Blu Beets Smart Cardio Monitor review. V2.
Firstly, about that featured image for this post -*ahem* its somewhat relevant, but was a blatant attempt at me getting you to click the article link – so if you’re reading this, it worked & I won’t apologise. If you’re offended by big boobies, well…sorry about that.
A while ago I reviewed the Beets Blu Heart Rate monitor, you can read about that here. Thanks to the PR work Becca’s doing, we got the new iteration of the product from Beets Blu last week and I’ve been trying it out, as part of my fitness schedule.
From a design perspective, there’s slight tweaks to the Bluetooth module, its slightly smaller and better looking with new livery on the front. The key design change is the much more enhanced strap which corrects some design faults on the last model. The issue I had with the strap on the old model was that the strap was strapped round your chest and fastened by two stud push pins. These were weak.
Moisture, sweat and general inherent reliability of press studs meant whenever your chest expanded (say through heavy breathing or adjustment), often it would pop off – a bit like a bra pinging away. This has been addressed by making the strap one piece with the press studs on the outside and only link the Bluetooth module to the strap. The strap now uses a much more reliable hook-on loop which is 100% reliable.
The second issue was the bunching of the strap on the old model, caused by t00 much fabric going through the little length adjuster meant it was quite uncomfortable. Again this has been addressed on the much newer strap.
Connecting it with an App
I moved over to using Endomondo, as opposed to Runtastic (see below) with the pairing process itself being similar in all apps. Simply go into the menu and find where you pair accessories, and select ‘Smart Bluetooth device’ and it’ll appear as a connected device and instantly start reading your HR. What’s great about this new model is it starts working straight away as soon as it’s strapped to your chest and goes to sleep when you take it off.
So with the device connected and doing my run, I can analyse my run afterwards and pay attention to where I was in the fat burning zones I try & stay in. It’s a really useful metric.
Both the things above make getting the newer model worthwhile. Connectivity is good, although I’m still staggered it works with pretty much every health & fitness app other than Runtastic. I know Runtastic have a closed API meaning they don’t play well with 3rd parties, so this is more Runtastic’s fault than Beets Blu.
Is it accurate?
I’m no expert and the test I did certainly was not scientific in the least, but comparing it’s output with a medical grade heart rate & blood pressure monitor, beat for beat it gave the same readings (within about 1%) so I was happy to rely on the data it was providing.
What’s with the missing images guys?
My comment on the website still remains. The Beets Blu website looks like an afterthought – with missing images and a really clunky UX, it makes the product feel cheaper than it actually is.
Overall a great product though – they’ve listened to customer feedback and corrected some issue but still need to sort that website out.
Using Heart Rate Monitors
Some great articles here on the benefits and disadvantages of using Heart Rate training.