Jealous of S5 heart rate monitor? Your iPhone can already measure your heart rate with these apps

When Samsung unveiled its new flagship Galaxy S5 yesterday, the big news was the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner and heart rate sensor. The fingerprint scanning of course brings it up to par with Apple’s TouchID functionality, the standout feature and big selling point for the iPhone 5s. The heart rate sensor, however, is something not included in the current iPhone lineup and something Samsung will spend a lot of time marketing as fitness and health wearables like its new smartwatch lineup become big business in 2014. But did you know you can already measure your heart rate on iPhone using the device’s built-in camera?

A number of apps on the App Store, such the “Heart Rate Monitor” app just launched by PlusSports, allow you to accurately measure your heart rate by simply placing your face or fingertip in front of the camera lens. Another app available on the App Store that we’ve tested and works well is Instant Heart Rate. Popular fitness app maker Runtastic also has its own heart rate monitor and pulse tracker app.

The experience of using these apps is almost identical to the S5, which also forces the user to place a finger over a sensor on the back of the device and wait several seconds for a reading.

It’s possible Samsung would tell you that its built-in heart rate sensor is more accurate or feature-filled, but from our tests and reviews from others, the iPhone apps are remarkably accurate.

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  1. Dan (@danmdan) - 9 years ago

    The problem with putting a finger over the camera lens to get heart-rate is that any moisture or finger-grease will take the sharpness out of subsequent photos. So clean the lens cover after using any heart-rate App.

    • weakguy - 9 years ago

      Try Cardio Buddy. You’ll love it. It is scarily accurate for me.

      • Nick (@Nick00653956) - 9 years ago

        may i suggest a similar app, which is “what’s my heart rate”. Because I think it is quite accurate too, you all can download it for free from app store and have a comparison on both :)

    • Dimitri Kyriakis - 9 years ago

      Look at the picture above. The same thing can be said about the app on the iPhone as well. you need to put your finger gently onto of the Camera lens. Which means the same thing u said about the camera lens for the S5

      • herb02135go - 9 years ago

        No, this is wrong. The new S5 has a dedicated sensor, so you will not be putting your finger on the camera lens.

        Having a separate sensor is better, as putting your finger on the lens/cleaning is not good for the lens.

        The camera features on the S5 are incredible.

  2. mockery17 - 9 years ago

    No I am not jealous, thank you. Thanks for the app recommendations though (I have been using Heart Rate Monitor since a year ago).

  3. Drew (@gettysburg11s) - 9 years ago

    Yeah, no reason to be jealous of the S5. The iPhone 5S already does this with any number of apps, and it works well (at least the ones that have you put your finger on the camera lens). I did notice that you need to have your finger flat against the lens, which may mean taking off your case.

  4. sptolboe - 9 years ago

    I don’t believe just being able to measure my heart rate qualifies a company to market their device as “health and fitness”. I can measure this myself without any device!

  5. I’ve been using the Azumio app and its as accurate as my traditional chest-strap heart rate monitor

  6. Hugo Ceja - 9 years ago

    c mon samsung had almost a year to review the 5s

  7. Rafal Bujakowski - 9 years ago

    Why would I be jealous of an oversized plastic clone of iPhone. Fingerprint scanner is yet another “original” idea by Samsung. Apple did it, now we can too. We’ll only ad something extra, it doesn’t matter what, just something else. As blatant as ever.

    • Newface Bookman - 9 years ago

      Although I think the heart rate sensor is a stupid gimmick, I can not understand your attitude or tone towards originality against Samsung, this ONE example is exactly what apple does ALL THE TIME and calls it “innovation” . YouTube a video called “apple didn’t invent anything” .. oh and why isn’t the water proof feature a big deal? No other phone can do it, and water proof is a HUGE benefit in a “super phone” or any phone for that matter. .y not focus on that instead of heart gimmick?

      • rafalb177 - 9 years ago

        So you call a different case a great innovation? That’s not much to understand my attitude. It’s a simple as that, Shamesung simply do several things because Apple does just because they do it right and Apple new products are extremely successful. That happened with iPod, iPhone or iPad. All those product categories existed before, but Apple did them in a completely new way, then other folks follow that style. And Shamsung took that to lot higher level with their near-replicas of Apple products. Here’s just another example:,spot-the-difference-heres-a-samsung-series-9-and-macbook-air-side-by-side.aspx

        I’ve seen the video you mentioned (I like the example with MagSafe cable plug. The same way I can argue those guys who made similar plug for deep fryer. They’ve invented neither power cord nor magnet, they just put them together. Apple did the same with MacBooks. They used magnetic plug and nobody did that before). I think someone in Apple said they hadn’t invented several things. There’s a difference between invention and innovation, but for some people these two words probably sound too similar.

  8. celiknimani - 8 years ago

    A super accurate and easy to use app with great design is Heart Rate for iOS and Android I really love the history tracking options for overall history and weekly average.

  9. desmondyip728 - 8 years ago

    Check this brand new heart rate monitor app as well. It is also remarkably accurate. It judge your fitness level or your exercise intensity by using your heart rate. Good for everyday use or use for high intensity interval training purpose

  10. Jacky Chow - 7 years ago

    This is another option for the heart rate monitoring function. Great Accuracy. Have a try.


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.