Series 2 heart sensor for high intensity cardio?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by UKPoliticsGuy, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. UKPoliticsGuy macrumors regular

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    May 3, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    I do quite a bit of high interval intensity training, I'm thinking of getting the series 2 but wanted to know what the heart rate sensor is like. Is it accurate? I know that Fitbit's are notoriously inaccurate but how does the Apple Watch compare?
     
  2. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    #2
    I have checked my Fitbit Charge 2 over and over and found it to be quite accurate. My AW1 was also accurate but had a hard time keeping a HR reading. Many times I would be running or on the eliptical and look down only to see my AW was not even recording my HR. I have moved it up and down on my wrist and both tighten and loose and sometimes it will just not loose it. The Fitbit would hardly ever not show my HR.

    My AW2 arrives next week and am hoping that Apple has improved it.
     
  3. silvetti macrumors 6502a

    silvetti

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    #3
    As far as I heard, Series 2 has the same heart sensor has the first one so not sure if it will be improved much at all.
     
  4. WombatWattBike macrumors member

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    #4
    I do a lot of HIT training and I've moved from wrist sensors to heart belt now, I plan (when I eventually get a watch) to connect via chest belt for my training and wrist when not training.
     
  5. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #5
    The firmware has a massive impact on HRM performance, maybe as much as the hardware. So, we could see significant improvements over time, as the AW receives OS updates.
     
  6. silvetti macrumors 6502a

    silvetti

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    #6
    Yes but this will affect both original, series 1 and series 2 Apple Watches as the actual hardware for HRM is the same.
     
  7. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #7
    The point is that performance is not static. We are probably not limited by hardware, but by the software. We just had OS3, so it is possible that HRM performance improved greatly last week.
     
  8. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #8
    So far seems about the same to me, slower to respond, prone to inaccuracies and dropouts under certain conditions. I wear a Garmin at the same time for real time comparisons. I believe that since optical uses flow rate to measure HR it will likely always be slower than actually measuring the HR directly. I just don't see optical replacing straps for detected athletes anytime soon.
     
  9. UKPoliticsGuy thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 3, 2009
    #9
    Hmmm, thanks for the comments.

    I think Series 2 is a major improvement on the first Apple Watch but, for me, I don't think it's quite there yet.

    Think I'll wait for next year's Watch ...
     
  10. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #10
    According to Apple it is the same HR sensors so I'm waiting too. Especially since I can get the same GPS map tracking by just carrying my iPhone (been doing that since the 2007 anyway) and no barometer. Just not enough of an iteration.

    http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/18/1...king-weights-sleep-elevation-strava-runkeeper
     
  11. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #11
    This has already been happening for a while. It started last year with the Rhythm+ and then with Garmin's 225/235 and now the 735. These are making strong inroads with performance athletes as go-to devices for HRM. I think that chest straps will soon be relegated to special use cases. I may buy an HRM Tri or HRM Swim to help capture HR in a pool and (Tri) for some occasional running dynamics. But in my everyday use with pretty intense intervals, the advantages of chest strap over optical is more academic than practical and realized.
     
  12. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

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    #12
    The Scosche rhythm far outperforms any wrist HRM i have tried (Garmin 235, 630, and AW original). Specifically works wonderfully for interval training and weightlifting, where the watch/wrist HRMs all perform miserably. I'd be very surprised if the AW series 2 performed any better than the original considering it's the same sensor. The rhythm, by comparison, is in a different league. But, it's also just an optical HRM and itself is twice as large a device as any of the watches.
     
  13. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #13
    There are numerous threads on the Garmin forums of people not satisfied with the optical HR and buying the HRM-Run to use. I just wish Garmin used BT instead of ANT+.
     
  14. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #14
    And there are numerous threads in endurance athlete forums of people moving to the Rhythm+, 735, and 235. I trust the posts in the athlete forums, because there are a lot of pros there and other high-performance age groupers putting these devices through the grinder. One of the pros races with a 735 but prefers a chest strap for training. I would not be surprised if he abandons the strap eventually. Personally, I know very few people who train and race with a chest strap anymore. And, many of the people I know who use them will likely move to a wrist or Scosche with their next technology upgrade.

    Garmin may eventually open up to BT. Don't forget that BLE just entered the scene, and before BLE, Ant+ was really the only viable wireless technology for low energy fitness devices. And, BLE is still kind of a mess from a standards point of view-- there are many proprietary profile implementations, where Ant+ still tends to be an open, trustworthy standard. I give it a year or two for the BLE profiles to stabilize and then most devices will shift to BLE.
     
