The Coros Heart Rate Monitor is cheap and easy to use, the perfect combination

What's not to like?

Coros Heart Rate monitor
(Image: © Mike Sawh)

iMore Verdict

The Coros Heart Rate monitor is a comfortable armband-style monitor that can offer accurate data across different workouts and is ideal if you don’t like wearing a chest strap monitor.

Pros

  • +

    Armband material sits snugly and securely

  • +

    Offers strong accuracy for HIIT workouts

  • +

    Good battery life

Cons

  • -

    Doesn’t include onboard storage

  • -

    Isn’t the most feature-packed armband monitor available

You can always trust iMore. Our team of Apple experts have years of experience testing all kinds of tech and gadgets, so you can be sure our recommendations and criticisms are accurate and helpful. Find out more about how we test.

The Coros Heart Rate Monitor is the sports watch brand’s first attempt to branch out and make its own heart rate monitor. It’s opted to move that monitoring to the arm (specifically the bicep), for those who find chest straps uncomfortable to wear, but still want a level of accuracy that outperforms tracking heart rate from the wrist. It uses Bluetooth to connect to your Apple smartwatch and has a built-in battery, which will cover plenty of workout time before you need to grab a charger. 

Coros Heart Rate Monitor: Price and availability

Coros Heart Rate monitor

(Image credit: Mike Sawh)

Coros launched its heart rate monitor armband in July 2023 priced at $79/£69, making it a cheaper buy than other armband monitors like the Polar Verity Sense ($99.95/£86.50). It is more expensive than the Wahoo Tickr Fit, however, which is available currently for $79.99/ £64.99. 

Coros Heart Rate Monitor: Specs and features

Coros Heart Rate monitor

(Image credit: Mike Sawh)

Unlike chest straps the Coros heart rate monitor uses similar optical sensor technology used on smartwatches and sports watches to track your heart rate on the move. It uses a 5-LED optical sensor and four photodetectors to ensure it can generate reliable readings from your arm where there’s greater blood flow volume compared to the wrist, all while placing the sensor a little closer to your heart. It only includes Bluetooth connectivity, which from an Apple point of view is fine as this is the way you’ll pair an Apple Watch to it. That connectivity support also allows you to connect up to three Bluetooth-equipped devices at the same time just in case you want to share data to multiple bits of connected kit. 

Coros Heart Rate Monitor: Build and Performance

Coros Heart Rate monitor

(Image credit: Mike Sawh)

Comfort is key here and Coros offers a strap that’s made from a mix of nylon, polyester and spandex, so you have something that’s flexible but also sits softly against the skin so it doesn’t irritate when it’s on. It’s also a monitor that’s waterproof up to 30 meters, to give it strong durability against moisture, all while offering a sensor case that’s made to be resistant to scratches. Coros doesn’t claim a level of accuracy with its armband, though we found that it performed well in our Fitness Plus workouts, particularly for HIIT-style workouts where optical sensors on watches generally falter. The battery performance is solid too, though it’s disappointing to find it uses a proprietary charging cable to power it back up. 

Coros Heart Rate Monitor: Competition

Polar H9 and strap

(Image credit: Mike Sawh)

There are two main rivals to the Coros heart rate monitor, which we’ve already mentioned. The Polar Verity Sense is the first, which is a smaller device albeit a pricier monitor and does offer ANT+ connectivity and onboard storage. The Wahoo Tickr includes two band sizes, though it promises less battery life than Coros’ monitor. There’s also the Scosche Rhythm 24, which includes a heart rate zone indicator, onboard memory and as well as Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity options. 

Coros Heart Rate Monitor: Should you buy it?

You should buy it if...

 

  • You want good heart rate accuracy but hate wearing chest straps
  • You want a really comfortable, secure heart rate monitor 
  • You want a heart rate monitor that can connect to multiple devices at the same time

You shouldn’t buy it if…

 

  • You want the option of Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity
  • You like the idea of being able to store workout data on your heart rate monitor

Coros Heart Rate Monitor: Verdict

While the Coros Heart Rate Monitor isn’t the first heart rate monitor to deliver more reliable exercise heart rate data away from the chest and wrist, it’s one of the easiest to use, offers a design that’s easy to put on, and can withstand the rigors of a tough workout and delivers great accuracy even for high-intensity workouts. Yes, it doesn’t have the ANT+ connectivity that other armband monitors offer, but that’s not a major issue if you’re planning to use it mainly with Fitness Plus and other apps that will typically use Bluetooth to pair monitors to your iPhone or Watch. 

Michael Sawh

Michael is a freelance journalist who has covered consumer technology for over a decade and specializes in wearable and fitness tech. Previously editor of Wareable, he also co-ran the features and reviews sections of T3, and has a long list of bylines in the world of consumer tech sites.


With a focus on fitness trackers, headphones, running wearables, phones, and tablet, he has written for numerous publications including Wired UK, GQ, Men's Fitness, BBC Science Focus, Metro and Stuff, and has appeared on the BBC Travel Show. Michael is a keen swimmer, a runner with a number of marathons under his belt, and is also the co-founder of YouTube channel The Run Testers.