When Samsung announced the Galaxy S V, the focus this time was on health and how Samsung would gel it’s consumers to live a healthier lifestyle. Call it a gimmick or otherwise, the heart rate monitor on the back of the device right next to the LED flash is a first for the mobile smartphone industry. We can see the usefulness of the heart rate monitor especially if you like to take your smartphone to the gym for a workout with you.
However, did Samsung really need to add an extra sensor to the device given there exist apps in the Play Store that do a very decent and accurate job of monitoring your heart beat. One such app is Heart Rate by Runtastic, let’s look at the app in detail:
Availability and working of the app
The application has a lite version that is available for free in the Google Play Store while there is also a paid version of the application for Rs 100 which basically allows you to take more than three readings in a day and sends you timely reminder to check your heart beat rate. However, for all practical purposes, we found that the Lite version works pretty well and is more than sufficient.
Play Store: You can download the free version of the application from here
The application works by concentrating light beams on your skin which is lit by triggering the flash. Using the inbuilt algorithms which read the beats of the heart given the skin becomes partially transparent, the application is able to give a very accurate reading of your heart beat. And having tested the app personally against a standalone heart rate monitor, we can vouch for the accuracy.
Using the application is super simple, you just have to press the centre circle to start in the app and place your index finger on top of your Camera and LED sensor which will automatically light up. Half way through the 5 second test, you will start seeing live readings of your heart beat and soon the results will appear.
What does the App Bring?
The app obviously monitors the HBPM or the heart beats per minute but apart from that brings some really nifty features to the table. It brings the ability to share your HBPM to their website at (https://www.runtastic.com/) where you can store as well as analyse the entire data. You also get a nice history graph which allows you to have a comparative analysis of your most recent results so that you know how you are performing on a day to day basis.
Once you are done taking your test, you can also set the situation in which you took test which could be post a cardio workout, post a run or just general. You can also set your mood how it was, so you know how differently your heart beats when say you are sad or happy. This is pretty useful feature as well. You also have the ability to share the result of the test directly to social networks such as Twitter. So, not just a Heart Rate Monitor, the application is a proper record keeper for your heart beats.
What does the app lack?
The only thing we could point out in the app that we would have liked would be an option of a dark theme. Often when you check the HBPM after running early in the morning or late at the night, the white background really hurts your eye. Apart from that, the application is really well made. The UI is very much in sync with the whole Holo or minimalistic design and there were no app crashing in our time with the app. Needless to say, we whole heartedly recommend the app, and hey, who knows, it just may save you thousands of dollars if you were going to pick the GS V just for that heart monitor.