In the MZ-Switch, Myzone has created its most accessible heart rate tracker yet that combines the company’s fondness for accurate data with the more comfortable design of wrist-based wearables. For anyone starting out on their fitness journey, the accompanying Myzone app turns your workout into a fun and engaging social event, as opposed to the slog that it can be. Fitness enthusiasts will be better suited with the likes of the Whoop Strap 4.0, but for everyone else the MZ-Switch is a great option to start with.
- The most versatile heart rate monitor yet
- An excellent, social-first approach to fitness
- Accurate data that’s easy to understand
- There are more in-depth options out there for fitness enthusiasts
- UKRRP: £139.99
- USARRP: $159.99
- AustraliaRRP: AU$209.99
- Three ways to track:The MZ-Switch can be worn on your chest, arm or on your wrist
- ECG and PPG:High rate of accuracy for keeping track of your exertion and heart rate
- Long battery life:Keep going for up to six-months
As the most recent addition to Myzone’s range of heart rate monitors, the Myzone MZ-Switch seeks to offer users more flexibility than ever.
When it comes to making meaningful changes to your health and fitness, it can sometimes be a bit of a battle to know where to start with wearables.
After all, if you’re not the most technologically minded person but you want to start tracking your workouts, then all of the extra toppings you get with smartwatches and fitness trackers might seem superfluous. If that’s the case then a dedicated heart rate monitor could be the best way to go.
Typically available as chest straps, these heart rate monitors don’t see quite the same levels of innovation as the smartwatch space, but this is exactly what Myzone intends to put a stop to by shaking things up with its newest piece of kit. I’ve spent a great deal of time testing the MZ-Switch and I can now say with confidence that the change was worth the wait.
- Three new ways to wear the MZ-Switch
- Smaller than the Myzone MZ-3
- An LED indicator now features on the device
Even though it does away with numbering conventions, the MZ-Switch is technically a successor to Myzone’s previous heart rate monitor, the Myzone MZ-3. Both of these devices keep the Myzone logo front and centre, whilst also making use of the same colour palette, but otherwise the MZ-Switch is considerably smaller than its predecessor.
Unlike the pebble style frame of the MZ-3, the Switch is far more circular and lightweight – designed this way to facilitate the MZ-Switch’s biggest feature: the ability to wear the device three different ways. Alongside the traditional chest strap, the MZ-Switch also comes with a wrist-worn strap and a strap that wraps around your forearm.
What’s helpful about this level of freedom is that it allows the Switch to be used in a wider variety of workouts than its predecessors. For instance, when using a chest strap HRM whilst on a rowing machine, I’ve always encountered inconsistent results due to my torso being in constant motion. With the Switch however, I simply moved the device to my forearm and lo and behold, the results were far more in line with what I anticipated.
Previous Myzone users will already know that the MZ-3 needed to be worn for a few moments before turning itself on automatically, and the occasional trickiness of that process ended up being a downside in our review. In order to avoid this when the MZ-Switch isn’t worn on the chest, Myzone has seen fit to finally add a traditional ‘on button’ to the device.
There’s even a small LED light that’s been added to the top of the Switch that lets you know which heart rate zone you’re in. Previously you could only find this out by either jumping onto your smartphone or being very in tune with your own heartbeat. Regardless of what your methods were, there’s no denying that it’s now just a lot easier to glance down at your wrist or arm to know whether you’re on target. It’s a minor tweak that makes a big difference.
Fitness tracking and app
- High accuracy heart rate tracking
- Myzone app makes exercise a social event
- Easy to understand for beginners
I’ve always lauded the Fitbit wearables for their excellence in communicating where you are in relation to your fitness goals, but when casting the net out to include heart rate monitors in the conversation, the MZ-Switch makes it easier than ever to understand your performance during each individual workout.
Not too dissimilar to Polar’s fitness trackers, the MZ-Switch breaks down your performance into colour coded sections known as ‘Zones’. With five zones in total to show you where are in relation to your base heart rate, it’s understandable at a glance as to whether you’ve given it your all in a workout (plenty of time in the yellow and red zones) or you’ve been caught slacking (too long spent in the grey or blue zones). If you’ve ever found the dashboards of the Coros and Garmin apps to be a little overwhelming, then Myzone’s system is the perfect antidote in this regard.
Because the MZ-Switch uses an astute ECG sensor when worn on your chest, you can also rest assured that the results you’re getting back are highly accurate – certainly more so than what you’d find with your average smartwatch or fitness tracker. The device does switch to an optical PPG sensor when worn on your arm or wrist however, and while that method isn’t quite as accurate as ECG, it still gets the job done just fine.
The aforementioned accessibility factor even feeds into the rest of the Myzone app, which has the rather ingenious approach of turning fitness into more of a social affair. Just like the social media sites that have inspired it, as soon as you open up the Myzone app you’re treated to a timeline of workouts completed by friends you’ve connected with. You can show your support by liking or commenting on their progress, just as they can do for your results whenever you complete a workout. You can even post a picture to go alongside your results – although I tend to abstain from selfies when I’m at my sweatiest.
If the eyes of your peers just isn’t quite enough motivation for you, then you’ll be glad to know that Myzone also employs a ranking system wherein, the more consistently you exercise, the better your status. Completing workouts will earn you MEPs (Myzone Effort Points) – a system that’s based upon recommended guidelines from the World Health Organisation – 1300 of which will you nab you iron status, then bronze, silver and so on.
Even though the Myzone app doesn’t look quite as up to date as its competitors, I have enjoyed my time using it and I can see it being an instant hit with anyone who’s been put off exercising in the past. By keeping the social aspect at the core of its design, it’s harder to avoid that morning run or a trip to gym, knowing that your friends will see if you haven’t been putting the effort in.
Because of its simplicity, the Myzone app doesn’t come with the more detailed information that’s essential beyond the early stages of a fitness journey. These include knowing when to take a break and recover, or even workout suggestions to target different areas of the body, so there is a bit of research that needs to take place if you’re new to fitness tracking.
However, if you do have another wearable like the Apple Watch 7 or a Garmin Venu 2, you can connect the MZ-Switch via Bluetooth to add more detailed heart rate tracking to your existing routine. You also won’t have to worry about longevity as the MZ-Switch can last for up to six months on a single charge.
Should you buy it?
You don’t enjoy working out alone: If you need a class or friends to motivate you then the MZ-Switch is the ideal fitness tracker, thanks to the Myzone app’s social features.
You need a comprehensive workout experience: the MZ-Switch is great at showing how much effort you’re putting into your workouts, but if you need more granular data then it’s best to look elsewhere.
The Myzone MZ-Switch achieves the unthinkable, in that it makes heart rate monitors interesting again. The device’s versatility ensures that it’s so much more accessible that any HRM before it, and its miniature design prevents the MZ-Switch from ever feeling cumbersome while in use.
As great as the device is, it’s the Myzone app and its approach to fitness tracking that truly reels you in. It’s not as comprehensive as what you’ll find from the likes of Garmin or Coros, but it’s because of its simplicity and its aim to make working out more of a social endeavour that allows the Myzone ecosystem to feel so endearing. For any folks who have just joined a gym or set themselves a bunch of new fitness goals, the Myzone MZ-Switch makes for a great companion.
How we test
We thoroughly test every heart rate monitor we review. We use industry standard testing to compare features properly and we use the HRM in question as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Worn as our main HRM during the testing period
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Yes, the Myzone MZ-Switch will work with both systems.
No, the MZ-Switch relies on a smartphone connection to show you your workout progress.
The MZ-Switch is waterproof in up to 10 metres of water.