Polar today announces a new pulse sensor, the Polar H9It is located just below the Polar H10 which was available until now and doesn't have as many "frills" as this one, but you may not care in the least because they are features you won't use and would rather not pay for.
This is where Polar has found an interesting niche in the market, as it offers very similar performance to the Garmin HRM-Dual for £10 less.
It has no accelerometers or specific running functions, no activity memory or any other additional function. It measures the pulses and dot, just like the other sensors of this type. The difference lies in how it does it and which band it uses.
Polar H9, what it offers
The Polar H9 has triple connectivity, being able to pair simultaneously to Bluetooth, ANT+ or 5kHz analog devices.
What can we achieve with that? Well, apart from being compatible with any device of any brand (they all use one of these two standards), it can be connected to a training application such as Zwift - through Bluetooth- and to a Garmin watch - using ANT+-. Or to a Polar watch and a Garmin cycle computer. Or use it with any watch while viewing heart rate data on the gym treadmill - many still use the 5kHz band.
In short, this is the update of the Polar H7 sensor that already had Bluetooth and 5kHz band, but now is also compatible with ANT +.
The sensor uses a CR2025 button cell and has a range of 400 hours, which is about a year under normal training conditions. It has no problems with sweat or water as it has a resistance to immersion of up to 30 meters.
As for the elastic band, it is what Polar calls the Soft Strap, and it is somewhat different from the H10 (whose name is Pro strap).
Differences between Polar H9 and Polar H10
There are a few features that make the difference between the Polar H9 and the Polar H10:
- The Polar H9 has no memory for recording workouts, something that is present in the Polar H10.
- Although both sensors have Bluetooth connectivity, with the Polar H10 you can connect to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously while with the Polar H9 you can only connect to one. In both cases the number of devices for ANT+ is unlimited (this is the way each technology works).
- The band that incorporates the H10 (pro strap) is somewhat different. It has a series of anti-slip electrodes that help keep it in place, especially when we start to sweat. In addition the closure is through a clip. In the case of the H9 band the closure is a hook that you have to slide and does not have that anti-slip surface.
- There is a 30 euro difference. Polar H9 costs 59 euro and Polar H10 89
And finally there's the Polar OH1+Here is the complete family: Polar H9, Polar H10 and Polar OH1+.
Remember that the OH1+ sensor has a much shorter range (because it has a rechargeable battery), and it is not compatible with the 5kHz band, but it is compatible with ANT+ and Bluetooth (although with only one simultaneous connection).
Polar H9's opinion
Polar H9 comes to the market simply to offer a pulse sensor at a more economical price. Both Polar H6 and H7 had already become obsolete, not only because of size (which are slightly larger than current sensors), but mainly because they were only compatible with Bluetooth (and analog band on the H7).
Personally I love the H10 sensor and I use it frequently both in training and in different comparisons, but it is true that there are features that I do not use. Although it has memory to save a workout I do not like it because you have to start the recording from the application of the mobile. In that sense the OH1+ sensor manages it much better, as there is a button on which we can act (and that's why it accompanies me in almost all the tests).
The next difference is the possibility of connecting two Bluetooth devices simultaneously which, although it is true that I can think of a number of situations where it may be useful, is not within the common use of the vast majority of users.
Finally there is the difference in the belt which, don't forget, is what actually registers the pulses; the sensor simply processes and transmits. The belt of the H10 is better because it has the anti-slip electrodes and the fastening is more comfortable, but in terms of fabric and comfort the two are at the same height, and that is what really interests the user.
Its entry into the market marks a new target price of 59 euros to which the different manufacturers will have to adjust. It is true that the Garmin HRM-Dual is usually found for a few euros less, but you know that one thing is the recommended price and then the real price. The Polar sensor will end up being a few euros cheaper than Garmin's (and other manufacturers such as Wahoo).
In short; a sensor that works, is comfortable to use and offers different connection possibilities to the user. It is the classic example of something that simply works as it should and you forget all about it... at least until the next battery change. And all this at a reasonable price.