​Polar's H9 strap offers guided heart rate training on a budget

Cheaper chest strap comes with more ways to pair
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Polar has launched its new H9 heart rate chest strap, for those stepping up their training for in 2020.

The Polar H9 joins the existing H10 and OH1+, offering ANT+, Bluetooth and 5KHz connectivity, so it will pair to pretty much all running watches, phones and even smartwatches. The Polar H9 is $59.99, so it undercuts the $89.99 Polar H10 chest strap nicely.

ANT+ is pretty widely used in the fitness world, so you might find your gym equipment pairs to it as well.

Essential reading: Best heart rate monitor guide

The biggest omission here is a lack of on-board storage, so you can’t head to the hills for a run without your phone and upload the workout when you get back. If you want that, you’ll need to buy the beefier H10 instead.

Of course, Polar wants you to use the Polar Beat app which shows real time heart rate and lets you set targets for heart rate zones. There’s also audio feedback as you workout – and analysis when you’re done.

There’s the Polar Flow app, which is the company’s workout tracker, and naturally you can pair the H9 into that via Bluetooth.

​Polar's H9 strap offers guided heart rate training on a budget

There’s heart rate built into pretty much every wrist wearable now – but some users may still be looking for better accuracy for heart rate tracking.

While you can generally trust the heart rate data from your running watch when you’re out for a steady jog, if you’re doing HIIT sessions then that data is going to be junk. That’s where people stepping up in training often start looking for chest straps.

Read: Guide to Polar Flow

Using a chest strap during a HIIT session can help you check that you pushed adequately and get a better idea about how your body is recovering.

Garmin running watches will only work out your threshold heart rate zones if you use a chest strap for your session.

That’s why the Polar H9 looks like a great option. There’s a bunch of decent features available via the Polar app – and an inviting price point of $59.99. The battery will last a year if you do an hour of working out per day, so there’s minimal charging required.

TAGGED Sport Running

How we test

James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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