Again, its small, which makes it nicer to plug into a laptop, but slightly more annoying for plug sockets. Its easy to misplace too, which is likely why Polar has now decided to include a small bag to carry the sensor, charger, swimming clip in one place.
First reviewed March 2021
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Polar Verity Sense Review Summary
Short version: The Polar Verity Sense replaces the Polar OH1 as my standard heart rate sensor! I use the Verity Sense for hiking, mountain biking, ski touring and running because it is more comfortable to wear than a chest strap.
Other reasons are especially the longer battery life and the optimized operation.
When it comes to the popular question“Should I buy a wristband with an optical heart rate sensor or a classic heart rate chest strap?” there are a few points to consider:
- Optical sensors can have a slight delay in detecting values when the intensity increases .
- Wristbands like the Verity Sense need to be charged unlike chest straps.
- The Verity Sense does not need to be moistened!
What Can I Do To Get The Most Accurate Readings When Measuring Heart Rate With Optical Heart Rate Sensor
Movement between the sensor and your skin can interfere with the readings. To measure heart rate accurately, make sure that the sensor is snugly and firmly against your skin. When using the armband, you need to wear the sensor snugly on your forearm or upper arm, not on your wrist. If you’re using the swimming goggle strap clip, try to fit the sensor as far as you can on the strap towards the hairline on your temple, without getting any hair between the sensor and your skin.
Activities that involve irregular hand movements, such as racket sports, make it harder to get an accurate heart rate reading from the arm. When playing these sports, wear the sensor on your non-hitting hand. If you perform activities that cause extreme pressure on your arms, such as weightlifting or pull-ups, your heart rate may be more difficult to detect from your arm. However, regardless of the sport, you can always use the sensor to monitor your average heart rate and heart rate trends during the workouts, and get accurate calorie burn readings.
In cold conditions, blood circulation on the skin may become too weak for the sensor to get a proper reading. You can solve this by warming the skin on your wrist or by doing some exercise to increase skin temperature.
If you have tattoos avoid placing the sensor right on them it as it may prevent accurate readings.
Waterproof Heart Rate Strap
Take your Verity Sense into the water thanks to the waterproof design. You can track your distance, pace, laps, and more when you sync the strap to any compatible connected device. An outstanding feature for swimmers or triathletes.
Connect your optical sensor with a swimming goggle strap clip that is compatible with most available swimming goggles.
What’s The Difference Between Optical Heart Rate Measurement With Polar Verity Sense/polar Oh1 And Monitoring Heart Rate With A Traditional Chest Strap
The main difference is in how you wear the measuring devices. Traditional chest strap heart rate monitors are worn around the chest because they measure electric signals that the heart generates as it beats and pushes blood to circulation. With a chest strap heart rate monitor you usually need a separate wrist device or mobile to pick up the heart rate signals from the chest strap and to interpret the received data.
There are more options for sensor placement with an optical heart rate sensor : on the upper or lower arm in sports where the sensor placement might hinder your movement or performance. Examples that come to mind are bench pressing, volleyball or racquet sports. These physiological constrains can be solved by taking advantage of the versatility of optical heart rate tracking and the placement of the sensor.
Certain factors, like sports with extreme arm motions, and training in cold conditions may affect the optical heart rate measurement. In these cases, the Polar H10 / H9 heart rate sensor is the optimal training companion. Polar H10 / H9 heart rate sensor is more responsive to rapidly increasing or decreasing heart rate, so its the ideal option also for interval type of training with quick sprints.
With the Polar H10 / H9 heart rate sensor, you can get detailed HRV based information about your body and fitness in case youre looking for more personalized guidance for your training habits.
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Polar Verity Sense Product Specifications
- Weight of Components: Sensor weight-5 grams. Holder weight-3 grams. Swimming goggle strap clip weight-2 grams. The charger weight-4 grams.
- Height: 9 mm and 6 mm
- Diameter: 30,0 mm
- Armband: Comes in sizes medium through XXL and can be machine washed.
- Polar Swimming goggle strap clip: Designed to suit most name brand swimming goggles.
- Sensor Compatibility: Works with any iOS mobile devices with iOS 13 or later and most Android mobile devices with Bluetooth 4.0 capability and Android 7 or more recently.
