AW4 Heart Rate Sensor for Fitness

rcarter3636

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 11, 2015
75
11
Is this the same heart rate sensor for workouts as the AW3?
I’ve read different reports stating different things.
 

Brazilano

macrumors member
Sep 16, 2016
39
5
I have this question as well. My AW3 is very inconsistent in reading my heart. Was AW4's heart rate sensor improved or have different features only?
 

rcarter3636

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 11, 2015
75
11
I’ve read conflicting reports. Most are not saying much about the AW4 heart rate sensor during workouts but I did read one where it did add more sensors to make it more accurate during workouts.
 

rcarter3636

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 11, 2015
75
11
Always go with a chest strap for workouts! I pair a polar with my Apple Watch and it works great!
I use a chest strap for tennis and strength training with the AW3.
If I could get 75-85% accuracy without a strap, I would buy a AW4 in a heartbeat
 
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iBought

macrumors regular
Dec 2, 2010
113
29
Always go with a chest strap for workouts! I pair a polar with my Apple Watch and it works great!
What app do you use for this? Sounds like a good idea. I have the wahoo bluetooth/ant strap and i mainly just pair it to my cycling computer.

Id love to record tennis matches and jogging with it too. Especially if it is all pretty seamless.
 

matty.p

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2010
505
260
Portland, OR
What app do you use for this? Sounds like a good idea. I have the wahoo bluetooth/ant strap and i mainly just pair it to my cycling computer.

Id love to record tennis matches and jogging with it too. Especially if it is all pretty seamless.
You can do it in the watch settings. No app needed.
 
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It does appear to be some sort of “2nd gen” HR monitor; if nothing else they went from 4 sensors down to 1 so clearly it’s changed. However, the fact they didn’t brag about accuracy improvements leads me to think there are minimal, if any enhancements. I’m sure many people will do comparisons once it is released.
 
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actcyclist

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2017
301
370
The compare Apple Watches feature on the Apple Website says
Apple Watch 3- Optical Heart Rate Sensor
Apple Watch 4- Second-generation optical heart sensor

So it does indeed look like they've developed a new heart rate sensor. I'm quite happy with that because although the HR in my 3 was as good as any other watch out there, it does drop sometimes.

The onscreen display of your Heart Rate on the bigger screen will also show more information.
 

iFan83

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2017
104
82
What app do you use for this? Sounds like a good idea. I have the wahoo bluetooth/ant strap and i mainly just pair it to my cycling computer.

Id love to record tennis matches and jogging with it too. Especially if it is all pretty seamless.
In the Apple Watch setting, go to Bluetooth and you’ll be able to pair it. You have to pair it each time you use it, it doesn’t automatically pick it up.
 
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iBought

macrumors regular
Dec 2, 2010
113
29
In the Apple Watch setting, go to Bluetooth and you’ll be able to pair it. You have to pair it each time you use it, it doesn’t automatically pick it up.
Ok, thats good to know. I try to do this on my iphone and it doesn’t pair unless my Garmin bike computer is on and activating it. Will the watch look for it and try and turn it on or do I need to ping it somehow with an app? I have a wahoo ticker. It has Bluetooth.
 

iFan83

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2017
104
82
I’m not sure how much they could improve on that senors as it’s already the best in class and optical heart rate sensors have their limitations, I would think it’s more of a redesign to fit the ECG in.
[doublepost=1536853145][/doublepost]
Ok, thats good to know. I try to do this on my iphone and it doesn’t pair unless my Garmin bike computer is on and activating it. Will the watch look for it and try and turn it on or do I need to ping it somehow with an app? I have a wahoo ticker. It has Bluetooth.
Just turn the heart rate sensor on and the watch should find it, when it does just click on it and your good to go.
 
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Pewpewpew

macrumors member
Sep 4, 2012
95
23
Apple heart rate sensor is rubbish. My Tomtom watch is deadly accurate compared to my AW3. Hope AW4 is greatly improved.
 

redavis41

macrumors member
Sep 14, 2017
96
43
Apple heart rate sensor is rubbish. My Tomtom watch is deadly accurate compared to my AW3. Hope AW4 is greatly improved.
Agreed. I teach fitness classes and the Optical HR sensor is crap when any strenuous movement or muscle flexion is involved. With that said, we might see some improvements due to the lightening of weight and also where the sensor sits on the wrist with Series 4 compared to Series 3. The oblong size might actually help yield more accurate HR. The pictures I've seen, it appears that the watch can fit more snug on the wrist and prohibit unnecessary wrist movement I'm going to test it out for sure, but will probably still utilize the trusty Chest Rate strap via bluetooth.
 

iFan83

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2017
104
82
Agreed. I teach fitness classes and the Optical HR sensor is crap when any strenuous movement or muscle flexion is involved. With that said, we might see some improvements due to the lightening of weight and also where the sensor sits on the wrist with Series 4 compared to Series 3. The oblong size might actually help yield more accurate HR. The pictures I've seen, it appears that the watch can fit more snug on the wrist and prohibit unnecessary wrist movement I'm going to test it out for sure, but will probably still utilize the trusty Chest Rate strap via bluetooth.
I’m a big fitness person as well and for working out, chest strap are the way to go. But the Apple heart rate sensor isn’t crap, it’s outstanding for use outside the gym, it’s great at picking up heart rate info on a walk, resting and out and about in your day.
 
