Jul 24 AT 7:29 PM Taylor Wimberly 27 Comments

Are you having trouble achieving your fitness goals? I’ve found that smartphone apps can help me improve my diet and exercise routines, but I’m always looking for that extra boost to keep me motivated and maximize my training time. Over the last couple of years I have tested a dozen different apps to track my running, but recently I decided to try out a Bluetooth heart rate monitor.

After scanning the web and reading a ton of reviews, I went ahead and purchased the Zephyr HxM. Over the last couple of weeks I logged 60 miles with the Zephyr and now I’m ready to share my thoughts.

The Good

Compatible with many Android apps: The Zephyr HxM works with many Android fitness apps including Runtastic, Endomondo, SportsTracker, My Tracks, Sporty Pal, and more. Track walking, running, biking or any activity you might do.

Easy setup and instant on: It paired to my Android phone with no problems and I have yet to experience any connection problems when exercising. The Zephy HxM automatically turns on when you snap it onto the chest strap.

Continuous real-time feedback: The best part of working out with the Zephyr HxM is the real-time feedback provided by 3rd-party apps. Most apps provide a voice coach that can alert you when you change heart rate zones or report your heart rate on a set interval.

Charging cradle contains lights to show when device is fully charged.

Rechargeable battery: Zephyr includes a USB charging cradle in the box. The built in battery lasts up to 26 hours of use. It can be charged to 90% in 1 hour, and 100% in 3 hours.

Lightweight design: Zephyr’s patented Smart Fabric Technology provides a comfortable fit. The elastic chest strap is adjustable, so it should fit most body types (up to 40 inches).

Machine washable: The chest strap will get sweaty and smelly, so it’s a good thing you can wash it. Replacement straps can be ordered online for around $19.

The Zephyr HxM snaps easily snaps into the chest strap.

12 month warranty: Zephyr will replace, repair, or refund this product if it does not work properly under normal use and care conditions.

Better reviews than the Polar WearLink+: When it comes to Android fitness apps, the two most supported heart rate monitors are Zephyr and Polar. My research showed that the Polar WearLink+ received a lot of poor reviews from smartphone owners who complained about connection problems with the device.

The Not-so-good

No official apps: There are plenty of 3rd-part apps that work with the Zephyr HxM, but it would be nice to see Zephyr produce some of their own Android apps.

USB wall charger not included: My package included a USB charging cradle, but it did not come with a USB wall charger. Thankfully I had a couple extra around the house, but this should be included for the price you are paying.

Price: The Zephyr HxM sells for around $75 on Amazon, which makes it one of the more expensive Bluetooth heart rate monitors. Watches that monitor your heart rate can be purchased for half that price, but they won’t connect to your smartphone.

Final Words

The Zephyr HxM and USB charging cradle.

The Zephyr HxM exceeded my expectations and I found that heart rate training is a great way to improve your performance, and track your fitness. I’ve trained for years using fitness apps, but I found that adding a heart rate monitor was a great motivational aid and it helped me achieve my fitness goals.

Your results with vary with the Android app that you choose, but I’ve been using Runtastic Pro and I found it was the perfect companion for the Zephyr HxM. The app can help you monitor your resting heart rate and maximum heart rate, and then automatically setup your heart rate zones.

Heart rate zones.

I found that running in different heart rate zones was great for high intensity interval training (HIIT). I’ve tried this type of training before, but it was sometimes difficult to keep up with the periods of ultra-intense exercise and rest. When I’m running with the Zephyr HxM, I just listen to my heart and it tells me when I need to crank up my pace and when I need to rest.

Since I started training a month ago, I’ve already lost 10 lbs and lowered my body fat percentage a couple of points. That was the result of a lot of things including a reduced calorie diet and weight training, but the Zephyr HxM played a big role in motivating me to keep running.

If you have been trying to get in shape and had difficulty staying motivated, I would definitely recommend the Zephyr HxM.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Vance

    The product and app reviews on this site get better every week. I’m already seeing instant results with Lose It! after Nick’s stellar review last week, and will likely add Zephyr to my repertoire shortly, too. Keep up the good work you guys!

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      Quick correction. I wrote the Lose It! review, and am totally glad you’re getting good use out of it!

  • Keven

    had mine since 2 years still working
    the harness connector broke after 1 months they sent a new one for free.

  • jerkyjones

    I went with this one over the PolarLink+ Bluetooth. I would have really liked to get the Polar because it works with both Bluetooth(4.0/LE) and Polar enabled exercise equipment. The negative reviews on the Polar are mostly centered around folks trying to use it with Android devices that are Bluetooth 4.0. However, it looks like Android’s Bluetooth stack either doesn’t support the LE (Low Energy) profile or it’s simply broken. The Droid Razor, I believe, does work with Bluetooth LE devices, but that’s because Motorola slapped in a more complete/functional Bluetooth stack.

