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CNET News – Are heart rate monitors on fitness trackers accurate?

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Several fitness trackers, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S5, now boast the ability to measure your heart rate. How do their readings stack up to an EKG? CNET’s Sharon Profis with help from Kaiser Permanente cardiologist Dr. Jon Zaroff put the Garmin VivoFit, Withings Pulse O2, Basis Carbon Steel, Samsung Gear Fit, and Samsung Galaxy S5 to the test.


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219 thoughts on “CNET News – Are heart rate monitors on fitness trackers accurate?

  1. Scared to use fit bit

  2. thank you you just saved me a lot of dollars

  3. This lady heart rate cannot be normal

  4. Thanks for sharing this interesting video!

  5. Which watch should I buy now for accuracy?

  6. This video still helps greatly.

  7. Vaping and red bull diet is best for endurance

  8. The Doctor looks so disinterested.

  9. People in this comment section are beyond uneducated. 175bpm is not a high heart rate for a young woman, infact it’d be within the target limits

  10. What are other pain points in heart rate monitoring in a watch? Can improving optical efficiency or reducing power consumption at the LED help? Will VCSELs be preferable to LEDs?

  11. My Garmin watch seems pretty spot on, even during exercise. I often test it out the old fashioned way just to be sure.

  12. youtube suggesting me this 6yrs later to know that my honor band 5 is accurate or not 😒😒

  13. That’s cause they using old drivers. Far out ghee people these days

  14. I have an app that uses the camera light and camera to measure my finger pulse. These apps have been around for years.

    1. You’re stupid!

  15. i could watch her exercise all-day

  16. Wtf is her HR so high for!

    1. Sedentary lifestyle

  17. EKG..whatever is wrong

  18. Jeez, ur heart rate.

  19. comment section shows everyone was worried more about the reporter’s heart rate rather than the level of accuracy for the fitness trackers

  20. My Samsung gear fit measures my heart rate while running… A lot of Operator error On This demonstration seems to be the problem or Lack of knowledge…

  21. I’m just impressed she could get her HR up to 193 easily at that age…. and she could talk while doing it. Wtf am I doing wrong? At 195 probably 10 years younger than her there is no way I’m talking much.

  22. I want a heart rate monitor while I sleep anyone recommend one? Hopefully I can plug it in and or has lithium battery.

    1. There are a lot of HR Monitors for sleep tracking. I recommend Garmin wearables.

  23. Conclussion: buy a chest heart rate monitor

    1. Thank you lol

  24. sponsored by samsung

  25. She’s too hot to have that poor of a heart lol

  26. this woman is unfit goddamn

  27. at 4:25 he’s thinking…. I wonder if she takes it up the shitter.

  28. I want to see the comments!

  29. It’s a false equivalence fallacy. Wearables aren’t medical devices, which incidentally cost thousands of dollars and are not wearable but are designed with medical intervention purposes in mind. A wearable, by contrast, provides the consumer with an approximation that ought to be measured as an average for a set period say three months. This allows you to approximate health, fitness and performance variables, but also provides information that can be conveyed to medical specialist to evaluate against their own measurements over time.

  30. Isn’t 74 bpm the average hearth rate of a healthy person?

  31. Thumbs up but an update needed.

  32. I have been looking at reviews for heart rate monitors for hours and this is the best one of all.

  33. Good review. I wish someone would do another one of these reviews. Also she should probably get more exercise. Her heart rate maxed out with some comparatively light jogging.

  34. I wonder if she wore the watch so the sensor was on the bottom side of her wrist if it would have made a fifference.

  35. 190 bpm?!!!…. thats really not good, even when you work out.

  36. Her running form is giving me anxiety


  38. HEART RATE 190bpm. ???

  39. 180 heart rate and she is jogging she’s unfit

  40. Almost 190 running? Thats quite fast. I can run for 30 mins and only get to about 160

  41. that’s good. I used the heart monitor section of the health app on the phone to monitor my heart rate while I was between cardiologist visits because I had no other way of doing it.

  42. I wonder if this woman is now on beta blockers or something. I don’t know how she can be so chilled when her heart rate is basically off the scale! The sleazy doc standing next to her must have surely said something when the camera stopped rolling.

  43. Going 170+ makes you go crazy you can’t talk for quite a while… her strap on sensor was the one fooling her – and she trying to fool us by saying she doing intense cardio

  44. holy hell.. 193 bpm? that is a terrible heart rate for not much activity.. I reach 170 when I totally max myself out, with your level I would be at 120-122

    1. @ishimaru masato mostly it also depends on the age. As you get older your hr increases

    2. Is that the upper heart rate or lower?

    3. sbkpilot11 so when you do light walking ur heart rate hits around 120 to 130?