- Sensor Updates: Update your firmware with the Polar Flow app. Comes with a 16 MB memory and includes 600 hours of training time.
- Sensor Battery life: Up to 30 hours when used for non-stop training.
- Bluetooth Broadcast range: Reach up to 150 meters when using Polar Verity Sense with the armband.
- Sensor Connectivity: Works with 2 simultaneous connections using Bluetooth Low Energy, along with ANT+.
- Sensor Water resistance: Keep in water for up to 50 meters.
- Sensor technologies: Includes the Optical heart rate, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer technologies.
Wear On Arm Or Temple Or Anywhere That Suits Your Sport
Track your heart rate super conveniently from your lower and upper arm and from your temple when youre swimming but thats not all. You should know that youre not limited to these options.
Simply and ingeniously, you can detach the sensor from its armband and holder and wear it anywhere under tight-fitting clothing. Just make sure the optical heart-rate sensor sits nice and tight against your skin. So, whatever your sport, Polar Verity Sense adapts 100%.
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Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, Im an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so its a fair bit of work . As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments and theres quite a bit of detail in there as well.
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Optical Heart Rate Sensor
Polar Verity Sense Heart Sensor is an optical heart rate monitor that provides you with maximum freedom of movement and multiple options for viewing and recording your workouts. Thanks to Bluetooth®, ANT+ and internal memory, you can either connect Polar Verity Sense to a sports watch or app to see your workout in real time or record your workout in the internal memory and view your data afterwards.
CONCENTRATE ON YOUR FLOW & SEE YOUR PROGRESS
When your freedom is number one for you, Polar Verity Sense is your go-to choice.
Just slip Polar Verity Sense on your arm and youre ready to go with your flow. And youll still get all your data when it best suits you.
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Pairing With Gps Devices
During the review, I paired the Verity simultaneously with a Garmin fenix 6 , an Garmin Edge 1030 Plus and a Hammerhead Karoo 2 .
I tried simultaneous pairing via Bluetooth with a Polar Grit X and the Karoo 2 works as expected!
Polar Flow App & Verity Sense
- COMFORT: Polar Verity Sense keeps your wrist free for maximum comfort and freedom of movement. Just slip it on your upper or lower arm, clip it on your swimming goggles or place it snug and firm against your skin under tight-fitting clothing.
- CONVENIENCE: With only one button, using Polar Verity Sense couldn’t be easier. Just switch it on and put it on your arm or temple and youre ready to start your workout right away.
- CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth and ANT+ guarantee a large variety of devices that you can connect Polar Verity Sense with. You can have two simultaneous Bluetooth connections.
- VERSATILITY: Polar Verity Sense suits countless different sports. You can either follow your heart rate in real time on a connected device or app or record your session and transfer your data to your phone afterwards.
- SWIMMER’S BEST COMPANION: Conveniently in its swimming goggle strap clip against your temple, Polar Verity Sense tracks your heart rate, distance and pace automatically in the pool.
Polar Verity Sense Design
- Waterproof up to 50 meters
The design of the Verity Sense is inspired by the sensor that is at the heart of Polars first armband monitor, the OH1. In fact, close-up from the front, its tough to distinguish between them and their large coin-sized stature. Its worth mentioning here that the Sense is not replacing the OH1, which remains on sale.
You still have a single physical button to turn the device on and off, but now theres a series of small icons that let you use that button to quickly change between the three different modes. The first is transmitting data to another device via ANT+ or Bluetooth. You can do that to two devices simultaneously over Bluetooth and as many as youd like over ANT+.
Next up is storing the heart rate-based workout on the device with 16MB of onboard storage, giving you room for 600 hours of training.
The last mode is swimming, letting you use the bundled swimming clip that attaches to your own swimming goggles to monitor heart rate in the pool or open water. It carries a waterproof rating that makes it safe up to 50 metres depth, which should make it suitable for most swimmers.
That sensor is clipped and held in place inside of a black cradle that Polar says also acts as an antenna to boost Bluetooth range by 150 metres. This should make it easier to use it with Bluetooth-enabled equipment thats a little further away from your body.
