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Side-by-side: Jarv Run BT v. MIO Link
Note: This is not a review of these heart rate monitors as such but rather a look at how they perform side-by-side. You can find a thorough review of the MIO Link here and of the Jarv here.
Last night, I had the pleasure of joining Katie, the force behind Run.com's Greater Boston Running Company - Newton, on her Tuesday evening group run. Needless to say it was freezing (-2 C/28 F) so we decided on a hilly 4-miler to get our hearts pumping. Perfect for a heart rate monitor side-by-side and so I set off with the MIO Link on my wrist and the Jarv Run BT strapped to my chest (and 2 Nokia Lumia 630 in my pocket for those interested).
Let me give you a little more information on both monitors before we dive into the side-by-side. Both MIO Global and Jarv were kind enough to provide us with samples of their monitors for testing and to verify compatibility with Track Runner v. 4.0. Jarv recently released the first chest strap heart rate monitor geared directly at us Windows Phone users: Jarv Run BT Windows Phone Edition. The Jarv Run BT has an attractive price point at around $36 USD but for those of you who do not like the feeling of chest straps, the MIO Link or MIO Alpha (though more pricey starting at $92 USD and $ 174 USD respectively) are real alternatives. Kudos have to go to the MIO Global team for being the first monitor to pretty much nail measuring heart rate almost continuously on the wrist during running. It's no easy feat and impressive for a Kickstarter project.
Yesterday, I used the MIO Link rather than the Alpha (I've noticed I am using the Link much more than the Alpha as it's lighter and thinner and because I don't personally consult the Alpha during a run all that much) but both are verified to function with Track Runner v. 4.0 (WP 8.1 + Cyan required).
Setting up both heart rate monitors with Track Runner was a breeze. Since I am switching monitors a lot when running/testing I just had to make sure to have the monitor marked as default heart rate monitor so the app wouldn’t search for a different device.
So, let’s look at some screen shots to highlight how the monitors behaved (small caveat: I accidentally started the phone connected to the Jarv about half a minute into my run, hence the slight differences in data).
|Jarv Run BT||MIO Link|
|As you can see, the MIO Link shows most of my first|
definitely at odds with what it felt like as I sped up
enough on the wrist. After adjusting the wrist band
matched right up with the Jarv. Both CardioMaps
the Link has a slight lag in picking up/transferring
Jarv picked up a couple of very small changes in hr
Beacon St) but nothing major.
|kilometer as recovery/light heart rate zone. This was |
the hill. It turned out I wasn’t wearing the Link snuggly
you can see how it jumped right to speed hr zone. This
look surprisingly similar. In testing, we had a feeling
data and if you have a very close look you see how the
zone that the Link didn’t map out (see f.i. after k2 on
|Looking at the data summary (and keeping in mind|
registered the heart rate peak at roughly the same
course, the faulty beginning for the Link massively
detailed comparison split-by-split further down.
|the false start of the Jarv phone) both monitors |
time. Accuracy is within 1 bpm so not too bad. Of
influenced the average heart rate. You can see a more
|As for the hr graph (in gray): it does seem as if the|
Jarv measured lower dips in heart rate likely due
(for more information on how MIO actually does it
|Jarv picked up changes in hr more immediately. The |
to the small latency of measuring heart rate on the wrist
have a look here).
|Finally, the split-by-split comparison of my average|
phone (Jarv) and monitor strapping issue (Link) the
|heart rate. Ignoring the botched start both in terms of|
data seems not too far off.
I tend to use the Link a lot because I bundle up for a cold November run and then realize I forgot to put on the chest strap. Wearing the heart rate monitor on the wrist is very convenient and it feels much like a watch. The Link is quite light, has a secure strap that has never opened for me during a run and is very easy to adjust. You do have to wear it quite tightly, almost to the point of slight discomfort though if you don’t want a glitch like my start to happen. After the run, it looks something like this although it wears off soon enough: