Cardiograph – Measure your pulse using your smartphone
Tested version: 2.6
Latest version: 2.6
Requires Android: from 1.5
Smartphones = man's best friend? I mean, these multi-functional tools certainly are handy. Use them to communicate, to keep informed on whatever you happen to be interested in, to listen to music to, shoot pictures with... or, why not measure you heart rate using your mobile device? What the what? That was my initial reaction when I first stumbled across Cardiograph. Never a cynic, I decided to give it a go. Read on for my take on an app that will measure your pulse for you.
Features & Use
Test device: LG Optimus Black
Android version: 2.3.4
A mobile phone that can measure your pulse? I was a bit incredulous at first, but stranger things have happened. I was both curious and skeptical, and in the end I decided to just try it out and see for myself, especially after watching the video.
Cardiograph doesn't take up much space but there's also an option for moving it to the SD card. The app requires several permissions that I couldn't quite see the point of, e.g. why does it need to establish a Bluetooth connection?
Aside from this, the app is pretty straight forward: place your index finger on the camera lens and Cardiograph will measure you pulse for you by switching on the flash.
I admit to being surprised by how much better-than-expected the results are. I was expecting a pretty random performance, and was pleasantly surprised. Using a stopwatch, I ascertained that when immobile, my heart rate is 66 beats per minute. The app then told me thatt my heart beat 60 times, meaning it was only 6 beats off. I tested a few other situations and found the app's results to be between 2-10 beats off.
Cardiograph also allows users to set up profiles, meaning more than one user can use the app in parallel. Results can be saved and thus referred to or consulted at a later point in time.
Lastly, the app harbours some interesting background infos and a display of the human heart.
Cardiograph pleasantly surprised me with results that were more accurate than I had anticipated they would be, but still not 100% accurate. At the end of the day, the results aren't precise enough and shouldn't be used by users who need to monitor their heart rates. For such cases, we would recommend you continue using medical measuring devices and consult a physician.
Cardiograph is more of a party gag, which is why we're awarding it three stars in this category.
Screen & Controls
Cardiograph is set up nicely. The UI is user friendly with a heart rate monitor at the top of the display, as well as other information. Control elements are below. As mentioned above, all you need do is place your finger tip on the camera lens and the app will begin measuring your pulse.
Speed & Stability
Cardiograph runs nice and smooth and we didn't experience any sort of hiccup.
Cardiograph is free and can be found in the App Center. The ads didn't bother me in the least.