Cheap Android heart rate monitor
I thought I would share this little gem for anyone here who might be interested.
I was recently looking into a cheap way to get heart rate monitoring in Android for use in Endomondo and other apps and the options seem to rather limited. I have a Sony Smartwatch 3, which is lovely Android wear device but lacking a heart rate monitor.
There are plenty of expensive options, but these are either chest straps, which I don't like anyway, or more fully featured devices i.e. other Android wear watches with HRM or FitBit and FitBitesque devices which provide features I already have/don't need.
I then came across the Xiaomi Mi Band 1s (aka the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse). It's a fairly small wrist band device that uses Bluetooth LE to connect, and at time of writing can be had for around £20 on eBay. In theory it only works with the Xiaomi Mi Band app, however it can be used with Endomondo and other apps with a small work around, you simply need to trigger continous heart rate monitoring on the Mi Band, before using Endomondo (or other app).
This can be done by either starting a running session in the Mi Band app, or using a third party app that has the ability to trigger the continuous monitoring, there is a paid but relatively cheap app available called MiBand Tools which adds a persistant notifcation to the notification bar with a toggle for the continuous monitoring which is sufficient to enable use in Endomondo.
One small note of caution, the supplied rubber wrist band into which the device itself fits is not especially large so if you have thick wrists you may need to look into an alternate strap.
Hope this is of use to someone who is looking for the same solution I was.