Features & Use
Tested on: HTC One S
Android version: 4.0.4
As far as I'm concerned, whether you're merely curious or truly wish to monitor your heart rate, an application such as Heart Beat Rate - Pro is far more convenient than the traditional “two fingers on the wrist” thing.
Start up the app and dive right in, i.e. go ahead and measure your pulse by placing your index finger on your device's camera and hit the m/a button. For approximately 30 seconds the programme will then read your heart rate and give you its verdict at the end. My heart beats 80 times a minute, a totally average result so I'm told.
In order to get my heart rate up I decided to run up and down the stairs in my building a few times. Heart Beat Rate - Pro then tells me that my heart rate is slightly too high, and I'm taken aback by the app's precision.
The application is easy to use, but there is a detailed help section should you need it.
Another section I found to be particularly of interest is the sum up of the different heart data you've fed into the programme, as well as additional infos on what it means when your pulse is at rest, why it makes sense to take one's pulse regularly, how to bring it down when you feel it's racing, etc. I like this section a lot: it's clear, concise and to the point as well as educational.
Check out the settings to adjust the app to your liking. For instance, you may want to switch off the beep that's on when you take your pulse (I found it a bit stressful, and one of colleagues actually asked me whether I had a bombed tucked away in my backpack, hahaha!). There's also a 15 second mode (rather than the 30 second mode) for measuring the pulse. You can also enter personal data (age, gender, etc.) to get more detailed results.
As mentioned, my personal favourite feature is the sum up that lets you know how your heart and pulse have been performing over a given period of time. There's even an option for adding comments so that you know how your body tends to react in certain situations or physical strain.
Heart Beat Rate - Pro worked very nicely during our test runs (and yes: we literally ran up and down flights of stairs for you!). The app is simple and precise, the results strike me as being accurate and it's design is sleek and modern. Thumbs up!
Screen & Controls
Controls are simple and intuitive and Heart Beat Rate - Pro feels easy to navigate. Five icons help access and figure everything out quickly. Swiping is nice and smooth and measuring the pulse by placing your index on the screen works well.
We liked the design quite a bit: chic, sleek and minimalistic. My only critique would be that the font is too small.
Speed & Stability
Heart Beat Rate - Pro performed seamlessly on the HTC One S. The app is fast, smooth and easy to handle.
Heart Beat Rate - Pro is available for €1.49 from the App Center as well as Google Play. It's a good deal considering the app's functionality and accuracy. Feel free to test the free version to make sure the app will be a good fit.