How to Check Heart Rate on Android and iPhone.
The market is flooded with cheap fitness trackers (some good, some bad), smartwatches, and other equipment that offers a variety of lifestyle features like step tracking, calorie counters, sedentary reminders, and heart rate monitoring. Using additional technology to measure something when your smartphones are already well equipped for that seems overkill to me. In this post, let’s see how to measure heart rate on Android and iPhone.
How do heart rate sensors measure pulse?
If you try to cover the flashlight with your palm, you will see a red glow effect. This is because some of the light can pass through your skin. Heart rate sensors on smart devices and fitness trackers use this kind of lighting. It shines bright light on your skin so that it penetrates your skin and is reflected by the blood flowing through it. The sensor captures the image and processes it to calculate the heart rate.
Read: Disable Heart Rate Monitor on Apple Watch, Galaxy Watch and Mi Band
The developers are a creative group, and when they realized that smartphones have decent specs and processing power to calculate algorithms, they developed an app that simply uses the flash and camera sensor to calculate the heart rate. At first I thought it was just a gimmick, but while testing it at the same time with smartwatches and fitness trackers, I found these apps work just as well.
Heart rate monitoring app for Android
There are many apps on the Play Store that will give you good enough results that I would venture to say that most apps are just fine, not special. The only key difference is the additional capabilities and a slight change in heart rate calculation.
Accurate Heart Rate Monitor is a minimalistic app that allows you to measure your heart rate using a camera and smartphone flash. The app can support Google Fit and sends your stats to the app for in-depth analysis. The app isn’t as fast as fitness trackers, but it gives consistent results. However, you can change the measurement time in the settings, but this can lead to incompatible results.
To measure your heart rate using the app, install and share your camera so that it can turn on the flashlight and record an image. The app supports the camera in the app and automatically starts measuring as soon as you put your finger on the camera sensor. Just be sure to place your finger directly over the camera sensor and flash for accurate results.
I really like the idea behind this function and you don’t have to press any button to manually start recording. You can mark each pulse and save it as statistics in the app, or ignore it to delete the value. You can also check history to see performance. It shows the minimum, maximum and average heart rate, as well as a weekly graph that will give you enough data for in-depth analysis. The app also allows you to export data as a CSV file, which is an added bonus.
Measuring Heart Rate with Accurate Heart Rate Monitor (Android)
IOS heart rate monitoring app
IOS may have hardware limitations, but apps are just as good as Android apps, if not more. Apple has its own smartwatch with a heart rate monitor. While you can always buy an Apple Watch, if you have an iPhone with a flash, the app will do the trick.
Instant Heart Rate: The heart rate monitor works the same as the Android app and calculates your heart rate by shining a light through your finger. It asks you to create an account before you can take measurements so you can either create an account or log in using your existing social media accounts.
After setting, simply press the measurement button at the bottom to start measuring your heart rate Place your finger on the camera and make sure you cover the sensor and flash for maximum accuracy.
Must Read: Best Heart Rate Monitors for Apple Watch
The app measures your heart rate quickly and usually shows your heart rate in less than ten seconds. Accuracy depends on several external factors such as how still you are while measuring, how covered the sensor is, etc.
Read: Apple Watch vs Galaxy Watch: In-depth Comparison
The app offers many features besides heart rate measurement. The app logs all measurements in the app, which you can check in the Insights tab. Create a report that includes PPG charts, which can come in handy if you are visiting a doctor. You will have to pay for these additional features with a $ 30 / year subscription plan. If you just want to measure your heart rate from time to time and keep using the free version, it won’t give you any problems, just ads.
Pulse measurement with an instant heart rate monitor (Android | iOS)
Comparison between apps and a smart watch
I can’t vouch for any of these apps without testing, so I compared the values to a real smartwatch. Devices can detect heart rate using real monitoring equipment. So, I ran this test in which I wore an Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch on each hand. In terms of apps, I put each index finger on the camera and flash of Android phone and iPhone. Here are the results.
|Device||Galaxy Watch||Apple Watch||iPhone Xs Max||Samsung Note 9|
|HR at rest||76||76||75||77|
Read: Best Galaxy Watch Apps
Check heart rate on Android and iPhone
These were two of the best apps I’ve tested for measuring heart rate using a smartphone. While the results are fairly consistent with a small margin of error, I must also warn you about the high intensity of these flares. The flash on modern smartphones is very bright and can cause discomfort and also jeopardize the LED flash if used for a long time. The reading may fluctuate if you place your finger incorrectly or move it while measuring your heart rate. You should take into account that these applications are suitable for general use and should not be replaced by an actual medical examination. What do you use and how do these apps help you? Let me know in the comments below.