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Product Review – Soleus Pulse Heart Rate Monitor

I recently purchased the Soleus Pulse Heart Rate Monitor because I was looking for a reliable, entry-level heart rate monitor to use while running to help me improve my training. As a first time heart rate monitor user I was excited for this watch because with the sensor directly in the in the wrist band there would be no need for a chest strap to fuss with or ultimately misplace.

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As the product name would suggest, the primary benefit of the watch is to offer heart rate readings on your wrist. Heart rate monitors can be a useful tool to track and trend your fitness by telling you how hard your heart is working. It can also help you avoid making the common mistake of running too fast too often, which puts you at risk for injury and burnout. But beyond the heart rate monitor, the watch boasts many other features such as step counter, 3D accelerometer that can calculate your distance and pace, as well as a timer for interval runs and an easy to manage price point.

Typically the Soleus Pulse retails at $149. However, I purchased this watch from Backcountry because they were having a big sale marking the watch at a 65% discount. The other great thing about ordering from Backcountry during this sale was that they offered two day free shipping with orders over $50.

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Pros

It may seem frivolous but everyone enjoys a gift in appealing packaging. Soleus products are no different. The bright yellow and black box and beautiful ‘S’ design make the packaging a fun item to open. I was a little worried about charging the watch. I really didn’t want to add one more device to the crazy pile of wires plugged into my surge protector. However, the charging process for the watch was really very easy. The watch has a USB, prong charger. It ‘s an easy system to use if you have a computer or AC Adaptor handy. I used my Apple AC Adaptor that comes with the iPhone and it worked just fine to allow me to plug in Soleus charger. Pictures don’t seem to do the overall appearance of the watch justice. Once it arrived, I felt like it looked a bit more sturdy and sleek than in pictures. Also I do like the mottos they place on the back of the watches. Each model has a different motto.

Cons

I’ve seen others post about the ineffectiveness of the quick start instructions that come with the watch. I was no different and had to watch YouTube videos to understand the interface and basic functionality of the watch. I also found the watch uncomfortable. I am relatively small is size so the watch felt big and clunky on my wrist. Also in order to the get the heart rate monitor optical sensor to work properly the watch had to be pretty tight on my wrist. The sensor pressed against my wrist was scratchy and uncomfortable.

I took the watch for a test spin on the treadmill so that I could compare the heart rate monitor read out on the watch to that of the treadmill. Unfortunately, the watch was off by about 30 beats per minute the entire time. I wasn’t able to get an accurate reading on the watch the entire 30 minute run. The only time I got reading on the watch close to the treadmill reading was while walking.

I also tested the watch on a stationary bike. The heart rate monitor read on the watch was much more accurate while riding the bike. I attribute this to the lack of arm movement and providing the sensor with greater stability.

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Final Opinion

As a data geek, the Soleus Pulse Heart Rate Monitor is just not going to work for me. The inability to get an accurate reading while running was my biggest dislike. However, the price along with the long list of functionalities would make for a good watch for someone that just had a general curiosity of heart rate while engaging in activities such as hiking or biking. I’m going to return the Soleus Pulse and try a different Heart Rate Monitor.

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