John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Scosche Rhythm Heart rate monitor

My buddy Lance was looking for a cheap heart rate monitor and so I looked around and found this one on clearance. It is unique in that it goes on the arm rather than around the chest so I was thinking it might be more comfortable. So we both bought one. Now given you may just be a skimmer let me say up front DON’T BUY ONE OF THESE. Interestingly enough even Scosche say “**This Rhythm is currently our previous generation Heart rate monitor. We strongly recommend looking at our new and improved version, Rhythm+.” Odd.

The physicals of the device are fine. It comes with two different lengths of stretchy bands that can be removed and washed. It has a charging cradle that plugs into any USB. The clip that holds the device into the cradle is SUPER tight making it quite difficult to get back out. I do have to say the yellow color is positively ghastly IMHO. The unit itself is meant to be worn on the forearm but I found it worked fine on the bicep and for me was more comfortable there. It has three buttons. Two for music volume control and one for power on/off. There is an led on the unit. There is absolutely no documentation to tell you what the LED means. I put the device on and turned it on. Lots of silly flashing which I think means it is trying to find your pulse. Then once that settled down I could finally find the item on my bluetooth list. Bluetooth pairing of this device was finichy. Once paired it shows up as an odd device. The icon looks the same as my Sony Smartwatch? The HXM you see in the image is my Zephyr heart rate monitor.
So then I head over to the Playstore to grab their app and get greeted by a discontinue notice:
I load the app anyway get past a bunch of crashes and disconnects and run a hour long test and compare it to Endomondo connected to my Ant+ Chest strap heart rate monitor. Initially the heart rate the Scosche shows seems radically different than the one Endomondo shows. The Scosche does settle in and become similar to Endomondo but the Scosche also does not seem to react quickly to rapidly changing heart rates compared to Endomondo. Now I don’t know if this is the Rhytm app, the heart rate monitor itself, or even the nature of measuring the heart rate on the arm. The Rhythm app seems to give reasonable numbers compared to Endomondo. Here’s a one hour recording. The avg/calorie counts are all within reason. Max seems a little odd.
Then I decided to look at my favorite exercise apps RunGPS, Endomondo, Runtastic, MyTracks, none of them support the Scosche? So that would leave me to use their now discontinued app or buy yet another app such as iCardio that does support the heart rate monitor.

I did an accuracy test between the Scosche and a Zephyr chest strap monitor. It compared reasonably well with some anomalies.

So all in all I am underwhelmed with this HRM. I like the comfort of it. But I am VERY unimpressed with how Scosche have basically abandoned a product that is still be sold in the market, albeit on clearance. I originally saw the next generation of this device reviewed on DC Rainmaker which is what even brought this company on my radar. The next generation device has both bluetooth low power mode as well as Ant+ at the same time. Meaning you could feed multiple devices and multiple apps with one heart rate monitor.

June 27, 2014 - Posted by | Android

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