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Polar Verity Sense Review – Optical Heart Rate Sensor Band

Polar Verity Sense review- an optical heart rate sensor for comfortable wearing on the upper or lower arm!

With the OH1 Plus (my previous favorite among the optical sensors) Polar already has a similar sensor in the program. Of course, the Verity Sense offers more than the OH1, which has been on the market for several years:

  • Increased battery life: up to 20 hours vs. up to 12 hours.
  • Larger broadcast range: 150 m vs. 75 m (interesting for recording heart rate data of athletes who are e.g. on a playing field)
  • More memory: 16 MB (= 600 hours of training data) vs. 4 MB (for recording workouts independent of a sports watch like the Polar Grit X, a bike computer or a smartphone)
  • Increased water resistance: 50 m vs. 30 m
  • More Bluetooth channels: 2x vs. 1x (plus unlimited ANT+ channels for both sensors)
  • Even more in the box: storage bag (not with OH1), charging adapter, holder for swimming goggles
  • Increased price: $/€89,95 vs. $/€79,95 (MSRP)
Polar Verity Sense sensor, band, USB charger (left), swimming goggle strap clip (front)Pin
Polar Verity Sense sensor, band, USB charger (left), swimming goggle strap clip (front)

In addition there are

  • Heart rate sensor mode (sending heart rate to devices),
  • independent recording mode (built-in memory for training data),
  • swimming mode (recording of swim metrics: heart rate, distance, pace*; * in pool only),
  • accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer,
  • a signal amplifier/antenna for wider broadcast range (located in the plastic housing of the wristband),
  • an improved holder for swimming goggles and
  • in my opinion an optimized function control via the single button.

Other changes can be seen in the wristband – which is compatible with the OH1. With the same width, it is minimally stiffer, can be opened via velcro, and the mount for the sensor has been completely redesigned.

My Verity Sense review shows: The wearing comfort is high, after putting it on – e.g. on the upper arm – nothing can be noticed of the wristband. The button for switching on/off and selecting modes is also easier to reach or press – a subtle difference that is not insignificant in practice.

However, heart rate wristbands have a glaring disadvantage compared to heart rate chest straps. When wearing tight clothing – preferably several layers, as in winter – the wristband must be put on before dressing the sports clothing. If this is forgotten, it means going back to the start and taking the clothes off and on again. Although the Verity Sense wristband can be opened, it can be fiddly to put it on the upper arm afterwards.

Polar Verity Sense vs. Polar OH1Pin
Polar Verity Sense (left) vs. Polar OH1

Connect with a smartphone

To start and set up the Verity Sense, it is recommended to pair it with a smartphone with the Polar Flow app installed (figure).

The app can be used to install firmware updates and make important settings, e.g. enable/disable ANT+ or Bluetooth and enter the lane length to record swim metrics.

Pairing with GPS devices

During the review, I paired the Verity simultaneously with a Garmin fenix 6 (via ANT+), an Garmin Edge 1030 Plus (via ANT+) and a Hammerhead Karoo 2 (via Bluetooth).

I tried simultaneous pairing via Bluetooth with a Polar Grit X and the Karoo 2 – works as expected!

Polar Flow App & Verity SensePin
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 you’re 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.
(* = affiliate link / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases / image source: Amazon partner program)
×
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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 (e.g. at the beginning), in a few places the optical sensors show small peaks – otherwise a top result!

(note, Polar OH1, green: at two sections (straight lines), the paired fenix 5 did not provide any data).

heart rate - Polar Verity Sense (red) vs. Polar OH1 (green) vs. Garmin heart rate beltPin
heart rate trail running – Polar Verity Sense (red) vs. Polar OH1 (green) vs. Garmin heart rate belt (blue)

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 (blue) vs. Garmin Enduro (internal sensor, green)Pin
heart rate mountain bike – Garmin Edge 1030 Plus & Verity Sense (blue) vs. Garmin Enduro (build-in sensor, green)

Polar Verity Sense Review – How long does the battery last?

To test the battery life, I ran the Verity Sense in recording mode. This means that the sensor records the data independently of a paired device and stores it in its internal memory. After synchronizing with the Polar Flow app, the heart rate values are available for evaluation in the Polar portal.

Accordingly, the Verity Sense lasted 21:40 hh:mm, which is almost 10% more than specified.

Polar Verify Sense review - memory for training dataPin
Polar Verify Sense review – memory for training data
  • 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 you’re 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.
(* = affiliate link / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases / image source: Amazon partner program)
×
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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 (but this should not be important for all users).
  • Wristbands like the Verity Sense need to be charged unlike chest straps.
  • The Verity Sense does not need to be moistened!
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