Polar H7i

Polar are about to release a new HR sensor by the look of it, the H7i. It’s waterproof to 30m so likely to replace the H7. This could be a sign of imminent v800 successor too, since these sort of things are often released together. We can only speculate on what the H7i contains but it’s likely to be running dynamics or store and forward swim data similar to what everyone else has been doing for a while. To my eye, the device doesn’t look smaller than the old one, which would be a mistake at this point as the Polar devices already looked massive even before Garmin made theirs smaller.

Polar H7i FCC

In the test report, the unit is described as “BLE, 5kHz inductive link, accelerometer” so I think we can confidently predict some kind of running dynamics or at least cadence from the HRM will be included in the v800 replacement, and certainly in the H7i.

The report later states:
“The test sample consists of a Polar H7i heart rate sensor that uses Bluetooth Smart technology providing ECG-accurate heart rate to any Bluetooth Smart ready device utilizing standard heart rate profile. There is also 5 kHz HYBRID data transfer. H7i includes memory for 1 training event and uses replaceable coin cell battery. Customer itself can update new firmware to device when available. H7i is used with comfortable and soft heart rate strap.”

This suggests store and forward technology will be included for at least one activity. Although Polar don’t need to store and forward, due to their 5kHz mode, store and forward is a much more reliable way to guarantee complete data when used for in water activity. This could also suggest that high definition data capture will be present. I’ve mentioned this before as a possible future feature on these devices, and with BTLE there simply isn’t enough bandwidth to transmit hi-def heart rate on the go. This would drain the battery quickly and serve no purpose since the data is not useful while in the activity. Waiting to upload later makes complete sense, however, since that would allow great analytics of heart data and the single large burst of data would not run the battery down the way constant transmission would. Either way, this device has memory for one activity, and there must be a reason for that!

Posted in Cycling, Multisport, Polar, Running, Swimming
11 comments on “Polar H7i
  1. naiboo says:

    great news, looking forward to see a v800 successor soon!

    • lusty says:

      I think a lot of us are excited to see what Polar does next. I just hope they have their development sorted and supply chain ready for launch. The 920XT and Fenix didnt keep the v800 down, Polar did. I was going to buy one but by the time they were abailable there were lots of loud complaints and it was clear the features weren’t there. I really want to see them deliver something solid this time.

      • naiboo says:

        yeah i was really disappointed by the V800 when it was released because a lot of promised features were delayed or canceled.
        Bought the M400 right when it was released, with the updates (trainingload, running cadence, etc) it´s like a small V800 but only without barometric alt and a little less battery lifetime.

        But now i want:
        barometric and longer battery lifetime, already thought of buying a V800 in the special edition since the prices are now rather ok, but i already felt Polar is holding something in the pipeline… Let´s see what they publish…

  2. Adam says:

    Could it be similar to the Wahoo TickrX where you can store workout activities on the chest strap, then sync it over Flow when you are done? There are times that I just need a chest strap, and don’t care about having anything on my wrist such as a CrossFit class.

    • lusty says:

      Yes I think that’s probably one of the features. It does specify one activity in memory though so a sync will be required after each activity.

  3. Alan says:

    Please let me know if this becomes available or you formally test it.

    • lusty says:

      I don’t test things, the manufacturers aren’t keen on all this rumour stuff usually, although I’ve never asked them for test units. It wasn’t mentioned alongside the M600 so almost certainly will be announced at Kona Ironman in October with the v1000

  4. Chris Holliman says:

    The V800 actually supports running cadence today, it was a firmware update well over a year ago I believe. It’s based on the internal accelerometer/step counter in the watch though, not in the HR sensor. (If you hold your watch up to check something while cadence is on-screen, it’ll fall to zero, LOL, so don’t look too much!)
    The V800 today is really more like a V809.5 after all the past few years of additions via firmware. Remote control of GoPro 4/5 series, cadence in watch, many more sensors added (including the Stryde sensor which I’m interested in trying, power meters, you name it).
    One thing it STILL does so much better than anyone else, I actually have to consciously remind myself to charge it occasionally, because it just NEVER dies. I can do 3x 1-2 hours GPS running/biking sessions (where it draws much more battery than daily wear), AND still wear it 1.5-2 weeks as a watch, fitness tracker, and btle notification device, before I even notice the battery graph is getting on the “below half” side and decide to charge it back up out of preparation more than anything (which takes like 15-30 minutes typically, painless, I’ll do it while watching a movie then put it back on when done).
    Admittedly if doing an Ironman your mileage will vary, but nearly everyone else, has to be charged every 1-4 days total, this is a true “watch” that just lasts. I don’t want them to lose that in an “850” version, if they add full color, and full-time HR monitoring, that may be sacrificed (if it’s reasonable, it’s worth it of course, but I don’t want a 3-day device plus 4 hours of workouts, before having to charge it up).
    The final thing this does better than even the latest Polar (or anyone else) products, is tracking, whether it’s GPS, or “clinical” heart stats, polar is near-clinical quality in it’s heart-testing procedures and recommended for people with irregularities to monitor “at-home” in between official clinical checks by some studies.
    Sadly (for Polar), it’s actually better than even most other, brand new, Polar devices on GPS, it’s just a step above in that category.
    If they can keep everything that is right about it today (and that’s a much longer list now than it was in 2015), then of course new features would be welcomed:
    One feature they pre-release promised and only ever “sorta” delivered is BT-rebroadcast (only works in Polar-world, not generically). I’d take that as a “new feature” preference over either color or 24-hr HR monitoring (requires optical sensors, which impact battery) which BTLE rebroadcasting should in no way impact anything else performance-wise (since it’s already broadcasting to GoPro, Polar devices, etc, it’s simply a “code” issue), with a new V8xx, but adding those things, plus putting it in a “Gear app” environment would make it a market-killer if the price was reasonably close to the other top competition, and they kept the dual-freq HR tracking.

    • lusty says:

      I’m not bashing Polar here but you should know what you describe there is quite poor battery life compared to the Forerunner 935 and that’s doing 1s sampling of heart rate 24×7. I did a 5 hour cycle event recently a few days after charging and it was still at 76% the next day. The v800 is good but times have definitely moved on in the intervening years.

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