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tivoboy

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2005
3,156
228
for workouts, best thing is the rhythm+ forearm straps. VERY accurate and reliable and pair easily and reliably with the AW.
 

Pseudo-Fed

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2017
538
307
OHR sensors on fitness watches are generally not the problem. It is the placement and movement of the arm that causes problems. I use a Scosche Rhythm plus or Rhythm 24 for my activities, and it gives identical results to Polar and Garmin HR straps. The Scosche is an OHR device. The reason it is consistently better is it's placement is better for most folks. Sure, the Valencell sensor is industry leading, but placement and use matters.

For best OHR results from a watch: 1) shave a patch, 2) tighten one notch, and 3) wear a wrist sweat band above the watch to lessen sweat running under the sensor.
 
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redavis41

macrumors member
Sep 14, 2017
96
43
I’m a big fitness person as well and for working out, chest strap are the way to go. But the Apple heart rate sensor isn’t crap, it’s outstanding for use outside the gym, it’s great at picking up heart rate info on a walk, resting and out and about in your day.
I agree it is good for walking, at rest and casual activities. But to claim it’s a fitness caliber HR monitor is misleading for people that don’t know about health monitoring. At a gym, you will not get an accurate calorie burn for anything but walking and straight line running on a treadmill. Even then, if you utilize interval training, the optical sensor struggles with jerking movements. And that’s not just an Apple Watch issue.
[doublepost=1536855329][/doublepost]
OHR sensors on fitness watches are generally not the problem. It is the placement and movement of the arm that causes problems. I use a Scosche Rhythm plus or Rhythm 24 for my activities, and it gives identical results to Polar and Garmin HR straps. The Scosche is an OHR device. The reason it is consistently better is it's placement is better for most folks. Sure, the Valencell sensor is industry leading, but placement and use matters.

For best OHR results from a watch: 1) shave a patch, 2) tighten one notch, and 3) wear a wrist sweat band above the watch to lessen sweat running under the sensor.
Love the Scosche!!
 

tivoboy

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2005
3,156
228
OHR sensors on fitness watches are generally not the problem. It is the placement and movement of the arm that causes problems. I use a Scosche Rhythm plus or Rhythm 24 for my activities, and it gives identical results to Polar and Garmin HR straps. The Scosche is an OHR device. The reason it is consistently better is it's placement is better for most folks. Sure, the Valencell sensor is industry leading, but placement and use matters.

For best OHR results from a watch: 1) shave a patch, 2) tighten one notch, and 3) wear a wrist sweat band above the watch to lessen sweat running under the sensor.
Same here, and it's really amazing how much (how bad) sweat impacts the OHR sensor. Seems like a real counter intuitive (although physics intuitive) result.
 

iFan83

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2017
104
82
I agree it is good for walking, at rest and casual activities. But to claim it’s a fitness caliber HR monitor is misleading for people that don’t know about health monitoring. At a gym, you will not get an accurate calorie burn for anything but walking and straight line running on a treadmill. Even then, if you utilize interval training, the optical sensor struggles with jerking movements. And that’s not just an Apple Watch issue.
[doublepost=1536855329][/doublepost]
Love the Scosche!!
That’s why I recommend a chest strap!

Scosche is still an optical heart rate monitor and suffers the same issues the Apple Watch suffers from, not good for HIIT. Chest straps are the only way to go, imo, for hard workouts like HIIT.
 

iBought

macrumors regular
Dec 2, 2010
113
29
I’m not sure how much they could improve on that senors as it’s already the best in class and optical heart rate sensors have their limitations, I would think it’s more of a redesign to fit the ECG in.
[doublepost=1536853145][/doublepost]

Just turn the heart rate sensor on and the watch should find it, when it does just click on it and your good to go.
Ok, easy enough. Does the Heart rate sensor override the Apple Watches? What I mean is, lets say I put on the sensor, hit the tennis court or gym. The Watch finds the sensor, I click on it, and now it’s basically using my heart sensor to measure heart rate and then that data is paired with the health app instead of whatever Heart rate the watch picks up? I would imagine that is the case, and if so, thats perfect.

I agree that the Apple Watch seems perfect for measuring heart rate throughout the day and getting a great understanding of Cals burned outside of rigorous exercise. For me, that data really helps in recovery. I dont really think about how much energy I burn walking around or climbing stairs throughout the day, or even how well I slept. Currently I just measure cals burnt with a chest monitor and thats a small piece of data compared to the rest of my day/week.
 

tivoboy

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2005
3,156
228
Ok, easy enough. Does the Heart rate sensor override the Apple Watches? What I mean is, lets say I put on the sensor, hit the tennis court or gym. The Watch finds the sensor, I click on it, and now it’s basically using my heart sensor to measure heart rate and then that data is paired with the health app instead of whatever Heart rate the watch picks up? I would imagine that is the case, and if so, thats perfect.

I agree that the Apple Watch seems perfect for measuring heart rate throughout the day and getting a great understanding of Cals burned outside of rigorous exercise. For me, that data really helps in recovery. I dont really think about how much energy I burn walking around or climbing stairs throughout the day, or even how well I slept. Currently I just measure cals burnt with a chest monitor and thats a small piece of data compared to the rest of my day/week.
yes, exactly. I imagine the algorithm says, "external sensor connected - priority" "no external sensor-onboard OCR"

I Do expect the AW4 to have a better OHR sensor. There are about 60% more actual sensors (not including the ECG ring) than prior models. I would imagine some level of sensing optimization has been done.
 
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