GPS multisport watches without integrated heart rate sensors are practically no longer available on the market: because heart rate sensors provide the basis for numerous performance and health data.
Example Garmin fenix 7: VO2max, Stamina, training effect & training condition – to name just a few values.
This makes it all the more important that the sensors record the heart rate data particularly accurately.
However, this depends on numerous factors – examples:
- The activity used to record (depending on the activity, different algorithms work in the background)
- Attachment to the wrist (preferably 1 to 2 cm further up); tight, but not too firm
- Size and weight of the wearable (the larger and heavier the more likely the housings are to wobble, then light can enter from the side and influence the measurements)
- The band, because elastic silicone bands ensure that the multisport watch is more likely to nestle against the arm
- Bending the wrist and tensing or moving the muscles and ligaments (e.B. by bicycle handlebars, grips of ski poles) can have a negative effect
- The clothes, especially in winter, tight cuffs can make your watch slip around
- At low temperatures, wearing gloves is essential (beware, even when wearing gloves, the arms can cool down; for example, in the mountains in strong winds) (warm up in advance!)
- Individual characteristics of the users
The predecessor to the fenix 7 – the fenix 6 – often does not deliver satisfactory results. Especially on tours in the mountains. That’s why wearing a heart rate monitor strap is almost obligatory with the fenix 6 – at least for me. Other users have quite different experiences.
This makes it all the more exciting to see how the fenix 7 performs. Especially since a fourth-generation heart rate sensor is on board.
Garmin fenix 7 – Heart Rate Sensor – Accuracy – Review
I have subjected the heart rate sensor of the fenix 7 to an intensive check on numerous outdoor tours – mainly in cold, wintry temperatures!
The result is – analogous to the GPS accuracy of the fenix 7 – absolutely satisfactory.
A first test of the heart rate sensor while running provides a quite convincing result. There are irregularities in the middle of the track, but overall I am satisfied. For my requirements, the accuracy is more than enough.
(Click images to enlarge)
A second test of the heart rate sensor on a speed mountain tour gives a very excellent result. The values measured with the internal sensor of the fenix 7X match the heart rate monitor strap very well – apart from the first few meters to warm up. The Polar can’t quite keep up, especially at the beginning, in the further course there are always clear peaks downwards.
On the next mountain tour, a similar picture emerges. Apart from the first few meters, the data of the fenix 7 and the fenix 6 (with heart rate monitor strap) are hardly distinguishable. The Coros Apex Pro weakens significantly at the beginning and at the end.
The irregular section towards the end is due to a break to put on the down stuff for the summit ascent.
In the following examples, the heart rate monitor strap was unfortunately at home. Therefore, there is no reference data on these mountain tours. In both cases, however, the fenix 7 consistently delivers plausible results. The Suunto 9 Peak and the Polar Grit X Pro can’t keep up.
Conclusion – Heart Rate Accuracy fenix 7
The heart rate monitor strap will remain at home in the future, the fenix 7 provides convincing data even under the difficult conditions of mountaineering! Further results, e.B. from mountain biking, will follow!
Interested in the GPS accuracy of the fenix 7? The article on the topic: Garmin fenix 7 GPS accuracy review