Top positive review
Very nice device and great value
21 April 2017
I bought this strap because I needed a sensor that was compatible with both my Garmin Vivoactive HR Watch (ANT+) and Proform Tour de France Bike (Bluetooth). In terms of the ANT+, I'd previously been using my wife's Garmin Chest Strap/Sensor. I've now used this SmartLAB sensor for two runs and can say it's as good as the Genuine Garmin one despite being considerably cheaper. I've not used it for an activity on the bike yet but did check that the bluetooth sensor on the Proform console paired with the strap - this was seemless, I put the strap on and the Proform immediately picked up the reading without a need to do anything. Pairing with the Garmin watch was no drama either and this worked first time when following the necessary steps through the menu on the watch.
As for the design and construction of the hardware it's quite similar to the Genuine Garmin branded one. The chest strap has plenty of adjustment, is comfortable to wear and is well made. The electrodes are smooth. The sensor unit can bet removed from the strap to allow for washing.
I've been running regularly with a HR monitor for over a year now so have a good feeling for what my HR is at any particular level of perceived exertion. I'd started using a chest strap because on occasions I found the built in HR monitor on the Garmin wrist (Vivoactive HR) watch was giving false readings for a few minutes at a time, it was only occasionally but was nonetheless annoying. The readings from the SmartLAB sensor seem to be accurate throughout with no gaps or anomalies.
The device is packaged in a really high quality box (not that this is important to the device itself but re-enforces my view that the manufacturer is serious about quality). It's not actually explicitly stated but it appears the device is made in Germany which is where it shipped from and complies with the usual standards and carries a CE Mark.
If I had to make any criticism it's that it took about a week to arrive (though this was clearly stated, shipping was free and it shipped from Germany to the UK) but well worth the wait