Apple Watch Nails Heart Rate Monitor Accuracy

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Just how accurate is the Apple Watch heart rate monitor? Surprisingly accurate. In fact, it's pretty much in line with the Mio Alpha, which is considered to be as accurate as traditional chest strap heart rate monitors.

Apple Watch and Mio Alpha heart rate monitor comparisonApple Watch and Mio Alpha heart rate monitor comparison

SonoPlot founder Brad Larson pitted the two against each other, and what he found is that the results were nearly identical. He shared his results in a graph posted to his Twitter account.

Mio Alpha is a wrist-word dedicated heart rate monitor known for its high accuracy comparison to chest strap-style monitors. Mia Alpha's accuracy is high enough and consistent enough it's the go-to choice for many athletes and physical fitness enthusiasts.

Apple Watch, which is Apple's new smartwatch and fitness tracker, includes a heart rate sensor as well. Until now, however, we haven't had quantifiable data showing just how accurate it is.

Apple Watch heart rate sensorsApple Watch heart rate sensors

The slight differences in readings between the two devices might simply be a side effect of how often they snap heart rate readings. The Mio Alpha captures data every three seconds, where Apple Watch gathers its readings at five second intervals. Since that capture rate is software-based, Apple could potentially increase heart rate monitoring accuracy with an update that shortens the reading cycle.

Still, Apple Watch's heart rate readings are surprisingly accurate, which is great news especially considering the device is so much more than a fitness tracker.

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Apple Watch heart rate tracking as accurate as the Mio Alpha? That's some really impressive.

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Andy Simmons

I was a backer of the Mio Alpha HRM Kickstarter, and since receiving the device, I have been very impressed with its accuracy (though it should be noted that it has to be worn fairly snugly against the wrist for consistent readings). If the Apple Watch is able to match the Mio Alpha for accuracy, that’s sort of incredible. I was fully expecting to need to swap the Watch out for the Mio Alpha if I was going to be doing exercise that demanded heart rate monitoring, so it’s good to know that’s not the case.


I wonder if Apple could sell this feature to Vampies & Zombies ? wink


That is impressive, and consistent with the view that Apple have pitched their device performance to the high end.

As sensors improve, we should anticipate Apple revisiting the question of FDA approval for specific functions.

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