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Are There Any Special Maintenance Instructions On How Take Care Of The Optical Heart Rate Sensor
To maintain the best possible performance of the optical heart rate measurement, keep your sensor clean and prevent scratches. The measurement is based on tiny changes in light intensity, and even a small amount of dirt on the sensor can reduce its performance. Similarly, scratches on the sensor can scatter the light from the LEDs into unwanted directions and weaken the sensors performance.
Polar Verity Sense Review: The Polar Flow App
One of the biggest letdowns when using the Verity Sense day-to-day is the devices companion app, Polar Flow. Its so poorly designed, counterintuitive, and difficult to understand that we often find ourselves becoming frustrated with it. Its not only ugly to look at, but it doesnt even attempt to make clear how you use the Verity Sense. Basically, if youre a Polar newbie, you will have to read the lengthy instructions it comes with there’s no easy way in.
Once you manage to get your tracker connected and finish a workout wearing it, theres then no workout summary displayed afterwards, just a calendar showing when you did your last session and the time it took. You have to link up Strava or some other app to get this info. Its confusing and actually quite challenging to use.
And its not like this is the only device that relies on this app. Polars entire ecosystem of fitness trackers utilises this software, so it’s a bit silly that it doesn’t have a clearer user interface. The Polar Flow is clearly designed for Polar’s running watch range as opposed to tracking individual heart rate monitor workouts.
Our recommendation is to connect the Polar Verity Sense to the Polar Beat app instead, which is way more user-friendly and feeds data back into the Polar Flow app too. You can initiate a workout from the Polar Beat app and also monitor heart rate, and calories burned in real time using the phone, which acts as an external screen for the Verity Sense strap.
Optical Heart Rate Strap
The Polar Verity Sense gives you accurate heart rate data while using an optical sensor. The optical sensor is a light system that determines a heart rate change based upon changes in your skin.
Attach the Polar Sense Optical Heart Rate Strap to your arm, as a heart rate chest strap, or anywhere that the sensor can touch your skin.
Polar Verity Sense Whats Changed Review & Specification Highlights
Polar Verity Sense is a notably updated version of the Polar OH1+ both the specifications & usability have been enhanced. Here are the headline changes
- A wider, wholly new and very snazzy strap but the same sensor
- Battery life is now 20 30 hours with a firmware upgrade in June 2021
- New mode and a new procedure to select mode: broadcast HR , broadcast+record HR & broadcast+record pool swim metrics
- Now properly swim-proof at WR50/50m
- Pool swim mode also records distance and pace
- The band contains a metal strip which boosts the range from 40m probably to a claimed BLE range of 150m, ideal for team sports
- The band is compatible with OH1/OH1+
- 30% more storage lets you store 600 hours of training data on the Verity Sense
- An extra BLE connection has been added to give you 2xBLE connections plus unlimited, simultaneous ANT+ connections
- The polar BEAT app enables extra ANT+/BLE connections and updates firmware. Plus you also set the pool length here.
- Polar mobile SDK now lets 3rd party app developers read magnetometer, accelerometer and HR data from Verity Sense.
- Slightly improved clip for attaching to swim goggles
- Sensor 5 g, armband and holder 12 g, clip 2 g
- Carry pouch now included
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Fully Integrated With The Polar Flow App
The ever-growing features within Polar Flow will give you critical insights into your training program and recovery needs. You will understand where you are making progress and where you need to prioritize more time to improve your performance. Polar Flow is your digital coach, helping you to achieve your fitness goals.
You can sync the data within Polar Flow with many other different training and fitness apps, including Strava and TrainingPeaks.
Polar Verity Sense Review How Accurate Is The Heart Rate Data
For this purpose, I took the Verity Sense with me on my heart rate test course in the mountains with a steady load in the upper HR range and had it compete against the Polar OH1 and against a Garmin heart rate chest strap.
The results are as expected: Here and there, a minimally delayed detection compared to the chest strap shows , in a few places the optical sensors show small peaks otherwise a top result!
, the paired fenix 5 did not provide any data).
heart rate trail running Polar Verity Sense vs. Polar OH1 vs. Garmin heart rate belt
Another example from a rather leisurely mountain bike tour. On the whole, the Verity Sense and the build-in sensor are a great match!
heart rate mountain bike Garmin Edge 1030 Plus & Verity Sense vs. Garmin Enduro
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