  45. Your bpm are really high…..

  46. what about Fitbit????

  47. All those readings above 150 this gal is about to really screw herself up overworking her heart. 193 is above anybody’s MHR. These devices all seem weird. The information is skewed so badly I do not believe anything said here.

    1. no 200 is the max for someone in their early 20s.


  49. All those watches are really cheap. Try comparing it to a Garmin which is widely used by athletes

  50. i love you for making this video😘

  51. I still use my Microsoft band because of the Guided workouts it has. No other fitness band does that.

  52. Everyone can test himself in real life situation, no need for fancy equipment. Tested several times by measuring pulse on my neck for 15 sec while walking, then multiply by 4 to get per minute… and readings were very close or exact match with my Polar H7, pretty good match also optical measuring with Garmin Vivosmart HR. Optical reading have problem reacting fast enough to sudden increase of hr (which is to be expected, it is physiological), pretty a lot of problems for me also in winter with very low temperatures, but stats at the end of run or fast walk – average and max hr – were in majority of cases very close, sometimes optical lower by max 10, about 5-6 for max. As long as I did not sprint or walking up stairs fast from experience I can trust both chest belt and optical (speaking for vivosmart, can’t know for others). With sudden changes in heart beats or very cold weather for sure H7 have all my trust.

    1. And now adding first and very big disappointment for my Polar H7 I purchased just few weeks ago, for the first time it just went mad on fast walk when I had pulse around 120, suddenly started to show up to 199 hr/min! Crazy stuff. Of course manual check confirmed Garmin’s vivosmart hr of around 120. However this time was the first I have been using H7 with original app Polar Beat. In other occasions have been using H7 linked to Endomondo while testing Garmin at same time with Garmin Connect to compare hr. Garmin could show from time to time +10 to max +20 in winter of difference, but never ever something like that (and have been using it regularly for about year.

  53. Wow you HR is so high 175!

  54. 193 and she’s hardly panting?

  55. 190? wtf her heart is about to explode.

  56. “The Samsung S5 is the best!:
    Forgets that the chest strap have the most accurate measurement…

  57. this was in 2014 they were new at the time now there better

  58. That’s Samsung guys ,,, Fu*k Iphone, people pay a lot of money with little technology.

  59. Why is her heart rate soooo high??? Omg See a doctor ASAP…

  60. The samsung galaxy 5 can also be paired with a heart rate monitor via bluetooth as well. I have the bluetooth polar chest strap and it pairs with it. No need to hold your finger on the sensor

    1. then there is no point of mentioning the galaxy 5 since what she would be testing is the external monitor (which can pair up with most smartphones)

  61. you need to see another doctor, seriesly!!!!

  62. I got a Wego fitbit

  63. 193 while not running.. U need to see another doc

    1. The max heart rate doesn´t equal your fitness. You can have 178 hr max and be an obese guy who can´t run 5 kms, or 215 hr max and be an olympic runner.

    2. Rodney Maridive …I think she’s not in shape to reach a heart rate that high while jogging lightly

    3. I was thinking the same especially she is not obese.

  64. What a way to waste a Doctors time.. how did he agree to this waiting around for crappy hardware & software on time he will never get back in his life… & ditto

  65. 2:15 calls him Doc 🙂

    1. @pogiguy05 lol, this is true.


    3. calikokat100 Bugs Bunny says doc too

  66. Great test. She needs to work on her cardio though.

  67. Great test, would be great to have an update with latest devices.

  68. you saved me some money..

  69. Pretty certain my Galaxy Note 4 built in heart rate sensor is 100% accurate, considering this video is 2 years old S Health has had a lot of updates since then and is now much more accurate, if not 100%.

    1. to be fair EKG measurements had got better as well, but tech get cheaper one day we will have EKG measurements on are watches

    2. There is no device that can even claim 100% accuracy relative to EKG measurements. 2 years ago to now, Optical Heart rate sensing has made a LOT of advancement, but not that much.

  70. Man what about Mio Global?

    1. Mio has great sensors from my experience! (Everything else about thier products/ app suck tho lol)

  71. @ 1:20 she says the heart rate is “93 O2” … that O2 is your 99% oxygen saturation you moron….

  72. 00:45 The doctor knows what is in my mind 😛

  73. the cardiologist knows he is wasting his time. his facial expressions tell it all – but his penis is telling him to keep going…..

