TechRadar

13 affordable heart rate monitors: how to track your beats per minute on a budget

Update: There are more heart rate monitors to choose from than ever, so we've added six new affordable entries to this list. It's also TechRadar's Fitness Week where we talk you through the tech you need to keep improving your health.

How fast the old ticker beats is a great indicator of how healthy you are, especially when you're resting. In fact, there's plenty of evidence to show that general good health is associated with a low resting heart rate (HR), which is why HR tracking is fast becoming the gold standard for fitness wearables. And consumers are currently spoiled for choice.

The advantage of HR-based activity monitors is that they help you incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine, which has the knock-on effect of lowering your resting heart rate over time.

Keep reading to discover which wearables offer the best way to stay motivated and achieve your HR goal in quick-fast time.

Note: we've ranked these from cheapest to most expensive according to prices at time of writing.

Decent heart rate tracking technology doesn't have to be pricey, as evidenced by Letsfit's compact offering, which somehow manages to pack in the full gamut of now-typical tracker features.

The soft rubber strap has a stud that fastens securely through the molded holes, while the tracker itself can be removed from the band for easy charging via the hidden USB port. You can swipe on the OLED touchscreen to view and select the various functions, like real-time heart rate monitoring, pedometer, calories burned, time and date, and discreet push notifications.

The band also does sleep quality monitoring and offers a remote control function for your iPhone's camera, which is a neat touch at this price. Add to that the seven-day battery, and the LetsFit really exceeds expectations.

Withings may have been rebranded Nokia recently, but some of its earlier products can still be found online at knockdown prices, like this casual-wear Withings Pulse Ox tracker with heart rate and blood oxygen level sensors.

Steps, elevation, distance, running, calories burned, and sleep quality are all metrics recorded by this device, which can be worn on the wrist using the adjustable band or affixed to the waist or pocket with the supplied clip.

Unfortunately, the heart rate and blood oxygen level readings aren't continually taken when you're wearing the Pulse – you have to take it off and place your finger purposefully on the sensor located on the rear of the device. It isn't waterproof either, so be sure to take it off before you step into the shower.

Smartphone maker Huawei has a habit of packing in lots of tech at an affordable price, and that certainly extends to its Band 2 Pro wrist-based wearable.

The band offers accurate GPS and HR tracking on top of the usual metrics, and even utilizes the heart rate sensors to serve up a comprehensive sleep quality readout when you wake up.

Unlike some budget trackers, the Band 2 Pro even packs in a touchscreen display, offering you an at-a-glance view of your running routes and distance covered. Granted it looks a bit dim in sunlight, and you can't replace the strap with anything snazzier, but at this price, it's hard to complain.

Wahoo Tickr X

Despite the marketing spiel of wrist-based heart-rate monitors, nothing beats a HRM chest strap for accuracy, especially if your training regime involves irregular movement (think HIIT workouts involving various exercises in quick succession).

The Tickr X meets these challenges and then some – offering motion analytics and real-time data through its wide compatibility with fitness apps like Nike+ Running and MapMyFitness.

The Bluetooth waterproof tracker on the strap is a plastic pebble that houses a battery which lasts around 12 months, and features vibration alerts and two LEDs to display wireless connection and HR detection.

The strap also tracks calories burned as well as running analytics including cadence and ground contact time that can be synced after your workout. On first wear it feels weird, but it’s so light that after a few minutes you don’t even notice it. Reasonably priced, discreet, insightful – what’s not to like?

Jabra Sport Pulse

The Jabra Sport Pulse headphones track your heart-rate from inside your ear, because science! Basically, the HRM and oxygen consumption tech is packed into the left earbud, where a light sensor reads off the small blood vessels close to the skin surface in your lug and sends it to the Jabra mobile app.

Behind the right bud meanwhile is a USB charging port, with a single charge providing 4.5 to 5 hours' use – not great, but not terrible considering the tech it's powering.

The short cord on these wireless Bluetooth buds sits comfortably behind your neck, and the included clip keeps it raised to prevent it from swinging, while the conveniently placed inline remote offers volume and music playback controls.

Audio-wise, the buds pipe through the soundtrack to your run with punchy clarity, and their noise isolation is pretty decent too.

You've probably heard of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It's taken the fitness world by storm, and for good reason. HIIT is scientifically proven to burn more fat in less time than the average gym session, but it demands all-out effort via a series of quick and intense bursts to keep your heart rate up.

