The plethora of wearable fitness devices can make it hard for any one product to stand out, but PulseOn does just that by ditching the chest strap requirement for its heart rate monitor.
The wrist-mounted PulseOn measures heart rate using an optical sensor that projects a wide range of green through infrared light into the skin below the device. These light waves reflect back off the blood within your wrists veins and capillaries. The change in frequency in the reflected light waves relate to the differences in blood flow pulses caused by changing heart rates.
The optical sensor system works as promised—I found that, when matched to a manually checked heart rate at various times (at rest, mid-exercise, at maximum effort, post-exercise) the PulseOn’s heart rate was equal to or better than other devices that used a chest strap.
The PulseOn links via Bluetooth to iOS5+ and Android 4+ devices and the related app provides a simple interface with detailed training records, including a map your course, speed and caloric consumption. It also provides fitness details such as personal VO2 Max and lets you know how you stack up against others in your age/sex demographic.
All in all the PulseOn offers a no-hassle training tool for everyone from reluctant exercisers to serious racers. The $199 device weighs a mere 1 ounce and measures approximately 1-inch square (and a quarter inch thick).