Coros Heart Rate Monitor (Optical Band) Review

Coros Heart Rate Monitor (Optical Band) Review

The Coros Heart Rate Monitor is one of the most simple electronic devices I’ve ever seen in my life. There are no buttons; you must trust it does what it should. It’s designed to transmit your heart rate over Bluetooth.

Many heart rate monitor products exist, but what is the Coros Heart Rate Monitor’s claim to fame? It has 38 hours of battery life! These days COROS is known for its battery life situation.

Coros Heart Rate Monitor (Optical Band) Review

Here are a few Coros products I’ve reviewed:

What’s inside the Heart Rate Monitor box?

  • The Coros Heart Rate Monitor: I would hope that’s in there.
  • Instructions: I appreciated it. With no buttons, you’re like, how does this even work? You do have to connect it to the app.
  • Charger

My Experience with the Coros Heart Rate Monitor: 

I thought it was a chest strap until it arrived, and I realized there was no way my entire torso would fit in there. So once I figured out where it was supposed to go, I read the directions and slid it on. The best place for Optical Heart Rate sensors is having the sensor on the outside of your arm. I wish they explained this more because I had no idea until I googled it.

You want the Coros Heart Rate Monitor to be snug on your skin and not moving. Plus, you don’t want it bumping into anything. Otherwise, it will affect the accuracy. Finally, the light on the side shows whether it’s turned on.

Coros has mentioned that they plan to add a swim mode in the future. I am super intrigued if the product is already built for that or if they need to create a new product.

Coros Heart Rate Monitor (Optical Band) Review

About the Coros Heart Rate Monitor:

What is the Coros Heart Rate Monitor made out of? It uses Nylon, Polyester Fiber, and Spandex.

The Coros Heart Rate Monitor does not have ANT+. It is Bluetooth brilliant and can support three connections over Bluetooth Smart. According to Coros, the chipset they chose does not support ANT+. It’s unfortunate because most competitors do, but honestly, I haven’t had any issues. There also haven’t been any times I was like: wow, I wish this was ANT+.

Past that, there aren’t a ton of features to discuss. The Coros Heart Rate Monitor doesn’t have an on/off switch. Although I wish it did because it wastes a lot of battery. They claim it will register if it’s being used, but I’ve found it can take some time to realize it’s not being used. It gives you 38 total hours of battery. It only takes about 2 hours to charge, which is awesome fully. I honestly keep mine plugged in a good amount of time just because I know it will register it’s not being used that way.

Coros Heart Rate Monitor (Optical Band) Review

Coros mentions the heart rate monitor can fit arms from 7.09 to 12.6 inches.  This is a large window and should accommodate almost every arm. I chafed fairly badly the first time I wore it in the desert summer, so I recommend adding body glide. After that, I haven’t had any issues, and it’s been comfortable. I barely notice it’s there. If you are somewhere that is super hot, or you sweat a lot, you might have this issue.

The best spot to wear the heart rate monitor is for the optical heart rate sensors to be on the outside of your upper arm (your bicep). The goal is to avoid situations where your heart rate monitor bumps things (like your chest, side of the body), which is why wrist-based heart rate is usually inaccurate.

You want to make sure the optical sensor is snug and not being rubbed or touched by anything else. Finally, there is a small light that you can see if it’s been turned on.

It also states not to use the product in anything above 122 degrees. Good to know, but also not like I’m doing anything outdoors in 122 degrees.

Coros Heart Rate Monitor (Optical Band) Review

Coros Heart Rate Monitor Accuracy:

Is the Coros Heart Monitor accurate? 

The Heart Rate Monitor accuracy is what most people want to know. After all, why buy an extra strap if the wrist-based heart rate was accurate (LOL, it’s not)?

The Heart Rate Monitor is much more accurate than the wrist-based heart rate (even in the Coros Apex 2). I’ve found that any wrist-based heart rate generally locks onto my cadence. I know I’m not doing easy runs with a heart rate of 180 bpm. The Heart Rate Monitor did much better and was much more accurate.

The circular array of 5 sensors is used by many chest and bicep-based heart rate monitors (including Polar and Apple). Did you know optical heart rate sensors use light to measure blood flow in capillaries under the skin? The top of your wrist is a great spot for a watch, but it is hard to gather that information due to a lack of blood flow. Wearing a heart rate monitor on your arm allows more blood flow and more accurate data.

Coros says: their latest generation multi-channel optical sensor provides high signal quality. It is protected in a tough, scratch-resistant cover and will deliver reliable and accurate heart rate data for years.

Cost: $79

At $79, the heart rate monitor is cheaper or the same price as many other heart rate monitors. The selling point is that it has much better battery life but isn’t ANT+ capable. So it about evens out.

Coros Heart Rate Monitor (Optical Band) Review

Coros Heart Rate Monitor Conclusion:

The Heart Rate Monitor is a good start from Coros. It pairs up nicely and quickly. It’s no-frills and an easy option to use. I’ll be curious what the next update or model of this is. Maybe something with a button or ANT+ capable. Right now, it’s a good option compared to other brands like Polar, a cheaper option. Finally, it’s only available in the United States and will be available globally in September.

Who should buy the Coros Heart Rate Monitor? If you are looking for a more accurate heart rate reading than a wrist-based heart rate. You don’t need to use the Coros watch, which can connect with Garmin or Polar. Plus, it’s a great option if you don’t like a heart rate monitor across the chest.

Who should not buy the Coros Heart Rate Monitor? There hasn’t been a huge reason I’ve found not to buy it. Anyone using GPS watches could benefit from a more accurate heart rate reading. Although at what point are we running with enough *stuff*? Watches? Heart rate monitors? $300 shoes? LOL, and running is supposed to be a cheap sport.

Coros Heart Rate Monitor (Optical Band) Review

You can purchase the Coros Heart Rate Monitor and see more gear reviews here.

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Question for you: What is your favorite heart rate monitor?