    1. Omg! That’s hilarious.

    2. More like his pocket.

    3. M Micky 😂

    4. If you don’t get the joke then you are a carbon copy of Sheldon Cooper.

  74. hie about the newer devices, these might be better?

  75. Not sure but…. is she using the wrong finger. I think is supposed to be her lefthand. Not sure just asking.

  76. I was curious about the chest straps and found this helpful but i couldn’t agree more with the comments below about her cardiovascular fitness. She cracked 190 bpm without sweating or puking on the doc.

    1. I’m still in disbelief!

    2. And you can see on the screen, she ran for 30 seconds.

  77. It’s a Samsung Galaxy S5 advertisement isn’t it?

  78. Wait a minute…. The very first device was as you say, spot on, and it told you right away. But then the very last device is a phone and it wasn’t spot on AND you had to stop and wait for a reading and then you say it was the best device??? The video was interesting, but you really should have kept track of the readings and displayed them together also, then maybe you wouldn’t have mistakenly said the last was the best. But, thanks for what you did do. It helps us all.

    1. +TheNordicHunter
      its all about staying in the fat burning zone because if your heart rate go’s to max, the body will take stores out of your muscles instead of fat. to put on weight you only need to go over your calories by
      200 and 200 below max cals for weight loss. I’m at a loss for which one to pick because vevo has sync
      issues and fitbit reads blood flow pulse whatever which is less accurate AND THEY ALL COST ALOT

    2. +Zul-hilmi Mohamad The review had the chance of being the most nicely done review on wearables, but then basically tripped and lost the race. I bought the Garmin with HR and I really wanted to like it, but it has so many issues with accuracy and syncing to name a few, so I returned it. One quick example: I would be moving around the house doing things or actually walking and it would buzz me and tell me to get moving :-/ Personally I think the whole wearables thing is overkill. We all should know if we sat on our butts all day or took a 20 walk. If we ran out of breath, we worked hard. If we didn’t run out of breath, we took it easy. We don’t need a device for that. I’m sure there could be good uses somewhere but I don’t see them currently.

    3. +TheNordicHunter : I was waiting for the summary at the end..but??hmmm

  79. Is anyone else thinking that her running form is terrible?

  80. Optical IMO useless

  81. Great article! Thank you!

  82. At 3:14 you say you got 128 bpm, then at 3:27 you say you got 141 bpm. Doesn’t sound right considering you are resting 🙂

    1. Anxiety can raise it she doesn’t seem a calm lass

  83. R.I.P…she is likely no longer with us..LOL

    1. @Jotto999 I think Samual was probably referring to her heart rate reading. Generally speaking, maximum heart rate is 220 – your age. Ex: 220-30 = 190. So 190is the very max heart rate and that is a highest for a few seconds at the hardest effort. There are outliers though. Children generally have higher heart rates.

    2. ​@Uym O What precise kinds of information are you asking about? It’s unclear.

  84. I don’t know what this chick has going on with her heart but if she reaches 175 that easily-then something is wrong.Isn’t that doctor right next to her going to tell her something about that?!

    1. Guess what, some people have low max heart rate, some people have high max heart rate. I would be running quite comfortably on 175 for two hours, since my max is around 215 bpm. The heart rate shows your form relative to lactate thersholds, the absolute numbers don´t say anything.

    2. It could be nerves also. I know for some reason I tend to get a little anxious when paying attention to my heart beat or checking my pulse. But i’m not think about it it’s different.

    3. She could be nervous, she’s on camera she is human and journalists experience stress too. Stress physical, emotional, or psychological will release stress hormones and raise HR. How quickly it normalises to a resting HR following such stress is the measure of health.

      Aside from which there is no bench mark heart rate for everyone because we are all different. A person that is fit may be able to push their HR to 184 with no problem though their resting HR maybe around 65-70. However, a person with a high resting HR, obesity risk, poor lifestyle choices like binge drinking and smoking would be at risk.

    4. Yeah, I was thinking maybe the EKG was off or something. 175 is really high.

    5. maybe she has a condition then..

  85. i am the 66666th viewer

  86. Do you really need to show your stomach the entire time?

  87. this chicks heart rate is through the roof. 176 while running and 146 at rest?

    1. @Dragos Patrascu Honestly i don’t know what this vid is about or the context behind this, nor do i care enough to find out so ima just take your word, yes 176 while light running and 146 in slight exercise is way too much and incredibly unhealthy.

    2. @saints FPS thank nice “fuckhead” . also, 176 while light running ??? and 146 in slowing exercise is HUGE !

