Apple Watch Sport 5-AA

A study published in JAMA Cardiology (don’t pretend you haven’t heard of it) has found the Apple Watch to be the most accurate wrist-based wearable for measuring your heart rate.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic, tested how four popular wearables measured the heart rate of ‘50 healthy adults’. The participants were asked to walk and jog on a treadmill while being simultaneously measured by an electrocardiogram (i.e. a medical device that’s incredibly accurate) and the Apple Watch, Fitbit Charge HR, Mio Alpha and Basis Peak.

Incidentally, the Basis Peak was recently recalled after overheating caused burns on some users. It’s been a bad few months for overheating. Sadly no mainstream Android Wear smartwatches were included in the study though.

According to Time, the study found that the Apple Watch was the most accurate at around 90 percent, while the others were in the low 80s. Though it would have been interesting to see how Android Wear and Tizen smartwatches held up in the comparison, one insight from the study was quite telling of the broader wrist-mounted wearable landscape.

See also:

Best smartwatches

2 weeks ago

Dr. Gordon Blackburn, one of the study’s authors, said that “at the higher levels of activity, some of the wrist technology was not accurate at all.”

Dr. Blackburn said the reason for this was inherent to wrist technologies, stating: “you need to have good contact between the photosensing cells; as a person is exercising more vigorously, there’s more bounce, so you may lose some of that contact.”

In other words, if you’re looking for the most accurate way to measure your heart rate, don’t rely on a smartwatch. 

Scott Adam Gordon
Scott Adam Gordon is a European correspondent for Android Authority. Originally from the UK, Scott has been tinkering with Android phones since 2011 and writing about them full-time since 2014. He now lives in Berlin with three roommates he never sees. Befriend him on Twitter and Google+ at the links.
  • StandingO790 .

    No Android Wear? No Tizen? Who paid this? Apple? xD

    • mobilemann

      this is literally the 5th word in the article, you’re amazingly stupid.

      • StandingO790 .

        I said WHO PAID, not WHO DID. You should learn a little bit about how some studies work.
        And don’t be disgusting, kid ;)

        • mobilemann

          The link will take you right to the study where you can actually read it and find out, i’m sorry that you needed that explained to you.

          • StandingO790 .

            Ok. It’s clear you don’t know nothing about some kind of studies. It’s not my fault. Have a nice day. Kid ;)

          • mobilemann

            Oh, i thought we were talking about THIS STUDY, not all fucking studies. Is it study hour for studying studies? Also, i just think that it’s beyond pathetic, that you have to get all defensive because it was an apple product, it’s like waving a flag indicating you’re a fucking child who just plays on snapchat.

          • StandingO790 .

            You like drama too much. Relax ;)

          • Heathaze

            He’s a mentally ill iTroll who spends way too much time on Android forums because he lives in his mom’s basement. When he’s not here, he’s absorbed in some raucous Taylor Swift karaoke, sans alcohol, because mum won’t let him drink until he’s at least 13. ;)

          • mobilemann

            I use android, more than you; (i just use iOS too, cause i’m not a fanboy:D) don’t get upset because you said you were a musician and then knew nothing about any software ever used by anyone to record anything when i asked you about it, poser.

          • Heathaze

            You use Android more then me? This, ladies and gentlemen is his typical MO, and really only one: make up a claim that couldn’t possibly be substantiated, then cry and whine and attack like a scared little iTroll, guarding his iBridge when someone calls him out on it.

          • mobilemann

            Yes, for example, my Home automation setup back in the day took Tasker, a ton of paid root only plugins for tasker, exposed, a bunch of exposed modules, auto voice, etc. From how you speak it’s pretty clear things like this are far beyond your level.

          • Heathaze

            Wow… You can cut and paste things real Android users do. Congratulations! What a happy day for you!

          • Santeri Ala-Turkia

            I see you still can’t type Xposed correctly ;)

          • mobilemann

            it’ll just get (auto) corrected anyway. Anyone who’s actually done that on android would know i’m right, so i don’t mind.

          • Scr-U-gle

            You work in a screen repair stall. And you are a fanboi, as anyone who has looked at any of these comments section.

            I don’t think there is one article you haven’t littered with your nonsense

          • mobilemann

            Thanks for letting me know what i do. I work for a large media corporation, and i’ll bet you watch our shows.

            And please point out when i’m lying, i like to embarrass idiots who think they are technical but do nothing more than snapchat (you)

          • Scr-U-gle

            You spend most of everyday on here, and you have stated yourself that you have reinstalled your phone ‘several times’.

            Now you are making up new jobs.

            Which ‘media corporation’ has an IT department that uses androne?

            Good story though, I appreciate that you took the time to make this one up.

      • PC_Tool

        5th word: JAMA.

        JAMA Cardioascular is where the results were published, which has nothing to do with who paid for it.

        The researchers who did the study work at the The Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio; a non-profit.

