Your Apple Watch gathers a lot of useful data about you in a single day, your heart rate being one of them. Apple Watch has a heart rate sensor and a built-in heart rate monitor that automatically sends data to the Health apps on your iPhone. And while it works for most people, the Health App on your iPhone is pretty basic. To make most of your Apple Watch, we recommend downloading third-party heart rate monitor from the App Store. So here we are with some of them which we have tested and analyzed for you according to different daily needs and schedules. Let’s have a look at them.
Best Heart Rate Monitors for Apple Watch
1. HeartWatch Heart & Activity
HeartWatch app is a simple but intuitive heart rate monitoring app that allows you to view your heart rate in four different manners. It records your heart rate separately while you walk, workout, sleep and also while you sit idle. The application requires iPhone that has health app installed, plus you can also import health data from any other compatible device.
The app interface is simple and gives you a speedometer-style look. The application also has a badge feature. A full blue badge is an ideal one and the ring around the badge reflects the amount of time spent with a high heart rate. These badges prove to be good when you want to see the status of your heart rate monitor at a glance.
While this might appear unnecessary, some people might find it really helpful, keeping in mind the current level of heart-related medical issues around the world. If your heartbeat is racing up when you are sitting idle and not doing any physical activity, you may actually note the current rate and then consult a doctor.
The application also provides a watch face complication that is usable with most Apple Watch faces. A simple tap on the complication can let you know the current heart rate or even a summary for the whole day. In addition, the app allows you to navigate through a 12-week long data recorded by your Apple Watch wherein you can check the ups and downs and analyze the heart rate conditions for yourself.
If your heart rate increase or decrease to a certain level, the app will automatically send you a notification wherein you can put a base bpm value and a daily reminder to check your data records for the past 24 hours.
Features: Alert Notifications, Badges.
Download HeartWatch.Heart & Activity ($2.99)
2. Heart Analyzer
Heart Analyzer comes with a basic interface. It offers three app windows on Apple Watch. The main window shows the current heart rate, daily average along with the highest and lowest heart rates of the day. The second window shows your workout stats and a third window is an HR event (heart rate event) tab.
HR event can be activated when you want to know your heart rate stats while doing a particular task like workout or running. You can long press the Apple Watch screen to start an HR event and similarly long press to end it. You’ll also get a pop up to save the HR event data on your iPhone, inside which you can also make notes of the event on your iPhone.
The application shows simple graphical representations of your heart rate data and energy used on a daily hour graph. The app also claims to track your sleep automatically using an intelligent activity monitoring algorithm which doesn’t require manual entries of sleep timings. Since we can only speak for one person’s schedule that we tested on, we suggest you do your own research as it might differ according to your schedule and resting methods.
Heart Analyzer uses the data recorded by the in-built health app on your Apple Watch and allows you to view your detailed heart rate analyses, activity and workouts over the past year. Although you’ll need the paid version to view the past data older than 9 days.
Features: Graphical representations of stats
Download Heart Analyzer for iOS (free, $6)
3. Heart Graph
Heart Graph, as the name suggests, gives you a graphical representation of your heart rate response at various levels. You can view separate graphs for workouts, history or even your heart rate response at different points of time in a day.
While monitoring your heart rate for health reasons or training reasons, such graphical representations save your time on the calculation part as you can always see your heart rate in a consolidated manner for every workout or any other activity you do.
On your Apple Watch, the application home screen will show four tabs as Summary, Workouts, Zones, and History. The summary screen will have the start button, pressing it will bring up a pop-up showing a list of workouts. Select the activity you are doing and it’ll start recording stats.
The app is very specific about the activity you choose and offers a wide variety of workouts to choose from like – Indoor/Outdoor workouts, Rowers, Stair climbing and even resting rate which is not really an activity but important. Now, if have a more specific workout you click on the ‘others’ tab and you’ll have a long list of activities which include Barre, lacrosse, and other activities amongst dance, golf, yoga and even a stage play. Seriously, I haven’t seen such an exhaustive list of activities in any application before.
The summary screen shows your current heart rate along with the Max and Mean of the workout you have performed till then. The workout screen will have a very classy looking graph that reads heart rate on Y-axis and variable on the X-axis. The third screen is zones which need to be configured on iPhone and the last screen is the history graph that reads hourly heart rates.
