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Garmin HRM Pro vs Polar H10 (2021): Which Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor Is Better?

While wrist-based heart monitors are convenient, there is no doubt that chest straps deliver more accurate readings. The Garmin HRM-Pro and Polar H10 are just two chest strap models worth considering. Garmin’s top-of-the-line heart rate monitor offers advanced features, including running dynamics and daily activity tracking. Polar’s H10 strap, on the other hand, boasts extra sensors, accurate readings, and extensive compatibility. Below, we compare the two devices to see which is a better addition to your fitness and training gear.

Garmin HRM Pro vs Polar H10 Comparison Chart

ModelGarmin HRM-ProPolar H10
 
Price
TypeChest strap monitorChest strap monitor
Size Range60cm to 106cm51cm to 66 cm (extra small to small strap)

65cm to 93cm (medium to extra extra large strap)
Extender StrapYesNo
Bluetooth ConnectivityYes, Bluetooth 5.0Yes, Bluetooth 4.0
ANT+ Yes, 2.4 GHz transmissionYes, 5 GHz transmission
AccelerometerYesYes
On-Board MemoryYesYes
Water Rating50 m30 m
Battery Life12 months400 hours
Weight59g60g

Design

Garmin’s HRM-Pro is sleeker and more lightweight while Polar’s H10 has more size and color options.

The Garmin HRM-Pro (left) is only available in one color unlike the Polar H10 (right)

The Garmin HRM-Pro and Polar H10 sport a design you’ve come to expect from chest strap heart-rate monitors. Both devices feature an elliptical module attached at the center of their straps. These straps typically use a comfortable textile, which is adjustable for a better fit. With Garmin, you get one size range out of the box, while with Polar, you have two options β€” extra small to small and medium to extra extra large.

Polar’s H10 monitor, however, feels a lot more secure around the chest thanks to silicone dots on the skin-facing side of its strap. It also comes with additional electrodes for improved accuracy. The Garmin HRM-Pro, on the other hand, sports a sleeker and more lightweight module. It’s also water-resistant for up to 50 meters as opposed to Polar’s 30-meter rating.

If you’re particular about aesthetics, then you’ll probably like the H10 more. Polar’s monitoring device is available in different colored straps, including orange and turquoise. The Garmin H10 strap only comes in black, while the optional extender strap is available in gray.

The strap’s module, however, comes in a bright yellow bezel. These colors are typically used to distinguish between models. You can read more about this in our Garmin HRM-Pro vs HRM-Tri comparison.

Features and Performance

While the Garmin HRM-Pro is great for running, the Polar H10 is a reliable tracker for more sports and activities.

The Garmin HRM-Pro is great for advanced running metrics, something lacking in the Polar H10.

Garmin and Polar’s heart rate monitors are some of the best in the market today. Both are highly recommended for the accuracy of their readings, especially when compared to wrist-based counterparts. The Garmin HRM-Pro, for instance, is a popular companion for running, swimming, and cycling. This makes the device ideal for triathlon training and competition. However, the Pro also comes with advanced running dynamics, monitoring all key metrics except for running power. The best part is that the HRM-Pro can also track daily activities like steps, calories, and all-day heart rate.

Polar has developed the H10 for a range of activities, too. As mentioned in the design, the waterproof heart rate monitor is suitable for swimming. Since it’s grippier than the HRM-Pro, there is no need for a specialized device like the Garmin HRM-Swim. But Polar’s chest strap works best with the accompanying Polar Beat app. Users can record their training sessions and get insights like calories burned, duration, and average heart rate through the app. Polar Beat also supports over 100 sport profiles.

The Garmin HRM-Pro and Polar H10 both come with built-in memory. This means you can record training sessions even without your phone nearby. All the data recorded is automatically transferred to Garmin Connect or Polar Beat once the straps are re-connected.

Connectivity and Compatibility

The Polar H10 is more compatible with a broader range of devices compared to the Garmin HRM-Pro.

Both Garmin and Polar use ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity.

Both the Garmin HRM-Pro and Polar H10 come with ANT+ as well as Bluetooth connectivity. On Bluetooth, these monitors can connect up to 2 devices simultaneously. With the ANT+, there are no limits in terms of concurrent connections. Users can access Garmin’s running dynamics and recorded data via Garmin Connect. However, the Pro will transmit HR data to compatible devices, including the Apple Watch.

Polar, on the other hand, boasts of extensive compatibility. Apart from its own fitness devices, the Polar H10 will work with third-party smartwatches, gym equipment, and fitness apps. The heart rate monitor connects with iOS and Android mobile devices, too, via the Polar Beat or Polar Flow app. Also, users who already own a Polar Watch can connect the strap to take an orthostatic test. This is particularly useful if you want to gain insights into your training and recovery.

Battery and Warranty

Garmin’s HRM-Pro monitor has a longer battery life, although the Polar H10 does enjoy an extended warranty coverage.

These chest straps work on their own or with compatible fitness tracking devices.

The biggest downside to Garmin and Polar’s heart rate monitors is that they’re not rechargeable. Instead, the devices use replaceable lithium coin batteries. Garmin’s HRM-Pro lasts for about 12 months on an hour’s worth of training per day. Meanwhile, the Polar H10’s battery life is good for about 400 hours or a little over two weeks.

Garmin shares that the HRM-Pro strap is covered by a one-year limited warranty. The Polar H10, on the other hand, enjoys a two-year limited warranty.

Verdict

The Polar H10 is a more robust and complete heart rate monitor compared to the Garmin HRM-Pro.

Garmin is a leading name when it comes to fitness devices. Indeed, the Garmin HRM-Pro represents all the best from the company’s lineup of heart rate monitors. The strap is durable and functional while offering meaningful training and workout insights to users. However, the HRM-Pro seems to work best if you have other devices compatible with Garmin’s ecosystem.

This is where the Polar H10 has an advantage. Polar’s premium heart rate monitor enjoys extensive compatibility with a broad range of devices. This includes the brand’s own lineup of watches and trackers, as well as third-party devices, apps, and equipment. The Polar H10 also enjoys recognition as one of the most accurate monitors in the market today. For athletes that put a premium on data, this edge makes sense when choosing between devices.

FAQs

πŸ“Œ What kind of strap does the Polar H10 use?

The Polar H10 uses a Polar Pro strap that is made from soft textile. It also features non-slip silicone dots and a secure buckle.

πŸ“Œ What is the size range of the Garmin HRM-Pro when the extender strap is used?

Garmin’s extender strap expands the size range of the HRM-Pro from 60cm to 106cm to 60cm to 142cm.

πŸ“Œ Does Polar update its Polar H10 strap regular?

Yes, the Polar H10 enjoys regular over-the-air software updates.

πŸ“Œ Can the Garmin HRM-Pro transmit HR data to compatible devices using Bluetooth?

Yes, the Garmin HRM-Pro can transmit real-time heart rate and heart rate variability using Bluetooth 5.0.

Last update on 2022-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.