        Maybe do a little reading before you next call someone else “amazingly stupid.”

        • mobilemann

          yes, with a link that will take you to the site where you can see the actual article.

          • Grant Ding

            The fifth word in the JAMA article is either heart or rate, depending on how you count the compound adjective. “Wrist-worn fitness and heart rate (HR) monitors are popular.”

    • Camilla Russo

      Because the result isn’t pleasing you so it must be that someone payed them to say that? #logic.

    • Da_James

      Probably, since there’s only FOUR devices, and only ONE smartwatch, ONE cardiometer, TWO activity trackers. However, the TITLE itself isn’t misleading : “Which wearable” litterally means “which type of wearable” and not “which smartwatch”.

    • tiger

      You think that Android Wear HR monitor will do better? seriously?!

      You guys can’t even measure HR when standing still!!!!

      • StandingO790 .

        Where I said that? :-O

  • andrewberryman

    Would have been good to see how the Polar M600 fared…

  • Marty

    I don’t use a smartwatch for health-related monitoring. I use them for notifications of many kinds.

  • Michael Allen

    It would have been nice if they tested more of the wearables actually made for sports, like a Garmin or a Polar.

  • blindexecutioner

    Guess I am not surprised. Apple seems to do most things right.

  • tiger

    Considering that Mio was considered the leader in these things, it is impressive that Apple Watch was the best.

  • Larry

    That’s like saying I have the fastest car (honda civic) in my city and the other contestants are 2 guys on bikes someone walking and a guy on a 50cc moped. Lol gtfo with that title.

  • John Doe

    Sponsored by Apple!!

    • tiger

      Ignorance runs deep with you.

      • John Doe

        No, but apple loyalty seems to be your bitch!!

        • ConcernedCitizen2321

          You wouldn’t know a supremely-engineered product if you had to use it as a sex toy. I don’t even know what that means.

          • John Doe

            Then why the hell did you say it .. geez.. (and is that a Hitler mustache on your face?)

  • DanDubya

    I have the first gen Apple Watch, and it’s okay. Seems generally accurate (within 1-2 bpm on 65) as I’ve compared to other blood pressure machines. Although, when my heart rate goes over about 150, then it seems like it starts to count every other beat or something… so it shows my heart rate going from say 155 bpm to like 82 bpm is a few seconds. I do find that kind of annoying as that is one of the main uses/curiosities why I got the thing. Perhaps that’s the 10% of the time it’s off the report is referring to?

    • tiger

      Update to latest OS3 and accuracy is much better.

  • billcollier

    what about ear censors?

  • Keith Taylor

    WHat about the Microsoft band?

  • Grant Ding

    Seriously? The apple watch was reported not to work on dark or tattooed skin… Someone tested this and said that it does work even though out of 4 black people and one with a wrist tattoo 4/6 got 99 bpm one of them got something in the hundreds, and one got over 200, even though they were all just standing there filming.

  • Majeed Hamid

    Samsung have been implementing this for long why not Samsung

  • Mamoon Bakeer

    “A study published in JAMA Cardiology has found the ((Apple Watch)) to be the most accurate …”
    “Sadly NO mainstream Android Wear smartwatches were included in the study though.” —> “the study found that the ((Apple Watch)) was the most accurate at around 90 percent.”

    no comment on this paid study.

    • Vboom

      I don’t understand why this would be the case. Surely Apple could have just come out and said “Look at how much better our watch is than these other fitness devices.” Why go through the charade of paying a small non profit organisation to publish results 99% of people will never see when a simple quote from them would have a thousand times more views whether they are more credible or not? Additionally can’t any android manufacturer do the same? If they are so good then why haven’t they? We know that Google and the major android hardware manufacturers aren’t above directly call out Apple’s on its own BS so why stay quiet now?

      • Mamoon Bakeer

        Why such a study would exclude Android Wear smartwatches from being tested & compared against Apple’s watch; just to be fair ?!

        • Vboom

          This didn’t answer any of the questions I raised. Good comeback.

  • VeNoM91

    sounds like an apple sponsored study

  • Scr-U-gle

    Look, I think you are confused, I asked when will my cracked screen be repaired, not where you pretend to work!

    So you reckon you can print company data and not name the place you work at?

    You really are a funny boy.

    …and I am not the only one who has noticed you down the vast majority of everyday trolling here.

    If you did work some where other than a screen repair shop, you would be fired for being a know nothing winkle-bag. Or have you never read the fantasies you drivel in about at length all day every day

    • mobilemann

      i’ve taken tons of non incriminating screenshots that show i’m a somewhat happy corporate cit, but regardless, this is you trolling. You have no real responses to when i talk tech, so you attack me personally. It’s just because your’e pathetic, so i don’t take it personally. Again, i’ve posted my flickr here, i put my money where my mouth is. I do the stuff i talk about.

      And you, you’re just a little fan girl.

