Differences between Polar H9, H10 and OH1The differences between the Polar H9 and Polar H10 are not very big. More important is the difference to the OH1.
TechnologyThe Polar OH1 is working with an optical pulse measurement. It works with LEDs. These are operated with batteries, which also has an enormous effect on the battery life.
The Polar H9 and H10 work with electrodes. In order for this to work, some moisture on the sensor is necessary. However, a little water is sufficient for this. With the OH1 this is not necessary.
Additionally, the H9 and H10 must be worn on the chest. They are classic chest straps. The OH1 is worn on the arm. I also do not recommend to wear the OH1 in a different way than it should be worn. The device was developed for the arm and yet measures most accurately.
Here the OH1 has a clear advantage. It can be put on much faster and the belt is also ready for use much faster. However, the measuring accuracy of the H9 or H10 is better.
Since 2021, there is the successor to the Polar OH1. This is the Polar Verity Sense*, also with optical pulse measurement. We have also published an artiekl on this, in which we cover the comparison between the Polar H10, OH1 and its successor Verity Sense. If you want an optical belt, the article is definitely interesting for you.
Accuracy of the pulse measurementAs already mentioned, the accuracy of the OH1 is lower than the other two devices. The most accurate measurement is provided by the Polar H10*, followed by the Polar H9*. The Polar H10 has a slightly better belt, so the accuracy is slightly better.
The manufacturer itself recommends the Polar OH1* also more for beginners and group fitness. But not for high accuracy. This is also due to the technology via the LEDs. Most of you might know this from the classic fitness trackers with wrist pulse measurement.
Especially with interval units, measurement via ECG proves to be much more accurate. Fast deflections are better perceived and recorded. Errors often occur with optical measurement.
Bluetooth, ANT+ and 5-kHzAll three heart rate belts can be connected via ANT+ and Bluetooth. However, the H10 stands out because it can be connected to two devices simultaneously. This is neither possible with the H9, nor with the OH1.
5-kHz gives you the possibility to connect the heart rate belt to devices in the gym. These are for example bicycle ergometers or treadmills. You only have this possibility with the Polar H9 and H10.
Integrated memoryThe H10 and OH1 have an integrated memory. With the H10, you can save a training session. With the OH1 you can store up to 200 hours of heart rate training. The Polar H9 has no built-in memory.
Which Polar pulse belt is the best?In my opinion, the best Polar heart rate belt is the Polar H10*. There you get the best accuracy and the most possibilities. The H10 is not much more expensive than the H9*. So if you are not completely short of money, I recommend to buy the Polar H10*.
I personally would not recommend the Polar OH1*. The technology about the optical measurement is by far not as accurate as the ECG measurement. Especially with interval units, inaccuracies occur here. If you only want to know a rough value, I recommend a small fitness tracker instead of the Polar OH1.