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Speed read: Polar Verity Sense heart rate sensor

Heart rate monitors are smarter than they used to be. The new Polar Verity Sense (which replaces the OH1) might the best, most accurate arm band sensor for the price. It has great battery life, more memory, and bluetooth range. It's perfect for indoor and outdoor cycling, running, triathlon, and gym use.

Written by: Spencer Powlison

Published on:

Posted in:Road

Heart rate monitors are smarter than they used to be. Gone are the sad, inert chest straps that invariably slip down to your navel and record wildly inaccurate max heart rates (220 BPM?!). Today, we’re fortunate to have a wealth of options, and the new Polar Verity Sense might be one of the best ways to monitor your heart rate.

Since 1977, Polar has been the leading name in heart rate monitor technology. It’s ubiquitous “red button” lives on. You find that distinctive touch on devices like the Vantage V2, and it’s even prominent on the Verity Sense’s band.

Riding Zwift with a Polar Verity Sense
Polar's Verity Sense heart rate sensor is a reliable tool for Zwift cycling and outdoor rides.

The Verity Sense is the next evolution of the Polar OH1 sensor. Like the OH1, it comfortably fits over your arm, wearable on either the forearm or bicep. The knit fabric band is machine-washable, adjustable, and available in two sizes, depending on how jacked-up your arms are. The Verity Sense has improved on the OH1 strap design with a velcro tab to make it easier to take the band on and off.

I’ve found that an arm sensor is significantly more comfortable than any chest strap I’ve worn. It also tends to get less sweaty — sometimes a quick rinse in the sink is all that’s needed to keep it fresh and clean.

Polar Verity Sense LED heart rate sensor
Polar's reliable six-LED optical sensor is at the heart of the Verity Sense.

The guts of the Verity Sense offer more of everything compared to the OH1 — longer battery life, more memory, and greater sensor range. Polar says the Verity Sense offers 20 hours of operation time and can record up to 600 hours of training (16mb). The sensor’s Bluetooth range is an impressive 150 meters.

Like many Polar products, Verity Sense is a versatile training tool that can be used for a range of multisport activities.

If you’re simply using it as a heart rate sensor, paired with a watch, head unit, or app via Bluetooth or Ant+, its six-LED sensor will accurately track your effort. You can sync it with the Polar Flow app to track your data. It’s also got a neat feature for Zwift addicts. The Verity Sense can broadcast via two simultaneous Bluetooth connections, allowing you to use the sensor for in-game heart rate while also recording to a separate device.

Polar Verity Sense charging
Polar's Verity Sense easily charges as a USB accessory. 

Triathletes will appreciate the Verity Sense’s swim setting. When the sensor is mounted to a goggle strap (clip included) at the temple, it can record heart rate, pace, and distance.

In the gym, you can leave your phone or device behind and only wear the Verity Sense strap. Recording mode will track heart rate, workout duration, heart rate zone visualization, training benefit, and burned calories. All of that data can later be transferred to the Polar Flow app.

Polar’s latest sensors definitely live up to its reputation. I’ve relied on my OH1 for the last few months of Zwift riding and racing. Though it has been trouble-free, the additional battery life of the Verity Sense will be a great improvement and the $90 price is quite fair given the functionality. It’s bound to please everyone from cyclists to triathletes to even gym rats.