That philosophy is central to Moov – an AI-powered training app that coaches you in real-time through HIIT workouts as your heart-rate is recorded via the company's super-accurate Moov HR Burn chest band or HR Sweat headband, both of which connect via Bluetooth.

The HR Sweat is comfy during wear (the strap is adjustable) and easy to pair with the mobile app, which offers a great selection of bodyweight exercise circuits with video demonstrations, as well as indoor/outdoor cycling and running sessions with options for Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Custom.

Mio Fuse

Mio was one of the first brands to offer wrist-based HRM and has an impressive track record when it comes to heart monitor accuracy. That reputation continues with the Mio Fuse, which might not be pretty, but offers comfort and security in spades, especially once you've got a sweat on.

The LED screen lies behind a loop of black silicone and displays your stats when tapped. A press-and-hold starts activity tracking, and the LEDs can also show time, goal percentage, steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned.

The band can track sleep too, and gives you a resting heart-rate reading when you wake. Apart from all-day activity you can record specific workouts for detailed stats, but there's no categories to work from. Still, that's the attraction with the Fuse – it keeps things simple and does what it does well.

Polar A360

The waterproof Polar A360 is a comfy silicone band with an oblong watch face and a big old touchscreen LCD. The A360 measures heart rate during specific exercises as well as on demand, and offers typical activity stats like step count, distance travelled and calories burned, alongside the progress to your pre-specified goal.

Stats and times are displayed boldly across the screen, especially the pulse changes across heart rate zones, and notifications can be routed from your phone with a discreet vibration of the band.

A micro USB port sits under the band beneath a flap that's a faff when it comes to charge, but once you've worn the A360 and gazed at that screen, you'll be eager to wear it again as soon as possible.

Garmin Vivosmart

The chunky yet sleek Vivosmart HR has a five-day battery life and shares the same heart rate monitor tech as the company's flagship Forerunner 235, offering all-day HR tracking, resting rate, and workout presets via its touchscreen LCD, which shows the time, all the time, making it a decent watch replacement, too.

The band also supports phone-forwarded notifications, delivering a buzz as it shows the message on the screen.

The Vivosmart packs an altimeter to track stairs climbed, and gives you distance in steps as well as a record of your sleep patterns. It also makes a point of letting you know how sedentary you are, tracking your stillness by negatively affecting your motion stat – a smart way of keeping you challenged and moving.

All your analytics can be viewed in the accompanying Garmin Connect app, whose options and graphs are legion. If you like your metrics broken down and delivered to your brain in every possible way, look no further than the Garmin app. Just be ready to learn the mental gymnastics.

It's clear from the off that the TomTom Spark targets runners, cyclists and gym enthusiasts who prefer to leave their phones at home. Aside from built-in GPS and heart rate monitoring, this rubbery addition to your wrist also offers built-in music playback and support for Bluetooth headphones.

Odd as it may seem at first, the Spark doesn't use a touchscreen and all control is done by a four-way button under the display. That sounds awful in theory, but in practice it's a refreshingly simple way to get to the functions and stats you want while you’re on the move, thanks to the well-designed menus on the monochrome display.

The TomTom app tracks running, cycling, swimming, treadmill, gym workouts, indoor cycling (with a cadence sensor) and open training, while the device provides five hours' worth of GPS tracking along with five days of battery life on one charge. The design won't be for everyone, but in terms of accuracy, the Spark lives up to its promise.

LifeTrak Zone

The comfy R420 band is another HRM wearable that doesn't try too hard to do everything, and lives up to its straightforward promises running off a replaceable watch battery – a rarity for heart trackers.

Heart-rate accuracy is on par with the big hitters on the market, although it needs to be paired with a Bluetooth chest strap to show a continuous reading.

On its own, you can place your middle finger on the crown for an immediate recording, and set your activity goals and clock options using the smaller buttons either side.

Readings for sleep, calorie count and distance covered don't seem out of kilter with the competition, plus the included app is well presented and simple to use. If you're comfortable operating a retro Casio watch, this one's a no brainer.

In many ways, Fitbit defined the HR wearable category and has been refining its line-up ever since.

The Fitbit Alta HR is the resolutely minimalist offering in the company's range, and while it lacks some of the features of modern smartwatches, its super slim design means it's easy to fit into your style for all-day wear.

On top of real-time HR tracking, its sleek array of discreet sensors will record how many steps you take, how far you walk, the number of calories you burn, and the time you spend active, with all of this data synced to the excellent Fitbit app.

The band can even buzz you with phone notifications that show up on the OLED strip display.