    3. @Plug Industries Well keep in mind that they must’ve done bunch of retakes, meaning she did lot more running than we see.

    4. I’m not sure if that EKG is accurate. 146 seems like it would require a little more huffing and puffing

    5. @W stop being a nasty person

  88. she is so sexy

  89. Why don’t people put those wristbands on facing downwards so the sensors are closer to the veins on the ‘bottom side’ of your wrist? I mean, I havent tried them yet but that would seem to make more sense.

  90. Studying for an exam which will incorporate these tracking bands and Blue Ocean Strategy. I can assume that in the end of the day Apple is gonna outwit all devices targeting human adults. They’re leaders in displays (when it comes to personal computers and mobile devices) and slick product design (sexy, reliable). They’ll take it from there. UP is constantly updating their bands, but we all know how Apple updates iPads like how we change underwear! Let us just wait and see.

    Plus Apple has a bigger game: Personal communication. They know how to connect with people. They will incorporate all the Apple ecosystem within.

    Whistle and Leapfrog will probably keep going on, as they target dogs and kids, respectively.

  91. Definitely the best video ever! Fact and experiment based review. Such a rarity these days that I almost feel like saluting this lady for her thoroughness in reviewing the product!

  92. The Doc has a look of being almost annoyed at even comparing the devices to his equipment….very funny

  93. The doctor has a look on his face like ..”Bah! Humbug!”

  94. This is the best video I’ve seen for fitness trackers.
    Is there an update with all devices released in the last 3 months?

  95. can we have a latest video with Fitbit charge HR, jawbone Up3, if they finally release it please.

    And when it says shut up, please shut up and don’t talk. Girls are girls. Please follow damn instructions in your next video.

    P.S I’m not a Samsung user.

  96. This type of scientific review should be done with all fitness wearables. It’s the difference between wasting your efforts and money, and getting reliable health data.

    Thanks CNET and Sharon.

  97. Dr. Zaroff is judging you… at all times

  98. @CNET what about apple watch ?

    1. @joethejokerTV apple watch is basura.

    2. Look at the publish date

  99. 0:31 will be my new txt message tone…. XD

  100. Update pleaseeee more device coming

  101. Wow, y’all must have paid them so much money to use their equipment and for the doctor’s time.

  102. You have two arms, why not do two at a time? Also what about wearing it on your inner wrist?

  103. Damn.. I just ordered a fitbit charge hr, hopefully the technology has improved since they did these tests.

    1. All  data indicates the Fitbit ChargeHR does not compare to the Mio and Adidas products for EKG(pulse). See comments from consumers..The Fitbit Charge without the HR is a very good 24/7 Activity Training Band. Suggestion: wait until 2016 to view the new band improvements. Many bands introduced 2013/2014 are already discontinued due to performance and as time passes the price decreases. ie: Adidas Fit Smart introduced August 2014 at $197 has decreased to $119 due to the competition. The Mio Fuse is a 24/7 Band, whereas the Adidas Fit Smart is only reading data during the 1 hr of Activity Training. All ACTIVITY BAND data on 20+ bands are available on YOUTUBE reviews.

  104. These devices are accurate after a few minutes and not instantly. For someone reviewing such products ud expect them to know that.

  105. Update the test with new devices.

    1. Be sure to write CNET about keep this device review current.

  106. I really appreciate this scientific comparison.  Just questioning if the proper technique was followed regarding placement of the finger over the optical sensor during measurements.  Seemed to work okay with the S5 but still curious.  In any case, I hope CNET does this again and includes the Fitbit Charge HR when it ships.

    1. It’ll be the same… If anything, you should look for the Jawbone UP3…

  107. Is it only me that thinks bringing samsung galaxy to compete with these trackers were little unfair? lol. 

  108. So any one have the  fitness band that accurate?

    1. Adidas Fit Smart or Mio Fuse, see youtube videos..

  109. Doc is under drugs i guess.. at least the look on his face says that )))

  110. The mic picks up her heartbeat at 2:03

  111. I have a Samsung Gear 2 and the accuracy is about +/- 90%.  It is utterly and completely useless as a heart rate monitor.  Samsung should recall all these POS watches. 

  112. “Try to keep still and quiet”…

    Talks and moves through the entire test… still accurate.  Damn.

  113. Nice test, can you please test the “mio alpha” ?

  114. When I was a dark shadow of my physical peak (mid 30s), but training to race road bicycles, my MAX heart rate was 181 after a max effort into some steep hills. And this poor woman, comparably, is hardly working at all!

