Measure your heart rate with your Android camera

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 11, 2013
Updated • Dec 12, 2013
Apps, Google Android

You have lots of options to measure your heart rate. One of the easiest options is to measure your pulse by placing two fingers on the thumb side of the wrist until you feel the pulse beating there.

To get an accurate reading, count the pulse for one minute but at the very least for 30 seconds. If you count it by 30 seconds, multiple it by two to get your heart rate.

There are other locations on your body where you can measure your heart rate: the neck, under the biceps or over the abdomen are just some locations where this is possible.

While easy to do, since you do not need any special tools to measure your heart rate besides a clock, it is not the most comfortable option, especially when you are in a noisy environment or one where it is difficult to concentrate.

Measure your heart rate with an app

instant heart rate monitor record heart rate app pulse

Instant Heart Rate is a free application for Android that measures your heart rate in a matter of seconds. It uses the camera of the device to do so.

How? All you have to do is hold your finger against the camera lens for the measuring to start. It usually takes about fifteen seconds before the heart rate is displayed on the screen.

So how is this done and how accurate is the measuring?

According to the developers, it is tracking color changes on the fingertip. These color changes are directly linked to the pulse, and it is therefore possible to measure the heart rate using the camera.

Medical Pulse Oximeters, those little devices that you put your finger into to measure your heart rate use the very same technology to do so.

The heart rate is shown on a graph that is divided into green, yellow and red parts, indicating good, average and problematic heart rates.

Generally speaking, a heart rate between 60 to 100 beats per minute should not be of concern, while too low heart rates can either mean that the person is well-trained, or that there is something wrong if that is not the case.

Anyway, lots of factors can influence the heart rate including the activity level, emotions, medication and more.

The application is excellent at quickly determining a person's heart rate. It is easy to use and the results are quite accurate as well. You can test that for yourself by measuring your pulse and using the app at the same time. This is best done with another device or if another person is available, with help.

What is not so good is the constant reminder to sign up for an account or to sign in to it. This is displayed after each reading, and it can become quite annoying if you are using the application regularly.

You can modify several of the settings of the app. It is possible to disable the autostop after 15 seconds, so that the pulse can be measured longer than that. Other options are to disable animations which will save you a bit of power, or to animate the heart beat which will drain more power.


It is surprising what this application can do. Its main features are that it is dead easy to use and rather accurate in the measuring. If you need to measure your heart rate regularly, for medical or other reasons, then you may want to give this one a try.

It needs to be noted that this is not a professional medical device, and that you should not rely on it exclusively if you need to get accurate measurements of your pulse frequency regularly.


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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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