- Can be worn on the chest, arm, or wrist, catering to various workout preferences
- Uses both ECG and PPG sensors for accurate heart rate readings
- It features a small LED light that indicates the heart rate zone you're in
- Long battery life
- App has a busy interface, which can be confusing
- Armband cradle could be improved
- Pricey for a heart rate monitor
In this review, I take a closer look at the MyZone MZ-Switch. I’ll go over its distinct features, evaluate its performance, and discuss how this device might fit into your fitness routine. Let’s get started.
Myzone’s product portfolio includes the MZ-3, a heart rate monitor praised for its good connectivity and memory capabilities. There’s also the MZ-1, a low-cost option designed for studio use. By displaying workout and physical activity data directly from your heart rate monitor, the MZ-60 Watch broadens the scope of fitness tracking. Myzone has expanded their innovative scope recently by introducing connected sportswear to the market, offering items such as MZ compression shirts and sports bras that pair with your heart rate monitor for a liberating, belt-free workout experience.
With a plethora of heart rate monitors on the market, the question that arises is, where does the MZ-Switch fit in this competitive landscape? Hold on tight, because we’re about to find out.
MZ-Switch review: Design, hardware
Look & feel
A device’s look and feel is critical in any review, and the MyZone MZ-Switch is no exception. Its unique design is one of the things that distinguishes it from traditional heart rate monitors, offering a level of versatility that is noteworthy in its category.
The MZ-Switch is a small device, the core unit resembling the size of a large coin. Because of its light weight and small form-factor, it is comfortable to wear and unobtrusive during workouts. The device is far more circular and lightweight than its predecessor, the MZ-3. This was done purposefully to accommodate the MZ-Switch’s ability to wear it in three different ways.
To my knowledge, while there are handful of heart rate straps on the market that can be worn on the arm or the chest, MZ-Switch is the only one that allows you the wrist as an additional option. This level of convenience has to be experienced in order to be fully appreciated. The ability to change the location of the device not only makes it more comfortable, but also allows for more accurate readings depending on the type of exercise performed.
The MZ-Switch is made up of a sensor technology module and a single discrete button that toggles tracking on and off. When worn on the wrist or arm, a small LED light indicates that tracking has begun and shows which heart rate zone you are in. The colour of the LED changes as you progress through the heart rate zones. This makes it simple to check if you’re on target, a minor feature that makes a big difference in user experience.
The MZ-Switch comes with a comfortable chest strap, stretchy armbands, and Velcro wristbands to keep the device in place without feeling too tight. If you don’t like the signature MyZone red, the straps are also available in violet, sunset orange, black, and green.
These bands are adjustable and comfortable to wear during workouts. The chest strap option is easy to put on and stays in place once the module is clipped in. The armband and wrist options are also comfortable, though I found that pressing the module button sometimes dislodged it slightly from the cradle that holds it in place.
As far as water-resistance, the device can withstand depths of up to 10 metres, making it appropriate for swim workouts. MyZone recommends choosing the wristband solution while swimming to monitor heart rate. That’s much less obtrusive in the pool than something that goes around your chest.
Overall, the MyZone MZ-Switch is an attractive heart rate monitor that provides versatility and convenience. It’s a worthy successor to the Myzone MZ-3, vastly improving on its design while retaining its key strengths.
Under the Hood
Let’s take a closer look at what drives the MyZone MZ-Switch. This heart rate monitor is more than just its fashionable and adaptable design; what’s under the hood is just as important.
The MZ-Switch employs ECG and PPG sensor technology to provide accurate heart rate monitoring. When you clip the device to the chest strap, the ECG sensor activates, whereas the PPG sensor, which is light-based like most wrist and armband heart rate monitors, activates when you wear it on your wrist or arm. You don’t have to do anything to switch them over; the device detects where you’re wearing it and switches between sensors automatically.
The adaptability of the monitor does not stop there. The wearable supports Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ connectivity, so can pair with a range of other devices. For testing purposes I connected it to a Garmin Forerunner 955 watch.
There’s also on-board memory. The MZ-Switch can store up to 36 hours of workout data in its software. This is ideal for those who tend to forget to bring their phone or prefer not to be tethered to their device during a workout.
Another positive of MZ-Switch is its battery life. Depending on your particular usage patterns, this wearable can last anywhere between 3 and 6 months. You will get to the higher end of this range if you primarily use the device as a chest strap monitor as this is less power hungry. Of course, frequent use of the optical sensor may reduce battery life slightly.
The battery life held up well during my testing period that included a combination of optical and ECG monitoring. So I have no reason to doubt the advertised battery life. MZ Switch is definitely not something you will be charging often.
The companion app allows you to view the battery status and receive timely updates. Unfortunately, the LED light on the device does not indicate battery life. So you do need to check the status in the app.
When it’s time to recharge, you can rely on the included proprietary charging cable. This securely connects to the device and prevents accidental disconnections while charging. I can’t say I am a fan of proprietary cables and would have preferred a more standard solution.