  115. And her heart says, “Help! Someone please!”

  116. OMG! Her poor, little, over stressed heart! Thank goodness she was in a medical facility!

  117. Definitely getting the vivo fit now

  118. Of all the fitness tracker videos on YouTube this one was the most helpful. Thanks

  119. Funny an M.D was present and did not make a single quote on how nail polish alters the readings. I’m not 100% sure if it matters when measuring through the nail or through the skin of the finger but I am sure it does matter. So why not re-do without that nail polish? 

  120. wow, Shanon! You should work out more!

  121. Good to know the Garmin Vivofit is the most accurate.

  122. She put the gear fit the wrong way. In my opinion that could mess up the results.

  123. How about Gear 2 and Gear 2 NEO?

  124. This is something I never thought of but am glad to know and see! Wow. Great segment

  125. I almost had a heart attack when I got my S5.

  126. More Sharon please. Thank you!

  127. I want to see more of you running. YOU

  128. Humm… Pretty good, huh?

  129. I thought that would be way more comments about how hot she is and all! Well done internet, you are growing up!!!

  130. You need to do more cardio baby 🙂
    BPM 189 for that fast ?

  131. You can’t beat the galaxy… 😊

  132. Now i want samsung galaxy S5

  133. If her heart rate is 170 from that workout she is in terrible shape & needs to fix that ASAP!

    1. technically, it depends. I’m a Certified Fitness trainer certified by the ISSA. Conditioned hearts NEVER exceed 170 bpm.

  134. I love how everybody ignore that the Garmin vivoFit actually got the best result. If you are actually going to train, and want accurate result you kinda have to have a pulse belt, such as Garmin or Polar. 
    I use a pulse belt with the Garmin 220, and it’s awesome.

  135. She should train her heart properly, it’s not in good shape for sure!

  136. Exactly the review that was missing!!! Great comparison!!!

  137. That belly

  138. Cnet’s one of the best review

  139. I thought her last name was Vaknin.

  140. What happened to vivofit? How accurate was it?

  141. Ok I love devices of all kinds but I don’t need a device to check my hart rate and who really does. Take a CPR – First Aid class.

  142. GO SAMMY!

    1. @HABWIT no

    2. Apple!

  143. How about LG’s Heart Rate Monitor Earphone?

  144. Wow she’s not that in shape lol

    1. @ferthelet Thanks, it only took me about 6 months to lose about 40-50 lbs, but to gain the muscle mass I wanted, it took about a year. I’m still working at it almost 2 years later, and I’m at about 185, 9% BF. I only workout for about 1.5-2 hours 5 days a week, and run 6-7 days a week. It’s all about nutrition and eating the macronutrient ratio your body needs in order to obtain the goal you want to achieve. 

    2. @SHUTupNrocK8 congratulations for such an amazing transformation in how many months? 18? One question though, how many hours per day do you dedícate to get and then to maintain this? Thank you!

    3. Why do you say she is not in shape?

    4. @lampuiho

    5. @SHUTupNrocK8
      You’re probably quite huge then.

  145. I think she put that Garmin™ belt too close to them thangs

  146. 190 bpm means way out of shape. Perhaps problem is the location of device.


  148. What’s the point of making you stop to take your pulse? Defeats the purpose of a hr monitor. Also, can’t wait to come back and read the ridiculous comments about Sharon in her (modest)workout gear.

  149. It’s the samsung galaxy s5 is accurate and the tech reporter is cute awesome.

  150. The gear fit can measure your heart rate while you’re running. You have to turn on coaching mode and select running.

    1. Who cares? It’s totally inaccurate to begin with.

  151. nice.

  152. its not hard to learn how to take your own pulse…….. I don’t see why someone would need to buy a machine. 

  153. He wants to bang her

  154. Doctor saying to himself: what a waste of my time. I could be saving lives! But here I am playing with geek toys!

    1. doc wants her to check his rate but at this penis

    2. Her heart rate is kind of high for a young lady, right? I mean 195 is pretty high with just trotting a little.

    3. Most likely Persian Jew, lot’s of them in the LA region.

    4. She’s Jewish (possibly mixed), married to a white dude. She’s most likely born in the US or lived there since or before the age of 9. Her name is Sharon Profis, née Vaknin. Though I don’t know why her ethnicity matters, as her reporting is pretty solid!

    5. thats wat u think lol.

  155. would like to see a comparison between the s5 heart rate monitor and an app in the app store or play store along with the camera.

  156. Now this will have the max viewing in youtube LOL..

  157. yipeeee

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