Quantify your workout – on the cheap – with the Polar H9

Given that we’re all stuck at home, you may be looking for inexpensive ways to go out and get some exercise. Now, you certainly don’t need a device to tell you whether or not getting out for a jog is a good idea. If you want to quantify that activity – via measuring your heart rate – the Polar H9 is one of the most inexpensive ways to do so.

Yes, you can go ahead and buy a watch that has a heart rate monitor built in (if so, I rather like the Polar Vantage M; if you want a touch screen, then the Polar Ignite is another option). Now, wrist-mounted HR monitoring gets the job done, but something strapped to your chest is going to be a touch more accurate.

So, yes, I did wear both the Vantage M and the Polar H9 at the same time. Back when my gym was open, the treadmills picked up the signal from the H9 automatically, so I could compare. They were reasonably close to each other, but I trusted the chest strap to have the more accurate number. But, just as with an activity tracker, the main thing is consistency of the device used – use the same one day after day, and you’ll know how you’re doing over time.

So, how is the Polar H9 an inexpensive option? Well, for one, it’s just $59.99 to get the little puck and it’s strap. Past that, you don’t need anything. Sure, it can talk to higher-end treadmills via ANT+, but it can also talk to your phone via bluetooth. Pair that up with the (free) Polar Flow and/or Beat apps, and now you’re replicating what you can get from a watch-based setup.

In my experience, the Polar H9 really is a no-fuss, no-muss sort of a setup. It talks to the Polar apps easily, and as I mentioned treadmills picked up the signal easily too. Pair this with an inexpensive pair of runners, and hey, you can be out jogging and working off some of those quarantine calories for not too much out of pocket. I, for one, am quite a fan of Polar’s devices (as they work quite well for us amateurs, as well as true athletes) and do so at some very compelling pricepoints. If you want to track what your ticker is doing, the Polar H9 is worth a look. polar.com

Tech Specs from Polar


iOS mobile devices: iPhone 5s and later, with iOS 12 or later; Android mobile devices with Bluetooth 4.0 capability and Android 6.0 or later. See more information HERE .

Battery life

400 hours with BLE, ANT+ and 5 kHz transmission active

Battery type

CR 2025

Connector size

34x65x10 mm


Connector 21 g (0.74 oz), strap 39 g (1.38 oz)


Connector: ABS, ABS + GF, PC, Stainless steel. Strap: 38% Polyamide, 29% Polyurethane, 20% Elastane, 13% Polyester

Water resistance

30 m (Suitable for swimming)

Operating temperature

-10 ?C to +50 ?C / 14 ?F to 122 ?F

Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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