    I haven’t found any info on if Jelly Bean’s Bluetooth stack was fixed or not. My wife has the Zephyr now and I’d like to be able to get the Polar if near-future update will get it working on my Evo LTE.

    • Ez

      The Polar WearLink+ Bluetooth is compatible with older bluetooth phones and works very similar to the Zephyr. It chews up batteries pretty quickly ( have been using it for a couple months and have had to change the batteries on a couple times already) It is Bluetooth 3 and should work with most android phones.

      The Polar H7 is what I think you are referring its actually a Bluetooth 4.0 smart device. There are only two phones that currently work with the H7; the iPhone 4s and the Moto Razr which are both 4.0 smart compatible devices. I have a Samsung galaxy S3 which is supposed to support 4.0 low power devices but it cannot pair with the H7. You are correct in its a problem with the Android Bluetooth stack and Moto got around it by using its own. Nobody seems sure why the S3 wont work.

      The H7 is really “THE ONE” when it comes to HR monitors as the battery should last forever, it works with other exercise equipment that supports polar monitors (watches, cardio machines etc..) Bluetooth 4.0 is kind of designed with this type of device in mind.

      I like the Wearlink+ for now and I have no complaints about its connection to Endomodo Pro it always seems to be very accurate and never loses signal. It cannot be used on any other equipment and I dont like the strap as much as the H7 but it is what it is for now.

  • Malcolm

    I have been using this heart rate monitor, not sure how good it is in the water but I find it an essential accessory when running http://www.heartratemonitorpro.com.au/

  • David

    I was using my Zephyr with mytracks and endomondo, and it worked fine. The problem with those apps was that when you finished a workout, the apps would upload the data. I have recently been using a Garmin for cycling, and I like the fact that I can download to Strava via a USB cable on my desktop, and not use up all that expensive bandwidth.

    Do you know of an Android APP that stores the Zephyr data for hardwired download? I am a cheapskate who doesn’t want to buy the bigger data plan.

    • Mike

      Have you tried Straight Talk. I get unlimited data, txt, and voice for $45/mo. 3G and a bit slow, but nothing to worry about! I never have to worry about a big bill, like when I was with Verizon.
      Just be sure you check out the coverage maps. If you are in a city, no problem. Red maps use Verizon service, blue maps use AT&T, or T-Mobile. The phone determines what service provider you get. No roaming is allowed.
      Mine is through sprint and the coverage in cities and interstate system is great. Small towns are iffy, and out in the country is non-existent.
      However, I find that the lag when speaking is noticeably better than when we were on Verizon. So I am a very happy customer.

      I am looking for a good HR monitor for my Android. Looks like the Zephyr is going to eat up my battery. The Phone battery is the only one I am concerned with at the moment. I need to be able to make it through a ride.

  • CS Senthiil

    I am also using RUNTASTIC PRO.

    This product monitors speed, distance and other stuff, also
    Runtastic app also monitors your Speed, distance etc.,

    My question is Will both these data (from the device and the data recorded in the RUNTASTIC APP) conflict with each other?

  • Nick Taylor

    I’ve done my research and ended up looking at Runtastic Pro as it covers a wide range of activities with good data analysis and graphics. The Runtastic Heart Rate Receiver looks really bulky however and I had wanted to look at the Zephyr which attracts very positive reviews – although a couple of Zephyr reviewers report success with Runtastic the company doesn’t officially say they are compatible. I’d be interested in whether you believe I should be able to pair the Zephyr with Runtastic Pro on my Samsung S3.

    Thank you!

  • Dani84

    Does anybody know whether I can pair the Zephyr AND a bluetooth headset like the Sennheiser MM-100 simultaneously with my Galaxy S3? I’d like to listen to music via these headphones and still monitor my heart rate with a compatible app in the background. I’m worried that using the Zephyr screws up the connection to the MM-100. Or do they use different bluetooth profiles for audio and data/heart rate stats?

    • Chuck Carnes

      I have tried using the Zephyr HxM with a couple different Bluetooth headsets, and in each case I found myself dealing with really annoying bugs, like always having to make the headset connection *after* the HxM connection. If I didn’t connect in the proper order, reliably my SportsTracker Pro app would not pick up the HxM. If I forgot and had the headset connected beforehand, not only would the heart rate monitor fail to connect but I’d have to reboot the phone before allowing the phone to detect them in the magic order. I just would not work otherwise. Also, this was not some old phone or an app that is buggy in any way, though the same behavior did occur with my older Droid 2 before I got my RAZR Maxx. I was using the Motorola SF600 Bluetooth Stereo Headset and two versions of top-of-the-line JayBirds. Regarding the SportsTracker Pro app, I have never had a single issue out of it, so I doubt it had anything to do with the conflict.