Spree SmartCap

Three parts make up the Spree. The cap houses a headband and inside that sits a small monitor which sits on the middle of your head. (You can wear the band on its own, but it's going to turn heads for all the wrong reasons.)

The included app uses your phone's GPS to track distance and map routes. In fact, the in-app stats are pretty detailed and offer a handful of training regimes to test yourself against.

Body temperature is also added to the analytics, which Spree claims makes for a more precise calorie count since the monitor knows when you're warmed up and if you're properly hydrated.

As long as you don't mess with the cap's placement, its HRM accuracy is fine. But if you're a fidgeter by nature and crave tracking consistency, you might want to pass this one up.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/affordable-heart-rate-monitors

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Flipkart Republic Day Sale 2018: Best deals and offers on laptops

Flipkart is hosting a Republic Day Sale and is offering some good deals on notebooks. The sale began on Monday and will go on till January 23. Below we have covered some of the best deals on laptops.

Flipkart is also offering attractive no-cost EMIs on all various products across its catalogue.

Best deals on laptops

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/flipkart-republic-day-sale-2018-best-deals-and-offers-on-laptops

The best iPhone 6 deals in January 2018

It may be three years old (doesn't time fly!) and attention is now much more focused on the new iPhone X, but the iPhone 6 is an excellent alternative to costly iPhone 8 deals. So if your contract is up, you're ready to upgrade, want an Apple handset but also want to keep your spending down, then the iPhone 6 is well worth a look.

And you need look no further, because we've done all the research for you! We've rounded up the UK's best contract deals for Apple's iPhone 6. The good news is that the price of the iPhone 6 has fallen through the floor. Now with plenty of deals under £20 a month, there's never been a better time to pick up this still-fantastic phone.

With the deals you can grab in our comparison chart below, you can fill your boots with unlimited texts and minutes, as well as a healthy slug of data. Buy buy BUY!

More options: iPhone 6 unlocked / SIM-free | iPhone 7 deals | iPhone 6S deals | iPhone 6 Plus deals | iPhone deals | Best mobile phone deals

iphone 6 deals

iphone 6 the best deal

The UK's top 5 best iPhone 6 deals

It may be three years old, but the iPhone 6 has aged admirably. And the mature age also means the prices are fantastic. We've sorted through the finest iPhone 6 deals from EE, O2, Vodafone and Three to narrow down the best five plans available today.

iphone 6 deals

iphone 6 deals

Unlike more recent entries in the iPhone ouevre, Apple made a genuine leap forward from the iPhone 5S with its successor. The iPhone 6 remains one of the best phones Apple has ever created or, indeed, ever created by any manufacturer. At the time of release, its faster CPU, better graphics and slicker interface really made it seem worth the high price – so now it's a bonafide bargain!

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/the-best-iphone-6-deals-1265931

Save 12% at Dell: flash sale offers great laptop deals on Dell XPS 13 and more

We love voucher codes, especially when they smash huge chunks of money of the finest laptops in the world. Regular readers will know the Dell XPS 13 range has sat atop our list of the best laptops for some time now, but such high quality comes at a high cost.

If you have been waiting for a Dell XPS 13 deal though, today's the time to strike as you can save a rather lovely 12% over at the Dell Sale event with the SAVE12UK voucher code to be entered at checkout – even on top of some already-discounted models.

You'll have to be quick though as the voucher code expires on January 24, or as long as stock lasts. The XPS models are just the tip of the cool deals iceberg today though as Dell has unleashed the 12% off code on a huge number of laptop and desktop models priced over £799, with a line of Inspiron models in particularly catching our eye. 

If you're looking for something much cheaper, we actually have a whole page dedicated to the very latest cheap laptop deals, with prices this week starting as low as £145. Dell has also discounted some of its cheaper laptops too as mentioned below.

Our favourite deals in the Dell laptop sale:

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/save-12-at-dell-flash-sale-offers-great-laptop-deals-on-dell-xps-13-and-more

The best iPhone 6S deals in January 2018

It doesn't take a genius to work out why you've landed on this page, dear reader. You fancy a new iPhone, but the prices you've seen for the iPhone 8 have given you a fright and got you searching around for something a little cheaper. Grabbing an iPhone 6S deal is the obvious solution.

For a while that was only half true, after iPhone 7 deals took a massive price tumble and pulled the rug from under the best 6S prices. But we've just seen the first sub-£20 a month tariff on Apple's 2015 flagship phone once again making it a great budget option if you don't want to spend the earth on your new iPhone.

