Fitness Equipment, Fitness Tracking, Heart Health

Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor Review


There’s no doubt that concern for personal health and fitness is growing around the globe, and there are ever-growing ranges of products designed to meet with this interest. One such product is the Garmin premium heart rate monitor, which does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s not the cheapest heart rate monitor – as the name indicates – but Garmin are aiming this product at the upper-end of the market. So is it worth the asking price? Let’s take a look.

Key Specs For The Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor

Type of Device: Heart Rate Monitor
RRP: $39.99
Release Year: 2012
Size: 0.4 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches
Weight: 1.6 ounces
Wireless Internet Data Upload? Yes
Battery Life: 6-12 month

Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor: The Pros

Accurate Readings: The single most important thing for any heart rate monitor is obviously accuracy. If you can’t get reliable information on your heart rate, then the monitor is worthless and you can’t make appropriate training decisions.

The Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor certainly delivers on this front. Readings are incredibly accurate so whatever kind of activity you want to use the device for you’ll know what rate your heart is beating at.

For training enthusiasts, this is definitely on the money, but those who are just starting out and trying to improve their basic cardiovascular fitness will also benefit a lot from this device.

Comfortable To Wear: Another essential thing for any piece of equipment designed to be worn during workout is that it’s comfortable and unobtrusive. The Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor has been designed from the ground up with this in mind, and its soft strap is a big improvement over the older design. You won’t feel any discomfort while using this device.

Automatically Updates: Digital tracking devices like this heart rate monitor are about more than simply displaying a live feedback of your stats – they’re about recording your stats and compiling the data so that you can see changes and developments over time.

This heart rate monitor will automatically send the data that it’s recording to a paired device, which can then send it onward to a computer where the data is stored for your review.

Battery Life: A short battery life can be a very frustrating thing, whatever the product, but it’s even more of a nuisance if the device needs to be in constant use and when an unexpected battery failure could interrupt your data recording.

The Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor has an excellent battery life. It’ll last a long time, and although it’s not rechargeable the battery change is a simple process. You definitely won’t struggle with the difficulties a short battery life can give rise to when using this device.

Customer Service: This is an often overlooked aspect of a product, but serious buyers often swear by looking into customer service before buying a product. Poor customer service can mean all sorts of things, from delayed or absent responses, to a complete failure to deal with a problem, or expensive replacement fees.

Garmin’s customer service is known to be very good. They take their customer’s worries and complaints seriously, and stand by their products. They are willing to support a customer with any problems they might have to ensure that they get the best experience possible.

Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor: The Cons

Durability Issues: Although the Garmin is generally well-made, users have reported units failing in as little as one or two months. Garmin are a good company who stand by their products, so you are likely to be well treated by their customer services if you do face a problem, but it’s still not really acceptable to have a new item lasting only a handful of weeks.

Requires A Compatible Device For Up-To-Date Readings: The Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor is great, but it really needs a compatible device for you to get readings out of it. Having the device on its own is a bit limited. It works best when used with another device such as the Garmin Forerunner 405 GPS watch which receives data from the heart rate monitor and then sends it to a computer for later review.

Erroneous Readings: One of the biggest stumbling blocks for the Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor is the complaints of erroneous readings which start to become an issue after a few weeks of use. The most commonly reported issue is with readings that are far higher than they should be (in excess of 200 beats per minute – a life threatening rate for most people!). The issue is not a battery one, but seems related to the sensors, and may be worsened by static.

Is The Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor Worth Buying?

Overall, this is a good, if somewhat limited, heart rate monitor. Cheaper alternatives are available, but are likely to be less comfortable to wear or less accurate. Of course, the Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor suffers from its own accuracy issues, but this is a problem only for some, not all, of the units. You could do a lot worse than this heart rate monitor, but just be aware of the possible problems.