A hugely reliable heart rate monitor, the Polar H10 eschews tracking extras for accuracy and dependability, says expert run gear tester Kieran Alger.

A great option for pairing with the best rowing machines or exercise bikes, here’s how the Polar H10 performed when we put it to the test.

Men’s Fitness verdict

While its performance in water can be erratic, for no-nonsense running tracking in comfort we think the Polar H10 is an excellent choice.
  • Best for accuracy
  • Excellent battery life
  • No tracking extras
  • Not rechargeable

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Polar H10 design

When it comes to accuracy and reliability, the Polar H10 sets the standard for chest-strap heart rate monitors. If you’re after maximum reliability for your BPM training stats, this is the one to go for. 

The Polar H10 weighs just 60 grams, including the strap. The sensor pod is small and slim and clips onto a nice, soft strap. The tracking pads and strap material offer a decent amount of flex and sit comfortably against the skin. The tracking part of the strap also moves with your body, minimising chafe risk and stopping it digging in.  

A quick release clip makes it easy to put on and take off – there’s no fiddling with hooks and clasps like you’ll find on Garmin straps. Small silicone studs around the back section also help it stay in place whatever you’re throwing yourself into.  

Polar H10 performance

This strap runs off a coin cell battery like the Garmin HRM-Pro Plus, so it’s not rechargeable. But you get 400 hours of training on a single battery. You can connect simultaneously to two Bluetooth devices and one ANT+ device. When we were testing the best heart rate monitors, connectivity was reliable with various watches from all brands, including Polar, Garmin and COROS, as well as iPhone apps and the Polar Beat training app.  

Onboard storage is limited to one workout. So unlike some heart rate monitors that store multiple workouts between syncs with a watch or app, the H10 doesn’t work as well as a standalone device.   

The H10 is waterproof to 30 metres, so it can be used in all kinds of wet conditions. However, accuracy in the water is not guaranteed, so it’s not the best option for swimming.

There are also no tracking extras with the Polar H10. If you want running form metrics, you might want to consider the Garmin HRM-Pro Plus. However, if you’re sticking to dry land, want accuracy, reliability and comfort and don’t care about bells and whistles like running dynamics, the Polar H10 represents good value.  So too does the Polar Verity Sense, which is a good arm-mounted alternative.