As highlighted in my other reviews I used to be a stressed, fat heavy drinker that would get palpitations when I tried to sleep. Since then I have always been a bit paranoid about my heart health, and while I am extremely fit, my blood pressure does have a tendency to read on the high end of normal. My review of the Wiwe ECG also occasionally indicated irregular heartbeats which has fuelled my paranoia more.
The previous monitors and the iCheck 7 in this review are all Bluetooth enabled allowing you to sync your results to your phone. I liked the ActivScan 9, the user interface made it very simple to use, and you can have multiple users assigned to it. However, it was a little temperamental with its readings, I found it read a bit high, and you had to be in a particular position to get an accurate reading.
The iCheck 7 is a much smaller device suitable for one person, and it is ideal if you need to carry around a blood pressure monitor with you for whatever reason, such as travelling etc.
It is also a wrist-based device, so this makes it a bit more convenient to test yourself. You could easily carry out this test in a public setting without looking too weird. Being wrist-based it may also be more suitable for people with huge arms, such as weightlifters or obese people. However, this is dependent on your wrist size too, this goes to 21cm which I am not sure if it is large or not, I am cursed with thin girly wrists, so there is plenty of room for me.
Similar to the other products, you can use this independently if you choose, the process is quite simple. Once around your wrist, you press the power button, and then you get 2 dots that need to align up before it starts. Your wrist needs to be on the same level as your heart; I found it more comfortable to slouch back on my chair and rest my wrist on my chest.
Pairing the device with your phone is also simple, you will need to download the Braun app and follow the instructions. All you need to do is hold the power button until the Bluetooth notification shows and then hit pair.
After being paired, I was informed I needed to update the firmware and this process took about 5 mins or so. After upgrading I had to repair, this time it took a lot longer to connect, but it got there eventually.
One of the things I liked about the ActivScan 9 was the app, and this uses the same app. The interface and features are considerably better than the Omron alternative. It looks nicer and it is much more user-friendly to delve down into all the results.
You can view all your results either in graph, list or calendar view so this makes it very simple to keep track of the trend of your blood pressure. On top of this, you can also make notes of diet, exercise, sleep and mood. You also have the option to say if you took medication or not. For most people wanting to track their blood pressure as part of a healthy lifestyle, these features are probably redundant, but if you do have blood pressure issues, they provide an excellent log allowing you to see how certain variables affect your blood pressure.
The wrist-based system is not only more convenient to use, but it appears to be more accurate than the ActivScan 9. I still got a few erratic results, but if you follow the guide and use a bit of common sense when taking your reading and interpreting the results, I found it quite accurate. When the results were inaccurate they appear to read low rather than very high like the ActivScan, the small issue here is that it could give you a false sense of security if you don’t take multiple readings.
Most of the readings matched up with the Omron Evolv which I found to be consistently accurate with nearly all its readings. Using the ActivScan 9 immediately after the iCheck I was getting systolic readings that were consistently 10 points higher, which meant my reading went from green to yellow, or a systolic from around 125 to 135.
Unless you specifically need 2 user support, I have found the Braun iCheck 7 to be superior to the ActivScan 9 in almost every aspect. First and foremost, its readings appear to be consistently more accurate which is the most important thing when it comes to a heart rate monitor. It is around £50 cheaper which is a considerable saving, it is much smaller and convenient to use and carry around.
I think the Omron is a bit more reliable with its readings, but this has a better app, and the wrist-based system makes life a little easier. They are both priced almost the same too, so I would say they are both about equal and if you were going to buy one, decide if you want to do wrist or upper arm readings.
Braun iCheck 7 Review
Product Name: Braun iCheck 7
Ease of use - 90%
Accuracy - 80%
Price - 75%