The application is good in every manner. However, deep analysis of your heart rate or comparison of your workouts. These features come only with the premium version.
Features: Graphical representations of stats
Download Heart Graph for iOS(free, $4)
4. FITIV Pulse Heart Rate Monitor
FITIV Pulse Heart Rate Monitor is one of the best in the market of smart-watch heart rate monitor applications which also happens to be a complete fitness tracking and training application as well. The application’s dashboard on Apple Watch shows your heart rate in many customizable screen options.
The multiple visual feedbacks of your heart rate are meant to help you train better and efficiently. FITIV gives you a clear and comparable picture of your heart rate data. It will tell you about the level of your heart rate currently and also throughout the day. With just a glance at the screen, you can see how long was your heart rate at healthy levels.
Apart from an intuitive interface and descriptive and easy representation of data, FITIV Pulse Heart Rate Monitor comes in handy for those who have used it before on another platform or device. The application is cross-platform and supports other Android devices as well. But if you have recently switched to Apple eco-system and need your same heart rate monitor back, it’ll give you an easy data migration so you’ll not have to start from scratch.
Apart from the easiness, the application also allows you to create groups and participate in fitness challenges with other people. This might sound similar to the Nike Run Club application for Apple Watch.
The Application also offers an Apple Watch face complication that’ll save you the browsing while launching the app. You will be able to see the current status and other reports right on your Apple Watch screen.
Download FITIV Pulse for iOS(free, $2/Month & $10/Year for pro)
5. Cardiogram for Apple Watch
Cardiogram for Apple Watch is quite similar to the inbuilt Heart Rate app on the Apple Watch.
You need to login in the Cardiogram app with either Facebook or an e-mail to use the app. The dashboard on the Apple Watch screen shows a simple real-time graph for your heart rate. Along with the graph there comes current unit of your heart rate on top of it.
The app also offers some Apple Watch face complications that can be set on various watch faces available. There is an easy mode to access the application with one touch and also reflect the current heart rate.
Although Cardiogram for Apple Watch is a standalone application and is fully functional without iPhone. There are certain features of the app which are only accessible on your iPhone. These features mostly relate to workouts and exercises.
Features on the iPhone include a ‘timeline’ which is a simple summary of your previous data for the day. A ‘metric’ tab that’ll be used to make comparisons of your data depending on history stored, a ‘habits’ tab. It includes habits like sleep quality and stress relief exercises which is pretty good.
Overall, Cardiogram for Apple Watch is just a regular heart rate monitor with a different style.
Features: Additional features on iPhone
Download FITIV PULSE for iOS (Free)
6. Zones for Training
From its name, it might seem like a training specific application. Zones for Training is a great heart rate monitor application that offers over 70 different zones of the workout. You can monitor your heart rate during these activities.
You can select from a variety of workouts like Running, Walking, Cycling, Treadmill, Exercise Bike, Strength, and Training workouts. Upon selection, you’ll see your current heart rate on the screen.
The application works on the rule ‘Measure it on your Apple Watch and review it on your iPhone’. When you finish a workout, shows a zone ratio graph that’s show your heart rate response during the workout. It shows that in percentages for four zones, warm-up, cardio, fat burn, and peak. But that’s not it, the application then also measures your hearts cool down rate or recovery rate. That’s how it differs from other applications.
The application lets you monitor real-time heart rate readings in different conditions while also records it on your iPhone. What’s good here is that Zones for Training is a standalone app. It doesn’t require you to carry your iPhone while you are training. The data sync will happen automatically via iCloud.
Zones for Training offers some additional features like a tap on the wrist. When your heart rate zone changes, automatic pause/resume while running and calculation of recovery heart rate.
While the application is free to use, no customization or history is provided unless you are on a pro version that gives you Weekly/Monthly/Yearly stats, let’s you create & customize Insights, change Heart Rate Zones and create custom workouts.
FEATURES: Standalone application, doesn’t require iPhone while training.
Download Zones For Training for iOS (Free, $5 for Pro)
Best Heart Rate Monitors for Apple Watch
While Apple does provide an inbuilt Heart Rate Monitor application in Apple Watch. You can still try some additional third-party apps for the job that’ll give you more than just heart rate reading. Some additional features might come at a price you would not wanna pay. While some will be worth spending a few bucks. If you try these for yourself, do let us know your experience in the comments below.