Top positive review
Good quality product - if you are prepared to read the booklet
1 August 2016
Before I started looking for a new heart monitor I had not heard of Beurer, so I had a few reservations when reading the other reviews for the PM26, and after now familiarising myself with the product, I can understand why some people have raised concerns.
The strap seems fairly consistent with other brands' equivalents, (I have previously used a Polar HRM), but the battery compartment can be accessed with a slot screwdriver so replacement should not be an expensive affair. I'm not a swimmer, so I have not tested the waterproofing beyond a dip in the sink to rinse it out. At maximim size, the strap fits snuggly on my 46 inch ribcage.
The monitor appears to be very well constructed, and well finished, although I think the rubber strap could do with being larger if one size is to fit all. I was going to wear the monitor on my right wrist, which is 8 1/2 inches in circumference, but it was a struggle to do up the strap on the last notch, so I have opted to wear it on my left wrist which is a 1/2 inch smaller. The manual indicates that the battery in the monitor should be professionally replaced, but as there are four micro crosshead screws holding the back in place, this a another job I will do myself, I'm hoping that the waterproof gasket will not need replacing straightaway. Beurer claims it is waterproof to 50m, but it should be noted that it will not monitor the heart rate while it is underwater.
This is probably the most complex HRM monitor I have owned. I tried to use it out of the box, without reading the instruction booklet and failed miserably. The monitor should be configured, (age, height, weight etc etc), for the user, so multiple users sharing one monitor will struggle to get full benefit from all its functionality.
Once the instruction booklet has been mastered you should be capable of using the key functions, but I was surprised that a manufacturer in Germany has not worked harder on making the booklet clearer, and it took me a little time to work out how to display my heart rate alongside my max and average.
The monitor does seem quite accurate, the signal was also picked up by the console on my Tunturi exercise bike, and the two reported figures remained consistently within 1 bpm, if not identical. The strap will struggle to detect your heart rate if both the user and the strap are perfectly dry, but I have yet to use a monitor that does not share this constraint.
I won't be using a lot of the monitor's functionality (lap times, alarm clock etc), and for a few hours I was regretting not buying a monitor with much simpler functionality, but with a little perseverance I am now very happy with my purchase. If Beurer improved the instruction booklet and made the monitor wrist strap a tiny bit larger, I would be happy to give five stars.