      • Chuck Carnes

        And I should have added that even when I got the two Bluetooth devices working together, they never worked reliably. At some point during the workout–for all I know some periodic event within Android that spiked CPU–everything would crap out. With that happening consistently during workouts, it became a deal breaker for me, and I gave up the Bluetooth headphones in favor of Bose wired earbuds (which for themselves are not exactly waterproof, so be forewarned). And in case anyone wonders, this happened before I installed a task killer of antivirus program.

  • jonstle

    With a little work this seems like a nice addition to my workouts!

  • chris J

    Will this device work if I were to turn off the GPS on the Android device and rely only on the accelerometer built in to the HxM?

    • Tara

      The Zephyr HxM does not use GPS technology, just Bluetooth. I always have the GPS on my tablet turned off and the hr monitor works fine.

  • sbala

    The title photos of A&M are always making the product looking cute.

  • Tara

    I have been using the Zephyr HxM for about 9 months on my clients. As far as I can tell, it is the only hr device that is compatible with my Samsung galaxy tab 7.0 plus. I use endomundo to track hr and calories burned. The Zephyr HxM worked really well for about 8 months and then the signal just dropped off. My tablet says the devices are paired but i just keep getting an error when endomundo trites to connect. I think the signal from the hr monitor is too low, perhaps because the device is faulty and wore out before it’s time. I contacted Zephyr and they agreed to replace it, but that was over 2 weeks ago and even after several follow up emails, I have not heard back from them. This is a big problem since I use this device for business.

  • Claudia

    I’m from Brazil and bought zephyr last year. It is a great device. However, sometimes it just dont sync with my galaxy ace!!!And I still did not found any reason for that. :(

  • Stan Frith

    Hi all. I too have an iPhone 5 and I have been using a CardioSport Smart Bluetooth heart rate monitor strap I got from http://www.bhipltd.co.uk/heartratemonitor/cardiosport-bluetooth-smart-heart-rate-monitor.html

    The best thing about this belt is the BATTERY LIFE – over 700 – 800 hours !!! Polar H7 is just 120 – 150 hours !

  • Salma Amer

    Hello,

    I was wondering if you know what type of data does the The Zephyr HxM device send? As I’m planning to design an app that works with it.

    Thanks in advance.

  • ctrk

    1>Should the device always be paired to the phone… to track heart rate….
    2>When the device is paired to a phone can i lock the phone… i mean in stand by mode…
    3>How good are apps do they crash often….

  • Gustavo Monteiro Castro

    It’s possible to create Android App’s with Zephyr Development Tools (http://www.zephyranywhere.com/zephyr-labs/development-tools/) that communicate with this HXM monitor? Thanks In Advance.

  • GaÅ¡per Lampe

    A little shameless self-promotion here, for all of you who went and bought the HxM or even better, the BH3, in a sea of apps that track your GPS coordinates and heart rate there are also other parameters to track like breathing rate, posture, accelerations and forces on your knees and leg muscles.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=si.mobili.senseview

    is an all around sensor connection utility, not strictly made for running but for anyone wishing to check out what your phone and sensor can actually do, give it a go!

  • Adam

    Does anyone know of any apps for Android that alerts you if you fall out of your target heart rate, say you’re achieving fat burning?

    Thanks.

  • Ashley Tower

    So I have a comment and question for you… I have an HXM and I love it but today I noticed a drastic issue. I programmed my weight, age, into a Life Fitness treadmill at the gym and it told me that after 55 minutes I had burned 740 calories. I have done this with several high end treadmills and eliptical trainers and had the same result. My calorie count for the same exact workout with the Zehpyr HXM says 1340 calories, almost twice. I understand that a heart rate monitor is more accurate but I have a hard time with this big of a discrepency. Any Ideas???

  • REDA
  1. The product and app reviews on this site get better every week. I’m already seeing instant results with Lose It! after Nick’s stellar review last week, and will likely add Zephyr to my repertoire shortly, too. Keep up the good work you guys!

  2. KevenGuest 3 years ago

    had mine since 2 years still working
    the harness connector broke after 1 months they sent a new one for free.

