It's no secret that your heart is an essential element of not only staying fit but also staying alive. Heart Rate is a Windows Phone 8 app designed to measure your heart rate while offering a history of these readings.
Heart Rate is similar to the other heart monitoring apps we've seen over the years. The app uses your Windows Phone camera to record tiny pulses in your finger tip caused by your heart pumping. The pulse or color change is recorded and translated into beats per minute. It may not be the most accurate heart rate monitor but it gets you in the ballpark.
The main pages of Heart Rate cover the measurement page that displays your current reading, a history page that displays your previous readings and a help page.
Measuring your heart rate is simple. Gently press your index finger over the camera lens of your Windows Phone and tap the start button on the Measure Page. Heart Rate will measure your heart rate and while it's figuring things out you'll see the progress bar advance and an EKG like display be generated.
After a few seconds, your beats per minute will be calculated, displayed, and added to your History Page. If you tap on the reading on the History Page a free-form text block will appear where you can jot down notes about the measurement. If it was taken after exercise, while resting, after a stressful meeting, etc.
A few observations on measuring your heart rate... if you press too hard or too lightly, it effects the measurement. It's a gently press that needs to cover the entire lens. Similar to holding an egg shell in place against a wall. Press to hard and it shatters, too loose and it falls. Well lit areas seem to work the best but if you're in a dimly lit room, the camera light kicks in and brightens things up. Oh... and if you tap the lens while the app tries to get a reading, it elevates your heart rate.
I wouldn't consider getting rid of my medically certified blood pressure monitor for Heart Rate but it does get you in the ballpark as far as your heart rate is concerned. All in all, Heart Rate is a decent fitness app for your Windows Phone 8 device. It would have been nice to see an option to export the history for off-device review though.
Heart Rate is a free, ad-support app for your Windows Phone 8 device and you can find it here in the Windows Phone Store.
P.S. There is also a free Windows Phone 7.x version that you can find here in the Store as well.