How Does a Heart Rate Monitor Work on an iPhone?

Heart Rate Monitors

iPhone heart rate monitor with strap

The iPhone is the most iconic Smartphone on the planet today and has become synonymous with innovation. Sure, it makes and receives phones calls, text messages, and emails like every other model on the market right now.

However, Apple’s flagship gadget also comes with lots of sophisticated functions, one of which is the ability to help measure the heart rates of users.

So how does a heart rate monitor work on the iPhone? If you are health-conscious and currently an iPhone user or planning to become one soon, this is bound to be one of the most pressing questions on your mind.

Well there are there are 3 main ways the popular Smartphone can be leveraged as a heart rate monitor. Let’s take a look at each of them so you can choose the one that works for you the next time you hit the gym with your Apple gadget.

Pairing Directly with Third Party Apps

maximum heart rate monitoring on iPhone

One of the few limits of the iPhone is the lack of built-in heart rate sensors. Sure, there are rumors that Apple will introduce new feature into the next generation iPhone but until then, we have no option than to make do with what we have.

Many 3rd party health and fitness apps come with heart rate monitors that do a good job of accurately measuring your pulse as you work out. They require placement of a finger on the phone’s camera lens to make it possible.

These apps rely on the Smartphone’s camera to monitor your pulse. The information gathered is then leveraged to calculate your heart rate.

From premium fitness apps such as Instant Heart Rate by Azumio to completely free options including the Runtastic Monitor, checking your heart rate with an iPhone has never been easier.

These apps have been found to be pretty accurate in measuring your pulse and heart health information so feel free to use any of them.

Pairing with a Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor

iPhone heart rate monitor with strap

There are lots of chest strap-enabled heart rate monitors available for sale today which have been specially designed for the iPhone and Apple Watch.

These devices can be paired with your Apple gadgets to keep progress of your stats and fitness levels as you continue to work with intensity. During workouts, your performance metrics can be synced with your phone via apps such as Daily Workouts, Apple Health, and Activities.

A few of the top chest straps that sync easily with the iPhone and Apple Watch include the Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor and Wahoo TICKR X. The good news is that these awesome chest strap heart rate monitors are also compatible with the most popular gym equipment.

This makes it easier to sync your performance data from machines such as stationary bikes, ellipticals, and treadmills into third-party apps available on the App Store.

Pairing with GPS Watches Manufactured Built-in Heart Rate Monitors

image showing a runner with iPhone pulse monitor

Another option you can explore to get an idea of your heart rate is by pairing an iPhone with a GPS watch that incorporates an internal heart rate sensor.

These watches tend to have sensors in the wristbands that can detect your pulse and transmit the necessary information to an iPhone when synced with it.

Whether you are running, jogging, or pounding any home gym equipment with intensity, your core stats can be transmitted instantly to an iPhone. This allows you to monitor your exercise sessions even as you workout, which can be extremely motivating.

The Fitbit Blaze, Garmin Forerunner 220, and Polar FT7 are the top heart rate monitor watches perfect for syncing with an iPhone.


The iPhone can be a perfect partner for anyone who wants to take their fitness to another level. Fortunately, some of the best health apps available on the market today and heart rate monitors are made compatible with the popular Smartphone.

Take advantage of the wonderful features available to you and you’ll be amazed at the significant transformations in your fitness and overall quality of life.