Android and external Biometric sensors

The Strava Android App version 4.9 supports various biometric sensors

Strava for Android supports Bluetooth LE and ANT+ technology. 

  • To use Bluetooth LE sensors with Strava, your phone must be running Android version 4.3 or greater and must be equipped with BLE sensors.
  • To use ANT+ sensors, your phone must be equipped with ANT+ technology or be able to use an ANT+ adaptor. In order to use an ANT+ USB adapter, your phone must be compatible with USB OTG (On The Go). 
  • We officially support Wahoo sensors, however most other Bluetooth LE and ANT+ sensors should work.



How to pair a sensor


  • Navigate to the Record screen and tap the Sensor icon. 
  • You'll see the option: 
    • (x) Sensors Nearby
  • Tap that option and follow the prompts.
  • If you are required to install additional ANT+ services, you will need to do so in order to use ANT+ sensors. 
  • If you are using the USB adapter, make sure to check the box next to the "Use by default" message or else you will see this prompt every time you try to connect a sensor. 
  • Once your device has installed the software packages and you've proceeded through the prompts, you'll see the app "Searching for Bluetooth and ANT+ Sensors" 
  • When your sensor appears, tap the + icon to add the sensor. 
  • You'll now see that sensor's data on the record screen of the Strava app.

Bluetooth LE

  • Enable Bluetooth in your phone's system settings.
  • Navigate to the Record screen and tap the Sensor icon. (A)
  • You'll see the app "Searching for Bluetooth and ANT+ Sensors" 
  • When your sensor appears, tap the + icon to add the sensor. 
  • You'll now see that sensor's data on the record screen of the Strava app. 

Other things to keep in mind

  • If you disabled your phone's pre-installed ANT+ services, they must be re-enabled in order to use ANT+ sensors.
  • The app prefers previously-connected sensors to new sensors. To forget old sensors, tap the - button next to the sensor you'd like to remove.
  • You should not pair multiple devices to your Bluetooth sensor because Bluetooth only allows you to pair to one device. 

  • If you enable your phone's internal step detector and use a footpod, we’ll only use the data coming from the footpod. Samsung S5 users should note that their phone does not report step rate unless the screen is unlocked—this will significantly decrease battery life. 

  • We do not support Bluetooth 2.0 



Troubleshooting Connection Issues

If you are unable to connect or see your sensor in the Strava app, try toggling Bluetooth off then on in your phone's settings.

When the Strava Android app is connected to sensors but does not receive data for several minutes it will indicate so by showing the sensor icons on a red background. This error state will persist until you reconnect to new sensors, for example by toggling individual sensors in the Biometric Sensors settings page, or when you start recording an activity.


What is a Biometric Sensor?

A Biometric Sensor is an external hardware device that connects to the Strava Android app to provide additional performance data for the Strava activity recording process. The Strava Android app supports heart rate monitors, cadence sensors, and power meters.

Do you support speed and/or cadence data gathered from power meters?

The Strava Android app does not gather speed or cadence data gathered from power meters at this time.


Do you use the speed data gathered from speed sensors?

The Strava Android app does not use speed data gathered from speed sensors. Please see article: How Distance Is Calculated for more details.


How can I ensure I have a strong connection between my Android device and my Biometric Sensors?

The best way to ensure a strong connection is to provide an unobstructed path between your Android device and the Biometric Sensors to which you are connecting.  Bluetooth devices transmit signals to devices at a frequency of 2.4GHz, which does not pass through water very well. Because the human body is mostly water, you may encounter data transmission issues if your body is obstructing the path. To work around this, consider 1) mounting your device where it will have an unobstructed path to your Biometric Sensors or 2) putting your device in a jersey side pocket (rather than center pocket).


Searching for sensors

The Strava Android app will search for new sensors any time the New Activity tab is selected, for up to 2 minutes. The app will first search for sensors it has already connected to (if there are any), then for any other sensors.

The app will also initiate sensor searches when you visit the Biometric Sensors setting page. If it is already connected to a particular type of sensor it will not connect to new sensors of that type. In order to force searching for a particular sensor type you can toggle that particular sensor off and on in the settings.

If you want to the Strava Android app to forget about particular sensors you can go to the Biometric Sensors setting page and press the Edit button then delete individual devices. This will not prevent the app from connecting to these devices however it will prevent the app from preferring those devices.


Updated December 2, 2015


Was this article helpful?
48 out of 49 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request



Article is closed for comments.