  3. I went with this one over the PolarLink+ Bluetooth. I would have really liked to get the Polar because it works with both Bluetooth(4.0/LE) and Polar enabled exercise equipment. The negative reviews on the Polar are mostly centered around folks trying to use it with Android devices that are Bluetooth 4.0. However, it looks like Android’s Bluetooth stack either doesn’t support the LE (Low Energy) profile or it’s simply broken. The Droid Razor, I believe, does work with Bluetooth LE devices, but that’s because Motorola slapped in a more complete/functional Bluetooth stack.

    I haven’t found any info on if Jelly Bean’s Bluetooth stack was fixed or not. My wife has the Zephyr now and I’d like to be able to get the Polar if near-future update will get it working on my Evo LTE.

    • EzGuest 3 years ago

      The Polar WearLink+ Bluetooth is compatible with older bluetooth phones and works very similar to the Zephyr. It chews up batteries pretty quickly ( have been using it for a couple months and have had to change the batteries on a couple times already) It is Bluetooth 3 and should work with most android phones.

      The Polar H7 is what I think you are referring its actually a Bluetooth 4.0 smart device. There are only two phones that currently work with the H7; the iPhone 4s and the Moto Razr which are both 4.0 smart compatible devices. I have a Samsung galaxy S3 which is supposed to support 4.0 low power devices but it cannot pair with the H7. You are correct in its a problem with the Android Bluetooth stack and Moto got around it by using its own. Nobody seems sure why the S3 wont work.

      The H7 is really “THE ONE” when it comes to HR monitors as the battery should last forever, it works with other exercise equipment that supports polar monitors (watches, cardio machines etc..) Bluetooth 4.0 is kind of designed with this type of device in mind.

      I like the Wearlink+ for now and I have no complaints about its connection to Endomodo Pro it always seems to be very accurate and never loses signal. It cannot be used on any other equipment and I dont like the strap as much as the H7 but it is what it is for now.

  4. MalcolmGuest 3 years ago

    I have been using this heart rate monitor, not sure how good it is in the water but I find it an essential accessory when running http://www.heartratemonitorpro.com.au/

  5. DavidGuest 2 years ago

    I was using my Zephyr with mytracks and endomondo, and it worked fine. The problem with those apps was that when you finished a workout, the apps would upload the data. I have recently been using a Garmin for cycling, and I like the fact that I can download to Strava via a USB cable on my desktop, and not use up all that expensive bandwidth.

    Do you know of an Android APP that stores the Zephyr data for hardwired download? I am a cheapskate who doesn’t want to buy the bigger data plan.

    • MikeGuest 2 years ago

      Have you tried Straight Talk. I get unlimited data, txt, and voice for $45/mo. 3G and a bit slow, but nothing to worry about! I never have to worry about a big bill, like when I was with Verizon.
      Just be sure you check out the coverage maps. If you are in a city, no problem. Red maps use Verizon service, blue maps use AT&T, or T-Mobile. The phone determines what service provider you get. No roaming is allowed.
      Mine is through sprint and the coverage in cities and interstate system is great. Small towns are iffy, and out in the country is non-existent.
      However, I find that the lag when speaking is noticeably better than when we were on Verizon. So I am a very happy customer.

      I am looking for a good HR monitor for my Android. Looks like the Zephyr is going to eat up my battery. The Phone battery is the only one I am concerned with at the moment. I need to be able to make it through a ride.

  6. CS SenthiilGuest 2 years ago

    I am also using RUNTASTIC PRO.

    This product monitors speed, distance and other stuff, also
    Runtastic app also monitors your Speed, distance etc.,

    My question is Will both these data (from the device and the data recorded in the RUNTASTIC APP) conflict with each other?

  7. Nick TaylorGuest 2 years ago

    I’ve done my research and ended up looking at Runtastic Pro as it covers a wide range of activities with good data analysis and graphics. The Runtastic Heart Rate Receiver looks really bulky however and I had wanted to look at the Zephyr which attracts very positive reviews – although a couple of Zephyr reviewers report success with Runtastic the company doesn’t officially say they are compatible. I’d be interested in whether you believe I should be able to pair the Zephyr with Runtastic Pro on my Samsung S3.

    Thank you!

  8. Dani84Guest 2 years ago

    Does anybody know whether I can pair the Zephyr AND a bluetooth headset like the Sennheiser MM-100 simultaneously with my Galaxy S3? I’d like to listen to music via these headphones and still monitor my heart rate with a compatible app in the background. I’m worried that using the Zephyr screws up the connection to the MM-100. Or do they use different bluetooth profiles for audio and data/heart rate stats?

