PROS / The Mio Alpha 2 actually is a heart rate monitor watch, as it has a large screen and clock feature, unlike other heart rate monitors.
CONS / This is one of the heaviest watches we reviewed -- 53 grams weighs you down a bit more than thinner designs during strenuous workouts.
VERDICT / The Mio Alpha 2 has a large, easy-to-read screen and a high accuracy rating for tracking your heart rate at any phase of your workout.
The Mio Alpha 2’s big personality and high accuracy make it a great option for a heart rate monitor watch. Available in three different colors, this watch is very comfortable and easy to view during your workouts. Although it’s very bulky and the app is tricky, it’s still a great fitness companion.
The backlit display on the Mio Alpha 2 clearly shows information such as the time, your heart rate, a timer, battery life and more. This screen is much larger than those on many other heart rate monitor watches and actually includes a large clock, which most do not. This does make the watch bulkier than its peers – it weighs in at 53 grams, twice the weight of the slimmest watch on our lineup. It’s not the sleekest or the prettiest, but at the same time, it is surprisingly comfy. Even worn on a small wrist, it looks like a large cuff bracelet, and the silicone straps mold well to any arm.
This monitor needs to be in heart rate mode to track your heart rate, and the buttons on the watch face are a bit confusing until you get used to them. With heart rate mode on, the battery only lasts one day. However, with this mode disabled, the battery lasts up to three months. During our testing, we found that heart rate accuracy was well above 96 percent, so the Mio Alpha 2 is one of the most accurate watches on our lineup. It even tracks steps and active minutes in addition to heart rate during your exercises. Another convenient feature is that the Mio Alpha 2 is a strapless heart rate monitor, so you don’t need to purchase or wear a chest strap. All your heart beats are sensed by this wrist heart rate monitor and relayed to the screen instantly.
Since the Mio Alpha 2 is a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, the device automatically syncs your data in real time to the open Mio Global app on your phone. The app has limited capabilities, but it does let you customize features and see heart rate graphs. Another Mio app, Mio Pai, tracks how much exercise your heart gets every day with a points system. A combination of rest, moderate and cardio activates are calculated by the app and should total 100 points on your healthiest days.
If you’re ok with a bulky watch that has a very short battery life, the Mio Alpha 2 is a great workout companion. It’s comfortable, has robust features and is compatible with multiple apps to ease it successfully into your lifestyle.