Wrist-mounted blood pressure monitors don't have a reputation for performing well, but the Omron 7 Series BP652 is the highest-ranked among those tested in a recent independent test. Most users praise it as a comfortable, portable heart rate monitor that gives fast readings; however, others point out that learning to position the BP652 properly and master its many features requires a long learning curve. Small lights on the monitor turn blue once you've got it in the proper position, or orange if you haven't positioned it correctly; a buzzer can also be set to signal proper positioning.
The BP652 has a slightly higher percentage of accuracy complaints than comparable upper-arm monitors, perhaps because a wrist monitor requires an extra step to position it correctly over your heart. One user reports that Omron customer service said this model was not appropriate for those with diabetes or high blood pressure. (Calls to the company to verify this went unanswered.) Features on this model include 200-reading storage (100 per each of two user accounts), irregular heartbeat detection and advanced averaging. The wrist-size ComFit cuff can accommodate wrists from 5-1/4 inches to 8-1/2 inches (13 cm to 21 cm) in circumference.
ConsumerReports.org is the best source of expert feedback about the Omron BP652. Amazon.com offers about 180 user reviews, and Walmart.com and Drugstore.com offer a smaller sampling of diverging user perspectives.
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The editors of ConsumerReports.org tested 21 automatic blood pressure monitors, including six wrist models. The latter were evaluated under the same criteria as upper-arm models; full details are available to subscribers.
Review: Blood-Pressure Monitor Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Jan. 2012
About 180 reviewers give the Omron BP652 a 4.5-star average rating. They praise its ease of use, especially the indicators that show whether you have the monitor positioned correctly; one user says that Omron customer service told her this model is not for those with high blood pressure or diabetes.
Review: Omron BP652 7 Series Blood Pressure Wrist Unit, Contributors to Amazon.com
More than a dozen user reviewers give this model a slightly better than 4-star rating. Although most praise the model's ease of use and accuracy, one reports problems positioning the monitor and another complains that it's inaccurate when compared to a nurse's blood pressure readings.
Review: Omron 7 Series Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor, Contributors to Walmart.com
Only about five reviewers rank the BP652, giving it an average rating of 3 stars. The biggest complaint is inaccurate readings, although one user also expresses concerns about the unit's durability.
Review: Omron 7 Series Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor, Model BP652, Contributors to Drugstore.com