If you want more than the minimum of data, then check out our comparison chart below, or head straight down to our pick of the best tariffs on the web.

The 6S may not be the newest (or best) iPhone any longer, but it still features all of the excellence of one of Apple's best-selling phones – the iPhone 6 – with added features like improved battery life and 3D touch, where you can press a bit harder on the screen to get a different response.

See also: iPhone 8 deals | iPhone 7 deals | iPhone deals | iPhone SE deals | Best mobile phone deals | iPhone 6S review

iphone 6S deals

iphone 6s deals

The top 5 best iPhone 6S deals in the UK this month:

We've gone all Top of the Pops to show you our favourite five iPhone 6S deals on the market right now – we'll give you a clue…they're much cheaper than the iPhone X! Read about all of the best iPhone 6S deals here, including tariffs on EE, O2, Vodafone and Three.

iphone 6S deals

It may be very similar to its predecessor, but there's no denying that the iPhone 6s makes a fantastic alternative to the much more pricey iPhone 7.  3D Touch is a genuine innovation, and the phone works fluidly at nearly every task. Simply splendid.

Read TechRadar's full iPhone 6S review

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/iphone-6s-deals-1304297

Buzzcom Telecom offers fast access to rural firms

Rural businesses stuck with slow connections are being offered a lifeline.

 British company, buzzbox Telecom, has developed a 4G business-grade dongle that offers connectivity for up to 10 devices. The system offers a choice of O2 or Vodafone to connect users through the company’s wi-fi network. The cost of the service is £20 per month with no long-term contract and a one-off set up fee of £29.

Access to fast broadband remains a problem for many rural companies. According to Ofcom’s State of Nations report, last December,  about 17% of rural premises are not receiving a viable broadband connection,  This compares to just 2% in urban areas.

Development

Stuart Spice, founder and director of buzzbox Telecom, comments: “I know first-hand how important it is to have a good broadband connection for your business. Access to high speed broadband is not only important for keeping up with news and information, communication with your friends and family but most importantly for the growth and development of a business.

He added that the company had signed up a customer for the dongle already: a car showroom owner in Surrey. “Unable to receive reliable broadband from his previous provider because of his rural location; he switched to using our dongle and is now free of any complications when using WIFI.”

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/buzzcom-telecom-offers-fast-access-to-rural-firms

The best iPhone SE deals in January 2018

It finally seems to have happened. iPhone SE deal prices may finally have bottomed out. After the fanfare that met Apple's 2016 launch of a budget handset, iPhone SE prices have fallen steadily since. But after a few months of plateaued contract plans, we reckon that the SE is now as cheap as it ever will be.

There are are now plenty of tariffs going for less than £20 per month, which includes the 128GB model. Plus, thanks to some epic cashback offers on varying networks, you can now get the iPhone SE for as little as an effective £14 per month. That's exceptional value.

The tech world rejoiced when the iPhone SE was released. Finally a new Apple phone that doesn't require you to remortgage your house – unlike the iPhone X! It looks and feels exactly the same as the iPhone 5S. But instead of sporting two-year-old hardware it's fully up to date, with a super-fast CPU and graphics, and the 12MP iSight camera straight out of the iPhone 6S.

If cheap iPhone SE deals are what you seek, then you've definitely come to the right place. Use TechRadar's comparison chart to easily find the ideal plan, or scroll down further to find our pick of the best SE deals on the market.

More options: iPhone 8 deals | iPhone 7 deals | iPhone 6S deals | iPhone deals | Best mobile phone deals | iPhone SE review

Top 5 best iPhone SE deals across all UK networks:

Lower down the page you'll be able to read about all of the best iPhone SE deals on a model-by-model and network-by-network basis. But first of all here are the best deals so you can instantly see what the best offers are from O2, Three and Vodafone, with EE deals currently leading the pack.

Launched back in March 2016, the 'Special Edition' iPhone SE was a rare example of Apple dropping its entry-level price to allow bargain-hunters a piece of the iPhone pie. It reduced the screen size from the iPhone 6, but kitted it out with the same camera as the iPhone 6S. In short, it's a premium smartphone with a lower price tag – and we like that!

Read TechRadar's full iPhone SE review

Now let's break down the best iPhone SE deals by network…

Best iPhone SE deals on EE

Best iPhone SE deals on O2

Best iPhone SE deals on Vodafone

Best iPhone SE deals on Three

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/iphone-se-deals-1317744