MZ-Switch review: Technical specs
Chest, Wrist, Arm
Chest Strap, Arm Band, Wrist Band
32mm in diameter and 10mm thick (core unit)
17 grams (core unit)
36 hours of exercise data
ECG (Chest), PPG (Wrist, Arm)
ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0
MyZone App, Third-Party Apps, Watches, Exercise Equipment
Up to 140 Hours (Chest), 35 Hours (Optical Arm)
Up to 10 Meters
Red (signature), Violet, Sunset Orange, Black, Green
Price (typical RRP)
MZ-Switch review: Features
Setup and use
It’s easy to get started with the MyZone MZ-Switch. The first step after unboxing your new heart rate monitor is to ensure it is fully charged. The LED light will flash as the device refuels; this will stop when the device is fully charged.
While your MZ-Switch is charging, download the MyZone App to your smartphone. It is available in the App Store for iOS devices and the Google Play Store for Android phones. This app is an essential part of your MZ-Switch experience because it displays all of your workout data.
You can pair the two once the app is installed and your MZ-Switch is fully charged. This is easily accomplished through the app’s settings. The software will walk you through the pairing process, which includes ensuring that your Bluetooth is turned on and that MZ-Switch is nearby.
After you’ve paired the device, you can choose where you want to wear your MZ-Switch. Use the appropriate strap provided in the box to secure it in place. This versatility is a significant selling point for me. It makes it very simple to use the heart rate monitor when engaging in any type of exercise.
You’re now ready to begin your workout. As soon as you start moving, the MZ-Switch will start tracking your heart rate and other data. If the smartphone app is open, it will display real-time data as you are exercising. Otherwise, simply sync the data to your smartphone after the workout is finished.
The smartphone app
The Myzone app is unlike any other fitness software that I have used so far. Its distinction stems from its approach to fitness tracking, which emphasises a more social and gamified experience.
When you launch the app, you’re greeted with a timeline of workouts completed by friends you’ve connected with. This allows you to interact with their progress in the same way they can with yours.
The app uses a ranking system in which the more frequently you exercise, the higher your status. Workouts that you complete earn you something called MEPs (Myzone Effort Points). This is a system based on World Health Organisation guidelines. Accumulating these points raises your status, beginning with iron and progressing to bronze, silver, and so on.
The app is ideal for those in early stages of their fitness journey or those that do not own a smartwatch. Or for those that appreciate the social aspect and are looking for motivation to compete with their friends and push themselves. I actually found the app to be a bit too busy – and would have preferred something simpler.
Those who are further along in their fitness journey may, therefore, choose other options. As mentioned, the device features Bluetooth and ANT+ technology, making it compatible with a variety of fitness platforms such as Strava, MapMyRun, and Apple Health, as well as a variety of gym equipment such as Peloton machines. This wide range of compatibility ensures that the MZ-Switch can be integrated into your fitness journey regardless of your workout routine or equipment.
Accuracy of data
Finally we get to accuracy, the most important aspect of heart rate monitor testing. I am happy to report that the accuracy of the MZ-Switch’s data is one of its strong suits.
As mentioned, when worn on your chest, the MZ-Switch uses an ECG sensor. This results in highly accurate heart rate monitor – more accurate than those from the average smartwatch or fitness tracker. The device switches to an optical PPG sensor when worn on your arm or wrist, which while not as accurate as the ECG, still provides reliable data.
Myzone claims an accuracy of 99.4% for readings when using the ECG sensor and 95% when using the optical sensor to measure heart rate from the arm or wrist. This jives with my experience.
In practical tests across a range of activities, the MZ-Switch consistently held up well against other options. Whether it was worn on the wrist or forearm for running and cycling, or on the chest for high-intensity workouts, the MZ-Switch’s data was reliable and close to that provided by other heart rate monitors and my Garmin Forerunner 955 watch.
That being said, I did encounter a minor hiccup when pairing the device with my Garmin as an external heart rate monitor. Occasionally, during workouts, the connection would falter briefly.
As shown in the screen shots above, this might occur two or three times within a 5-10K run. So these disconnections are not a major issue. They’re quite fleeting and don’t disrupt the overall accuracy of the data.
The MyZone MZ-Switch takes a unique place amongst heart rate monitors due to its exceptional blend of adaptability, solid design, and dependable performance. It’s a device that doesn’t tell you how to wear it; instead, it gives you the option of wearing it on your chest, arm, or wrist.
The MZ-Switch integrates ECG and PPG sensor technology, providing highly accurate heart rate monitoring that adapts to your wearing preference. It also has a substantial built-in memory that stores up to 36 hours of exercise data, which is convenient for those who prefer to work out without their smartphones.
Its battery life is impressive, lasting between 3 to 6 months depending on your usage. The device can withstand up to 10 meters of water, making it an excellent option for swim workouts.
On the downside, the companion MyZone app is quite busy and might feel overwhelming for some users. Its complexity, however, comes with the advantage of a gamified, social fitness tracking experience, which can be highly motivating for some. Also, the device works with a wide range of third-party apps and fitness equipment, allowing it to be a seamless part of any workout programme.
Another minor drawback is the occasional connectivity issue I noticed when pairing with the Garmin Forerunner 955 watch. Despite this small hiccup, the MZ-Switch’s overall performance and accuracy is reliable and consistent.
The MyZone MZ-Switch, priced at $159.99, might be slightly more expensive than other heart rate monitors on the market. But considering its unique features and versatility of wearing options it is definitely worth considering.
*We are a review site that receives a small commission from sales of certain items, but the price is the same for you. Purchasing items by clicking on links in this article allows us to run this website. We are independently owned and all opinions expressed here are our own. See our affiliate disclosure page for more details.
Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!