Quality Heart Rate Monitor in a Smart Watch

Hello fellow OzBs

I am looking for a heart rate monitor and I think the most convenient type for me will be a fit watch style. I realise this wont be as accurate as say a chest strap type but I'm intending on using the other features like music control, notifications etc

I've gone down the path of taking my chances buying a cheap one recently.. the most highly rated budget smart fitness watch on amazon.. Wilful smart watch. The problem with it is the lag in heart rate and the obvious lack of quality in the partnered app. It's cheap for a reason.

Looking for suggestions on a better one. I'm going to leave the budget open for now, to see all options.

Was checking specs on garmin vivoactive 4
But also open to any of the galaxy watches, Fitbit watches etc

Thanks fam


  • +2 votes

    I have the Garmin Vivomove Style and like that it doesn't look like a kids toy like most smartwatches.

    It has pretty good heart rate tracking (I find it sometimes struggles with high heart rate when its not tracking an activity) but the touch screen is really annoying for using it on the move and you cant see much in the sun.

    Build quality is 10/10.

  • +1 vote

    Just bought one of these - top of the range maybe but ordered on Monday and playing with it now. I'm trying for a half marathon though and would like to get more fit so maybe if you don't need those features it's too much for you. The sapphire makes it basically scratch proof too though. HR monitoring is top range too (though obviously not as good as chest strap)


    With the PM1517 code plus using 3% discount on ebay gift cards it came to about ~647 AUD for me. Maybe check what else they have on their online store to see if the code helps bring down the prices of some of their smartwatches further.

  • +1 vote

    I use a strap with a Fenix 5x.

    The difference between optical and the strap is significant.

    The watch might be ok at a steady state effort, but it's a pretty smooth curve. The strap is significantly more responsive.

    Newer Garmin's have a different optical layout which may make it more accurate?

    Watch only flattish 22min 5k (Darwin Parkrun) gave me an AVG hr of 138 and max of 154.

    2 weeks later with the strap and flatter course (Brightwater parkrun) 21min AVG hr 179, max 195.

    Tl;dr - my optical hr monitor sucks. n=1. Therefore all optical hr sucks.

    • +2 votes

      That's a huge difference. Are you sure the watch was worn correctly, consider Fenix 5x was Garmin's top of the line just 2 years ago? Most of the reviews I read on running-oriented watches have acceptable optical HRM. I'm using a Forerunner 645 and it tracks fine.


        Missed this sorry mate. Wear it very snug for the HR. Though I've faced similar issues with previous watches. Wonder if I can set a screen showing ANT+ hr & optical HR. Even better if I could graph it. I assume they will track closely on a steady run, but be on a different scale.


      Thanks for your reply. I'll keep that in mind

  • +1 vote

    apple ecg and hr

  • +1 vote

    I have tried most of the smart and sport watches except the Apple ones, i.e. Samsung, Garmin, Fitbit, Xiaomi, Huawei. I found Garmin seems to have the most closest heart rate reading when comparing to what I measured inside the Gym.


      Appreciate your reply. I am leaning towards a garmin.
      I am hoping to have an accurate HRM for whilst running and during hiit workouts.

  • +1 vote

      Thanks, recent link too..


    Anybody else?

  • +1 vote

    Oh the garmins are no longer half-off at Rebel - but if you were able to wait and time it, you could probably get a really good deal by waiting for a 50% off special, and then stacking with the 15% off here: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/624669

    The problem is that you would be locking yourself into Rebel and waiting for a sale -thought they still had some half-off currently. :(


    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/631025 I did it! Lol. What did you end up doing OP? I sold my 6S and upgraded to the 6.