  15. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #15
    Unfortunately not too likely since Garmin bought and owns ANT+ (about 3 years ago) and licenses ANT+ to other companies like Wahoo.
     
  16. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #16
    I don't know why you would rule it out so strongly. Ant+ is currently the defacto standard of the fitness device industry. It is because it had to be; there was no alternative. But except for Garmin, most new accessory products broadcast on both BLE and Ant+. Garmin currently has both Ant+ and BLE in their products, they just do not use BLE to receive accessory device broadcasts today. Most of the receiving products in the market are standardized on Ant+. But, if BLE stabilizes and the market moves to BLE as the standard, then Garmin may add that as an option in their products. Garmin's Ant+ limitation is already hurting the competitiveness of their accessories, so those could be the first shoes to fall.
     
  17. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #17
    Because Garmin spent several million dollars buying Dynastream and it is now a Garmin subsidiary. It was a fairly major purchase for Garmin and they have a lot invested in it and need to get a return on investment.

    https://www.dynastream.com
     
  18. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #18
    I've done no interval training. But I can say that it seems to be as accurate as a Fitbit Blaze, if that means anything to anyone. It also matches almost dead in with the elliptical or treadmill readouts.

    I kind of view this question as one in the same with cameras. If you're a serious photographer you probably need a serious camera. If you're serious into sport you probably need serious sports tracking equipment.
     
  19. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #19
    That acquisition was 10 years ago for $36M. If Garmin has not already achieved its strategic goals, then it will never happen. The world has since shifted dramatically since then with the introduction of BLE.
    I do not do HIIT, so I have not seen first-hand how people use HRMs and how wrist, other optical, and chest monitors compare to one another in real-life use. I have read a great deal of criticisms of wrist. However, I do pretty intense interval work for endurance training, and I do not see any major disadvantages of wrist-based optical sensors. I know that in deep dive data analysis, you can catch lags and discrepancies (DCR's reviews). However, I simply do not see them first-hand, and if they exist, they do not affect my training in any way.
     
  20. UKPoliticsGuy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    You make a valid point. But I don't want to carry a HR monitor/strap and a fitness tracker, kinda defeats the purpose!
     
  21. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #21
    A clock—of any kind—would be more important during an interval workout. Whether doing stuff on my own or leading a group, an analog watch with a clearly visible seconds hand was what I used the most; the beeping interval alarms on my Garmin worked well, too, but took more time to set up. The workout itself should be intense enough that you're not going to be looking at your HR anyway.

    For looking at your data afterwards, I'm pretty sure chest straps are still more accurate and quicker to react since they watch for electrical impulses and not blood flow.
     
  22. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

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    #22
    I do a lot of HIIT and while I can only speak for myself, a chest strap is still more accurate than anything I have tried on a wrist (Fitbit, Polar, and AW0), though it's not a huge difference. I have an AW2 on order and am interested to try it out again, with and without the chest strap. I don't mind wearing a chest strap, but if I don't need it that would be a tiny bit more convenient.
     
  23. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #23
    From what I read the straps are where it's at if you are super serious about pinpoint accuracy.
     
  24. cogi0490 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 21, 2016
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    Germany
    #24
    Yesterday I compared the heartrate measured by the watch (series 2) to the Garmin Edge 520 in outdoor cycling.
    I completed 3x5mins in the Tempo-Zone and the rest of the ride in the Endurance-Zone. The measurement was the very same and I am highly impressed.
    Only in rocky downhills the measurement of the heartrate was due to high vibrations not possible.
    At the end of the ride the average heartrate was the same in both devices.
     
  25. rdavis41 macrumors regular

    rdavis41

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    Jul 10, 2009
    #25

    Both the Charge 2 and AW2 can have trouble displaying HR during HIIT. However, what I find for AW2, much like AW0 is after the workout when you check your activity app it actually displays fairly accurate HR data in the Activity app, just not so much on the watch display itself. If you want real time display of HR during HIIT or any Weight training I would highly advise adding a Bluetooth HR Monitor to pair with your apple watch.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 24, 2016 ---
    I'm seeing some of the same issues as far as HR dropping off momentarily, but it seems to adjust to sudden changes at a better rate than AW0. I used to go minutes without HR showing on AWO, now it's more like a few seconds.
     

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