      • Scr-U-gle

        I’d be happy to respond when you start to talk about tech, but all you have done is tell us that your experience is based on that you have used an installer a few times.

        You forgot that you admitted that didn’t you!

        • mobilemann

          Is that a joke? I do IoT (securely) have written jailbroken launchers, all of it is documented in that link. Are you upset you’ve ran into someone who’s actually technical?

          What would you like to talk about? You’re also the goal posting ass who made it about me. Not my fault i beat you at your own idiot forum gymnastics. Maybe you’re a bit basic.

          • Scr-U-gle

            Thats funny, I suggest you have a look at your own posts.

            See, when you lie like you do, you have to remember the lies correctly.

            Have you already forgotten that a couple of weeks ago you stated that your expertise was that you ‘reinstalled your phone several times’, and that you want to ‘learn how to code’.

            Now you are pretending that you already write code and don’t work at a screen repair shop.

            You either have a bad memory (just like androne) or split personality disorder.

          • mobilemann

            4th request, name the lie, and i’ll happily explain what i meant, admit i’m wrong, or provide a citation. But dude, you’re entire strategy on here is to just make it about me. Do i interest you that much? You can’t make one comment on topic? (it’s because you’re stupid, and know nothing about the mobile tech involved, don’t worry, i get it)

          • Scr-U-gle

            You are funny, you spend all day every day harassing people on here who tell the truth about your god Google and the con that is androne, you are obsessed with Apple and all you do is talk nonsense without a fact to back you up and get all abusive when someone points your narcissistic mental rants.

            Remenber last time when you told me how Androne was released before the iPhone, even though Androne came out a year after the iPhone?

            And you claim to be an ‘expert’, why not tell us another joke.

          • mobilemann

            actually, i don’t harass anyone, i correct idiots like you, who seemingly are just jealous that my work gives me a 7+ and a pixel. Sorry!

          • Scr-U-gle

            Remind me, what is the update period for Androne?

            Wow, you have a phone that is 2/3’s slower than an iPhone, I am well jel.

            Just think, you have a phone that is slower than a four year old iPhone, enjoy your off the shelf factory phone, for a maximum of 18 months.

            Mug

          • mobilemann

            I get them free bruh, and yeah, you are more than well jell. (the 820 by the way, is really the first android device i’ve used that can run dolphin full speed.

          • Scr-U-gle

            1st, maybe in eight more years drone phones will catch up with the iPhone 7

            What is the support period for those broke ass phone son?

          • mobilemann

            the support is me. I’m ok with that. You’re exactly what you claim to hate. How do you feel about that?

          • Scr-U-gle

            What is the support period for those overpriced drone phones, tablets and watches?

            Silence, then try and change the subject.

          • mobilemann

            are you fucking stupid? you want to talk support with with the OEM who supports their devices the longest, has a massive retail presence to make this even easier? No one has the support that they do. Consumer reports agree’s. But keep lying to people, and actually misinforming people, because you hate a brand irrationally. You’re not pathetic at all.

          • Scr-U-gle

            Can you try to write that in cogent English please? Maybe try to take your medication and have another go?!?

            What does Googkes T&Cs state as the maximum possible support term? It’s a simple question for someone who claims to be an expert!

            I’ll give you a clue; Samboom support their hardware for four months less and the new Pixel doesn’t even guarantee to be supported up to the maximum. The majority of drone phones offer two years less support than the maximum, and Androne Wear offers four months less than the maximum.

            You have this mental age.

            Need anymore clues?

            Here you go, last one: Apple support their mobile devices for five years, the number you are looking for us three years less.

          • mobilemann

            i don’t get where i signed up for a quiz on their current terms of service? I thought security patches were 3 years, or 18 months from time of purchase. This has nothing to do with anything.

          • Scr-U-gle

            You make a lot of claims and have nothing to back any of it up.

            Even something this simple you can’t get right.

            You are just an embarrassment to yourself.

          • mobilemann

            what particular claim would you like me to back up? i would be happy to provide citations if you link me to the quote. You’re particularly stupid, so i’ll be sure the syllable count is low. Or maybe do you want to talk about mobile technology now? What do you do that you think you’re remotely smart? You’re a fucking joke, kid .

          • mobilemann

            by the way, did you randomly go from apple troll to google troll? Or are you just one of those rare real trolls that just does it for the attention and to get a rise?

          • mobilemann

            (btw, you said i worked at a screen repair shop, i’ve given you my flickr, please link me to “reinstalled your phone” lol, you’re 100% lying. Link me to where i say i want to learn to code, (lol) and realize that code languages are different? That’s the only way i could see myself saying that. feel free to link me to the comment. (oh wait, you can’t, because i never said it)

          • Scr-U-gle

            If you are that scitzo that you can’t recall another of your own lies, then why would I or anyone bother going through your all day long rants (I guess you must be really quiet at the screen repair shop) for the last month.

            You have a serious mental illness, I suggest you go get the help you need instead of trolling the internet all day everyday