    • Chuck CarnesGuest 2 years ago

      I have tried using the Zephyr HxM with a couple different Bluetooth headsets, and in each case I found myself dealing with really annoying bugs, like always having to make the headset connection *after* the HxM connection. If I didn’t connect in the proper order, reliably my SportsTracker Pro app would not pick up the HxM. If I forgot and had the headset connected beforehand, not only would the heart rate monitor fail to connect but I’d have to reboot the phone before allowing the phone to detect them in the magic order. I just would not work otherwise. Also, this was not some old phone or an app that is buggy in any way, though the same behavior did occur with my older Droid 2 before I got my RAZR Maxx. I was using the Motorola SF600 Bluetooth Stereo Headset and two versions of top-of-the-line JayBirds. Regarding the SportsTracker Pro app, I have never had a single issue out of it, so I doubt it had anything to do with the conflict.

      • Chuck CarnesGuest 2 years ago

        And I should have added that even when I got the two Bluetooth devices working together, they never worked reliably. At some point during the workout–for all I know some periodic event within Android that spiked CPU–everything would crap out. With that happening consistently during workouts, it became a deal breaker for me, and I gave up the Bluetooth headphones in favor of Bose wired earbuds (which for themselves are not exactly waterproof, so be forewarned). And in case anyone wonders, this happened before I installed a task killer of antivirus program.

  9. With a little work this seems like a nice addition to my workouts!

  10. chris JGuest 2 years ago

    Will this device work if I were to turn off the GPS on the Android device and rely only on the accelerometer built in to the HxM?

    • TaraGuest 2 years ago

      The Zephyr HxM does not use GPS technology, just Bluetooth. I always have the GPS on my tablet turned off and the hr monitor works fine.

  11. The title photos of A&M are always making the product looking cute.

  12. TaraGuest 2 years ago

    I have been using the Zephyr HxM for about 9 months on my clients. As far as I can tell, it is the only hr device that is compatible with my Samsung galaxy tab 7.0 plus. I use endomundo to track hr and calories burned. The Zephyr HxM worked really well for about 8 months and then the signal just dropped off. My tablet says the devices are paired but i just keep getting an error when endomundo trites to connect. I think the signal from the hr monitor is too low, perhaps because the device is faulty and wore out before it’s time. I contacted Zephyr and they agreed to replace it, but that was over 2 weeks ago and even after several follow up emails, I have not heard back from them. This is a big problem since I use this device for business.

  13. ClaudiaGuest 2 years ago

    I’m from Brazil and bought zephyr last year. It is a great device. However, sometimes it just dont sync with my galaxy ace!!!And I still did not found any reason for that. :(

  14. Stan FrithGuest 2 years ago

    Hi all. I too have an iPhone 5 and I have been using a CardioSport Smart Bluetooth heart rate monitor strap I got from http://www.bhipltd.co.uk/heartratemonitor/cardiosport-bluetooth-smart-heart-rate-monitor.html

    The best thing about this belt is the BATTERY LIFE – over 700 – 800 hours !!! Polar H7 is just 120 – 150 hours !

  15. Salma AmerGuest 2 years ago

    Hello,

    I was wondering if you know what type of data does the The Zephyr HxM device send? As I’m planning to design an app that works with it.

    Thanks in advance.

  16. ctrkGuest 2 years ago

    1>Should the device always be paired to the phone… to track heart rate….
    2>When the device is paired to a phone can i lock the phone… i mean in stand by mode…
    3>How good are apps do they crash often….

  17. Gustavo Monteiro CastroGuest 2 years ago

    It’s possible to create Android App’s with Zephyr Development Tools (http://www.zephyranywhere.com/zephyr-labs/development-tools/) that communicate with this HXM monitor? Thanks In Advance.

  18. Gašper LampeGuest 2 years ago

    A little shameless self-promotion here, for all of you who went and bought the HxM or even better, the BH3, in a sea of apps that track your GPS coordinates and heart rate there are also other parameters to track like breathing rate, posture, accelerations and forces on your knees and leg muscles.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=si.mobili.senseview

    is an all around sensor connection utility, not strictly made for running but for anyone wishing to check out what your phone and sensor can actually do, give it a go!

  19. AdamGuest 2 years ago

    Does anyone know of any apps for Android that alerts you if you fall out of your target heart rate, say you’re achieving fat burning?

    Thanks.

  20. Ashley TowerGuest 2 years ago

    So I have a comment and question for you… I have an HXM and I love it but today I noticed a drastic issue. I programmed my weight, age, into a Life Fitness treadmill at the gym and it told me that after 55 minutes I had burned 740 calories. I have done this with several high end treadmills and eliptical trainers and had the same result. My calorie count for the same exact workout with the Zehpyr HXM says 1340 calories, almost twice. I understand that a heart rate monitor is more accurate but I have a hard time with this big of a discrepency. Any Ideas???